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Heavenly Visions

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    IN the year 1844, at the end of the longest time period in prophetic scripture-the 2300 years of Daniel 8:14-this definite advent movement began. It rose out of the world-wide awakening to the truth of Christ’s approaching second advent.HEVI 98.5

    In Europe as well as in America, there had been a real awakening for decades to the study of the prophecies of the second advent, with a very general idea that the 2300 days would end in the forties. Some in Europe even looked to 1844 as the end of the prophetic period. But there was not harmony of view as to the events to be expected.HEVI 98.6

    One of the best descriptions of the awakening that I know, in a single paragraph, is this summing up by Mourant Brock, a clergyman of the Church of England, and chaplain of a large prison reformatory institution near the city of Bath, in the west of England. About 1842, he wrote:HEVI 98.7

    “It is not merely in Great Britain that the expectation of the near return of the Redeemer is entertained, and the voice of warning raised, but also in America, India, and on the continent of Europe....In a little publication entitled, ‘The Millennium,’ the writer says that he understands in America about three hundred ministers of the word are thus preaching ‘this gospel of the kingdom;’ while in this country, he adds, about seven hundred of the Church of England are raising the same cry.”-Advent Tracts, Vol.II, Boston (a pre-1844 series of tracts).HEVI 98.8

    It was in North America that the advent awakening developed a distinct movement. William Miller and his associates wrought with the manifest converting power of God attending their preaching, seeking to prepare men to meet the Lord, whose coming to this earth they expected in 1844. “Unto two thousand and three hundred days [literal years]; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed,” they read; and to them the earth was the sanctuary, to be cleansed at the coming of Christ in glory.HEVI 98.9

    They were as bitterly disappointed as were the followers of Christ at His first advent, who hailed Him with hosannas as their King coming to take the throne of David, as foretold by the prophets. But that was not the event for the time of His first advent. Instead of seeing Him placed on the throne, they saw Him nailed to the cross. Their hopes for the moment died with Him; but with His resurrection their hope came to life, and afterward they saw how prophecy had all the time been fulfilling, even in their cry of hosannas to the King. That was to be the cry at that time, according to the prophecy; and as Jesus said, if the people and the children had held their peace as he rode into Jerusalem, the very stones must needs have cried out.HEVI 98.10

    So, before 1844, the awakening cry was to be given, of the coming King. These multitudes of early advent believers gave the cry. They sent the news over land and sea. It was the trumpet call for the hour, even though they were mistaken as to the event to come in 1844. Christ then indeed came in the clouds of heaven, to the place appointed, but not to this earth. In the bitterness of the disappointment, when Christ did not then appear, the great multitude fell away in a measure from the advent hope, and the great body of those holding to the doctrine of Christ’s soon coming was broken into various divisions, with divergent views, and diminishing numbers.HEVI 99.1

    But out of the shadows of the hour of disappointment came light, as some held to the past experience and prayed and studied. It was seen that the sanctuary to be cleansed was the heavenly sanctuary. There it was, into the most holy place, that Jesus was to come in 1844, to open the closing phase of the priestly ministry, the cleansing of the sanctuary, the work of the judgment hour. That was the coming of Christ that the prophet Daniel was shown in vision, as the judgment hour opened in the most holy place. Escorted by angels, Christ was seen coming in the clouds to this place of ministry. Daniel says:HEVI 99.2

    “I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought Him near before Him.” Daniel 7:13.HEVI 99.3

    The finite mind can form little idea of the spacious glories of the heavenly temple. In a vision of it the prophet had before this seen the Ancient of days, the Father, enter the most holy place for the judgment hour. Daniel saw the moving throne pass in—“His throne was like the fiery flame, and His wheels as burning fire.” What a picture of motion! We can little understand the vastness of that most holy place into which the throne of the Infinite moved for the judgment hour, with “thousand thousands” of angels ministering to Him, while “ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him.”HEVI 99.4

    Long had the ministry of our High Priest been going forward in the first apartment of the temple-since His ascension. Now, in 1844, came the passing of the ministry to the most holy place for the closing service. These two phases of service in Christ’s ministry were made divinely sure when the Lord set the two phases of service in the earthly, typical sanctuary. The earthly service was to be an exact figure of the heavenly. As surely as on the last day of the earthly service the high priest entered the most holy for the final cleansing work of the yearly round, so inevitably sure was it made that the ministry of Christ would be changed to the most holy place of the heavenly temple as the time came for the closing work. The prophecy of Daniel 8:14 fixed the time, the year 1844.HEVI 99.5

    Then it was that Christ came in the clouds of heaven, as Daniel saw in vision; came from the holy place, escorted by angels, to the most holy, for the great antitypical cleansing of the sanctuary. It means the judgment hour. “The judgment was set, and the books were opened.”HEVI 99.6

    This judgment is the final work of making up the subjects of Christ’s eternal kingdom. The solemn review began with the dead. Revelation 11:18. The names of all the candidates for eternal life are in those books that the prophet Daniel saw opened as the judgment was set. All are in the record, from righteous Abel, the first on the earth to die, at the border of Eden lost.HEVI 99.7

    And, blessed truth, when this judgment work, now passing in heaven above, is finished, every record of sin ever marked against a believer will be cleansed from the books of record-cleansed away forever.HEVI 99.8

    It is not that the infinite God needs records in order to know the facts. But His work is being done before the eyes of all the inhabitants of the universe. They witnessed the deceptive origin of sin. They know Satan’s charges against God. They are to see God’s justice in every decision. Romans 3:4.HEVI 99.9

    What a cleansing of the sanctuary that will be! When the review has passed upon the dead, and then upon the living righteous, the voice from the temple cries, “He that is holy, let him be holy still. And, behold, I come quickly.” Revelation 22:11, 12. He will come to gather the subjects of His kingdom, the nations of them that are saved.HEVI 99.10

    It is in the service of the judgment hour that these trophies of His grace are eternally awarded to Him. Looking upon it in vision, the prophet Daniel saw the presentation before the Ancient of days:HEVI 99.11

    “There was given Him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.” Daniel 7:14.HEVI 99.12

    As the hour of His judgment came in 1844, Christ entered upon the last course of ministry that is soon to end in this gathering to Himself of all the redeemed. No wonder the Lord should send a world-awakening message, heading up in 1844, to direct minds to the judgment hour and to the coming of Christ to take His kingdom.HEVI 99.13

    And out of the great awakening of the opening of that hour, as light came, there arose this definite advent movement of the prophecy of Revelation 14. The carrying forward of this movement is the special gospel work for this time. And we are in it! It is the work for which heaven has been waiting. We must note how heaven was preparing the way on earth for this movement. W. A. S. The Review and Herald, October 19, 1939.HEVI 100.1