Friends once again, here we are together connected through digital electronic means. It’s powerful to connect and to reflect for a few moments on what God’s word has to say to us today. As you know, the world is changing rapidly and yet, Praise God, His Word never changes! We read in Isaiah 40:8, “The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever.”
Last week we looked at the prophecies in Daniel 8, and especially at verse 14—“For two thousand three hundred days; then the sanctuary shall be cleansed.”
As we know, the calculation of the time indicated in this verse leads to the year 1844—a year when many honest people expected Jesus to come. And while they were correct in the time calculation, they were wrong in the expected event. Assuming, as many Christians did, that the term “sanctuary” referred to the Earth, their conclusion was that Jesus would come and cleanse the Earth in 1844.
However, through much Bible study and prayer these early Adventists learned that the “sanctuary” referred to in Daniel 8:14 is the Heavenly Sanctuary, where Christ is ministering today. They saw in Hebrews 8:1 and 2 that “We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not man.”
The earthly sanctuary, built by human hands but following divine instructions, was a type of the Heavenly Sanctuary. It served as an object lesson, illustrating the plan of salvation. That plan included many aspects, including a sacrifice (representing Jesus) and the washing away of sins. Further, it included a special time, known as the “Day of Atonement,” when the High Priest entered the Most Holy Place and the sanctuary would be “cleansed” by the symbolic removal of sin.