Gospel Issues in Adventism
by E.H. “Jack” Sequeira

#11 – The Significance of 1844 (Part 2)
(Daniel 9:24-27)

“Unto 2,300 days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.”

This scripture, wrote Ellen G. White, was the foundation and central pillar of the advent faith (Great Controversy, page 409). In the last study, I touched on the linguistic and contextual problem created by our traditional interpretation of this text and which has caused many in our midst to reject 1844.

However, as I mentioned in that study, 1844 is significant to our global mission, including [our missions at individual churches]. I trust this will become crystal clear in today’s study. In the last study, I laid the foundation to what I believe is the correct interpretation of Dan. 8:14. Today we will see why 1844 is significant to our global and local church mission.

But first a quick review to jog your memory. In order to come to a correct understanding of Dan. 8:14, we first looked at this verse in the context of the entire book of Daniel. In doing so, we discovered two things:

  1. That chapter 8 of Daniel belongs to the prophet section of this book, and

  2. That all the prophetic chapters of Daniel — especially chapters 2, 7, and 8 — use the principal of parallelism, i.e., they repeat or recapitulate world events.

Therefore, following the hermeneutic principal of parallelism or recapitulation, we discovered that the Great Stone of Dan. 2, the Judgment scene of Dan. 7, and the cleansing of the Sanctuary of Dan. 8 all belong to the Kingdom of God period. Each of these three symbols is introduced by the word “till” (in the original), indicating the end of all human kingdoms and the ushering of God’s everlasting kingdom.

Following this, we did an exegesis of chapter 8 itself. We discovered that, of the four symbols Daniel was shown in this vision, the first three were explained, but when it came to the fourth (i.e., Dan. 8:14), all that the prophet was told was that it is true but its meaning was to be sealed since it belonged to the distant future, confirming that the cleansing or vindication of the sanctuary is a last-day event, belonging to the kingdom of God [read Dan. 8:26].

However, this news was devastating to Daniel [look at verse 27]. Why did the prophet take this information so hard? The answer is found in chapter 9 of Daniel. After wresting with Dan. 8:14 for some 13 years, Daniel finally decided to plead with God in prayer [read Dan. 9:1-3].

To appreciate Daniel’s prayer and concern, keep in mind three facts:

  1. At the time that Daniel was given the vision of chapter 8, the earthly sanctuary and the city of Jerusalem were lying in ruins.

  2. In Daniel’s day, nations fought in the name of their gods. Therefore, the god of the victorious nation was considered superior to the god of the defeated nation. Since Babylon had defeated Israel and destroyed the city of Jerusalem and the temple, this implied that the god of Babylon was greater than Israel’s God. This was Daniel’s main concern.

  3. According to Jeremiah’s prophecy, a contemporary of Daniel, the desolation of the temple and the city would last only 70 years. This period was about to expire at the time Daniel was given the vision of chapter 8.

So when Daniel was told by Gabriel that the cleansing of the sanctuary would be accomplished in the distant future, he immediately concluded that God had changed His mind and postponed the restoration of the earthly temple and the city of Jerusalem. Note the plea of his prayer [read Dan. 9:17-19]. This created a problem for God. Why? Because, as we have already seen, the vision of Dan. 8:14 referred to the establishing of God’s kingdom on earth in the last days and not the restoration of the earthly sanctuary.

But since God did not want to disappoint His beloved prophet Daniel, He did what Christ did to the disciples when they linked the destruction of Jerusalem, which took place in 70 A.D., with His second coming, which is still future [read Matt. 23:37-24:3].

Going back to Daniel 9, please notice how God responded to the plea of Daniel’s prayer [read Dan. 9:20-23]. According to this statement, the angel Gabriel now comes to explain the unexplained part of the Dan. 8 vision, namely verse 14.

But when we read Gabriel’s explanation of Dan. 8:14 in Dan. 9:24-27, we discover that all Daniel is told is about the final probation period determined for his people Israel, i.e., 490 years [read verses 24-27]. Does this mean the real explanation of Dan. 8:14 was not really given? If so, then Gabriel lied, because he clearly stated in verse 22, “I have come to give you insight and understanding,” i.e., regarding Dan. 8:14.

However, God does not lie. Therefore, the only way we can resolve the problem is to give verses 24-27 of chapter 9 a dual application, just as we do with Matthew 24, the 490 years being the final probation period for the Jewish nation while the period following 2,300 days will be the final or last days for the Gentile world. According to Dan. 9:24-27, five events take place:

  1. The 490 years begins with a command to restore the temple and the city of Jerusalem [read verse 25a].

  2. For this command to be carried out, the Jews would have to come out of Babylon and return to Israel. This is implied.

  3. Next comes the actual restoration of the temple and city. However, note that this would be a difficult task because of troublous times [read verse 25b].

  4. Finally, during the last seven years of the 490-year period, the covenant promised through the sanctuary model would be confirmed: The Messiah would come. Keep in mind the sanctuary and its services were a visual aid of the plan of redemption in Christ [Ex. 25:8; Jn. 1:14; Jn. 2:18-22 (for context, read Jn. 2:12-16)]. Unfortunately, Israel would reject Him and this would bring the probation period for the Jewish nation to an end [read verse 26, 27].

  5. When the Jewish nation rejected Christ, after the miracle of the resurrection, they had committed the abomination of desolation (their rejection of Christ was deliberate and final). The evidence of this was the stoning of Stephen in 34 A.D. [read Acts 7:44-52].

Now, taking these five points which sums up Gabriel’s explanation of Dan. 8:14, we will apply the same five points to 1844 and the cleansing or reconsecration of the sanctuary truth, the true gospel the little horn cast to the ground and prospered:

  1. The command to re-proclaim the gospel truth was given in 1844. [Read Rev. 10:11 in context.] The only book of the Old Testament that was sealed till the time of the end was Daniel (Dan. 8:26; 12:4). For further support that 2,300 is equal to years, the “evening morning” is singular: the 2,300th Day of Atonement.

  2. For the above command to be carried out, God’s people will have to come out of spiritual Babylon [read Dan. 4:30].

  3. The restoration of the everlasting gospel will be realized, but through troublous times. That is where we are today.

  4. When the gospel is finally restored and proclaimed with a loud voice, Matt. 24:14 will be fulfilled. Thus the gospel covenant will be confirmed to the Gentile world. But Christ will be deliberately and finally rejected. This will be the abomination that will make this world desolate.

  5. The end of the world will come and God’s kingdom will be established.

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