the Heavenly Sanctuary
brief review of the foundation of the great Advent
movement of 1844
As foreshadowed in the type, and foretold in the Scriptures, Christ, at
the time appointed, entered the most holy place of the temple of God in heaven.
He is represented by the prophet Daniel as coming at this time to the Ancient of
days: “I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came
with the clouds of heaven, and came”—not to the earth, but—“to the
Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.” Daniel 7:13.
See Illustration of the Ancient Sanctuary.
This coming is foretold also by the prophet
Malachi: “The Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the
messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the
Lord of hosts.” Malachi 3:1. The coming of the Lord to his temple was sudden,
unexpected, to his people. They were not looking for him there. They
expected him to come to the earth, “in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them
that know not God, and that obey not the gospel.” 2 Thessalonians 1:8.
Shortly after the fulfilment of some of the signs
that the Saviour foretold would be seen before his second coming, there took
place throughout the Christian world a great religious awakening. Students of
prophecy came to the conclusion that the time of the end was at hand. In the
book of Daniel they read: “Unto two thousand and three hundred days, then
shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” Daniel 8:14. Thinking that the earth was the
sanctuary, they understood that the cleansing foretold in Daniel 8:14
represented the purification of the earth by fire at the second coming of
Christ. Searching the Scriptures for further light, and comparing this prophetic
period with the records of historians, they learned that the twenty-three
hundred days extended to the year 1844.
This was the foundation of the great advent
movement of 1844. The falling of the stars in 1833 gave added force to the
proclamation of the message of a soon-coming Saviour. Through the labors of
William Miller and many others in America, of seven hundred ministers in
England, of Bengel and others in Germany, of Gaussen and his followers in France
and Switzerland, of many ministers in Scandinavia, of a converted Jesuit in
South America, and of Dr. Joseph Wolff in many Oriental and African countries,
the advent message was carried to a large part of the habitable globe.
But the people were not yet ready to meet their
Lord. There was still a work of preparation to be accomplished for them. Light
was to be given, directing their minds to the temple of God in heaven; and as
they should by faith follow their High Priest in his ministration there, new
duties would be revealed. Another message of warning and instruction was to be
given to the church.
Says the prophet: “Who may abide the day of his
coming? And who shall stand when he appeareth? For he is like a refiner’s
fire, and like fullers’ soap; and he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of
silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver,
that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.” Malachi
3:2-3. Those who are living upon the earth when the intercession of Christ shall
cease in the sanctuary above, are to stand in the sight of a holy God without a
mediator. Their robes must be spotless, their characters must be purified from
sin by the blood of sprinkling. Through the grace of God and their own diligent
effort, they must be conquerors in the battle with evil. While the investigative
judgment is going forward in heaven, while the sins of penitent believers are
being removed from the sanctuary, there is to be a special work of purification,
of putting away of sin, among God’s people upon earth. This work is more
clearly presented in the messages of Revelation 14.
When this work shall have been accomplished, the
followers of Christ will be ready for his appearing. “Then shall the offering
of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the Lord, as in the days of old, and as
in former years.” Malachi 3:4. The church which our Lord at his coming is to
receive to himself will be “a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or
any such thing,” (Ephesians 5:27), “fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and
terrible as an army with banners.” Song of Solomon 6:10.
Besides the coming of the Lord to his temple,
Malachi also foretells his second advent, his coming for the execution of the
judgment, in these words: “And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will
be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and
against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his
wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his
right, and fear not me, saith the Lord of hosts.” Malachi 3:5. Jude refers to
the same scene when he says, “Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of
his saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly
among them of all their ungodly deeds.” Jude 1:14-15. This coming, and the
coming of the Lord to his temple, are distinct and separate events.
The passing of the time in 1844 was followed by a
period of great trial to those who still held the Advent faith. Their only
relief, so far as ascertaining their true position was concerned, was the light,
which directed their minds to the sanctuary above. Some renounced their faith in
their former reckoning of the prophetic periods, and ascribed to human or
Satanic agencies the powerful influence of the Holy Spirit which had attended
the advent movement.
Another class firmly held that the Lord had led
them into their past experience; and as they waited and watched and prayed to
know the will of God, they saw that their great High Priest had entered upon
another work of ministration, and, following him by faith, they were led to see
also the closing work of the church. They had a clearer understanding of the
first and second angels’ messages, and were prepared to receive and give to
the world the solemn warning of the third angel of Revelation 14. The
Southern Watchman, January 24, 1905.