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From Here to Forever

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    Closing Work in the Sanctuary

    In the parable of Matthew 22 the judgment takes place before the marriage. Previous to the wedding the king comes in to see if all the guests are attired in the wedding garment, the spotless robe of character washed in the blood of the Lamb. Revelation 7:14. All who upon examination are seen to have the wedding garment on are accepted and accounted worthy of a share in God's kingdom and a seat upon His throne. This work of examination of character is the investigative judgment, the closing work in the sanctuary above.HF 265.1

    When the cases of those who in all ages have professed Christ have been examined and decided, then probation will close and the door of mercy will be shut. Thus in one short sentence, “They that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut,” we are carried down to the time when the great work for man's salvation shall be completed.HF 265.2

    In the earthly sanctuary, when the high priest on the Day of Atonement entered the most holy place, the ministration in the first apartment ceased. So when Christ entered the holy of holies to perform the closing work of the atonement, He ceased His ministry in the first apartment. Then the ministry in the second apartment began. Christ had completed only one part of His work as our intercessor, to enter upon another portion of the work. He still pleaded His blood before the Father in behalf of sinners.HF 265.3

    While it is true that that door of hope and mercy by which men had for 1800 years found access to God was closed, another door was opened. Forgiveness of sins was offered through the intercession of Christ in the most holy. There was still an “open door” to the heavenly sanctuary, where Christ was ministering in the sinner's behalf.HF 265.4

    Now was seen the application of those words of Christ in the Revelation, addressed to this very time: “These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; ... behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it.” Revelation 3:7, 8.HF 266.1

    Those who by faith follow Jesus in the great work of the atonement receive the benefits of His mediation, while those who reject the light are not benefited thereby. The Jews who refused to believe on Christ as Saviour could not receive pardon through Him. When Jesus at His ascension entered the heavenly sanctuary to shed upon His disciples the blessings of His mediation, the Jews were left in total darkness to continue their useless sacrifices and offerings. The door by which men had formerly found access to God was no longer open. The Jews had refused to seek Him in the only way He could then be found, through the sanctuary in heaven.HF 266.2

    The unbelieving Jews illustrate the careless and unbelieving among professed Christians who are willingly ignorant of the work of our High Priest. In the typical service, when the high priest entered the most holy place, all Israel were required to gather about the sanctuary and humble their souls before God, that they might receive pardon of sins and not be “cut off” from the congregation. How much more essential in this antitypical Day of Atonement that we understand the work of our High Priest and know what duties are required of us.HF 266.3

    A message was sent from heaven to the world in Noah's day, and their salvation depended on how they treated that message. Genesis 6:6-9; Hebrews 11:7. In the time of Sodom, all but Lot with his wife and two daughters were consumed by fire sent down from heaven. Genesis 19. So in the days of Christ. The Son of God declared to the unbelieving Jews: “Your house is left unto you desolate.” Matthew 23:38. Looking down to the last days, the same Infinite Power declares concerning those who “received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved”: “For this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.” 2 Thessalonians 2:10, 11. As they reject the teachings of His Word, God withdraws His Spirit and leaves them to the deceptions which they love. But Christ still intercedes in man's behalf, and light will be given those who seek it.HF 266.4

    The passing of the time in 1844 was followed by great trial to those who held the advent faith. Their only relief was the light which directed their minds to the sanctuary above. As they waited and prayed they saw that their great High Priest had entered upon another work of ministration. Following Him by faith, they were led to see also the closing work of the church. They had a clearer understanding of the first and second angels’ messages, and were prepared to receive and give to the world the solemn warning of the third angel of Revelation 14.HF 267.1

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