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3. The Central Pillar

David Shin

Description

What is it? Is it solid? If you’re Adventist, you’d better know it – your belief system crumbles if you’re wrong.

Presenter

David Shin

Pastor, Hillside O'Malley Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Anchorage, AK

Conference

Recorded

  • December 29, 2016
    2:45 PM
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All right, good afternoon everyone. I trust you’ve had a wonderful lunch, and it is 2:45, so let’s start. Let’s bow our heads as we pray. Father in Heaven, we thank You for this opportunity that we have to study the Word of God. We pray that You’d bless us this afternoon as we reflect on this very important topic. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

Before we get into the heart of today’s topic, I want to do a brief theological, historical look at Adventist history and its impact on the divisions within the Seventh-day Adventist Church today. The Seventh-day Adventist Church began with what we call an eschatological beginning in 1844. It was an End-Time emphasis; Jesus is coming. The antitypical Day of Atonement begins in 1844. Eschatology comes from the Greek word esxaton, which means “the end,” so it’s an End-Time framework that the Adventist Church began in. In 1888 there was what we call a soteriological emphasis with Minneapolis, righteousness by faith.

 

This was not a soteriological shift. It was not as though the Advent movement was born with the removal of righteousness by faith, but in 1888 it was an reaffirmation and a re-emphasis of this reality. By the way, I’m not making these things up. This is Fernando Canale’s analysis of the history of Adventist theology. Fernando Canale is a professor emeritus of systematic theology at Andrews Theological Seminary.

 

In 1960, there was what we call a soteriological turn in which Fernando Canale describes as going the Evangelical way. And in 1960, there was a division within Adventism between the conservative and the liberal thought of view. Now, it’s not by accident that prior to 1960, 1957, you had the book Questions on Doctrine that was published, and we’ll be addressing a little bit of that tomorrow. We could do a whole seminar just on Questions on Doctrine. But in 1960, you really had a split, a fissure, within Adventism between conservatives and liberals. And then in 1990 thereabout, you had a cultural turn within Adventism, a worship renewal, and what we would call the secularization of Adventism.

 

So, we began with an eschatological beginning, soteriological emphasis. In 1960 there was a soteriological turn, and an Evangelical perspective and the separation between conservatives and liberals. And then you had the cultural turn and the worship renewal of the 1990s.

 

Now, there’s something else that we need to recognize as well in Adventist history. We had the emergence of the Adventist intellectual and the emergence of universities. In 1960, Loma Linda and Andrews became universities. In 1980, which is not that long ago, we began having doctoral programs. And the emergence of higher learning really established a framework for asking questions that we had never asked before, particularly in respect to Revelation, inspiration and other aspects of Adventist theology. And then in 1990, you had university explosions around the world.

 

So these are some of the dynamics that really influence Adventist theology, and as a result of our history and the turns and the emphasis that took place, you have these four basic divisions according to Fernando Canale within the Seventh-day Adventist Church. You have biblical Adventism. It has the eschatological start of 1844, should say the eschatological start of 1844 plus the soteriological emphasis of 1888 without the turns.

 

Now, I believe the that the majority of Seventh-day Adventists today in the pew are what I would call biblical Seventh-day Adventists. They believe in the Bible. They believe in the inspiration of Ellen White.

 

Then you have another faction within the Seventh-day Adventist Church called Evangelical Adventists or Adventism, and it’s the soteriological turn of the 1960s based in Evangelical theology, and it’s what Fernando Canale calls the reduction of Adventism to generic Christianity. It’s essentially an Evangelical perspective on salvation tacked on with the Sabbath, plus our understanding of the state of the dead. But when it comes to soteriology or the understanding of salvation, it is really Evangelical in terms of a limited reduction of Christianity to the courtyard experience. We’ll be unpacking that a little bit more in future sessions.

 

All right, then you have generic Christianity, according to Fernando Canale, the liberals of the 1960s, soteriological turn, plus the cultural turn of 1990s, and this is the secularization of Adventism. On the outer fringes of what he would call generic Christianity, you have elements such as theistic evolution, such as a different take on Revelation inspiration, and many of these are in our more progressive (is that the right term), a more progressive intellectual elites of Adventism that believe that Adventism really needs to go beyond our eschatological beginning and kind of find new identity. So it’s a very progressive perspective of Adventism.

 

Then you have the separationists, according to Canale, who believe that the church is Babylon, independent home church movements and so forth. And so that is another element that is an aspect that you could say is a fallout of the theological divisions that took place within Adventism to this day.

 

So, it’s not by accident that you go to any average Sabbath School on an average Sabbath, and you may have different elements discussing the Sabbath School quarterly within your church. And, look, all of these are good people. Don’t misunderstand me. I have people in my congregation that are from the top three, not separationists because they wouldn’t be there, but the top three. I mean, we have people that I would esteem as biblical. I have individuals that are more from an Evangelical take on the gospel, and then I have very, very, very, very, very progressive Seventh-day Adventists within my congregation as well. So this is a real challenge. Our ministry is kind of messy when you get in there, and how do you form a dialog in this type of a milieu within the Seventh-day Adventist Church? This is a reality that we’re facing right now within the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

 

Another challenge that we’re facing is really the fallout of what happened in the 1980s. We talked about this in our earlier session with Robert Brinsmead, Desmond Ford, Dale Ratzlaff, Raymond Cottrell, and this whole notion that there is no heavenly sanctuary, and that we’re talking about heavenly geography, and that when Jesus ascended in A.D. 31, He went directly into the Most Holy Place in A.D. 31. And we talked about that in our last session.

 

So, what we are facing right now in Adventism is that we are in the midst of an identity crisis. Okay, that is really what we’re facing. This is the reality. Are we Evangelical in the ultimate theological sense? You know, that’s been a real question that emerged since 1957 in questions on doctrine. You know, are we not Evangelical? Are we progressive? Or has the church fallen so low that it now needs to be categorized as Babylon? These are the questions that people are facing as they are engaging what Ellen White calls the church militant and not yet the church triumphant.

 

So these are the dynamics that we’re facing, and I believe that it is the sanctuary framework that really gives us a ground for Seventh-day Adventist identity. This is really the roadmap for our theological navigation. The sanctuary is not just a doctrine. It is a doctrine, but I would argue that it is more than a doctrine; it is a framework for our theological navigation and understanding.

 

Here it is, The Great Controversy, page 423, “The subject of the sanctuary was the key which unlocked the mystery of the disappointment of 1844. It opened to view a complete system of truth,” notice the language, “a system of truth connected and harmonious, showing that God’s hand had directed the great Advent movement, and revealing present duty as it brought to light the position and work of his people.” The sanctuary is more than a doctrine; it unlocks a system of truth. It helps us to understand where Jesus was, is, and is going.

 

Here it is; we’ve read this in our last seminar, GC, page 409, “The scripture which above all others had been both the foundation and central pillar of the Advent faith was the declaration, ‘Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.’” Now, the implications of a central pillar is this: You have pillars, and you have the central pillar. You remove the central pillar, and the entire theological edifice of Adventism crumbles. You remove the sanctuary, and Adventism as we know it becomes like every other denomination that is out there. The sanctuary is what makes us distinctive because it gives us a unique understanding of the work of Christ. And I’m going to be so bold as to say today that there is no other denomination in the world that has a better understanding of what Jesus is doing right now than Seventh-day Adventists.

 

I’m not saying that we should be triumphal and boast, so and so forth, and arrogant, but much of the Evangelical world is focused on what Jesus did. That is foundational; that is important, but what has Jesus been doing for 2,000 years since the cross?! The sanctuary provides the framework for us to understand exactly what Jesus was doing.

 

Here it is: The framework for understanding Scripture, according to Ellen White in the book Education, 125, “The central theme of the Bible, the theme about which every other in the whole book clusters, is the redemption plan, the restoration in the human soul of the image of God. From the first intimation of hope in the sentence pronounced in Eden to that last glorious promise of the Revelation, ‘They shall see His face; and His name shall be in their foreheads,’ the burden of every book and every passage of the Bible is the unfolding of this wondrous theme,—man’s uplifting,—the power of God, ‘which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.’”

 

I want to highlight this word “restoration.” It is to bring us back. Notice that she uses this term, “which every other in the whole book clusters.” The theme of the Bible is Eden lost, Eden restored, and it’s this process of restoration.

 

Question.

 

(ATTENDEE: Just real quick. In relationship to our last session about [inaudible] human and soul, how would you say she is using the term “soul” in this quote, “restoration in the human soul of the image of God”?

 

Yes, well, she’s definitely not talking about a Platonic dualistic perspective that we talked about earlier, all right? Let me be very clear on that. Ellen White was not a Platonist, okay? And you see in Ellen White’s writings, she uses terms like “soul.” Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and mind and soul.” It is not talking about this entity, this ethereal, Platonic entity of timelessness within the human nature. It depends on the context in which she is talking, and many times it refers to the spiritual nature. The spiritual nature of man is referred to as the soul, but it is no Platonic. It’s not timeless. It’s not this entity that is within us. We believe, as Seventh-day Adventists, in the holistic element of the human nature. I hope that answers your question.

 

So here we have it. The bird’s eye view of the sanctuary, the theme of the Bible, and the trajectory of the sanctuary is this notion of restoration. It is to bring us back. Here we have it, Adam and Eve, Edenic perfection, face-to-face, open communion with God. That communion was lost because of sin. The entire human race is placed out here. So, the plan of salvation as illustrated in the sanctuary shows us that God wants to bring us from here to here to here and ultimately to here, Revelation, chapter 22, verse 4, “And they shall see His face, and His name shall be on [our] foreheads,” indicating that our characters have been restored back to the image of God. And that’s the reason why we can have this open, face-to-face communion with God.

 

Now, this is a fundamental principle that we need to understand. Anytime a gospel is presented, you need to ask yourself: Does it fit within the context of the sanctuary? And if it doesn’t, it’s a false gospel. I know that doesn’t sound too…whatever, but it’s the truth. Okay? If there is a gospel that is being taught, and it rejects the sanctuary, it’s a false gospel. It has to be compatible with the sanctuary because this is the kindergarten illustration that God used to show us the plan of salvation. Now, there is this notion that is out there that says the sanctuary became irrelevant after the cross, that after the cross we don’t need to use the sanctuary as a framework anymore.

 

But you can see in Hebrews, chapter 8, that Paul, after the cross, establishes that Jesus went as our High Priest into Heaven, into a tabernacle not made with hands, indicating that Paul was still using the framework of the sanctuary after A.D. 31. Do you understand? The work of Christ in Heaven. And he was talking to Jews that were tied to the Jerusalem temple, knowing that in A.D. 70 the temple would be destroyed. So he wanted to set their affections, not on the earthly, but to the heavenly. So Paul uses that framework as well. This is the structure for understanding the work of Christ, the gospel. It is to bring us all the way back.

 

And what has happened is that the history of Christian theology has fragmented the sanctuary. They’re giving you a discount. That’s what’s taken place. Christian theology, some of them say, “You know what? This is all you need. Everything was finished at the cross, absolutely everything.” Now, I do not want to imply that the cross is minimized because you see that the first thing here is the altar of burnt offering. The whole sequence does not happen if there is no cross. The cross is foundational. Please don’t misunderstand me. Foundational, nothing else happens.

 

But you see that here is one part of Christ’s ministry, and here is another part of Christ’s ministry. Now, in the next presentation, we will be sharing about how this aspect of Christ being the Lamb and the High Priest are equally important. Not one more than the other, but equally important. Jesus took the role of the lamb. Upon His ascension, He took the role of the High Priest. As the High Priest, He ministers the benefits of what He did as the Lamb, but both are very fundamental and very important.

 

Now, when you look at the sanctuary service, you will notice that there is a certain transference that takes place. Leviticus, chapter 4, verses 32 to 35, “If he brings a lamb as his sin offering…he shall lay his hand on the head of the sin offering, and kill it as a sin offering at the place where they kill the burnt offering. The priest shall take some of the blood of the sin offering with his finger, put it on the horns of the altar of burnt offering, and pour all the remaining blood at the base of the altar.”

 

So the sinner comes into the sanctuary, confesses over the animal his sins, slits the animal’s throat. The priest catches the blood. Notice what’s happening. The sin is being transferred from the person to the animal, to the blood. The sinner does not take the blood into the sanctuary. He needs the priest to do it for him. The priest takes the blood and does one of several things, either puts it on the horns of the altar out there or goes into the Holy Place and places it on the horns of the altar of incense or sprinkles it on the veil.

 

You can see what’s happening. The sin is being transferred from the person, to the animal, to the blood, to the sanctuary during the daily service. So this whole transference of sin should give us an indication as to what sin is in that sense. So it’s being transferred, and then, on the Day of Atonement, that record in the sanctuary was cleansed. So you had the daily service, and then you had the yearly service that took place.

 

Now, we want to talk a little bit today about this notion of the heavenly sanctuary. Desmond Ford said that, you know, “When we talk about the heavenly sanctuary, it’s just heavenly geography.” He said, “The heavenly sanctuary doesn’t exist.” That was his understanding of this notion of a heavenly sanctuary, implying that, “That was just an Old Testament relic that we don’t need as a frame of reference anymore.”

 

So very quickly today, I want to go through some references in terms of the heavenly sanctuary, very quickly go to these texts. Exodus, chapter 25, verse 8, how valid is our understanding of the heavenly sanctuary. Is this something that we just made up? Is it grounded and rooted in Scripture? Exodus, chapter 25, verses 8 and 9 (I’m reading from the New American Standard Bible, so if it’s a little bit different…It should say basically the same thing.) Exodus, chapter 25, verses 8 and 9, “Let them construct a sanctuary for Me, that I may dwell among them. According to all that I am going to show you, as the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furniture, just so you shall construct it.” Now, Richard Davidson has done brilliant work on this, showing that the term “pattern,” is really implying that it was built after a blueprint of something that preexisted, giving implications of a heavenly model that was brought down to the scale of an earthly model. That is the first text there.

 

Then we go to the New Testament, Hebrews, chapter 8, verses 1 and 2, Hebrews, chapter 8, verses 1 and 2, “Now this is the main point in what has been said is this: we have such a high priest, who has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in” (where?) “in the heavens, a minister in the sanctuary and in the true tabernacle, which Lord pitched, and not man.” Now, I don’t know how much more clear you can get than that. That’s, like, plain as day. He’s a minister in Heaven in a tabernacle, which Moses did not create but God created. And this is New Testament, just so we…

 

(ATTENDEE: It’s a metaphor.)

 

Right, I mean, yeah, right. I mean, not right, but, yeah, I mean, that’s what…, right?

 

Let’s read on in verse 3, “For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices; so it is necessary that this high priest also have something to offer. Now if He were on earth, He would not be a priest at all, since there are those who offer the gifts according to the Law; who serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things, just as Moses was warned by God when he was about to erect the tabernacle; for, ‘See,’ He says, ‘that you make all things according to the pattern which was shown you on the mountain.’” This is a direct quote from what we just read in Exodus, chapter 25, verses 8 and 9. “But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, by as much as He is also the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted on better promises.”

 

Now, we need to remember, as hermeneutical principle, that when we study the Bible, not only do we need to go with the majority texts, but we need to go with the clear texts, and this is a clear text. Okay? This is a very clear passage. A hermeneutical principle that you do not want to follow is go to an obscure passage that can, depending on your presuppositions, be interpreted one of two ways. The Rich Man and Lazarus. Depending on your presupposition of human nature, you can arrive at different conclusions. So, this is hermeneutical principle that we need to follow. This is a very clear passage, friends. Yes? All right? He is a Minister in Heaven, in a tabernacle, which God created, in the function and role as the High Priest.

 

Let’s go to the next passage very quickly, Revelation, chapter 4, verses 5. Revelation, chapter 4, verse 5, this is after A.D. 31, obviously, after Jesus’ ascension. Revelation, chapter 4, verse 5, “Out from the throne come flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder. And there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.” So here, John, in vision, sees the seven candlesticks. He sees the candlesticks there in the Holy Place of the heavenly sanctuary.

 

Let’s go very quickly to Revelation, chapter 8, verse 3, Revelation, chapter 8, verse 3, “Another angel came and stood at the altar, holding a golden censer; and much incense was given to him, so that he might add it to the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar which was before the throne.” Now, what article of furniture is He talking about here? The altar of incense. The altar of incense. So here he sees the context is the Lamb in Heaven.

 

Let’s go to Revelation, chapter 11, verse 19, very quickly, and this is probably the most conclusive of all the Revelation texts. Revelation, chapter 11, verse 19, “And the temple of God which is in” (where?) “in heaven,” I mean, that’s clear, friends, that’s clear. “The temple of God which is in heaven was opened; and the ark of the covenant in His temple, and there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder and an earthquake and a great hailstorm.” So here we see a description of the ark of the covenant in the Most Holy Place, and it actually says the temple of God was opened in Heaven. So this is not just talking about heavenly geography. This is talking about actual. Actual – there is literally a heavenly sanctuary according to Scripture.

 

And when Jesus moved from the Holy Place ministry to the Most Holy Place ministry, it was in a framework of understanding, and I speculate that the heavenly sanctuary was and is a model for the heavenly universe to come to an understanding of the plan of salvation in its progression.

 

Yes.

 

(ATTENDEE: It’s interesting, I don’t know, maybe I’m going down a rabbit hole, but Revelation 22 says [Inaudible]…Revelation 22 is post sin and post millennial, the plan of salvation is done [Inaudible]. So how would you relate those two...[Inaudible]

 

Is completed, yes. I haven’t reflected on that enough, so, if you find someone that has, let me know. But I have thought of that question, but evidently if you take that for what it says, after the millennium the sanctuary reference is not needed? Is that the implication? I don’t know. I don’t know. I mean, that’s something that we really need to process. But good question.

 

All right, so let’s go to this whole notion of, is there a judgment after the cross? The prominent Protestant perspective on the cross is that there is no post A.D. 31 judgment. In other words, the judgment took place at the cross, so the concept of an investigative judgment to the Evangelical mind is ludicrous because the cross was the judgment. The judgment ended at the cross, so there is no necessary pre-Advent judgment.

 

Let’s go through these texts very quickly. Acts, chapter 24, verse 25, is there a post cross judgment. Acts, chapter 24, verse 25, Acts 24:25, and here Paul is talking with Felix. This is after the resurrection, after the cross. And notice the language that Paul uses in Acts 24:25, “But as he was discussing righteousness, self-control and the judgment to” (what?) “come…” Now, for those of you that have English major backgrounds, is that past, present or future tense? It’s future. He didn’t say the judgment has happened. He says that there is a judgment to come. There’s a future judgment. This is after the cross, and Paul is preaching a future judgment.

 

Let’s go on to our next text here very quickly, Acts, chapter 17, verse 31. Is there a post cross judgment? Acts, chapter 17, verse 31, “because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world,” is that past, present or future? It’s future. It says that He will judge the world. Paul did not say that He has judged, which would be appropriate language if the cross was the end of judgment. But he says, “He will judge the world.”

 

Let’s go very quickly to our last one here, Romans, chapter 2, verse 16. Romans, chapter 2 and verse 16, “On the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus.”

 

So here we are just establishing that the notion that there is not a post A.D. 31 judgment simply is unfounded when you look especially at the writings of Paul or the words of Paul in the book of Acts. He says, “He shall judge the world,” “will judge,” these are all future projections in terms of the judgment.

 

Now, I want to do just a brief reflection on the structure of Daniel because all we’ve done right now is just say, “Look, there is a judgment after the cross.” But it’s really the book of Daniel that helps us to establish and narrow down, in Daniel, chapter 7, and really pinpoint in Daniel, chapter 8, exactly when this judgment takes place.

 

So I’m just going to very quickly try to write this on the board here. Now, the book of Daniel is built on the principle of repeat and what? All right, repeat and expand, repeat and enlarge, so Daniel, chapter 2, Daniel, chapter 7, and Daniel, chapter 8, are a repetition and enlargement of the previous theme. And we’ve learned this in our prophecy seminars. Remember this?

 

So it goes down through, following the basic structure. So in Daniel, chapter 2, you have the head of gold, chest and arms of silver, bronze, iron, iron/clay, Second Coming. And we know this is Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome, divided Europe, Second Coming. Everyone here on this? If you want a Bible study afterwards because this is all new, come talk to me. So this is the structure of Daniel 2.

 

Now, Daniel, chapter 7, uses beasts, we know, okay, it’s lion, right? Bear, leopard, terrible beast, right, and then 10 horns, all right, little horn. Let’s stop there. Okay, now, with this in mind, I just want to make a simple observation that, when you follow this, they are chronological, just simply meaning that the bear follows the lion, the leopard follows the bear, the terrible beast follows the leopard, and so on and so forth. Little horn comes after the 10 horns.

 

Now, I want to invite you to open your Bibles to Daniel, chapter 7, and look at this progression here. Daniel, chapter 7, and let’s pick up in verse 7 with the fourth beast, which is Rome. Daniel 7, verse 7, and I want to make sure that you’re reading this in your own Bible so you can see exactly what is taking place here. Daniel 7, verse 7, “After this I kept looking in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrifying and extremely strong; having large iron teeth.” All right, that’s a tie here to the iron, all right, the terrible beast has iron teeth, linking it to the legs of the image in Daniel, chapter 2, “It devoured and crushed and trampled down the remainder with its feet; and it was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns. While I was considering,” or contemplating, “the horns, another horns, a little one, came up among them, and three of the first horns were pulled out by its roots.”

 

So this is what Daniel is doing: He’s looking at the head of this terrible beast. The terrible beast has 10 horns, and this is the imagery that he is describing you. He’s looking at the head of this terrible beast that he can’t describe, and it’s got 10 horns. And he says, “As I considered the horns, there came up among them, a little horn.” So, if you can imagine this…Let’s say you have 10 teeth, okay, and you’re looking at the teeth in the mirror. Suddenly a little tooth comes up among them, and while it’s coming up, three of your teeth fall out.

 

That’s the only illustration I could think of, sorry. But this is what’s taking place. I mean, it’s like, ten horns, a little comes out, three other ones fall out. And we have come to the conclusion, Reformation theology and so forth, that this is referring to the papacy. The little horn is referring to the papacy, and the papacy ruled from a time, time, and half a time, 538, 1798, 1260 days – years.

 

Now, this is important because you see what happens in Daniel, chapter 7, verse 8 and onward. Let’s read on, “While I was considering the horns, behold, another horn, a little one, came up among them, and three of the first horns were plucked out by the roots before it; and behold, this horn possessed eyes like the eyes of a man and a mouth uttering great boasts.” This is important because, when you identify the little horn power, and you recognize, according to Daniel, chapter 7 and verse 25, that this rules for a time, time and half a time, 538, 1798. The little horn power in Daniel, chapter 7, rules from 538 to 1798; that is the end of that term.

 

Now, there’s going to be a renaissance of this as established in Revelation, chapter 13. There’s going to be a rebirth, a resurrection, of the little horn power. But in this chronology, the term ends after a time, time, and half a time, in 1798. Everyone following me?

 

Now, the next verse is why I am so sold on the Adventist message. Let’s read on Verse 9, read this in your own Bible, “I kept looking,” this is after verse 8, this is after the little horn power. “I kept looking until thrones were set up, and the Ancient of Days took His seat; His vesture was like white snow and the hair of His head like pure wool. His throne was ablaze with flames, its wheels were a burning fire.” Notice the description of the throne room of God or the throne of God; it has wheels. The implication is that this is a moveable throne. It has wheels; it’s a moveable throne. Verse 10, “A river of fire was flowing and coming out from before Him; thousands upon thousands were attending Him, and myriads upon myriads were standing before Him; the court sat, and the books were” (what?) “opened.”

 

This is so pivotal because this is chronological. The Bible has just given us a marker for when something takes place in Heaven, just given us a marker that sometime after 1798, not before, sometime after 1798, there is going to be a time in Heaven when God is seated, the judgment is set, the books are open, and it is a public judgment. In other words, there are going to be intelligent beings that are going to be looking on, in this public judgment. And that is going to take place in Heaven sometime after 1798 but before the Second Coming. Before the Second Coming because you read Daniel, chapter 7, and it implies Second Coming, and you tie it over here.

 

So this is such a revelation. Daniel, chapter 7 shows us that sometime after 1798, but before the second coming, God is going to open the books, and there is going to be a public judgment. After 1798, before the Second Coming, and this judgment language is so clear. You can come to this conclusion, not knowing any Hebrew or Greek; you just read it. Read, Daniel, chapter 7. Lion, bear, leopard, terrible beast, 10 horns, little horn. Oh, after the little horn, there’s going to be a judgment in Heaven, and then the Second Coming takes place. This is so rock solid when it comes to the understanding of the judgment.

 

Now, we just narrowed down up to this point that there is a judgment to come, according to Paul. It’s after A.D. 31; we don’t know exactly when it is. In Daniel, chapter 7, we have just seen that the judgment must take place after the little horn power, before the Second Coming, and that judgment is a public judgment.

 

Now, the beneficiaries of the investigative judgment in Heaven, which is what this is describing, is really the universe. The beneficiaries of the millennium is us because we’re not able to see what’s taking place up there; we can’t look at the books, but during the millennium we can. You can’t look at my book if I’m there, okay? That’s going to be…yeah. But if you’re not there…That’s a good reason to make it, I mean not the ultimate reason, but you know what I mean? Because I heard this illustration once: What if you get to Heaven, and your next-door neighbor is Hitler and your mom’s not there. You know, there are going to be some serious questions during the millennium, right? And if Jesus says, you know what, it’s sealed; you can’t see it. It’s going to be very challenging and difficult.

 

So the millennium is an open time of investigation for us to see. And you see in book of Revelation at the end, everyone says, “Just and true are Your judgments.” God gives us 1,000 years, and that’s one of the purposes of the millennium. But the investigative judgment, you see, the purpose of this is for the universe to see that reality.

 

Now, very quickly, let’s go to Daniel, chapter 8, and look at this a little bit closer. Daniel, chapter 8, we’ve just concluded that the judgment must take place after the little horn, before the Second Coming, and in Daniel, chapter 8, I’m not going to read it for the sake of time, but what is the first animal that comes up? All right, and what’s after that? The he-goat, and then there’s the horn. It goes down through, and then we have Daniel 8:14. Now the interesting thing about Daniel, chapter 8, is you’ll notice that just from an observational standpoint, between the other two chapters, that Daniel, chapter 8, uses clean animals. (These guys don’t appear vegetarian. They’re not vegetarian. They’re not clean animals.) But is describing the same thing; it begins with Medo-Persia, Greece, the horn, both Pagan and Papal, and then goes down through.

 

Anything else you notice about this in Daniel, chapter 8? Daniel, chapter 8, okay, yeah, there are several things about Daniel, chapter 8. I shouldn’t have used such an open-ended question, but Daniel, chapter 8, not only are the animals clean, but the animals were used in the sanctuary. The ram and the goat. But not just in any sanctuary service. These animals were used on the Day of Atonement in the context of the sanctuary, Leviticus, chapter 16. So, the conclusion of Old Testament Adventist scholars is that really, Daniel, chapter 8, is setting you up for the pinnacle of Daniel, chapter 8, verse 14; that is the thrust of where Daniel, chapter 8, is going. And they set the frame by using sanctuary animals to describe these Heathen countries. But they’re using sanctuary animals because they want to point you to a certain description in Daniel, chapter 8, and Dr. “Duchon” has shown that in the Hebrew it is undeniable that there is a linguistic, nuanced progression and what he calls a crescendo. The crescendo in the Hebrew, he says, is very evident; it builds and culminates in Daniel 8:14. And he believes that the way that Daniel, chapter 8, is framed is in a sanctuary Day of Atonement language. That is the framework in which this thing in Daniel, chapter 8, is headed: Ram, he-goat, so that the Bible student that is studying can say, “Hey, where else have I seen the ram and the he-goat?”

 

And then it comes in Daniel 8:14 and talks about the cleansing of the sanctuary. Now, one of the ways you can equate what happens in Daniel 8:14 is that there is a parallel aspect to it, and the judgment in Daniel 7 is the same as the cleansing of the sanctuary in Daniel, chapter 8, verse 14.

 

Now, pick up there in Daniel, chapter 8. I’m going to read very quickly the explanation of the angel Gabriel. Daniel, chapter 8, so the vision is given from 1 through 8, and the interpretation, actually, 1 through 14, and in Daniel 8, verse 15, let’s just read through it very quickly. I think we have enough time for me to do this…Oh, my, only 10 minutes. Okay, very quickly, very quickly.

 

Daniel, chapter 8, verse 15, I’m going to read very quickly, “When I, Daniel, had seen the vision, I sought to understand it; and behold, standing before me was one who looked like a man. And I heard the voice of a man between the banks of Ulai, and he called out and said, ‘Gabriel, give this man an understanding of the vision.’ So he came near to where I was standing, and when he came I was frightened and fell on my face; but he said to me, ‘Son of man, understand that the vision pertains to the time of the end.’ Now while he was talking with me, I sank into a deep sleep with my face to the ground; but he touched me and made me stand upright. He said, ‘Behold, I am going to let you know what will occur at the final period of the indignation, for it pertains to the appointed time of the end.’” Verse 20, “‘The ram which you saw with the two horns represents the kings of’” (who?) “‘Media and Persia.’”

 

So, we’re not just making this stuff up. This is Gabriel. He says, “Look, the ram is,” who? Medo-Persia. So this is not an Adventist understanding; this is Gabriel’s understanding. I just want us to understand that. We’re not just making this stuff up, okay? He said, “Look, the ram is Medo-Persia.” That’s what it is.

 

Verse 21, “The shaggy goat represents the kingdom of” (who?) “Greece,” angel Gabriel there again. “The large horn that is between his eyes is the first king,” Alexander the Great. “The broken horn and the four horns that arose in its place represent four kingdoms which will arise from his nation, although not with his power. ‘In the latter period of their rule, when the transgressors have run their course, a king will arise, insolent and skilled in intrigue. His power will be mighty, but not by his own power, and he will destroy to an extraordinary degree and prosper and perform his will; He will destroy mighty men and the holy people. And through his shrewdness he will cause deceit to succeed by his influence; and he will magnify himself in his heart, and he will destroy many while they are at ease. He will even oppose the Prince of princes, but he will be broken without human agency. The vision of the evenings and mornings,’” (what is that? The 2300 days), “‘which has been told is true; but keep the vision secret, for it pertains to many days in the future.’ Then I, Daniel, was exhausted and sick for days. Then I got up again and carried on the king’s business; but I was astounded at the vision, and there was none to explain it.” And some of your translations say, “No one understood it.”

 

Now, I want us to understand what Gabriel is doing. Did he explain the ram? Did he explain the he-goat? Did he give a description of the horn? Did he describe the 2300 days? No. Now, there is a reason why Daniel fainted. Daniel understood the 70-year prophecy of Jeremiah. He was living as an exile in Babylon as a result of the prophecy that was given by God to Jeremiah, the 70-year prophecy. Now, he’s coming to the end of that. He knows that that is about to be finished, and he understands biblical prophecy, the day-for-a-year principle. And when he hears 2300 days, he faints because he things that God is adding on an extension of the 70 years. He’s like, “Lord, You’ve just come to the end of 70 years, or close to it. You’re going to tack on 2300?” And he faints. And the reason we know that this is what’s going through the mind of Daniel is in Daniel, chapter 9.

 

Let’s just read it very quickly. Daniel, chapter 9, verse 1, “In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of Median descent, who was made king over the kingdom of the Chaldeans—in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel,” notice this, “observed in the books the number of the years which was revealed as the word of the Lord to Jeremiah the prophet for the completion of the desolations of Jerusalem, namely,” how many years? “Seventy years.”

 

Now, we don’t have the time to read Daniel, chapter 9, but it essentially goes like this, “Lord, You keep Your promises. Please, for Your sake, for the sake of Your city, please keep Your promises.” There’s no vision in Daniel, chapter 9.

 

Go down, in Daniel, chapter 9, very quickly, in verse 20, “Now while I was speaking and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God in behalf of the holy mountain of my God, while I was still speaking in prayer, then the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision previously,” Daniel, chapter 8, “came to me in my extreme weariness about the time of the evening offering. He gave me instruction and talked with me and said, ‘O Daniel, I have now come forth to give you insight with understanding.’”

 

Now, this is very important. What part of the vision in Daniel, chapter 8, did he not understand? It was the 2300 days. Now, the beautiful contribution of the Daniel and Revelation Study Committee is what we found, or what they found, in Daniel, chapter 9. In Daniel, chapter 9, verse 23, “At the beginning of your supplications the command was issued, and I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed; so give heed to the message and gain understanding of the vision.” That word “vision” is the Hebrew word “mareh.” The Hebrew word “mareh” is used. He says, “I am come forth to give you understanding concerning the vision,” uses the word “mareh.”

 

Now, in Daniel, chapter 8, when the vision is given, the word “hazon” is used. (I apologize for the scrambled thing here, but you understand.) So, in Daniel, chapter 8, in the beginning it says that there is a vision given, the word “hazon” is used, but later on in Daniel, chapter 8, verse 26, look there, Daniel, chapter 8, verse 26, “The vision of the evenings and mornings,” guess what word is used there. It is “mareh.” It is “mareh.” It is not the word “hazon.” So, when the angel Gabriel refers to the 2300 days, he does not use the word “hazon,” but uses the word “mareh.”

 

And then in Daniel, chapter 9, when the angel comes and says, “I am come to give you understanding concerning the vision,” he does not say “hazon,” but he says “mareh.” I mean, that, to me, is the clincher for showing that the 70-week prophecy and the 2300-day prophecy are linked. These are not two mutually exclusive…Furthermore, there is no vision in Daniel, chapter 9. The only part of the vision that he did not understand in Daniel, chapter 8, was the 2300 days. And he uses the word “mareh.”

 

So these two are linked together. This is solid, okay? This is bomb-proof! We’re not a bunch of crazy people, Seventh-day Adventists. And this is the thing. I don’t have time to go into the 70 weeks, but I think you understand. You have the 70-week prophecy, you have the 2300 days. The 70-week prophecy is rock solid. Jesus baptized, died, stoning of Stephen, 70 weeks, solid as can be. It is anchored in Jesus Christ. But also what anchors the 70 weeks, it is linked together with the 2300 days. And when you put them together, if you believe in Jesus Christ, you have to be a Seventh-day Adventist.

 

If you believe that Jesus fulfilled the prophecy of the 70 weeks, you have to believe that something happened in 1844. When you spit out these numbers like 1844, and it sounds ludicrous, you know, just from a secular cultural view, but from a prophetic view of Daniel, it is rock solid. The ministry of Jesus predicted and fulfilled. Something had to happen in 1844, and that’s a whole other discussion that we can have some day, but this is the understanding that we need to come to.

 

All right, we’re about to wrap up here. I have time for just a couple questions if you have one, and then we can pray. Yes.

 

(ATTENDEE: [Inaudible])

 

They both refer to vision, but in this case, a particular word was used to describe the 2300 days. It’s more of a reference, yes, exactly.

 

Yes.

 

(ATTENDEE: [Inaudible])

 

Yes, synonyms, yes, synonyms, but here a very specific word was used tying the 2300 days in Daniel, chapter 8, with what was revealed in Daniel, chapter 9.

 

Yes.

 

(ATTENDEE: [Inaudible])

 

It was, to a certain degree, an un-nuanced statement to show you the logical consistency of it. I am not denying the invisible church. I believe in the invisible church. So, thank you.

 

You know, nowadays you have to make a statement, and then you have to have the fine print underneath and the footnotes, but, yes, that is the nuance of that. All I’m stating is that it is logically consistent to believe in Jesus as Messiah and logically consistent to believe in 1844. The two are compatible and logically consistent as a whole unit.

 

The next presentation in 15 minutes is going to be on “Gospel Wars,” and, essentially, we’re going to be going down through and analyzing the history of theology, recognizing that the history of theology can be essentially summarized or described as reactionary. And we’ll show that when it comes to the nature of Christ, when it comes to Law versus grace, you have this reactionary experience that goes back and forth.

 

One of my ministerial directors told me that it is common, from his perspective, that children of conservative parents are liberal. Not all the time, but especially if they’re reactionary. And he said that children of liberal parents are conservative. So we not only experience this in the history of theology. We also experience this biographically as well. We kind of go in this reactionary, just reacting to certain aspects of theology, and I would like to share with you in the next presentation something that has emerged, to me, that has really helped me to hold these things that seem to be in dichotomous aspects, like the humanity and the divinity of Christ, and to bring them to a wonderful tension between the two. So that’s what we’re going to be talking about in our next presentation, and let us bow our heads for prayer.

 

Father in Heaven, we thank You so much for the Word of God. We thank You that we have a sure word of prophecy. We thank You for the book of Daniel which tells us that we are living in the antitypical Day of Atonement. We pray that You would help us to live by faith and follow Jesus in His progress through the heavenly sanctuary as He ministers in our behalf. We thank You for hearing and answering our prayer. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

 

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