Timeout: From Daniel to Revelation


(Spectrumbot) #1

In this TIMEOUT, I will reflect on the theology of the Book of Daniel. Daniel’s influence on Revelation is huge, but one important piece has gone missing. I also have a note on the tears of John and a P.S. on responses to my previous postings.

History and Theology in Daniel

Daniel 2 is a go-to text in Seventh-day Adventist evangelism but a run-from text in church life otherwise. In communities that do not do evangelism, such as university communities, sermons on Daniel 2 are a rarity. In Daniel 2, the king has a dream (2:1-45). He knows that he has dreamt, and he is accustomed to thinking that dreams communicate messages from a higher power. But he cannot remember his dream (2:1-9)! He demands of his advisors not only to interpret the dream but to retrieve it (2:9)! His insistence distills the epistemological issue to its essence: that certain types of knowledge are in God’s possession only — revealed knowledge. If the dream is communication from an outside intelligence, then it is not a product of the king’s mental activity. If, too, the dream represents a message from God rather than unprovoked human intellectual activity, God is free to share the message with other people than the king. Nebuchadnezzar is on to something when he insists, “Tell me the dream, and I shall know that you can give me its interpretation” (2:9).

The desire to know makes Nebuchadnezzar a sympathetic figure. There is a spiritual tenor to his quest, a sense of awareness that God is making contact. Making Babylon Great Again is not the only subject on his mind.

To Daniel and his friends, the epistemological predicament is dire, but it is also an opportunity (Daniel 2:14-18). Epistemology fans out to become theology because the message “made known” to Nebuchadnezzar is “made known” to Daniel (2:19). His role is modest, but the new epistemic horizon is vast. What is made known, is profoundly theological and shocking.

Daniel proceeds to recount to the king his dream (Daniel 2:31-36) and then its interpretation (2:37-45). The dream presents the flow of history in broad strokes (I prefer “history” to “historicism”). Decline and dissolution seem inherent to the human project: it is represented as a statue standing on feet of iron and clay. The constituent elements are unable to overcome intrinsic incompatibility (2:33, 41-43). In contrast to this, the dream brings into focus the heavenly alternative.

a stone was cut out, not by hands [lā’ biydayin] (Daniel 2:34, translation mine)

a stone was cut out from the mountain not by hands [lā’ biydayin] (Daniel 2:45, translation mine)

These verses stress how the stone was not cut out. It is justified to say, as most translations do: “a stone was cut out, not by human hands.” And yet the “hands” in question are not specified as human or divine (Daniel 2:34, 45), and “hand” is a Semitic metaphor for “power.” We compromise the text if we only stress the contrast between divine and human agency. Another contrast — and one that is even more important, focuses on method.

Let the distinctive action now read:

“a stone was cut out — but not by power” (Daniel 2:34, 45).

Method and agency go together. It is especially the different means that carries over into Revelation. Daniel’s claim to supernatural, non-human knowledge is certified less by the power to predict than by the ability to know the essence of the kingdom of God: “a stone was cut out — but not by power” (Daniel 2:34, 45). A principle other than power is at work in history, an elusive principle that is not of this world — and not only because the one who operates it isn’t human. God’s “hand” represents a different mode of action (2:34, 45).

In Daniel 9, we read of the “Anointed One” (lit. the Messiah) that he “shall be cut off and shall have nothing” (9:26). A Messianic reading will see this as a reference to Jesus. Daniel 12, returning to the “hand” of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, says that “when the power (‘hand’) of the holy people has been finally broken, all these things will be completed” (12:7). This is theology, not only history, and it is theology that is absent or underdeveloped in approaches that mine Daniel for its predictive historical treasures. Daniel’s vision of a kingdom not based on power leads straight to the vision on Patmos and its most riveting scene. “And I saw,” says John,

in the middle of the throne,

[in the middle of] the four living creatures,

and in the middle of the twenty-four elders

a lamb standing

as though it had been

killed with violence,

having seven horns and seven eyes (Revelation 5:6, translation mine).

No one anticipated this, whether Daniel or John: this is truly the dream that no one can remember. And now — let the horrors catalogued in the sealed scroll come on full display (5:1; 6:1-11). The figure in the middle will not be stymied (5:6). He “has what it takes to open the scroll and its seven seals” (5:5).

John’s Tears

Who is he, the “John” who says of himself that “I wept and wept profusely because no one was found to have what it takes to open the scroll or to look into it”? (5:4). Most interpreters do not think that he is the Beloved Disciple of the Gospel of John, and many do not believe that the Beloved Disciple in “John” is John, the son of Zebedee. I belong to the minority that answers both in the affirmative: John of Patmos is the Beloved Disciple of the Gospel, and that John is the son of Zebedee. I wish I could have included my painstaking argument in my commentary (I had to leave it out), and I am sorry I cannot share it here.

But we can reflect on meanings if the John of Revelation is identical to the Beloved Disciple in John. In Revelation, he weeps profusely (5:4). Over what? Can we extrapolate meanings from John’s tears to the character of the scroll?

Is he weeping because there is no one who can foretell the future?

Is he weeping because he is afraid that he won’t be saved?

Is he weeping for himself?

If he is John the Beloved Disciple and the son of Zebedee, these options seem implausible. John knows enough not to be anxious about the future (John 14:1-3). He knows enough about God not to be anxious about his salvation — he is the one who was resting his head in the lap of Jesus at the supper (John 13:23; 21:20). He, who rested his head in the lap of Jesus at the supper, also knows that Jesus is the one who rests his head in the lap of the Father (John 1:18). Such stunning images of familiarity, intimacy, and trust make it difficult to understand his tears. Has he forgotten? Is he performing a role? If he is performing, he deserves an Oscar!

The problem disappears if we see John’s tears not in relation to himself but in relation to the crisis in the heavenly council (in theology-speak: a crisis of theodicy). There is an unbridged and possibly unbridgeable gap between God and the convictions of the members of the heavenly council. And then — what is their problem? Are they in need of knowledge of the future for the crisis to be resolved? Are they worried about their salvation? Neither of these options works if we look at reality from the point of view of the heavenly council.

Meanwhile, John weeps and weeps.

Joy or sorrow are not tied only to knowledge of the future or assurance of salvation. If John is the Beloved Disciple of the Gospel, he is aware of other joys (and sorrows). At the point when the popularity of John the Baptist is about to be eclipsed by the rising popularity of Jesus, John (the Baptist) explains to his dejected disciples, “No one can receive anything except what has been given from heaven. You yourselves are my witnesses that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah, but I have been sent ahead of him’” (John 3:27-28). And then he shows what the other joy is. “He who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. For this reason my joy has been fulfilled” (John 3:29-30).

Joy over the joy of the Other! Joy over the Other’s success! That kind of joy!

Does this work in the context of Revelation? It does — but in Revelation the emotional state is grief. John’s tears are not tears wept for himself — or about the future, or about assurance of salvation. They are tears of grief over God’s predicament. “The friend of the bridegroom” will do no less, be it joy or sorrow.

P.S. (Answering the Mail)

I have looked at some of the comments to my postings. My weekly submissions are two kinds, one early in the week on specifics in the text and one later in the week that I call a TIMEOUT. For the first kind, I approach the text with the priority I have set for myself in my work as a reader of Bible texts: I read in the company of “uninitiated” readers. I know that the actual audience of these comments for the most part is Seventh-day Adventist, but my implied audience is not. On actual exegesis, I offer to the SDA reader what I believe should be offered to anyone.

In my TIMEOUT reflections, I deviate from this commitment. I comment on issues related to how Seventh-day Adventists read Revelation with reference to the Quarterly. These reflections have generated more comments than the others. I wish it were the other way around, but it is not surprising.

I question the wisdom of the term “historicism.” I don’t think Daniel or John were “historicists” although I believe that they describe real history. For John, history is the arena where the cosmic conflict unfolds and is ultimately resolved. In this TIMEOUT, I have suggested a reading of Daniel that is missing in interpretations that stress history.

“Old Historicism” refers chiefly to the interpretation offered by Uriah Smith. He does not stand alone in this “tradition.” Unfolding the Revelation by Roy Allan Anderson (1974) is perhaps the latest of “old” historicist readings.

“New Historicism” refers to interpretations that became ascendant at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary from about 1970 onwards. New Historicism preserves much of the Old Historicism with respect to Revelation 13, but it differs on points quite critical to the historicist project. New Historicism takes Revelation’s allusions to the Old Testament much more seriously than did the “Old.” This is a great leap forward, but it comes with a risk. Revelation has a cosmic perspective that is not found in Deuteronomy. (More about this next week.) New Historicism proposes different fulfillments for the time periods and the events, most notably for the trumpets. Disagreement about such specifics puts at risk the historicist claim that John predicted specific events. New Historicism detects a logic or dynamic in history that is strongly theological and that is far less apparent in the historicism of Uriah Smith. You can see it here, in these quotes from this week’s Quarterly.

The events of the seven seals must be understood in the context of the Old Testament covenant curses, specified in terms of sword, famine, pestilence, and wild beasts (Lev. 26:21–26). Ezekiel calls them God’s “four severe judgments” (Ezek. 14:21, NKJV).

The scenes of the seven seals portray the future of the church. As was the case with the seven churches, the seals correlate to the different periods in Christian history. During the apostolic times, the gospel rapidly spread throughout the world. This expansion was followed by the period of persecution in the Roman Empire, from the end of the first century to the beginning of the fourth century, as portrayed in the scene of the second seal. The third seal points to the period of compromise of the fourth and fifth centuries, which was characterized by a spiritual famine caused by a lack of the Bible and its truths, leading to the “Dark Ages.” The fourth seal aptly describes the spiritual death that characterized Christianity for nearly a thousand years.

What is the theological logic of the seals? The Quarterly understands them as “covenant curses” along the lines found in Exodus and Deuteronomy. They suggest a punitive dynamic that puts Revelation’s cosmic message at risk, especially the perception that there was a crisis in the heavenly council. In the fifth seal, the martyrs decry the absence of action on God’s part. Have they not understood the meaning of the previous seals — that they are “covenant curses” meant to hold to account those who commit evil? The practical, communicative cost of the “theological logic” is enormous. By the logic of Deuteronomy, suffering is proof of sin. When Martin Luther wrote On the Jews and Their Lies (1543), he used this logic to explain the plight of the Jews. They were under God’s “covenant curses”; they were suffering because they had “rejected the gospel.” Perhaps the theological logic expressed in the Quarterly worked in the days of Uriah Smith (he did not use it). It will not work now — for obvious historical, human, and relational reasons.

Revelation is the foremost New Testament book of theodicy. Its counterpart in the Old Testament is the Book of Job. In Job, it is the good man who suffers. All parties to his suffering are scrambling for a new explanatory paradigm. As David Clines puts it, “The causal nexus of the retributive principle has been unalterably broken for Job — and for all those of his readers who side with him in his battle against heaven, which means almost every single one.” Does the New Testament book of theodicy revert to the logic of Deuteronomy, logic that Job picks apart?

A few responders have commented on my relation to “the Larger View” of A. Graham Maxwell, who was for many years a beloved Bible teacher at Pacific Union College and Loma Linda University. It has happened to me before. In 2011, after I gave a presentation on the cosmic conflict in Revelation at the Theological Seminary at Andrews University, the first (or one of the first) question(s) after my presentation was this, “What is your relation to Graham Maxwell?” (read: “a lawyer stood up to test him”). In that audience, it was an effective take-down, ad hominem. I was mortified, speechless, stymied, and defeated.

I did not know what to say then, and I still don’t. I am prepared to share how I understand Romans or Revelation. Or explain my preoccupation with the Holocaust, or my view of the Bible and ecology, or the Bible and politics (without hyperbole). The latter topics were not in vogue in the sheltered space of Loma Linda in the days of Graham Maxwell. He was an important voice in the church — many Loma Linda physicians talk wistfully about the Bible studies they had at Dr. Hinshaw’s house in the sixties. But that was then. This is now. I don’t know you because I knew your teachers — or your teacher because I know you. The theological lines of demarcation in the Adventist community have closed off much needed communication.

Let’s say it again: this is now.

Further Reading:

Revelation: For Re-Readers Only, January 5, 2019

Apokalypsis, January 8, 2019

Revelation and the Neighborhood, January 14, 2019

Timeout: Revelation and the Crisis of Historicism, January 18, 2019

Crisis in the Heavenly Council, January 21, 2019

Timeout: Cosmic Conflict vs. Historicism, January 25, 2019

Silence in Heaven — for about Half an Hour, January 28, 2019

Sigve K. Tonstad is Research Professor of Biblical Interpretation at Loma Linda University.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/9381

(Barry Casey) #2

Thank you, Sigve, for a stirring and evocative commentary on Revelation.


(William Noel) #3

Sigve, I ask not what your relationship is to any theologian, but what is your relationship to the rest of scripture and the ministry model of Jesus? His focus was not on prophecy, but on demonstrating the love and power of the Father. As Adventists we have a historic obsession with Daniel and Revelation. How about putting them into context as just two out of 66 books in the Bible where there is much more that God wants us to know? How about some focus on what God wants us actually doing instead of allowing Satan to preserve us paralyzed, spiritual eunuchs who are so focused on those two books that we fail to do what Jesus told us to do.


(antony nyathi) #4

Two years ago, because I was not confident in my understanding of Daniel and revelation I started a project, where I would read each book of the bible and then compare that book to Daniel and Revelation. It was good for me. I wrote down my findings. And I found in my comparing of revelation and many parts of the OT, the exact dynamic you have highlighted. The good thing is I even made voice notes at the time. I am so happy to find that you also saw the same thing that I saw, in revelation suffering mainly falls on the righteous although it does break down when we get to the last plagues, what is clear in revelation, suffering is no indicator of one’s spiritual standing, righteous and wicked all experience it at different times. I also took note of the lack of cosmic conflict dimension in the OT, except for a few places, opposition to God and his way in the OT is mostly driven by humans but in a few places in the OT and every in the NT including revelation, the opposition is basically described as being driven by the enemy. So when I say Aemen to your work, its because I am learning, but also because I am happy that I can see what I saw and have documented being discussed in a more thorough way. its really nice for so many reasons. Comments about Graham Maxwell usually make it sound like his impact is confined to Loma Linda, well this is really quite mistaken, since I am one of many people who have never been to Loma Linda but I too have a story. What I know is if someone teaches me a good thing, what I do is accept it. I always feel like speaking up when people malign someone, I don’t think it helps most of the time though. I just find it hard to keep quiet under some circumstances though.


#5

Overwhelmingly consumed by the desire to wield predictive power,
the power of character is overlooked in that pursuit.


#6

Seigve,

Please clarify the two paragraphs following "a stone was cut out—but not by power" (Daniel 2:34, 45). Are you saying "not by power," (NIV), or "without hands, (KJV), "in 2:34, 45, (H3028, yad ,) is referring to the same power, ( yad ), Jesus or God, in 12:7?


#7

That is a just-so story, a riff of a Graham Maxwell just-so made up story, which was a riff of Ellen White’s just-so story, which was a riff of John Milton’s epic poem, located on a famous 19th century “high shelf.”

Unfortunately, many Sabbatarian authors…of the past 150 years, [Ellen White included] seem to have absorbed these embellished versions and incorporated them into their own writings, rather than return to the simplicity of what is actually in the Bible

.

In each of these scenarios painted by the authors, virtually none of the embellishments have any support in the Bible account at all.

http://www.ellen-white-truth.com/story-of-redemption-paradise-lost/

What is actually in the Bible:

And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?

.

And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.

And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.

And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.

And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.

And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.

And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.

And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
—Revelation 5

There is absolutely no support for that in the Bible text, Sigve.

That, not “historicism,” is the problem here.

I have a high school diploma from a very sketchy rural Adventist academy in the 1960s, but I can read.

None of this has anything whatsoever to do with Auschwitz.

Overt Adventist collaboration with the Third Reich has a straightforward connection to the Holocaust:

Fatal Flirting: The Nazi State and the Seventh-day Adventist Church https://digitalcommons.andrews.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1042&context=jams

A fictional “predicament” that God supposedly got in with a heavenly council has no correlation with the Holocaust, far less Revelation 5, and is a completely ungrounded fable.


#8

[If anyone thinks I enjoy doing this, you would be wrong.]

The Bible states exactly why John was weeping:

Your argument is centered around shifting the focus from “the Lamb that was slain” and substituting a fictional “predicament” God supposedly found Himself in and a purported “crisis” in a heavenly council.

And this supposed predicament and crisis can only be solved by that SDA “West Coast” iteration of Last Generation Theology (LGT).

This is a replacement and negation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and in no way can I see this as benign, Sigve.

For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:

.
And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
Revelation 22


Apokalypsis
(Patrick Travis) #9

Well stated Cassie! Create a strawman argument and assume it is true. Detract from the true meaning by added specious claims.
Actually, I think he & Maxwell are in their mind countering LGT BUT create another animal just as harmful to the everlasting gospel of Christ. Both ignore JBF"alone" for different reasons.
Regards


(George Tichy) #10

My personal, undisguised obsession is with the book of Hebrews and the Gospels.
Actually, for me, Hebrews is incomparably more relevant than either Daniel or Revelation. Because it actually reveals something…


(Thomas J Zwemer) #11

The theme and focus is on the Triumph of the Lamb. The subset is the forces that seek to detour those that trust in that victory by death or the threat of death. The call is to endure as the three worthies of Daniel. Even so come Lord Jesus.


(Steve Mga) #12

What BOTH Daniel and Revelation reveal
[along with the Call of Jeremiah, Isaiah, Ezekiel, and others]
that God is in Control no matter what men design to do. Whether these men
are good men or evil men.
Also, that God works with individuals who may or not make up a community.
Many times these persons were a Community Of ONE. But they had an impact
on Empires – whether Secular Empire, or Religious Empire imitating secular empire
methods and ideals.
The 3 men and Daniel had an impact on Nebuchadnezzar who wrote a whole chapter
in the Book of Daniel. Had an impact on Darius and Cyrus in Daniel 6. “Peace and
prosperity to you [every race, language, nation throughout the world], I decree that everyone in my kingdom should tremble and fear before the God of Daniel. He is the living God, will endure
for ever, kingdom will never be destroyed, rule will never end. Rescues and saves His
people, performs miraculous signs and wonders in heaven and on earth. [Lastly] rescued
Daniel from the power of the lions.”
Martin Luther changing his life vocation brought about the beginnings of Religious Liberty in
the world, and impacted the United States.
John and Charles Wesley desiring a greater connection with God began with a small group
of men. Now the World Wide Methodist Denomination. It was not planned by them. Just a
humble group meeting together.


#13

Perhaps, but in both cases human beings are recruited to “rescue the reputation of God,” in a complete inversion of the Gospel via fanciful storytelling.

Adventists have been flying under the radar for a very long time, in my opinion.


(Cfowler) #14

Yep. This has never made any sense to me…nor can I find anything in Scripture that speaks to this. If someone has a reference, I’d be glad to see it. This idea, once again, seems to make Adventism the center of everything, not God. Ultimately, they seem to be the “Saviors”, as it were.

Do you mean in how they present themselves to the Christian world? If so, I agree. Very stealthy in presenting the “under the radar” beliefs and history.


#15

Hi Cassie,

Well said, and may I add a little. This is an example of the “fanciful theories” that arise when the church adopted the position that “the daily” represented Christ’s ministry. Rome and the crucifixion of Christ is missing in Daniel 8, a Papal host controls Christ’s ministry in the MHP of the heavenly sanctuary, and the 2,300 years of 8:14 applies to the persecuting rule of the Papacy!! The logical conclusion, when the daily is applied to Christ’s mimistry, n the basis that it “is the most popular” position, cf. below.

The Little Horn – Part 1 ( Dan. 8:9, 10, 23-25 ). — After a discussion on how this little horn would oppose truth, it is revealed that it would be allowed to do so for “ two thousand and three hundred days ; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed. (Dan. 8:14).” Teachers SS Quarterly, April-June, 2002, pp. 44-45.

The angel does not identify this “little horn” but provides a description of its work (vss. 9-12, 23-25) . But the angel has already pronounced that this prophecy is for the end time; and in Daniel 8:14 he says that this desolation of the sacrifice will last for 2,300 prophetic years . Hence this power cannot be Antiochus Epiphanies or the Roman armies. Adult Teachers Quarterly, July-August, 2006, p. 57.

Only after 2300 evenings and mornings will the destructive rampage of the little horn stop , an interpretation later offered by the angel Gabriel: “yet he will be destroyed, but not by human power” (verse 25). The end of the little horn will not result from natural causes, but from an extraordinary act of judgment on God’s part, closing the circle of history (Dan. 2:34; 11:45.). Doukhan, Secrets of Daniel, p. 127.

We remember that chapter 7 located the judgment “after a time, times and half a time,” that is, after 1798. Chapter 8 is even more explicit: the reign of the little horn lasts 2300 evenings and mornings. — a day that we should understand in the prophetic sense as a year ( equalling 2300 years ). Doukhan, Secrets of Daniel, p. 131.

The tāmîd, *“the continual,” designates the daily work of the priest in the holy place. Since the “Prince of hosts” is a heavenly being (cf. Joshua 5:14) **the sanctuary in Daniel 8:9–14 must be the heavenly one.***REALLY? This position was adopted immediately after Glacier View on the basis that it was the most popular position. The ECW counsel to our leading men, “to study it out,” remains, and as a result, verses 9-11 are no longer considered to apply to Rome , the crucifixion of Christ, or to the destruction of Jerusalem the place of the earthly temple. As a result, this view considers the 2,300 years of Daniel 8:14 applies to the "persecuting rule of the Papacy. cf below.

The Little Horn – Part 1 ( Dan. 8:9, 10, 23-25 ). — After a discussion on how this little horn would oppose truth, it is revealed that it would be allowed to do so for “ two thousand and three hundred days ; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed. (Dan. 8:14).” Teachers SS Quarterly, April-June, 2002, pp. 44-45.

The angel does not identify this “little horn” but provides a description of its work (vss. 9-12, 23-25) . But the angel has already pronounced that this prophecy is for the end time; and in Daniel 8:14 he says that this desolation of the sacrifice will last for 2,300 prophetic years . Hence this power cannot be Antiochus Epiphanies or the Roman armies. Adult Teachers Quarterly, July-August, 2006, p. 57.

The Little Horn. 5. And finally, as in chapter 7, the little horn succeeds the reign of beasts and remains the sole power . Undoubtedly it is the same as the one encountered in chapter 7. Doukhan, Secrets of Daniel, p. 124.

Only after 2300 evenings and mornings will the destructive rampage of the little horn stop , an interpretation later offered by the angel Gabriel: “yet he will be destroyed, but not by human power” (verse 25). The end of the little horn will not result from natural causes, but from an extraordinary act of judgment on God’s part, closing the circle of history (Dan. 2:34; 11:45.). Doukhan, Secrets of Daniel, p. 127.

We remember that chapter 7 located the judgment “after a time, times and half a time,” that is, after 1798. Chapter 8 is even more explicit: the reign of the little horn lasts 2300 evenings and mornings. — a day that we should understand in the prophetic sense as a year ( equalling 2300 years ). Doukhan, Secrets of Daniel, p. 131.

Thus if we count 2300 years from 457 B.C.E., we reach the year 1844 . But there is nothing more suspect and disturbing than a date, especially in religious matters. We feel more comfortable when religious truth remains within the limits of the spiritual domain. Doukhan, Secrets of Daniel, p. 152.

The main concern of this vision is the attitude of the little horn toward the sanctuary and the priestly work of the Prince (verses 11, 12). It attacks the host of heaven, defeats them (verse 10), and goes after the Prince and the sanctuary. This spiritual attack is described in military terms. The tāmîd is taken away from the Prince, and the foundation/place of the sanctuary is cast down and rejected. Then , in a spirit of rebellion/transgression (verse 12), the little horn sets up its own force to control the tāmîd. The “truth” associated with the sanctuary is obscured by this anti-God power (cf. Dan. 7:25). The cultic language used by Daniel makes it clear that the little horn does not contaminate the sanctuary ; the attack on the sanctuary profanes it (cf. Dan. 11:31), but does not contaminate it. The sanctuary is treated by the horn-power as a common place. The little horn somehow affects the Prince’s tāmîd, or continual mediation in the holy place . The question of the horn’s interference with the mediatorial work of the Prince in the Most Holy Place is addressed in Daniel 8:13, 14 . 12BC. 394-395.

  • The daily refers to the continual priestly ministry of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary. — Both the second and the third interpretations have been held by various able expositors within the Advent movement . 4BC 842-843.
  • “But then, the little horn (8:9) does something that no other kingdom has done: It goes against the Prince of the Host in the heavenly sanctuary.” 2002 Teachers SS Quarterly, p. 41.
  • “The same picture is used in Daniel 8. The little horn attacks the heavenly host and casts “down some of the host” . (vs 10); it then goes into the sanctuary where he “exalted himself as the Prince of the host(vs. 11 , NKJV). The little horn is attacking heaven and a ministry in heaven . p. 44. — 2. A host is placed over the daily ministry. Hence the text says that the horn misappropriated the daily ministry of Christ and then “set over,” or appointed, its own host to control or minister it .” 2002 Teachers SS Quarterly, p. 48.

Question: How did a Papal Host enter heaven, after Satan and his angels were cast out!!


#16

My ignorance is only exceeded by my ignorance in these matters, Ranald.

I don’t possess the intellectual equipment to sort all this out.

It’s paradoxical.

The “spiritual domain” has a nasty way of spilling over into the temporo-spatial realm.

1844 was interesting.

2019 will be interesting.


(Floyd) #17

Wow, I had forgotten how rude and caustic this discussion forum can be. But that is beside the point.
Sigve, I so appreciate all that you have researched in Revelation as you are the lone voice pushing back against the overwhelming pressure of dark opinions and teachings that infect nearly every other commentator on this. Your insights have been most valuable to me, not because I embrace them blindly but because they confirm and deepen what I have been discovering in this book myself for around 5 years. I wish there was any way to have an unbiased discussion about these things some time.
The key to your insights and interpretations is the most important one, overlooked by nearly everyone else. Approaching the study of this book can only safely reveal truth when one sticks tenaciously to the criteria laid out in the very first verse - it must synchronize perfectly with a God who looks like Jesus.
In my personal intense study of this book over the past several years I came to believe that the seals represent a perfect (7) system of lies that prevented anyone from discovering the truth hidden inside that alone could vindicate God’s reputation. Only the Lamb and all He represents, especially in attitude and method, has enough convincing power (7 horns) that can leverage open every lie about God the enemy has used to hold His government under suspicion and doubt all this time.
I believe the seals begin with unmasking the most extreme deception harder to uncover than any other and progresses to the most obvious one. Thus the white horse rider masquerades as the good guy while failing to reflect the humility and methods of the hero, the Lamb.
Thank-you so much Sigve for your wonderful contributions that are bringing so much light into the open that is adding to the weight of glory from the 4th angel. I copy every article, and if it were possible I would love to access the material you have to cut out.


#18

Cassie,

A papal host has no more entered heaven, or killed any of the people there, or controls Christ’s ministry there, than I can fly to the moon. A Papal host controls the ministry in heaven!! Little wonder John says the messages of the little book must be proclaimed “again.” Quite different to will “continue” to be proclaimed until the end.


#19

I believe that is what David Gates and others are preaching, much to the consternation of Mark Finley, Doug Batchelor, and others.

Adding:

@Ranald11


#20

“I believe that is what David Gates and others are preaching, much to the consternation of Mark Finley and others.”

While we have men who are doing a good work and have much truth, that does not mean they have “all truth.”. John say "again, " and the SOP challenges us all with statements such as the following.

“We are altogether too narrow in our plans. We need to be broader minded. God wants us to carry out in our work for Him the principles of truth and righteousness. His work is to go forward in cities and towns and villages. What we need is a deeper understanding of the word of God. We need to keep the principles of that word in mind, that we may proclaim them in their purity.” {6MR 329.2} (emphasis mine)

" When the books of Daniel and Revelation are better understood, believers will have an entirely different religious experience. They will be given such glimpses of the open gates of heaven that heart and mind will be impressed with the character that all must develop in order to realize the blessedness which is to be the reward of the pure in heart. The Lord will bless all who will seek humbly and meekly to understand that which is revealed in the Revelation. This book contains so much that is large with immortality and full of glory that all who read and search it earnestly receive the blessing to those “that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein.” One thing will certainly be understood from the study of Revelation–that the connection between God and His people is close and decided." {FLB 345.3}
Let us give more time to the study of the Bible. We do not understand the Word as we should. The book of Revelation opens with an injunction to us to understand the instruction that it contains. . . . When we . . . understand what this book means to us, there will be seen among us a great revival. —".

I look forward to that day.