Introduction: Last week, we discussed the 2,300 day
prophecy. Part of that prophecy has been proven to be
extremely accurate, but the end of it, as understood by
William Miller, turned out to be absolutely wrong. Miller
and friends believed it predicted the end of the world in
1844. Had I been alive then, I would have agreed with
Miller’s Bible calculations. What if he had his calculations
right, but was wrong about the event? What if Daniel 8:14
should be read precisely as it is written, so that when it
says “the sanctuary shall be cleansed [or restored to its
rightful state],” it means the sanctuary and not the earth?
An obvious problem for that conclusion is that the Second
Temple sanctuary was destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D.
Surely it cannot be cleansed after it is destroyed. Another
mystery! Let’s dive into our study of the Bible and see
what we can learn!

I. The Sanctuary

A. Read Exodus 25:8-9. This chapter starts with God
giving directions to Moses about how to build
God’s sanctuary in the wilderness during the
exodus from Egypt. What has God given Moses to
help him make the sanctuary/tabernacle? (A

1. “Pattern” is an unusual word to use here. When
we talk about building plans we refer to them
as drawings or plans. Would you call an
architectural plan a pattern? (No. We use the
term pattern when we see or seek repetition. A
pattern repeats a design. When you make a copy
of something you use a pattern.)

B. Read Hebrews 8:5. What have we just learned about
the pattern and the instructions to Moses? (There
is a tabernacle in heaven! What Moses was directed
to make was patterned after the tabernacle that is
in heaven.)

C. Read Hebrews 9:1-4. What is the basic design of
the tabernacle on earth? (It had two rooms, the
“Holy Place” and the “Most Holy Place.”)

D. Read Hebrews 8:1-2. Where are the “holy places”
referred to here? (The texts make it clear. This
is in heaven. This is “the true tent that the Lord
set up,” and it is not the one made by Moses and
his helpers.)

II. The Most Holy Place

A. Read Hebrews 9:7 and Leviticus 16:32-34. These are
references to the Day of Atonement, the procedures
for which are described in more detail in the rest
of Leviticus 16. What is the purpose of the Day of
Atonement? (Leviticus 16:30 tells us that it made
them clean. During the year, the people would
present sacrifices at the temple for the
forgiveness of their sins. Then once a year all
that sin that had accumulated in the temple was
cleansed on the Day of Atonement.)

B. Why would Daniel 8:14 refer to the temple being
cleansed (in 1844), when in fact the Day of
Atonement happened every year? (Because he was not
writing of the yearly Day of Atonement on earth.)

C. Read Hebrews 9:11-12. Where is this action
happening? (The temple in heaven. We know that
because the text says it was “not made with

1. How often does Jesus enter into the sanctuary?
(Once, not every year.)

III. Our High Priest

A. Let’s explore what Jesus is doing in the sanctuary
in heaven. Read Hebrews 9:13-14. What is Jesus
doing? (He is removing our sins by the offering of
His own blood. He is cleansing us.)

B. Read Hebrews 9:15, and Hebrews 9:22-24. Did the
priests in the earthly sanctuary follow a pattern
for what was to take place later in heaven?

C. Read Hebrews 9:25. What specific event on earth is
referred to in this verse? (The Day of Atonement!
It took place “every year.”)

D. Read Hebrews 9:26. When does the heavenly Day of
Atonement take place? (“At the end of the ages.”
This is not an exact date, but it is interesting
that it refers to the “end” of the ages.)

1. If the Day of Atonement was a day for the
cleansing of sins of the people, priests, and
sanctuary, does it make logical sense to you
that Daniel 8:14 refers to the precise timing
of the Day of Atonement in heaven? (It fits.)

2. Do you think fixing the 1844 date is important
to your salvation or your belief in the Bible?
(The event, and not the specific date, is the
critical issue. The relative importance of
1844 arises because of the question of our
confidence in the Bible. The world did not end
in 1844. So what did happen, if not the
cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary?)

IV. Mediating for How Long?

A. Read Hebrews 10:1-4. What point of comparison is
the writer of Hebrews making? (He is comparing the
law and the sanctuary on earth with what he
discusses next.)

B. Read Hebrews 10:5-9. What is done away with and
what is established? (The old sacrificial system
is done away with and replaced with what Jesus is
going to do.)

C. Read Hebrews 10:10-14. How many times did Jesus
have to be sacrificed to perfect us? (Once.)

1. If Jesus saved us by being sacrificed once,
and the Day of Atonement on earth was a day,
what is Jesus doing since 1844? After all, He
created the world in a week. What could
possibly take that long?

D. Read Revelation 20:12-13 and Revelation 20:15.
I’ve heard many times that Jesus is spending His
time since 1844 in heaven acting like a lawyer
arguing for the salvation of the righteous. He
argues for each one of us. That takes time. Is
that consistent with these verses in Revelation?
(No. The only time-consuming work is judging all
of the lost by reviewing “what they had done”
during their lives. For the righteous it is much
different. The only check is to see if their name
is written in the book of life.)

1. Is Jesus acting as a High Priest in heaven for
the lost? (That is not what took place in the
earthly sanctuary on the Day of Atonement.)

2. A related criticism of the 1844 date is that
it makes no logical sense. What could Jesus be
doing as our High Priest if the judgment issue
is only whether our name is written in the
Book of Life?

E. Read Hebrews 4:14-16. What does that say Jesus is
doing in Heaven on our behalf? (He is encouraging

F. Read Hebrews 3:1-2. Notice that Jesus is compared
to Moses, who was not a priest much less the High
Priest. What is this telling us about Jesus?

G. Read Hebrews 3:3-6. What did Moses do for God’s
people when they traversed the wilderness? (Moses
was the mediator between God and the people. Moses
led the people and encouraged them to do what was

H. When we read in Hebrews 4:15-16 about Jesus
sympathizing with our weakness and giving us
confidence in grace, how would you fit that into
the comparison with Moses? (Moses was the human
who led the people to the promised land. He was
the representative of God to the people. Jesus,
because of His sacrifice on our behalf, opens the
promised land in heaven to us. We are constantly
encouraged by grace, what He has done for us.)

I. Read Hebrews 1:3. When does this say that Jesus
sat at the right hand of God? (“After making
purification for sins.”)

1. Is that when He rose to heaven on Sunday after
the crucifixion, or 1844? (I think there is a
strong argument for 1844. Much of Hebrews is
devoted to talking about Jesus as our High
Priest in heaven. While sacrifices took place
daily in the earthly sanctuary, total
purification took place only on the Day of

2. Why wait until 1844? Isn’t that just an
arbitrary date? (Not if you accept the 2,300
day prophecy and the statement in Daniel 8:14
that on a specific date the sanctuary will be
cleansed. Note that the 2,300 prophecy does
NOT place the date for cleansing at the time
of Jesus’ crucifixion.)

3. Let’s go back to the comparison between the
work of Jesus and the work of Moses. Why did
God wait hundreds of years to rescue His
people from Egypt? Does that timing make any
sense to you? (We need to accept what God has
revealed to us and not reject it based on our
sense of logic.)

J. Friend, don’t get lost in the debate over timing.
Rejoice in the fact that Jesus triumphed over sin
and death and He is acting on your behalf in
heaven right now. Will you accept Him as your
Savior? Why not right now?

V. Next week: The Foundation of God’s Government.

Copr. 2024, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. Scripture quotations are
from the ESV Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard
Version ), copyright 2001 by Crossway, a publishing
ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All
rights reserved. Suggested answers are found within
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