TEXT FOR PRAYER
Grow In Grace Or Else Die
This afternoon I shall read from Christ’s Object Lessons, page 65, beginning with the last paragraph.
“The germination of the seed represents the beginning of spiritual life, and the development of the plant is a beautiful figure of Christian growth. As in nature, so in grace; there can be no life without growth. The plant must either grow or die. As its growth is silent and imperceptible, but continuous, so is the development of the Christian life. At every stage of development our life may be perfect; yet if God’s purpose for us is fulfilled, there will be continual advancement. Sanctification is the work of a lifetime. As our opportunities multiply, our experience will enlarge, and our knowledge increase. We shall become strong to bear responsibility, and our maturity will be in proportion to our privileges.”
What is our need of prayer this afternoon? – Let us pray to grow in grace for there can be no life without growth; to advance with the truth; to take advantage of all our opportunities; to cooperate with Divine agencies; to be willing to bear responsibilities; to realize that when we do all these, then our responsibilities will increase, and our maturity will be commensurate to our privileges.
Our text is found in Daniel chapter eight, verse 14. I shall begin with verse 13.
Dan. 8:13, 14 – “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? And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.”
To this question, “How long shall be the vision concerning the daily, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?” came the answer, “Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” That is, within the 2300 days the daily shall be taken away, the transgression of desolation set up, the sanctuary and the host shall be trodden underfoot. After this the sanctuary is to be cleansed. “Every morning” (margin), denotes 24 hour days – full measure of time. The word “sacrifice” does not belong in the text.
Dan. 8:16, 17 – “And I heard a man’s voice between the banks of Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision. So he came near where I stood: and when he came, I was afraid, and fell upon my face: but he said unto me, Understand, O son of man: for at the time of the end shall be the vision.”
Gabriel’s explanation that at the time of the end shall be the vision, shows that the paramount importance of the vision is the cleansing of the sanctuary, and that it takes place not in Daniel’s time, and not before the time of the end, but after the 2300 days, in the time of the end.
Now since the 2300 days began somewhere in the fifth century before Christ (as seen in the following verses), and since the vision was to be for many days, for the time of the end, then obviously the 2300 days must be computed a day for a year as in Ezekiel 4:6. The 2300 days, therefore, are actually 2300 years, in the end of which the sanctuary is cleansed. What signs are to mark the time of the end?–
Dan. 12:4 – “But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.”
The angel explained that at the time of the end many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased. And the fact that men are now running to and fro and that knowledge has been increased in itself proves that we are now living in the time of the end, that the vision is now to be understood, and that the sanctuary is now to be cleansed.
Dan. 8:18-21 – “Now as he was speaking with me, I was in a deep sleep on my face toward the ground: but he touched me, and set me upright. And he said, Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for at the time appointed the end shall be. The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia. And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king.”
Here you see where the prophetic history of this vision begins. It begins with the Medo-Persian empire, and carries us in time through the victories of Alexander the Great.
Verse 23 – “And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up.”
In the latter end of the Medes and the Greeks, when the transgressors, the Jews, are come to the full, another king or kingdom was to stand up. It was of course none other than Rome, the kingdom which overran the four Grecian divisions.
Verses 26, 27 – “And the vision of the evening and the morning which was told is true: wherefore shut thou up the vision; for it shall be for many days. 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 here confesses that the meager explanation which Gabriel gave concerning the vision was not sufficient. None could understand it.
Consequently, as time went on and as he still could not understand the vision although the set time for liberation had come, he graphically said:
Dan. 9:1, 2, 3, 22, 23 – “In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans. In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem. And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:… And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding. At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision.”
Because Gabriel was to begin where he left off (Dan. 8), he counselled Daniel first to consider the vision. Then said Gabriel:
Verse 24 – “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy.”
Since Gabriel is here explaining the vision of chapter 8 – the things that were to take place during the 2300 days – the seventy weeks are therefore a part of the 2300 days.
Let us now study the subject with the aid of this chart.
The seventy weeks are actually 490 years. Mark that during these 490 years, Daniel’s people, the Jews, were to make an end of sin and make reconciliation for their iniquity, or else be hopelessly given up. Next Daniel was told where the 70 weeks begin:
Verse 25 – “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: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.”
From the commandment to restore and to rebuild Jerusalem to Messiah the Prince, to Christ, there were to be 7 weeks (49 years), and 62 weeks (434 years) – 69 weeks in all, or 483 years. History shows that the decree to rebuild the ancient city went forth in 457 B.C. Hence 483 years from 457 B.C. bring us to 27 A.D., to the year Christ, the Messiah, was baptized. (This incident, too, proves that the 2300 days are computed a day for a year, and that the seventy weeks are the first block of time from within the 2300 days. Look at the chart.) We should now remember that after cutting off the 69 weeks from the 70 weeks there is yet one week left. What takes place during this week is told in the verses that follow:
Verses 26, 27 – “And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for Himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. 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.”
Just what was to take place during the first seven weeks or 49 years I am not prepared to say, but in the end of the next 62 weeks, or 434 years the Messiah was to be cut off, crucified. During the remaining week, the 70th, He was to confirm the covenant with many, and in the midst of it He was to be cut off, crucified; that is, there were to be 3½ years from His baptism to the crucifixion, and 3½ years after the crucifixion in which He was to confirm the covenant. This completes the 70 weeks and brings us to the time to apostles were commanded to go out and preach the Gospel to the Gentiles: One named Cornelius (a Gentile), and Peter (a Jew and an Apostle) were both given a vision: Cornelius was instructed to see Peter and Peter was commanded to meet Cornelius. See Acts, chapter 10. The Jews as a nation failed to make an end of sin and were therefore rejected, given up.
Christ’s own sacrifice at the end of the first 3½ years replaced the sacrificial ceremonial system, and thus He caused the sacrifice to cease in the midst of the week. All this, time and event, you see, took place exactly as Gabriel predicted.
Nevertheless, even with this added explanation, Daniel still was not able to comprehend all that was in the vision. But as time went on, and as his burden for the deliverance of his people increased, knowing that the time had come, he prayed for light. His prayer is recorded in the first part of chapter 10, after which the angel appeared and again explained:
Dan. 10:21 – “But I will shew thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth: and there is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your prince.”
Daniel was then promised all the light that could be given, not only on the vision of Daniel 8, but on all that is noted in the scripture of truth in connection with the vision. That which the angel showed him is recorded in Daniel 11 and 12:
Chapter 11, you will see, begins with the vision of Daniel 8, with the kings of Medo-Persia and Grecia as symbolized by the ram and he goat in chapter 8. Then was Daniel told that the explanation at last was sufficient, but that it was impossible for him to understand it all, for the vision was sealed to the time of the end (chapter 12, verses 8, 9).
By this long prophetic history and geography as seen in chapters 11 and 12, the angel brings us up to the time of the end, to the time the cleansing is to take place. And here is the nature of the cleansing according to the angel’s word:
Dan. 12:1 – “And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.”
By delivering the righteous, He thoroughly separates the righteous from among the wicked – He puts the good “fish” in the vessels and casts out the bad (Matt. 13:48). He shall cleanse His people from sin and sinners.
Verses 2, 3 – “And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.”
The wicked that arise with the righteous in this mixed resurrection are also to be separated from the righteous. The wicked are to be put to shame and everlasting contempt, but the righteous are to be given eternal life.
Verse 10 – “Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.”
The living righteous shall be purified, but the wicked shall become even more wicked.
Verses 11, 12 – “And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.”
Here another block of time from within the 2300 days is introduced, beginning from the time the daily is abolished and the abomination set up. (The daily represents something which should not have been abolished, and the abominations represent something that should not have been set up. The word “sacrifices” is supplied and does not belong in the text. For light on these read Tract No. 3, The Harvest.)
It should be noticed, however, that the promised blessing (the cleansing) does not begin until after the 1335 days, or years, expire.
Now since the 2300-year period begins in 457 B.C., with the commandment to restore and to rebuild the city Jerusalem, the 2300 days consequently end in 1844, the time the 1335 days end, then the days of the blessings begin. It should now be remembered that this cleansing of the sanctuary includes the cleansing of both those who are to be resurrected and those who are to be living during the cleansing time. Speaking through the prophet Ezekiel of the cleansing among the living, the Lord says:
Ezek. 36:24-29 – “For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and ye shall keep My judgments, and do them. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be My people, and I will be your God. I will also save you from all your uncleannesses: and I will call for the corn, and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you.”
None of the living can actually be cleansed from all their marks of sin while among the Gentile nations, you see. They must first be separated from the hypocrites and Gentiles, then brought into their own land, there to be sprinkled with clean water, cleansed from all their filthiness and from all their idols, when they get to their own land, not before. Even a new heart is to be given them there, and a new spirit also. Thus will the Lord cause them to walk in His statutes and keep His judgments forevermore. Thus shall they return and dwell in the land of their fathers, Palestine, and thus shall they be God’s people eternally. These things, you see, are premillennial.
Let us now examine the cleansing according to the prophets Joel, Malachi, and Jeremiah–
Joel 3:21 – “For I will cleanse their blood that I have not cleansed: for the Lord dwelleth in Zion.”
Malachi 3:1-3 – “Behold, I will send My messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts. But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ sope: and he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.”
Jer. 31:31-33 – “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which My covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord: but this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put My law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be My people.”
The old covenant has been to keep the commandments while they are written, not on the heart, but on tables of stone, against the will of the stony heart. But the new covenant is to cleanse them from their stony hearts, and to write the commandments on their hearts of flesh.
Verse 34 – “And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know Me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”
When God’s people are thus cleansed, they shall all know the Lord. Then they shall indeed be His people, His nation. And God’s guarantee is this:
Verses 35, 36 – “Thus saith the Lord, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The Lord of hosts is His name: if those ordinances depart from before Me, saith the Lord, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before Me for ever.”
Does God do this because His people have been good or because He wants to vindicate His name? Let us see:
Ezek. 36:20-24 – “And when they entered unto the heathen, whither they went, they profaned My holy name, when they said to them, These are the people of the Lord, and are gone forth out of His land. But I had pity for Mine holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the heathen, whither they went. Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for Mine holy name’s sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went. And I will sanctify My great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the Lord, saith the Lord God, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes. For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.”
Plainly, the Word declares that the sanctuary is to be cleansed, that the land also is to be reclaimed, and the Kingdom restored, not by reason of the people’s goodness, but for God’s name’s sake, for His own goodness sake. The heathen, too, will know what God has done for His people, for the Scriptures show that all this shall take place right before their eyes. This same cleansing Christ describes thus:
Matt. 25:32-34 – “And before Him shall be gathered all nations: and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: and He shall set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on His right hand, Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”
Here is truth that the Denomination has overlooked: they think that they are to make a bee line to the throne of God for the Millennium. But according to the scriptures, here you see the people must first be separated from among the heathen, then cleansed from all their filthiness, and thus be enabled to stand in the presence of a pure and eternal God. Thus is the sanctuary among the living cleansed, and thus are the people to be fitted to reign with Christ a thousand years.
Brothers, Sisters, make certain that you be found, not among the goats on His left, but with the sheep on His right if you are to hear the King say, “Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” (Matt. 25:34).
And remember that we have now been living “in the time of the end” for some years. Moreover, this light has now come because the cleansing of the living members of the church is at hand.