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Day of Atonement 5
In the Levitical order of the earthly sanctuary for any one year, the priestly ministry had two important aspectsthe daily and the yearly.
The daily or "continual" ministration was performed every day throughout the year. The yearly came at a fixed time, and ended within the limits of one natural day. It was called the Day of Atonement. The Day of Atonement was the climax of the whole Levitical system, the culminating point of all the religious ceremonies. On this day the high priest alone went into the most holy place in the presence of God to make a final atonement for the children of Israel and for the sanctuary. Every sin committed and every confession made, every service rendered since the previous Day of Atonement, bore witness before God, and constituted final evidence for that one day. Hence its great significance, for the services on that day taught a final judgment, a verdict from the throne of God.
Day of Atonement Ritual
The ritual performed on this day was unique. It centered in the ceremony over the two goats.
The high priest went into the Most Holy Place with the blood of the first goat to "make an atonement for the holy place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions in all their sins" (verse 16). Now, atonement had been made all during the year when the daily sacrifices were offered. Why was this not adequate? Why did the sin problem require a further act of atonement?
Evidently there was some aspect of the sin problem that had not yet been dealt with. Here is indicated a removal of sin not accomplished by the daily services. The ceremony over the two goats clearly set forth two different aspects of dealing with the sin problem. The second goat for Azazel was neither sacrificed nor its blood sprinkled before the mercy seat in the Most Holy Place. The sins atoned for by the blood of the first goat were now confessed over the head of the second goat, who was led "away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness: and the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited" (verses 21, 22).
What is the significance of sending away the "scapegoat" loaded with the sins of Israel to a place of isolation, a banishment with no possibility of return? Much of the confusion regarding the Day of Atonement services has risen from the tendency of Biblical interpreters and theologians to believe that the two goats both represented the work of Christ at the cross. But these two goats symbolize two separate and distinct aspects of God's dealing with sin. The first goat, whose blood was shed, pointed to the atonement made by Christ for our sins. The second goat, whose blood was not shed, had no part in effecting personal redemption. Instead, it pointed to the final and total eradication of sin consequent on Christ's redemption. What is taught by means of the two goats is more than an offering for sin. What is involved is the banishment of Satan and his followers, the eradication of sin, as symbolized by the total isolation of the second goat which symbolized Satan.
Two factors favor the belief that Azazel is a personal being. One is the large number of Biblical scholars and interpreters who hold this view. The other is the evidence from the Hebrew text itself. The parallelism involved in the text strongly suggests that Azazel is a personal being who stands over against the Lord who is a personal being. The casting of lots shows that both goats are equal and parallel in this respect, both are an integral part of the sin problem, one to serve as the goat for the Lord and the other for Azazel.
Furthermore, the service was not only an atonement for the people but also for the sanctuary as a whole, a total cleansing, a complete removal of sin. This is definitely indicated by Scripture in the words:
To the Israelites the Day of Atonement was the settling of human accounts before God, the final vindication both of the sanctuary and the people. There was nothing casual about this day. They anticipated its coming each year with great solemnity. It was a day of separation. It existed primarily for the benefit of those who believed. It brought great anxiety and fear for those whose sins had not been forgiven. That day tried every man's work.
The Israelites waited with concern and awe for the high priest to return from the presence of the Lord in the Most Holy Place, for their final vindication rested upon God's acceptance and cleansing. Then the high priest came out. The people watched him, heard the solemn confession of sins over the head of the live goat, saw the goat led into the desert. Then they knew that sin, in a sense different from that borne by the first goat, had been banished forever. Nothing more would be heard of those sins for that past year. They were all done with.
The symbolism and the typical services in the Levitical sanctuary are meant to clarify and not to confuse. They pointed to the impending realities in the high-priestly work of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary. We are here concerned with the substance of these ministrations, the nature of the work involved. The Day of Atonement taught the truth of Christ's ministration that goes beyond Calvary to the final solution of the sin problem. No truth about God or the mediatorial ministry of Christ in heaven can be complete without that. The blotting out of sin involves more than forgiveness. It involves also the banishment of sin and Satan. The gracious purpose of our Lord is not only to forgive sin but to triumph over it and eradicate it. The ministry of Christ will bring the universe back into complete harmony with God. Satan still reigns and advances everywhere in the world. Sin's increase defies description. But sin and sinners will finally be isolated, banished, and destroyed. The reasoning is sound. Not that God failed to make a complete atonement at the cross. But in the face of the finality and efficacy of that sacrifice it must ultimately effect Satan's end and final destruction. That ministry will not stop short until all sin is blotted out from the universe. If there is any place in the Levitical sanctuary and its services where this truth is taught and symbolized, it is on the Day of Atonement.
God had a purpose in singling out this final day of the ministration of the earthly sanctuary. This lays the capstone on the plan of redemption and earth's total restoration. The ritual over the two goats teaches the very destruction of evil and the originator of it. It points to Christ who in His priestly ministry is both Redeemer and Judge. Otherwise sin would never be destroyed. The work of redemption and the work of judgment are ministered by the same High Priest. God has committed all judgment to the Son (see John 5:22). The eternal mercy and grace of our Lord, the certainty of judgment for weal or woe, belong together as one truth from the sanctuary. They will be understood by those who follow Christ's ministry. God is concerned with both the triumph of righteousness and the overthrow of evil. Final victory will come only as a result of Christ's ministry both of redemption and judgment. That is what is taught in the Day of Atonement.
"Clean From All Your Sins Before the Lord"
According to the symbolic ritual, the Levitical sanctuary in all its parts was defiled by the sin and guilt of the Israelites as atonement was made and sins were confessed by the repentant sinner. With every daily sacrifice for the sins of Israel offered throughout the year, the growing uncleanness of the sanctuary brought the necessity for an annual cleansing on the Day of Atonement. When that day arrived the cleansing of the sanctuary and of the people of Israel formed a central feature of the high-priestly ministry. This was the high point to which the people of Israel looked forward with great solemnity and significance, for "on that day shall the priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sins before the Lord" (verse 30).
There were, therefore, two cleansingsone for the individual when he presented his personal sacrifice and confessed his sins, for which the sanctuary thereupon assumed responsibility, and a cleansing of the sanctuary itself upon the Day of Atonement. Both cleansings were essential.
The cleansing of the Levitical sanctuary on the Day of Atonement has its counterpart in the heavenly sanctuary. In the Epistle to the Hebrews the correct interpretation is given by comparing the earthly and heavenly sanctuaries and their priestly ministrations.
Sin defiles. Blood cleanses. Cleansing is an essential aspect of the atonement. With the confession and forgiveness of sin, the believer is cleansed. This is an essential aspect of the believer's experience with God.
This initial cleansing is effected by the blood of Christ and by the application of the blood to the life and experience of the believer. The believer can be sure that he is forgiven and cleansed, for "there is now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus" (Rom. 8:1).
But the earthly sanctuary teaches a further cleansing. According to the type, the confessed sins are figuratively represented as resting in the sanctuary until the final cleansing on the Day of Atonement.
Christ not only bore all our sins at the cross but in His priestly ministry in the heavenly sanctuary continued His work of salvation and reconciliation. He will effect a final cleansing, a total reconciliation, a complete eradication of sin, to the glory of God and His loyal creatures throughout the universe. Then no residue nor taint of sin will mark either His sanctuary or His people.
The fact that the thoughts and deeds of all men, good and evil, are recorded with a view to the judgment reveals the necessity for a concluding settlement or cleansing. The opening of the divine records, when "every one of us shall give account of himself to God" (Rom. 14:12), requires a settling of accounts, when the saints of God will be proclaimed in the presence of the court of heaven: "Clean from all their sins before the Lord."
There is pressing moral and spiritual need for a clear understanding of the investigative judgment. The truth that proclaims the redemption of sinners is not confined to a superficial answer to the question, "What must I do to be saved?" Involved is complete sanctification, obedience to God's will, purity of life, perseverance in the faith by means of the divine power made accessible through the priestly ministry of the living Christ. The most weighty truths from God, unalterable for all time, are mediated to man from the divine sanctuary by the Holy Spirit.
The world of today is passing through a period of revolutionary change. The demand is for a radical readjustment of the whole of thought and life. Two forces strive for the mastery of menChrist and Satan. The prevailing forces on the satanic side are marked by lawless thinking, the rejection of moral restraint and discipline, and religious apostasy from the Word of God. The voices that speak for God seek to call men back to the living Christ and to the Word of God. In view of the alarming conditions of our time, it is eminently urgent to return to the eternal truth of God. That truth alone will outshine the darkness. God's will and God's law are steadfast. Through the remnant church of God the truth shines on. The living Christ of the heavenly sanctuary presses upon men the need for a spiritual revival to make them ready to stand in the judgment now proceeding. Men need to ask themselves whether they are prepared to possess, enjoy, and obey the truth as it is in Jesus Christ.
We need to put the question to ourselves: Are we prepared to stand before God? In the third chapter of Revelation, Christ addresses the Laodicean church, seeking to arouse man's concern about himself. "I know what you are like," says Christ. "You are neither cold nor hot. You are lukewarm. You have only a short time to prepare. The investigative judgment is under way. I am your attorney for the defense. I want you to make it possible for Me to stand up for you. If you do this, then the investigative judgment is to your advantage. You have nothing to fear." (See Rev. 3:14-22.)
For this reason John in addressing this church speaks of Christ as the faithful and true witness. The picture seems to put Christ on the witness stand once the books of heaven are opened. The universe is prepared to abide by the judgment of Christ. He is called a faithful witness because He can be trusted to tell the truth and nothing but the truth. In this investigation there will be no evading of the issues, no twisting the facts of men's lives. Christ alone can bear witness to the facts in each case.
Christ is not saying that His followers are going to have a bad time in this judgment, that the believer's chances of making it are not good. Christ has no desire to be an accusing judge but a loving, saving friend. He seeks now to persuade men to take the one way to eternal life. He is pictured as standing at the door of the human heart, seeking entrance. "I counsel thee," He says, "to open the door, to buy of me gold . . . , and white raiment." Those who have fully opened their life to Christ will have no fear in the judgment. What Christ counsels may be summed up in a few words: "Gold"faith and love; "white raiment"the righteousness of Christ. He seeks earnestly to arouse in man the urgency to meet God in the judgment. But it will cost something. The Levitical Day of Atonement called upon Israel to make sure of their standing with God.
Unfortunately, modern man is not worrying about his sins. He is content with his own righteousness. The Biblical term sin seems to have lost its meaning for many. In a world that has accepted for the most part the evolutionary view of origins, sin is simply a vestige of man's animal ancestry. But the Bible treats sin and disobedience as a most serious matter. Sin is not something to be regretted only; it is a state of heart and life that is wholly incompatible with God, which will eventually separate man from God and plunge him into the agony of eternal loss.
The only remedy is the Christ who knocks at the door, the Son of God, who bore our sins, who was raised from the dead, and who is now alive forevermore. The one thing needful is to allow God to re-create our lives around that divine Center, to impart the very life of Christ, which breaks the power of sin and sets the prisoner free, changes the sinful desires, restores the spiritual capacities of the mind, and brings the whole life into harmony with the truth of God. Any remedy that fails to do this for sinful men is not true salvation and will not pass the test in the investigative judgment.
This is the only way. This is what the investigative judgment will reveal, in Christ or out of Christ. The committed Christian may dare to believe that in this judgment Christ will witness to his triumph and final cleansing before the universe.
The future cleansing of the saints does not mean uncertainty but triumph before the court of heaven. Christ will declare before an assembled universe that these, His children, are forever separated from sin; that they have chosen righteousness, and in them sin can never rise again. Having made this judgment, the work of the divine Advocate is finished. Christ has rendered a verdict in their favor. Nothing can now reverse that verdict.
"Clean from all your sins before the Lord." This, then, is the final Day of Atonement message. What wonderful news is proclaimed in this sentence from the heavenly sanctuary! What is it to receive Christ's verdict on our behalf? The phrase "clean before the Lord" is most expressive. It means to be saved to the uttermost. It means to be clothed with the righteousness of Christ. It means to have ordered one's allegiance to God, "found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless" (2 Peter 3:14). There is no greater security than to be "clean before the Lord." Christ is everything to us. "I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me" (Gal. 2:20). Do we know this spiritual reality? Do we base our everlasting prospects upon it. The saints are blessed forever, for no one can condemn them or pronounce them unclean. They dwell in the realm of infinite purity. No corruption can stain them. No iniquity can tempt them. No uncleanness can defile them again, throughout eternity.
The grandest scene in the investigative judgment is this divine proclamation from the throne of God. A chord of loving assurance sings throughout the universe regarding God's people. "Cleansed from sin for all eternity" resounds to the ends of the universe. Man cannot declare it of himself. But when Christ, our great High Priest, proclaims it, no one can gainsay it. Heaven was created for spiritually and morally clean persons. Christ presents before the court of heaven a host of those who will never again desire to sin.
With this proclamation we feel carried along in a divine tide, the impulse and direction of which are derived from Christ alone. Here are all the redeemed, totally subject to Him, and on each head is a crown. Whatever hope and joy there is in this present sinful order, whatever regret and sorrow has been the lot of the saints, Christ then declares that they are beyond the reach of sin and death. God's people reflect only the presence and the glory of the Lord. The antitypical Day of Atonement that began in 1844 is full of promise. The children of God on earth are wanted in heaven. One remarkable proof of the saving power of Christ is His presentation of so large a multitude of these His redeemed, clean before the Lord and before the universe.
In the judgment now proceeding in the heavenly sanctuary, Christ asserts of His faithful followers: "clean forever from all your sins." Men's hearts throb with loyalty and love for their King. Such a declaration supersedes all the claims and pronouncements of men. This divine verdict is not the opinion of the wisest on earth, nor the tradition of the eldest, nor the voice of the majority, nor the judgment of the best. It is the word of God alone. What it enjoins is eternal purity and sinlessness in a perfect universe.
Christ said, "The hour of his judgement is come." No voice in the universe has force but His. It is under His crown and sovereignty that the children of God have taken their stand. The decision of this judgment proclaims the steadfastness of the saints in their cleanness, holy before the Lord. The judgment will reveal the impress of Christ's righteousness upon the character stamped with the seal of God. None shall be able to pluck them out of His hand. What glorious recognition by Christ as King of kings and Lord of lords! Are we subjects of Christ? Are we His? "Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect?" (Rom. 8:33).
When the saints shall stand upon that vast sea of glass amid the multitudes of the heavenly hosts, more countless than the waves of the sea, seen from the judgment seat of Christ, His children will have a happy destiny hereafter. Before that celestial court it will not be asked, whence are you, but what are youin Christ or out of Christ? "and every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure" (1 John 3:3).
Man was created good, beautiful, and clean. Our Lord will not bring His children less than complete restoration and reconciliation in a universe of perfect beings. The entire past in a man's life examined in the judgment becomes luminous with Christ and His righteousness. The future shall be yet more so. They are forever blessed, for no one can condemn them or pronounce them unclean. The sanctuary of heaven and the government of God will be seen in all their purity and righteousness. Every doubt about God, His character, and His work for the redemption of our world will be removed. His sanctuary will indeed be cleansed. Nothing of sin will remain, not even the records. No pollution can stain that sanctuary; no uncleanness can defile it.
Let us cleave to Christ, that our names may be pronounced by Christ with eulogy before the universe and the court of heaven.
Let us insist on cleanness of living, of thinking, of doing, not as a basis for salvation but as the very essence of our being in Christ, and for that divine verdict which all the true children of God will receive.
Atonement Over the Second Goat
From the Day of Atonement services it is clear that the second goat plays an integral part in the solution of the sin problem.
Certain important facts are here stated regarding the second goat: First, an atonement is made with him. Second, the goat is to bear sin, the sins that are brought out of the Most Holy Place and confessed over him. Third, he is to bear sin into a place of total isolation and separation.
Why is sin borne by the second goat? Why is an atonement made with him as well as with the first goat? The atonement made with the blood of the first goat did not include the complete removal of sin. The Scripture clearly states that atonement is made with both goats. (See Lev. 16:10, 15-19.) In one case blood was shed; in the other it was not. Under the symbol of the goat that was sacrificed, Christ bore our sins. The role of the second goat is not redemptive because no blood is shed.
At the cross Christ bore sin's penalty for every man, but the cross did not eradicate sin. It laid the foundation for its ultimate annihilation. Satan is still active. Sin still reigns throughout the world. Satan is far from being isolated from the world of men and events, "for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time" (Rev. 12:12). The bearing of sin by the second goat reveals how sin is to be finally eradicated, for the goat was never seen again.
With the transfer of sin from the sanctuary all responsibility for sin now belonged to the scapegoat. No defilement remained anywhere else. Both the sanctuary and the people were clean. Thus sin's removal aided in the final reconciliation of all things. Only to the degree that he bears responsibility for sin is an atonement said to be made by the scapegoat.
How and when will the final end of sin and Satan be brought about?
The coming out of the high priest pointed to an event in the priestly ministry of Christ. A review of a commentary by Westcott, interpreting this event, declares:
We are probably closer to the truth if we say that Christ's leaving the sanctuary follows the close of His ministry of intercession on behalf of His people. At any rate, Satan's part in the atonement comes after this, when the time for Christ to return to the earth is very close at hand. This means that Satan has no part in the work of redemption, for that work is exclusively Christ's.
The final work of reconciliation will be accomplished by Jesus Christ. What He began at the cross He will finish as our divine High Priest. The Levitical Day of Atonement foreshadowed the ultimate and final triumph of Christ over Satan. Without this the plan of redemption would be incomplete. The vindication of God's sovereign person and rule are part of the divine purpose. The limited perspective of some that limit Christ's priestly work to the "daily" ministration of intercession should not deter us from a wider perspective that does justice to the whole plan of redemption. Other scriptures make this clear, especially the eschatological messages of the books of Daniel and the Revelation, to be examined later.
The Vindication of God
Since the two goats symbolize Christ and Satan respectively, the final issue as to the disposal of sin is between Christ and Satan. On the positive side atonement includes the restoration of oneness and harmony throughout the universe. On the negative side atonement is the elimination of sin to the satisfaction of the moral universe. Underlying and basic to all this is the vindication of God's character in face of the reality of sin that has existed and prospered ever since its inception.
Ellen White identifies the banishing of the second goat with the eradication of sin and Satan.
Thus Ellen White shows the eradication of sin and Satan to be part of Christ's final work as High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary. Sin began there with Lucifer as the covering cherub around the throne of God. It will be resolved there. The heavenly sanctuary is the divine center from which all acts in the great controversy between Christ and Satan are executed and resolved.
All significant Levitical types meet their fulfillment in the great antitype in the heavenly sanctuary. It is unfortunate that the final movements of Christ our High Priest, typified by the Levitical Day of Atonement, have either been ignored or misunderstood by most Biblical interpreters and religious leaders.
Limiting the atonement to the cross does not allow for the total process of the blotting out of sin and the final purification of the universe from sin. If we limit atonement, or "reconciliation," wholly to the work of Christ at the cross, then the scope of the sanctuary message is understood only in part. This broad picture of salvation history to its ultimate consummation as seen within the truth about the heavenly sanctuary gives Seventh-day Adventists a distinctive message for our time. The truth about the sanctuary constitutes one of the basic tenets of the Christian faith, particularly for these last days.
The Sanctuary: The Divine Solution to Sin
The Day of Atonement both in type and antitype declares that the solution to the sin problem is a supernatural one. The priestly ministry of our Lord is not merely a manifestation of God's continued love and saving mercy toward man. It is also a battle with the forces of evil.
The divine revelations from the sanctuary above are beyond the workings of men or the natural historical processes of time. Salvation history is a universal drama wrought out by God from His dwelling place. By His work of judgment He alone will accomplish the final restoration of all things. This is the eschatological perspective to which the Day of Atonement points, the divine action of judgment in a final resolution of the great controversy.
In a way, sin put God on trial before the universe. A clever, subtle enemy arose within the universe and challenged God. Satan declared God's law to be unjust (see The SDA Bible Commentary, Ellen White Comments, vol. 5, pp. 1129, 1130) and he accused God of responsibility for sin (see The Great Controversy, pp. 670, 499).
More is involved in the Day of Atonement than the ultimate restoration and vindication of humanity. The final priestly ministry of our Lord that banishes Satan and sin is more than a decree concerning human destiny. Not only will the earth be restored to its original purity and the saints inherit the earth, but the universe will be restored to eternal harmony. The cleansing of the altar, the holy places, and the tabernacle includes the vindication of God, His government, and His character.
The basic issue is God's manifestation of His absolute righteousness in all His dealings with men and angels, and in the final destruction of sin and Satan when the whole universe with one accord proclaims God vindicated. In this final phase of the antitypical Day of Atonement God deals with the very reality and existence of sin. The transfer of sin from the sanctuary to Satan points to Satan as the one who must bear the final responsibility for sin.
Satan continually has sought to misrepresent the character of God and of God's government.
God must produce a final, incontrovertible answer to Satan's charges. Sin is not eradicated by force, otherwise God could have taken care of it from the beginning. The universe must forever come to serve God from love and not from fear. To this end God executes the divine program from the heavenly sanctuary. The honor of the sanctuary is the honor of God's throne. The very security and honor of God's government have been in jeopardy because of sin. The cleansing of the sanctuary, the removal of sins from the sanctuary, in part, connotes the vindication of God.
It is for this reason that the antitypical Day of Atonement constitutes a judgment for all concerned. Thus the redeemed thank and praise God for His righteous judgments.
How then is sin finally dealt with before the universe? The nature of Christ's atonement at the cross points the way. The solution is redemptive, not punitive. Sin is not always visited by direct infliction of punishment. Satan must be shown to be the one responsible for sin.
Time of Sin's Final Eradication
The righteousness of God requires a final judgment, a final vindication of His sovereign rule and character. Judgment climaxes at the end of the millennium.
With reference to the millennium, Satan is represented as not yet destroyed but bound, after which he breaks forth again with new energy and rage, only to share at last the fate that truly belongs to him as the originator of sin. The millennium comes in as an episode leading up to the final judgment on Satan and his followers. This takes place around the great white throne, over the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, which is now on this earth.
At that time will come the great panorama pictured by Ellen G. White in the last chapter of The Great Controversy, when the whole history of the conflict will be presented in review. All who have lived upon the earth will stand personally before Godthe righteous inside the city, the wicked outside. Every person, including Satan, will see his place in time and destiny. The clear manifestation of God's moral righteousness in dealing with the rebellion of Satan and his followers will settle the long-standing issue of sin before a viewing universe and be acknowledged by the saved and lost alike.
Throughout the controversy the Bible presents the intense interest of all heavenly beings, especially as it concerns the morality and integrity of God's government and character. It is for this reason that most of the scripture passages in the book of Revelation that speak of God's judgments leading to the final consummation are occasions for rejoicing and praise to God. (See Rev. 11:18; 15:4; 16:5,7; 19:2.) The reason is that this final judgment is the long-delayed answer to the cry of those who during the ages of the reign of evil have cried for vindication.
The judgment around the great white throne is the final adjustment before the universe, the moral balance of everyone including Satan.
This final judgment, as typified by the closing act of the Day of Atonement and pictured in Revelation 20, is not concerned primarily with the redeemed. It is the final working out of sin and righteousness in the history of the controversy. God's righteousness and holiness have moved forward irresistibly to ultimate triumph.
Nothing has so exercised the mind and the workings of the Godhead as the vindication of God's character before the universe. That will be done on a public, universal scale. Without this final judgment that magnifies God, no true end to sin can be realized. God's creatures throughout the heavens and on the earth, both saved and lost, will voluntarily acknowledge the righteousness of God. God and His government will have priority in the outcome of this controversy. He will not rest until this is accomplished.
This is the eschatological moment to which the Day of Atonement pointed, the final confrontation between Christ and Satan.
How can we be sure that righteousness will triumph over sin unless this judgment guarantees the triumph of a righteous God? The truth about the character of God will come home to saint and to sinner alike. This is the climax in the age long controversy that is decisive for eternity in favor of the God of heaven.
This will be the occasion for universal praise and rejoicing, for sin shall never rise again. For six thousand years the universe has witnessed the action of a loving, patient God, not willing that any should perish. At long last, greater than all the workings of men in history, is an eternal verdict for God's righteousness.
The climactic triumph is not to the praise of men but to the universal praise of God. Here at last all roads converge around the New Jerusalem with all its triumphs and tragedies. Here is revealed the glorious future and eternal destiny of those who have followed Christ. The solution to the sin problem is now reality. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. From one end of the universe to the other there reigns eternal reconciliation.
The dramatic climax to the antitypical Day of Atonement is summed up by Ellen G. White as follows:
The aim of the great rebel has ever been to justify himself, and to prove the divine government responsible for the rebellion. To this end he has bent all the power of his giant intellect. . . . But the time has now come when the rebellion is to be finally defeated, and the history and character of Satan disclosed. In his last great effort to dethrone Christ, destroy His people, and take possession of the city of God, the arch-deceiver has been fully unmasked. Those who have united with him see the total failure of his cause. . . . He is the object of universal abhorrence. . . .
Every question of truth and error in the long-standing controversy has now been made plain. . . . The working out of Satan's rule in contrast with the government of God, has been presented to the whole universe. . . . God's wisdom, His justice, and His goodness stand fully vindicated. . . . With all the facts of the great controversy in view, the whole universe, both loyal and rebellious, with one accord declare, "Just and true are Thy ways, Thou King of saints.". . .
Notwithstanding . . . , (Satan's) character remains unchanged. . . . Filled with frenzy, he determines not to yield the great controversy. The time has come for a last desperate struggle against the King of heaven. He rushes into the midst of his subjects, and endeavors to inspire them with his own fury, and arouse them to instant battle. But of all the countless millions whom he has allured into rebellion, there are none now to acknowledge his supremacy. His power is at an end.The Great Controversy, pp. 670-672.
To get the total picture we recommend reading the entire last chapter, "The Controversy Ended," pages 662-678.
Men need a living faith today that will follow Christ in the sanctuary above, to believe each day in the grandest thing that can ever happen to us and to our worldGod's total victory over sin and Satan, a clear and joyous conviction that God's work in and from the heavenly sanctuary is now moving toward this final destiny, which is life eternal for us all.
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