Rome’s Challenge

Why do Protestants keep Sunday?

The Cross and worshipMost Christians assume that Sunday is the biblically approved day of worship. The Roman catholic church protests that it transferred Christian worship from the biblical Sabbath (Saturday) to Sunday, and that to try to argue that the change was made in the Bible is both dishonest and a denial of Catholic authority. If Protestantism wants to base its teachings only on the Bible, it should worship on Saturday.

A number of years ago the Catholic Mirror ran a series of articles discussing the right of the Protestant churches to worship on Sunday. The articles stressed that unless one was willing to accept the authority of the Catholic Church to designate the day of worship, the Christian should observe Saturday. This is a reprint of those articles.

February 24, 1893, the General Conference of Seventh day Adventists adopted certain resolutions appealing to the government and people of the United States from the decision of the Supreme Court declaring this to be a Christian nation, and from the action of Congress in legislating upon the subject of religion, and the remonstrating against the principle and all the consequences of the same. In March, 1893, the International Religious Liberty Association printed these resolutions in a tract entitled Appeal and Remonstrance. On receipt of one of these, the editor of the Catholic Mirror of Baltimore, Maryland, published a series of four editorials, which appeared in that paper September 2, 9, 16, and 23, 1893. The Catholic Mirror was the official organ of Cardinal Gibbons and the Papacy in the United States. These articles, therefore, although not written by the Cardinal’s own hand, appeared under his official sanction, and as the expression of the Papacy on this subject, are the open challenge of the Papacy to Protestantism, and the demand of the Papacy that Protestants shall render to the Papacy an account of why they keep Sunday and also of how they keep it.

The following matter (excepting the footnotes, the editor’s note in brackets beginning on page 25 and ending on page 27, [in this document, it’s pages 15- 16] and the two Appendixes) is a verbatim reprint of these editorials, including the title on page 2.


The Genuine Offspring of the Union of the Holy Spirit and the Catholic Church His Spouse. The claims of Protestantism to Any Part Therein Proved to Be Groundless, Self- Contradictory, and Suicidal.

(From the Catholic Mirror of Sept. 2, 1893.)

Our attention has been called to the above subject in the past week by the receipt of a brochure of twenty- one pages published by the International Religious Liberty Association entitled, “Appeal and Remonstrance.” embodying resolutions adopted by the General Conference of the Seventh- day Adventists (Feb. 24, 1893). The resolutions criticize and censure, with much acerbity, the action of the United States Congress, and of the Supreme Court, for invading the rights of the people by closing the World’s Fair on Sunday.

The Adventists are the only body of Christians with the Bible as their teacher, who can find no warrant in its pages for the change of day from the seventh to the first. Hence their appellation, “Seventh-day Adventists”. Their cardinal principle consists in setting apart Saturday for the exclusive worship of God, in conformity with the positive command of God Himself, repeatedly reiterated in the sacred books of the Old and New Testaments, literally obeyed by the children of Israel for thousands of years to this day and endorsed by the teaching and practice of the Son of God whilst on earth.

Per contra, the Protestants of the world, the Adventists excepted, with the same Bible as their cherished and sole infallible teacher, by their practice, since their appearance in the sixteenth century, with the time honored practice of the Jewish people before their eyes have rejected the day named for His worship by God and assumed in apparent contradiction of His command, a day for His worship never once referred to for that purpose, in the pages of that Sacred Volume.

What Protestant pulpit does not ring almost every Sunday with loud and impassioned invectives against Sabbath violation? Who can forget the fanatical clamor of the Protestant ministers throughout the length and breadth of the land against opening the gates of the World’s Fair on Sunday? The thousands of petitions, signed by millions, to save the Lord’s Day from desecration? Surely, such general and widespread excitement and noisy remonstrance could not have existed without the strongest grounds for such animated protests.

And when quarters were assigned at the World’s Fair to the various sects of Protestantism for the exhibition of articles, who can forget the emphatic expression of virtuous and conscientious indignation exhibited by our Presbyterian brethren, as soon as they learned of the decision of the Supreme Court not to interfere in the Sunday opening? The newspapers informed us that they flatly refused to utilize the space accorded them, or open their boxes, demanding the right to withdraw the articles, in rigid adherence to their principles, and thus decline all contact with the sacrilegious and

Sabbath-breaking Exhibition.

Doubtless, our Calvinistic brethren deserved and shared the sympathy of all the other sects, who, however, lost the opportunity of posing as martyrs in vindication of the Sabbath observance.

They thus became “a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men,” although their Protestant brethren, who failed to share the monopoly, were uncharitably and enviously disposed to attribute their steadfast adherence to religious principle, to Pharisaical pride and dogged obstinacy.

Our purpose in throwing off this article, is to shed such light on this all important question (for were the Sabbath question to be removed from the Protestant pulpit, the sects would feel lost, and the preachers be deprived of their “Cheshire cheese”.) that our readers may be able to comprehend the question in all its bearings, and thus reach a clear conviction.

The Christian world is, morally speaking, united on the question and practice of worshipping God on the first day of the week.

The Israelites, scattered all over the earth, keep the last day of the week sacred to the worship of the Deity. In this particular, the Seventh- day Adventists (a sect of Christians numerically few) have also selected the same day.

Israelites and Adventists both appeal to the Bible for the divine command, persistently obliging the strict observance of Saturday.

The Israelite respects the authority of the Old Testament only, but the Adventist, who is a Christian, accepts the New Testament on the same ground as the Old: viz.. an inspired record also. He finds that the Bible, his teacher, is consistent in both parts, that the Redeemer, during His mortal life, never kept any other day than Saturday. The gospels plainly evince to him this fact; whilst, in the pages of the Acts of the Apostles, the Epistles, and the Apocalypse, not the vestige of an act canceling the Saturday arrangement can be found.

The Adventists, therefore, in common with the Israelites, derive their belief from the Old Testament, which position is confirmed by the New Testament, endorsing fully by the life and practice of the Redeemer and His apostles the teaching of the Sacred Word for nearly a century of the Christian era.

Numerically considered, the Seventh- day Adventists form an insignificant portion of the Protestant population of the earth, but, as the question is not one of numbers, but of truth, fact, and right, a strict sense of justice forbids the condemnation of this little sect without a calm and unbiased investigation: this is none of our funeral.

The Protestant world has been, from its infancy, in the sixteenth century, in thorough accord with the Catholic Church, in keeping “holy,” not Saturday, but Sunday. The discussion of the grounds that led to this unanimity of sentiment and practice for over 300 years must help toward placing

Protestantism on a solid basis in this particular, should the arguments in favor of its position overcome those furnished by the Israelites and Adventists, the Bible, the sole recognized teacher of both litigants, being the umpire and witness. If, however, on the other hand, the latter furnish arguments, incontrovertible by the great mass of Protestants, both classes of litigants, appealing to their common teacher, the Bible, the great body of Protestants so far from clamoring, as they do with vigorous pertinacity for the strict keeping of Sunday, have no other recourse left than the admission that they have been teaching and practicing what is Scripturally false for over three centuries, by adopting the teaching and practice of the what they have always pretended to believe an apostate church, contrary to every warrant and teaching of sacred Scripture. To add to the intensity of this Scriptural and unpardonable blunder, it involves one of the most positive and emphatic commands of God to His servant, man: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.”

No Protestant living today has ever yet obeyed that command preferring to follow the apostate church referred to than his teacher, the Bible which from Genesis to Revelation, teaches no other doctrine, should the Israelites and Seventh- day Adventists be correct. Both sides appeal to the Bible as their “infallible” teacher. Let the Bible decide whether Saturday or Sunday be the day enjoined by God. One of the two bodies must be wrong, and , whereas a false position on this all- important question involves terrible penalties, threatened by God Himself, against the transgressor of this “perpetual covenant,” we shall enter on the discussion of the merits of the arguments wielded by both sides. Neither is the discussion of this paramount subject above the capacity of ordinary minds, nor does it involve extraordinary study. It resolves itself into a few plain questions easy of solution:

1st. Which day of the week does the Bible enjoin to be kept holy?
2nd. Has the New Testament modified by precept or practice the original command?
3rd. Have Protestants, since the sixteenth century, obeyed the command of God by keeping “holy” the day enjoined by their infallible guide and teacher, the Bible? and if not, why not?

To the above three questions, we pledge ourselves to furnish as many intelligent answers, which cannot fail to vindicate the truth and uphold the deformity of error.

[From the Catholic Mirror of Sept. 9, 1893]

“But faith, fanatic faith, once wedded fast To some dear falsehood, hugs it to the last” Moore Conformably to our promise in our last issue, we proceed to unmask one of the most flagrant errors and most unpardonable inconsistencies of the Biblical rule of faith. Lest, however, we be misunderstood, we deem it necessary to premise that Protestantism recognizes no rule of faith, no teacher, save the “infallible Bible.” As the Catholic yields his judgment in spiritual matters implicitly, and with unreserved confidence, to the voice of his church, so, too, the Protestant recognizes no teacher but the Bible. All his spirituality is derived from its teachings. It is to him the voice of God addressing him through his sole inspired teacher. It embodies his religion, his faith, and his practice. The language of Chillingworth, “The Bible, the whole Bible, and nothing but the Bible, is the religion of Protestants,” is only one form of the same idea multifariously convertible into other forms, such as “the book of God,” “the Charter of Our Salvation,” “the Oracle of Our Christian Faith,” “God’s Text- Book to the race of Mankind,” etc., etc. It is, then, an incontrovertible fact that the Bible alone is the teacher of Protestant Christianity Assuming this fact, we will now proceed to discuss the merits of the question involved in our last issue.

Recognizing what is undeniable, the fact of a direct contradiction between the teaching and practice of Protestant Christianity –the Seventh- day Adventists excepted– on the one hand, and that of the Jewish people on the other, both observing different days of the week for the worship of God, we will proceed to take the testimony of the only available witness in the premises: viz., the testimony of the teacher common to both claimants, the Bible. The first expression with which we come in contact in the Sacred Word, is found in Genesis 2: 2: “And on the seventh day He [God] rested from all His work which He had made.” The next reference to this matter is to be found in Exodus 20, where God commanded the seventh day to be kept, because He had Himself rested from the work of creation on that day: and the sacred text informs us that for that reason He desired it kept, in the following words: “Wherefore, the Lord blessed the seventh day and sanctified it.” Again, we read in chapter 31, verse 15: “Six days you shall do work: in the seventh day is the Sabbath, the rest holy to the Lord:” sixteenth verse: “It is an everlasting covenant,” “and a perpetual sign,” “for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and in the seventh He ceased from work.”

In the Old Testament, reference is made on hundred and twenty- six times to the Sabbath, and all these texts conspire harmoniously in voicing the will of God commanding the seventh day to be kept, because God Himself first kept it, making it obligatory on all as “a perpetual covenant.” Nor can we imagine any one foolhardy enough to question the identity of Saturday with the Sabbath or seventh day, seeing that the people of Israel have been keeping the Saturday from the giving of the law, A. M. 2514 to AD 1893, a period of 3383 years. with the example of the Israelites before our eyes today, there is no historical fact better established than that referred to: viz., that the chosen people of God, the guardians of the Old Testament, the living representatives of the only divine religion hitherto, had for a period of 1490 years anterior to Christianity, preserved by weekly practice the living tradition of the correct interpretation of the special day of the week, Saturday, to be kept “holy to the Lord,” which tradition they have extended by their practice to an additional period of 1893 years more, thus covering the full extent of the Christian dispensation. We deem it necessary to be perfectly clear on this point, for reasons that will appear more fully hereafter. The Bible– Old Testament– confirmed by the living tradition of a weekly practice for 3383 years by the chosen people of God, teaches then, with absolute certainty, that God had, Himself, named the day to be “kept holy to Him,”– that the day was Saturday, and that any violation of that command was punishable with death. “Keep you My Sabbath, for it is holy unto you: he that shall profane it shall be put to death: he that shall do any work in it, his soul shall perish in the midst of his people.” Ex. 31: 14.

It is impossible to realize a more severe penalty than that so solemnly uttered by God Himself in the above text, on all who violate a command referred to no less than one hundred and twenty- six times in the old law. The ten commandments of the Old Testament are formally impressed on the memory of the child of the Biblical Christian as soon as possible, but there is not one of the ten made more emphatically familiar, both in Sunday school and pulpit, than that of keeping “holy” the Sabbath day.

Having secured with absolute certainty the will of God as regards the day to be kept holy, from His Sacred word, because he rested on that day, which day is confirmed to us by the practice of His chosen people for thousands of years, we are naturally induced to inquire when and where God changed the day for His worship; for it is patent to the world that a change of day has taken place, and inasmuch as no indication of such change can be found within the pages of the Old Testament, nor in the practice of the Jewish people who continue for nearly nineteen centuries of Christianity obeying the written command, we must look to the exponent of the Christian dispensation: viz., the New Testament, for the command of God canceling the old Sabbath, Saturday.

We now approach a period covering little short of nineteen centuries, and proceed to investigate whether the supplemental divine teacher– the New Testament– contains a decree canceling the mandate of the old law, and, at the same time, substituting a day for the divinely instituted Sabbath of the old law. Viz. Saturday; for, inasmuch as Saturday was the day kept and ordered to be kept by God. Divine authority alone, under the form of a canceling decree, could abolish the Saturday covenant, and another divine mandate, appointing by name another day to be kept “holy,” other than Saturday, is equally necessary to satisfy the conscience of the Christian believer. The Bible being the only teacher recognized by the Biblical Christian, the Old Testament failing to point out a change of day and yet another day than Saturday being kept “holy” by the Biblical world, it is surely incumbent on the reformed Christian to point out in the pages of the New Testament, the new divine decree repealing that of Saturday and substituting that of Sunday, kept by Biblicals since the dawn of the Reformation.

Examining the New Testament from cover to cover, critically, we find the Sabbath referred to sixty- one times. We find, too, that the Saviour invariably selected the Sabbath (Saturday) to teach in the synagogues and work miracles. The four Gospels refer to the Sabbath (Saturday) fifty- one times.

In one instance the Redeemer refers to Himself as “the Lord of the Sabbath,” as mentioned by Matthew and Luke, but during the whole record of His life, whilst invariably keeping and utilizing the day (Saturday). He never once hinted at a desire to change it. His apostles and personal friends afford to us a striking instance of their scrupulous observance of it after His death, and, whilst His body was yet in the tomb, Luke (23: 56) informs us: “And they returned and prepared spices and ointments and rested on the Sabbath day according to the commandment.” “But on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came, bringing the spices they had prepared Good Friday evening, because the Sabbath drew near.” Verse 54. This action on the part of the personal friends of the Saviour, proves beyond contradiction that after His death they kept “holy” the Saturday and regarded the Sunday as any other day of the week. Can anything, therefore, be more conclusive than that the apostles and the holy women never knew any Sabbath but Saturday, up to the day of Christ’s death?

We now approach the investigation of this interesting question for the next thirty years, as narrated by the evangelist, St. Luke, in his Acts of the Apostles. Surely some vestige of the canceling act can be discovered in the practice of the apostles during that protracted period. But alas! We are once more doomed to disappointment. Nine times do we find the Sabbath referred to in the Acts, but it is the Saturday (the Old Sabbath). Should our readers desire the proof, we refer them to chapter and verse in each instance. Acts 13: 14, 27, 42, 44. Once more, Acts 15: 21; again, Acts 16: 13; 17: 2; 18: 4. “And he (Paul) reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.” Thus the Sabbath (Saturday) from Genesis to Revelation!!! Thus, it is impossible to find in the New Testament the slightest interference by the Saviour or His apostles with the original Sabbath, but on the contrary, an entire acquiescence in the original arrangement; nay, a plenary endorsement by Him, whilst living: and an unvaried, active participation in the keeping of that day and no other by the apostles for thirty years after His death, as the Acts of the Apostles has abundantly testified to us.

Hence the conclusion is inevitable: viz,. that of those who follow the Bible as their guide, the Israelites and Seventh- day Adventists have the exclusive weight of evidence on their side, whilst the Biblical Protestant has not a word in self- defense for his substitution of Sunday for Saturday. More anon. [From the Catholic Mirror of Sept. 16, 1893.] When his satanic majesty, who was “a murderer from the beginning.” “and the father of lies,” undertook to open the eyes of our first mother, Eve, by stimulating her ambition, “You shall be as gods, knowing good and evil” his action was but the first of many plausible and successful efforts employed later, in the seduction of millions of her children. Like Eve, they learn too late. Alas! the value of the inducements held out to allure her weak children from allegiance to God. Nor does the subject matter of this discussion form an exception to the usual tactics of his sable majesty.

Over three centuries since, he plausibly represented to a large number of discontented and ambitious Christians the bright prospect of the successful inauguration of a “new departure,” by the abandonment of the Church instituted by the Son of God, as their teacher, and the assumption of a new teacher– the Bible alone– as their newly fledged oracle.

The sagacity of the evil one foresaw but the brilliant success of this maneuver. Nor did the result fall short of his most sanguine expectations.

A bold and adventurous spirit was alone needed to head the expedition. Him his satanic majesty soon found in the apostate monk, Luther, who himself repeatedly testifies to the close familiarity that existed between his master and himself, in his “Table Talk,” and other works published in 1558, at Wittenberg, under the inspection of Melancthon. His colloquies with Satan on various occasions, are testified to by Luther himself– a witness worthy of all credibility. What the agency of the serpent tended so effectually to achieve in the garden, the agency of Luther achieved in the Christian world.

“Give them a pilot to their wandering fleet, Bold in his art, and tutored to deceit:

Whose hand adventurous shall their helm misguide To hostile shores, or’whelm them in the tide.”

As the end proposed to himself by the evil one in his raid on the church of Christ was the destruction of Christianity, we are now engaged in sifting the means adopted by him to insure his success therein. So far, they have been found to be misleading, self- contradictory, and fallacious. We will now proceed with the further investigation of this imposture.

Having proved to a demonstration that the Redeemer, in no instance, had, during the period of His life, deviated from the faithful observance of the Sabbath (Saturday), referred to by the four evangelists fifty- one times, although He had designated Himself “Lord of the Sabbath,” He never having once, by command or practice hinted at a desire on His part to change the day by the substitution of another and having called special attention to the conduct of the apostles and the holy women, the very evening of His death, securing beforehand spices and ointments to e used in embalming His body the morning after the Sabbath (Saturday) as St. Luke so clearly informs us (Luke 24: 1), thereby placing beyond peradventure, the divine action and will of the son of God during life by keeping the Sabbath steadfastly; and having called attention to the action of His living representatives after His death, as proved by St. Luke, having also placed before our readers the indisputable fact that the apostles for the following thirty years (Acts) never deviated from the practice of their divine Master in this particular, as St. Luke , Acts 18: 1) assures us: “And he [Paul] reasoned in the synagogues every Sabbath (Saturday, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.” The Gentile converts were, as we see from the text, equally instructed with the Jews, to keep the Saturday, having been converted to Christianity on that day, “the Jews and the Greeks” collectively.

Having also called attention to the texts of the Acts bearing on the exclusive use of the Sabbath by the Jews and Christians for thirty years after the death of the

Saviour as the only day of the week observed by Christ and His apostles, which period exhausts the inspired record, we now proceed to supplement our proofs that the Sabbath (Saturday) enjoyed this exclusive privilege, by calling attention to every instance wherein the sacred record refers to the first day of the week.

The first reference to Sunday after the resurrection of Christ is to be found in St. Luke’s gospel, chapter 24, verses 33- 40, and St. John 20: 19.

The above texts themselves refer to the sole motive of this gathering on the part of the apostles. It took place on the day of the resurrection (Easter Sunday), not for the purpose of inaugurating “the new departure” from the old Sabbath (Saturday) by keeping “holy” the new day, for there is not a hint given of prayer, exhortation, or the reading of the Scriptures, but it indicates the utter demoralization of the apostles by informing mankind that they were huddled together in that room in Jerusalem “for fear of the Jews”, as St. John, quoted above, plainly informs us.

The second reference to Sunday is to be found in St. John’s Gospel, 20th chapter, 26th to 29th verses: “And after eight days, the disciples were again within, and Thomas with them.” The resurrected Redeemer availed Himself of this meeting of all the apostles to confound the incredulity of Thomas, who had been absent from the gathering on Easter Sunday evening. This would have furnished a golden opportunity to the Redeemer to change the day in the presence of all His apostles, but we state the simple fact that, on this occasion, as on Easter day, not q word is said of prayer, praise, or reading of the Scriptures.

The third instance on record, wherein the apostles were assembled on Sunday, is to be found in Acts 2: 1; “The apostles were all of one accord in one place.” (Feast of Pentecost– Sunday) Now, will this text afford to our Biblical Christian brethren a vestige of hope that Sunday substitutes, at length, Saturday? For when we inform them that the Jews had been keeping this Sunday for 1500 years and have been keeping it for eighteen centuries after the establishment of Christianity, at the same time keeping the weekly Sabbath, there is not to be found either consolation or comfort in this text. Pentecost is the fiftieth day after the Passover, which was called the Sabbath of weeks consisting of seven times seven days and the day after the completion of the seventh weekly Sabbath day, was the chief day of the entire festival, necessarily Sunday. What Israelite would not pity the cause that would seek to discover the origin of the keeping of the first day of the week in his festival of Pentecost, that has been kept by him yearly for over 3,000 years? Who but the Biblical Christians, driven to the wall for a pretext to excuse his sacrilegious desecration of the Sabbath, always kept by Christ and His apostles would have resorted to the Jewish festival of Pentecost for his act of rebellion against his God and his teacher, the Bible.

Once more, the Biblical apologists for the change of day call our attention to the Acts, chapter 20, verses 6 and 7; “And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread.” etc. To all appearances the above text should furnish some consolation to our disgruntled Biblical friends, but being a Marplot, we cannot allow them even this crumb of comfort. We reply by the axiom: “Quod probat nimis, probat nihil”–“ What proves too much, proves nothing.” Let us call attention to the same, Acts 2: 46; “And they, continuing daily in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house,” etc. Who does not see at a glance that the text produced to prove the exclusive prerogative of Sunday, vanishes into thin air– an ignis fatuus– when placed in juxtaposition with the 46th verse of the same chapter? What the Biblical Christian claims by this text for Sunday alone the same authority, St. Luke, informs us was common to every day of the week; “and they, continuing daily in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house.”

One text more presents itself, apparently leaning toward a substitution of Sunday for Saturday. It is taken from St. Paul, I Cor. 16: 1,2; “Now concerning the collection for the saints.” “On the first day of the week, let every one of you lay by him in store,” etc. Presuming that the request of St. Paul had been strictly attended to, let us call attention to what had been done each Saturday during the Saviour’s life and continued for thirty years after, as the book of Acts informs us.

The followers of the Master met “every Sabbath” to hear the word of God; the scriptures were read “every Sabbath day.” “And Paul, as his manner was to reason in the synagogue every Sabbath, interposing the name of the Lord Jesus,” etc. Acts 18: 4. What more absurd conclusion than to infer that reading of the Scriptures, prayer, exhortation and preaching, which formed the routine duties of every Saturday, as has been abundantly proved, were overslaughed by a request to take up a collection on another day of the week?

In order to appreciate fully the value of this text now under consideration, it is only needful to recall the action of the apostles and holy women on Good Friday before sundown. They bought the spices and ointments after He was taken down from the cross; they suspended all action until the Sabbath “holy to the Lord” had pass, and then took steps on Sunday morning to complete the process of embalming the sacred body of Jesus.

Why, may we ask, did they not proceed to complete the work of embalming on Saturday?– Because they knew well that the embalming of the sacred body of their Master would interfere with the strict observance of the Sabbath, the keeping of which was paramount; and until it can be shown that the Sabbath day immediately preceding the Sunday of our text had not been kept (which would be false, inasmuch as every Sabbath had been kept), the request of St. Paul to make the collection on Sunday remains to be classified with the work of the embalming of Christ’s body, which could not be effected on the Sabbath, and was consequently deferred to the next convenient day: viz. Sunday, or the first day of the week.

Having disposed of every text to be found in the New Testament referring to the Sabbath (Saturday), and to the first day of the week (Sunday); and having shown conclusively from these texts, that, so far, not a shadow of pretext can be found in the Sacred Volume for the Biblical substitution of Sunday for Saturday; it only remains for us to investigate the meaning of the expressions “Lord’s Day,” and “day of the Lord,” to be found in the New Testament, which we propose to do in our next article, and conclude with apposite remarks on the incongruities of a system of religion which we shall have proved to be indefensible, self- contradictory, and suicidal.

[From the Catholic Mirror of Sept. 23, 1893.]

“Halting on crutches of unequal size.
One leg by truth supported, one by lies,
Thus sidle to the goal with awkward pace,
Secure of nothing but to lose the race.”

In the present article we propose to investigate carefully a new (and the last) class of proof assumed to convince the biblical Christian that God had substituted Sunday for Saturday for His worship in the new law, and that the divine will is to be found recorded by the Holy Ghost in apostolic writings.

We are informed that this radical change has found expression, over and over again, in a series of texts in which the expression, “the day of the Lord,” or “the Lord’s day,” is to be found. The class of texts in the New Testament, under the title “Sabbath,” numbering sixty- one in the Gospels, Acts, and Epistles; and the second class, in which “the first day of the week,” or Sunday, having been critically examined (the latter class numbering nine [eight]); and having been found not to afford the slightest clue to a change of will on the part of God as to His day of worship by man, we now proceed to examine the third and last class of texts relied on to save the Biblical system from the arraignment of seeking to palm off on the world, in the name of God a decree for which there is not the slightest warrant or authority from their teacher, the Bible. The first text of this class is to be found in the Acts of the Apostles 2: 20: “The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord shall come.” How many Sundays have rolled by since that prophecy was spoken? So much for that effort to pervert the meaning of the sacred text from the judgment day to Sunday!

The second text of this class is to be found in I Cor. 1: 8; “Who shall also confirm you unto the end. That you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.” What simpleton does not see that the apostle here plainly indicates the day of judgment? The next text of this class that presents itself is to be found in the same Epistle, chapter 5: 5; “To deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” The incestuous Corinthian was, of course, saved on the Sunday next following!! How pitiable such a makeshift as this! The fourth text, 2 Cor. 1: 13,14; “And I trust ye shall acknowledge even to the end, even as ye also are ours in the day of our Lord Jesus.”

Sunday, or the day of judgment, which?

The fifth text is from St. Paul to the Philippians, chapter 1, verse 6: “Being confident of this very thing, that He who hath begun a good work in you, will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ.” The good people of Philippi, in attaining perfection on the following Sunday, could afford to laugh at our modern rapid transit!

We beg leave to submit our sixth of the class; viz. Philippians, first chapter, tenth verse: “That he may be sincere without offense unto the day of Christ.” That day was next Sunday, forsooth! not so long to wait after all. The seventh text, 2 Peter 3: 10; “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night.” The application of this text to Sunday passes the bounds of absurdity.

The eighth text, 2 Peter 3: 12; “Waiting for and hastening unto the coming of the day of the Lord, by which the heavens being on fire, shall be dissolved.” etc. This day of the Lord is the same referred to in the previous text, the application of both of which to Sunday next would have left the Christian world sleepless the next Saturday night.

We have presented to our readers eight of the nine texts relied on to bolster up by text of Scripture the sacrilegious effort to palm off the “Lord’s day” for Sunday, and with what result? Each furnishes prima facie evidence of the last day, referring to it directly, absolutely, and unequivocally.

The ninth text wherein we meet the expression “the Lord’s day,” is the last to be found in the apostolic writings. The Apocalypse, or Revelation, chapter 1: 10, furnishes it in the following words of St. John: “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day;” but it will afford no more comfort to our Biblical friends than its predecessors of the same series. Has St. John used the expression previously in his Gospel or Epistles?– Emphatically, No. Has he had occasion to refer to Sunday hitherto?– Yes, twice. How did he designate Sunday on these occasions? Easter Sunday was called by him (John 20: 1) “The first day of the week.”

Again, chapter twenty, nineteenth verse: “Now when it was late that same day, being the first day of the week.” Evidently, although inspired, both in his gospel and Epistles, he called Sunday “the first day of the week.” On what grounds then, can it be assumed that he dropped that designation? Was he more inspired when he wrote the apocalypse, or did he adopt a new title for Sunday because it was now in vogue?

A reply to these questions would be supererogatory especially to the latter, seeing that the same expression had been used eight times already by St. Luke, St. Paul, and St. Peter, all under divine inspiration and surely the Holy spirit would not inspire St. John to call Sunday the Lord’s day whilst He inspired St. Luke, Paul, and Peter, collectively, to entitle the day of judgment “the Lord’s day.” Dialecticians reckon amongst the infallible motives of certitude, the moral motive of analogy or induction, by which we are enabled to conclude with certainty from the known to the unknown being absolutely certain of the meaning of an expression uttered eight times, we conclude that the same expression can have only the same meaning when uttered the ninth time, especially when we know that on the nine occasions the expressions were inspired by the Holy Spirit.

Nor are the strongest intrinsic grounds wanting to prove that this like its sister texts, contains the same meaning, St. John (Rev. 1: 10) says: “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day;” but he furnishes us the key to this expression, chapter four, first and second verses; “After this I looked and behold a door was opened in heaven.” A voice said to him; “Come up hither, and I will show you the things which must be hereafter,” Let us ascend in spirit with John. Whither?– through that “door in heaven,” to heaven. a And what shall we see?–“ The things that must be hereafter,” Chapter four, first verse. He ascended in spirit to heaven. He was ordered to write, in full, his vision of what is to take place antecedent to and concomitantly with, “the Lord’s day,” or the day of judgment; the expression “Lords day” being confined in Scripture to the day of judgment, exclusively.

We have studiously and accurately collected from the New Testament every available proof that could be adduced in favor of a law canceling the Sabbath day of the old law, or one substituting another day for the Christian dispensation. We have been careful to make the above distinction, lest it might be advanced that the third (in the Catholic enumeration the Sabbath commandment is the third of the commandments) commandment was abrogated under the new law. Any such plea has been overruled by the action of the Methodist Episcopal bishops in their pastoral 1874, and quoted by the New Your Herald of the same date, of the following tenor; “The Sabbath instituted in the beginning and confirmed again and again by Moses and the prophets, has never been abrogated. A part of the moral law, not a part or tittle of its sanctity has been taken away.” The above official pronunciamento has committed that large body of Biblical Christians to the permanence of the third commandment under the new law.

We again beg leave to call the special attention of our readers to the twentieth of “the thirty- nine articles of religion” of the Book of Common Prayer: “It is not lawful for the church to ordain anything that is contrary to God’s written word”


We have in this series of articles, taken much pains fro the instruction of our readers to prepare them by presenting a number of undeniable facts found in the word of God to arrive at a conclusion absolutely irrefragable. When the Biblical system put in an appearance in the sixteenth century, it not only seized on the temporal possessions of the Church, but in its vandalic crusade stripped Christianity, as far as it could, of all the sacraments instituted by its Founder, of the holy sacrifice, etc., etc., retaining nothing but the Bible, which its exponents pronounced their sole teacher in Christian doctrine and morals.

Chief amongst their articles of belief was, and is today, the permanent necessity of keeping the Sabbath holy. In fact, it has been for the past 300 years the only article of the Christian belief in which there has been a plenary consensus of Biblical representatives. The keeping of the Sabbath constitutes the sum and substance of the Biblical theory. The pulpits resound weekly with incessant tirades against the lax manner of keeping the Sabbath in Catholic countries as contrasted with the proper, Christian, self- satisfied mode of keeping the day in Biblical countries. Who can ever forget the virtuous indignation manifested by the Biblical preachers throughout the length and breadth of our country, from every Protestant pulpit as long as the question of opening the World’s Fair on Sunday was yet undecided; and who does not know today, that one sect, to mark its holy indignation at the decision, has never yet opened the boxes that contained its articles at the World’s Fair?

These superlatively good and unctuous Christians, by conning over their bible carefully, can find their counterpart in a certain class of unco- good people in the days of the Redeemer, who haunted Him night and day, distressed beyond measure, and scandalized beyond forbearance, because He did not keep the Sabbath in as straight- laced manner as themselves.

They hated Him for using common sense in reference to the day, and He found no epithets expressive enough of His supreme contempt for their Pharisaical pride. And it is very probable that the divine mind has not modified its views today anent the blatant outcry of their followers and sympathizers at the close of this nineteenth century. But when we add to all this the fact that whilst the Pharisees of old kept the true Sabbath, our modern Pharisees, counting on the credulity and simplicity of their dupes, have never once in their lives kept the true Sabbath which their divine Master kept to His dying day and which His apostles kept, after His example, for thirty years afterward according to the Sacred Record, the most glaring contradiction involving a deliberate sacrilegious rejection of a most positive precept is presented to us today in the action of the Biblical Christian world. The Bible and the Sabbath constitute the watchword of Protestantism: but we have demonstrated that it is the Bible against their Sabbath. We have shown that no greater contradiction ever existed than their theory and practice. We have proved that neither their biblical ancestors nor themselves have ever kept one Sabbath day in their lives.

The Israelites and Seventh- day Adventists are witnesses of their weekly desecration of the day named by God so repeatedly, and whilst they have ignored and condemned their teacher, the bible, they have adopted a day kept by the Catholic Church. What Protestant can, after perusing these articles, with a clear conscience, continue to disobey the command of God enjoining Saturday to be kept which command his teacher, the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, records as the will of God?

The history of the world cannot present a more stupid, self- stultifying specimen of dereliction of principle than this. The teacher demands emphatically in every page that the law of the Sabbath be observed every week, by all recognizing it as “the only infallible teacher,” whilst the disciples of that teacher have not once for over three hundred years observed the divine precept! That immense concourse of Biblical Christians, the Methodists, have declared that the Sabbath has never been abrogated, whilst the followers of the Church of England, together with her daughter, the Episcopal Church of the United States, are committed by the twentieth article of religion, already quoted, to the ordinance that the Church cannot lawfully ordain anything “contrary to God’s written word.” God’s written word enjoins His worship to be observed on Saturday absolutely, repeatedly, and most emphatically, with a most positive threat of death to him who disobeys. All the Biblical sects occupy the same self- stultifying position which no explanation can modify, much less justify.

How truly do the words of the Holy Spirit apply to this deplorable situation! “Iniquitas mentita est sibi”- “Iniquity hath lied to itself.” Proposing to follow the Bible only as a teacher, yet before the world, the sole teacher is ignominiously thrust aside, and the teaching and practice of the Catholic Church – “the mother of abominations,” when it suits their purpose so to designate her – adopted, despite the most terrible threats pronounced by God Himself against those who disobey the command, “Remember to keep holy the Sabbath.”

Before closing this series of articles, we beg to call the attention of our readers once more to our caption, introductory of each; vis., 1. The Christian Sabbath, the genuine offspring of the union of the Holy Spirit with the Catholic Church His spouse. 2. The claim of Protestantism to any part therein proved to be groundless, self- contradictory and suicidal.

The first proposition needs little proof. The Catholic Church for over one thousand years before the existence of a Protestant, by virtue of her divine mission, changed the day from Saturday to Sunday. We say by virtue of her divine mission, because He who called Himself the “Lord of the Sabbath,” endowed her with His own power to teach, “He that heareth you, heareth me;” commanded all who believe in Him to hear her, under penalty of being placed with the “heathen and publican;” and promised to be with her to the end of the world. She holds her charter as the teacher from him- a charter as infallible as perpetual. The Protestant world at its birth found the Christian Sabbath too strongly entrenched to run counter to its existence; it was therefore placed under the necessity of acquiescing in the arrangement, thus implying the Church’s right to change the day, for over three hundred years. The Christian Sabbath is therefore to this day, the acknowledged offspring of the Catholic Church as spouse of the holy Ghost without a word of remonstrance from the Protestant world.

Let us now, however, take a glance at our second proposition, with the Bible alone as the teacher most emphatically forbids any change in the day for paramount reasons. The command calls for a “perpetual covenant.” The day commanded to be kept by the teacher has never once been kept. Thereby developing an apostasy from an assumedly fixed principle, as self- contradictory, self- stultifying, and consequently as suicidal as it is within the power of language to express.

Nor are the limits of demoralization yet reached. Far from it. Their pretense for leaving the bosom if the Catholic Church was for apostasy from the truth as taught in the written word. They adopted the written word as their sole teacher, which they had no sooner done than they abandoned it promptly, as these articles have abundantly proved; and by a perversity as willful as erroneous, they accept the teaching of the Catholic Church in direct opposition to the plain, unvaried, and constant teaching of their sole teacher in the most essential doctrine of their religion, thereby emphasizing the situation in what may be aptly designated “a mockery, a delusion, and a snare.”

[Editor’s note –It was upon this very point that the Reformation was condemned by the Council of Trent. The Reformers had constantly charged, as here stated that the Catholic Church had apostatized from the truth as contained in the written word. “The written word,” “The Bible and the Bible only,” “Thus saith the Lord,” these were their constant watchwords; and “The Scripture as in the written word the sole standard of appeal.” This was the proclaimed platform of the Reformation and of Protestantism. “The Scripture and tradition.” “The bible as interpreted by the Church and according to the unanimous consent of the fathers.” This was the position and claim of the Catholic Church. This was the main issue in the Council of Trent, which was called especially to consider the questions that had been raised and forced upon the attention of Europe by the Reformers. The very first question concerning faith that was considered by the council was the question involved in this issue. There was a strong party even of the Catholics within the council who were in favor of abandoning tradition and adopting the Scriptures only, as the standard of authority. This view was so decidedly held in the debates in the council that the pope’s legates actually wrote to him that there was “as strong tendency to set aside tradition altogether and to make Scripture the sole standard of appeal.” But to do this would manifestly be to go a long way toward justifying the claim of the Protestants. By this crisis there was developed upon the ultra- Catholic portion of the council the task of convincing the others that “Scripture and tradition” were the only sure ground to stand upon. If this could be done, the council could be carried to issue a decree condemning the Reformation, otherwise not. The question was debated day after day, until the council was fairly brought to a standstill. Finally, after a long and intensive mental strain, the Archbishop of Reggio came into the council with substantially the following argument to the party who held for scripture alone:

“The Protestants claim to stand upon the written word only. They profess to hold the Scripture alone as the standard of faith. They justify their revolt by the plea that the Church has apostatized from the written word and follows tradition. Now the Protestant’s claim, that they stand upon the written word only is not true. Their profession of holding the Scripture alone as the standard of faith, is false. PROOF: The written word explicitly enjoins the observance of the seventh day as the Sabbath. They do not observe the seventh day, but reject it. If they do truly hold the Scripture alone as their standard, they would be observing the seventh day as is enjoined in the scripture throughout. Yet they not only reject the observance of the Sabbath enjoined in the written word, but they have adopted and do practice the observance of Sunday, for which they have only the tradition of the Church. Consequently the claim of “Scripture alone as the standard. ’ fails; and the doctrine of “Scripture and tradition” as essential, is fully established, the Protestants themselves being judges.”

There was no getting around this, for the Protestants own statement of faith– the Augsburg Confession 1530– had clearly admitted that “the observation of the Lord’s day” had been appointed by “the Church” only.

The argument was hailed in the council as of Inspiration only; the party for “Scripture alone,” surrendered; and the council at once unanimously condemned Protestantism and the whole Reformation as only an unwarranted revolt from the communion and authority of the Catholic Church; and proceeded, April 8, 1546 “to the promulgation of two decrees, the first of which enacts, under anathema, that Scripture and tradition are to be received and venerated equally, and that the deutero- canonical {the apocryphal} books are part of the cannon of Scripture. The second decree declares the Vulgate to be the sole authentic and standard Latin version, and gives it such authority as to supersede the original tests; forbids the interpretation of Scripture contrary to the sense received by the Church, “or even contrary to the unanimous consent of the Fathers,” etc.

Thus it was the inconsistency of the Protestant practice with the Protestant profession that gave to the Catholic Church her long- sought and anxiously desired ground upon which to condemn Protestantism and the whole Reformation movement as only a selfishly ambitious rebellion against church authority. And in this vital controversy the key, the chiefest and culminative expression, of the Protestant inconsistency was in the rejection of the Sabbath of the Lord, the seventh day, enjoined in the Scriptures and the adoption and observance of the Sunday as enjoined by the Catholic Church.

And this is today the position of the respective parties to this controversy. Today, as this document shows, this is the vital issue upon which the Catholic Church arraigns Protestantism, and upon which she condemns the course of popular Protestantism as being “indefensible, self- contradictory, and suicidal,” What will these Protestants, what will this Protestantism, do?]

Should any of the reverend parsons, who are habituated to howl so vociferously over every real or assumed desecration of that pious fraud, the Bible Sabbath, think well of entering a protest against our logical and Scriptural dissection of their mongrel pet, we can promise them that any reasonable attempt on their part to gather up the disjectamembra of the hybrid, and to restore to it a galvanized existence, will be met with genuine cordiality and respectful consideration on our part.

But we can assure our readers that we know these reverend howlers too well to expect a solitary bark from them in this instance. And they know us too well to subject themselves to the mortification which a further dissection of this antiscriptural question would necessarily entail. Their policy now is to “lay low” and they are sure to adopt it.



These articles are reprinted, and this leaflet is sent forth by the publishers, because it gives from and undeniable source and in no uncertain tone, the latest phase of the Sunday- observance controversy, which is now, and which indeed for some time has been, not only a national question, with leading nations, but also an international question. Not that we are glad to have it so; we would that it were far otherwise. We would that Protestants everywhere were so thoroughly consistent in profession and practice that there could be no possible room for the relations between them and Rome ever to take the shape which they have no taken.

But the situation in this matter is now as it is herein set forth. There is no escaping this fact. It therefore becomes the duty of the International religious Liberty Association to make known as widely as possible the true phase of this great question as it now stands. Not because we are pleased to have it so, but because it is so, whatever we or anybody else would or would not be pleased to have.

It is true that we have been looking for years for this question to assume precisely that attitude which it has now assumed, and which it so plainly set forth in this leaflet. We have told the people repeatedly, and Protestants especially, and yet more especially have we told those who were advocating Sunday laws and the recognition and legal establishment of Sunday by the United States, that in the course that was being pursued they were playing directly into the hands of Rome, and that as certainly as they succeeded, they would inevitably be called upon by Rome and Rome in possession of power too, to render to her an account as to why Sunday should be kept. This, we have told the people for years, would surely come. And now that it has come, it is only our duty to make it known as widely as it lies in our power to do.

It may be asked, Why did not Rome come out as boldly as this before? Why did she wait so long? It was not for her interest to do so before. When she should move, she desired to move with power, and power as yet she did not have. But in their strenuous efforts for the national governmental recognition and establishment of Sunday, the Protestants of the United States were doing more for her than she could possibly do for herself in the way of getting governmental power in her hands. This she well knew, and therefore only waited. And now that the Protestants, in alliance with her, have accomplished this awful thing, she at once rises up in all her native arrogance and old- time spirit, and calls upon the Protestants to answer to her for their observance of Sunday. This, too, she does because she is secure in the power which the Protestants have so blindly placed in her hands. In other words, the power which the Protestants have thus put into her hands she will now use to their destruction. Is any other evidence needed to show that the Catholic Mirror (Which means the Cardinal and the Catholic Church in America) has been waiting for this, than that furnished on page 21 of this leaflet? Please turn pack and look at that page and see the quotation clipped from the New York Herald in 1874, and which is now brought forth thus. Does not this show plainly that that statement of the Methodist bishops, just such a time as this? And more than this, the Protestants will find more such things which have been so laid up, and which will yet be used in a way that will both surprise and confound them.

This at present is a controversy between the Catholic Church and Protestants. As such only do we reproduce these editorials of the Catholic Mirror. The points controverted are points which are claimed by Protestants as in their favor. The argument is made by the Catholic Church; the answer devolves upon those Protestants who observe Sunday, not upon us. We can truly say, “ This is none of our funeral.”

If they do not answer, she will make their silence their confession that is right, and she will use that against them accordingly. If they do answer she will use against them their own words, and as occasion may demand, the power which they have put into her hands. So that, so far as she is concerned, whether the Protestants answer or not, it is all the same. And how she looks upon them, and the spirit in which she proposes to deal with them henceforth is clearly manifested in the challenge made in the last paragraph of the reprint articles.

There is just one refuge left for the Protestants. That is to take their stand squarely and fully upon “the written word only,” “the Bible and the Bible alone,” and thus upon the Sabbath of the Lord. Thus acknowledging no authority but God’s, wearing no sigh but His (Eze. 20: 12, 20), obeying His command, and shielded by His power, they shall have the victory over Rome and all her alliances, and stand upon the sea of glass, bearing the harps of God , with which their triumph shall be forever celebrated. (Revelation 18, and 15: 2- 4)

It is not yet too late for Protestants to redeem themselves. Will they do it? Will they stand consistently upon the Protestant profession? Or will they still continue to occupy the “indefensible, self- contradictory, and suicidal position of professing to be Protestants, yet standing on Catholic ground, receiving Catholic insult, and bearing Catholic condemnation? Will they indeed take the written word only, the Scripture alone, as their sole authority and their sole standard? Or will they still hold the “indefensible, self- contradictory, and suicidal “doctrine and practice of following the authority of the Catholic Church and of wearing the sign of her authority? Will they keep the Sabbath of the Lord, the seventh day, according to Scripture? or will they keep the Sunday according to the tradition of the Catholic Church?

Dear reader, which will you do?


Appendix II

Since the first edition of this publication was printed, the following appeared in an editorial in the Catholic Mirror in Dec. 23, 1893:

“The avidity with which these editorials have been sought, and the appearance of a reprint of them by the International Religious Liberty Association, published in Chicago, entitled, ‘Rome’s Challenge: Why Do Protestants Keep Sunday? ’ and offered for sale in Chicago, New York, California, Tennessee, London, Australia, Cape Town, Africa, and Ontario, Canada, together with the continuous demand, have prompted the Mirror to give permanent form to them, and thus comply with the demand.

“The pages of this brochure unfold to the reader one of the most glaringly conceivable contradictions existing between the practice and theory of the Protestant world, and unsusceptible of any rational solution, the theory claiming the Bible alone as the teacher, which unequivocally and most positively commands Saturday to be kept ‘holy, ’ whilst their practice proves that they utterly ignore the unequivocal requirements of their teacher, the Bible, and occupying Catholic ground for three centuries and a half, by abandonment of their theory, they stand before the world today the representatives of a system the most indefensible, self- contradictory, and suicidal that can be imagined.

“We felt that we cannot interest our readers more than to produce the ‘Appendix’ which the

International Religious Liberty Association, an ultra- Protestant organization, has added to the reprint of our articles. The perusal of the Appendix will confirm the fact that our argument is unanswerable, and that to retire from Catholic territory where they have is either to retire from Catholic territory where they have been squatting for three centuries and a half, and accepting their own teacher, the Bible, in good faith, as so clearly suggested by the writer of the ‘Appendix, ’ commence forthwith to keep the Saturday, the day enjoined by the Bible from Genesis to Revelation; or, abandoning the Bible as their sole teacher, cease to be squatters, and a living contradiction of their own principles, and taking out letters of adoption as citizens of the kingdom of Christ on earth – His Church – be no longer victims of self- delusive and necessary self- contradiction.

“The arguments contained in this pamphlet are firmly grounded on the word of God, and having been closely studied with the Bible in hand, leave no escape for the conscientious Protestant except the abandonment of Sunday worship and the return to Saturday, commanded by their teacher, the Bible, or, unwilling to abandon the tradition of the Catholic Church, which enjoins the keeping of Sunday, and which they have accepted in direct opposition to their teacher, the Bible, consistently accept her in all her teachings. Reason and common sense demand the acceptance of one or the other of these alternatives: either Protestantism and the keeping holy of Saturday, or Catholicity and the keeping of Sunday. Compromise is impossible.”


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The Sanctuary Made Simple – Chapter 7

by Lawrence M. Nelson

The Sanctuary Made Simple bookChapter Seven – Christ The Answer

As we have pointed out in our study, once a year, the earthly sanctuary was to be cleansed. The day on which this event took place was called the Day of Atonement. It was a great and solemn day for the children of Israel. It was particularly holy also, for no one was permitted to do any work on this day. It was the keystone of the sacrificial system. Any man, woman, or child who did not make the needed preparation in afflicting his soul, making sure that his every sin had been taken into the sanctuary and separated from him, was to be cut off from the people of Israel. We read of this in Leviticus 23:29, “For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people.” And so the Day of Atonement was a solemn occasion, for everyone had to examine himself to make sure that every sin in his life had been carried within the sanctuary.

In a short review, let us quickly enumerate once more the steps by which sin was separated from the sinner, and carried into the sanctuary. You remember, first the sinner must experience true contrition and repentance, represented by bringing a specified animal for sacrifice to the door of the tabernacle. There, he placed his hands upon its head, and confessed his sin, thus transferring his sin to the lamb. Then, with his own hand, he had to take a knife and slay the victim, for the innocent victim must die for his sins. Next, the priest would bring a bowl and take of the blood from the Iamb, which now in type carried the sin, which he then brought within the sanctuary, and sprinkled it upon the veil. In this way, the man’s sin was forgiven, and transferred into the sanctuary. You can readily see that during the year, with a great number of people, that there was an enormous accumulation of sin within the tabernacle. But once a year, God purposed that these sins would be removed from the sanctuary by a cleansing process. In our last study, we learned that the priest would take the blood of the sin offering, and enter within the most holy, and there sprinkle the blood upon the mercy seat. Thus signifying that the terms of the broken law had been satisfied. Then, symbolically, he would gather the sins and take them out of the sanctuary, and place them all upon the head of the scapegoat, which would be led away from the camp of Israel into the wilderness to die. In this manner, the sanctuary was cleansed on the great Day of Atonement.

We have discovered that the Lord Jesus Christ entered the heavenly sanctuary’s most holy place within the veil in October 1844, to conduct a final atonement process in the heavenly sanctuary since that date. This has been taking place for over 150 years now, and this work, I believe, will soon be finished. Any individual who has not made sure that every sin is confessed and forgiven will be separated forever from God when the final act of atonement is made; for Jesus will stand up and declare, “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and He that is filthy, let him be filthy still, and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still” Revelation 22:11. Our only hope is in Jesus Christ’s power to enable a sinner to overcome sin. Thus Christ is the only answer to the sin problem.

But, today Satan is spreading abroad a new philosophy which is completely contrary to the sanctuary services and its teaching. He is leading men to think that their sin will be winked at by God, or will not be discovered before Jesus comes. ln Numbers 32:23, we are admonished with words that would be well to ponder, “Behold, ye have sinned against the Lord: and be sure your sin will find you out.”

Some years ago, a traveling newspaper correspondent observed a man carrying an old cane with some peculiar carvings on it. He thought very little of it, until two months later he was in the same vicinity and learned that an elderly man and his wife had been beaten to death. No one seemed to know why the murders had been committed, for the elderly couple had been loved by all. This man and his wife had been beaten to death with some kind of a stick. The correspondent went to the authorities, and gave them a description of the man he had seen with a strange looking cane. Six months later, the police found the man and brought him to justice. The judge was seated, the jury chosen, but the man had an alibi for every indictment. It seemed that the court couldn’t prove a thing against him. The judge was actually beginning to believe that maybe they had the wrong man, and the jury felt likewise. Until, the door of the courtroom opened and the newspaper correspondent walked down the aisle, in his hand he carried the blood-stained cane that he had found in the woods near the victim’s home. When the man who was accused of this brutal slaying saw the cane, his face suddenly turned white, and he began to tremble. Then everyone in the courtroom knew that he was guilty . . . be sure your sin will find you out!

There are many today who think that they can give a reasonable answer as to why they don’t surrender their sins to Jesus, and ask Him to plead their case before God. These individuals are also able to convince their pastors that they are pretty good and they are headed for the kingdom. But, God knows! And there are wives who deceive their husbands, leading them to think that they have been true to their marriage vows; but God knows! And there are some sons and daughters who convince their parents that they are just about perfect; but God knows! Some even have the ability to convince themselves that they are quite religious, and somehow will be saved when Jesus comes; but God knows! The Lord declares, “Shall not God search this out? For he knoweth the secrets of the heart.” Psalm 44:21.

Let’s bring this closer home to us as individuals. Imagine with me that there is a certain young man who has a wife and two children. This young man–we’ll call him Jim–is a good looking fellow; he has an excellent job and is a fine citizen. He pays his taxes, is well thought of in the community, he may even go to church. But, all the time he is under the conviction that he should come to Jesus and confess his sins, so he can be cleansed with His blood. However, Jim never gets around to doing what he knows he ought to do. Why? Well, maybe it is the Sabbath. He knows that the Bible teaches that the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord his God. He knows that it’s a part of the divine law and he should keep it. But, there is a problem, maybe it just isn’t convenient to honor God’s day. Maybe he is having a struggle over returning tithe to God. He knows that ten percent of his income belongs to the Lord. Jim has so many blessings, a beautiful wife and two little girls, a car, a lovely home, but he also wants many other things. He feels he just can’t afford to pay tithe; or so he thinks. Maybe he has a problem with some secret bad habit, like smoking, or having an occasional drink with the boys after work. He doesn’t think anybody knows about this, but you see, God knows! Or it could be the love of some pleasure that in his heart he knows is contrary to God, but he just can’t seem to give it up. Perhaps the real issue in his mind is that he has never been baptized. He knows what God’s word says in John 3:5, “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” But he has continued to put it off. The issue here is–a young man with sin in his life.

Now, let us suppose that one day something happens that Jim didn’t plan on. He might have been thinking deeply about his work, and without looking, he starts across the street. Suddenly he is hit by a car, and his life is instantly snuffed out! The funeral is held in the church which is filled to capacity with many of his friends. The pastor, thinking that Jim was ready for the kingdom, presents a wonderful eulogy; but what do you think? Can God accept this young man? Can Jim, now dead, do anything to correct his faulty, sinful record left on the books of heaven? What does God say about our condition when we are dead? For “the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not anything, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they anymore a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun. . . . Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.” Ecclesiastes 9:5, 6, 10.

The word of God has made it very clear that since Jim is dead he cannot do anything to correct his past mistakes. He’s dead, he’s buried; but is this the end? Oh, no! We read in God’s word that this man must now be judged. In the book of Hebrews 9:27, are these words: “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.”

Now we have arrived at the crucial issue having to do with the judgment and the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary.

In the autumn of 1844, when Jesus Christ stepped in before the throne of God within the most holy place the judgment proceedings began. There are no words in the Bible that are more striking than those describing this judgment scene. “I beheld till the thrones were cast down (placed) and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.” Daniel 7:9, 10.

Consider what happened when this great court of God convened in heaven in the year 1844. The first case would be that of Abel, who had been murdered by his brother Cain, for he was the first man to die in this world. Abel was a sinner, for–“all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23. Yet, he believed in the Savior, and did as God had required. He took a Iamb and confessed his sins over it transferring them to the Iamb, and then with his own hand, he slew the sacrifice. When the books were opened, in which were recorded the sins of Abel, Jesus Christ was standing before God, pleading for Abel. “I have covered his sins with my blood. I want him to live in heaven with us.” God looks at Jesus, and then speaks those wonderful words: “Retain his name in the Book of Life.”

Next case, . . .we don’t know whose name came up next, but eventually Cain died and let us suppose that his name came up next. Was Cain a religious man? You would hardly think so, since the Bible says he murdered his brother. But, look a little closer. You will find that indeed he was quite a religious man. Cain thought himself righteous and came to God with a thank offering. Only he made no confession of sin. Instead of bringing a lamb for a sacrifice for his sins, he decided that he would go out to his garden and dig up some vegetables for his sacrifice. He built an altar, and placed the fruit of his labor upon the altar as an offering. Then he knelt down and prayed, asking God to accept his offering. But, God would not accept this substitute for sin. No one can ever earn salvation by his self righteousness. Remember the words of Hebrews 9:22, “Without the shedding of blood is no remission.” Cain presumed upon God’s mercy and grace. He did not bring a sacrificial lamb, representing Christ. And God will never accept a counterfeit. Since God would not accept his counterfeit sacrifice Cain became so angry that he killed his brother, Abel. All this is recorded in the books of heaven. As the books were opened and the record was revealed, could Jesus stand up as Cain’s advocate? As far as we know, He could not. There is nothing in the Bible to indicate that Cain ever accepted Jesus. He did not obey the requirements of Christ as outlined in the sacrificial system of the sanctuary. Can you imagine the sorrow of Jesus as God says, “Put Cain’s name in the book of death.”

And so, the judgment goes on for all people who ever lived on this earth. Everyone is judged according to the records in the books of heaven. Each individual is accepted or rejected as determined by the answer to one question: Has the blood of Christ covered his/her sins?

Now let’s go back to the funeral of this young man, Jim, who was killed by an automobile. A person may live a fairly good life, but not obey God in his daily living. What happens to him in the judgment? Did Christ do everything for Jim that he might be saved? Watch Jesus as He points to the nail prints in His hands, and to the wound in His side, and then says, ‘Father, I gave my life for that young man. Father, I died on Calvary, what more could I have done for him? But, he would not obey; he would not accept my sacrifice as provided. Therefore, I cannot cover his sins with my blood.” Slowly, but surely God says, “Put his name in the book of death.”

Am I making this too real? The sanctuary services are simple to understand. Friend, this is exactly what is going on in the heavenly sanctuary today. The cleansing of the sanctuary in heaven is real!

“Soon, none know how soon, the judgment will pass to the living.” Great Controversy, 1888 Edition, pg. 490.

lt makes us think seriously, doesn’t it? Are we ready for our names to come up before God?

There is more to the story of Jim’s experience even though his name was blotted out of the book of life. This is not the end for Jim as we shall see.

When Jesus comes the second time a resurrection will take place. “The Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” I Thessalonians 4:16, 17. In this first resurrection, when Jesus returns to this earth, Jim will not come forth from his grave. Only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life will be raised in the first resurrection.

Now, what about Jim’s family? Let’s say that as time went on, his wife and daughters lived faithfully; keeping the commandments of God, making sure every sin was confessed and covered by the blood of Jesus until the day they, too, went into the grave. When Jesus comes in the clouds with ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands of angels, He looks upon the graves of His sleeping saints and calls for the righteous to come forth. This mother and daughters will come out of their graves clothed in immortality. No doubt, Jim’s wife will look around for her husband, and the girls will be looking for dad. When they see that his grave beside theirs has not been opened, tears fill their eyes, but God says that He shall wipe away all tears. Then with overwhelming joy they are lifted up by the angels to meet the Lord in the air and taken to heaven where they will spend the next one thousand years. “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.” Revelation 20:6.

But, what about Jim–where is he–what will happen to him? Regarding the second resurrection, Revelation 20:5 says, “But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished.” At the end of the thousand years, Jesus is going to come back to this earth the third time with all His living saints, and He will also bring with him that great city, the New Jerusalem. As Jesus descends to the earth, the second resurrection of the dead takes place. It is the resurrection of the wicked. The Bible speaks of them as the sands of the seashore, or humanly speaking, they are without number! These still have the same spirit of rebellion and resistance to God’s requirements as they had while living on the earth.

Picture with me, Jim, as he comes forth in this final resurrection. He looks around, and sees the city of God, the New Jerusalem. He is troubled, and says, “That’s strange, this isn’t like what I used to read in my Bible.” and then, he sees the wicked of all ages milling around, what a sight! Something is wrong. Then he remembers that he did not obey God, and follow Christ in the way of salvation as taught in the sanctuary service. He did not repent and confess his sins. He did not transfer his sins to Jesus and accept His death for his sins. He did not allow Christ to take his sins into the sanctuary, and separate those sins from his sinful heart.

Therefore, Christ was unable to be his advocate before God. Christ would have gladly covered his sins with His blood and blotted them out. So the scripture is finally fulfilled, “Be sure your sins will find you out,” as fire comes down from God out of heaven, and devours Jim with his unforgiven sins.

But this need never happen to you or me–not when Christ has provided such a wonderful way of escape. Remember, there is no one in this world who has gone too far in the depths of sin but Jesus can forgive and save. Isaiah tell us, “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Isaiah 1:18. There is hope for every one of us. “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” Hebrews 7:25.

Yes! Jesus is the answer. He alone can save us. In His righteousness He can present your case before the Father, and He can pronounce you as one who has never sinned. This may sound too good to be real, but it is true. Do not hesitate–come boldly to Jesus. The Savior will make an atonement for you and be your personal Advocate. Remember, Christ is the answer to all your sins and to all your needs.


The Sanctuary Made Simple – Chapter 6

by Lawrence M. Nelson

The Sanctuary Made Simple bookChapter Six – Christ The Advocate

In chapter four as we studied Daniel 8:14, we discovered some amazing facts concerning a prophecy that covered some 2,300 years of this world’s history: “Unto two thousand and three hundred days, then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” This great time prophecy was divided into two sections. The first section covered 490 years; the second a remaining 1,810 years of this prophecy, which brings us to the fall of 1844 A.D. Now, the prophet wrote of this exact date, read it again in Daniel 8:14: “And the angel said unto me, unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.”

Before we can understand what is meant by the words, “then shall the sanctuary be cleansed,” we must understand which sanctuary is being referred to, for you will recall that there are two sanctuaries mentioned in the Bible; one during the time of Moses which continued until Christ, and the other that was, and is, in heaven. The author of the book of Hebrews wrote in Hebrews 9:1: “Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine services, and a worldly sanctuary.” The time period covered by this first covenant extended from Moses to the cross. Paul is telling us of the sanctuary that was here on this earth. He describes it in the next four verses: “For there was a tabernacle made: the first, wherein is called the sanctuary. And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all (Holy): which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant; And over it the Cherubims of glory shadowing the mercy seat,” Now, no one can mistake what Paul is talking about: He is describing the earthly sanctuary, (or tabernacle that was erected in the wilderness), and referring to such articles that were found therein, such as the golden pot containing manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded.

The earthly tabernacle services were performed until the day when Solomon’s temple was built; then continued in the temple until the building was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar. Later, in the days of Zechariah the prophet, the temple was rebuilt. This was the sanctuary of the first covenant that was standing in the days when Christ was here on earth.

Now you recall that the priest went into the first apartment of the sanctuary every day of the year to perform the work of separating sin from the sinners. There was only one day of the year in which the high priest could go beyond the veil that separated the first and the second apartments and enter the holy of holies. This was on the Day of Atonement when he entered into the second apartment for the purpose of cleansing it. The sanctuary pointed to the Lord Jesus Christ as our redeemer. The entire sanctuary service was symbolic of Christ’s priestly ministry, and Christ was represented in every sacrifice.

But, remember that every article connected with the sanctuary pointed to the Lord Jesus Christ as our redeemer: The golden candlestick was symbolic of Jesus–the light of the world, as He said, “I am the light of the world.” John 8:12. The shewbread represented Jesus Christ, who said, “I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger.” He was the true bread that came down from heaven, on Whom we can feed and live forever. The altar of incense revealed Christ as our Intercessor and Redeemer, pleading our case before God. The mercy seat, symbolizing God’s throne, depicts our atonement, He who gives us pardon through the merits of His blood. The altar of burnt offering or sacrifice, served to present Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, Who offered Himself to die for us. And there was the layer, which pointed to Christ as the One Who cleanses us and makes us acceptable before the very presence of our great God.

It is a marvelous revelation that the entire sanctuary service was symbolic of Christ’s priestly ministry. He was represented in every sacrifice, and fulfilled both phases of the priesthood–the first by dying for fallen man, and the second by pleading before the Father for every repentant sinner. But all of these things–the articles and furnishings of the earthly sanctuary, as well as the system of animal sacrifices and all of the offerings and services performed by the priests–came to an end when Christ, the Lamb of God, hung on the cross, dying,–when He cried, “It is finished!”; and the inner veil of the temple was ripped from the top to the bottom. This represented Christ’s body being torn in death.

When Christ ascended to heaven, He entered not “into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself now to appear in the presence of God for us:” So, the earthly sanctuary came to an end. Remember, it was destroyed in A.D. 70 by the Roman army.

“Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: we have such an high priest, who is set on 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 pitched, and not man.” Hebrews 8:1, 2. This sanctuary that is to be cleansed, is the sanctuary that is in heaven, where Jesus is now mediating. The worldly sanctuary was for the first covenant. The heavenly sanctuary is concerned with the new, or everlasting covenant. In other words, the new covenant took the place of the old covenant, when it was established by the blood of Christ on Calvary’s cross. This heavenly sanctuary, then, took the place of the earthly sanctuary. The earthly priest had ministered in the earthly sanctuary until Christ was crucified but, when the Lamb of God offered His life once and for all, Jesus entered into heaven to administer His blood for us in the heavenly sanctuary as our High Priest.

The priests, under the old covenant, performed their ministry in relationship to the Ten Commandments. So, Jesus Christ our high priest, now in heaven, under the new covenant performs His ministry in relation to these same Ten Commandments; the original law of God. We read in Hebrews 8:8-10: “Behold the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.” Now notice this– “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people.” What is God saying? He says that under the new covenant, He is going to take away sin out of our hearts, and He says, “I will give you a new heart, and write my law in your heart.” You notice God did not say, “I will abolish my covenant, and give you a new law.” and neither did He say, “I will give grace to supersede the Ten Commandments.” What God is really trying to tell us is that because of His grace, He will write His law in our hearts, and bring our lives into conformity to His precepts. Isn’t that simple? Perhaps I should say isn’t that beautiful? To think that God would do this for us?

Now you can easily see that during a year’s time, there would be a multitude of sins that had gathered in the earthly sanctuary. This is what made it necessary to cleanse the sanctuary, or blot out the record of those sins, and take them out of the sanctuary as described in Leviticus 16. And so it was, that there was a day known as “The Day of Atonement”, in which the sanctuary was cleansed. Two goats of the same age were brought before the high priest. He would cast lots; one was chosen to be sacrificed and would be killed, and its blood would be taken within the sanctuary and sprinkled on the mercy seat to satisfy the claims of the law. In order to do this, the priest must go within the veil, into the most holy place, which could only be done once a year. In performing this act he would, figuratively, gather up all the sins that had been forgiven and take them with him out of the sanctuary and place his hands upon the scapegoat, transferring all of these sins to the scapegoat (Satan), which would then be taken out into the wilderness to die. In this manner, all sins were removed from the sanctuary, thus it could be said, the sanctuary was now cleansed.

All that transpired in the earthly sanctuary was a type, a pattern, or a shadow of the work that Christ is now performing in the heavenly sanctuary. So Christ, with his own blood, pleads for us before the Father in heaven. I John 2:1, “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”

What we need to fully understand is the work that Jesus our personal advocate is now doing in the heavenly sanctuary during the final atonement. So few Christians have any concept of the sanctuary, in which the Lord is not only our intercessor, and our mediator, but our advocate. Think of it. If we will accept Christ and fully surrender our hearts to Him, He will personally plead His blood for us. It’s almost too good to be true! Our Elder Brother in heaven pleading before God for you and for me. This is what happens when we confess our sins to the Lord. He rises up before the Father in heaven, holding up those nail-pierced hands, saying, “Father, My blood, My blood, I have shed My blood for these dear ones. By the merits of My sacrifice on Calvary, I now plead that you accept My sinless life for these sinful lives.”

I think a poet has given this picture in beautiful words: “Father, I bring this repentant child to Thee, to claim Thy pardon yet once again. Receive him at My hands, for he is Mine. Look not on him. He cannot bear Thy glance. Look thou on Me; his vileness, I will hide. I am his Advocate. By that unchanged, unchanging oath of Mine, by each pure drop of blood I lost for him, by all the sorrows graven on My soul, by every wound I bear, I claim it due. Father, Father divine, I cannot have him lost. He is a precious soul, for whom I died. Sin hath nearly destroyed him, but sin hath died in Me. Death hath pursued him, but I have conquered death. Satan hath bound him, but Satan is My slave. Father, hear not him, not him, but Me. I would not have him lost for all the world. Thou for My glory hath ordained and made.” What a beautiful picture the poet has described. How thankful we should be for such an advocate as we have in Jesus Christ, who is before the throne of God now, pleading our case. This is why it tells us in Hebrews 7:25, “Wherefore he (Christ) is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.”

From 34 A.D. until 1844 Christ ministered within the first apartment of the sanctuary, according to the terms of the new covenant. But, in 1844, Christ entered within the veil, just as the priest in the earthly sanctuary did on the Day of Atonement to cleanse the sanctuary. This is what we read in Daniel 8:14, “Unto two thousand three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” So Christ our high priest left the first apartment, of the heavenly sanctuary in 1844 and entered the second apartment to finish His mediatorial work, to become our Advocate.

Soon, very soon, Jesus is going to finish the cleansing work. And He will throw down His censer as the great High Priest, and He will say as we read in Revelation 22:11, “He That is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.” After that decree is issued, there will be no more appeal by our Advocate. For Christ has now been in the second apartment of the sanctuary since 1844. For over 150 years Christ has been officiating in the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary. First, for the righteous dead and He will end with the judgment of the living. Soon, oh so soon, He is going to return, as it says in the scripture, “without sin unto salvation.” (“Without sin” means that He is dealing, not with the sin problem but to take His people home to heaven.)

Please permit me to illustrate the importance of having an advocate. There was an accountant employed in the capital city of Russia many years ago. He knew that the auditors were coming, and that they would discover that he was bankrupt. He had embezzled the money for his own purpose. This could mean only one thing; his life would be taken. As he brooded over his fatal mistake, he drew up a list of all the debts that he owed, and he wrote at the bottom of that list the question: Who is going to pay for all of these debts? In the turmoil of his mind, he fell asleep at his desk.

Now it so happened that Alexander I, the Czar of Russia, was making a tour of that very building in which this man slept at his desk. As he entered this accountant’s office, he saw that the man was sleeping. He went over to the desk and saw the paper lying on the desk. He picked it up and read the list of this man’s debts. And when he read the question, “Who is going to pay all of this debt? He was suddenly seized with a good impulse. He took out his golden pen, and he wrote these words, “I Alexander.” Can you imagine the thrill of this man when he awoke? He knew his master’s signature and knew that his master would pay. He had been saved from death!

This is exactly what Christ is doing for us today. What a terrible list of sins are on the record books of heaven. If you and I were to look at our own sins on our records, we would feel hopeless. But, thank God, Jesus Christ will say to all who have confessed and repented, “I will blot out your sins.” Thank God, our Advocate is sufficient. Just now, He stands ready to wash away your sins, and when the times of refreshing shall come, to blot them out forever.

We dare not presume on Christ’s mercies. Sinners who have not repented of their sins, will not have the privilege of having Christ as their Advocate. Verily, Christ will say to them, “Depart from Me, ye that work iniquity;” these will bear their own guilt and punishment, and after the 1,000 years will suffer in the lake of fire.

Friend, we need to put ourselves in the hands of Jesus Christ this very moment; in the hands of our great Advocate, for He alone can save us.

Chapter 7 ⇒

The Sanctuary Made Simple – Chapter 5

by Lawrence M. Nelson

The Sanctuary Made Simple bookChapter Five – Christ The Atonement

Let us mention again that one of the most fundamental factors of the Christian life is conversion. Every professed Christian needs to experience the peace of mind that conversion brings. This is indeed the longing of the heart. Repentance and conversion is urged by Peter as a prerequisite to the blotting out of sins. The blotting out of sins is another very important factor in the plan of salvation.

The basis of this study is found in Acts 3:19, “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out”–when? “When the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.” We realize that man can never be fully satisfied and have unquestioned peace of mind until he knows that every known sin has been confessed, forsaken, and forgiven. Then he can look forward to that day when the record of his sins will be permanently blotted out by the finger of God. When is that time? “When the times of refreshing shall come.”

This time has been defined by inspiration as the time of the judgment, the latter rain, and the sealing. The refreshing is poured out from the sanctuary above. This is why we must carefully study what takes place within the sanctuary, concerning the sins which have been brought in by virtue of Christ’s blood and His work of substitution. Hebrews 9:6, 7 tells us, “Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always in to the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God. But into the second went the high priest alone once every year not without blood, which he offered for himself and for the errors of the people.”

Who ministered in the first apartment? The priest. How often? Every day. Who went into the most holy place? Only the High Priest. How often? Only once a year. And what did he take with him? He took blood–the atoning blood. You see, the path into the sanctuary is a blood-stained path, and inside there is more blood–on the horns of the brazen altar, on the golden altar, and there is blood on the Mercy Seat. The blood always represents the sacrifice of Christ. This is beautifully brought out in The Great Controversy, page 416,

“His (Christ’s) intercession is that of a pierced side, the marred feet plead for fallen man, whose redemption was purchased at such infinite cost. The earthly sanctuary had to be purified, or cleansed by the blood of animals. But what about the heavenly sanctuary? The book of Hebrews states that the heavenly things must be purified with a “better sacrifice”. This refers, of course, to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and the shedding of His blood. Again in The Great Controversy, pages 417, 418

“The cleansing, both in the typical and in real service, must be accomplished with blood: In the former, with the blood of animals; in the later, with the blood of Christ. Paul states, as the reason why this cleansing must be performed with blood, is that without shedding of blood is no remission.

What is remission? Ellen White continues,

“Remission, or putting away of sin, is the work to be accomplished.”

We read in Hebrews 9:23, 24, “It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ is not entered into the holy place made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself now to appear in the presence of God for us.

Those last, beautiful words–to appear in the presence of God for us–are wonderful. This Scripture is telling us that Jesus was not just loaned to us for a few years some two thousand years ago. Jesus was given to us as a gift–even forever! When He returned to heaven, He did so as our elder brother, to personally represent us to His Father. As Christ entered heaven, He carried the sins of the world by the virtue of His blood into the first apartment of the heavenly sanctuary.

For 1,810 years the Lord represented His people there in the first apartment, as the typical priest in the sanctuary of old went into the sanctuary every day. But now note a change. Once a year the high priest went into the second apartment. Just so, Christ entered into the second apartment once in the year 1844. Now I hope you are following carefully. I’m asking a question–how often did the high priest go into the second apartment? Only once a year. Will Jesus Christ do this every year? No, absolutely not! Why not? Because He does this only once, in the times of the end. And He will continue to minister in this apartment until His work is completed. Notice the words in Hebrews 9:26, “But now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.” You know that expression, “the end of the world”, refers to the very last days before Christ comes a second time. And so the question–what is His purpose in entering the most holy apartment at the time of the end? The Scriptures says, “to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself” Now that’s a very strong term, to put away. This term is used in the Bible to describe a man who divorces his wife. Such a man is said “to put away” his wife. So you see, Jesus is in the business of divorcing sin from His people in this end-time; in fact, there is no other solution for this troubled world. No peace conferences will ever permanently succeed, and no new world order of the United Nations will be able to get rid of the sin problem. This problem will ever remain until it is finally solved in the sanctuary by the eradication of the sin that is now taking place in the end time.

Since 1844, what has been happening in the second apartment within the heavenly sanctuary? Our great High Priest has been performing the work of the investigative judgment, making an atonement for all who are shown to be entitled to its benefits.

In the Great Controversy, page 422, we read:

“At the termination of the 2300 days in 1844, Christ then entered the most holy place to perform the closing work of atonement preparatory to His coming.

“This is the service which began when the 2300 days ended. At that time, as foretold by Daniel the prophet, our High Priest entered the most holy, to perform the last division of His solemn work-to cleanse the sanctuary.” (ibid.) page 421).

Also in Testimonies, Vol. 5, page 520, are these challenging words,

“The sacred work of Christ for the people of God that is going on at the present time in the heavenly sanctuary should be our constant study.”

From these references we can see there was a big difference between what went on in the two apartments. In the first apartment the sins of the penitent were transferred into the sanctuary by the substitute. But in the second apartment, the blood was sprinkled on the mercy seat, in order to erase or blot out the sin. This is what took place during the annual Day of Atonement. Turn to Leviticus 16:5. There we will discover what the ancient priest did in the most holy place on this Day of Atonement. ‘And he shall take of the congregation of the children of Israel two kids of the goats for a sin offering” Now notice, two goats were brought to the priest, and lots were cast to see which one would represent the Lord’s goat, and which one would represent the scapegoat. “And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the Lord, and the other lot for the scapegoat. And Aaron shall bring the goat upon which the Lord’s lot fell, and offer him for a sin offering.” Leviticus 16:8, 9.

You will notice that the Lord’s goat was killed for a sin offering, and verse fifteen tells us what was done with the blood of that offering. It says, “Then shall he kill the goat of the sin offering, that is for the people, and bring his blood within the veil”, you will see he is carrying it into the most holy place. And what is the priest to do with it? “And sprinkle it upon the mercy seat, and before the mercy seat”. So, the blood of the Lord’s goat was taken into the sanctuary, into the most holy, and sprinkled upon the mercy seat in the second apartment. This now provided full and final atonement. But that’s not all that happened. Verses twenty and twenty-one, ‘And when he hath made an end of reconciling the holy place, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and the altar, he shall bring the live goat: And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness.

I like the way Ellen White writes about this in the book, Patriarchs and Prophets, page 356,

“On the Day of Atonement, the high priest, having taken an offering for the congregation, went into the most holy place with the blood and sprinkled it upon the mercy seat, above the tables of the law. Thus the claims of the law, which demanded the life of the sinner, were satisfied. Then, in his character of mediator, the priest took the sins upon himself and, leaving the sanctuary, he bore with him the burden of Israel’s guilt. At the door of the tabernacle, he laid his hands upon the head of the scapegoat . . . And as the goat bearing these sins was sent away, they were with him, regarded as forever separated from the people. Such was the service performed “unto the example and shadow of heavenly things.” Hebrews 8:5.

The scapegoat represents Satan, so, in the final act taking place on the Day of Atonement, the scapegoat, or Satan, is led into the desert–led there to die.

After the 1,000 years, in the fires of the second death, Satan will receive punishment. He will suffer not only for his own sins, but also for the sins of all the redeemed saints that were placed upon his head in the closing act of the final atonement. We are told that he will suffer longer than any other created being.

May I picture this for you? We are watching a man, leading a scapegoat away from the sanctuary. Why is he leading him away? Because the scapegoat has upon it the confessed and forsaken sins of God’s people. Who placed them on the scapegoat? The high priest. Where did the priest get these sins? It is interesting to note that he carried a portion of the sins in his own body; because, according to the instructions, sometimes he was to eat part of the burnt sacrificial offering. The other sins he carried from the holy place of the sanctuary. Do you remember how the sins came to be in there? Yes, they were put there by means of the blood that was carried into the sanctuary by the priest. These were the sins that the sinner had confessed over the head of the substitute. Thus, transferring his sins to the substitute, and the lamb or animal was slain by the sinner. So now we can see that there are two steps that must be taken in separating sin from the sinner. First, the sin must be transferred from the sinner into the first apartment of the sanctuary, and in the second step there is a work to be done in getting those sins out of the sanctuary.

Here is a very simple illustration of the separation process. Every city has a laundry and on Monday, you will usually find people bringing their dirty clothes to the laundry. For what purpose? To get their clothes cleaned. This is what a laundry is for, isn’t that right? The clothes go in soiled, and they come out clean. Paul uses this same figure of speech in Ephesians 5, beginning with verse twenty-five. He says, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; Why? That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should he holy and without blemish.”

The sanctuary furnishes us a complete laundry service for the church, enabling the people of God to be cleansed so they can welcome the return of the Lord without fear. The church members are to be waiting for His return–fully washed and clean. But God can only wash and cleanse us from the sins that we have turned over to Him. It must be our first business to be sure that our sin-soiled garments get into the hands of our great High Priest to be cleansed in the sanctuary, so that they are not left in our mind’s dirty laundry hamper.

How do we give our sin-soiled garments to Christ to be cleansed? Verily, it is by repenting, giving up our sins, and by asking our merciful High Priest to take them all away. We must go in faith to Calvary and behold Jesus, shedding His blood for us. Then, by faith, we must follow our resurrected Savior as He transfers our sins through the efficacy of His blood to the heavenly sanctuary. Yet, there is more! On the final Day of Atonement, Christ will, as He “sprinkles” His blood on the mercy seat, blot out every trace of even the record of our sins! In this last act He will carry them from the sanctuary, and place them upon the scapegoat–Satan.

Here comes a big question. Why is it that when we confess our sins, they are not blotted out immediately? Let me picture it in this way: Pretend I am holding a chalkboard, and on this chalkboard I write the word SIN. Can you see it in your mind? This word represents the sin of a man who has come to the Lord Jesus to be forgiven. What does Jesus Christ do? The Lord wants the man never to see the sin again, so He takes the sin into the sanctuary and sprinkles His blood over it. If you could look into the record of heaven now, you would find that this sin is indeed covered with the precious blood of Jesus. The man is forgiven, and is pardoned. To illustrate this, suppose I take a handkerchief and hold it over the word SIN. Now you can’t see the word. Why? Because it is covered with the handkerchief, SIN is still there. So, there is something further that must be done; the word SIN must be erased or blotted out. Now imagine that I take the same handkerchief and erase SIN from the blackboard. You can’t see it anymore. In Psalm 32:1 notice two words which have a distinct connection, “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.” Friend, when our sins are forgiven, they are covered. But, remember Acts 3:19, 20, “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out”, When? “when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you.” This tells us that before Jesus comes again, He is going to “blot out” the sins that have been covered–provided, of course, that you and I have met the conditions.

The experience of Jacob illustrates for us the necessity of meeting the conditions of salvation. Patriarchs and Prophets, page 202,

“Had not Jacob previously repented of his sin in obtaining the birthright by fraud, God could not have heard his prayer and mercifully preserved his life.”

The next words are for us:

“So, in the time of trouble, lf the people of God had unconfessed sins to appear before them while tortured with fear and anguish, they would be overwhelmed; despair would cut off their faith, and they could not have confidence to plead with God for deliverance. But while they have a deep sense of’ their unworthiness, they will have no concealed wrongs to reveal. (Why?) Their sins will have been blotted out by the atoning blood of Christ, and they cannot bring them into remembrance.”

This makes me feel like shouting–Praise God!

We need to be aware of the enemy’s tactics,

“Satan leads many to believe that God will overlook their unfaithfulness in the minor affairs of life; but the Lord shows in His dealing with Jacob that He can in no wise sanction or tolerate evil. All who endeavor to excuse or conceal their sins, and permit them to remain on the books of heaven, unconfessed and unforgiven, will be overcome by Satan.” (Ibid)

Again we ask why are sins not blotted out immediately when confessed? Again, I must illustrate.

Some years ago, the Adventist message came to the hearts of a father and mother. Being impressed by the Holy Spirit that it was the truth, they accepted the message. But this father had been a heavy user of tobacco. He had chewed tobacco since he was a little boy; in fact, when he was only nine years old, he used to take it out of his daddy’s pocket; so the habit had a powerful hold upon him. However, when he accepted the gospel, he put away his tobacco. But, again and again, the pull of that old habit would come upon him. His wife used to tell how he would take the plug of tobacco out of his pocket and throw it into the cornfield–just as far as he could–and with renewed determination, start the day aright. Nevertheless, sometimes right after dinner, his wife would look out of the window and see him in the cornfield, walking up and down the rows. Now what do you think he was looking for? You guessed it; he was looking for that plug of tobacco. But thank God, the day finally came when he threw the tobacco away forever, and for the next sixty years the man had complete victory over that habit, Thank God, dear friend–there is power in the blood of the Lamb.

That reminds me of one of those old hymns we used to sing–I’m glad it has reappeared in our Church Hymnal–“Would you be free from your burden of sin? There’s power in the blood, power in the blood; Would you o’er evil a victory win? There’s wonderful power in the blood.” You see, God didn’t hide that plug of tobacco, although He could have done it. No–the man had to make his own decision and gain the victory through the power of God.

We can see from the references we have read, that God does not blot out our sins forever–the moment we ask forgiveness; for He knows the struggles of man, and the power of sin. He respects your power of choice, which means that if sometime later on you might want the sin back, God will not interfere. This is explained in, Patriarchs amid Prophets, page 357,

“The blood of Christ, while it was to release the repentant sinner from the condemnation of the law, was not to cancel the sin; it would stand on record in the sanctuary until the final atonement; so in the type the blood of’ the sin offering removed the sin from the penitent, but it rested in the sanctuary until the Day of Atonement. In the great day of final award, the dead are to be “judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their work. Revelation 20:12. Then by virtue of the atoning blood of Jesus Christ, the sins of all the truly penitent will be blotted from the books of heaven. Thus the sanctuary will be freed or cleansed from the records of sin.”

Don’t you just want to praise God for what is happening in heaven’s sanctuary today and for the time of final atonement?

Not long ago a mother came to a minister with tears in her eyes, asking him to pray for her son. Between her broken sobs, she told of how her boy had lived a life of sin, and eventually, was put in the penitentiary as a criminal. Let me ask you, whom do you think suffered the most, the boy in the prison cell, or the mother, alone in her home? In her heartbreak, she cried out to the minister, “Oh pastor, pray for my boy.” She couldn’t think about anything else, her boy was all that she was living for.

I must tell you that Jesus Christ is now in the heavenly sanctuary for the purpose of taking sin out of your life. Why? Because He bore our sins in His body on the cross, and continues to bear our sins until the completion of the final atonement when He places them upon Satan. It is thus that Christ will continue to experience pain until our sins are eradicated, forever separated from us for an eternity. When we really comprehend how the Lord suffers for our sins, surely, we will want to do something about it. Was there a way to heal that mother’s hurt as she wept for her son who was in the penitentiary? Of course, there is a way.. Suppose her son would sit down in his cell and write a letter to his mother and say, “I’ve seen the terrible things that I have done; I have not only broken the law, but I have broken your heart. I have asked God to forgive me, and now my dear mother, I am asking you to forgive me. By the grace of God, I am going to walk straight from now on.” What do you suppose would happen to that mother? Would the pain in the heart stop? You better believe it would. Her tears of sorrow would be changed to tears of boundless joy.

Listen friend, it is written that there is joy in heaven over one sinner who repents. Just now, as you behold your great High Priest standing at the mercy seat in the sanctuary above, holding up His wounded hands before the Father pleading for you; remember, there is pain deep in His heart because of your sins; but by accepting Jesus as your personal Savior, you may bring joy to your Lord. He will not only cover your sins, but in these last hours just before probation closes, He will blot them all out. It is only through Christ that the bands of sin can be broken. It is only through Christ’s work in the sanctuary above, with our cooperation, that sin can be separated from the sinner for an eternity.

Chapter 6 ⇒

The Sanctuary Made Simple – Chapter 4

by Lawrence M. Nelson

The Sanctuary Made Simple bookChapter Four – Christ The Mathematician

This chapter features Christ as the Mathematician, and will present even more evidence of the perfect wisdom and knowledge of our God, and His love and care for each of us.

Mathematics, the most exact science known to man, is the tool we will use as we explore one of the most profound prophecies found in all of the Bible. We shall establish by mathematical proof that Jesus was the Messiah, the Anointed and Holy One of Israel, the Savior of the world. This proof has its foundation in Bible prophecy and events relating to the sanctuary service.

Would you dare to predict precisely what will happen a year from now, or a week, or even tomorrow, concerning the events to take place in this world? Yet, God’s Book boldly predicted, nearly five hundred years in advance, the exact year when Jesus Christ would begin to cleanse the sanctuary in heaven before He returns to take His people home.

We will begin with the eighth chapter of Daniel. In this chapter God gave a vision of what was to take place at a later date. We will read from Daniel’s own account of how the angel was commissioned to explain every detail of this vision to him, so that he might thoroughly understand it. Here is a portion of this amazing prediction in Daniel 8:14, ‘And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” You will notice that God commanded Gabriel, the highest angel of heaven, to instruct Daniel. Notice carefully Daniel 8:16, “Make this man to understand this vision.” Now as Gabriel began to open up the mind of Daniel to the great events that were to transpire in the future, Daniel was so overwhelmed that he fainted. So the angel left him until he recovered.

When Daniel recuperated, he prayed for his instructor to return, and to finish the job of interpretation. Daniel states: “Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, . . . Gabriel . . . touched me . . . and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding.” Daniel 9:21, 22. So the angel Gabriel returned to finish the explanation that was interrupted when Daniel fainted. Then the angel begins to explain the meaning of the 2300 days of prophecy. He begins in verse twenty-four of Daniel, chapter 9: “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.”

Notice the first two words, seventy weeks. This is a measure of time. Gabriel begins by stating, “seventy weeks are determined upon thy people.” When this prophecy was given, the Jewish people were God’s chosen people. So this first part deals especially with the Jewish nation, for he said, “determined upon thy people, and upon thy holy city,” which refers to Jerusalem.

Now the word determined, in the original Hebrew, means to “cut off’. In other words, the seventy weeks are a segment, or a part of the 2300 days, which Gabriel said were allotted to the Jews.

Now we are ready for our first arithmetic problem. We have 2300 days, and from this number we must subtract 70 weeks. . . but wait! We can’t subtract weeks from days without first changing the weeks into days. Remember, there are seven days in a week; so, as you consider problem #1, we take the number of weeks, (70), and multiply this number by 7, which equals 490 days – (70 x 7 = 490). Then we subtract the 490 days from the 2300 days, and this leaves 1810 days.

Fig. #1

70 weeks x 7 days in a week = 490 days

2300 days – 490 days = 1810 days

Now you can see that the 2300 days were divided into two sections: The first section of 490 days were allotted to the Jews. The second section of 1810 days were allotted to the Gentiles. This will enable us to discover the date when the heavenly sanctuary is to be cleansed.

Before going further in our calculations, we must remember that in prophetic time, a day stands for a year. Ezekiel 4:6, “I have appointed thee each day for a year.” According to this rule, 2300 days is equal to 2300 literal years; so this first section of 490 years is for the Jews, and the remaining 1810 years for the Gentiles. The close of this prophetic time period brings us to the actual year when the Lord will cleanse the sanctuary in heaven.

In order to go ahead with our project of measuring time, we need a starting date. The 2300 years do not mean much to us unless we know what year the time prophecy was to begin. For example, I could tell you that Martin Luther, the great Protestant reformer, lived for sixty-three years, and this is a fact of history; however, if I tell you that Luther was born in 1683 and he lived for sixty-three years, you would know the year he died. You would know this by adding sixty-three years to the date of his birth. Simple enough? Yes, it is simple arithmetic.

The Lord knew that we would need this additional fact, so He gave us the starting date of this 2300 year prophecy. But, where can we find it? We read that the angel instructed Daniel that the 70 weeks, or the 490 year period, was to begin at the time the decree was given to restore and to rebuild Jerusalem. You remember that Nebuchadnezzar had destroyed Jerusalem, but God had said the time would come when it was to be rebuilt. We learn about this decree in Ezra 6:14. Talking about the temple, it says, “And they builded, and finished it, according to the commandment of the God of Israel, and according to the commandment of Cyrus, and Darius, and Artaxerxes the king of Persia.” This tells us that there were three kings involved in issuing this decree, and Ezra received the final authority to restore the temple in the year 457 B.C., from Artaxerxes, who was the king of Persia. Where is the proof of this? We find it in a letter from Artaxerxes to Ezra, confirming this authority. Read it in Ezra 7:12-28.

This gives us the starting point. The date of this decree was 457 B.C. You will find that date in the margin of some editions of the King James version of the Bible; also, history has verified this event, and it has also been established by concurrent eclipses. There is positively no question concerning this date. God tells us we are to count the first 490 years of this prophecy from the date when the command was given to restore and rebuild Jerusalem, which was issued in the fall of 457 B.C. — 457 years before Christ.

Now get ready for something startling–a real thriller! This prophecy, given to Daniel some five hundred years before Christ was born, actually foretold when the Messiah was to begin His ministry. Look closely at these words in Daniel 9:25, “Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks.”

Now we’re ready to do some more arithmetic.

Fig. #2

7 weeks + 60 weeks + 2 weeks = 69 weeks

69 weeks x 7 days in a week = 483 days, or years
483 – 457 (date of the decree) = 26
26 + 1 (plus 8-9 months since decree was issued in the fall of the year.) = 27 A.D. — date Christ began His earthly ministry.

Let’s add together these 7 weeks, threescore weeks (20 + 20 + 20), and two weeks. The total is 69 weeks. And remember, a day in prophecy stands for a year; so 69 weeks must be multiplied by 7, (the number of days in a week), which total 483 days, or years. This leads us to the very date that the Messiah was to begin His mission. Now in order to keep our arithmetic simple, we will subtract 457, (the date of the decree), from 483, (the number of years involved), which gives a total of 26 years. But since there is not a 0-1 year starting point, and the decree was issued in the last part of the year, a full year must be added which takes us to AD. 27, the exact date when Christ was to begin His earthly ministry. Isn’t this marvelous?

Let’s notice a few more things in this amazing prophecy. What special event happened in A.D. 27? The Scripture records, a crowd gathered on the banks of the Jordan River. As John is baptizing, Jesus comes and asks to be baptized. When John looks at Jesus, he recognizes that he is in the presence of a Holy Life; and he shrinks from granting His request, saying, “I have need to be baptized of you.” But Jesus looks at John and says: “Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness.” Matthew 3:15. And so John, under the inspiration of God, announces to all those gathered on the banks of the Jordan, that Jesus is the Savior of the world, by pointing to Jesus, and saying, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” John 1:29. Then John leads Jesus down into the river, buries Him under the water, and brings him up out of the water. Immediately the heavens are opened; the Holy Spirit comes down in the likeness of a dove, and the Father declares from heaven that Jesus is His very own Son. ‘And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved son; in thee I am well pleased.” Luke 3:22.

After this anointing and the forty days of temptation, Jesus began His work, in the fall of 27 AD–exactly at the precise time that had been prophesied. Jesus Himself recognized this time prophecy, for He began to preach by saying, “The time is fulfilled.” Mark 1:15. What time? The 483 year time prophecy of Daniel 9:25. The words, “the time is fulfilled” tell us that Jesus knew all about the prophecy of Daniel. And why not? For it was He Himself, through the angel Gabriel, who had instructed Daniel. He had prophesied that “69 weeks” after the decree went forth, the Messiah would be here on this earth to commence His work. And when the 69 weeks ended, the Messiah, Jesus, did appear on time. Immediately He began to preach, “The time is fulfilled.”

Tell me, friend, is there anyone in this wide world who can tell what is going to happen a year from now? I couldn’t even tell you what’s going to happen tomorrow. But there is a Book, the Word of God, that revealed exactly what would happen hundreds of years later. The Bible is truly a divine book; for it told exactly the very year when Christ would appear–A.D. 27.

This date of 27 A.D. brings us close to the end of the 69 weeks. How many weeks are left? (Remember Daniel 9:24–“Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people.”) Yes, there is just one week left. And what a week it was! Read verse 27, ‘And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease.” If you cut a week in half, how many days are there to the mid point? One-half of seven days is 3-½ days. According to prophetic time, you remember, 3-½ days equals 3-½ years. Here the Bible is stating that in the midst of the last week of the 70 the Messiah would be cut off. Notice Daniel 9:26, (‘And he shall) be cut off but not for himself” Can you fathom the great love of God speaking in these words? Certainly the Son of God did not deserve to die–just as the lamb in the sacrificial offering did not deserve to die. Christ was not guilty of any sin. Even the Roman governor who sentenced Christ to die said, “I find no fault in him.” Nevertheless, He was cut off, sacrificed–but not for Himself. He was cut off, friend, for you and for me. “He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5.

Gabriel told Daniel, “. . . in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease.” Daniel 9:27. How? By offering Himself as the supreme Sacrifice on the cross, the sacrificial system of the sanctuary was no longer necessary; because Jesus, the great Lamb of God, became the offering, and died the sinner’s death as his substitute.

Now, here’s a little more arithmetic for us to do. We have established the year of 27 A.D.; but prophecy adds 3-½ more years to this date, so we now have 30-½ years, which brings us to the exact date when the Son of God was to be sacrificed. Isn’t this amazing? Yes, it was in 31 A.D. as Jesus hung on the cross, that He uttered those unforgettable words: “It is finished.”

Fig. #3

70 weeks – 69 weeks = 1 week
1 week = 7 days divided by 2 = 3-½ days, prophetic Years!

27 A.D. (In the fall)
+3-½ years
30-½ years A.D. — since the prophecy brings us to the fall — by adding ½ year it gives us 31 A.D. in the spring.

What happened in the earthly sanctuary on the date 31 A.D.? The veil that divided the holy from the most holy in the temple, was ripped from the top to the bottom by an unseen hand, signifying that the earthly sacrifices no longer held any meaning. The sacrifice of the Lamb of God was complete. “And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost. And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom.” Mark 15:37, 38.

For some fifteen hundred years the Jews had been offering a Iamb during the feast of the Passover. If the Jews had only studied the wonderful 2300-day prophecy, in the light of the typical service of the sanctuary, they could have known when Messiah would appear, and–the year, the month, the day, and the hour when Christ would be sacrificed, for the exact time when the Passover lamb was to be killed was at 3:00 p.m. according to Jewish law.

Just think of it, more than five hundred years before it took place, His death had been prophesied in specific detail. This amazing historical fact maintains the certainty of God’s word, in that it is established by mathematical calculation that Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God and the Savior of the world. Now, look at Fig. #4. You will note the date of 31 A.D. (Spring), taken from figure number 3. Now add the remaining 3-½ years and you will see that the total is 34A.D., (fall).

Fig. #4

31 A.D. — spring
+ 3-½ years
34 A.D. — fall

What happened at this specific time, A.D. 34? This was the time when Stephen, the first Christian martyr, was stoned to death by the Jews during the persecution of the followers of Christ. It was then that the newly-formed Christian church went out from Jerusalem to spread the gospel to the Gentiles–to every nation on this earth.

Thus far, in this study we have covered the first 490 years of the 2300 year prophecy, including the year when the gospel would go to the Gentiles. Now we move into the second segment of the time prophecy–the period of 1,810 days or years. What was to happen at the end of the second segment of the 2300 year prophecy? “Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” Daniel 8:14. Now look at figure #5. Adding 1,810 years to 34 AD., brings us forward in time to the year 1844. At this date, according to the prophecy, the cleansing of the sanctuary in heaven was to begin.

Fig. #5

34 A.D. — fall
+1810 (See figure #1)
1844 A.D. — fall

Now we are ready to consider what is to take place within the heavenly sanctuary in the fall of the year 1844. We shall discover in the next chapter that in the process of cleansing the sanctuary, each of us must give an account (in the investigative judgment) showing that the blood of Christ has covered every sin. This will determine our future.

This chapter has revealed that Christ was truly the Lamb; slain as prophesied on the day when the Passover lamb was killed. The Passover sacrifice and ritual was a reminder of Israel’s deliverance from Egyptian bondage, but it also pointed forward to the greater deliverance from sin, as revealed in the wonderful sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. The apostle Paul speaks of Him as Christ our Passover, sacrificed for us.

You remember the story of how the destroying angel passed through the land of Egypt to kill the firstborn of man and beast. Every house of Israel was spared because the head of every dwelling had killed a lamb and placed some of its blood on the doorpost of the home; but, there was death in every Egyptian household. Friend, soon the destroying angel of God will once again carry out His orders to destroy all sinners in this world. Only those who have accepted the blood of Christ in their behalf will escape the wrath of God. Now is the time for us to make sure that the Lamb of God has covered us with His blood. Remember the promise of Exodus 12:13, “When I see the blood, I will pass over you.

And so, by the process of mathematics, we have established without question that Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God. But, we have also learned something of even greater significance; that in the fall of 1844 Jesus Christ, our great High Priest, entered the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary to do His work of judging each individual case and to cleanse the sanctuary. The cleansing work is done by Christ, Who, with His own blood, blots out the forgiven sins of His redeemed–the sins which were recorded in the books of Heaven.

If through Christ’s righteousness our lives have been prepared through repentance, confession and surrender so that we are declared right with God at the judgment, this final atonement will be made for you and for me.

Chapter 5 ⇒

The Sanctuary Made Simple – Chapter 3

by Lawrence M. Nelson

The Sanctuary Made Simple bookChapter Three – Christ The Priest

The greatest theme of the Bible is Jesus, and His divine plan whereby sinners can be separated from sin and given eternal life. What a wonderful Savior! What marvelous love! How thrilling is salvation’s story as unfolded in the sanctuary.

In this chapter, we shall discover that Christ is our High Priest who shed His precious blood on Calvary, as the Lamb of God. “Without blemish and without spot.” I Peter 1:19. Symbolically, Christ takes His very own blood into the heavenly sanctuary making it possible for Him, as High Priest, to separate us from our sins and then present us before God, the Father, as though we had never sinned.

Let us begin by reading from the New Testament. “Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.” Hebrews 9:11, 12. Could anything possibly be more thrilling and wonderful? This means that heaven can be ours. Praise God! We don’t have to die the second death, but we can live forever in peace and security with Jesus. How can we comprehend such wondrous redemption?

How marvelous to know that at this very moment, Jesus Christ is within the heavenly sanctuary where He is appearing before God in our behalf Ellen White wrote of this in The Great Controversy, pg. 489.

“The intercession of Christ in man’s behalf in the sanctuary above is as essential to the plan of salvation as was His death upon the cross.”

Praise God for the cross! We could not have been saved without it. We should also praise God for the truth that is taught only within the Seventh-day Adventist message, which reveals how the merits of the cross can be applied to the individual sinner. A work that is as necessary as the cross to our salvation.

Consider carefully, “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.” Hebrews 4:14. When we hear the strange “new theology” of Babylon being preached in some pulpits, that salvation full and complete was made at Calvary’s cross, and that there is no such thing as a heavenly sanctuary, don’t ever listen to this doctrine of Satan! Never let such evil thoughts enter your mind.

Now let us explore the need for a high priest in God’s plan to save us. Why do we need a high priest? The Bible gives us the answer. “Every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer.” Hebrews 8:3. Notice the two reasons for our needing a high priest. First, he was to offer gifts. And secondly, he was to offer sacrifices. Now we know all about gifts, for we have both given and received gifts. But what about a sacrifice? What is a sacrifice for? Again, the Bible explains, Every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins. Hebrews 5:1. Now we have found what we were searching for. The sacrifice is for sin!

Suppose that under the sanctuary system of the Old Testament I have sinned, and I brought an offering for my sacrifice. I cannot take it into the sanctuary, for only the priest can enter this place. Why is this? Because God dwells there. A sinner would be instantly destroyed, should he appear before God. So, a way must be found for my gift and my sacrifice to be carried into the sanctuary before the very presence of God that I may be accepted. Therefore, I need a priest to do this for me. These facts are very important because,

“The correct understanding of the ministration in the heavenly sanctuary is the foundation of our faith.” Evangelism, pg. 221.

Let us review how an individual is to secure eternal forgiveness for his sins. Man was to bring a lamb as a sacrifice for his sin. He was then to place his hands on the lamb’s head and confess his sin over the substitute. In this way his sin was transferred to the sacrifice. And then the man is to slay the sacrifice by his own hand. Now, there is nothing more that he could do, but his sacrifice is incomplete. This is why he needs a priest. Notice what the priest can do for him. The priest takes the shed blood and carries it within the sanctuary; for this is absolutely necessary to bring justification to the sinner. If we are to be forgiven, justified, and redeemed, we should understand what the priest is doing with the blood. “We have such an high priest, who is set on 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 pitched, and not man. For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer” Hebrews 8:1-3.

In the previous chapter, we discovered that Christ represented the Iamb, which man must have for a sacrifice. The scriptures also teach that it is equally important that the priest have something to present before God. The fact is–Christ is the priest and He is also the sacrifice! Now to help us understand this great truth, Paul further explains, “For if he (Christ) was on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law.” Hebrews 8:4. These words were written while the Jewish temple was still in existence in Jerusalem, and the priests were daily carrying out their duties. But, Paul is explaining that since Jesus is in heaven, He is now the priest in the heavenly sanctuary. Listen as he continues, “Who serve unto (as) the example and shadow of heavenly things.” Hebrews 8:5. It is so clear! The word “shadow” means that the work of the priest on earth was a shadowy outline of the movements of our great high priest in the heavenly sanctuary.

Let me illustrate. I was once a counselor in a summer youth camp, in which there was a problem child under my care. Now during the rest period, every child was expected to lie on his cot and sleep. But this child decided to slip out of his cot and get into some mischief He made sure to stay behind the building so I could not see him. But, he forgot about his shadow. I was able to observe everything that he was doing by watching his shadow, and just so, as we study what went on in the earthly sanctuary, we can understand the importance of what Christ is now doing for us in the heavenly sanctuary.

Please bear with me as I review once more for clarity. In Leviticus 4 verses 32 and 33, we find the sinner bringing his sacrificial Iamb to the tabernacle for his sins. The next thing he does is lay his hands on its head, and confess his sin over the head of the Iamb, thereby transferring his sin to the lamb. He then took the life of the victim. Now, the sinner has done everything that he can do. At this point, the priest takes over in the man’s behalf. What does the priest do? The blood of the substitute was brought into the sanctuary in one of two ways. Either the priest ate a designated portion of the sin offering and thus carried it in his person into the sanctuary, or he carried it into the sanctuary as described by the blood of the bullock: “And the priest that is anointed shall take of the bullock’s blood, and bring it to the tabernacle of the congregation.” Leviticus 4:5.

Now, what does the priest do with this blood which he takes into the sanctuary? “The priest shall dip his finger in the blood, and sprinkle of the blood seven times before the Lord, before the veil of the sanctuary. And the priest shall put some of the blood upon the horns of the altar of sweet incense before the Lord, which is in the tabernacle.” Leviticus 4:6, 7. God instructed just what the priest was to do. Only the priest could do this, and only Jesus Christ, our High Priest who is presently in the heavenly sanctuary, can perform this work for us now.

But the Israelites had a part to act in cooperation with their high priest. They were not only to repent but to make amends as recorded in Leviticus 6:1-7. “And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, “If a soul sin, and commit a trespass against the Lord, and lie unto his neighbor in that which was delivered him to keep, or in fellowship, or in a thing taken away by violence, or hath deceived his neighbor; or have found that which was lost, and lieth concerning it, and sweareth falsely; in any of all these that a man doeth, sinning therein: Then it shall he, because lie hath sinned, and is guilty, that lie shall restore that which he took violently away, or the thing which he hath deceitfully gotten, or that which was delivered him to keep, or the lost thing which he found, or all that about which he hath sworn falsely; he shall even restore it in the principal, and shall add the fifth part more thereto, and give it unto him to whom it appertaineth, in the day of his trespass offering. And he shall bring his trespass offering unto the Lord, a ram without blemish out of the flock, with thy estimation, for a trespass offering, unto the priest: And the priest shall make an atonement for him before the Lord: and it shall be forgiven him for any thing of all that he hath done in trespassing therein.

The same principle applies today: First we go to our heavenly High Priest. He,

“. . . sends the Holy Spirit to bring us to repentance.” I Selected Messages, pg. 393.

We must make amends to those whom we have wronged, thus showing, not only our desire to be forgiven, but also to forsake our sins. In other words, we are to give to Jesus, our Substitute, all of our sins. Listen to the words of Christ in Matthew 5:23, 24: “Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar; and there rememberest that thy brother hath aught against thee; leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.” Once the sinner has done his part as required, then the blood can be applied in his behalf by the priest for his atonement.

Here comes a question, What does blood represent? Listen carefully, meditate upon it, memorize it, and never, never forget it. The inspired word of God tells us, “The life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.” Leviticus 17:11. This is so important, “The life of the flesh is in the blood.” What a gem of truth. The blood represents the life. Therefore, Christ’s blood represents His life.

Now, pause and do some reasoning. Isn’t your very life in your blood? For example, if you happen to cut your jugular vein and don’t do anything about it, you will quickly bleed to death. And this is why, when we encounter a serious accident, in which we are losing a tremendous amount of blood, for example, from a lacerated limb, quickly we apply a tourniquet to stop the flow. Why? So we will not die. The very life of Jesus was poured out on Calvary in His shed blood. Of this the prophet wrote, “Thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin.” Isaiah 53:10. Christ poured out His soul unto death, and He was numbered with the transgressors, because He bore the sins of many, and made intercession for the transgressor.

Now let’s go back to verse six of Leviticus 4. “The priest shall dip his finger in the blood, and sprinkle of the blood seven times before the Lord, before the veil of the sanctuary.” Did you notice that the blood was placed on the horns of the altar, before the veil? What did this mean? Well, step with me into the sanctuary and you will notice that a veil is hanging just before the ark containing the law of God, the Ten Commandments, which were written by the finger of God on two tables of stone. And just above the law is the mercy seat, which represents the very throne of God, where we can obtain mercy through the sacrifice and the ministry of Christ our High Priest.

Think this through carefully. Every individual is to be measured by the character standard of the law. All of us have transgressed that law through sin, so we are doomed to die. For we read, “As by one man sin entered the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” Romans 5:12. But wait! I don’t have to die. And you don’t have to die. The great truth is that God doesn’t want any of us to die. So how can we be saved? Someone had to die for us, and that someone was the Son of God.

This is why Jesus came to this world, to live under the law of God, in our flesh, without committing one sin. So that when He went to the cross, He could give a perfect life as a substitute for you and me. This is what makes it possible for Christ, Who is now in the heavenly sanctuary, to present His blood in our behalf. “But Christ being come an high priest, . . .by His blood entered into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for all of us.” Hebrews 9:11, 12. Yes, the law said I must die; but Jesus, our great High Priest, with His own blood, stands before that very law, the throne of God, to represent you and me, who are sinners. He paid the supreme price on Calvary by His perfect life which He now presents before the Father in our behalf. And He will do this for you and me this very moment, if we but ask Him.

I like the way that Charles Wesley contemplated the sacrifice of Jesus as he wrote of how our High Priest presents His blood in our behalf before God. “Arise, my soul, arise, shake off thy guilty fears. The bleeding Savior, in my behalf, appears. Before the throne, my assuredness stands, My name is written on his hands. He ever lives above for me to intercede; His all redeeming love, His precious blood to plead. His blood was shed for all our race, and sprinkled now, the throne of grace. Five bleeding wounds He bares, received on Calvary, they pour effectual prayers. They strongly speak for me, Forgive him! Oh, forgive! they cry, Nor let the contrite sinner die.” How we should praise God for the provision in which Jesus Christ is interceding before God as our High Priest for you and me.

May I ask you a personal question? Have you ever trembled in fear at the thought that someday you must approach God’s throne and stand in judgment? Just listen to this:

“Every man’s work passes in review before God and is registered for faithfulness or unfaithfulness. Opposite each name in the book of heaven is entered with terrible exactness every work, every selfish act, every unfulfilled duty, every secret sin, with every artful, dissembling. Heaven sent warnings of reproof neglected, wasted moments, unimproved opportunities, the influence exerted for good or for evil, with its far reaching results. All are chronicled by the recording angel, for the law of God is the standard by which the character and lives of men will be tested in the judgment, says the wise man. “Fear God, and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work unto judgment.” Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14. The Great Controversy, pg. 482.

I ask again, have you ever been troubled in fear at the thought that someday you must approach God’s throne and stand in judgment? If you are right with God you need not be fearful. For your High Priest, Jesus Christ, will be your Advocate. He will go in before the Father to represent you. Wonder of wonders! Who is in a better position to present your case before God than Jesus Christ for He is the Son of God? He knows the Father.

Let me ask you another question, have you made it possible for Jesus, your High Priest, to appear before the Father for you? You know you are a sinner because the Bible says so. And you are in desperate need of help. Let me suggest what you should do. In your mind you should go to Calvary and watch Jesus die for you. Then follow Him by faith as He rises from the dead and returns to heaven. Follow Him by faith as He enters the heavenly sanctuary, into the very presence of God. There, He will offer His blood for you. Listen in faith as Christ presents your name before God the Father. If you will do this, it will fill your heart with assurance. If you are right with God you need never, never, fear the coming judgment. Christ “is able also to save them to the “uttermost” that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” Hebrews 7:25. Now you can understand how Jesus Christ is able to present you faultless before the throne.

May I ask another question, what kind of blood is it that is sprinkled in the sanctuary before God? The answer is the blood of the divine sin-bearer. This is very important, we must fully understand this, since the life is in the blood. Would you permit me to make this personal? If I have repented of all known sin my sins have been transferred to Christ, the Substitute. So, as Christ goes in before the Father’s throne, bearing my sins in His blood they are then transferred to the altar by figuratively sprinkling His blood. Now you are ready for an astounding truth! There is now no more known sin in me. My sins have been transferred into the sanctuary. My sins have been separated from me. What a wonderful thought! What a wonderful truth!

Have you transferred your sin to the Lamb of God, thus permitting Him to transfer them to the sanctuary in heaven? So very few true Christians seem to actually understand that their sins have been separated from them through Christ’s work in the sanctuary service. We have the promise “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” John 1:9. And friend, to be cleansed is to be separated from your sins. “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, (and) whose sin is covered.” Psalm 32:1. Thank God, Jesus can cover our sins with His precious blood within the heavenly sanctuary.

But remember, you cannot transfer your sins and still keep them. Now think it through; if you should have a piece of property, and you decide to transfer that property to somebody else; you sign a deed, you have it witnessed, and recorded–do you still own that property? Absolutely not! It now belongs to another. There is no way that you can transfer your sins to the Lord Jesus Christ and still keep them. So many professed Christians, somehow, never rest in the total forgiveness, that Jesus Christ has separated them from their sins. They have missed the point completely. The sinner must come to the place in this life, that he not only asks Jesus to take his sins, but believes that he has done so. He must also believe that even the record of his sins will someday be separated from him forever–blotted out in the final atonement (See Acts 3:19). PRAISE GOD!

Chapter 4 ⇒

The Sanctuary Made Simple – Chapter 2

by Lawrence M. Nelson

The Sanctuary Made Simple bookChapter Two – Christ The Lamb

A pastor was deeply troubled about his own personal battle with sin. Somehow, he seemed to lack the moral courage to gain a victory. The struggle became so severe that when he went to sleep one night, he had a nightmare in which he saw a man whipping Christ in Pilate’s judgment hall. Watching the lash as it buried itself in Christ’s bleeding back, he could not stand to think of anyone wounding the Lord Jesus. In his dream, he rushed forward, seized the man and began to struggle with him. Suddenly, this brute of a man turned his face and the pastor screamed in terror and awoke. For the face of the man whipping Jesus was none other than his own face. You see, in allowing sin to gain the mastery of his life, he was wounding the Lord Jesus Christ. It was an experience he would never forget.

This true story illustrates the following scripture: “They shall look upon me whom they have pierced.” Zechariah 12:10. How little do we realize the pain that we cause the Lord Jesus when we continue in our same sins. How little do we realize the disappointment that we heap upon our Lord when we do not gain a victory. How unworthy we are of His great love.

Isaiah also expressed how our sinful ways cause our Lord to suffer. “He (Jesus) is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him: the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter.” Isaiah 53:3-7.

What a description! Did you notice these words–rejected, despised, stricken, smitten, afflicted, wounded, bruised, oppressed, and then the statement–“The Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. For he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter.”

As the apostle Paul meditated upon the tremendous sacrifice of Christ, he marveled in amazement. And if we would look at the cross, we, too, would join Paul in these words, “I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Roman 8:38.

Now when the Lord Jesus was baptized, John the Baptist declared, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” John 1:29. From that very moment, the eyes of men began to focus on Christ. Every word, every act performed in his three and one-half years of ministry leading Him to the cross, reveals Him to be the Lamb of God. But in one sense, the sacrifice of Jesus did not commence at Calvary. For in the book of Revelation, we read that Christ was “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Revelation 13:8. God in His great love knowing the future, before there was sin, provided a plan of salvation before the world was created.

The moment that sin entered the Garden of Eden, all heaven was filled with sorrow, for apparently the inhabitants of this world were doomed to death. But God’s plan was ready to redeem man. The moment the divine law had been broken by man, Christ was ready to make an atonement for man’s transgression. He would take upon Himself man’s sin, and redeem him.

Listen, how this mystery of redemption was unfolded.

“Christ then made known to the angelic host that a way of escape had been made for lost man. He told them that He had been pleading with His Father, and had offered to give His life a ransom. To take the sentence of death upon Himself that through Him man might find pardon, that through time merits of His blood, and obedience to the law of God, they could have the favor of God, and be brought into the beautiful garden and eat of the fruit of the tree of life.” The Story of Redemption, pg. 42.

Such a plan of love is almost impossible to fully explain; no wonder the redeemed in heaven will ever search to comprehend the mystery of such love. So, in this short study, we can only begin to understand the depth of this wonderful love, and to see why God has chosen the sanctuary system as a kindergarten display to help us in our learning process.

Let’s put on our “thinking caps” now. Why did Christ come to this earth to die? In the description of the heavenly sanctuary, which you find in the New Testament, there is no mention of an outer court. Only in the Old Testament do you find the outer court connected with the sanctuary. It was only in the earthly sanctuary that the outer court existed. There was a reason for this. The sacrifice of Christ was not to take place in heaven, for there can be no death in heaven. Therefore, Christ must come to the court of the earthly sanctuary, to be the lamb, to die for sin. Paul describes the experience of Christ in these words, “Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” Philippians 2:6-8.

Can you grasp it? Imagine! Christ, who was equal with God, descended from heaven’s purity, lowered Himself below the level of an angel, became a man of our flesh and was born a helpless babe in a manger. Not to be a man like Adam was when he was formed in perfection. Oh, no! But a man after the consequences of four thousand years of sin. Born into a world filled with sorrow, misery, disease, death and every conceivable temptation. Then, when Christ’s mission was to come to an end, He would be subjected to every insult and torture that Satan could conceive of. For He must die as a guilty sinner. His last hour would be so terrible, that even the angels must veil their faces rather than look upon Him. And finally, because He bore our sins He must endure the anguish of the lost. He is separated from His Father’s love because the guilt of the entire world rests upon Him.

Ellen White paints a touching picture of what took place. Listen:

“The spotless son of God hung upon the cross. His flesh, lacerated with stripes. Those hands, so often reached out in blessing, nailed to wooden bars. Those fret, so tireless on ministries of love, spiked to a tree. That royal head, pierced by the crown of thorns. Those quivering lips, shaped in a cry of woe. And all that He endured; the blood drops that flowed from His head, His hands, His feet. The agony that wracked his frame, and the unutterable anguish that filled His soul at the hiding of His Father’s face speaks to each child of humanity, declaring, “it is for thee that the son of God consents to bear this burden of guilt. For thee, He spoils the domain of death and opens the gate of paradise. He, who stilled the angry waves and walked the foam-capped billows, who made devils tremble and disease to flee. Who opened blind eyes, and called forth the dead to life offers himself upon the cross as a sacrifice. And this, from love, to thee. He, the bearer, endures the wrath of divine justice, and for thy sake, becomes sin itself.” The Desire of Ages, pg. 755.

What words! If only we could fully comprehend.

Now the question: How is the precious blood of Christ, the Lamb, applied to you, and to me individually? Let us turn to Leviticus, the fourth chapter, beginning with verse twenty-seven. For only the sanctuary explains in detail how the blood of Christ can be applied to us as individuals. “If any one of the common people sin through ignorance, while he doeth somewhat against any of the commandments of the Lord concerning things which ought not to be done, and be guilty; he shall bring his offering, a kid of the goats, a female without blemish, for his sin which he hath sinned.” Leviticus 4:28. Now, in bringing the sacrifice, whether it was a kid of the goats, or of a lamb, or of any other animal, remember this, the sacrifice represented the Lord Jesus Christ. Secondly, the sinner must transfer his sin to the sacrifice. Verse twenty-nine, “He shall lay his hand upon the head of the sin offering. . .” You see, in his act of laying his hands on the head is implied the confession and transfer of the sin to the sinner’s substitute.

Then comes step number three: After the sin has been transferred to the sacrifice, the victim must be slain. Why? Because the wages of sin is death. The broken law of God demands the penalty of death. “He shall lay his hand upon the head of the sin offering.” And then the scripture adds, “and slay the sin offering. . .” Leviticus 4:29. It was by this method that God taught men that there was a way of escape from sin. That a substitute, the Lamb of God, could die for our sins. But, remember, it was the sinner’s hand that was always to slay the sacrifice. Every sinner must comprehend this great truth before he is ready to overcome sin in his life. Sin must be paid for in death! Since Christ is our substitute, we must understand that our sins took the life of Christ. When we realize the enormity of the cost of sin, we will determine to overcome sin with a hatred that is akin to God’s hatred of sin. And then, and only then, are we ready to live in a land where there will be no more sin! What a tragedy that so few of us seem to grasp this lesson.

So, the sacrificial offerings were ordained by God to teach each sinner, who earnestly desires forgiveness, that he must acknowledge his sin, repent of his sin, bring his sin to Christ, and ask Christ to take his sin. He must acknowledge his part in the crucifixion of Christ, and he must realize that sin causes death. He must accept Christ by faith and take hold of His divine power that will give him a hatred for sin and enable him to stop sinning; then he can rejoice in his redemption.

This sacrificial plan has a much broader and deeper purpose than the salvation of mankind. For Christ came to this earth to die, not only to save man and to ransom the world, but He came to vindicate the character of God before the universe. Why? Because the great conflict between good and evil began when God’s law was challenged in heaven and caused war in heaven. “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” Revelation 12:7, 8.

Every being, throughout the entire universe of God, was interested in the outcome of Christ’s sacrifice. For this would determine whether God or Satan would be victorious. This is why the Savior looked forward to His crucifixion when He said, “Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” John 12:31. Thus it was, that Christ’s death on Calvary would not only make it possible for man to be forgiven and heaven to be accessible to him, but it would also justify God before the entire unfallen universe. It would establish the law of God forever, and testify to the fact that sin is death.

When Adam and Eve accepted Satan’s proposition, Satan declared this world to be his, because they had chosen him as their ruler. Satan did not believe that it was possible for God to forgive man. But God’s love had already provided a plan by giving His only begotten Son to pay the death penalty for our sins. Thus the Lamb of God became the way of escape for mankind.

This very earth which was claimed by Satan, became the theater in which God has chosen to redeem man, and to justify Himself before the whole universe. This is the meaning of Christ’s last words on the cross. “It is finished.” John 19:30. At the moment Christ died, there was a mighty shout of triumph that rang throughout every world in the universe. The contest had been decided, Jesus had gained the victory. Satan had revealed himself as a liar, and a murderer. Christ, in human flesh proved that man can keep the law of God. Little wonder that the greatest excitement the universe has ever known was the moment that Jesus Christ triumphed over Satan, when He died on Calvary’s cross. And someday, someday very soon, Jesus is coming back to this earth again, and the final act in this controversy between Christ and Satan will be over.

Are you ready for the greatest adventure of your life? Are you ready to live with Christ in heaven, where there will be no more sin; no more death, where every moment will be filled with joy, peace, and happiness? Are you ready to experience a sinless life for eternity? If so, you must overcome sin here and now, as taught in the sanctuary system instituted by God Himself.

Some time ago, the newspapers told a story of a little girl who had been playing in the garage where she found a pop bottle. It looked just like the one that contained the kind of drink that her mother occasionally gave her from the refrigerator. She took the bottle, and drained the fluid to the last drop. It didn’t taste quite like what she had expected, but in her childish thinking, she thought it was some new kind of drink. But soon she began to experience terrible pain in her stomach.. .She ran to mother and complained. Her mother rushed her to the hospital, but help was too late. The little girl paid with her life, for the substance in the bottle was not soda pop, it was deadly weed poison! Sin is just like a weed killer. It seems that many of us do not realize that we are already poisoned with sin, and that we will die from its deadly poison, but God has the antidote. “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Acts 4:12.

Never forget, God has provided a way of escape. And that way, friend, is through Jesus Christ the Lamb. He is ready to help you this very moment. Jesus tells us, “I stand at the door, and knock, lf any man hear my voice and open the door I will come in to him, amid will sup with him, and he with me.” Revelation 3:20. Christ, the Lamb, is knocking at your heart’s door. He wants to come in. Will you let Him be your Lamb who is able to take all sin out of your life?

Chapter 3 ⇒

The Sanctuary Made Simple – Chapter 1

by Lawrence M. Nelson

The Sanctuary Made Simple bookChapter One – Christ The Way

Let us begin with some wonderful good news! GOD LOVES YOU! He loves us so much, that He wants us to come and live with Him. Many times when we see friends we really like, we say, “Why don’t you come and stay with us for a couple of days? We have a spare bedroom. Come and stay a week, or more.” But, that’s not what is meant if you say, “Come and live with me.” That’s a permanent request! God will never be satisfied until we dwell in heaven with Him forever. That is why He said these words in John 14:1-3,

“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself that where I am, there ye may be also.”

God loves us so much, He is waiting for the day when we can live with Him for eternity!

This brings us to our very first big question: Why are we not in heaven today? Why has Jesus not returned as He promised? Could it be a problem of distance? I think not, for Christ has often come to this earth. You will recall that He spent seven days here during the creation week, and He often came and visited with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Actually, He used to take walks with Enoch! And, He visited old Abraham and ate with him in his tent. He talked with Moses on Mount Sinai. And for years He abode in the cloud above the sanctuary in the desert. We read of Jesus coming to this earth as a babe in Bethlehem, and He lived with man for thirty-three years. So, it is very clear from the scriptures that Christ has been here many times. Distance is no barrier with Christ!

Let’s look at it another way. Could it be a problem of time? Maybe it’s not yet time for Christ to return. However, nearly every sign Christ predicted for the end-time events has already taken place, or is presently taking shape before our very eyes. Skeptics, atheists, and politicians all agree that something great is about to happen! What then is the problem? Why hasn’t Christ come?

I believe I can state the reason in these few simple words: God has a big problem! How can He save the sinner without saving the sin? How can He destroy sin without destroying the sinner? Putting it very bluntly, how can God get rid of sin without getting rid of you and me? How can He take us to heaven without taking the infectious sin with us. That would spread death throughout the universe. Let me tell you; God has a big, big problem!

Now some theologians claim that they have the answer to God’s problem. Like indulgent parents, who believe that their children will outgrow their evil ways when they become adults, they teach that they need only be shown enough love. But, experience reveals that they are dead wrong! In the same manner, there are some indulgent theologians who are teaching that if we just preach enough love, the people will believe God and receive salvation. After all, God is so full of mercy, grace and forgiveness, that He does not demand total obedience.

They assert that Christ gave all men unconditional salvation at the cross, and all man has to do is to “believe”. The sinner need not be concerned if he continues to sin. After all, he was born to sin and it is impossible in this life to stop sinning. Some even teach that when Jesus comes the second time He will give every sinner a new heart (mind) instantly, so that they will never sin again. Thus the sin problem will be solved! – Don’t you believe it! This is a teaching that is a concoction of the devil himself.

The servant of the Lord has written:

“This goody-goody religion that makes light of sin and that is forever dwelling upon the love of God to the sinner, encourages the sinner to believe that God will save him while he continues in sin and he knows it to be sin. This is the way that many are doing who profess to believe present truth. The truth is kept apart from their life, and this is the reason it has no more power to convict and convert the soul.” 3 Selected Messages, p. 155.

Think it through, if Christ were to perform such a miracle as the instant transformation of mind and character, from sin to righteousness, when He comes, then the atheists would be right in blaming God for all the evils that are in this earth. Could not God have made His followers, even from the days of Adam, instantly sinless whenever they claimed to believe in Him? Don’t be misled by these false new theology teachings. God does have a way to solve the sin problem. A way to save His people from their sins, not in their sins. God’s way is clearly taught to us in the sanctuary services, as the blood of the Lamb is administered therein.

You will remember that Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life.” John 14:6. And if we follow Him into the sanctuary where He is ministering today, we will understand His way. This is indeed good news, for Jesus Christ can solve the sin problem, making eternal life possible for every sinner who will accept Christ’s sacrifice and follow His way of separating our sins from us. Praise God! He tells us, “Thy way, Oh God, is in the sanctuary.” Psalms 77:13.

Now let’s take a look at the scriptures, for they reveal that there is, today, a sanctuary in heaven and that in Old Testament times there was a sanctuary on this earth. First, let us read from Hebrews 8:1, 2. You will notice that this verse is referring to the sanctuary in heaven. “We have such an high priest, who is on 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 pitched, and not man.” Turning to the ninth chapter of Hebrews, we read about the earthly sanctuary in verse 12, “the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary. For there was a tabernacle made.”

Now, since we have found that the New Testament declares that there is a sanctuary in heaven, and that there was a sanctuary on this earth, let’s turn to the Old Testament and read about the sanctuary that was here on this earth. In Exodus 25:8, God said, “Let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.”

The sanctuary on earth teaches us, through symbols, how God solves the sin problem from His sanctuary above. We are enabled to understand how He can separate sin from the sinner as it is done in the sanctuary services. In fact, there were three parts to the earthly sanctuary: the outer court, the holy place, and the most holy place. In each of these locations a separate service was performed: one in the outer court, one in the holy place, and one within the most holy place. We shall study these three separate services so we can learn how to co-operate with Christ as He solves our sin problem. When Christ has finally separated sin from us, we will eventually be able to join our Savior in heaven and live with Him where there will be no more sin!

I know that all of us are longing to be with our Savior in heaven. But what will make this possible? The final act of the disposition of sin from the sinner did not take place at the cross, as so many teach and believe. Rather, the final act of making an atonement for sin takes place within the most holy place of the sanctuary in heaven. This is why we read in The Great Controversy, pg. 489,

“The intercession of Christ in man’s behalf in the sanctuary above is as essential to the plan of salvation as was his death upon the cross , for by His death He began that work which after His resurrection He ascended to complete in heaven.”

Nothing could be stated more clearly. There is a work, now going on in the heavenly sanctuary, that is essential for the final atonement of our sins. The sacrifice on the cross did not separate sin from the individual sinner, but made a “provision”, whereby Christ paid the penalty for the sins of those who would avail themselves of the provision.

Thus, the final, or eternal, disposition of sin that takes place in the second apartment of the sanctuary can never be accomplished until the work in the first apartment is completed. Likewise, the work in the first apartment cannot take place until the sacrifice has been made in the outer court on the altar. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to remember that these three separate steps are necessary to eternally separate sin from the sinner.

When God instructed Moses to build this earthly sanctuary, He commanded, “Make it after the pattern.” However, there was one exception. When it came to writing the law of Jehovah, God said, “Moses, I’ll do this.” Notice His words, Exodus 31:18, “And he gave unto Moses, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.”

Everything found within the earthly sanctuary was made by men except the Ten Commandments.

These were written in stone by the immortal finger of God Almighty. The importance of this act was emphasized when Moses broke the tables of stone to show his displeasure of Israel’s idolatry. God did not say, “Moses, make another copy and put it in the ark.” Oh no! God said, “Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first, and come up unto me into the mount, and make thee an ark of wood. And I will write on the tables the words that were in the first tables which thou brakest, and thou shalt put them in the ark.”

Deuteronomy 10:1, 2. It was God who wrote the law the second time with His divine finger. Thus, the Ten Commandments are lifted up above the rest of the entire Bible, for God Himself wrote the Ten Commandments.

The sixty-six books which compose God’s Word were written by men under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, but the Ten Commandments were written by God Himself! Why? Because God wanted no human element to deface His divine law. The Ten Commandments are a copy of the law in heaven which expresses God’s holy character. So when we read them, we are dealing with the great original, the law of God that is safely secured within the heavenly sanctuary above.

You will recall that some sixty years after Christ was crucified, had risen, and had returned to heaven, God opened the heavenly sanctuary to John in vision. And what did he see? He writes, “And the temple was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament.” Revelation 11:19. After the cross, all eyes are to focus on the heavenly sanctuary in which can be seen the law of God. And why was this? Because God wants those of us who are living in these last days, to know that there is a right and a wrong way to live. We are told, “. . .for by the law is the knowledge of’ sin.” Romans 3:20. In Phillip’s translation it reads like this, “It is the straight edge of the law that shows how crooked we are. The law is actually the transcript of the character of God. In the book, The Story of Redemption, pg. 19, we read that God, speaking of His Ten Commandments, has exalted them to be equal to Himself. And then in The Desire of Ages, pg. 308, speaking of this law of God, it tells us:

“. . . the precepts of’ the Decalogue are as immutable as the throne of God.”

They are a transcript of His character. And so, when you consider and study the law of God, you are studying the very character of God Himself.

Now, in the most holy apartment of the sanctuary, we are brought face to face with God’s law. For there it is, in the ark, representing His character, the divine rule of life. In Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14, we have been commanded, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good or whether it be evil.” The apostle James makes it very clear in James 2:10-12, “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.”

For He that said, “Do not commit adultery”, said also, “Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law. So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.” Yes, there is a penalty for breaking God’s law, and that penalty is death! For God states, “The soul that sinneth, it shall die.” Ezekiel 18:4. As you read the scriptures you will find that this truth is emphasized in many other verses, such as: “The wages of sin is death.” Romans 6:23; and “All have sinned.” Romans 3:23. So we all stand as sinners before God’s law!

Now this brings us back to the sin problem, doesn’t it? Since we have all sinned, how is it possible for God to separate our sins from us so we can be taken to heaven and live with Jesus, instead of dying for our sins as the law demands?

For this answer let’s go back to the sanctuary and discover the first step in this process of separating sin from the sinner. This act was performed in the court of the sanctuary. God describes what actually takes place there. “If anyone of the common people sin through ignorance, while he doeth somewhat against any of the commandments of the Lord concerning things which ought not to be done, and be guilty; or if his sin which he hath sinned, come to his knowledge: Then he shall bring his offering, a kid of the goats, a female without blemish, for his sin which he hast sinned.” Leviticus 4:27. Then what did the sinner do?. “And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the sin offering, and slay the sin offering in the place of the burnt offering. And the priest shall take of the blood thereof with his finger, and put it upon the horns of the altar of burnt offering, and shall pour out all the blood thereof at the bottom of the altar, and the priest shall make an atonement for him, and it shall be forgiven.” But how could this be accomplished? As you read verses five and six of the same chapter, it says, “The priest that is anointed shall take of the bullock’s blood, and bring it the tabernacle of the congregation.” So the priest brings this blood inside the sanctuary. “And the priest shall dip his finger in the blood, and sprinkle of the blood seven times before the Lord, before the veil of the sanctuary.”

Again we find the three requirements that must be followed. This man has sinned, he has broken the law. He deserves to die for his sin. But God doesn’t want him to die, so the Holy Spirit convicts the man of his sin; he repents and seeks forgiveness of the Lord; he wants to live and not die. He believes in, and accepts Christ as his Savior. God in His great love has provided a way for the sinner to become guiltless before God, even as though he had never sinned.

But the sinner must faithfully follow the divine plan if he is to be granted such forgiveness and is to be separated from his sin. First, a lamb must be brought to the court of the sanctuary as a sacrifice. Next, he must place his hands on the head of the Iamb and confess his sin over its head. In doing this, he will transfer his sin to the Iamb, which becomes his substitute. He then takes this lamb, places it on the altar, and with his own hand takes a knife and cuts the throat of the innocent victim. Thus, taking the victim’s life for his sin, rather than dying for his own sin. Next, the blood is caught in a bowl, the priest takes the blood into the sanctuary’s holy place and it is sprinkled before the law.

Now you ask, why must the blood be taken into the sanctuary? Because the blood represents the life of the victim. In Leviticus 17:11 it plainly states, “The life of the flesh is in the blood.” And the life of the innocent victim must be presented before the Lord; before His law, to fulfill its requirement. Now, since the guilty man has transferred his sin to the Iamb, the substitute now bears the guilt and must die for the sin which was transferred to it.

Isn’t there any other way that God can separate sin from us? The answer is: Absolutely not! For God states: “Without the shedding of blood (there) is no remission.” Hebrews 9:22. Are you thinking this through very carefully? You see, the substitute must die. And who must slay the substitute? The sinner! Because, it is his sin that made the death necessary!

Let’s look at the reality of this plan of salvation. Whom does the lamb represent? John the Baptist explained this in unmistakable words as Jesus came to him to be baptized. John said, speaking of Jesus, “Behold the lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” And this is why Jesus came to this world. He came to save us; to die for us! Now you understand that since sin causes death, either I must die, or a substitute must die by my own hand. This, then, is the basic lesson we learn in our study of God’s way to separate sin from us.

Please, let me enact once more this word-picture, as the sinner takes a knife, and slays the innocent victim. Watch with me as the Iamb experiences the death throbs and dies. The guiltless, dying for the sinner; dying because of another’s sin. And now quickly, look in faith to the Lamb of God, and behold Jesus Christ the Lamb, dying on Calvary for our sins. Remember, Peter wrote, “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.” I Peter 2:24. What happened to that Iamb on the altar? The Iamb died! What did our sins do to Christ on Calvary? They took His life–it was we who took Christ’s life!

Millions are acquainted with the historical fact of Calvary. They like to go to the “holy land” and visit the very spot where Jesus died. But, so very few of them ever realize that it was their sin that crucified the Lamb of God. They have never understood what Zechariah wrote in Chapter 12, verse 10, “They shall look upon me whom they have pierced.” Have you gone in faith to Calvary and there, discovered Christ dying on the cross in your place, realizing that it was your sins that took His life? Tell me, honestly, have you felt guilty for the death of Christ? Have you envisioned the Lord Jesus as your substitute, dying in your place?

One of the saddest funerals that I have ever conducted will help us to understand the results of Christ’s death on the cross. In the casket lay the body of a very small boy, the only son of the grieving parents. This tiny tot had died by an accident which was caused by his father, for he did not know that his small son had followed him to the garage. When the father backed the car out of the garage, he killed the child instantly. Although this was an accident, I cannot describe the grief that I beheld in the father’s face. When your mind contemplates Calvary, you behold Christ the Lamb dying your death. You know His death was not an accident because His death was caused by our devilish sins. Christ dying on the cross as our substitute, bearing our sins, helps us to realize the meaning of Calvary. We cannot help but cry out, “Oh God, is this what I have done to your dear Son? Is this the price of my salvation?”

Tell me, if that father who by accident killed his little precious son, should someday have another son, do you think that he would be more careful in the future as he backs his car out of the garage? You can be sure he will never want to repeat that tragedy again.

So likewise, when we go to Calvary, and see Jesus dying in our place, crucified for our sins, our heart breaks. For we know it was our sin that put Him there, and we never want to repeat that sin again. Instead, we cry out, “Oh God, take this sin away from me, and let Calvary give me such a hatred of sin that I will never, never commit such a sin again.

Christ is the only way in which sin can be separated from the sinner. “God will provide Himself a lamb.” Genesis 22:8.

Chapter 2 ⇒

Is the Virgin Mary Dead or Alive? Chapter 20

by Danny Vierra

Is the Virgin Mary Dead or Alive booklChapter 20 – Epilogue– The Three Angels’ Messages

Before I conclude this book, I would like to say that I love Catholics. In fact, most of my family are Roman Catholic. My message is not, therefore, an attack on Catholic people, but an unmasking of the Roman Catholic system as antichrist. There are many people connected with this religious denomination that are indeed true Christians. It is not my intention, in any way, to judge the hearts of these individuals, but to expose the system in which they worship, especially at a time in which it seeks to impose its Babylonian system worldwide in a New World Order. At such a time as this, the following Scripture applies: “For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.” (Rev. 18: 5).

Many times my own parents have asked me the question: “Why must you write about another person’s beliefs; why knock their church?” Believe me, friends, I take no pleasure in exposing the sins of Babylon, but consider it a mandate from God, since Antichrist has attempted to usurp His throne and authority, and the multitudes that follow it will be lost as a result. Others will say, “This is not love, and you profess to be a Christian!” Always remember the following: “True love seeks first the honor of God and the salvation of souls. Those who have this love will not evade the truth to save themselves from the unpleasant results of plain speaking. When souls are in peril, God’s ministers will not consider self, but will speak the word given to speak, refusing to excuse or palliate evil.” (Prophets and Kings, pp. 141, 142). On the battlefield of Good vs. Evil, Right vs. Wrong, and Truth vs. Error, with eternal destiny at stake, does anyone dare to claim immunity from critical examination of false beliefs simply because they are part of a religion? After all, this is at the very heart of what “the great controversy between Christ and Satan” is all about!

Friends, the war between Christ and Satan is ages old. Revelation 12: 7 says: “There was war in heaven: Michael [Christ— see Jude 9, I Thess. 4: 16, and John 5: 26- 29] and His angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels.” Thus, the great controversy between good and evil, which had its beginning in Heaven when Satan was the beautiful cherub, Lucifer, has continued on this earth since the time of Adam and Eve. Satan will use any medium necessary, not excluding religious or political organizations, or even a false apparition of the Virgin Mary in his efforts to destroy God’s people. Just as the master deceiver used the serpent, he has used Pharaoh of Egypt, Nebucchadnezzer of Babylon, Herod of Rome, certain kings of Israel, and the Scribes and the Pharisees. And today he is using the Roman papacy to further accomplish his purposes, which will reach their climax in the near future. Since Roman Catholicism has intoxicated nearly every religious organization with her false doctrines, as well as the kings and the inhabitants of the earth, Satan is ready to strike at any moment, and for the last time.

According to Bible prophecies and the marshaling of events all about us that are obviously related to the fulfillment of those prophecies, we are now standing but a short distance from the full- blown fulfillment of the “mark of the beast” vs. “the seal of God” issue portrayed so graphically in Revelation 13 and 14. The New World Order and its One World Religion (which will demand the worship of Sunday by every human being on this planet) is ready to be implemented. And is God ready for the crisis? Absolutely! And His answer is contained in Revelation 14: 6- 12— the Three Angels’ Messages! “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven [the urgency with which this vital message must be given], having the everlasting gospel [the one and only gospel of the Holy Scriptures] to preach [the message must be heard] unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice [it is a life- or- death message], fear God [get your lives in harmony with His commandments], and give glory to Him [reflect His character or law in your life]; for the hour of His judgment is [not ‘will’] come [the hour of final accountability is here]; and worship Him [not the beast (Rome) or its image (apostate Protestantism) when Sunday observance is enforced by law] that made [for He is the Creator] heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of water [the words contained in the fourth commandment— the Sabbath ; in other words, “Observe My holy day ”]. And there followed another angel [the message is important enough to command special attention], saying, Babylon [Protestant Churches have begun to reject the 1st Angel’s message for Babylonish traditions], is fallen, that great city, because she has made all nations [the whole world] drink of the wine [they have swallowed, among others, her false doctrines of Sunday sacredness and the immortality of the soul] of the wrath of her fornication [spiritual adultery]. And the third angel followed them [backing up the first two angels’ messages with the most terrible warning in the Bible], saying with a loud voice [the message is most urgent], If any man worship the beast or his image, and receive his mark [Sunday— a commandment of man] in his forehead [he believes it], or in his hand [he meekly goes along with it], The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone [Eternal Fire will consume the wicked and is eternal in its effects (see Malachi 4: 1, 3; Jude 7)] in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up forever and ever: [In the Greek, aion, an indefinite period of time. It could be anything from a moment to an extensive period of time, depending on the ingredients of what is being discussed. The wicked are punished according to their works. Obviously, their lengths of punishment will vary. Satan will suffer longest. But, all the wicked will be entirely consumed. (See Rev. 20: 12- 14; II Thess. 1: 8, 9; and again Mal. 4: 1, 3)]… who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God [not Rome], and the faith of Jesus [for it is only by faith in Christ and through His grace that we can obey His commandments].”

The most solemn message in the whole of Scripture is the Three Angels’ Messages, for it is the last warning to the world before probation closes once and for all! It really is not that difficult to understand the prophecies of Revelation when you learn what the signs and symbols mean. I remember the first time I read the Three Angels’ Messages after receiving wisdom and understanding from God. Not only did I fall in love with them, I wanted to share them with the whole world; and I pray you will, too, for it is a message of salvation! Share this book with whomever you can. Send it to your friends and family, maybe to a whole city! But whatever you do, do something now! And God will reward you greatly. The promise is “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). May the grace of Almighty God be with you, brothers and sisters, and, remember, you have nothing to fear, for the Lord of hosts and His truth will triumph in the end.

“And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven [a fourth angel joins with the Three Angels of Rev. 14: 6- 12 and gives added power to the message], having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird . For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. [Is God wrong here to speak so negatively of a worldwide ‘religious’ combine which rejects Heaven’s final warning of mercy— the Three Angels’ Messages? Which enforces life- threatening penalties against those who faithfully bear God’s last warning appeals under the mighty power of the Holy Spirit? and which willingly submits itself to ‘the power of darkness’ in the form of spiritualism? Because its work bears the label ‘religion, ’ does it legally merit immunity from exposure of its falsity by the truth of God’s Word? Or are the laws now being stealthily set in place forbidding ‘attacks’ on other religious beliefs actually selfserving devices of the ‘father of lies’ to prevent the disclosure of his artful deceptions and deadly masquerades to lead multitudes to perdition?] And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, My people , that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. [it is not heartwarming that God´s last endeavor in the ‘heat controversy’ between Christ and Satan before probation ends once and forever for fallen mankind is to rescue Hist true followers from doomed Babylong before the Seven Last PLagues begin! God truly cares for His Own. Not a single honest soul will be lost! Praise God! From first to last, the ‘great controversy’ is primarily a spiritual battle!] For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double. How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen [for all the world was her seat, but soon the wicked of this world will turn on her because they have been the victims of her deceptions], and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow. Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.” (Revelation 18: 1- 8)!


All emphases in this article are mine.
Published by Modern Manna Ministries

Is the Virgin Mary Dead or Alive? Chapter 19

by Danny Vierra

Is the Virgin Mary Dead or Alive booklChapter 19 – The Crowning Act in the Drama of Deception– Satan’s Personation of Christ

Friends, I believe the demon-originated, counterfeit Virgin Mary will soon make her bodily appearance to the world, and by this masterpiece of Satan’s, thousands, yea, millions of innocent people will be deceived! And perhaps, the Virgin herself, a very familiar spirit, will present her son, the counterfeit Jesus, to the world, who, in reality, is Satan himself . If so, this will be the crowning act of Satan’s deceptions! But even before this, we may see demons in the form of the apostles, such as Peter and Paul, contradict what they wrote at the dictation of the Holy Spirit when on earth. Here is one such prediction: “After three days of darkness, Saint Peter and Saint Paul, having come down from Heaven, shall preach in the whole world and designate a new Pope. A great light will flash from their bodies and will settle upon the cardinal who is to become Pope. Christianity, then, will spread throughout the world. He is the Holy Pontiff, chosen by God to withstand the storm. At the end, he will have the gift of miracles, and his name shall be praised over the whole earth. Whole nations will come back to the Church and the face of the earth will be renewed.” (The Thunder of Justice, p. 353). It is perilous to conclude that “seeing is believing.” Satan is counting on this human fallacy in order to delude earth’s inhabitants.

Dear friends, I can not say that Satan, through his hellish arts, will, or will not, enact the above scene in exactly the way it has been described, but this I do know— that the Scriptures warn us that “such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ . And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light . Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” (II Cor. 11: 13- 15)

“Fearful sights of a supernatural character will soon be revealed in the heavens, in token of the power of miracle- working demons. The spirits of devils will go forth to the kings of the earth and to the whole world, to fasten them in deception, and urge them on to unite with Satan in his last struggle against the government of heaven. By these agencies, rulers and subjects will be alike deceived. Persons will arise pretending to be Christ Himself, and claiming the title and worship which belong to the world’s Redeemer. They will perform wonderful miracles of healing and will profess to have revelations from heaven contradicting the testimony of the Scriptures.

“As the crowning act in the great drama of deception, Satan himself will personate Christ. The church has long professed to look to the Saviour’s advent as the consummation of her hopes. Now the great deceiver will make it appear that Christ has come. In different parts of the earth, Satan will manifest himself among men as a majestic being of dazzling brightness, resembling the description of the Son of God given by John in the Revelation. Revelation 1: 13- 15. The glory that surrounds him is unsurpassed by anything that mortal eyes have yet beheld. The shout of triumph rings out upon the air: ‘Christ has come! Christ has come!’ The people prostrate themselves in adoration before him, while he lifts up his hands and pronounces a blessing upon them, as Christ blessed His disciples when He was upon the earth. His voice is soft and subdued, yet full of melody. In gentle, compassionate tones he presents some of the same gracious, heavenly truths which the Saviour uttered; he heals the diseases of the people, and then, in his assumed character of Christ, he claims to have changed the Sabbath to Sunday , and commands all to hallow the day which he has blessed. He declares that those who persist in keeping holy the seventh day are blaspheming his name by refusing to listen to his angels sent to them with light and truth. This is the strong, almost overmastering delusion. Like the Samaritans who were deceived by Simon Magus, the multitudes, from the least to the greatest, give heed to these sorceries, saying: This is ‘the great power of God. ’ Acts 8: 10.

“But the people of God will not be misled. The teachings of this false christ are not in accordance with the Scriptures. His blessing is pronounced upon the worshipers of the beast and his image, the very class upon whom the Bible declares that God’s unmingled wrath shall be poured out.

“And, furthermore, Satan is not permitted to counterfeit the manner of Christ’s advent. The Saviour has warned His people against deception upon this point, and has clearly foretold the manner of His second coming. ‘There shall arise false christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect…. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, He is in the desert; go not forth: behold, He is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. ’ Matthew 24: 24- 27, 31; 25: 31; Revelation 1: 7; 1 Thessalonians 4: 16, 17. This coming there is no possibility of counterfeiting. It will be universally known— witnessed by the whole world.

“Only those who have been diligent students of the Scriptures and who have received the love of the truth will be shielded from the powerful delusion that takes the world captive . By the Bible testimony these will detect the deceiver in his disguise. To all the testing time will come. By the sifting of temptation the genuine Christian will be revealed. Are the people of God now so firmly established upon His word that they would not yield to the evidence of their senses? Would they, in such a crisis, cling to the Bible and the Bible only?” (The Great Controversy, pp. 624, 625).

Oh, friends, I know that it is not a question of whether these supernatural deceptions will happen or not, but of when they will happen! By their own admission, the authors of The Thunder of Justice believe that since Mary, in giving birth to Jesus, brought Him into the world for His first coming, she will be the one who will usher in His second coming to the world . After all, the book continues: “As John the Baptist prepared the way for the first coming of Jesus, Mary prepares the way for His Second Coming. Mary proclaims that a new world and era is upon us, and the triumph of Her Immaculate Heart and the Second Pentecost (the outpouring of the Holy Spirit) will usher in the Reign of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The Blessed Mother spoke through Father Gobbi on October 13, 1990, about the glorious reign of Jesus and His Second Coming: ‘The glorious reign of Christ, which will be established in your midst with the Second Coming of Jesus in the world is close at hand… This is His glorious return, to establish His reign in your midst and to bring all humanity, redeemed by His most precious blood, back to the state of His new terrestrial paradise. That which is being prepared is so great that its equal has never existed since the creation of the world .” (The Thunder of Justice, p. 12).

The authors conclude, according to their expectations and predictions, that Mary will not only make more grand appearances very soon (perhaps in full bodily form this time for millions to see), but many supernatural things will also take place in the near future— like a permanent pagan red cross for all the world to see in the sky (with its “T” for Tammuz). Also, “she has promised to leave a visible sign for all humanity at the site of the apparitions of Medjugorje [‘ the new Fatima ’ (Newsweek, August 25, 1997, p. 52)].” (The Thunder of Justice, p. 207). Others say that Mary will leave a prominent sign for the world to see by the year 2000. I guess we will just have to wait and see. And will the counterfeit “Mother of God,” together with the ecumenical efforts of the pope, be the one to tip the scales of public opinion in favor of uniting the churches of the world and of bringing the harlot “daughters” back to their mother? Not only is this possible, friends, but Mary, since she “never saw corruption, but was assumed into heaven” according to the Catholic belief, or, as most Christians and non-Christians believe, is a “living spirit” after death, could be the one who will unite the churches of the land in a common goal under spiritualism in its modern form— the New Age movement! A three- fold union consisting of Catholicism, apostate Protestantism, and spiritualism will thus be formed by the beliefs they hold in common— Sunday sacredness [or the worship of the Babylonian sun- god, which New Agers call their “father”] and the doctrine of the immortality of the soul [which the New Agers simply call “reincarnation”]. God has prophesied that this three- fold union will be formed, and He revealed it to John in the following symbolic language: “And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon [pagan spiritualism], and out of the mouth of the beast [Roman Catholicism], and out of the mouth of the false prophet [apostate Protestantism]. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles , which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.” (Rev. 16: 13- 15). The doctrine of the immortality of the soul, which is the basic reason behind image worship and the adoration of the Virgin Mary, in whatever form one accepts it, sets the stage for the worship of demons! If you believe that a spirit from the dead can communicate with the living, you are a sitting- duck, just waiting for the over- powering delusion of the New (Age) Eve— the Queen of the Coming (New) Age .

And could the Virgin Mary be the one to sway the Moslems to join with the other religions on common points of faith? Interestingly enough, Fatima, the famed city in Portugal where the Virgin Mary has appeared many times, was named after Muhammad’s daughter, Fatimah. Furthermore, one of the books of the Koran is entitled Maryam or Marium (the Virgin Mary). She is respected by Moslems all over the world as the ”the pious woman of the Word,” who, some Moslems have told me, is already in Heaven!

Go to Chapter 20 ⇒

All emphases in this article are mine.
Published by Modern Manna Ministries