Larger font
Smaller font
Copy
Print
Contents
  • Results
  • Related
  • Featured
No results found for: "".
    Larger font
    Smaller font
    Copy
    Print
    Contents

    THE MINISTRATION AND CLEANSING OF THE HEAVENLY SANCTUARY

    At the close of the typical services, He of whom Moses in the law and the prophets did write, Jesus of Nazareth, came and laid down his life for us. The death of the Lord Jesus is the dividing point between the two dispensations, as it put an end to the typical services, and was the foundation of his work as priest in the heavenly tabernacle. On Jesus was laid the iniquity of us all, and he bore our sins in his own body on the tree. Isaiah 53:6; 1 Peter 2:24; Hebrews 9:28. He was raised from the dead for our justification, and ascended into Heaven to become a great high priest in the presence of God for us. Romans 4:25; Hebrews 9:11, 12, 24.OFH1 155.8

    The ministration in the heavenly sanctuary is performed by the Melchisedec order of priesthood, in the person of our Lord. Psalm 110; Hebrews 5-8. We have already proved that the temple of God in Heaven consists of two holy places, as did the earthly tabernacle; and that the ministration in the two holy places of the worldly sanctuary was the example and shadow of Christ’s ministry in the true tabernacle. But it is contended by some that Christ ministers only in the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary. Let us examine this point:OFH1 156.1

    1. The anointing of the most holy place at the commencement of his ministration, may be urged as proof that he ministers only in the second apartment of the heavenly sanctuary. Daniel 9:24. But this objection vanishes at once, if we consider that before the Levitical priesthood began to minister in the earthly sanctuary, that entire building, the holiest as well as the holy place and all the sacred vessels, was anointed. Exodus 40:9-11; 30:23-29; Leviticus 8:10; Numbers 7:1. And when this anointing was accomplished, that ministration began in the first apartment. Leviticus 8-10; Hebrews 9:6, 7. And this order, let it be remembered, was “the example and shadow of heavenly things.”OFH1 156.2

    2. It has been urged by some that the text, “This Man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins, forever sat down on the right hand of God,” Hebrews 10:12, forbids the idea of his ministering in the two holy places. But we answer, so far as the idea of sitting down is concerned, it would be equally proper to represent him as standing on the Father’s right hand. Acts 7:56. And if the Saviour is at “the right hand of the power of God” when descending from Heaven, as he testifies respecting himself, Matthew 26:64; Mark 14:62; Luke 22:69, then he certainly can be at the Father’s right hand in both the holy places. But we have direct testimony here. Paul says that Christ is a “minister of the sanctuary.” Hebrews 8:2. That the word hagion, here rendered sanctuary, is plural, no one can deny. It is literally rendered by the Douay Bible, “the holies.” As translated by Macknight, Hebrews 8:1, 2, reads thus: “Now of the things spoken the chief is, we have such an High Priest as became us, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the Heavens, a minister of the holy places, namely, of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.” We draw two conclusions from the foregoing: (1) Our Lord can be minister of the two holy places, and yet be at the Father’s right hand. (2) He must minister in both the holy places, or Paul’s language that he is a minister of the holies or holy places [plural], is not true. A high priest that should minister simply in the holiest of all, is not a minister of the holy places.OFH1 156.3

    3. But another argument to prove that Christ ministers only in the most holy place, has been urged by some, from the following texts: “The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing.” Hebrews 9:8. “Having, therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus.” Chapter 10:19. But as has been before remarked, the word rendered “holiest of all,” is the same that is rendered “sanctuary” in chapter 8:2, and is not hagia hagion, holy of holies, as in chapter 9:3, but is simply hagion, holies, plural. The rendering of Macknight, which correctly translates the word in the plural, removes all difficulty. He translates these two texts, as follows: “The Holy Ghost signifying this, that the way of the holy places was not yet laid open, while the first tabernacle still standeth.” “Well then, brethren, having boldness in the entrance of the holy places, by the blood of Jesus.” These texts, therefore, do not favor the doctrine that Christ is a minister of only one of the holy places. With the literal rendering of the word, giving it in the plural in our language, just as it was written by Paul, the objection to Christ’s ministration in the two holy places of the heavenly sanctuary is entirely removed. The way into the holy places of the heavenly sanctuary was not laid open while the ministration in the earthly tabernacle continued; but when that ministration was abolished, the way of the heavenly holy places was laid open, and we have boldness to enter by faith, where our High Priest is ministering for us.OFH1 157.1

    It may be proper to add, that the phrase rendered “into the holy place.” in Hebrews 9:12, 25, and “into the sanctuary,” in chapter 13:11, is the same that in chapter 9:24, is literally rendered in the plural, “into the holy places.” Macknight renders them all in the plural. Then the heavenly tabernacle, where our Lord Jesus Christ ministers, has holy places, as really as its pattern or image, the earthly tabernacle; and our great High Priest is a minister of those holy places while at the Father’s right hand.OFH1 158.1

    Let us now examine those scriptures which present our Lord’s position and ministry in the tabernacle in Heaven. In vision at Patmos, the beloved disciple had a view of the temple of God, the heavenly sanctuary. A door was opened in Heaven. This must be the door of the heavenly tabernacle, for it disclosed to John’s view the throne of God which was in that temple. Revelation 4:1, 2; 16:17; Jeremiah 17:12. It must be the door of the first apartment, for that of the second apartment (which discloses the ark containing the ten commandments) is not opened until the sounding of the seventh angel. Revelation 11:19. And the view that John was looking into the first apartment of the heavenly sanctuary, when he saw the Lord Jesus take the book from the hand of Him that sat upon the throne, is strikingly confirmed by what he saw before the throne. He testifies that “there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven spirits of God.” Revelation 4:5; Zechariah 4:2. He also saw the golden altar of incense before the throne, and witnessed the ministration at that altar with the golden censer. Revelation 8:3. In the earthly tabernacle, which was the pattern of things in the Heavens, the golden candlestick with its seven lamps, and the golden altar of incense, were both represented, and, by God’s express direction, placed in the first apartment. Numbers 8:2-4; Hebrews 9:2; Leviticus 24:2-4; Exodus 40:24-27. The scene of this vision is the first apartment of the heavenly sanctuary. Here it was that John saw the Lord Jesus. Revelation 5:6-8.OFH1 159.1

    Let us read Isaiah’s description of this place: “In the year that king Uzziah died, I saw, also, the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts. Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar.” Isaiah 6:1-6.OFH1 159.2

    That this was a view of the heavenly tabernacle, and not of the temple at Jerusalem, may be proved by comparing John 12:39-41, with Isaiah 6:8-10. Words written by Isaiah, while looking into the temple of God, are quoted by John, with the declaration that Isaiah spake them while beholding Christ’s glory. That John and Isaiah both beheld the same place, is evident; both beheld the throne of God, and Him that sits upon it; Isaiah 6:1; Revelation 4:2; both beheld the living beings with six wings; Isaiah 6:2; Revelation 4:6-8; each heard from these beings a like song; Isaiah 6:3; Revelation 4:8; and both beheld the golden altar before the throne. Isaiah 6:6; Revelation 8:3; 9:13. That John and Isaiah both saw our Lord Jesus Christ, we have already proved. And the scene of their visions was in the first apartment of the heavenly sanctuary, the place of the golden candlestick, with its seven lamps, and the golden altar of incense. And in the apartment our High Priest commenced his ministration, like the priests in the example and shadow of heavenly things. In the shadow, each part of the work was many times repeated; but in the substance, each part is fulfilled once for all. Once for all our sacrifice is slain; Romans 6:9, 10; Hebrews 9:25-28; and once for all our High Priest appears in each of the holy places. Hebrews 9:11, 12, 24, 25. Hence, our Lord must continue his ministration in the first apartment until the period arrives for his ministration within the second vail, before the ark of God’s testament.OFH1 160.1

    The sins of the world were laid upon the Lord Jesus, and he died for those sins according to the Scriptures. The blood of the Lamb of God, which was shed for our transgressions of God’s law, is that by which our High Priest enters the heavenly sanctuary, Hebrews 9:12, and which, as our advocate, he offers for us in that sanctuary. Hebrews 12:24; 1 Peter 1:2; 1 John 2:1, 2. His great work, which began with the act of bearing the sins of the world at his death, he here carries forward by pleading the cause of penitent sinners, and presenting for them his blood which had been shed as the great sacrifice for the sins of the world. The work in the earthly sanctuary was essentially the same thing. The sins were there laid upon the victim, which was then slain. The blood of that sacrifice, bearing that guilt, was sprinkled in the sanctuary, to make reconciliation for the sinner. And thus in the shadow of heavenly things, we see the guilt of the people transferred to the sanctuary itself. This can be easily understood. And it is a plain fact that its great design was to give an example of heavenly things. As the sin of him who came to God through the offering of blood, by the high priest, was, through that blood, transferred to the sanctuary itself, so it is in the substance. He who bore our sins at his death, offers for us his blood in the heavenly sanctuary. But when he comes again, he is “without sin;” Hebrews 9:28; his great work for the removal of sin is fully completed before he comes again.OFH1 161.1

    We now inquire respecting the removal of the sins of the church, or host, from the sanctuary. We have seen that only 490 of the 2300 years belonged to the earthly sanctuary, and that the remaining 1810 years belonged to the true sanctuary, which Gabriel introduces to Daniel in his explanation in chapter 9; consequently, the sanctuary to be cleansed from the sins of the church, or host, at the end of the 2300 years, is the heavenly sanctuary. We have also examined those portions of the Bible that explain how and why the earthly sanctuary was cleansed, and have seen that that cleansing was accomplished not by fire but by blood. We have seen that that work was ordained for the express purpose of shadowing forth the work in the heavenly sanctuary. And we have also seen that the sins of those who come to God through our great High Priest are communicated to the sanctuary, as was the case in the type. But we are not left without direct testimony on this important point. The apostle states the fact of the cleansing of the earthly and the heavenly sanctuaries, and plainly affirms that the latter must be cleansed for the same reason that the former had been. He speaks as follows: “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the Heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into Heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us.” Hebrews 9:22-24. Two important facts are stated in this portion of Scripture:OFH1 162.1

    1. The earthly sanctuary was cleansed by blood.OFH1 163.1

    2. The heavenly sanctuary must be cleansed by better sacrifices; that is, by the blood of Christ. It is plain, then, that the idea of cleansing the sanctuary by fire has no support in the Bible.OFH1 163.2

    These words, as rendered by Macknight, are very clear: “And almost all things, according to the law, are cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no remission. There was a necessity, therefore, that the representations indeed of the holy places in the Heavens, should be cleansed by these sacrifices; but the heavenly, holy places themselves, by sacrifices better than these. Therefore, Christ hath not entered into the holy places made with hands; the images of the true holy places; but into Heaven itself, now to appear before the face of God on our account.” Hebrews 9:22-24. Then the fact of the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary is plainly taught by Paul in his commentary on the typical system. And this great truth, plainly stated, is worthy of lasting remembrance.OFH1 163.3

    By many, the idea of the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary will be treated with scorn, “because,” say they, “there is nothing in Heaven to be cleansed.” Such overlook the fact that the holy of holies, where God manifested his glory, and which no one but the high priest could enter, was, according to the law, to be cleansed because of the sins of the people, which were borne into it by the blood of sin-offering. Leviticus 16. And they overlook the fact that Paul plainly testifies that the heavenly sanctuary must be cleansed for the same reason. Hebrews 9:23, 24. See also Colossians 1:20. It was unclean in this sense only: the sins of men had been borne into it through the blood of sin-offering, and they must be removed. This fact can be grasped by every mind.OFH1 163.4

    The work of cleansing the sanctuary changes the ministration from the holy place to the holiest of all. Leviticus 16; Hebrews 9:6, 7; Revelation 11:19. As the ministration in the holy place of the temple in Heaven began immediately after the end of the typical system, at the close of the sixty-nine and a half weeks, Daniel 9:27, so the ministration in the holiest of all, in the heavenly sanctuary, begins with the termination of the 2300 days. Then our High Priest enters the holiest to cleanse the sanctuary. The termination of this great period marks the commencement of the ministration of the Lord Jesus in the holiest of all. This work, as presented in the type, we have already seen was for the two-fold purpose, of the forgiveness of iniquity, and the cleansing of the sanctuary. And this great work our Lord accomplished with his own blood; whether by the actual presentation of it, or by virtue of its merits, we need not stop to inquire.OFH1 164.1

    No one can fail to see that the cleansing of the sanctuary is an event of infinite importance. This accomplishes the great work of the Messiah in the tabernacle in Heaven, and renders it complete. The work of cleansing the sanctuary is succeeded by the act of placing the sins, thus removed, upon the head of the scape-goat, to be borne away forever from the sanctuary. The work of our High Priest for the sins of the world will then be completed, and he be ready to appear “without sin unto salvation.” The act of placing the sins upon the head of the scape-goat, in the type, has already been noticed. Leviticus 16:5, 7-10, 20-22.OFH1 164.2

    The next event of that day, after the sanctuary was cleansed, was the putting of all the iniquities and transgressions of the children of Israel upon the scape-goat, and sending him away into a land not inhabited, or of separation. It is supposed by most every one that this goat typified Christ in some of his offices, and that the type was fulfilled at the first advent. From this opinion I must differ, because,OFH1 165.1

    1. That goat was not sent away till after the high priest had made an end of cleansing the sanctuary. Leviticus 16:2, 21. Hence, that event cannot meet its antitype till after the end of the 2300 days.OFH1 165.2

    2. It was sent away from Israel into the wilderness, a land not inhabited, to receive them. If our blessed Saviour is its antitype, he also must be sent away from his people to a land not inhabited, but not to the grave; for the goat was sent away alive; nor into Heaven, for that is not an uninhabited land.OFH1 165.3

    3. The goat received and retained all the iniquities or Israel; but when Christ appears the second time, he will be “without sin.” Hebrews 9:28.OFH1 165.4

    4. The goat received the iniquities from the hands of the priest, and he sent it away. As Christ is the priest, the goat must be something else besides himself, which he can send away.OFH1 165.5

    5. This was one of two goats, chosen for that day, of which one was the Lord’s, and was offered for a sin-offering; but the other was not called the Lord’s, neither offered as a sacrifice. Its only office was to receive the iniquities from the priest, after he had cleansed the sanctuary from them, and bear them into a land not inhabited, leaving the sanctuary, priest and people, behind, and free from their iniquities. Leviticus 16:7-10, 22.OFH1 166.1

    6. The Hebrew name of the scape-goat, as will be seen from the margin of Leviticus 16:8, is Azazel. On this verse, Wm. Jenks, in his Comp. Com., has the following remarks:OFH1 166.2

    “Scape-goat. See different opinion in Bochart. Spencer, after the oldest opinion of the Hebrews and Christians, thinks Azazel is the name of the devil; and so Rosenmüller, whom see. The Syriac has Azzail, the angel (strong one) who revolted.”OFH1 166.3

    7. At the appearing of Christ, as taught in Revelation 20, Satan is to be bound and cast into the bottomless pit, which act and place are significantly symbolized by the ancient high priest’s sending the scape-goat into a separate and uninhabited wilderness.OFH1 166.4

    8. Thus we have the Scripture, the definition of the name in two ancient languages, both spoken at the same time, and the oldest opinion of the Christians, in favor of regarding the scape-goat as the type of Satan.OFH1 166.5

    Because it is said, “The goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited.” Leviticus 16:22, and John said, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh [margin, beareth] away the sin of the world!” it is concluded without further thought that the former was the type of the latter. But a little attention to the law will show that the sins were borne from the people by the priest, and from the priest by the goat.OFH1 166.6

    1. They are imparted to the victim.OFH1 167.1

    2. The priest bore them in its blood to the sanctuary.OFH1 167.2

    3. After cleansing it from them, on the tenth day of the seventh month, he bore them to the scape-goat.OFH1 167.3

    4. The goat finally bore them away beyond the camp of Israel to the wilderness.OFH1 167.4

    This was the legal process in figure, and when fulfilled in fact, the author of sins will have received them back again (but the ungodly will bear their own sins), and his head will have been bruised by the seed of the woman; “the strong man armed” will have been bound by a stronger than he, and his house (see grave) spoiled of its goods, the saints. Matthew 12:29; Luke 11:21, 22.OFH1 167.5

    The great work of the atonement is now complete, and the work of our Lord, as priest, accomplished. The sins of those who have obtained pardon through the great sin-offering, are, at the close of our Lord’s work in the holy places, blotted out, Acts 3:19, and being then transferred to the scape-goat, are borne away from the sanctuary and host forever, and rest upon the head of their author, the devil. The Azazel, or antitypical scape-goat, will then have received the sins of those who have been pardoned in the sanctuary, and in the lake of fire will suffer for the sins which he has instigated. God’s people, the host, will then be free from their iniquity. The cases of all men will then be forever fixed. “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. And behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give to every man according as his work shall be.” Revelation 22:11, 12. “And to you who are troubled, rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from Heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Thessalonians 1:7, 8.OFH1 167.6

    Larger font
    Smaller font
    Copy
    Print
    Contents