The Sanctuary and the Sabbath

Christ in His Sanctuary
A Compilation from the Writings of Ellen G. White
Christ in His Sanctuary, p. 1.1 (EGW)
“The subject of the sanctuary and the investigative judgment should be clearly understood by the people of God.”—The Great Controversy, 488.
Christ in His Sanctuary, p. 1.2 (EGW)
“I know that the sanctuary question stands in righteousness and truth, just as we have held it for so many years. It is the enemy that leads minds off on sidetracks. He is pleased when those who know the truth become engrossed in collecting scriptures to pile around erroneous theories, which have no foundation in truth. The scriptures thus used are misapplied; they were not given to substantiate error, but to strengthen truth.”—Gospel Workers, 303.
The Sanctuary Truth

An Introduction*

An introductory chapter prepared in the office of the Ellen G. White Estate, providing the historical setting for the E. G. White chapters and other of her materials selected for the study of the sanctuary truth as understood and taught by Seventh-day Adventists.
Christ in His Sanctuary, p. 3.1 (EGW)
Writing of what must be accomplished by the emerging Seventh-day Adventist Church before the Lord shall come, Ellen G. White in 1883 said:
Christ in His Sanctuary, p. 3.2 (EGW)
“The minds of believers were to be directed to the heavenly sanctuary, where Christ had entered to make atonement for His people.”—Selected Messages, 1:67.
Christ in His Sanctuary, p. 3.3 (EGW)
In a crisis in 1906, in which certain of the basic teachings of Seventh-day Adventists were threatened, she wrote:
Christ in His Sanctuary, p. 3.4 (EGW)
“The correct understanding of the ministration in the heavenly sanctuary is the foundation of our faith.”—Evangelism, 221.
The End of the 2300 Days
Christ in His Sanctuary, p. 3.5 (EGW)

Among the prophecies forming the foundation of the advent awakening of the 1830’s and the early 1840’s was the prophecy of Daniel 8:14

  • King James Version
  • American Standard Version
  • Webster’s Bible
  • American King James Version
  • Darby Bible
  • World English Bible
  • Young’s Literal Translation

: “Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” Ellen White, who passed through the experience, explains concerning the application of this prophecy:

Christ in His Sanctuary, p. 3.6 (EGW)
“In common with the rest of the Christian world, Adventists then held that the earth, or some portion of it, was the sanctuary. They understood that the cleansing of the sanctuary was the purification of the earth by the fires of the last great day, and that this would take place at the second advent. Hence the conclusion that Christ would return to the earth in 1844.”—The Great Controversy, 409.
Christ in His Sanctuary, p. 4.1 (EGW)
This prophetic period came to its close on October 22, 1844. The disappointment to those who expected to meet their Lord on that day was great. Hiram Edson, a careful Bible student in mid-New York State, describes what took place among the company of believers of which he was a part:
Christ in His Sanctuary, p. 4.2 (EGW)
“Our expectations were raised high, and thus we looked for our coming Lord until the clock tolled twelve at midnight. The day had then passed, and our disappointment had become a certainty. Our fondest hopes and expectations were blasted, and such a spirit of weeping came over us as I never experienced before. It seemed that the loss of all earthly friends could have been no comparison. We wept and wept, till the day dawn….
Christ in His Sanctuary, p. 4.3 (EGW)
“I mused in my heart, saying: ‘My advent experience has been the brightest of all my Christian experience…. Has the Bible proved a failure? Is there no God, no heaven, no golden city, no Paradise? Is all this but a cunningly devised fable? Is there no reality to our fondest hopes and expectations?’…
Christ in His Sanctuary, p. 4.4 (EGW)
“I began to feel there might be light and help for us in our distress. I said to some of the brethren: ‘Let us go to the barn.’ We entered the granary, shut the doors about us, and bowed before the Lord. We prayed earnestly, for we felt our necessity. We continued in earnest prayer until the witness of the Spirit was given that our prayers were accepted, and that light should be given—our disappointment explained, made clear and satisfactory.
Christ in His Sanctuary, p. 4.5 (EGW)
“After breakfast I said to one of my brethren, ‘Let us go and see and encourage some of our brethren.’ We started, and while passing through a large field, I was stopped about midway of the field. Heaven seemed open to my view, and I saw distinctly and clearly that instead of our High Priest coining out of the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary to this earth on the tenth day of the seventh month, at the end of the 2300 days, He, for the first time, entered on that day into the second apartment of that sanctuary, and that He had a work to perform in the most holy place before coming to the earth; that He came to the marriage, or in other words, to the Ancient of Days, to receive a kingdom, dominion, and glory; and that we must wait for His return from the wedding. And my mind was directed to the tenth chapter of Revelation, where I could see the vision had spoken and did not lie.”—Unpublished manuscript published in part in The Review and Herald, June 23, 1921.
Christ in His Sanctuary, p. 5.1 (EGW)
There followed a careful investigation of the scriptures that touched on this subject—particularly those in Hebrews—by Hiram Edson and two close associates, Dr. F. B. Hahn, a physician, and O. R. L. Crosier, a teacher. The result of this joint study was written up by Crosier and was published, first in The Day Dawn, a paper of limited circulation, and then in rewritten and enlarged form in a special issue of the Day-Star, on February 7, 1846. This was a more widely read Adventist journal, published at Cincinnati, Ohio. Through this medium it reached a number of the disappointed Advent believers. The rather lengthy presentation, well supported by Scripture, brought hope and courage to their hearts as it clearly showed that the sanctuary to be cleansed at the end of the 2300 days is in heaven, and not on earth, as they had believed earlier.
Christ in His Sanctuary, p. 5.2 (EGW)
>Ellen G. White, in a statement written on April 21, 1847, declared in endorsement of the Crosier article on the sanctuary question:
Christ in His Sanctuary, p. 5.3 (EGW)
“The Lord showed me in vision, more than one year ago, that Brother Crosier had the true light, on the cleansing of the sanctuary, etc.; and that it was His will, that Brother Crosier should write out the view which he gave us in the Day-Star Extra, February 7, 1846. I feel fully authorized by the Lord, to recommend that Extra, to every saint.”—A Word to the Little Flock, 12.
Christ in His Sanctuary, p. 5.4 (EGW)
At a later time she wrote of the rapid development of doctrinal understanding which followed the disappointment:
Christ in His Sanctuary, p. 5.5 (EGW)
“The passing of the time in 1844 was a period of great events, opening to our astonished eyes the cleansing of the sanctuary transpiring in heaven, and having decided relation to God’s people upon the earth.” Manuscript 13, 1889, published in Counsels to Writers and Editors, 30.

The Sanctuary Truth Under Fire [CIHS9]

http://amazingtruths.org/the-sanctuary-cleansed-restored-justified-vindicated/EGW Writings

While there were those who saw clearly the binding claims of God’s law and began to observe the Seventh-day Sabbath as set forth in the law of God, they encountered strong opposition. Of this and the reasons for it, Ellen White explains: {CIHS 9.1}

“Many and earnest were the efforts made to overthrow their faith. None could fail to see that if the earthly sanctuary was a figure or pattern of the heavenly, the law deposited in the ark on earth was an exact transcript of the law in the ark in heaven; and that an acceptance of the truth concerning the heavenly sanctuary involved an acknowledgment of the claims of God’s law, and the obligation of the Sabbath of the fourth commandment. Here was the secret of the bitter and determined opposition to the harmonious exposition of the Scriptures that revealed the ministration of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary.”—The Great Controversy, 435. {CIHS 9.2}

It is little wonder that those in subsequent years defecting from the Seventh-day Adventist Church should make the sanctuary truth a point of opposition. It was so with Elders Snookand Brinkerhof, conference officers in Iowa, who withdrew in the middle 1860’s, and with D. M. Canright, an influential minister, who left the Seventh-day Adventist Church in 1887 to become a bitter enemy and critic. Nor is it strange that the pantheistic views at the turn of the century, espoused and advocated by both medical and ministerial workers, should strike directly at this fundamental doctrine. It was in this setting that Ellen White in warning words wrote on November 20, 1905: {CIHS 9.3}

“To those medical missionaries and ministers who have been drinking in the scientific sophistries and bewitching fables against which you have been warned, I would say, Your souls are in peril. The world must know where you are standing and where Seventh-day Adventists are standing. God calls for all who have accepted these soul-destroying delusions no longer to halt between two opinions. If the Lord be God, follow Him. {CIHS 10.1}

“Satan, with all his host is on the battlefield. Christ’s soldiers are now to rally round the bloodstained banner of Emmanuel. In the name of the Lord, leave the black banner of the prince of darkness, and take your position with the Prince of heaven. {CIHS 10.2}

“‘He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.’ Read your Bibles. From higher ground, under the instruction given me of God, I present these things before you. The time is near when the deceptive powers of satanic agencies will be fully developed. On one side is Christ, who has been given all power in heaven and earth. On the other side is Satan, continually exercising his power to allure, to deceive with strong, spiritualistic sophistries, to remove God out of the place that He should occupy in the minds of men. {CIHS 10.3}

“Satan is striving continually to bring in fanciful suppositions in regard to the sanctuary, degrading the wonderful representations of God and the ministry of Christ for our salvation into something that suits the carnal mind. He removes its presiding power from the hearts of believers, and supplies its place with fantastic theories invented to make void the truths of the atonement, and destroy our confidence in the doctrines which we have held sacred since the third angel’s message was first given. Thus he would rob us of   our faith in the very message that has made us a separate people, and has given character and power to our work.”—Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 7, pp. 16, 17. {CIHS 10.4}

It was in the setting of this pantheistic crisis that Ellen White, attending the General Conference session of 1905, declared in words significant to us today: {CIHS 11.1}

“In the future, deception of every kind is to arise, and we want solid ground for our feet. We want solid pillars for the building. Not one pin is to be removed from that which the Lord has established. The enemy will bring in false theories, such as the doctrine that there is no sanctuary. This is one of the points on which there will be a departing from the faith. Where shall we find safety unless it be in the truths that the Lord has been giving for the last fifty years?”—Counsels to Writers and Editors, 53. {CIHS 11.2}

The pantheistic views, so earnestly advocated by some, Ellen White declared, would “do away with God” (Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 7, p. 16) and invalidate the sanctuary truth. {CIHS 11.3}

At about the same time one of our ministers, whom we will identify as “Elder G,” espoused the view that when Christ went back to heaven after his ministry on earth, He went into the presence of God, and that where God is, must be the most holy place, therefore on October 22, 1844, there was no entering into the most holy place in the heavenly sanctuary as we believed and taught. These two concepts, both of which struck at the doctrine of the sanctuary as we held it, led Ellen White several times to refer to the soundness and integrity of this point of faith. In 1904 she wrote: {CIHS 11.4}

“They (the children of God) will not, by their words and acts, lead anyone to doubt in regard to the distinct personality of God, or in regard to the sanctuary and its ministry. {CIHS 11.5}

“We all need to keep the subject of the sanctuary in mind. God forbid that the clatter of words coming from human lips should lessen the belief of our people in the truth that there is a sanctuary in heaven, and that a pattern of this sanctuary was once built on this earth. God desires His people to become familiar with this pattern, keeping ever before their minds the heavenly sanctuary, where God is all and in all. We must keep our minds braced by prayer and a study of God’s Word, that we may grasp these truths.”—E. G. White Letter 233, 1904. {CIHS 11.6}

Points Sustained Only by Misused Scriptures

EGW Writings

Writing particularly of “Elder G’s” work in undermining confidence in the sanctuary truth in 1905, Ellen White pointed out the unsoundness of his use of Scripture evidence and the dependability of our understanding of the sanctuary truth. This is what she said: {CIHS 12.1}

“I have been pleading with the Lord for strength and wisdom to reproduce the writings of the witnesses who were confirmed in the faith and in the early history of the message. After the passing of the time in 1844 they received the light and walked in the light, and when the men claiming to have new light would come in with their wonderful messages regarding various points of Scripture, we had, through the moving of the Holy Spirit, testimonies right to the point, which cut off the influence of such messages as Elder G has been devoting his time to presenting. This poor man has been working decidedly against the truth that the Holy Spirit has confirmed. {CIHS 12.2}

“When the power of God testifies as to what is truth, that truth is to stand forever as the truth. No after suppositions contrary to the light God has given are to be entertained. Men will arise with interpretations of Scripture which are to them truth, but which are not truth. The truth for this time God has given us as a foundation for our faith. He Himself has taught us what is truth. One will arise, and still another, with new light, which contradicts the light that God has given under the demonstration of His Holy Spirit. A few are still alive who passed through the experience gained in the establishment of this truth. God has graciously spared their lives to repeat, and repeat till the closeof their lives, the experience through which they passed even as did John the apostle till the very close of his life. And the standard-bearers who have fallen in death are to speak through the reprinting of their writings. I am instructed that thus their voices are to be heard. They are to bear their testimony as to what constitutes the truth for this time. {CIHS 12.3}

“We are not to receive the words of those who come with a message that contradicts the special points of our faith. They gather together a mass of Scripture, and pile it as proof around their asserted theories. This has been done over and over again during the past fifty years. And while the Scriptures are God’s Word, and are to be respected, the application of them, if such application moves one pillar from the foundation that God has sustained these fifty years, is a great mistake. He who makes such an application knows not the wonderful demonstration of the Holy Spirit that gave power and force to the past messages that have come to the people of God. {CIHS 13.1}

“Elder G’s proofs are not reliable. If received, they would destroy the faith of God’s people in the truth that has made us what we are. {CIHS 13.2}

“We must be decided on this subject; for the points that he is trying to prove by Scripture, are not sound. They do not prove that the past experience of God’s people was a fallacy. We had the truth; we were directed by the angels of God. It was under the guidance of the Holy Spirit that the presentation of the, sanctuary question was given. It is eloquence for everyone to keep silent in regard to the features of our faith in which they acted no part. God never contradicts Himself. Scripture proofs are misapplied if forced to testify to that which is not true. Another and still another will arise and bring in supposedly great light, and make their assertions. But we stand by the old landmarks.”—Selected Messages, 1:160-162. {CIHS 13.3}

The Ark and the Law in the Heavenly Sanctuary

EGW Writings

On different occasions she spoke and wrote of the ark in the most holy place in the heavenly sanctuary. One such statement was made in a sermon preached in Torero, Sweden, in 1886. {CIHS 15.1}

“I warn you, Do not place your influence against God’s commandments. That law is just as Jehovah wrote it in the temple of heaven. Man may trample upon its copy here below, but the original is kept in the ark of God in heaven; and on the cover of this ark, right above that law, is the mercy seat. Jesus stands right there before that ark to mediate for man.”—Ellen G. White Comments, The S.D.A. Bible Commentary 1:1109. {CIHS 15.2}

And in 1903 she again wrote of the reality of the heavenly sanctuary: {CIHS 15.3}

“I could say much regarding the sanctuary; the ark containing the law of God; the cover of the ark, which is the mercy seat; the angels at either end of the ark; and other things connected with the heavenly sanctuary and with the great day of atonement. I could say much regarding the mysteries of heaven; but my lips are closed. I have no inclination to try to describe them.”—Ellen G. White Letter 253, 1903. {CIHS 15.4}

With Eyes Fixed on the Sanctuary

EGW Writings

At no time are we to lose sight of the important work being done in our behalf in the sanctuary in heaven. We are admonished: {CIHS 17.1}

“As a people, we should be earnest students of prophecy; we should not rest until we become intelligent in regard to the subject of the sanctuary, which is brought out in the visions of Daniel and John. This subject sheds great light on our present position and work, and gives us unmistakable proof that God has led us in our past experience. It explains our disappointment in 1844, showing us that the sanctuary to be cleansed was not the earth, as we had supposed, but that Christ then entered into the most holy apartment of the heavenly sanctuary, and is there performing the closing work of His priestly office, in fulfillment of the words of the angel to the prophet Daniel, ‘Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.’ {CIHS 17.2}

“Our faith in reference to the messages of the first, second, and third angels was correct. The great waymarks we have passed are immovable. Although the hosts of hell may try to tear them from their foundation, and triumph in the thought that they have succeeded, yet they do not succeed. These pillars of truth stand firm as the eternal hills, unmoved by all the efforts of men combined with those of Satan and his host. We can learn much, and should be constantly searching the Scriptures to see if these things are so. God’s people are now to have their eyes fixed on the heavenly sanctuary, where the final ministration of our great High Priest in the work of the judgment is going forward,—where He is interceding for His people.”—Evangelism, 222, 223. {CIHS 17.3}

The End of the 2300 Days

EGW Writings

Among the prophecies forming the foundation of the advent awakening of the 1830’s and the early 1840’s was the prophecy of Daniel 8:14: “Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” Ellen White, who passed through the experience, explains concerning the application of this prophecy: {CIHS 3.5}

“In common with the rest of the Christian world, Adventists then held that the earth, or some portion of it, was the sanctuary. They understood that the cleansing of the sanctuary was thepurification of the earth by the fires of the last great day, and that this would take place at the second advent. Hence the conclusion that Christ would return to the earth in 1844.”—The Great Controversy, 409. {CIHS 3.6}

This prophetic period came to its close on October 22, 1844. The disappointment to those who expected to meet their Lord on that day was great. Hiram Edson, a careful Bible student in mid-New York State, describes what took place among the company of believers of which he was a part: {CIHS 4.1}

“Our expectations were raised high, and thus we looked for our coming Lord until the clock tolled twelve at midnight. The day had then passed, and our disappointment had become a certainty. Our fondest hopes and expectations were blasted, and such a spirit of weeping came over us as I never experienced before. It seemed that the loss of all earthly friends could have been no comparison. We wept and wept, till the day dawn…. {CIHS 4.2}

“I mused in my heart, saying: ‘My advent experience has been the brightest of all my Christian experience…. Has the Bible proved a failure? Is there no God, no heaven, no golden city, no Paradise? Is all this but a cunningly devised fable? Is there no reality to our fondest hopes and expectations?’… {CIHS 4.3}

“I began to feel there might be light and help for us in our distress. I said to some of the brethren: ‘Let us go to the barn.’ We entered the granary, shut the doors about us, and bowed before the Lord. We prayed earnestly, for we felt our necessity. We continued in earnest prayer until the witness of the Spirit was given that our prayers were accepted, and that light should be given—our disappointment explained, made clear and satisfactory. {CIHS 4.4}

“After breakfast I said to one of my brethren, ‘Let us go and see and encourage some of our brethren.’ We started, and while passing through a large field, I was stopped about midway of the field. Heaven seemed open to my view, and I saw distinctly and clearly that instead of our High Priest coining out of the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary to this earth on the tenth day of the seventh month, at the end of the 2300 days, He, forthe first time, entered on that day into the second apartment of that sanctuary, and that He had a work to perform in the most holy place before coming to the earth; that He came to the marriage, or in other words, to the Ancient of Days, to receive a kingdom, dominion, and glory; and that we must wait for His return from the wedding. And my mind was directed to the tenth chapter of Revelation, where I could see the vision had spoken and did not lie.”—Unpublished manuscript published in part in The Review and Herald, June 23, 1921. {CIHS 4.5}

There followed a careful investigation of the scriptures that touched on this subject—particularly those in Hebrews—by Hiram Edson and two close associates, Dr. F. B. Hahn, a physician, and O. R. L. Crosier, a teacher. The result of this joint study was written up by Crosier and was published, first in The Day Dawn, a paper of limited circulation, and then in rewritten and enlarged form in a special issue of the Day-Star, on February 7, 1846. This was a more widely read Adventist journal, published at Cincinnati, Ohio. Through this medium it reached a number of the disappointed Advent believers. The rather lengthy presentation, well supported by Scripture, brought hope and courage to their hearts as it clearly showed that the sanctuary to be cleansed at the end of the 2300 days is in heaven, and not on earth, as they had believed earlier. {CIHS 5.1}

>Ellen G. White, in a statement written on April 21, 1847, declared in endorsement of the Crosier article on the sanctuary question: {CIHS 5.2}

“The Lord showed me in vision, more than one year ago, that Brother Crosier had the true light, on the cleansing of the sanctuary, etc.; and that it was His will, that Brother Crosier should write out the view which he gave us in the Day-Star Extra, February 7, 1846. I feel fully authorized by the Lord, to recommend that Extra, to every saint.”—A Word to the Little Flock, 12. {CIHS 5.3}

At a later time she wrote of the rapid development of doctrinal understanding which followed the disappointment: {CIHS 5.4}

“The passing of the time in 1844 was a period of great events,opening to our astonished eyes the cleansing of the sanctuary transpiring in heaven, and having decided relation to God’s people upon the earth.” Manuscript 13, 1889, published in Counsels to Writers and Editors, 30. {CIHS 5.5}

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