Love Under Fire


Chapter 23—The Open Mystery of the Sanctuary

The scripture which above all others had been both the foundation and the central pillar of the advent faith was the statement, “For two thousand three hundred days; then the sanctuary shall be cleansed” (Daniel 8:14). These had been familiar words to everyone who believed in the Lord's soon coming. But the Lord had not come. The believers knew that God's Word could not fail; their interpretation of the prophecy must be at fault. But where was the mistake? LF 169.1

God had led His people in the great Advent movement. He would not permit it to end in darkness and disappointment, condemned as false and fanatical. Though many abandoned their calculation of the prophetic periods and denied the movement based on them, others were unwilling to renounce points of faith and experience that the Scriptures and the Spirit of God upheld. It was their duty to hold securely the truths they had already gained. With earnest prayer they studied the Scriptures to discover their mistake. Since they could see no error in their calculations of the prophetic periods, they examined more closely the subject of the sanctuary. LF 169.2

They learned that there is no Scripture evidence to support the popular view that the earth is the sanctuary. But they found a full Bible explanation of the sanctuary, its nature, location, and services: LF 169.3

“Then indeed, even the first covenant had ordinances of divine service and the earthly sanctuary. For a tabernacle was prepared: the first part, in which was the lampstand, the table, and the showbread, which is called the sanctuary; and behind the second veil, the part of the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of All, which had the golden censer and the ark of the covenant overlaid on all sides with gold, in which were the golden pot that had the manna, Aaron's rod that budded, and the tablets of the covenant; and above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat” (Hebrews 9:1-5). LF 169.4

The “sanctuary” was the tabernacle that Moses built at God's command as the earthly dwelling place of the Most High. “Let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them” (Exodus 25:8), was the direction God gave to Moses. The tabernacle was a magnificent structure. Besides the outer court, the tabernacle itself consisted of two rooms or apartments called the Holy and the Most Holy Place, separated by a beautiful curtain, or veil. A similar veil closed the entrance to the first room. LF 169.5