Magazine Article

Preparation for the End

Arthur Grosvenor Daniells
Preparation for the End
Painting, artist's name on bottom left

This month features excerpts from an article from November 12, 1914, in the Advent Review and Sabbath Herald in which A. G. Daniells highlights the call to repentance in light of the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary and soon return of Christ.—Editors.

Repent ye; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matt. 3:2.* This is the statement with which John the Baptist began his message, as the herald and forerunner of Christ at His first advent. It is also the message proclaimed by Jesus as He entered upon His public ministry among men. Matt. 4:17.

That message was full of meaning to the generation then living. An important prophetic period had terminated, a great event had transpired, a new era had begun. . . .

The Time

John began the proclamation of the message “Repent ye; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” at the close of the prophetic period of 483 years. That was the first part of that long line of prophecy covering 2,300 years as recorded and explained in the prophecy of the eighth and ninth chapters of Daniel. The beginning of this prophetic time was to date from the “going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem.” Dan. 9:25. . . . In 483 years from that date [457 B.C.] Christ, the Messiah, was to be baptized and enter upon His ministry. Four hundred and eighty-three years from 457 B.C. reach to A.D. 27. In that year Jesus came from “Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.” Matt. 3:13. As John saw Him coming, he said to the people, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” John 1:29. The “fullness of time” had come, Jesus was in their midst, the kingdom of heaven was at hand.

A Great Event

The presence of the Son of God as a man among men in this world was a great event—the greatest since Creation. It was that event of which patriarchs and prophets had prophesied with joyful hearts, and to which they had all looked with longing eyes. He had come to live and die for the world. By his death salvation would be made possible for every sinner. . . . He was victorious. At the close of His triumphant life He said to His Father, “I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.” And at the last, when expiring on the cross, Jesus cried, “It is finished.” . . . Truly this was the greatest event that had ever taken place among men. . . .

Our Time

The first advent of Christ, which took place at the close of the 483 years, was but one of a number of events set forth and connected together by that long prophetic period covering two thousand three hundred years. The last event of that period is given as follows: “Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.”

The prophecy began, as already shown, 457 B.C. The first 483 years of the time ended in A.D. 27, when Christ was baptized. Taking 483 years from 2,300, we have left 1,817. Adding these to A.D. 27, we are brought to A.D. 1844. “Then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” Thus we are brought by this long line of prophecy to our day and generation for the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary.

Just what the cleansing of the sanctuary signifies may be learned by a careful study of the earthly sanctuary and its services, as set forth in the books of Exodus and Leviticus. The sixteenth chapter of Leviticus contains the instruction given to the priests for the cleansing of the sanctuary. This service was to be performed on the tenth day of the seventh month. Lev. 16:29. That day was named the day of atonement. Lev. 23:27, 28. The atonement was made because of the “uncleanness of the children of Israel.” Lev. 16:19. It was also to cleanse the people: “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. . . . The earthly sanctuary with all its service was typical of the heavenly sanctuary and its service. There Christ, our High Priest, ministers His life for the world. There He bears the sins of all who come to Him seeking forgiveness and cleansing. That sanctuary will be cleansed in the antitypical day of atonement. Then the great High Priest of the heavenly sanctuary, who bears the sins of all who accept Him as their Savior and remain steadfast to the end, will lay these sins on Satan, the antitype of the scapegoat. Satan’s destruction will be the end of those sins.

Thus the sanctuary will be cleansed. It is evident that the cleansing of the sanctuary involves a work of judgment. Only the sins of those who accept Christ are transferred to Him in the sanctuary. Therefore only those sins can be removed from the sanctuary. For this reason complete and final atonement can be made for those only who yield themselves wholly to the Saviour, giving to Him their sins, and receiving in their place His perfect righteousness.

This is where the work of judgment so definitely set forth in the Scriptures comes in. Whose sins shall be removed from the sanctuary and blotted out must be determined by the record found in the books. The investigation and decision and execution constitute the judgment. Hence the atonement, the cleansing of the sanctuary, and the judgment are inseparably connected, if not practically one. They begin at the same time, namely, at the close of the 2,300 years in 1844, but the exact time when this judgment work ceases in heaven is not made known. . . .

The two events surpassing all others foretold in the prophecies are the first advent of Christ and His return as King to establish His everlasting kingdom. At the first advent the message was given, “Repent ye; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” The time that has elapsed and the events that have transpired since the first advent have brought the kingdom of heaven much nearer than it was when John proclaimed it near. That message must, therefore, be correspondingly more applicable and full of meaning today than in John’s day. If men needed the message of John and Jesus then, how much more do we need it today! . . .

Repentance lies at the very beginning of true Christian experience. It is genuine sorrow for the sins of our lives, which have injured us and others, and grieved and dishonored our Lord. It is sorrow that leads to the confession and renunciation of sin. And more still, it is sorrow that leads to amendment of life, to the bearing of the fruits of righteousness. It leads to honesty in all the relationships of life toward both God and man. . . .

Of all people in the world, Seventh-day
Adventists should have a full realization of the terrible character of sin, and experience that true repentance and godly sorrow that mean complete separation from it forever. When we think how Jesus, our great High Priest, sweat great drops of blood in Gethsemane for us, striving against sin, it should cause us to abhor it in all its hideousness, and pray most earnestly to be forever delivered from it.

The end is upon us. . . .

Brother, sister, are you ready for it? “Repent ye; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

* A. G. Daniells, “Preparation for the End,” Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, Nov. 12, 1914, pp. 6-8.

Arthur Grosvenor Daniells

Arthur Grosvenor (A. G.) Daniells was the longest serving president of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, serving from 1901 to 1922.