“Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot? And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” (Daniel 8:13-14)
In the last article (which you can read here), we showed that the vision’s time prophecy began during the pagan kingdom of Medo-Persia, symbolized by a sacrificial animal of the sanctuary, a ram of consecration in 457BC. Then a rough goat arose, with it’s various horns, symbolized by the pagan kingdom of Grecia. Then there arose a little horn, which had two distinct phases, pagan Rome and Papal Rome. The work of Papal Rome effectively enshrined transgression which made the work of the gospel and the heavenly sanctuary of no effect; and persecuted the saints of the Most High God. It was shown how the whole system of Papal Rome is in fact a counterfeit system to the heavenly Sanctuary; having a different priesthood, a different law, and claims to literally crucify Christ afresh from one week to another in the Mass. Hence, the entirety of the vision dealt with “the daily and the transgression of desolation” among God’s people, and how the heavenly Sanctuary was to be made right, as it was in the beginning, before the entrance of sin and the apostasy of His people.
What does it mean that the Sanctuary should be cleansed/justified? The first point is that it is to make the Sanctuary right as it was before it was polluted through apostasy among His people. But it is more than this. To justify or to cleanse the Sanctuary was a special event coinciding with Christ’s High Priestly ministerial duties in 1844 which would make a final end to the separation which sin had wrought forever. The Sanctuary service was not only a symbolic revelation of Christ’s sacrifice and priestly ministry, but it also revealed the separation which sin has brought between our God and man.
THE INIQUITY OF THE SANCTUARY
Says the Scripture, “Your iniquities have separated between you and your God” (Isaiah 59:2). Two veils separated the worshippers where the sacrifices were slain for sin continually and the throne of God in the Most Holy place. When the priest, represented as a man, drew near to God, it was through the washing of water and having evidences of sacrifice for sin. This would permit the priest, who represents man, to enter into the Sanctuary. However, if a priest entered into the sanctuary having sin, he would die (Exodus 28:43). So it is for those who profess to be Christians; if they partake of Christ’s sacrifice but do not die to sin through the power of His cross, eternal death is the sure result.
After the man had laid his hand on the head of the lamb, he would pray and confess the sins to God which would symbolically be transferred to the sacrifice. He was to confess that the wages of sin was death, and look through the sacrifice provided by God for his sins and see a picture of the Messiah-to-come to keep his faith alive in the appearing of the true Lamb of God. The priests were to eat of the sacrifices after they were laid upon the altar of burnt offering; signifying that they were taking the burden for man’s sin upon themselves, to stand between God and man, acting as a mediator, and pleading the blood of the sacrifice. Yet those who were guilty of sin were separated from God, the Source of life, and their voice was as the voice of the guilty soul before the judge. As a result, their voices would symbolically be carried before God through the intercession of the innocent priest. Thus the priests were to represent Christ in baring the sins of the transgressors into the Sanctuary; that of the voice of Sanctified Innocency which may come before God to receive mercy on behalf of others; in this manner “He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” (Isaiah 53:12)
Yet only the high priest, who represented all of Israel, would enter once a year into the most sacred apartment of the sanctuary. Aaron, the first high priest of the earthly sanctuary was to wear upon his head a mitre, a plate of pure gold, with the engraved words in Hebrew “Holiness To Jehovah” as a continual witness to the innocency of Christ’s high priestly ministry; “And it shall be upon Aaron’s forehead that Aaron may bear the iniquity of the holy things which the children of Israel shall hallow in all their holy gifts; and it shall be always upon his forehead, that they may be accepted before Jehovah.” (Exodus 28:38)
Thus, the sins which were borne on the priests was called “the iniquity of the sanctuary” (Number 18:1). Anciently, when God was giving the pattern of the sanctuary to Israel, it was in His heart to make all of Israel “a kingdom of priests” (Exodus 19:6) to proclaim the gospel, and bear the iniquity of the gentiles who turned to Christ. But when Israel had sinned in erecting a golden calf idol of Egyptian sun worship, they disqualified themselves; “because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you that you should be no priest to Me” (Hosea 4:6). Only the one tribe, the Levites, who remained innocent, were permitted to be priests. We are told that those who were not innocent that they were not permitted into the sanctuary, lest they should die. “Neither must the children of Israel henceforth come nigh the tabernacle of the congregation, lest they bear sin, and die.” (Numbers 18:22) For this cause, the innocent priesthood, as a shadow of the Innocent Priestly Ministry of Christ, was “to bear the iniquity of the congregation, to make atonement for them before Jehovah.” (Leviticus 10:17) Therefore in the shadow, it was demonstrated that the sacrifice itself, which was the blood of the atonement, was insufficient without the effectual intercession of the priest to plead it’s merits.
THE CLEANSING OF THE SANCTUARY EXPLAINED
The iniquity of the Sanctuary were symbolically transferred by the priest throughout the year into the holy place where they ministered. Yet only once a year would the high priest enter into the most sacred portion of the sanctuary. Man coming into the presence of God in innocency; a manner which no man has been permitted since the fall of Adam and Eve. The symbolism was striking, and filled with hope. The representative of the people of God, symbolizing all of the people and bearing all of their iniquities before God, was to make a final end of the iniquity of the sanctuary.
“And the LORD said unto Moses, Speak unto Aaron thy brother, that he come not at all times into the holy place within the vail before the mercy seat, which is upon the ark; that he die not: for I will appear in the cloud upon the mercy seat.” (Leviticus 16:2)
The mercy seat was the place of Jehovah, the Most High God’s throne. Underneath it was the tables of stone containing the Ten Commandments; and the law at it’s right hand with it’s statutes and judgments. This law witnessed against the transgressor, that his portion was cursing and death unless restored to the blessing of life in obedience to God. The High Priest was not permitted to enter in at any time during the year; but only at the end of the year would he come before the Most High God to make atonement for the sins of the entire year which were past. By the entrance of the High Priest into the Holiest part of the Sanctuary, the sins of the entire year which were transferred symbolically into the holy place were transferred into the Most Holy place.
This day was called the Day of Atonement. If the one who confessed their sins had still continued in his sins and had not forsaken them by the end of the year, or else if he had died before the end of the year without confessing or forsaking them, he was numbered with the transgressors of God’s law, and his name was cut off from receiving the benefits of the atonement. “For whatsoever soul it is that shall not be humbled in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people.” (Leviticus 23:29) Thus, he was left without the sweet shelter of mercy because he refused to let go of his sins. Yet all of this was symbolic of the heavenly sanctuary and the work of Christ.
When Christ entered into the holy place when He ascended, the sins of the previous four thousand years were transferred into the holy place. Many believe that when Christ bore our sins on the cross, that this put an end to the sin problem forever. This was the blood of the atonement, yet Christ had a much fuller work to complete according to the design of the Sanctuary to complete the work of atonement for those who had by faith claimed His atoning blood on their behalf. The Papal power, in claiming that the atonement was finished entirely at the cross, brought the doctrine of this earth now being the kingdom of Christ, in which the popes were to reign as kings and priests. Yet this was not only a misapplication of Scripture, but a misunderstanding which was rooted in a darkened understanding of the sanctuary: what the atonement truly was and when it was to be completed.
Though the believing soul may have died before the year end Day of Atonement, his sins which he confessed upon the head of the sacrifice were still symbolically transferred into the sanctuary to be dealt with once-and-for-all at the year’s end. “For it is the day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the Jehovah your God.” (Leviticus 23:28) This was the shadow of the true object, the true atonement, that is to be completed in heavenly places through Christ. Remember this. That just because Christ had not died yet, did not make His death any less essential to save the souls who by faith believed in His coming for four-thousand years. Likewise, just because they had died before the final work of atonement in the heavenly sanctuary was completed did not make it unessential for Christ to accomplish this on their behalf when He entered into the heavenly Sanctuary.
Thus, with the sins of the people confessed and being laid upon Christ, He entered into the Sanctuary bearing these sins for them to plead the merits of His blood. “And he shall make an atonement for the holy place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions in all their sins: and so shall he do for the tabernacle of the congregation, that remaineth among them in the midst of their uncleanness.” (Leviticus 16:16)
It was this uncleanness that entered into the Sanctuary throughout the year that must be atoned for. The priest, taking the blood of the sacrifice, would take his finger and anoint the Most holy place and sprinkling the blood of the atonement on the throne above the law. And the holy place, at the altar where intercession was made for the children of Israel throughout the year would be anointed with blood seven times. “And he shall sprinkle of the blood upon it with his finger seven times, and cleanse it, and hallow it from the uncleanness of the children of Israel.” (Leviticus 16:18-19) Then it is said that He “hath made an end of reconciling the holy…”
“It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these… but now once in the end of the world has He appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself: and as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this, the judgment: so Christ was once offered to ebar the sins of many: and unto them that look for Him, shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” (Hebrews 9:23-28)
THE TIMING OF THE CLEANSING
We are told unto 2300 days, then would the Sanctuary be cleansed. This cleansing/justification of the Sanctuary that the people for the last six thousand years may receive the honors of the atonement if they were found worthy began in 1844. This was when the judgment hour began in heaven; when our High Priest came before the Ancient of days.
“Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall humble your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD.” (Leviticus 23:27)
The tenth day of the seventh month of the Hebrew calendar was one of the seven sanctified times of sacred worship, set apart by Jehovah Himself, which we spoke of in the last article, called in the ancient Hebrew “moedim”. Yet much more than sacred times of worship, these contained prophetic shadows of Christ’s High Priestly ministry within the ceremonies which occurred on those very times.
Anciently, when the Passover was slain, it was on the fourteenth day of the first month. This pointed to the exact time of Christ’s death on the celestial calendar used by the Hebrews. When every evening and every morning, the worshippers would gather and face the sanctuary, it signified the exact time when Christ would be laid upon the cross, during the morning sacrifice (“the third hour” Mark 15:25) and died upon the cross (“the ninth hour” Matthew 27:45-46). On Pentecost, Christ was anointed in heaven as our High Priest anew, after His sacrifice was accomplished and He was raised from the dead (Compare Psalm 133:1-2 & Acts 2:1-2).
It should then come as no surprise to us that Christ entered into the heavenly Sanctuary’s Most Holy place to begin the cleansing/justification of the Sanctuary, and forever removing sin and it’s walls of separation from the Redeemed, to occur not only in 1844, but on the very time specified in the sacred times which were set-apart by Jehovah.
Yet to the religious class in the days when Christ was to fulfill the Passover, many among the religious would not receive the light. Yet it was perfectly declared to the very year in Daniel 9 and to the very day in the sacred times of worship. Yet Christ said to the Pharisee Nicodemus, who was among the unbelieving religious class, “If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?” (John 3:12)
THE INVESTIGATIVE JUDGMENT
Therefore, the cleansing of the Sanctuary is the atonement of the people of God being fully accomplished in the last great work of our High Priest in heaven.
In 1844, on the Day of Atonement, which fell on October 22nd, Christ entered into the Most Holy place. Thus we see a great judgment scene taking place, where “the judgment is set, and the books were opened.” (Dan. 7:10) Scripture declares this time to be “the hour of His judgment” (Rev. 14:6-7) when every case will be decided. “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment;” those who died have their cases going up in review in the heavenly tribunal, where we are told ten thousand times ten thousand cases are represented before the inhabitants of heaven. Those who had confessed and forsook their sins were to have their names retained in the book of the living. If they had not forsaken their sins, though they made a profession of faith, like Caiaphas, the chief priest who led out the crucifixion of Christ, their sins will remain on the record as a witness against them in the last day, forever shutting them out from the throne of God; forever separated from communion with God and Christ, and to suffer everlasting punishment of destruction. They have not received the atonement.
Yet for those living in the great Day of Atonement which began in 1844, it calls for great humility of heart. When the cases pass from the dead to the living, as the angelic host investigated the cases of the Sodom and Gomorrah before any judgment was executed, so it will be now. Likewise, the investigative judgment of the living is not the judgment of the dead. For the living must undergo a special work of cleansing from all uncleanness to have their sins atoned for. “For on that day shall the priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sins before the LORD.” (Leviticus 16:30)
Christ, as our High Priest, is to purify and perfect His people, that “He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” (Eph. 5:27)
However, many among the living have very little idea of what Christ is doing in heaven. That the cleansing of the Sanctuary is taking place. That everlasting decisions are being ratified in heaven if the blood of the atonement is not permitted to take away our sins. Very few have any realization of the priestly portion of the atonement, and the work that is to take place at this present time. More still believe in the blood of the atonement, but take no knowledge of the Sanctuary, and the law which the Papacy has defiantly changed. They have seen the death and resurrection of Christ, but detached from it’s true setting, the great significance of His death is not discerned.
But soon, very soon, just before Christ’s return, every decision will have been made for life or death, blessing or cursing. Then the decree will be pronounced by Christ: “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be…Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.” (Revelation 22:11-15) The Sanctuary being cleansed, separation will be ended between the people of God who have been declared righteous and holy; the redemption plan complete for the souls that will be saved, those who have not been cleansed shall have no opportunity to embrace the gospel any longer. Thus was the angel proclaiming the hour of God’s judgment described as having “the everlasting gospel” (Rev. 14:6); everlasting in it’s effects and a judgment which would cause the people of God to inherit the everlasting blessing, and the cursed to be destroyed with everlasting destruction. Said the apostle John of the conclusion of this work, “And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.”(Revelation 22:3-4)
Among the living, these will be two great classes developed as expressed by the parable of the sheep and the goats. One class will believe in the atonement, but will not have been cleansed from sin, therefore did not receive the blessing of the atonement, which is everlasting life and right to the tree of life. To this class, it shall be said, “Depart ye cursed into everlasting fires prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41). The other will also believe in the atonement, but will be cleansed by divine power from every defilement and rottenness of character, will enter into the everlasting blessings of being joint-heirs with Christ, and will reign as sons of God in the kingdom of God for eternity. To this class, it shall be said “Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” (Matthew 25:34)
For this cause, the goat is the symbol employed by the horns that come from the kingdom of Greece, from which the power of Rome waxed great, absorbing all other kingdoms, and waxed unto heaven in the Papacy. Many shall profess the atonement, but shall not be affected by that profession.
As transgressors, man was driven out from the tree of life, and two cherubim were set at the tree to signify that man was barred from eternal life in their transgressions. These two cherubim were set at either side of the mercy seat, the throne of God in the Sanctuary. Thus was the presence of the Most Holy God, the Source of immortality, equated with the tree of life for mankind. To have “right to the tree of life” means a right to dwell once more in the presence of the God who created us, and redeemed us from all evil.
GABRIEL CONCLUDES THE MATTER
“And the vision of the evening and the morning which was told is true: wherefore shut thou up the vision; for it shall be for many days.” (Daniel 8:26)
The vision is called the vision of the evening and the morning; or the vision of the continual/daily. The pagan powers were further symbolized by the Ram and the Goat. And the prophecy of the slain Lamb of God was found in Daniel 9, serving as a key to understanding the date and the event-to-occur when the end of the vision of the evening and morning, which is the Day of Atonement, would take place. It was this knowledge that was shut up for so long, but which is now shining in bright, clear rays of heavenly light from the Throneroom of God. Through the sure word of prophecy, we see our High Priest ministering on our behalf; while much of the world has lost sight of Him; let us determine to fix the eye of faith upon Him and cooperate with His purpose. The testimony of this prophecy declares that the end of all things is at-hand, and that each of us must get our hearts and houses in order; for the events prophesied to take place just before the return of Christ are now all around us. “So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.” (Matthew 24:33)
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