Since a misunderstanding of the sanctuary question led to the disappointment in 1844, it seems proper to devote one chapter to the consideration of this all-important subject.
Three sanctuaries, or temples, are brought to view in the Bible. The first is the heavenly sanctuary, where God reigns upon his throne, surrounded by ten thousand times ten thousands of angels. This temple was opened to the wondering gaze of the lonely seer on the Isle of Patmos, and also to Moses on Mount Sinai. The second, or earthly, sanctuary was a miniature model of the heavenly one, in which the priests served unto the example and shadow of the service in the heavenly temple. For more than fourteen hundred years, God designed that the service should be in the shadowy sanctuary. The time came when those following the shadow reached the substance.
Two days before the crucifixion, Christ slowly and regretfully left the temple for the last time. The priests and rulers were struck with terror as they heard his mournful words: "Behold your house is left unto you desolate." The beautiful structure remained until a. d. 70, but it had ceased to be the temple of God. The Father showed by an unmistakable sign that the glory had departed. When the words, "It is finished," were pronounced by the Sufferer upon the cross,
the veil of the temple was rent from the top to the bottom by unseen hands. Terror and confusion prevailed. The knife raised to slay the sacrifice fell from the nerveless hand of the priest, and the lamb escaped.
Henceforth the sinner need no longer wait for a priest to offer his sacrifice. The great Sacrifice had been made. Every child of Adam could accept his atoning blood. The way into the heavenly temple was now made manifest. The heavenly had taken the place of the earthly sanctuary. Hereafter man's faith was to enter within the veil, where Christ officiated.
The third temple brought to view in the Bible is the temple of the human body. The Jews had lost sight of the fact that their bodies were to be the temples of the Spirit of God; and when the Saviour said, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up," they thought only of the massive structure of marble and stone, and replied that it had taken forty-six years to build the temple, not perceiving that "he spake of the temple of his body."
Glorious rays of light shine from the heavenly sanctuary upon those who study the typical work in the earthly. These rays, when gathered into the temple of the body, reflect the character of our great High Priest in the heavenly courts.
In the beginning the body of man was created to be a dwelling place for the Holy Spirit; but Satan gained possession, and man partook of an evil nature. Before the body could again become a fit temple for the Spirit of God, the evil nature must die. Christ offered his life for the sinner, and before the foundation of the world he was counted as a "Lamb slain."136
That man in his fallen condition might comprehend this gift, and understand the work of redemption, the sinner that longed to crucify "the old man," the evil nature, was directed to bring an innocent animal, and take its life, as an object lesson of the Lamb of God, and also to illustrate the fact that the evil nature of the sinner must die, in order that the Holy Spirit might dwell within.
Before the gate of the garden of Eden, Adam and his family presented their offerings. Their clear minds grasped by faith the promise of the Redeemer, who would again open to them the joys of the garden. Adam by faith looked forward to the time when the Saviour would lead him once more to the Tree of Life, and bid him pluck and eat of its life-giving fruit. As he took the life of the innocent lamb, and saw by faith the "one sinless Man," suffering death for him, his heart went out in love and gratitude to God for his wonderful love, and for a time he forgot the terrible sorrow that weighed upon his soul. Every falling leaf, while it taught the death of Christ, was also a constant reminder to him that his sin had brought death into the hitherto perfect earth.
While man lived near God, the altars were lighted by fire from heaven. But this perfect worship was marred. Cain's mind became so blinded by sin that he failed to grasp the infinite sacrifice. Satan convinced him that God was an austere judge, demanding service. The love and sacrifice of the Saviour were overlooked. Cain and Abel each brought an offering to the gate of the garden; but the desire of the two hearts was greatly different. Abel brought a lamb,
and as he took its life, his faith laid hold of the Lamb of God. The lamb was laid upon the altar, and fire flashed from the shining sword of the cherubim guarding the way to the Tree of Life, and the sacrifice was consumed.
Cain brought an offering of fruits. There was nothing in his offering that typified the dying Lamb of Calvary. No innocent life was taken in exchange for his forfeited life. He waited for the fire to consume it; but there was nothing to call forth the fire from the heavenly Watcher. There was no sweet love, no longing for deliverance from the thralldom of sin and death.
Cain and Abel are a type of all worshipers from that time to the present. The followers of Cain multiplied ceremonies, and made offerings to the sun and various other objects. In it they overlooked the all-important principle that self must die, and that Christ must live in the temple of the human body.
Anciently each family erected its own altars. The father was priest of the household, and was succeeded by the eldest son. At times sin separated the eldest from the family, and character, instead of age, decided who should act as priest.
Jacob knew the character of the one great High Priest; and as he lay with his head upon the stone in Bethel, and watched the angels ascending and descending upon that glorious ladder, he also saw the Lord above it. He beheld his glorious vestments, and in imitation of those garments he made Joseph a "coat of many colors." The other sons of Jacob could not comprehend these beautiful truths. Even the coat was an object of hatred to them.
When the brothers sold Joseph, they dipped the coat in
blood, and its beauty was marred. The future revealed that Jacob had read aright the character of Joseph, for in the midst of Egyptian darkness he reflected the light of heaven. He was a temple for the indwelling of the Spirit of God.
When Israel came out of Egypt, their minds were so beclouded by sin that they no longer saw the promised Saviour in the simple offerings. God then said: "Let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them." Six days were spent by Moses on the mountain side in deep searching of heart; then the thick cloud of glory covering Mount Sinai broke forth like devouring fire in the eyes of all Israel, and Moses was ushered into the presence of Deity. Before his wondering gaze was spread out the beauties of the heavenly sanctuary. Forty days the Lord communed with him, giving minute directions in regard to building a shadow of that heavenly structure upon the earth. In the midst of the idolatry of Egypt, Israel had lost the spiritual truth that the body was the dwelling place for the Holy Spirit. Neither could they form any conception of the work done in heaven for sinful man.
To reach man in his fallen condition, God directed the building of the earthly tabernacle, that humanity might become acquainted with the nature of the work in the heavenly sanctuary. In this building, men divinely appointed were to perform in the sight of the people a shadow of the work that would be done in the heavenly sanctuary by the Saviour of mankind, when he should officiate as our High Priest.
The whole Jewish economy was a compacted prophecy of the gospel. Every act of the priest
in the shadowy service, as he went in and out, was a prophecy of the Saviour's work when he entered heaven as our High Priest. "It was the gospel in figures," the Lord's object lesson or kindergarten for the "children" of Israel. They had become children in understanding, and in order to reach them God taught in a way that the senses could grasp the gospel.
Man finally became so depraved that he failed to see light flashing from the Levitical laws and sacrificial offerings, and when the antitype of all their offerings came, they rejected Him.
Let us in imagination go back to the wilderness tabernacle, and see if we can discern the glorious gospel of Christ shining from the Jewish economy. A man enters the outer court with a lamb, which he brings to the door of the tabernacle. With solemn awe, and eyes raised to heaven, he lays his hand upon its head, while his moving lips, like Hannah's of old, betray the burden of his heart. Then he lifts the knife, and takes the life of the sacrifice. His faith lays hold of the bleeding Lamb of Calvary, and his sin rolls from off his burdened heart onto the great Sacrifice. The blood is carefully caught; every drop is precious, for by faith he views the real sacrifice. The priest meets him, takes the blood of the sacrificed life, and passes from sight within the first veil, while the worshiper awaits with anxiety his return.
In childhood his father had told him of 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; and over it the cherubim of glory shadowing the mercy seat;" that at
times the bright glory of the shekinah above the mercy seat shone out and filled the sanctuary.
He had been told of that mystical table, with its twelve loaves covered with frankincense; also of the beautiful candlestick, whose seven lamps were ever burning; how the golden plated walls on either side reflected the light, and like great mirrors reproduced again and again the brilliant hues of the richly embroidered curtains with their shining angels. Before the second veil, which concealed the sacred ark, he pictured the altar, from which the fragrant incense constantly ascended. By faith he sees the priest place the blood of the atoning sacrifice upon the horns of the altar. His faith looks past the shadowy service to the time when Christ shall plead his blood in the heavenly sanctuary. It is the gospel of a crucified and risen Saviour that he beholds in the object lesson he himself is helping to carry out.
Soon the veil is lifted, and the priest returns. The offering has been accepted. The priest has made atonement for him, and he is forgiven. In the joy and freedom of forgiveness he prays: "O that the influence of all my sins might be forever wiped away!" when lo, he sees the priest go to the brazen altar in the court, and "pour out all the blood at the bottom of the altar." As he sees that blood, precious to him, because it represents his own ransomed life as well as the sacrificed life of the Saviour, poured upon the ground, his heart bounds with joy. He grasps the fact that the decree, "Cursed is the ground for thy sake," is met in Christ, and that the promised Saviour will finally cleanse the earth from all the effects of his sins.
The body of the lamb still lies near the door of the sanctuary, where the life was taken. He next turns to it, and with a sharp knife separates from the meat every particle of fat-"All the fat that covereth the inwards, and all the fat that is upon the inwards," etc. "All the fat is taken away, and the priest burns it upon the altar of burnt offering for a sweet savor unto the Lord." The fat is burned as a type of the final destruction, when "the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the Lord shall be as the fat of lambs; they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away." Ps. 37:20.
Every sinner that clings to sin will be destroyed with the sin. God has made provision for every one to separate from sin, that he may destroy the sin and save the sinner. The burning fat upon the altar came up as a sweet savor before God, for it represented sin that had been separated from the sinner and destroyed, while the sinner lived a new life through Christ.
The sinner separated the fat from the sacrifice; the priest received it and burned it, illustrating the truth that we must cooperate with the Lord; and through Christ who strengthens us we can do all things.
As the man carefully searched for the fat, he realized more fully that his body was to be a temple of the Holy Spirit, and that when his past sin is forgiven and he is accepted, it is that he may become a dwelling place for the Spirit of God. When that Spirit enters a man, it, like a sharp knife, reveals one sin after another, and separates them from the sinner until the soul temple is cleansed. His faith grasps the promise of the "One" who dwells in the hearts of his
people by faith. As he goes from the shadowy temple court, he realizes that he is a temple, not "empty, swept, and garnished," ready to be again entered by the power of evil, but a temple in which the Spirit of God rules and reigns.
Another man brings an offering; and as the priest takes the blood, instead of entering within the veil, he pours it at the base of the altar of burnt offering. Then a portion of the flesh, which represents sin, is prepared and eaten by the priest in the holy place. In this act the priest taught the children of Israel the wonderful truth that Christ bore our sins in his own body on the tree.
Each separate offering presented some different phase of the work of Christ. The incense constantly ascending from the altar was an object lesson of the inexhaustible fund of perfect obedience accruing from the sinless life of our Saviour, which, added to the prayers of all saints as they are offered upon the golden altar in heaven, makes them acceptable before God. The perfume of the incense filled the air far beyond the temple court. Likewise the sweet influence of Christians who live a life of faith in God, is felt by all who come in contact with them.
The fire was replenished morning and evening, representing the morning and evening worship in the family. "The whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense." The lamps were a type of the seven lamps of fire before the throne of God in heaven, which are the seven spirits of God. These "are the eyes of the Lord, which run to and fro through the whole earth." Seven denotes the complete Spirit of God that lighteneth every man
that cometh into the world. Its life-giving rays lead the Christian to the celestial city.
The golden table held the "bread of his presence," which represented man's dependence upon God for both temporal and spiritual help and strength.
The ark was the center of all worship; it was the first article mentioned in describing the sanctuary. The law hidden in it was the great standard of judgment, and a perfect copy of that heavenly law before which the character of every child of Adam will be tried in the tribunal on high. If that law witnesses to a character cleansed from sin by the blood of the atoning sacrifice, then the name will be confessed before the Father and the holy angels.
The continual burning of that which typified sin pointed forward to the time when sin and sinners would be consumed in the fire of the last day. As the ashes accumulated upon the altar of burnt offering, they were carefully collected by the side of the altar; and at a certain time the priest laid aside his priestly robes, carried the ashes without the court, and deposited them in a "clean place." They were not thrown carelessly to one side, but put in a clean place. These ashes represented all that will be left of sin and sinners after the fires of the last days. "For behold, the day cometh that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble; and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. But to you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise, with healing in his wings, and ye shall go forth and grow up as calves of
the stall. And ye shall tread down the wicked, for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of hosts." Mal. 4:1-3. In that day the real ashes of the wicked will be left upon a "clean earth."
As the Jewish father walked to the sanctuary with his child, the mind of the child would be attracted by the ashes in the clean place. He would ask, "Why are those ashes put in a clean place, when you throw the ashes from our fire upon the dunghill?" The father's answer would explain the beauties of the new earth, when it will be made like Eden, and sin and sorrow will be forever removed. With it would come the gentle admonition to separate from sin, and keep the body temple pure, that in the great burning day the sin may be consumed without the sinner, and he be among the ransomed of the Lord.
Much of the service and many of the customs of ancient Israel were designed to call out questions from the children, that the spiritually minded parents might instruct them in the ways of God.
After speaking of the peculiar manner in which the passover should be eaten, God adds, "Your children shall say unto you, What mean ye by this service?" showing that he intended that it should call forth questions from children of all ages, and thus the children become acquainted with the saving blood of the great Passover Lamb.
The sight of the pile of stones by Jordan was to arouse inquiries in the minds of the children of future generations, which, if answered properly, would acquaint them with the mighty power
of God. The same was true of the whole Jewish service.
The leper that sought cleansing was to bring two birds alive and clean, and cedar wood and scarlet and hyssop. The priest commanded that one of the birds be killed in an earthen vessel, over running water. The live bird, cedar wood, scarlet, and hyssop were all dipped in the blood, and the leper was sprinkled with the blood; then the live bird was let loose in the open field. It flew through the air, bearing on its feathers the blood, which was a type of Christ's blood that will purify the air, and remove from it all the germs of sin and death. Now death comes in at our windows, but the blood of Christ will give us a new atmosphere.
Earth, air, and water are the elements which compose our planet. All are tainted by sin. The earthen dish containing the blood held over the running water typified the time when earth, air, and water would be freed from the curse of sin by the blood of Christ. The cedar wood and hyssop represented the two extremes in vegetation, from the giant of the forest to the hyssop on the wall. They were dipped in the blood, thus teaching Israel that Christ's blood would free the entire vegetable world from the curse, and again clothe the earth in Eden beauty.
It might seem to man that the curse was so deeply marked upon the earth, air, and sea that it could never be removed; but the little piece of scarlet wool, dipped in the blood with the live bird, the cedar, and hyssop, was a pledge that the blood of Christ would remove the deepest marks from the sin-cursed earth.
We have the real sacrifice to study as well
as the shadow. Type met antitype. The blood of Christ has been shed; the price has been paid that will restore the purity of earth, air, and sea. The sin-cursed earth received the blood of Christ as he prayed in the garden. "From his hands and feet the blood fell drop by drop upon the rock drilled for the foot of the cross." Thus through the air passed the precious blood. From the wound in his side "there flowed two copious and distinct streams, one of blood and the other of water." The blood of Christ was brought in contact with earth, air, and water. The two extremes in vegetation also met at Calvary. The cross was made of wood taken from the trees of the forest; "and they filled a sponge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth."
Was there an antitype of the scarlet while his blood was trickling from those cruel wounds?-Yes. In Jesus as he hung upon the cross, bruised, mocked, and bleeding, the thief beheld the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world. Hope kindled in his soul, and he cast himself upon a dying Saviour. With full faith that Christ would possess the kingdom, he cried, "Lord, remember me, when thou comest into thy kingdom." In a soft, melodious tone, full of love, the answer was quickly given: "Verily I say unto thee today, Shalt thou be with me in paradise." As these words were spoken, the darkness around the cross was pierced with living light. The thief felt the peace and joy of sins forgiven. Christ was glorified. While all thought they beheld him conquered, he was the conqueror. They could not rob him of his power to forgive sins.
Type has fully met antitype; the price has been paid; the blood of the world's Redeemer has been poured upon the ground. It has dropped through the air from the cruel cross. It has flowed with water from the wound of the cruel spear. The extremes of vegetation also came in contact with it, and he whose sins were as scarlet, experienced the peace of having them made white as snow by the precious blood, even while it was flowing from the open wounds.
The various feasts throughout the year typified different phases of the gospel. The passover was a type of Christ in an especial sense. Christ is our Passover. The first fruits offered the third day after the passover lamb was slain, taught the resurrection of Christ. Type met antitype, and was fulfilled when Christ, the first fruits of them that slept, came forth on the third day, and presented himself before the Father.
Throughout the varied service of the year, everything pointed forward to the Lamb of God, while it also taught the lesson of cleansing the body, and keeping the temple pure for the Spirit of God.
In the autumn, on the tenth day of the seventh month, came the crowning service of the year. All other services were a preparation for this. Day by day the sins of the people had been transferred in type and shadow to the priest and the sanctuary, and once each year these were to be cleansed, and the sins forever removed.
Gabriel revealed to Daniel the antitype of the time of cleansing the earthly sanctuary. "Unto two thousand three hundred days, then shall the sanctuary be cleansed." This period of cleansing, we have found in the study of the ninth chapter
of Daniel, began in 1844. The cover of the ark in the heavenly sanctuary was then lifted, and the law of God was seen by the people, not broken, but entire. In the midst of the law they traced the words, "The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work." They awoke to the fact that they had been resting upon the first day of the week instead of the seventh. As they gazed at the law, a halo of light seemed to encircle the fourth commandment, which for so many years had been trampled underfoot. Reverently they listened to the words, "If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honorable; and shalt honor him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord." Isa. 58:13, 14.
They thought on their ways, and made haste, and delayed not to keep the commandments. The period of the investigative judgment opened in 1844 when every character would be measured by the standard of God's law. As the work opened in heaven, it was the will of God that on earth his people should test their lives by the law of God, and come into harmony with its holy precepts. The day of atonement was the type of the judgment. This was the most solemn day of the year to ancient Israel.
When the sun gilded the western hills of the land of Judea, on the ninth day of the seventh month, the trumpet was blown throughout Israel. The solemn warning of the trumpet produced a marked effect in every home. All work
was laid aside, and quiet reigned. It was not the ordinary rest of the weekly Sabbath, for no evening meal was spread. There was not the usual baking and seething customary on the preparation for the Sabbath. No food was prepared, for this was not a feast, but a fast day. The father of the household gathered his family about him, and read from the Sacred Scroll: "Ye shall do no manner of work: it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. It shall be unto you a Sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls." With prayer, fasting, and deep searching of heart the day was spent by the Israel of God. With solemn awe they repeated, "Whatsoever soul shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people."
In the Gentile homes around them were eating and drinking and all the busy activities of daily life, but quiet reigned in the homes of Israel. In the temple court all was activity. The bullock without blemish was brought, and the high priest laid his hands on its head, confessing his sins and the sins of his household. Then it was slain, and with the blood he made an atonement for himself and his household, that he might be prepared to perform the solemn service of the day.
When he came out, after presenting the blood of the bullock before the Lord, two goats were brought, lots were cast, and one was chosen for the Lord's goat, while the other, Azazel, the scapegoat, represented the evil one. The Lord's goat was slain. With its blood and the golden censer, the priest entered within the second veil of the sanctuary. As he neared the mercy seat
with the glorious light of the shekinah shining above it, he sprinkled "much incense" upon the coals in the censer, "that the cloud of the incense may cover the mercy seat that he die not." Then with his back toward the sun rising, he sprinkled the atoning blood seven times above and before that broken law within the ark. He paused in the holy place, and made atonement for it, and for the tabernacle of the congregation. The golden altar, that had so often during the year witnessed to the sins of Israel by the scarlet spots upon its horns, was now cleansed from all defilement by the blood of the Lord's goat. The people without listened attentively to the sound of the bells on his robes, as he moved about within the sanctuary.
"When he hath made an end of reconciling the holy place, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and the altar, he shall bring the live goat." The work of reconciliation ended, God and man were one. The at-one-ment had been made in figure. The separating sins had been removed. The people rejoiced in God that he had accepted them, and that their sins were all removed from before the Lord.
As they beheld the high priest lay his hands on the head of the scapegoat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and sending him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness," their hearts filled with the peace that passeth understanding. They praised God for the wonderful gift of his love in giving his Son to die for sinful man, delivering him from sin and death. It was not until the goat 138Margin
was sent away into the barren wilderness that this peace filled the hearts of the people, and they felt that they were forever free from their sins.
That was the type. What does the antitype mean to us? Since 1844 the world has been living in the great antitypical day of atonement. The investigative judgment has been in session in heaven. In the type the people were to control their appetites, and to hold their own business interests secondary to the worship of God. This was shown by the day of atonement in the type being a rest and fast day.
We are living in the time when our great High Priest is cleansing the heavenly sanctuary, removing the sin records. We are admonished to repent and be converted, that our sins may be blotted out "when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord." When the reconciling is completed, and the last case is decided in the final judgment of heaven, the Saviour will pronounce the decree: "He that is unjust let him be unjust still; and he which is filthy let him be filthy still; and he that is righteous let him be righteous still; and he that is holy let him be holy still." Every case will be decided for eternity. Satan, the great instigator of all evil, the antitypical scapegoat, will then come in for his part of the service.
In the type the sins were laid upon the scapegoat in the presence of the congregation; in the antitype, the Saviour, in the presence of the Father, the angels of God, and all the redeemed host, will lay the sins of the righteous upon the head of Satan, and a mighty angel will lead him away to the desolate earth, where he will remain a thousand years. At the end of the thousand 139Margin
years, he will go into the fire which destroys the earth. Type will fully meet antitype when all the sins of the righteous are burned up, with Satan, and nothing remains but the ashes in "a clean place." It will then be seen that "Satan bore not only the weight and punishment of his own sins, but also the sins of the redeemed host, which had been placed upon him; and he must also suffer for the ruin of souls which he has caused."
The sins of Israel will never again be found. The former things will not be remembered nor come into mind. Throughout eternity joy and peace will forever reign. The prophet says, "He will make one utter end; affliction shall not rise up the second time."
Type must meet antitype. The great High Priest in heaven is now performing his service. Are you performing your part? In homes scattered all over the earth faithful children of God will carry out the antitype in the way God directed the Israelites to spend the typical day of atonement.
The priest might have performed his part of the service perfectly in the temple; but unless the people in their homes fasted, rested, and prayed, the work was of no avail for them. Every Israelite who ate and conducted himself like the Gentiles around him on the day of atonement was cut off from among the people of God.
Is your home a place where the appetite is controlled? Do you hold your business interests secondary to the work of God? Are you heeding the Saviour's words, "Take heed lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting [eating to excess], and drunkenness [partaking of improper food], and cares of this life, and so
that day come upon you unawares"? There will be one hundred and forty-four thousand who will heed the warning, and in the fear of God will fulfill the antitype. While Christ in heaven is faithfully interceding for them, they will present their bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, that God may be glorified.