November 21, 2009 – November 27, 2009
“And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” Daniel 8:14.
Study Help: Selected Messages, Book 1, 164–168; The Great Controversy, 409–432.
“The correct understanding of the ministration in the heavenly sanctuary is the foundation of our faith.” Evangelism, 221.
1 In the third year of Belshazzar’s reign, what restless activity was Daniel shown in vision? Daniel 8:1–8. Identify the nations represented in this vision. Daniel 8:20–22.
Note: “In the vision of the prophet He [God] is seen casting down one mighty ruler, and setting up another. He is revealed as the monarch of the universe, about to set up His everlasting kingdom—the Ancient of days, the living God, the Source of all wisdom, the Ruler of the present, the Revealer of the future.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 1166.
“From the rise and fall of nations as made plain in the books of Daniel and the Revelation, we need to learn how worthless is mere outward and worldly glory. Babylon, with all its power and magnificence, the like of which our world has never since beheld—power and magnificence which to the people of that day seemed so stable and enduring—how completely has it passed away! As ‘the flower of the grass,’ it has perished. James 1:10. So perished the Medo-Persian kingdom, and the kingdoms of Grecia and Rome. And so perishes all that has not God for its foundation. Only that which is bound up with His purpose, and expresses His character, can endure. His principles are the only steadfast things our world knows.” Prophets and Kings, 548.
2 What principle should we bear in mind when we study the history of these nations? Isaiah 40:7, 8, 21–23.
Note: “ ‘He that is slow to anger,’ says the wise man, ‘is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit, than he that taketh a city’ [Proverbs 16:32]. The man or woman who preserves the balance of the mind when tempted to indulge passion stands higher in the sight of God and heavenly angels than the most renowned general that ever led an army to battle and to victory. Said a celebrated emperor when on his dying bed, ‘Among all my conquests there is but one which affords me any consolation now, and that is the conquest I have gained over my own turbulent temper.’ Alexander and Caesar found it easier to subdue a world than to subdue themselves. After conquering nation after nation, they fell—one of them ‘the victim of intemperance, the other of mad ambition.’ ” Child Guidance, 95, 96.
3 Through what action would the power represented by the “little horn” exalt itself, as considered before? Daniel 8:9–11.
Note: “Says Daniel, of the little horn, the papacy: ‘He shall think to change times and the law.’ Daniel 7:25, R.V. And Paul styled the same power the ‘man of sin,’ who was to exalt himself above God. One prophecy is a complement of the other. Only by changing God’s law could the papacy exalt itself above God; whoever should understandingly keep the law as thus changed would be giving supreme honor to that power by which the change was made. Such an act of obedience to papal laws would be a mark of allegiance to the pope in the place of God.” The Great Controversy, 446.
4 How did Daniel foresee the papal opposition to the truth? Daniel 8:12. How was this prophecy fulfilled?
Note: “Among the leading causes that had led to the separation of the true church from Rome was the hatred of the latter toward the Bible Sabbath. As foretold by prophecy, the papal power cast down the truth to the ground. The law of God was trampled in the dust, while the traditions and customs of men were exalted. The churches that were under the rule of the papacy were early compelled to honor the Sunday as a holy day. Amid the prevailing error and superstition, many, even of the true people of God, became so bewildered that while they observed the Sabbath, they refrained from labor also on the Sunday. But this did not satisfy the papal leaders. They demanded not only that Sunday be hallowed, but that the Sabbath be profaned; and they denounced in the strongest language those who dared to show it honor. It was only by fleeing from the power of Rome that any could obey God’s law in peace.” The Great Controversy, 65.
5 What was revealed to Daniel with reference to the cleansing of the sanctuary? Daniel 8:13, 14. How are we to understand this “cleansing”? Hebrews 9:22, 23.
Note: “The coming of Christ as our high priest to the most holy place, for the cleansing of the sanctuary, brought to view in Daniel 8:14; the coming of the Son of man to the Ancient of Days, as presented in Daniel 7:13; and the coming of the Lord to His temple, foretold by Malachi, are descriptions of the same event; and this is also represented by the coming of the bridegroom to the marriage, described by Christ in the parable of the ten virgins, of Matthew 25.” The Great Controversy, 426.
“What is the cleansing of the sanctuary? That there was such a service in connection with the earthly sanctuary is stated in the Old Testament Scriptures. But can there be anything in heaven to be cleansed? In Hebrews 9 the cleansing of both the earthly and the heavenly sanctuary is plainly taught. …
“The cleansing, both in the typical and in the real service, must be accomplished with blood: in the former, with the blood of animals; in the latter, with the blood of Christ. Paul states, as the reason why this cleansing must be performed with blood, that without shedding of blood is no remission. Remission, or putting away of sin, is the work to be accomplished.” Ibid., 417, 418. [Emphasis in original.]
“As the priest entered the most holy once a year to cleanse the earthly sanctuary, so Jesus entered the most holy of the heavenly, at the end of the 2300 days of Daniel 8, in 1844, to make a final atonement for all who could be benefited by His mediation, and thus to cleanse the sanctuary.” Early Writings, 253.
6 In what other ways is the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary described? Acts 3:19; Revelation 14:6, 7; Hebrews 9:11–14. Name some important points we should consider on this subject.
Note: “At the time appointed for the judgment—the close of the 2300 days, in 1844—began the work of investigation and blotting out of sins.” The Great Controversy, 486.
“Christ is cleansing the heavenly sanctuary from the sins of the people, and it is the work of all who are laborers together with God to be cleansing the sanctuary of the soul from everything that is offensive to Him. Everything like evil surmising, envy, jealousy, enmity, and hatred, will be put away, for such things grieve the Holy Spirit of God and put Christ to an open shame. Love of self will not exist, nor will any engaged in this work be puffed up.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 11, 55.
7 Who was sent to help Daniel to understand the visions given to him? Daniel 8:15, 16.
Note: “Wonderful thought—that the angel who stands next in honor to the Son of God is the one chosen to open the purposes of God to sinful men.” The Desire of Ages, 99.
“The angel had been sent to Daniel for the express purpose of explaining to him the point which he had failed to understand in the vision of the eighth chapter, the statement relative to time—‘unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed’ [Daniel 8:14].” The Great Controversy, 326.
8 Why are the messages given to Daniel so important for us today? Daniel 8:17–19.
Note: “Such subjects as the sanctuary, in connection with the 2300 days, the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, are perfectly calculated to explain the past Advent movement and show what our present position is, establish the faith of the doubting, and give certainty to the glorious future. These, I have frequently seen, were the principal subjects on which the messengers should dwell.” Early Writings, 63.
“We are living in the time of the end, when the judgments of God are in the land. Signs on every hand show that the agencies of evil are strengthening. Lucifer and his servants are working with unceasing activity. In this time of peril the people who keep the Sabbath of the fourth commandment are to be awake to the situation, prepared to resist the attacks of the enemy.” Australasian Union Conference Record, April 15, 1912.
9 How is Rome again represented in prophecy, including its latter time? Daniel 8:23–25; II Thessalonians 2:7, 8. How was Daniel affected by the vision? Daniel 8:26, 27.
Note: “The angel Gabriel, though commanded to make Daniel understand the vision, gave him only a partial explanation. As the terrible persecution to befall the church was unfolded to the prophet’s vision, physical strength gave way. He could endure no more, and the angel left him for a time. Daniel ‘fainted, and was sick certain days.’ ‘And I was astonished at the vision,’ he says, ‘but none understood it.’ [Daniel 8:27.]” The Great Controversy, 325.
“Jesus stands in the holy of holies, now to appear in the presence of God for us. There He ceases not to present His people moment by moment, complete in Himself. But because we are thus represented before the Father, we are not to imagine that we are to presume upon His mercy, and become careless, indifferent, and self-indulgent. Christ is not the minister of sin. We are complete in Him, accepted in the Beloved, only as we abide in Him by faith.” The Signs of the Times, July 4, 1892.
“As the ministration of Jesus closed in the holy place, and He passed into the holiest, and stood before the ark containing the law of God, He sent another mighty angel with a third message to the world. A parchment was placed in the angel’s hand, and as he descended to the earth in power and majesty, he proclaimed a fearful warning, with the most terrible threatening ever borne to man. This message was designed to put the children of God upon their guard, by showing them the hour of temptation and anguish that was before them. Said the angel, ‘They will be brought into close combat with the beast and his image. Their only hope of eternal life is to remain steadfast. Although their lives are at stake, they must hold fast the truth.’ The third angel closes his message thus: ‘Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus’ [Revelation 14:12]. As he repeated these words, he pointed to the heavenly sanctuary. The minds of all who embrace this message are directed to the most holy place, where Jesus stands before the ark, making His final intercession for all those for whom mercy still lingers and for those who have ignorantly broken the law of God. This atonement is made for the righteous dead as well as for the righteous living. It includes all who died trusting in Christ, but who, not having received the light upon God’s commandments, had sinned ignorantly in transgressing its precepts.
“After Jesus opened the door of the most holy, the light of the Sabbath was seen, and the people of God were tested, as the children of Israel were tested anciently, to see if they would keep God’s law. I saw the third angel pointing upward, showing the disappointed ones the way to the holiest of the heavenly sanctuary. As they by faith enter the most holy, they find Jesus, and hope and joy spring up anew. I saw them looking back, reviewing the past, from the proclamation of the second advent of Jesus, down through their experience to the passing of the time in 1844. They see their disappointment explained, and joy and certainty again animate them. The third angel has lighted up the past, the present, and the future, and they know that God has indeed led them by His mysterious providence.” Early Writings, 254, 255.
©2005 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted with permission.