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The Doctrine of Christ

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    LESSON FIFTY-FOUR The Time of the Investigative Judgment

    1. A definite period is emphasized in the Scriptures as “the day of judgment.” Matthew 10:15; 11:22; 12:36; 2 Peter 2:9; 3:7; 1 John 4:17; Acts 17:31.TDOC 148.3

    2. The investigative judgment is the first step in the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary, be,-inning at the time indicated by the expiration of a great prophetic period. Daniel 8:13, 14.TDOC 148.4

    3. This period began with the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem, BC 457, and extended to 1844. Daniel 9:25; Ezra 6:15; 7:7, 11-26.TDOC 148.5

    4. A special message announced to the world the expiration of this period. Revelation 14:6, 7.TDOC 148.6

    5. The investigative judgment was foreshadowed by the typical day of atonement. Leviticus 16:29, 30, 33, 34.TDOC 148.7

    6. On the typical day of atonement the people were required to recognize in a special way the work which was being done for them by the high priest. Leviticus 23:26-32.TDOC 149.1

    7. The typical day of atonement was a time for cleansing from sin, and found its fulfillment in the cleansing of the sanctuary. Leviticus 16:30; Daniel 8:13, 14.TDOC 149.2

    The heavenly sanctuary

    “The term ‘sanctuary,’ as used in the Bible, refers, first, to the tabernacle built by Moses, as a pattern of heavenly things; and, secondly to the ‘true tabernacle’ in heaven, to which the earthly sanctuary pointed. At the death of Christ the typical service ended. The ‘true tabernacle’ in heaven is the sanctuary of the new covenant. And as the prophecy of Daniel 8:14 is fulfilled in this dispensation, the sanctuary to which it refers must be the sanctuary of the new covenant. At the termination of the 2300 days, in 1844, there had ‘been no sanctuary on earth for many centuries. Thus the prophecy, ‘Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed,’ unquestionably points to the sanctuary in heaven.”-The Great Controversy, 417.TDOC 149.3

    An important date

    “Thus far every specification of the prophecies is strikingly fulfilled, and the beginning of the seventy weeks is fixed beyond question at BC 457, and their expiration in AD 34. From this data there is no difficulty in finding the termination of the 2300 days. The seventy weeks-490 days-having been cut off from the 2300, there were 1810 days remaining. After the end of 490 days, the 1810 days wore still to be fulfilled. From AD 34, 1810 years extend to 1844. Consequently the 2300 days of Daniel 8:14 terminate in 1844. At the expiration of this great prophetic period, upon the testimony of the angel of God, ‘the sanctuary shall be cleansed.”-Id., 308.TDOC 149.4

    The day of atonement

    “The types which relate to the Second Advent must be fulfilled at the time pointed out in the symbolic service. Under the Mosaic system, the cleansing of the sanctuary, or the great day of atonement, occurred on the tenth day of the seventh Jewish month, when the high priest, having made an atonement for ‘all Israel, and thus removed their sins from the sanctuary, came forth and blessed the people. So it was believed that Christ, our great High Priest, would appear to purify the earth by the destruction of sin and sinners, and to bless his waiting people with immortality. The tenth day of the seventh month, the great day of atonement, the time of the cleansing of the sanctuary, which in the year 1844 fell upon the twenty-second of October, was regarded as the time of the Lord’s coming. This was in harmony with the proofs already presented, that the 2300 days would terminate in the, autumn, and the conclusion seemed irresistible.”-Id., 399, 400.TDOC 149.5

    “We are now living in the great day of atonement. In the typical service, while the high priest was making the atonement for Israel, all ‘were required to afflict their souls’ by repentance of sin and humiliation before the Lord, lest they be cut off from among the people. In like manner, all who would have their names retained in the book of life, should now, in the few remaining days of their probation, afflict their souls before God by sorrow for sin and true repentance. There must be deep, faithful searching of heart. The light, frivolous spirit indulged by so many professed Christians must be put away. There is earnest warfare before all who would subdue the evil tendencies that strive for the mastery. The work of preparation is an individual work. We are not saved in groups. The purity and devotion of one will not offset the want of these qualities in another. Though all nations are to pass in judgment before God, yet he will examine the case of each individual with as close and searching scrutiny as if there were not another being upon the earth. Every one must be tested, and found without, spot or wrinkle or any such thing.TDOC 150.1

    “Solemn are the scenes connected with the closing work of the atonement. Momentous are the interests involved therein. The judgment is now passing in the sanctuary above. For many years this work has been in progress. Soon-none know how soon-it will pass to the cases of the living. In the awful presence of God our lives are to come up in review. At this time above all others it behooves every soul to heed the Savior’s admonition, ‘Watch and pray: for you know not when the time is.’ ‘If therefore thou shall not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shall not know what hour I will come upon thee.” Id., 489, 490.TDOC 150.2

    A disappointment explained

    “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.”-Id., 424.”TDOC 150.3

    The judgment before the second advent

    “That the judgment of the saints is fully accomplished while the Savior is in the sanctuary in heaven, before his coming, and therefore before the resurrection, is evident; for (1) their judgment must be closed while Jesus is their advocate, that he may procure their acquittal; and (2) they are raised immortal, which is the evidence of their acquittal. The judgment of the wicked must be subsequent to the redemption of the righteous, for the saints will take part in that transaction (see 1 Corinthians 6:1-3), and yet previous to the second resurrection. It is quite reasonable to consider that the wicked are merely rejected while Christ is a priest, their cases being passed over for future consideration; indeed, this is the only view that will harmonize all Scripture; and as the resurrection of the righteous to immortality and eternal life is the announcement of the decision of the judgment to them, so the wicked are raised to condemnation and the second death, which is the execution of the judgment before determined in regard to them.”TDOC 150.4

    The everlasting gospel

    “This message of Revelation 14:6, 7, is called ‘the everlasting gospel,’ though it is different from any proclamation made in the ministry of Christ and his apostles. Paul reasoned of judgment to come. Acts 24:25. He said God has appointed a day in which he will judge the world. Acts 17:31. He did not and could not say that that day was then present that it had come. Yet it is not ‘another gospel,’ but an essential part of the same gospel which they preached a part which could not be preached in their day, as the judgment had not then yet come.”TDOC 151.1

    The day of atonement not closed

    “One of the most complete types of the history of redemption is to be found in the ceremonies of the day of atonement. It was an essential part of the work of the high priest on that day that he should come forth within the veil, and laying aside his linen garments, reappear to bless the waiting congregation. Our great High Priest is now within the veil. He has offered the atoning sacrifice on the altar of Calvary, and with the merit of that sacrifice he has gone in to appear in the presence of God for us. But the great day of atonement is not yet closed. When his work within the veil is ended, he shall come forth, arrayed again in his garments of glory and beauty, for the final blessing of his waiting people. ‘Having been once offered to bear the sins of many, he shall appear a second time, apart from sin, to them that wait for him, unto salvation.”TDOC 151.2

    The type and the reality

    “Important truths concerning the atonement are taught by the typical service. A substitute was accepted in the sinner’s stead; but the sin was not canceled by the blood of the victim. A means was thus provided by which it was transferred to the sanctuary. By the offering, of blood, the sinner acknowledged the authority of the law, confessed his guilt in transgression, and expressed his desire for pardon through faith in a Redeemer to come; but he was not yet entirely released from the condemnation of the law. On the day of atonement the high priest, having taken an offering from the congregation, went into the most holy place with the blood of this offering, and sprinkled it upon the mercy seat, directly over the law, to make satisfaction for its claims. Then, in his character of mediator, he took the sins upon himself and bore them from the sanctuary. Placing his hands upon the head of the scapegoat, he confessed over him all these sins, thus in figure transferring them from himself to the goat. The goat then bore them away, and they were regarded as forever separated from the people.TDOC 151.3

    “Such was the service performed ‘unto the example and shadow of heavenly things.’ And what was done in type in the ministration of the earthly sanctuary, is done in reality in the ministration of the heavenly sanctuary.”-The Great Controversy, 400.TDOC 152.1

    Scoffers in the last generation

    “It is a very solemn thought that the last generation of men, living upon the earth just before the Lord appears, and up to the hour of his appearing, will remain here, busied with the things of this world after probation has closed. The great majority having turned away from the alarm which has been sounded, having rejected the warning which has been given by the servants of the Lord, will not understand the great change which has taken place in the position of the Son of God; they will scoff at the idea of his coming being near, and become bolder in sin as the restraining influence of God’s Spirit leaves them.”TDOC 152.2

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