The Seventy-Week Prophecy Fulfilled, and the Rest of the 2300 Days Explained
Of the ten points given to Daniel when Gabriel came to explain the seventy weeks, we have already fully considered the first two, namely, the seventy weeks and their being cut off. Let us now study the eight points to follow.
Third, "upon thy people." Who were Danielís people? They were the Jewish people, at that time the people of God.
When the Saviour ordained the twelve apostles to preach the gospel, He commanded them not to go info the cities of the Samaritans, nor to the Gentiles; but to go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Matt. 10:5, 6. The apostle Paul tells us that "Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers." Rom. 15:8.
Although the Saviour was no respecter of persons, and although during His ministry He supplied the needs of all classes of people, yet He told the woman of Canaan, who asked for help for her daughter, "I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel." Matt. 15:24. His ministry was devoted to Danielís people, for the seventy weeks were "cut off" upon that people.
Before the Saviour left His disciples to return to heaven, He gave them their commission as follows: "Ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." Acts 1:8. They were to confine their work at first to the Jewish people. This they did. For three and a half years after the Saviourís ascension, not a sermon was preached outside of Judean territory. While the disciples were fulfilling Christís command to preach in Jerusalem and in Judea, they were also fulfilling the prophecy of the angel Gabriel, when he said that the seventieth week was to be confined to the Jewish people. The first half of that prophetic week the Saviour Himself used in His ministry; the last half of the week the disciples spent in and about Judea.
Of events at the close of the seventy times seven years, when persecution raged against the church in Judea, we find this account:
"Saul was consenting unto his [Stephenís] death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. Ö Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them." Acts 8:1-5.
At the close of the seventieth week, in 34 A.D., the gospel was carried to Samaria, and from there on to the uttermost parts of the earth.
Fourth, "And upon thy holy city." How earnestly the Saviour, while on earth, appealed to the Jews to do the will of God, in order that Jerusalem might remain! By parable and by direct instruction He admonished and counseled them to obey God, that Jerusalem might continue to be. "the city of the great Ring." Matt. 5:35.
The Saviour finally told the disciples that because the Israelites knew not the time of their visitation, there should "not be left here one stone upon another," that should "not be thrown down." Matt. 24:2.
With falling tears, the Lord wept over the "Holy City" and over the "temple," which would eventually be destroyed. Jesus said:
"The days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, and shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee." Luke 19:43, 44.
"When ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judea flee to the mountains. Ö For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. Ö And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles. until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled." Luke 21:20-24.
After the Saviour made the declaration: "0 Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!" He "went out, and departed from the temple." Matt. 23:37; 24:1. After the departure of the Saviourís presence that day from the temple, the glory of God never again entered the temple. Just forty years later, the city and the temple were laid in ruins.
Fifth, "To finish the transgression." The Hebrew expression for "to finish the transgression," is (lekalle happesha), "to fill up the transgression," "to make full the transgression." Something was to occur during the four hundred and ninety years which would fill up "the transgression." When the Jewish people rejected the Saviour, and had determined to take His life, He said to them: "Ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchers of the righteous, and say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. Ö Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers, Ö that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth." Matt. 23:29-35.
In rejecting and crucifying the Son of God, their King and their Messiah, the Jews filled up the cup of their transgression.
Sixth, "And to make an end of sins." The word (chattawth), translated "sins," means also "sin offerings." Sin offerings came to an end when our Lord died on Calvaryís cross. This point has already been considered.
Seventh, "And to make reconciliation for iniquity." By manís sin, death passed upon all men, but Christís great sacrifice was ample to cover all iniquity. Our Lord yielded up His life as a sacrifice for man. 1 Cor. 15:3. As the blood of lambs and goats was offered in the earthly sanctuary for the forgiveness of sin, so the great sacrifice of the Lamb of God upon Calvaryís cross made full coverage (Hebrew, kaphar) for sin, that all who "come unto God by Him" may have pardon and salvation.
Eighth, "And to bring in everlasting righteousness." Everlasting righteousness was brought to man by the Saviourís coming to earth in person, and living the righteous life demanded by the law of God. The apostle thus speaks of Christ: "Of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption." 1 Cor. 1:30.
Ninth, "And to seal up the vision and prophecy." The thought in the text is: During the seventy times seven years, events will occur which will seal up, make sure, certify, the prophecy and the vision. The prophecy of the seventy weeks and the 2300 days was sealed up and certified when the Saviour died at the ninth hour, "between the two evenings," the true Paschal Lamb. Ex. 12:6, margin; Matt. 26:1, 2; 27:46, 50; 1 Cor. 5:7. At His death the veil of the temple was rent in twain, indicating that sacrifices and offerings were of no more value.
Tenth, "And to anoint the most holy." The Hebrew words, (qodesh haq-qodashim), "the most holy," are applied to things, and not to persons. This term here refers to the heavenly sanctuary, as we shall observe in a future study. Not one feature failed of this remarkable prophecy, included in the ten points uttered by the angel Gabriel, all of which were to be fulfilled during the seventy times seven years. Heaven and earth may pass away, but not a jot or a tittle of the word of God can fall to the ground unfulfilled. Matt. 5:17, 18.
The prophet Daniel fasted "three full weeks," with prayer and supplication, during which time He sought God earnestly, in order that added light and information might be given to him in regard to the remainder of the 2300 days. He was visited once more by the heavenly messenger, who told the prophet that his prayer was heard in heaven when he began to seek the Lord at the beginning of his fast. Gabriel came to fulfill the prophetís desire. (See Dan. 10:1-12, 14.)
Gabriel impressed upon the mind of the prophet that the rest of the 2300 days would be fulfilled after "many days." When they come to pass, he said, the last days will have been reached. However, the heavenly messenger explained to Daniel that the 2300 days concerned the people of God.
The angel assured Daniel that what he was about to tell him was the truth. He was to explain what had already been revealed to the prophet. Gabriel, in visiting Daniel at this time, had not yet shown him, as far as any record indicates, anything in addition to what was revealed to him in chapters 8 and 9. The angel was now to complete his commission: "Make this man to understand the vision." Dan. 8:16.
After Gabriel had enlightened Daniel as to what would occur during the rest of the 2300 days, he told the prophet that the book should be "closed up and sealed" until "the time of the end." When the hour arrived for the unsealing of the book, he said, "Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased." Dan. 12:4. Certain events were to take place at the unsealing of the book which were not clear to the prophet. So Daniel said: "I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?" Verse 12. The angel again kindly advised the prophet that the words were sealed up till the time of the end. When that hour should arrive, he said, "the wise shall understand."
These words of the heavenly messenger were comforting to the prophet. They were an assurance that at the end of the 2300 days, when certain events were to befall Godís people, Daniel would stand in his lot. It must be remembered that it was on the Day of Atonement that the lot was cast..
The word "cleansed," found in Daniel 8:14, is a translation of the Hebrew word (nitsdaq). This Hebrew word has its origin in the root (tsadaq), which has several meanings, and being used in different texts, is variously translated as "right," "righteous," "just," "justified," "purged," "purified," "cleansed." The Analytical Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon, published by Bagster, gives the definition of this word, as it is used here in Daniel 8:14, as "purified." Bagster says (page 940) : "Niph. Da. 8:14, to be purified, so the Sept. and Vulg."
It will be recognized that "purification," "cleansing," and "purging" may have approximately the same meaning. The Septuagint, or Greek version of the Bible, translates the Hebrew word tsadaq as "katharizo," from which comes our English word "cathartic," and which is a synonym for "purge." This Greek word katharizo appears throughout Leviticus 16 wherever the English word is "cleanse." For instance, in Leviticus 16:30 we read, "On that day shall the priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse [katharisai] you, that ye may be clean [katharisthesesthe] from all your sins before the Lord."
This sixteenth chapter of Leviticus is dealing with the Day of Atonement in the times of ancient Israel. If the high priest among the Jews in olden time cleansed or purged (katharizo) the people from all their sins, it is plain that when the angel told Daniel, "Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed [katharisthesetai]," he meant that at the end of the 2300 days, in 1844, the heavenly sanctuary would begin to be purged of sin. Another example of the use of katharizo is Leviticus 16:19.
In Hebrews 9:23 we find the apostle Paul using katharizo in the sense of "purified." In our English Bibles this text reads: "It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these."
The Hebrew word translated "cleansed" in Daniel 8:14, is in other scripture texts sometimes translated "justified." For instance, Isaiah 53:11 reads in the King James Version: "He shall see of the travail of His soul. and shall be satisfied: by His knowledge shall My righteous Servant justify many; for He shall bear their iniquities."
Here we have the great High Priest in heaven justifying many, while in the typical service the high priest was to katharisai the people from all their sins. One is the type, the other the antitype. The significance of the priestly service is the same in both cases. The cleansing of the sanctuary, or justifying of the sanctuary, is a work of purifying or purging from sin.
In this text, Isaiah 53:11, there can be no mistaking the meaning of the word "justify." In the justification of "many" there is comprehended the forgiveness of sin and the cleansing from sin. This is made clear in 1 John 1:9, where we read: "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse [kathrisĎi] us from all unrighteousness."
Just as in the type the sins of the people were covered by the blood, and then carried out of the sanctuary, and thereby separated from it, making it clean from sinís pollution, so in the antitype the sanctuary in heaven is being justified, or in other words, cleansed, purged.
This work of cleansing, or blotting out of sins, takes place in the antitypical day of atonement. Peter said, as recorded in Acts 3:19, that it would be "when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; and He shall send Jesus Christ," that sins would be blotted out. This is in harmony with the text we are considering, namely, Daniel 8:14, that "unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed."
That clearer light was to shine upon the sanctuary question in this judgment hour than had been seen during the ages past, is apparent from the first angelís message of Revelation 14:6, 7, which begins, "Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come." Here is an angel flying in midheaven, and speaking with a loud voice to every nation, kindred,, tongue, and people, saying, "The hour of His [Godís] judgment is come."
In 1844 the hour arrived when the ministry of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary must be understood in its clear light and in its proper setting. Jesus had fulfilled His priestly service in the first apartment of the heavenly sanctuary, and His intercession now must give way to the closing efforts for the salvation of the human race in the second apartment of the heavenly sanctuary in the antitypical day of atonement. This final chapter of the Saviourís ministry began at the end of the 2300 days. The advent movement which began in 1844 reached its climax when the believers in the return of their Lord expected to see Him whom they loved, on October 22 of that memorable year. These earnest, God-fearing, sincere, waiting saints made no provision for any time in this world following the day they expected to be translated from earth to heaven. They looked for no future on this mundane sphere subsequent to that day.
After their keen and bitter disappointment in not seeing their Lord, all of which had been forecast in the Scripture (see Revelation 10), confusion entered the ranks of the advent band. A ray of heavenly light here and there pierced the gloom which shrouded these waiting ones. Not till the gift of prophecy wasí restored to Godís people by a call from the Lord to Miss Ellen G. Harmon (Mrs. James White), upon whom was bestowed the special heavenly endowment of visions and dreams, did the loyal and faithful remnant have clear divine guidance.
Elder James White declares that from the latter part of the year 1844, when Ellen Harmon was given her first vision, to the year 1868, a period of twenty-four years, she received between one hundred and two hundred visions. Not very long after her early visitations from the angel, she received heavenly explanation of the work of our great High Priest in heaven. (See Early Writings, p. 32.) The streams of holy light were pouring forth from the heavenly sanctuary to the people of God.
Of a vision which came to her on Sabbath, March 24, 1849, in regard to the ministry of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary, Mrs. White says:
In a supplementary note found on page 86 of Early Writings, we find the following statement made by Mrs. White in regard to the foregoing paragraph:
Christ once more gave to the church a revealed knowledge of the sanctuary. This divine illumination came at the close of the 2300 days. Now the sanctuary question is understood in all its bearings, being made clear to the remnant church of Christ. We now understand what is comprehended in the heavenly ministry of our Lord, what is involved in the antitypical work of our High Priest in the cleansing of the sanctuary, and what has taken place in heaven for mankind since Jesus passed from the holy place in the heavenly sanctuary into the most holy place.
In view of the foregoing statements, what significance must be attached to the following counsel from the Spirit of prophecy: "Many of our people do not realize how firmly the foundation of our faith has been laid. My husband, Elder Joseph Bates, Father Pierce, Elder Edson, and others, Ö were among those who, after the passing of the time in 1844, searched for the truth as for hidden treasure. I met with them, and we studied and prayed earnestly. Often we remained together until late at night, and sometimes through the entire night, praying for light and studying the word. Ö
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