10: The Eschatological Day of Atonement – Discussion Starters

Introduction. You’ll find a lot of unique Adventist theology packed into this week’s lesson. The “little horn,” for example. Even if you don’t agree that papal Rome is the little horn, you can hold on to the doctrine that Jesus is first and last and that He is not pleased when “innovations” from secular or pagan sources replace His the all-powerful, continual ministry in the heavenly sanctuary and in our hearts.

[Thought questions for The Eschatological Day of Atonement December 3, 2013]

1. The attack. Revisit the daily sacrifice made on the brazen altar equipped with four horns. What was this sacrifice to represent? See Eph. 1:7 2 Sam 22:3 Who offered it on a daily basis? See Hebrews 9,10. What about the altar of incense, also equipped with horns on which coals from the brazen altar were placed? Could the little horn remove the service or its meaning? Or did it try instead to substitute other aspects of salvation such as the worship of Mary, purgatory, or the power of a priesthood of mere men to forgive sin? Do you feel the little horn is still a danger today and if so, what is that danger? Why do you think the horn is depicted as warlike, uprooting and gaining the power to speak, yet remaining the smallest of the horns?

2. Time. How many times have you wept, “How long, Lord, How long?” Are you certain that Jesus is coming in just a few more months? or years? or in a decade or two? We are a people consumed with dates, times, and schedules. Does it strengthen your faith to know the various dates and times of the visions of Daniel? As we look around us, what do we see? Do we look for ‘things to get better’ in politics and the economy? What happens if we look the wrong direction to be rescued from crime, disease, and poverty? Is God the only leader worth following? If so, what are we doing to show it?

3. Changed. When something is restored, we expect to see it placed in nearly, if not exactly the same condition that it was at the beginning. What is required to restore the sanctuary and its message after the damage done by the little horn? Daniel 8:24-26 Does Jesus abandon His people? What gems of salvation can you offer to help others understand the complete deliverance and vindication that will take place at the end of the 2,300 days? Why does the sanctuary need to be cleansed? Why is judgment necessary as a part of cleansing or purifying the sanctuary?

4. Daniel 8 and the Day of Atonement.  What is the good news of the Day of Atonement described in Daniel 8? What is the little horn doing while the Day of Atonement approaches? Your lesson guide states that its war against true religion is cut short “in the context of an eschatological Day of Atonement.” What does that mean? (Hint: The word “eschatological” simply refers to the end time.) What is the main purpose of the final Day of Atonement as far as God is concerned? Since we can’t understand these concepts as God can, what should be our purpose as we study them in our churches?

5. Daniel 8 and 9. The longest earth-centered prophecy in all the Bible is presented in Daniel 8. How long is that prediction? What do you think the people of Daniel’s day thought when they heard about 2,300 days and each of those days being a year? Or did they have an understanding of the time involved in that prophecy? If not, why not? Is the Second Coming promised to occur at the end of those 2,300 days (translated to 1844)? In spite of Jesus’ words in Matthew 24:36, have we set dates for His coming and believed them? Why?

6. Conclusion. These are difficult concepts and facts to absorb in the short time you’ll have to spend discussing the Sabbath school lesson. Here’s a suggestion for teachers or discussion leaders: instead of starting with Sunday’s lesson, spend some time selecting two or three thoughts from the week’s lesson that after earnest prayer you believe say the most about God’s infinite love for us as expressed in end-time events. Make those thoughts a springboard for sharing God’s love with class members.





Please leave a comment long enough to say something significant and considerably shorter than the original post. First and last name required.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *