Cleansing the Temple

By John Thiel

The Seventh-day Adventist message came into existence from a Bible verse in Daniel. This study is a time prophecy which prompted a research into what took place at the end of the 2300 days. The study of the 2300 days was explained in Daniel 9 and in 457BC when the final decree encompassing all three decrees that the children of Israel could go back to Jerusalem. From that decree there would be 2300 days and one day for a year according to prophecy. That takes us through to 1844. As the angel was explaining to Daniel, it was a point in time that was identified.

Daniel 8:19 And he said, Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for at the time appointed the end [shall be].

That was the time prophecy. A time appointed in which the end shall be. 1844 was the fulfilment of the 2300 prophecy was the date from which the time of the end was to be recognised. What activities were to take place in this time of the end? It said the time appointed for the end that there would be an end time and some always read it when they come to the subject of the end of the world and people think Jesus is coming and that is it not so as it is a period of time at the end. That was the big disappointment of 1844 that the time of the end was to be the real end and they expected Jesus to come. It says unto 2300 days then shall the sanctuary be cleansed. What is meant by the sanctuary to be cleansed? This subject that all who wants to be true Seventh Day Adventists need to know as truth and understanding. It needs to be understood regarding the sanctuary.

  The subject of the sanctuary was the key which unlocked the mystery of the disappointment of 1844. It opened to view a complete system of truth, connected and harmonious, showing that God’s hand had directed the great advent movement and revealing present duty as it brought to light the position and work of His people. {GC 423.1}

Many critics point to that date and expected Jesus to come and there is no truth to it. Their mistake was not that there was error in the prophecy. You want to be God’s people? Then if you will study as they did the key of the disappointment. Why did they get disappointed? It was the sanctuary and it opened up a complete system of truth. A complete system of truth opens up before your eye and you can’t deny the deep impressions of the Holy Spirit.

Light was to be given, directing their minds to the temple of God in heaven; and as they should by faith follow their High Priest in His ministration there, new duties would be revealed. Another message of warning and instruction was to be given to the church. {GC 424.4}

That is why Jesus didn’t come at that time as it wasn’t time for him to come as it was the time for the cleansing of the sanctuary. They understood that new duties were to be followed. They were to follow Jesus Christ into the heavenly sanctuary. Many Christians today don’t understand there is a sanctuary in heaven that needs cleansing.

The subject of the sanctuary and the investigative judgment should be clearly understood by the people of God. All need a knowledge for themselves of the position and work of their great High Priest. Otherwise it will be impossible for them to exercise the faith which is essential at this time or to occupy the position which God designs them to fill. {GC 488.2}

If we don’t understand, it will be impossible to exercise faith for this time. Is Jesus coming soon? Absolutely. If we don’t understand the sanctuary as high priest, we will not be able to understand the position God wants us to be in.

The sanctuary in heaven is the very center of Christ’s work in behalf of men. It concerns every soul living upon the earth. It opens to view the plan of redemption, bringing us down to the very close of time and revealing the triumphant issue of the contest between righteousness and sin. It is of the utmost importance that all should thoroughly investigate these subjects and be able to give an answer to everyone that asketh them a reason of the hope that is in them. {GC 488.3}

   Those who would share the benefits of the Saviour’s mediation should permit nothing to interfere with their duty to perfect holiness in the fear of God. The precious hours, instead of being given to pleasure, to display, or to gain seeking, should be devoted to an earnest, prayerful study of the word of truth. {GC 488.2}

What is the importance of the benefits of my saviour in the heavenly sanctuary? He is at work to prepare a place for us and we must permit nothing to interfere with our duty to perfect holiness in the fear of God. In our last study we addressed how to deal with the natural man. It is our natural heart that needs to be dealt with otherwise it interferes with our work of gaining holiness. Let us expand in dealing with that natural man in the framework on the sanctuary. We need knowledge for ourselves of the position of the work of our great high priest otherwise it will be impossible to reach perfection. What is our high priest doing that I need to understand? Daniel looks at the detail of what was written in the 2300 cleansing. He comes to the end of papal control.

Daniel 7:9 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.

 7:10 A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.

In 1844 the judgement was set and the books were opened in the heavenly sanctuary. What was Jesus doing there? The thrones were positioned. In heaven some don’t know there is a moving throne. You can study it in Isaiah and Ezekiel that the throne of God is carried by four creatures and there are wheels within wheels and they are moving. The Father was positioned in the holy place and the Father was moved. What did Jesus our high priest do?

Daniel 7:13 I saw in the night visions, and, 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.

 7:14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion [is] an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom [that] which shall not be destroyed.

In the heavenly sanctuary there are two apartments like the Hebrew sanctuary typified and while the work of Jesus was taking place, now comes a point in time where the thrones are put into position and he comes into position before the Father in the most holy place. Jesus is moving with the work going on in heaven.

What Is Taking Place?

What is taking place in heaven and here with us?

Malachi 3:1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts. 2 But who may abide the day of his coming? And who shall stand when he appeareth? for he [is] like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: 3 And he shall sit [as] a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.

This is Jesus coming into the most holy place. It is the time of the end that we read Daniel 7 that he is going to receive in the heavenly sanctuary as the judgement is going on. He is going to sit as a purifier of his people.

Daniel 12:9 And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words [are] closed up and sealed till the time of the end. 10 Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.

Are you wise? Can you understand? This is the question for our time. We have the parable of Jesus, the faithful servant and the wise virgins in the time of the end. Where are they? Are we among them? We need to understand to be the wise that do understand. The heavenly sanctuary is being cleansed. God’s people are being purged and made white. What is the heavenly sanctuary to be cleansed of? The Hebrew sanctuary typified this work.

Leviticus 16:15 Then shall he kill the goat of the sin offering, that [is] for the people, and bring his blood within the veil, and do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it upon the mercy seat, and before the mercy seat: 16 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. 17 And there shall be no man in the tabernacle of the congregation when he goeth in to make an atonement in the holy [place], until he come out, and have made an atonement for himself, and for his household, and for all the congregation of Israel. 18 And he shall go out unto the altar that [is] before the LORD, and make an atonement for it; and shall take of the blood of the bullock, and of the blood of the goat, and put [it] upon the horns of the altar round about. 19 And he shall sprinkle of the blood upon it with his finger seven times, and cleanse it, and hallow it from the uncleanness of the children of Israel.

In the typical service all through the year the people came to confess their sins. They placed their sins on a sacrifice and the blood was caught and in symbol the blood was carried into the first apartment on the horns of the altar. This happened all year when the sins were transferred in symbol to the sanctuary. Now because of all the uncleanness, it needs to be cleansed. When it says unto the 2300 days then shall the sanctuary be cleansed, can it refer to the earthly sanctuary? It can’t apply to that as it applies to the sanctuary in heaven that the earthly one symbolised. Hebrews 9 makes reference that the heavenly sanctuary did need to be cleansed.

Hebrews 9:22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. 23 [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. 24 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:

Heavenly things need cleansing. Now comes the question, what is there in this heavenly sanctuary that needs cleansing? What is it? The sins were carried into the Hebrew sanctuary with the blood. Is there something in the heavenly sanctuary that has taken hold and polluted the sanctuary with ugly sins?

Hosea 7:1 When I would have healed Israel, then the iniquity of Ephraim was discovered, and the wickedness of Samaria: for they commit falsehood; and the thief cometh in, [and] the troop of robbers spoileth without. 2 And they consider not in their hearts [that] I remember all their wickedness: now their own doings have beset them about; they are before my face.

In the Hebrew sanctuary there was a throne in the most holy place and the altar of incense was a throne and the blood was sprinkled there and all the sins were before his face. They were transferred there.

Deuteronomy 32:32 For their vine [is] of the vine of Sodom, and of the fields of Gomorrah: their grapes [are] grapes of gall, their clusters [are] bitter: 33 Their wine [is] the poison of dragons, and the cruel venom of asps. 34 [Is] not this laid up in store with me, [and] sealed up among my treasures? 

God is saying all these sins are before my face and are recorded and sealed among my treasures.

The books of heaven record the sins that would have been committed had there been opportunity. God will bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing. By His law He measures the character of every man. As the artist transfers to the canvas the features of the face, so the features of each individual character are transferred to the books of heaven. God has a perfect photograph of every man’s character, and this photograph He compares with His law. He reveals to man the defects that mar his life, and calls upon him to repent and turn from sin (ST July 31, 1901). {5BC 1085.4}

When the Bible was written they only had paintings but what can we read today to understand this? DVDs and video streaming we can understand. The computer has pages doesn’t it? Heaven has living machinery. There these creatures with eyes all over them are picking up video streaming everything happening here on earth and each one of us all our activities are being transferred to the heavenly sanctuary. God wants to cleanse the temple.

-Let parents and children remember that day by day they are each forming a character, and that the features of this character are imprinted upon the books of heaven. God is taking pictures of His people, just as surely as an artist takes pictures of men and women, transferring the features of the face to the polished plate. What kind of picture do you wish to produce? Parents, answer the question! What kind of picture will the great Master Artist make of you in the records of heaven? . . . We must decide this now. Hereafter, when death shall come, there will be no time to straighten the crooked places in the character. {CG 562.1}

To us individually this should be a most important matter. Every day our likeness is being taken for time and for eternity. Let each one say, “I am having my likeness taken today.” Ask yourself daily, hourly, “How will my words sound to the heavenly angels? Are they as apples of gold in pictures of silver, or are they like a blasting hail, wounding and bruising?” . . {CG 562.2}

  Not only our words and actions, but our thoughts, make up the picture of what we are. {CG 563.1}

If you enjoy a thought it is transferred to the heavenly computers.

Then let every soul be good and do good. Let the picture made of you be one of which you will not be ashamed. Every feeling we cherish makes its impress upon the countenance. God help us to make our record in our families what we would wish it to be in the heavenly record. {CG 563.1}

There is nothing that you and I do that is not being transferred to the books of heaven. Nothing. Even your secret thoughts that you cherish are there.

Ecclesiastes 12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this [is] the whole [duty] of man.  14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether [it be] good, or whether [it be] evil.

As the books of heaven are opened, what is recorded? Everything. What is happening with our pictures since 1844? What is the work of the cleansing of the sanctuary actually engage?

2 Timothy 5:24 Some men’s sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment; and some [men] they follow after.

  As the books of record are opened in the judgment, the lives of all who have believed on Jesus come in review before God. Beginning with those who first lived upon the earth, our Advocate presents the cases of each successive generation, and closes with the living. Every name is mentioned, every case closely investigated. Names are accepted, names rejected. When any have sins remaining upon the books of record, unrepented of and unforgiven, their names will be blotted out of the book of life, and the record of their good deeds will be erased from the book of God’s remembrance. {GC 483.1}

God can delete or retain our sins. That is a wonderful thought, he can delete the bad things or worse he can delete the good things. As you examine yourself honestly under the searching eye of God and you view your memory in your computer, how do you feel it is all there in the judgement?

How anxious are you to remove the record of the past, to have your wrong-doings blotted out? What depths of iniquity are open to God’s sight, that are hidden from all mortal view! Every secret thing shall be brought into judgment, whether it be good or evil. Past sins, unrepented of and unforgiven, will be brought up then, {RH, January 13, 1891 par. 11}

Every name closely investigated. How do you feel? Have a good look and look at the thoughts you cherished yesterday. They are there. How anxious are you to remove the record of the past? What does God do with our anxiety of this nature? Is it right to feel anxious about a subject? When we hear cheap gospel messages of, it is alright Jesus loves you don’t worry, how does it fit in? God lets us know as he let the Israelites know in the Hebrew sanctuary period.

Leviticus 16:29 And [this] shall be a statute for ever unto you: [that] in the seventh month, on the tenth [day] of the month, ye shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, [whether it be] one of your own country, or a stranger that sojourneth among you: 30 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. 31 It [shall be] a sabbath of rest unto you, and ye shall afflict your souls, by a statute for ever.

This anxiety is promoted by God. Afflict your souls, do so. There is a purpose for this anxiety.

Every man was to afflict his soul while the work of atonement was going forward. All business was laid aside, and the whole congregation of Israel spent the day in solemn humiliation before God, with prayer, fasting, and deep searching of heart. {PP 355.4}

This was the typical. It is going to be any different for us now? God calls the exactly the same way today.

The Call of God in the Time of the End

God wants to cleanse us.

Revelation 3:7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; 

Isaiah 22:20 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will call my servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah: 21 And I will clothe him with thy robe, and strengthen him with thy girdle, and I will commit thy government into his hand: and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah. 22 And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open.

That is Jesus isn’t it? In that day when Jesus goes into the most holy place and we are to share and understand his ministry, what are we called to do?

Isaiah 22:12 And in that day did the Lord GOD of hosts call to weeping, and to mourning, and to baldness, and to girding with sackcloth: 13 And behold joy and gladness, slaying oxen, and killing sheep, eating flesh, and drinking wine: let us eat and drink; for to morrow we shall die. 14 And it was revealed in mine ears by the LORD of hosts, Surely this iniquity shall not be purged from you till ye die, saith the Lord GOD of hosts.

What? That’s a sin that can’t be forgiven. Why not? Because the Lord is trying to forgive you your sins and he wants you to participate with him in this anxious job to make sure you get rid of every sin. He sits as a refiner and wants to purify us. If I am not cooperating with him, will I be saved? If I am not afflicting my soul and doing heart searching, am I going to be saved? Obviously not. Many people when their sins are opened will be after the 1000 years and it will be too late. Now is the time for God’s people to see them. Today God’s wants us to do the very thing that he wants us to do back there.

  We are now living in the great day of atonement. In the typical service, while the high priest was making the atonement for Israel, all were required to afflict their souls by repentance of sin and humiliation before the Lord, lest they be cut off from among the people. In like manner, all who would have their names retained in the book of life should now, in the few remaining days of their probation, afflict their souls before God by sorrow for sin and true repentance. There must be deep, faithful searching of heart. The light, frivolous spirit indulged by so many professed Christians must be put away. {GC 489.3}

We are living in a life and death period a finishing of the work. If we are light and careless and if we maintain that, are we preparing?

There is earnest warfare before all who would subdue the evil tendencies that strive for the mastery. The work of preparation is an individual work. We are not saved in groups. The purity and devotion of one will not offset the want of these qualities in another. Though all nations are to pass in judgment before God, yet He will examine the case of each individual with as close and searching scrutiny as if there were not another being upon the earth. Everyone must be tested and found without spot or wrinkle or any such thing. {GC 489.3}

God is saying please I want to cleanse the temple. I’m going to cleanse the temple up there, I’m going to delete all your sins but if our sins have not been deleted in our life, then he can’t delete them. We delete them by confession and repentance through Jesus Christ our high priest. He is pleading our case. As we fail to do that, he will delete our names from the book of life. If we are in tune with Daniel the prophet standing in his lot, what will we be doing?  Daniel represents to us the messages of these last days. What was Daniel doing in reference to the 2300 day prophecy? He was praying and fasting. What are we to do?

Daniel 10:1 In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a thing was revealed unto Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar; and the thing [was] true, but the time appointed [was] long: and he understood the thing, and had understanding of the vision. 2 In those days I Daniel was mourning three full weeks. 3 I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.

Have you an understanding of the vision? Follow what he did. Here was the fast over a long period of time. We have a fast over a long period of time. What is it that he wrote? He ate no pleasant bread, no bread of desires or things for the sake of feasting. Wine, flesh and unhealthy dishes, cakes etc. unhealthy ones.

The spirit of true fasting and prayer is the spirit which yields mind, heart, and will to God. {CD 189.2}

The true fasting which should be recommended to all, is abstinence from every stimulating kind of food, and the proper use of wholesome, simple food, which God has provided in abundance. Men need to think less about what they shall eat and drink, of temporal food, and much more in regard to the food from heaven, that will give tone and vitality to the whole religious experience. {CD 90.1}

This is the fast. It wasn’t just in regard to eating, it was in the spirit that my mind and heart will yield to everything God says. If we are in tune with Jesus as high priest and he is trying to help me and you, what is he doing in helping me and you?

God has a perfect photograph of every man’s character, and this photograph He compares with His law. He reveals to man the defects that mar his life, and calls upon him to repent and turn from sin (ST July 31, 1901). {5BC 1085.4}

Isn’t that a comfort? He doesn’t leave me in ignorance. If he were to leave me in ignorance then I am lost but he says I want to save you, hold the winds of strife. Wait, my blood I still want to save these souls. He wants me to cooperate with him and he wants to show me the things that mar my life. How does he do it?

1 Corinthians 1:6 Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: 7 So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: 8 Who shall also confirm you unto the end, [that ye may be] blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Do you want to be blameless? Jesus will not leave you in a lurch in despair. He gives us the testimony of Jesus in the last days so you can be blameless. What must you do with the testimony of Jesus? Ellen White has been inspired by the Holy Spirit. She is plainly writing the inspiration of Jesus Christ. She writes the testimony of Jesus.

One stood by my side and said: “God has raised you up and has given you words to speak to the people and to reach hearts as He has given to no other one. He has shaped your testimonies to meet cases that are in need of help. You must be unmoved by scorn, derision, reproach, and censure. In order to be God’s special instrument, you should lean to no one, but hang upon Him alone, and, like the clinging vine, let your tendrils entwine about Him. He will make you a means through which to communicate His light to the people. You must daily gather strength from God in order to be fortified, that your surroundings may not dim or eclipse the light that He has permitted to shine upon His people through you. It is Satan’s special object to prevent this light from coming to the people of God, who so greatly need it amid the perils of these last days. {2T 607.4}

“Your success is in your simplicity. As soon as you depart from this, and fashion your testimony to meet the minds of any, your power is gone. Almost everything in this age is glossed and unreal. The world abounds in testimonies given to please and charm for the moment, and to exalt self. Your testimony is of a different character. It is to come down to the minutiae of life, keeping the feeble faith from dying, and pressing home upon believers the necessity of shining as lights in the world. {2T 608.1}

   “God has given you your testimony, to set before the backslider and the sinner his true condition and the immense loss he is sustaining by continuing a life of sin. God has impressed this upon you by opening it before your vision as He has to no other one now living, and according to the light He has given you will He hold you responsible. ‘Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.’ Lift up your voice like a trumpet, and show My people their transgressions, and the house of Israel their sins.” {2T 608.2}

Sr Whites life was in danger if she wasn’t going to be faithful. If her life was responsible for showing it exactly as it was, then how responsible are we? We should become blameless by that which is given. Here is a precious comfort that God has given us – the testimony of Jesus. Besides that, I will show you what he is prepared to do.

Whatever may be the nature of your defects, the Spirit of the Lord will enable you to discern them, and grace will be given you whereby they may be overcome. {TMK 237.2}

   Ask the Lord to reveal to you yourself; place your life under His searching eye, and when He lays hold upon your case you will see that you have made grievous mistakes, and what you supposed was of little importance was offensive in the sight of Heaven. You will see that there is a decided need of thorough transformation of character. You will realize that you must put away the evil of your doings, and cooperate with God and heavenly angels who are sent to minister unto those who shall be heirs of salvation. . . . {TMK 237.3}

We will see it through the testimony of Jesus but we will see it also from one other source.

If we have defects of character of which we are not aware, He gives us discipline that will bring those defects to our knowledge, that we may overcome them. It is His providence that brings us into varying circumstances. In each new position, we meet a different class of temptations. How many times when we are placed in some trying situation we think, “This is a wonderful mistake. How I wish I had stayed where I was before.” But why is it that you are not satisfied? It is because your circumstances have served to bring new defects in your character to your notice, but nothing is revealed but that which was in you. {TMK 282.2}

In this message you will meet this experience time and time again and you will think this is a terrible mistake as you will go through horrible experiences. The Lord in his providence brings circumstances around and you will think it was a terrible mistake and you will wish you had stayed in the church you came from. I have preached this message for years and many people how have been under it and have left then said I am happier now. When they were with us they were troubled but now they are free of the trouble and at peace.  The Lord is working with us and he will bring us into circumstances that will reveal our character. Let God do it, don’t run away. If you think someone is treading on your corns, he is not doing it on purpose, it is his personality and as that rubs on to you, learn to bear it as you are being purged. He who is treading on your corns is being affected by your response if you react negatively. May God grant us to rejoice in tribulation. Through our understanding of the sanctuary message we see the Lord is wonderful in delaying his coming. He is trying to bring us to our senses before it is too late. The message of original Adventism is still alive, join in the work of our high priest. Be the wise virgin, understand and be purified.


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Posted on 01/06/2011, in Divine Service Sermons. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Sorry, but I cannot understand the idea that God is hurting us to improve our character. While we are on this planet, everyone is hurting to one degree or another. It is whether we invite Jesus to walk with us, and we stay close to Him through the trials and tribulations. It’s His open invite to us to confide in Him, and He will take the burden, the botheration, the criticism, the loss of health, the recalcitrant kids, etc. and carry that load until we meet in person on the resurrection morning. Give it all to Him. When God says He will never leave us, He means it. TRUST is the key to salvation. By FAITH, we HOPE.

  2. “May God grant us to rejoice in tribulation. Through our understanding of the sanctuary message we see the Lord is wonderful in delaying his coming. He is trying to bring us to our senses before it is too late.” – John Thiel

    Leah 🙂

  1. Pingback: Cleansing the Temple « Sabbath Sermons | Body cleanse health

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