CLEANSING OF THE SANCTUARY
2300 DAYS -- `DAN. 8:10-26`
The True Sanctuary--The Defilement--The Base or Foundation--How
"Cast Down"--Evidences of This Cited from Roman Catholic
Writings-- The Cleansing will not be Accomplished Until 2300
Years After the Vision--How and Where Begun, and When Due to
be Completed-- "Golden Vessels," Truths, Must be Replaced.
preceding chapters we saw the identity of the presumptuous, peculiar
"little horn" of `Dan. 7:8,11,20-26`,
with the "Man of Sin" of `2 Thess.
2:3`, and with the "Abomination of Desolation"
foretold by our Lord in `Matt. 24:15`;
and also that the same papal power is referred to in
`Dan. 8:9,10,23-25`. We have examined, sufficiently for
our present purposes and limited space, its rise, its character,
the breaking of its crushing power, and its final complete destruction,
which is yet future.
wish now to examine another prophecy which points out distinctly
the one special false doctrine, or fundamental error, which led
to the full rejection of that system by our Lord, and made it
in his sight the desolating abomination. The prophecy now
to be considered shows, further, the time at which the true Church,
the consecrated class--the Sanctuary --will be cleansed of the
abominable defilements introduced by Papacy.
the preceding chapter pointed out to us certain days of waiting,
and a purifying of this holy or Sanctuary class, this prophecy
points out a date at which a nucleus of
<PAGE 96> holy believers would get entirely
free from papal defilements, errors, etc., and at which the misappropriated
"golden vessels," or precious truths, would begin to
be restored to this holy or Sanctuary class.
quote `Dan. 8:10-26`, as follows:
it became great even unto [controlling] the host of heaven [the
entire Church], and it caused some of the host and of the shining
lights to fall to the earth, and trod them under foot. Yea, it
magnified itself even up to the Prince of the host. [It assumed
to itself honors and dignities, and applied to itself prophecies
and titles, which belong to Christ Jesus, the true Chief or Prince
or Head of the Church.] And it took away from him [Christ] the
CONTINUAL SACRIFICE, and the BASE OF HIS SANCTUARY was overthrown.
And the host [people] was given over to it against the continual
sacrifice, through transgression; and it cast down truth to the
ground, and its doings prospered.
did I hear a certain holy one speaking, and a holy one said unto
another, I know not to whom he was speaking: 'For how long shall
be the vision, concerning the continual sacrifice and the transgression
that maketh desolate, to give both the sanctuary and the host
to be trodden under foot?' And he answered, 'Until two thousand
three hundred evenings and mornings [days], then shall the sanctuary
it came to pass when I, even I, Daniel, had seen the vision, that
I sought to understand it; and behold there stood before me as
the appearance of a man. And I heard a man's voice between the
banks of the [river] Ulai, which called and said, 'Gabriel, make
this man to understand the vision.' So he came and stood near
where I stood; and when he was come, I fell upon my face, trembling,
and he said unto me, 'Mark well, O son of man! because for the
<PAGE 97> the End is the vision.' Now as he
was speaking unto me, I fell down in amazement on my face to the
ground; but he touched me and set me upright, where I had been
standing. And he said, 'Behold, I will make known to thee what
is to come to pass to the end of these evil predictions; for it
pertaineth to the appointed Time of the End.'
ram which thou hast seen, him with the two horns, (signifieth)
the kings of Media and Persia. And the shaggy he-goat is the king
of Greece; and the great horn that is between his eyes is the
first king. But that it was broken, and that four sprung up in
its stead, (signifieth that) four kingdoms will spring up out
of the nation, but not with his power. And in the latter time
of their kingdom, when the transgressors have filled their measure
of guilt [Compare `Gen. 15:16`],
there will arise a king [Papacy] of an impudent [or shameless]
face, and understanding deep schemes. And his power shall be strengthened
[made mighty], but not with his own force. [Papacy strengthened
itself by using the force of the various nations of Europe.] And
he will destroy wonderfully, and do more than can be believed;
and he shall destroy [or corrupt] the mighty ones and the holy
[saintly] people. And by his cunning skill he shall cause deceit
to prosper (him) in his power; and in his heart he shall magnify
himself, and by prosperity shall he corrupt [destroy] many: he
shall also stand up [as Antichrist] against the Prince of princes;
and he shall be broken without hand. And [that part of] the vision
concerning the evenings and mornings which hath been told [that
there would be 2300, till the cleansing] is correct; but shut
thou up the vision, for it will be fulfilled after many days."
do not enter into a detailed explanation of the ram, goat, horns,
etc., mentioned in these and the preceding verses believing that
they have already been made clear.
<PAGE 98> (See page 27) We have already seen
that Rome, which is treated as a separate beast with its own horns,
in chapter vii, and as the legs and feet of the image, in chapter
ii, is here (chapter viii) treated as one of the horns of the
Grecian "goat," which, after becoming great toward the
South and toward the East, as civil or imperial Rome, underwent
a change, and, becoming papal Rome, "became great even unto
the host of heaven; i.e., it became an ecclesiastical power or
empire, over the host or people. And this same method of treating
the Roman empire as a branch or development out of one of the
divisions of the Grecian empire, is followed in the historical
prophecy of chapter xi.
continual sacrifice here mentioned is generally supposed to refer
to the daily or continual burnt-offerings of the Jews at Jerusalem.
And this taking away of the continual sacrifice has been laid
to the charge of Antiochus Epiphanes, as already narrated. The
prophecy, however, passes by the typical temple or Sanctuary,
and the typical burnt-offerings, and deals with the antitypical
Sanctuary or Temple of God, the Christian Church (`2
Cor. 6:16`), and with the antitypical burnt-offering, Christ's
meritorious sacrifice once for all and forever--a continual,
ever-efficacious sacrifice, for the sins of the whole world.
continual sacrifice was not actually canceled or abolished
by Papacy, but it was set aside by a false doctrine advanced by
that system--which gradually, but in the end fully and completely,
set aside the merit of Christ's sacrifice as a continual
and ever-efficacious one. This false doctrine is known as the
Mass, or Sacrifice of the Mass.
in general totally misunderstand this so-called sacrament. They
suppose it to be merely a different form of celebrating
the Lord's Last Supper, adopted by Roman Catholics. Others get
the idea that it is a sort of special
<PAGE 99> prayer. But these ideas are quite
erroneous. The Roman Catholic doctrine of the Mass is this: The
death of Christ, they claim, canceled Adamic or original sin,
but is not applicable for our daily shortcomings, weaknesses,
sins and omissions; it is not a continual sacrifice, ever
meritorious for all our sins, ever sufficient and efficacious
to cover as a robe every sinner and every sin, so as to permit
the contrite one to come back into union and fellowship with God.
For such sins the Sacrifice of the Mass was instituted: it is
esteemed by Papists as a further development of the Calvary sacrifice.
Each time the Mass is offered in sacrifice it is, they claim,
a fresh sacrifice of Christ, for the particular persons
and sins to which the priest offering it mentally applies it.
Christ to be thus sacrificed afresh is first "created"
from wheat-bread and wine by the officiating priest. They are
ordinary bread and wine until laid upon the altar, when certain
words of consecration, it is claimed, change the bread and wine
into the actual flesh and blood of Christ. Then they are
bread and wine no longer, though they still have such an appearance.
This change is called transubstantiation --change of substance.
The five magical Latin words which, it is claimed, effect this
change of bread and wine into actual flesh and blood, are,
"Hoc est autem corpus meum." It is claimed that
any priest can thus create Christ in the flesh, afresh,
to be sacrificed afresh. And having thus created Christ,
a bell is sounded, and priests and people fall down and worship
and adore the bread and wine, which now they recognize as the
very Christ. This done, the bread (the real flesh of Christ, veiled
from the senses, they say) is broken. Christ is thus slain or
sacrificed afresh, repeatedly, for the special sins sought
by this means to be canceled.
out this absurd theory, and endeavoring to have it consistent
with itself, Roman Catholic councils have
<PAGE 100> issued numerous and long decrees
and explanations, and wise (?) theologians have written thousands
of books. In these it is taught that if a drop of the "blood"
(wine) be spilled, it must be carefully preserved and burned,
and the ashes buried in holy ground; and likewise the bread ("the
flesh of Christ"): not a crumb of it must be lost. Provision
is carefully made lest a fly should get into the "blood"
(wine), or lest a mouse or dog should get a crumb of the broken
"flesh" (bread). And Dr. Dens, one of their leading
theologians, explains that, "A mouse or a dog eating the
sacramental species, does not eat them sacramentally; yet this
proves that then the body of Christ does not cease to exist
under the species."* The Roman Catholic (American) Catechism
states the doctrine thus:
What is the holy eucharist?
It is a sacrament which contains the BODY and BLOOD, the SOUL
and DIVINITY, of Jesus Christ, under the forms and appearances
of bread and wine.
Is it not bread and wine which is first put upon the altar for
the celebration of the Mass?
Yes, it is always bread and wine till the priest pronounces the
words of consecration during the Mass.
What happens by these words?
The bread is changed into the BODY of Jesus Christ, and the wine
into his BLOOD.
What is this change called?
It is called transubstantiation, that is to say, a change
of one substance into another.
What is the Mass?
The Mass is the perpetual ["daily" or "continual"]
sacrifice of the new law, in which Christ our Lord offers himself
by the hands of the priest, in an unbloody manner, under the appearances
of bread and wine, to his Heavenly Father, as he once offered
himself on the cross in a bloody manner.
---------- *Dens, Tract. de Euchar., No. 20, p. 314.
What is the difference between the sacrifice of the Mass and the
sacrifice of the Cross?
The sacrifice of the Mass is essentially the same [kind or sort
of] sacrifice as that of the Cross; the only difference is in
the manner of offering.
What effects has the Mass as a sacrifice of propitiation [satisfaction]?
By it we obtain from the divine mercy, first, Graces of contrition
and repentance for the forgiveness of sins; and second, Remission
of temporal punishments deserved for sins.
To whom are the fruits [benefits] of the Mass applied?
The general fruits are applied to the whole Church, both the living
and the dead; the special fruits are applied, first, Chiefly
to the priest who celebrates the Mass; next, To those for whom
in particular he offers it up; and, thirdly, To those who assist
at it with devotion [i.e., those who attend Mass as worshipers]."
same authority says: "He who sacrifices is a priest;
the sensible thing which is sacrificed is called the victim;
the place where it is sacrificed is called the altar. These
four-- priest, victim, altar and sacrifice--are
inseparable: each one of them calls for the others."
explaining the ceremony, it says of the priest:
he pronounces the mysterious words of Consecration, adores,
making a genuflection, and elevates the Sacred Body and the Sacred
Blood above his head. At the ringing of the bell the people adore
on their knees, and strike their breasts in token of repentance
for their sins. The priest begs of God graciously to ACCEPT
close the testimony on this subject by a brief quotation from
the Canons of the Council of Trent* as follows:
3. "If any one shall say that the Mass is only a service
of praise and thanksgiving, or a bare commemoration of the sacrifice
made on the Cross, and not [in itself] a ---------- *Concil.
Trid., Sess. 22. De Sacrificio Missae.
<PAGE 102> propitiatory offering [i.e., a
sacrifice which itself makes satisfaction for sins]; or
that it only benefits him who receives it, and ought not to be
offered for the living and the dead, for sins, punishments,
satisfactions, and other necessities: let him [who so denies the
power of this sacrifice] be accursed."
we see clearly that Papacy has substituted a false or sham sacrifice,
in the place of the one everlasting, complete and never-to-be-repeated
sacrifice of Calvary, made once for all time. Thus it was that
Papacy took away from Christ's work the merit of being rightly
esteemed the Continual Sacrifice, by substituting in its stead
a fraud, made by its own priests. It is needless here to detail
the reason why Papacy denies and sets aside the true Continual
Sacrifice, and substitutes the "abomination," the Mass,
in its stead; for most of our readers know that this doctrine,
that the priest makes in the Mass a sacrifice for sins, without
which they cannot be canceled, or their penalties escaped, is
at the very foundation of all the various schemes of the Church
of Rome for wringing money from the people, for all her extravagancies
and luxuries. "Absolutions," "indulgences,"
and all the various presumed benefits, favors, privileges and
immunities, for either the present or the future life, for either
the living or the dead, are based upon this blasphemous doctrine
of the Mass, the fundamental doctrine of the apostasy. It is by
virtue of the power and authority which the sacrifice of the Mass
imposes upon the priests, that their other blasphemous
claims, to have and exercise the various prerogatives which belong
to Christ only, are countenanced by the people.
an evidence of the fundamental character of this error, let it
be noted that, though the Reformation in Germany and Switzerland
began with opposition to indulgences, it soon became a question
<PAGE 103> --the sacrifice of the Mass. The
corner stone of the Reformation was, that the forgiveness of sins
was effected by Christ alone, as a consequence of his sacrifice
at Calvary, and not by indulgences, confessionals and Masses.
In fact, this question of the Mass lay at the bottom of nearly
all of Rome's persecutions. Bishop Tilotson remarks, "This
[transubstantiation--the Mass] has been in the Church of
Rome the great burning article; and, absurd and unreasonable
as it is, more Christians have been murdered for the denial of
it, than perhaps for all the other articles of their religion."
course, Romanists claim that the Mass was instituted by Christ
and the apostles; but the earliest mention of it we have been
able to find was at the Council of Constantinople, A.D. 381. However,
the date of the introduction of this defiling error is not particularly
referred to in the prophecy, except that by reason of this fundamental
error Papacy became the "Abomination of Desolation,"
before it was, as such, "set up" in power, which,
we have seen, was in A.D. 539.
prophecy declares, "It took away from him [Christ] the continual
sacrifice," and then adds, "and the base of his
Sanctuary was overthrown." The base, or foundation-truth,
upon which the truly consecrated or Sanctuary class is built,
is that our Lord Jesus, by the sacrifice, of himself, has redeemed
all, and will save to the uttermost all who come unto God by him,
without any other mediator, without priest, or bishop, or pope,
and without any other sacrifice-- any other being an abomination
in God's sight, as teaching by implication the insufficiency of
Christ's great ransom- sacrifice. `Heb.
doctrine of the ransom is the base of the Sanctuary or
holy temple--the consecrated Church. And when this "continual"
<PAGE 104> was displaced, made void or overturned
by the Mass, then followed the evils predicted by the prophet.
The host (nominal Christians) was given over to the error, easily
led by the false system which exalted itself (in the person of
its head, the pope) even to be the Prince or ruler over the host.
"And it cast down the truth to the ground," together
with such of the host, and of the shining lights, or teachers,
as held fast to the truth, and would not unite with it in its
course of transgression. And, as we have seen in preceding chapters,
it prospered marvelously in its doings.
very foundation of the true Christian faith being thus cast aside,
is it any wonder that the great apostasy fell into such depths
of iniquity as it did? One error led to another, until only outward
forms of truth and godliness remained; and the desolating abomination
seated itself in the temple of God, defiling both the Sanctuary
and the host, and exalting its head as Christ's vicar or representative.
the midst of these scenes of the success of the Abomination of
Desolation, Daniel hears the saints, holy ones, ask, "For
how long shall be the vision, concerning the Continual Sacrifice
and the transgression which maketh desolate, to give both the
Sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?" All along
since the abomination was set up, there have been saints who more
or less distinctly recognized its character and its defilements,
and anxiously have such sought to know, crying to God, How long,
O Lord! shall the truth be trodden in the mire, and error, blasphemy
and abominations be allowed to prosper? How long shall Antichrist,
"intoxicated with the blood of the saints and martyrs of
Jesus," and with its phenomenal success, continue to intoxicate
and deceive the nations? (`Rev. 17:2,6;
14:8; 18:3`) And, anticipating their inquiry, and Daniel's
and ours, God gave the answer in advance, through his messenger.
And though the terms could not even begin to be understood
<PAGE 105> before the Time of the End, yet
the fixing or limiting of the time gave to others as well as to
Daniel the assurance that God has full control of the situation,
so that naught can happen which he cannot and will not control,
and ultimately overrule for good. This answer marks, not the beginning
of the cleansing work, but a period when it would be in a measure
finished. It reads as follows:
"Until Two Thousand Three Hundred Days,
Then Shall the Sanctuary be Cleansed"
the examination of this period of time the student is at once
struck with the fact that literal days cannot be meant; because
2300 literal days would be less than eight years, and yet the
prophecy evidently covers all the long period of the defiling
of the Sanctuary and the treading down of the truth. Again, we
note that it is foretold that these 2300 days will terminate sometime
in the period called the "Time of the End"; for
Gabriel said, "Mark well, O son of man! because for the Time
of the End is the vision"; and again, "Behold, I will
make known unto thee what is to come to pass to the end of these
evil predictions; for it [the fulfilment] pertaineth to the appointed
Time of the End."
his explanation, Gabriel traverses the entire vision, explaining
in part the various symbols, and finishes with the assurance that
the 2300 days is the correct measure of it all.
who was thinking specially of Israel, and of the fulfilment of
God's promises to the fathers, perceived that all that he had
heard could not occur in 2300 literal days, especially when Gabriel
said to him, "But shut thou up the vision, for it will be
fulfilled after many days." And though he knew not
how long each symbolic day would be, he was made sick at heart
by the thought of so many evils as were coming upon God's people--though
he saw not the change of that name from fleshly to spiritual Israel.
We read, "And
<PAGE 106> I, Daniel, languished and was sick
for some days"; and "I was astonished at the vision,
but none could interpret it." And well it was for Daniel,
and for all God's children from then to the Time of the End, that
the dread significance of that vision of papal power and persecution,
and of saintly suffering, was not more clearly revealed in advance.
Our merciful Heavenly Father, while willing to prove his people
in the furnace of affliction and persecution, in order to prepare
a people for the exceeding and eternal weight of glory promised,
deals with us upon the principle--"Sufficient unto the day
is the evil thereof."
who was more interested in Israel than in the Persian "ram,"
or the Grecian "goat," knew from Jeremiah's prophecy
that the seventy years of captivity in Babylon was a punishment
upon Israel for sins, and so now he judged from the vision of
coming persecutions (instead of exaltation and glory as he had
expected) that it betokened Israel's sin and God's wrath; hence
he prayed earnestly for forgiveness of Israel's sins, and for
the fulfilment of the promises made to the fathers. This is told
in few words in `Dan. 9:2-19`. Daniel
saw not the scope of the divine plan as we may now behold it;
nevertheless, his earnestness and faith in the promises were pleasing
to God, who therefore revealed to him something more concerning
this vision--an increase or further elaboration of it, in those
features which specially pertained to fleshly Israel. Daniel supposed
that the end of the seventy years' desolation of the land of Israel,
while its people were in Babylon, was to be thus prolonged, or
continued, for many (2300) days. God corrects this error by sending
Gabriel to inform him that the captivity would end when the seventy
years were complete, and that the city of Jerusalem and the temple
would be rebuilt, though in a troublous period, etc.
was while Daniel was praying over the vision of the 2300 days,
which he misunderstood to mean a prolonging
<PAGE 107> of the 70 years captivity in Babylon,
that Gabriel was sent to further explain that misunderstood
vision, thus (`Dan. 9:21-27`):
he talked with me and instructed me, and said, O Daniel, I am
now come forth to teach thee, that thou mayest understand. From
the beginning of thy prayers the [further] declaration [of God's
plan, now to be communicated] went forth, and I am come to tell
it; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand this [further]
matter, and have understanding of the vision [of the 2300 days].
Seventy weeks [70 x 7 = 490 days] are cut off [or set apart, fixed,
or determined] upon thy people [Israel] and upon thy holy city
point to be here noticed specially is, that the 490 days are a
part of the 2300 days--a part marked off as of special interest
to Daniel, in answer to his prayer about the restoration of Israel
from Babylon. (See `verses 12,16-18`.)
As these seventy weeks, or 490 days, were the forepart of the
2300, their fulfilment not only serves to show us when the 2300
began, but also to show what manner of time (literal or symbolic)
was signified. (See `1 Pet. 1:11`.)
And, more than this, the fulfilment of this prophecy of "seventy
weeks" would serve to set a seal upon Daniel as a
true prophet, and upon all his prophecies; and especially would
it seal this "vision" of the 2300 days. And thus
it was foretold that the seventy weeks should among other things
serve to "seal the vision and prophet."
then, recognizing the symbolic seventy weeks, or 490 days, as
fulfilled in years, to be the forepart of the 2300 days, and God's
seal or mark of approval to that full vision, we begin there to
measure, to see where the whole period will be fulfilled. Deducting
from the 2300 the 490 fulfilled at the first advent, we have a
remainder of 1810. Then, ---------- *For an examination of this
prophecy see Vol. II, chapter iii, page 63.
<PAGE 108> 1810 years (prophetic, symbolic
days) must be the measure from the close of the seventy weeks
to the time when the Sanctuary class will be cleansed from the
various defilements of Papacy--the desolating abomination which
has for so many centuries defiled the temple of God.
death of Messiah, as shown, was in the spring of A.D. 33;* and
this was the midst or middle of the last week of the seventy,
the full end of which was therefore a half week, or three and
a half years later--in the autumn of A.D. 36. Therefore, 1810
years from the autumn of A.D. 36, viz., the autumn of 1846, marks
the end of the vision of the 2300 days, and the date when the
Sanctuary was due to be cleansed.
prophecy being fulfilled, we should expect, in this as in other
cases of fulfilled prophecy, to find the facts proving its fulfilment
clearly set forth on the pages of history; for, though historians
are often unbelievers in the Bible and the God of the Bible, yet,
unknown to them, God has overruled their work, so that wherever
a prophecy has been fulfilled, the facts have unmistakably passed
into history, and always on good and reliable authority. And so
it has been in this case of the cleansing of the Sanctuary.
find, on the authority of all modern historians, that what they
all term a Great Reformation had its beginning in the sixteenth
century--except Roman Catholic writers, who call it the great
sedition. And with this reformation the cleansing of the Sanctuary
may be dated as commencing. Let us bear in mind that the Sanctuary
was defiled by the bringing in of various errors with their corresponding
evil tendencies, that the climax of these was reached in the introduction
of the Mass, and that following in the wake of this error came
the deepest degradation of the host (the masses of ----------
*See Vol. II, page 68.
<PAGE 109> the church nominal), culminating
in the shameless sale of "indulgences," which measurably
provoked the reform movement. Though the Sanctuary class,
too, was in a measure defiled, i.e., deceived into this error,
the dreadful results opened their eyes to it. And, accordingly,
we find that the keynote of the Great Reformation was, Justification
by faith in the "continual sacrifice" of Christ
that needs no repetition --as opposed to forgiveness assumed to
be secured by penances and Masses, at the polluted altars of Antichrist.
was the right place for reformation to begin: at the foundation--justification
[cleansing] by faith in "the continual."
Yet, notice, the prophecy does not indicate a cleansing of the
host at this time, but of the Sanctuary class only.
Nor was the host cleansed. They still retained the error, and
do to this day; but the consecrated class, the Sanctuary, renounced
the error and suffered for the truth's sake, many of them even
this was only the beginning of the cleansing process; for this
class, now awakened, soon discovered that the defiling errors
had been multiplied while Papacy had practiced and prospered.
Luther, the leading spirit of the reformation, did not stop with
one error, but attempted to throw out many others, and nailed
upon the church door at Wittenberg, Oct. 31st, 1517, ninety-five
theses, all of which were objections to the doctrines of Papacy,
the twenty-seventh being a denial of the claimed inherent immortality
of man. These propositions having been denounced as heresy by
Pope Leo X, Luther in his response (A.D. 1520) denounced in unmeasured
terms the doctrines of transubstantiation, human immortality,
and the claim of the pope to be "Emperor of the world, king
of heaven, and God upon earth," and referred to them as "MONSTROUS
OPINIONS TO BE FOUND IN THE ROMAN DUNGHILL OF DECRETALS."
alas! the "cleansing" work so nobly and courageously
<PAGE 110> commenced was too radical to be
popular, and the friends and admirers of Luther and his associates
conquered in a measure, overpowering them with policy,
prudence, "flatteries," and promises of help and success,
provided their course were shaped according to the dictates of
the wisdom of this world. (See `Dan. 11:34,35`.)
Several of the German princes became ardent admirers of the bold
reformers, who had both the understanding and the courage to attack
the system before which kings had for centuries trembled. These
princes aided the reformers, and their aid seemed to them to be
indispensable to the success of the movement. And in return for
the aid they received from the reformers recognition of their
should remember also that the reform movement was a revolt not
only against religious tyranny, but against political tyranny
as well. And the two classes of reformers were brought into more
or less sympathy and cooperation. Concerning this era of the Reformation,
Professor Fisher* says:
Switzerland--"Zwingli's exertions as a church reformer were
mingled with the patriotic zeal for the moral and political regeneration
John Calvin's time and the Genevan government-- "The civil
was followed by an ecclesiastical revolution. Protestantism was
legally established (1535). Calvin became the virtual law-giver
of the city. It was an ecclesiastical state."
Scandinavia--"In Scandinavian countries monarchical power
was built up by means of the reformation."
Denmark--"The new [Protestant] doctrine had come into the
land and was spreading. The nobles who coveted the possessions
of the church [Roman Catholic] espoused it."
---------- *Fisher's Universal History, pp. 402-412.
Sweden--"A great political revolution occurred, which involved
also a religious revolution."
Germany--"The threats against the Protestant princes induced
them to form the League of Smalcald, for mutual defense.
It was found impracticable to carry out the measures of repression
against the Lutherans." "At the Diet of Augsburg in
1555, the Religious Peace was concluded. Every prince was
to be allowed to choose between the Catholic religion and the
Augsburg Confession [of the Reformers]; and the religion of the
prince was to be that of the land over which he reigned: that
is, each government was to choose the creed for its subjects."
fact, the political circumstances of the time, combined with the
fact that even the leaders of the reform were only beginning to
get awake to some of the moral and a few of the doctrinal errors
of Papacy, lead us to wonder at the rapid strides taken toward
the right, rather than to harshly condemn them for not making
the cleansing more thorough. But when the Protestant churches
united with the state, progress and reform came to a standstill.
Soon creeds were formed which were almost as unyielding and opposed
to growth in knowledge as the decrees of Rome, though nearer to
the truth than Rome's--bondages of greater latitude.
the same kind of union between church and state which had worked
such injury to the truth before, in Papacy, was the snare by which
the adversary impeded and obstructed the "cleansing of the
sanctuary," so nobly begun. Reformation and cleansing for
a time ceased, and, instead of progressing with the cleansing,
the reformers gave attention to organizing themselves, and to
revamping and repolishing many of the old papal dogmas, at first
so loudly condemned. Thus did Satan decoy the reformers into the
<PAGE 112> very "harlotry" (union
of church and state) which they had denounced in the Church of
Rome. And thus the deadly wound which Papacy had received was
for a time healed. `Rev. 13:3`
the "cleansing," thus begun and thus interrupted, must
start afresh and go on; for by the end of the 2300 years the Sanctuary
must be cleansed. And so it has been. The recurrence to the Bible
as the only authority for faith, by which the reformation was
begun, planted deeply seeds which have since sprouted time and
again, and brought forth one and another reform, in spite of the
fact that the leading reformers speedily attempted to hinder the
spread of reform beyond their own measure, by establishing creeds
and bulwarks of faith beyond which, regardless of the teachings
of the Bible, none were permitted to go, without drawing down
upon themselves the anathema of "heretic."
along the pathway of the Church, from Luther's day until now,
we can see that, step by step, reform or cleansing has progressed;
and yet the same tendency is marked at every step; for each set
of reformers, as soon as they accomplished their own little item
of cleansing, stopped and joined the others, in opposition to
all further reform or cleansing.
the Church in England, casting aside some of the grosser doctrines
and practices of the Church of Rome, claimed, and still claims,
that it is the only true Church, and that its bishops have apostolic
succession, and hence supreme control of God's heritage. This
"daughter" of Rome, leaving the "mother,"
took the proffered arm of England, and made the sovereign of the
empire the head of that church. Yet, as with the Lutheran daughter,
even this was a reform, and in the right direction--a partial
cleansing. Calvin, Knox and others discovered that God's foreknowledge
of transpiring events had been largely lost sight
<PAGE 113> of under the papal rubbish; and,
casting out the idea that the success of God's plans were made
wholly dependent on the efforts of fallible men, their doctrines
helped to show that the Church was not dependent on the arm of
the state to win success for it by carnal weapons. These men did
a great and valuable work which has since borne more good fruit
than many seem to see. Nevertheless, blinded by other defiling
errors not recognized as such, they were led to advocate the error
that all not elected to the heavenly state were reprobated to
eternal torture. Soon their doctrines became crystallized under
the name Presbyterianism; and, beyond the first enunciation of
the immutability of the divine decrees, little has been done by
them to aid reformation or cleansing. And, like its sister sects,
Presbyterianism has also done much to obstruct and hinder the
Wesleys and their colaborers, oppressed by the prevalent coldness
and formality of their day, endeavored to cast out some of the
cold formalism naturally resulting from the union of church and
state, and to show the necessity of individual holiness through
personal faith in and union with Christ--teaching that the fact
of being born under a so-called Christian government, and reckoned
from birth a member of such state-church organization, is not
Christianity. This was excellent so far, and a necessary part
of the "cleansing" work; but, instead of going on toward
perfection in the simplicity of the early church, Wesley, too,
soon concluded that the cleansing and reforming work was completed,
and proceeded with others to organize Methodism, and so
to hedge it about with the creed, formulas and standards of Methodism
as to effectually hinder further progress and cleansing. Unitarianism
and Universalism, though likewise embodying errors, have also
been attempts to cast out defiling errors, which perhaps have
been proportionately as successful and as unsuccessful as others.
called Baptists represent another effort at cleansing the Sanctuary,
by casting out another error introduced by Papacy with reference
to baptism, and denying that the sprinkling of an unbelieving
infant is the baptism of a believer, or that sprinkling in any
manner even symbolizes any doctrine of Christ. Yet, beyond the
teaching of a correct outward form or symbol, Baptists
have made little progress, and now are often found standing with
others as objectors to, and hinderers of, any further cleansing.
later reform is known by the name of "The Christian Church"
or "The Disciples." This sect was organized in 1827
by Alexander Campbell. The reforms they specially advocated at
their organization were, Apostolic simplicity in church government;
the Bible only for a creed; the equality of all members of Christ
under Him as the head of all; and, consequently, the abrogation
of ecclesiastical titles, such as Reverend, Doctor of Divinity,
etc., as Romish, and contrary to the spirit of Christ and pure
Christianity, which says: "All ye are brethren, and one is
your master, even Christ." The design, and the cleansing
so far as it went, were good, and have borne fruit in the minds
and liberties of some in all denominations. But this denomination,
like the others, has ceased to attempt further reform, and the
spirit of its reform is already dead; for, while claiming the
Bible as the only creed, it has stopped in the rut, and there
it revolves without making progress in the truth. Claiming liberty
from the creeds and shackles of human tradition, it fails to use
the liberty, hence is really bound in spirit, and consequently
fails to grow in grace and knowledge. Though bound by no written
creed, yet by its respect for the traditions and the honor of
men, as well as by self-complacency, it soon became fixed, and
asleep to the work of the further cleansing of the Sanctuary,
and is even retrograding from its former position.
we have mentioned but a few of the reformers and reform movements,
we must not be understood as rejecting or ignoring others. Far
from it: the reform has been general, and all true, earnest Christians
have had some share in the work of cleansing. The great
difficulty lies in the fact that, prejudiced by early training
and awed by the loud and boastful claims of error, few can see
the great amount of error, and the consequent necessity for going
forward with the cleansing. And these, his advantages, our great
adversary, Satan, has not been slow to use in binding the saints
and hindering the cleansing work.
reform, and in some respects the most thorough of all, had its
start shortly after the last mentioned, as referred to briefly
in the preceding chapter. Mr. William Miller, of Massachusetts,
connected with the Baptist denomination, who was the instrument
used to start this reform, brought to the attention of the Church
the fact that the Bible reveals something of the time, as well
as the order, of God's plan. He saw periods recorded by the prophets,
accompanied by the statement that at the due time the truly wise
should understand them, and he sought to be of the class described.
He searched, and found some things of great interest, long lost
sight of under the traditions of Rome, among others that the second
coming of our Lord was for the bestowment of God's blessing of
life, to believers, as the first coming was for the purchase
of the world; in fact, that ransom and recovery are two parts
of the one redemptive plan.
an honest, earnest heart to realize such good news could mean
no less than to proclaim it; and this he did. The uncovering of
this truth led to the rejection of certain errors, and hence he
did a cleansing work in all who came under its influence. For
instance, since our Lord's second coming is to "set up"
his Kingdom and to exalt his Church, it is evident
<PAGE 116> that the claims of churches associated
with earthly kingdoms (which severally claim to be the kingdoms
of God, and that they therefore are now authorized to reign and
rule over the world) must be mere assumptions; for, if the Kingdom
of Christ has not yet been "set up," these now "set
up" must have been so exalted by "the prince of this
world" (Satan), and must be working largely in his interest,
however ignorant of the fact their rulers may be.
error, to the removal of which Mr. Miller's preaching led,
was the natural immortality of man. The idea had long obtained
that man is inherently an immortal being; that is, that once created
he can never die, and that death is merely a deceptive illusion;
that man only appears to die, and does not really do so, but merely
changes form and takes another step in "evolution."
Mr. Miller believed like others on this subject; yet the truths
to which he called attention, particularly the doctrines of the
Lord's coming and the resurrection of the dead, first pointedly
exposed this baneful error--which denies the resurrection by teaching
that none are dead, and hence that the Lord's second coming and
a resurrection of the dead are not necessary. But the critical
examination of this subject we leave for a future volume of this
work, in which it will be shown that immortality and everlasting
life are favors, obtainable only through Christ, and neither promised
nor to be granted to the wicked. Based upon and growing out of
the idea of human immortality, is the Romish doctrine of purgatory,
and the still more awful Protestant doctrine of eternal
misery in a place of unending tortures; for they reason, If man
must live forever (and if immortal, even God could
not destroy him), he must live in either everlasting happiness
or everlasting misery. And since, say they, he is at death remanded
to his everlasting condition, the vast majority must then begin
an eternity of torture, because in the few years of the present
<PAGE 117> life they either failed to get
a knowledge of the right way, or, obtaining the knowledge, they
were, through inherited weaknesses, etc., unable to walk in it.
great root of many blasting errors began to be torn up
and cast out by the preaching of the second coming of Christ and
the resurrection declared to be then due. Intelligent and thinking
people began to wonder why the Lord would resurrect the dead,
if they were in either heaven or hell, and their portion forever
unalterably fixed. Then they began to wonder why the dead were
called dead, if really alive. Then they wondered why our Lord
and the apostles said nothing about the dead being still alive,
but on the contrary always pointed to a resurrection as the only
hope; even declaring that if there be no resurrection all have
"perished." (`1 Cor. 15:13-18`)
Then our Lord's words, promising an awakening to "all that
are in their graves," began to have a meaning; and it gradually
came to be seen that the dead are not alive, but that death signifies
the opposite of life. And those who sought found that the Scriptures
are in perfect harmony with themselves on this subject, but in
direct opposition to the common traditions of today, received
root of error being thus removed, the various branches soon began
to wither; and soon it was seen that instead of everlasting life
(in misery) being the punishment of the wicked, the reverse is
the Bible statement of God's plan; that everlasting life is the
reward for righteousness, and that death, a cutting off from life,
is the punishment for wilful sinners.
came to be seen what was meant by the curse of death which
came upon all the race through Adam's disobedience --that the
whole race was condemned to extinction. Then, too, the veil began
to lift, showing the object and value of our Redeemer's death,
as the payment of the
<PAGE 118> penalty upon the race, in order
that there might be a resurrection, a restoring to life and its
rights. Ah! then the meaning of ransom began to be appreciated,
as it was seen that he who knew no sin was treated as the accursed;
that, being willingly substituted in our stead, he was made a
curse for us, treated as a sinner for us, and died, the
just for the unjust.
finally, the great system and network of defiling error, which
began with the taking away of the continual sacrifice, was removed;
and, the Sanctuary being relieved or cleansed of it, the value
of the "continual sacrifice" of Jesus was seen
in renewed freshness and beauty and power.
we say that the Sanctuary was cleansed of this defilement, we
must remember that in Scripture a part of the Church not infrequently
stands for the whole. A company, a few, had been relieved from
the defiling error; and to these few, God has been adding daily
of those who are fully under his leading and taught of him.
his calculation of what would occur, Mr. Miller was far from correct--supposing
that the cleansing of the Sanctuary meant a cleansing of the earth
from evil, by literal fire in which the earth would be burned
up. The failure of his predictions, which ensued, was a sore trial
to those who under his teachings had learned to expect the Lord
from heaven and the fulfilment of the prayer, "Thy kingdom
come." But, though disappointed by the Bridegroom's tarrying,
they were greatly blest. Their experience in searching the Scripture
was valuable, and they had learned to place the Word of God above
the traditions of men. They had measurably gotten free from servility
to the honor and respect of men in the various denominations from
which they had been cut loose, for they had been separated from
their company by reason of obedience to their convictions relative
to the subject of the Lord's coming. Honesty to conviction always
brings some blessing: even as Paul going to Damascus, we meet
the Lord on the way.
we find that among these were some who took a more advanced stand
in the cleansing or reformation work than any who preceded them.
Thus A.D. 1846, the end of the 2300 days, as above shown, found
an unorganized nucleus of Christians, who not only agreed with
the "Disciples" regarding simplicity of church government,
the discarding of all creeds but the Bible, and the abolition
of all titles by its ministers, but with the "Baptists"
relative to the outward form of baptism, and with Luther in regarding
the Papal system as the Man of Sin, and the degenerate church
the mother of harlots and abominations. These, standing aloof
from any compromise or affinity with the world, taught vital piety,
simple trust in the omnipotent God, and faith in his unchangeable
decrees; and, in addition, while recognizing Christ as Lord of
all, and now partaker of the divine nature, they were guarded
against the unscriptural* as well as the unreasonable theory that
Jehovah is his own Son and our Lord Jesus is his own Father; and
they began to see that eternal life and immortality are not present
possessions, but are to be expected only as gifts of God through
Christ in the resurrection.
as though God would arrange that thereafter there should always
be a class representing his Sanctuary cleansed, kept separate
from the various sects, this very year 1846 witnessed the organization
of Protestant sects into one great system, called The Evangelical
Alliance. This organization, mindful of the new views (of
the cleansed Sanctuary) clearly defined its faith in human immortality,
adding it as the ninth article of its creed. Thus it separated,
and has since kept separate from other Christians, a company of
God's children--the Lord's cleansed Sanctuary--a sanctuary of
truth. And to this cleansed Sanctuary class other meek and faithful
children of God have been added daily ever since; ---------- *These
subjects are fully discussed in Volume V of this SCRIPTURE STUDIES
series, and all the scriptures bearing upon them are there fully
examined and found to be in absolute harmony.
<PAGE 120> while from it have been eliminated
such as lose the spirit of meekness and love of the truth. To
maintain their standing as the cleansed Sanctuary, against organized
opposition and great numbers, becomes a severe test of courage
and faith, which only a few seem able to endure: the majority
follow the course of their predecessors, and endeavor to make
themselves respectable in the eyes of the world. Becoming somewhat
numerous, and seeking less odium, some of these organized another
system, formulated a creed, and adopted another sectarian name,
calling themselves Second Adventists. And, settling down to the
belief that what they had learned was all that could be learned,
they have not made progress since; and, in common with others
who failed to follow on in the path that shineth more and more
unto the perfect day, many of them have fallen into foolish errors.
though many of those who at first represented the cleansed Sanctuary
thus became again entangled with the yoke of bondage, those who
still kept free and followed on to know the Lord still represented
his cleansed Sanctuary, and have since been owned and greatly
blessed by his leading.
the rubbish and defiling abominations were entirely removed in
1846, the time since should be a season for the setting in order
of the things which remain, and for the unfolding and developing
of God's glorious plan--which truths should reoccupy the places
vacated by the errors removed.
work of opening up the truth, and examining and appreciating its
beauty, is properly due now, and is being accomplished. We thank
God for the privilege of being engaged with others in this blessed
work of bringing the golden vessels of the Lord's house (precious
truths) back from the captivity of (symbolic) Babylon the Great
(`Ezra 1:7-11; 5:14; 6:5`), and replacing
them in the Sanctuary. And in this great work we offer fraternal
greetings to all colaborers and members of the Anointed Body.
Blessed those servants whom their Lord, when he has come,
shall find giving meat in due season to the household.