Christís Ministry in
the Most Holy Place
By reading verse 13 of Daniel 8, it is evident there were three individuals present at the time Daniel received his vision. One was the angel Gabriel, the second was Daniel, and the third was a "certain saint" who asked a question. The original text for the words of our translation, "Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake," is (Wa-eshmaah echad-qadosh medabber wayyomer echad qadosh lappalmoni hamdabber). Rendering the Hebrew text literally, we have the following: "I heard one holy one who was the speaker; and a holy one said to (Palmoni) who was the speaker." From the foregoing we learn that the speaker of the vision is one whose name is Palmoni. Palmoni is a contracted Hebrew word, derived from two words, (Pele) and (mena). Pele means "wonderful." (See Isa. 9:6, where the word pele is translated "wonderful.") Menu means "numberer." (See Dan. 5:25, 26, where the words "mene, mene," are translated "numbered.") Palmoni means "wonderful numberer." (See Dan. 8:13, margin.) This "wonderful numberer" is none other than our Lord Himself.
Our Lord, Gabriel, and Daniel are the three persons taking part in the vision. (Compare Dan. 10:21.) ĎGabriel (see Luke 1:19) asks Palmoni a question : "How long Ö the vision?" There are a number of supplied words in verse 13. These supplied words do not belong to the text. Instead of Palmoni directing His answer to the angel, the prophet said, "He turned unto me," and said:."Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed." Verse 14. Our Lord spoke directly to the prophet. Gabriel evidently raised the question for Danielís benefit.
When the 2300 days terminated, the believers who had so earnestly proclaimed the advent message could not understand why the Lord had not come as they expected. We have already learned that knowledge of the sanctuary ministry came to the people of God through the gift of prophecy. (See Lesson 24.) Within a few weeks following the disappointment in October, 1844, there was restored to the church the gift of prophecy: Light had shone from the heavenly sanctuary upon certain of the disappointed ones ,who were earnestly praying for divine knowledge as to what was to take place at the close of the 2300 days, but with the restoration of the gift of prophecy the light from the sanctuary became brighter, and shone more clearly upon those who were so solicitous to know the will of God.
The seekers after truth now turned their attention to the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary, where they found their Lord had entered to complete the priestly ministry for His people. They found Him whom for a time they had lost. (See Luke 2:45, 46.) He was in His holy temple, ministering before the ark of God. By faith they recognized that the original decalogue, the ten commandments, was in the heavenly ark. The purpose which God explained to Moses in having an ark made in the earthly sanctuary, was that there might be a place for the law of God, the divine and immutable law, the basis of divine authority. Ex. 25:16.
The Lord has marked His remnant church. He has stamped upon it such indubitable recognition that none of His children can mistake it. God saw the necessity of placing upon His true people these two outstanding signs, for the Scriptures declare that in the last days Satan will work with all power, signs, and lying wonders, so that if it were possible he would deceive the very elect. Matt. 24 :24 ; 2 Thess. 2 :9, 10 ; Rev, 12 :12. That His chosen ones might be saved from the snares and deceptive power of the evil one, God has pointed out such distinct characteristics of His own true remnant church that the sincere, honest believers need not be misled. 2 Cor. 2:11; Eph. 4:14.
A firm belief in the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ are two outstanding characteristics of the remnant, the true church of Christ. That church which bears these marks is the church which will wait for the glorious appearing of the Lord. 1 Cor. 1:4-8; 1 Thess. 4:16, 17.
Within two months after the disappointment in October, 1844, the gift of prophecy was restored, and accepted by those believers who by faith had followed our great High Priest into the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary, to conduct His final intercession for sinners. (See 1 Sam. 3:19-21.) In various parts of the field where the advent message had been proclaimed, there arose men and women who abandoned the observance of the first day of the week as a religious day of rest, and observed the seventh day of the week as the Sabbath of the Lord.
When the believers who followed their Lord into the most holy place in the heavenly sanctuary after the seventh month (October, 1844), saw in the heavenly temple the ark of God, they recognized that there was written on the stone tablets contained therein the command, "The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God." This commandment had not been changed by divine authority. This law could not be changed. Ps. 89:34. The purpose of the Creator in originally giving the seventh day for the Sabbath was to memorialize the Creatorís works. In order that man might always acknowledge that this world was created in six days, God made the seventh day His Sabbath, His day of rest. There would have been no Sabbath had there been no creation. The seventh-day Sabbath can-not be dissociated from creation. They stand together. The world-wide message declares : "Worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters." Rev. 14:7.
To worship Him who made all things is to honor the day He made to memorialize creation. God used only six days in which to create. Whatever was essential for manís welfare upon this earth, God made in those six days. There would have been only a six-day week, if God, through our Lord Jesus, had not established a memorial of His creation. The one and only reason the seventh day was made was so that as long as the earth existed Godís creatures might recognize and understand that He made this world and all in it in six days. With the observance of the seventh day of the week as the Sabbath of the Lord was joined the gift of prophecy. Those who accepted and obeyed Godís commandments, recognized the necessity of accepting the gift of prophecy. 2 Chron. 20:20.
When the people of God through the ages kept the commandments of God, they had entrusted to them the gift of prophecy. 2 Kings 17:13. The two always have been associated, and the Lord promised they would again be joined in the last days. The true remnant church would be recognized by those two significant divine marks. We have the remnant church located by the holy Scriptures.
When the Lord commanded Moses to arrange the furnishings of the sanctuary, He gave particular directions as to their location. (See Ex. 26:30-35.)
The people of God were to enter the sanctuary at the east, and they were to face the west in their worship, where was the most holy place, with the ark, and the law of God. This mode of worship was reversed when Israel turned away from God. That people often apostatized from the worship of the true God, and indulged in sun worship. (See Judges 2:11-13; 10:6; 2 Kings 23:3, 11.) So long as they worshiped with their faces toward the west, they honored the Creator of the heavens and the earth, and they also observed Godís holy Sabbath, His memorial of creation.
Frequent mention is made in the Scriptures of the Israelitesí turning their backs upon God. It is written: "Saying to a stock, Thou art my father; and to a stone, Thou hast brought me forth: for they have turned their back unto Me, and not their face." "And they have turned unto Me the back, and not the face." Jer. 2:27; 32:33.
By turning their backs toward the sanctuary and their faces toward the east, they adopted heathen worship, the worship of the sun. Ezekiel says: "Their backs" were "toward the temple of the Lord, and their faces toward the east; and they worshiped the sun toward the east."
Sun worship always involved Sunday worship, for the Dies Solis, the day of the sun, has been recognized among heathen worshipers from time immemorial, as the day set apart for the worship of this false deity. When Israel followed idolatry, they abandoned the Sabbath of the Lord, the seventh day. God warned that people not to forsake the Sabbath. He promised them that if they would observe His holy day, Jerusalem should stand forever. If they refused to sacredly observe His rest day, they would be punished, and their land would become desolate. Jer. 17:19-27. In their departure from Godís Sabbath, they made no difference between the sacred and the secular. Eze. 22:26. They were finally sent into Babylonian exile for seventy years, in order that the land might enjoy the Sabbath. (See 2 Chron. 36 :14-21.)
When the believers, following the disappointment, saw that the seventh day is the Lordís holy day, they were convicted of its importance, and began to observe it as the true rest day. They turned their faces toward the sanctuary of the Lord, where the great High Priest ministered in their behalf. The light on the Sabbath shone brightly, and they were impressed that they must obey all of Godís commandments.
This glorious light of Godís true Sabbath led them to follow the Lord in keeping the fourth commandment, which had been set aside for centuries. In giving themselves fully to the Saviour, in turning their faces toward the temple of the Lord, they turned their backs on Sunday worship. In keeping the seventh-day Sabbath they acknowledged their obligation to sacredly observe this day because of Christís ministry in the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary. This is what made those believers Seventh-day Adventists. It is true that the law of God always taught that the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God. There are others, aside from the Jews and the Seventh-day Adventists who observe the seventh day as the sacred day of worship. These Sabbathkeeping worshipers do not accept the teachings of the sanctuary in connection with the last-day message going to all nations, kindreds, tongues, and peoples. They do not observe Godís holy day from the same viewpoint as do those who follow their High Priest into the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary. Seventh-day Adventists keep the Sabbath because they have repudiated every form of error, including the day devoted to the worship of the sun. Seventh-day Adventists recognize the necessity of obeying their Lord in all things. They recognize the necessity of repentance from every sin, and humble obedience to every command of God, that all their sins may be blotted out while the High Priest is completing His work of intercession for them in the heavenly sanctuary. Acts 3:19.
It was after the disappointment of 1844 that the remnant church was organized. Following the announcement of the threefold message going into all the world, is the declaration: "Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus." Rev. 14:12.
The next scene the prophet beheld. was the coming of the Son of man with a sharp sickle in His hand to reap the harvest of the earth. The harvest, is the end of the world. Matt. 13:39. The remnant church was separated from the world when the people of God by faith followed the Saviour into the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary, when they began the observance of Godís holy Sabbath day, when they became a part of the message which is to go to every people, and when they accented the gift of prophecy as of Godís own appointment, which is to confirm the church waiting for the coming of the Lord.
Our Lord could not have entered upon the work of the great antitypical day of atonement until the announcement of the judgment-hour message had been given. His ministry in the most holy place did not begin until 1844. Then the final phase of the threefold message was launched. When our Lord passed into the holiest of the heavenly sanctuary, in 1844, He entered upon His final intercession for a lost world. We are living in the great antitypical day of atonement, and mercy is now offered to all nations, kindreds, tongues, and peoples. Mercy is making her final appeal.
Read Lesson 33
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