When sailing through darkness and fog, it is very important for the navigator to have his bearings. Navigators tell us that the only true way of knowing one's whereabouts upon the ocean, is by the observation of heavenly bodies. Every day, if possible, the commander of a vessel, or one of his assistants, takes the position of the ship by the sun, using a nautical instrument known as the sextant. Other observations are made at various intervals. Sometimes observations as to the relative position of the ship are made by the log or by the number of revolutions of the engine.
In spiritual things, it is just as important that we know our bearings. In the darkness and fog, and in the apparent hopelessness into which the world has come through sin, it is imperative that we know of a certainty just where we are on the great sea of life. God has given us light, from heaven. We can know where we are only as we take observation through the great Sun of Righteousness and through the chart He has given us—the sure word of prophecy, which shines as a light in a dark place.
And what do we have that is more assuring in the darkness of modern doubt, infidelity, evolution, fables, tottering creeds, changing faiths, and general apostasy than the great guiding sanctuary truth, with its twenty-three hundred years as a measuring rod? The presentation of the old-time message in the setting of the sanctuary and the twenty-three hundred days always brings confidence and assurance to our people. In these days when every wind of doctrine is blowing, nothing is more essential to present to our congregations. These years mark off with precision the time when this great movement began, and give to every Bible student an assurance that is most heartening. The importance of these subjects is set forth thus by the servant of the Lord:
"I have seen the danger of the messengers' running off from the important points of present truth, to dwell upon subjects that are not calculated to unite the flock and sanctify the soul. Satan will here take every possible advantage to injure the cause. But such subjects as the sanctuary, in connection with the 2300 days, the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus, are perfectly calculated to explain the past advent movement and show what our present position is. establish the faith of the doubting, and give certainty to the glorious future. These, I have frequently seen, were the principal subjects on which the messengers should dwell."—Early Writings," p. 63.
"We are to be established in the faith in the light of the truth given us in our early experience. . , I know that the sanctuary question stands in righteousness and truth just as we have held it for so many years. It is the enemy that leads minds off on sidetracks."—"Gospel Workers," pp. 302, 303.
The world has lost its way. Leaders of all classes, including many of God's professed watchmen who should stand as guides to bewildered and storm-tossed souls, have no certain word to give as to our whereabouts on the great ocean of life. There is not enough assurance of the, nearness of the harbor before us, no warning of the dangers from rock, reef, or shoal that lies in the way. When people call with anxiety to the watchmen, asking "What of the night?" in many cases no definite, assuring answer is forthcoming. How different is the situation with those who knowthe sure word of prophecy. It is indeed "a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the Daystar arise in your hearts."