The Gospel in Daniel

The Gospel Message in the Book of Daniel — (Continued)

Our continued study considers some distinguishing features of the prophecy in the eighth chapter of Daniel.

By W.W. Prescott

There are some distinguishing fea­tures of the prophecy in the eighth chapter of Daniel which may be briefly mentioned. The time is the last year of Belshazzar, just before the fall of Babylon, probably in the same year. Although given before the fall of Baby­lon, this prophecy does not include an­cient Babylon. The revival of ancient Babylon in the latter times and a part of its effort to assume the place of God having been indicated in the prophecy of the seventh chapter, it remains now to deal further with its deceptive work, and to emphasize the certainty of the restoration of the truth of the gospel.

In the seventh chapter the political phase of the apostasy is emphasized, and the little horn is another king. In the eighth chapter, the ecclesiastical phase is emphasized, and the little horn assumes the place of a priest, a king-priest. In the seventh chapter the sovereign rule of the Most High is denied by assuming the right to change His law, and this change abolishes the divinely established sign of His sancti­fying grace to save from sin and to give rest of soul through the media­torial work of the true King-Priest. In the eighth chapter the mediatorial work of the prince of the host, now carried forward in " the true taber­nacle, which the Lord pitched, not man" (Heb. 8: 2), is set aside, and " both the sanctuary and the host " are given over "to be trodden underfoot."

The historical fulfillment of this prophecy is very clear. In behalf of the Roman system it is claimed that in it alone is found the fulfillment of the typical services, with their priest­hood, sacrifices, and offerings. (See extract from " Catholic Doctrine as Defined by the Council of Trent," in " Source Book for Bible Students," pp. 417, 418.) It is claimed that the con­secrated wafer, the host, kept in the monstrance, " makes every Catholic church a tabernacle of the Most High." It is claimed by a Roman Catholic writer that the pope is " our high priest." (The Tablet, June 13, 1914.) It is claimed that the mass " is the sacrifice that continues on earth the sacrifice of the cross." It is claimed that " when He ascended into heaven, Jesus Christ left His priests after Him to hold on earth His place of mediator between God and men, particularly on the altar." (See extract from Liguori in " Source Book for Bible Students," pp. 418, 419.) In thus substituting this false system for the true, in fulfillment of the prophecy of the eighth chapter of Daniel, the Roman Church has taken away from Christ, so far as it is hu­manly possible, His work of mediation in the heavenly sanctuary, and has thus struck a telling blow at the very heart of the gospel. (Read Dan. 8: 11­13, A. R. V.) And so it plainly ap­pears that in the seventh chapter the sign of sanctification, and in the eighth chapter the only means of sanctifica­tion, the mediatorial work of Christ, are taken away.

The Sabbath and the Sanctuary in History

The far-reaching significance of this twofold apostasy becomes more appar­ent when we consider the relation of the, Sabbath and the sanctuary service in the light of history. They were joined together when God gave instruction to Moses concerning the sanctuary service at Sinai. Exodus 25 to 31. They were joined together when Moses repeated this instruction to the chil­dren of Israel. Exodus 35 to 40. They were joined together in the interpreta­tion of the sanctuary service, as found in the epistle to the Hebrews. Heb. 4: 1-11. It was defiling the sanctuary and profaning the Sabbath which were the root cause of the captivity in Baby­lon. Eze. 23: 38. (Compare the work of Manasseh, as described in 2 Chron. 33:4-7, and the warning to Sabbath breakers through the prophet Jere­miah, in Jer. 17: 19-27.) In the time of the restoration after the captivity, the rebuilding of the sanctuary and the restoration of its services, as re­corded in the book of Ezra, and the reform concerning the observance of the Sabbath, as recorded in Nehemiah 13: 15-22 (note especially verse 18), were the leading features.

The Final Work of Reform

In the apostasy preceding the first advent the true meaning of the Sab­bath, and the real significance of the temple service had been largely lost sight of, and Christ cleansed the sanc­tuary twice, and sought to restore true Sabbath keeping. In the great apos­tasy of the Middle Ages, when the man of sin was fully revealed, we find that the center of attack was against the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, and against the mediatorial work of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary. As in ancient Babylon, there were a priest­hood and a service and a sabbath en­tirely distinct from, and in open op­position to, the religion of Jerusalem; so in modern Babylon, the papacy, there are a priesthood and a service and a sabbath entirely distinct from, and in real opposition to, although in pretended harmony with, the religion of heaven. These statements could be developed in a striking way, if space permitted.

In the final work of reform, in which the sins of Babylon are to be exposed and a people to be called out of her, great emphasis must be placed upon the true Sabbath and the true sanc­tuary, in order that the sins of the people may be blotted out in the hour of His judgment, and the full rest of soul may be experienced in prepara­tion for the coming of the Lord. The fact that these truths are emphasized in. this second advent movement is the strongest kind of testimony that this movement is the true reform movement for this generation, and under divine guidance.

The vision of the eighth chapter of Daniel begins with the Medo-Persian era, when the typical sanctuary serv­ice which had been taken away by an­cient Babylon, was restored. The time period of this prophecy, the twenty­three-hundred days, or years, com­mencing in 457 B. c., unites the period of the restoration of the typical service with the period of the restoration to the people of the real service which has been taken away by modern Baby­lon, but is restored in the reform in the message which dates from 1844 n. D., at the expiration of the twenty-three hundred years.

The Message of Righteousness

In substituting a human system of mediation for the divine system and in its doctrine of the efficacy of the sacra­ments, the Roman Church has substi­tuted righteousness by works for righteousness by faith. It follows that the message which is an effective antidote for this false teaching, must emphasize the fact that the goal of the media­torial work of Christ is the bestowal of His righteousness as a free gift upon everyone who truly accepts Him as the only High Priest and Mediator. (Read Gal. 3: 13, 14, and note that the blessing of Abraham was that his faith was reckoned for righteousness.)

It thus appears that the real objec­tive of this vision of-the eighth chapter is the judgment hour, the restoration of the mediatorial work of Christ in preparation for the setting up of the everlasting kingdom of God, and the cleansing of the church from all sin by the last proclamation of the ever­lasting gospel of the Sabbath and the sanctuary.

Ministry reserves the right to approve, disapprove, and delete comments at our discretion and will not be able to respond to inquiries about these comments. Please ensure that your words are respectful, courteous, and relevant.

comments powered by Disqus

By W.W. Prescott

May 1929

Download PDF
Ministry Cover

More Articles In This Issue

Trenchant Truths

A man may be earnest and sincere, but sincerely wrong.

Editorial Keynotes

The Meditations of a Preacher

Forward and Upward

Articles on inspiration, counsel, and caution.

Wesley's Twelve Rules for Preachers

Advice from a great preacher.

Uninterrupted Victories

A personal testimony.

The Association Forum

A round table discussion on true health reform.

Qualifications and Equipment

Instruction concerning the choice of men as Bible teachers.

Ministerial Institutes in the Aus­tralasian Division

Association news from around the world circle.

Problems in Conversion

I am perplexed by expressions from certain preachers to the effect that they were in the work for years before they were converted. Would any one give up the world and preach this message for years unless he were converted? Why then this suggestion about a late conversion? Is it not simply a deeper experience?

Evolution Founded on a Mist

The foundations of evolution are unsound.

View All Issue Contents

Digital delivery

If you're a print subscriber, we'll complement your print copy of Ministry with an electronic version.

Sign up
Advertisement - SermonView - Medium Rect (300x250)

Recent issues

See All