Daniel 8 reveals who and what the little horn power is. It also mentions two armies: 1. The little horn was given an army, (“a host” according to the King James Version), and 2. The army of heaven.
Who is the army of heaven? According to Luke 2 it includes the angels. They are called “the host of heaven.” But the army of heaven is not just the angels. It is also made up of God’s people in the world. Daniel 8 says that God’s army, His host, would be trampled by the little horn power.
Revelation 11 tells us that the Gentiles would trample the worshippers and the court, for forty-two months, and that a time would come to measure the temple, the altar and the worshippers. We are living in that measuring time.
What is the sanctuary spoken of in Daniel 8? This is an important question to answer because our opponents have attacked us on this point for one hundred and fifty years, and we are still being attacked. We are also being attacked from within Adventism on who and what this sanctuary is.
The Lord told His people that they were to build Him a sanctuary so that He might dwell among them. (See Exodus 25:8.) It is God’s presence that makes the building a tabernacle or a temple. The Jews had a problem with this in the days of Christ, and He rebuked them severely. “Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears by the temple, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple, he is obliged to perform it [he is guilty].’ ”
Jesus called them fools. He said, “Which is greater, the gold that is the building or the temple that sanctifies the gold?” The temple is not holy because of the gold or because it is a beautiful building. The temple is holy because God’s presence is there.
The Jewish temple in the old covenant is a symbol of the Christian church. (See Ephesians 2:19–22 and The Desire of Ages, 160–162.) It is also a symbol that God wants every human being and every angel to be a temple for the indwelling of the divine Spirit.
“The subject of the sanctuary was the key that unlocked the mystery of the disappointment of 1844. It opened to view a complete system of truth, connected and harmonious.” The Great Controversy, 423. In the old covenant there was an earthly sanctuary. But in the new covenant there is a heavenly sanctuary. (See Psalm 11:4; Jeremiah 17:12; Hebrews 8 and 9; Revelation 1:13; 4:5; 8:3-5; 11:19; 15:4; 14:15, 17; 16:1, 16, 17.)
In the Bible we find two sanctuaries or temples. The earthly sanctuary in the Old Covenant is a type of the heavenly sanctuary in the New Covenant. The reason there was a great disappointment in 1844 is because the people did not understand the Biblical teaching of the sanctuary. They thought that the sanctuary was the earth.
It was like that in the days of Christ. Even the disciples were confused. They did not understand the nature of the kingdom that Christ was going to set up. They were disappointed when Jesus was crucified because they longed and hoped He would set up an earthly, temporal kingdom. They were still in the Old Covenant in their thinking. But the kingdom was a spiritual, eternal kingdom, with its headquarters in heaven.
It was that way with the Adventists in 1844. Their arithmetic was right, the date they set was right, the truth they were preaching was so, but they did not understand the nature of the sanctuary, so they were terribly disappointed. Many people today still do not understand the sanctuary. As we saw stated in part one, our opponents think that in Daniel 8 it is talking about the earthly sanctuary. In this article we will look at the prophecies that pointed to the destruction of Jerusalem, contrasting them with those of Daniel 8.
Daniel 9 contains the seventy-week prophecy. Seventy weeks were cut off for the Jews, beginning in 457 B.C. and ending in 34 A.D. “After the sixty-two weeks, Messiah shall be cut off, but not for himself and the people of the prince who is coming shall destroy the city and the sanctuary.” Daniel 9:26. What sanctuary is this? This is the earthly sanctuary.
“And the end of it shall be with a flood, And till the end of the war desolations are determined. Then He [the Messiah] shall confirm in a covenant with many for one week; But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, Even until the consummation, which is determined is poured out on the desolate.” Daniel 9:26, 27.
In this prophecy a short time after the Messiah is cut off, the earthly sanctuary would be destroyed. Jesus predicted this, “Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and his disciples came up to show him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said to them, ‘Do you not see all these things? Assuredly I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another that shall not be thrown down.’ ” Matthew 24:1, 2.
Jesus said that it was going to happen in that generation, not sometime way down at the end of history. “Assuredly, I say to you, all these things shall come upon this generation . . . Your house is left to you desolate.” Matthew 23:36, 38.
“But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near.” Luke 21:20. Daniel predicted it and Jesus predicted it. The Apostle Paul also predicted it. “In that He says, a new covenant, He has made the first obsolete. Now that which is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.” Hebrews 8:13. It was Jerusalem and the earthly sanctuary that would vanish away a short time after the book of Hebrews was written.
The Apostle Paul attempted to prepare the Christian community for what was going to happen. People were looking to the city of Jerusalem and Paul said in effect, “Do not look there.” “For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come.” Hebrews 13:14. So it is clear when you read Daniel 9:26, 27; Matthew 23 and 24; Luke 21; and the book of Hebrews, that a short time after the crucifixion of Christ, the temple at Jerusalem would be destroyed.
The Sanctuary Destroyed Again?
“So he came near where I stood, [this is the angel who came to explain the vision to Daniel] and when he came I was afraid and fell on my face; but he said to me, Understand, son of man, that the vision refers to the time of the end.” Daniel 8:17. The vision here is about the twenty-three hundred days, the little horn power and the time of the end. The temple in Jerusalem was destroyed a short time after the crucifixion, but this vision is not about something in the time of Christ and the apostles. This vision is to extend to the time of the end. It could not possibly be talking about the earthly sanctuary, because the earthly sanctuary was not going to extend to the time of the end.
The prophecy about this sanctuary is something that continues until the time of the end. “Look, I am making known to you what shall happen in the latter time of the indignation; for at the appointed time, the end shall be . . . And the vision of the evenings and mornings [the vision of the twenty-three hundred days] which was told is true. Therefore seal up the vision, For it refers to many days in the future.” Daniel 8:19, 26.
Referring to the little horn power Daniel says, “And forces shall be mustered by him, and they shall defile the sanctuary fortress; Then they shall take away the daily sacrifices [the continuance in rebellion. Called the continuance in Daniel 8:12. Sacrifices should not be there], and place there the abomination of desolation.” Daniel 11:31.
“And from the time that the daily [constant rebellion] is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he who waits, and comes to the one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days. But you, go your way till the end [the end of the days]; for you shall rest [stand in your lot in the judgment. See The Great Controversy, 488.].” Daniel 12:11–13. The twelve hundred and ninety days and the thirteen hundred and thirty-five days will extend to the time of the end, or the time of the judgment. Paul makes it very clear in Hebrews 9 that the judgment occurs in the end period of earth’s history.
The continuance and abomination of desolation and the twenty-three hundred days mentioned in Daniel 8, refers to something that will go to the end of time. It could not possibly be talking about the earthly sanctuary because it had been destroyed many hundreds of years before.
The “daily” or “constant rebellion,” that had been constant in the ancient world ever since the days of Cain was taken away and something else called “the abomination that makes desolate” was set up in its place, in 508 A.D.
The sanctuary that is talked about in Daniel could not possibly be the earthly sanctuary. All the lines of evidence are pointing in a different direction. The earthly sanctuary had been destroyed hundreds of years earlier as predicted, long before the prophecies in Daniel 8, 11 and 12 took place. That leaves only one other conclusion, since there are only two sanctuaries that are taught in Scripture: the earthly and the heavenly. It is talking here about the heavenly sanctuary.
What did the little horn power do to this sanctuary? “The place of his sanctuary [the heavenly sanctuary] was cast down . . . How long will the vision be concerning the daily [the daily or constant rebellion] and the transgression of desolation [the abomination of desolation]? The giving of both the sanctuary and the host [the people of God] to be trampled under foot.” Daniel 8:11, 13.
The little horn power is especially pointed out in God’s Word as the power that would cast down the sanctuary, trample it and defile it. What does it mean when it says, “They will cast it down and trample it and defile it?” Revelation 13:16 answers this simply, “Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle [sanctuary or temple] and those who dwell in heaven.”
Accountable for all Slain
“Therefore indeed. I send you prophets, and wise men, and scribes . . . And some of them you will . . . persecute . . .That on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth.” Matthew 23:34, 35.
Jesus told the Jews that they would be accounted guilty of all the righteous blood shed upon the earth. In the end, the God of heaven will accuse Babylon of being guilty of every murder committed in the world. “The light of a lamp shall not shine in you anymore, and the voice of bridegroom and bride shall not be heard in you any more. For your merchants were the great men of the earth, for by your sorcery all the nations were deceived. And in her was found the blood of prophets and saints, and of all who were slain on the earth.” Revelation 18:23, 24.
The Lord says, “You are to blame. The responsibility is at your door for everything.” If the Jews had accepted the Messiah, the whole history of the world would have been different. And if Babylon had kept hold of the gospel, the whole history of the world would be different also.
Babylon is guilty of all the innocent blood in the world. The little horn power (in Daniel 8) is the culmination of, the continuance in rebellion—paganism. That was the universal constant of the ancient world from the time of Cain until in its second phase it developed into the apostasy of the latter times. The antichrist power, the man of sin, is judged by God as responsible for all the innocent blood shed in the latter times.
It is especially noted in prophecy as being responsible for the defiling of the sanctuary. In Revelation 13:6 this power would open its mouth in blasphemy. It will open its mouth in blasphemy against God’s sanctuary. What was this blasphemy? Let us consider two or three major factors in this blasphemy against God’s sanctuary: that cast it down to the ground and trampled on it.
When Jesus came to this world, He offered His life on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins. Ellen White said that after Jesus was resurrected and ascended to heaven He went to the throne of God to be our Mediator. His work as our Mediator in heaven is just as important and vital to our salvation as His death on the cross.
Ellen White says in The Great Controversy, 488, that the devil hates the truths that bring to the minds of God’s people the fact that they have an all-powerful Mediator. He hates truths like those found in Hebrews 4:14–16, “Seeing then that we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
We have an all-powerful Mediator who can help, no matter how weak and sinful we are. No matter how much trouble we are in. Jesus said, “All power is given to me.” That means He is able to save perfectly everyone who comes to God through Him. (See Hebrews 7:25.)
One of the significant points of the blasphemy against God’s sanctuary was the removal of the Mediator, and placing instead human mediators. Christ the Mediator was completely removed from the heavenly sanctuary and, in the minds of men, human beings were put in His place. That is blasphemy. Blasphemy against the temple in heaven where there is an all-powerful Mediator.
When men look to human mediators, they do not get the help they need. Then they cannot overcome sin. They invent a theology that allows you to confess and confess and confess. You go and confess and you think you are saved. But there is no power. That is blasphemy. The gospel according to the New Testament presents an all-powerful Mediator. When you come to Him, you receive mercy and grace. That is power to help when you need it.
One of the biggest reasons for the crime and trouble that we have in the world today is because the Mediator has been taken away in many minds. Ellen White is very specific, that God lays at the door of the church the crime in society. (See The Great Controversy, 389.) We have taken away the help and unless you get men’s eyes back on the all-powerful Mediator, there is no help. There is no victory. That is not all, when you take away the divine Mediator, people are going to live in sin because without a divine Mediator to give help, there is no way out from your sin.
Jesus said to His disciples, “Without Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5. I do not know about you, but that is not hard for me to believe at all. Have you ever tried it? It is easy to see from our society that people without Christ go down hill quickly, and crime, wars and every variety of sin increase.
We must be in harmony with the Law of God or we will be lost. There is no truth that is taught more succinctly than this in the sanctuary system. This theme runs throughout the Bible.
Another part of the blasphemy was to remove the Law altogether. The Law says I cannot divorce my wife except for fornication. The kings of Europe, during the Middle Ages, discovered that if they received permission from the right person, they could divorce their wives and marry someone else.
Why was the seventh commandment no longer enforced? Because the Law had been removed and people did not look to the Law of God. They looked to the church to find out what they could do and what they could not do. As one writer said, If you got permission, you could sleep in peace even if you murdered your own father. Daniel 7:25 predicted that the Law of God will be removed. That was blasphemy against the sanctuary in heaven. The Mediator was removed and the Law was removed.
How is God’s sanctuary to be cleansed or restored? To restore it in the mind of men, their eyes must be focused on God and His Law in the sanctuary. The sanctuary cannot be cleansed until the condition of things done by the little horn is remedied. In your mind you must see that that Law is still valid. It has not been changed. But you need more, you need an all-powerful Mediator that you can pray to and get help to bring your life into perfect harmony with that Law. Until that happens the sanctuary cannot be restored.
The sanctuary can only be cleansed, or restored to its rightful state, when God has a group of people that keep perfectly that Law. “Here is the patience of the saints; Here are those that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” Revelation 14:12. The two things that the little horn did to trample the sanctuary, to cast it down, to defile it, have to be restored. The commandments and the High Priestly ministry of Jesus, the One Mediator, have to be restored to their rightful place.
The sanctuary is going to be cleansed. The judgment and the cleansing of the sanctuary involves three stages: first the righteous will be judged, then the wicked during the millennium followed by their execution at the end and finally the scape goat is dealt with at the end of the millennium.
The sanctuary will be cleansed and we will have a part in it. When it is over, either we will be cleansed from our sins, we will be keeping the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus, or we will be the other part of the cleansing process. Sin will be done away with. God has decided it.
When I look out in the world and see what sin has done, I am glad that God has made that decision. The question now is, Will I be cleansed of sin through the power of the Holy Spirit, through the mediation of Christ? Or will I cling to it and be destroyed when sin is destroyed?
The whole subject of the cleansing of the sanctuary in Daniel 8:10–14 has an extremely serious message for every single person in the world. That is what Adventism is about. We have a job to tell the world. The sanctuary will be restored to its rightful state and we need to decide what side we will be on when that happens.
I want the Law of God restored in my heart and to put my whole trust in Jesus as my Mediator so that my life can be changed. The best of us are not good enough and the worst of us are not so bad that the Lord cannot save us, if we put our trust in our all-powerful Mediator. I invite you to commit your life to Jesus, your all-powerful Mediator, today.