The Good News of the Judgment

Our High Priest in the Judgment Hour
William Diehl

In Paul's epistle to the Hebrews he clearly shows that the earthly sanctuary service with its sacrifices of bulls and goats was God's method of dealing with sin until the "time of reformation". The great "reformation" which took place was when our Lord commenced His work in the "Most Holy Place", the heavenly sanctuary, as the one mediator between God and Man as a "high priest akin to that of Melchizedek". The "figure" that Paul refers to is that the two apartments of the earthly sanctuary symbolically represented the two priesthoods. The Levitical priesthood and the "Melchizedec" messianic priesthood of our Lord. In Paul's analogy, "first apartment" (the Old Covenant ratified with the blood of bulls and goats) passed away with the coming of the "second apartment" (the New Covenant ratified with the precious blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ).

Any attempt to teach that our Lord was not our heavenly High Priest mediating His blood before the holy Law of God until the date October 22, 1844 cannot be demonstrated from Paul's epistle to the Hebrews or from the other epistles of the New Testament either. Daniel the prophet clearly shows by way of apocalyptic symbolism that the High Priestly ministration of the Messiah (the "daily") would be "cast down" by the "little horn" of Rome until the time of "restoration" of the Temple. This "casting down" and "restoration" of the Temple is apocalyptic symbolism depicting the glorious truth that our Lord and Savior who "tabernacled among us" was crucified on the cross by the Roman rulers in cooperation with the rulers of the Sanhedrin. The Messiah was "taken away" to die for the sins of His people and then "restored" by virtue of His resurrection from the dead.

Thus in the final days before Christ returns God is restoring the proper distinction yet harmony between the Law and the Gospel, the true mortal nature of man, the true Sabbath day, and the justification of repentant believing sinners before the holy Law of God by the unmerited grace of God alone through faith in the sinless life and atoning death of our great High Priest, Jesus Christ alone. The prophecy of Daniel 8:14 thus is an allegorical apocalyptic text referring to 1.) the glorious gospel truth of the vicarious atoning death of the Christ at the hands of Rome, 2.) His "restoration" and "vindication" at His resurrection, and 3.) His ascension into the heavenly sanctuary where He ever lives to make intercession for His people, spiritual Israel. It is the everlasting gospel of Jesus Christ which makes war with the Satanic kingdoms of this world which will be finally crushed under His feet. This spiritual warfare with the "beast", "the image to the beast" and the "false prophet" is what is symbolically depicted in the book of Revelation in the New Testament.

Paul's point in his epistle to the Hebrews is that the COMMON priests performed their work in the outer apartment in the daily ministration of the earthly sanctuary, but the HIGH PRIEST when into the MOST HOLY PLACE once a year. Paul's analogy is that the way into the heavenly "most holy place" was not opened so long as the first tabernacle stood.

Paul is not saying that just as there are two apartments in the earthly sanctuary there must therefore be two apartments in the heavenly. He is saying that the two apartments of the earthly tabernacle represented the two priesthoods or two ministrations— the Levitical earthly priesthood and the Melchizedec heavenly High Priesthood of our Lord Jesus Christ. As our High Priest, our Lord has entered into heaven itself and is set down in His throne judging the world until all His enemies are made His footstool. If one wishes to believe that Paul and the other apostles believed that Christ did not enter the most holy place until 1844 then one will have to present Bible texts to show this was the belief of apostles who fully preached the Gospel of Christ. An of course this simply cannot be demonstrated.

To state as some do that if 1844 teaching is not true, then the entire reason for the existence of the Seventh-day Adventist movement is destroyed is totally bogus. The message of God's final people is to restore the truths of the everlasting Gospel in the setting of the hour of God's judgment of the world. The everlasting gospel can be summed up as the good news that Christ is the one Mediator between God and Man and that He is our Mediator and High Priest, because He who knew no sin became sin for us so that we might become the "righteousness of God" in Him. Forgiveness of sin and eternal life is the free gift to all who repent and believe. This restoration message includes the restoration of the Sabbath as being the memorial to Christ as our Creator and to Christ as our Redeemer who finished His redemptive work for the human family 1900 years ago on the cross of Calvary. This gospel is the message of Daniel 8:14. The EVERLASTING GOSPEL is the reason for the existence of the any evangelical Christian movement and God has providentially raised up the Seventh-day Adventist movement up to finish this proclamation to all the world. This means that we are to expose and condemn the sins, the lies, and the errors of Satan's demonic spiritual Babylon for what it truly is, the enemy of Christ, and is in fact an "Antichrist" and "False Prophet". We are called to invite all the world to "come out" of the darkness of the world's false religions which bears the "mark" of Satan's rebellion which began in heaven, and receive the "seal" of the living God. Our gospel must be the same Gospel of the apostles or we will be "accursed" by proclaiming "another gospel".

Gal 1:8 "But though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach unto you any gospel other than that which we preached unto you, let him be anathema. 9 As we have said before, so say I now again, if any man preacheth unto you any gospel other than that which ye received, let him be anathema."

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