Judgment - Part 2

Scripture: Daniel 8:14, Hebrews 8:1-2, Hebrews 9:9-24
In this second part of two broadcast on the longest time prophecy in the Bible (Daniel 8:14) we look at when this prophecy was fulfilled and what event did it mark. What is significant about 1844 and what is "the cleansing of the sanctuary" all about?
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In our last broadcast we studied the longest time prophecy in the Bible, stretching twenty-three hundred years down the corridors of time. The subject actually was centered in a vision of Daniel the prophet as recorded in Daniel 8 and 9. He saw nations in mortal combat; he saw the rise of a great antichrist power; and finally he heard two saints speaking to each other. One of them said, "Unto two thousand three hundred days, then shall the sanctuary be cleansed." Now two things need to be clarified about that text, friends. When does the twenty-three hundred days begin, and what is the cleansing of the sanctuary?

In answering these questions, we must remember that in prophetic reckoning a day always represents a year. Ezekiel 4:6 makes it very clear. God said to the prophet, "I have appointed thee each day for a year." Now when did the twenty-three hundred year period begin? The angel said, "From the going forth of the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem." That's the date. Now, friends, we find that's one of the surest dates of the Old Testament. In Ezra 7 we learned that it was given by Artaxerxes, king of Persia, in the seventh year of his reign. That year was an accurate historical event.

Now we're prepared to figure the 2300 years from this date to find out when it ends. A little arithmetic will reveal that this time period ends in 1844 in the fall. According to the prophecy this date was to mark the cleansing of the sanctuary. What was that sanctuary anyway? It was the tabernacle which served as a holy worship center for Israel as they journeyed through the wilderness. God had shown Moses the pattern for the structure by opening heaven for him to see the heavenly sanctuary. There were actually two of them, the earthly sanctuary which was made according to the heavenly pattern which Moses saw, and the heavenly sanctuary which he copied.

Generally, that structure had two compartments separated by a heavy curtain. Every day the priest went into the first, or holy apartment, to sprinkle blood of the sacrifices. This blood symbolically carried the sins of the people and constituted a record of their sins as it was sprinkled before the veil. They would come, confess their sins over the animal, slay the animal, and then the priest would catch the blood, take it in to sprinkle it before that veil. The sinner, then, having confessed his sins over the animal and killed it with his own hand, had a record made of that sin through the sprinkled blood. The lamb represented Jesus and the sinner was showing his faith in Christ who would come later to die for his sin. Day after day through the year as the people sinned, they came with their lambs to confess their sins. Day after day the priest would catch the blood and sprinkle it in the Holy Place of the sanctuary.

For a full year the record of their sins was made through that sprinkled blood, but once a year on the Day of Atonement there was a service called the Cleansing of the Sanctuary and that record was then blotted out. It was considered the very day of judgment because anyone was cut off on that day who had not confessed their sins sometime through the year before the close of that Day of Atonement. To this day it is a most solemn yearly observance of the Jewish people. On that day the high priest cast lots on two goats, one for the Lord and one for the scape goat. On the Lord's goat, representing Christ, he confessed all the sins of Israel, then killed the animal and carried the blood through the veil into the Most Holy Place. After sprinkling the blood on the mercy seat between the cherubims, he came out to put his hands on the scape goat's head. That service beyond the veil had made atonement for or cleansed away the sins of the people which had accumulated through the year. The scape goat represented Satan; the guilt he would have to share and all the sins of the people was finally rolled back on him for punishment.

Well, you say, what does all this have to do with our prophecy? Alright, remember that the sanctuary was to be cleansed after 2300 days or years. That period ended, as we have learned, in 1844, but there was no earthly sanctuary at that time, of course. It had been destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D. and was never rebuilt. But don't forget that there were two sanctuaries, the one in heaven which served as a pattern and the earthly one which Moses had made from copying that heavenly sanctuary. And since there was no earthly sanctuary in 1844, this cleansing could only apply to the heavenly sanctuary.

Someone might say, "Well why should the things in heaven need any cleansing?" Well, it's a good question, friends, and it has a good Bible answer too. Let's notice something now in Hebrews 8:1, 2, "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." Now notice when Jesus went back to heaven, friends, he went as our high priest right into that heavenly throne room or into that sanctuary above. He went as our intercessor. Notice how it was foreshadowed by the earthly type which Moses had built for the Jews. We read in Hebrews 9 from verse 2 and onward describing that earthly one which had been copied from the true sanctuary in heaven, "For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called the sanctuary. And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all; 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; of which we cannot now speak particularly. Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into 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 his people: The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing:"

Now, friends, this is merely repeating what we've said before describing how the priest went every day into the first compartment and only the high priest once a year into the most holy on the Day of Atonement. But notice that all of this was just a type. It said this signified actually the way into the holiest of all." Which 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, . . . which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, . . . . But 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 9:9-12. Oh, friends, this is a beautiful picture of that heavenly sanctuary, and how Jesus went there to be our high priest and took his own blood instead of the blood of animals as they did here in the earthly services.

Now we're prepared to read verses 22-24 of Hebrews 9. "And 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. For Christ is not entered 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." Now friends, that plainly says that the heavenly things did need cleansing but with better sacrifices than those used in the earthly, and that better sacrifice was the blood of Christ Himself.

But why did the heavenly need any cleansing at all? For the simple reason that the record of sin is there, just as the record had been in the earthly through the sprinkled blood. But where is the record of sin to be made in heaven? Notice Revelation 20:12. "And the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the Book of Life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works." Yes, friends, you'll be judged according to the record of your life in the books of heaven and that examination will be made before Christ returns. In every court case there are two phases of judgment , the investigative and the executive. The investigative is when the evidence is considered and the executive is when the sentence is actually carried out. We are now led to the startling fact that the cleansing of that heavenly sanctuary began in 1844 at the end of the 2300 year prophecy. Ever since that time the investigative judgment has been going on in heaven. Sins will be blotted from the books and every case will be settled before Jesus comes again. Look at Revelation 22:11, 12 to confirm that. "He that is unjust, let him be unjust still. . . . And behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be." Notice, that this decree goes forth just before Jesus' return. Every case is settled, having been determined out of the books.

Now here's the way Daniel describes that heavenly court scene, friends, and how it's all going to be done from the books. You and I will not be there in person when our judgment takes place because it must be decided before Jesus returns. After all, when He comes back, we've found that the righteous are going to be caught up and rewarded immediately. The wicked are going to be slain; so the judgment has to be determined before He comes. Now here's the way it's described in Daniel 7: 9, 10. "I beheld till the thrones were cast down, 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 then thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened."

Here we see pictured the great judgment scene when the life record of every soul must be examined. The angels will be the witnesses. You'll not be there in person but the judgment takes place on the basis of the books. In verse 13 is brought to view the lawyer who'll be there to represent you if your sins have been blotted out. "Behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him." What a picture this is, friends, and it's taking place now, according to prophecy.

Summarizing now briefly, when Jesus went back to heaven, it was to be our high priest in the holy place of the heavenly sanctuary, presenting His own blood for our sins. But there was to come a time when He would enter the most holy place and begin the cleansing of the sanctuary or the work of judgment, that began in 1844. Now we live in the solemn time of that judgment. Soon every case will be settled forever and the edict will sound forth, "He that is unjust, let him remain; he that is holy, let him remain; and behold I come quickly." Listen to the solemn text in Revelation 20:15. "And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." As a result of that judgment your sins will be blotted out of the Book of Deeds or your name will be blotted out of the Book of Life. Won't you let Jesus be your advocate now so that He can represent you before the Father? Confess Him now as your Saviour and friend.

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