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    34 THE SUBJECT CONCLUDED

    THE reader will now understand why we consider it difficult, as stated on page 11, to come to wrong conclusions in reference to important prophecies connected with this question, when this subject is correctly understood, and almost impossible to reach correct ones, if such understanding does not exist.STTHD 329.1

    To illustrate: In the light of the sanctuary, we at once perceive that no prophetic period reaches to the coming of Christ; and this fact determines the whole aspect of the Advent movement; for without this view, we must extend the longest period to that event, and hence go forth with an admission fatal to all our claims as interpreters of the prophecies, that the prophecies cannot be understood; or, secondly, we must fix upon some point of time for the Lord to come. And of this latter work we have seen enough in some branches of the Adventist body to irredeemably disgrace their cause, and disgust all sensible people. From all this we are saved by an understanding of the sanctuary work; for the cleansing of the sanctuary, at the beginning of which the longest and latest prophetic period terminates, is a work the duration of which cannot be measured by any data given in the Bible. Hence we can set no time for the conclusion of this service, and the second coming of Christ.STTHD 329.2

    At the same time we are immovably established on the great doctrine that the second advent of our Lord is right at hand. For we behold, in this view of the sanctuary, the whole work of this dispensation spread out in one view before us; and we see that that work is almost finished. All the service in the holy place, or first apartment, is already accomplished. That in the second apartment we know is very brief, and that it has been now almost thirty-three years in progress. When that is finished, Christ’s work as priest is done; and his second coming in his new office of King of kings, immediately follows. What, then, must be our view of the second coming of Christ? We must regard it as at the door. To do otherwise would be to willfully ignore all the mighty array of evidence by which the sanctuary subject is sustained. Had we no other evidence, had no signs been foretold, nor any other lines of prophecy been given, we have enough in this to show us, beyond the possibility of question, that this dispensation is almost finished, and that the second coming of Christ in such overpowering glory that no sinner can behold it and live, is at the very door.STTHD 330.1

    We are, furthermore, saved from the fearful step of denying the existence of the law of God. In the sanctuary we behold that law, reposing beneath the eye of Jehovah, and guarded by the highest and brightest seraphs that surround his throne. We behold it there just as it read upon the tables, God-written, which were deposited in the sanctuary here below, and just as it was heard, when, uttered by the Creator’s lips from the summit of Sinai thirty-three hundred years ago, it reverberated around the earth, in echoes that shook the world. It still exists; it is unchanged; the seventh day is still the Sabbath. A sight of the sanctuary as it now exists, is an end of all controversy on these vexed questions. He who receives what we here set forth as the truth on this subject will inevitably keep the seventh day as the Sabbath. There is no avoiding it. And he will believe in the soon-coming of Christ. In other words, he will be a SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST.STTHD 331.1

    Again, we are guarded by this subject against the error of supposing that the dead are conscious, and the soul immortal; for it is at once seen that the atonement, which is the canceling, in behalf of the penitent sinner, of the debt incurred by sin, is not applied to a single soul (save only by anticipation in a few exceptional cases) till this closing division of our Lord’s ministry. The righteous dead are not therefore with Christ, nor are they receiving their reward; for their sins must be atoned for, or be blotted out, before they can receive these blessings. They are therefore sleeping in their graves.STTHD 332.1

    We are also held to our view that the seven last plagues are future; for they cannot fall till Christ’s mediation ceases; and this determines the chronology of the third angel’s message, and the work of the two-horned beast to the present time, while the work in the sanctuary is closing.STTHD 332.2

    We are now prepared to take a retrospective view of this important subject. The questions proposed in the beginning of this work, are now answered.STTHD 332.3

    To the question, “The Sanctuary-what is it?” the answer has been plainly found. It is not the earth, not the land of Palestine, not the church; but, as revealed to us in the Scriptures, it is, first, the dwelling which the Lord provided for himself here among men, in the tabernacle of Moses, and afterward in the temple of Jerusalem; and, secondly, we behold it as the temple of God in Heaven, his dwelling-place on high.STTHD 332.4

    To the question, “When is it?” the answer has come. In all its most important aspects, it is now. Beginning with Moses, fifteen hundred years before Christ, it becomes an object of ever-increasing interest, till, as we reach our own generation, and the work connected with it is about to close, the issues there to be decided make it an all-important center of consideration and study.STTHD 333.1

    To the question, “Where is it?” the answer is equally plain. During the typical dispensation, it was here upon earth; in the present antitypical dispensation, it is in Heaven.STTHD 333.2

    “What are its uses?” It is the center around which all the worship of God revolves, and to which every act of devotion points. “And why?” Because it is the habitation of God, and there in the most holy, he placed the transcript of his will, the ten commandments; and there on the mercy-seat, the cover of the ark, is the focal point in the work of redemption, where “mercy and truth meet together, and righteousness and peace kiss each other.” There reposes the law which shows transgression; and there is presented the blood which satisfies the law, and, so far as the sinner’s record is concerned, blots out the sin.STTHD 333.3

    “What are its relations, and how extensive?” The previous chapters of this work have partially and imperfectly answered this question. It relates to everything in the plan of salvation, and has to do with every individual who comes within the range of Christ’s redeeming work.STTHD 334.1

    “What prominence is given to it on the inspired pages of the book of God’s revelation to men?” Great prominence. The word occurs one hundred and forty-four times, not merely as casual mentions, but often as the theme of the discourse itself.STTHD 334.2

    “What bearing has it upon the interpretation of the prophecies?” A bearing the most intimate. It shows that no prophetic period reaches to the coming of the Lord, but only to the short but indefinite work called the cleansing of the sanctuary which just precedes that coming. It thus saves us from the folly of time-setting. It clears up and explains the mystery of the disappointment in the past Advent movement. Mistaking the sanctuary to mean the earth, it was supposed that the cleansing of the sanctuary meant the purifying of the earth by fire; and as the Lord is to be revealed in flaming fire, it was argued that the Lord must then come. Hence the coming of the Lord was looked for at the end of the 2300 days in 1844. But the prophecy only says, “Then shall the sanctuary be cleansed,” which we now see to be the closing work of our High Priest in the temple above. It explains the parable of the wedding garment, Matthew 22:11-13, shows where that preliminary work of Judgment comes in, which must precede the coming of Christ, and shows how and when that sentence which eternally fixes every man’s condition, whether he be filthy or righteous, unjust or holy, can go forth before the Lord appears. Revelation 22:11.STTHD 334.3

    “How is its past history calculated to interest, or its present work concern, us?” Its past history interests us because it is the textbook from which we learn the nature of the work of our great High Priest above, and the manner of his ministration; and its present work concerns us, because in connection with the declaration of the prophecies concerning it, we learn more definitely than from any other source, our proximity to the end.STTHD 335.1

    “In what way are our dearest interests connected with it?” Our dearest interests are there because there is our only hope of life and salvation. There is to be found the only means that can cleanse our souls from guilt, and there the only Advocate who can plead our cause. If we accept his mediation on the free terms offered, our case will go well; if we reject it, all is lost. The court is now sitting; its session soon will close, and its eternal decisions be rendered.STTHD 335.2

    These are the claims it now has upon our attention, the strongest and most urgent that can ever be brought to bear upon men.STTHD 336.1

    All through its history are epochs of interest. It was a point of great interest when the tabernacle was first erected in this world of ours, and an outward symbol of the work of salvation was given to men.STTHD 336.2

    It was a point of interest when the tabernacle gave place to the larger and more glorious structure of the temple, and when in the dedication of that temple the most imposing religious ceremony was performed which the world has ever witnessed.STTHD 336.3

    It was a point of still greater interest when the typical dispensation closed, and a transfer was made from the sanctuary below to the sanctuary on high. Henceforward we come directly to Jesus, the mediator of the new covenant, and turn our attention to Jerusalem above.STTHD 336.4

    A point of still deeper interest to us was reached when at the end of the 2300 days in 1844 the time came for the cleansing of the sanctuary, and the ministration was moved from the holy into the most holy place. Then the temple of God was opened in Heaven. Then was discerned, by faith, the ark of God’s testament there. Then the position of the moral law was seen, enthroned in the very presence of Jehovah, immutable, eternal. Then was discovered the connection between this subject and the seal of the living God, the sealing work, the last message of mercy, and the closing up of the great Advent movement of the present generation. Then the foretold Judgment hour began, and the church entered upon the great Sabbath reform. With this subject all portions of the message are connected; this is the grand center and citadel of the present truth.STTHD 337.1

    Then it was seen that the time of probation could last but a little longer; for the final work in the sanctuary must be brief. Should it be otherwise it would destroy the type, and show in the plan and work of God a want of consistency and harmony, which we know does not exist.. And already for nearly thirty-three years this work has been going forward. We understand that, beginning with the human race at the opening of the world’s history, the examination passes down through successive generations, in consecutive order, till at length the cases of the last generation, the living, are reached, who come latest into this investigative Judgment, and the work closes. And what generation has the work now reached? Has it come down to the age of Noah? of Abraham? of Job? of Moses? of Daniel? Has it reached the age of the apostles and the early Christians? Are their cases now in review before the great tribunal above? Has it come down to the setting up of the papacy, to the Dark Ages, when the Waldenses and other few faithful witnesses in obscurity and concealment kept the light of God’s truth alive in the world? Has it come down to the great Reformation, to the times of Luther? of the Wesleys? We know not. We know only that it is passing down somewhere through these generations, and rapidly approaching the living, when our cases will come up for decision, and our destiny be decided forever. And here we now stand waiting; may we not also say, preparing?STTHD 337.2

    But with considerations of such thrilling interest even as these, our view of this subject does not end. We go forward a little in the future, and behold the sins of all the righteous loaded upon the head of the antitypical scape-goat, to be put away forever. We see Satan bound, and the saints forever free from his power. This is a point of transcendent interest to all the righteous. Then we take our first draughts from the cup of immortality. Our sins are borne away. They come up to trouble us no more. We cannot recall them; and even God says that he will forget them. He who instigated them will then have received them back again. Here the serpent’s head is effectually bruised by the seed of the woman. Here the strong man armed (Satan), who has been shutting up even the followers of Christ in his prison house, the grave, for six thousand years, will be bound by a stronger than he (Christ), and his house be spoiled of its precious treasures. Then will the tares have been bound in bundles for the burning, and the wheat have been gathered into the heavenly garner. Then our High Priest will have come forth from the sanctuary to pronounce the everlasting blessing upon his waiting people. Then we shall have come, not by faith merely, but in deed and in truth, unto Mount Zion, and the city of the livingSTTHD 338.1

    God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels. Then will the redeemed, placing the foot of triumph upon the world, the flesh, and the devil, raise their glad voices in the song of Moses and the Lamb. Glorious and longed-for day! The Lord hasten it in his time.STTHD 340.1

    One more scene remains: the kindling of those final fires prepared for the devil and his angels, at the end of the thousand years. Here is also the perdition of ungodly men. And here all the agents of evil, root and branch, Satan and all his followers, be they angels or men, are destroyed from the universe of God. The deepest taint of the curse is burned out of the earth; the last vestige of disgrace is removed; and from the ashes of the old system, by a new act of God’s creative energy, who says, “Behold, I make all things new,” there spring forth a new heavens and new earth, fitting abode of the redeemed forever. And of Satan’s original rebellion, then nothing remains but the great and solemn lesson of sin and its fearful results, which will ever tend to confirm in uprightness and holiness all other intelligences in all the universe.STTHD 340.2

    Thus triumphantly for God’s name and glory does his controversy with sin and sinners end.STTHD 340.3

    Here are finished the results of all Christ’s work as connected with the sanctuary. Redemption is successfully completed. The original purpose in regard to this world, that it should be the beauteous abode of holy beings, is carried out. The requisite number to people it is secured, and the earth is renewed to be their eternal abode. Here the righteous are called to inherit the kingdom prepared for them from the foundation of the world.STTHD 341.1

    And from this height of ineffable bliss, away through the ever-revolving cycles of eternity, there open before us boundless vistas of EVERLASTING LIFE AND ETERNAL GLORY.STTHD 341.2

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