THE 2,300-YEAR PROPHECY
Matthew 24:14 | Daniel 8:13 | Daniel 8:14 | Numbers 14:3 | Daniel 9:24 | Daniel 9:25 | Matthew 4:4 | Romans 1:17 | 1 Timothy 2:5 | Acts 2:38 | Matthew 5:16 | Exodus 20:8| Exodus 20:9 | Exodus 20:10 | Exodus 20:11
For 1,260 years, the little horn had effectively countered the work of God’s blueprint of salvation through its two-pronged attack upon the heavenly sanctuary and spiritual Israel. Daniel saw all this more than a thousand years before it occurred.
Christ had told His disciples that the _______________ was to be preached in _______________ the as a _______________ to all _______________, and then the _______________ would come (Matthew 24:14). However, Satan had effectively taken away the gospel by manipulating it through the power of the little horn. It appeared to Daniel that Satan’s counterattack through the little horn would be unstoppable—until, that is, Daniel was given another vision, found in Daniel chapter 8.
The prophet heard two heavenly beings speaking, with one asking, “How _______________ will the _______________ be, concerning the daily sacrifices and the _______________ of _______________, the giving of both the _______________ and the _______________ to be _______________?” (Daniel 8:13).
This question comes after verses that speak of the desolating influence of the little horn. (See verses 11, 12.) How long would it be before the influence of the little horn was broken? How long would it be before the minds of men were once again directed to the heavenly sanctuary and God’s true character restored? How long would it be before the filth that had desecrated the heavenly sanctuary and God’s name be finally removed?
The answer: _______________ _______________ _______________ _______________ days, then the sanctuary shall be _______________ (Daniel 8:14). This time prophecy signified that the work of the little horn would be reversed in a most amazing way. The gospel would be fully restored and taken into all the world—and then the end would come!
This time period, just as the other two we’ve already covered, follows the principle that a day is counted for a _______________ (Numbers 14:34). Baptist scholar John Gill in his commentary on the book of Daniel writes, “These 2,300 days may be considered as so many years, which will bring it down to the end of the sixth millennium, or thereabout; when it may be hoped there will be a new face of things upon the sanctuary and church of God, and a cleansing of it from all corruption in doctrine, discipline, worship, and conversation.”
The 2,300-days/years prophecy was given to Daniel in chapter 8, but the beginning point isn’t given until chapter 9. Here Daniel was told about the _______________ weeks, which was to begin at the _______________ forth of the command to _______________ and to _______________ Jerusalem (Daniel 9:24, 25). Therefore, the 70-weeks prophecy and the 2,300-days prophecy both have the same starting point, 457 BC.
Alexander Campbell of the Church of Christ, a prominent leader of the Second Great Awakening revival, wrote:
“The question there proposed is, ‘How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?’ ‘And he said to me, ‘Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.’ Now, as the Lord said to Ezekiel, ‘I have appointed one day for a year,’ and as we find in symbolic language one day stands for a year, we are at no loss in coming to the following conclusions: From the going forth of the decree to rebuild Jerusalem to the baptism of Jesus was 483 years—his ministry was three-and-a- half years, or the middle of one week; then he was cut off. And in half a week, that is, three-and-a-half years more, Christianity was sent to all nations."
This completes the 70 weeks, or 490 years of Daniel. … Daniel then fixes the time of the nativity; the commencement of the kingdom, or confirmation of the covenant; and the ultimate cleansing of the sanctuary, or purgation of the Christian church from anti-Christian abominations. This last event was to be 2,300 years from the afore-said date. That is, from the birth of Jesus about 1,847 years” (Debates That Made History, pp. 95, 96).
Most scholars date Christ’s birth sometime around 3 or 4 BC, which would make 1,847 years “after this” about 1843 or 1844. In fact, starting from 457 BC, the date of the decree to “restore and build Jerusalem,” and adding 2,300 years brings us to the year 1844.
In an amazing counter to the attack of the little horn on His sanctuary, God would raise up several different movements over a period of 500 years to restore every article of furniture that had been cast down by the little horn. The separation would be bridged, and the sanctuary message would be restored!
John Wycliffe, an English scholar, also known as the “Morning Star of the Reformation,” translated the Bible into the English language in the year 1382. He became the founder of the Lollard movement, which laid the foundation for the Protestant Reformation. In giving back the people the Word of God, the Lollard movement effectively restored the table of showbread, showing that man was to live by _______________ _______________ that proceeds from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4). This set in motion the process that would pull off the cover of Satan’s deception almost 500 years later. Putting the Bible back into the hands of the people allowed them to begin seeing the discrepancies between the God of the Bible and the god the little horn had been peddling to them. Only five degrees of separation left!
Born in 1483, Martin Luther became a devout Catholic monk. He was soon plagued with thoughts of how to gain forgiveness and find peace with God.
Upon discovering the truth that the _______________ shall live by _______________ (Romans 1:17), Luther began to wage a war against the sales of indulgences, which were ways to purchase the forgiveness of sins. Luther, who initiated the Protestant Reformation in 1517, became the founder of the Lutheran movement. He effectively restored the altar of sacrifice, teaching that Christ’s sacrifice alone was sufficient for the forgiveness of sin. Satan would seek to destroy the work of Luther by painting the newly formed movement as a cult. But in restoring this truth, the people began to see that God was not out to destroy souls, but that He was seeking to save as many as possible. Only four degree of separation left!
John Calvin, born in 1509, became the founder of the Presbyterian and Reformed churches. He had a strong emphasis on prayer and wrote extensively about it, believing that man had direct access to God and did not need to go through priests to speak to God, that there is _______________ _______________ between God and man, the _______________ _______________ _______________ (1 Timothy 2:5). His work led to restoring the altar of incense. Satan sought to destroy Calvin’s work by painting his church as a cult in the eyes of other Christian churches of the day. But Calvin, in restoring true prayer, gave the people an opportunity to get to know God in a way they had not before. Only three degrees of separation left!
In the 1600s John Smyth became the founder of the Baptist movement, whose focus was on restoring the true form of baptism by immersion. This movement effectively restored the laver, which symbolized baptism. One must be old enough to _______________ and be baptized (Acts 2:38), not be sprinkled as an infant who has no decision-making power. Satan countered the work of the Baptists by bringing persecution upon them from other Christian denominations of the day by denouncing them as a cult. But in revealing that God desired true repentance and wanted people to have a choice in their decisions to follow Him, His character was being vindicated in a fresh new way! Only two degrees of separation left!
Theologian John Wesley, born in 1703, became the founder of the Methodist movement. His focus was on open-air preaching and the work of witnessing and evangelism. Building on the work of those who came before him, Wesley effectively restored the candlestick, the symbol of letting one’s _______________ so shine before men (Matthew 5:16). Satan countered the work of Methodism by bringing persecution upon them from other Christian denominations of the day, making them appear as a cult. Yet by thousands of voices speaking of the love of God, thousands more saw the Creator in a light that had been diametrically opposed to what they had heard about Him from the little horn. Now only one degree of separation remained between man and the truth of God and His character!
According to Daniel’s prophecy, at the end of 2,300 years, the truths cast down by the little horn would finally be restored. Specifically, the prophecy points to the year 1844. Beginning in the 1830s, teachers, students, doctors, and pastors from every denomination and from different locations around the world simultaneously began to study the 2,300-days prophecy of Daniel 8:14. Almost all of them concluded that something special was going to happen in 1844, and almost all believed that it was to be the second coming of Christ.
Yet failing to have an understanding of the heavenly sanctuary, because it had been cast down and not yet fully restored or understood, they concluded erroneously that the sanctuary to be cleansed was the earth itself and that it would be cleansed by fire at the second coming of Christ. They experienced great disappointment when 1844 came and went with no “second coming.” However, out of this movement, a small group discovered that the sanctuary was not the earth, but the temple of God in heaven. This directed their attention specifically to the ark of the covenant, leading them to realize that the law of God had been cast down, specifically the fourth commandment, which states, “_______________ the _______________ _______________, to keep it holy.
Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the _______________ day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no _______________: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and _______________ the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it” (Exodus 20:8–11). This movement, made up of Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, Lutherans, and many other denominations, would go on to become known as Seventh-day Adventists. This church would adopt and encompass every major reformation of the sanctuary that came before it—the candlestick, laver, altar of sacrifice, incense, table of showbread, and the Ark of the Covenant! Just as Daniel’s prophecy had predicted, so it had come to pass.