THE HOLY PLACE.
Although there is no prophetic period pointing directly to the second coming of Christ, yet the means are not wanting to determine when he was due to leave the Holy Place, and about the time of his return to earth. But his leaving the Holy Place and his return to earth, are not necessarily due at the same time. On the other hand, there is evidence that considerable time intervenes between these events. In Acts 3: 21, we learn that "the heaven must receive him until the times of restitution of all things," which has been proven by the jubilees, to have begun April 6th, 1875; and we are now about to prove that he must have left the Holy Place on the tenth day of the seventh month, occurring October 22nd, 1874; or six months before the "times of restitution" began.
According to the law, (Lev. 16: 20, 30), the atonement must be made—that is, finished or completed—on the 10th day of the seventh month; and this occurred once every year, "But Christ is not entered into the holy place made with hands, the figure of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; nor yet that he should have offered himself often, as the high priest entered into the holy place every year with the blood of others; for then he must often have suffered, since the foundation of the world. But now, once in the end of the world [aion, or age] hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself; and unto them that look for him, [to no one else], shall be appear the second time without sin unto salvation," (Heb. 9: 24-28).
Here, as well as elsewhere, the apostle clearly shows that Christ has been filling this feature of the law, and the time, that is, the fact that the atonement must be made on the 10th day of the seventh month, is made more prominent in the law, than is any other feature of the atonement. And for the high priest to have attempted it on any other than the 10th day of the seventh month, would have been death to him. Hence, this "jot," or rather this prominent feature, must be fulfilled. The events at the first advent, the suffering of Christ on the exact time for the slaying of the lamb; the resurrection and the counting off of the fifty days to the Pentecost before the Holy Spirit was sent, all prove that the element of Time is as carefully observed in the fulfillment of the law, as is any other part.
Whether Christ entered into the Holy Place on the 10th day of the seventh month, we have no means of knowing. His resur-
rection and ascension, at which time he entered into the "tabernacle not made with hands," was in the spring. But in the pattern of the true, "there was a tabernacle made; the first wherein there was a candlestick, and the table and the shew-bread,which is called the sanctuary. And after the second vail the tabernacle, which is called the holiest of all," (Heb. 9: 2, 3). And whether Christ entered into the second, and holiest of all, before the 10th day of the seventh month, we have no means of knowing, only for the high priest to have done so, would have broken the law. But whether Christ entered in on the 10th day of the seventh month or not, entering in, is not making the atonement, which from the following, appears to mean finishing it: "And there shall be no man in the tabernacle of the congregation when he goeth in to make the atonement in the holy place, until he come out, and have made the atonement," (Lev. 16: 17). Hence, according to the law, not one jot of which can fail, Christ must complete the atonement and come out on the 10th day of the seventh month. And the one occurring October 22, 1874, was the last one prior to the beginning of the "times of restitution," when the heaven could no longer retain him. But there is another line of prophecy, making the resurrection also due, to have commenced in the spring of 1875, some fifty days before the "times of restitution" began; from all of which evidence, we are compelled to believe that Christ left the Holy Place, on the 10th day of the seventh month occurring in October, 1874.
But, as before remarked, his coming out of the Holy Place, and his return to earth, may not be immediately related. He ascended to heaven in the spring, and yet, according to the law he should not have entered the Holy Place, that is, the tabernacle, beyond the second vail, until the set time, and would therefore wait from spring to autumn. So now his coming out of the "holiest of all" was due in the autumn of 1874, while his return to earth was not due until the following spring.
In dealing with these lofty subjects it becomes us to walk carefully, and make no statements beyond what is written, for we are treading on holy ground. Nevertheless, "he that hath my words, let him speak my words" for when God sets watchmen on the walls of Zion they must not hold their peace.
When claiming that Christ has come the second time, we do not wish to be understood as claiming that he is here walking the earth in an earthly body; indeed there is no proof that he comes to the earth at all, until he comes "with all his saints,"
at the battle of the great day; and then "his feet shall stand upon the mount of Olives." But, on the other hand, we do not wish to be understood as claiming that he has come only in a spiritual sense. He has never left the earth in a spiritual sense, "Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the world." "Where two or three are met together in my name, there am I, in their midst," But we wish to be understood as claiming, from clear Scripture evidence, that he has come in a spiritual body, to his church, who are to be made like him; as literally as he came the first time in a body of flesh, to Israel in the flesh; and that the gospel dispensation is as truly ending, as was the Jewish dispensation, at his first advent. The coming of the "day of the the Lord," and Christ's coming to the mount of Olives, are not the same. The day of the Lord comes, when men are saying "peace and safety;" but when Christ comes to the earth, it is at the time all nations are assembled against Jerusalem to battle.
There was nearly a parallel case of a spiritual being, having a work to do, and remaining on earth for years, at the restitution of the Jewish church from Babylon, and Christ is now about to take his people out of "Babylon." Read the account as given in Dan. 10: and being a prophet, and God designing to record the circumstance, Daniel was permitted to see him. "Then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold, a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz. His body was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in color to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude. And I, Daniel, alone saw the vision; for the men that were with me saw not the vision, but a great quaking fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves. . . And there remained no strength in me, for my comeliness was turned in me into corruption. . . . And he said unto me, Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days; but lo, Michael, one of the chief princes came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia," Again Daniel looses his strength. "And there came again and touched me, like the appearance of a man, and he strengthened me; and said, 0, man greatly beloved, fear not; be strong, yea, be strong. And when he had spoken unto me, I was strengthened. Then said he, knowest thou [or thou knowest] wherefore I come unto thee? And
now will I return to fight with the prince of Persia. And there are none that holdeth with me in these things but Michael, your prince. Also I in the first year of Darius, the Mede, even I stood to confirm and to strengthen him."
In order to get a clear idea of the state of things, I will observe that this revelation was made to Daniel in "the third year of Cyrus, king of Persia," (verse 1). That Darius, the Mede, was the father-in-law of Cyrus, and had reigned two years before Cyrus took the throne: hence, this glorious personage before whom Daniel had continually to be strengthened, in order to retain the power to stand, was with Darius five years before; he was also with Cyrus, who withstood him one and twenty days; and after making a revelation to Daniel, he returns to fight with the prince of Persia; and Michael, "the archangel," was his only attendant. Read the description of Christ, "he who was dead, and is alive for ever more," as John saw him. (Rev. 1: 12), and you can hardly fail of recognizing the same personage here. He laid aside his glory when he took upon himself the form of a servant and became flesh; but when he had conquered death, he took upon him the glory he had with the Father "before the world was." Hence, Daniel and John both saw him; and the apostle could say, "Yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, henceforth know we him no more," But how did he fight with Cyrus, and how did Cyrus withstand him so long? Let God be his own interpreter: "Now in the first year of Cyrus, king of Persia, that the word of the Lord spoken by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus, king of Persia, that he made a proclamation," concerning the return of Israel from Babylon, (2 Chron. 36: 22). Cyrus must be subdued to the will of God; the prophet had said that he shall let Israel go, and God had to bend his will until he was in harmony with that prophecy. And man, being a free agent, has the will-power to withstand everything but the infinite. This, I apprehend, was the fighting that was done. "The wrath of man shall praise him, and the remainder he will restrain." But that Cyrus or Darius, saw that glorious personage, and openly and boldly withstood him until assistance came from Michael, the archangel; when Daniel falls as dead before his presence, even when on a mission of peace, of course no one could believe. Spiritual beings are not visible to men in the flesh without a special revelation. Hence, there is not the slightest scriptural ground to oppose the fact that Christ is again present, and that Michael, his assistant, has also again returned to earth. The
"time of trouble," is already begun; the times of restitution also have commenced; and again Babylon is to be withstood, and "come out of her, my people," to be accomplished; "and at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince that standeth for thy [Daniel's] people; and there shall be a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation; and at that time thy people shall be delivered, and many that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake," (Dan. 12: 1).
We are clearly in the midst of these great changes, and why men will let prejudice stand in the way of their investigation would seem wonderful, if we did not know that no man can come except the Spirit draw him, and that "the wicked shall do wickedly, and none of the wicked shall understand."
During his stay on earth, that forty days after his resurrection, his whereabouts, except at the few brief interviews with his disciples, was as unknown as at the present time; and when he did appear to them, I understand that he appeared under the vail of flesh. But that now he has no occasion to thus appear; then he did appear in the secret chamber, "the doors being shut;" and in the wilderness of Galilee, but now "if they shall say unto you, behold, he is in the desert, go not forth; behold, he is in the secret chamber, believe it not, for as the lightning, so shall the Son of man be," &c. Nor is there any evidence that we shall see him, until we are like him, and "see him as he is."