|Chapter 23: CHRIST'S MINISTRY IN THE
Seventh-day Adventists Believe...
There is a sanctuary in heaven, the true tabernacle which
the Lord set up and not man. In it Christ ministers on our
behalf, making available to believers the benefits of His
atoning sacrifice offered once for all on the cross. He was
inaugurated as our great High Priest and began His
intercessory ministry at the time of His ascension. In 1844,
at the end of the prophetic period of 2300 days, He entered
the second and last phase of His atoning ministry. It is a
work of investigative judgment which is part of the ultimate
disposition of all sin, typified by the cleansing of the
ancient Hebrew sanctuary on the Day of Atonement. In that
typical service the sanctuary was cleansed with the blood of
animal sacrifices, but the heavenly things are purified with
the perfect sacrifice of the blood of Jesus. The
investigative judgment reveals to heavenly intelligences who
among the dead are asleep in Christ and therefore, in Him,
are deemed worthy to have part in the first resurrection. It
also makes manifest who among the living are abiding in
Christ, keeping the commandments of God and the faith of
Jesus, and in Him, therefore, are ready for translation into
His everlasting kingdom. This judgment vindicates the
justice of God in saving those who believe in Jesus. It
declares that those who have remained loyal to God shall
receive the kingdom. The completion of this ministry of
Christ will mark the close of human probation before the
Second Advent.--Fundamental Beliefs, 23
CHRIST'S MINISTRY IN THE HEAVENLY SANCTUARY
The hour of the evening sacrifice arrives. The priest
stands in the court of the Temple in Jerusalem ready to
offer a lamb as sacrifice. As he raises the knife to kill
the victim, the earth convulses. Terrified, he drops the
knife and the lamb escapes. Over the din of the earthquake
he hears a loud ripping noise as an unseen hand rends the
veil of the Temple from top to bottom.
Across town, black clouds enshroud a cross. When Jesus,
the Passover Lamb of God, calls out, "It is finished!" He
dies for the sins of the world.
Type has met antitype. The very event the Temple services
have pointed to through the centuries has taken place. The
Saviour has completed His atoning sacrifice, and because
symbol has met reality, the rituals foreshadowing this
sacrifice have been superseded. Thus the rent veil, the
dropped knife, the escaped lamb.
But there is more to salvation history. It reaches beyond
the cross. Jesus' resurrection and ascension direct our
attention to the heavenly sanctuary, where, no longer the
Lamb, He ministers as priest. The once-for-all sacrifice has
been offered (Heb. 9:28); now He makes available to all the
benefits of this atoning sacrifice.
The Sanctuary in Heaven
God instructed Moses to build as His earthly dwelling
place (Ex. 25:8) the first sanctuary that functioned under
the first (old) covenant (Heb. 9:1). This was a place where
people were taught the way of salvation. About 400 years
later the permanent Temple in Jerusalem built by King
Solomon replaced Moses' portable tabernacle. After
Nebuchadnezzar destroyed that Temple, the exiles who
returned from Babylonian captivity built the second Temple,
which Herod the Great beautified and which the Romans
destroyed in A.D. 70.
The New Testament reveals that the new covenant also has
a sanctuary, one that is in heaven. In it Christ functions
as high priest "at the right hand of the throne of the
Majesty." This sanctuary is the "true tabernacle which the
Lord erected, and not man" (Heb. 8:1,2).(*1) At Mount Sinai
Moses was shown "`the pattern,'" copy, or miniature model of
the heavenly sanctuary (see Ex. 25:9, 40).(*2) Scripture
calls the sanctuary he built "the copies of the things in
the heavens," and its "holy places...copies of the true"
(Heb. 9:23,24). The earthly sanctuary and its services,
then, give us special insight into the role of the heavenly
Throughout, Scripture presumes the existence of a
heavenly sanctuary or temple (e.g., Ps. 11:4; 102:19; Micah
1:2,3).(*3) In vision, John the revelator saw the heavenly
sanctuary. He described it as "the temple of the tabernacle
of the testimony in heaven" (Rev. 15:5) and "the temple of
God...in heaven" (Rev. 11:19). There he saw the items that
the furnishings of the holy place of the earthly sanctuary
were modeled after, such as seven lampstands (Rev. 1:12) and
an altar of incense (Rev. 8:3). And he saw there also the
ark of the covenant which was like the one in the earthly
Holy of Holies (Rev. 11:19).
The heavenly altar of incense is located before God's
throne (Rev. 8:3; 9:13), which is in the heavenly temple of
God (Rev. 4:2; 7:15; 16:17). Thus the heavenly throne room
scene (Dan. 7:9, 10) is in the heavenly temple or sanctuary.
This is why the final judgments issue from God's temple
It is clear, therefore, that the Scriptures present the
heavenly sanctuary as a real place (Heb. 8:2, NEB), not a
metaphor or abstraction.(*4) The heavenly sanctuary is the
primary dwelling place of God.
The Ministry in the Heavenly Sanctuary
The message of the sanctuary was a message of salvation.
God used its services to proclaim the gospel (Heb. 4:2). The
earthly sanctuary services were "a symbol [parabole in
Greek--a parable] for the present time then present"--until
Christ's first advent (Heb. 9:9,10, NASB). "Through symbol
and ritual God purposed by means of this gospel-parable to
focus the faith of Israel upon the sacrifice and priestly
ministry of the world's Redeemer, the `Lamb of God,' who
would take away the sin of the world (Gal. 3:23;
The sanctuary illustrated three phases of Christ's
ministry: (1) the substitutionary sacrifice, (2) the
priestly mediation, and (3) the final judgment.
The Substitutionary Sacrifice
Every sanctuary sacrifice symbolized Jesus' death for the
forgiveness of sin, revealing the truth that "without
shedding of blood there is no remission" (Heb. 9:22). Those
sacrifices illustrated the following truths:
1. God's judgment on sin.
Because sin is a deep-seated rebellion against all that
is good, pure, and true, it cannot be ignored. "The wages of
sin is death" (Rom. 6:23).
2. Christ's substitutionary death.
"All we like sheep have gone astray;...and the Lord has
laid on Him the iniquity of us all" (Isa. 53:6). "Christ
died for our sins according to the Scriptures"(1 Cor.15:3).
3. God provides the atoning sacrifice.
That sacrifice is "Christ Jesus, whom God set forth to be
a propitiation by His blood, through faith" (Rom. 3:24,25).
"For He [God] made Him [Christ] who knew no sin to be sin
for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in
Him" (2 Cor. 5:21). Christ the Redeemer took the judgment of
sin upon Himself. Therefore, "Christ was treated as we
deserve, that we might be treated as He deserves. He was
condemned for our sins, in which He had no share, that we
might be justified by His righteousness, in which we had no
share. He suffered the death which was ours, that we might
receive the life which was His. `With his stripes we are
healed' [Isa. 53:5]."(*6)
The sacrifices of the earthly sanctuary were repetitive.
Like a story, this ritual parable of redemption was told and
retold year after year. By contrast, the Antitype--the
actual atoning death of our Lord--took place at Calvary once
for all time (Heb. 9:26-28; 10:10-14).
On the cross the penalty for human sin was fully paid.
Divine justice was satisfied. From a legal perspective the
world was restored to favor with God (Rom. 5:18). The
atonement, or reconciliation, was completed on the cross as
foreshadowed by the sacrifices, and the penitent believer
can trust in this finished work of our Lord.(*7)
The Priestly Mediator
If the sacrifice atoned for sin, why was a priest
The priest's role drew attention to the need for
mediation between sinners and a holy God. Priestly mediation
reveals the seriousness of sin and the estrangement it
brought between a sinless God and a sinful creature. "Just
as every sacrifice foreshadowed Christ's death, so every
priest foreshadowed Christ's mediatorial ministry as high
priest in the heavenly sanctuary. `For there is one God, and
one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus'
(1 Tim. 2:5)."(*8)
1. Mediator and atonement.
The application of the atoning blood during the
mediatorial ministry of the priest was also seen as a form
of atonement (Lev. 4:35). The English term atonement implies
a reconciliation between two estranged parties. As the
atoning death of Christ reconciled the world to God, so His
mediation, or the application of the merits of His sinless
life and substitutionary death, makes reconciliation or
atonement with God a personal reality for the believer.
The Levitical priesthood illustrates the saving ministry
Christ has carried on since His death. Our High Priest,
serving "at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in
the heavens," functions as a "Minister of the sanctuary and
of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not man"
The heavenly sanctuary is the great command center where
Christ conducts His priestly ministry for our salvation. He
is able "to save to the uttermost those who come to God
through Him, since He ever lives to make intercession for
them" (Heb. 7:25). Therefore, we are encouraged to come
"boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and
find grace to help in time of need" (Heb. 4:16).
In the earthly sanctuary the priests carried out two
distinct ministries--a daily ministry in the holy place, or
first apartment (see chapter 4 of this book) and a yearly
ministry in the Most Holy Place, or Second Apartment. Those
services illustrated Christ's priestly ministry.(*9)
2. The ministry in the holy place.
The priestly ministry in the holy place of the sanctuary
could be characterized as a ministry of intercession,
forgiveness, reconciliation, and restoration. A continual
ministry, it provided constant access to God through the
priest.(*10) It symbolized the truth that the repentant
sinner has immediate and constant access to God through
Christ's priestly ministry as intercessor and mediator
(Eph. 2:18; Heb. 4:14-16; 7:25; 9:24; 10:19-22).
When the penitent sinner(*11) came to the sanctuary with
a sacrifice, he laid his hands on the head of the innocent
animal and confessed his sins. This act symbolically
transferred his sin and its penalty to the victim. As a
result, he obtained forgiveness of sins.(*12) As The Jewish
Encyclopedia states: "The laying of hands upon the victim's
head is an ordinary rite by which the substitution and
transfer of sins are effected." "In every sacrifice there is
the idea of substitution; the victim takes the place of the
The blood of the sin offering was applied in one of two
ways: a. If it was taken into the holy place, it was
sprinkled before the inner veil and placed on the horns of
the altar of incense (Lev. 4:6,7,17,18). b. If it was not
taken into the sanctuary, it was placed on the horns of the
altar of burnt offering in the court (Lev. 4:25,30). In that
case the priest ate part of the flesh of the sacrifice (Lev.
6:25,26,30). In either case, the participants understood
that their sins and accountability were transferred to the
sanctuary and its priesthood.(*14)
"In this ritual parable the sanctuary assumed the
penitent's guilt and accountability--for the time being at
least--when the penitent offered a sin offering, confessing
his errors. He went away forgiven, assured of God's
acceptance. So in the antitypical experience, when a sinner
is drawn in penitence by the Holy Spirit to accept Christ as
his Saviour and Lord, Christ assumes his sins and
accountability. He is freely forgiven. Christ is the
believer's Surety as well as his Substitute."(*15)
In type and antitype the holy place ministry primarily
centers on the individual. Christ's priestly ministry
provides for the sinner's forgiveness and reconciliation to
God (Heb. 7:25). "For Christ's sake God forgives the
repentant sinner, imputes to him the righteous character and
obedience of His Son, pardons his sins, and records his name
in the book of life as one of His children (Eph. 4:32; 1
John 1:9; 2 Cor. 5:21; Rom. 3:24; Luke 10:20). And as the
believer abides in Christ, spiritual grace is mediated to
him by our Lord through the Holy Spirit so that he matures
spiritually and develops the virtues and graces that reflect
the divine character (2 Peter 3:18; Gal. 5:22,23)."(*16)
The ministry in the holy place brings about the
believer's justification and sanctification.
The Final Judgment
The events on the Day of Atonement illustrate the three
phases of God's final judgment. They are (1) the
"premillennial judgment" (or "the investigative judgment")
which is also called the "pre-Advent judgment"; (2) the
"millennial judgment"; and (3) the "executive judgment"
which takes place at the end of the millennium.
1. The ministry in the Most Holy Place.
The second division of the priestly ministry is primarily
sanctuary-centered, revolving around the cleansing of the
sanctuary and of God's people. This form of ministry, which
focused on the Most Holy Place of the sanctuary and which
only the high priest could perform, was limited to one day
of the religious year.
The cleansing of the sanctuary required two goats--the
Lord's goat and the scapegoat (Azazel in Hebrew).
Sacrificing the Lord's goat, the high priest made atonement
for "the Holy Place [actually the Most Holy Place in this
chapter], the tabernacle of meeting [the holy place], and
the altar [of the court]" (Lev. 16:20; cf. 16:16-18).
Taking the blood of the Lord's goat, which represented
the blood of Christ, into the Most Holy Place, the high
priest applied it directly, in the very presence of God, to
the mercy seat--the cover of the ark containing the Ten
Commandments--to satisfy the claims of God's holy law. His
action symbolized the immeasurable price Christ had to pay
for our sins, revealing how eager God is to reconcile His
people to Himself (cf. 2 Cor. 5:19). Then he applied this
blood to the altar of incense and to the altar of burnt
offering which on every day of the year had been sprinkled
with the blood representing confessed sins. The high priest
thereby made an atonement for the sanctuary, as well as the
people, and brought about cleansing of both (Lev. 16:16-20,
Next, representing Christ as mediator, the high priest
took upon himself the sins that had polluted the sanctuary
and transferred them to the live goat, Azazel, which was
then led away from the camp of God's people. This action
removed the sins of the people that had been symbolically
transferred from the repentant believers to the sanctuary
through the blood or flesh of the sacrifices of the daily
ministry of forgiveness. In this way the sanctuary was
cleansed and prepared for another year's work of ministry
(Lev. 16:16-20, 30-33).(*17) And thus all things were set
right between God and His people.(*18)
The Day of Atonement, then, illustrates the judgment
process that deals with the eradication of sin. The
atonement performed on this day "foreshadowed the final
application of the merits of Christ to banish the presence
of sin for all eternity and to accomplish the full
reconciliation of the universe into one harmonious
government under God."(*19)
2. Azazel, the scapegoat.
"The translation `scapegoat" (escape goat) of the Hebrew
azazel comes from the Vulgate caper emissarius, "goat sent
away" (Lev. 16:8, RSV, KJV, margin).(*20) A careful
examination of Leviticus 16 reveals that Azazel represents
Satan, not Christ, as some have thought. The arguments
supporting this interpretation are: "(1) the scapegoat was
not slain as a sacrifice and thus could not be used as a
means of bringing forgiveness. For `without shedding of
blood is no remission' (Heb. 9:22); (2) the sanctuary was
entirely cleansed by the blood of the Lord's goat before the
scapegoat was introduced into the ritual (Lev. 16:20); (3)
the passage treats the scapegoat as a personal being who is
the opposite of, and opposed to, God (Leviticus 16:8 reads
literally, `One to Yahweh and the other to Azazel').
Therefore, in the setting of the sanctuary parable, it is
more consistent to see the Lord's goat as a symbol of Christ
and the scapegoat--Azazel--as a symbol of Satan."(*21)
3. The different phases of the judgment.
The scapegoat ritual on the Day of Atonement pointed
beyond Calvary to the final end of the sin problem--the
banishment of sin and Satan. The "full accountability for
sin will be rolled back upon Satan, its originator and
instigator. Satan, and his followers, and all the effects of
sin, will be banished from the universe by destruction.
Atonement by judgment will, therefore, bring about a fully
reconciled and harmonious universe (Eph. 1:10). This is the
objective that the second and final phase of Christ's
priestly ministry in the heavenly sanctuary will
accomplish."(*22) This judgment will see God's final
vindication before the universe.(*23)
The Day of Atonement portrayed the three phases of the
a. The removal of sins from the sanctuary relates to the
first, or pre-Advent, investigative phase of the judgment.
It "focuses on the names recorded in the Book of Life just
as the Day of Atonement focused on the removal of the
confessed sins of the penitent from the sanctuary. False
believers will be sifted out; the faith of true believers
and their union with Christ will be reaffirmed before the
loyal universe, and the records of their sins will be
b. The banishment of the scapegoat to the wilderness
symbolizes Satan's millennial imprisonment on this desolated
earth, which begins at the Second Advent and coincides with
the second phase of the final judgment, which takes place in
heaven (Rev. 20:4; 1 Cor. 6:1-3). This millennial judgment
involves a review of the judgment on the wicked and will
benefit the redeemed by giving them insight into God's
dealings with sin and those sinners who were not saved. It
will answer all the questions the redeemed may have about
God's mercy and justice (see chapter 26).
c. The clean camp symbolizes the results of the third, or
executive, phase of the judgment, when fire destroys the
wicked and cleanses the earth (Rev. 20:11-15; Matt. 25:31-46
2 Peter 3:7-13; see chapter 26 of this book).
The Heavenly Sanctuary in Prophecy
In the above discussion we focused on the sanctuary from
the type-antitype perspective. Now we will look at it in
The Anointing of the Heavenly Sanctuary
The 70-week prophecy of Daniel 9 pointed to the
inauguration of Christ's priestly ministry in the heavenly
sanctuary. One of the last events to take place during the
490 years was the anointing of the "Most Holy" (Dan. 9:24;
see chapter 4). The Hebrew qodesh qodeshim that has been
translated as "Most Holy" literally means Holy of Holies. It
would therefore be better to translate the phrase "to anoint
a Holy of Holies" or "to anoint the most holy place" (NASB).
As during the inauguration of the earthly sanctuary it
was anointed with holy oil to consecrate it for its
services, so in its inauguration the heavenly sanctuary was
to be anointed to consecrate it for Christ's intercessory
ministry. With His ascension soon after His death (Dan.
9:27)(*25) Christ began His ministry as our high priest and
The Cleansing of the Heavenly Sanctuary
Speaking of the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary, the
book of Hebrews says, "Almost all things are purged with
blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.
Therefore it was necessary that the copies of the things in
the heavens [the earthly sanctuary] should be purified with
these [the blood of animals], but the heavenly things
themselves [the heavenly sanctuary] with better sacrifices
than these"--the precious blood of Christ (Heb. 9:22,23).
Various commentators have noted this Biblical teaching.
Henry Alford remarked that "the heaven itself needed, and
obtained, purification by the atoning blood of Christ."(*26)
B.F. Westcott commented, "It may be said that even `heavenly
things,' so far as they embody the conditions of man's
future life, contracted by the Fall something which required
cleansing." It was Christ's blood, he said, that was
available "for the cleansing of the heavenly archetype of
the earthly sanctuary."(*27)
As the sins of God's people were by faith placed upon the
sin offering and then symbolically transferred to the
earthly sanctuary, so under the new covenant the confessed
sins of the penitent are by faith placed on Christ.(*28)
And as during the typical Day of Atonement the cleansing
of the earthly sanctuary removed the sins accumulated there,
so the heavenly sanctuary is cleansed by the final removal
of the record of sins in the heavenly books. But before the
records are finally cleared, they will be examined to
determine who through repentance and faith in Christ is
entitled to enter His eternal kingdom. The cleansing of the
heavenly sanctuary, therefore, involves a work of
investigation or judgment(*29) that fully reflects the
nature of the Day of Atonement as a day of judgment.(*30)
This judgment, which ratifies the decision as to who will be
saved and who will be lost, must take place before the
Second Advent, for at that time Christ returns with His
reward "`to give to every one according to his work'" (Rev.
22:12). Then, also, Satan's accusations will be answered
(cf. Rev. 12:10).
All who have truly repented and by faith claimed the
blood of Christ's atoning sacrifice have received pardon.
When their names come up in this judgment and they are found
clothed with the robe of Christ's righteousness, their sins
are blotted out and they are accounted worthy of eternal
life (Luke 20:35). "`He who overcomes,'" Jesus said, "`shall
be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his
name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name
before My Father and before His angels'" (Rev. 3:5).
The prophet Daniel reveals the nature of this
investigative judgment. While the apostate power symbolized
by the little horn carries on its blasphemous and
persecuting work against God and His people on earth (Dan.
7:8,20,21,25), thrones are set in place and God presides
over the final judgment. This judgment takes place in the
throne room of the heavenly sanctuary and is attended by
multitudes of heavenly witnesses. When the court is seated,
the books are opened, signaling the beginning of an
investigative procedure (Dan. 7:9,10). It is not until after
this judgment that the apostate power is destroyed
The Time of the Judgment
Both Christ and the Father are involved in the
investigative judgment. Before He returns to the earth on
the "clouds of heaven," Christ as the "`Son of Man'" comes
"`with the clouds of heaven'" to the "`Ancient of Days,'"
God the Father, and stands before Him (Dan. 7:13). Ever
since His ascension Christ has functioned as high priest,
our intercessor before God (Heb. 7:25). But at this time He
comes to receive the kingdom (Dan. 7:14).
1. The eclipse of Christ's priestly ministry.
Daniel 8 tells us about the controversy between good and
evil and God's final triumph. This chapter reveals that
between the inauguration of Christ's high-priestly ministry
and the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary an earthly power
would obscure Christ's ministry.
The ram in this vision represented the Medo-Persian
empire (Dan. 8:2)--the two horns, the higher coming up last,
clearly depicting its two phases, the dominant Persian part
of the kingdom emerging last. As Daniel predicted, this
eastern kingdom did extend its power "westward, northward,
and southward," becoming "great" (Dan. 8:4).
The male goat coming from the west symbolized Greece,
with the great horn, its "`first king,'" representing
Alexander the Great (Dan. 8:21). Coming "`from the west'"
Alexander swiftly defeated Persia. Then, within a few years
of his death, his empire was divided into "`four kingdoms'"
(Dan. 8:8, 22)--the kingdoms of Cassander, Lysimachus,
Seleucus, and Ptolemy.
At "`the latter time of their kingdom'" (Dan. 8:23), in
other words, toward the end of the divided Greek empire "a
little horn" would arise (Dan. 8:9). Some consider Antiochus
Epiphanes, a Syrian King who ruled over Palestine for a
short period in the second century B.C., the fulfillment of
this part of the prophecy. Others, including many of the
Reformers, have identified this little horn as Rome in both
its pagan and papal phases. This last interpretation fits
exactly the specifications Daniel gave, whereas the other
does not.(*32) Notice the following points:
a. The little horn power extends from the fall of the Greek
empire till the "`time of the end'" (Dan. 8:17). Only Rome,
pagan and papal, meets these time specifications.
b. The prophecies of Daniel 2, 7, and 8 parallel each other
(see prophetic parallel chart, page 347 of this book). The
four metals of the image of Daniel 2 and the four beasts of
Daniel 7 represent the same world empires: Babylon,
Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. Both the feet of iron and
clay and the ten horns of the fourth beast represent the
divisions of Rome; those divided states were to continue to
exist until the Second Advent. Note that both prophecies
point to Rome as the successor of Greece and as the last
empire before the Second Advent and final judgment. The
little horn in Daniel 8 fits in the same slot; it follows
Greece and is supernaturally destroyed or "`broken without
human hand'" (Dan. 8:25; cf. Dan. 2:34).(*33)
c. Medo-Persia is called "great," Greece is described as
being "very great," and the little horn as "exceedingly
great" (Dan. 8:4,8,9). Rome, one of the greatest world
empires, fits this specification.
d. Only Rome expanded its empire to the south (Egypt), the
east (Macedonia and Asia Minor), and "the Glorious Land"
(Palestine), just as the prophecy predicted (Dan. 8:9).
e. Rome stood up against the "Prince of the host," the
"Prince of princes'" (Dan. 8:11, 25), who is none other than
Jesus Christ. "Against Him and His people, as well as His
sanctuary, the power of Rome fought a most amazing warfare.
This description covers both the pagan and papal phases of
Rome. While pagan Rome withstood Christ and did indeed
destroy the Temple in Jerusalem, papal Rome effectively
obscured the priestly, mediatorial ministry of Christ in
behalf of sinners in the heavenly sanctuary (see Heb. 8:1,2)
by substituting a priesthood that purports to offer
forgiveness through the mediation of men."(*34) (See chapter
12). This apostate power would be quite successful, for "he
cast truth down to the ground. He did all this and
prospered" (Dan. 8:12).
2. The time of restoration, cleansing, and judgment.
God would not permit the eclipse of the truth of Christ's
high-priestly ministry to go on indefinitely. Through
faithful, God-fearing men and women He revived His cause.
The Reformation's partial rediscovery of Christ's role as
our Mediator caused a great revival within the Christian
world. Yet there was still more truth to be revealed about
Christ's heavenly ministry.
Daniel's vision indicated that Christ's role as our high
priest would be made especially prominent toward "`the time
of the end'" (Dan. 8:17), when He would begin His special
work of cleansing and judgment in addition to His continual
intercessory ministry (Heb. 7:25).(*35) The vision specifies
when Christ was to begin this antitypical day of atonement
ministry--the work of the investigative judgment (Dan. 7)
and cleansing of the sanctuary--"Unto two thousand and three
hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed" (Dan.
8:14, KJV).(*36) Because the vision refers to the time of
the end, the sanctuary it speaks of cannot be the earthly
sanctuary--for it was destroyed in A.D. 70. The prophecy
must therefore refer to the new covenant sanctuary in
heaven--the place where Christ ministers for our salvation.
What are the 2300 days or "2,300 evenings-mornings," as
the original Hebrew reads?(*37) According to Genesis 1, an
"evening and morning" is a day. As we have seen in chapters
4 and 12 of this book, a time period in symbolic prophecy is
also symbolic: a prophetic day represents a year. So, as
many Christians throughout the centuries have believed, the
2300 days of Daniel 8 signify 2300 literal years.(*38)
a. Daniel 9 the key to unlocking Daniel 8.
God commissioned the angel Gabriel to make Daniel
"`understand the vision'" (Dan. 8:16). But its impact was so
shocking that Daniel became ill and Gabriel had to
discontinue his explanation. At the close of the chapter
Daniel remarked: "I was appalled by the vision and did not
understand it" (Dan. 8:27, RSV).
Because of this interruption, Gabriel had to delay his
explanation of the time period--the only aspect of the
vision he had not yet explained. Daniel 9 describes his
return to complete this responsibility. Daniel 8 and 9,
then, are connected, the latter being the key to unlocking
the mystery of the 2300 days.(*39) When Gabriel appeared he
said to Daniel: "`I have come forth to give you skill to
understand....therefore consider the matter, and understand
the vision'" (Dan. 9:23). Here he refers back to the vision
of the 2300 days. His desire to explain the time elements of
the vision of Daniel 8 makes clear why he introduces his
explanation with the 70-weeks prophecy.
The 70 weeks, or 490 years, were "`determined,'" or
"decreed" (RSV, NASB, NIV), for the Jews and Jerusalem (Dan.
9:24). The underlying Hebrew verb is chathak. Although this
verb is used only once in the Scriptures, its meaning can be
understood from other Hebrew sources.(*40) The well-known
Hebrew-English dictionary by Gesenius states that properly
it means "to cut" or "to divide."(*41)
With this background, Gabriel's comments are very
revealing. He tells Daniel that 490 years were to be cut off
from the longer period of 2300 years. As the starting point
for the 490 years, Gabriel points to "`the going forth of
the command to restore and build Jerusalem'" (Dan. 9:25),
which took place in 457 B.C., the seventh year of Artaxerxes
(see chapter 4).(*42)
The 490 years ended in A.D. 34. When we cut off 490 years
from the 2300 years, we are left with 1810 years. Since the
2300 years were to extend 1810 years beyond A.D. 34, they
reach to the year 1844.(*43)
b. Toward a fuller understanding of Christ's ministry.
During the early part of the nineteenth century many
Christians--including Baptists, Presbyterians, Methodists,
Lutherans, Anglicans, Episcopalians, Congregationalists, and
Disciples of Christ--gave intensive study to the prophecy of
Daniel 8.(*44) All these Bible students expected some very
significant events to take place at the end of the 2300
years. Depending on their understanding of the little horn
power and the sanctuary, they anticipated this prophetic
period to terminate in the purification of the church, the
liberation of Palestine and Jerusalem, the return of the
Jews, the fall of the Turkish or Muslim power, the
destruction of the papacy, the restoration of true worship,
the beginning of the earthly millennium, the day of
judgment, the cleansing of the earth by fire, or the Second
None of these predictions materialized, and all who
believed them were disappointed. Yet the severity of their
disappointment was in proportion to the nature of the
predicted event. Obviously the disappointment of those who
expected Christ to return in 1844 was more traumatic than
that of those who looked for the return of the Jews to
As a result of their disappointment, many gave up the
study of prophecy or turned from the historicist method of
interpreting prophecy, which had led to these
conclusions.(*47) Some, however, continued to study this
prophecy and the subject of the sanctuary with much prayer
and intensity, continuing to look to Christ's ministry in
the heavenly sanctuary on their behalf. Rich new insights
into that ministry rewarded their efforts. They discovered
that the historic prophetic faith of the early church and of
the Reformation was still valid. The prophetic time
calculations were indeed correct. The 2300 years had ended
in 1844. Their mistake--and that of all interpreters of that
time--was in their understanding of what event was to take
place at the end of that prophetic period. New light from
Christ's sanctuary ministry turned their disappointment into
hope and joy.(*48)
Their study of Biblical teachings on the sanctuary
revealed that in 1844 Christ came to the Ancient of Days and
began the final phase of His high-priestly ministry in the
heavenly sanctuary. This ministry was the antitype of the
Day of Atonement cleansing of the sanctuary that Daniel 7
depicts as the pre-Advent investigative judgment.
This new insight into Christ's heavenly ministry "is not
a departure from the historic Christian faith. It is,
instead, the logical completion and inevitable consummation
of that faith. It is simply the last-day appearance and
fulfillment of the prophesied emphasis characterizing the
everlasting gospel...in the closing segment of its witness
to the world."(*49)
The Significance Within the Great Controversy
The prophecies of Daniel 7 and 8 disclose the broader
perspectives of the final outcome of the great controversy
between God and Satan.
The Vindication of God's Character
Through the activities of the little horn, Satan has
attempted to challenge God's authority. The acts of that
power have reproached and trampled upon the heavenly
sanctuary, the center of God's government. Daniel's visions
point to a pre-Advent judgment in which God will secure a
verdict of condemnation upon the little horn, and thus upon
Satan himself. In the light of Calvary all Satan's
challenges will be refuted. All come to understand and agree
that God is right; that He has no responsibility for the sin
problem. His character will emerge unassailable, and His
government of love will be reaffirmed.
The Vindication of God's People
While the judgment brings condemnation upon the apostate
little horn power, it is "`made in favor of the saints of
the Most High'" (Dan. 7:22). Indeed, this judgment not only
vindicates God before the universe, but His people, as well.
Though the saints have been despised and persecuted for
their faith in Christ as they may have been throughout the
centuries, this judgment puts things right. God's people
will realize Christ's promise: "`Therefore whoever confesses
Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who
is in heaven'" (Matt. 10:32; cf. Luke 12:8,9; Rev. 3:5).
The Judgment and Salvation
Does the investigative judgment jeopardize the salvation
of those who believe in Jesus Christ? Not at all. Genuine
believers live in union with Christ, trusting in Him as
intercessor (Rom. 8:34). Their assurance is in the promise
that "we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the
righteous" (1 John 2:1).
Why then a pre-Advent investigative judgment? This
judgment is not for the benefit of the Godhead. It is
primarily for the benefit of the universe, answering the
charges of Satan and giving assurance to the unfallen
creation that God will allow into His kingdom only those who
truly have been converted. So God opens the books of record
for impartial inspection (Dan. 7:9,10).
Human beings belong to one of three classes: (1) the
wicked, who reject God's authority; (2) genuine believers,
who, trusting in the merits of Christ through faith, live in
obedience to God's law; and (3) those who appear to be
genuine believers but are not.
The unfallen beings can readily discern the first class.
But who is a genuine believer and who is not? Both groups
are written in the book of life, which contains the names of
all who have ever entered God's service (Luke 10:20; Phil.
4:3; Dan. 12:1; Rev. 21:27). The church itself contains
genuine and false believers, the wheat and the tares
God's unfallen creatures are not omniscient; they cannot
read the heart. "So a judgment is needed--before the second
coming of Christ--to sift the true from the false and to
demonstrate to the interested universe God's justice in
saving the sincere believer. The issue is with God and the
universe, not between God and the true child. This calls for
the opening of the books of record, the disclosing of those
who have professed faith and whose names have been entered
into the book of life."(*50)
Christ depicted this judgment in His parable of the
wedding guests who responded to the generous gospel
invitation. Because not all who choose to be Christian are
genuine disciples, the king comes to inspect the guests and
see who has the wedding garment. This garment represents
"the pure, spotless character which Christ's true followers
will possess. To the church is given `that she should be
arrayed in fine linen, clean and white,' `not having spot,
or wrinkle, or any such thing,' (Rev. 19:8; Eph. 5:27). The
fine linen, says the Scripture, `is the righteousness of
saints' (Rev. 19:8). It is the righteousness of Christ, His
own unblemished character, that through faith is imparted to
all who receive Him as their personal Saviour."(*51) When
the king inspects the guests, only those who have put on the
robe of Christ's righteousness so generously offered in the
gospel invitation are accepted as genuine believers. Those
who profess to be followers of God but who are living in
disobedience and are not covered by Christ's righteousness
will be blotted from the book of life (see Ex. 32:33).
The concept of an investigative judgment of all who
profess faith in Christ does not contradict the Biblical
teaching of salvation by faith through grace. Paul knew that
one day he would face the judgment. He therefore expressed
the desire to "be found in Him, not having my own
righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is
through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God
by faith" (Phil. 3:9). All who are united with Christ are
assured of salvation. In the pre-Advent phase of the last
judgment genuine believers, those who have a saving
relationship with Christ, are affirmed before the unfallen
Christ, however, cannot assure salvation for those who
only profess to be Christians on the basis of how many good
deeds they have performed (see Matt. 7:21-23). The heavenly
records, therefore, are more than just a tool for sifting
the genuine from the false. They also are the foundation for
confirming the genuine believers before the angels.
"Far from robbing the believer of his assurance with
Christ, the doctrine of the sanctuary sustains it. It
illustrates and clarifies to his mind the plan of salvation.
His penitent heart rejoices to grasp the reality of Christ's
substitutionary death for his sins as prefigured in its
sacrifices. Furthermore, his faith reaches upward to find
its meaning in a living Christ, his priestly Advocate in the
very presence of the holy God."(*52)
A time to Be Ready
God intends this good news of Christ's closing ministry
of salvation to go to all the world before Christ's return.
Central to this message is the everlasting gospel, which is
to be proclaimed with a sense of urgency because "`the hour
of His [God's] judgment has come'" (Rev. 14:7). This call
warns the world that God's judgment is taking place now.
Today we are living in the great antitypical day of
atonement. As the Israelites were called to afflict their
souls on that day (Lev. 23:27), so God calls upon all His
people to experience heartfelt repentance. All who wish to
retain their names in the book of life must make things
right with God and their fellowmen during this time of God's
judgment (Rev. 14:7).
Christ's work as high priest is nearing its completion.
The years of human probation(*53) are slipping away. No one
knows just when God's voice will proclaim, "It is finished."
"`Take heed,'" Christ said, "`watch and pray, for you do not
know when the time is'" (Mark 13:33).
Although we live in the awesome time of the antitypical
day of atonement, we have no need to fear. Jesus Christ, in
His twofold capacity of sacrifice and priest, ministers in
the heavenly sanctuary in our behalf. Because "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" (Heb. 4:14-16).
1. The book of Hebrews reveals a real sanctuary in heaven.
In Hebrews 8:2 the word "sanctuary" is a translation of the
Greek ta hagia, plural form of the holy place (thing).
Additional usages of this plural term can be found, e.g., in
Hebrews 9:8,12,24,25; 10:19; 13:11. The various translations
give the impression that Christ ministers only in the Most
Holy Place or the holy place (see KJV, NKJV, NIV, and NASB),
not the sanctuary. This is because the translators consider
ta hagia an intensive plural, translatable as a singular.
But a study of the Septuagint and Josephus shown that the
term ta hagia does consistently refer to "holy things" or
the "holy places"--i.e., to the sanctuary itself. It is the
general term used to refer to the entire sanctuary, with its
holy and Most Holy places.
That Hebrews uses ta hagia to refer to the entire
sanctuary has strong exegetical support in the epistle
itself. The first use of ta hagia in Hebrews occurs in 8:2
and is in apposition to "the true tent." Since it is clear
from 8:5 that "tent" (skene) indicates the entire sanctuary,
in Hebrews 8:2 ta hagia likewise must designate the entire
heavenly sanctuary. There is no reason to translate the
plural ta hagia in Hebrews as the Most Holy Place. In most
cases the context favors the translation of ta hagia as "the
sanctuary" ("Christ and His High Priestly Ministry,"
Ministry, October 1980, p. 49).
From their study of the earthly sanctuary and ta hagia,
the Adventist pioneers concluded that the heavenly sanctuary
also has two apartments. This understanding was basic to the
development of their teachings on the sanctuary (Damsteegt,
"The Historical Development of the Sanctuary Doctrine in
Early Adventist Thought" [unpublished manuscript, Biblical
Research Institute of the General Conference of Seventh-day
Adventists, 1983]; cf. White, Great Controversy, pp.
2. See The SDA Bible Commentary, rev. ed., Ellen G. White
Comments, vol. 6, p. 1082.
3. Ancient Jewish writings reveal that some rabbis also
believed in a real heavenly sanctuary. Commenting on Exodus
15:17, one rabbi said, "The [position of the terrestrial]
Sanctuary corresponds with that of the heavenly Sanctuary
and the [position of the] ark with that of the heavenly
Throne" (Midrash Rabbah. Numbers, repr. ed. [London: Soncino
Press, 1961], vol. 1, chap. 4, sec. 13, p. 110. Brackets in
original). Another rabbi quoted in the Babylonian Talmud
spoke about "the heavenly and the earthly Temple"
(Sanhedrin, 99b, I. Epstein, ed. [London: Soncino Press,
1969]). Still another commented: "There is no difference of
opinion that the sanctuary below is the counterpart of the
sanctuary above" (Leon Nemoy, ed., The Midrash on Psalms,
trans. by William G. Braude [New Haven, Conn.: Yale
University Press, 1959], Psalm 30, sec. 1, p. 386).
4. The book of Hebrews depicts a real sanctuary in heaven:
"The reality of the heavenly sanctuary is further underlined
by the adjective `true' in Hebrews 8:2. The heavenly
sanctuary is the `true' or better `real' one. The Greek term
used here and in 9:24 where it is also applied to the
heavenly sphere is alethinos. This Greek adjective means
`real,' as opposed to merely `apparent.' On account of its
classical distinction to the Greek adjective alethes, which
means `true,' as opposed to `false,' the adjective
alethinos, which is used twice of the heavenly sanctuary,
points seemingly unequivocally to the actual reality of a
sanctuary in heaven. As God is described as `real' in
John 17:3 and consistently by Paul, as for example, in
1 Thessalonians 1:9, with the usage of alethinos, so other
entities possess reality insofar as they are associated with
His reality. As the heavenly sanctuary is associated with
God's reality, so it is as real as God is real" (Hasel,
"Christ's Atoning Ministry in Heaven," Ministry, January
1976, special insert, p. 21c).
5. Holbrook, "Sanctuary of Salvation," Ministry, January
1983, p. 14.
6. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 25.
7. Holbrook, "Light in the Shadows," Journal of Adventist
Education, October-November 1983, p. 27.
8. Ibid., p. 28.
9. "As Christ's ministration was to consist of two great
divisions, each occupying a period of time and having a
distinctive place in the heavenly sanctuary, so the typical
ministration consisted of two divisions, the daily and
yearly service, and to each a department of the tabernacle
was devoted" (White, Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 357).
10.In the daily morning and evening sacrifice the priest
represents the whole nation.
11.The father of the family represented his wife and
children, who did not offer sacrifices.
12.See, e.g., Angel M. Rodriguez, "Sacrificial Substitution
and the Old Testament Sacrifices," in Sanctuary and the
Atonement, pp. 134-156; A.M. Rodriguez, "Transfer of Sin in
Leviticus," in 70 Weeks, Leviticus, and the Nature of
Prophecy, ed. F.B. Holbrook (Washington, DC.: Biblical
Research Institute of the General Conference of Seventh-day
Adventists, 1986), pp. 169-197.
13."Atonement, Day of" in The Jewish Encyclopedia, ed.
Isidore Singer (New York: Funk and Wagnalls Co., 1903), p.
286. See also Hasel, "Studies in Biblical Atonement I:
Continual Sacrifice, Defilement//Cleansing and Sanctuary,"
in Sanctuary and the Atonement. pp. 97-99.
14.Hasel, "Studies in Biblical Atonement I," pp. 99-107;
Alberto R. Treiyer, "The Day of Atonement as Related to the
Contamination and Purification of the Sanctuary," 70 Weeks,
Leviticus, Nature of Prophecy, p. 253.
15.Holbrook, "Light in the Shadows," p. 27.
16.Ibid., p. 29.
17.See, e.g., Hasel, "Studies in Biblical Atonement II: The
Day of Atonement," in Sanctuary and Atonement, pp. 115-125.
18.Cf. Hasel, "The `Little Horn,' the Saints, and the
Sanctuary in Daniel 8," in Sanctuary and Atonement, pp.
206,207; treiyer, "Day of Atonement," pp. 252,253.
19.Holbrook, "Light in the Shadows," p. 29.
20.Cf. "Azazel," SDA Bible Dictionary, rev. ed., p. 102.
21.Holbrook, "Sanctuary of Salvation," p. 16. Throughout
the centuries Bible expositors have come to similar
conclusions. In the Septuagint azazel is rendered
apopompaios, a Greek word for a malign deity. Ancient Jewish
writers and the early Church Fathers referred to him as the
devil (SDA Encyclopedia, rev. ed., pp. 1291, 1292).
Nineteenth-and twentieth-century expositors with similar
views include Samuel M. Zwemer, William Milligan, James
Hastings, and William Smith, of the Presbyterian Church;
E.W. Hengstenberg, Elmer Flack, and H.C. Alleman, of the
Lutheran Church; William Jenks, Charles Beecher, and F.N.
PeLoubet, of the Congregational Church; John M'Clintock and
James Strong, of the Methodist Church; James M. Gray, of the
Reformed Episcopal Church; J.B. Rotherhorn, of the Disciples
of Christ; and George A. Barton, of the Society of Friends.
Many others have expressed similar views (Questions on
Doctrine, pp. 394,395).
If Azazel represents Satan, how can Scripture (see Lev.
16:10) connect him with the atonement? As the high priest,
after having cleansed the sanctuary, placed the sins on
Azazel, who was forever removed from God's people, so
Christ, after having cleansed the heavenly sanctuary, will
place the confessed and forgiven sins of His people on
Satan, who will then be forever removed from the saved. "How
fitting that the closing act of the drama of God's dealing
with sin should be a returning upon the head of Satan of all
the sin and guilt that, issuing from him originally, once
brought such tragedy to the lives of those now freed of sin
by Christ's atoning blood. Thus the cycle is completed, the
drama ended. Only when Satan, the instigator of all sin, is
finally removed can it truly be said that sin is forever
blotted out of God's universe. In this accommodated sense we
may understand that the scapegoat has a part in the
`atonement' (Lev. 16:10). With the righteous saved, the
wicked `cut off,' and Satan no more, then, not till then,
will the universe be in a state of perfect harmony as it was
originally before sin entered" (The SDA Bible Commentary,
rev. ed., vol. 1, p. 778).
22.Holbrook, "Sanctuary of Salvation," p. 16.
23.Treiyer, "Day of Atonement," p. 245.
24.Holbrook, "Light in the Shadows," p. 30.
25.See chapter 4
26.Henry Alford, The Greek Testament, 3rd ed. (London:
Deighton, Bell and Co., 1864), vol. 4, p. 179.
27.B.F. Westcott, Epistle to the Hebrews, pp. 272,271.
28.By placing these confessed sins on Christ, they are
"transferred, in fact, to the heavenly sanctuary" (White,
The Great Controversy, p. 421).
29.This judgment deals with the professed followers of God.
"In the typical service only those who had come before God
with confession and repentance, and whose sins, through the
blood of the sin offering, were transferred to the
sanctuary, had a part in the service of the Day of
Atonement. So in the great day of final atonement and
investigative judgment the only cases considered are those
of the professed people of God. The judgment of the wicked
is a distinct and separate work, and takes place at a later
period. `Judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it
first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey
not the gospel?' (1 Peter 4:17)" (ibid., p. 480).
30.Jewish tradition has long portrayed Yom Kippur as a day
of judgment, a day when God sits on His throne and judges
the world. The books of records are opened, everyone passes
before Him, and their destiny is sealed. See "Atonement, Day
of," The Jewish Encyclopedia; Morris Silverman, comp. and
ed., High Holyday Prayer Book (Hartford, Conn.: Prayer Book
Press, 1951), pp. 147,164. Yom Kippur brings also comfort
and assurance to the believers, for it is "the day on which
the fearful anticipation of a judgment to come finally gives
place to the confident affirmation that God does not
condemn, but will abundantly pardon those who turn to him in
penitence and humility" (William W. Simpson, Jewish Prayer
and Worship [New York: Seabury Press, 1965], pp. 57,58).
31.See Arthur J. Ferch, "The Judgment Scene in Daniel 7,"
in Sanctuary and Atonement, pp. 163-166, 169.
32.On the problems of the Antiochus interpretation in
Daniel, see W.H. Shea, Selected Studies on Prophetic
Interpretation, pp. 25-55.
33.Shea, "Unity of Daniel," in Symposium on Daniel, ed.
F.B. Holbrook (Washington, DC.: Biblical Research Institute
of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, 1986),
34."The Amazing Prophecies of Daniel and Revelation," These
Times, April 1979, p. 18. See also Maxwell, God Cares,
vol. 1, pp. 166-173; and chapter 12.
35.In the earthly sanctuary, on the Day of Atonement the
high priest entered the Most Holy Place, ceasing his
ministry in the first apartment. "So when Christ entered the
holy of holies to perform the closing work of the atonement,
He ceased His ministration in the first apartment. But when
the ministration in the first apartment ended, the
ministration in the second apartment began. So Christ had
only completed one part of His work as our intercessor, to
enter upon another portion of the work, and He still pleaded
His blood before the Father in behalf of sinners"
(White, The Great Controversy, pp. 428,429).
36.The translations of the KJV and NKJV render the Hebrew
term nitsdaq, "shall be cleansed." The New American Bible
translates it as "shall be purified." The term "cleansed" is
also found in the earliest English translations such as the
Bishop's Bible (A.D. 1566), the Geneva Bible (A.D. 1560),
Taverner Bible (A.D. 1551), Great Bible (A.D. 1539), Matthew
Bible (A.D. 1537), Coverdale (A.D. 1537), and Wycliffe (A.D.
1382). This translation comes from the Latin Vulgate, which
reads mundabitur, "cleansed," and is rooted in the earliest
Greek versions of the Old Testament--the Septuagint and
Theodotion, which read Katharisthesetai, "shall be
Most modern versions do not reflect this traditional
rendering. Because nitsdaq is derived from the verbal root
tsadaq, which covers a range of meanings, including "to make
right," "being right," "righteous," "justified," and
"vindicated," these translations render tsadaq as "restored
to its rightful state" (RSV), "properly restored" (NASB),
"reconsecrated" (NIV), and "restored" (TEV). OT poetic
parallelism gives evidence that tsadaq can be synonymous
with taher, "to be clean, pure" (Job 4:17; 17:9 NIV), with
zakah, "to be pure, clean" (Job 15:14; 25:4), and bor,
"cleanness" (Ps. 18:20). Nitsdaq, then, "includes within its
semantic range such meanings as `cleansing, vindicating,
justifying, setting right, restoring.' In whatever way one
renders the Hebrew term in a modern language, the
`cleansing' of the sanctuary includes actual cleansing as
well as activities of vindicating, justifying, and
restoring." (Hasel, "Little Horn,' the Heavenly Sanctuary
and the Time of the End: A Study of Daniel 8:9-14," in
Symposium on Daniel, p. 453). See also ibid., pp. 448-458;
Hasel, "The `Little Horn,' the Saints, and the Sanctuary in
Daniel 8," in Sanctuary and Atonement, pp. 203-208;
Niels-Erik Andreasen, "Translation of
Nisdaq/Katharisthesetai in Daniel 8:14," in Symposium on
Daniel, pp. 475-496; Maxwell, God Cares, vol. 1, p. 175;
"Christ and His High Priestly Ministry," Ministry, October
1980, pp. 34,35.
37.Some have interpreted the "2300 evenings-mornings" as
only 1150 literal days (e.g., TEV). But this is contrary to
Hebrew usage. Carl F. Keil, editor of the Keil and Delitzsch
commentary, wrote: "When the Hebrews wish to express
separately day and night, the component parts of a day of a
week, then the number of both is expressed. They say, e.g.,
40 days and 40 nights (Gen. 7:4, 12; Ex. 24:18; 1 Kings
19:8), and three days and three nights (Jonah 2:1; Matt.
12:40), but not 80 or six days-and-nights, when they wish to
speak of 40 or three full days. A Hebrew reader could not
possibly understand the period of time 2300 evening-mornings
of 2300 half days or 1150 whole days, because evening and
morning at the creation constituted not the half but the
whole day....We must therefore take the words as they are,
i.e., understand them of 2300 whole days" (C.F. Keil,
Biblical Commentary on the Book of Daniel, trans. M.G.
Easton, in C.F. Keil and F. Delitzsch, Biblical Commentary
on the Old Testament [Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1959],
vol. 25, pp. 303,304). For additional arguments, see Hasel,
"Sanctuary of Daniel 8," in Sanctuary and Atonement, p. 195;
Hasel, "The "`Little Horn,' the Heavenly Sanctuary and the
Time of the End," in Symposium on Daniel, pp. 430-433;
Siegfried J. Schwantes, "Ereb Boqer of Daniel 8:14
Re-Examined," in Symposium on Daniel, pp. 462-474); Maxwell,
God Cares, vol. 1, p. 174.
38.Froom, Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers, vol. 2, p. 985;
vol. 3, pp. 252, 743; vol. 4, pp. 397, 404. For the
principle that a prophetic day represents a literal year,
see Shea, Selective Studies on Prophetic Interpretation,
39.See, e.g., Hasel, "Sanctuary in Daniel 8," in Sanctuary
and Atonement, pp. 196,197; Shea, "Unity of Daniel," in
Symposium on Daniel, pp. 220-230.
40.Analysis of Hebrew writings such as the Mishnah reveals
that although chathak can mean "determine," the more common
meaning has "to do with the idea of cutting" (Shea, "The
relationship Between the Prophecies of Daniel 8 and
Daniel 9," in Sanctuary and Atonement, p. 242).
41.Gesenius, Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon to the Old
Testament Scripture, trans. Samuel P. Tregelles (Grand
Rapids: W.B. Eerdmans, reprint ed., 1950), p. 314.
42.See Ferch, "Commencement Date for the Seventy Week
Prophecy," in 70 Weeks, Leviticus, and the Nature of
Prophecy, pp. 64-74.
43.From Daniel 8 it is clear that the 2300 days have to
cover a long span of years. The question is asked, "How long
will the vision be?" (Dan. 8:13). The term "vision" is the
same as used in verses 1,2. So when the question "How long
is the vision?" is raised by the heavenly angel, he is
expecting an answer that covers the entire vision from the
first animal symbol through the second animal symbol through
the horn symbol to the end of time as is indicated in verses
17 and 19 of Daniel 8. That the 2300 evenings and mornings
answers this question indicates rather clearly that they
must cover the period from the Medo-Persian empire to the
end of time, implying that they represent years.
44.Cf. Damsteegt, Foundations of the Seventh-day Adventist
Message and Mission, pp. 14,15; Froom, Prophetic Faith of
Our Fathers, vol. 4.
45.Froom, Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers, vol. 4, p. 404.
46.See, e.g., Francis D. Nichol, The Midnight Cry
(Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald, 1944).
47.See Froom, Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers, vols. 1-4;
Damsteegt, Foundations of the Seventh-day Adventist Message
and Mission, pp. 16-20.
48.See Damsteegt, Foundations of the Seventh-day Adventist
Message and Mission, pp. 103-146; White, The Great
Controversy, pp. 423-432.
49.Froom, Movement of Destiny, p. 543.
50.Holbrook, "Light in the Shadows," p. 34.
51.White, Christ's Object Lessons, p. 310.
52.Holbrook, "Light in the Shadows," p. 35.
53.The end of human probation is the time when repentance
is no longer possible. A person's probation can close in any
of three ways: (1) at death; (2) when the unpardonable sin
has been committed (Matt. 12:31,32; Luke 12:10); (3) when
probation is closed for all just before the Second Advent.
As long as Christ functions as high priest and mediator
between God and man, mercy is available. "No judgments
therefore can be inflicted without mercy till Christ's work
as priest has ended. But the seven last plagues are poured
out without mixture of mercy [Rev. 14:10; 15:1], hence they
are poured out after Christ has ceased His pleading, and
probation has ended" (U. Smith, in SDA Encyclopedia, rev.
ed., p. 1152).