We are now going to take up the study of the eighth chapter of Daniel, the real foundation of their message.
A man was building a very large brick house in a city not far from Chicago. When he had come to the second story, the building inspector came to see if the foundation was laid according to the regulations. He did not care how beautiful the house was on the outside. He went directly to the cellar to find out, if the foundation was solid enough to carry all the bricks that were going to be laid upon it, but he noticed that the foundation was too weak. He left the cellar, notified the workingmen and placed several placards on the house warning people not to enter. In the night the house fell.
So we are going to show that the foundation for the Adventist doctrine is weak, and that the house will fall sooner or later.
Let us now study impartially with a view of finding the truth. Read slowly and ponder what you are reading and you will find the truth.
In this chapter Daniel speaks of a vision which appeared to him while he was by the river of Ulai. He first saw standing before the river, a ram having two horns, and the two horns were high. He saw the ram pushing westward, and northward and southward, and no beast could stand before him; nobody could deliver out of his hand, but he did according to his will, and became great (verses 2-i). The explanation of the angel comes in verse twenty, "The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia."
The first thing Daniel saw in his vision was the time when Medo-Persia enlarged the kingdom westward, northward and southward.
Afterwards he saw a goat coming from the west; the goat had a notable horn between the eyes. And he came to the ram that had two horns, the one he had seen standing before the river, and ran against him in a great fury. The goat came close to the ram and, smiting the ram, broke his two horns, so. there was no power in the ram to stand before him. Then he cast him down to the ground and stamped upon him; and there was none that could deliver the ram out of his hand (verses 5-7). The explanation of the angel is in verse twenty-one, "And the rough goat is the king of Grecia; and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king." All historians agree that Alexander the Great was the first king of Greece, born at Pella, B. C. 356. He reigned twelve years and eight months.
The goat (Alexander) undertook many great things. And when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and for it came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven (verse 8). He died at Babylon, B. C. 323.
The explanation of the angel: "Four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power" (not equal to him in power). (Verse 22.)
The division of Greece and the four rulers were:
This division took place after the battle at Ipsus, B. C. 301. The Egyptian kingdom dates from 323, and the Syrian from B. C. 312.
"And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land" (verse 9).
Now comes the important question, who is the little horn, spoken of in the ninth verse?
The Seventh-day Adventists say it is a symbol of Rome, and we say it represents the Syrian king Antiochus IV Epiphanes. No one has to our knowledge proposed any third power. If it is Rome, then the qualifications of the prophecy must fit Rome. If it is Antiochus Epiphanes, the qualifications of the prophecy must correspond with his history.
If the Adventists cannot fit in Rome here, their message is, as far as the prophecy is concerned, of no value.
Where should the little horn come up? The kingdom of Alexander was divided into four kingdoms, and from one of them it was to go forth. (See the ninth verse.)
If Rome came out from one of the four kingdoms the prophecy is alluding to Rome. We say it did not. Rome was founded B. C. 753. Did Antiochus Epiphanes come, up from one of the four? Yes. And here is the proof: Antiochus III the Great was born B. C. 238. He ascended the Syrian throne at the age of fifteen, in the year 223. He reigned thirty-six years, till B. C. 187. During this time his two sons were born, Seleucus IV and Antiochus Epiphanes. Antiochus III could hardly have two sons when he at the age of fifteen became a king; then history would have made some mention of it. Antiochus Epiphanes came from one of the four; not so Rome. The first link in the Adventist chain did not hold.
An Adventist professor, Uriah Smith, has published a book of 608 pages, entitled "Daniel and the Revelation." It is doubtful whether any greater errors have been printed in a religious book. This book has become the whole truth of the Adventists. Very sad, indeed.
He says, "The little horn came out from one of the horns of the goat. How, it may be asked, can this be true of Rome? It is unnecessary to remind the reader that earthly governments are not introduced in prophecy till they become in some way connected with the people of God. Rome became connected with the Jews, the people of God at that time, by the famous Jewish league, B.C. 161. But seven years before this, that is, in B.C. 168, Rome had conquered Macedonia, and made that country part of its empire. Rome is therefore introduced into prophecy just as from the conquered Macedonian horn of the goat, it is going forth to new conquests in other directions. It therefore appeared to the prophet, or may be properly spoken of in this prophecy, as coming forth from one of the horns of the goat." (Page 202.)
Is the reader satisfied with these thoughts? We are not. It is true that the Romans are not introduced in prophecy till they became connected with the Jews. But we reject the statement, that they became introduced in prophecy at this time, and that it appeared to the prophet as though a new horn came up B.C. 168. From one of the four horns a new horn came out. Notice, a new horn! Rome was no new horn! coming out from the Macedonian horn. Rome was 585 years old in the year 168. The little horn should come out from one of the four. One of the four was the father of the little horn. If Rome was the son, it is apparent, that it was 585 years old at the birth. The Macedonian horn will then be the father of the little horn; but the father came up after the battle at Ipsus, B.C. 301, and Rome came into existence B.C. 753. Thus the son was 452 years old at the birth of its father. It must have been a big boy!
If there is no difference between coming up among a people and coming into a people, this figure of speech could probably pass, but not now.
No one can become a president of the United States, unless he is born here, that is come up here. Immigrants have not come up in this country, but have come in here. White children do not come from colored parents, neither do colored children come from white parents; but they may come in as foster children. In "Daniel and Revelation" Rome is symbolized by an horrible monster (page 148). On page 199 there is an illustration of the head of a goat. Rome comes up outside of the head and grows into the Macedonian horn, B. C. 168. Have you ever seen a horn coming up far and away from the head that produces it? The image of Rome is altogether against nature. A cow does not carry horns of a deer, nor does a deer carry horns of a cow. Wolves can sometimes get in among a flock of sheep, but never from them; just as little as monsters can come from goats. The link is weak here, their argument falls to pieces. Prophecy here corresponds in every detail with the history of Antiochus Epiphanes.
When should the little horn come up? The angel Gabriel answers, "In the latter time of their kingdom" (of the four kings). (Verse 23.) When did their kingdoms begin? After the death of Alexander. The kingdom of Egypt began B.C. 323, and Syria B.C. 312. The other two began after the battle of Ipsus, B.C. 301. When did these empires cease? Thrace in Asia Minor consolidated with the Macedonian horn B.C. 281. This horn became a Roman province B.C. 146.
The Syrian horn became a Roman province B.C. 65, and Egypt B.C. 30. The four kingdoms existed from B.C. 323 to B.C. 30. The end of their kingdoms cannot be counted before the latter half of their existence. If we count their power from B.C. 301, the coming of the little horn will occur in the first half of their power; therefore it is correct to count their origin from the death of Alexander, B.C. 323.
The four kingdoms originated B.C. 323 and lasted to B.C. 30, a period of 293 years. One half of 293 is 146.5, say 147. Take 147 from 323 and we have half of their kingdom, which is the year B.C. 176. The latter time, or the end of their kingdom must be between B.C. 176 and 30. This is the time of the angel and is reliable. We have now found the time for the coming up of the little horn — the end or the latter half of their kingdoms, between B.C. 176 and 30.
Horns are used in the Bible to describe kings who have empires, power and influence. Not one of the these attributes is applicable on the little horn, that came forth from one of the four. The Adventists say it signifies Rome. If they cannot prove this, their message is lost.
We cling to the words of the angel, "In the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences shall stand up" (Verse 23). Remember the angel says "one" king — not a kingdom with many kings.
Since the angel has said in verse 23, that' it is a king, he uses the pronoun "he" throughout. "His" power shall be mighty. "He" shall destroy wonderfully. "He" shall prosper. "He" shall destroy many. "He" shall stand up. "He" shall be broken without hand. The pronoun "he" is used nine times in verses 24-27. Is it the kingdom that governs the king, or the king the kingdom? Is it the soldiers in the army who give the words of command, "Forward march! Attention!" or is it the opposite?
I am not an expert in grammar; but I know that the pronoun "he" is not used when speaking of a kingdom. We don't say America took "him" when we mean a kingdom. Instead of kingdom we use the neuter pronoun "it."
Their preachers ought to know better than to apply the pronoun "he" to the Roman empire in prophecy; but what would become of the whole truth and our prophet, if we should insert the pronoun "it" instead of "he?" The link would break, and the present truth would become the opposite to truth.
On page 204, having quoted verse" 9, he says, "Rome meets all the specifications of prophecy. No other power does meet them."
"He shall destroy wonderfully" is made to correspond to the massacre in the year A.D. 70, when 1,100,000 Jews were killed and 97,000 taken captive. I heard with my own ears one of their professors make "the fierce king" apply to Titus, the Roman general, who caused the destruction of Jerusalem.
The word of God is superior to the word of men, even if they call themselves professors. Let us therefore go to the Bible and the history.
The words of the angel assist us in understanding the prophecy and in seeing, how beautifully it corresponds with history, when we are seeking the truth. There are three things in this verse, that we should note carefully.
Who are the transgressors whose measure was full between B.C. 176 and 30, and who was the fierce king that arose then? Verse 12 says, that a host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression and that their measure was full between 176 and 30.
"Rome meets the requirements of prophecy here," the Adventists say, "for the Romans came in contact with the Jews B.C. 161."
Had these "transgressors come to the full" at B. C. 161, God would hardly have delayed the punishment to the year A.D. 70, a period of 231 years. God had then held back his punishment till they were all dead. For even if we are to include those who lived the year B.C. 30, they would be 100 years old. If Titus is the fierce king who is filling the prophecy here, he must be born before B.C. 161. But this Titus was born December 30, the year A.D. 40, in Rome, and could not fill the requirements of this prophecy 201 years before he was born, even if we should take the last year of this period, B.C. 30, it is still forty years before his birth.
At the end of their kingdom, between 176 and 30, Antiochus Epiphanes came as a scourge over those Jews. This we are going to show to the full satisfaction of all, who desire to know the truth. Antiochus Epiphanes ascended the Syrian throne succeeding his brother, Seleucus IV, in the year 175 or 176.
"It waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land" (verse 9). Did Rome grow in these directions since it came in contact with the Jews? No.
They use a very large picture of a goat head at their meetings, when they talk on this subject. The horn (Rome) comes from somewhere away from the head and connects with the Macedonian horn the year B. C. 168. It goes to Syria B.C. 65, Judea 63 and Egypt B.C. 30. Rome has grown as the picture shows but not in the same order and the way the prophecy says it was to grow. It should grow "toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land" lastly. In the last edition of Smith's book, the horn is growing in the direction of Egypt first ; but Rome grew towards Syria, towards the east, first.
But now they must follow the Bible, when they write on this subject. Uriah Smith says therefore in "Daniel and the Revelation" (page 203), "The little horn waxed great toward the south. Egypt was made a province of the Roman empire B.C. 30. Then toward the east. Rome conquered Syria B.C. 65, and made it a province. It waxed toward the pleasant land, which the Romans made a province B.C. 63."
Have you ever heard of a professor who handles the facts so carelessly ? Their preachers are still just as blind after such an exegesis. It should grow toward the south first, it is said on page 203. Egypt became a Roman province the year B.C. 30. When Rome took Egypt at the year 30, and that was her first province; then we ask, How was it possible for Rome to go backward to Syria B.C. 65, when she had taken Egypt B.C. 30? It is just as impossible for Rome to go back 35 years from B.C. 30 to 65, as it is for a child that was born yesterday to go and lift the Titanic which went to the bottom some time ago. No one can go back a second in his career, much less thirty-five years.
When one of their professors had left them, he paid me a visit, and as I showed him this, he said he had never thought of how inconsistent it is. Their doctrine is altogether lifeless, if they state the facts, as they are in the Bible; but in going around the truth in such a reckless manner, they have blinded the whole denomination on this point.
Are you willing, Adventists, to admit the truth here, or are you going to appoint a committee that is skillful in arithmetic in order to prove, that Rome could go back from B.C. 30 to 65. If you can not do that, admit first as last that your whole message falls upon this word alone from the angel.
We want all to see, how they are able to distort a very plain fact. Let us use an allegory so all may see the deception.
Suppose that the mayor of New York gives to his secretary three letters with distinct orders to go first to the mayor of Philadelphia, Penn. There you shall deliver the letter on the 12th. Afterwards you go to the mayor of Buffalo with a letter ; there you must be the 14th. Then you go to the mayor of Boston the 16th and start for home afterwards. Carry this out to the letter and give me a written report of your journey. The secretary promises to attend to this order punctually. He begins his journey and goes first to Boston, delivering the letter on the 12th ; then he goes to Buffalo the 14th and to Philadelphia the 16th. He was ordered to go to Philadelphia first. Therefore he says in his report that he was in Philadelphia the 16th, in Buffalo the 14th and in Boston the 12th. He has been in all three places, but the report is false, for he has not travelled as he said in the report. He has written opposite to the way he travelled. If he was in Philadelphia first and that was on the 16th, it is just as impossible for him to be in Buffalo the 14th, as it is for Rome, since she had taken Egypt in B. C. 30 to go back thirty-five years and take Syria B. C. 65.
It is not so easy to destroy the order of history. See your mistake in your book Dan. and Rev., page 203.
Rome did not grow as the prophecy indicated, and therefore Rome is not the power referred to here. Rome subdued Egypt last; but the prophecy said, that the little horn was to grow toward the south, that is Egypt, first.
A learned man once said, that this diagram is so simple, that the plainest washwoman can understand it, while it is a deadly poison to the message of the Adventists. Mrs. White's vision and her great light from God's throne are of no avail here.
A few years ago, when a professor led tent meetings in Chicago, the hearers were allowed to ask questions after he had finished. One evening I asked a question concerning Daniel's 11th chapter. He promised to answer my question the following evening; but I knew on beforehand, that I was not going to get any answer. If he had answered correctly, he had torn down his whole message. He said the following evening, that he was going to take up this subject later on. When he spoke on Dan. 8, I asked if I was permitted to put a question to him; I was not permitted. He had hung the picture with the goat head, where Rome took her provinces against the Biblical order. He was no hypocrite, or he would not have shown the picture. The question I wished to ask was this, "Did the prophet say, that the little horn shall grow toward the east, toward the south and toward the south?"
And he must have answered no. His crazy sermon, one of the most foolish I ever have heard, had fallen to the ground and the whole message to boot.
I visited him in his home, and we had a brotherly conversation for nearly an hour; and then he promised me to have a discussion on the subject, allowing me to take my friends with me and he could take his; we should thus get an opportunity to weigh each other's arguments. He promised to notify me in three or four weeks when the discussion should come off, but it is now, up to this writing, more than two years ago and he has not kept his promise, though he has been reminded of it. Last year (1912) I heard him speak again, that time on Dan. 11. Afterwards I sent him a registered letter and asked, if he wanted to have a brotherly discussion on Dan. 11 before a certain day; but no answer was received.
In 1911, he mentioned how an Adventist pastor had had a debate with another minister about a Biblical question. Give me a line from the Bible, he said to his opponent, that will settle the question. When the meeting was over, Mrs. Signe Johnson, 2035 Pensacola Ave., asked him to give only one line from the Bible, that Jesus went within the veil in the heavenly sanctuary in A.D. 1844. He said he was going to see her about it and repeated his promise three times, and though the tent was only two blocks from her home, he never came. If she had promised him some money for the work, he would not have failed to be on hand. A man that can break his promises so easily has no place in the pulpit. If I wanted to be personal, I could mention his name; but we are only after his wrong opinions.
We have shown that Antiochus Epiphanes came forth from one of the four horns, and that he made his appearance at the right time. Now we are going to prove, that he grew in the direction the prophecy states the horn was to grow. Syria was toward the north. Antiochus Epiphanes went first to Egypt, captured the whole land with the exception of Alexandria. Egypt was toward the south and fills the requirement of the prophecy. Antiochus Epiphanes was in Egypt three or four times; this we are going to prove thoroughly when we come to the chapter 11. I will only mention the leading facts here, (Josephus XII, chap. V). In 170 he made the Egyptian king Ptolemy VI (who was his nephew) a prisoner and brought Egypt to the verge of ruin. (Int. Cy. Vol. 2, p. 258.)
"A. Epiphanes gained several victories towards the south and the east" (Rollin's history, Vol. XIX, page 369). He went toward the east. Parthia and Armenia lay toward the east. (McClintock & Strong's Cyclop., Vol. I, pages 271, 212). The Maccabees is the best history, according to our Bible interpreters, for the study of the maneuvers of A. Epiphanes. In 1 Mace. 3 : 13, 14 it says that he went to Persia (east), taxed the country and gathered the money together. He appointed Lysias prince over the whole kingdom. Lastly the little horn was to wax toward the pleasant land. And when the prophetess says so, then it is true.
A book of 264 pages, published by J. G. Matteson, under the beautiful title "The Prophecies of Jesus," handles these prophecies in a way that deserves censure. On page 396 we read, that the Catholics do not like to have this prophecy applied to them, and therefore they have applied it on the Syrian king Antiochus Epiphanes. This is not true. The angel Gabriel said that it should come forth between B. C. 176 and 30. If, there had been any Catholics at the time of Antiochus Epiphanes, there had been some reason in the statement of Matteson. But now we know that the Catholic church arose quite a long time after Christ and did not exist between B. C. 176-30. The prophecy cannot be applied to Catholic Rome before it had come into existence. If there shall be any reference made to Rome at all, it must be to the pagan Rome.
S. Mortenson has used the same argument.
Suppose that Mortenson was to be arrested (1913) suspected of murder. The judge is asking Mortenson's accusers, when the crime was committed. About five hundred years ago, it is answered. Did Mortenson have to fix this crime on somebody who lived five hundred years ago to prove his innocence ?
You tell lies about the Catholics when you say that they apply the little horn on Antiochus Epiphanes to free themselves. You who say it is right to keep the law, you discredit yourselves when you bring false witness against the Catholics. Lying ought not to be tolerated by those who have the whole truth.
He stands by the Catholics, they have often said. I stand by the truth, no matter where it comes from. If the Catholics have applied the little horn to Antiochus Epiphanes, they are right there, at least.
Matteson says, "He did not wax exceeding great in comparison with Persia and Greece."
"His power shall be mighty, but not by his own power," other translations say, "not to be compared with the former in might" (verse 24). Rome became mightier than any other empire.
It became a world power, and therefore Rome does not fill the requirements of the prophecy here.
On the same page Matteson says, that Antiochus Epiphanes did not make any conquests toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land, for he did not enlarge his kingdom.
This is not true. All historians are united against this opinion.
He continues, "Antiochus did not enlarge his kingdom toward the south. He made several attacks in Egypt but was never able to become master of the land. Antiochus made an attack and harassed Jerusalem, but finally he was compelled to retire in disgrace and leave the country" (ibid, pages 397, 398).
It is either the height of ignorance of historical facts or deceitfulness to publish such erroneous statements. I believe it is caused by ignorance. If Matteson was so ignorant in history, since one ought to have corrected his mistakes after so long time, but if they correct their mistakes they kill their message, for it is built on suppositions, speculations and corrupted historical facts. How can ye be so blind Adventists !
When people have not studied history reading that book, they believe it is true ; and if anyone who knows better should oppose them, they will not listen to reason, but go from house to house, from city to city and sell the book with the assurance that they are proclaiming the whole truth and that Jesus is the author of these big errors.
Is it not a shame to go straight against well known and proven facts, or in other words to falsify history? I think so!
It is reported of Matteson that he was so industrious to work for the Lord, that he died prematurely. Can it be said of one who is zealous for erroneous doctrines that he is working for God ? Matteson was undoubtedly a well meaning man, but he worked for the propagation of the false interpretations of the Adventists which he believed were true. The best of them do the same thing today. Others see undoubtedly how shaky their system is, otherwise they would have accepted my offers to prove their doctrines; but you see it may mean bread and butter for them.
All historians say that he went there first in B.C. 170. In Maccabees 1:21 it is recorded that he came there in 143rd year of their chronology. The Syrian chronology is dated from B.C. 312. 143 from 312 leaves our year B.C. 169. There is only a difference of one year; such discrepancies occur often, depending upon the part of the year from which the calculation is made.
I have in my possession an ancient book, in which the author says he was the eyewitness of the deeds of Antiochus Epiphanes at the time he was in Jerusalem, and that it was B.C. 170.
The ninth verse contains a description of the way the little horn was going to grow. In verses 10-12 we have a description of his deeds. Observe this carefully and keep in memory.
"And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them" (verse 10). The host is the people of God (Exod. 7:4). The stars probably refer to the people of God who kept the law and lived according to its precepts. Some believe that they refer to the governing classes in the kingdom. Perhaps to both.
Jerusalem was left in the hands of the raging soldiery for three days. During those days 80,000 Jews were murdered, 40,000 were taken captive, and 40,000 women and children were sold. Some historians say that 80,000 were sold. This statement harmonizes with 2 Mac. 5:14. It is heartrending to read of the horrors perpetrated in Jerusalem at this time. (And. hist., page 393; Rollins, Vol. 19, page 357; Josephus, Vol. 12, chap. 5:2; Mac. chap. 5.)
The reader may look up the description in the books of Maccabees. But as the Apocrypha are left out of our Bible, we will mention some of their statements.
Among other abominations Antiochus committed sacrilege. He entered the sanctuary boldly, removed the golden altar, the candlestick and what belonged to it, the table of shew-bread, cups, bowls, the golden mortar, the veil, the crowns, the golden ornament on the temple and destroyed it all. He took silver and gold, costly vessels and hidden treasures, as many as he found, and brought them to his land. And he caused innocent blood to flow at the sanctuary. (1 Mace. 1.)
Yes, even against the prince of hosts he undertook great things ; he took from him the daily sacrifice and broke down his holy temple (verse 11).
Some time afterwards A. Epiphanes sent his general, Apollonius to Jerusalem with an army of 22,000 men to devastate the city. He intended to extirpate the inhabitants and fill the land with another people. Having studied history and the 8, 9, 11 and 12 chapters, we have found that Apollonius came to Jerusalem in 167. (1 Mace. 1 : 57.) Canon Farrar of the Anglican church expresses the same opinion in his book on Daniel. The Antiquities by Josephus have it "in June, 167." When Apollonius came to Jerusalem, he asked permission to enter the city promising to cause no damage, but this was an artifice (1 Mac. 1: 31).
Having entered the city he was quiet until the Sabbath, when he commenced the carnage. There was a society of pious Jews called Essenes who served God in earnest. They required one year on probation before admitting any one to full membership. If a candidate was approved he had to submit to baptism by immersion, thereby indicating that he renounced all domination of sin and defilement and desired to live wholly for God. These Jews had a paragraph in their by-laws which forbade the lifting of a hand against an enemy on the Sabbath-day but rather die. This may have been the cause, why Apollonius deferred the attack till the Sabbath.
When the Sabbath came, he issued an order to kill every man who was found. Not a single man within his reach was saved; the city was covered with bodies of the dead and in the streets the blood was flowing in torrents. The women and children were sold as slaves. The morning and evening sacrifice was abolished. Not one of the worshipers of the true God dared to go to the temple for worship. Blood was shed in the very sanctuary which was polluted in every way. Afterwards a part of the city was plundered and burnt, and upon the ruins of David's castle they built a fortress which was strengthened by strong walls and towers. Then he set up his idol Jupiter Capitolinus, the Grecian Zeus. (Rollins hist., Vol. 19, pages 360, 361; Josephus, Vol. 2, chap. 7).
The sanctuary was desolate, the holy days became days of sorrow; the Sabbath nothing but wailing and all their glory was passed. Not satisfied to bring sacrifices to his idol, he built altars and temples, instituted idolatry, offered the flesh of swine and other unclean animals and forbade circumcision. Those who did not heed the commandments of Antiochus were killed. He also ordered them to announce in all the cities of Judah, that every man should burn incense and offer sacrifice in his home. All were to have the same service. The Sabbath was abolished. The books of the divine law were burnt, and all those who had in their possession the books of the covenant should be killed. The women, who let circumcise their male children were put to death and the children were hanged. (1 Mac., chapter 1.)
Who is the Prince of princes? In "Daniel and the Revelation" U. Smith says on page 202, "The Prince of princes here means, beyond controversy, Jesus Christ. But Antiochus died one hundred and sixty-four years before our Lord was born. The prophecy can not, therefore, apply to him."
Let us not forget the time, when the malicious king should appear: at the end of their kingdom, between B.C. 176 and 30. It was he who should take away from the Prince of princes his daily sacrifice at this time. We ask then the Adventists to give us a correct answer to the question, how any power could take away from Jesus his daily sacrifice before Jesus was born.
Rome came in contact with the Jews B.C. 161. They could not take away from Jesus his daily sacrifice then. Moreover, we have never read anywhere that Jesus had any daily sacrifice when he was here. "Titus fills this prophecy," some of their most learned men have said.
Titus was born December 30, in the year A.D. 40. How could he cause the daily sacrifice of Jesus to cease 161 years before Jesus was born and 201 years before he himself was born? When Titus captured Jerusalem A.D. 70, Jesus had been with his Father thirty-six years. The sacrificial system was brought to an end thirty-six years before by Jesus himself. This power should also destroy his holy place. Had Jesus any sanctuary that was overthrown between B.C. 176 and 30? I have asked openly in meetings, if any one knew, whether Jesus had any sanctuary or any sacrifice during his life on earth; but no one has been able to show this to me, neither could he have any on earth before he was born.
"It easy to prove that the little horn is Rome," U. Smith says. "This little horn must be understood to symbolize Rome in its entire history, including its two phases, pagan and papal," he says on page 203.
The views of Uriah Smith have become the whole truth of the Adventists, but they don't prove anything. Opinions and notions are no evidence.
The Lord of hosts is God himself, according to Jer. 15:16. And in Amos 6 and 7 chap, the God of hosts is mentioned in five places. God is also called Prince of princes (Dan. 8:11). God had a daily sacrifice in the sanctuary in Jerusalem. And thou shalt say unto them, "This is the offering made by fire which ye shall offer unto the Lord; two lambs of the first year without spot day by day, for a continual burnt offering. The one lamb shalt thou offer in the morning, and the other lamb shalt thou offer at even." (Numbers 28: 3, 4.)
Here is now the Prince of princes who had both a sanctuary and daily sacrifice in Jerusalem. These were taken from God, when Apollonius, the general of Antiochus came to the city in B.C. 167. The sanctuary was destroyed, the altar cast down, and the sacrifice put away for three and one-half years.
What was the cause of this punishment meted out to the Jews? Transgression of God's law. (Verse 10.)
When the transgressors were come to the full, the Jews were punished, and in the latter time of their kingdom, between B.C. 176 and 30, the transgressors (the Jews) had filled the measure. (Verse 23.)
The reader will easily see that this has no reference whatever to papal Rome which came up long after the death of Christ. The transgressors in this prophecy had come to the full measure of sin before the time of Christ. Those who suffered martyrdom by Catholic Rome did not live in transgressions. They were put to death, because they professed the name of Jesus and refused to accept the heresies of Rome.
S. Mortenson has in "Signs of the Times" (Tidens Tecken) for January 28, 1913, made us understand, that the prophecy cannot apply to Antiochus Epiphanes, as his persecutions of the Jews were insignificant against those of Rome, only 40,000 against 55 millions. "All this fills in a remarkable degree the prophecy of Daniel 8:10-12 and verses 23-25, where the same power is likened to a king of fierce countenance."
Mortenson and his colleagues seem to have lost their power of seeing and thinking when writing of the prophecies. The word of God in Dan. 8 chapter shows plainly, that the people were punished for their transgressions, and the evil king came over them as a scourge executing the judgment; that this king appeared in the latter time of the divided kingdom of Alexander (verse 23) between B. C. 176 and 30.
How will Mortenson prove, that the many millions of martyrs who were put to death by the Catholic Rome lived in transgressions, as the scripture says, and that these martyrs had filled their measure of sin in the latter part of the divided kingdom, according to the statement of the angel Gabriel? Who does not know that the martyrs under the church of Rome were not killed because of their transgressions, and that this church was organized several hundred years after Christ, not in the latter part of the divided kingdom of Greece?
Mortenson may, if he so desires, select the most competent committee with Mrs. White as chairman and they are still unable to extricate him from the trap into which he has fallen. He has a large company and understands the truth, but some of those who have "left the truth" have also found the way out from the trap. But if S. Mortenson does not bid farewell to Mrs. White as a prophetess and asks God for light to see the way out, he will remain in error and keep others in the same bondage.
If Mortenson had taken my friendly advice that we should as friends study the subject together, it had been better for him. I was no dangerous opponent. It was so easy for him to smash my propaganda.
Catholic Rome is a religious power and has not yet had a king. Political powers have kings, not so the religious. Furthermore, a religious power is never signified in the scripture by a horn.
The last straw an Adventist has, when he cannot defend his position in regard to the eighth chapter of Daniel, is to say that the horn was waxing exceeding great (verse 9), but that does not apply to Antiochus. Please notice, it does not say that he was to grow exceeding great in himself, but that he waxed exceeding great toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land. The best translations render the meaning in verse 24 like this, "And his power shall be mighty, but not as great as the former in strength."
As the Catholic Rome has never had a king, the Adventists must apply this verse to the empire Rome. But it says in verse 24, that this king should not equal the former in power, that is Greece. If the king referred to is Rome, their chain breaks again because Rome became more powerful than Greece ever was. This is one of the reasons why Mortenson rejects the later and more reliable translations. In our authorized version it is recorded (Rev. 1:10), that John was in the spirit on the Lord's day, Sunday. If Mortenson was to have a debate with any one concerning what day is the Lord's day, he would use any translation that supported his particular view in this respect and prove that the authorized version contained a serious mistake. An Adventist said lately to me, that the' new translations ought to be burned; not that the word of God deserves this kind of treatment, he added, but the translation was erroneous, because it did not give any support to "the present truth."
Any one who is not totally blind will immediately see that Rome, neither the papal or pagan, does not fill the requirements of this prophecy, because of the following facts,
The death knell is given to the prophetic interpretation of the Adventists by the angel himself, when he says, that the little horn should come up in the latter time of the divided kingdom of Greece and that it should be a fierce king.
The only thing in this speech which does apply to papal Rome is the latter part of the 12th verse, it is stated he shall "cast down the truth to the ground." But as that should be done between B.C. 176 and 30, this requirement is not fulfilled, for the Catholic Rome was not yet in existence.
One has only to read the books of the Maccabees to find that Antiochus is the right man clothed with power, who casts down the truth to the ground and prospered in his undertakings.
It is clear from the context that it was owing to their sins that Antiochus got the power to destroy them. Also from Mac. 2: 17,18. The acts of the king, who is referred to in verses 10-12 did not begin before 175 or 176 and could not go beyond the year B.C. 30, according to the words of the angel. The fierce king is the only actor in the deeds recorded in these three verses. These facts are a deadly poison to their whole message
Have we heard anything of the 2,300 days yet? No. His deeds are the cause that they are mentioned at all and are therefore coming first.
We read in the 13th verse, "Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said to that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?"
It was the transgression of the Jews which caused the desolation among them. See verse 14, "And he said unto me, Unto two thousand three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed."
The writer ventures to make this positive assertion: The little horn, whom the angel calls a king of fierce countenance, is the one who performs the deeds thereby giving a reasonable cause for the question, how long they were to continue and to the answer, two thousand three hundred days. The king is before his actions; the actions before the question; the question before the answer 2,300 days.
Neither the power (the king), nor his deeds, the question and the answer can be before B. C. 176, the time appointed by the angel. Is he not blind who cannot see this?
The Seventh-day Adventists say, that the 2,300 days are so many years which began B. C. 457 and ended A. D. 1844. If they cannot prove this, their whole message falls flat and everything built thereon.
We are now going to show, how utterly weak this foundation is.
I have in my possession a book written in Jerusalem, when Antiochus was there, and also another containing the chronology of Daniel. Both these books and the revised translations are in harmony with Daniel's prophecy. A week is seven years. A week of evening and mornings is a calendar week of seven days. A day stands for a year. A day of evening and morning is a common solar day of twenty-four hours. A time = a year of 360 days. This was their chronology and not as the Adventists and Russell have twisted the prophetic time. "Let us study the context," they say, "We must accept the chronology of the ancients, when we are discussing the question of time." But we cannot change their way of calculating time to suit our own fancy.
In the fourth chapter of Daniel mention is made of the Council of the Most High with regard to the Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar that he should dwell among the beasts of the field and eat grass as oxen. He remained in this condition for seven years. If prophetic time is meant in one place it is so in all the other. Then a day of this time is equal to one year, therefore the king was insane seven times 360 days or 2,520 years. Pastor Russell takes this time as a symbol of the humiliation of the Jews, beginning B.C. 606, when they were brought into captivity, and 2,520 years added to this date carry us forward to 1914, when he says the times of the heathen are completed. In Dan. 4:26 it is recorded, that the king at the end of twelve months walked in the palace of the kingdom. Why not say that this is prophetic time? Daniel in three whole weeks was mourning. He ate no pleasant bread ; neither came meat nor wine in his mouth, neither did he anoint himself with oil, till the three whole weeks were fulfilled (Dan. 10: 3, 4). Why not insist that this is prophetic time? Three weeks = twenty-one years. Daniel is getting rather lean in that time. "The prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days." (Verse 13.) If these translators should have it according to their interpretation it ought to read three weeks of evenings and mornings. Twenty-one days of evenings and mornings. But when people don't understand their chronology they have let it remain as easy as it is. Look up Dan. 9:24, "Seventy weeks are determined (cut off) upon thy people and upon thy holy city." The chronology in Daniel is the following: a week = 7 days. Seventy weeks times seven = 490 years. 2,300 days of evenings and mornings are just as many solar days. That equals six years, four months and twenty days. In Trenton, New Jersey, I saw a very old Bible and it says 2,300 days, according to evenings and mornings. It agrees with the revised versions. The Jews began the new day in the evening.
Some translations have caused the Adventists and Russellites to commit this blunder by giving the word day (instead of evening and morning), and a day means a year. But I have quotations from earliest sources corresponding with the latest versions, and if the prophecy is studied in this light we find a perfect harmony all around; and it is a pleasure to find the truth and give it to others.
To assist the reader in getting a clear conception of the important point, upon which the Adventists have founded their message, let us use an illustration to throw a stronger light upon the question.
Let us suppose that a person had a vision in A. D. 1580. He saw in this vision civil wars, riots and famine in a land. When he awakes an angel stands by his side and says to him, "O son of man, the land in this vision is America. At the end of the administration of a president, whose name is Washburn, when the labor unions have reached their zenith, a malicious and fierce man of great wealth shall come who shall make every effort to overthrow the labor unions. This malicious man shall arise at the end of the administration of the president." We have then to wait for the president by that name and the end of his administration, before we can expect the malicious rich man who intends to overthrow the labor unions. In the year 2002 Washburn is elected president. We cannot look for the malicious capitalist before the first half of Washburn's administration has passed. Between 2004 and 2006 the man comes ; through his great influence and cunning he causes a great financial panic and distress throughout the land, resulting in lock-outs and scarcity of work. The man who had the vision asks the angel, "How long shall be the vision of the bank failures, the closing of the factories, the labor disturbances and the famine in the land ?" The angel answers, "Two hundred and fifty days, then shall America reach her natural condition again."
Here arises a very grave question, the answer of which will either smash my arguments to pieces or annihilate the Adventist interpretation of Daniel's prophecy. One of the two is inevitable. This is the question, "Are the 250 days of famine and misery going to begin before or after the appearance of the malicious man of affairs?" We assert positively that the 250 days of misery are a direct consequence of the transactions of that man; he is the cause of the panic. The Adventists say that the 250 days of famine begin in 1708, or 296 years before the man appears on the stage. If this is correct, my propaganda is false, as Mr. Mortenson says.
The Adventists insist that Rome is the power which came in contact with the Jews B. C. 161 and that the 2,300 evenings and mornings in Dan. 8:14 are so many years and that Jesus was to enter the heavenly sanctuary at the end of these years.
Suppose that they are right. Rome is the power which came in contact with .the Jews B.C. 161, that the 2,300 evenings and mornings are years. Then it is Rome which did perform the deeds in verses 10-12, thereby causing the 2,300 days to be mentioned. But then Rome cannot have come in contact with the Jews in B.C. 457, or 296 years before it commenced to exist, just as the riots of 250 days, caused by the transactions of the malicious man, should have commenced in 1708, or 296 years before the appearing of the man who caused them.
If Rome is the power and the 2,300 days are years, at the end of which Jesus was going to enter the heavenly sanctuary, they cannot begin their 2,300 days before B.C. 161. They must begin at 161, subtract the 161 years of Old Testament time from 2,300, then we get 2,139 years left. It is 1914 now, take 1914 from 2,139 and we have a balance of 225 years left, if Rome is the power and the 2,300 days are years.
Now they count their years from B.C. 457, but insist that Rome is the power in question and count from B.C. 161. If we subtract 161 from 457 we get the deeds of Rome 296 years before Rome came in contact with the Jews. It is just as easy to prove that a child is 296 years old when the parents are born. And one might just as well try to prove that they cut a part off from a web in 457, that was woven in B.C. 161. They cut from it 296 years before it was woven. And this is the main pillar for their message to the world.
The foundation of their doctrine which is that the 2,300 days are years, beginning B.C. 457 and ending A.D. 1844, is hereby proved to be false. The proofs are not based on beliefs, visions or dreams, but on the words of the angel Gabriel and upon scientific calculations, which no power under the heavens can tear asunder. And you Adventist preachers ought to stand in the pillory before your ignorant people and be ashamed of yourselves, because you cannot see that the deeds of a man cannot precede the man himself and let a superstitious woman lead you. Ask God to anoint your eyes, before it is too late. That would be pleasing in God's eyes; but to expel preachers and warn against all those, who, owing to the unsound doctrines, cannot co-operate with you, is to employ the same tactics as the pharisees did in the times of Christ. It is an abomination in God's eyes.
Mrs. White saw Jesus riding in a carriage within the veil in 1844, at the end of the 2,300 years. But if Rome is the power and the 2,300 evenings and mornings are years, then Mrs. White will have to wait yet 225 years according to your own doctrine, if your calculations were correct. And Jesus and his doctrine will be a dishonor for himself.
That the 2,300 days could not begin before the appearance of the little horn, whether the horn is Rome or Antiochus Epiphanes, I saw immediately after reading Nyquist's book. After this discovery I could not sleep in three nights, or three days. Many Adventists have read that book; but they cannot see anything but error in it, though it contains truth enough to open their eyes if they had any desire for the truth.
This is the question I intended to ask their pastor, if I had not been refused the privilege both by him and his congregation, "Was Rome in any contact with the Medo-Persian empire in B. C. 457, 296 years before it in any way became connected with the people of God and did it take away from the Prince of princes his daily sacrifice and cast down the sanctuary and the host?
Can you see, Adventists, that this question takes the very life out of your message? You wonder, I suppose, how long God is going to let me live, who tries to tear to pieces the irrefutable arguments you have. In 1885 I was married and the following year my eldest daughter was born. She could have been born before we had our wedding, but not 279 years before her father. If Rome is the power they claim, it is the father of the 2,300 days of evenings and mornings; but as the father appears first B.C. 161, the 2,300 days cannot begin before that time. Will you agree to this, Adventists?
When should the sanctuary be cleansed? After the 2,300 days.
Was it not the same sanctuary that was cast down under the 2,300 days which should be cleansed after those days? It seems so from the context. In "Daniel and Prophecy" it is" stated on page 204, "And the place of his sanctuary, or worship, the City of Rome, was cast down."
It was the sanctuary of the Prince of princes that was cast down and not a heathen city. The same sanctuary, which was cast down in the beginning should be cleansed at the end of the 2,300 days. If Rome is the sanctuary what cleansing took place in Rome 1844? Let the Adventists answer. Their general answer is, He did not mean it should be so understood. It must be a mistake in the proofreading. But no, this is no typographical error, it is one of the sad mistakes of the author.
The 2,300 days are a certain time during the power of the little horn. If the power is Rome and the days are years, it is up to the Adventists to show what fierce king lived in the Roman empire from B.C. 161, who was to be 2,300 years old; as there is no change spoken of. That king has yet 225 years to live.
They try to show, that the 2,300 days began before the king who took away from the Prince of princes his daily sacrifice etc. Then the question would have been, "How long shall be the vision of the ram with the two horns, the goat with the big horn between his eyes, etc. ?" But the question is this, "How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?" This time does not precede the fierce king who did these things to the sacrifice, the sanctuary and the host. I hope some elder will see it; otherwise there may be some old woman who can.
What power was it that grew even to the host of heaven and stamped upon them ? The little horn, a fierce king. What power was it that magnified himself even to the prince of host and took away from him the daily sacrifice? The same king. What power was it that cast down the place of the sanctuary? The same king. Who was it that cast the truth to the ground by reason of transgression? The little horn, the same king.
Notice here that this is all included in the question. We see, therefore, that the 2,300 days are a certain time under the reign of the fierce king. If it had not been one but several kings, there would be room for a variety of opinions.
In a careful study of Dan. 8, when one adheres to the prediction of the angel, one cannot find a single reference to or symbol of Rome; but every statement in the prophecy is applicable to Antiochus Epiphanes both with reference to time and place.
After 2,300 days the sanctuary should be cleansed. Judas Maccabeus took Jerusalem and built a new altar. The first sacrifice was offered December 25, B. C. 164 (1 Mace. 4: 52.) The sanctuary was then established and cleansed from the previous desecration. Counting backward from December 25, 164, to the same date 170 is six years. From December 25, 170, to August 25 of the same year are four months. From August 25 to August 5 are twenty days. The Adventists say that this time is too short; but we can show that there are still seven months and five days left of the year 170.
Judas with the remnant of Israel decided to hold an eight days celebration every year from December 25. They gave to this celebration the name of "The Festival of the New Altar," which was observed with great joy and thanksgiving. (1 Mac. 4:52-61.) This festival Jesus refers to in John 10:22, "And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter."
There remains another item of importance in the 25th verse, "but he shall be broken without hand." The Adventists are trying to prove that Rome, the least, shall be crushed at the second coming of Christ. He (Rome?) was broken at the second coming of Christ between B.C. 176 and 30? Antiochus Epiphanes fits in admirably here. While he was in Ekbatana, a city in Media, he received word that Judas Maccabeus had defeated his army in Palestine, cast out his idol, torn down his altar and restored the old worship. This news caused him to rage. In anger he betook himself to Jerusalem, with the intention of making this place a burial ground for the whole Jewish nation, as he said. He had scarcely pronounced these horrible words, before he was stricken with excruciating pains; but still he was breathing hatred and murder against the Jews till his disease became so severe that he had to be carried on a stretcher. His flesh rotted away, the odor of his wounds became finally so obnoxious that he was a burden for his whole army.
At last when all hope of relief was gone he regretted that he, a mortal being, had considered himself equal with God. His death was hideous, in a strange land B.C. 164. (And, hist., page 294; Rollins, Vol. 19, page 266; Jos. Vol. 12, chapter 9; 2 Mac., chapter 9.)
Also Dan. 8: 25, "he shall be broken without hand," tells the history. He who cannot see the daylight, when the sun is shining from a clear sky, is blind; and he who cannot see, in studying Dan. 8, that Antiochus Epiphanes' life and history fill all the requirements in this chapter, is totally blind. It is impossible to get a single paragraph in the whole chapter to apply to the history of Rome.
Our Saviour said, that a blind cannot lead a blind; and that is true. But now the blind are displeased, because they cannot lead those who see.
We believe the words of Jesus. Antiochus Epiphanes fills the requirements in the eighth chapter, and when we come to the eleventh it will be clearer still.
I have sent several questions to the paper of the Swedish Seventh-day Adventists, "Tidens Tecken" (Signs of the Times) in College View, Nebraska. In order to secure an answer I had them sent through a friend in Minneapolis, so the editor should not suspect they were from me when he saw the post stamp "Chicago" on the envelope; then they would probably not be answered. The editor answered some, but the most important received no answer.
One of them was, "What was the object with the 2,300 days in Dan. 8: 14?
Answer, It is a certain time which God has set for his people.
Is this correct? No.
It was a certain time of punishment that God had decided over the Jewish nation, whose transgressors had filled their measure of sin between B.C. 176 and 30, while, at the same time, it was a certain time under the reign of the little horn, a fierce king. This is the explanation of the angel Gabriel; but what is he in comparison with Mrs. White, who saw when Jesus rode within the second veil in a carriage the year 1844?
We will now touch upon another important question in the eighth chapter of Daniel, which is dumbfounding the Adventists as it is destructive to their system. No excuses here, please.
When the angel Gabriel was asked to make Daniel understand the vision, he said that the vision had reference to the time of the end (verse 17). "Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for at the time appointed the end shall be" (Verse 19). "And the vision of the evening and the morning which was told is true: wherefore shut thou up the vision; for it shall be for many days" (Verse 26).
When the vision belongs to the time of the end, it is important to know, when the time of the end is, if we are to understand the vision. The whole vision refers to the time of the end. The vision concerning the evenings and mornings was a certain period, the latter part of the vision, the angel therefore makes mention of that last (Verse 26).
There is a difference of about 2,336 years in the exposition of the Adventists and my own as to the beginning of the time of the end. We have therefore a large field for research.
They say that the time of the end began in A.D. 1798, and ended in 1844. In "Daniel and Revelation," pages 343 and 344 we read, "This application of prophecy calls for a conflict to spring up between Egypt and France, and Turkey and France, in 1798, which year, as we have seen, marked the beginning of the time of the end. "We have already produced some evidence that the time of the end commenced in 1798."
"The book was closed and sealed up till that time. Many shall study it, and knowledge shall be great." (Daniel and Rev., pages 343, 344.)
"The time of the end was the time during which the Spirit of God was to break the seal."
"Forty-six years before, in the year 1798, the time of the end commenced, the book was opened, many studied, knowledge was great."
Here is another link in the chain; if it does break, their message is buried in the grave, the right place for such nonsense.
We hold the opinion that the time of the end began with Medo-Persia between B. C. 538 and 525. Daniel had this vision B.C. 538. In the end of the kingdom of Greece the little horn was to appear, afterwards the 2,300 evenings and mornings. This time began between B.C. 176 and 30, as we have seen before. 176 from 538 leaves us 362 years; it was a long time in the future, but the beginning of the vision was not here; it was the last part of the vision.
Let us illustrate. Suppose that the reader has a vision. In the vision you see a naval battle, where twenty-five ships are sunk, afterwards you see a battle on land. The white flag is hoisted, one of the armies lays down the arms. At last you see a king being crowned. An angel tells you that this vision has reference to the time of the of France as a republic. You write down your vision and after some time the events take place exactly as you had seen them in the vision. The first thing you saw was the battle at sea, the last was the coronation of the king. Then the vision fills the time from the first battle to the king's coronation, but does not extend beyond the time of the coronation. It may be a long while before it is fulfilled; but the book says definitely what was going to take place in the vision.
When the vision is being fulfilled, and that pertains to the time of the end of France as a republic, then must the time of the end of France as a republic be when the vision is fulfilled.
As Gabriel said to Daniel, that the vision pertains to the time of the end, then the time of the end is the time, when the vision is being fulfilled, and the time of the end begins where the vision begins. What prophet can refute this?
What was it Daniel first saw in his vision? A ram with two horns standing before the river. And the ram was pushing westward, and northward, and southward, so that no beast might stand before him, neither was there any that could deliver out of his hand. He did according to his will, and he became great. (Dan. 8:3, 4.) The angel said that the ram was a symbol of Medo-Persia.
The first thing Daniel saw in his vision was Medo-Persia, when it was enlarging its empire in the directions the ram was pushing ahead, before it began warfare against Greece. The vision pertains to the time of the end. Then Medo-Persia belongs to the time of the end. The vision began with Medo-Persia about B.C. 538 and not in A.D. 1798. But if the Adventists can prove that Medo-Persia existed A.D. 1798, as Daniel saw in the vision, then I will have no more to say.
The next thing he saw in his vision was a goat that came from the west. He approached the ram with the two horns and ran against him in the fury of his power, smiting the ram and breaking his two horns, and there was none that could deliver the ram out of his hand. (Verses 6, 7.) "The rough goat is the king of Grecia : and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king." (Verse 21.) Who was the first king of Grecia? Everybody knows it was Alexander the Great.
The war of Alexander against Medo-Persia is in the vision, the vision is the time of the end. Then the time of the end is where Alexander is who was the cause of the war. The time of the end begins in 1798, according to the Adventists. Then we have a right to demand the proof for the assertion that Alexander had a war with Medo-Persia after A.D. 1798; for he was in the vision and "the time of the end shall be the vision." Alexander died at Babylon B.C. 323. He was in the beginning of the time of the end, but had been in his grave 2,121 years when their time of the end commenced.
Has the reader ever seen such a miserable "present truth"? That is the way it looks when people try to believe without knowledge. They thought that the vision applied to the second coming of Christ A.D. 1844, when it applied to the Jews, whose transgressors had filled their measure of sin at the end of the four kingdoms, between B.C. 176 and 30.
A person needs no learning to see how blind these poor people are. Medo-Persia, Greece, the division of Greece, the little horn and all belong to the time of the end. If the time of the end was in 1798, then these things must occur after A.D. 1798. But Alexander seized Persia by the battle of Arbela, B.C. 331. The Medo-Persian empire had lost its power 2,129 years before 1798, and the ram was first in the vision and he belonged to the time of the end. Then we feel quite certain that the time of the end began in the Medo-Persian empire and the theories of the Adventists are proved to be false.
The vision was in the time of the end and contained the following facts:
Owing to the fact that the 2,300 days that came up after the fierce king already had begun, they are first mentioned in the tenth paragraph.
The Adventists let the time of the end begin in 1798 and close in 1844, covering a period of forty-six years. We cannot begin to apply the time of the end in the Medo-Persian kingdom, before the ram commenced to push in various directions, thereby symbolizing the kingdoms Medo-Persia seized gradually before the war with Alexander, but the vision occupies 215 years, from 538 to the death of Alexander 323. Then we have to add half the time of the divided kingdom of Alexander. His divided empire lasted from B.C. 323 to 30, a period of 293 years. One-half of this is 147 years. We have then 215 years of Medo-Persian supremacy (538 to 323) plus 147, making 362 years, and so we have come to the middle of the kingdoms of the four princes after Alexander. The little horn should come up at the end of these kingdoms. 362 from 538 brings us down to B.C. 176. Rome came in contact with the Jews B.C. 161. 161 from 176 is fifteen years, which added to 362 makes 377 years. The vision has already taken up a period of 377 years, if Rome is the little horn and began in Medo-Persia B.C. 538, and the Adventists have only a period of forty-six years, from A.D. 1798 to 1844. Better you give up.
All that Daniel saw in his vision was fulfilled between 538 and 164, when the sanctuary was cleansed. Will you admit, Adventists, that the vision began in the Medo-Persian empire and that your theory is false?
Anyone who has studied these doctrines carefully and cannot see that Antiochus Epiphanes fills the requirements of this prophecy is mentally deficient and is incapable of sane reasoning.
Every Seventh-day Adventist knows that if these two years are found to be incorrect "the present truth" is doomed.
Suppose that the 2,300 days began in B.C. 457 and ended A.D. 1844, and that the sanctuary should be cleansed at the latter time. This happened when Jesus changed his place from the holy to the most holy place. Is there any foundation in the Bible for such a view? No. It is merely speculations outside of the Bible and human reason. If this is true, Jesus was in the holy place, since he arose to heaven in A. D. 34 to 1844, a period of 1810 years. During this long period he officiated as a priest. Their 2,300 years began in 457. What sanctuary was cast down B.C. 457? That was the year when Ezra received his order to go to Jerusalem to beautify the temple and restore the divine worship. No sanctuary was cast down.
But then it is stated that Titus fills the requirements of the prophecy, for he destroyed the temple in the year A.D. 70.
Was there any sanctuary and sacrificial system at that time?
In Dan. 8:11 we read, that the little horn deprived the Prince of princes of his daily sacrifice, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down. This sanctuary should be cleansed after the 2,300 days. This was in 1844 according to the Adventists. But was it the heavenly sanctuary which was cast down by the little horn in 457? Titus destroyed the temple in A. D. 70. If he is filling the prophecy, the Adventists will have to count the 2,300 plus 70 which makes 2,370 years. Let us then subtract 1914 years and there remain yet 456 years, before Jesus is going to change his place in the heavenly sanctuary, if Titus fills the requirements of Dan. 8:11.
It is certainly a shame for a denomination to adhere to doctrines they do not understand, but follow blindly, led by the fantasies of a woman.
The consequence of this doctrine, that Jesus was priest till 1844, will be a disturbance of the whole plan of redemption, and the Epistle to the Hebrews will contain erroneous statements.
"But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God." (Heb. 10:12.)
If Christ shall remain for 1810 years in the holy place, then God must also remain in the holy place for 1810 years, as Jesus is going to be on his right hand.
When Jesus died on the cross he said, "It is finished." The veil in the temple was rent in twain, man had through the mediatorial death of Christ obtained access to the most holy place. Why should Christ now begin to officiate in the outer sanctuary? The Adventists have removed the atonement from the cross to 1844.
"Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us." (Heb. 9 : 12.)
He has entered once for all — not once in A. D. 34 and another time in 1844.
When did Jesus obtain eternal redemption? When he died on the cross. Thus sins of mankind were paid for on the cross. When the last sacrificial lamb was slain and had offered himself once for all, the sacrifices and the office of the priesthood in the first sanctuary were at an end. That Jesus "was in the holy place in 1810 years is an unscriptural invention of Mrs. White.
"We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens." (Heb. 8:1.)
The author of the Epistle to the Hebrews believed in his time, that they had an high priest, not a priest in the holy place till 1844, and then becoming a high priest that year. Such representations are not found in the Bible, but only in the imagination of Mrs. White, because she thought that the end of the world was at hand, as the angel had said that the vision pertained to the time of the end. The throne of the Majesty in heaven was therefore, according to their doctrine, in the holy place until 1844.
We are exhorted to "come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." (Heb. 4:16.)
Where was the throne of grace in the earthly sanctuary? In the holiest of all. If the earthly is a symbol of the heavenly, no prayer was answered during the time Jesus officiated in the holy place; for they go to the throne of grace, and there is none to answer them. We are going to pray to God, someone says, and not to Jesus, therefore the prayers ascended to God who was in the holy of holies. God then becomes a hight priest in the holy of holies, but God calls Jesus an high priest in Heb. 5:10. We have therefore two high priests.
The author of the Hebrews wrote in his day, 'We have an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek" (Heb. 6:19,20).
The Adventists cannot read these verses as they are written in the Bible, because they would then destroy their "present truth." In order to make them harmonize with their views they will have to read them in this way, 'We Adventists have an anchor of the soul, which we think is sure and steadfast and which entered that which was outside of the veil from A.D. 34 to 1844. But after 1844 it entereth into that within the veil, for then our high priest rode into the holy of holies in a carriage. Thus saith Mrs. White. She is our prophetess and absolutely reliable in everything she says." If they change Heb. 6:19, 20 to read in this way it will fit their doctrines perfectly; but then the Bible must be set aside.
The transfer of Jesus from the holy to the holy of holies is as necessary for their message as' two legs are for a racer.
The Epistle of the Hebrews is to the Adventists as light as a bird compared to an elephant. The fancies of Mrs. White must be retained, even if the Bible must be distorted.
Every reader who has used his brain when he has read the various expositions of the prophecy in the eighth chapter has found that the difference between us is depending upon one single question — are the 2,300 days before or after the little horn? If they are before, then the Adventists are right, and I have displayed my inability to think and reason. But if the little horn is before the 2,300 days, then we have proved the blindness of the Adventists, while at the same time their prophetic message has been found to be the greatest error the world has received from a fanatical people. One of us is on the wrong road. It is just as impossible for them to prove that the 2,300 days began before the little horn, as it is to prove that Cain was 296 years old when God breathed into Adam's nostrils the breath of life. The 2,300 days were mentioned because of the deeds of the little horn, and as his deeds were not done before B. C. 176, the 2,300 days cannot commence before this year. There is no hiding place anywhere for the Adventists.
The last verse of Daniel's eighth chapter reads, "And I Daniel fainted, and was sick certain days; afterward I rose up, and did the king's business ; and I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it."
Now they say that Daniel did not get an, explanation of the vision in the eighth chapter, but it is given in the ninth. Here is cornerstone number two which is added to number one, which was ignorance. It was only Daniel who saw the vision since he became sick. Afterwards he rose up and attended to his duties, but he was astonished at the vision. It is not said that Daniel did not understand the vision, but "none understood it." Is it meant that no one understood the vision or the reason why he got sick so suddenly? Gabriel was commanded to explain the vision to Daniel. He was prostrated upon the ground in a fainting spell. The angel called him and began his explanation from verse twenty to twenty-five. The last part of the vision is the 2,300 days, the dramatic point in the history of the Jews when their measure of sin was full. They begin with the vision of the daily sacrifice, of the sanctuary and of the host being trodden under foot (verse 13). The only thing that was of especial value to Daniel in the vision was the 2,300 days during the time his people were being punished; therefore the angel adds in the twenty-sixth verse, "And the vision of the evening and the morning which was told is true: wherefore shut thou up the vision; for it shall be for many days." Daniel had this vision in B. C. 538, and it was fulfilled between B.C. 170 and 164. It was a period of 374 years, a long time for Daniel. Since the angel had raised up Daniel, when he lay with his face toward the earth, it does not say that he was sick before he received the explanation of this vision.
The angel was commanded to explain the vision to Daniel, and if he had been sick before the vision was explained we may rest assured that the angel had strengthened him and not come back with his business only half finished. It had been disappointing to the angel to return and have to relate, that Daniel was so sick that he (the angel) could not explain the vision of the 2,300 evenings and mornings to him.
It is unfortunate for the Adventists to say that Daniel received an explanation of the vision in the ninth chapter. One may read the ninth chapter ever so often, but one cannot find a word there indicating that Daniel asked for an explanation of the vision in the eighth chapter, or that any explanation was given. This position is wrong.
Daniel found by reading the prophet Jeremiah's twenty-fifth chapter, that the Babylonian captivity should have a duration of seventy years. Two years left. That was the reason he turned to God in prayer. The prayer may be read from the fourth to the nineteenth verses. And then tell me in which verse it is said that Daniel asked for an explanation of the vision of the evenings and the mornings in the eighth chapter. When Daniel was praying, the angel Gabriel came to him and said, that when Daniel commenced his prayer a commandment was given and the angel had come to give him understanding. The angel did not ' say that Daniel should believe blindly without understanding. We let the Adventists do that.
How did Daniel commence his prayer? Adventist preachers go so far as to say that he prayed for an explanation of the vision concerning the evenings and mornings; but that is not true. Did he ask for an explanation of the vision concerning the evenings and mornings in the eighth chapter, when he had had one before? No. He is asking with a humble spirit for three things, viz., that God should have mercy on the people, Jerusalem and the devastated sanctuary (verses 16-18). If Daniel now had received an interpretation of the vision, and according to the Adventists it is that Jesus entered the holy of holies in the heavenly sanctuary in 1844, though Daniel had the vision in B. C. 538, then he had to wait two thousand three hundred and eighty-two years before he received an answer to his prayer. Was this a proper answer to Daniel's prayer that the Lord should have compassion on the city which was devastated and on the temple and on the sanctuary that was cast down? It seems to us that Daniel ought to be more interested in these things than in the Adventist fable of Jesus changing his place in 1844. It is hardly probable that God would play such a miserable joke on his devout servant Daniel.
We could wish to continue the study of Daniel's ninth, chapter, but after we have considered the eleventh, we shall be more prepared to understand the ninth. We shall subsequently take up the seventy weeks as a special subject. Let it suffice here to point out a few paragraphs to show how the Adventists display their ignorance concerning the time.
We will admit, for the sake of argument, that their contention, that Daniel did not receive an explanation concerning the days, is correct ; will that help them out in their dilemma? Not in the least.
"Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city" (verse 24).
Now they say that there is no other line upon which to determine or cut off time than the 2,300 days. But we state with absolute certainty that there is only one line upon which to cut off time. As soon as they try to cut off time from any other line, they cut the head off from their theory.
There is only one clock that determines time. This clock is the revolution of the earth around the sun. The earth rotates around its axis in twenty-four hours, and revolves around the sun in one year. We say that the sun rises and the sun sets. We must set our clocks after the sunrise and the sunset or after the noon hour. There is no other way of determining time, prophetic or otherwise. There is no other line upon which time can be determined or cut off than the ordinary time that arises from this cause.
Adventists, you must confess that you have committed a great mistake in your calculations. All true science is in harmony with God himself. This evidence against their contentions is enough to knock their system out of commission. When the reader hears them saying that there is no other line from which to cut off the seventy weeks than the 2,300 days, tell them it is not true. There is no other line than the general line of time.
Is it the weight that you are weighing, or are you weighing with the weight? You answer that it is the weight, with which one is weighing. Correct! You buy a pound of coffee. The salesman puts the beans in a bag, places the bag on one of the scales and the pound weight on the other. The weight is heavier and turns the scales to that side. The clerk then takes a file and files off enough from the pound weight till the scales balance evenly. Is he doing right now? No. It is the weight that determines, how much coffee there is in the bag and must not be changed, he must add more beans till he has an equal amount on both sides.
Is it the measure that is to be measured, or do you not measure with it? You use the measure to determine the size of something. Correct! You have no more right to cut off from the measure than to file anything from the weight. You use the measure for measuring and it must not be tampered with.
We ask now, if the 2,300 days are to be measured or if they are a measure with which to measure? They are a certain measure and it is immaterial whether they represent days or years, they must not be cut off.
The seventy weeks are another measure. The Adventists say that there is no other line from which to cut off the 490 years than the 2,300 days. But they are a certain measure, and you cannot take anything from a measure, because you have them for a standard of measuring. As soon as they change fixed measures they get in trouble.
It requires no learning to see that this is right. If a person goes to a dry goods store to buy a piece of cloth of a certain length, should the salesman lay the yardstick on the cloth and then cut off a piece of the yardstick? No. He cuts off the cloth. He must not diminish his yardstick.
The Adventists commence the 2,300 days in B. C. 457, and use this period as a new time line; afterwards they take the 490 years as a measure and cut off this measure from the 2,300 days. But you say, "Do they not cut off the same amount from the general time also?" You say in your books and sermons that there is no other line to cut off from than the 2,300 days. Science condemns this, even if you do not understand it.
Do not forget that your message is built upon chronology, and you can just as little go around the laws of mathematics and astronomy as you can go around the multiplication table, when you are going to multiply two numbers.
That they have been guilty of propagating such nonsense for seventy years under the name of the "whole truth" is sufficient to show that they are blind.
Both of these propositions, to measure time on any other line than the astronomical, and cut off a certain measure, are damaging to their implicated system, which they dare not submit to a careful investigation. When the angel came to Daniel, he said he was come to give him understanding. But when the young men come to their schools, they must believe blindly these stupid doctrines without understanding. It would be better to tie all deceitful doctrines to a millstone and sink them in the depth of the sea. All thinking men will say, amen.
Is there not a single preacher or professor in the whole denomination who knows that time cannot be cut off except from the general time line, and that you cannot cut anything off from a definite measure?
When they get into such narrow straits as these they generally quote this passage, "The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit; for they are foolishness unto him," etc.
A person has no need of spiritual intuition to understand the plainest rules in arithmetic. Atheists are just as capable of understanding these things as the most spiritual child of God.
Next time you are going to preach, my brother Adventist pastor, do not forget that the weight is to weigh with and the measure to measure with. And you have no right to cut off the measure. In questions of time there is no line to measure time on but the general time line which arises from the movement of the earth around the sun.
Their message is crumbling to dust without a single reference to the Bible or to history.
Suppose again, that one of their preachers who is thoroughly converted to Mrs. White and her errors, received a visit from the angel Gabriel. The preacher says, "There is no other line from which to cut off the 490 years except the prophetic period, the 2,300 clays." The angel should say, "You cannot cut off anything from a certain measure, it is against science, both in heaven and on earth. "Who are you?" the preacher would say. "I am Gabriel from heaven." Their papers would soon contain a warning against Gabriel who does not believe "the present truth."
Our own lifetime is cut off from the general time line. Abraham Lincoln was born in 1809 and died in 1865. It is impossible to cut any part off from his life and say that he first lived the fifty and then a long time afterwards he lived the remaining six. No, we cannot cut off anything from a certain measure. I warn you, preachers, since you are acquainted with these facts, to discontinue the preaching of your erroneous doctrine. It is far better to let the old heresy perish, for it will be torn up with its roots when all things are tested in fire. Let us wait now and see on what side the truth lies, in your doctrine, or in the arguments here brought forth.
True knowledge of God and real piety will always win out. The day will certainly come, when the Adventists will be independent enough to hold the spoon themselves, and not need anybody else to feed them. My bitter enemies may yet become my friends.