The Cleansing from Self-Gadal: Daniel 8

Fred Bischoff

 

 

Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mindŠ.

Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Matt. 22:37-40

 

As Christ was hanged on a tree (Acts 5:30; 10:39; Gal. 3:13), two pieces of wood, one vertical and one horizontal, so we are told by Christ that Daniel hangs on two commandments, one vertical, love to God, and one horizontal, love to our neighbor. But what kind of love is revealed in all such hanging? In their correct interpretation "all the law and the prophets" hang totally dependent upon this very love, for He who is such love (1John 4:8, 16) is the One revealed "in all the scriptures"--"in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms" (Luke 24:27, 44). This is the theme of this study.

 

 

Section on the Themes of the Vision

Background of the Vision

A Vision of Self-Gadal

Grieving over Desolations

Self-Gadal in the New Testament

Self-Gadal after the 490 Years

The Final Cleansing

 

Summary

Review of Desolations

 

Local and Global Parallel

Parallels of Desolations and Cleansings

 

Section on "The Daily"

The Sanctuary Daily

The Opposite Daily

"The Daily" in Daniel

The Daily Meets the Day

 

Our Lord's Prayer

Christ's Prayer for the Daily

 

The Theme Elsewhere

Passages to Ponder


Themes of the Vision

 

Background of the Vision

 

The vision in Daniel 8 seen within its context is an amazing overview of the core issues of the controversy between good and evil. To see this we must understand the basic purpose of the sanctuary system given by God to Israel for the world, in light of this conflict.

The great controversy began in heaven. The heart of the battle is over the character of God. The new view of God was fathered by the devil. His contention (called by Scripture "the lie", John 8:44; cf. Rom. 1:25 and 2Thes. 2:11) is that God is self-seeking and self-exalting, and thus those character qualities define the way that all should live, for they promise the ability to become like God (Isa. 14:14; cf. Gen. 3:5). Since God is not this way, nor does His vast universe function on this principle, He has to reveal His eternal, unchanging character of self-sacrificing love. He has to bear witness to the truth.

The Bible points to several ways in which He accomplishes this revelation. First, He announces to the angels that Michael the archangel is not an angel that has ascended to the inner councils of the Godhead, but actually the eternal member of that Godhead called the Son, who has gone down to be an angel to the angels. Secondly, He proclaims His law, the transcript of His character, showing how other-centered He is, and how all were designed to live this way. The only alternative is stated to result in death. This alternative is called sin, the living of the lie.

When the controversy infected the human race by Adam and Eve's accepting the lie (Gen. 3:5) and the denial of its consequence (Gen. 3:4), they became subject to both, namely sin and death. God immediately began to reveal the cost of sin to Himself (Gen. 3:15, 21), which was also the means by which mankind would be restored. God did not have to change who He was to do this. However, His changeless character of self-sacrificing love would be revealed in a way the universe had never seen. His faith and love, now for fallen creatures, would be tried in the fire of the lie, and would come forth shining with a brilliance that will forever astound all His creatures.

The assurances of His sacrifice of Himself in the face of sin, embodied in the simple, symbolic blood offerings, gave way after time to an amazing tapestry of symbols in the sanctuary system. He was going the extra mile to reveal to lie-blinded mortals the truth about Himself in the context of sin, with a compelling invitation for each to enter back into that truth by faith. The sanctuary was His fortress against the lie.

Israel repeatedly turned from the truth to the lie, vividly showing how mesmerized humanity is with living for self, worshipping the creature rather than the Creator. Ezekiel 8 reveals in graphic terms the abominations Israel brought into the sanctuary (vs. 6). Intended to reveal the truth, the sanctuary was desolated as the lie instead was portrayed, both in the lives of Israel and in their worship. The fortress was breached, and God saw fit for the spiritual desolation to be followed by a physical. And Daniel had lived through those, with insight to understand the reasons behind the destruction of Jerusalem and its glorious temple. Though individually not responsible for the causes of this disaster, he was intimately involved with the corporate consequences of such national apostasy, as he was taken to Babylon, castrated, and made a slave in the conquering king's court.

In the dream of Nebuchadnezzar (chapter 2) and its conclusion with God's kingdom being established upon the entire earth, and in his own later vision (chapter 7) and its final picture of the Son of man receiving the kingdom, Daniel must have sensed something of the eventual victory of the truth, but the overall impact on him of the future conflict left him grieved and troubled (7:15, 28).

 

A Vision of Self-Gadal

 

Within that context, he is given his vision in chapter 8. Observe its themes and impact on Daniel. First it begins not with Babylon the destroyer of the temple (though given before its fall, vs. 1), but with Medo-Persia the rebuilder of the temple (Isa. 44:28). Next, instead of using various unclean creatures like the chapter 7 vision did, it uses sanctuary, sacrificial beasts to represent the earthly kingdoms. Even the little horn finds echoes in the sanctuary horns.

Next and most significantly we see a crescendo of self-exaltation described, with the impact that this has on "the truth" and "the sanctuary". In fact the vision can be summarized with this theme. The first allusion to it appears in the initial scene Daniel sees (verse 3) where the Hebrew word "gaboahh" occurs three times (translated "high" and "higher"). This word is often used to speak of the proud who exalt themselves against God. (See 1Sam. 2:3 and Ezek. 21:26.)

However, the Hebrew word most clearly used to describe the lie in this chapter is the verb "gadal". All of the following verses use this word as a thread woven through the vision and its interpretation, revealing its core issue. In vs. 4 Medo-Persia "became great". In vs. 8 Greece "waxed very great". In vs. 9 the little horn "waxed exceeding great". This heart magnifying (vs. 25) extends "to the host of heaven" (vs. 10) and "even to the prince of the host" (vs. 11).[1] Later descriptions repeat the extent of this self-exaltation. "... He shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods.... (11:36). "Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all." (11:37).[2]

This spirit is not something that is short-term or intermittent. It is a continual, prevailing attitude in the political and religious powers depicted in the vision.[3]  The consequence to the truth is that it is "cast down to the ground" (vs. 12). The sanctuary given to reveal the truth is "trodden under foot" by this "transgression of desolation" (vs. 13), as are the people who were to witness to the truth. We must reaffirm here that such putting of self first is the essence of sin, of transgressing the order of the universe, of rejecting the law, of attacking the very character of God. The consequence of such a path is progressive desolation, for the ultimate result of putting self first is self all alone, desolate. Unity and harmony come only by each putting the others first, with God being first of all. The only other alternative is deceit and destruction (vv. 24, 25).

The devastation is so significant that those who value the sanctuary because of what it reveals are heard speaking of how long this vision of desolation was to extend.[4] The answer is literally, "until evening and morning two thousand three hundred." As we will see, this carries one down past all the earthly empires, to the end of the divided kingdoms, into "the time of the end" (vs. 17), "in the last end of the indignation", "at the time appointed", "the end" (vs. 19), "many days" (vs. 26) past Daniel's time.[5]

The vision's details resulted in Daniel's fainting and sickness for days. He stated he was desolated by what he was shown (vs. 27). The word translated "astonished" is the same word as "desolation" in vs. 13. The picture of desolations lasting 2300 years desolated him. Recall that he had lived through the desolation of his nation, Jerusalem, and in particular the temple. He could not fathom the "many days" of the vision. Gabriel does not explain that portion, simply asserting it was true and was to be shut up (vs. 26).

 

Grieving over Desolations

 

And so it is we come to chapter 9, and see the same themes continued. Daniel is focused on Jeremiah's prophecy (Jer. 25:11, 12) of "seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem." (vs. 2). He can understand that prophecy (9: 2), while he could not understand what he had been shown in his vision (8:27). How can he reconcile Jeremiah's 70 years with the 2300 years he was shown in his last vision? He humbly and powerfully confesses the sins of his people, identifying with them. (He says "we" or "our" in 13 verses, and "they" or "their" in only 2.) Here it is clear he knows the cause of the desolations. "Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him." (vs. 11).

Notice his concluding plea regarding the desolate sanctuary and city, which were designed to reveal the truth about God's character (His name). "Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lordıs sake. O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies." (vv. 17, 18). Daniel longs that there be no delay: "O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name." (vs. 19). The word translated "defer" here means also "delay" or "tarry" (cf. Hab. 2:3). Daniel couldn't understand why the 70 years would be delayed for 2300!

In response, Gabriel comes to enable him to understand ("understand" and "consider" is the same word, vs. 23) both what he heard ("matter") and what he saw ("vision"). Most pointedly Gabriel affirms the coming fulfillment of Jeremiah's prophecy. In four short verses the heavenly messenger makes several amazing points. Daniel's prayer closes with an appeal for God's city and God's people. Gabriel first speaks of Daniel's people and Daniel's city[6], explaining their national probationary time left, clearly tied to the issues of the great controversy (the manifestations of self-gadal, transgression, sins, and iniquity, with their resolution).

With clear allusions to the very purpose of Israel's existence as stated to Abraham in the beginning, the blessing for the entire earth, Gabriel states that the Messiah would come on a timetable rooted in the decree to rebuild the desolate city. Gabriel weaves together the fulfillment of Jeremiah's prophecy with details of when Messiah will come and what He will do. He of whom the sanctuary in its purity witnessed continually would reveal the opposite of self-gadal as in an ultimate ratification of the covenant He is cut off with nothing.[7] But related alongside Messiah's work is yet another picture of abominations with consequent desolation and destruction because the city and the sanctuary will seek refuge not in Him, but in abominations. Can one begin to understand Daniel's consternation?

The work of Messiah, while only hinted at in Daniel 8 (vs. 11 prince of the host), is detailed in Dan. 9. However, it is Dan. 8 that details, in the very setting of the coming of Messiah, the coming desolation and destruction of the sanctuary (8:11, 13; also 9:26) and the host/people (8:13, 24) (the city is added by 9:26), which is tied to the spirit of self-gadal (8:8, 9, 10, 11, 25), "the daily" (8:11, 13), "the transgression of desolation" (8:13), and "craft" (8:25). The only answer to that coming destruction is the cleansing/restoration/vindication stated to come at evening-morning 2300.

What is not apparent from Daniel's visions is that the post-Messiah desolation actually has two phases, one local and one global. The resolution of these pictures (of self-exaltation leading to judgment, and of self-sacrificing love leading to covenant and cleansing) can be seen clearly only as we move to the gospel records of the Messiah's work. There we can trace the same spiritual issues through the events especially of passion week, and on into the related prophecies of the New Testament.

 

Self-Gadal in the New Testament

 

From the beginning of His earthly ministry, initiated on the precise date Daniel was given by Gabriel, the Christ had embodied self-sacrificing love (Phil. 2:5-8). At the very outset He was declared to be the sacrificial Agent of universal cleansing (John 1:29). But this essence of His character (and of each Member of the Godhead) was poorly appreciated and often openly opposed. One of His first acts was to cleanse the sanctuary from the activities of self-seeking that defiled it. He called it "My Father's house" when He said, "Make not my Fatherıs house an house of merchandise." (John 2:16)[8]. Christ then cryptically spoke of destruction and restoration of the temple, clearly Daniel 8 and 9 themes, applied to the One of whom the earthly temple was but a symbol (John 2:19-22).

But even His own disciples near the end of His ministry still rejected any intimation of a sacrifice of Himself in death (Matt. 16:22) and vied in the spirit of self-gadal for the top spot in His kingdom (Mark 10:37). Christ repeatedly had to affirm verbally, along with His living example, that true greatness was found in humility, not in self-exaltation (Matt. 18:1-4).

So finally He entered Jerusalem as the hour of His greatest sacrifice of self neared, in the manner appropriate to Israel's kings, not on some mighty steed, but on a lowly colt of an ass (Luke 19:35). And the simmering conflict between agape and eros[9] blazed into its ultimate confrontation. With a prophetic eye, He brought the procession of celebration to a grinding halt as He wept over the city that lay spiritually desolate before Him, knowing not the things that belonged to her peace (Luke 19:42), namely the spirit of self-sacrificing love. He then declared the coming physical desolation (vv. 43, 44). Agape came again to the sanctuary itself and cleansed it of self-gadal, this time calling it "My house", using Old Testament declarations of the purpose of the sanctuary. "My house is the house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves." (Luke 19:45-47; cf. Isa. 56:7)[10].

Repeatedly that week, Messiah made His final plea for cleansing (e.g., Matt. 23:26), but as His hour drew yet closer He clearly saw no humbling of self. Observe His descriptions of self-gadal and where it would lead. The spiritual leaders loved "the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues" (Matt. 23:6). He plainly stated, "He that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted." (vv. 11, 12). Their spirit of self-justification rather than corporate repentance would bring upon them corporate guilt (vv. 30-35), as they partook of the guilt of killing the greatest of the prophets. Christ's final, heart-rending cry is laden with Daniel language. Rejecting the protecting wings of agape, they would be exposed to the desolating wings of abominations. (vv. 37, 38). He no longer calls the sanctuary "My Father's house" or "My house", but ominously, "your house."[11] "And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple." (Matt. 24:1).

The disciples sensed something of the doom in Christ's words, and still caught up in the physical, external trappings of religion, pointed Christ to the magnificence of the buildings. Christ repeated what He had stated in His entry at the beginning of the week, declaring a physical desolation was coming (Matt. 24:1, 2). He then proceeds to outline them, both local and global desolations. He speaks of the continuation of self-gadal (here rendered "rise against" vs. 7, and "rise", vs. 11), and the accompanying deception. In fact His first words are a warning against deception, a harking back to Eve's first buying of the lie.

Christ then made the core issues unmistakably clear. "And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come." (Matt. 24:12-14). In the battle between lawlessness (absence of agape) and agape, many would fall for the lie, as the demand on self abounds. But agape never fails, and those who refuse to the end to live the lie will be saved. This living of agape when lawlessness abounds will be a witness of the gospel to all the world. The entire world will be called to a decision by this final appeal of self-sacrificing love, as Israel was in a local way by Christ Himself. Two things will happen. Some will join the witness, while many will reject it as the Jews rejected Christ.

And as Christ prepared the inhabitants of Palestine for their coming destruction with a reference to Daniel's prophecy[12], so His prophetic words with their parables (chapters 24 & 25) were designed to prepare His people for the final desolations, the great tribulation (vs. 21), and all that followed.

Very rapidly the last confrontations between agape and self-gadal unfolded in the earthly life of the Messiah. Greeks that arrived for the Passover sought for Jesus (John 12:20-22), being drawn by the witness of agape. Jesus, who repeatedly avoided the final conflict, awaiting the time Daniel has foretold (John 2:4; 7:6, 30; 8:20), states in response, "The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified" (12:23; cf. 27). He specifically unfolds the eternal, fruitful principle of self-sacrificing love as the only alternative to the desolate aloneness of loving self (12:24, 25). The light of the glory revealed in the ultimate humbling of self (glorifying the agape name or character of God) in the face of the self-exalting spirit of those who would crucify Him would be a power to draw all to Him (12:28-36).

At the Lord's supper Christ gave the new symbols of the new covenant, His poured-out life which embodied the promises of God to the fallen race (Luke 22:19, 20). But in that very context the disciples revealed their devotion still to self-gadal. "And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest" (Luke 22:24). In light of their spirit, Christ predicted that all would be offended because of Him that very night, as He trod the path of self-sacrifice. Peter in essence responded by denying the divine diagnosis of lack of agape, as he asserted that though everyone else might abandon Him, he would not (Matt. 26:31-33). The story is painfully familiar. As Christ refused to defend Himself, and instead gave Himself to those who came to arrest Him, His disciples revealed they were concerned more about themselves than Him. "They all forsook Him, and fled" (Mark 14:50).

But observe them just a few days later. Christ challenged Peter with the question, Is your agape for Me greater than these others? Amazingly, Peter refused to compare himself to others, and humbled affirmed his less-than-agape human affection for Christ (John 21:15). In fact, Luke records that they were actually "with one accord" (Acts 1:14; 2:1), a condition impossible for self-gadal-motivated individuals. Unity comes only by putting the others first. How had the cleansing taken place?

The foot washing, Gethsemane, and Calvary had vividly revealed to them their lack. Agape stood in stark contrast with self-gadal. The disciples were shown by the unfolding of these events how desolate they were in themselves. Christ had come to them after His resurrection, opening the Scriptures to reveal that as Agape He could have done nothing other than give Himself (Luke 24:44-46). As He unfolded to them this truth "in the prophets" (vs. 44), do you not think He took them through Daniel's prophecies? By their own experience in seeing Him in His glory (the ultimate giving of self), and seeing themselves in their vain glory (the desperate attempt to preserve themselves), they were led into repentance and freedom from sin, and were commissioned to witness to these facts (Luke 22:47, 48).

Do you see what they were enabled to do? In their preaching henceforth (and in their written accounts in the gospels themselves) they were to tell the story of His fame and their shame. Thus they were able to be "continually in the temple, praising and blessing God", not themselves (Luke 24:53). Here were cleansed human temples enabled to engage in true worship (and that "continually"[13]) in a temple that otherwise was still desolate and doomed for destruction. This humbling of self, the fruit of Christ's own humbling of Himself, was what led them to be in one accord, which could be sealed by the most powerful outpouring of the Spirit seen to date (Acts 2:1-4). Again, this local experience of a cleansed sanctuary foreshadowed the yet-to-come global experience of the same under the fulfillment of the symbolic Day of Atonement.

Consider then in summary what happened in fulfillment of Dan. 9:24-27. In their self-exalting blindness Daniel's people pursued and killed the Messiah, which was His ultimate act of overcoming self-gadal. He laid down His life, not just to the Jews ("thy people" in Gabriel's words) or even to the Romans (the first phase of the "little horn"), but to the sins of the world. He would die justifying rather than live condemning, for Agape humbles self and justifies others, while self-gadal exalts self and condemns others. (Must we wonder what desolates families, churches, and nations?) Messiah ascended to heaven to anoint the holies located there by His poured out life, and to intercede in behalf of all sinners. In forgiveness, He sent His followers to preach repentance and remission of sin first to the very perpetrators of His death. But they proceeded to kill His disciples, and thereby sealed their own desolation and destruction, a local judgment on Jerusalem in Palestine (Acts 7). At this end of the determined 490 years the kingdom was taken from them and given to a people who would love righteousness (Matt. 21:43).

What then is the restoration of which Dan. 8:14 speaks, and why is it pictured so far in the future? What need is there of yet another cleansing? Here we must realize that the greatest development of self-gadal is possible only after the greatest revelation of agape, because only after the truth has been proclaimed in its ultimate clarity can a rejection of that revelation lead to the greatest manifestation of the opposite.

 

Self-Gadal after the 490 Years

 

We find yet further insight in 2 Thes. 2, where Paul, one of those who was won by the witness of agape, portrays the yet-future spiritual desolation, again in the language of self-gadal. This "falling away" (from agape) would reveal "that man of sin", "the son of perdition" (vs. 3). In this spiritual desolation would be the world's greatest revelation of self-gadal when this "mystery of iniquity" (vs. 7) carries the spirit of self-exaltation to its ultimate height, as he "opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God" (vs. 4; cf. Dan. 11:36). Can we miss the desolation of the sanctuary described here?

In fact, this is the pinnacle of Daniel 8 as well, where the two phases of the fourth kingdom are woven together in their exaltation against the Prince of the host, first against His very person (the pagan phase), and finally against His body the church (the papal phase). And again, those who do not receive a love of the truth of agape (2Thes. 2:10) will be left with the only other alternative, to believe the lie of self-gadal (vs. 11).

This spiritually desolate and desolating power is pictured also in Revelation as part of the three-fold power called Babylon, the desolating power of Daniel's day, who mothered the self-exalting mixtures of the truth and the lie. (Rev. 17:5).

Recall that the little horn extends from Greece until the cleansing at the end. Revelation specifically calls this power the beast from the sea, who gets his authority from the dragon himself. (Rev. 13:2) This is the greatest development of self-gadal. Observe the self-exalting, desolating nature of this beast:  "And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations." (13:5-7) The end of this power occurs at Christ's second coming, when it is cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 19:20). The amazing thing is that the cleansing Daniel hears of, occurs during the existence of this little horn, as we will see.

 

The Final Cleansing

 

We must note that the final restoration of which Dan. 8:14 speaks is not the building of some temple on some mountain in some city in the midst of some people in Palestine (or Rome). However, this restoration is involved with a temple, a mountain, a city, and a people. This restoration is not replacing what was physically lost by the apostasy of Jerusalem, but what was spiritually lost first by the Jews and secondly the Christians themselves. We must consider the setting in which Scripture portrays this end-time cleansing.

Another power pictured in Revelation adds to this scene, expanding the overview Daniel was given. During the existence of the little horn of Daniel (the sea beast of Revelation), another power is picture as arising from the land (Rev. 13:11). This land beast appears to arise during the wounding of one of the heads of the sea beast (13:3), as the power of this second beast, and thus its authority, was based on lamb-like qualities (13:11), implying humility and self-sacrifice. This power became a haven for the final messages of cleansing, the full development of the reformation. It thus was intimately involved in the restoration work of Dan. 8:14, not that this work was sponsored by some earthly power, but that God ordained that there be in a sense a modern Cyrus who would grant freedom for that cleansing to occur unimpeded.

However, like Balaam of old, this modern power is pictured as perverting its God-given abilities into mercenary endeavors, which as with any defilement introduced the dragon principles. It specifically is said to speak "as a dragon" (13:11). As self-gadal is introduced, it becomes a deceptive power, and develops an image to the sea beast  (13:13, 14).[14] It is finally pictured as a false prophet, whose destiny is that of the sea beast, to be cast into the lake of fire at Christ's second coming (Rev. 19:20).

Thus the New Testament clearly shows the realities that have ever existed behind the nations and the religious shadows, whether Jewish or Christian. The shadows turned to darkness as the majority of the Jews clung to them while rejecting the One of whom the types were but the shadows. The shadows also turned to darkness for the Christians who clung to their forms while rejecting the heart of God, agape.

Paul states clearly that we must leave the bondage of the earthly Jerusalem for the freedom of the heavenly Jerusalem (Gal. 4:25, 26). The book of Hebrews is an eloquent plea to leave the shadows and accept the better "Very Image" (Heb. 10:1). Abraham himself, the father of the faithful, did not seek an earthly city, but a heavenly (Heb. 11:10, 16). The call is leave all earthly mountains, cities, and people, to follow Christ into the heavenly. He has been there mediating His covenant (Heb. 12:22-24).

And in our day the final phase of this mediation has begun on Daniel's timetable, according to the vision of evening-morning 2300. At the appointed time (Day of Atonement festival antitype) the entire world is being called to follow Christ in this final work of cleansing from self-gadal. This is accomplished by a replacement of the lie by the truth. As the sanctuary symbols revealed, the blood is taken into the Most Holy place and sprinkled on the mercy seat above the law. Thus we see that the poured-out life of Christ, the greatest expression of agape, is understood fully only in the context of the unchanging law, itself an expression of agape. Mercy is the meeting of Calvary and the law of God. The cosmic dimensions begin to be appreciated fully.

So the final cleansing is a heart appreciation of the cross of Christ in this setting. The cross is proclaimed to the world as a witness in the words and lives of those who have taken up their cross (agape in the face of sin) to follow Christ. This results in those accepting the cross identifying with Christ so fully that nothing can move them from depending upon and revealing His spirit of agape. And all rejecting the cross fully develop the spirit of self-gadal.

Message after message[15] has come from the Holiest, inviting all to enter in. There is no other way out of this world for those who live to see Him return, than to follow Him there. The greatest hindrance to such cleansing has always been God's own people, and so history has repeated itself as the messages and the messengers have been resisted.

Reader, what will you do with the message of agape? Does a revelation of Him lead you to a desire to be cleansed from self-gadal? May we submit to that process, to His glory!

 


Review of Desolations

 

Consider the sequence of desolations from Daniel's day to the end.

 

1.     Israel was spiritually desolated by abominations, and then was physically desolated by Babylon. Daniel was carried off a captive by the first of the world empires revealed in his visions.

2.     Jerusalem would be restored on Jeremiah's timetable, and the decree to rebuild the temple by men cleansed of the abominations would begin the timetable for the coming of the Messiah. That decree to restore Jerusalem would be made by the second of the world empires, who, while moved by God's Spirit and the intercession of heavenly angels to enable such restoration, would still embody the spirit of self-gadal.

3.     Messiah would come on Daniel's timetable under the fourth empire. His spirit of agape would confront the spirit of self-gadal that once again was spiritually desolating Jerusalem and its temple, and He would accomplish a work of cleansing. He would overcome by death that ungodly spirit, but most would reject His victory. The fourth world empire would join with His own people to kill Him, again on Daniel's timetable. Israel's persistence in refusing to sacrifice self would lead it to make war on the body of Christ, and thereby close its time of probation per Daniel's timetable, which would be followed by its physical desolation by that same world empire that joined it in killing the Messiah.

4.     The kingdom of God would transfer to another nation, pictured also as the body of Christ, the church, the temple of the Holy Spirit, which began in a spirit of pure agape. But the mystery of iniquity would creep into this temple as well, bringing the abominations of self-exaltation in its multitudinous forms, to the point where it also was desolated spiritually. It openly and boastfully took up the mantle of the fourth kingdom upon its demise, and developed self-gadal more than any pagan power could ever do. The global spiritual desolation and tribulation would be unprecedented.

5.     As iniquity abounded and many people's agape waxed cold, God would miraculously prepare a witness to the gospel of agape that will reach its climax according to Daniel's final timetable, resulting in and revealed in a cleansing, restoration, and vindication of the temple, that sanctuary of agape. This will call the entire earth to a final decision on agape versus self-gadal. Because most will continue to love the lie rather than the truth, the world will be spiritually desolated in a final way. As the modern form of Babylon and Rome will move to destroy those who hold to agape, Messiah will come again, this time to rescue His bride, and the earth will be physically desolated (Rev. 17:16; 18:19).


Parallels of Desolations and Cleansings

 

Local

Global

Jerusalem (the people and the temple) were spiritually defiled by the spirit of self-gadal when the Messiah came. However, there was always a remnant of those who received and cherished agape.

Christ's church became defiled by the spirit of self-gadal, leading to 1260 years of tribulation and persecution. However, there always existed the genuine body, nourished by the reality of God's agape.

Christ engaged in a work of living and preaching agape to effect a cleansing, based on Daniel's timetable (A.D. 27). This involved Him giving His life.

Christ began a global work of cleansing based on Daniel's timetable (A.D. 1844), by the preaching and living of end-time messages that recalled agape and its revelation in the sanctuary. This involves His people giving their lives.

The cleansing was rejected by the majority of the Jews, which sealed their spiritual desolation (A.D. 34), leaving them ripe for physical desolation. They began to persecute those who accepted the cleansing.

The cleansing will be rejected by the majority, which will seal the world's spiritual desolation, leaving it ripe for physical destruction. They will begin to persecute those who enter into the cleansing.

Some of the Jews and Gentiles accepted the cleansing, and entered into unity, enabling them to stand the persecution and to escape the coming desolation.

Some receive the messages of the everlasting gospel presented in the fulfillment of the Day of Atonement symbols, and they enter into unity, enabling them to stand the persecution and to escape the coming desolation.

Jerusalem was destroyed, but God's people were delivered.

The world will be destroyed, but God's people will be delivered.

This was a local outworking of Daniel's themes that served as a type for the final, global events.

This is end of the global final desolation and final cleansing.

 


"The Daily"

 

Daniel's use of the term "the daily" in chapter 8 (vv. 11, 12, 13) is consistent with the rest of the sanctuary themes used in this vision. The occurrences of this word in Daniel appear to be the only noun uses of it (the uses in other books being as adjectives or adverbs). But the key concept is the same everywhere. It describes something that is continual, that is repeated over and over, that goes on and on. What would that be in the context of the sanctuary and what it reveals to us about God in light of our sin?

 

The Sanctuary Daily

 

The first occurrences of this word are an amazing series of pictures given us in the newly established sanctuary system. Note all the uses of this word in Exodus.

Shewbread:

Ex 25:30. And thou shalt set upon the table shewbread before me alway.

Candlesticks

Ex 27:20 And thou shalt command the children of Israel, that they bring thee pure oil olive beaten for the light, to cause the lamp to burn always .

Breastplate

Ex 28:29 And Aaron shall bear the names of the children of Israel in the breastplate of judgment upon his heart, when he goeth in unto the holy place, for a memorial before the LORD continually .

Ex 28:30 And thou shalt put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim; and they shall be upon Aaronıs heart, when he goeth in before the LORD: and Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel upon his heart before the LORD continually.

Mitre

Ex 28:38 And it shall be upon Aaronıs forehead, that Aaron may bear the iniquity of the holy things, which the children of Israel shall hallow in all their holy gifts; and it shall be always upon his forehead, that they may be accepted before the LORD.

Morning and evening sacrifices

Ex 29:38 Now this is that which thou shalt offer upon the altar; two lambs of the first year day by day continually.

Ex 29:42 This shall be a continual burnt offering throughout your generations at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD: where I will meet you, to speak there unto thee.

Incense

Ex 30:8 And when Aaron lighteth the lamps at even, he shall burn incense upon it, a perpetual incense before the LORD throughout your generations.

The powerful picture given here is that God is continually pouring out Himself for sinners. He is their nourishment and their light. He carries their judgment and iniquity upon His heart and mind. He is their sacrifice of life itself. And He is their intercession. He is doing all this and more, because He is all this and more, and that without ceasing. Else none of us would be alive. So this word "daily" but shows us the same reality of the truth we have already noted, God's continual agape. The sanctuary reveals to us that the life-blood of the universe is continually flowing from the heart of God to His universe. Specifically, the sanctuary symbols apply that truth to the setting of sinful humans. We can call this the heavenly daily.

Ps 40:11 Withhold not thou thy tender mercies from me, O LORD: let thy lovingkindness and thy truth continually preserve me.

 

The Opposite Daily

 

But there is a contrary use of this word that relates to the lie, instead of the truth. This other use is also a continual thing (though in no sense eternal as is the heavenly daily). Consider its use in these verses:

God's enemies:

Ps 74:22, 23 Arise, O God, plead thine own cause: remember how the foolish man reproacheth thee daily. Forget not the voice of thine enemies: the tumult of those that rise up against thee increaseth continually.

Israel's rulers:

Isa 52:5 Now therefore, what have I here, saith the LORD, that my people is taken away for nought? they that rule over them make them to howl, saith the LORD; and my name continually every day is blasphemed.

Israel in apostasy:

Isa 65:3 A people that provoketh me to anger continually to my face; that sacrificeth in gardens, and burneth incense upon altars of brick;

Jer 6:7 As a fountain casteth out her waters, so she casteth out her wickedness: violence and spoil is heard in her; before me continually is grief and wounds.

The result of this "daily" spirit is the desolation referred to in Daniel. Observe what the next verse in Jeremiah 6 states will follow:

Jer 6:8 Be thou instructed, O Jerusalem, lest my soul depart from thee; lest I make thee desolate, a land not inhabited.[16]

Two uses of the adverb form of "daily" occur in reference to the spirit of the nations allowed by God to destroy both the northern kingdom of Israel, and the southern kingdom of Judah. Of Assyria Nahum writes:

Na 3:19 There is no healing of thy bruise; thy wound is grievous: all that hear the bruit of thee shall clap the hands over thee: for upon whom hath not thy wickedness passed continually?

Habakkuk wrote this of Babylon:

Hab 1:17 Shall they therefore empty their net, and not spare continually to slay the nations?

Israel's sanctuary was to be a lesson book for her and for all the nations of earth (Isa. 56:7). It should be obvious that the continual provisions that the sanctuary portrays, are given by God because of the continual need of sin. Ever since the lie was invented, it has continually attacked the truth. We can call this the pagan daily.

Do we grasp how unrelenting the battle is, in which God is engaged? And do we see how every day we are caught up in it?

 

"The Daily" in Daniel

 

So the question then arises, how does Daniel use this sanctuary term as he is shown the battle between the truth and the lie? The key to its use in chapter 8 is the verb used with it, translated "was taken away." This common verb is usually translated "lifted up." It is frequently used in the sanctuary setting, with its uses in Exodus related to offerings as follows:

Ex 29:27 And thou shalt sanctify the breast of the wave offering, and the shoulder of the heave offering, which is waved, and which is heaved up , of the ram of the consecration, even of that which is for Aaron, and of that which is for his sons:

Ex 35:24 Every one that did offer an offering of silver and brass brought the LORDıS offering: and every man, with whom was found shittim wood for any work of the service, brought it.

A couple of other occurrences in an adjective form also illustrate the key thought:

Pr 30:13 There is a generation, O how lofty are their eyes! and their eyelids are lifted up.

Isa 6:1 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.

The meaning of this word also is made plain in two Bible names, that of Abram and of King Jehosaphat's son, Jehoram (1 Kings 22:50). Both combine another word (Abram uses the word for "father", and Jehoram, the personal name for God) with the verb under consideration, yielding the meanings of "exalted father" and "Jehovah is exalted" respectively.

The other occurrences of this verb in Daniel are particularly instructive.

Dan. 11:12 And when he hath taken away the multitude, his heart shall be lifted up; and he shall cast down many ten thousands: but he shall not be strengthened by it.

Dan. 11:36 And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done.

Dan. 12:7 And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.

In the light of what this little horn power does to the "daily", it appears better to translate the phrase as, "by him the daily was lifted up." This wording fits much more closely the theme of the vision and its crescendo.

The spirit of the worldly empires, increasing from kingdom to kingdom, is manifested in this little horn, who incorporates this spirit of the pagan daily into its character and existence, even as it displaces the pagan powers preceding it[17]. As seen elsewhere, this spirit leads the little horn to exalt itself to the Prince of the host. This of course is a direct attack on the truth of God represented in His holy places, which the sanctuary symbols taught, which Christ is manifesting in the heavenly sanctuary since His ascension, and which is to be embodied in God's people, individually and corporately called the temple of the Holy Spirit.

Observe that the essence of this spirit of self-gadal, manifested "daily", would never willingly yield power to someone else. Thus the truth of 2Thes. 2:7 can be clearly seen. The full development of this mystery of iniquity could not be seen until what restrained it was removed from the midst of the scene. Not until pagan Rome fell could papal Rome develop fully. But observe that papal Rome carried the spirit and the titles of pagan Rome right into the heart of Christianity. As noted, this began the greatest abomination, desolation, and tribulation that the world has ever seen.

So the question of Dan. 8:13 applies to three things, all of which have the same consequence. The question was, How long are the vision, the daily, and the transgression that desolates? The vision has revealed self-gadal from the time of Medo-Persia to the end. The pagan daily has been portrayed clearly, being taken up by the final power. The rebellious transgression has been identified. All three are an abomination. These ungodly principles desolate nations, churches, families, and individuals. The holy ones have seen the picture of the desolating effect on God's people, treading them under foot. (God's people are referred to as both a sanctuary defiled, with its heavenly template, and as an army or host defeated.) This then is the burden of the question, "How long?"

 

The Daily Meets the Day

 

We now live in the time when the sanctuary is being cleansed of this spirit of self-gadal, the fulfillment of the answer to that question. The way for this fulfillment of all symbolic Days of Atonement was prepared by the Reformation of the 16th century. The final phase began on evening-morning 2300, dated from the only specific, historical event given in the interpretation of Daniel 8 connected with the first power of the vision. This was "the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem" (Dan. 9:25; 457 B.C.). The decree was directly involved in the restoration of God's people in that local time and place. And that event foreshadowed the final, global coming out of Babylon by God's people, with the cleansing and restoration consistent with that exodus.

This fulfillment of the longest time prophecy of Scripture was anticipated and announced by the sounding of message after message. Observe the following brief introductions to these messages, how each incorporate the cleansing truth, and how each of the earlier ones pointed forward to the final, most glorious, most precious one.

 

1. In the decade (the 1830's) before the time came, the call of the first's angel's message of Rev. 14:6, 7 went forth, directly proclaiming the truth ("the everlasting gospel") and thus attacking the lie. Worship the Creator, not the creature. Exalt Him, not self. The time had come for the consequence of this to be seen by the entire world, and all to prepare to reap what they had sown. ("The hour of His judgment" hinted at the final message of judgment in Rev. 18.)

2. The proclamation of the second angel's message of Rev. 14:8, "Babylon is fallen," was sounded the summer of 1844. The continual exaltation of self against the God of heaven, the One who humbled Himself to die for all, is weighed in the balances of the sanctuary, and found as wanting as was Belshazzar in old Babylon. "Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall." (Prov. 16:18). The mixing of the lie with the truth (fornication) is unmasked. (The fall of Babylon pointed to the final, much more powerful sounding of the same message in Rev. 18.)

3. The message of the coming bridegroom (Matt. 25:1-10) was powerfully presented starting the late summer of 1844, causing a tremendous revival and humbling of self. The oil of the Spirit (the heavenly daily light from God) prepared hearts to be wed to Him who has ever desired to dwell with us in humility and service. (The picture of the self-sacrificing bride married to the self-sacrificing Bridegroom was presented to contrast with the final message of a fornicating woman who glorified herself as "no widow" and ended up desolate and unmarried in Rev. 18).

4. Christ began the final fulfillment of the Day of Atonement at the appointed time on Daniel's very timetable in the fall of 1844. The final cleansing, restoration, and vindication of the sanctuary began. Agape is to be restored, and self-gadal removed.

5. The third angel's message of Rev. 14:9-12 began to be proclaimed, again calling all in the most solemn words not to worship the creature, which leads to desolating, continual torment. The image of God and His name (self-sacrificing love, as revealed in the Lamb) was shown in contrast by the image of the beast and the mark of his name. The eternal, enduring quality of agape (1Cor. 13:7) is manifested in saints (cf. Dan. 8:13), enabling them to endure. (The torment of serving self is a warning that is elaborated on in the torment depicted in the final message in Rev. 18.)

6. In the next decade the message to Laodicea (Rev. 3:14-21) was seen in a new light. The same Witness who pointed out the self-justifying (Matt. 23:30), blinded (Matt. 23:16, 17, 19, 24, 26) spirit of the leaders of His day, was heard speaking to the leaders of our day with the same message. He offers the gold of agape-fueled faith, the clean garment of selflessness, and the eyesalve of continually seeing the poverty of self and the riches of the Selfless One. (The only legitimate throne authority the universe knows, that of selfless service through the overcoming of self, shows by contrast the empty boast of queenship recorded in the final message in Rev. 18 of a self-centered system of authority doomed to collapse.)

7. Around 44 years after 1844 the final message began under the power of the Holy Spirit, a message to lay the glory of the creature in the dust, and restore agape to all of God's people who wanted it. The judgment referred to in Dan. 8:14 (compare 7:10) and in the first angel's message entered a most solemn and glorious phase in the final judging of Babylon (18:2, 3, 10). Again by way of contrast, the other previous messages are repeated as Rev. 18 calls God's people to an experience where they will stand, not fall (18:2); where there will be continual light and union rather than darkness and no wedding (18:23); where there is joy and rest instead of torment and sorrow (18:7, 10, 15); where one lives and reigns with Christ in contrast to the death and lost dominion of self-exaltation (18:7, 8).

 

These messages as a whole comprise the Elijah message to prepare a people for Christ to come the second time (compare John the Baptist; Mal. 4:5, 6; Matt. 11:7-14; 17:10-13; Luke 1:17).

Have we received the messages God in His great mercy has sent? Have we joined Him in giving the messages to others? Have we seen how we can cooperate with Him in this work, He in heaven and we on earth? May we see that nothing is more important!

 


Christ's Prayer for the Daily

 

"Our Father which art in heaven":  We have one Father, and He is in heaven. Do we truly identify with Him, as He in Christ humbly identified with us? (Isa. 9:6; John 14:9). The only alternative is to reflect the counterfeit "father" who left the truth when he fathered the lie (John 8:44).

"Hallowed be thy name":  His very character is dedicated to the continual revelation of agape. He is solely, wholly, purely agape.

"Thy kingdom come:" "The King of love my Shepherd is, whose goodness faileth never...." He is continual goodness, and thus forever He will be crowned King. May the rule of agape come soon!

"Thy will be done in earth":  On this earth, this sphere infected with continual self-gadal, may self-sacrificing love be restored!

"As it is in heaven":  Heaven itself was cleansed of self-gadal. May this happen on earth as well!

"Give us this day our daily bread":  Continually we are dependent upon God's giving Himself to us. We do not live by physical bread alone. Daily, momentarily we need the nourishment of the Bread of God who is giving life to the world (John 6:33-35). We need to hunger for this!

"And forgive us our debts":  We confess that we have continually taken from others rather than given, and in our selfish grasping, we have incurred a horrendous debt. Self-gadal has bankrupted us, and we have nothing with which to repay. Will You, O God, pay our debt for us, by forgiving it? Thank You that in Christ, in agape You have!

"As we forgive our debtors":  We also must confess that others have taken from us. In our spirit of self-exaltation and self-justification we felt they had to pay back. But now You have shown us that they in themselves have no more to give than we, and so we are willing to take the loss their self-gadal has incurred upon us, as You have taken our loss. Unless we do this, we cannot grasp Your forgiveness; in fact, we have rejected it.

"And lead us not into temptation":  We confess the original temptation, the deception that to be like You we must exalt ourselves. Don't let us go there! The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak (Matt 26:41). Help us avoid stirring up the flesh.

"But deliver us from evil":  We need continual deliverance from our flesh, from the evil of putting ourselves first, and forgetting You and others. "My foes are ever near me, around me and within...."

"For thine is the kingdom":  From You alone comes that which can rule the universe eternally. Only the Being who has daily humbled Himself the most is qualified to be exalted above all continually without end.

"And the power":  Your agape is the power of the universe! You are the great Source! All things pertaining to life are of You (2Cor. 5:18).

"And the glory":  There is such powerful, kingly glory in You! It comes from You, who You are, and what You are like. There is no other glory but Yours. There is no substitute for agape. Your character shines throughout the whole universe.

"For ever":  You are who You are daily, continually, without end! These realities will never end.

"Amen":  And so may it be. I believe it, and I want it. As small a part of Your universe that I am, I want to add my endorsement, appreciation, and approval to Who you are.

(Matt. 6:9-13)


Passages to Ponder

 

Reflect upon these descriptions of the contrast between the two daily, continual spirits, that is, between agape and self-gadal.

 

... For ages Judah had been the repository of sacred truth. Here the knowledge of Jehovah had been cherished and preserved, when God had not been acknowledged among the nations, and his worship was lost in the earth. The streets of Jerusalem had been trodden by angel feet, and its very soil had been sacred to God. From its temple prayer and praise had ascended to God. From its altar the bleeding sacrifice had testified to human guilt, pointing to the Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world. The Lord had sent them messages of warning and reproof, of consolation and promise, by his prophets, rising up early and sending them, but they had beaten one and stoned another, and it could not be that a prophet should perish outside of Jerusalem. Finally God had sent his Son, and from the highest bough to the lowest he had searched for fruit, and had found none. For their sakes he had clothed his divinity with humanity, made himself of no reputation, fled before the feet of his accusers and haters, and yet carried a rebellious people upon his heart. He had done all that could be done, but they turned from him, demanding still more evidence. His life was one continual miracle, but they knew it not, and demanded that he should show them a miracle. But in the face of their utter rejection of his love, their unbelief in his mission and divinity, when he knew that the representative men of the nation were plotting for his destruction, he wept over the city of his love. His prophetic eye read the history of the past, and the woe and the guilt of the future, and his heart was breaking with agony because the people of God knew not the time of their visitation. Hell moved by a power from beneath, that the guilty inhabitants of Jerusalem might carry out the will of the prince of darkness. Stirred with enmity they would yield themselves to the control of the malignant foe, and make the Prince of life their victim. Clouds of wrath were gathering over the doomed city; for they called down upon themselves judgment, crying, "His blood be on us and upon our children." That blood by virtue of which the repentant sinner might be forgiven--that blood by which a guilty world might be saved, by which the Jewish nation might be saved and purified, which was paid a ransom for the sins of the world, was to them the final guilt in the cup of their iniquity. Jesus knew that his chosen people were to put him, the Prince of life and glory, to an ignominious death. He knew what was to be their doom. With prophetic glance he saw the Roman legions, he heard the tramp of armies, saw the city encompassed and in flames, and the temple a smoking ruin. The miseries of the people whom he longed to save, rose up before him. He beholds their guilt and agony, but they are as unrelenting as was Satan in his rebellion against God. (1888, p. 1059; emphasis supplied).

Christ our Saviour came to the world to seek and save that which was lost. "God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." During every moment of Christ's life in our world, God was repeating His gift. Christ, the sinless One, was making an infinite sacrifice for sinners, that they might be saved. He came as a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, and those for whom He came looked upon Him as stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. The cup of suffering was placed in His hand, as if He were the guilty one, and he drained it to the dregs. He bore the sin of the world to the bitter end. And yet men continue to sin, and Christ continues to feel the consequences of their sin as if he Himself were the guilty one. (13MR, pp. 369, 370; emphasis supplied).

The spirit of liberality is the spirit of heaven. Christ's self-sacrificing love is revealed upon the cross. That man might be saved, He gave all that He had and then gave Himself. The cross of Christ appeals to the benevolence of every follower of the blessed Saviour. The principle there illustrated is to give, give. This, carried out in actual benevolence and good works, is the true fruit of the Christian life. The principle of worldlings is to get, get, and thus they expect to secure happiness; but carried out in all its bearings, the fruit is misery and death. (9T, p. 254; emphasis supplied).

As you near the cross of Calvary there is seen love that is without a parallel. As you by faith grasp the meaning of the sacrifice, you see yourself a sinner, condemned by a broken law. This is repentance. As you come with humble heart, you find pardon, for Christ Jesus is represented as continually standing at the altar, momentarily offering up the sacrifice for the sins of the world. He is a minister of the true tabernacle which the Lord pitched and not man. The typical shadows of the Jewish tabernacle no longer possess any virtue. A daily and yearly typical atonement is no longer to be made, but the atoning sacrifice through a mediator is essential because of the constant commission of sin. Jesus is officiating in the presence of God, offering up His shed blood, as it had been a lamb slain. Jesus presents the oblation offered for every offense and every shortcoming of the sinner. (1SM, pp. 343, 344; emphasis supplied).

 

The question arises, why is the work of cleansing, restoration, and vindication not completed after some 160 years? Do we see the ongoing battle between agape and self-gadal? What will lead God's people to respond to the messages and consent to the cleansing? Can we learn from the past the lessons so essential for us today? Can we sit at His feet in quietness and humility? Will we let Him cleanse us from the selfishness and pride of self-gadal, and plant our feet firmly on "the elevated-platform of love to God and love to our fellow-man"?

 

The natural heart is not to bring its own tainted, corrupting principles into the work of God. There must be no concealing of the principles of our faith. The third angel's message is to be sounded by God's people. It is to swell to the loud cry. The Lord has a time appointed when he will bind off the work; but when is that time? When the truth to be proclaimed for these last days shall go forth as a witness to all nations, then shall the end come. If the power of Satan can come into the very temple of God, and manipulate things as he pleases, the time of preparation will be prolonged.

Here is the secret of the movements made to oppose the men whom God sent with a message of blessing for his people. These men were hated. The men and God's message were despised, as verily as Christ himself was hated and despised at his first advent. Men in responsible positions have manifested the very attributes that Satan has revealed. They have sought to rule minds, to bring their reason and their talents under human jurisdiction. There has been an effort to bring God's servants under the control of men who have not the knowledge and wisdom of God, or an experience under the Holy Spirit's guidance. Principles have been born that should never have seen the light of day. The illegitimate child should have been stifled as soon as it breathed the first breath of life. Finite men have been warring against God and the truth and the Lord's chosen messengers, counterworking them by every means they dared to use. Please consider what virtue there came in the wisdom and plans of those who have slighted God's messages, and, like the scribes and Pharisees, have despised the very men whom God has used to present light and truth which his people needed.

It is an offense to God that his work should be restricted by human beings. The word of the living God, appealing to sanctified reason, will never give to the work such an impress as is now revealed. There has been deceit, falsehood, artifice, selfishness. Schemes have been set on foot to rob God and to rob man, in order to make up to the work for what selfish devices have abstracted....

Every system controlled by the principles of the gospel of Christ is pure, open, clear as the day, and is sound and healthful in all its operations. Everything entered into for the sake of ministering to pride or unsanctified ambition is to be cleared away, before the Lord's institutions shall stand securely upon the eternal rock. We need no crafty inventions to sustain the cause of God. We need no unjust dealing. Let the Lord breathe upon his work the spirit of heavenly principles, and it will live. Nothing that man can manufacture can take the place of God's Holy Spirit! Nothing that man's wisdom can invent will justify the violation of truth, or a disregard of the rights of humanity. Truth is too pure to set her delicate feet off from the elevated-platform of love to God and love to our fellow-man.  (1888, pp.1525-1527)


 



[1] The word "host" is used in the very beginning of the sanctuary setting to refer to God's earthly people (Exo. 12:17). It has distinct allusions to God's people in heaven (1Kings 22:19). The lie has been effective in casting many of them down (Dan. 8:10, 13). The picture of "stamped upon them" (vs. 10) is also that which the spirit of self-exaltation does to others in putting them down in the act of putting self up. This verb is also used to describe what God's people did to the sanctuary by bringing into it the spirit of self and perverting its worship (Isa. 1:12).

[2] The object of the verb as used in these Daniel passages is clearly self. This use of gadal is the way it is used in this paper, thus the hyphenated word "self-gadal" is used throughout. It should be noted here that this verb does have uses other than the exaltation of self. The first use of the word in Scripture is in Gen. 12:2 where God promises to "make great" (gadal) Abram's name. Other uses of God "magnifying" humans are found (Joshua 3:7; 4:14; Job 7:17). As well, gadal is used to speak of humans "magnifying" God (2Sam. 7:22, 26; Ps. 34:3). These opposite uses of gadal are actually manifestations of what this paper consistently calls agape, other-centered love.

[3] Daniel uses the sanctuary term "ha tamid" to depict this spirit. See the section "The Daily" for a review of this word.

[4] The word for "saint" in vs. 13 comes from the same word as does "sanctuary" in vs. 13 and 14.

[5] "At the time appointed" (vs. 19) can also be seen as an allusion to the yearly sanctuary festivals (the Hebrew word "mow`ed" is used with both "time appointed" and "feast"; for example, see 2Chron. 8:13), which were to be fulfilled in their order, even to "the end" (vs. 19). The end of the festivals is the feast of tabernacles, which points powerfully to what will occur when the cleansing, restoration, and vindication is completed in the fulfillment of the prior festival, the Day of Atonement.

[6] While grasping righteousness by faith (vv. 7, 16, 18), corporate identity (both in reproaching God and in confession of the same in an example of corporate repentance, even in behalf of the fathers), and the honor of God's name (vv. 6, 15 = renown, 18, 19), Daniel's prayer is focused on Jerusalem (vv. 2, 7, 12, 16), "thy people" (vv. 15, 16, 19), "thy city" (vv. 16, 19), "thy holy mountain" (vv. 16, 20), and "thy sanctuary" (vs. 17). Gabriel speaks to Daniel of "thy people" and "thy holy city" (also "Jerusalem", "the city", "the street", "the wall"). He does not call the people and city "God's" as Daniel did. He also refers to "the holy of holies", "the sanctuary", and "the sacrifice and the oblation". There is a clear issue here with "holy" in the light of what makes unholy or "desolates", namely the transgression. But his central focus is Messiah, the embodiment of righteousness in conflict with and victory over transgression.

[7] The verb "cut off" is translated "made" in the covenant texts Gen. 15:8 and Exo. 24:8.

[8] The Greek word for "merchandise" is the same one used in the Septuagint in Ezek. 28:16 ("merchandise") and 18 ("traffick"), used to describe the self-exalting business that Lucifer initiated in "the holy mountain of God" (vs. 14) which resulted in the statement, "Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries...." (vs. 18). Thus we have clear evidence of the origin of the theme of a defiled sanctuary, what it is that causes it, and who originated it.

[9] These two words are Greek nouns from New Testament times that well encompass the conflicting motives in the cosmic conflict. Agape is the Greek word the New Testament uses to describe what God is, when it says, "God is love." (1John 4:8, 16). It is the word used in its verb form when it is written, "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." (John 3:16). In contrast, eros is a Greek word for love that was the most common word in the New Testament Greek world, but never occurred once in the New Testament text. The pagans thought this was the highest love, but it is a love of self. However, in this study we are tracing this spirit through scripture, labeling it with the term Daniel used, gadal. So we speak repeatedly of the contrast between agape (a Greek word) and gadal (a Hebrew word).

[10] Thieves are not in the business of self-sacrificing service. They are serving self at the expense of others. As Christ had stated earlier, "All that ever came before Me are thieves and robbers.... The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." (John 10:8, 10). He is the great Giver. All others are takers.

[11] Perhaps very perceptively, Young's Literal Translation of Dan. 9:26 appears to detect that final step of spiritual desolation, when Christ in agony accepts at last Israel's persistent rejection of agape in Person by their corporate leaders, and no longer calls the temple His. "And after the sixty and two weeks, cut off is Messiah, and the city and the holy place are not his." (Dan 9:26, YLT).

[12] "When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place..." (vs. 15).

[13] See this theme explained in the section "The Daily."

[14] See an overview of some of the early changes in The Peril of the Republic by P. T. Magan.

[15] See the section "The Daily", subsection "The Daily Meets the Day", for a list of these with brief descriptions.

[16] Jeremiah uses the very word that occurs in Dan. 9:18 for what had happened to Jerusalem in Daniel's day, and in Dan. 8:13; 9:26, 27 for the yet-future desolations.

[17] This is the use of "the daily" in 11:31 and 12:11 where there is a different verb that emphasizes not lifting up, but taking away. These two verses are Daniel's only other uses of "the daily."