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The Visions of Mrs. E.G. White

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    OBJECTION 20. — THE TEMPLE IN THE CITY

    “I saw an angel flying swiftly to me. He carried me from the earth to the holy city. In the city I saw a temple, which I entered.” Experience & Views, p.16. This, says the objector, contradicts Revelation 21:22: “And I saw no temple therein; for the Lord God and the Lamb are the temple of it.”VEGW 75.1

    To this objection we reply: Sister White saw the city as it exists at the present time; John, in Revelation 21:22, saw it after it had come down to the earth at the end of the 1000 years. The two views are over a thousand years apart, and in different dispensations; that is all the difference! Now it does seem that persons of common capacity ought to be able to come within a thousand years of the time of which they write. If they do not do this, is there not with them a serious deficiency either in head or heart? But John, in another part of his vision, viewing things in the city in this dispensation, the same time of which sister White writes, says that he did see a temple therein: “And the temple of God was opened in Heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament,” etc. Revelation 11:19. Now why did not the objector turn his infidel weapons against the Bible and say that here is a contradiction between Revelation 11:19, and Revelation 21:22, because in one place John says there was a temple there, and in the other that there was not? The temple of God, as it now exists in Heaven, is the sanctuary; and sister W. so describes it. So also says the Revelation; for in it was seen the ark of his testament. And to deny that there is now a temple in Heaven, as the objector would have us do, is to deny the plain Bible truth that there is now a sanctuary in Heaven; and all this for the sake of getting something against the visions. We have only to say that we do not feel disposed to deny the Bible, for the sake of denying the visions. The reason why there is no temple in the city after it has come down to earth, is evidently because, the plan of salvation being finished, there is no longer occasion for the sanctuary work. What disposition is made of this temple, the Bible does not inform us. Possibly it is removed from the city, and becomes the temple described in Experience and Views, p.14, as existing outside the city; or it may be put to such a different use as to cease to be the temple of God.VEGW 75.2

    But the objector replies to this that there is room enough in Heaven for a temple outside of the city, and John does not say it was in the city; so there is no contradiction in his testimony. We answer that John’s language does prove that the temple now in Heaven is in the city. 1. It is called the temple of God. This it could not be unless it was his dwelling place. 2. It is the sanctuary, into the first apartment of which John has a view in Revelation 4; and there he saw the throne of God, and him that sat thereon. See works on the Sanctuary. 3. Christ was caught up to God and his throne, and is now on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the Heavens, a minister of the sanctuary. Revelation 12:5, 21; Hebrews 7:1, 2, and other scriptures. 4. At the conclusion of the seven last plagues, a great voice comes out of the temple of Heaven from the throne, saying, It is done. Revelation 16:17. These testimonies conclusively prove that the throne of God is in the temple in Heaven, and that there God and Christ have their dwelling place. Now who can believe that God and Christ reside outside of the city? But if they do not, then the temple is in the city; for they dwell therein. But what about this city? (1.) It is the bride, the Lamb’s wife. Revelation 21:9, 10. (2.) Its maker is its husband. Isaiah 54:1, 5; Galatians 4:26, 27. (3.) Christ expressly calls it, “the city of my God.” Revelation 3:12; and in John 14:2, he calls it his Father’s house of many mansions, and left his followers a promise that they should be taken there to be with him. Now talk about this city’s not being the residence of God! It is the hight of absurdity. But the objector thought to get out of a close place by saying, There is room enough in Heaven for a temple, outside of the city. Such a subterfuge is too transparent to shield him from merited contempt.VEGW 76.1

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