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Heavenly Visions

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    DESCRIPTION OF SANCTUARY SERVICE

    Thus the sealing work, or Sabbath reform, was brought to light, and the subject of the sanctuary was stressed, though as yet the agent of the gift did not understand the meaning of the terms, as she and other pioneers came to understand them all a little later. In fact, what seems to me the finest description we have, outside of Scripture, of the change in Christ’s priestly ministry from the holy place to the most holy, in 1844, is that given to Ellen Harmon only a few weeks after her first vision. That was before Hiram Edson and O. R. L. Crosier had brought out the first exposition on the sanctuary. Note a few words of Ellen Harmon’s description:HEVI 117.6

    “I saw the Father rise from the throne, and in a flaming chariot go into the holy of holies within the veil, and sit down. Then Jesus rose up from the throne, and most of those who were bowed down arose with Him [the praying ones on earth, who by faith were represented as looking to Him].... He left the throne and led them out a little way. Then He raised His right arm, and we heard His lovely voice saying: ‘Wait here; I am going to My Father to receive the kingdom; keep your garments spotless, and in a little while I will return from the wedding and receive you to Myself.’ Then a cloudy chariot, with wheels like flaming fire, surrounded by angels, came to where Jesus was. He stepped into the chariot and was borne to the holiest, where the Father sat. There I beheld Jesus, a great high priest, standing before the Father.”HEVI 117.7

    Read the whole picture in Early Writings, 54-56, entitled, “End of the 2300 Days.” It is an exact counterpart of Daniel’s view of the same event, given in the days of Babylon:HEVI 117.8

    “I beheld till the thrones were cast down [“placed”], 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 fiery flame, and His wheels as burning fire.... Thousands thousands ministered unto Him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened....HEVI 117.9

    “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. And there was given Him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve Him: His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.” Daniel 7:9-14.HEVI 117.10

    That description of the vision was written by the prophet’s pen in Babylon more than 2,300 years before this scene in the heavenly sanctuary began to take place in 1844. From that writing in Babylon, I know of no place in all the record of history where any similar description of the actual scene was written, until a few days after 1844, when a young woman of seventeen, called to the prophetic gift, took up her pen and set down what she was shown in vision of the same wondrous event-beyond all power of human words fully to portray.HEVI 117.11

    Daniel repeated, “I beheld,” “I saw;” and the youthful prophet of our day repeated, “I saw,” “I beheld,” “I saw.” And the later description is the very counterpart of the ancient one.HEVI 117.12

    Ellen Harmon could have understood little of the meaning of it at the time, for the full light as to the sanctuary question came to her the next year through the Crosier document, published in February, 1846, and sent out by Hiram Edson. Then it was shown her that this sanctuary teaching was light for the remnant. The earth was not the sanctuary to be cleansed, as they had believed, but the cleansing of the sanctuary in heaven had begun in 1844.HEVI 117.13

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