The Cleasing of the Sanctuary

Of all the doctrines taught by the Seventh- day Adventist Church, which one is the most distinctive? Some other groups keep the Sabbath. There are some outside of Adventism who believe that man is mortal, and that the soul sleeps at death until the resurrection. Others believe in the second coming. But our teaching on the sanctuary is unique and distinctive.

The sanctuary and the atonement are our most distinctive doctrines. Unfortunately, many of our laymen and ministers know little about the sanctuary and the final atonement as historically taught by fundamental Adventism.

A misunderstanding of this vital subject causes a misunderstanding of the righteousness of Christ, the nature of Christ, and the perfection of character. The final-atonement truth is the master key which opens the door and brings into focus all other truths in the everlasting Gospel.

“The correct understanding of the ministration in the heavenly sanctuary is the foundation of our faith. ” Evangelism, 221. It is true that the sacrifice of Christ on the cross was perfect and complete, but the work _ of atonement was not completed then. The second phase of the atonement administered by Christ after 1844 was as essential as the first. This is clearly taught in the ancient Sanctuary service.

The practical aspect of the judgment is that the atonement involves a real test and a demonstration of character on the part of those who receive its benefits. “The atonement of Christ is not a mere skilful way to have our sins pardoned; it is a divine remedy for the cure of transgression and the restoration of spiritual health. It is the heaven-ordained means by which the righteousness of Christ may be not only upon us, but in our hearts and characters. ” Letter 406, 1906 (Questions on Doctine 668).

The Sanctuary is the plan of salvation in miniature. “Thy way O God, is in the sanctuary: who is so great a God as our God?” (Psalm 77:13). lf we are to reach the Promised Land, the Heavenly Canaan, we must find and follow God’s way, His way is to be found in the sanctuary. The devil will do everything possible to keep God’s people from understanding the sanctuary and from finding God’s way in the plan of salvation through the sanctuary.

And went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. ” (Revelation 12:17). The devil is angry with the church, because we keep the commandments of God and have the Spirit of Prophecy to direct us in organization and doctrine.

The Spirit of Prophecy – God speaking through His messenger Ellen White – spotlighted the sanctuary doctrine, illuminated it, to focus our thinking on this beautiful doctrine. This most distinct waymark the devil will tiy to remove to make it of none effect. Viper the truth has been proclaimed as a witness to all nations, every conceivable power ofevil will be set in operation, and minds will be confused by many voices crying, Zo, here is Christ; He is there, This is the truth, I have the message from God He has sent me with great light.’ Then there will be a removing of the landmarks, and an attempt to tear down the pillars ofourfaith. “Bible Comm, vol. 7, 985.

But because Ellen White has written so much on this subject with great clarity, the devil must first destroy the credibility of her writings. “There will be a hatred kindled against the testimonies which is satanic, The workings of Satan will be to unsettle the faith ofthe churches in them, for this reason Satan cannot have so clear a track to bring in his deceptions and bind up souls in his delusions the warnings and reprooy% and counsels ofthe Spirit of God are heeded, ” Letter 40, 1890, Selected Messages Bookl , 48. One of the greatest signs that the end is very near and that we will soon see Jesus is that the Spirit of Prophecy and the sanctuary are now under direct attack by the enemy of souls. Attacks have been made in times past against these two pillars of our faith. Let us for a moment review our history. Elder A.F. Ballenger, a Seventh-day Adventist minister at the tum of the century, began to teach that Christ went into the most holy place in A.D. 3 l. Ellen White kindly rebuked Elder Ballenger for his teaching as noticed in the following quotation. Un clear; plain language 1 am to say to those in attendance at this conference that Brother Ballenger has been allowing his mind to receive and believe specious error: He has been misinterpreting and misapplving the scriptures upon which he has fastened his mind, He is building up theories that are not founded in truth.

A warning is non to come to him and to the people;for God has not given the message that he is bearing. This message, {accepted would undermine the pillars of ourfaith. . .. Iam bidden to say in the name of the Lord that Elder Ballenger is following a false light. The Lord has not given him the message that he is bearing regarding the sanctuary service”. I have a warning for those who suppose that they have been given the work of revealing Scripture in a new light.This work means substituting human
interpretation for the interpretation that God
has given.

Thus did the heavenly messengers pronounce upon the ejfort into which Brother Ballenger has entered.” A Warning Against False Theories, MS. 62, 1905, Adventist Review, March 6, 1980. pg 5, 6. Those who believe that the Spirit of Prophecy is God’s voice to His people must accept 1844 as the time when Christ entered upon His work in the most holy place. The perfect sacrifice was complete at the cross, but the atonement was not complete until the high priest came out of the most holy place through the holy to the outer court. When the accumulated sins of God’s people for the year were laid upon the scapegoat the atonement was complete.

What does this cleansing of the sanctuary really mean to God’s people in this great crisis hour? Do we really understand Daniel 8:14?

The Sanctuary And The Saints

Another thought on the sanctuary that is many times overlooked is that when the saints were defiled, the sanctuary was defiled. “Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed. ” Daniel 8:14. All agree the heavenly sanctuary is referred to in this prophecy of Daniel, But does the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary involve and affect the people of God? Some believe this cleansing is only a juridical act of God in heaven which does nothing for the human soul. ls it any wonder that Daniel 8:14 has no real impact on the heart of the Church? The identity between the sanctuary and the worshipers needs to be clearly established. This relationship is close and decided.

Back to Top