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The 2300 Years
~ Further Study ~

This study is from the
top-half of the Mirror Chart.

Further Study 1
Three Horns Uprooted.     (Further Study Daniel 7:
FS1-chart; FS2-study)
      The “little horn” is a symbol of papal Rome. Hence the plucking up of three horns symbolizes the overthrow of three of the barbarian nations. Among the principal obstructions to the rise of papal Rome to political power were the Heruli, the Vandals, and the Ostrogoths. All three were supporters of Arianism, which was the most formidable rival of Catholicism.
      The Heruli were the first of the barbarian tribes to rule over Rome. They were German auxiliary troops in Rome who mutinied, and in 476 deposed the boy Romulus Augustus, the last emperor of the West. At the head of the Heruli and the other mercenary troops was Odovacar (Odoacer), who made himself king in Rome. Odovacar, an Arian, though tolerant toward the Catholics, was hated by the Italians. At the suggestion of the Emperor Zeno of the Eastern Empire, Theodoric, leader of the Ostrogoths, next invaded Italy. He arrived there in 489, and in 493 secured Odovacar’s surrender and soon afterward killed him (see Thomas Hodgkin, Italy and Her Invaders, vol. 3, pp. 180–213).
      So far as the position of the Roman Church was concerned the arrival of Theodoric marked no change for the better, but merely a change of leaders. Theodoric was as strong an Arian as his predecessor on the throne of Italy. Although he granted toleration to the various religions in his kingdom, the lofty ambitions of the Roman pontiff could not succeed under a system that granted only toleration.
      In the meantime the Vandals, led by Gaiseric (Genseric), had settled in North Africa, having taken Carthage in 439. Being fanatically Arian and warlike, they posed a threat to the supremacy of the Catholic Church in the West. They were particularly intolerant toward the Catholics, whom they termed heretics. To help the cause of the Catholics in the West the Emperor Justinian, who ruled the Eastern half of the Roman Empire in Constantinople, dispatched Belisarius, the ablest of his generals. Belisarius completely vanquished the Vandals in 534.
      This victory left the Ostrogoths in Italy as the sole surviving Arian power of significance to hinder the hegemony of the papacy in the West (see Hodgkin, op. cit., vol. 3, ch. 15). Having wiped out the Vandals, Belisarius in 534 began his campaign against the Ostrogoths in Italy. Though this campaign lasted for twenty years before the imperial armies emerged completely victorious (see Hodgkin, op. cit., vol. 5, pp. 3–66), the decisive action occurred early in the campaign. The Ostrogoths, who had been driven from Rome, returned and laid siege to it in 537. The siege lasted for a full year, but in 538 Justinian landed another army in Italy, and in March the Ostrogoths abandoned the siege (see Hodgkin, op. cit., vol. 4, pp. 73–113, 210–252; Charles Diehl, “Justinian,” in Cambridge Medieval History, vol. 2, p. 15). It is true that they re-entered the city for a very brief time in 540, but their stand was short-lived. Their withdrawal from Rome in 538 marked the real end of Ostrogothic power, though not of the Ostrogothic nation. Thus was “plucked up” the third of the three horns that stood in the way of the little horn.
      Justinian is noted not only for his success in temporarily reuniting Italy and parts of the West with the Eastern half of what had been the Roman Empire, but also for the gathering and organizing of the then-existing laws of the empire, including new edicts of Justinian himself, into a unified code. Incorporated into this imperial code were two official letters of Justinian, which had all the force of royal edicts, in which he legally confirmed the bishop of Rome as the “head of all the holy churches” and “head of all the holy priests of God” (Code of Justinian, book 1, title 1). In the later epistle he also commends the pope’s activities as corrector of heretics.
      Although this legal recognition of the pope’s ecclesiastical supremacy was dated in 533, it is obvious that the imperial edict could not become effective for the pope so long as the Arian Ostrogothic kingdom was in control of Rome and the greater part of Italy. Not until the rule of the Goths was broken could the papacy be free to develop fully its power. In 538, for the first time since the end of the Western imperial line, the city of Rome was freed from the domination of an Arian kingdom. In that year the Ostrogothic kingdom received its deathblow (although the Ostrogoths survived some years longer as a people). That is why 538 is a more significant date than 533.
      To summarize: (1) The pope had already been recognized generally (though by no means universally) as supreme bishop in the churches of the West, and had exercised considerable political influence, from time to time, under the patronage of the Western emperors. (2) In 533 Justinian recognized the pope’s ecclesiastical supremacy as “head of all the holy churches” in both East and West, and this legal recognition was incorporated into the imperial code of laws (534). (3) In 538 the papacy was effectively freed from the domination of the Arian kingdoms that followed the Western emperors in the control of Rome and Italy. From then on the papacy was in a position to increase its ecclesiastical power. The other kingdoms became Catholic, one by one, and since the distant Eastern emperors did not retain control of Italy, in the turbulent developments that followed, the pope emerged often as the leading figure in the West. The papacy acquired territorial rule and eventually it reached its peak in political as well as religious dominance in Europe (see Additional Note (see below) at the next section, Further Study 2). Though this dominance came much later, the turning point can be found in the time of Justinian.
      Some find it significant that Vigilius, the pope who held office in 538, had, the year before, replaced a pope who had been under Gothic influence. The new pope owed his office to the Empress Theodora, and was regarded by Justinian as the means of uniting all the churches, East and West, under his own imperial dominance. It has been pointed out that, beginning with Vigilius, the popes were more and more men of the state as well as of the church, and often became rulers of the state (Charles Bemont and G. Monod, Medieval Europe, p. 121).
      Nichol, F. D. (1978; 2002). The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Volume 4, pg. 826.  Review and Herald Publishing Association.

Further Study 2
Additional Note on Chapter 7  (From section above.)
      The development of the great apostasy that culminated in the papacy was a gradual process that covered several centuries. The same is true of the decline of this power.
      With respect to the future, Jesus warned His disciples, “Take heed that no man deceive you,” for “many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many,” performing “signs and wonders” in confirmation of their deceptive claims, “insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect” (
Matt. 24:4, 11, 24).
      Paul, speaking by inspiration, declared that men would “arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them” (Acts 20:29, 30). The result would be a “falling away” in which the power he refers to as “that man of sin” and “the mystery of iniquity” would be revealed, opposing truth, exalting itself above God, and usurping the authority of God over the church (2Thess. 2:3, 4). This power, which, he warned, was already at work in a limited way (verse 7), would operate “after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders” (verse 9). The subtle manner of its rise was to be so cleverly camouflaged that none but those who sincerely believed and loved the truth would be safe from its deceptive claims (verses 10–12).
      Before the close of the first century the apostle John wrote that “many false prophets are gone out into the world” (1John 4:1), and a little later, that “many deceivers are entered into the world” (2John 7). This, he said, is the “spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world” (1John 4:3).
      These predictions warned of the presence of ominous forces already at work in the church, forces that foreshadowed heresy, schism, and apostasy of major proportions. Claiming prerogatives and authority that belong only to God, yet operating on satanic principles and by satanic methods, this instrument would eventually deceive the majority of Christians into accepting its leadership, and thus secure control of the church (see Acts 20:29, 30; 2Thess. 2:3–12).
      In apostolic times each local congregation selected its own officers and regulated its own affairs. The church universal was nevertheless “one body” by virtue of the invisible operation of the Holy Spirit, and the guidance of the apostles, that united believers everywhere in “one Lord, one faith, one baptism” (see Eph. 4:3–6). Leaders in the local churches were to be men “full of the Holy Ghost” (Acts 6:3), selected, qualified, and guided by the Holy Ghost (see Acts 13:2), and appointed (Acts 6:5) and ordained by the church (Acts 13:3).
      As the church “left” its “first love” (Rev. 2:4), it forfeited its purity of doctrine, its high standards of personal conduct, and the invisible bond of unity provided by the Holy Spirit. In worship, formalism took the place of simplicity. Popularity and personal power came more and more to determine the choice of leaders, who first assumed increasing authority within the local church, then sought to extend their authority over neighboring churches.
      Administration of the local church under the guidance of the Holy Spirit eventually gave way to ecclesiastical authoritarianism at the hands of a single official, the bishop, to whom every church member was personally subject and through whom alone he had access to salvation. Henceforth leadership thought only of ruling the church instead of serving it, and the “greatest” was no longer one who considered himself “servant of all.” Thus, gradually, developed the concept of a priestly hierarchy that interposed between the individual Christian and his Lord.
      According to writings attributed to Ignatius of Antioch, who died about 117, the presence of the bishop was essential to the celebration of religious rites and to the conduct of church business. Irenaeus (d. about 200) ranked bishops of the various churches according to the relative age and importance of the churches over which they presided. He accorded special honor to churches founded by the apostles, and held that all other churches should agree with the church in Rome in matters of faith and doctrine. Tertullian (d. 225) taught the supremacy of the bishop over the presbyters—locally elected elders. Cyprian (d. about 258) is considered the founder of the Roman Catholic hierarchy. He advocated the theory that there is but one true church, and that outside of it there is no access to salvation. He put forth the claim that Peter had founded the church in Rome, that the bishop of the church at Rome should therefore be honored above other bishops, and his opinions and decisions should always prevail. He emphasized the importance of direct apostolic succession, asserted the literal priesthood of the clergy, and taught that no church might celebrate religious rites or conduct its affairs without the presence and consent of the bishop.
      Factors contributing to the ascendancy and eventual supremacy of the bishop of Rome were: (1) As capital of the empire and metropolis of the civilized world Rome was the natural place for the headquarters of a world church. (2) The church at Rome was the only one in the West that claimed apostolic origin, a fact which, in those days, made it seem natural that the bishop of Rome should have priority over other bishops. Rome occupied a highly honorable position even before a.d. 100. (3) The removal of the political capital from Rome to Constantinople by Constantine (330) left the bishop of Rome comparatively free of imperial control, and thereafter the emperor rather consistently supported his claims as against those of other bishops. (4) In part, the Emperor Justinian strongly supported the bishop of Rome, and advanced his interests, by an imperial edict recognizing his supremacy over the churches of both East and West—an edict that could not become fully effective until after the breaking of the Ostrogothic hold on Rome in 538. (5) The success of the church at Rome in resisting various so-called heretical movements, notably Gnosticism and Montanism, gave to it a high reputation for orthodoxy, and contending factions elsewhere often appealed to the bishop of Rome to arbitrate their differences. (6) Theological controversies that divided and weakened the church in the East left the church at Rome free to devote itself to more practical problems and to take advantage of opportunities that arose to extend its authority. (7) Repeated instances of success in averting or mitigating barbarian attacks on Rome enhanced the political prestige of the papacy, and often in the absence of civil leadership the pope provided the city with the essential functions of civil government. (8) Mohammedan invasions hindered the church in the East, so eliminating Rome’s only important rival. (9) The barbarian invaders of the West were already, for the most part, nominally converted to Christianity, and these invasions freed the pope from imperial control. (10) With the conversion of Clovis (496), king of the Franks, the papacy found a strong army to champion its interests, and effective help in converting other barbarous tribes.
      Professing Christianity, Constantine the Great (d. 337) linked church and state, subordinated the church to the state, and made the church an instrument of state policy. His reorganization of the political administration of the Roman Empire became the pattern for the ecclesiastical administration of the Roman Church, and thus of the Roman Catholic hierarchy. About 343 the Synod of Sardica assigned the bishop of Rome jurisdiction over metropolitan bishops, or archbishops. Pope Innocent I (d. 417) claimed supreme jurisdiction over the entire Christian world, but was not able to exercise that power.
      Augustine (d. 430), one of the great church Fathers and founder of medieval theology, maintained that Rome had always been supreme over the churches. His classic The City of God set forth in bold outline the Catholic ideal of a universal church in control of a universal state, and this provided the theoretical basis for the medieval papacy.
      Leo I (the Great, d. 461) was the first bishop of Rome to proclaim that Peter had been the first pope, to assert the succession of the papacy from Peter, to claim primacy directly from Jesus Christ, and to succeed in applying these principles to papal administration of the affairs of the church. Leo I gave to the theory of papal power its final form, and made that power a reality. It was he who procured an edict from the emperor declaring that papal decisions have the force of law. With imperial support he set himself above the councils of the church, assuming the right to define doctrine and to dictate decisions. His success in persuading Attila not to enter Rome (452) and his attempt to stop Gaiseric (Genseric, 455) enhanced his prestige and that of the papacy. Leo the Great was definitely a temporal as well as a spiritual leader of his people. Later papal claims to temporal power were based largely on the supposed authority of forged documents known as “pious frauds,” such as the so-called Donation of Constantine.
      The conversion of Clovis, leader of the Franks, to the Roman faith about the year 496, when most of the barbarian invaders were still Arians, gave the pope a strong political ally willing to fight the battles of the church. For more than twelve centuries the sword of France, the “eldest son” of the papacy, was an effective agent for the conversion of men to the Church of Rome and for maintaining papal authority.
      The pontificate of Pope Gregory I (the Great, d. 604), first of the medieval prelates of the church, marks the transition from ancient to medieval times. Gregory boldly assumed the role, though not the title, of emperor in the West. He laid the basis for papal power throughout the Middle Ages, and it is from his administration in particular that later claims to papal absolutism date. Extensive missionary efforts begun by Gregory the Great greatly extended the influence and authority of Rome.
      When, more than a century later, the Lombards threatened to overrun Italy, the pope appealed to Pepin, king of the Franks, to come to his assistance. Complying with the request, Pepin thoroughly defeated the Lombards and, in 756, presented the pope with the territory he had taken from them. This grant, commonly known as the Donation of Pepin, marks the origin of the Papal States and the formal beginning of the temporal rule of the pope. From the seventh to the eleventh centuries papal power was, generally speaking, at ebb tide. The next great pope, and one of the greatest of them all, was Gregory VII (d. 1085). He proclaimed that the Roman Church had never erred and could never err, that the pope is supreme judge, that he may be judged by none, that there is no appeal from his decision, that he alone is entitled to the homage of all princes, and that he alone may depose kings and emperors.
      For two centuries there was a running struggle between pope and emperor for supremacy, with sometimes one and sometimes the other achieving temporary success. The pontificate of Innocent III (d. 1216) found the papacy at the height of its power, and during the next century it was at the very zenith of its glory. Claiming to be the vicar of Christ, Innocent III exercised all the prerogatives claimed by Gregory a century and more earlier.
      A century after Innocent III, the ideal medieval pope, Boniface VIII (d. 1303) attempted unsuccessfully to rule as his illustrious predecessors had ruled before him. He was the last pope to attempt to exercise universal authority as asserted by Gregory VII and maintained by Innocent III. The waning power of the papacy became fully evident during the so-called Babylonian Captivity (1309–77), when the French forcibly removed the seat of the papacy from Rome to Avignon, in France. Soon after the return to Rome, what is known as the Great Schism (1378–1417) broke out. During this time there were at least two, and sometimes three, rival popes, each denouncing and excommunicating his rivals and claiming to be the true pope. As a result the papacy suffered irreparable loss of prestige in the eyes of the peoples of Europe. Long before Reformation times many voices within and without the Catholic Church were raised in criticism of its arrogant claims and its many abuses of both secular and spiritual power. The rebirth of learning (Renaissance) in Western Europe, the age of discovery, the growth of strong national states, the invention of printing, and various other factors contributed to the gradual loss of papal power. By the time of Martin Luther much had already been done to undermine the authority of Rome.
      The Reformation, commonly thought of as beginning in 1517, with the posting of the Ninety-five Theses, saw papal power driven from large areas of Northern Europe. Efforts of the papacy to combat the Reformation took such forms as the Inquisition, the Index, and the organization of the Jesuit order. The Jesuits became the intellectual and spiritual army of the church for the extermination of Protestantism. For nearly three centuries the Church of Rome carried on a vigorous but gradually losing struggle against the forces battling for civil and religious freedom.
      Finally, during the course of the French Revolution, the Catholic Church was outlawed in France—the first nation of Europe to espouse its cause, the nation that had, for more than twelve centuries, championed its claims and fought its battles, the nation where papal principles had been tested more fully than in any other land, and had been found wanting. In 1798 the French Government ordered the army operating in Italy under Berthier to take the pope prisoner. Though the papacy continued, its power was shorn, and it has never since wielded the same kind or measure of power that it did in former days. In 1870 the Papal States were completely absorbed into the united kingdom of Italy, the temporal power the papacy had formally exercised for more than 1,000 years came to an end, and the pope voluntarily became “the prisoner of the Vatican” until his temporal power was restored in 1929. See commentary on ch. 7:25.
      It is evident from this brief sketch that the rise of papal power was a gradual process covering many centuries. The same is true of its decline. The former process may be thought of as continuing from about a.d. 100 to 756; the latter, from about a.d. 1303 to 1870. The papacy was at the height of its power from the time of Gregory VII (1073–85) to that of Boniface VIII (1294–1303). It is thus clear that no dates can be given to mark a sharp transition from insignificance to supremacy, or from supremacy back to comparative weakness. As is true with all historical processes, the rise and fall of the papacy were both gradual developments.
      However, by 538 the papacy was completely formed and functioning in all significant aspects, and by 1798, 1260 years later, it had lost practically all the power it had accumulated over a period of centuries. Inspiration allotted 1260 years to the papacy for a demonstration of its principles, its policies, and its objectives. Accordingly these two dates should be considered as marking the beginning and the end of the prophetic period of papal power.
      Nichol, F. D. (1978; 2002). The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Volume 4, pg. 834.  Review and Herald Publishing Association.

Further Study 3
Ellen White and the 2300 years     (Selected passages.)
      The burden of Christ’s preaching was, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent ye, and believe the gospel.” [
Mark 1:15] Thus the gospel message, as given by the Saviour Himself, was based on the prophecies. The “time” which He declared to be fulfilled was the period made known by the angel Gabriel to Daniel. “Seventy weeks,” said the angel, “are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy.” Daniel 9:24. A day in prophecy stands for a year. See Numbers 14:34; Ezekiel 4:6. The seventy weeks, or four hundred and ninety days, represent four hundred and ninety years. A starting point for this period is given: “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,” sixty-nine weeks, or four hundred and eighty-three years. Daniel 9:25. 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. Then the message was proclaimed. “The time is fulfilled.” [Mark 1:15]  {DA 233.1}

      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 457 B.C. 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 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 first 490 years of the 2300 having then ended, 1810 years would remain. From A.D. 34, 1810 years extend to 1844. “Then,” said the angel, “shall the sanctuary be cleansed.”  {FLB 208.3}

      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.  {EW 253.1}

      But such subjects as [1] the sanctuary, [2] in connection with the 2300 days, [3] the commandments of God and [4] the faith of Jesus, are perfectly calculated to explain the past Advent movement and show what our present position is, establish the faith of the doubting, and give certainty to the glorious future. These, I have frequently seen, were the principal subjects on which the messengers should dwell.  {EW 63.2}

      Our faith in reference to the messages of the first, second, and third angels was correct. The great waymarks we have passed are immovable. Although the hosts of hell may try to tear them from their foundation, and triumph in the thought that they have succeeded, yet they do not succeed. These pillars of truth stand firm as the eternal hills, unmoved by all the efforts of men combined with those of Satan and his host. We can learn much, and should be constantly searching the Scriptures to see if these things are so.  {FLB 208.4}

      In their investigation they learned that there is no Scripture evidence sustaining the popular view that the earth is the sanctuary; but they found in the Bible a full explanation of the subject of the sanctuary, its nature, location, and services.  {FLB 284.5}
      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. . . .  {FLB 284.6}
      Now in the holy of holies they again beheld Him, their compassionate high priest, soon to appear as their king and deliverer.  {FLB 284.7}
      Following Him by faith, they were led to see also the closing work of the church. They had a clearer understanding of the first and second angels’ messages, and were prepared to receive and give to the world the solemn warning of the third angel of Revelation 14.  {FLB 284.8}

      As anciently the sins of the people were by faith placed upon the sin offering and through its blood transferred, in figure, to the earthly sanctuary, so in the new covenant the sins of the repentant are by faith placed upon Christ and transferred, in fact, to the heavenly sanctuary. And as the typical cleansing of the earthly was accomplished by the removal of the sins by which it had been polluted, so the actual cleansing of the heavenly is to be accomplished by the removal, or blotting out, of the sins which are there recorded. But before this can be accomplished, there must be an examination of the books of record to determine who, through repentance of sin and faith in Christ, are entitled to the benefits of His atonement. The cleansing of the sanctuary therefore involves a work of investigation, —a work of judgment. This work must be performed prior to the coming of Christ to redeem His people; for when He comes, His reward is with Him to give to every man according to his works. Revelation 22:12. {GC 421.3}
      Thus 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. {GC 422.1}

      In like manner the types which relate to the second advent must be fulfilled at the time pointed out in the symbolic service. 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. {GC 399.4}
      Like the first disciples, William Miller and his associates did not, themselves, fully comprehend the import of the message which they bore. Errors that had been long established in the church prevented them from arriving at a correct interpretation of an important point in the prophecy. Therefore, though they proclaimed the message which God had committed to them to be given to the world, yet through a misapprehension of its meaning they suffered disappointment.  {GC 351.2}

Selected pasages from Great Controversy, pp. 324.3-328.2 and 417.2-420.1
      The prophecy which seemed most clearly to reveal the time of the second advent was that of Daniel 8:14: “Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” Following his rule of making Scripture its own interpreter, Miller learned that a day in symbolic prophecy represents a year (Numbers 14:34; Ezekiel 4:6); he saw that the period of 2300 prophetic days, or literal years, would extend far beyond the close of the Jewish dispensation, hence it could not refer to the sanctuary of that dispensation. Miller accepted the generally received view that in the Christian age the earth is the sanctuary, and he therefore understood that the cleansing of the sanctuary foretold in Daniel 8:14 represented the purification of the earth by fire at the second coming of Christ. If, then, the correct starting point could be found for the 2300 days, he concluded that the time of the second advent could be readily ascertained. Thus would be revealed the time of that great consummation, the time when the present state, with “all its pride and power, pomp and vanity, wickedness and oppression, would come to an end;” when the curse would be “removed from off the earth, death be destroyed, reward be given to the servants of God, the prophets and saints, and them who fear His name, and those be destroyed that destroy the earth.” —Bliss, page 76.  {GC 324.3}
      With a new and deeper earnestness, Miller continued the examination of the prophecies, whole nights as well as days being devoted to the study of what now appeared of such stupendous importance and all-absorbing interest. In the eighth chapter of Daniel he could find no clue to the starting point of the 2300 days; the angel Gabriel, though commanded to make Daniel understand the vision, gave him only a partial explanation. As the terrible persecution to befall the church was unfolded to the prophet’s vision, physical strength gave way. He could endure no more, and the angel left him for a time. Daniel “fainted, and was sick certain days.” “And I was astonished at the vision,” he says, “but none understood it.”  {GC 325.1}
      Yet 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. 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:  {GC 325.2}
      “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy Holy City. . . . 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 He shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week He shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease." [Dan 9:24-27.]  {GC 326.1}
      The angel had been sent to Daniel for the express purpose of explaining to him the point which he had failed to understand in the vision of the eighth chapter, the statement relative to time—“unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” After bidding Daniel “understand the matter, and consider the vision,” the very first words of the angel are: “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy Holy City.” 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. If the date of this commandment could be found, then the starting point for the great period of the 2300 days would be ascertained.  {GC 326.2}
      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. But in Ezra 6:14 the house of the Lord at Jerusalem is said to have been built “according to the commandment [“decree,” margin] of Cyrus, and Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia.” These three kings, in originating, reaffirming, and completing the decree, brought it to the perfection required by the prophecy to mark the beginning of the 2300 years. Taking 457 B.C., the time when the decree was completed, as the date of the commandment, every specification of the prophecy concerning the seventy weeks was seen to have been fulfilled.  {GC 326.3}
      “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” —namely, sixty-nine weeks, or 483 years. The decree of Artaxerxes went into effect in the autumn of 457 B.C. From this date, 483 years extend to the autumn of A.D. 27. (See Appendix.) At that time this prophecy was fulfilled. The word “Messiah” signifies “the Anointed One.” In the autumn of A.D. 27 Christ was baptized by John and received the anointing of the Spirit. The apostle Peter testifies that “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power.” Acts 10:38. And the Saviour Himself declared: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor.” Luke 4:18. After His baptism He went into Galilee, “preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, The time is fulfilled.” Mark 1:14, 15.  {GC 327.1}
      “And He shall confirm the covenant with many for one week.” The “week” here brought to view is the last one of the seventy; it is the last seven years of the period allotted especially to the Jews. During this time, extending from A.D. 27 to A.D. 34, Christ, at first in person and afterward by His disciples, extended the gospel invitation especially to the Jews. As the apostles went forth with the good tidings of the kingdom, the Saviour’s direction was: “Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Matthew 10:5, 6.  {GC 327.2}
      “In the midst of the week He shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease.” In A.D. 31, three and a half years after His baptism, our Lord was crucified. With the great sacrifice offered upon Calvary, ended that system of offerings which for four thousand years had pointed forward to the Lamb of God. Type had met antitype, and all the sacrifices and oblations of the ceremonial system were there to cease.  {GC 327.3}
      The seventy weeks, or 490 years, especially allotted to the Jews, ended, as we have seen, in A.D. 34. At that time, through the action of the Jewish Sanhedrin, the nation sealed its rejection of the gospel by the martyrdom of Stephen and the persecution of the followers of Christ. Then the message of salvation, no longer restricted to the chosen people, was given to the world. The disciples, forced by persecution to flee from Jerusalem, “went everywhere preaching the word.” “Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them.” Peter, divinely guided, opened the gospel to the centurion of Caesarea, the God-fearing Cornelius; and the ardent Paul, won to the faith of Christ, was commissioned to carry the glad tidings “far hence unto the Gentiles.” Acts 8:4, 5; 22:21.  {GC 328.1}
      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. At the expiration of this great prophetic period, upon the testimony of the angel of God, “the sanctuary shall be cleansed.” Thus the time of the cleansing of the sanctuary—which was almost universally believed to take place at the second advent—was definitely pointed out.  {GC 328.2}

      The question, What is the sanctuary? is clearly answered in the Scriptures. The term “sanctuary,” as used in the Bible, refers, first, to the tabernacle built by Moses, as a pattern of heavenly things; and, secondly, to the “true tabernacle” in heaven, to which the earthly sanctuary pointed. At the death of Christ the typical service ended. The “true tabernacle” in heaven is the sanctuary of the new covenant. And as the prophecy of Daniel 8:14 is fulfilled in this dispensation, the sanctuary to which it refers must be the sanctuary of the new covenant. At the termination of the 2300 days, in 1844, there had been no sanctuary on earth for many centuries. Thus the prophecy, “Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed,” unquestionably points to the sanctuary in heaven.  {GC 417.1}
      But the most important question remains to be answered: What is the cleansing of the sanctuary? That there was such a service in connection with the earthly sanctuary is stated in the Old Testament Scriptures. But can there be anything in heaven to be cleansed? In Hebrews 9 the cleansing of both the earthly and the heavenly sanctuary is plainly taught. “Almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these [the blood of animals]; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these” (Hebrews 9:22, 23), even the precious blood of Christ.  {GC 417.2}
      The cleansing, both in the typical and in the real service, must be accomplished with blood: in the former, with the blood of animals; in the latter, with the blood of Christ. Paul states, as the reason why this cleansing must be performed with blood, that without shedding of blood is no remission. Remission, or putting away of sin, is the work to be accomplished. But how could there be sin connected with the sanctuary, either in heaven or upon the earth? This may be learned by reference to the symbolic service; for the priests who officiated on earth, served “unto the example and shadow of heavenly things.” Hebrews 8:5.  {GC 417.3}
      The ministration of the earthly sanctuary consisted of two divisions; the priests ministered daily in the holy place, while once a year the high priest performed a special work of atonement in the most holy, for the cleansing of the sanctuary. Day by day the repentant sinner brought his offering to the door of the tabernacle and, placing his hand upon the victim’s head, confessed his sins, thus in figure transferring them from himself to the innocent sacrifice. The animal was then slain. “Without shedding of blood,” says the apostle, there is no remission of sin. “The life of the flesh is in the blood.” Leviticus 17:11. The broken law of God demanded the life of the transgressor. The blood, representing the forfeited life of the sinner, whose guilt the victim bore, was carried by the priest into the holy place and sprinkled before the veil, behind which was the ark containing the law that the sinner had transgressed. By this ceremony the sin was, through the blood, transferred in figure to the sanctuary. In some cases the blood was not taken into the holy place; but the flesh was then to be eaten by the priest, as Moses directed the sons of Aaron, saying: “God hath given it you to bear the iniquity of the congregation.” Leviticus 10:17. Both ceremonies alike symbolized the transfer of the sin from the penitent to the sanctuary.  {GC 418.1}
      Such was the work that went on, day by day, throughout the year. The sins of Israel were thus transferred to the sanctuary, and a special work became necessary for their removal. God commanded that an atonement be made for each of the sacred apartments. “He shall make an atonement for the holy place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions in all their sins: and so shall he do for the tabernacle of the congregation, that remaineth among them in the midst of their uncleanness.” An atonement was also to be made for the altar, to “cleanse it, and hallow it from the uncleanness of the children of Israel.” Leviticus 16:16, 19.  {GC 418.2}
      Once a year, on the great Day of Atonement, the priest entered the most holy place for the cleansing of the sanctuary. The work there performed completed the yearly round of ministration. On the Day of Atonement two kids of the goats were brought to the door of the tabernacle, and lots were cast upon them, “one lot for the Lord, and the other lot for the scapegoat.” Verse 8. The goat upon which fell the lot for the Lord was to be slain as a sin offering for the people. And the priest was to bring his blood within the veil and sprinkle it upon the mercy seat and before the mercy seat. The blood was also to be sprinkled upon the altar of incense that was before the veil.  {GC 419.1}
      “And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness: and the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited.” Verses 21, 22. The scapegoat came no more into the camp of Israel, and the man who led him away was required to wash himself and his clothing with water before returning to the camp.  {GC 419.2}
      The whole ceremony was designed to impress the Israelites with the holiness of God and His abhorrence of sin; and, further, to show them that they could not come in contact with sin without becoming polluted. Every man was required to afflict his soul while this work of atonement was going forward. All business was to be laid aside, and the whole congregation of Israel were to spend the day in solemn humiliation before God, with prayer, fasting, and deep searching of heart.  {GC 419.3}
      Important truths concerning the atonement are taught by the typical service. A substitute was accepted in the sinner’s stead; but the sin was not canceled by the blood of the victim. A means was thus provided by which it was transferred to the sanctuary. By the offering of blood the sinner acknowledged the authority of the law, confessed his guilt in transgression, and expressed his desire for pardon through faith in a Redeemer to come; but he was not yet entirely released from the condemnation of the law. On the Day of Atonement the high priest, having taken an offering from the congregation, went into the most holy place with the blood of this offering, and sprinkled it upon the mercy seat, directly over the law, to make satisfaction for its claims. Then, in his character of mediator, he took the sins upon himself and bore them from the sanctuary. Placing his hands upon the head of the scapegoat, he confessed over him all these sins, thus in figure transferring them from himself to the goat. The goat then bore them away, and they were regarded as forever separated from the people.  {GC 420.1}

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