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shall the Sanctuary

be cleansed.


The answer to the question in Daniel 8:13-14,

"How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?"

is given in the next verse.

"And He said to me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed."


What we have understood of this can be pictured in this diagram.


October 1844

We have seen that the prophecy was fulfilled on October 22, 1844, and the work of cleansing the sanctuary began. Have you heard of it? Probably not. Although this longest time prophecy in the Bible is of such importance that the death of Jesus at Calvary is used as a small portion of it, yet it hardly seems to make a ripple on the surface of professed Christianity these days!!!

Just what the cleansing of the sanctuary is was not mentioned to Daniel – it was expected that he and any other follower of God would know that without necessity of explanation. But Satan has obscured this knowledge over the centuries since then and it has become necessary that we be educated in this most important understanding of the gospel.

In brief, it is as follows.

The living Sanctuary

It is when we each one become a Christian that the sinful nature, the spirit of disobedience with which we were born, is removed by the creative power of Jesus Christ our Saviour and placed upon Himself who is the living Sanctuary. With it goes the guilt and shame of all the sins that we have ever committed and we can stand sinless in God’s sight at that moment. At the same time, Jesus gives us a part of Himself to replace that removed piece of our nature and we become Christ-ians (Christ-like). We take His yoke, which is easy compared with the one we were carrying before, and He now stands before His Father as the sinner we once were. It is an exchange – a very unfair one – but one which is the only way in which we can be saved. If we were to die at that precise point nothing more is required of us – we could enter heaven as a sinless child of God. This transaction requires nothing more from us than acceptance of it by faith in His word. Thus it is written:-

Romans 5:1-2

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

The exchange is described in the following words.

1 Peter 2:24-25 What He did for us

Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to [or in] sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes you were healed. For you were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

Ephesians 4:21-24 The removal of the "old man" and the replacing with the "new man"

If so be that you have heard Him, and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off concerning the former conversation [your former conduct] the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that you put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

The daily life thereafter

However, during the days and years that follow the transaction, it is a sad fact that we often sin and then come and confess that sin, expecting forgiveness from Him. This is right and proper as it is written:-

1 John 1:9

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

He does this in the same manner, by forgiving AND cleansing us of each confessed sin and through removal of it to Himself. We feel the removal of the guilt and shame that the sin has caused us because He has taken it. Thus He bears not only our past life before conversion, but also the iniquities of the present, as a mounting burden.

This exchange has been, and is still, polluting Him (fortunately He can bear it as He showed in the six hours at Calvary) but there must come a time when the load has to be lifted from Him. It obviously cannot happen while we are still alive and sinning therefore He waits until we are dead and the stream of sins has stopped!

Hebrews 9:27

And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment...

This works fine up to a certain point.

But if Christians (or even one) are continuing to sin then He can never be finally cleansed!

There has to come a time in history when ALL the living Christians stop sinning and the cleansing can be made for them, WHILE THEY ARE ALIVE!! It is this date in history that is given in the prophecy. October 22, 1844 was the day that Jesus was able to begin to explain this point to His followers and ask them to practise what they were preaching through His power. This was the day when He began to lift the veil that had been obscuring the Ten Commandments and raised up a new church which would live them in front of their neighbours.

Revelation 14:12-13

Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, says the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.

Since then He has been patiently waiting for His people to live up to their acceptance of the message given them at that time. One day, all the people of God will take up the challenge, become a rock in the Lord’s hand and cause the iron and the clay, along with all the other metals, to become like chaff and disappear.

To help in understanding all this He has given us through Moses and the Israelites, an earthly sanctuary (or temple) in which priests performed rituals as a picture of His work in the literal sanctuary in heaven. What they did on earth so long ago could not change anything in the lives of the offerers, but it certainly helps us in our appreciation of what He is doing in heaven today.

Hebrews 10:1-4

For the law [of Moses] having [only] a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereto perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? Because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.

But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.

But we should be careful not to repeat the mistake many have made of seeing only a literal building in the explanation that follows, (whether on earth or in heaven makes no difference) for both of them are meant to show us what is happening in, and to, the Son of God, our Redeemer. To this end the verses above continue:-

Hebrews 10:5-10

Wherefore [because of this] when He came into the world, He said, Sacrifice and offering You would not, but a body have You prepared Me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You have had no pleasure. Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of Me,) to do Your will, O God.

Above [or, before] when He said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin You would not, neither had pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; then said He, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He takes away the first [the sacrifices], that He may establish the second [the will or desire of God].

By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.


God was not able to get the information regarding the heavenly sanctuary back into the minds of His people until some years after "the time of the end" which began in 1798. Around 1833 a farmer in the U.S. began preaching on the prophetic events of Daniel, including the cleansing of the sanctuary in chapter eight, and he, and others raised up by God from all over the world, eventually predicted the return of Jesus in the year 1843. This was later updated to October 1844 after a great disappointment at midnight on the 31st December 1843. This ten years of worldwide preaching led to the emergence of groups of people called the "Advent people" formed from all the churches and religions of the time. They did not separate from their denominations or ideologies but were united only by their expectation of the soon coming, or advent, of the LORD.

With this in mind, let us look at some writers' understanding of the "Cleansing of the Sanctuary". Their names are not important, but two of them lived some time ago, the first during the days before and after 1844, so we can get a firsthand interpretation of the time. The other lived a generation later which will give us the benefit of some hindsight. Some are of more modern times.

In these articles we will see that there are two distinct phases of Christianity. One in which our sins are transferred to Jesus, and one in which He is cleansed of them. Both require our co-operation today.

On to the List of Articles about the Sanctuary


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