Sacred Texts  Christianity  Index  Previous  Next 
Buy this Book at

The Great Controversy, by Ellen G. White, [1858], at



The Sanctuary


I was then shown the grievous disappointment of the people of God.  They did not see Jesus at the expected time.  They knew not why their Saviour did not come.  They could see no evidence why prophetic time had not ended.  Said an angel, Has God's word failed?  Has God failed to fulfill his promises?  No: he has fulfilled all he promised.  Jesus has risen up, and has shut the door of the Holy place of the heavenly Sanctuary, and has opened a door into the Most Holy place, and has entered in to cleanse the Sanctuary.  Said the angel, All who wait patiently shall understand the mystery.  Man has erred; but there has been no failure on the part of God.  All was accomplished that God promised; but man erroneously looked to the earth, believing it to be the Sanctuary to be cleansed at the end of the prophetic periods.  Man's expectations have failed; but God's promise not at all.  Jesus sent his angels to direct the disappointed ones, to lead their minds into the Most Holy place where he had gone to cleanse the Sanctuary, and make a special atonement for Israel.  Jesus told the angels that all who found him would understand the work which he was to perform.  I saw that while Jesus was in the Most Holy place he would be married to the New Jerusalem, and after his work should be accomplished in the Holiest, he would descend to earth in kingly power and take the precious ones to himself who had patiently waited his return.

I was then shown what did take place in heaven as the prophetic periods ended in 1844.  I saw that as the ministration of Jesus in the Holy place ended, and he closed the door of that apartment, a great darkness settled upon those who had heard, and had rejected the messages of Christ's coming, and they lost sight of him.  Jesus then clothed himself with precious garments.  Around the bottom of his robe was a bell and a pomegranate, a bell and a pomegranate.  He had suspended from his shoulders a breastplate of curious work.  And as he moved, it glittered like diamonds, magnifying letters which looked like names written, or engraven upon the breastplate.  After he was fully attired, with something upon his head which looked like a crown, angels surrounded him, and in a flaming chariot he passed within the second vail.  I was then bid to take notice of the two apartments of the heavenly Sanctuary.  The curtain, or door, was opened, and I was permitted to enter.  In the first apartment I saw the candlestick with seven lamps, which looked rich and glorious; also the table on which was the shew-bread, and the altar of incense, and the censer.  All the furniture of this apartment looked like purest gold, and reflected the image of the one who entered that place.  The curtain which separated these two apartments looked glorious.  It was of different colors and material, with a beautiful border, with figures of gold wrought upon it, representing angels.  The vail was lifted, and I looked into the second apartment.  I saw there an ark which had the appearance of being of the finest gold.  As a border around the top of the ark, was most beautiful work representing crowns.  It was of fine gold.  In the ark were the tables of stone containing the ten commandments.  On each end of the ark was a lovely cherub with their wings spread out over it.  Their wings were raised on high, and touched each other above the head of Jesus, as he stood by the ark.  Their faces were turned towards each other, and they looked downwards to the ark, representing all the angelic host looking with interest at the law of God.  Between the cherubim was a golden censer.  And as the prayers of the saints in faith came up to Jesus, and he offered them to his Father, a sweet fragrance arose from the incense.  It looked like smoke of most beautiful colors.  Above the place where Jesus stood, before the ark, I saw an exceeding bright glory that I could not look upon.  It appeared like a throne where God dwelt.  As the incense ascended up to the Father, the excellent glory came from the Father's throne to Jesus, and from Jesus it was shed upon those whose prayers had come up like sweet incense.  Light and glory poured upon Jesus in rich abundance, and overshadowed the mercy-seat, and the train of the glory filled the temple.  I could not long look upon the glory.  No language can describe it.  I was overwhelmed, and turned from the majesty and glory of the scene.

I was shown a Sanctuary upon earth containing two apartments.  It resembled the one in heaven.  I was told that it was the earthly Sanctuary, a figure of the heavenly.  The furniture of the first apartment of the earthly Sanctuary was like that in the first apartment of the heavenly.  The vail was lifted, and I looked into the Holy of Holies, and saw that the furniture was the same as in the Most Holy place of the heavenly Sanctuary.  The priests ministered in both apartments of the earthly.  In the first apartment he ministered every day in the year, and entered the Most Holy but once in a year, to cleanse it from the sins which had been conveyed there.  I saw that Jesus ministered in both apartments of the heavenly Sanctuary.  He entered into the heavenly Sanctuary by the offering of his own blood.  The earthly priests were removed by death, therefore they could not continue long; but Jesus, I saw, was a priest forever.  Through the sacrifices and offerings brought to the earthly Sanctuary, the children of Israel were to lay hold of the merits of a Saviour to come.  And in the wisdom of God the particulars of this work were given us that we might look back to them, and understand the work of Jesus in the heavenly Sanctuary.

At the crucifixion, as Jesus died on Calvary, he cried, It is finished, and the vail of the temple was rent in twain, from the top to the bottom.  This was to show that the services of the earthly Sanctuary were forever finished, and that God would no more meet with them in their earthly temple, to accept their sacrifices.  The blood of Jesus was then shed, which was to be ministered by himself in the heavenly Sanctuary.  As the priests in the earthly Sanctuary entered the Most Holy once a year to cleanse the Sanctuary, Jesus entered the Most Holy of the heavenly, at the end of the 2300 days of Daniel 8, in 1844, to make a final atonement for all who could be benefited by his mediation, and to cleanse the Sanctuary.


See Exodus chap.25-28; Leviticus chap.16; 2Kings 2:11; Daniel 8:14; Matthew 27:50-51; Hebrews chap.9; Revelation chap.21


Next: Chapter 28. The Third Angel's Message