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    20 THE MINISTRATION OF THE HEAVENLY SANCTUARY

    IN entering upon this, the most important branch of the subject before us, we are not left to explore our way alone. Guides, appointed of Heaven to lead the inquiring mind into the right way, are present to direct us. Paul, in his divine commentary on the typical system, addressed to the Hebrews, draws out in plainest terms the parallel between the priestly work of that system and the ministry of our Lord, who is a priest after the order of Melchisedec. Arm in arm with the apostle we walk forward to the following conclusions:—STTHD 214.1

    1. The earthly sanctuary meets its antitype in the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man, of which, with its two holy places, it constituted a correct pattern or shadow. Hebrews 8:2, 5; 9:8, 9, 12, 23, 24.STTHD 214.2

    2. The typical offerings meet their antitype in the great offering on Calvary. Hebrews 7:27; 9:11-14, 26; 10:10, 12, 14.STTHD 214.3

    3. The typical priesthood meets its antitype in the priesthood of our Lord. Hebrews 4:14; 7:23, 24; 8:1, 2; 9:11, 24, 25.STTHD 214.4

    4. As the priests on earth had offerings to make, it is necessary that Christ also have somewhat to offer. Hebrews 8:3.STTHD 215.1

    5. The work of the priest in the earthly tabernacle meets its antitype in the ministry of our Lord in the sanctuary above. Hebrews 8:5, 6.STTHD 215.2

    That Christ is our High Priest, and that he has ascended to Heaven, there to minister for us, will not be disputed by any of that class of people with whom we now argue.STTHD 215.3

    When did he commence his ministry in the sanctuary on high? When he ascended up to appear in the presence of God for us. Hebrews 9:8, 11, 12, 24; 10:12. On this there can be no diversity of opinion.STTHD 215.4

    Where did he commence his ministry? Was it in a place corresponding to the first apartment or holy place of the earthly sanctuary, or in some place which corresponds to the most holy place? In other words, does Christ minister in two apartments in the sanctuary above, so that somewhere in his ministry he changes his work from one to the other? or, does he minister in only one apartment, and that the most holy place? While we answer unhesitatingly that Christ commenced his work in the first apartment of the heavenly sanctuary, others take issue, and claim that he ministers only in the most holy place. Their view in reality is, that there is in the antitype only a most holy place, and that is all Heaven; consequently, Christ has but one place in which to minister, and his work goes on without change of character or locality from beginning to end. Let us see what this view involves.STTHD 215.5

    1. The ministration in the most holy place is the cleansing of the sanctuary, let it take place when it will, and continue as long as it may. So, according to this view, the cleansing of the sanctuary commenced when Christ ascended to Heaven, and he has been doing no other work for these 1800 years past, and it is not ended yet. Why, then, may it not just as appropriately continue 1800 years more, and indefinitely longer? This reduces the idea of the cleansing of the sanctuary to an absurdity.STTHD 216.1

    2. The 2300 years reached to the cleansing of the sanctuary. They must, therefore, have ended at the ascension of Christ, if he then commenced the work in the most holy place, for that is the cleansing of the sanctuary. But such a claim is ridiculous, as the prophecy makes only seventy weeks of the 2300 days reach to that event. The last of the seventy weeks, which were cut off from the 2300 days, brought us to the ascension of Christ, and the commencement of his ministry as priest at the right hand of God.STTHD 216.2

    3. The earthly sanctuary was the shadow cast here by the heavenly; and the earthly had two apartment certainly; but if the heavenly has but one apartment, the most holy alone, how could it cast upon earth a shadow with two? When people will show us a monument with a single shaft casting in the light of the same sun a shadow with two shafts, then they may talk about a heavenly sanctuary with one apartment casting a shadow here upon the earth with two. Till then, if they have any regard for their reputation as men of common observation or philosophy, let them never hint such an idea. But if there are two apartments in the heavenly sanctuary, that settles the question of the ministration; for surely an apartment would not be provided in which no ministration was to be performed.STTHD 217.1

    4. But the service of the priests was a shadow of heavenly things, just as much as the place in which they ministered. And by far the greater portion of their ministry was performed in the first apartment, or holy place. Now, a ministry performed by the earthly priests in the holy place could not shadow forth a ministry performed by Christ in the most holy place. Therefore, on the view we are examining, all this service in the holy place for 364 days out of the year was performed unto the example and shadow-of nothing! Such a position stands related to both Scripture and common sense, negatively as 364 to 1. That is, it has only one claim out of 365 to either common sense or Scripture.STTHD 217.2

    5. If Heaven is the most holy place simply, what is the vail dividing between it and the holy? Some quote Hebrews 10:19, 20, and say that it is Christ’s flesh. Then when Christ entered within the vail, as they say he did when he ascended, he entered within his flesh, which is absurd. These texts assert simply that his flesh is the new and living way consecrated for us, not that it is the vail. His flesh, or his sacrifice, is that with which we by faith enter into the true holy places, as these verses assert.STTHD 218.1

    6. The text, “This man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God” (Hebrews 10:12), has been urged as forbidding the idea of his ministering in two holy places. We answer that, so far as the idea of sitting is concerned, it would be equally proper to represent him as standing on the Father’s right hand. Acts 7:55, 56. And then we reply further, that even when he is seen coming in the clouds of heaven, he is said to be “sitting on the right hand of power.” Matthew 26:64; Mark 14:62. Then he can certainly be at the Father’s right hand in both the holy places. But Paul bears direct testimony on this point. He says that Christ is a minister of the sanctuary; and the word here rendered sanctuary (Hebrews 8:2) is in the plural number, and signifies the holy places. This none can deny. It is by the Douay Bible rendered, “the holies;” and by Macknight, “holy places.” We therefore justly conclude (1) that our Lord can be a minister of the two holy places, and yet be at the Father’s right hand; and (2) that he must minister in both the holy places, or Paul’s testimony that he is a minister of the holies (plural) is not true; for a priest that should minister simply in the holiest of all, would not be a minister of the holy places.STTHD 218.2

    7. Again: Hebrews 9:8, and also 10:19, are by some urged to prove that Christ ministers only in the most holy place. These texts both speak of the holiest as though it were in the singular number; but we have already observed that the words thus rendered are not in the singular, but plural; not “hagia hagion,” holy of holies, as in chapter 9:3, but simply “hagion,” holies, plural, the same as is rendered sanctuary in chapter 8:2. Also the phrase in chapter 9:12, 25, rendered, “into the holy place,” is the same as in verse 24 literally rendered, “into the holy places” (plural). These texts, therefore, instead of sustaining what they are often quoted to prove, viz., that Christ has but one apartment in which to minister, furnish positive testimony to the reverse, by showing that there are holy places in the heavenly sanctuary, and that Jesus ministers in them both.STTHD 219.1

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