The Path to the Throne of God

 

23. CHRIST ENTERING THE MOST HOLY PLACE OF THE HEAVENLY SANCTUARY


"The Time Appointed." Prophecy foretold the time when Jesus passed within the first veil into the holy place of the heavenly sanctuary and was anointed High Priest. Dan. 9:24,27. The time was also foretold when He passed within the second veil into the most holy place to act as Judge. Dan. 8:14; 7:10,13,14. This judgment work of Christ, our heavenly High Priest, was symbolized in the work of the earthly high priest on the day of atonement - the day of judgment for ancient Israel. In the earthly it was called the cleansing of the earthly sanctuary; in the heavenly, the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary. Dan. 8:14.

The cleansing of the earthly sanctuary was, in type, the cleansing of ancient Israel from the sins which, by confession and reformation, had been transferred to the sanctuary. The cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary is, not in type but in reality, the blotting out of the forgiven sins of redeemed Israel which during this life have been recorded in the books of the sanctuary above, and have gone before to judgment. I Tim. 5:24.

By Divine appointment, the day of atonement came "in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month." Lev. 16:29,30. This date never varied; it was “a statute forever,” “an everlasting statute.” v. 29,34. Likewise, the antitypical day of atonement, the real day of Judgment in the heavenly sanctuary, had a Divinely appointed date, and this date cannot be changed. Referring to this, Paul says, "He hath appointed a day in the which He will Judge the world in righteousness by that Man whom He hath ordained." Acts 17:31. As the day of atonement came at the end of the yearly round of service, so this "time appointed" came when "the end shall be;" "at the time of the end shall be the vision." Dan. 8:19,17. The "time appointed" for the service in the most Holy Place of the heavenly sanctuary is as definite as was the day of atonement in the earthly sanctuary. It is revealed in Daniel 8:13,14, "Then I heard one Saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain Saint which spake, How long shall be the vision? . . . to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?" And He said unto me (Daniel), Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed," or "restored" as Moffatt and some other authorities have it. "That part of his prophecy which related to the last days, Daniel was bidden to close up and seal 'to the time of the end.' Dan. 12:4. Not till we reach this time could a message concerning the Judgment be proclaimed, based on a fulfillment of these prophecies." GC 356,

The Hebrew name of "that certain Saint which spake" is "Palmoni, the Wonderful numberer." Dan. 8:13, margin. This evidently refers to Christ, Dan. 10:21, who knows and numbers every "time appointed." The other "saint," was Gabriel, v. 16. The unusual importance of this prophecy concerning the restoring and cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary - the Judgment of Daniel 7:10 - which began at the close of the 2300 days, is indicated by the fact that Michael (Christ) came with Gabriel to give Daniel "skill and understanding" concerning the “vision”; Dan. 9:22,23; also from the words of Gabriel, "There is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your Prince." Dan. 10:21.


The Last "Time" Prophecy. In several respects, this prophecy is one of the most outstanding in the Bible. No other contains so many definite dates, making it pre-eminently a time prophecy:

1. It began when the commandment was given "to restore and build Jerusalem," in 457 B.C. Dan. 9:25; Ezra 7, margin.

2. During the 70 weeks allotted to the Jews, Dan. 9:24, at the end of seven weeks (49 years) after "the commandment," the building of the wall of Jerusalem was completed. Dan. 9:25.

3. The time of the baptism of Christ as "the Messiah" (the Anointed One) was 62 weeks after the rebuilding of the wall or 69 weeks after "the commandment" 27 A.D. Dan. 9:26.

4. The Jewish nation was rejected at the end of that week; 34 A.D.

5. The cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary, the Judgment of the "house qf God," began at the end of the 2300 days, 1810 years after 34 A.D. or 1844 A.D. Dan. 8:14. See accompanying diagram.

There can be no doubt that the 2300 days, which began in 457 B.C. reached to the year 1844, "the time of the end," "the time appointed" when "the end shall be." Dan. 8:17,19. According to the best information now available, the tenth day of the seventh month of the year 1844 fell on October 22, Jewish reckoning. Every event from the beginning to the close of this.prophecy has been fulfilled on time, a time definitely foretold.

This prophecy is not only the longest, but the last "time" prophecy given by Inspiration. Of it the angel declared to John, "there shall be time no longer;" Rev. 10:6; that is, after its expiration, there should be no other definite time prophecy, not even one giving the hour of Christ's second coming, for Jesus said, "Of that day and that hour knoweth (maketh known) no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father." Mark 13:32. The Father has reserved to Himself the rightful privilege of announcing to the universe the day and the hour when His Son shall appear in the clouds of heaven. EW 15,34; 285. Therefore, after the close of the 2300 days in 1844, anyone who sets a time for the second coming of Christ is assuming a prerogative of Jehovah.

Another feature that makes this prophecy remarkable is that it reveals the exact time of two of the most important events in the plan of redemption; namely the time when Christ would give His life a ransom for the world, and the time when He would begin the Judgment of the "house of God." Was it any wonder that Christ, the “Wonderful Numberer,” He who had numbered the vision, should come in person to answer the question, How long shall be the vision," and say to Daniel, "Unto two thousand three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed"? Dan. 8:13,14.

Two other correlative events in this prophecy stand out in bold relief. At its beginning, in 457 B.C., when the commandment went forth "to restore and to build Jerusalem" Dan. 9:25, "a very great congregation of men and women and children" Ezra 10:1; 2:64,65; 8:3-14,18-20, left the land of their captivity, and returned to Zion. These made up the citizenship of the earthly Jerusalem. At the end of the 2300 days, the Judgment call was sounded, "Prepare to meet thy God, 0 Israel, Amos 4:12, - prepare to leave the land of your captivity and move to the heavenly Zion. Those who respond to this call will be numbered with the citizenship of the heavenly Jerusalem. It was then, in 1844, in the heavenly sanctuary, that the citizenship of the heavenly Jerusalem began to be made up

- those of the "house of God" who pass the test of the Judgment.


Two Divisions of the Heavenly Ministration. As the earthly ministration consisted of two divisions, the daily and the yearly, each occupying a period of time, so the heavenly ministration consists of two distinct divisions, the first which began when Christ ascended to act as High Priest, the second when He began His work as Judge. The first in the holy place of the heavenly sanctuary, continued until 1844. the second in the most holy place, has been in progress since 1844. The whole period of time from 1844 to the close of probation is the antitype of the ancient day of atonement, Israel's day of Judgment.


Intercession Continues During the Judgment. On the day of atonement, the high priest performed not only the special service in the most holy place but in the court was also offered the regular daily sacrifice - "the continual burnt offering," which represented the continual atonement of Christ. Num. 28: 3,4. Also in the holy place on the golden altar, the high priest burned the daily incense, symbol of the merits of Christ's righteousness, Lev. 16:12, to which all had access. Thus as the earthly high priest on the typical day of Judgment officiated, in the court and in the holy place, as intercessor as well as in the most holy as judge, so Christ, our heavenly High Priest, during the real Judgment, acts not only as Judge but also as Intercessor, continuing to "plead His own blood" and the merits of His own righteousness "in behalf of sinners." See GC 428,429. How grateful we

can be that so long as probation lingers, there is hope for all. We may still come to the throne of grace and find help.


Daniel's View of the Court Room in Heaven. When the great clock of time struck the hour for the end of the 2300 days, the beginning of the antitypical tenth day of the seventh month, the Father, who up to this time had been seated with Christ in the holy place of the heavenly sanctuary, moved His throne into the holy of holies, preparatory to the beginning of the Judgment. EW 55.

The scene in the heavenly holy of holies at this time is, without doubt, one of the most awe- inspiring of any since the giving of the law at Sinai. Describing it, Daniel says: "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" Dan. 7:9,10 - opened before the law of liberty which had been transgressed, and by which every dead will be judged. James 2:12. Moffatt gives this rendering: "I watched until an assize was held;" that is, a court of justice for the trial by jury of civil or criminal cases.


John's View of the Court Room. John also describes this same scene. "Behold," he says, "a door (the second veil) was opened in heaven; . . . (not into, but in: the first veil represented the entrance into heaven) and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and One (the Father) sat on the throne. And He that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone; and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald. And round about the throne were four and twenty seats (the Greek rendering is "thrones"); and upon the seats (or thrones) I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold (indicative of victory and reward) . . . and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four living creatures." Rev. 4:1-6, margin. The four living creatures and the four and twenty elders were not in the scene presented to Daniel, probably because it was after Daniel's day that they were "redeemed" from the earth and made "priests" unto God. Rev. 5:8-10. "And I beheld . . . many angels round about the throne." Rev. 5:11.

The Greek rendering of Revelation 4:1 is: "A door (the second veil) was open in heaven." Since this door was "open," John continuing his description of the work going forward in the court room above, saw not only the throne of God, antitype of the ark in the most holy place of the earthly sanctuary, but he also saw "seven lamps of fire burning before the throne," antitype of the seven- branched candlestick which was in the first apartment of the earthly sanctuary. Rev. 4:5; Ex. 40:24. At another time he saw "the golden altar which was before the throne” antitype of the altar of incense in the first apartment of the earthly sanctuary. Rev. 8:3. Do not these scriptures indicate that, the door between the two apartments being "open," John was privileged to look into both the holy and the most holy place in the heavenly sanctuary?


Waiting For The Advocate. In the most holy place in "His great and calm eternity," MH 417, the Father waits; here the two covering cherubim wait, one at His right, and the other at His left, "honored guards of God's throne." PP 357. The four living creatures and the four and twenty elders wait. The vast multitude of angels wait; “in the presence-chamber of the King of kings, they wait” - 'angels that excel in strength, ministers of His, that do His pleasure,' 'hearkening unto the voice of His word, “ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands.” GC 511. All are waiting in earnest expectation.

Why are they waiting? The Ancient of Days is on His throne; the assistant priests are on their thrones; angel witnesses are in their places; the Judgment is set, the books containing the life records of those who are to be judged, are opened, ready for examination. What is lacking? Still they wait; eagerly they wait. They wait for the arrival of the Advocate, Jesus Christ the righteous. I John 2:1. The Judgment cannot proceed until He comes - He who is to plead the merits of His blood for repentant sinners that their sins may be blotted out.

Christ's Third Triumphal Celebration. Now He comes! He comes! "I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of Man came with the clouds of heaven (clouds of angels, "the chariots of God," Ps. 68:17) and came to the Ancient of Days (the Father), and they (the angels) brought Him (the Son of Man) near before Him (the Father)." Dan. 7:13. In a flaming chariot, He (Jesus) passed within the second veil, whence the Father had gone and was now seated on His glorious throne. EW 251. "The Lord will come with fire, and with His chariots like a whirlwind." Isa. 66:15.

What an imposing scene! As a mighty conqueror, borne by His admiring associates in battle, is brought victoriously to be honored, so clouds of heavenly angels escort their victorious General in heavenly state within "the second veil" to the scene of His final work for the salvation of the human family. No other event so important and so solemn had ever before taken place in the universe of God. The King of heaven on His way to the Judgment of the household of God, there to confess before the Father those who have confessed Him before men. Matt. 10:32.

Christ "comes to the Ancient of Days in heaven to receive dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, Dan. 7:14, which will be given Him at the close of His work as Mediator . . . Our great High Priest enters the holy of holies to begin the work of the Investigative Judgment." GC 480.


Isaiah's View of the Scene. As the angels who accompanied Jesus when He ascended to begin His work in the holy place of the heavenly sanctuary, were met with the joyous exclamation, 'Who is this King of glory?" so now He is again greeted by the heavenly choir, ‘”Who is this?” They never tire of honoring Him because of His unselfish sacrifice and the wonderful salvation that He has wrought for the human family.


“Who is this that cometh . . . with dyed garments, (AV) His robes redder than the vintage?" they ask,

Who is it, arrayed in splendor, Striding in His strength, Radiant with victory,

A mighty Champion?” Moffatt.

The answer comes back from Him who leads the approaching retinue, "I that speak in righteousness,

Mighty to save." AV.


The waiting angels seem not to be satisfied with so simple an answer; they want their loved Commander to receive the honor due Him because of His sacrifice to save man, so they ask again:

“Wherefore art Thou red in Thine apparel,

And Thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat?” (AV) Then comes back the answer:

"I have trodden the winepress alone;

And of the people there was none with Me: (AV) "I looked, but there was none to help;

I was amazed that there was none to aid; So My own power gained Me the victory, It was My passion bore Me on.

I resolved upon a day of vengeance;" Moffatt "And the year of My redeemed is come." (AV) "The time to free My folk has come,

The hour of His Judgment is come." Rev. 14:7. "So I trod the foe in My anger;

'Twas their blood splashed My robes, Till all My clothes are stained.'" Moffatt


In these words, Isaiah pictures the fierceness of the lifelong battle between Christ and Satan, from the command of Herod to slay all the children "from two years old and under" Matt. 2:16, in his effort to destroy Jesus, to the final conflict. Then turning away from this picture of His own sufferings and struggles, to extol the goodness of God, He continues:


"I will mention the loving kindnesses of the Lord," (AV) "Praising His acts of love,

After all the Eternal has done for us," Moffatt 'And the great goodness toward the house of Israel,

Which He hath bestowed on them according to His mercies, And according to the multitude of His loving kindnesses," (AV) "When He said, 'Surely they are My own people,

Sons that will never play me false;

And so He proved Himself their Saviour."

Isa. 63:1-8; (AV) and Moffatt


With this song of adoration and praise, the angels accompanying Christ bring Him before the Ancient of Days. This was Christ's third triumphal celebration - fit introduction to that most important event, when He takes up "the golden censer" Rev. 8:3,4, and begins His final work of intercession for fallen man.


The Father Welcomes His Son. As Jesus, in His flaming chariot of angels, accompanied with thousands of other angel chariots, approaches the Father, there proceed out of the throne "lightnings and thunderings and voices." Rev. 4:1,5. What were these lightnings and thunderings and voices? The four living creatures that were "in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne," Rev. 4:6, "ran and returned as the appearance of a flash of lightning," Ex. 1:14, as they execute the commands of Him that sits on the throne, whose voice is as "the voice of a great thunder." Rev. 14:2; Ps. 104:7. As the Judgment begins, the Father welcomes His only begotten Son to sit with Him in His throne, Rev. 14:21, "on the right hand of God." Col. 3:1. Thus again Jesus shares His Father's throne. DA 832.


Who Is the Judge? "The Ancient of Days is God the Father . . . . It is He . . . that is to preside in the Judgment." The holy angels, as ministers and witnesses, "attend the great tribunal." GC 479. But "Christ has been made Judge. The Father is not the Judge. The angels are not. He who took humanity upon Himself, and in this world lived a perfect life, is to judge us." Heb. 2: 17,18; 9T

185. Only He who has taken humanity upon Himself and “Was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin,” only He who has been "touched with the feeling of our infirmities," is really qualified to be our High Priest or our Judge. Heb. 4:15. "The Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son . . . And hath given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of man." John 5:22,27. “Christ Himself will decide who are worthy to dwell with the family of heaven. He will judge every man according to his words and his works." COL 74.