In The Holy Of Holies




     The subject of the sanctuary was the key which unlocked the mystery of the disappointment of 1844. It opened to view a complete system of truth, connected and harmonious, showing that God's hand had directed the great Advent movement, and revealing present duty as it brought to light the position and work of his people. As the disciples of Jesus, after the terrible night of their anguish and disappointment, were “glad when they saw the Lord,” so did those now rejoice who had looked in faith for his second coming. They had expected him to appear in glory to give reward to his servants. As their hopes were disappointed, they had lost sight of Jesus, and with Mary at the sepulcher they cried, “They have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.” Now in the holy of holies they again beheld him, their compassionate high priest, soon to appear as their king and deliverer. Light from the sanctuary illumed the past, the present, and the future. They knew that God had led them by his unerring providence. Though like the first disciples they themselves had failed to understand the message which they bore, yet it had been in every respect correct. In proclaiming it they had fulfilled the purpose of God, and their labor had not been in vain in the Lord. “Begotten again unto a lively hope,” they rejoiced “with joy unspeakable and full of glory.” 

     Both the prophecy of Daniel 8:14, “Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed,” and the first angel's message, “Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his Judgment is come,” pointed to Christ's ministration in the most holy place, to the investigative Judgment, and not to the coming of Christ for the redemption of his people and the destruction of the wicked. The mistake had not been in the reckoning of the prophetic periods, but in the event to take place at the end of the 2300 days. Through this error the believers had suffered disappointment, yet all that was foretold by the prophecy, and all that they had any Scripture warrant to expect, had been accomplished. At the very time when they were lamenting the failure of their hopes, the event had taken place which was foretold by the message, and which must be fulfilled before the Lord could appear to give reward to his servants.   

     Christ had come, not to the earth, as they expected, but, as foreshadowed in the type, to the most holy place of the temple of God in Heaven. He is represented by the prophet Daniel as coming at this time to the Ancient of days: “I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came”—not to the earth, but—“to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.” [Daniel 7:13.]   

     This coming is foretold also by the prophet Malachi. “The Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts.” [Malachi 3:1.] The coming of the Lord to his temple was sudden, unexpected, to his people. They were not looking for him there. They expected him to come to earth, “in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel.” [2 Thessalonians 1:8.]    

     But the people were not yet ready to meet their Lord. There was still a work of preparation to be accomplished for them. Light was to be given, directing their minds to the temple of God in Heaven; and as they should by faith follow their High Priest in his ministration there, new duties would be revealed. Another message of warning and instruction was to be given to the church. 

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