"And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed".
"For we must all appear before the judgment-seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad." 2 Cor. 5:10.
"For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil." Eccl. 12:14.
One of the concluding texts in the Word of God is:
Revelation 22:9 "Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.
10 And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.
11 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.
No doctrine can be justifed with only a few texts, but this text begs the question... When are peoople judged by God? This text indicates that the verdict is in when Jesus comes the second time. The judgment, in other words, is going on NOW!
In the mid 19th century there was a religious awakening in the United States. There was a movement which believed that Christ would come in 1844. When that didn't happen, a small group studied more deeply in the books of Daniel and Revelation. Daniel 8:14 (quoted above) was a primary text that was studied. Until 1844, thousands believed that this earth was the sanctuary. Based on further study, the doctrine gradually formed that the Old Testament sanctuary designed by God and given to Moses to build, was patterned after the heavenly sanctuary. And, Christ is now, and has been since 1844, our High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary, pleading our case in a judgment of each person. So, in 1844, at the end of the prophetic period of 2300 days (a day for a year Ezekiel 4:6and Numbers 14:34), He entered the second and last phase of His atoning ministry. It is a work of investigative judgment which is part of the ultimate disposition of all sin, typified by the cleansing of the ancient Hebrew sanctuary on the Day of Atonement. In that typical service the sanctuary was cleansed with the blood of animal sacrifices, but the heavenly things are purified with the perfect sacrifice of the blood of Jesus. The completion of this ministry of Christ will mark the close of human probation before the Second Advent.
This belief is unique to Seventh-day Adventists. It is doctrinally sound, and is part of the Three Angel's Messages of Revelation 14. Some texts to illustrate the point follow:
Daniel 7:9-10 "I beheld till the thrones were cast down [placed, R.V.], and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of His head like the pure wool: His throne was like the fiery flame, and His wheels as burning fire. 10)A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened."
And the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works." Rev. 20:12.
In brief, There is a sanctuary in heaven, the true tabernacle which the Lord set up and not man. In it Christ ministers on our behalf, making available to believers the benefits of His atoning sacrifice offered once for all on the cross. He was inaugurated as our great High Priest and began His intercessory ministry at the time of His ascension. In 1844, at the end of the prophetic period of 2300 days, He entered the second and last phase of His atoning ministry. It is a work of investigative judgment which is part of the ultimate disposition of all sin, typified by the cleansing of the ancient Hebrew sanctuary on the Day of Atonement. In that typical service the sanctuary was cleansed with the blood of animal sacrifices, but the heavenly things are purified with the perfect sacrifice of the blood of Jesus. The investigative judgment reveals to heavenly intelligences who among the dead are asleep in Christ and therefore, in Him, are deemed worthy to have part in the first resurrection. It also makes manifest who among the living are abiding in Christ, keeping the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, and in Him, therefore, are ready for translation into His everlasting kingdom. This judgment vindicates the justice of God in saving those who believe in Jesus. It declares that those who have remained loyal to God shall receive the kingdom. The completion of this ministry of Christ will mark the close of human probation before the Second Advent. (Heb. 8:1-5; 4:14-16; 9:11-28; 10:19-22; 1:3; 2:16, 17; Dan. 7:9-27; 8:13, 14; 9:24-27; Num. 14:34; Eze. 4:6; Lev. 16; Rev. 14:6, 7; 20:12; 14:12; 22:12.)
Points to Ponder
"For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?." 1 Peter 4:17
"The only freedom which deserves the name is that of pursuing our own good, in our own way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs, or impede their efforts to obtain it".