By Nels Angelin
In the heaven of heavens is the dwelling place of God in all of His glory. In heaven is a sanctuary that is the model for true worship in the city whose builder and maker is God.
There is another temple that is holy for God to dwell where we may dwell with Him. “Thus, saith the Lord God [to His people], …yet will I be to them as a little sanctuary…” (Ezekiel 11:16). Your mind and mine are as the Most Holy Place for the very presence of God to dwell.
Think of it! Nestled in the heavens above in the architecture of the stars and nebulae is the dwelling place of God and all His angels. Jesus went back to heaven to prepare a place for us. “In my Father’s house are many mansions…” (John 14:2). Our God and Savior wants us to come live with Him there for a thousand years to come. O worship the King!
McDonald Road Church is the place on earth where we come to bring our worship to God. Praise the Lord Eternal. The church is again becoming more open that we may gather for worship and instruction from God. Physically, there has been cleansing done in the church that we may come safely for assembly in the house from God still in a pandemic.
Speaking of worship, remember, Israel of old had a sacred time every year to cleanse the sanctuary. The Tabernacle was where the people came to bring their sacrifices daily, like a little lamb. The yearly Day of Atonement was a time for a higher cleansing to put away all the “sins” that had been brought regularly to the Sanctuary each day. The end of the Hebrew year was called Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, or literally, at one with God. The day was a ceremony deeply spiritual and also locked into prophetic history as a monument of time. The prophecy from Daniel spoke of it for all mankind as the cleansing of the Sanctuary in heaven.
Daniel 8:14 says, “And he said unto me, ‘Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then the sanctuary shall be cleansed.’” Prophetic time is clearly given the key that a “day” represents a literal year (Numbers 14:34; Ezekiel 4:6).
Daniel was in exile in Babylon for the sins of the people. He knew the prophecy from Jeremiah for 70 years. Now he was disturbed, many more years are added to the time. The angel of God was immediately commissioned to comfort Daniel that He was carefully regarded in heaven. The angel Gabriel assured Daniel regarding the vision, “Understand O son of man: for at the time of the end shall be the vision,” (Daniel 8:17). All the way to the end of Daniel’s book, this vision holds a center key from the angel. A highlight comes in the next chapter as Daniel records another segment “cut-off.” Seventy weeks were allocated to the people of God and the very time the Messiah would enter history.
Key elements into the story of salvation come from Daniel, the greatest of which is that cleansing of the sanctuary when that “time” would break. Using the keys from Daniel, the keys pointed to the prophetic time of cleansing. Special people noted that the “time” would break at the date 1844. The cleansing must mean, they thought, that it was time for Christ to return to earth as Jesus had said, “I will come again!”
The Millerites, from the preaching of the Baptist preacher William Miller, and also others became consumed with a commitment to that moment of time breaking upon the earth. The calculation was certain. However, the disappointment when Jesus did not return was as great as the power of anticipation. Only the event of the “cleansing” was misplaced in the presentation. Their crushing defeat had looked past Jesus’ words, “of that day and hour, no one knows,” (Matthew 24:36).
Reexamination of key scriptures revealed that the date for the time pointed to the pre-advent time of judgment for an investigation into the lives of all people from earth’s history past to the present, from the dead to the living. The joy of preaching was certainly true. When Jesus comes to receive His faithful, the first thing to happen is the dead in Christ will be raised to life by His own voice—the first resurrection.
There are two resurrections, only the first is connected with the return of Jesus. When you see Jesus, there is life. Two resurrections are separated by a thousand years. Jesus is coming to collect those who remain anchored in faith. That is the sole purpose of the investigative judgment. In the strength of faith, all the faithful have learned to live in Jesus, readied to live without sin, by faith.
Really? To live sinless? That quality of life is accomplished by one means alone. “Now unto Him, that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,” (Jude 1:24). From the blaze of the glory from our returning Jesus, His voice will go forth with the command to the commissioned angels to go gather His family.
Isaiah saw the day from the burning of His heart, “It shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him and He will save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for Him. We will be glad and rejoice in His salvation,” (Isaiah 25:9).
There is one singular standard for who is saved. “Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life and may enter in through the gates into the city,” (Revelation 22:14).
What is it that remains before Jesus comes? God’s people are to be marked, that is, sealed. The tares, the people of the wicked one will be marked, that is, sealed. Then there will be a time of unprecedented, unparalleled persecution.
Today, history is setting up to put the mark on time. This time, God will come in all the glory of heaven with all the angels. It is time, now, when Jesus will return as king.
There are still time setters that claim to know when the event must take place. Do not forget, God’s word is too clear to be misunderstood or take precedent or privilege that God has not given. When God says no, there is no one that can figure out God. It is still true, none know the day nor the hour, there is still some time that must tick on the clock. We are told the last events will be rapid. It is time to be faithful to the calling of God. It would appear then that it is a test of God for faith to allow God to be in charge of His time and the structure of the kingdom of God.
I think it is a little sad how the human family has been slow to learn God’s plan for salvation. It was a great awakening when the advent message was heralded with the joy of anticipation and hope. The sadness is when human anticipation is stirred by misconceptions and made to be so vocal to fit human traditions in place of what God has said. The trend today is to teach that Jesus is coming to set up His kingdom on earth for a thousand years. The Bible does not teach that. That view is only an echo from the adversary to turn the minds of men away from the truth of God’s word.
What is left before Jesus comes? I can tell you that the adversary wants to make the majesty and glory of Jesus’ return to appear as only a pipe dream that is not rational or real. “We have not followed cunningly devised fables,” (1Peter 1:16). We must be resolved to be the people patient.
It is extremely important for us to understand clearly what has shaped our message. The coming of Jesus is definitely “at the door.” Our message must be clearly proclaimed, not diminished. Truth does matter. Truth and error have eternal consequences.
When Jesus does come, it will not be missed, “every eye will see Him” (Revelation 1:7). He will not touch the earth. All the focus then is up. If He were coming to stand then on the Mount of Olives, it would not be global.
I cannot comprehend a thousand years ahead in a world where it is. Popular teaching is completely confused. Some want to rule a socialistic utopia that has never and will never work. Others project the world will end in 27 years. Some still want to say Jesus will reign on earth for the thousand years. It is all total error. The Jews wanted a Messiah to defeat the Romans and set them up above everyone else in a kingdom that never ends. The same philosophy is alive still today. Prophesy is only so much rhetoric to make it say what you want it to say.
No! God has the one right plan. God is the only author of life and the means to accomplish eternity. For eternity to work, the curse of sin must end. The system of death, pain, sorrow, and crying will forever end. All that God has said, He will do. God’s word is with power and glory. The glories of God from heaven are telling!