Built Upon the Rock
by E.H. ‘Jack’ Sequeira

Appendix B:  The Significance of 1844, Part Two

Having laid the foundation for the true significance of Daniel 8:14, we can now study it exegetically — point by point.  To establish the right context, we will begin with an overview of the version the angel Gabriel gave Daniel in Chapter 8.

In this version, Daniel sees four major symbols.  The first is a ram:

Daniel 8:3-4
I looked up, and there before me was a ram with two horns, standing beside the canal, and the horns were long.  One of the horns was longer than the other but grew up later.  I watched the ram as it charged toward the west and the north and the south.  No animal could stand against it, and none could rescue from its power.  It did as it pleased and became great.

This symbol is identified as the kingdom of Medo-Persia:

Daniel 8:20
The two-horned ram that you saw represents the kings of Media and Persia.

The second symbol is a he-goat, with one horn.  The horn is broken off and replaced with four other horns:

Daniel 8:5-8
As I was thinking about this, suddenly a goat with a prominent horn between its eyes came from the west, crossing the whole earth without touching the ground.  It came toward the two-horned ram I had seen standing beside the canal and charged at it in great rage.  I saw it attack the ram furiously, striking the ram and shattering its two horns.  The ram was powerless to stand against it; the goat knocked it to the ground and trampled on it, and none could rescue the ram from its power.  The goat became very great, but at the height of its power the large horn was broken off, and in its place four prominent horns grew up toward the four winds of heaven.

According to verses 21 and 22, this symbol represented the kingdom of Greece, which split into four kingdoms after the death of Alexander the Great, the one horn:

Daniel 8:21-22
The shaggy goat is the king of Greece, and the large horn between its eyes is the first king.  The four horns that replaced the one that was broken off represent four kingdoms that will emerge from his nation but will not have the same power.

The third symbol, the one linked with Daniel 8:14, describes a little horn coming out of one of these four kingdoms, but which “grew exceedingly great towards the south, toward the east, and toward the Glorious Land.  He even exalted himself as high as the Prince of the host (Christ) and he cast truth down to the ground.  He did all this and prospered” (Daniel 8:9-12).

Daniel 8:9-12
Out of one of them came another horn, which started small but grew in power to the south and to the east and toward the Beautiful Land.  It grew until it reached the host of the heavens [Christ], and it threw some of the starry host down to the earth and trampled on them.  It set itself up to be as great as the commander of the army of the Lord; it took away the daily sacrifice from the Lord, and his sanctuary was thrown down.  Because of rebellion, the Lord’s people and the daily sacrifice were given over to it.  It prospered in everything it did, and truth was thrown to the ground.

Clearly from this description and from Gabriel’s interpretation, in verses 23-25, the little horn is more than a political power (i.e. the Roman Empire).  It also has ecclesiastical power to cast down the Sanctuary truth to the ground and to prosper in the midst of doing so (verse 12).

Daniel 8:23-25
“In the latter part of their reign, when rebels have become completely wicked, a fierce-looking king, a master of intrigue, will arise.  He will become very strong, but not by his own power.  He will cause astounding devastation and will succeed in whatever he does.  He will destroy those who are mighty, the holy people.  He will cause deceit to prosper, and he will consider himself superior.  When they feel secure, he will destroy many and take his stand against the Prince of princes.  Yet he will be destroyed, but not by human power.”

As we already saw in Chapter 21, the earthly Sanctuary was God’s visual aid of the entire Plan of Salvation, of Christ’s earthly mission, as well as His priestly ministry in the heavenly Sanctuary.  According to the prophecy of Daniel 8:12, the little horn power is successful in perverting the truth as it is in Christ, His earthly mission, as well as His heavenly ministry as High Priest.

Daniel 8:12
Because of rebellion, the Lord’s people and the daily sacrifice were given over to it.  It prospered in everything it did, and truth was thrown to the ground.

This was accomplished by substituting the all-sufficient single sacrifice of Christ on the cross with the Mass, a daily, bloodless sacrifice.  The little-horn power also substituted a human priesthood on earth, in place of Christ’s heavenly ministry.

The Reformers of the 16th Century were absolutely correct in identifying this little-horn power with the Papacy, or Papal Rome.  The Papacy (Magisterium, or teaching church) must not be confused with the lay members of the Roman Catholic Church.

It is in this context that we must interpret the fourth symbol, the 2,300 days.  According to Daniel 8:13, the question is raised by a holy one:

Daniel 8:13
Then I heard a holy one speaking, and another holy one said to him, “How long will it take for the vision to be fulfilled — the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, the rebellion that causes desolation, the surrender of the sanctuary and the trampling underfoot of the Lord’s people?”

The little horn is an ecclesiastical power that came out of pagan Rome, after the ascension of Christ.  Therefore, the Sanctuary truth that it cast to the ground is not the earthly Sanctuary, but Christ’s earthly mission (the objective gospel), as well as his heavenly ministry — the fulfillment of the Old Testament Sanctuary.

So the question of verse 13 could be expressed this way:  “God, how long are You going to allow this ecclesiastical power to continue to pervert the gospel, the truth as it is in Christ and Him crucified, and His heavenly ministry?”

God’s answer came back through another holy one, saying words to this effect:  “For two thousand three hundred days; then the Sanctuary [the gospel truth and Christ’s heavenly ministry] shall be cleansed [Hebrew “tsadaq”:  vindicated, put right, restored]”:

Daniel 8:14
He said to me, “It will take 2,300 evenings and mornings; then the sanctuary will be reconsecrated.”

But did Daniel understand God’s meaning?  As one reads the final verses of Daniel 8, along with Daniel’s prayer, recorded in Chapter 9, the answer is a definite “No!”  At the time Daniel received the vision of Daniel 8, the earthly Sanctuary in Jerusalem was lying in ruins.  This was Daniel’s concern.  We will see this when we come to Chapter 9, where Daniel is given the interpretation of the words of Chapter 8, verse 14.

While the angel Gabriel interpreted the meaning of the first three symbols of Chapter 8, all that Daniel was told concerning the fourth symbol, the 2,300 days, was:

Daniel 8:26
“The vision of the evenings and mornings [i.e., Daniel 8:14] that has been given you is true, but seal up the vision, for it concerns the distant future.”

Because Daniel understood the cleansing or restoration of the Sanctuary to mean the restoration of the earthly Temple in Jerusalem, this statement devastated him:

Daniel 8:27
I, Daniel, was worn out.  I lay exhausted for several days.  Then I got up and went about the king’s business.  I was appalled by the vision; it was beyond understanding.

The fact that the earthly Sanctuary in Jerusalem would be cleansed, put right, or restored in the distant future was more than Daniel could bear.  Why so long?  According to Jeremiah’s prophecy:

Daniel 9:2
...In the first year of his [Darius son of Xerxes] reign, I, Daniel, understood from the Scriptures, according to the word of the Lord given to Jeremiah the prophet, that the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years.

At the time Daniel received the vision recorded in Chapter 8, these 70 years were almost up.  But now it seemed to Daniel that God had changed His mind and postponed the restoration of Jerusalem and the earthly Sanctuary into the distant future.

In Daniel’s day, nations fought in the name of their gods.  When an army lost a war, it was seen as evidence that its god was weaker than the god of the victorious army.  Ever since the Babylonians had destroyed Jerusalem and its temple, the name of Daniel’s God had been cast to the ground.

It is this that concerns Daniel.  A careful examination of Daniel’s intercessory prayer, recorded in chapter 9, shows that his main burden is to see the city of Jerusalem and its temple restored.  Note especially:

Daniel 9:17-19
“Now, our God, hear the prayers and petitions of your servant.  For your sake, Lord, look with favor on your desolate sanctuary.  Give ear, our God, and hear; open your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears your Name.  We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy.  Lord, listen!  Lord, forgive!  Lord, hear and act!  For your sake, my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your Name.”

Apparently, Daniel understood the prophecy of Chapter 8:14 to mean that God had delayed the restoration of the earthly Sanctuary from 70 years of desolation to long into the future.

Daniel 9 Explains Daniel 8:14

Because of Daniel’s sincere prayer, God once again sends the angel Gabriel to visit the prophet, this time to explain the meaning of the prophecy of the 2,300 days of Chapter 8:14.  Daniel reports:

Daniel 9:21-22
...While I was still in prayer, Gabriel, the man I had seen in the earlier vision [Chapter 8], came to me in swift flight about the time of the evening sacrifice.  He instructed me and said to me, “Daniel, I have now come to give you insight and understanding.”

Since no vision is recorded in Chapter 9, the only vision the angel Gabriel can be referring to is the unexplained one of Chapter 8:14.  But God faces a problem.  As we saw earlier, the prophecy of Daniel 8:14 does not refer to the restoration of the earthly temple or the city of Jerusalem; it is referring to the restoration of the truth about the gospel and Christ’s heavenly ministry, perverted by the little horn.

In harmony with the great stone of Daniel 2 and the Investigative Judgment of Chapter 7 (these parallel with Chapter 8), the prophecy of Daniel 8:14 also deals with an end-time event.  So Daniel is told to “seal up the vision” since it has to do with “the distant future,” that is, the time of the end:

Daniel 8:26
“The vision of the evenings and mornings that has been given you is true, but seal up the vision, for it concerns the distant future.”

But how is God to explain to the prophet that the prophecy of Daniel 8:14 has nothing to do with the restoration of the earthly Sanctuary?  It would be more than Daniel could understand.  So God chooses not to explain; instead, He does what Jesus later did in Matthew 24, when His disciples linked the destruction of Jerusalem (which took place in 70 A.D.) with His still-future Second Coming:

Matthew 24:3
As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately.  “Tell us,” they said, “when will this [destruction of Jerusalem] happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”

Notice how Ellen G. White describes Christ’s reply to their question:

The Desire of Ages, Page 628 [Emphasis Added]
Christ’s words had been spoken in the hearing of a large number of people; but when He was alone, Peter, John, James, and Andrew came to Him as He sat upon the Mount of Olives.  “Tell us,” they said, “when shall these things be, and what shall be the sign of Thy coming, and of the end of the world?”  Jesus did not answer His disciples by taking up separately the destruction of Jerusalem and the great day of His coming.  He mingled the description of these two events.  Had He opened to His disciples future events as He beheld them, they would have been unable to endure the sight.  In mercy to them He blended the description of the two great crises, leaving the disciples to study out the meaning for themselves.  When He referred to the destruction of Jerusalem, His prophetic words reached beyond that event to the final conflagration in that day when the Lord shall rise out of His place to punish the world for their iniquity, when the earth shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.  This entire discourse was given, not for the disciples only, but for those who should live in the last scenes of this earth’s history.

Likewise, God combines details about the restoration of the earthly Sanctuary and the city of Jerusalem with the information about the restoration of the gospel truth and Christ’s heavenly ministry, which would take place after the 2,300 days were finished — that is, after 1844 A.D.:

Daniel 9:24
“Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the Most Holy Place.”

In other words, if the meaning of Daniel 8:14 is really explained in Daniel 9:24-27 [see below], as the angel Gabriel claimed he had come to do (Daniel 9:22), that explanation must be given a dual application for it to be valid, for the explanation found in Daniel 9:24-27 makes no mention of what will take place at the end of the 2,300 “days.”  It refers only to the 70 “weeks” set aside for the Jewish nation.  (We should not confuse this dual meaning with the multiple applications taught by Desmond Ford, which he calls the “apotelesmatic principle.”)

Thus, on the one hand, God satisfied Daniel’s concern regarding the restoration of the earthly Sanctuary, but, at the same time, outlines the restoration of the everlasting gospel truth and Christ’s heavenly ministry, after the 2,300 days are finished — in the distant future, from Daniel’s point of view.  Only by taking this dual approach do we find the explanation of Daniel 8:14 In Daniel 9:24-27.

The Five Events of Daniel 9:24-27

Daniel 9:24-27
“Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the Most Holy Place.  Know and understand this:  From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’  It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble.  After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be put to death and will have nothing.  The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary.  The end will come like a flood:  War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed.  He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’  In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering.  And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.”

In Daniel 9:24-27, the angel Gabriel informs Daniel of five key events that will take place in connection with the restoration of the earthly Sanctuary, culminating in the close of probation for Daniel’s people, the Jewish nation.  These five events are:

  1. The command to restore Jerusalem and the temple:

    Daniel 9:25
    “Know and understand this:  From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’  It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble.”
  2. The Jews would have to return to Israel from Babylon.  (This event is implied, since the command to restore Jerusalem could only be fulfilled by the return of the Jews from Babylon to Israel.)

  3. Having arrived in Israel, the Jews would rebuild and restore Jerusalem and the temple, both of which were lying in ruins.  This restoration, however, would take place in “troublesome times” [verse 25, above].

  4. Christ would confirm the covenant that the Sanctuary pointed to, the coming of the Messiah and Him crucified, the true Sanctuary:

    John 2:19-22
    Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”
    They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?”  But the temple he had spoken of was his body.  After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said.  Then they believed the scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.
    Hebrews 10:5-10
    Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said:  “Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased.  Then I said, ‘Here I am — it is written about me in the scroll — I have come to do your will, my God.’”
    First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them” — though they were offered in accordance with the law.  Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second.  And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

    This would take place during the last week of the predicted seventy weeks period:

    Daniel 9:27
    “He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’  In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering.  And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.”
  5. Daniel’s people, the Jewish nation, would commit the “abomination of desolation” by rejecting the Messiah and crucifying Him in the midst of the last week (verse 27).  Jesus Himself predicted that this would happen when He said:

    Matthew 23:38
    “Look, your house is left to you desolate.”

When Christ rose from the dead, He provided incontrovertible evidence of His Messiahship.  The book of the law, Deuteronomy, taught that a person hung on a tree (crucifixion was so regarded) was cursed by God with no hope of resurrection:

Acts 5:30; 10:39; 13:29
The God of our ancestors raised Jesus from the dead — whom you killed by hanging him on a cross.  ...We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem.  They killed him by hanging him on a cross....  When they had carried out all that was written about him, they took him down from the cross and laid him in a tomb.
Deuteronomy 21:22-23
If someone guilty of a capital offense is put to death and their body is exposed on a pole, you must not leave the body hanging on the pole overnight.  Be sure to bury it that same day, because anyone who is hung on a pole is under God’s curse.  You must not desecrate the land the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance.
Galatians 3:13
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written:  “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.”

But when Christ rose from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, there could no longer be any question of His Messianic role or authority.

Romans 6:4
We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
Ephesians 1:19-20
...And his [God’s] incomparably great power for us who believe.  That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms

The rulers had asked Him by what authority He cleansed the temple:

John 2:13-22
When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem.  In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money.  So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables.  To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here!  Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!”  His disciples remembered that it is written:  “Zeal for your house will consume me.”
The Jews then responded to him, “What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?”
Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”
They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?”  But the temple he had spoken of was his body.  After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said.  Then they believed the scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.

This was the final answer.  Any rejection of Jesus Christ from that point onward was deliberate and unambiguous.  The stoning of Stephen confirmed the Jewish leaders’ unalterable decision to reject Jesus:

Acts 7:44-60
“Our ancestors had the tabernacle of the covenant law with them in the wilderness.  It had been made as God directed Moses, according to the pattern he had seen.  After receiving the tabernacle, our ancestors under Joshua brought it with them when they took the land from the nations God drove out before them.  It remained in the land until the time of David, who enjoyed God’s favor and asked that he might provide a dwelling place for the God of Jacob.  But it was Solomon who built a house for him.
“However, the Most High does not live in houses made by human hands.  As the prophet says:  ‘Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool.  What kind of house will you build for me? says the Lord.  Or where will my resting place be?  Has not my hand made all these things?’
“You stiff-necked people!  Your hearts and ears are still uncircumcised.  You are just like your ancestors:  You always resist the Holy Spirit!  Was there ever a prophet your ancestors did not persecute?  They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One.  And now you have betrayed and murdered him — you who have received the law that was given through angels but have not obeyed it.”

This was Judea’s unpardonable sin, “the abomination of desolation”:

Matthew 24:15
“So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel — let the reader understand —....
Matthew 23:37-38
“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.  Look, your house is left to you desolate.”
Daniel 8:13, 9:26
Then I heard a holy one speaking, and another holy one said to him, “How long will it take for the vision to be fulfilled — the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, the rebellion that causes desolation, the surrender of the sanctuary and the trampling underfoot of the Lord’s people?”  ...After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be put to death and will have nothing.  The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary.  The end will come like a flood:  War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed.

The Second Application of the Five Events

If these five events explain Daniel 8:14, how do they provide an outline for the restoration of the everlasting gospel and Christ’s heavenly ministry since 1844, after the close of the 2,300 days?  [In the original, Daniel 8:14 actually reads “unto two thousand and three hundred evening and morning (singular),” then the Sanctuary will be cleansed.  Since the Day of Atonement was conducted once a year, the 2,300th Day of Atonement would be equivalent to 2,300 years, just as my 70th birthday marks the day I complete 70 years of life.]

  1. The first event has to do with a command to restore, or put right, the Sanctuary.  In this case, it refers to the restoration and proclamation of the gospel truth and Christ’s heavenly ministry (which has been perverted by the little-horn power).  This event happened after the Great Disappointment of 1844.  In Revelation 10:11, God commands this disappointed flock:

    Revelation 10:11
    Then I was told, “You must prophesy [proclaim] again about many peoples, nations, languages and kings.”

    This proclamation fulfills Matthew 24:14, the Three Angels’ Messages of Revelation 14, and the requirements of the everlasting gospel:

    Matthew 24:14
    And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
    Revelation 14:6-12
    Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth — to every nation, tribe, language and people.  He said in a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come.  Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.”
    A second angel followed and said, “‘Fallen!  Fallen is Babylon the Great,’ which made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries.”
    A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice:  “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives its mark on their forehead or on their hand, they, too, will drink the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath.  They will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb.  And the smoke of their torment will rise for ever and ever.  There will be no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image, or for anyone who receives the mark of its name.”  This calls for patient endurance on the part of the people of God who keep his commands and remain faithful to Jesus.
  2. For the everlasting gospel to be fully restored and proclaimed, God’s people must come out of spiritual Babylon.  Most Adventists equate the word “Babylon” with “confusion.” Although the word “Babylon” does sound like the Hebrew word for “confusion,” however, the root word for “Babylon” actually comes from two Semitic words joined together.  These two words are Bab, meaning “gate,” and el, meaning “God.”  When combined, these two words become the basis for the word Babylon and refer to man trying to reach the gate of God, or heaven, by his own strength, using artifices such as the Tower of Babel.

    Babylon clearly represents self-righteousness or legalism — elements of the Old Covenant.  Spiritual Babylon, then, has to do with all man-made religions based on salvation by human works.  The little horn of Daniel 8 had perverted the gospel by its teaching of salvation through infused grace, a subtle form of legalism.  It is this legalistic mentality that God’s people need to abandon.  Any form of legalism and salvation by works is a distortion of the true gospel — the truth as it is in Christ:

    Galatians 5:4
    You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.

    All through the New Testament, especially in Paul’s epistles, the formula of the gospel is always “Not I, but Christ”:

    Galatians 2:16, 19-20
    [We] know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ.  So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.  ...For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God.  I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.  The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
    Philippians 3:3-9
    For it is we who are the circumcision, we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh — though I myself have reasons for such confidence.  If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more:  circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless.  But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.  What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things.  I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ — the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.

    On the Day of Atonement, God’s Old-Testament people were required to do two things:  If they were to be vindicated in the judgment, by their High Priest, they were to deny self or “afflict their souls,” and, second, keep the Day of Atonement as a solemn day of Sabbath rest:

    Leviticus 16:29-34
    “This is to be a lasting ordinance for you:  On the tenth day of the seventh month you must deny yourselves and not do any work — whether native-born or a foreigner residing among you — because on this day atonement will be made for you, to cleanse you.  Then, before the Lord, you will be clean from all your sins.  It is a day of sabbath rest, and you must deny yourselves; it is a lasting ordinance.  The priest who is anointed and ordained to succeed his father as high priest is to make atonement.  He is to put on the sacred linen garments and make atonement for the Most Holy Place, for the tent of meeting and the altar, and for the priests and all the members of the community.  This is to be a lasting ordinance for you:  Atonement is to be made once a year for all the sins of the Israelites.”
    And it was done, as the Lord commanded Moses.
    Leviticus 23:26-32
    The Lord said to Moses, “The tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement.  Hold a sacred assembly and deny yourselves, and present a food offering to the Lord.  Do not do any work on that day, because it is the Day of Atonement, when atonement is made for you before the Lord your God.  Those who do not deny themselves on that day must be cut off from their people.  I will destroy from among their people anyone who does any work on that day.  You shall do no work at all.  This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live.  It is a day of sabbath rest for you, and you must deny yourselves.  From the evening of the ninth day of the month until the following evening you are to observe your sabbath.”

    These two requirements parallel that which the truth of the gospel asks of believers today — “Not I” (denying all forms of self-righteousness), “But Christ” (resting entirely in Christ’s righteousness):

    Galatians 2:19-20
    For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God.  I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.  The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
    Philippians 3:7-10
    But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.  What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things.  I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ — the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.  I want to know Christ — yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death....

    Only then can the great High Priest, Jesus Christ, vindicate them in the Investigative, or Pre-Advent Judgment, against the accusation of Satan:

    Revelation 12:10-11
    Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:  “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah.  For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.  They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.”

    In Daniel 4 we read these words, uttered by King Nebuchadnezzar:

    Daniel 4:30 [Emphasis Added]
    [King Nebuchadnezzar] said, “Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?”

    While the word was still in the king’s mouth, a voice fell from heaven:

    Daniel 4:31
    Even as the words were on his lips, a voice came from heaven, “This is what is decreed for you, King Nebuchadnezzar:  Your royal authority has been taken from you.”

    After spending seven years in the forest with the wild animals, eating grass without salad dressing, Nebuchadnezzar learned the hard way that a supreme God in heaven controls the affairs of men.  Only then did Nebuchadnezzar repent and become converted.

    But some years later, his great-grandson, Belshazzar, defied the God of heaven by desecrating the sacred vessels of the Sanctuary.  A divine hand then appeared and wrote his judgment sentence on the palace wall:

    Daniel 5:1-6
    King Belshazzar gave a great banquet for a thousand of his nobles and drank wine with them.  While Belshazzar was drinking his wine, he gave orders to bring in the gold and silver goblets that Nebuchadnezzar his father had taken from the temple in Jerusalem, so that the king and his nobles, his wives and his concubines might drink from them.  So they brought in the gold goblets that had been taken from the temple of God in Jerusalem, and the king and his nobles, his wives and his concubines drank from them.  As they drank the wine, they praised the gods of gold and silver, of bronze, iron, wood and stone.
    Suddenly the fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the wall, near the lampstand in the royal palace.  The king watched the hand as it wrote.  His face turned pale and he was so frightened that his legs became weak and his knees were knocking.

    In interpreting this divine judgment to Belshazzar, Daniel first reviewed the history of Nebuchadnezzar, then said:

    Daniel 5:22
    “But you, Belshazzar, his son, have not humbled yourself, though you knew all this.”

    Belshazzar’s sin was deliberate and inexcusable.  He had reached the point of no return by committing the “abomination of desolation,” and, that very night, Babylon fell into the hands of Darius the Mede:

    Daniel 5:30-31
    That very night Belshazzar, king of the Babylonians, was slain, and Darius the Mede took over the kingdom, at the age of sixty-two.

    The fall of literal Babylon resulted from deliberate self-exaltation.  Likewise, spiritual Babylon stands for any religion that exalts the principle of self.  Any good deed the believer performs to enhance his chances of salvation is an act of spiritual fornication.  This is the sin of spiritual Babylon, and is still prevalent in Christianity today.  Many in the Seventh-day Adventist Church fall prey to its allure — and the rebuke is clear in the Laodicean message (see Revelation verse below) and admonitions penned by Ellen White.

    Revelation 3:17-19
    You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’  But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.  I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.  Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline.  So be earnest and repent.

    For a detailed study of the Laodicean message, read The Laodicean Message on this website.

    God raised up the Advent movement, out of the Great Disappointment of 1844, to restore the pure gospel of Christ our righteousness — this was His purpose.  The following quote bears repeating:

    Review and Herald, Extra, December 23, 1890 [Emphasis Added]
    As Christ’s ambassadors, they [God’s people] are to search the Scriptures, to seek the truths that have been hidden beneath the rubbish of error.  And every ray of light perceived is to be communicated to others.  And every ray of light received is to be communicated to others.  One interest will prevail, one subject will swallow up every other, Christ our righteousness.

    For this to truly happen, Ellen White writes that Adventist Laodiceans will have to cast their glory and self-righteousness to the ground:

    Testimonies to Ministers, Page 456
    What is justification by faith?  It is the work of God in laying the glory of man in the dust.

    Like the apostle Paul, we, too, must confess:

    Philippians 3:7-9
    But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.  What is more, I consider everything [self-righteousness, verses 3-6] a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things.  I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ — the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.
  3. In explaining the meaning of Daniel 8:14, Gabriel says that the restoration of Jerusalem and its temple will be finally accomplished in “troublesome times”:

    Daniel 9:25
    “Know and understand this:  From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’ It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble.”

    So it will be with the restoration of the everlasting gospel in our day.  I believe we are living in such a time.  After more than 160 years of existence as a church, Adventists must confess with shame that they are still not united in what constitutes the everlasting gospel of Revelation 14.

    The Adventist Church today is polarized.  The majority still proclaims an Arminian type of gospel, taught by Jacob Arminius, a contemporary of John Calvin.  This gospel limits salvation at the cross to a provisional, or potential, salvation, available after the sinner fulfills certain requirements — such as profession faith, repenting, and confessing past sins.  Only then is salvation a reality.  This is a form of legalism that has robbed many Adventists of the joy and assurance of salvation.

    Other Adventists are preaching a Galatian-type gospel, a mixture of faith-plus-works, or of grace-plus-law-keeping.  A third group, the liberals, are emphasizing the social gospel — another form of legalism.  Since the 1960s, the evangelical gospel has been introduced into Adventism.  While this gospel contains much truth, it limits the doctrine of righteousness by faith to justification only — it focuses primarily on man’s egocentric concerns without voicing the call to sanctification as the fruits of righteousness by faith.

    Finally, a few are desperately trying to restore the most precious message God brought to this church in 1888.  This message of righteousness by faith was identified by Ellen G. White with the Three Angels’ Messages of Revelation 14 (Testimonies to Ministers, p. 92).  This true gospel is to illuminate the world with the glory of Christ before the end comes.  This message, however, still receives some opposition, as it did in 1888.  Troublesome times continue in the God-given task to restore and proclaim the everlasting gospel to the world, with a loud cry.

  4. Just as the earthly Sanctuary and Jerusalem were eventually restored, so the true and complete gospel will be restored.  When this happens, the fourth angel of Revelation 18 will light up this world with the glory of Christ — His unconditional and self-emptying love.  According to this everlasting gospel, the entire human race has already been reconciled to God by the death of His Son:

    Romans 5:6-10
    You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.  Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die.  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this:  While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!  For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!
    2 Corinthians 5:18-21
    All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:  that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them.  And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.  We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.  We implore you on Christ’s behalf:  Be reconciled to God.  God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

    Since man’s part is only to receive this perfect gift through faith, there is no real excuse for anyone to be lost.  When this message reaches the ends of the earth, the end can come.  Jesus prophesied that this would be a final sign of His Coming:

    Matthew 24:14
    And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
  5. Unfortunately, while it is God’s desire that no one perish...

    2 Peter 3:9
    The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness.  Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

    ...the Gentile world as a whole will reject this good news of the gospel, just as the Jewish nation did.  This is the abomination that will cause this whole world to be made desolate at the Second Advent.  Thus, the history of the Jewish nation will be repeated in the Gentile world, and the prophecy of Daniel 8:14 will be ultimately fulfilled as explained by Gabriel:

    Daniel 9:24-27
    “Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the Most Holy Place.  Know and understand this:  From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’  It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble.  After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be put to death and will have nothing.  The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary.  The end will come like a flood:  War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed.  He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’  In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.”

    This, as I understand it, is the significance of 1844, and that is why we must consider this date as “the foundation and central pillar of the Advent faith” (The Great Controversy, Page 409).

  DANIEL 9:24-27 — THE TWO-FOLD APPLICATION OF THE 70 WEEKS — JEWS AND GENTILES  
1
Command to Restore
Jerusalem and Temple
(Daniel 9:24)
  5
Abomination That Will
Make Jerusalem Desolate
(Matthew 23:37-39)
457 BC ←———————— Time of the End — Jewish Dispensation ————————→ 34 AD
2
Come Out of Literal Babylon
3
Rebuilt & Restore Jerusalem & Temple
4
Christ Confirms Covenant
Come Out of Spiritual Babylon
(Revelation 18:1-8)
2
Restore & Proclaim Gospel
(Revelation 10:11; 14:6-12)
3
Church Confirms Gospel
(Matthew 24:14-15)
4
1844 AD ←————— Time of the End — Gentile Dispensation —————→ Probation Closes
Command to Restore
And Proclaim Gospel
(Revelation 10:7-11)
1
  Abomination That Will
Make Earth Desolate
5

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