The Eschatological Day of Atonement

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The Eschatological Day of Atonement


If you are scratching your head about the word "Eschatological," it means "last day events." The Day of Atonement, as we have studied, refers to the day each year when all the sins transferred from God's people to the sanctuary were then transferred to a goat. The goat then headed out into the desert for its retirement years. The Day of Atonement represented a permanent address change for the sins the people committed during the year. So, you ask, "What could be so important about a permanent address change for sins in the last days?" "Last days" calls to mind the final judgment. Do you want your sins forwarded on or do you want to be like that goat? When Daniel prayed about the sin problem of God's people, God gave him a special message about His grand plan to deal with sin. Let's plunge into our study of the Bible and learn more!

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Re: The Eschatological Day of Atonement

The Eschatological Day of Atonement
Stephen Terry
Commentary for the December 7, 2013 Sabbath School Lesson
“He said to me, ‘It will take 2,300 evenings and mornings; then the sanctuary will be reconsecrated.’” Daniel 8:14, NIV
At the first Advent of Jesus, also known as The Incarnation, theologians were in great disarray over the Eschaton. Some like the Pharisees and Zealots conflated the first advent of the Messiah and the Eschaton and that it would establish a worldwide dominion of Judaism from Jerusalem. They saw the Messiah as a conquering King. They found it difficult to see in the poverty-stricken, humble carpenter’s Son any sort of Deliverer as it did not line up with their theology. The Gospel of Matthew was written primarily to counter that erroneous theology. According to tradition, Matthew was slain not long after he wrote his Gospel.[i] People are not tolerant of challenges to their theology, especially if that theology is used to prop up an entity endowed with wealth and power. There were those who supported other perspectives on the Eschaton, such as the Essenes. However, without wealth and power, since they had disavowed them,[ii] they were little more than a historical subtext, not even a footnote to the four Gospels. Were it not for their description by Josephus,[iii] and the later discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls,[iv] we would know very little about them.
Throughout history, dissenters have arisen, challenged established theology, and suffered for it. Jerome, Jan Hus,[v] Wycliffe,[vi] and so many others have paid the price of martyrdom for daring to believe that the church must progress in its understanding. Martin Luther, a dissident Catholic cleric, challenged the most imposing ecclesiastical edifice of his day when he nailed ninety-five theses, conclusions from his reasoned theology, to the door of the Castle Church at Wittenberg on All Hallows Eve in 1517.[vii] Luther felt compelled to respond to the fund raising efforts of the established church which sold indulgences, allowing people to escape Purgatory on the basis of their financial contributions to the church. Feeling its finances and power threatened, the church responded accordingly and summoned Luther to a trial, where they demanded he recant. He refused and was whisked into protective exile by sympathetic supporters. Had this not happened, he very probably would have been defrocked, excommunicated and martyred. In the end, many embraced the alternative theology of Luther and subsequent reformers. Other sects and denominations have also arisen from these reformers when their churches became more invested in protecting power and privilege than in the progressive advance in theological understanding that those who founded their denominations represented.
Forgetting that their own founders were defrocked and disfellowshipped, they do the same to those who try to lead them forward. We came very close to such an event within the Seventh-day Adventist Church in 1888.[viii] The message of righteousness by faith alone was advanced by Alonzo T. Jones and Earl J. Waggoner. Many at that meeting felt that they were engaging in heresy and had not the denominational founder, Ellen White, intervened, they may have been pushed from any positions of authority. As time often does, as it did with Luther, it allowed for the less heated consideration of what Jones and Waggoner had presented and the eventual incorporation of righteousness by faith alone as a mainstream theological current within the denomination. However, the experience illustrates the difficulty of theological growth and progression when theology becomes entrenched behind a formidable power structure.
It is the privilege of those in power to assert that there is no need to re-examine a previous theological consensus. If the church is growing, if the financial coffers continue to fill as in the past with some increase each year, there is little incentive for change. Why threaten the golden stream that has ensconced generations of some families in positions of power and privilege? Isn’t the prosperity of the church adequate proof that God is blessing and that we are on the right track theologically? Is there more of Prosperity Theology[ix] in our thinking than we care to admit? If we place the prosperity of the denomination above theological advancement, then perhaps it is so.
What does all of this have to do with the topic of this week’s lesson? Simply this, we have been at a crossroads over the theological understanding of issues surrounding the concept of the Investigative Judgment for approximately half a century now. That dissonance is highlighted by the chart inserted into this week’s lesson in the Lesson Quarterly. That chart demonstrates equivalencies between Daniel, chapters seven and eight. Those equivalencies regarding the various beasts and symbols are commonly understood. However, the logical sequence breaks down when the chart implies the same relationship between “judgment” and “cleansing.” They are simply not the same.
When we attempt such semantic gyrations, we should admit that there might be a problem with our perspective. Because we are heavily invested in supporting the positions of the founders, or at least what we believe their positions were, we find it hard to admit that they may have made mistakes in their theology. Was Hiram Edson possibly mistaken in his purported vision? Was Ellen White’s support of that vision erroneous? Many within the denomination will not even allow those questions to be aired. Amid cries of “Heresy!” and “Apostasy!” those who would study such questions find themselves ostracized from mainstream fellowship, and even defrocked.[x]
At the heart of this controversy is an understanding of the role of Ellen White in our theological perspective. Those who would maintain that her writings are inerrant would have difficulty accepting that she may have been mistaken in her theology and could have possibly had room for further growth in understanding. They perhaps fail to understand the actual role of a prophetically inspired person in spite of Ellen White’s attempts to make clear that a prophet is not inerrant.
We have an excellent dissertation on this topic in her introduction to her book, “The Great Controversy.” She makes clear that God does not dictate word-for-word what He wants to communicate but does so utilizing the limited perspective of His representative. In her personal correspondence to her husband, she also made clear that she did not believe herself inerrant. She wrote, “I do not claim infallibility, or even perfection of Christian character. I am not free from mistakes and errors in my life.”[xi]
As a denomination, the Seventh-day Adventist Church has had to be dragged kicking and screaming into change. Whether we consider the Merikay McLeod case regarding equal pay for women in the 1970s or the current theological dust up over women’s ordination, we are often on the side of oppression and discrimination instead of compassion, understanding and liberation. Rather than freeing others from the effects of sin, we too often prefer to keep them bound by it and assert it is their God ordained role in life to submit to such.
When a woman gives birth, I am not aware of any man who asserts that a woman should not be allowed to have pain relief, even though the Bible says she should bear children in pain.[xii] But when there is even a hint that the Bible might say the man should be in charge,[xiii] any attempt to alleviate that effect of sin is met with stern opposition. Why? Could it be that one does not threaten power and privilege but the other does?
Maybe we need to ask ourselves how much of that power and privilege is being played out in the controversy over the Investigative Judgment and the Heavenly Sanctuary? If we admit that there is a possibility that we should incorporate some of the findings produced as a result of Glacier View[xiv] will it hurt the income of the church? Perhaps it will, as those who have profited from the status quo express their displeasure at the upsetting of the apple cart by withholding offerings. But if the flow of finances is the arbiter of what we can do theologically, aren’t we in trouble already? If right theology is determined by church membership size, the number of institutions established worldwide, or the amount of money flowing through the church’s offering bins, then Catholicism’s heavenly endorsements are better than ours.
When James and Ellen White founded the denomination, they endured countless privations. Few today would endure the scarcity of food, the frequent illnesses, the primitive travel conditions that they did, often putting their meager finances into the work rather than caring for their own needs. They did this because they were moving truth forward, bringing a new theological perspective to the world. Have we somehow dropped the torch along the way? How did we evolve from a church, charting new frontiers of understanding, to an organization only invested in preserving what was discovered almost two centuries ago? Maybe it is time we became a church that encourages dialectic instead of suppressing it.
[i] “Matthew,” Chapter 1, Fox’s Book of Martyrs
[ii] “Essenes,”
[iii] “The Wars of the Jews,” Book 2, Chapter 8, Josephus
[iv] “Dead Sea Scrolls,”
[v] “Huss and Jerome,” The Great Controversy, Ellen G. White (Cf. “Jan Hus,”, re: correct spelling of Hus’s name.)
[vi] “John Wycliffe,” Ibid.
[vii] “The Ninety-Five Theses,”
[viii] “1888 General Conference,”
[ix] “Prosperity theology,”
[x] “Sanctuary Review Committee,”
[xi] Letter 25, 1876
[xii] Genesis 3:16
[xiii] Ibid.
[xiv] “Sanctuary Review Committee,”
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Re: The Eschatological Day of Atonement

Contemporary Comments
"The Eschatological Day of Atonement" | December 7, 2013 | Order Info

Texts: Daniel 8; Revelation 14:6, 7; Numbers 14:34; Daniel 9:24–27

It is known as one of the most sobering days in military history in the United States. The surprise strike on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on the morning of December 7, 1941, by the Imperial Japanese Navy led the United States into World War II. When the smoke cleared, there were over 2,400 people killed and 1,200 wounded. The next day President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave one of the most famous American political speeches in the 20th century.

“Mr. Vice President, Mr. Speaker, members of the Senate and the House of Representatives: Yesterday, December 7th, 1941 – a date which will live in infamy – the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.”1

So as to not forget, the United States Congress, on August 23, 1994, has designated December 7 as Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, and it is a tradition to fly the Flag of the United States at half-mast in honor of those who died. This year people look 72 years back to the “surprise offensive” and remember.

This week’s Sabbath school lesson looks at another annual event in the history of God’s people. The Day of Atonement took place once a year in order to cleanse the sanctuary. The purifying process had nothing to do with washing, sweeping, and dusting. It was a ritual to symbolically cleanse God’s temple of transgression. The act represented God’s plan to forever remove sin from our universe and stop the accusations made by Satan against the Lord. It was not a day that marked the beginning of a war, but the end of a battle between good and evil.

In Daniel 8 we will look at the little horn’s attack against the Prince of the host. God’s people cry out to know “how long” this situation will exist before a change takes place. The Lord’s answer is given to Daniel in the longest time prophecy in Scripture. “For two thousand three hundred days; then the sanctuary shall be cleansed” (Daniel 9:14 NKJV). The cleansing is a restoration of the heavenly sanctuary and represents a giving back of the kingdom to God’s people. It is a time of judgment in their favor.

President Roosevelt almost spoke with prophetic tones when, in his great infamy speech, he stated, “As Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that all measures be taken in our defense.… With confidence in our armed forces—with the unbounding determination of our people—we will gain the inevitable triumph—so help us God” (ibid.).

How much greater is the battle between Christ and Satan, between God’s law and the devil’s accusations. There is only one solution to resolve all evil. Christ stands now in the Most Holy Place to defend God’s people. We can have confidence in the triumph of our High Priest.


1. wikisource

Media: Listen to Roosevelt’s speech.
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Re: The Eschatological Day of Atonement

Daniel 8:11-13: The Daily Sacrifice
Posted on 10 May 2012 01:58 PM
What is the daily sacrifice from Daniel 8, and what does it mean for us today?
Here's what Daniel 8:11-13 says:

Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down. And an host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practised, and prospered. Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?

This is a big subject. A lot can be said about it, and whole books have been written arguing different points of belief. But let's keep it simple and to the point. I will tell you what our pioneers believed it to be, with Ellen White’s endorsement and what many commonly believe and teach and preach today and where it comes from.

There was a time when we were nearly all united on this point. Our early Pioneers nearly all agreed that “the daily” referred to paganism. This is true of William Miller, Joseph Bates, Uriah Smith, O.A. Johnson, Steven Haskell, James White, Hiram Edison, J.N. Loughborough, J.N. Andrews, and Ellen G. white, to mention a few. They understood “the daily” to refer to paganism. They perceived that paganism was a hindrance to the setting up of the Papacy (the transgression of desolation). They also agreed that the word “sacrifice" does not belong there and that it was put there by the translators. It is a supplied word and is in italics in the KJV Bible.

Here are thoughts from the pioneers on this issue:

Ellen White
Then I saw in relation to the 'daily' (Daniel 8:12) that the word 'sacrifice' was supplied by man's wisdom, and does not belong to the text, and that the Lord gave the correct view of it to those who gave the judgment hour cry. When union existed, before 1844, nearly all were united on the correct view of the 'daily,' but in the confusion since 1844, other views have been embraced, and darkness and confusion have followed (Early Writings, 74-75).

William Miller
I read on, and could find no other case in which it [the daily] was found but in Daniel. I then [by the aid of a concordance] took those word which stood in connection with it, 'take away;' he shall take away the daily; 'from the time that the daily shall be taken away' I read on and thought I would find no light on the text. Finally I came to 2Thessalonians 2:7-8, 'For the mystery of iniquity does already work; only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way, and then shall that wicked be revealed.' And when I had come to that text, O how clear and glorious the truth appeared. There it is! That is the daily! Well, now, what does Paul mean by 'he who now letteth' or hindereth? By 'the man of sin,' and 'the wicked,' Popery is meant. Well what is it that hinders Popery from being revealed? Why it is Paganism. Well, then, 'the daily' must mean paganism (Review and Herald, January, 1858).

Josiah Litch
The daily sacrifice is the present reading of the text; but no such thing as sacrifice is found in the original. This is acknowledged on all hands. It is a gloss or construction put upon it by the translators. The true reading is, 'the daily and the transgression of desolation;' daily and transgression being connected together by 'and;' the daily and the transgression of desolation. They are two desolating powers which were to desolate the Sanctuary and the host (Review and Herald, January, 1858).

Uriah Smith
[The word sacrifice] should be 'desolation.' The expression denotes a desolating power, of which the abomination of desolation is but the counterpart, and to which it succeeds in point of time. It seems clear therefore that the 'daily' desolation was paganism, and the 'abomination of desolation' is the Papacy…In the ninth chapter, Daniel speaks of desolations and abominations in the plural. More than one abomination, therefore, treads down the church; that is, as far as the church is concerned, both paganism and the Papacy are abominations. But as distinguished from each other, the language is restricted. One is the 'daily' desolation, and the other is pre-eminently the transgression or 'abomination' of desolation. "How was the 'daily', or paganism, taken away?

…The conversion of Clovis [A.D. 496] is said to have been the occasion of bestowing upon the French monarch the titles 'Most Christian Majesty' and 'Eldest Son of the Church.' Between that time and A.D. 508, [the other horns of Europe] were brought into subjection.

From…A.D. 508, the Papacy was triumphant so far as paganism was concerned…When the prominent powers of Europe gave up their attachment to paganism, it was only to perpetuate its abominations in another form; for Christianity as exhibited in the Roman Catholic Church was, and is, only paganism baptized (Daniel and the Revelation, 270-272).

Several books by Lewis Were refute Smith's application from the Scriptures and from the historical controversy. During World War I and II, Adventists evangelists would apply Smith's application and draw people into Adventism based upon the approaching crises. Once the war ended, those who joined Adventism found that the logic that was employed to draw them into Adventism was false as the Armaggedon claim never works out, those people and more beyond would flee Adventism.

James White's main accusation against Smith was that he was using current events to establish prophetic truth, as opposed to using prophetic analysis to identify current events. We now have documented history that the fruits of Smith's application has been nothing but detrimental to Adventism.

I trust this point is clear. The early pioneer view of “the daily" was that it was paganism. Nineteenth-century Adventists were virtually unanimous in this view.

But since the early 1900's, Conradi's "new view" has captured nearly all Seventh-day Adventists:

a. "The Daily" is the ministry of the antitypical High Priest that was "taken away" by the Papacy. This view is identical to the Antiochus Epiphanes view in principle: so that it sees an antitypical fulfillment in the Papacy, whereas Antiochus constitutes the typical fulfillment.

b. Thus, it is impossible to exclude Antiochus consistently; he has to be considered the "primary" fulfillment the Holy Spirit intended. Reason and logic make it easy to see him as the exclusive application. This is John F. Walvoord's strong contention.

c. The Conradi view becomes captive to the Seventh-day Adventist type/antitype principle.

d. Seen in this light, present antiSanctuary agitation becomes the natural outgrowth of the "new view" adopted 75 years ago. It justifies, in principle, antiAdventism from Miller's 1844 era. If the Papacy truly "took away" Christ's high priestly ministry, Antiochus must be the first or primary application of the prophecy. This was Desmond Ford's position clearly, even boldly, stated in his master's thesis at Andrews University before the beginning of his meteoric Seventh-day Adventist career.

W.H. Olson argues forcefully that the new view logically requires repudiation of Ellen White for it dissolves the 1844 position: "The whole 1844 structure falls hopelessly apart." There is no support for the "new view" in Ellen White's writings; her only statement supports the pioneer view. She repeatedly deplores the agitation of the "new view." Her advice is to study the Bible as honest Christians.

Ellen White recognized that one view is true, the other is false. She called it "the true meaning of 'the daily.” Therefore, this argument is not meaningless or trivial.

The "new view" is what created needless, unfortunate controversy that never existed prior to Conradi's view. Tension is inevitable because the two views are diametrically opposite:

• Pioneers see "the daily" as the work of Satan, the evil of paganism exalted and absorbed into something worse—papalism.
• The "new view" sees "the daily" as the work of Christ; His High Priestly ministry successfully removed by Satan. No two views of anything could be further apart.

A superficial reading of Daniel 8:11-13 appears to lean to the "new view," largely due to prejudice created by pro-Antiochus translators. However, careful regard for Hebrew ha tamid in 11:31 and 12:11, 12 raises insurmountable problems with that view.
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Re: The Eschatological Day of Atonement

Ben Astatkie
01 November 2012 02:47 PM
At one point a little later in the discussions, Elder Daniells, accompanied by W. C. White and C. C. Crisler, eager to get from Ellen White herself just what the meaning was of her Early Writings statement, went to her and laid the matter before her. Daniells took with him Early Writings and the 1843 chart. He sat down close to Ellen White and plied her with questions. His report of this interview was confirmed by W. C. White: – {6BIO 256.2}
I first read to Sister White the statement given above in Early Writings. Then I placed before her our prophetic chart used by our ministers in expounding the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation. I called her attention to the picture of the sanctuary and also to the 2300-year period as they appeared on the chart. – {6BIO 256.3}
I then asked if she could recall what was shown her regarding this subject. – {6BIO 256.4}
As I recall her answer, she began by telling how some of the leaders who had been in the 1844 movement endeavored to find new dates for the termination of the 2300-year period. This endeavor was to fix new dates for the coming of the Lord. This was causing confusion among those who had been in the Advent Movement. – {6BIO 256.5}
In this confusion the Lord revealed to her, she said, that the view that had been held and presented regarding the dates was correct, and that there must never be another time set, nor another time message. – {6BIO 256.6}
I then asked her to tell what had been revealed to her about the rest of the “daily”—the Prince, the host, the taking away of the “daily,” and the casting down of the sanctuary. – {6BIO 256.7}
She replied that these features were not placed before her in vision as the time part was. She would not be led out to make an explanation of those points of the prophecy. – {6BIO 256.8}
The interview made a deep impression upon my mind. Without hesitation she talked freely, clearly, and at length about the 2300-year period, but regarding the other part of the prophecy she was silent. – {6BIO 257.1}