The 1844 Doctrine
In Daniel 8:13-14 we find the text that says the following:
"Then I head one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot? And he said unto me, Unto two thousand three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed."
This text sets the foundation for the longest specific time prophecy in the Bible. The first thing we have to identify in this prophecy is the time factor. In Bible prophecy a day could be a 24 hour period (Genesis 1:5) it could mean a year (Numbers 14:34) or it could mean a thousand years (II Peter 3:8). So with this thought in mind 2300 days could be 6.3 literal years, it could be 2300 years, or 2,300,000 years. I have chosen a day for a year because it fits the available data in the prophecy.
The next issue we have to face is what is the 2300 day prophecy supposed to address? The context of the prophecy indicates that the prophecy has to address the question brought forth by the saint "How long shall be the vision concerning the daily, the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot." Daniel 8:13. This question refers us back to the little horn of Daniel 8:9-12 where the little horn attacks the host of heaven, the stars, the Prince of the host, the daily, the place of the sanctuary, and the truth. It is clear that this little horn attacks various aspects of God's holy work, and the participants of this holy work. The question is how long will God's activities be attacked and seemingly overwhelmed? The answer is unto 2300 days and then shall the sanctuary be cleansed. So in response to the questions of Daniel 8:13 it appears that the answer is that the sanctuary will be cleansed, or restored to its rightful position.
The sanctuary is that structure that God has presented all through the Bible from the Garden of Eden (the first meeting place of man with God), to the sanctuary that Moses built for God (Exodus-Deuteronomy), to the sanctuary that Solomon built for God (I Kings 6-8; II Chronicles 2-7), to the sanctuary that Ezra built (Ezra, Nehemiah, Haggai, Zephaniah, Zechariah, Malachi), the one that Herod enhanced (John 2:13-21), that Jesus ministered in (Matthew Matthew 21:10-16), and that God built in heaven (Hebrews 8:1-2), the sanctuary of God's people (Ephesians 2; I Peter 2:1-10, and the temple of God in heaven (Revelation 21:22-22:5). God points to this sanctuary as the way to understand His workings with men and to show how He would solve the sin problem that separates God from man. Isaiah 59:1-2
Since God is focused on presenting the sanctuary doctrine, Satan is equally focused upon hiding it from man so that they can not see that Jesus is the sanctuary, He is the Lamb of God, He is the Great High Priest, that He is the only Door, that He is our God and that all who would be saved must come to Him and receive His holy help. All of this Satan would hide from us. The 2300 day prophecy promises to restore this doctrine and keep all of the principles of the sanctuary ever available to those who would seek God by faith.
The next issue that God wants us to see is that for a time prophecy to be effective we must have a starting date and then we can find the ending date. In Daniel 8 all aspects of the prophecy are addressed except for the issue of time. Nowhere in Daniel 8 is the time addressed, and we would have to assume that this is because of the fact that Daniel faints before Gabriel can explain this to him. Daniel 8:27 states that none understood the prophecy, at least the time part of it. We can see that the definition of the ram - Medo-Persia, the goat - Greece, and we would assume that the king who stands up against the Prince of Princes (Jesus) would be the little horn, and further amplified in Daniel 7. But the time is not addressed. In Daniel 9:21-23 Gabriel comes back and Daniel recognizes him as the one he had seen in the vision at the beginning. Gabriel promised to give Daniel skill and understanding of the vision. Gabriel starts out with the prophecy about the 70 weeks and this 70 weeks would lead up to the time of the Messiah. From this we are clear that the time of the prophecy is a day for a year for we know that 70 weeks in literal time is only 1.3 years. But 70 weeks, or 490 years - that is 70 weeks x 7 days in a week = 490 days and a day for a year = 490 years - is necessary to get from the starting point to the ending point of this section of the prophecy. In Daniel 9:25 gives the starting point of the 70 weeks and the 2300 days - that starting point is the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem. From this commandment to the time of Messiah the prince is 69 weeks of the 70 weeks, or 483 years - 69 weeks x 7 days a week = 483 x a day for a year = 483 years.
With this information in mind we have a testing device by which we can prove our prophetic understanding. We have a starting point and then 483 years later we will come to Messiah the Prince. By this we can test the various starting points in history. The book of Ezra contains at least 3 of the various decrees that were made and Nehemiah contains one of the decrees. We will test each and see where time, and history, take us. The decrees we have are Cyrus' decree in Ezra 5:13; the decree made by Darius in Ezra 6:1,12; a decree by Artaxerxes in Ezra 7:11; and the decree made by Artaxerxes in Nehemiah 1:7-8. I will put the date of the various decrees and then calculate the time from the decree with the information in the above paragraph and then you the reader will determine how the dates work out.
Ezra 5:13 Cyrus - 536 BC - 483 years from 536 brings us to 53 BC numbers of years before Christ.
Ezra 6:1,12 Darius - 519 BC - 483 from 510 brings us to 36 BC a number of years before Christ.
Ezra 7:11 Artaxerxes - 457 BC - 483 from 457 BC brings us to 27 AD, the year of Jesus being Anointed by the Holy Spirit. We get to 27 AD because there is no Zero years between 1BC and 1AD.
Nehemiah 1:7-8 Artaxerxes - 444 BC - 483 years from 444 BC brings us to 40 AD. 40 AD is at least 7 years beyond the most conservative dates of the crucifixion of Jesus in 33AD.
With the above information it is certain that the decree to restore and build Jerusalem is the decree in Ezra 7:11. This decree is in response to the issues brought up in Ezra 5:11-24 where the Samaritans are trying to get the king to stop the building of the city of Jerusalem. This letter was sent to Artaxerxes asking him to stop the building of Jerusalem and Ezra 7 is the decree for the Israelites to proceed with their building.
One last issue before we move on. In Daniel 9:24 the prophecy is for 70 weeks. We have accounted for 69 of those weeks. That leaves the last week or the 70th week. Daniel 9:27 locates this last week. Daniel is told that this week Messiah will confirm the covenant with many for one week. In the midst of the week He shall cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease. Assuming this writer's calculations are correct we should have Jesus anointed in 27 AD (Luke 3:1) and then 3.5 years later we would predict that Jesus dies on Calvary thus negating the need for animal sacrifices. So in 31 AD Jesus dies on the cross, is resurrected 3 days later, and then returns to heaven 40 days after His resurrection. This still leaves 3.5 years to be accounted for. 3.5 years later Stephen is stoned in Acts 7 and Jesus stands up in Acts 7:56 in 34 AD. This standing up is the decree that the time of probation for the nation of Israel, the 70 weeks determined upon they people Daniel 9:24, have completed. God then turns the focus of the disciples from Israel to the Gentiles. During this same year the Apostle Paul is raised up to become the Apostle to the Gentiles.
The word "determined" in Daniel 9:24 signifies to cut off from something. It is this writers belief that the 70 weeks, or 490 years, was cut off from the 2300 days of Daniel 8:14. So from 34 AD the rest of the 2300 years or 2300-490 years = 1810 more years. This would bring us to the year 1844 AD. According to this a significant event was to take place in 1844 to restore the focus on the sanctuary service in the Bible and to that a great teaching would start about the changes in the sanctuary service predicted by the prophecy of Daniel 8:14. According to this prophecy 1844 would signify that the time of the cleansing and restoration of the sanctuary would have come.
When studying the cleansing of the sanctuary the primary text that comes up is that of Leviticus 16 and the Day of Atonement. It is during this 6th of the 7 annual feasts that the focus on cleansing the sanctuary from the accumulated sins of the people takes place. This feast brings our attention to the time of judgment of God's people and a cleansing of their sins as well as the reconciling of the holy place, and the tabernacle, and the altar in Leviticus 16:20. The Day of Atonement takes place near the end of the year and symbolizes the restoration the sanctuary in heaven and the cleansing of all of those who have an awareness of their High Priest in heaven. This cleansing process in discussed in Daniel 7:9-22 and Revelation 14:1-12. In both Scriptures the focus is on the process of judging the books and pronouncing that God has a cleansed people to whom He can give the kingdom. In both cases there is an antagonist who makes other claims - the little horn in Daniel 7-8 and the beast in Revelation 13. In Daniel 7-8 the little horn power contests with God and God's people and attempts to thwart the plans of God and in Revelation 13 Satan attempts to thwart the plans of God by creating an alternative worship system. But in Revelation 14:9-11 God proclaims that anyone who receives the mark of the beast, or who worships this beast will be judged worthy of damnation. This time would come after 1844 and the start of the final cleansing of the sanctuary of God.
It is this writer’s belief that the hour of God's judgment started in the anti-type of the Day of Atonement in 1844. In 1844 the focus on the sanctuary was restored and the teachings of the various truths focused on the sanctuary doctrine were restored as well and has gone out to all nations, kindred, tongues, and peoples. When this task is completed, Jesus will state that it is done. Revelation 16:17. When He has made this statement He will fulfill Revelation 22:11-12 "He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be." These final events started in 1844 and will be completed by the Second Coming of Jesus.
I hope that this study will lead to a deeper understanding of the Word of God and a preparation in the sanctuary doctrine that Satan is so energized to keep from God's people.