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Were it not for the dark leaven of Adventism, a few plain scriptures were all that need be given to point out the sanctuary of the New Testament, for all spiritually minded readers are very naturally led to understand that Godâ€™s church is the sanctuary. But since those crafty â€śchildren of the bondwomanâ€ť have darkened counsel by their cunningly devised fables, the reader will please bear with us while we show clearly what the sanctuary is, and also remove the props of their babel structure, and let it fall to the ground. What then is
THE ADVENTIST THEORY?
We will quote from Uriah Smithâ€™s tract, The Sanctuary and the Twenty-Three Hundred Days of Daniel, and from his Thoughts on Daniel. We introduce the absurdities of that sect by this man, because he is one of their foremost writers. He says, â€śThe Advent body were a unit, and their testimony shook the world.â€ť Sanctuary, page 10. Was that body the body of Christ, or one of the daughters of great Babylon? The body of Christ is the church (Ephesians 1:22-23; Colossians 1:18, 24), â€śThe pillar and ground of the truth,â€ť and was called out of the world by the gospel of truth. How was this Advent body called out? What was her testimony? We turn to Smith and receive this answer: â€śA world-wide agitation of this question of Christâ€™s immediate second coming called out hundreds of thousands of believers in the doctrine.â€ť Sanctuary, page 10. The time of his coming was set for October 22, 1844. This was their testimony, and this cry called out that body. Was it true or false? Were their hopes realized in the â€śimmediate coming of Christâ€ť? Let the same writer answer:
Suddenly their power was broken, their strength scattered, their ranks divided, and their testimony paralyzed. They passed the point of their expectation and realized not I their hope. That a mistake had been made somewhere, none could deny. From that point, the history of the majority of that once happy, united people [happy in believing a delusion, and only united in the same] has been marked by discord, division, confusion, speculations, new mistakes, fresh disappointments, disintegration and apostasy. The world, without careful scrutiny looks complacently upon this result, and, relieved of its anxiety respecting the Lordâ€™s coming, is wont to regard all classes of Adventists as only the remnants of an exploded delusion. Sanctuary, pages 10 and 11.
This well describes the facts, not only as seen by the world, but also by men of God, who view the ruins with â€ścareful scrutiny.â€ť Here then we prove by their own witness that the Advent movement was animated by a false prediction, that their â€śbodyâ€ť was called out by a delusion, that their unity was based on a lie, and their explosion wrought the fruits of division, confusion and apostasy, all of which force the conclusion that the whole thing originated with the father of lies. In the language of Uriah Smith, â€śIt must have been a mighty influence of some kind.â€ť True; but we are told that Satan is â€śmighty,â€ť and it may have been his influence. We have only to consider whether their â€śtestiÂmony,â€ť and prediction that Christ would come on October 22, 1844, was true or false, to determine whether the excitement arising from it was of God, or of the devil; for God never moves out on a falsehood, nor invents a false alarm; but his book ascribes to Satan the fatherhood of all lies. Therefore, the Adventist movement, having been created by a falsehood, must have been a â€śmighty influence of someâ€ť satanic kind. Such was its evident character while united on a wild fanaticism, and such it has remained since their false prediction failed. Says Smith: â€śLet it be remembered that God can not be the author of the confusion that has existed since that time in some branches of the Advent body.â€ť Sanctuary, page 15. If he was not the author of the thing when united on an error, nor yet of its confusion after falling into fragments, we conclude that he never had anything to do with it. â€śThe fruits of the Spirit are in all goodness,â€ť and, â€śA good tree can not bring forth evil fruit.â€ť But what kind of fruit could be expected from a tree which took its root in the soil of error? Let us call your attention to two evils that have grown out of that sect, which are acknowledged in the quotations we have given from Smith. First, â€śapostasy.â€ť â€śWe have been informed by men who witnessed the Miller excitement that, many who had been sincere Christians were carried away with this â€śwind of doctrine,â€ť disposed of their homes, at a great sacrifice, neglected all temporal duties, and after they found themÂselves deceived, cast the blame upon the Bible, and apostaÂtized.
Some time ago the conviction came clearly to our mind, that the Adventist commotion was specially invented by the devil as a false alarm of Christâ€™s second coming, well knowing that the reaction would involve the whole world in carnal indifference and deep slumber on the awful fact of his coming; to our astonishment we find Uriah Smith admitting that such was the very effect produced. In the words already quoted he says that the world is â€śrelieved of its anxiety respecting the Lordâ€™s coming.â€ť That is a natural consequence, since one extreme generally follows another. Satan seems to have had some knowledge of the fact that the time drew near when Godâ€™s messengers would â€śrun to and fro,â€ť publishing salvation, announcing the signs of Christâ€™s coming, and gathering Godâ€™s holy remnant, ready for the Bridegroomâ€™s coming. Therefore he prematurely moved a great excitement, based upon a set time that would soon betray all who were thereby carried away, and thus ease the whole world down into a deep slumber, only to be broken by the thunders of the judgment day. To illustrate the effect: Suppose the people of a village are suddenly aroused from their sleep by the cry of fire. They rush forth into the streets, but, finding no fire, conclude they have been imposed upon by a false alarm. They retire with sullen feelings, not to be easily fooled again. Yea, they lie down and give themselves to slumber that is undisturbed by a similar report, even though it prove to be a true one that imperils their very lives. Just so the devil has sent out the false cry of Adventism, and a thousand other lying novelties, until the masses, disgusted and bewildered, have given themÂselves over to carnal indifference, and have, as it were, laid themselves down to sleep over the very fires of hell; and few can be waked by the awful trump of present truth. Oh, how dreadful the situation!
And after this great bubble of 1844 collapsed, Satan took an advanced step by organizing the confused throng on a no-soul-all-bondage creed, sending forth their teachers to deceive the nations, turning men away from the kingdom of heaven to the kingdom of legality, darkness and death. But confusion of face was upon them. They had deceived the people once, and how could they expect their confidence again? Some device must be sought out by which they could account for their failure, and, in some measure at least, escape the reproach of being false teachers. Because Christ did not come, and the earth was not cleansed at the time announced, Smith says, â€śIt has led the majority, while divided on many other points, to agree on this, that the 2,300 days did not end in 1844. It has led them to make a full surrender of positions which were once acknowledged to be the ground and pillar of the Advent faith.â€ť Sanctuary, page 18. Here it is confessed that their mere speculation on a point of prophecy was the pillar and ground of their sect. Had truth been their pillar and ground it would not have failed them. But while the majority left off this fanaticism, others sought out a new device. Their theory had been as follows: â€śThe sanctuary is the earth, or at least some portion of the earth. Its cleansing is to be by fire. But the renovation of the earth is to take place only at the second coming of the Lord.â€ť Sanctuary, page 15. â€śThe theory as held in 1844 consisted of two main propositions: (1) That the 2,300 days would end in 1844. (2) That the earth was the sanctuary then to be cleansed.â€ť Sanctuary, page 16.
Such blindness betrays an utter absence of spiritual knowledge. Had they ever â€śsanctified the Lord God in their hearts,â€ť they would have known the place of his sanctuary; but being earthly, their foolish minds worked for an earthly sanctuary. Instead of their crumbled pillar, they set up this, if possible, more ridiculous fabrication; namely, the earth is not the sanctuary, but it is something up in heaven. Having thus shifted the scene of cleansing to a realm that lies beyond human observation, they have this advantage; i.e., their second delusion is not exposed to general view as was the first. On this new fabrication they base a claim that â€śthe calculation of the time was correct. In 1844 the great period of 2,300 years was finished, which marked the comÂmencement of the work of cleansing the sanctuary.â€ť Sanctuary, page 72. So we are told that in 1844 Christ began to clean out his sanctuary in heaven. And upon this disgusting theory Adventists hope to redeem themselves from the stigma of their past blunders. It is the only soul in their system; the only â€śremedy,â€ť as Smith says, for the movement, which â€śhas fallen into such misfortune and weakness.â€ť â€śThe sanctuary is the one subject that brings order out of all this chaos.â€ť Sanctuary, page 11.
Again, â€śIf we take the ground that the prophetic periods did not then expire, the whole work falls to the ground as wholly false and unscriptural. For if the termination of the prophetic period is yet future, another like movement is to transpire [God forbid], and the one we had was a counterfeit and a fraud. Then we must attribute to fanaticism that work.â€ť Sanctuary, page 74. On pages 141 and 142 it is again conceded that if that time calculation was not correct, then, â€śthe past Advent movement is all a failure. But if there is nothing to the past movement, there is cerÂtainly nothing to the present.â€ť
Here then is the conclusion of the whole matter. It is virtually a confession that the sect has no other apology for its existence save the interpretation of certain prophecy, which, according to their discovery, has nothing to do with the salvation of men on earth, but relates exclusively to what is going on in heaven. It is a frank acknowledgement that there is no vital principle, nor regenerating element in the thing. If it did not hit that date all right it is â€śall a failure,â€ť and there is â€śnothing to the past movement,â€ť and â€ścertainly nothing to the present.â€ť In short, it has proved to be good for nothing. It neither possesses nor teaches any real salvation, and has never helped any one into the kingÂdom of heaven; therefore if its high assumption of wisdom and prophecy proves to be â€śfanaticism,â€ť then the whole thing is a â€ścounterfeit and a fraud.â€ť The whole system then rests upon the single pivot that their application of time in Daniel 8:14 was correct. If this last shift is overthrown the entire superstructure, as Smith has admitted, â€śfalls to the ground as wholly false and unscriptural.â€ť And fall it must before the light of Godâ€™s truth. A certain calculation, and not Christ, is its foundation. The Lord pity the sect that rests upon such a precarious device. Surely you look in vain for deliverance to your imaginary sanctuary; for the hail of Godâ€™s Word will sweep it away. We shall prove that your second delusion is no better than the first.
First, then, we will examine their new invention that they have sought out. Briefly and fairly set forth it is this: The tabernacle and temple were Godâ€™s sanctuary during the first covenant. They were a type of the sanctuary under the present covenant, which is in heaven. When the Israelite brought a sacrifice to be offered by the priest according to the law, he did not receive a clear pardon for the sin he had committed. â€śBut he was as yet only relatively or conditionally free. The law still held him, and unless its claims should be more directly satisfied, the remission of his sins would not be secured.â€ť Sanctuary, page 133. The sinning Jew being only partially forgiven, we are told his sins were transferred from him to the sanctuary, and there kept on hand, as if they were ponderable things that could be done up in a package, labeled and stored away. â€śTheir transfer,â€ť says Uriah Smith, â€śfrom the sinner to the sanctuary was not the final disposition of them. They were not borne into the sanctuary either to remain there forever, or to be considered as blotted out and removed. But they were treated as still in existence, and as hateful and evil things.â€ť Sanctuary, page 128. Then Advent fictions further inform us that on the great day of atonement, the tenth day of the seventh month of each year, all that large stock of sins that had accumulated against the repentant Jews during the year was brought out, laid on the scapegoat, and by him borne off into the wilderÂness and thus finally disposed of.
Then it is further stated that this round of ceremonies in the temple is a type of Christâ€™s high-priestly association in heaven. The interval between the annual days of atonement corresponds with Christâ€™s ministry from the time of his ascension until October 22, 1844. And as the sins of the Jews were only relatively forgiven, laid up in the temple, so the sins of all who had believed on Christ from the beginning of the gospel until October 22, 1844 had accumulated m the sanctuary in heaven. See Thoughts on Daniel, page 233. And on the above date Christ left the holy place of the sanctuary in heaven, entered the most holy and began to cleanse that sanctuary, as the last stage of his high-priestly office. And upon this beautiful story rests the entire fabric of Adventism. â€śFor,â€ť says Smith, â€śif the sanctuary is not now being cleansed, the position and work of our Lord differs in no respect from what they have been the past 1,800 years; and the past Advent movement is all a failure.â€ť Sanctuary, page 141.
No wonder the new invention has been diligently sought out. It has been demonstrated in the Nineteenth Century that men become so intent on saving their own religion from disrepute that they forget that they have a soul to be saved from sin, and that there is a Christ who is able to save it. Who ever heard, or read in the Bible, that God partially forgave menâ€™s sins? even the sins for which the guilty party had offered the required sacrifice? In Leviticus 4:20, 26, 31, 35; 5:10, 16, 18, you will find that when the Israelite trespassed against the law of God, he was required to bring a certain sacrifice, which the priest was to offer; and thus, it is stated on each several occasion, The priest â€śshall make an atonement for him, and it shall be forgiven him.â€ť Not once does it state that it â€śshall be relatively forgiven him.â€ť The priest shall offer the sacrifice there and then, and in so doing he â€śshall make an atonement for him,â€ť â€śand it shall be forgiven him.â€ť As sure as the atoning sacrifice was then offered, God declares their sin was at the instant forgiven. But Smith says, â€śThe remission of his sins would not be secured;â€ť â€śthe law still held himâ€ť until the day of atonement. But God says the sacrifice offered for him made a full legal atonement for him, and actually secured his pardon on the spot. Godâ€™s way is to forgive and remember no more our sins against us; and this was true in the legal, as well as in the present dispensation.
In the whole law of pardon under the Levitical priesthood, there is not one hint that sins were only relatively remitted, and not one word do we read about them being conveyed into the sanctuary. The Advents are entitled to a patent on that idea, for it wholly originated with them, and was never thought of before in heaven, nor on earth. They also originated the idea that the great day of atonement disposed of sins that had been previously remitted. The solemn services of that day are described in Leviticus 16. Several times in the chapter we are told that the sacrifice then offered was to cleanse the sanctuary, and had it been from sins transferred from pardoned sinners, it would doubtless have been somewhere recorded. Neither does the inspired record, by silence, give room for the new conjecture. Nay, we shall prove by plain statements in the divine record that the sanctuary was to be cleansed from the uncleanness of the people in the camp, and not from sins that had been â€śrelatively pardoned,â€ť and conveyed into the temple during the year.
And he shall make an atonement for the holy place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions in all their sins: and so shall he do for the tabernacle of the congregation, that remaineth among them in the midst of their uncleanness. Leviticus 16:16.
For on that day shall the priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sins before the Lord. Leviticus 16:30.
It was because the sanctuary â€śremained among them in the midst of their uncleanness,â€ť that this cleansing was necessary. The sin of the people which rested upon them, and not what had been conveyed from them into the holiest, required this annual atonement. Nothing is said in all Godâ€™s Book of cleansing the sanctuary of sins previously forgiven. It is only found in Smithâ€™s book, and those of his fellows under the smoke of Sinai. If, as Adventism teaches, the sins of the pardoned Jews were conveyed into the holiest, during all the year, and not yet wholly forgiven, but â€śtreated as hateful,â€ť etc., and that has all been repeated in antitype, from the beginning of the gospel of Christ until October 22, 1844, as their story runs, then it follows, as a result of that creed, that Christ never granted the complete pardon of a sinner prior to A.D. 1844. And every man who believed, realized, and testified that his sins were fully pardoned and all blotted out, was deceived.
Instead of having it done as David testified in Psalm 103:12, â€śAs far as the east is from the west, so far hath he reÂmoved our transgressions from us,â€ť they were only separated a few feet, and deposited in the holiest place. And in the case of the penitent believer in Christ, they were not blotÂted out, but conveyed to heaven, and laid up against him, and all those happy new-born souls that implicitly believed the testimony of the Spirit in their heartsâ€”that their sins were wholly pardonedâ€”were deceived by that testimony. And so it has been discovered in the nineteenth century, that the old prophet Jeremiah was badly mistaken when he represented God as saying, â€śI will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.â€ť Jeremiah 31:34. This novel creed dishonors God, and the plan of salvation, by teaching that he only â€śrelativelyâ€ť forgives, and for eightÂeen hundred years still remembered their sins against them. Such are the absurdities and abominable doctrines of confusion that men fall into when they try to invent props to sustain a false creed.
Hebrews 8:1-2 is chiefly relied upon to prove that the sanctuary is up in heaven. The argument drawn from it is this: Christ is seated on the right hand of the throne in the heavens. Christ is a minister of the true sanctuary, which the Lord pitched, and not man; therefore that sanctuary is in heaven, and not on earth. But this is a false reasoning as we shall prove. First, before any force can be ascribed to it, the writer would have to prove that Christ is not omniÂpresent; that while seated on the right hand of the throne in the heavens, he is not also present in this world; that he does not dwell in his church on earth. And when Mr. Smith succeeds in disproving these things he will also have overdrawn the Bible; for such is clearly its teaching. The fact, therefore, that Christ ascended into heaven does not prove that his sanctuary is only in heaven. Neither does the scripture under consideration assert that the true sanctuary was pitched in heaven, though Smith repeatedly so words it.
We shall hereafter prove that Christâ€™s ministry is not a ceremonial routine in heaven, but a saving ministration on earth. He did not enter it after ascending into heaven, but â€śChrist being come an high priest of good things, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle,â€ť which he â€śentered by his own blood,â€ť became a perfect Savior. Then follow the results of his high-priestly offering: â€śHow much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living I God?â€ť Hebrews 9:11-14. So Christ came into this world, built his own sanctuary, and in it ministered salvation to men through his own blood. That Christ has entered heaven itself, to appear in the presence of God for us, is all true. He is there as our advocate with the Father. But it is also an indisputable fact that he dwells in his church on earth, and we shall establish the fact beyond the shadow of a doubt that his church is his sanctuary. Hence, the former fact does not disprove the latter, nor in the least affect it.
Another text from which the new theory is argued is Revelation 11:19. We remark that heaven may properly be called the temple of God; and so is the whole universe, for he dwells everywhere. But distinctively, the sanctuary that is now being cleansed is not heaven, or anything in heaven, for there is nothing there needing cleansing. The temple of God opened in heaven is simply the true church of God brought to view in the heavenliesâ€”the plane of heavÂenâ€™s purity.
In the very next verses (Revelation 12:1-2), a great wonder appears in heaven, a woman travailing in pain to be delivered. On these verses, Smith himself remarks: â€śWe do not understand that the events here represented to John took place in heaven where God resides.â€ť Thoughts on Daniel, page 521. It is just as evident to our mind that the last verse of the preceding chapter does not refer to the place of Godâ€™s throne. But passing to verse 3 we read: â€śAnd there appeared another wonder in heaven, and behold a great red dragon.â€ť â€śAnd there was war in heaven.â€ť Verse 7. Surely heaven above is not the place of dragons, nor war. In verÂses 10-12 heaven is also used in connection with events that transpired on the earth. The chapter on the two witnesses will make this matter sufficiently plain. So the above proof-text fails to locate the New Testament sanctuary in heaven, and the argument that Smith draws from Revelation 11:19 he himself overthrows by his admission on 12:1.
Hebrews 9: 22-23 is another text used to locate the sanctuary in heaven. It reads as follows: â€śAnd almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. 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.â€ť The â€śheavenly thingsâ€ť he supposes to be the two apartments of the sanctuary up in heaven, corresponding with the two parts of the earthly temple. May the Lord pity such blindness and confusion! Why do men shut their eyes and guess at the sense of Scripture when the context furnishes a clear interpretation of its meaning? Perfected holiness, or purity, is the theme of this epistle. Not a cleansing up in heaven, where all is pure; but the cleansing of menâ€™s hearts here on earth, which is much needed. This glorious plane of holiness was beyond the power of the law to give, for â€śthe law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did.â€ť Hebrews 7:19. This hope is Christ in us. He hath â€śobtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also, he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.â€ť Hebrews 8:6. Hence, the first covenant made on Sinai, and engraven on stone â€śdecayeth and waxeth old, is ready to vanish away.â€ť Hebrews 7:13.
Then follows a further comparison of things under the law with the priesthood of Christ in the ninth chapter, reaching a grand conclusion in verses 11-15. â€śChrist came by a greater and more perfect tabernacle;â€ť â€śthe blood of bulls and goats,â€ť etc., â€śsprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh; but how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himÂself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?â€ť
Now what were the patterns of the things in the heavens, and what the heavenly things, that were purified by better sacrifices than beasts that were offered by the law? Namely, the very things that had been spoken of. Two means and degrees of cleansing are set forth in verses 13, 14, and the same thing is alluded to again in verse 23. So the heavenly things are simply men and women who have received the â€śmuch more cleansing.â€ť The legal cleansings by the blood of goats, etc., were patterns of the great salvation not yet revealed from heaven. Whereas those who have received the perfect purging of their conscience through the blood of Christ, since he has offered himself without spot to God, are the â€śheavenly thingsâ€ť themselves. So called because cleansed by a sacrifice from heaven; because now raised up to sit with Christâ€ť in the heavenlies.â€ť Ephesians 2:6, Emphatic Diaglott. And they have â€ścome unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalemâ€ť (Hebrews 12: 22), and â€śhave tasted of the heavenly gift.â€ť Hebrews 6:4. Who are blessed â€świth all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.â€ť Ephesians 1:3. â€śTo the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God.â€ť Ephesians 3:10. Surely such as have been cleansed by a heavenly sacrifice have come to the â€śheavenly Jerusalem,â€ť and are sitting with Christ in â€śheavenly places,â€ť and are even blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places, even Godâ€™s church, to whom is revealed the manifold wisdom of God in the heavenlyâ€”surely such are heavenly things.
All these scriptures join with the ninth of Hebrews and prove conclusively that the â€śheavenly things,â€ť that have been cleansed by better sacrifices, are just what the writer of the epistle has there set forth; namely, men and women who had received the â€śmuch moreâ€ť cleansing of the blood of Christ. Hebrews 9: 22-23 is simply a recapitulation of the same things taught in verses 13, 14. Thus the Word explains itself. Men and women are the heavenly things purified by the heavenly sacrifice. It cannot be denied that Christ is a heavenly being. But with â€ślove made perfect,â€ť â€śas he is so are we in this world.â€ť 1 John 4:17. Then are we also of heavenly stamp. â€śFor both he that sanctifieth, and they who are sanctified, are all of oneâ€ť (Hebrews 2:11); all on the plane of heavenâ€™s purity, of heavenly character. Thus is the Advent refuge again overflowed by the torrents of truth.
Their next argument is drawn from Hebrews 8:5; 9:9, 23. It is this, that â€śthe tabernacle was built after the pattern of another, a tabernacle up in heaven.â€ť We may grant all this, and the Word of the Lord will show us plainly just what that glorious sanctuary is which cast its shadow from heaven upon earth in the form of the legal sanctuary. Of course the whole system of legal sacrifices, with the tabernacle, temple, and high priest, sustained the relation to Christ and his church of type and antitype. Jesus was a â€śLamb slain from the foundation of the world.â€ť Revelation 13:8. â€śIn the beginning was the word.â€ť Back at the foundation of the world, when man fell into sin, God predetermined the sacrifice of his Son for the worldâ€™s redemption; and what is foregone in the mind of God is a fact in his eternal counsel, as real as if already transpired.
But since Christ was slain from the foundation of the world, as a sacrifice and Savior, the church, being inseparable from his great plan of redemption, was also a fact coÂexisting with the death of his Son, in the eternal purpose of God, from the foundation of the world. So the church of the living God, the new Jerusalem, which, in the fullness of time came down from God out of heaven, was symbolized on earth by the temple, the pattern of that which was yet in heaven, long before its manifestation here below. It is a glorious truth, and one of the chief objects of the legal system, that Godâ€™s holy church, his Son the Redeemer thereof, and the atoning blood of its covenant, all prepared in the mind of God in his divine plan from the time man fell into sin, cast before their love-betokening shadow, to inspire hope of coming redemption. They were, indeed, the prototypes of the temple, its sacrifices and flowing blood. The tabernacle and templeâ€”both the same in form, and in their typical relation to the church, and when therefore we speak of one in this relation, the other is equally includedâ€”were only object lessons on the church of God and the way of salvation. They were â€śa shadow of things to come,â€ť but as a substance which casts a shadow must exist before the shadow, so the church of God and its sacrifice existed before their shadow on earth.
It is very easy, indeed, to comprehend now that the temÂple and its blood-sprinkling service were â€śthe example and shadow of heavenly things,â€ť of â€śthings in the heavens,â€ť when we consider that both the church and the slain Lamb of God came down from God out of heaven, and when we trace the beautiful similitude between the temple and Godâ€™s church. But there is not a sentence in the Bible which makes the tabernacle the shadow of another â€śliteral sanctuaryâ€ť in heaven, and distinct from Godâ€™s church. That whole theory is a myth of Adventist origin. And we have seen that the very texts relied upon by Uriah Smith, when interpreted in the light of divine truth, overthrow his Dagon. But we will not stop with them. In the name of Jesus we proceed to demolish the structure by the testimony of other scriptures.
It is impossible for men to weave a fabric and cover a fallacious creed, which the Word of God, if permitted to speak, will not tear away and expose the deception. Bear in mind, the Uriah Smith invention is this: â€śThere is in heaven a real, literal sanctuary, the antitype of the earthly building.â€ť Sanctuary, page 151. Into the first apartment of this â€śliteralâ€ť structure in heaven Christ entered at his ascension, and remained there until October 22, 1844, when he passed on into the holiest, and began to cleanse it: yes, cleanse the most holy place in heaven from sin. For, says the doctrine of Adventism: â€śIt is not accomplished with water, soap, sand, mops, and brushes. It is a cleansing accomplished with blood. But the use of blood is for the sake of remission, or forgiveness of sin, nothing else; hence, the cleansing is a cleansing from sin.â€ť Sanctuary, page 125. Who ever read of such a thing in the Bible? Surely this is a soul-sleeperâ€™s dream, a disgusting fable. We will now proceed to plain texts of the Word, which prove it a, lying device.
The Hebrew epistle dates A.D. 64. Its inspired writer informs us that Christ had already at that time â€śentered into that within the vail.â€ť Hebrews 6:19-20. There was in the earthly temple a beautiful vail that separated the holy and the holy of holies. To enter therefore within the vail is to enter the holiest place. There is no evading this fact. We, says the apostle, have â€śboldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,â€ť and â€śthrough the vail.â€ť Hebrews 10:19-20. This nails the matter fast. â€śWithin the vail,â€ť where Christ, our high priest, had already entered in A.D. 64 is positively declared to be â€świthin the holiest.â€ť And this must allude to the â€śgreater and more perfect taberÂnacleâ€ť by which Christ came, the house of God over which he is high priest, or in other words, the sanctuary of the new covenant. For into this weâ€”all Godâ€™s peopleâ€”have boldness to enter, but into the former only the high priest had access.
Again hear the word of the Lord: â€śBut 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.â€ť Hebrews 9:11-12.
In the verses preceding, the â€śworldly sanctuaryâ€ť of the first covenant is set forth as a figure, and in the above words the substance or antitype is clearly defined as Christâ€™s more perfect tabernacle, into which he â€śenteredâ€ť by his own blood, even into the â€śholy place.â€ť The Emphatic Diaglott renders, â€śHe entered once for all, into the holy places.â€ť And Uriah Smith himself observes on this very passage in Thoughts on Daniel, page 174, he â€śentered by his own blood (verse 12) into the holy place (where also the Greek has the pluralâ€”the holy places) having obtained eternal redemption for us. Of these heavenly, holy places, therefore, the first tabernacle was a figure for the time then presÂent.â€ť The parenthesis and all are his words. So according to the plural word hagia, and according to the Emphatic rendering, and Uriah Smithâ€™s Thoughts on Daniel, the holiest place in the present sanctuary of Christ is included in that which he had already entered before A.D. 64.
The very words that Smith brings forward to prove his theory positively overthrow it. But, having the vail over his eyes, he did not notice that Christâ€™s entrance to the holy places was, at the time of the inspired writing, a thing of the past. The testimony is, he â€śenteredâ€ť before A.D. 64, and not that he shall enter in A.D. 1844. The Greek word is in the plural, and the Emphatic Diaglott, other versions, and Uriah Smith, include within it both the holy and most holy. And this is proved in verse 25 of the same chapter: â€śAs the high priest entered into the holy place every year with the blood of others.â€ť The word holy is hagia, precisely the same as in verse 12, and is rendered â€śholiesâ€ť in the direct from the Greek, and â€śholy placesâ€ť in the Emphatic Diaglott translation. So all can see that Christ had entered the holiest of his more perfect tabernacle before the epistle to the Hebrews was written, which holiest was foreshadowed by the most holy place of the first tabernacle, into which the high priest entered but once every year. We repeat, that if that which the â€śhigh priest entered every year with bloodâ€ť is indeed the holiest of all, as the whole record of the law proves, and the New Testament asserts, then â€śby his own bloodâ€ť heâ€”Christ, our glorious high priestâ€”entered in once for all into the most holy place of his greater tabernacle; because both the annual entrance of the high priest, and that of Christ, once for all, are declared to be into the hagiaâ€”holies. And so the whole Adventist babel is demolished, as Smith has already confessed, that if Christ did not enter the holiest of his sancÂtuary in 1844, â€śthen the Advent structure falls to the ground as wholly false and worthless.â€ť But we have proved that he entered prior to A.D. 64. Hence, their babel is destroyed by the oracles of God, and by their own confession.
Paul says that the sanctuary of Moses was the sanctuary of the first covenant. It was, as we have seen, one of the chief features of that covenant. But that covenant has given place to the new. Jeremiah 31:31; Hebrews 8:10-12. Under this new covenant we are now living. This is true of Godâ€™s spiritual children, but the Adventists, remaining under bondage to the law, have no part in the new covenant. Again, after quoting Hebrews 9:1, â€śThen verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sancÂtuary,â€ť he proceeds: â€śPaul is showing the relation which the two covenants sustain to each other; and the word also, shows that those things which he mentions pertain to both. One had ordinances of divine service; the other also had them. One had a sanctuary; the other also had a sanctuary.â€ť
The great question to which we have now come, and in which all the controversy is involved, is then simply this:
WHAT IS THE SANCTUARY OF THE NEW COVENANT?
He continues, â€śThe sanctuary of the old covenant must bear the same relation to the new covenant which the old covenant itself bears to the new. And upon this point we suppose there is no controversy. All agree that they stand as type and antitype. The first was the type and shadow; this, the antitype and substance. The sanctuary of that dispensation was the type; the sanctuary of this, the antitype. But the sanctuary of that dispensation was the tabernacle of Moses. Of what, then, was the tabernacle of Moses a type, figure; or shadow?â€ť
We have thus quoted at length to show that Uriah Smith has himself laid a good strong foundation for the truth which we shall bring forward to overthrow his theory, and prove that the church of the living God is the sanctuary of this dispensation. Be it then remembered that the Adventists admit that whatever under the new covenant was typified by the tabernacle of the old, and whatever now takes the place of that tabernacle, is the sanctuary of this disÂpensation.
One more point of ground we wish to note, and that is that the tabernacle was â€śincorporated into the temple,â€ť and both were the continuous sanctuary of the legal disÂpensation. See Sanctuary, page 92; Thoughts on Daniel, page 171. It follows then that whatever now takes the place of either the tabernacle of Moses, or Solomonâ€™s temple, is the sanctuary of the Lord and the antitype of the former structures. In other words, whatever is the temple of God now, is the sanctuary. With this much truth admitted it is an astonishÂing fact that Uriah Smith could shut his eyes and exclaim, â€śNo sanctuary on earth; for since A.D. 70 there has been none here.â€ť Again in Thoughts on Daniel, page 176, this writer asserts that â€śwhatever constitutes the sanctuary of the Bible must have some service connected with it which is called its cleansing. There is no account in the Bible of any work so named as pertaining to this earth, the land of Canaan, or the church.â€ť
No promise in the Bible for the cleansing of the church? Oh, the blindness and thick darkness of Adventism! They are devoted to their new invention with such a blind zeal and infatuation that they set aside the crowning work of redemption, the chief object for which Christ laid down his life, namely, to sanctify and cleanse his church. In their Pharisaical zeal for their own sect they seem scarcely to have learned that God has a church. They read the Bible with such idolatrous devotion to their own inventions that they never see Godâ€™s ways.
It will be seen by the above words that the author had not the remotest conception of any cleansing, but a mere formal or ceremonial service. The idea of an actual cleansing from sin and unrighteousness is wholly left out of the question. The assertion that the Bible teaches no such thing as a cleansing of the church, betrays gross ignorance of the Word, or an unscrupulous attempt to hide the truth. We will just let one text of Scripture refute the Smithsonian falsehood.
Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it, 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 tiling; but that it should be holy and without blemish. Ephesians 5:25-27.
Truly here is a glorious cleansing of the church; and it is something more than a mere ceremonial service. Can it be possible that a man of intelligence could overlook this great work in the plan of redemption, the chief object of the Saviorâ€™s death and shed blood, and the crowning work in Godâ€™s redeeming love? Yea, this very cleansing is just what Mr. Smith felt the need of when his heart breathed out its condition in these words found in Thoughts on Daniel, 274:
Alas, for the evils of our nature which cut us off from this communion! Oh, for grace to overcome these, that we may enjoy this spiritual union here, and finally enter the glories of his presence at the marriage supper of the Lamb.
Now should that writer get the evils of his nature, the works of the devil, destroyed and cleansed out of his heart, it would upset his entire theory. He would soon find out that God has a sanctuary to dwell in here on earth. But notwithstanding it would hum up the entire heap of Advent rubbish, he would, with the apostle Paul (who also was zealous for the law in his day, that is before he became dead to the law, and married to Christ) count the great loss a happy gain, and praise God for salvation so as by fire. Amen. But, alas! the devotees of a blind god have no time to seek deliverance from the evil nature of their hearts, being ever busy about the props, of their dark creed, and the defense of their confused sect. Surely that volume is but Smithâ€™s â€śthoughts.â€ť But God says, â€śMy thoughts are not your thoughts, and my ways are not your ways.â€ť
But let us come right to the question, What is the antitype of the ancient temple? What has now taken the place of that sanctuary of the first covenant? The writer above alluded to admits the fact that the former was a type or shadow of the present, and so teaches the Word. In Hebrews 9:1 the apostle tells us, â€śThen verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary.â€ť He proceeds to describe the same, and then says in verse 9, â€śWhich was a figure for the time then present,â€ť etc. In Hebrews 10:1 we read that the whole law system with its many sacrifices, was a â€śshadow of good things to come.â€ť In Colossians 2:14-17 we are told that the legal rites, sabbaths, etc., were â€śa shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.â€ť By which we clearly see that these services of the first covenant were types and shadows of good things that were to appear with the coming of Christ, in the covenant of which he is mediator. Yea, it is plainly stated that the first taberÂnacle was a shadow of the true, the greater tabernacle not made with hands. Hebrews 9:24.
But let us return to Hebrews 9:9, â€śWhich [tabernacle, or legal sanctuary] was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience.â€ť But, passing over from the law to the gospel, from type to antitype, in verse 11 he continues, â€śBut 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.â€ť And, true to the figure of the high priest, who entered by the blood into the holiest once a year, â€śHe entered in once [for all] into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.â€ť Verse 12. So we see that Christ our high priest had already entered the holiest in his more perfect tabernacle at the time that epistle was written in A.D. 64.
The writer continues right on treating on the superior priesthood, covenant, and tabernacle of this dispensation. â€śAnd having a high priest over the house of God,â€ť etc. Hebrews 10:21. The greater tabernacle of the second covenant, in which Christ now officiates as high priest, is declared to be the house of God. Now we have but to ascertain what the house of God is, and the important question is settled. And here we have the desired information. After giving Timothy instructions relative to the church, the apostle adds:
These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly: but if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. 1 Timothy 3:14-15.
Plenty of other scriptures teach the same thing, but we will not bring them forward here. But the few links of divine truth we have now put together make a chain that no man can break. The â€śworldly sanctuaryâ€ť of the law was a type of the true tabernacle which the Lord pitched, and over which he is now high priest. But that more perfect tabernacle is declared to be the house of God, and â€śthe house of God is the church of the living God.â€ť Then the church of the living God is the sanctuary of this dispensation.
THE SANCTUARY OF THE FIRST COVENANT AS A TYPE OR FIGURE.
As the tabernacle and temple shadow forth worlds of preÂcious truth respecting Christ, his great salvation, and glorious church, let us enter these sacred places and gather the gold, rubies, and pearls that were treasured up there for us. Let us go in and feast our souls upon the rich things that were hidden from the eyes of the high priest who sprinkled the typical blood upon its holy altars and mercy seat and burned incense there unto the Most High God. They â€ścould not steadfastly look to the end of that which is abolished.â€ť They but dimly saw the great antitype of all their sacrifices. A holy secret was hidden within the beautiful curtains of the tabernacle, which has only been made known to us, who stand today in the awful presence of God, within the holiest of his more perfect house. And now, since the vail of mystery is drawn aside, and we have â€ścome to the innumerable company of angels,â€ť that once spread their wings in symbolic cherubims on the vail of the temple, and over the priestâ€™s head, let us go back and carefully view that ancient depository of the entire gospel system. Yea, and such we will indeed find it.
Here we have an outline of the tabernacle of the first covenant, with one side drawn up revealing the principal articles of furniture in the center and in the holy places. This structure, both in the tabernacle and temple form, we have seen, is a type or shadow of Godâ€™s church. If so, all that perÂtained to it have their spiritual counterpart in the present sanctuary of the Lord. Let us therefore trace this analogy as pointed out in the Scriptures. First in order comes
It was 100 cubits long, 50 cubits wide, and 5 cubits high. In it waited the Levites who assisted the priests. Leviticus 6:16, 18; 1 Chronicles 23:28. Into this court the children of Israel in general seemed to have access. 2 Chronicles 23:5; 24:21; Jeremiah 32:12. Into it came the Israelite with his sacrifice for sin offerings, etc. Psalm 96:8. In Revelation 11:2 the court was to be left out of the measurement of the temple of God, â€śFor it is given unto the Gentiles.â€ť But this is while â€śthe holy city,â€ť Godâ€™s church, was â€śtrodden under foot of the Gentiles,â€ť sinners.
All things taken into consideration, the court represents, now under the new covenant, the state of the convicted, the penitent, and all such as have in some measure espoused the cause of Christ our high priest, but have not yet really entered by faith into the holy places of the church. Like the Levites, they can minister unto the real kings and priests, the saved and sanctified children of God, and in many respects they have really approached the church of God, and the Christian character, and occupy a sort of intervening space between the walls of salvation and the careless unawakened world. Conviction and good desires have already separated them from the profane and wicked, while they yet lack an actual induction into the fold by the washing of regeneration.
Next we will look for the spiritual significance of the
FIRST AND SECOND VAIL.
In the tabernacle there were two successive vails. The first separated between the court and the holy place (Hebrews 9:2-3), the second hung between the holy and the holiest of all. But the second was more particularly called the vail. See Exodus 26:23. When this temporary sanctuary was supplanted by the temple, the massive walls of stone took the place of the first vail, and the walls of the tabernacle round about, leaving only one vail to conceal the presence of God in the most holy place. Hence, when the temple is alluded to only one vail is spoken of: â€śThe vail of the temple.â€ť Matthew 27:51. What do these two successive entrances shadow forth? If, as we have already shown, the tabernacle and temple are figures of the church of God, then it follows that whatever we must pass through in order to enter the church must be the antitype of the stone wall and the vail, through which the priests entered the holy places of the worldly sanctuary.
But through what do we now enter into the church? Thus saith the Lord:
I am the door: by me if any man enter in he shall be saved. John 10:9.
For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Ephesians 2:18.
In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him. Ephesians 3:12.
So Christ takes the place of the vail and wall through which the legal sanctuary was entered. The above scriptures clearly lead to that conclusion. But we have even a positive testimony to that effect.
Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the vail, that is to say, his flesh; and having a high priest over the house of God; let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Hebrews 10:19-22.
â€śThrough the vail, that is to say his flesh.â€ť Is not this perfectly clear that Christâ€™s body was the antitype of the vail of the temple? Hence, when his body was offered up for the sins of the world, â€śthe vail of the temple was rent in twain from top to bottom,â€ť announcing the fact that his death on the cross gives us â€śboldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,â€ť and â€śthrough the vail, that is to say, his flesh.â€ť
But it is clearly seen that only the inner vail is alluded to in the above passage. Of what then was the first vail a figure? We answer, Of Christ also. The access through the inner vail is into perfected holiness. But it is also through Christ that sinners have admittance into justificaÂtion, the pardoned state.
Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins. Acts 13:38.
In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins. Ephesians 1:7; also Colossians 1:14.
In Romans 5:1-2 we have the antitype of both vails clearly set forth as Christ himself. â€śTherefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.â€ť Through Christ Jesus and by faith we enter into justification, and have peace with God. â€śBy whom [the same Christ Jesus] we also have access [a second access] by faith into this grace wherein we stand.â€ť The first entrance into the temple of God is justification; the second is into the standing grace, or what the same apostle describes as the divine work of â€śestablishing your hearts unblameable in holiness.â€ť 1 Thessalonians 3:13. So Christ is both the â€śauthor and finisher of our faith,â€ť the first and second vail of the house of God.
The vail of the temple, as we have seen, foreshadowed the flesh or body of Christ. But there is a close relation between the literal body of Christ and his spiritual body, the church. Both are his body, and they are the same in moral character, pure and holy. In fact the Scriptures warrant the assertion that the church is substantially a continuation of Christ on earth, both in spirit and in flesh, only in an extended manifestation; for â€śhe that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.â€ť 1 Corinthians 6:17. And we are also â€śmembers of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.â€ť Ephesians 5:30. Therefore that which is a type of the physical body of Christ will also bear a typical relation to something in the church, his spiritual body. We have already seen that the inspired apostle hangs that beautiful vail in Godâ€™s church between the grace of justification and that of entire sanctification. And, pointing to the rent that was made when Christ â€śgave himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savor,â€ť he says to his brethren in the holy place, Ye have â€śboldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus.â€ť
Here again we see that the sacred things of the legal sanctuary have their negative in the church of the Lord Jesus, the vail representing both the physical body of Christ, and the point of distinction and separation between holiness attained in regeneration, and perfected holiness in the second grace. Both Jerusalem and the temple were figures of the church. The wall about the former symbolized salvation. Isaiah 26:1; 60:18. Therefore so did the wall of the temple. Hence, says the Lord, â€śI am the door; by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved.â€ť John 10:9.
THE GOLDEN PILLARS.
The beautiful curtains of the tabernacle were suspended upon pillars of shittim wood overlaid with gold, and set in sockets of silver. The front end, or door of the tent, was hung on five of these gold covered pillars. Exodus 26:37. The fine linen vail which hung before the most holy place was mounted upon four, all covered in gold and set in silver. Exodus 26: 32.
Hiram of Tyre cast for Solomonâ€™s temple two brass pillars of great dimensions. They were each eighteen cubits high, or twenty-four feet. â€śAnd a line of twelve cubits did compass either of them about.â€ť They were then four cubits or six feet in diameter and eighteen feet in circumference. 1 Kings 7:15. Besides these there were many other pillars which supported the great structure of the temple. â€śHe built also the house of the forest of Lebanon; the length thereof was an hundred cubits, and the breadth thereof fifty cubits, and the height thereof thirty cubits, upon four rows of cedar pillars, with cedar beams upon the pillars. And it was covered with cedar above upon the beams, that lay on forty-five pillars.â€ť 1 Kings 7:2-3.
Now where shall we look for the antitype of these pilÂlars? In heaven, or on earth? On going to Jerusalem, Paul and Barnabas found three of them there in the character of James, Cephas, and John. â€śAnd when James, Cephas, and John who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.â€ť Galatians 2:9. Not only were these three pillars, but they freely acknowledged Paul and Barnabas as their fellow peers in the true sanctuary or temple of God. Neither yet is the honored position of a pillar in the house of God confined to the apostles. Nay, but, â€śHim that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which, cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.â€ť Revelation 3:12. Whosoever overcometh is made a pillar. Upon all who have overcome by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, i.e., are sanctified wholly, the Lord fears not to place weighty responsibilities in his spiritual sanctuary. They become pillars, holding up the interests of Zion, and bearing upon their shoulders with Christ the weight of the temple. Upon Paul came daily the care of all the churches. Not only does the pillar denote strength, upholding, but the temple resting upon it keeps it steadfastly to its place. So we hear one of these pillars saying, â€śNone of these things move me.â€ť
All overcomers are pillars; that is, all who are wholly sanctified, having loved not their lives unto the death. â€śAnd he shall go no more out,â€ť is established in Christ. â€śAnd I will write upon him the name of my Godâ€ť (then he is sealed unto God forever), â€śand the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which came down from God out of heaven.â€ť This, we learn in Hebrews 12:22-23, is the church of the first-born. So all the overcomers, the wholly sanctified and established in God, are pillars in his temple here on earth. Yea, the church of the living God is the pillar and ground of the truth. 1 Timothy 3:15. No doubt this language was derived from the typical sanctuary with its numerous pillars.
There is something beautiful in the figure of the pomegranates and lily work on the chapiters of the pillars of the temple. Chapiters mean crowns. So all Godâ€™s overcomers, or pillars, are crowned with the fruits of holiness, and adorned with pure white lilies of the beautiful graces of holiness. Oh, who will be a pillar in the temple of God?
THE HOLY AND MOST HOLY PLACE.
The spiritual significance of these are already anticipated by what has been said of the two vails. They show two successive works of grace; the two apartments, the corresponding states resulting therefrom. If there were not two degrees of salvation, two planes of Christian experience, the two parts of the temple would find nothing corresponding therewith in the church. But the whole New Testament teaches the two distinct stages of divine grace in the â€śspiritual house,â€ť in exact parallel with its shadow and figure. The first disciples of Christ believed in him, and were born of God. John 1:12-13. They were the Lordâ€™s. John 17:9:10. Therefore they had the Spirit of Christ (Galatians 4:6); for â€śif any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.â€ť Romans 8:9. Hence, they â€śfollowed him in the regenÂeration.â€ť Matthew 19:28.
And yet they were promised the gift of the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, as a new and second experience. John 14:26; John 15: 26; John 16: 7, 13. Christ prayed the Father to sanctify them. John 17:17. They received the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. Acts 2. They were then purified, sanctified entirely. Acts 15:8-9; Romans 15:16. Hence, they first entered the holy place, or were justified, and subsequently passed on into the holiest of all; namely, were sanctified wholly.
The two successive degrees of divine grace are also seen in the Acts. Philip preached Christ to the city of Samaria (Acts 8:5), the people gave heed to the gospel (verse 6), they â€śbelieved Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus,â€ť and â€śwere bapÂtized.â€ť Verse 12. Even unclean spirits came out of many, and there was great joy in that city. Verses 7-8. They had passed the first vail into justification, and as a second exÂperience they subsequently received the Holy Spirit, the sanctifier. Verses 14-16. Here were then two experiences of divine grace, and salvation. And we read how the Lord commissioned Paul to preach the gospel, to open the eyes of the blind, to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveÂness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sancÂtified by faith that is in me. See Acts 26:18. Here are again two successive entrances; first, through Christ into justification; second, through him into sanctification.
The Roman brethren were â€śamong the called of Jesus Christ,â€ť and had a very commendable faith (Romans 1:6, 8), and yet the apostle longed to see them and impart unto them some spiritual gift, to the end they might be established. This he wished to do by preaching unto them the gospel, wherein â€śis the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith,â€ť showing that the righteousness of God is attained by a second plane of faith.
The Corinthian brethren had been soundly converted (1 Corinthians 1:4-7), were babes in Christ, and yet carnal. 1 Corinthians 3:1. They were also reproved for sectish strife, subverting the ordinance of the Lordâ€™s Supper, and for other inconsistencies. Of all this they repented and cleared themselves. 2 Corinthians 7:8-11. They were then all clear in their first love again. Therefore the apostle wishes and commands their perfection in holiness (2 Corinthians 7:1; 13:9, 11); that is, he wished them to enter into that within the vail, into the holiest of all.
The Thessalonians â€śknew their election of God,â€ť had â€śreceived the Word in much affliction [persecution] â€świth joy of the Holy Ghost,â€ť and had a very exemplary faith and zeal. 1 Thessalonians 1:3-6. They had also stood firm in the Lord Jesus up to the time of the writing of that epistle unto them (1 Thessalonians 3:6-7), yet they had not entered into the most holy state. Therefore the apostle prayed night and day, that God would â€śestablish their hearts unblamÂable in holiness.â€ť 1 Thessalonians 3:10,13. â€śFor,â€ť says he, â€śthis is the will of God, even your sanctification.â€ť 1 Thessalonians 4:3. â€śAnd the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit, and soul, and body, be preserved blameÂless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do itâ€ť 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24. Here are clearly two measures of grace taught, corresponding with the holy and the most holy of that sanctuary, which was a shadow and figure of the true. One vail they had already passed, a second they were urged to enter.
We will now pass to the epistle to the Hebrews. Here we have an inexhaustible mine of truth bearing directly on this subject. Perfection is the doctrine of this precious epistle from beginning to end, and, being addressed to Hebrews, it employs such illustrations and arguments as they were familiar with. In chapters 3 and 4 the spiritual counterpart of Egypt, the wilderness, and Canaan are clearly traced; and the converted Hebrews are described as being in the antitype wilderness. And they are warned not to follow the example of unbelief set by their ancient brethren, who failed to enter the promised land, but died in the wilderness. They were admonished to urgently press their way into holiness, the Canaan rest, which is now preached unto us by the gospel. Hebrews 4:1-2. Yea, saith the apostle, â€śLet us labor [properly hasten] therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.â€ť Hebrews 4:11. This gospel rest lay beyond their rudimentary experience of justification, and yet this side of heaven; for â€śwe which have believed do enter into restâ€ť (Hebrews 4:3), i.e., do now enter in.
â€śAnd we desire that every one of yon do show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: that ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.â€ť Hebrews 6:11-12. The full assurance of hope is the summit of holiness; the inherited promise of the gift of the Holy Ghost. See Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4-5; Galatians 3:16-18. This most holy place in the house of God, over which Christ is now high priest, they are further encouraged to enter in verses 17 to 20. Read it. There is a re