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Building the Sanctuary Doctrine—167 Years Ago

The General Conference Archives published the following for their series On This Day: “In 1846, O. R. L Crosier published an article on the sanctuary in the Millerite journal The Day Star. It elaborated Hiram Edson’s insights into the cleansing of the sanctuary and what had happened on Oct. 22, 1844; this article and the debate it stirred up, was a vital step in the process by which Seventh-day Adventists reached their understanding of the sanctuary. (Pictured: the front page of the issue of the Day-Star in which Crosier’s article appeared).”

The begining of the four-part series is pasted in below the image to make it a little more reable. It is interesting to compare this to contemporary Seventh-day Adventist articulations of faith. It might be a fascinating social experiment to remove the author and the connection to Adventist doctrine, give this article to a random sample of Adventists—lay and clergy—around the world, and ask them if this is what they believe.

“Remember ye the Law of Moses, my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for

all Israel, with the statutes and judgements.” Malachi 4:4.

The commandment of this verse to remember the law of Moses, is the last one in the Old
Testament, and given in connection with a prophetic description of “the great and
dreadful day of the Lord,” as though the law contained something further descriptive of
that day. Perhaps we have paid too little attention to the law, not seeing its import and the
light it was designed to shed on “the good things to come.” Our Saviour and the apostles
taught from Moses as well as the prophets “the things concerning himself.” 

The Mosaic law is what Paul in Hebrews calls the First Covenant, which the Lord made
with the “Fathers when he took them by the hand, to lead them out of the land of Egypt,”
Hebrews 8:9; Jeremiah 31; 32; 1 Kings 8:9. This was not the covenant of promises made
with Abraham, nor does it at all affect that. This covenant of promise made to Abraham
and his seed, Christ, was confirmed 430 years before the Law was given, and “no man
disannulleth or addeth thereto.” “And this I say, That the covenant that was confirmed
before of God in Christ, the Law, which was 430 years after, cannot disannul, that it
would make the promises of God of none effect;” Galatians 3:17.
The inheritance is
the Law, but of promise; verse 18.

Hence righteousness comes not by the Law but by faith in the promises. “Wherefore then
serveth the Law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to
whom the promise was made;” verse 19. In the day that Abraham “believed the Lord, and
he counted it to him for righteousness,” he made a covenant with him saying, “Unto thy
seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river
Euphrates.” Genesis 15. At the same time he assured him of the 400 years affliction, at the
end of which he delivered Israel from Egypt, and gave them the Law, which he called a
covenant, in Horeb near Sinai; see 2 Chronicles 5:10 Exodus 24:3-6; 34:27,28;
Deuteronomy 5:1-3. “The Lord our God made a covenant with us in Horeb. The Lord
made not this covenant with our fathers, but with us, even us who are all of us here alive
this day.”

This covenant was to continue only “till the seed (Christ) should come;” then “a new
covenant” was made: Isaiah 42 1,6; 49:5-9. He confirmed the (margin, a) covenant, the
new one, (Daniel 9:27,) the Gospel; Mark 1:14,15; Matthew 4:23. “These are the two
covenants,” and neither of them the Abrahamic, but both [are] involved in that in its
comprehensive sense. Paul contrasts these two covenants, calling the latter the “better
covenant,” the “perfect;” whereas the former, “the Law, made nothing perfect;” but only
had “a figure”, “patterns,” “a shadow of the good things to come,” “but the body,” the
substance of those legal shadows, is of Christ.

The Law should be studied and “remembered” as a simplified model of the great system of
redemption, containing symbolic representations of the work begun by our Saviour at his
first advent, when he “came to fulfil the Law,” and to be completed in “the redemption of
the purchased possession unto the praise of His glory.” Redemption is deliverance
purchased by the payment of a ransom, hence it cannot be complete till man and the earth
shall be delivered from the subjection and consequences of sin; the last act of deliverance
will be at the end of the 1000 years. To this the shadow of the Law extended. That the
significancy of the Law reaches beyond the first advent is evident from these

  1. The cleansing of the Sanctuary formed a part of the legal service, (Leviticus 16:20:33) and its antitype was not to be cleansed till the end of the 2300 days; Daniel 8:14. 
  2. The Sabbaths under the Law typify the great Sabbath, the seventh mellenium; Hebrews 4:3.
  3. The Jubilee typifies the release and return to their possessions of all captive Israel; this cannot be fulfilled till the resurrection of the just.
  4. The autumnal types were none of them fulfilled at the first advent.
  5. The legal tenth day atonement was not, neither could it be fulfilled at that time.  
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