“The Cleansing of the Sanctuary”
Daniel 8:14 “And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.”
In order to understand what the meaning of the cleansing of the sanctuary in Daniel 8:14 is, which pertains to the heavenly sanctuary, it is important to have a general understanding of the earthly sanctuary, for which the heavenly sanctuary was the pattern.
We know that when God created man that he took a definite risk. He made man, as he made the angels, with the right to choose to worship and serve God, or to choose to rebel against God and His authority. Of course Satan as Lucifer was the arch rebel and he chose to defy God’s authority and in the process convinced 1/3 of all the angels to join him in his rebellion.
Adam was created with conditional immortality. He was a holy being and possessed the character of God, which is righteousness. So long as he was obedient to God, he had permanent access to the tree of life. If faithful, God would have eventually removed the test of obedience and Adam would have enjoyed unconditional immortality.
Revelation 13:8 speaks about, “…the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” God’s love for man was so great He devised a plan to save him if he were to rebel.
God warned Adam and Eve of the consequences of eating the forbidden fruit in Genesis 3:3 “But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.” The day they ate from that tree, was the day they experienced a spiritual dying as well as the beginning of physical death. He no longer possessed the power to be holy and righteous, nor would his posterity. God could have ended their lives that moment, but a sin pardoning Savior stepped in and put into operation, a plan of redemption.
Sin, by Bible definition in 1 John 3:4 is “…the transgression of the law;” and “All unrighteousness is sin.” We are all born with sinful natures and a propensity towards evil. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” The penalty or payment for sin is death, according to Romans 6:23 “…the wages of sin is death…”
So the only way that the transgressor can satisfy the debt created by sin, is by death. He must die. But a loving God stepped in and said there is a way that sinful, rebellious man can be saved. It would have to be by the death of a perfect, innocent substitute. An un-fallen angel would be an innocent potential candidate, however such would not satisfy the demands that God would require. The only substitute that could be considered would have to be the Creator Himself. And so Jesus the Creator; would be, “…the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” Revelation 13:8 In God’s timing, the anti-typical redemption would happen, as the plan of salvation is unveiled.
But until then, a type of the redemption plan would be instituted so that everyone since the fall of Adam, all the way up until the cross; would be saved by the same plan vicariously. On the other side of the cross, when a man was truly sorry for his sin, he had to take an innocent, spotless lamb; transfer his sin by confession to the head of the innocent one. Then the innocent substitute would bear the guilt and therefore had to die by the hand of the sinner. The Bible says in Hebrews 9:22, “…without shedding of blood is no remission.” So the plan states that the substitute bearer of sin must die by the shedding of blood, and that he must be put to death by (who?) the hand of the sinner.
Why did God ask Moses to make the sanctuary in the wilderness? It was because God needed a living illustration to show and explain how God saves men. That’s why in Exodus 25:8 God said to Moses, “And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.” Exodus 25:40 states, “And look that thou make them after their pattern, which was showed thee in the mount.” So when Moses was in the mount, God gave him a pattern to make a sanctuary, with dimensions, materials to be used in its construction, furnishings and specific details that were to be followed with exactness. This pattern indicated that it had to have an outer courtyard with a brazen altar of sacrifice, a laver for washing, and in the proper location, the two apartment sanctuary with its necessary furniture.
I will give you a brief snapshot description of the Sanctuary. It is important that we see the entire sanctuary service as a miniature illustration of the plan of salvation. The sanctuary service was an illustration of Jesus' death and His High Priestly ministry. God used it as a visual aid to help us understand how God has chosen to deal with the sin problem that has entered planet Earth.
The courtyard was rectangular and measured 75’ x 150’. The entrance was on the 75’ wide east end. As you came into the courtyard, you first encounter the brazen altar of sacrifice where animals were killed and burned. The next item was the laver, which was between the sanctuary and the altar of burnt offering. The sanctuary itself measured 15’ wide x 45’ in length and was centered toward the west end. The entrance to the first apartment of the sanctuary was on the east side and went into the holy place, which was 15’ x 30’. The priest ministered in this apartment daily throughout the year. The second apartment was the Most Holy place where the presence of God was. It measured 15’ x 15’. Only the high priest went into this apartment once a year, and that was on the Day of Atonement. If you would like to read about the details of the sanctuary and the courtyard, you will find it in Exodus chapters 25-27. The additional details regarding what the priests and high priest were to wear; are given in Exodus chapter 28. You can study this during the week.
Now listen carefully, and this is most important, as the atonement did not end with the sacrifice. This is where most Christians today are in grave error, as they say that the atonement ended at the cross with the sacrifice. But the atonement was a process that had several steps in removing the sin altogether. When someone had sinned and came under conviction, it was necessary that they bring a spotless innocent lamb as a sacrifice. Of course, before the cross, the sacrifice symbolically and vicariously represented Jesus. Now the guilty sinner would be positioned near the brazen altar. The sinner would place his hands on the head of the sacrifice and confess, thereby transferring the sin to the lamb. Since the penalty for sin is death, Romans 6:23, and without shedding of blood there is no remission, Hebrews 9:22, the confessor must now take a knife and cut the throat of the lamb, thereby shedding its blood.
The priest catches some blood in a basin and he proceeds towards the sanctuary. Before entering the first apartment he must wash his hands and feet in the laver, which is between the sanctuary and the altar of burnt offering. He then enters the holy place. In the Holy Place are three articles of furniture. On the North side is the table of showbread, which represents Jesus, the bread of life. On the South side is the seven golden lamp stand, representing Jesus, the light of the world. Separating the two apartments is a veil with the altar of incense in front of the veil. The priest would sprinkle the blood of the sin offering before the veil seven times. He would dip his thumb in the blood and put some on the horns of the altar of sweet incense. Thus the sin was transferred to the sanctuary, and there it remained in the Holy place all year. As the priests would minister in the Holy Place every day throughout the year, there would be a significant accumulation of sin.
The tenth day of the seventh month was a very solemn time for the camp of Israel, and it was called the Day of Atonement, what the Jews call Yom Kippur today. On this day once a year, the high priest would have to make the very necessary personal preparation before going into the Most Holy Place in the presence of God. In this second apartment of the sanctuary was the Ark and Mercy Seat. Inside the Ark were the two tables of stone, the Ten Commandments. The mercy seat covered the ark and upon it were two cherubim, which faced each other and were looking down. God’s presence was between the cherubim.
A Lord’s goat and a scape goat were selected and the Lord’s goat was killed. Its blood was brought into the Most Holy place and, if God had accepted the sacrifice, it was to symbolically cleanse the sanctuary. At that point the sins were carried out of the sanctuary by the high priest and transferred to the head of the scape goat. The scape goat was then led into the wilderness by a fit man, and it was never to be seen again. The camp of Israel had been forgiven and the sanctuary was cleansed.
Satan does not want Christians to understand the Sanctuary, and the reason would be its relevance to the whole plan of salvation. As long as you are in the dark on the Sanctuary, you would be susceptible of believing Satan’s lie that the atonement ended at the cross, and you would therefore be unaware of what Jesus is doing right now in the heavenly Sanctuary.
But as you can see, the process of Atonement had many steps. It is important that we see the entire sanctuary service as a miniature illustration of the plan of salvation. The sanctuary service was illustrative of Jesus' death and His High Priestly ministry. God used it as a visual aid to help us understand how God has chosen to deal with the sin problem that has entered planet Earth. Now let’s fast forward to our day to catch the relevance of the heavenly sanctuary. You see when Jesus died, He was not and could not be the priest, for He was the sacrifice and was the object of receiving the confessed sins of the repentant ones. He therefore had to die and shed His blood. But the atonement could not end there. Upon His resurrection and ascension in AD 31, He became our High Priest, carrying our sins to the Holy Place of the Heavenly Sanctuary, beginning a ministry in our behalf.
The Bible talks about a specific time when the Sanctuary was to be cleansed and we find that in Daniel 8:14, “And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” Now we know the Day of Atonement was the day the earthly sanctuary was to be cleansed, and that was the one day in the year that the High Priest entered the Most Holy Place. What happened in the earthly was in type. Jesus fulfilled and continues to fulfill everything as the Great Anti-type. He was the Anti-typical Sacrifice as the “…Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world.” John 1:29
And He became the Anti-typical High Priest when He entered the heavenly Holy Place in AD 31. And just as the high priest would enter the Most Holy Place on the tenth day of the seventh month, so Jesus would enter the Most Holy Place on the anti-typical Day of Atonement and begin the judgment, or the cleansing of the Heavenly Sanctuary. When did that happen? We know from Daniel 8:14, “Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” This is the longest time prophecy in the Bible. We know according to Numbers 14:34 and Ezekiel 4:6, that one prophetic day equals one literal year. Therefore Daniel 8:14 is saying from one specific date, it would be 2,300 years to the date that Jesus begins the judgment in heaven. What we need to know is when it started, so that we can arrive at the date when Jesus began His work in the Most Holy Place. We will discover that next week when we begin,
This study could go on for hundreds of pages, but ultimately the central theme of the whole sanctuary system is Jesus. Jesus is the Door, the spotless Lamb, our High Priest. He is the Light of the World and the Bread of Life. He is the Living Water in the laver and the Rock upon which is written the law of God in the ark. His love is the gold shimmering throughout the holy place. It is His blood that makes it possible for us to approach the Father. Indeed, Jesus is the essence of the temple, for He said, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. ...But he spake of the temple of his body" (John 2:19,21).
Once again, it is important that we see the entire sanctuary service as a miniature illustration of the plan of salvation. The sanctuary service illustrates both Jesus' death and His High Priestly ministry. God used it as a visual aid to help us understand how God has chosen to deal with the sin problem that has entered planet Earth.
Paul makes a most important statement in the book of Hebrews chapter 8, verses 1 & 2.
"Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens: A minister of the (what?) sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man."
Here we are told that we have a high priest, Jesus Christ. He's a minister in the true sanctuary in heaven.
We have learned above that at a specific time, the heavenly Sanctuary was to be cleansed; and we find that in Daniel 8:14, “And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” This is the longest time prophecy in the Bible. We know according to Numbers 14:34 and Ezekiel 4:6, that one prophetic day equals one literal year. Therefore Daniel 8:14 is saying from one specific date, it would be 2,300 years to the date that Jesus begins the judgment in heaven.
It’s a fact that we can't pinpoint the exact time of Christ's second coming, but Acts 17:31 tells us, "He hath appointed a day in which He will judge the world." So the Bible is clear that there is a specific time period appointed by God when this judgment takes place.
Now let us read Revelation 14:7, which is the first angel’s end time message; says "Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come:" This has to take place before He comes in verse 14.
Revelation 22:11 announces when probation for the world and the judgment ends, “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.”
Revelation 22:12 is the second coming and Jesus brings the results of that judgment with Him as He states, "Behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be." This verse exposes another of Satan’s lies that when you die you go to your reward. Only Enoch, Elijah, Moses and the specially resurrected ones that ascended with Jesus, are the only humans that have ever gone to heaven, Christ of course the first fruit. No one else has gone yet, as all that have died will receive their reward at His coming.
What we need to find out now is when the 2300 years started, so that we can pinpoint the year Jesus our High Priest, left the Holy Place and entered the Most Holy Place to begin the work of judgment.
Once again, Daniel 8:14 "And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed."
This is the longest time prophecy in the Bible and it's loaded with meaning. Here we have the only prophecy in the entire Bible that will specifically give us a date that marks the beginning of the final judgment and the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary of the record of sin. Its 2300 days, and we have already established that the Bible interpreting itself, appoints a literal year to a prophetic day.
So the angel said after 2300 years that's when the heavenly sanctuary will be cleansed. That's going to take you to the time of the end. Now the time of the end does not mean the "end of time". It is a starting point where the countdown begins until the probation of man will end. In Noah’s time, the time of the end began 120 years before the flood. But when the angel sealed the door on the ark, for those living on the outside, it was the end of time.
We know that we're living in the time of the end today. So we can expect this prophecy to have been fulfilled sometime after the dark ages, in more modern times. Daniel goes on in the next verse and says more.
Verse 17-19, "So he came near where I stood: and when he came, I was afraid, and fell upon my face: but he said unto me, Understand, O son of man: for at the time of the end shall be the vision. Now as he was speaking with me, I was in a deep sleep on my face toward the ground; but he touched me, and set me upright. 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."
Again, the angel reaffirmed it. He said there's going to be a specific appointed time that marks when the sanctuary is cleansed after 2300 years.
Daniel 8:26 "And the vision of the evening and the morning which was told is true: wherefore shut thou up the vision; for it shall be for many days."
In other words, a long time as the vision is going to stretch down to the time of the end. (Not 2300 literal days; which is only 6 years 140 days, rather 2,300 years!)
Daniel 8:27 "And I Daniel fainted, and was sick certain days; afterward I rose up, and did the king's business; and I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it." Daniel couldn't comprehend it. He said, "Lord what does this mean? Well when Daniel passed out and fainted, the angel Gabriel left him. We find the answer for our study in Daniel chapter 9.
As we begin in chapter 9, time has passed, and Daniel begins to pray. His prayer is recorded in Daniel 9:4-6; 11-13.
As he's praying, the angel Gabriel comes back to pick up the interpretation of the vision where he left off.
Daniel 9:21, 22 "Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation." Verse 22 "And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding."
Verse 23, "At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision."
The angel says, "Consider the vision." The vision of the 2300 years that was given in Daniel 8, but he fainted. Gabriel comes back a number of years later, in answer to Daniel's prayer to help him understand that vision.
Now we're going to go through this prophecy of 2300 years until the sanctuary is cleansed, and to make it easier, the angel divides the prophecy in two parts for us.
Daniel 9:24 he says, "Seventy weeks are determined, upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy."
Let's read that verse slowly and understand what it means,
"Seventy weeks (prophetic weeks), are determined, (The Hebrew word determined literally means "cut off" like an amputation) . . . upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, (looking forward to Jesus' first coming) and to seal up the vision and prophecy…”
We need to remember that time in prophecy is not literal. A prophetic day equals a literal year. Numbers 14:34 and Ezekiel 4:6
So obviously this time period has to be symbolic. The angel deals with the first 70 weeks of the prophecy of 2300 days. But we will deal with this first 70 weeks next Saturday night February 24th.
Daniel 9:25, gives us the needed clue as to when the 2300 years was to begin, "Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build (what city?) Jerusalem... ."
Now here is our beginning event. When the commandment goes forth to restore and rebuild the city of Jerusalem, that's when all this is going to begin. When did that commandment go forth to restore and rebuild the city of Jerusalem? To get the Bible answer, keep your finger here, but turn to the book of Ezra. Ezra is between 2 Chronicles and Nehemiah.
Ezra 6:14 "And the elders of the Jews builded and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. And they builded, and finished it, according to the commandment of the God of Israel, and according to the commandment of Cyrus, and Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia."
Here we have the prophecy about rebuilding the city of Jerusalem. But it says there are three kings that gave decrees. There was first of all Cyrus who gave the decree in 537 B.C. Next was Darius in 520 B.C. Then there's Artaxerxes in 457 B.C. The first two decrees that were given by Cyrus and Darius resulted only in the reconstruction of the Temple, which was completed in 516/515 B.C. (Ezra 6:15-18). The city was not rebuilt, only the Temple. Therefore they don't meet the requirements of the prophecy.
In the third choice, found in Ezra 7, the command was completed by Artaxerxes; verses 7, 11-13, 16, 21, 23, 27. When Artaxerxes comes on the scene, he favors God's chosen people, the Jewish nation, and he gives the major decree, in which Ezra was given permission to reconstruct the city. Artaxerxes command is the one Ezra concentrates on. It was the most complete command because it was the one that allowed them to be established again as an independent nation. Much of the next chapter is dealing with this command.
Ezra 7:13 "I make a (what?) decree, that all they of the people of Israel, and of his priests and Levites, in my realm, which are minded of their own freewill to go up to Jerusalem, go with thee."
He let everybody go that wanted to go back to restore and rebuild Jerusalem. He gave a decree to Ezra the priest, reestablishing the governmental autonomy of Judah. They began to rebuild the city, which took years.
It is clear in the Bible that the decree of Artaxerxes is the one that restored and rebuilt Jerusalem. And you say, "When did it happen?"
Ezra 7:7 tells us this decree was issued "in the seventh year of King Artaxerxes," or 457 B.C. According to all historical data, whether it is calendars, cuneiform tablets, records of the eclipses, etc., that decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem went forth in the fall of 457 B.C. It's one of the most archeologically proven dates we have.
Now let's go back to Daniel, and with this knowledge, really get into the heart of this exciting prophecy.
The 2300 day/year prophecy is the longest stretching prophecy in the Bible. But then part of that, the 70 weeks, would be cut off and measured from the larger time period. Both these prophecies start together at the same time.
We start at our beginning date, 457 BC. In Bible prophecy, one prophetic day equals a literal year. Seventy prophetic weeks = 490 literal years. That part, which is cut off from the 2300 years is the 70-week prophecy or 490 years that we will study next week.
What would happen at the end of the 2300 years? Jesus would go into His final phase of judgment in the Most Holy Place of the heavenly sanctuary, right on time, so that He may fulfill the type given in the earthly sanctuary by performing a work of judgment, by cleansing the heavenly sanctuary of the record of all sin before He returns to this earth.
Daniel 8:14 "And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed."
What is the cleansing of the Sanctuary?
Leviticus 16:30 “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.”
The cleansing of the sanctuary was a day of judgment for Israel and it symbolized the final judgment.
When would this cleansing of the heavenly Sanctuary, or final judgment begin? 2300 years added to 457 B.C. take us to the fall of the year —1844. We take 2300 and subtract 457 = 1843. But since there was no 0 year, year 1 A.D. followed 1 B.C., we must add 1 to 1843.
This means, according to the Bible, that since 1844 we've been living in what the Bible calls God's judgment hour.
That is clear. Do you see it? That's why since that time we've had an incredible increase in war and World War I & II. That's why we've had widespread famine, crime, violence, and upheavals in nature.
And as Daniel 12:4 says an incredible increase in knowledge. We've been living in what the Bible calls the "time of the end."
According to Bible prophecy, the angel said there's going to be an appointed time that marks the time of the end, called the judgment, after the 2300 days, which ended on time in 1844.
165 years ago the judgment began in heaven. And Christ once, in the time of the end, is going to put away sin. Christ is going to do a work of judgment so He can appear the second time without sin unto salvation. That means today and for 163 years, we have been living in the specific time of the end that the work of judgment is taking place.
Every person who has ever named the name of Christ will be judged. Either their sins are being blotted out, and Christ is confessing their name before the Father in heaven, or their name is being blotted out of the Lamb’s Book of Life.
Jesus is coming soon! The books of heaven are open! Our name is coming up for review!
Jesus will soon declare the verdict, in Revelation 22:12, "He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.”
That will be the end of probation. Every case will have been decided. Then after a short period where God’s mercy and grace are withdrawn from this rebellious planet, and God’s wrath is poured out in the seven last plagues, Jesus will come as it so states in
Revelation 22:13, “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” Every case will have been decided when He comes.
But for now, this message is given to urge all people in these last days to prepare their hearts to meet God.
Revelation 14:6, 7, Now let's read verses 6 & 7 with a whole new light upon it. "And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation and kindred and tongue and people, saying with a loud voice, Fear God and give glory to Him; for the hour of his judgment (what?) is come!" Not will come, but IS come.
Since 1844 and the fulfillment of this 2300-day prophecy, that message has been preached and now you can see why God is so urgent about it. The very language of Daniel 8:14 is Day of Atonement Imagery.
When one studies the history of the children of Israel in Old Testament times, they blew on the silver trumpets, warning the people that the day of Judgment was coming, and we can see deeply they examined their own lives. They repented of sin and made sure that everything was right between them and God. We who are living now in the anti-typical day of Atonement, the day of the fulfillment of that Old Testament type, as God's people, ought to be dead serious about serving God, and making sure our hearts are right, our sins are confessed, and that we've made our surrender to Jesus Christ.
Thank God for His love in sending us this beautiful warning message!
When that door was opened in heaven, something happened on Earth. The end time message of Revelation 14:7 began to be proclaimed “Fear God, and give glory to Him, for the hour of his judgment is come.”