“Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” Daniel 8:14
In our last study, we came to understand that Christ’s intercessory work in the heavenly sanctuary is just as essential as His death was upon the cross. We mostly focused on His intercessory work in the first apartment of the heavenly sanctuary. However, we did not study to any great length the second phase of His work in the second apartment. The burden of this article is the last acts of His ministration as He entered the second apartment of the heavenly sanctuary—a most decisive work.
Truly in the word of God and the Spirit of Prophecy we have been given much light on this subject. Says Stephen Haskell, a Pioneer writer of the Advent message: “In the light shining from the sanctuary, the books of Moses with its detail of offerings and sacrifices, their rites and ceremonies, usually considered so meaningless and void of interest becomes radiant with consistency and beauty. There is no other subject which so fully unites all parts of the inspired Word into one harmonious whole, as the subject of the sanctuary. . . . Every type used in the entire sacrificial system was designed by God to bear resemblance of some spiritual truth. . . chosen by God Himself to shadow forth the different phases of the complete plan of redemption made possible by the death of Christ. The likeness between type and antitype is never accidental but is simply a fulfillment of the great plan of God.” –The Cross and Its Shadow, VI
First, let us define the word “antitype. According to dictionary.com: “ANTITYPE is a person or thing represented or foreshadowed by a type or symbol; especially a figure in the Old Testament having a counterpart in the New Testament.” For example, Christ is the antitype of Aaron the High Priest. This paradigm shift as per God’s design brings us to our day of antitypical atonement.
Before we continue, another burden that lends itself to this study is to put back this present truth on the table, having been once delivered to the saints, taking it from the bin of obscurity, where mostly a people wholly disregard their needful preparation. Declares E.G. White, the inspired writer of our time: “In the typical service, while the High Priest was making the atonement for Israel, all were required to afflict their souls by repentance of sin and humiliation before the Lord, lest they be cut off from among the people. In like manner all who would have their names retained in the book of life should now, in the few remaining days of their probation, afflict their souls before God by sorrow for sin, and true repentance.” She warns: “The light, frivolous spirit indulged by so many of professed Christians must be put away. . . . The work of preparation is an individual work.” –The Great Controversy, p. 489
Again, says the Spirit of Prophecy: “We are living in the great antitypical day of atonement. Jesus is now in the heavenly sanctuary, making reconciliation for the sins of His people, and the judgment of the righteous dead has been going on almost forty years. How soon the cases of the living will come in review before this tribunal we know not; but we do know that we are living in the closing scenes of earth’s history, standing, as it were, on the very borders of the eternal world. It is important that each of us inquire, How stands my case in the courts of Heaven? Will my sins be blotted out? Am I defective in character, and so blinded to these defects by the customs and opinions of the world, that sin does not appear to me to be as exceedingly offensive to God as it really is? It is no time now to allow our minds to be absorbed with the things of earth, while we give only occasional thoughts to God, and make but slight preparation for the country to which we are journeying.” –The Signs of the Times, May 29, 1884
To be sure, this is not speaking of the wicked; this is directed to members of the Church. And since the Church is to be a glorious church without spot or wrinkle, we are as strong as our weakest link. The leading men, therefore, have a responsibility before God to call sin by its right name, as says the Pen of Inspiration, E.G. White: “The greatest want of the world is the want of men—men who will not be bought or sold, men who in their inmost souls are true and honest, men who do not fear to call sin by its right name, men whose conscience is as true to duty as the needle to the pole, men who will stand for the right though the heavens fall.” –Education, p. 57
The question is, why do we have such a light frivolous spirit towards what will determine where we spend eternity? The answer according to Spirit of Prophecy: “Satan invents unnumbered schemes to occupy our minds, that they may not dwell upon the very work with which we ought to be acquainted. The archdeceiver hates the great truths that bring to view an atoning sacrifice and an all-powerful Mediator. He knows that with him everything depends on his diverting minds from Jesus and His truth.
She continued: “Those who would share the benefits of the Saviour’s mediation should permit nothing to interfere with their duty to perfect holiness in the fear of God. The precious hours, instead of being given to pleasure, to display, or to gain seeking, should be devoted to an earnest, prayerful study of the Word of truth. The subject of the sanctuary and the investigative judgment should be clearly understood by the people of God.” –The Great Controversy, p. 487–488. “It is those who by faith follow Jesus in the great work of the atonement who receive the benefits of His mediation in their behalf, while those who reject the light which brings to view this work of mediation are not benefited thereby.” –Ibid., p. 430; “The sacred work of Christ for the people of God that is going on at the present time in the heavenly sanctuary should be our constant study.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 520
Dear fellow believer, it is now one hundred and seventy-five years since the judgment, which, according to prophecy, began in 1844. Our Pioneers, as it were, framers of the sanctuary truths saw this for what it was, a significant emergence of light, of which they thought would have been fulfilled in their day. The line of scripture that was their watchword and their song was: “Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come: and worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” Revelation 14:7. They took it literally and made spiritual preparation. The question is, we who are nearer to its fulfillment, are we taking it as seriously? Today we are at the tail-end of every prophecy; are we prepared to stand at the judgment bar of God? It is when we deeply study and understand how critical the issue is, when we own it, then we can and will do something about it.
The excerpts drawn from the Spirit of Prophecy and the Bible are meant to exert a deeper interest into the reality of what is taking place in this our antitypical day of atonement. It is meant to agitate us to examine it more in-depth and with humility and penitence “make our calling and election sure.”
The Hour of God’s Judgment is Come
In the typical dispensation, ten days prior to the day of atonement, the trumpet blowers blew their trumpets loudly—a reminder that the Day of Atonement was drawing nigh. It is interesting to note that in our antitypical time of atonement such a sounding had been carried out, as for every type there must be an antitype. Says Stephen Haskell: “In the antitype we should expect some world-wide message to be given in trumpet tones, announcing the time near when the great antitypical day of atonement, the investigative judgment, would convene in heaven. Beginning with the years 1833–1834 and extending down to 1844 (10 years) such a message was given to the world in trumpet tones, announcing ‘The hour of His judgment is come.’ Revelation 14:6–7. Many other consecrated men heralded it in other portions of the world. . . . During that period. . . every civilized nation on the earth heard in trumpet tones the announcement of the message of Revelation 14:6–7, ‘The hour of His judgment is come.’” –The Cross and the Shadow, p. 204
The Daily Service
Looking back at the typical service carried out by Ancient Israel leading up to the Day of Atonement, we find a daily work that formed an integral part of the whole design of God to cleanse a people from sin. It set the stage for the High Priest’s ultimate ministration in the Most Holy Place. Note: Day by day as the priests sprinkle the blood of the animal sacrifice on the outer veil that separates the holy from the most holy place on behalf of the penitent sinner, it remained there until the great Day of Atonement. Similarly, “As Christ at His ascension appeared in the presence of God to plead His blood in behalf of penitent believers, so the priest in the daily ministration sprinkled the blood of the sacrifice in the holy place in the sinner’s behalf. The blood of Christ, while it was to release the repentant sinner from the condemnation of the law, was not to cancel the sin; it would stand on record in the sanctuary until the final atonement; so in the type the blood of the sin offering removed the sin from the penitent, but it rested in the sanctuary until the Day of Atonement.” –Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 357
The Day of Atonement
On the tenth day of the seventh month was the Day of Atonement. The final cleansing was the main order of the day. “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 9:7 We turn to the book of Leviticus for more details: “And he shall take of the congregation of the children of Israel two kids of the goats for a sin offering. . . . And he shall take the two goats, and present them before the LORD at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the LORD
and the other lot for the scapegoat. . . . Then shall he kill the goat of the sin offering, that is for the people, and bring his blood within the vail, and do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it upon the mercy seat, and before the mercy seat: And he shall make an atonement for the holy place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions in all their sins: and so shall he do for the tabernacle of the congregation, that remaineth among them in the midst of their uncleanness. And there shall be no man in the tabernacle of the congregation when he goeth in to make an atonement in the holy place until he come out, and have made an atonement for himself, and for his household, and for all the congregation of Israel. And he shall go out unto the altar that is before the LORD, and make an atonement for it; and shall take of the blood of the bullock, and of the blood of the goat, and put it upon the horns of the altar round about. And he shall sprinkle of the blood upon it with his finger seven times, and cleanse it, and hallow it from the uncleanness of the children of Israel.” Leviticus 16:5, 7–8, 15–19
Our Antitypical High Priest
Christ is our antitypical High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary. Says Paul: “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
Our Antitypical Day of Atonement fulfilled
“As in the typical service there was a work of atonement at the close of the year, so before Christ’s work for the redemption of man is completed, there is a work of atonement for the removal of sin from the sanctuary. This is the service which began when the 2300 days ended. At that time, as foretold by Daniel the prophet, our High Priest entered the most holy, to perform the last division of His solemn work,—to cleanse the sanctuary.” –The Great Controversy, p. 421. Thus Daniel 8:14, “Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed,” found its fulfillment. It opens to view its full interpretation as further explained in Daniel 9:24–27 (see prophetic chart). This, undeniably, with all its way-marks, brought it to 1844, using the day for a year prophetic time formula namely: “After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know My breach of promise.” Numbers 14:34
Daniel the prophet was used of God to open to view the scene of Christ moving from the Holy place to the Most Holy Place. Namely: “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. Earlier in the said vision, Daniel beheld God seated. Said he: “I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of His head like the pure wool: His throne was like the fiery flame, and His wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him: thousand thousands ministered unto Him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.” Daniel 7:9–10. This was undoubtedly the Most Holy Place; this is where the ark of His testament is, where set inside is the Law of the Ten Commandments.
Christ, having been designated to the work of judgment took His seat on the throne set for Him, “For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son.” John 5:22. “Thus was presented to the prophet’s vision the great and solemn day when the characters and the lives of men should pass in review before the Judge of all the earth, and to everyone should be rendered ‘according to his works.’” –The Great Controversary, p. 479
Meaning of the Investigative Judgment
To understand the meaning of the investigative judgment we must go to the type, affirms the Spirit of Prophecy: “As anciently the sins of the people were by faith placed upon the sin offering and through its blood transferred, in figure, to the earthly sanctuary, so in the new covenant, the sins of the repentant are by faith placed upon Christ, and transferred, in fact, to the heavenly sanctuary. And as the typical cleansing of the earthly was accomplished by the removal of the sins by which it had been polluted, so the actual cleansing of the heavenly is to be accomplished by the removal, or blotting out, of the sins which are there recorded. But before this can be accomplished, there must be an examination of the books of record to determine who, through repentance of sin and faith in Christ, are entitled to the benefits of His atonement. The cleansing of the sanctuary therefore involves a work of investigation—a work of judgment.” –Ibid., p. 421
“In the great day of final award, the dead are to be ‘judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.’ Revelation 20:12. Then by virtue of the atoning blood of Christ, the sins of all the truly penitent will be blotted from the books of heaven. Thus the sanctuary will be freed, or cleansed, from the record of sin. In the type, this great work of atonement, or blotting out of sins, was represented by the services on the Day of Atonement—the cleansing of the earthly sanctuary, which was accomplished by the removal, by virtue of the blood of the sin offering, of the sins by which it was polluted.” –Ibid., p. 357
Note: “In the typical service only those who had come before God with confession and repentance, and whose sins, through the blood of the sin offering, were transferred to the sanctuary, had a part in the service of the Day of Atonement. So in the great day of final atonement and investigative judgment the only cases considered are those of the professed people of God. The judgment of the wicked is a distinct and separate work and takes place at a later period. ‘Judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begins at us, what shall be the end of them that obey not the gospel?’ 1 Peter 4:17.” –Ibid., p. 480
The Books of Record
There are three distinct records and “As the books of record are opened in the judgment, the lives of all who have believed on Jesus come in review before God. Beginning with those who first lived upon the earth, our Advocate presents the cases of each successive generation, and closes with the living. Every name is mentioned, every case closely investigated. Names are accepted, names rejected. When any have sins remaining upon the books of record, unrepented of and unforgiven, their names will be blotted out of the book of life, and the record of their good deeds will be erased from the book of God’s remembrance. The Lord declared to Moses: ‘Whosoever hath sinned against Me, him will I blot out of My book.’ Exodus 32:33. And says the prophet Ezekiel: ‘When the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, . . . all his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned.’ Ezekiel 18:24.” –Ibid., p. 483
“Every man’s work passes in review before God and is registered for faithfulness or unfaithfulness. Opposite each name in the books of heaven is entered with terrible exactness every wrong word, every selfish act, every unfulfilled duty, and every secret sin, with every artful dissembling. Heaven-sent warnings or reproofs neglected, wasted moments, unimproved opportunities, the influence exerted for good or for evil, with its far-reaching results, all are chronicled by the recording angel. . . . The hidden selfishness of men stands revealed in the books of heaven. There is the record of unfulfilled duties to their fellow men, of forgetfulness of the Saviour’s claims. There they will see how often were given to Satan the time, thought, and strength that belonged to Christ. Sad is the record which angels bear to heaven.” –Ibid., p. 482, 487
“How solemn is the thought! Day after day, passing into eternity, bears its burden of records for the books of heaven. Words once spoken, deeds once done, can never be recalled. Angels have registered both the good and the evil. The mightiest conqueror upon the earth cannot call back the record of even a single day. Our acts, our words, even our most secret motives, all have their weight in deciding our destiny for weal or woe. Though they may be forgotten by us, they will bear their testimony to justify or condemn.
“As the features of the countenance are reproduced with unerring accuracy on the polished plate of the artist, so the character is faithfully delineated in the books above. Yet how little solicitude is felt concerning that record which is to meet the gaze of heavenly beings. Could the veil which separates the visible from the invisible world be swept back, and the children of men behold an angel recording every word and deed, which they must meet again in the judgment, how many words that are daily uttered would remain unspoken, how many deeds
would remain undone.
“In the judgment, the use made of every talent will be scrutinized. How have we employed the capital lent us of Heaven? Will the Lord at His coming receive His own with usury? Have we improved the powers entrusted us, in hand and heart and brain, to the glory of God and the blessing of the world? How have we used our time, our pen, our voice, our money, our influence? What have we done for Christ, in the person of the poor, the afflicted, the orphan, or the widow? God has made us the depositaries of His holy word; what have we done with the light and truth given us to make men wise unto salvation?” –The Great Controversy, p. 486–487
The Standard of the Judgment
The law of God is the standard by which the characters and the lives of men will be tested in the judgment. Says the wise man: “Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment.” Ecclesiastes 12:13–14. The apostle James admonishes his brethren: “So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.” James 2:12
The Accuser of our Brethren
“All who have truly repented of sin, and by faith claimed the blood of Christ as their atoning sacrifice, have had pardon entered against their names in the books of Heaven: as they have become partakers of the righteousness of Christ, and their characters are found in harmony with the law of God, their sins will be blotted out.”–Ibid., p. 483
At the same time, according to the Pen of Inspiration, “While Jesus is pleading for the subjects of His grace, Satan accuses them before God as transgressors. . . . Now he [Satan] points to the record of their lives, to the defects of character, the unlikeness to Christ. . . to all the sins that he has tempted them to commit, and because of these he claims them as his subjects.” But, says the Spirit of Prophecy, “Jesus does not excuse their sins, but shows their penitence and faith, and, claiming for them forgiveness, He lifts His wounded hands before the Father and the holy angels saying: I know them by name. I have graven them on the palms of My hands.” She affirms: “Christ will clothe His faithful ones with His own righteousness, that He may present them to His Father ‘a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing.’ Ephesians 5:27.” –Ibid, p. 484
The Duty of the Congregation
In the ancient typical service the LORD directed Moses saying: “On the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a Day of Atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls. . . . For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people.” Leviticus 23:27, 29. Says Haskell: “God is testing the great antitypical congregation. Who will keep a clear mind by controlling the appetite, and a pure heart by prayer and deep heart-searching? Who will lay all their interests upon God’s altar, to be used for His glory. . . or a study of His word?” –The Cross and Its Shadow, p. 228
“While the investigative judgment is going forward in heaven, while the sins of the penitent believers are being removed from the sanctuary, there is to be a special work of purification, of putting away of sin, among God’s people upon earth.” –The Great Controversary, p. 425
While the work is going forward, we are to walk in holiness; we are not to live as though Christ is the only one responsible for our soul’s salvation. “Jesus stands in the holy of holies, now to appear in the presence of God for us. There He ceases not to present His people moment by moment, complete in Himself. But because we are thus represented before the Father, we are not to imagine that we are to presume upon His mercy, and become careless, indifferent, and self-indulgent. Christ is not the minister of sin. We are complete in Him, accepted in the Beloved, only as we abide in Him by faith.” –The Signs of the Times, July 4, 1892
In the typical service “the high priest, having taken an offering for the congregation, went into the most holy place with the blood and sprinkled it upon the mercy seat, above the tables of the law. Thus, the claims of the law, which demanded the life of the sinner, were satisfied. Then in his character of mediator the priest took the sins upon himself, and, leaving the sanctuary, he bore with him the burden of Israel’s guilt. At the door of the tabernacle he laid his hands upon the head of the scapegoat and confessed over him ‘all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgression in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat.’ And as the goat bearing these sins was sent away, they were, with him, regarded as forever separated from the people.” –Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 355
“As in the final atonement the sins of the truly penitent are to be blotted from the records of heaven, no more to be remembered or come into mind, so in the type they were borne away into the wilderness, forever separated from the congregation. Since Satan is the originator of sin. . . justice demands that Satan shall suffer the final punishment. Christ’s work for the redemption of men and the purification of the universe from sin will be closed by the removal of sin from the heavenly sanctuary and the placing of these sins upon Satan, who will bear the final penalty.” –Ibid., p. 358
The Investigative Judgment Closes
“In the typical service the high priest, having made the atonement for Israel, came forth and blessed the congregation. So, Christ, at the close of His work as mediator, will appear, ‘without sin unto salvation’ (Hebrews 9:28), to bless His waiting people with eternal life.” –The Great Controversy, p. 485
“When the work of the investigative judgment closes, the destiny of all will have been decided for life or death. Probation is ended a short time before the appearing of our Lord in the clouds of heaven. Christ in the Revelation, looking forward to that time, declares: ‘He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and that is righteous let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be.’ Revelation 22:11–12.” –Ibid., p. 490
Note, when the work closes, “Those who are living upon the earth when the intercession of Christ shall cease in the sanctuary above are to stand in the sight of a holy God without a mediator. Their robes must be spotless, their characters must be purified from sin by the blood of sprinkling. Through the grace of God and their own diligent effort they must be conquerors in the battle with evil.” –Ibid., p. 425
It is then that the church will fulfill the words in the book Song of Solomon: “Who is she that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the son?” Song of Solomon 6:10
To fear the judgment is to misunderstand the true purpose of Christ’s mediatorial work; it is to forget the mercies of God. Says Micah “Who is a God like unto Thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of His Heritage? He retaineth not His anger for ever, because He delighteth in mercy.” Micah 7:18. Furthermore, says the word of God: “If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” 1 John 2:1. In this time of atonement as we continuously confess and forsake our sins; we must trust our High Priest and seek to live an obedient life through the power of the Holy Spirit.
His words assure us: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9. There is therefore now no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Romans 8:1
Faith in Christ’s Righteousness
“Through faith, the believer passes from the position of a rebel, a child of sin and Satan, to the position of a loyal subject of Christ Jesus, not because of an inherent goodness, but because Christ receives him as His child by adoption. The sinner receives the forgiveness of his sins, because these sins are borne by his Substitute and Surety. The Lord speaks to His heavenly Father, saying: ‘This is My child, I reprieve him from the condemnation of death, giving him My life insurance policy—eternal life—because I have taken his place, and have suffered for his sins. He is even My beloved son.’ Thus man, pardoned, and clothed with the beautiful garments of Christ’s righteousness, stands faultless before God.” –Manuscript Releases, vol. 9, p. 301
Yes, this is the key; this is the only means through which we can have our names retained in the book of life—having on the garment of Christ, so when God looks at us He sees not our depraved character but Christ’s character fully formed in us. Affirms the inspired writer, E.G. White: “Christ will clothe His faithful ones with His own righteousness, that He may present them to His Father ‘a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing.’” –The Great Controversy, p. 484.
“The atonement of Christ is not a mere skillful way to have our sins pardoned; it is a divine remedy for the cure of transgression and the restoration of spiritual health. It is the Heaven-ordained means by which the righteousness of Christ may be not only upon us but in our hearts and characters.” –Letter 406, 1906