“Oh, the unspeakable greatness of that exchange,—the Sinless One is condemned, and he who is guilty goes free; the Blessing bears the curse, and the cursed is brought into blessing; the Life dies, and the dead live; the Glory is whelmed in darkness, and he who knew nothing but confusion of face is clothed with glory.” Trailady

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A person God turned around many times.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

"What does this say about Jesus?"

“Hmm, what does this say about Jesus?”

“[Ye] Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of Me. And ye will not come to Me, that ye might have life.” (John 5:39, 40, margin).

In the original Greek, John 5:39 can read as a command, “Search the scriptures”; or, it can read as an indicative statement, “You search the scriptures”. In other words, His statement, “in [the scriptures] ye think ye have eternal life”, Jesus was saying that 2,000 years ago the scribes and Pharisees were searching the Old Testament Bible because they believed the words to hold some kind of mystical force. They believed that the words themselves, rather than the words of a Person, held power. They did not comprehend the relationship David saw between the high standard and Jesus, “Thy precepts” (Ps. 119:4), “Thy commandments … Thy righteous judgments … Thy statutes … Thy word” (Ps. 119:6-9), “the judgments of Thy mouth.” (Ps. 119:13). David’s praises of the Law were also, and more so, prayers to the Lawgiver. To David, His commandments were not boring, bland, monotone “The Law”, but exciting, relational, life-giving, “Thy Law”. To David, there was a huge, loving Person above and beyond the holy, just, and good Law of God. They were Jesus’ speech which David heard in his spirit. They were the wonderful event in the life of Matthew, still arousing his warm memories of blessed times with Jesus, when he wrote, “Seeing the multitudes, He went up into a mountain: and when He was set, His disciples came unto Him: and He opened His mouth, and taught them, saying…” (Matt. 5:1,2). David’s sanctified spirit answering to the Spirit of the Person behind the Law, to the One authoring the Law, made His commandments filled with interaction and power to obey—full of life and health, success and prosperity. But, the Jews received no life from the words of the Law, or from the Person inspiring the words, because they could never see His words as promises, “in which it [is] impossible for God to lie” (Heb. 6:18). “But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the Old Testament; which vail is done away in Christ.” (2Cor. 3:14).

“What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith.
But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.
Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;
As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed.” (Rom. 9:30-33).

Without a friendship with Jesus—no matter how holy and just and good could be the words—the words were unpalatable and unwanted to hearts estranged from God and His Spirit. The scriptures, apart from the revealed love connected with their loving Speaker, created resentment and pride, reacting in anger toward everyone around, and resulting in self-sufficiency and hypocrisy. Separating the written truth from Jesus—who is the Truth incarnate—is the psychology of sin, the mystery of iniquity.

Not receiving love from the Author of the scriptures, they received no life from the scriptures, and thus neither any peace and rest. The words’ deeper, spiritual meaning was inconceivable to them, and therefore empty of motivation to obey. The rabbis, however brilliant, could not comprehend the meaning that Jesus put into the Holy Writ. Without seeing Jesus in His words, they could have no faith in Him, neither receive His gift of the Spirit and rest. “There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into His rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from His.” (Heb. 4:9,10). They could not enter into the experience that David had with the scriptures. “They could not enter in because of unbelief.” (Heb. 3:19).

Every opening of the scrolls should have been a time of worship. Each reading could have been their time of intercourse with Jesus, as it was with their father, David. But, the religious leaders weren’t reading the Bible as words sent from above. Theirs was atheistic Bible study. That may sound like a contradiction in terms, but it was atheistic worship of God. Can God accept such worship? No, of course, not. Essentially they were worshipping and learning from a false god, because the god they worshipped and studied under―though studying the inspired scrolls―had a whole different character than the character of the “only true God” (John 17:3). Their god was the Law. Their god was script and concepts, which, separated from the personality of their Author, only kill and steal and destroy. Their god wasn’t a God of attentive love and tenderness as Jesus was and is, but an enervating god of chilling letters and numbers. To them the Bible was literature for glorying in the Jewish genius, and science and tradition to battle the Hellenizing and Romanizing inroads upon their Jewish young people. The leadership wasn’t sitting at the feet of Jehovah, but at the feet of Satan. They weren’t eating from the tree of life, but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Could that be happening today? The eternal principle that history repeats itself still applies today. “The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.” (Ecc. 1:9,10).

“Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” (1Cor. 10:11,12).

We can easily run into the same problem today that plagued the Jews of old. Unbelief. Where did their unbelief come from? It came from learning the wrong God, studying under an empty god of only letters and information. They weren’t studying the God of the Bible, Jesus, who was full of more than just information. He was full of communication and communion. His words communicated love and life.

But, I have fallen victim to the trap that the Jews of old fell in—reading the Bible for only information. I didn’t believe that God could love me, just as billions around the world think. Sinners who see their sin to be “exceeding sinful” (Rom. 7:13) naturally have a hard time believing anyone could love them. That would include God and Jesus, in spite of John 3:16. They have been surrounded by people who didn’t love them, or who had no patience with their shortcomings and mistakes. Why should the holy God, the God who can’t live with this world, the God who is surrounded by loving, loyal servant angels and doesn’t need to be worked up by trouble-makers on Earth, why would He want to be bothered with us? If we were in His shoes, we wouldn’t want to be bothered with street urchin untouchables.

But, we don’t know God and His only begotten Son, and we don’t desire to wear Their shoes. We don’t know the divine self-sacrificing love, which is all that They know. Two verses alone prove that.

“And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted His raiment, and cast lots.” (Luke 23:33,34).

Loving these kinds of enemies, forgiving those who persecute us. That kind of love for vile people like us is unearthly. We don’t find that love in anyone else within humanity’s past, present, or future. Cursed is the human who trusts in another human for that kind of love. It’s only found in our King and in His only begotten Prince.

“For [God] hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him [Jesus].” (2Cor. 5:21). Satan has sought to make us personify sin. But God made Jesus to personify sin long enough for the reconciliation could happen between us and God, and then Jesus could help us personify the righteousness of God.

Even though God making His Son “to be sin” can initially seem foreign to our thinking, esteeming and deeming a child to be abhorrent, and treating him like the devil, isn’t so hard to understand. Isn’t that what makes child abuse? Isn’t children seen as abhorrent by parents and others a common practice on our planet? If treating others like sin would never happen there would be no child abuse, child slavery, prostitution, murder, inquisitions, and so many other causes of misery in the world. All who are enslaved and abused have been viewed as a plague to the world, a pestilence that must be destroyed. They must learn to conform to the Christless, loveless, joyless, miserable rulers of this world; and if they don’t conform, they are kicked out of the group and treated as hopeless. They must therefore be hated and beaten into submission, re-educated, re-programmed, and made void of all joy; otherwise, they must be driven from this world.

Hard-hearted people excommunicated them and cut them off. How did the self-imposed Jewish leaders become as hard-hearted as the world’s religious leaders? It came by feeding on a loveless, joyless god. Maybe they were introduced to this god through their parents and grandparents, who had also fed off of the same loveless god. This has been the problem from the very beginning, and Solomon says everything from the past continues to repeat today. The evil education we see in people today was the same education in Christ’s day, that descended all the way down from Cain’s day. Nothing has changed. We’ve been studying from a subtle, vindictive master who hungers to devour the children of God in order to dig at his hated Creator.

So the subtle, vindictive master provides humanity with a version of the “word of God” that is without a knowledge of God’s love. Humanity is kept back from seeing Jesus, the beautiful, loving, godly and holy, only Begotten One. They aren’t allowed to believe the hidden nuances of what the only Begotten was about. And they weren’t permitted to ask about His love and become familiar with true love, that is, a parent’s self-sacrificing love. Satan wouldn’t let them conjecture, with holy imagination, that God and the gift of His Son both love flawed, little children with an everlasting love, loving them as children to die for. “The accuser of our [the angels’] brethren” (Rev. 12:10), “he who smote the people in wrath with a continual stroke, he that ruled the nations in anger” (Isa. 14:6), kept hounding them with their shameful past so that they would assume that the Creator could never desire to be with them forever. They believed themselves to be unwanted, uncared for. But, the Bible shows a different heart and mind in God. (By the way, did you catch that the angel’s call us their brethren?)
So, back to our original thought, Is our God the God of full love, or a god of empty letters and numbers? Are we learning of Jesus, or of Satan? Is information all that we get from studying the Bible, or do we hear His loving voice from the Bible communicating with us? What are we studying in the Bible? Or better yet, Who are we studying in the Bible? The right question makes a big difference. Are we searching to see Jesus? Do we go to the Bible to hear the voice of a Wonderful Counselor? Do we go there to unite with a faithful and true friend of sinners who is also faithful to and loved by His Father? Why do we “search the scriptures”? Have we fallen into the same trap as the scribes and Pharisees, the rabbis and priests of old? Are we seeing or are we missing the generous compassion of the Son of God? Do we have something to say about Him to the poor in spirit ones around us? Are we having difficulty gathering gems of His beauty, for a word in season to him that is worthy.
If Jesus hasn’t been materializing in your thoughts, ask the question, “What does this say about Jesus?” Try this question when reading the Bible or some other Bible-related book. Try it when walking through the woods or when meeting with people. “What does this say about Jesus?” It’s a simple question, but it is full of power. Let that question become your prayer; let it be your habitual prayer. You will be surprised at what pops into your head because you opened your mind to Jesus and to His works.
Something happens between our soul and the Saviour when we ask how a verse or promise or story relates to Jesus. An opening is made for Jesus to get Himself into our hearts and minds. He made us in His image; we are spiritually-genetically like Him. At creation we received His spiritual genes. Even the worst examples of humanity are codified to His Spirit. Everyone is like spiritual Uranium ore, sparkling with potential radiation and worthy of divine-atomic power “dunamis” (Mark 9:1, cf Luke 1:35), if they will be purified through His processes. Even the weakest of us are on His wavelength; He can detect us all. Some may be a stellar Christian, like a Mercury tightly bound to the Son and whirling around Him doing His business. Others may be only a poor in spirit Pluto, barely hanging on to the Son’s gravitational attraction. They may be in and out of a perfect path, wobbling as they go. Yet He’s got them; the focus of their orbit is in Him. Nevertheless, our whole race’s openness to His spirit has been confused, corrupted, damaged by sin, and in great need of His justification and His sanctification.

Hence, the holy, habitual quest from everything we see, hear, and read, “What does this say about Jesus?” “What does this open to me of Jesus?” “How does what I’m reading or seeing or hearing reveal Him to me?” “Lord! I need to see your love!” When we ask this question, He will show us how it all reveals Him. When we make this question our habit, He will walk with Jesus. Christ’s love will keep us from falling; and with exceeding joy He will present us faultless before His Father’s glory.

That question needs to be asked constantly as we go through the day. When we are out and about, whatever we see, whatever we hear, ask yourself what it all says about Jesus. They are all His creations. “By Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers” (Col. 1:16). The works glorify the hands that made them. This is what Jesus said.

“Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me: or else believe Me for the very works’ sake.” (John 14:11).

“Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. If not, believe because of the things I do.” (John 14:11, GNB). All of His works testify of Him. He dwells in their praise. “Thou art holy, O Thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.” (Ps. 22:3).

For instance, when we looked at the film, “Johnny Lingo”, we asked: “What does this say about Jesus?” Well, we had known that Jesus is our Lord and we, the church, are His spouse. But, in a new way we saw illustrated to our minds and hearts how Jesus delivers us from our old man, and how we become His. Isn’t that what we see between Johnny Lingo, Mahana, and the old man who constantly degraded her? Her father worked as accessory to her destruction, exacerbating that old man in her and making her condition more intolerable and hopeless and dead. The father’s anger at life (maybe his bitterness began from the loss of his wife), his natural selfishness, was misdirected at his only daughter. Added to all that, in many cultures around the world, it’s considered a curse to have a daughter.

Mahana was redeemed from her ugly old man when she was bought by her discerning, respectful, and attentive Johnny. And likewise we are bought back and restored by our Jesus. During His work of healing, “Jesus did not suppress one word of truth, but He uttered it always in love. He exercised the greatest tact and thoughtful, kind attention in His intercourse with the people. He was never rude, never needlessly spoke a severe word, never gave needless pain to a sensitive soul. He did not censure human weakness. He spoke the truth, but always in love…. His life was one of self-denial and thoughtful care for others. Every soul was precious in His eyes. While He ever bore Himself with divine dignity, He bowed with the tenderest regard to every member of the family of God.” Steps to Christ, p. 12. And no clearer picture could be seen, of His deepest care and His constantly overlooking our great evils, than on the cross. It was not only to ensure our faith in His soon-coming heavenly ministry for us, but it was because He couldn’t help Himself when He said, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.”

“Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to Him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God…. But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.” (Rom. 7:4,6).

“Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.” (Rom. 6:6).

“The Angel...redeemed me from all evil.” (Gen. 48:16).

In Jesus’ angelic, holy example He presented the standard which He would require of us, and by His self-forgetful and considerate gentleness He proved to us that He truly wanted us. This beautiful picture we see in Johnny Lingo toward his childhood crush, Mahana. Johnny spent an exorbitant amount to buy Mahana and restore her. This is the message of the Bible. Jesus spent an unheard of amount to buy us, all that He owned—He mortgaged even His own eternal life—to gain our trust and to awaken in us love for Him.

Why? Because nothing short of such a demonstration of determined and joyful love can bring to life our dead hearts’ affections for Him. And He knew this. So, He went over and above to prove to His Father and to all heaven that His overtures to us were proper and upright, and would never to be questioned in the eyes of the whole universe. He not only communicated to us that He only wanted our good, but He taught the deepest lesson ever known to the unfallen beings, the lesson of the true Law of the kingdom—self-sacrificing love for the least lovely, the least in moral worth. And His gift of a new heart and a new life of obedience, manifested to the eyes of the billions in the heavens, drove His lesson home to the hearts and minds of His universe of perfect people. His demonstration of self-sacrifice so pleased His Father that His Father regained the right to sweep away all the old man’s nasty accusations, and make His Son’s earnest hope His great reality—to have us forever without any regrets in the hearts of His Father or of the angelic hosts, in light of the insubordinate, repulsive, abominable old man who had lived in us.

Like Mahana saved from bondage to her old man, in the tenderness and care from Jesus we have new life; we have new hope, new purpose. We have a new will to obey His commands and to do His work. We want to please Him in all things and to serve Him. His love for us, believed by us, redeems us from all evil. Our old man could never die without the grace and kindness of the Son of God. Praise Him! Praise Him! Jesus our blessed Redeemer! All this we experience by proxy in the transformed, humble, wondrous Mahana, and in her love and happiness.

“If so be that ye have heard Him, and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts.” (Eph. 4:21,22).

“Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him.” (Col. 3:9,10).

“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” (1Pet. 1:18,19).

“Remember Thy congregation, which Thou hast purchased of old; the rod of Thine inheritance, which Thou hast redeemed; this mount Zion, wherein Thou hast dwelt.” (Ps. 74:2).

“Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which He hath purchased with His own blood.” (Acts 20:28).

“For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (1Cor. 6:20).

Mahana could have rated a dowry of ten cows! And the church of Christ will rate the praise of all heaven. And Jesus will sing over His transformed, humble, and wondrous bride. 

“The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; He will save, He will rejoice over thee with joy; He will rest in His love, He will joy over thee with singing.” (Zeph. 3:17).

Because Jesus made everything happen, all that we see in Johnny Lingo can be transferred to the Son of God in the plan of our salvation. “All things were created by Him, and for Him.” (Col. 1:16). Everything lovely testifies of Jesus. If there be any virtue, if there be anything to praise, it all testifies of Jesus.

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (Phil. 4:8). To everything true and honest, just and pure, lovely and of good report, ask, “What does this extra-biblical person/ event/ experience/ object/ concept in this life tell me about the Prince of heaven? What details does it add to my paltry knowledge of Him?” Think on these things because they all testify of Jesus’ uprightness, His purity and loveliness, His praise-worthy character and good news to us.

The great Physician now is near,
The sympathizing Jesus;
He speaks the drooping heart to cheer,
Oh, hear the voice of Jesus.

Sweetest note in seraph song,
Sweetest name on mortal tongue;
Sweetest carol ever sung,
Jesus, blessed Jesus.

Let the healing image of Jesus in our forehead, derived from Johnny Lingo and from others we have met, lead us like a script that guides the mouths and body movements of actors. Let the grand over-arching question remove all misconceptions and lies about the holy Son of God, and prepare the way for His Latter Rain, “when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; and He shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you” (Acts 3:19,20). Let the question that reveals Jesus guide us to remove all obstacles and idols, when “this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached unto the whole world for a witness to all nations” (Matt. 24:14). Through the big question may we be a “voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” (Isa. 40:3). “Behold the Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet Him.” (Matt. 25:6).

“We are to be earnest in our efforts to clear the King’s highway, to prepare a people for the coming of the Lord. Fervency of spirit must be brought into our service for the Lord. The lamps of the soul must be kept filled and burning.” Christ Triumphant, p. 46. As much as He longs to remake the broken connection with us, before Jesus will come to us we must choose to see and know Him. “This is the will of Him that sent Me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:40).

Saturday, June 17, 2017

The song of the Prince

“…that in the ages to come He might shew the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.” (Eph. 2:7).

The story of Johnny Lingo and Mahana tells of how discerning love looked past a young lady’s tattered appearance, and how it understood that she had never been loved. Johnny had known her from childhood, and he is very familiar with her father’s unending berating her. Johnny knows her heart and mind, and he also knows that he can bring out beauty and goodness from Mahana. Known as a shrewd businessman, Johnny is also a shrewd man of love for Mahana. His wisdom and love of life have always allowed him to see overlooked bargains in the business world. And that same acumen and heart allows him to see the true luster in Mahana. So he makes the deal with her father that allows him to marry her. During that transaction to buy Mahana from him, Johnny has nothing railing to say to her father, but treats him with the dignity that becomes a wise husband-to-be. From a rag-tag, unkempt, and hopeless girl this loving husband turns Mahana into the highest valued princess of her south Pacific island. Johnny did this in two ways: by the price he paid for Mahana, immediately exalting her self-worth; and by his continued kindness to her.

All of this can be seen in the heart of “the Messiah the Prince” (Dan. 9:25).

“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.” (Isa. 9:6,7).

Jesus had set His love upon His human gems. He alone could see the worth of this miserable world of sinners and bring out our deep, hidden luster that was defiled by the filthy earth and crushed by the destroyer. He came as the Lamb of God, to win our love to Him as He would lay down His life at our hands.

“Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34).

He has redeemed us, bought us, from our ugly old man that was under the control of Satan.

“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” (1Pet. 1:18.19).

“And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.” (Rev. 5:9).

“But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: that in the ages to come He might shew the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.” (Eph. 2:4-7).

“And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: to the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: in whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of Him.” (Eph. 3:9-12).

This beautiful and touching salvation of His spouse, the church, is wonderfully illustrated in the simple, short film from 1969, Johnny Lingo. In Johnny we can hear the tender call of Jesus for us to come to Him, and to trust in Him as someone who is completely opposite to their old master, the ugly destroyer. Patiently and kindly, he awaits her response.


Johnny has paid for her and he stands at the door of her old hut, holding out his hand to beckon her. Mahana starts to come out of her hut, but draws back into the dark shadows again. But Johnny’s arm and hand never lower. Understand her fears, he gently commands her to take his hand.

“Mahana…” (She comes out and slowly, cautiously places her hand in her husband’s and he confirms her trembling faith by his strong love for her). Johnny never treats her contrary to that initial expression of love.

“The voice of My beloved that knocketh, saying, Open to Me, My sister, My love, My dove, My undefiled.” (Song of Solomon 5:2)

“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of My righteousness. For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.” (Isa. 41:10,13).

“And I have put My words in thy mouth, and I have covered thee in the shadow of Mine hand, that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion, Thou art My people.” (Isa. 51:16).

Johnny had a wisdom that was driven by self-sacrifice. And that is exactly the wisdom that God promises to give us through the self-sacrificing love of His Son toward us. “Of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” (1Cor. 1:30). Of ourselves we are weak and nothing. All our goodness and beauty is only in response to His everlasting love.

And what is Mahana’s hushed  response to Johnny’s wedding gift of a gilded mirror, after all the constant, self-forgetful attention and healing love of her husband?

“I wish I had a gift for you!”

Is this the response of the church to the constant gifts and incessant loving-kindness from her eternal Husband? And Johnny’s immediate, gracious, sincere, private whisper to Mahana’s longing is the same as Jesus’ to His church’s awakened love for Him, isn’t it?

“Your gift to me can be seen by all who look at you.”

“... even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it; that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” (Eph. 5:25-27).

Then Mahana comes out to see Mr. Harris the trader, and he is utterly shocked at the beauty he had never before seen in her.

“Good morning, Mr. Harris!”

“Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.” (Rev. 19:7,8).


(Mahana looks very different with a happy smile, beautifully brushed hair, and a beautiful red flower in her hair that was no doubt Johnny picked for his beloved, his dove).

Isn’t this what Jesus says to His church, to you and I, “My love, My dove, My undefiled” (Song 5:2)?

Mahana must go for some water. Will you please excuse her?”

(Even in her outward beauty, she works with her willing hands. Mahana gladly takes a container and happily, obediently walks down to the beach to get water. Maybe she will use it to wash clothes.)

“O saltisfy us early with Thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
Make us glad according to the days wherein Thou has afflicted us, and the years wherein we have seen evil
Let Thy work appear unto Thy serants, and Thy glory unto their children.

And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us: and establish Thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hads establish Thou it.” (Ps. 90:14-17).

“I’ve loved her since we were children. She was always beautiful.”

How long has Jesus loved His bride, the church that has suffered under the constant berating of the “the accuser of our brethren” (Rev. 12:10)? Since our very beginning.

“The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” (Jer. 31:3).

“Since thou wast precious in My sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life.” (Isa. 43:4).

“And as for thy nativity, in the day thou wast born thy navel was not cut, neither wast thou washed in water to supple thee; thou wast not salted at all, nor swaddled at all. None eye pitied thee, to do any of these unto thee, to have compassion upon thee; but thou wast cast out in the open field, to the lothing of thy person, in the day that thou wast born. And when I passed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thine own blood, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live; yea, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live.” (Eze. 16:4-16).

Mahana is overcome with the love and kindness of her husband. She is under his control of love; and only love is the type of control that is permissible. Love doesn’t enslave under a whip, but under the voluntary power of self-sacrificing, disinterested love.

“(Mr. Harris) I don’t understand what happened.” “ (Johnny) It was the cows!”

Jesus knew if He had sent an angel to pay for our redemption that we, in our sordid past, could never stand before His Father in full confidence. No, the greatest ransom would be paid for the dearest of all creation.

“How does she feel, the woman who is sold for one or two cows? No. This could not happen to my Mahana.”

Jesus knows how to make us happy. The infinitely superior price that He paid for His redeemed will exalt them among every other creation. The cross will forever raise an anthem among the heavenly hosts as well as from His wife--Adam’s redeemed children throughout the centuries of human woe. His wife will the queen sitting next to Jesus on His Father’s throne.

“And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.” (Rev. 5:12).

“To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne.” (Rev. 3:21).

Jesus is jealous for His redeemed queen. The devil better watch out to never overstep his limitations for testing and purifying the redeemed wife of Christ. “The day of vengeance of our God” (Isa. 61:2) is soon to arrive.

“Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded: they shall be as nothing; and they that strive with thee shall perish. Thou shalt seek them, and shalt not find them, even them that contended with thee: they that war against thee shall be as nothing, and as a thing of nought. For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.” (Isa. 41:11-13).

“More than happy, Mr. Harris. I wanted her to be an eight-cow woman [higher in rank than the highest cow ranked wife in that society].”

“(Mr. Harris) In her father’s hut Mahana believed she was worth nothing.”
“(Johnny) Yes, and now she knows she is worth more than any other woman on the island.”

As Mahana’s self-worth was the making of her husband, Johnny, so our consolation and confidence and consecration has been the crafting of Christ our Lord. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Eph. 2:10).

Christ and His love are revealed in more than the scriptures, but also in the varied experiences of life. He is able to use the circumstances of life in the furthest reaches of the world to devise a revelation of Himself and His everlasting covenant of love. Let us search the exceeding riches of His grace and kindness toward us in the written word and pasted upon the pages of this life. Let us see Him and then conceptualize what the Bible wrote to tell of its Author, Jesus. Then let us receive Him and His exceeding love, as Mahana did Johnny’s pitying tenderness, and let us see the salvation of the Lord.

“And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. These are they which were not defiled with [other] women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.” (Rev. 14:3).

Love of Christ so freely given,

Grace of God beyond degree,

Mercy higher than the heaven,
Deeper than the deepest sea.
All That Thrills My Soul, Hymn 189

“Behold, the Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet Him.” (Matt. 25:6).

Watch this touching and beautiful 23 minute film on Youtube at,

And, as you watch the tenderness of Johnny, remember how tender and touching Jesus wants to be to you. The Song of Solomon was a glorious message to Israel, but “a greater than Solomon is here” (Matt. 25:6) today. He is knocking at our hearts, saying “Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and sup with him, and he with Me.” (Rev. 3:20).

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

An issue with Daniel 8:11 and 11:31

J_____ and M_____, I’ve copy/pasted Daniel 8:10-14 and 23-26 for your convenience to analyze. I want to look at Daniel 8:11 for 1) whether the “sanctuary” was a refuge for pagan Rome or for the Christian’s faith and hope, and 2) whether the “daily” was the continual Gentile persecution (specifically pagan Rome) or the “daily” was as the King James translators called it, the “daily sacrifice”, i.e. referring to the propitiation of Christ at the cross and then in the heavenly sanctuary before His Father. Then, based on “sanctuary” defined as a spiritual refuge for the Christian, and “daily” defined as papal corruption of Christ’s propitiation and of His church, we will go on to give some ideas on the king of the north in Daniel 11.

Daniel 8:10-14 with and without Strong’s numbers.
“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.
Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily [sacrifice] was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down.
And an host was given him against the daily [sacrifice] by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practised, and prospered.
Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto 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?
And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” (Dan. 8:10-14).

“And it waxed great,H1431 even toH5704 the hostH6635 of heaven;H8064 and it cast downH5307 some ofH4480 the hostH6635 and ofH4480 the starsH3556 to the ground,H776 and stamped uponH7429 them.
Yea, he magnifiedH1431 himself even toH5704 the princeH8269 of the host,H6635 and byH4480 him the dailyH8548 [sacrifice] was taken away,H7311 and the placeH4349 of his sanctuaryH4720 was cast down.H7993
And an hostH6635 was givenH5414 him againstH5921 the dailyH8548 [sacrifice] by reason of transgression,H6588 and it cast downH7993 the truthH571 to the ground;H776 and it practised,H6213 and prospered.H6743
Then I heardH8085 oneH259 saintH6918 speaking,H1696 and anotherH259 saintH6918 saidH559 unto that certainH6422 saint which spake,H1696 How longH5704 H4970 shall be the visionH2377 concerning the dailyH8548 [sacrifice], and the transgressionH6588 of desolation,H8074 to giveH5414 both the sanctuaryH6944 and the hostH6635 to be trodden under foot?H4823
And he saidH559 untoH413 me, UntoH5704 two thousandH505 and threeH7969 hundredH3967 days;H6153 H1242 then shall the sanctuaryH6944 be cleansed.H6663” (Dan. 8:10-14).

Daniel 8:23-26 with and without Strong’s numbers.
“And 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.
And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people.
And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.
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.” (Dan. 8:23-26).

“And in the latter timeH319 of their kingdom,H4438 when the transgressorsH6586 are come to the full,H8552 a kingH4428 of fierceH5794 countenance,H6440 and understandingH995 dark sentences,H2420 shall stand up.H5975 
And his powerH3581 shall be mighty,H6105 but notH3808 by his own power:H3581 and he shall destroyH7843 wonderfully,H6381 and shall prosper,H6743 and practise,H6213 and shall destroyH7843 the mightyH6099 and the holyH6918 people.H5971
And throughH5921 his policyH7922 also he shall cause craftH4820 to prosperH6743 in his hand;H3027 and he shall magnifyH1431 himself in his heart,H3824 and by peaceH7962 shall destroyH7843 many:H7227 he shall also stand upH5975 againstH5921 the PrinceH8269 of princes;H8269 but he shall be brokenH7665 withoutH657 hand.H3027
And the visionH4758 of the eveningH6153 and the morningH1242 whichH834 was toldH559 is true:H571 wherefore shut thou upH859 H5640 the vision;H2377 forH3588 it shall be for manyH7227 days.H3117” (Dan. 8:23-26).
[I’m using e-Sword for its concordance and definitions of Hebrew and Greek. e-Sword has been accurate the many years I’ve used it.]

“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.
Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuaryH4720 was cast down.
And an host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practised, and prospered.
Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuaryH6944 and the host to be trodden under foot?
And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuaryH6944 be cleansed.” (Dan. 8:10-14).

In Daniel 8:11 “sanctuary” is Strong’s H4720, while in Daniel 8:13, 14 “sanctuary” is Strong’s H6944.

“H4720 miqdâsh From H6942; a consecrated thing or place, especially a palacesanctuary (whether of Jehovah or of idols) or asylum: - chapel, hallowed part, holy place, sanctuary.
H6944 qôdesh From H6842; a sacred place or thing; rarely abstractly sanctity: -consecrated (thing), dedicated (thing), hallowed (thing), holiness, (X most) holy (X day, portion, thing), saint, sanctuary.” Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries.

I looked at the references for “sanctuary” that use H4720 miqdâsh and H6944 qôdesh and found that “sanctuary” is not the most common translation of miqdâsh and qôdesh. Can we say then that the question from the angel in verse 14 is the focus of the previous vision of the little horn? Therefore, we should let the angel’s question indicate the meaning of the previous context, verses 9-12. As we said the other night, Daniel 8:9 must represent pagan Rome at the start of the little horn symbolism, even though that is not explicit. Nevertheless, verse 9 is not the main focus of this vision. Rather, verses 10-14 are the focus that concerns the little horn’s work to cast down Christ and “the mighty and the holy people” (vs. 24).

What we see is the great controversy played out in the new covenant church, with ancient Israel as the model. The northern kingdom’s hearts had been won over to the destroyer’s appeal to the flesh and then they were marched out of Jehovah’s holy land, much to the distress of the Jews. The Jews would never again see their brethren, the other half of their people. Daniel was still mourning it in Daniel 9:7, 11, and 15. Many other Jews, who also were spiritual, saw a great loss of power for sanctifying the Gentiles. And now the Jews themselves had fallen to the temptations of the destroyer and were in what seemed a perpetual Babylonian captivity, forgotten of God, without the voice of His prophets, and without hope.

Maybe Daniel didn’t understand that a new covenant Gentile church would be the fulfillment and receive the warfare of his chapter 8 vision. Rather, in the vision he only saw his people Israel having a very long, arduous, and dangerous path to tread—without a temple resting place for the Lord to dwell among them. Regardless of Daniel’s fears, the vision’s holy people and daily sacrifice were the church and the new redemption offered to the world through the church. By letting the angel’s question indicate the meaning of verses 9-12, we see that the overriding issue here is the distressing news of a destroyed heavenly temple of the Most High and Christ’s work in it. The major theme concerning the temple in Daniel 8 compares with Revelation 11 and 12.

Since the Daniel 8 vision is about Satan’s subtle war against Lord’s power to save our souls, we should question bringing into the vision secular, worldly events (such as the fall of the Roman Empire and other barbarian military campaigns) which would diminish the true central concern, especially since they will happen during Christ’s new dispensation era, when the focus needs to be the heavenly work of sending the Spirit of His Father for our salvation and for a freedom from Satan that is greater than anyone could have had in the old covenant.

Hebrews chapters 7-9 describe this new, better salvation. And all the denominations claim to have it. But, they don’t really have it because it was trampled by the little horn/king of the north/beast power of the Dark Ages. The apostolic better salvation has yet to be restored to the church of Christ, which won’t fully return until the Latter Rain.

So, it’s clear to me that Daniel 8:11 reveals the papal subjugation of Christianity, which would begin to be cleansed in the church of Christ at the end of the 2300 day prophecy. Is there a problem to interpret Daniel 8:11 that way, to include in the heavenly sanctuary message a cleansing of it due to the ravaging papal/satanic influence? Adventism has said that Daniel 8:14 is about the great controversy Day of Atonement heavenly sanctuary’s cleansing of all sin. We’ve said that its cleansing prepares God’s sealed people to stand through Jacob’s trouble when “the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from His power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.” (Rev. 15:8). And that interpretation is correct. But, Ellen White included a second facet of the sanctuary cleansing:

While the investigative judgment is going forward in heaven, while the sins of penitent believers are being removed from the sanctuary, there is to be a special work of purification, of putting away of sin, among God’s people upon earth. The Great Controversy, p. 425.

The [Millerite] people were not yet ready to meet their Lord. There was still a work of preparation to be accomplished for them. Light was to be given, directing their minds to the temple of God in heaven; and as they should by faith follow their High Priest in His ministration there, new duties would be revealed. Ibid, p. 424.

Based on the above statements, I don’t see a problem connecting the Daniel 8:14 cleansing to both 1) ridding the church on earth of the ravages of the little horn papal falsehoods and usurpation, as well as 2) a heavenly Day of Atonement cleansing the heavenly sanctuary of our sins. I have heard of Adventists who Desmond Ford made to worry about our Adventist founding fathers’ interpretations of Daniel 8:14, the founders using Daniel 8:14 only for the heavenly sanctuary cleansing. Dr. Ford convinced them by his Evangelical/anti-Adventist attempt to force an Antiochus Epiphanes construct into the issues of the Daniel 8 little horn pollutions. Dr. Ford made some Adventists really fear of an interpretation mistake by our Adventist fathers. Many Adventists must have not looked at the context of Daniel 8:14. But, Dr. Ford’s controversy was actually a blessing in disguise.

The fact that there is no controversy or agitation among God’s people, should not be regarded as conclusive evidence that they are holding fast to sound doctrine. There is reason to fear that they may not be clearly discriminating between truth and error. When no new questions are started by investigation of the Scriptures, when no difference of opinion arises which will set men to searching the Bible for themselves, to make sure that they have the truth, there will be many now, as in ancient times, who will hold to tradition, and worship they know not what Counsels to Writers and Editors, p. 39.

The cleansing of sins from the heavenly sanctuary is not the only issue of Daniel 8:14. As we know, by 1844 many idolatrous corruptions and falsehoods, which were brought into Christ’s church by the little horn, were still rooted in the minds of Protestantism. Doctrinal errors were a second result of the little horn casting down the Prince and His sanctuary. It was these errors that caused the apostolic church to apostatize into pagan sacraments and to fall under that subjugation into transgression. Christ ceased to be a Saviour from sin. Satan allowed Christ to be a Saviour in the minds of the church, so long as the church didn’t know Him personally, and His plan and power to vanquish Satan and sin from their hearts. Our first distinctive doctrines cleared some of the falsehoods, and Ellen White’s continuous exhortations also helped clear up God’s expectations of His people. 1888 General Conference revelations cleared up more. And there is more clearing up to come. “This scripture [Revelation 18:1,2,4] points forward to a time when the announcement of the fall of Babylon, as made by the second angel of Revelation 14 (verse 8), is to be repeated, with the additional mention of the corruptions which have been entering the various organizations that constitute Babylon, since that message was first given, in the summer of 1844.” Great Controversy, p. 603. Therefore, the idolatrous imposter, Christ look-alike Azazel has, throughout the time of the end, been slowly growing more distinct from the sacrificed Goat.

What I wrote in the above paragraph is surely not new to you. But, it says that the issues of Daniel 8:10-14 were of a heavenly nature and should not involve the fall of pagan Rome. It says that the usurpation of Christ’s propitiation for us is the central event of Daniel 8 and the real event of Daniel 8:11’s “daily [sacrifice]” and “sanctuary”. Notice, too, that the vision couples the daily and the sanctuary together, as it also couples them in the angel’s question. But, in the angel’s question, the sanctuary is certainly the heavenly. So why then should not the daily also be of a heavenly character? Such a literary structure must leave us calling both prophetic items heavenly and spiritual events. And if they are both heavenly/spiritual in verse 13, then they are both heavenly/spiritual in verse 11.

Also, the symbolic “daily sacrifice…taken away, and the place of his sanctuary…cast down” throw so much light on the machinations of the great deceiver against Christ, His sacrifice, and His gift of the Spirit of God, since the falling away of the apostolic church. Without the insight from Daniel 8:11 and 11:31 our protest against Rome would be founded upon an assumption. But, instead of human rationale we have this vision for guidance. Where else in scripture, except the visions of Daniel, do such details of this major blasphemy show up? Without Daniel 8:11 and 11:31 all we would be left with are the testimonies of the Reformers. But, even though they were eye-witnesses of the little horn’s corruptions, the spiritual authority from the word of God is the only thing that can make effective war against the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet.

In Daniel 8:9-14, as a whole, we see a work of stamping the truth into the ground, as we also saw in Daniel 7:7-13. In that vision, the same little horn in Daniel 7:8 did a work of destruction worse than did the 4th beast as pagan Rome in verse 7. In the little horn’s judgment scene we saw in Daniel 7:11 that its blasphemy was judged; its trampling and wearing out the saints did not come up for judgment then. Daniel 7 prepares the prophecy student for the vision of chapter 8. Satan’s warfare against the angelic saints in heaven (and against the faith of the Lord’s earthly children who sat in heavenly places by faith) constituted the highest insult to God. We also see this in Revelation 11:1,2.

 “And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.” (Rev. 11:1,2). To measure is to judge, to examine. What was judged? The heavenly temple and heavenly saints (angelic and redeemed earthly).

Also, there is no reason to interpret Daniel 8 or 11 as Antiochus Epiphanes. He doesn’t fit without forcing him in like a misplaced puzzle piece. Therefore, to revisit the “daily” for re-interpretation need not be worrisome in the respect of Antiochus Epiphanes. To call the “daily” the papacy may make some people worry about Antiochus Epiphanes, but for Adventists who look closely at scripture and history, there is no danger of getting derailed by the Antiochus error. To me the Antiochus Epiphanes concern is unnecessary and a non-issue.

I am sold on the concept of the “daily” being the papacy. The Church of Rome has always been the focus of Daniel and Revelation. Since the days of the apostles, she has always been the mother of abominations, and the real danger to the Messiah’s salvation. Satan has always used the one true religion in which to hide during the old covenant era; and he has hidden better in the new covenant of better promises than the old covenant promises. The efforts by Uriah Smith to call the king of the north the Turks (or Muslims) received a strong rebuke from the Whites, who told him that we had always seen Rome as the last day enemy of God. Elder Smith was losing his hold on the truth because he didn’t have the constant witness of the Spirit. His heart’s real loyalty was exposed in 1888, and now at the end he could not abide in the truth. Likewise, his placing the fall of pagan Rome into the little horn vision was also a distraction from the real focus, the Church versus Christ’s atonement. Many Adventists revered Uriah Smith, and Sr. White realized the church’s strong attachments to him. Therefore, she followed the biblical counsel to “rebuke not an elder” publicly. She promoted his book, Thoughts on Daniel and Revelation, but remained deathly silent on his perpetuation of William Miller’s 7 trumpets interpretation. She also promoted the Millerite charts yet remained silent on the 2520 aspect of the charts. She didn’t believe in the 2520 misinterpretation of scripture, but she saw that the illustrative use of charts was an excellent idea for rapid spreading of the three angels’ messages. She saw the same in Uriah Smith’s Daniel and Revelation, but that shouldn’t assume that she agreed with everything in it.

Saturday night I said that Daniel 8 and 11 overlay each other using 3 main points to help orient Daniel 11. 1) The Prince (who is also “the Messiah the Prince” from Daniel 9:25); 2) the placing of the abomination of desolation; and, 3) destroying by peace.

In Daniel 8:9-14 point 1 reads: “the prince of the host” (8:11). Point 2 reads, “he magnified himself even to the prince” (8:11). Point 3 reads, “it practised, and prospered” (8:11). Point 3 isn’t readily apparent in this introductory vision, “it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practised, and prospered” (8:12), unless it is understood by Gabriel’s later explanation, as in verse 25: “he shall cause craftH4820 to prosper”.

“H4820 mirmâh From H7411 in the sense of deceivingfraud; -craft, deceit (-ful, -fully), false, feigned, guile, subtilly, treachery.)” Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries.

In Daniel 8:23-25 point 1 reads: “the Prince of princes” (8:25). Point 2 reads, “he shall magnify himself in his heart…he shall also stand up against the Prince” (8:25). Point 3 reads, “he shall destroy wonderfully” (8:24), “by peace [he] shall destroy many” (8:25).

And—as I see it—in Daniel 11:20-45 point 1 reads: “the prince of the covenant” (vs. 22). Point 2 reads, “they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.” (11:31). Point 3 reads, “After the league made with him he shall work deceitfully: for he shall come up, and shall become strong with a small people. He shall enter peaceably even upon the fattest places of the province; and he shall do that which his fathers have not done, nor his fathers’ fathers; he shall scatter among them the prey, and spoil, and riches….” (11:23,24). “And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries.” (11:32).

By overlaying these three common components of the two visions, plus Gabriel’s explanation at the end of Daniel 8, we can understand Daniel 11 better. The “vile” king of the north that appeared after the “raiser of taxes in the glory of the kingdom” is who we need to keep our eye on, beginning in Daniel 11:21. He was not Tiberius in verse 21 as everyone believes, but the little Christian movement with its carnal leadership who would work quietly obtaining the empire by flatteries until they could assume all the pagan human philosophy and pagan lusted for worldliness, and surprise everyone by overthrowing the pagan control of the people and the empire. The blending of the world and Christianity brought learned and ambitious men to the top leadership for all their “wisdom” which God called foolishness. “Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer…that frustrateth the tokens of the liars, and maketh diviners mad; that turneth wise men backward, and maketh their knowledge foolish.” (Isa. 44:24,25). “Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?... Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” (1Cor. 1:20,25). The vile church lusting after the prince of this world was repeating Israel’s vile, abhorrent departure, as the Lord described it.

“Thou hast built thy high place at every head of the way, and hast made thy beauty to be abhorred, and hast opened thy feet to every one that passed by, and multiplied thy whoredoms.
Thou hast also committed fornication with the Egyptians thy neighbours, great of flesh; and hast increased thy whoredoms, to provoke Me to anger.
Behold, therefore I have stretched out My hand over thee, and have diminished thine ordinary food, and delivered thee unto the will of them that hate thee, the daughters of the Philistines, which are ashamed of thy lewd way.
Thou hast played the whore also with the Assyrians, because thou wast unsatiable; yea, thou hast played the harlot with them, and yet couldest not be satisfied.
Thou hast moreover multiplied thy fornication in the land of Canaan unto Chaldea; and yet thou wast not satisfied herewith.
How weak is thine heart, saith the Lord GOD, seeing thou doest all these things, the work of an imperious whorish woman.” (Eze. 16:25-30).

A fourth point to overlay could also be “the host”. That is, the host that joined the papacy. The “host” in Daniel 8 is described in Daniel 11 as “arms”, as in a regular army. But, look at how the “arms” join the papacy, as described in Daniel 8. “…an host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression” (8:12). Doesn’t “was given him” sound like Paul’s words? “Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves…. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature…. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient.” (Rom. 1: 24,26,28). (In this I believe Paul was referring to the Gentile world generally, and to the ten tribes of Israel specifically.)

This may change your mind about what the “daily” was. Daniel 8:12 appears to mean that the “host” or “arms” (military hosts) were actually God’s church when it was apostatizing. It was a repeat of Baalpeor. “Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab. And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods. And Israel joined himself unto Baalpeor: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel.” (Num. 25:1-3).

In Daniel 11, again the Baalpeor apostasy can be seen as the “vile” king of the north “happy” [asherah] Ashtoreth wooed God’s people away from His Law by her antinomian, promiscuous niceties and non-convicting flattery of their conscience. “…he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people.” (Dan. 8:24). It was the great falling away of the apostolic church. The once “chosen generation,…royal priesthood,…holy nation” that had conquered the gates of hell became the backsliding army that defected to persecute for Christian gnosticism and Baal. They had lost their first love and forsook “the holy covenant.” (Dan. 11:30). “And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice.” (Dan. 11:31). Over time, the hosts worshiped a “God” (John 16:2) who wasn’t the only true God, and transformed into “they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations” (Rev. 11:9), “peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues” (Rev. 17:15), “many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings” (Rev. 10:11), “all the world” (Rev. 13:3).

“Sanctuary of strengthH4581” (Dan. 11:31), “from H5810; a fortified place; figuratively a defence: - force, fort (tress), rock, strength (-en), (X most) strong (hold). Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries.

The polluting of this “sanctuary” easily falls into the Daniel 8:11-14 scenario of the heavenly sanctuary, if you agreed with me when I covered that above. It refers to a strong sanctuary because it was foreseen and provided for by God, dedicated by Christ’s sacrifice, and run by Christ and not by man.

“We have such an High Priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; a minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.” (Heb. 8:1,2). “Cursed be the man that trusteth in man… whose heart departeth from the LORD…. Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.” (Jer. 17:5,7).

The heavenly throne is our rock, as God is our Rock.

“The LORD hear thee in the day of trouble; the name of the God of Jacob defend thee;
Send thee help from the sanctuary, and strengthen thee out of Zion.” (Ps. 20:1,2).

“Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in His sanctuary: praise Him in the firmament of His power.” (Ps. 150:1).

“Thou shalt bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of thine inheritance, in the place, O LORD, which thou hast made for Thee to dwell in, in the Sanctuary, O Lord, which Thy hands have established.” (Ex. 15:17).

“O God, Thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for Thee, my flesh longeth for Thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;
To see Thy power and Thy glory, so as I have seen Thee in the sanctuary.
Because Thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise Thee.” (Ps. 63:1).

“And He brought them to the border of His sanctuary, even to this mountain, which His right hand had purchased.” (Ps. 78:54).

 “They have seen Thy goings, O God; even the goings of my God, my King, in the sanctuary.” (Ps. 68:24).

“Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary: who is so great a God as our God?” (Ps. 77:13).

 “For He hath looked down from the height of His sanctuary; from heaven did the LORD behold the earth.” (Ps. 102:19).

“Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the LORD.
The LORD that made heaven and earth bless thee out of Zion.” (Ps. 134:2,3).

 “A glorious high throne from the beginning is the place of our sanctuary.” (Jer. 17:12).

“Let him take hold of My strength, that he may make peace with Me; and he shall make peace with Me.” (Isa. 27:5).

 “Save me from the lion’s mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns.” (Ps. 22:21).

“And Adonijah feared because of Solomon, and arose, and went, and caught hold on the horns of the altar.” (1Ki. 1:50).

In eternity the power of God will be seen from the sanctuary. “The Strength of Israel” will be the temple.

“One reminder alone remains: Our Redeemer will ever bear the marks of His crucifixion. Upon His wounded head, upon His side, His hands and feet, are the only traces of the cruel work that sin has wrought. Says the prophet, beholding Christ in His glory: ‘He had bright beams coming out of His side: and there was the hiding of His power.’ Habakkuk 3:4, margin. That pierced side whence flowed the crimson stream that reconciled man to God—there is the Saviour’s glory, there ‘the hiding of His power.’ ‘Mighty to save,’ through the sacrifice of redemption, He was therefore strong to execute justice upon them that despised God’s mercy. And the tokens of His humiliation are His highest honor; through the eternal ages the wounds of Calvary will show forth His praise and declare His power
“‘O Tower of the flock, the stronghold of the daughter of Zion, unto Thee shall it come, even the first dominion.’” Great Controversy, p. 674.

Is not our High Priest Jesus and His sanctuary the source of His Spirit and His righteousness and His power to save? The throne of God has been the very center of operations for the plan of redemption. It is the one and only sanctuary of strength, and our one and only hope.

“Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath:
That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:
Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, 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 Melchisedec.” (Heb. 6:17-20).

“(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” (2Cor. 10:4,5).

Let’s also be careful how we treat the interpretations of William Miller. Some of his understanding came, or was derived, from earlier Protestant Bible prophecy students. Truth is always unfolding and being developed by human minds. God meant His word to perpetually unfold, for our blessing. But, we are part of that train of prophecy students, and His blessing upon us will enable us to look deeply into the truths hidden in God’s word and understand it for ourselves. This doesn’t mean to blanket sweep away previous interpretations, but it does mean that we should approach the word of God as an unsearchable mine of gems, and that if we do then new truth will continually be revealed to all who will keep studying. NASA’s Hubble Ultra-Deep Field astronomical photograph teaches us the same lesson. For decades a dark spot in the heavens was overlooked by normal telescope photography. But, one day NASA astronomers decided to point the Hubble at that spot for a million seconds, and the longer the lens exposed the darkness, the more truth came out of the darkness. Every source of light in that picture, with exception of the one star that has the X effect at the lower right, are all galaxies. Thousands of galaxies, like a treasure trove of beautiful gems behind and before and next to each other, deeply set in space.

Hubble Ultra-Deep Field

Let’s remember that we are Adventists, not Millerites, and not bound to everything taught in Millerite prophetic interpretation. William Miller created the foundation for Adventism, but not the whole structure. I learned this lesson when I was studying Revelation and got to chapter 8 and its 7 trumpets. I thought I would go find Uriah Smith’s book on that subject. But the Lord told me, “No. Let Revelation speak for itself.” As I continued reading I saw that the first 4 trumpets represented the falling away and cutting off of the apostate Protestant churches, and the fifth trumpet to be a long prophecy representing the sealing and marking of the Adventists and Protestants. The fifth trumpet also sheds much light on the 3rd angel’s message, as the language of the 3rd angel’s message comes from the fifth and sixth trumpets.

In other words, the trumpets are not about pagan military campaigns that have little to do with giving the everlasting gospel and warning us against the mark of the beast. They don’t warn us away from Satan’s strong delusions and spiritualism, his Christian spiritualism through the Mass and the Eucharist, and his Protestant spiritualism through Spiritual Formation (including the Adventist variant).

Historical military events have their place in sacred and secular history, but only as markers to give veracity and reputability to the Lord’s spiritual events in the world. It’s true that big changes always take place from wars and conquests, which the spiritual forces for heaven and hell make use of for their advantages. We do need to know that both spiritual forces use earthly wars to facilitate their rapid movements against each other, and for the ownership of the soul of man. But, after we have noted the verity of scripture through common chronology, “let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of” (Heb. 6:1) secular history. The spiritual event must supersede the secular event. Let us go further investigating the things of God in the great spiritual events.

Because some Adventists cling to only the past events of Adventism, misconceptions are coming into Adventism. For example, some are following the 2520 year prophecy because it was on the Millerite chart and on the earliest Adventist chart also. Another example of clinging to the past is keeping the feast days. But, because Jesus accepted a practice or idea in the past doesn’t mean He calls it present truth today. A constant weighing and putting into practice the truth that we’ve been given will keep us abreast of present truth and open up to more truth as the Lord’s timing unveils it to us by His Spirit.

J_____ and M_____, I hope I was convincing enough on the daily and sanctuary of Daniel 8:11 and 11:31 to help you better see the work of Jesus and of the devil. Take care and maybe we can study this together soon.