"LET THERE BE LIGHT" Ministries
EXAMINING OUR FAITH, part 7 quotes
1) “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves.” 2 Corinthians 13:5.
2) When did our High Priest Jesus Christ begin this work of Atonement and cleansing in the Heavenly Sanctuary?
“Unto two thousand and three hundred days, then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” Daniel 8:14.
This verse is a prophecy dealing with a specific amount of time, and thus cannot be understood to be talking about 2300 literal days or about 6 1/3 years and then the Sanctuary would be cleansed.
“And your children shall wander in the wilderness forty years, and bear your whoredoms, until your carcases be wasted in the wilderness. After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise.” Numbers 14:33-34.
“Lie thou also upon thy left side, and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel upon it: according to the number of the days that thou shalt lie upon it thou shalt bear their iniquity. For I have laid upon thee the years of their iniquity, according to the number of the days, three hundred and ninety days: so shalt thou bear the iniquity of the house of Israel. And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed thee each day for a year.” Ezekiel 4:4-6.
These verses reveal that when a Bible prophecy mentions a specific amount of time, then it is not dealing with literal days, or weeks, or months, but is dealing with prophetic time – which is “each day for a year”. This means that these 2300 days of the prophetic time mentioned in Daniel 8:14 actually mean 2300 years of literal time!
3) But this 2300 year prophecy given to Daniel does not mention any starting date! And even Daniel himself wondered about this very thing for a long time, but could not figure it out.
“And I Daniel fainted, and was sick certain days; afterward I rose up, and did the king's business; and I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it.” Daniel 8:27.
After about 15 years of wondering and many prayers and supplications to God, the ever merciful God provided Daniel a clue to the beginning date of the 2300 years.
“Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city...to anoint the most Holy. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks...And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself...And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” Daniel 9:24-27.
As there are 7 days in each week, then 70 weeks times 7 days a week would equal 490 days. And since this is a Bible prophecy dealing with specific time, then these 70 weeks are actually 490 literal years which are “determined” upon the Israelites and their capital city of Jerusalem, as well as dealing with events connected with the most Holy Messiah.
The Hebrew word used for “determined” is “chathak”, and it translates and means “to cut off, to determine” (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, word #2852). These 490 years are determined or are cut off from what? They would have to be cut off from a larger time prophecy, and there is only one prophecy in the Scriptures within this same time frame dealing with the Messiah that is larger than 490 years, and that is the 2300 year prophecy! Now all we have to do is to discover the date when the command to restore and to built Jerusalem occurred, and then we can know the beginning date for the 70 weeks or the 490 year prophecy as well as for the 2300 year prophecy!
History reveals that the decree to restore and to rebuild Jerusalem occurred in the fall of 457 B.C. (see "The Commandment to Restore and to Build Jerusalem", by Ken Lebrun, at http://www.patmospapers.com/daniel/457.htm, accessed 6-6-13; also United Church of God’s Bible Commentary, under The Decree of Artaxerxes (Ezra 7), at http://bible.ucg.org/bible-commentary/Ezra/Ezra-sent-to-Jerusalem-by-Artaxerxes'-decree/default.aspx, accessed 6-6-13). This means that 457 B.C. is the starting point for both the 70 weeks or 490 prophetic days/years, as well as the 2300 day/year prophecy.
4) 457 B.C., which was the year when the command went forth to rebuild Jerusalem and the Jews began rebuilding the temple in Jerusalem, and according to Daniel 9 then another “seven weeks” (or 49 days/years) would bring us down through history to the time when the temple was completely rebuilt – which occurred in 408 B.C. Then “threescore and two” or 62 more weeks (or 434 days/years) would bring us down through history “unto the Messiah the Prince” when Christ was anointed by the Holy Spirit at His baptism – which was in 27 A.D. (see Matthew 3:13-17; Luke 4:17-21). (See our Prophecy Chart.)
As 69 of these 70 weeks or 483 years have brought us down to the time when Jesus Christ was anointed and began His public ministry in the fall of 27 A.D., then just one last week of 7 years remained. It was “in the midst of the week” of this last 7 year period, or 3 ½ years after the Christ was anointed, that the Messiah was to “be cut off”. And Jesus Christ was indeed cut off or crucified for our sins in the Spring of 31 A.D. – just 3 ½ years after His baptism and public ministry began. But there was still 3 ½ years remaining of this 70 week prophecy that was specifically dealing with the Israelites and Jerusalem.
After the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ in 31 A.D., the gospel of the kingdom of God spread like wild-fire among all the Jewish believers throughout the Middle-East, and many were converted to the Christian faith. And after 3 ½ years of watching more and more of their Jewish brethren embrace Jesus Christ and abandon the old covenant rituals and ceremonial laws, as well as their church, many of the non-believing Jews realized that something drastic had to be done in order to try and stop the spreading of the gospel. When some of these non-believing Jews got into a heated discussion with Stephen, who was “a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost” (Acts 6:5), and they realized that “they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake” (Acts 6:10), then “they stirred up the people, and the elders, and the scribes, and came upon him, and caught him, and brought him to the council” (Acts 6:12) of the church leadership at Jerusalem. When these non-believing church leaders heard the mighty arguments of truth that Stephen brought to them about the Lord Jesus Christ truly being the Messiah and the Son of God, they could not take it any more, and in a mad frenzy “they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, And cast him out of the city, and stoned him” to death (Acts 7:57-58).
The stoning of Stephen to death occurred in the fall of 34 A.D., or exactly 3 ½ years after Christ was crucified, at the very end of this 70 week/490 year prophecy. Since these Jewish church leadership had rejected and killed Christ, had also killed Stephen and were bent on persecuting and killing all other followers of Christ, and since their allotted time of 490 years had also come to an end, then the rest of this prophecy of Daniel 9:27 would also be fulfilled: “and for the overspreading of abominations he [Christ] shall make it [the Jewish church] desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate”. And the Jewish nation and church at Jerusalem continued to grow more corrupt and abominable until it was finally destroyed under the Roman general Titus and made completely desolate in 70 A.D., and in the process over 1,000,000 unbelieving Jews lost their lives along with their beloved church and city.
By 34 A.D., the kingdom of God, as well as His divine presence and favor, had been removed for ever from the corrupt Jewish nation and church, and God had now given it instead to the Gentiles (see Acts 7, 8:1-8, 18:6)!
“Therefore say I [Jesus] unto you [Jewish church leaders], The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.” Matthew 21:43.
“And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God. But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming. Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles. For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth. And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.” Acts 13:44-48.
5) Even though this 490 year prophecy had been fulfilled, yet the 2300 day/year prophecy was not yet ended. It had begun in the fall of 457 B.C., and its first 490 years had now been fulfilled which brought us down to 34 A.D. But there were still 1810 years remaining before this 2300 year prophecy would be fulfilled and Christ could begin cleansing the Heavenly Sanctuary - which brings us down to the fall of the year 1844, and specifically on October 22, 1844.
On October 22, 1844 God the Father, Jesus Christ and the 24 human elders all ceased their work in the First Apartment of the Heavenly Sanctuary, then God and Christ got into their own particular chariots and traveled into the Most Holy Place, and Jesus Christ then began to perform His High Priestly work of Atonement in order to cleanse the Sanctuary and His true followers from all sin. Thus in 1844 Christ closed the door (or entrance veil) of the First Apartment, and then opened the door (or entrance veil) into the Second Apartment of the Heavenly Sanctuary to begin the work of Atonement (see Revelation 3:7, 11:19).
So for the past 170 some years we have been living in the time period when our High Priest Jesus Christ has been ministering before the Almighty in the Second Apartment of the Heavenly Sanctuary making an atonement for all the confessed and forsaken sins of His people, which first occurs for the dead (see Revelation 11:18), and then occurs for the living (see Ezekiel 9:1-6; Revelation 22:11)!
6) Since Christ did not begin His atoning work until the year 1844, then the atonement for sin could not have been accomplished or completed by Christ when He was on the earth and died on the cross!
“Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man. For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer. For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law: Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things...” Hebrews 8:1-5.
It takes a priest in order to bring the shed blood of the innocent sacrificed victim within the Sanctuary, and it also takes a High Priest to make an atonement before God and cleanse the Sanctuary. Since Christ was not a priest when He was living on this earth, then this conclusively proves that there was no way that Christ could have made any atonement for our sins while on the cross!
On this earth Christ was living as the Lamb of God, and not as our High Priest. While living on this earth Christ was doing so as the innocent substitute Victim who would voluntarily allowed Himself to be sacrificed and His blood spilled in order to provide a future atonement for sin, but not to provide an instant atonement when His blood was spilled! After providing a complete and perfect sacrifice for sin then Christ rose from the dead, ascended to heaven, and then entered into the First Apartment of the Heavenly Sanctuary as our High Priest so that He could present before God His own spilled blood in our behalf, and when the time came in 1844 then He began to make an atonement for sin in the Second Apartment of the Heavenly Sanctuary. So the atonement for sin could only begin after Christ ascended to heaven and began His ministerial work in the Most Holy Place of the Heavenly Sanctuary some 1800 years after His death on the cross. Christ’s sacrifice and spilled blood necessary for the atonement did indeed take place and was completed once for all on the cross, but the atonement itself did not occur at that time.
7) When will our High Priest Jesus Christ's atoning and investigative cleansing work in the Second Apartment of the Heavenly Sanctuary be finished?
“And there shall be no man in the tabernacle of the congregation when he goeth in to make an atonement in the holy place, until he come out, and have made an atonement for himself, and for his household, and for all the congregation of Israel.” Leviticus 16:17.
There was no set amount of time specified for the earthly high priest to complete his atoning work in the most holy place of the Earthly Sanctuary on that day of Atonement. The length of time was determined on just how long it took him to complete his work! This means his atoning work could have ended at any moment during that day! This shows us that there is also no set amount of time given for Christ to complete His atoning work in the Heavenly Sanctuary, which means that it can end at any time! But when Christ finally complete all His ministerial duties, then the Atonement has occurred and the Sanctuary is cleansed.
8) It is indeed a very solemn time in which we are living in these last days!
“...when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away. And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.” Luke 21:31-36.
“Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad; for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” Matthew 5:11-12.
“Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son; and children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” Mark 13:12-13.