But that imposture is not to last forever; thank the Lord! This great truth of the priesthood, ministry, and
sanctuary of Christianity is not to be hid forever from the eyes of the church and the world. The mystery of
iniquity arose and so hid from the world the mystery of God that all the world followed it wondering.
Revelation 13:3,4. But the day comes when the mystery of iniquity shall be exposed, and the mystery of God in its own truth and
purity shall shine forth once more, never more to be hid, but to accomplish its great purpose and be completely
finished. For it is written that "in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the
mystery of God should be finished, as He hath declared to His servants the prophets."
In the days of Christ and His apostles, the mystery of God was revealed in a fulness never before known and
was preached "to all nations for the obedience of faith." Romans 16:25, 26. From the
beginning of the world unto that time this mystery had "been hid in God," had "been hid from ages and from generations," but was then
"made manifest to His saints" to whom "God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery
among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: whom we preach, warning every man, and
teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus."
Colossians 1:26-29; Ephesians 3:3, 5, 9.
But even at that same time, in the very days of the apostles, the "mystery of iniquity" did "already work." And it
continued to work until it gained world-power and supremacy and even power over the saints, the times, and the
law of the Most High—standing up against the Prince of princes, magnifying itself even to the Prince of the host,
putting itself in the place of worship of God, and passing itself off for God. And thus, again, but not this time in
God, the mystery of God was "hid from ages and from generations." But now, again, in the days of the voice of
the seventh angel, even now, the mystery of God which hath again been hid from ages and generations, is
made manifest to His saints to whom now "God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this
mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: whom we preach, warning every man, and
teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus."
And this, as we have already quoted, is itself according "as He hath declared to His servants the prophets." It is
not alone the prophet of Patmos who declared that in this time, even now in our day, "the mystery of God should
be finished." For when the angel of God made this proclamation in the vision of the prophet of
Patmos, he had already, and long before, declared the same thing to His servants the prophets. And this proclamation on
Patmos was only the declaration of the angels that that which God had long before declared to His servants the
prophets should now surely be accomplished and that with no more delay. The full proclamation of the angel is
this: "and the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, and sware
by Him that liveth forever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the
things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time ["delay,"
R.V.] no longer: but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God
should be finished, as He hath declared to His servants the prophets." Revelation 10:5-7.
The one prophet to whom this thing was more fully and more plainly declared than to any other was the prophet
Daniel. For not only did Daniel see the rise of this little horn and see it magnify itself "even to the Prince of the
host," and "stand up against the Prince of princes," and cast down to the ground His truth and His sanctuary and
stamp upon them, but he also, and in the same vision, saw the truth and the sanctuary of Christ delivered from
this little horn power, rescued from its blasphemous stamping, lifted up from the earth and exalted to the heaven
where it belongs. And it was in this part of the transactions in the vision that the heavenly ones seemed to be
most interested; for, says Daniel: "Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain
saint ["the Wonderful Numberer"] which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice [the
continual service], and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden
underfoot? And He ["the Wonderful Numberer"] said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then
shall the sanctuary be cleansed." Daniel 8:13, 14.
Then the angel Gabriel was commanded to make Daniel understand the vision. He began to do so, but when in
the explanation he had reached the point concerning the many days of this vision, the astonishing and terrible
things revealed in the vision overcame the prophet, and says he: "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, but none understood it."
Dan. 8:27. So far as the explanation had proceeded, it was easily understood: for it was plainly spoken that the
ram represented the kings of Media and Persia; and the rough goat the king of Grecia; and, in view of the
explanation that had already been made in the second and seventh chapters of Daniel, the description of the
next great power after Grecia was easily understood so far as the angel could then go with the explanation. But
in the very midst of the explanation of the most important part of it, Daniel fainted, and so the most material and
essential part of the explanation was missed, and "none understood it."
However, the prophet sought diligently for an understanding of the vision. And after the destruction of Babylon,
in the first year of the king of the Medes and Persians the angel Gabriel came to Daniel again and said: "O
Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding." Dan. 9:1, 22. And it was understanding in this
particular vision which he was explaining when Daniel fainted that he now came to give. Accordingly he directs
Daniel's attention first of all to that vision, for he said: "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." Verse 23. Having thus directed the prophet's attention to the vision, the angel begins
immediately to discuss the time mentioned in the vision—the very part of the vision which, because of Daniel's
fainting, had been left unexplained. Thus he says: "Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy
holy city." Verse 24.
The word "determined" signifies "limited," "restricted within bounds," "to mark off and fix the bounds." In
explaining the vision at the first, the angel had come to the point of the time—the "many days," the "two thousand
and three hundred days" of the vision. Now, he tells Daniel to consider the vision; he begins immediately to
speak concerning these days and to explain the events of them. "Seventy weeks," or four hundred and ninety of
these days are limited and restricted to the Jews and Jerusalem, and this also marks the
limitation of the Jews and Jerusalem as God's special people and city. For these are prophetic days, in which each day is a year: the
seventy weeks, or the four hundred and ninety days, thus making four hundred and ninety years of the two
thousand and three hundred days which are two thousand and three hundred years. The beginning of the four
hundred and ninety years is thus also the beginning of the two thousand and three hundred years.
The story of the "seventy weeks," or four hundred and ninety years, is given by the angel as follows: "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. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for
himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof
shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. And He shall confirm the covenant
with many for one week: and in the midst of the week He shall cause the sacrifices and oblation to cease," and
"upon the wing of abominations shall come one that maketh desolate, ["and upon the battlements shall be the
idols of the desolator."—A.V. margin] even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon
the desolator." Daniel 9:25-27; 9:27, R.V.; 9:27, margin.
The commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem here referred to went forth in the year 457 B. C. and is
recorded in the seventh chapter of Ezra. The decree was issued from Babylon and was addressed, first, to
Ezra, empowering him to leave Babylon and to take with him such people and materials as were supplied for
the work of restoring Jerusalem and the worship of God therein, and secondly "to all the treasurers which are
beyond the river" Euphrates, directing them to supply whatever was required by Ezra for the carrying on of the
work. It was the fifth month of the year when Ezra reached Jerusalem, so that about half the year 457 B. C. was
gone, which would give about the year 456-1/2 as the time of the beginning of the four hundred and ninety years
and the two thousand and three hundred years.
From that time four hundred and eighty-three years were to reach "to the Messiah the Prince," which would
reach twenty-six and one-half years into the Christian era or into the year A.D. 27, which is the very year of
Christ's appearance as the Messiah in His public ministry, when He was baptized in Jordan and anointed with
the Holy Ghost. Mark 7:9-11; Matthew 3:13-17. After this He, the Messiah, was to "confirm the covenant" "for one
week"—the remaining week of the seventy. But in the midst of that week He would "cause the sacrifice and the
oblation to cease" by the sacrifice of Himself on the cross. In the midst of the week would be at the end of three
and a half of the seven years from the fall of A.D. 27. This gives the date the spring of A.D. 31, the very time
when the Saviour was crucified, and thus by the sacrifice of Himself—the only sacrifice for
sins—forever caused the sacrifice and the oblation to cease. Then the veil of the earthly temple "was rent in twain from the top to the
bottom," showing that the service of God there was ended and the earthly house was desolate.
There was yet the last half of the seventieth week remaining as the limit of the time of special favor to the Jews
and Jerusalem. This half of the week, beginning in the spring of A.D. 31, extended to the fall of A.D. 34. In that
time "they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen ["went everywhere
preaching the word"] traveled as far as Phenice and Cyprus and Antioch preaching the word to none but unto
the Jews only." Acts 11:19; 8:4. But when this time was expired and the Jews had confirmed themselves in the
rejection of the Messiah and His gospel, then was their decision accepted and under the leadership of both
Peter and Paul the door of faith was opened fully to the Gentiles, to whom pertains the remaining portion of the
two thousand and three hundred years.
After the four hundred and ninety years of the limitation upon the Jews and Jerusalem, there yet remained one
thousand eight hundred and ten years to the Gentiles. This period, beginning, as we have found, in the fall of
A.D. 34, reaches inevitably to the fall of A.D. 1844 and marks that date as the expiration of the two thousand
and three hundred years. And at that time, upon the word of the "Wonderful Numberer" in Daniel 8:14, "then
shall the sanctuary be cleansed." In 1844 also was the very time of "the days of the voice of the seventh angel,
when he shall begin to sound" and when "the mystery of God should be finished, as He hath declared to His
servants the prophets."
At that time there would be broken up the horror of great darkness by which the mystery of iniquity had hid from
ages and generations the mystery of God. At that time the sanctuary and the true tabernacle and the truth of it
would be lifted up from the ground where the man of sin had cast them down and stamped upon them and
would be exalted to the heaven where they belong and whence they will shine forth in such light as that the earth
shall be lightened with the glory. At that time the transcendent truth of the priesthood and ministry of Christ would
be rescued from the oblivion to which the abomination and transgression of desolation had consigned it and
would once more and forever stand in its true and heavenly place in the faith of the church, accomplishing in
every true believer that perfection which is the eternal purpose of God which He purposed in Christ Jesus our