Christ Entered the Most
Holy Place in the
Although the first gospel sermon was preached in the Garden of Eden in the presence of Satan, although prophets, kings, and righteous men longed to be alive when the promised Messiah should appear, the Lord prophesied that when the Redeemer did come to earth, He would come in the fullness of time. Five centuries prior to the advent of the Saviour, the angel Gabriel declared the month and the year when Israel’s Deliverer should appear in person, and when that hour arrived, all the angels of heaven united in proclaiming the good news of the Saviour’s birth. Luke 2:13-14.
Jesus became the Messiah when He was anointed with the Holy Ghost and with power. Luke 3:21, 22. The announcement that the time of His Messiahship had arrived, was proclaimed. His death took place on time. Jesus foreannounced His betrayal, His crucifixion, His death, and His resurrection. Matt.16:22, 23. One reason why He foretold these events was that the disciples might be assured that all the Scriptures clustering about the first advent of Messiah and His mission met their fulfillment in Him. John16:4. Every feature of His ministry, from His birth to His death, was forecast, and a perfect fulfillment of those predictions was realized.
The two outstanding books of the Bible which deal largely with the second coming of our Lord and the necessary preparation for it, are Daniel and the Revelation. The former is in the Old Testament and the latter is in the New Testament. In the closing portion of Daniel’s writings, the setting up of the everlasting kingdom at the return of the Saviour is mentioned again and again. The pages of the closing book of the New Testament, from its first chapter to the end of the last chapter, are replete with instruction in regard to the second coming of the Lord.
While Daniel was informed by the angel Gabriel that the words given to him would not meet with an immediate fulfillment, the heavenly messenger assured the seer that when the hour arrived for the messages contained in his sealed book to be made public, God would cause "the wise" to understand. For this reason the prophet was advised by the angel to rest calmly and contentedly. God has a care over His work and over His word.
"The wise shall understand," said the angel Gabriel. Men receive heavenly wisdom when they need it. James1:5. God. furnishes His servants who long to know His will with divine skill and wisdom for the particular time and purpose. Those who were anxious to understand the messages contained in the books of Daniel and Revelation when the hour arrived for that instruction to meet its fulfillment, were assured of wisdom and knowledge from God. For the angel said: "Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein : for the time is at hand." Rev.1:3. In the days of the first advent, the Saviour said to His disciples : "Blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear." Matt.13:16.
To the scribes and Pharisees of that day, our Lord remarked: "By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive." Matt.13:14.
God is no respecter of persons. He is willing and anxious that all shall see and shall hear. While a certain class are anxious to know His will and to perform it, others there are who profess to know His will, but they prefer not to do it. The latter may have excellent physical sight, but they do not have proper spiritual vision.
An excellent exposition of Revelation10:l, 2, is given by the author of that valuable book, "Thoughts on Daniel and the Revelation," Elder Uriah Smith. He says :
Elder J. N. Loughborough also gives a clear exposition of this same scripture: "The work of preaching the gospel has been committed to man, and the Lord has promised His blessing on that instrumentality till the ‘end of the world.’ So the angel bearing this message must be a symbol of a message concerning time which is to be preached to earth’s inhabitants. The message is proclaimed from a book that is ‘open,’ clearly implying that it had once been closed. These messengers are esteemed of God; for the ‘bow,’ a token of God’s covenant, is over them, and they stand clothed with the light of God’s glory, and declare the message on the authority of the Creator of all things. That which is here declared is a time message, once ‘sealed,’ but now proclaimed from an ‘open’ book."
This message of the angel with the little book open must be world wide, for it is to go on both sea and land. This earth consists of water and dry land. Says the Scripture: "God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so." Gen.1:9.
Since the angel with this message sets his "right foot upon the sea, and his left foot upon the earth" (Rev.10:2), his message must go where there is earth and sea. The message of Revelation10 is a complement to the message of Revelation14:6, 7. They harmonize; they are in accord.
This world-wide message deals with time. But the message declares that time shall be "no longer." The Scriptures deal with both prophetic time and ordinary or probationary time. Which kind of time does this message indicate? That it cannot be probationary time is evident from the fact that the following verse declares that the seventh angel is to sound, and in the days of the sounding of this seventh angel the mystery of God is to be finished. Probationary time is to continue for the giving of the gospel message, following the one announced by the angel whose feet cover sea and land. Hence the kind of time mentioned by the angel must be prophetic time. It is evident that in the little book "open" in the hand of the angel is a message containing prophetic time. This angel declares that the prophetic time mentioned in that book is ended.
We find other scriptures where the prophet is commanded to take a book and to eat it. (See Jer.15:16; Eze. 3:1-3.) The eating of the book indicates that the messenger is to give the message contained in the book. The message of a soon-coming Saviour was indeed a sweet message, but the misapplication of the event, proclaimed by those who gave the world-wide message to take place at the end of the prophetic time, the 2300 days, resulted indeed in a bitter experience.
The announcement was made by the angel that at the close of the message given by those believers in1844, another message must follow. And the message which should follow must be given as extensively as that given by the angel with one foot on the land and the other foot on the sea. That is to say, another message must be given following the bitter disappointment.
It is clear from this tenth chapter of Revelation that God foresaw the disappointment of those who gave His message to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. It was to those disappointed ones that the words came, "Thou must prophesy again before many peoples," etc. Rev.10:11. The message that "there should be time no longer" (verse 6) must be given, even though the messengers should meet with a bitter experience after they had eaten the little book, which at the first was so sweet to them.
How literally was this prophecy fulfilled by those who preached the advent message which culminated in the year1844! Elder Uriah Smith says : "A mistake had been made which apparently involved the integrity of the little book they had been eating. What had been so like honey to their taste, suddenly became like wormwood and gall. But those who had patience to endure, so to speak, the digesting process, soon learned that the mistake was only in the event, not in the time, and that what the angel had given them was not unto death, but to their nourishment and support."—Thoughts on Daniel and the Revelation, ed.1897, p. 496.
The attention of the prophet is now called to the temple of God in heaven and to its worshipers. John is told to measure those who worship in the temple. God does have a rule of worship for His followers. (See Gal. 6:16.) The Scriptures tell us that God’s rule of right is His commandments. Eccl.12:13, 14. Associated with the keeping of the commandments of God is the faith of Jesus. Rev.14:12. In order for God’s people to be prepared to meet their Saviour at His second coming, they must measure their lives by God’s rule.
At the time when the message of the 2300 days was given and the people expected their Lord to return, God’s church was not spiritually prepared to meet the Lord. The church as a whole was breaking one of God’s commands, the fourth, by observing the first day of the week instead of the seventh day. The church also was teaching things not in harmony with the true faith of Jesus. The church of Christ must receive another message which would reveal to them what is necessary for them to be prepared for the coming of the Lord. Luke 3:4, 10-14.
Until the close of the seventh Bible month, October,1844, our heavenly High Priest had been ministering in the holy place, in the first apartment of the heavenly temple. The attention of the church and the world was directed, through the message of the prophet John, to the measurement of the worshipers of the true God. The people of God were to be measured according to Heaven’s rule of true worship. All those who had their sins blotted out at the close of the typical Day of Atonement, fully harmonized with all of God’s requirements. The people were led while the high Priest interceded for them in the most holy place of the sanctuary. So in this antitypical day of atonement the church of Christ must be investigated, to determine whether their lives have been in harmony with God’s commandments and with the faith of Jesus before they are translated from this world into the kingdom of God.
John declares that he saw the temple of God opened in heaven. He had seen the heavenly temple open at other times during the vision given to him and recorded in the Revelation. Rev.1:12; 8 :3. But he points out that at this time he saw that part of the temple open in which is the ark.
We know from the Scriptures that no person anciently was permitted to look into the most holy place of the sanctuary, where the ark was placed, except the high priest, and that only on the Day of Atonement. It is evident that the Saviour, in permitting the apostle to see the temple where the ark of God is, had entered the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary. The disappointment among those who accepted the message of the 2300 days and the cleansing of the sanctuary, was widespread. They had planned and hoped that they would see their Lord at the close of the tenth day of the seventh month, Jewish time (October 22,1844).
They had not expected to live on this earth another day following this one. They had no further message to give. To them their mission was completed. They did not at that time sense that they were to follow their High Priest into the most holy place in the heavenly temple, where had begun the antitypical day of atonement, His work of investigating those who should be ready to meet Him in peace at His coming. The antitypical day of atonement must begin with the church of God.1 Peter 4:17.
During the centuries and millenniums of the past, God’s people have lived and died. They are at rest, waiting for the great resurrection day. Dan.12:13. Before they are raised from the dead, it must be determined by the records that they are worthy of that resurrection. Luke14:14 ; 20:36. The heavenly Intercessor must be their Advocate before the Father and before the heavenly hosts. Dan. 7:9, 10.
Our heavenly High Priest entered the most holy place of the heavenly temple in1844, to perform the final work of intercession, prior to the completion of the plan of human redemption. Christ entered into the holy of holies in the heavenly temple at the termination of the 2300 days.
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