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Sermon Outline

The Great Controversy

Light From the Sanctuary

Lesson #8 for May 25, 2024

Scriptures:Exodus 25:8-9,40; Leviticus 16:21,29-34; 23:26-32; Daniel 7:9-10; Hebrews 8:1-6; 9:23-28.

  1. It has been estimated that more than 100,000 people believed and followed the teachings of William Miller. When October 22, 1844, passed and Jesus did not arrive, there was a terrible disappointment. Many gave up their beliefs. Some of the believers looked again at the Scriptures and realized that there are two sanctuaries discussed in detail in the Old and New Testaments. They began to accept the idea that the prophecy of 2300 days/years applies to Christ’s work in the heavenly sanctuary and not to anything on this earth.

[From the Bible study guide=BSG:] So prominent is the theme of the sanctuary in both the Old and New Testaments that it is simply astonishing to consider that many Christians lost sight of the doctrine of the heavenly sanctuary for almost two millennia. Seventh-day Adventists realized that the doctrine of the heavenly sanctuary was not only an important biblical teaching but was the central tenet of a biblical theology that connected other doctrines. These teachings include:

  • the doctrine of God, His character, creation, work, and government;
  • the doctrine of the origin of evil and of the great controversy;
  • the doctrine of Christ, His first coming to earth, His incarnation, life, ministry, death, resurrection, and ascension;
  • the doctrine of salvation in Christ;
  • the doctrine of the last things, the second coming of Christ, the final judgment, and the restoration of all things; and
  • the doctrine of the church, especially the teaching of the remnant church in the end time, before the second coming of Jesus.?Adult Teachers Sabbath School Bible Study Guide*†‡ [Can you explain each of these points?]

[BSG:] The longest biblical prophecy—the 2,300 years ofDaniel 8:14—concerns the heavenly sanctuary and the great controversy. This prophecy acquaints us with both the attack on the heavenly sanctuary and its cleansing in the day of God’s judgment and in the restoration of all things. However, Adventists do not think of this prophecy as a mere abstraction with no basis or fulfillment in reality. Rather, they understand that this prophecy was fulfilled in history, commencing in the mid-nineteenth century, in 1844. The fulfillment of this prophecy calls for all people living in these probationary times to accept Jesus’ atonement for their sins before the close of His intercessory ministry in the heavenly sanctuary.?Adult Teachers Sabbath School Bible Study Guide* 106.

  1. A careful look at Daniel 7 and Daniel 8 caused them to see that Daniel 7 ends with judgment in heaven, and Daniel 8 ends with the cleansing of the sanctuary. Otherwise, these two chapters are parallel. So, where do we get the idea that there is more than one sanctuary?

Exodus 25:8-9,40: 8 “The people must make a sacred tent for me, so that I may live among them. 9Make it and all its furnishings according to the plan that I will show you….

40 “Take care to make them according to the plan that I showed you on the mountain.”—American Bible Society. (1992). The Holy Bible: The Good News Translation* (2nd ed.,Exodus 25:8-9,40). New York: American Bible Society [abbreviated as Good News Bible].†‡

Hebrews 8:1-6: 1 The whole point of what we are saying is that we have such a High Priest, who sits at the right of the throne of the Divine Majesty in heaven. 2He serves as High Priest in the Most Holy Place, that is, in the real tent which was put up by the Lord, not by human hands….

5The work they do as priests is really only a copy and a shadow of what is in heaven. It is the same as it was with Moses. When he was about to build the Sacred Tent, God said to him, “Be sure to make everything according to the pattern you were shown on the mountain.” 6But now, Jesus has been given priestly work which is superior to theirs, just as the covenant which he arranged between God and his people is a better one, because it is based on promises of better things.—Good News Bible.*

[BSG:] As the early Adventist believers pored over the Scriptures in the months following 1844, they understood that there are two sanctuaries mentioned in the Bible—the one Moses built and the great original in heaven. The term “sanctuary,” as used in the Bible, refers, first, to the tabernacle built by Moses, as a pattern or “type” of heavenly things; and, second, to the “true tabernacle” in heaven, to which the earthly sanctuary pointed. At the death of Christ, the typical service lost its importance. The “true tabernacle” in heaven is the sanctuary of the new covenant. And as the prophecy ofDaniel 8:14 is fulfilled in this era, the sanctuary to which it refers must be the sanctuary of the new covenant.?Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide* for Sunday, May 19.†‡

Daniel 8:14: And he said to me, “For two thousand three hundred days; then the sanctuary shall be cleansed.”—The New King James Version.* (1982). (Daniel 8:14). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[From the writings of Ellen G. White=EGW:] 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.—Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy* 417.1.

  1. The earthly sanctuary was completely built around the sacrifice of animals. There will be no animal sacrifice in heaven. While Jesus is the “Lamb of God,” there is no way that He will be sacrificed again! So, what would be the purpose of having a sanctuary plan similar to the one we know from the days of Moses in the wilderness for the sacrifice of animals in heaven?
  2. The judgment of God is an absolutely essential aspect of Christian beliefs. How much do we know about the judgment and how it takes place?
  3. SeeZechariah 3:1-5 to see how the judgment works and how Jesus intercedes for us. It is not the Father who is accusing us! Rather, Satan is accusing us!

Zechariah 3:1-5: 1 In another vision the LORD showed me the High Priest Joshua standing before the angel of the LORD. And there beside Joshua stood Satan, ready to bring an accusation against him. 2The angel of the LORD said to Satan, “May the LORD condemn you, Satan! May the LORD, who loves Jerusalem, condemn you. This man is like a stick snatched from the fire.”

3 Joshua was standing there, wearing filthy clothes. 4The angel said to his heavenly attendants, “Take away the filthy clothes this man is wearing.” Then he said to Joshua, “I have taken away your sin and will give you new clothes to wear.” [This was not the Joshua who worked with Moses!]

5 He commanded the attendants to put a clean turban on Joshua’s head. They did so, and then they put the new clothes on him while the angel of the LORD stood there.—Good News Bible.*†‡

Romans 8:1-4: 1 There is no condemnation now for those who live in union with Christ Jesus. 2For the law of the Spirit, which brings us life in union with Christ Jesus, has set me free from the law of sin and death. 3What the Law could not do, because human nature was weak, God did. He condemned sin in human nature by sending his own Son, who came with a nature like sinful human nature, to do away with sin. 4God did this so that the righteous demands of the Law might be fully satisfied in us who live according to the Spirit, and not according to human nature.—Good News Bible.*

  1. Satan had claimed that this earth was his domain and that no human being could live on this earth without sinning. In human history up to the time of Jesus, it seemed that Satan was right! But, Jesus proved him wrong! Satan then claimed that Jesus was not an ordinary human being. And God has promised that at the end of time, a group of ordinary people, known as the 144,000, will live sinless lives just before He comes to take them back to heaven. Satan will be proven wrong once again, for the last time!
  2. It is absolutely essential that we remember that while our cases are being discussed in heaven, Satan is accusing us day and night. Christ provides our salvation by answering and refuting Satan’s constant charges against us.
  3. God gave the children of Israel, a special schedule for their activities each year. A part of that schedule was the Day of Atonement when all sin was to be erased, and they were given a fresh start for the new year.

Leviticus 16:21,29-34: 21He shall put both his hands on the goat’s head and confess over it all the evils, sins, and rebellions of the people of Israel, and so transfer them to the goat’s head. Then the goat is to be driven off into the desert by someone appointed to do it….

29 The following regulations are to be observed for all time to come. On the tenth day of the seventh month the Israelites and the foreigners living among them must fast and must not do any work…. 32The High Priest, properly ordained and consecrated to succeed his father, is to perform the ritual of purification. He shall put on the priestly garments 33and perform the ritual to purify the Most Holy Place, the rest of the Tent of the LORD’s presence, the altar, the priests, and all the people of the community….

34 So Moses did as the Lord [sic] had commanded.—Good News Bible.*†‡

  1. Thus, the entire camp of Israel was pronounced “sin-free.” God would no longer count their sins against them.

Hebrews 10:17-18: 17 And then he says, “I will not remember their sins and evil deeds any longer.” 18So when these have been forgiven [changed], an offering to take away sins is no longer needed.—Good News Bible.* [SeeJeremiah 31:31-34.]

Hebrews 9:23-28: 23 Those things, which are copies of the heavenly originals, had to be purified in that way. But the heavenly things themselves require much better sacrifices. 24For Christ did not go into a Holy Place made by human hands, which was a copy of the real one. He went into heaven itself, where he now appears on our behalf in the presence of God. 25The Jewish High Priest goes into the Most Holy Place every year with the blood of an animal. But Christ did not go in to offer himself many times, 26for then he would have had to suffer many times ever since the creation of the world. Instead, now when all ages of time are nearing the end, he has appeared once and for all, to remove sin through the sacrifice of himself. 27Everyone must die once, and after that be judged by God. 28In the same manner Christ also was offered in sacrifice once to take away the sins of many. He will appear a second time, not to deal with sin, but to save those who are waiting for him.—Good News Bible.*

  1. A careful reading of Leviticus 16 shows that there was an elaborate and very careful ceremony connected with the Day of Atonement. The children of Israel had been bringing their sin offerings to the gate of the tabernacle all year long. Their sins were ceremonially transferred to the tabernacle. Then, on the Day of Atonement, the high priest after going through an elaborate cleansing ceremony carried those sins ceremonially out of the tabernacle and placed them on the head of the goat chosen for Azazel. That goat was led by a chosen man far away, never to return to the camp. Both the high priest and the one who took the scapegoat away had to cleanse themselves with the careful bath after the day’s activities. This was to indicate that the camp had been ritually purified from sin!
  2. So, what does it mean to be ritually clean? Review againHebrews 10:17-18 as above in #9.
  3. Let us be clear. There is nothing wrong with God’s memory. He remembers everything we have done; but, He chooses not to think about our sins after they have been forgiven.

[EGW:] Satan has an accurate knowledge of the sins that he has tempted God’s people to commit, and he urges his accusations against them, declaring, that by their sins they have forfeited divine protection, and claiming that he has the right to destroy them. He pronounces them just as deserving as himself of exclusion from the favor of God. “Are these,” he says, “the people who are to take my place in heaven, and the place of the angels who united with me? They profess to obey the law of God; but have they kept its precepts? Have they not been lovers of self more than lovers of God? Have they not placed their own interests above His service? Have they not loved the things of the world? Look at the sins that have marked their lives. Behold their selfishness, their malice, their hatred of one another. Will God banish me and my angels from His presence, and yet reward those who have been guilty of the same sins? Thou canst not do this, O Lord, in justice. Justice demands that sentence be pronounced against them.”

But while the followers of Christ have sinned, they have not given themselves up to be controlled by the satanic agencies. They have repented of their sins and have sought the Lord in humility and contrition, and the divine Advocate pleads in their behalf. He who has been most abused by their ingratitude, who knows their sin and also their penitence, declares: “The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan. I gave My life for these souls. They are graven upon the palms of My hands. They may have imperfections of character; they may have failed in their endeavors; but they have repented, and I have forgiven and accepted them.”

The assaults of Satan are strong, his delusions are subtle; but the Lord’s eye is upon His people. Their affliction is great, the flames of the furnace seem about to consume them; but Jesus will bring them forth as gold tried in the fire. Their earthliness will be removed, that through them the image of Christ may be perfectly revealed.—Ellen G. White, Prophets and Kings* 588.3-589.2.†‡

  1. The people were told that these annual rituals were to be performed to take away their sins. Anyone who did not comply with all requirements was to be cut off and to no longer be a part of God’s chosen people. Does this have any relevance to us today? Could we be “cut off”?
  2. These ceremonies were a very concrete way of presenting to an ignorant, recently-enslaved people the idea that their sins which they confessed at the tent sanctuary were to be ceremonially transferred to the Azazel goat and carried far away. That was to represent that God will forgive them and no longer hold those sins against them.
  3. What is the significance of understanding the details of the Day of Atonement in our day? Does it still have any meaning for us? Zechariah 3 which we have read above tells us about the main participants in the judgment scene. Satan is accusing us, and Jesus Christ is defending us. It is important also to recognize that this is a process which is very important to the beings in the rest of the universe because God plans to bring some of us former sinners to live with them for the rest of eternity! They do not want another rebellion in heaven!
  4. Daniel 7:9-10 tell us about the rest of the participants of the judgment process. The entire universe is watching how God will deal with us as represented by “Joshua, the High Priest.”

Daniel 7:9-10: 9 While I was looking, thrones were put in place. One who had been living for ever [sic-Br] sat down on one of the thrones. His clothes were white as snow, and his hair was like pure wool. His throne, mounted on fiery wheels, was blazing with fire, 10and a stream of fire was pouring out from it. There were many thousands of people there to serve him, and millions of people stood before him. The court began its session, and the books were opened.—Good News Bible.*†‡

  1. What more do we know about how the judgment takes place? ReviewZechariah 3:1-5.

John 3:17-21: 17 “For God did not send his Son into the world to be its judge, but to be its saviour.

18 “Those who believe in the Son are not judged; but those who do not believe have already been judged, because they have not believed in God’s only Son. 19This is how the judgement works: the light has come into the world, but people love the darkness rather than the light, because their deeds are evil. 20All those who do evil things hate the light and will not come to the light, because they do not want their evil deeds to be shown up. 21But those who do what is true come to the light in order that the light may show that what they did was in obedience to God.”—Good News Bible.*

  1. The most amazing thing about the judgment is to realize that it is not God who arbitrarily makes decisions about His children. Each of us will, in essence, judge ourselves!

[EGW:] Could those whose lives have been spent in rebellion against God be suddenly transported to heaven and witness the high, the holy state of perfection that ever exists there,—every soul filled with love, every countenance beaming with joy, enrapturing music in melodious strains rising in honor of God and the Lamb, and ceaseless streams of light flowing upon the redeemed from the face of Him who sitteth upon the throne,—could those whose hearts are filled with hatred of God, of truth and holiness, mingle with the heavenly throng and join their songs of praise? Could they endure the glory of God and the Lamb? No, no; years of probation were granted them, that they might form characters for heaven; but they have never trained the mind to love purity; they have never learned the language of heaven, and now it is too late. A life of rebellion against God has unfitted them for heaven. Its purity, holiness, and peace would be torture to them; the glory of God would be a consuming fire. They would long to flee from that holy place. They would welcome destruction, that they might be hidden from the face of Him who died to redeem them. The destiny of the wicked is fixed by their own choice. Their exclusion from heaven is voluntary with themselves, and just and merciful on the part of God.—Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy* 542.2.†‡

Revelation 22:10-12: 10And he said to me, “Do not keep the prophetic words of this book a secret, because the time is near when all this will happen. 11Whoever is evil must go on doing evil, and whoever is filthy must go on being filthy; whoever is good must go on doing good, and whoever is holy must go on being holy.”

12 “Listen!” says Jesus. “I am coming soon! I will bring my rewards with me, to give to each one according to what he has done.”—Good News Bible.*

[BSG:] Since Christ comes to give out His final rewards, there must be a judgment before that, to show who will receive what reward when He comes. When Christ returns, there is no second chance. Every human being has had sufficient information to make their final, irrevocable decision for or against Christ.?Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide* for Tuesday, May 21.†‡

  1. It has been suggested that the close of probation might come secretly and unexpectedly to many people. There is some truth to that idea; but, notice these words:

[EGW:] When the work of investigation shall be ended, when the cases of those who in all ages have professed to be followers of Christ have been examined and decided, then, and not till then, probation will close, and the door of mercy will be shut. Thus in the one short sentence, “They that were ready went in with Him to the marriage: and the door was shut,” we are carried down through the Saviour’s final ministration, to the time when the great work for man’s salvation shall be completed.—Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy* 428.2.†‡ [God is waiting for us to make up our minds!]

  1. So, to the righteous, those who are friends of Christ, the judgment will be a time of reward and rejoicing.
  2. ReadHebrews 4:14-16 andHebrews 10:19-22.

[BSG:] Paul’s point here in Hebrews is “hold fast,” “come boldly,” “never give up,” focus your faith on Jesus, our great High Priest. In Jesus, we have all we need. By faith we may enter the heavenly sanctuary through the “new and living way” that Jesus has opened for us.?Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide* for Wednesday, May 22.

  1. Many people think that God, the Father, is the just Judge who is looking for an opportunity to condemn them. They would believe that if Jesus were not pleading for us, the Father could not forgive us. This is paganism. The Father Himself loves us. (John 16:25-27)

[EGW:] Had God the Father come to our world and dwelt among us, veiling His glory and humbling Himself, that humanity might look upon Him, the history that we have of the life of Christ would not have been changed.... In every act of Jesus, in every lesson of His instruction, we are to see and hear and recognize God. In sight, in hearing, in effect, it is the voice and movements of the Father.—Ellen G. White, Letter 83, 1895,* par. 25; Manuscript Releases* vol. 21, 393.1; That I May Know Him* 338.4.†‡

  1. The new covenant is spelled out precisely inJeremiah 31:31-34.

Jeremiah 31:31-34: 31 The LORD says, “The time is coming when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah. 32It will not be like the old covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand and led them out of Egypt. Although I was like a husband to them, they did not keep that covenant. 33The new covenant that I will make with the people of Israel will be this: I will put my law within them and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. 34None of them will have to teach his fellow-citizen to know the LORD, because all will know me, from the least to the greatest. I will forgive their sins and I will no longer remember their wrongs. I, the LORD, have spoken.”—Good News Bible.*

  1. That promise is repeated in Hebrews 8 and Hebrews 10.
  2. If God were not the loving, forgiving Person that we know He is, our cases would be hopeless. Our record is sinful; it cannot be changed. It is a part of the permanent record of history. But, as we live in cooperation with God, our lives can be changed. And God will choose to ignore our evil past.
  3. It is clear that the ancient ceremonial rituals did not permanently remove the sins of people. Otherwise, they would not have had to come back every year, or even more often, to offer their lambs. But, as He promised inJeremiah 31:34, for those who come back to Him and choose to follow His ways, their sins no longer matter because they have been forgiven, and their lives have changed.
  4. This is the explanation of what happens when God forgives! This is not some legal transaction happening in some book somewhere! God simply says that those old sins do not matter anymore because they no longer correctly represent His children; their lives are being changed day-by-day. They are safe to admit to the heavenly kingdom. They will not start the great controversy all over again.
  5. We are given a clear choice by looking at the life and death of Jesus. If we are willing to follow His example as carefully as possible, we can live with Him forever. But, if we choose our own way, then we will die the kind of death He died, separated from His Father who is the only Source of life. Having made that clear:

Romans 8:3: What the Law could not do, because human nature was weak, God did. He condemned sin in human nature by sending his own Son, who came with a nature like sinful human nature, to do away with sin.—Good News Bible.* [Jesus Christ condemned sin, showing us it leads to death!]

Hebrews 9:28: In the same manner Christ also was offered in sacrifice once to take away the sins of many. He will appear a second time, not to deal with sin, but to save those who are waiting for him.—Good News Bible.*

[EGW:] The intercession of Christ in man’s behalf in the sanctuary above is as essential to the plan of salvation as was His death upon the cross. By His death He began that work which after His resurrection He ascended to complete in heaven. We must by faith enter within the veil, “whither the forerunner is for us entered.”Hebrews 6:20. There the light from the cross of Calvary is reflected. There we may gain a clearer insight into the mysteries of redemption. The salvation of man is accomplished at an infinite expense to heaven; the sacrifice made is equal to the broadest demands of the broken law of God. Jesus has opened the way to the Father’s throne, and through His mediation the sincere desire of all who come to Him in faith may be presented before God.—Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy* 489.1.†‡

[BSG:] How does Christ’s death on the cross relate to His intercession in the heavenly sanctuary, and why is the judgment so necessary to the plan of salvation??Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide* for Thursday, May 23.

  1. Consider the following words from Ellen White about the judgment.

[EGW:] Jesus does not excuse their sins, but shows their penitence and faith, and, claiming for them forgiveness, He lifts His wounded hands before the Father and the holy angels, saying: I know them by name. I have graven them on the palms of My hands. “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise.”Psalm 51:17. And to the accuser of His people He declares: “The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan; even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee….”Zechariah 3:2.—Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy* 484.2.†‡

[EGW:] The fact that the acknowledged people of God are represented as standing before the Lord in filthy garments should lead to humility and deep searching of heart on the part of all who profess His name. Those who are indeed purifying their souls by obeying the truth will have a most humble opinion of themselves. The more closely they view the spotless character of Christ, the stronger will be their desire to be conformed to His image, and the less will they see of purity or holiness in themselves. But while we should realize our sinful condition, we are to rely upon Christ as our righteousness, our sanctification, and our redemption. We cannot answer the charges of Satan against us. Christ alone can make an effectual plea in our behalf. He is able to silence the accuser with arguments founded not upon our merits, but on His own.—Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church,* vol. 5, 471.1-472.0.†‡ [God the Father and God the Son are the only Ones who can choose to ignore our past sins.]

[BSG:] The fulfillment of the 2,300-day prophecy is especially important to Adventists because they understand that God has called them as His remnant church to announce to the world the fulfillment of this prophecy, the return of Jesus, and the imminent consummation of the great controversy. Thus, the message of the 2,300-day prophecy is the very essence of “the eternal gospel” (Rev. 14:6, NASB). The good news in the context of the three angels’ messages is God’s final call of love to humanity. God bids sinners on earth to turn to Him so that they may be saved by the blood of Jesus and by His mediation in the heavenly sanctuary.?Adult Teachers Sabbath School Bible Study Guide* 106.‡§

  1. As we know, the first coming of Jesus as a baby boy was almost unrecognized by human beings. We have a brief account inLuke 2:25-38 that a man name Simeon and a woman named Anna recognized Jesus when He was taken for His dedication. The story of those encounters was proof that Jesus complied with the requirements of the law at the sanctuary.
  2. Seventh-day Adventists have come to believe that we are in the antitypical day of atonement. Just as the children of Israel were supposed to cleanse themselves and carefully prepare for that end-of-year exercise, we are to prepare ourselves for the end of human history.

[BSG:] Daniel prayed for God’s intervention to fulfill Jeremiah’s 70-year prophecy, pleading with the Most High to redeem His people (Dan. 9:3–19), and to “let Your face shine on Your desolate sanctuary” (Dan. 9:17, NASB). To Daniel’s joy, God sent “the man Gabriel” to instruct him (Dan. 9:21, 22). However, Gabriel did not immediately focus on answering Daniel’s prayer about Jeremiah’s 70-year prophecy. Instead, Gabriel began to exhort Daniel to “pay attention to the message and gain understanding of the vision” (Dan. 9:23, NASB). Obviously, the vision in question is the one described inDaniel 8:14 because Gabriel does not speak of 70 literal weeks but of 70 prophetic weeks (Dan. 9:24), or 490 years. The 490 years could be “determined” or deducted only from the 2,300 years in Daniel’s vision (Dan. 8:14)—not from the 70 years in Jeremiah’s prophecy. By this calculation, Gabriel also revealed the event that marked the beginning of the 70 prophetic weeks and, therefore, of the 2,300 years. This event was “the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem” (Dan. 9:25, NASB; [Ezra 7:18]), which took place in 457 b.c. Thus, the prophecy of the 70 prophetic weeks is a subset, or the first part, of the 2,300-years prophecy; the two periods constitute one great prophecy.?Adult Teachers Sabbath School Bible Study Guide* 107-108.‡§

  1. Following the giving of the prophecy inDaniel 8:14, several years passed. In Daniel 9, we find Daniel praying earnestly and fasting to try to understand the information that he had been given. He recognized that the children of Israel had been evil and sinful and had not held up their side of the covenant which they had agreed to with God. ReviewDaniel 8:14.

Daniel 9:20-25: 20 I went on praying, confessing my sins and the sins of my people Israel, and pleading with the LORD my God to restore his holy Temple. 21While I was praying, Gabriel, whom I had seen in the earlier vision, came flying down to where I was. It was the time for the evening sacrifice to be offered. 22He explained, “Daniel, I have come here to help you understand the prophecy. 23When you began to plead with God, he answered you. He loves you, and so I have come to tell you the answer. Now pay attention while I explain the vision….

25 “Note this and understand it: from the time the command is given to rebuild Jerusalem, until God’s chosen leader comes, seven times seven years will pass. Jerusalem will be rebuilt with streets and strong defences [sic-Br], and will stand for seven times 62 years, but this will be a time of troubles.”—Good News Bible.*†‡

Ezra 7:18: “You may use the silver and gold that is left over for whatever you and your people desire, in accordance with the will of your God.”—Good News Bible.* [This was the money used to start the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem.]

[BSG:] Here Gabriel finally answers Daniel’s question and prayer about the restoration and rebuilding of Jerusalem (Dan. 9:25), God’s “holy mountain” (Dan. 9:20). However, Gabriel immediately explains that this fulfillment of Jeremiah’s prophecy of 70 years is only the beginning of a much longer prophecy. That is, it is the beginning of the 70 prophetic weeks, and then the beginning of an even longer prophecy—the 2,300 years. For this reason, keeping the focus on this bigger prophecy, Gabriel further explained to Daniel that these 70 prophetic weeks, or 490 literal years, would be “decreed” or “determined” for “your people and your holy city” (Dan. 9:24, NASB) for a special purpose: “until Messiah the Prince” (Dan. 9:25, NKJV).?Adult Teachers Sabbath School Bible Study Guide* 108.‡§

[BSG:] Thus, the prophecy of the 70 weeks starts the prophecy of the 2,300 years. We can be sure that the 2,300-year prophecy about the cleansing of the sanctuary was fulfilled in 1844 because the prophecy of the 70 weeks (Dan. 9:24–27) was fulfilled with exactitude in the sacrificial death of the Messiah in the middle of the seventieth week, in a.d. 31. In addition, in the same way that the prophecy of the 70 weeks was fulfilled in the Messiah’s sacrificial death in relation to the earthly sanctuary, the prophecy of the 2,300 years would be fulfilled in the Messiah’s cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary. Similarly, the two parts of the prophecy are related to the two comings of the Messiah: the end of the 70-week period relates to Christ’s first coming, while the end of the 2,300 years pertains to His second coming.?Adult Teachers Sabbath School Bible Study Guide* 108.‡§

8 2024, Kenneth Hart, MD, MA, MPH. Permission is hereby granted for any noncommercial use of these materials. *Electronic version. HBold type is added. IText in brackets is added. 'Italic type is in the source. [sic-Br]=This is correct as quoted; it is the British spelling. This source has minor wording differences compared with the first source.         

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