The foundation of the disciples’ message to the whole world was the opening of Christ’s ministry as our High Priest in the Holy Place of the sanctuary in heaven. This message was so powerful that in Acts 17:6 we are told that this message had “turned the world upside down.” Nobody had to go to the earthly sanctuary anymore to offer a sacrificial lamb. They could now go directly to Jesus in the heavenly sanctuary to confess their sins and Jesus would cover those sins with His blood. But by 1844 this message, that had turned the world upside down, was no longer remembered by the church.
What happened to the sanctuary message and why did it have to be restored? We will begin our search for the answer at the ascension of Jesus Christ.
In Revelation chapters 4 and 5 we are shown the throne room of the sanctuary in heaven in 31 A.D. These two chapters should not have a chapter division because they are about the same event. In Revelation 5:6 we get a picture of Jesus coming as a Lamb slain before the Father. We know that this is an accurate interpretation of this verse. The Desire of Ages, 830–835, is a description of this same event, and gives us more details.
When Jesus ascended 40 days after His crucifixion He went in before the Father as a Lamb slain. “He enters into the presence of His Father. He points to His wounded head, the pierced side, the marred feet; He lifts His hands, bearing the print of nails. He points to the tokens of His triumph; … Before the foundations of the earth were laid, the Father and the Son had united in a covenant to redeem man if he should be overcome by Satan. They had clasped Their hands in a solemn pledge that Christ should become the surety for the human race. This pledge Christ has fulfilled.”
Then Jesus was presented to John not as a Lamb slain, but as our High Priest in the Holy Place. John recorded a description of Jesus as our High Priest in the Holy Place of the sanctuary in heaven in Revelation chapter 1:12–16.
“And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; and in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; and his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.”
On the Day of Pentecost, God sent the Holy Spirit down to the 120 disciples that were assembled in a meeting. The Holy Spirit told them that the inauguration of Jesus as their High Priest had been completed in the sanctuary of the New Covenant in heaven. He then instructed them to go forth and tell the world that sanctuary is now open and waiting to receive their petitions. That was the message that the disciples were to take to the world during the early years of the apostolic church. After Christ’s death and resurrection, nobody had to go to the earthly sanctuary anymore to offer a sacrificial lamb. They could now go directly to Jesus in the Holy Place of the heavenly sanctuary to confess their sins and Jesus said He would secure their pardon.
“The blood of Christ, pleaded in behalf of penitent believers, secured their pardon and acceptance with the Father.” The Great Controversy, 421.
This was the good news proclaimed by the apostolic church. Even the Gentiles later on recognized the power of this message because in Acts 17:6 we are told that this message had “turned the world upside down.” Such was the power of the message of Jesus’ ministry in the heavenly sanctuary.
Satan and the fallen angels saw the power of this message and they saw that this message was going to destroy their kingdom of rebellion. They had to do something to counteract this message. Satan and his angels set about to attack the Christian church and lead it into apostasy. All of the major writers of the New Testament tell about the apostasy that came into the Christian church. It became so bad that by A.D. 538, the papacy took control of the church. In Revelation 13:2 we are told that Satan gave him his power, authority and seat.
Immediately Satan set the Pope up as the head of the church in place of God. The Pope then claimed that he was the mediator between God and man. This was the work of the papacy throughout the Dark Ages. For 1260 years Satan continued his attack on the ministry of Jesus in the Holy Place of the sanctuary in heaven. Even at the present time the people in the Roman Catholic Church are taught to confess their sins to the priests.
The sanctuary message was lost because the people were directed to the priests for their salvation instead of Jesus Christ in the heavenly sanctuary. When the great Second Advent Movement began in the early 1840s, nobody knew about the sanctuary in heaven. They thought that the sanctuary was this earth. The papacy did away with the knowledge of Jesus Christ’s ministry in the sanctuary in heaven by instructing the people to confess their sins to the priests in the church on earth. “It set itself up to be as great as the Prince of the host; it took away the daily sacrifice from him, and the place of his sanctuary was brought low.” Daniel 8:11, NIV.
The good news in Daniel 8:14 is that the sanctuary message would be restored to its rightful place. “And he said to me, for two thousand three hundred evenings and mornings; then the holy place will be properly restored.” NASB.
The restoration of this message has been fulfilled in the Second Advent Movement. In The Great Controversy, 409, we are told, “The scripture which above all others had been both the foundation and the central pillar of the advent faith was the declaration: ‘Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.’ Daniel 8:14.” The sanctuary message was to be restored and was to become the foundation and central pillar of the message to the world in the closing scenes of the great Second Advent Movement.
This restoration of this message is paramount because the heavenly sanctuary is the place where Jesus carries out the terms of the New Covenant. When Jesus moved from the Holy Place to the Most Holy Place in the heavenly sanctuary in 1844 to begin the investigative judgment, His faithful followers were thrilled to learn the truth and followed Him into the Most Holy Place. Christ’s disciples in the great Second Advent Movement will again take up the message as did the first disciples.
“The third angel closes his message thus: ‘Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus’ (Revelation 14:12). As he repeated these words, he pointed to the heavenly sanctuary. The minds of all who embrace this message are directed to the most holy place, where Jesus stands before the ark, making His final intercession for all those for whom mercy still lingers and for those who have ignorantly broken the law of God. This atonement is made for the righteous dead as well as for the righteous living. It includes all who died trusting in Christ, but who, not having received the light upon God’s commandments, had sinned ignorantly in transgressing its precepts.” Early Writings, 254.
During the latter rain this message will be at the heart of the call to “come out of her (Babylon).” It is through the ministry of Jesus in the Most Holy Place where they can be freed from sin as they come out of Babylon.
Daniel 8:14 truly is the foundation and pillar of the Advent faith. It is a prophecy fulfilled. The ministry of Jesus in the heavenly sanctuary was a message forgotten during the Dark Ages. It has been restored according to the prophecy of Daniel 8:14 and we must keep it alive, never to be forgotten again.
Maurice Hoppe is Director of the Steps to Life Training Programs and a member of the Steps to Life Board. The Training Program for Ministers and Church Leaders is a correspondence course that prepares individuals to serve as a pastor or Bible worker. Preparing for the Final Conflict is a correspondence course for the laity. Both of these courses teach present truth that will be an anchor for the soul during the storm of opposition and persecution just ahead. He and his wife also have a correspondence course offered through Revelation Ministry. He can be contacted at: email@example.com.