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Tuesday: The Angel’s Instruction to Daniel — 9 Comments

  1. How does this long mathematical prophetic strand benefit people of other faith/religion? Do they have as much light about it as we do? How do we make it simple to them?

    • Great question, Simeon! What practical benefit is there in understanding these prophecies? I have a few ideas. Maybe others have more.

      Regardless of anyone's previous understanding or religion, I believe it can be helpful to see how perfectly Daniel's prophecy points to the timing and purpose of Jesus the Messiah's first advent. This establishes confidence in the reliability of the Scriptures and their divine Author, Jesus. It also locks down the 1844 date for the "cleansing of the Sanctuary" which, if we understand this to be Jesus' ultimate intercession for us, in the heavenly courts, where His trusting believers are irrevocably acquitted and the record of their sins permanently erased, enables them to follow Him there by faith in His blood and righteousness.

      Clearly, this is available to all. And what could be more simple than righteousness by faith?

      Have a great day!

    • Think of all the individuals who never heard the prophecy who will be in Heaven. Other Faiths either misinterpret it or avoid it all together. If other people of other faiths want the light they must ask the Holy Spirit to help them.

  2. I came to join the SDA family of believers after attending a prophecy seminar. It was incredibly fascinating and moving, because all the new information was shown to be based on the light of the Scripture. What never had come to my attention before became a focal point for all other studies which followed. And now I have the privilege to deepen my appreciation of God’s prophetic Word again.

    Just the mere fact that the messenger came in response to the prayer Daniel directed to God, reveals that man is kept informed of the mysteries of heaven. Our God is a personal God; this, by itself, is beyond comprehension. Our heavenly Father shares with us all that we could possibly know to foster a good relationship with Him; to trust Him and His Son. Nothing written about in the Scripture can be used in isolation; everything is interconnected and reveals the great construct of God's plan for the salvation of man.

    I find these lessons to provide me with more light, especially Daniel 8:10-14. The daily sacrifice in Jerusalem's temple, reflective of dealing with the sins of the Jews, was taken away by the little horn’s power which ‘magnified himself even against the prince of the heavenly host; casting down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon it." In the end, ”the place of His sanctuary was cast down."

    This had to be so, because the lamb of God, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, would come to fulfill the purpose of the daily sacrifice once and for all, the old system had to come to an end. It is fascinating to discover that our heavenly Father’s evolving timeline includes every aspect of how He did and will do away with all that which ‘casts His Truth to the ground’; including foe and friend to bring this about.

    The time of the cleansing of the sanctuary in heaven, the real seat of the power of the presence of God, is now. More battles will be fought here on earth, but the war is already won. Unlike the prophecy depicting the timeline of events leading up to this point in time, Scripture tells us that no one knows the time of Jesus Christ's return, not the angels, nor the Son, but only the Father.” Matt. 24:33-36. So we trust that it will be in His good time.

  3. When it comes to people of other faiths, it is hard to explain this to them because they have a completely different understanding of end time events and the manner and purpose of Jesus' second coming. They have a completely different understanding as to the state of the dead, and the resurrection, all of which makes a pre-Advent judgment rather unnecessary, for to them all the dead already received their destiny.

    Many no longer believe in the Great Controversy in which man was created perfect and sinned against his Creator, and thus God needs to deal with the sin problem, not just help people evolve into more loving creatures. Since theistic evolution shows mankind as evolving into a better species, further evolution, being redeemed from sin is not necessary.

    Most do not believe that Christ's second coming is a dramatic and final end to probation and present-day nations. For most, yes, there will be a tribulation, but if you are right with the Lord, some believe they will be in heaven and escape it, then come back with Christ and rule over the nations.

    Of course there are many variations (pre, post, a, millennial) etc. etc. many levels and variations of interpretations.

    The point is, I have found sharing these prophecies with people of other denominations is difficult, not because our understanding is complex, but because their whole understanding on many other beliefs is so very different. Most of the time it ends up in leaving this subject, which needs a foundation before it makes sense to them, and start to study the state of the dead, the resurrection, the manner of Jesus' second coming and what happens when He comes. Do they see the whole Great Controversy that must deal with the sin problem, with both love and justice?

    For unless those subjects are understood, then yes, it's hard to convince anyone of a pre-Advent Judgment. The whole paradigm of thought on multiple beliefs affects the person's ability to understand, or see the necessity and urgency of it.

  4. The lesson states:

    Gabriel tells Daniel that 490 years are “cut off” (the literal meaning of the Hebrew word chathak, sometimes translated “determined”).

    But I am aware of no bible translation of Daniel 9:24 that states “seventy weeks are ‘cut off’ for your people.”

    There are several reasons why a bible translation would not support this speculation. The ancient Hebrew language has about 6000 words in its lexicon. By comparison, English has well over 600,000. Because of its very limited vocabulary, there are times when it can be difficult to translate Hebrew if the context is unclear.

    However, the context for this word is clear so it is relatively easy to provide an equivalent English meaning, even though this word is used only once in scripture, that is, in Daniel 9:24. In addition, there is broad extra-biblical support for the translators’ choice of the words used to translate “chathak” in this passage. (For example, see https://www.sefaria.org.il/Jastrow%2C_%D7%97%D6%B8%D7%AA%D6%B7%D7%9A%D6%B0?lang=he .)

    The role of the translator is to work through language issues to provide a reasoned and accurate meaning of the text to the reader. The role of the reader is to let the text say what it means in its context without arbitrarily imposing a meaning that it does not have. For these reasons, the lesson’s assertion appears to be speculative. Is anyone aware of a translation that supports it?

    • Bible translations aren't the only source of Hebrew word meanings. Ancient language experts rely on extra-biblical usage as well. And, of course, the easiest reference is Strong's Concordance lexical reference , which lists "chathak" as " a primitive root; properly, to cut off, i.e. (figuratively) to decree:--determine." According to that, lesson author Mark Finley is "right on."

      Our understanding of the relation of the 490 years to the 2300-day prophecy is not dependent on chathak meaning "cut off." "Determined" works too, in the context of Daniel's concerns. (I see you understand that Hebrew meanings are very dependent on context - and in this case, the context is Daniel's puzzlement and concern in trying to reconcile the 2300-day prophecy of Daniel 8:27 with the nearness of the end of the 70 years of captivity prophesied by Jeremiah. The lesson author explains it pretty well.)

      Seventh-day Adventists didn't invent this understanding of the prophecies. William Miller spent years prayerfully probing the prophecies before the Holy Spirit compelled him to go out and preach it, including a dramatic answer to prayer. (If you aren't familiar with William Miller's story, I highly recommend it that you familiarize yourself with it.)

      After the disappointment of 1844, which resulted from a misunderstanding of the prophecy (just like the disappointment of the disciples when Jesus was crucified soon after the triumphal entry into Jerusalem, which was also prophesied), a small group of dedicated Bible students continued to pray and study to find where their error lay. They determined that the dates that Miller uncovered were correct, but his understanding of the event was in error. Not only were these prophesies carefully re-studied in 1844, but also in the "Sabbath Conferences" of 1848 and beyond, to establish the "pillars of the faith."

      Later, Ellen White had a vision of people stepping off the platform of truth to examine "the pillars." The vision did not recommend it.

      Perhaps this article in Ministry Magazine will help: "1844 -- Is it Biblical?"

      • Dear Inge. Many thanks for the very helpful link you sent re the biblical basis for 1844. Indeed l would like to use this opportunity to thank you for the many useful articles you have signposted over the years. I truly thank GOD for the gift of teaching He has bestowed on the church in general and in you in particular. Praise GOD for the ssnet.org platform

    • Hi, Richard. How are you? In response to your question, I might note the following:

      1) Our understanding of the 2,300-day prophecy does not depend on using "cut off," rather than determined, decreed, appointed, etc. Given Daniel's perplexity and deep distress over this prophecy, or "vision," as indicated in Daniel 8:27, particularly over the future of the Jews, it's easy to see that Gabriel's presentation of the 70 weeks is in response to that, just as he says in Daniel 9:22-23.

      2) Even from what I know of linguistics in the English language, it seems clear that, while a word's original, literal root meaning may shed light on its meaning, that's not necessarily going to make for the best translation. The lesson's teaching should not be construed as a criticism of any Bible translation.

      3) I can easily believe that "chathak" literally means "cut off," because it seems to be an onomatopoeia. That is, the very pronunciation of the word makes a chopping sound.

      4) For those whose only hope is in Jesus, as was that of the thief on the cross, the investigative judgment will be wonderful good news! Jesus saves! While Daniel's prophecies provide a fascinating insight into the timing of the trial phase of the judgment, such Scriptures as Romans 14:10 and 2 Corinthians 5:10 make it clear that we are all going to face judgment someday, to be either claimed or repudiated by Jesus. And Matthew 22:1-14 indicates who will pass the inspection -- those wearing the robe of Christ's righteousness.

      Have a blessed day!


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