Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. Jeremiah 6:16
The secret of the LORD is with them that fear Him; and He will show them His covenant. Psalm 25:14
Vol. 9, No. 3 Straight and Narrow March 2000
Prophecies of Daniel
Chapters 8 and 9
By Lynnford Beachy
Attacks upon the Adventist understanding of the prophecies of Daniel, especially chapters 8 and 9, began shortly after 1844 and have continued in one form or another for over 150 years. Recently this controversy about the accuracy of the Adventist interpretation of these chapters has been renewed. Shortly after becoming a Christian eight years ago I learned about the prophecies in Daniel and Revelation. However, I must admit that I had not really examined these prophecies thoroughly from the Bible to see if they were accurate. I had not been extremely interested in prophecy, focusing my attentions primarily on having a closer relationship with God. With this controversy over the correct understanding of these prophecies intensifying, I have been compelled to search the Bible to see if what I had been taught was accurate. I pray that you will do the same, for our beliefs must be founded upon the Bible.
I would like to share with you some of the things I found after a close examination of the Bible. Please take the time to read this and consider each point carefully. I pray that the Lord will richly bless you as you study these things out for yourself.
In the eighth chapter of Daniel is recorded a vision given to Daniel in which he beheld a ram, a he goat, and a little horn. We will examine this chapter, and while we are going through it we will take special notice of the Hebrew words Daniel chose to use in reference to his vision. Specifically, there are two different Hebrew words translated “vision” in chapters 8 and 9. Please note these Hebrew words which will be in brackets immediately following the word “vision.”
The Babylonians who had taken Daniel, along with many others, captive to Babylon, had destroyed Jerusalem, along with the temple. While Daniel was in Babylon yearning to return home he wrote, “In the third year of the reign of King Belshazzar a vision [Hebrew: chazown—Strong’s #2377] appeared unto me, even unto me Daniel, after that which appeared unto me at the first.” (Daniel 8:1) According to many historians this vision was given to Daniel in approximately 550 B.C. (See Bedford’s Scripture Chronology, page 710, as quoted in John Gill’s Expositor on Daniel 8:1; see also SDA Bible Commentary on Daniel 8:1.) We will note the significance of this date a little later in the study.
Daniel gives an account of his vision: “And I saw in a vision (chazown); and it came to pass, when I saw, that I was at Shushan in the palace, which is in the province of Elam; and I saw in a vision (chazown), and I was by the river of Ulai. Then I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and, behold, there stood before the river a ram which had two horns: and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher came up last. I saw the ram pushing westward, and northward, and southward; so that no beasts might stand before him, neither was there any that could deliver out of his hand; but he did according to his will, and became great.” (Daniel 8:2-4) What Daniel saw he described as a “vision” (chazown).
In this vision, the first thing he saw was a ram with two horns. This ram is said to be great. There is no need for us to be in doubt as to the meaning of the symbolism here. The angel Gabriel explained this to Daniel. He said, “The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia.” (Daniel 8:20) Daniel was shown that very soon the kings of Media and Persia would overthrow Babylon.
The He Goat
Daniel continues, “And as I was considering, behold, an he goat came from the west on the face of the whole earth, and touched not the ground: and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes. And he came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing before the river, and ran unto him in the fury of his power. And I saw him come close unto the ram, and he was moved with choler against him, and smote the ram, and brake his two horns: and there was no power in the ram to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground, and stamped upon him: and there was none that could deliver the ram out of his hand. Therefore the he goat waxed very great: and when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and for it came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven.” (Daniel 8:5-8) After Daniel beheld the great ram, he then saw a he goat that waxed very great.
Again, we can be sure what this he goat represented. Gabriel explained to Daniel, “And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king. Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power.” (Daniel 8:21, 22) Daniel was shown that the next kingdom to come to power would be the kingdom of Greece that would overthrow the kings of Media and Persia. This prophecy was fulfilled to the letter. The first king here referred to is Alexander the Great. With Alexander as the king of Greece the kingdom enjoyed its greatness. “Alexander was one of the greatest generals of all time, noted for his brilliance as a tactician and troop leader and for the rapidity with which he could traverse great expanses of territory.” (Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia 2000 - article, “Alexander the Great”) After Alexander’s death the kingdom of Greece was divided into the hands of four of his generals. The kingdom weakened, never to regain its former power.
The Little Horn
Daniel continues his account of the vision, “And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land.” (Daniel 8:9) Daniel saw a “little horn” coming out of one of the four “notable ones.” He says this little horn waxed exceeding great. Notice how Daniel describes each of these powers. The ram was great, the he goat was very great, and the little horn was exceeding great. Each one in succession was greater than the one before. Notice that the little horn could not possibly be referring to any of the succeeding kings of Greece, for none of them could be described as “exceeding great.” Alexander was called “very great,” and he was by far the greatest of the kings of Greece.
We must then look beyond the rulers of Greece for the fulfilling of this part of the prophecy. While Gabriel does not tell us exactly who the “little horn” is, he provides enough information so as to present the clear identity of the little horn. He said, “And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up. And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practice, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people.” (Daniel 8:23, 24)
When it says, “in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full,” it is saying that the end of Grecian dominance was at hand, because their sins had come to their full. God used this expression in the Bible to signify the downfall of a kingdom. Notice what God says about the Amorites, “the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.” (Genesis 15:16)
Gabriel described the little horn as “a king of fierce countenance.” God used very similar words referring to this same power when He inspired Moses to write, “The LORD shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flieth; a nation whose tongue thou shalt not understand; A nation of fierce countenance, which shall not regard the person of the old, nor shew favour to the young: And he shall eat the fruit of thy cattle, and the fruit of thy land, until thou be destroyed: which also shall not leave thee either corn, wine, or oil, or the increase of thy kine, or flocks of thy sheep, until he have destroyed thee. And he shall besiege thee in all thy gates, until thy high and fenced walls come down, wherein thou trustedst, throughout all thy land: and he shall besiege thee in all thy gates throughout all thy land, which the LORD thy God hath given thee.” (Deuteronomy 28:49-52)
This is a very accurate description of the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. when the walls were destroyed and the temple was cast down. The kingdom that destroyed Jerusalem at this time was none other than the Roman kingdom. This harmonizes very well with the other references to the little horn in the prophecies of Daniel.
Daniel saw what becomes of the little horn. He wrote, “And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them. Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down. And an host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practiced, and prospered.” (Daniel 8:10-12) Gabriel commented on this, “And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.” (Daniel 8:25)
Daniel’s vision takes us all the way to the end of time, as we know it, when this little horn will be “broken without hand;” not by human power but by the coming of the Lord, as Paul wrote he shall be destroyed by “the brightness of his coming.” (2 Thessalonians 2:8) Of this power Daniel wrote, “I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame.” (Daniel 7:11)
The Little Horn Magnifies Himself
This little horn is said to magnify himself “even to the prince of the host,” who is the Prince of “the host of heaven.” The Prince of the host is Christ Himself who is said to be the “captain of the host of the Lord.” (Joshua 5:14)
Further, it says in verse 11 that this little horn takes away the “daily,” and casts down the place of his sanctuary. (The word “sacrifice” is a supplied word and should not be in the text. In the Authorized Version, words are put in italics to show that they have been supplied by the translators.) Whose sanctuary is meant here? Obviously the sanctuary of the “prince of the host.” It also says that this little horn power will cast the truth to the ground. The work of this “little horn” is referred to as “the transgression of desolation” in the very next verse.
This prophecy could not possibly have reached its fulfillment during the reign of the he goat (Greece), for while Jesus was on earth He referred to that time as yet future when He said, “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)” (Matthew 24:15)
There is no doubt that the “little horn” spoken of here is referring to the Roman power. Since this vision takes us all the way to the second coming of Christ, this “little horn” must encompass not only the pagan Roman power but the papal Roman power as well.
When the verse says that the little horn takes away the daily and casts down the place of Christ’s sanctuary, this could not possibly be referring to the sanctuary on earth for Christ told us, just prior to His death, that it was yet future. Also, at the time of Christ’s death the daily sacrifices on earth became of no account and the earthly sanctuary could in no way be called His sanctuary. Further, the original Hebrew speaks nothing of sacrifices but merely says “daily,” literally meaning “continual.” Since the daily and the sanctuary are linked together here, it is reasonable to conclude that the daily has something to do with the sanctuary. Since the sanctuary on this earth cannot possibly be referred to here, it must have reference to the sanctuary in heaven where Christ is “A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.” (Hebrews 8:2) This little horn would seek to take away Christ’s continual work in the heavenly sanctuary. Has this been done?
Daniel Chapter 11
Daniel chapter 11 is an account of Gabriel explaining these things in more detail than was given in chapter 8. Gabriel spoke of this same “little horn” power in this way, “And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.” (Daniel 11:31)
Gabriel goes on to say of the little horn, “And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done. Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.” (Daniel 11:36, 37)
This has evident reference to the papacy. Notice what one commentator had to say about this.
“Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, &c. Of the apostles of Christ, from whom he pretends to descend, and whose successor he would be thought to be: ...though he would be thought to be his [Christ’s] vicar on earth; yet slights him, yea, opposes and acts contrary to him, in his offices of Prophet, Priest, and King, and therefore is rightly called antichrist:
“nor the desire of women; or ‘wives’ … not desirous of having wives, or enjoying women in lawful marriage; but forbidding his priests to marry, as is notoriously a tenet of antichrist, and foretold by the apostle, in agreement to this prophecy, 1 Timothy 4:3, otherwise, none more lustful or desirous of women in an unlawful way than the Romish priests:
“nor regard any god; either the true God, and his laws, or any god in a metaphorical sense, any king or potentate on earth; showing no respect to any authority, or to any laws, divine or human:
“for he shall magnify himself above all; above all gods, real or nominal, as in 2 Thessalonians 2:4.” (John Gill’s Expositor on Daniel 11:37)
Gabriel explained that this little horn power would not “regard the God of his fathers.” He goes on to say, “a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour... a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory.” (See Daniel 11:37-39) The Scriptures foretold that when the papacy arose to power it would reject the true God and honor a “strange god” in His place. Has this happened?
The Papacy Invents a False God
Prior to the papacy coming to full power she formulated a doctrine about God that was contrary to what Christ and His apostles taught. This “strange god” would come to be known as the Trinity. This doctrine was thrust upon the world with power. All those who rejected this “strange god” were threatened with persecution and even death. (For an in-depth study into the formulation of the Trinity doctrine, contact us and ask for the booklet entitled, The Formulation of the Doctrine of the Trinity.)
This new concept of God removed Christ as being the actual Son of God and distorted Christ’s work as our Mediator and High Priest. The Scriptures state, “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” (1 Timothy 2:5) The papacy says, “No, there is one God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. We need a mediator between God and us and if Christ is exactly equal with His Father we must also need a mediator between Christ and us.” Hence the papacy instituted Mary and dead saints as mediators between Christ and us.
As if that were not enough, the papacy then instituted her own priesthood to take the place of Christ ministering as our High Priest in heaven. In this way, the little horn successfully took away the daily and cast the place of Christ’s sanctuary and the truth to the ground, thus setting up the abomination of desolation. (For a more thorough study on how the papacy set up the abomination of desolation through the Trinity doctrine, contact us and request the May 1998 issue of Old Paths containing the study entitled “The Abomination of Desolation.”)
The 2300 Days
Immediately following Daniel’s vision of the ram, the he goat, and the little horn, he “heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision (chazown) concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot? And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days [literally evenings and mornings]; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” (Daniel 8:13, 14)
The papacy set up the abomination of desolation through the invention of their “strange god,” the Trinity. By this doctrine they hid the truth about Christ being the Son of God, and hence our Mediator. They cast down the truth about Christ ministering in the heavenly sanctuary as our High Priest, thereby taking away the daily and casting the place of His sanctuary to the ground. Daniel heard one saint asking, “How long shall be the vision (chazown) concerning” these things? Or as it reads in a more literal translation, “Till when is the vision of the continual...” (Young’s Literal Translation)
This saint wanted to know when these things would be over. Notice the saint was not asking how long from the beginning of the time when the daily would be taken away to the end of that time, but merely, until when would be the end of these things. Judging by the answer given, and looking elsewhere in Daniel, we can be sure that 2300 days were not given as the total length of time that the abomination of desolation would take place. We learn elsewhere that the total length of time of these things would be 1290 days (see Daniel 12:11), which is slightly more than half of the total 2300-day period. It is evident that the abomination of desolation, the taking away of the daily, and the casting down of the sanctuary does not last for the entire 2300-day period, but by the time the 2300 day period ends, the daily would be reinstated, the sanctuary would no longer be cast down, and the truth which the papacy cast down would be revealed to God’s people once again.
Since the papacy used their “strange god,” the Trinity, to accomplish the abomination of desolation, then by the time of the close of the 2300-day period there must be a message proclaimed revealing the truth about God, His Son, His sanctuary, and the continual ministry of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary. These are undeniable facts that must occur to fulfill this prophecy. If any of these things were left out, the 2300 days would not fit the context of the vision.
The Literal View
Some people try to place the fulfillment of the 2300 days back during the time of the kings of Greece. They claim that Antiochus Epiphanes fulfilled this prophecy by forbidding the daily sacrifices of the earthly sanctuary for three and half years. Antiochus Epiphanes could not have fulfilled this prophecy for several reasons.
1) The little horn is said to be exceeding great, while the first Grecian king, Alexander the Great, was merely said to be very great, and there were no greater Grecian kings than the first. Therefore there was never a king in the Grecian empire that could fulfill this prophecy. Antiochus Epiphanes could not even be considered very great, let alone exceeding great.
2) Jesus, nearly 200 years after the Grecian kingdom’s fall, predicted this abomination of desolation as yet future.
3) The 2300 days are inseparably linked to the 70 weeks of Daniel 9 which could not possibly have been fulfilled by Antiochus Epiphanes. (We will examine the 70 weeks more thoroughly a bit later in the study.)
When one examines the commentaries that have been written on Daniel 8:14 he will come away astounded at the confusion that exists on these verses. Some say that the 2300 days were literal days, which make up a little less than six and a half years and were fulfilled during the lifetime of Antiochus Epiphanes nearly 200 years before Christ. Others claim that the 2300 days are actually 2300 years that end in 1966 A.D. Still others claim that it may have ended in 1820 or 1821 A.D. (For an example of the confusion present among the Protestant world on this subject see Jamieson, Fausset, Brown Commentary, John Gill’s Expositor, 1599 Geneva Bible Footnotes on Daniel 8:14, etc..)
Chazown or Mar’eh
At the beginning of this study we noted that we would examine the two Hebrew words Daniel used for his vision in chapters 8 and 9. Here is where they become important. Daniel used the Hebrew word chazown every time thus far (up to verse 14) in his account of what he saw. Daniel continues, “And it came to pass, when I, even I Daniel, had seen the vision (chazown), and sought for the meaning, then, behold, there stood before me as the appearance of a man. And I heard a man’s voice between the banks of Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision (Hebrew: mar’eh—Strong’s #4758).” (Daniel 8:16)
Up until this point Daniel referred to his vision as a chazown. Now, someone (most likely Christ) commands Gabriel to “make this man to understand the vision (Hebrew: mar’eh). Why the sudden change? We will see shortly. Notice what happens next.
Daniel wrote, “So he [Gabriel] came near where I stood: and when he came, I was afraid, and fell upon my face: but he said unto me, Understand, O son of man: for at the time of the end shall be the vision (chazown).” (Daniel 8:17) This is very interesting. Gabriel was commanded to make Daniel understand the vision (mar’eh). But then Gabriel comes to Daniel and says, “Understand... the vision (chazown),” then he proceeds to explain to Daniel what each part of the vision means. We have already looked at Gabriel’s explanation of the ram, he goat, and little horn. When Gabriel comes to the end of the vision something happens. Right when it comes time for Gabriel to explain the 2300 days he stops short. All he says is, “And the vision (mar’eh) of the evening and the morning which was told is true.” And he goes on to say, “wherefore shut thou up the vision (chazown); for it shall be for many days.” (Daniel 8:26)
The next verse gives us a clue why Gabriel stopped short in his explanation. It says, “And I Daniel fainted, and was sick certain days; afterward I rose up, and did the king’s business; and I was astonished at the vision (mar’eh), but none understood it.” (Daniel 8:27) Daniel was not able to handle any more information at that time and Gabriel stopped short in his explanation. Gabriel had been commanded to make Daniel understand the vision (mar’eh), but all he was able to do before Daniel fainted was explain the vision (chazown). Gabriel thoroughly explained the first part of the vision, which both Daniel and Gabriel referred to as the chazown, but he didn’t get to explain to Daniel the mar’eh, which Christ had commanded him to explain. Notice that in each case where the Hebrew word mar’eh was used it had direct reference to the 2300-day prophecy portion of the vision, and each time the Hebrew word chazown was used it had direct reference to the vision of the ram, he goat, and little horn.
Daniel is Left Astonished
Daniel testified that he was astonished at the mar’eh and none, including himself, understood it. This could not possibly be referring to the portion of the vision concerning the ram, he goat, and little horn, because Gabriel had explained the meaning of them. The only part of the vision that was left unexplained was the 2300-day portion of the vision, otherwise known as the mar’eh. By the time Gabriel left, Daniel still did not understand the mar’eh. This is a sad testimony for Gabriel because Gabriel had been specifically commanded to make Daniel understand the mar’eh.
Daniel was left to ponder these thoughts for approximately 12 years before Gabriel again communicated with Daniel on these matters. (See Bedford’s Scripture Chronology, page 710, as quoted in John Gill’s Expositor on Daniel 9:1; see also SDA Bible Commentary on Daniel 8:1.) In approximately 538 B.C. Gabriel again appeared to Daniel, of which he wrote, “In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans; In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem. And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes.” (Daniel 9:1-3)
Daniel was a student of the Scriptures. For 12 years his mind had been contemplating on what the time prophecy of 2300 days could mean. To make certain Daniel understood that the 2300 days were not literally 6 1/3 years, and did not begin at the time the vision was given, God had Gabriel wait until more than seven years had transpired to come to Daniel again. Now Daniel engaged himself in the study of another time prophecy, which was recorded in the book of Jeremiah. The next sixteen verses record the prayer Daniel offered to God. Then Daniel wrote, “And whiles I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God for the holy mountain of my God; Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision (chazown) at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation. And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding. At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision (mar’eh).” (Daniel 9:20-23)
Gabriel Comes to Daniel Again
While Daniel is contemplating a time prophecy and praying, Gabriel came informing him that he was to give Daniel understanding. Gabriel had not yet accomplished what he had been commanded to do, to make Daniel understand the mar’eh. Gabriel had now come to Daniel for this very purpose. He goes on to say, “understand the matter, and consider the mar’eh.” Gabriel was not asking Daniel to consider a vision he was about to give him. No, no, for Gabriel did not give Daniel another vision at this time. He was asking Daniel to consider the vision he had already received some twelve years before, recorded in chapter 8. So what came into Daniel’s mind at that time? Did he immediately think of rams and goats and horns? Certainly not! That had already been explained to him. Daniel’s mind went back to the specific portion of the vision that was left unexplained, the 2300-day prophecy (the mar’eh). If Gabriel had expected Daniel to consider the ram, goat, and little horn, he would have said, consider the chazown, but he didn’t, he said, “consider the mar’eh.”
With Daniel’s mind stirred to consider the 2300-day prophecy, Gabriel immediately starts in with the words, “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people...” Gabriel does not begin expounding on rams, goats and horns, but begins with an explanation of time. If the 70 weeks of Daniel 9 do not have a direct connection to the 2300 days, then Gabriel failed in his mission. Gabriel had been commanded to make Daniel understand the mar’eh, which he had not done in the previous chapter. Gabriel reminds Daniel of the mar’eh (the 2300 days) and immediately begins expounding on time. This is not a new vision Gabriel is giving to Daniel, but merely an explanation of time. We will see this more clearly as we go on.
The Seventy Weeks
Gabriel said, “Seventy weeks are determined [literally: “cut off”] upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.” (Daniel 9:24) The Hebrew word that was translated here “determined” means, “Properly, to cut off; tropically, to divide; and so to determine, to decree.” (Gesenius’ Hebrew Lexicon) This is the only place in the Bible where this Hebrew word was used.
The angel Gabriel had asked Daniel to consider the 2300 days portion of his last vision, then he said, “Seventy weeks are cut off...” Cut off from what? Gabriel was here to fulfill his mission of making Daniel understand the 2300 days. It is evident that the 70 weeks are cut off from the 2300 days or else Gabriel’s explanation here would be useless to help Daniel understand the 2300 days. So it is clear that 70 weeks must occur sometime during the 2300-day prophecy. Further, for Gabriel to use the 70 weeks to help Daniel understand the 2300 days, these 70 weeks must be cut off from the beginning of the 2300 days or else it would not help Daniel to understand the 2300 days. Therefore, the 2300 days and the 70 weeks must begin at the same time. So if we can determine when the 70 weeks began and ended it is simple to determine when the 2300 days end.
The 2300 “days” must be understood to be 2300 literal years. The prophetic principle of a day of symbolic, prophetic time equaling a year of literal time, is a well known and established principle.
“This space of ‘seventy’ weeks is not to be understood of weeks of literal days; which is too short a time for the fulfillment of so many events as are mentioned; nor were they fulfilled within such a space of time; but of weeks of years, and make up four hundred and ninety years... this way of reckoning of years by days is not unusual in the sacred writings; see Genesis 29:27; Leviticus 25:8; Ezekiel 4:4, 5; Revelation 12:6; 13:5.” (John Gill’s Expositor on Daniel 9:24)
Referring to Gabriel’s words here, the 1599 Geneva Bible footnotes says, “He alludes to Jeremiah’s prophecy, who prophesied that their captivity would be seventy years: but now God’s mercy would exceed his judgment seven times as much, which would be 490 years, even until the coming of Christ...” (1599 Geneva Bible footnotes on Daniel 9:24)
From the context of what takes place during these seventy weeks, it is evident that this could not be referring to literal weeks of days, but must mean weeks of years, which would be 490 years. How can we know when these 490 years begin? Gabriel gives us the answer in the following verse, he said, “Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.” (Daniel 9:25)
Daniel was in Babylon while his homeland, Jerusalem, was in ruins. Gabriel informed Daniel that soon a commandment would go forth to “restore and to build Jerusalem.” Certainly Daniel was overjoyed at this news. Notice the beginning of these seventy weeks was not when Jerusalem would be rebuilt, but when the commandment would go forth for it to be rebuilt. Concerning this, one commentary reads, “The seventy weeks date thirteen years before the rebuilding of Jerusalem; for then the re-establishment of the theocracy began, namely, at the return of Ezra to Jerusalem, 457 B.C.” (Jamieson, Fausset, Brown Commentary on Daniel 9:24)
We learn of this in the seventh chapter of Ezra where it says, “This Ezra went up from Babylon; ...unto Jerusalem, in the seventh year of Artaxerxes the king. ...Now this is the copy of the letter that the king Artaxerxes gave unto Ezra the priest...” (Ezra 7:6-11) There had been two previous commands given to rebuild Jerusalem, but neither of them truly “went forth” nor accomplished the intended goal. Artaxerxes’ command was recorded verbatim by inspiration. No other decree carries such credentials! Of Artaxerxes’ command it could truly be said it “went forth.”
Artaxerxes began his reign in 464 B.C. “Artaxerxes I (reigned 464-424 B.C.)... Artaxerxes I showed favor to the Jews, issuing a decree allowing them to rebuild Jerusalem and restore the Temple...” (“Artaxerxes” Collier’s Encyclopedia, 1998 Edition) The seventh year of Artaxerxes’ reign was 457 B.C. According to Gabriel this is the date for the beginning of the 70 weeks or the 490-year period. This 70-week prophecy could not possibly be literal weeks of days, for this would only bring us down to 456 B.C., at which time nothing in history would validate the fulfilling of this prophecy. Moreover, Gabriel informs us that when 69 weeks are completed Messiah would come. This certainly did not happen in 456 B.C.
Putting it all Together
Those who lived prior to the death of Christ had one reference point to determine the beginning of the 70 weeks, which was the commandment to restore and rebuild Jerusalem. For those of us living after the death of Christ it is very easy to know when the 70 weeks began and ended because we have two reference points to go by, the death of Christ and the commandment to restore and rebuild Jerusalem. With this information let us examine this time prophecy by using a time-line
According to this prophecy the 70 weeks began in 457 B.C. when the commandment went forth to restore and to rebuild Jerusalem. Since these 70 weeks could not be referring to weeks of days, they must refer to weeks of years, which is not uncommon in the Bible. For example, consider the following verses:
“And thou shalt number seven sabbaths of years unto thee, seven times seven years; and the space of the seven sabbaths of years shall be unto thee forty and nine years.” (Leviticus 25:8)
“And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed thee each day for a year.” (Ezekiel 4:6)
“After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise.” (Numbers 14:34)
“And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.” (Revelation 12:6)
With this biblical precedent we can make sense of the 70-week time prophecy. It comprises a total of 490 years and began in 457 B.C., extending to 34 A.D. If you were to add 457 and 34 you would come up with the number 491. This is one year too many for the 490-year total. So how can I say that the 490 years ended in 34 A.D.? It has to be this way for the following reason.
The answer lies in the fact that there was no year zero (0) A.D. or B.C. The time shifts from 1 B.C. directly to 1 A.D. We will use the example of going from 5 B.C. to 5 A.D. If I wanted to know how many years transpired in this amount of time, and I were to simply add 5 plus 5 I would come up with the answer 10. I would think that ten years transpired. However, please take a look at the graph again. It simply went from 1 B.C. to 1 A.D. Now, looking at the time line and counting the number of years that transpired, you can see that it was actually only nine years that transpired from 5 B.C. to 5 A.D. So if I wanted to designate when 10 years were complete I would have to go all the way to 6 A.D.
The same is true when we consider the 490-year prophecy. Since this prophecy spans over the change from B.C. to A.D. we have to add one year to the A.D. portion to retain the correct number of years. Therefore, the completion of the 490-year period has to be in 34 A.D. Now the question is, what happened in 34 A.D. that would signify the completion of the 70 weeks, and did the Messiah come exactly as predicted in the prophecy? Let us take a few minutes to examine this.
The Coming of the Messiah
Gabriel told Daniel that first there would be 7 weeks, then 62 weeks, and then 1 week to make up a total of 70 weeks. When we translate this to years as it evidently must be, we see that first there was a 49-year period, which would take us down to 408 B.C. Next there was a 434-year period which would take us down to 27 A.D. Gabriel said, “Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks...” (Daniel 9:25) According to Gabriel, in this prophecy Messiah the Prince would come in exactly 27 A.D. Did this happen? Not if we assume that this was referring to the birth of Christ in Bethlehem. However, let us consider that at that time the coming of the Messiah was almost unknown to the world. Up until 27 A.D. Jesus was not known as the Messiah but merely as “the carpenter’s son.” (Matthew 13:55)
It was in 27 A.D. that Jesus was baptized in the river Jordan and was proclaimed to be, “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29) It was in 27 A.D. that Christ began His public ministry, and it was in this year that it could truly be said that the Messiah had come. Mark wrote, “Now after that [the baptism of Christ and his 40 days of fasting in the wilderness] John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.” (Mark 1:14, 15) What did Jesus mean when He said, “The time is fulfilled”?
One commentary says the following, “We should note that Jesus himself declares that the prophesied time for the setting up of his kingdom was at hand. There were many general prophecies as to this kingdom, but one which especially fixed the time of its coming; namely, Daniel 9:24-27. This prophecy tells of seventy weeks in which each day is reckoned as a year, so that the seventy weeks equal four hundred and ninety years. They are to be counted from the date of the decree, which ordered the rebuilding of Jerusalem. The Messiah, or Prince, was to come at the beginning of the seventieth week, or four hundred and eighty-three years from the date of the decree.” (J. W. Mcgarvey, LL.D. and Philip Y. Pendleton, A.B., The Fourfold Gospel Commentary on Mark 1:15)
Christ came right on schedule, just as the prophecy had foretold. Christ began His public ministry in 27 A.D., which ended 69-weeks of the total 70-week period that had been “cut off” for the children of Israel. They had just one week (7 years) left of their allotted time.
The prophecy did not end here, Gabriel went on, “And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself...” (Daniel 9:26) Gabriel said very plainly that the Messiah would come at the end of the 7-week and 62-week periods, and then Gabriel said, “after” the 62 weeks “shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself.” The Hebrew word rendered here “cut off” signifies the death of the Messiah. Gabriel informs us that sometime after the first 69 weeks Christ would be killed, then he goes on, “but not for himself.” Christ died, but not for Himself, for He had not committed any sins. Christ was killed, not for Himself, but for you and me. “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just, for the unjust.” (1 Peter 3:18)
The Death of the Messiah
Up to this point Gabriel did not tell us when Christ was to die, but merely sometime after the 69 weeks were completed, or in other words, sometime after 27 A.D. But he doesn’t end it here, He continues, “And he [the Messiah] shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” (Daniel 9:27) Gabriel informed us that Christ will confirm the covenant with many for one week and in the midst of that week He would “cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease.” What did Gabriel mean when he said that Christ will “cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease”?
The Hebrew word that is here rendered “oblation,” was used 211 times in the Old Testament. 164 of those times it was translated “offering.” According to Gabriel, Christ would cause the sacrifices of animals and the offerings performed in the earthly sanctuary to cease in the middle of the last week. Did this happen? In the spring of 31 A.D., precisely 3 1/2 years after His baptism, Christ was crucified. At this time, the Bible records, “Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent.” (Matthew 27:50, 51) When the veil was rent in two by supernatural power it signified that the sacrifices and offerings, along with the earthly sanctuary, were no longer of any use. At that time Christ caused “the sacrifice and the oblation to cease.”
By 31 A.D. 69 ½ weeks of the total 70 weeks had transpired. There was ½ week left, so what happened next? The ½ week, or 3 ½ years remaining, brings us down to 34 A.D. This date would end the 70-week period that had been allotted to the Jewish nation. At this point we should look for a sign that God had no longer regarded the Israelites as His special people and turned to the Gentiles to bring them salvation.
The Jewish Close of Probation
The year 34 A.D. witnessed the death of the first Christian martyr. Stephen was boldly speaking the truth before the leaders of the Jewish church when they turned on him and stoned him to death. This, along with their killing of the Son of God, ended their role as God’s chosen people. One of those standing there at the time of Stephen’s murder turned out to be the man whom God chose to be the apostle to the Gentiles.
Paul said to the Jewish leaders, “It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.” (Acts 13:46) He also wrote, “I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.” (2 Timothy 1:11)
In 34 A.D. the times of the Gentiles began, giving them the opportunity to hear the gospel. Thus the Jews’ time of probation had ended as a nation. Their sins had reached heaven, and shortly thereafter Jerusalem was destroyed along with their temple. To this day they have not been able to rebuild their temple in Jerusalem.
Tying it Together with the 2300 Days
Now that we have this brief overview of the 70 weeks it is simple to designate the year that the 2300-day prophecy ended. As mentioned before, the 70-week prophecy must be inseparably linked to the 2300 days or else Gabriel failed in his mission to make Daniel understand this prophecy. The giving of the 70-week prophecy was specifically designed to make Daniel understand the 2300 days. This 70-week period was said to have been “cut off” and must evidently be “cut off” from the 2300-day period. These two prophecies must begin at the same time or else the 70-week prophecy would be useless to Daniel to help him understand the 2300 days.
This being the case, and since we already know when the 70-week period ended, all we must do now is subtract the 70 weeks from the 2300 days and we will know the date for the end of the 2300-day prophecy. The 70 weeks equal 490 years and ended in 34 A.D. If we take the 2300 days, which would equal 2300 years and subtract 490 years we get 1810 years. Therefore, in 34 A.D., there still remained 1810 years before the completion of the 2300-day prophecy. From 34 A.D., if we go down in time 1810 more years, we come to the date 1844. 1844 then must be the end of the 2300-day prophecy.
Back to the Context
Let us take a moment to refresh our minds as to the context of the 2300-day prophecy. Daniel had just been given a vision where he saw a ram, a he goat, and a little horn. He saw that the little horn would take away the daily, cast down the sanctuary, and cast the truth to the ground. We also were informed in chapter 11 that this same power would not “regard the God of his fathers” and “a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour... a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory.” (See Daniel 11:37-39) The Scriptures foretold that when the papacy arose to power it would reject the true God and honor a “strange god” in His place. This is the major part of “the truth” that the little horn is said to have “cast down... to the ground.” All of this together is said to be “the transgression of desolation.”
Immediately following Daniel beholding the events surrounding the little horn and the abominable things it would do, Daniel heard one saint speaking to another saint asking, “How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?” (Daniel 8:13)
The one saint was asking, “When will all these things be over?” “When will the truth of the daily ministration of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary no longer be taken away?” “When will the sanctuary in heaven no longer be cast down?” “When will the truth about God no longer be trodden under foot?” This is the context of the 2300 days.
According to the context of the vision, in 1844 we must look for a message that is proclaimed that will reveal the truth about God, His Son, His sanctuary, and the continual ministration of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary. All these things must be fulfilled at this time to fulfill the 2300-day prophecy. Now we must look at this date and see if anything like this occurred.
What Happened in 1844?
History reveals that in the late 1830s and early 1840s a message was being proclaimed in direct relation to the 2300-day prophecy. A Baptist man by the name of William Miller studied the prophecies of Daniel chapters 8 and 9 and came to the conclusion that the 2300 days would end in 1843. His calculations were off by one year due to his misunderstanding of the transition from B.C. to A.D. After the passing of 1843 William Miller revised his understanding of the date in which the 2300-day prophecy would end. He realized that because of the B.C. to A.D. transition there was one extra year that needed to be added. Thus he came to the conclusion that in the fall of 1844, on the Jewish Day of Atonement, Christ would come to cleanse this earth by fire.
William Miller misunderstood the sanctuary to be referring to this earth, and taught that the cleansing of the sanctuary meant that Christ would come and destroy the earth by fire. This, however, was not the case.
Many people joined Miller in his preaching of the soon-coming of Christ. However, the Day of Atonement in 1844 passed without any sign of Christ coming to cleanse the earth with fire. Many people lost hope of the imminent return of Christ and concluded that Miller’s interpretation of the 2300 days was wrong. Miller was correct in his understanding that the 2300 days ended in 1844, as has been demonstrated by this study, but he was wrong in his conclusions as to what would happen in that year.
The Cleansing of the Sanctuary
The day after the Day of Atonement in 1844 a man by the name of Hiram Edson saw a vision in which he beheld the sanctuary in heaven. He saw that Christ and His Father, instead of coming to this earth, actually moved from the holy place to the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary to begin their work in the second apartment of that sanctuary.
This understanding fits the context of the 2300 days, and fits the verse that says, “then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” This sanctuary evidently refers to the sanctuary in heaven because by the time the 2300 days were completed, there was no sanctuary on earth. Paul demonstrates that there truly is a sanctuary in heaven as is brought out in Hebrews chapter 8. (For a thorough Bible study on the existence of a sanctuary in heaven please contact us and request the study entitled “The Sanctuary in Heaven” found in the January 2000 issue of Old Paths.)
It is clear from Scripture that the earthly sanctuary and its services were a “shadow of heavenly things.” (Hebrews 8:5) In the earthly sanctuary there was one day each year when the high priest entered into the most holy place. Scripture explains that on this day the priest “shall make an atonement for the holy sanctuary, and he shall make an atonement for the tabernacle of the congregation, and for the altar, and he shall make an atonement for the priests, and for all the people of the congregation.” (Leviticus 16:33)
On the Day of Atonement the high priest was to make an atonement for the sanctuary. In this process he was to “sprinkle of the blood upon the altar with his finger seven times, and cleanse it, and hallow it from the uncleanness of the children of Israel.” (Leviticus 16:19) Making the atonement for the sanctuary can also be referred to as cleansing the sanctuary. Notice what God said about how we fit into the cleansing of the sanctuary. “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.” (Leviticus 16:30) The cleansing of the sanctuary included a cleansing of the people.
In 1844 the Father and His Son began their work in the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary, thus beginning the Day of Atonement. This is the message the early Adventists proclaimed as a fulfilling of the 2300-day prophecy. Yet if this were the only part of the message they proclaimed, it would fall short of fulfilling the context of the 2300-day prophecy. The context indicates that not only would the sanctuary be cleansed but also the truth about God, His Son, His sanctuary, and the continual ministration of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary would be revealed. Did this happen?
In 1844 a new church was born. The woman described in Revelation12 that had gone into the wilderness was coming out. This church proclaimed all the messages prophesied in Daniel chapter 8. They taught the truth about God, His Son, His sanctuary and Christ’s daily ministration in the heavenly sanctuary. This prophecy was fulfilled to the letter by the movement that became known as Seventh-day Adventism. (For abundant proof that the early Seventh-day Adventists rejected the doctrine of the Trinity and upheld the truth about God and His Son, contact us and request the book entitled, What Did the Pioneers Believe?)
Daniel and Leviticus Connected
“And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” (Daniel 8:14) Early Seventh-day Adventists connected this prophecy to the Day of Atonement described in Leviticus 16, especially verse 30 which speaks of an atonement of cleansing. “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.” This was an atonement of cleansing complementing the atonement of forgiveness as described in Leviticus 4 which resulted from the sin offering.
This connection between Daniel 8 and Leviticus 16 has been called into serious question by some because it is stated that the translation of “cleansed” in Daniel 8:14 in the KJV is incorrect. However, a study of the two Hebrew words in question from Daniel and Leviticus shows a clear linguistic parallel in meaning. In Daniel 8:14, the word translated “cleansed” is the Hebrew word - tsadaq (Strong’s #6663 ). The words translated “cleanse” and “clean” in Leviticus 16:30 are from the Hebrew word: - taher (Strong’s #2891).
Hebrew parallelism shows a clear connection between these words. Notice Job 4:17:
“Shall mortal man be more just (tsadaq) than God? shall a man be more pure (taher) than his maker?” (Job 4:17) Here the parallelism is the synonymous form where the second line repeats the first in slightly different words, but carries the same meaning. In this verse tsadaq and taher are considered to be equivalent.
Let us now look at some other verses that use tsadaq and taher or one of their variations with similar meaning.
“The righteous (tsaddiyq a form of tsadaq) also shall hold on his way, and he that hath clean (tehowr a form of taher) hands shall be stronger and stronger.” (Job 17:9) Here the “righteous” and the “clean” are given equivalent status.
In Ecclesiastes 9:2 we find more parallelism. “All things come alike to all: there is one event to the righteous (tsaddiyq), and to the wicked; to the good and to the clean (tahowr a form of taher) and to the unclean; to him that sacrificeth, and to him that sacrificeth not: as is the good, so is the sinner; and he that sweareth, as he that feareth an oath.” Here the wise man is equating the “righteous” with those that are “clean.”
“The fear of the LORD is clean (tahowr), enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous (tsadaq) altogether. (Psalms 19:9) Here “clean” and “righteous” are clearly parallel.
Especially interesting is the connection found in Malachi 3:1-3: “Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts. But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier (taher) of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness (tsedaqah a form of tsadaq).” Here a work of judgment and a work of refining or cleansing is clearly brought to view as the Lord comes to his temple or sanctuary.
We believe that these verses clearly show that the early Adventists were justified in making a direct connection between Daniel 8:14 and Leviticus 16:30.
While we are considering the linguistic concerns of Daniel 8:14 we wish to tackle another concern that has been raised over the years, “Daniel 8:14 says, ‘And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.’ Even if the time prophecy extends to 1844, the language seems to be saying that it is to be done or at least finished by 1844, not beginning in 1844. Also, the verb tense for tsadaq in this verse is the Hebrew perfect tense which usually denotes a completed action.” This concern appears, on the surface, to be a very valid one. However, the perfect tense can also be used to denote action, “completed from the point of view of another action yet future - I will draw for thy camels also until ‘they have done’ drinking.” (Online Bible Hebrew Lexicon)
Concerning the perfect tense, the Online Bible Hebrew Lexicon also states, “Sometimes in Hebrew, future events are conceived so vividly and so realistically that they are regarded as having virtually taken place and are described by the perfect.” An example of this is connected to the mar’eh. Daniel 9:24 says: “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.” The Hebrew verb, - chathak, translated “determined,” is in the perfect tense, yet it cannot denote completed action here because the “seventy weeks” were not to begin for another eighty plus years! In Daniel 8:14 God is declaring that even though the little horn power would seem to gain the upper hand in his warfare against God and His people, there would come a time when not only would the sanctuary be cleansed, but the truth about God, His Son, His sanctuary, and the continual ministration of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary would be revealed.
Let us also notice two other verses using the perfect tense.
“And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and there will I plead [perfect tense] with you face to face.” (Ezekiel 20:35) It is obvious that this verse is referring to a time when God would begin pleading, rather than a time when He had already finished pleading.
“Our necks are under persecution [perfect tense]: we labour, and have no rest.” (Lamentations 5:5) This verse is obviously referring to an ongoing persecution rather than a persecution that has already been completed.
Some may ask, “How could the heavenly sanctuary need cleansing?” The answer is to be found when we consider the cleansing of the earthly sanctuary. God instructed Moses to make an atonement for the sanctuary to “cleanse it, and hallow it from the uncleanness of the children of Israel.” (Leviticus 16:19) It was the sins of the people that made the sanctuary unclean. The sanctuary was not unclean in and of itself, but was considered unclean because of the sins of the people that had been symbolically transferred to it by the blood of the sacrifice. In like manner, the sins of God’s people were transferred to the heavenly sanctuary by the blood of Christ at His resurrection.
It seems strange to consider anything in heaven to need cleansing, but let us consider a couple verses: “Behold, he putteth no trust in his saints; yea, the heavens are not clean in his sight.” (Job 15:15) Paul wrote, “It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these [blood of calves and goats]; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.” (Hebrews 9:23) Paul says that the heavenly things must be purified with better sacrifices than the blood of animals.
Death of Christ
Alone was not Enough
Christ was the ultimate sacrifice. The sacrifice on Calvary was a complete and perfect sacrifice; Christ, the sinless one, dying for the sinner. The death of Christ is an absolute essential element in the plan of God to redeem man. However, if Christ had only died, and that was it, we could not be forgiven of our sins. The Bible teaches that there is more to the plan of redemption than just the death of Christ. This is not to in any way minimize that death. It is as essential to the plan of redemption as the heart is to the body. However, the heart alone, without support from other organs, is unable to give the body life.
Paul expounds on this by saying, “Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.” (1 Corinthians 15:12-17) According to Paul, if Christ had only died we could not be forgiven of our sins and our faith would be in vain.
Paul also wrote concerning Christ that He “was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.” (Romans 4:25) Christ died for our sins and was raised again for our justification. If in the earthly sanctuary service the sacrifice was merely killed would that be of any benefit to the sinner? Certainly not! The sin that had been placed upon the sacrifice had to be transferred to the sanctuary before the sinner could be forgiven. In like manner, we must have our sins transferred to the heavenly sanctuary by the blood of Christ so that we can be forgiven. We need the ministration of Christ on our behalf as much as we needed the death of Christ for our sins. “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” (1 Timothy 2:5) “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” (Hebrews 7:25)
His death on the cross was vitally important, for without that he would have nothing to offer on our behalf. Paul wrote, “Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man. For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer.” (Hebrews 8:1-3) At Christ’s resurrection He, for the first time, entered upon His work as our high priest: a minister of the sanctuary in heaven. He could not have been our high priest until after he had something to offer; after His death on the cross.
The context of the 2300 days demands that they are 2300 years, and that at the end of them the truth about God, His Son, His sanctuary, and Christ’s continual ministration in the heavenly sanctuary must be revealed. The 2300-day prophecy itself shows that at the close of the 2300 days the sanctuary in heaven would be cleansed. Gabriel’s mission was to make Daniel understand the 2300 days, which he did by explaining that 70 weeks were cut off from the total length of the 2300 days. The 70 weeks must have been cut off from the beginning of the 2300-day period or else the 70 weeks would not help Daniel understand the 2300 days, and Gabriel would have failed in his mission to make Daniel understand this prophecy.
The 70 weeks began in 457 B.C. with the going forth of the commandment to restore and to rebuild Jerusalem. They are 70 weeks of years rather than 70 weeks of days. The 70 weeks must have ended in 34 A.D. with the stoning of Stephen, which ended the time of probation for the Jewish nation. The 2300 days ended in 1844 at which time the truth about God, His Son, His sanctuary, and the continual ministration of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary was revealed. Also at this time the Father and His Son entered the most holy place to begin the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary, typified by the Day of Atonement.
I pray that this study has been helpful to you in your quest for the truth and nothing but the truth. I have enjoyed studying these things out for myself, and I pray you will find the same blessings as you do the same. ?
The main study in this issue deals with the heart of the message that God has given to the Advent people. Yes, I said and believe that this message was given to the Advent people by God and I make no apologies for this statement! I am not saying that their understanding was perfect or that there are no areas for growth or refinement. I believe that the study by Brother Beachy makes some excellent refinements and additions that are not to be found in the writings of the Adventist pioneers. However, the main theme and core of the message stands sure.
Please read and study this issue of Old Paths more carefully and thoroughly than any you have ever read before. You will be thrilled to see how the Adventist understanding of the truth of Daniel 8:14 shines brighter the more closely it is examined.
Extra copies of this issue have been printed and are available upon request. Editor
The Church At Wilhoit Reporting
On January 22 the “Church at Wilhoit” hosted a dedication ceremony. It was at that time that all the personnel, equipment, and funds were dedicated to the glory of God. The Spirit of God was definitely present at the dedication ceremony. There were testimonies of what God has been doing here in Arizona and how God is encouraging us to press forward. There have been challenges along the way, but these are there to let us know that we are in the stream of things and God is working.
Some Bible workers and friends have expressed an interest in our little booklets. Each chapter from the book The Story of Redemption, has been made into a small flier which leads into a Bible study.
It Is Camp Meeting Time Again
The church at Wilhoit will be hosting a camp meeting again this year May 12-20. Some of the speakers will be Lynnford Beachy, Ben Vela, Dr. Carol Donavan (her topic will be cancer and a rational return to health), and Richard Stratton who will speak on faith.
The first meeting will be at 7:00 P.M. Friday evening the 12th. The talks will center around health and the gospel. Four main meetings will be scheduled each day: early morning, mid morning, afternoon, and evening.
When I was a child seven years old, my friends on a holiday filled my pocket with coppers. I went directly to shop where they sold toys for children, and, being charmed with the sound of a whistle that I met by the way in the hands of another boy, I voluntarily offered and gave all my money for one. I then ran home and went whistling all over the house, much pleased with my whistle, but disturbing all the family.
My brothers and sisters and cousins, understanding the bargain I had made, told me I had given four times as much for it as it was worth; put me in mind what good things I might have bought with the rest of the money; and laughed at me so much for my folly that I cried with vexation; and the reflection gave me more chagrin than the whistle gave me pleasure.
This, however, was afterwards of use to me, the impression continuing on my mind; so that often when I was tempted to buy some unnecessary thing, I said to myself, “Don’t give too much for the whistle”; and I saved my money.
As I grew up, came into the world, and observed the actions of men, I thought I met with many, very many, who gave too much for the whistle.
When I saw one too ambitious of court favor, sacrificing his time in attendance on levees—his repose, his liberty, his virtue, and perhaps his friends, to attain it—I have said to myself, “This man gives too much for his whistle.”
When I saw another fond of popularity, constantly employing himself in political bustles, neglecting his own affairs, and ruining them by that neglect, “He pays indeed,” said I, “too much for his whistle.”
If I knew a miser who gave up every kind of comfortable living, all the pleasure of doing good to others, all the esteem of his fellow citizens, and the joys of benevolent friendship, for the sake of accumulating wealth, “Poor man,” said I, “you pay too much for your whistle.”
When I met with a man of pleasure, sacrificing every laudable improvement of the mind or of his fortune to mere corporeal sensations, and ruining his health in their pursuit, “Mistaken man,” said I, “you are providing pain for yourself instead of pleasure; you give too much for your whistle.”
If I see one fond of appearance, or fine clothes, fine houses, fine furniture, fine equipages, all above his fortune, for which he contracts debts and ends his career in a prison, “Alas!” say I, “he has paid dear, very dear, for his whistle.”
In short, I conceive that a great part of the miseries of mankind are brought upon them by the false estimates they have made of the value of things, and by their giving too much for their whistles. (Benjamin Franklin, The Elson Readers - Book V, pp. 293, 294)
Some Famous Quotes of Benjamin Franklin
“He that riseth late must trot all day.”
“Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.”
“Laziness travels so slowly, that poverty soon overtakes him.”
“To succeed, jump as quickly at opportunities as you do at conclusions”
“Well done is better than well said.”
We were so happy to hear about Hans’ great improvements. God does still work miracles. Thanks for calling us. May God continue to bless you all. MN
We thank the Lord for your ministry. If possible, could you send printouts of all your Bible studies, and any audio tapes. Could you send 10 each of What Did the Pioneers Believe? and “The Foundation of Our Faith.”
Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time, Allen, for your son’s healing. TX
Hello, please send A Time to Choose by David Clayton. FL
Thank you for information about the sanctuary and also the stand that Smyrna took regarding Daniel 8:14, the cleansing of the sanctuary in 1844. I am 100% in support of this eternal truth. NJ
Greetings in the precious name of Jesus, our Saviour. Enclosed is a check for David Clayton’s video on Heb. 9. AL
May the Lord be blessing you above what you ask or think. Just got the Jan. issue of Old Paths and we are so very happy to read its contents and find unity with you brethren. …
We got to view the video by David Clayton and it is excellent. His studies are very good too. OH
May the great God and Father, and His Son, bring you all much peace and joy as your thoughts and efforts are focused on pleasing Them. CO
I thoroughly enjoyed the last Old Paths. IL
Thank you for telling the truth about our Father and His dear Son. We do appreciate all of your literature. OR
Thank you for the interesting newsletter. Wish I could have been there to experience your camp meeting. My prayers include your ministry and especially Hans and his family.” SD
I love to read Old Paths and I am so glad you are addressing the issues you presented at your conference/camp meeting. God bless your ministry. Enclosed is a donation. FL
I am enclosing a donation for David Clayton’s video, “The Sanctuary in Hebrews 9.” I am glad that it is available. I will look forward to receiving it.
I am praying for you and your family and Lynnford’s family. May God continue to bless you. AZ
Yesterday I received your paper, Old Paths. Where do I start?
First, let me tell you that I read the article, “A Non-Prophet Movement.” It was absolutely beautiful, Praise God. What is wrong with us—we are such a rebellious people. No different than Israel. God does so much for us and we reject His prophets and go into false doctrine.
Are we in the process of discarding the Spirit of Prophecy as she said we would be?
Secondly, I want to thank you for the article on the context of Hebrews 9. I have believed it correctly but was confused by some of the statements in King James. You cleared those up for me tremendously, (completely) and I want to thank you so very much. A light came on and it makes complete sense…now.
These pamphlets that you have prepared are excellent and I would like to get some of them to send and give out.
I will continue to pray for Hans and we all understand that this is a difficult time for all of you. We are so thankful that Old Paths continues to come. NC
“The faintest of ink beats the best of memory.”
Old Paths is published monthly by Smyrna Gospel Ministries, HC 64 Box 128-B, Welch WV 24801-9606. It is sent free upon request. Office phone: (304) 732-9204. Web site: http://www.smyrna.org.
Editor: Allen Stump - E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Associate Editor: Lynnford Beachy - E-mail email@example.com
This page was last updated: Sunday, May 26, 2013