From Here to Forever


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 declaration, “Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” Daniel 8:14. These had been familiar words to all believers in the Lord's soon coming. But the Lord had not appeared. The believers knew that God's Word could not fail; their interpretation of the prophecy must be at fault. But where was the mistake? HF 252.1

God had led His people in the great advent movement. He would not permit it to end in darkness and disappointment, reproached as false and fanatical. Though many abandoned their reckoning of the prophetic periods and denied the movement based thereon, others were unwilling to renounce points of faith and experience sustained by the Scriptures and the Spirit of God. It was their duty to hold fast the truths already gained. With earnest prayer they studied the Scriptures to discover their mistake. As they could see no error in their reckoning of the prophetic periods, they examined more closely the subject of the sanctuary. HF 252.2

They learned that there is no Scripture evidence sustaining the popular view that the earth is the sanctuary; but they found a full explanation of the sanctuary, its nature, location, and services: HF 252.3

“Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service and a worldly sanctuary. 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 gold shadowing the mercy seat.” Hebrews 9:1-5. HF 252.4

The “sanctuary” was the tabernacle built by Moses at the command of God 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 given to Moses. The tabernacle was a structure of great magnificence. Besides the outer court, the tabernacle itself consisted of two 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 apartment. HF 253.1