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The Sanctuary, the 2300 Days, and the Shut Door

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    The definition of the word Sanctuary is “a sacred place,” “a dwelling place of the Most High.” It cannot be applied to the earth, or any part of it, for it cannot be shown that the earth, or any part of the earth, is “a sacred place,” therefore the Sanctuary is not the earth, neither is it the land of Canaan. The word Sanctuary occurs more than one hundred times in the Bible, and in most cases it applies to the tabernacle and temple of the Jews, or first covenant, sometimes to a part, and sometimes to the whole. It is mentioned four times in the New Testament, all in the epistle to the Hebrews. In chapters 9:1, 2; 13:11, it refers to the Sanctuary of the first covenant, and in chapter 8:2, it applies to the Sanctuary of the second covenant, which the “Lord pitched” in heaven. In two texts [Exodus 15:17, Psalm 78:54] it is supposed by some that the word Sanctuary applies to the land of Canaan; but by a close examination of these texts we may see that they alone, condemn such a supposition.SATDSD 1.1

    “Thou shalt bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of thine inheritance, in the place, O Lord, which thou hast made for thee to dwell in; in the Sanctuary, O Lord, which thy hands have established.” Exodus 15:17. This is a part of the prophetic song of Moses, sung upon the banks of the Red Sea, in praise to God for their deliverance, and in prospect of their settlement in Canaan. Its fulfilment is declared in Psalm 78:54. “And he brought them to the border of his sanctuary, even to this mountain, which his right hand had purchased.” Cruden says - “By Sanctuary here [Exodus 15:17,] may be understood the temple on Mount Moriah, which God would certainly cause to be built and established.” This view is shown to be correct from the context of Psalm 78:54. After declaring in verse 54 that God brought his people to the border of his Sanctuary, the Psalmist in verses 68, 69, tells us what his Sanctuary was which his hands established. “But chose the tribe of Judah, the mount Zion which he loved. And he BUILT HIS SANCTUARY LIKE HIGH PLACES.” The “border” or “place” of the Sanctuary where God planted his people was one thing, and the Sanctuary itself was entirely another thing. The people were planted, and dwelt in the former, but God dwelt in the latter, among his people. Then as these two texts do not prove that the earth, or the land of Canaan is the Sanctuary, but to the contrary, certainly such a view is unscriptural, and should be abandoned at once.SATDSD 2.1

    “The Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel.” “Let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.” That Sanctuary was “a sacred place.” There the Lord placed his name, and manifested his glory during the typical dispensation of the law of Moses. But when Christ came and was crucified, that dispensation closed, and all the services of the worldly sanctuary were nailed to the cross, and that Sanctuary was no longer “a sacred place.” Since that time the Sanctuary has been in heaven.SATDSD 3.1

    “Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum; we have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; A minister of the SANCTUARY, and of the TRUE TABERNACLE, which the Lord pitched, and not man.” Hebrews 8:1, 2.SATDSD 3.2

    This one text is sufficient to show, that when Christ ascended to heaven he entered the “true Tabernacle” or “Sanctuary;” and this Sanctuary which the “Lord pitched” in heaven is the Sanctuary that was to be cleansed at the end of the 2300 days.SATDSD 3.3

    The Divine comment upon the law of Moses, contained in the epistle to the Hebrews clearly shows that the worldly Sanctuary, its furniture and services, were a “shadow,” “patterns,” “figures” of the Heavenly Sanctuary, etc. etc.SATDSD 3.4

    “Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary.SATDSD 3.5

    “For there was a tabernacle made; the first wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the shew-bread: which is called the sanctuary.SATDSD 3.6

    “And after the second vail, the tabernacle which is called the holiest of all;SATDSD 3.7

    “Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant;SATDSD 3.8

    “And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercy-seat; of which we cannot now speak particularly.SATDSD 4.1

    “Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God:SATDSD 4.2

    “But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people.” Hebrews 9:1-7.SATDSD 4.3

    “It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.SATDSD 4.4

    “For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us.” Hebrews 9:23, 24.SATDSD 4.5

    A shadow must resemble its body, and a figure or pattern must be in fashion at least, like the thing itself, therefore the Heavenly Sanctuary must be a literal Temple containing two Holies, the Holy Place, represented by the tabernacle of the congregation, and the Most Holy Place, represented by the “tabernacle of the testimony.” Macknight’s translation makes this point still clearer.SATDSD 4.6

    “There was a necessity, therefore, that the representations indeed of the HOLY PLACES IN THE HEAVENS, should be CLEANSED by these sacrifices; but the HEAVENLY HOLY PLACES THEMSELVES, by sacrifices better than these. Therefore Christ hath not entered into the holy places made with hands, the IMAGES of the TRUE HOLY PLACES; but into heaven itself, now to appear before the face of God, on our account.” Hebrews 9:23, 24.SATDSD 4.7

    “The Holy Ghost signifying this, that the way of the HOLY PLACES was not yet laid open, while the first tabernacle still standeth.” Verse 8.SATDSD 4.8

    “Hath entered once into the HOLY PLACES, not indeed by the blood of goats and of calves, but BY HIS OWN BLOOD.” Verse 12.SATDSD 4.9

    No point of Bible truth is more clearly revealed than that there is a literal Temple in heaven, containing two Holies, as distinct as the two Holies of the worldly Sanctuary.SATDSD 5.1

    In the worldly Sanctuary the priests ministered 364 days of the year in the Holy Place, and then that door was shut, [see Leviticus 16:17,] and the high priest alone, on the tenth day of the seventh month, entered the Most Holy Place, and on that day cleansed the Sanctuary. This was “a shadow,” “patterns,” “figures” of the heavenly, therefore Christ ministered in the Holy Place of the Heavenly Sanctuary until the end of the 2300 days, then he rose up and shut that door, and entered the Most Holy Place to receive the kingdom, and to cleanse the Sanctuary. I will here notice a few objections to this view.SATDSD 5.2

    1. The question is sometimes sneeringly asked - “Can there be anything in heaven unclean, and that needs cleansing”? We will let the Divine testimony settle this question. “It was therefore necessary that the patterns of THINGS IN HEAVEN should be purified [cleansed, Macknight] with these; [blood of beasts;] but the HEAVENLY THINGS THEMSELVES, [Heavenly Sanctuary] with better sacrifices, [blood of Christ] than these.” Hebrews 9:23. No one will contend that the worldly Sanctuary was of itself impure, yet it was cleansed once a year, “because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel.” On the day of atonement the sins of Israel were borne away from the Sanctuary on the head of the scape-goat, then it was cleansed. This will give us the correct view of the cleansing of the Heavenly Sanctuary, at the end of the 2300 days.SATDSD 5.3

    While conversing with an advent preacher on this subject not long since, he stated that the Sanctuary to be cleansed at the end of the 2300 days could not be in heaven, for this reason, that there was nothing in heaven that was unclean. I then read to him Hebrews 9:23, 24, and he replied - “I admit that there are things in heaven to be cleansed; but it is not the Sanctuary”!! A very poor get off indeed, for a professed teacher in Israel.SATDSD 6.1

    2. It is thought by some that there is no literal Temple or Sanctuary in heaven, because St. John says - “And I saw no temple therein, etc.” Revelation 21:22. Read the whole chapter and you will see that John saw the New Jerusalem, not as it is now, but as it will be when it comes down from God out of heaven, at the close of the 1000 years. Then there will be no Temple in the Holy City. The Sanctuary of Old Jerusalem was made purposely for the old covenant worship, and when that typical system of religion closed, God had no more use for that Temple. The New Jerusalem Temple, “the Lord pitched” in heaven, purposely for the new covenant worship, and when the ministry of Christ is finished, and the saints are all redeemed, there will be no more use for the Heavenly Sanctuary than there was for the earthly after the crucifixion.SATDSD 6.2

    “And the temple of God was opened in heaven and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament.” Revelation 11:19. See also Revelation 15:5, 6. Here is a positive declaration from the beloved John that he saw a Temple in heaven, and that the ark of the ten commandments was seen in it. This testimony should for ever settle it, that there is a literal Temple containing two Holies in the City of the living God.SATDSD 6.3

    Now let me ask the candid reader - Does the testimony of John in chap 21:22, contradict his testimony in chaps. 11:19; 15:6, 7? This you will not contend. Then the only way you can harmonize these texts is to credit the testimony of Paul and John where they testify that the “Sanctuary,” “the true Tabernacle, which the Lord pitched and not man,” [Hebrews 8:1, 2,] the “Temple of God,” [Revelation 11:19,] the “greater and more perfect Tabernacle,” [Hebrews 9:11,] is in the Holy City. But when the whole Israel of God are redeemed by the blood of Christ, the Sanctuary will be removed from the City, and it will be as John saw it coming down from heaven. “And I saw no temple therein.” Why did John say that he saw no Temple in the City then if there never had been a Temple there? This is certainly strong evidence that he had previously seen the Temple in the Holy City.SATDSD 7.1

    3. Some take the ground that Jesus entered the Most Holy Place when he ascended to heaven, because he is represented to be at God’s right hand. Now I think that no one will contend that Jesus has been perfectly stationary, at the Father’s right hand literally, for more than 1800 years. In fact many who urge this objection, do not themselves believe that the Father has hands; but deny his personality.SATDSD 7.2

    In the typical Sanctuary, God manifested his glory in the Holy, as well as in the Most Holy. So in the Heavenly Sanctuary, Jesus can “appear in the presence of God for us” in the Holy Place, as well as in the Most Holy. God’s throne is above the cherubims, and his glory can be seen from either side of the second vail.SATDSD 7.3

    The candid Bible reader will see that such expressions of Scripture, as “right hand of the throne,” “right hand of God,” “right hand of power,” mean that Christ, who was humbled to the cross, rose from the dead in triumph, and ascended in glory, is the next in power to the Eternal God.SATDSD 8.1

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