October 23, 2004 – October 29, 2004
“And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” Daniel 8:14.
Suggested Reading: Prophets and Kings, 697–699; The Great Controversy, 324–328.
“As Jesus died on Calvary, He cried, ‘It is finished,’ and the veil of the temple was rent in twain, from the top to the bottom. This was to show that the services of the earthly sanctuary were forever finished, and that God would no more meet with the priests in their earthly temple, to accept their sacrifices. The blood of Jesus was then shed, which was to be offered by Himself in the heavenly sanctuary. 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.
1 At the conclusion of Daniel’s prayer, in the ninth chapter of Daniel, who again appeared to him? Daniel 9:20, 21. For what reason does Gabriel tell Daniel he has returned? Verse 22.
note: “God had bidden His messenger: ‘Make this man to understand the vision.’ That commission must be fulfilled. In obedience to it, the angel, some time afterward, returned to Daniel, saying: ‘I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding;’ ‘therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision.’ Daniel 8:27, 16; 9:22, 23, 25-27.” The Great Controversy, 325.
2 When does Gabriel tell Daniel he had received the commandment to come to his assistance? Daniel 9:23. For what does he again say he has now come? What vision does he tell Daniel to consider? Daniel 8:26.
note: “There was one important point in the vision of chapter 8 which had been left unexplained, namely, that relating to time—the period of the 2300 days; therefore the angel, in resuming his explanation, dwells chiefly upon the subject of time.” The Great Controversy, 325.
3 How much of the 2300 days does Gabriel say was to be allotted to Daniel’s people, the Jews? Daniel 9:24, first part.
note: “The word here translated ‘determined’ literally signifies ‘cut off.’ Seventy weeks, representing 490 years, are declared by the angel to be cut off, as specially pertaining to the Jews. But from what were they cut off? As the 2300 days was the only period of time mentioned in chapter 8, it must be the period from which the seventy weeks were cut off; the seventy weeks must therefore be a part of the 2300 days, and the two periods must begin together. The seventy weeks were declared by the angel to date from the going forth of the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem.” The Great Controversy, 326.
4 What event does the angel say would mark the beginning of this great prophetic period? Daniel 9:25.
note: “The 2300 days had been found to begin when the commandment of Artaxerxes for the restoration and building of Jerusalem went into effect, in the autumn of b.c. 457. Taking this as the starting point, there was perfect harmony in the application of all the events foretold in the explanation of that period in Daniel 9:25–27.” The Faith I Live By, 208.
5 How many years from that event does the angel say would reach to Messiah, the Prince? Daniel 9:25.
note: “The commandment to restore and build Jerusalem, as completed by the decree of Artaxerxes Longimanus (see Ezra 6:14; 7:1, 9, margin), went into effect in the autumn of b.c. 457. From this time four hundred and eighty-three years extend to the autumn of a.d. 27. According to the prophecy, this period was to reach to the Messiah, the Anointed One. In a.d. 27, Jesus at His baptism received the anointing of the Holy Spirit, and soon afterward began His ministry.” The Desire of Ages, 233.
6 What three decrees constitute “the command to restore and to build Jerusalem”? Ezra 6:14.
note: “Since it takes the commandments of Cyrus (b.c. 536—
Ezra 1), of Darius (b.c. 519—Ezra 6), and of Artaxerxes (b.c. 457—Ezra 7) to constitute ‘the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem,’ it is apparent that we must date from the last one, since the ‘commandment’ was not complete until Artaxerxes’ decree was issued.” International Sabbath School Quarterly, Pacific Press Publishing Company, Oakland, California, January 1, 1904, 16.
7 Read carefully Ezra 7:11–28. What is the date of this royal commandment to restore and build Jerusalem?
note: “In the seventh chapter of Ezra the decree is found. Verses 12–26. In its completest form it was issued by Artaxerxes, king of Persia, 457 b.c.” The Great Controversy, 326.
8 Beginning in the autumn b.c. 457, 483 years extend to the baptism or anointing of Messiah the Prince, in the autumn of a.d. 27 (Mark 1:10). How much remained, then, of the period allotted to the Jewish people? What was to take place during that remaining time? Daniel 9:26, 27.
note: “In the midst of this last seven-year period, or week, just three and a half years from the autumn of a.d. 27, when Jesus was anointed the Christ at His baptism, He was crucified (the spring of a.d. 31), thus causing the sacrifices to cease.” International Sabbath School Quarterly, Pacific Press Publishing Company, Oakland, California, January 1, 1904, 16.
9 In what year did the 70 weeks, or 490 years, allotted to the Jews end, and when did the gospel go to the Gentiles? Acts 8:1–5, 25.
note: “The seventy weeks, or 490 years, were to pertain especially to the Jews. At the expiration of this period, the nation sealed its rejection of Christ by the persecution of His disciples, and the apostles turned to the Gentiles, a.d. 34.” The Faith I Live By, 208.
10 Beginning in the autumn of b.c. 457, when must the whole period of 2300 years terminate?
note: “Thus far every specification of the prophecies is strikingly fulfilled, and the beginning of the seventy weeks is fixed beyond question at 457 b.c., and their expiration in a.d. 34. From this data there is no difficulty in finding the termination of the 2300 days. The seventy weeks—490 days—having been cut off from the 2300, there were 1810 days remaining. After the end of 490 days, the 1810 days were still to be fulfilled. From a.d. 34, 1810 years extend to 1844. Consequently the 2300 days of Daniel 8:14 terminate in 1844.” The Great Controversy, 328.
11 What event was looked for in the autumn of 1844? Daniel 8:14.
note: “Under the Mosaic system the cleansing of the sanctuary, or the great Day of Atonement, occurred on the tenth day of the seventh Jewish month (Leviticus 16:29–34), when the high priest, having made an atonement for all Israel, and thus removed their sins from the sanctuary, came forth and blessed the people. So it was believed that Christ, our great High Priest, would appear to purify the earth by the destruction of sin and sinners, and to bless His waiting people with immortality. The tenth day of the seventh month, the great Day of Atonement, the time of the cleansing of the sanctuary, which in the year 1844 fell upon the twenty-second of October, was regarded as the time of the Lord’s coming. This was in harmony with the proofs already presented that the 2300 days would terminate in the autumn, and the conclusion seemed irresistible.” The Great Controversy, 400.
“The scripture which above all others had been both the foundation and the central pillar of the advent faith was the declaration: ‘Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.’ Daniel 8:14. These had been familiar words to all believers in the Lord’s soon coming. By the lips of thousands was this prophecy repeated as the watchword of their faith. All felt that upon the events therein foretold depended their brightest expectations and most cherished hopes. These prophetic days had been shown to terminate in the autumn of 1844. In common with the rest of the Christian world, Adventists then held that the earth, or some portion of it, was the sanctuary. They understood that the cleansing of the sanctuary was the purification of the earth by the fires of the last great day, and that this would take place at the second advent. Hence the conclusion that Christ would return to the earth in 1844.
“But the appointed time had passed, and the Lord had not appeared. The believers knew that God’s word could not fail; their interpretation of the prophecy must be at fault; but where was the mistake?” Ibid., 409.
12 What two events had they confused?
note: “Those who followed in the light of the prophetic word saw that, instead of coming to the earth at the termination of the 2300 days in 1844, Christ then entered the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary, to perform the closing work of atonement, preparatory to His coming. . . .” The Faith I Live By, 284.
“ ‘And, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.’ Daniel 7:13. . . . The coming of Christ here described is not His second coming to the earth. He comes to the Ancient of days in heaven to receive dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, which will be given Him at the close of His work as a mediator. It is this coming, and not His second advent to the earth, that was foretold in prophecy to take place at the termination of the 2300 days in 1844. Attended by heavenly angels, our great High Priest enters the holy of holies, and there appears in the presence of God . . . to perform the work of investigative judgment, and to make an atonement for all who are shown to be entitled to its benefits.” Ibid., 209.
These lessons are adapted from International Sabbath School Quarterly, Pacific Press Publishing Company, Oakland, California, January 1, 1904.