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kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom.” (Verse 44.) What kings? Why, the kings or kingdoms represented in the vision, the entire vision; in the days of the kings or kingdoms represented by the head, the breast, the belly, the legs, and the feet. But here a conundrum arises, for how could the kingdom of God be set up in the latter times and yet be set up, say, in the days of Babylon or Persia, they having apparently passed away. Or if set up in the days of Babylon or Persia how could it be set up in the days of the ten toe kingdoms?
It is evident, therefore, that whenever the kingdom of God is set up, it must be at a time when all the kingdoms presented in the vision are represented at one and the same time. And the context surely implies this contemporary existence, for it states that the little stone "shall consume and break in pieces all these kingdoms." (Verse 44.) Not the ten toe kingdoms merely, but "all these kingdoms," the entire image, from head to feet. They will all be destroyed, and it is the kingdom of God that will accomplish it: “Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold broken to pieces together." (Verse 35.)
Some suppose that this destruction was accomplished as each kingdom, passing into history, was succeeded by another. The gold, or Babylonian, for instance, being destroyed by the silver, or Persian, in B. C. 539; and the Persian in turn being destroyed by the Grecian, the brass, B. C. 334; and the Grecian being destroyed by the Roman, the iron, B. C. 197; and the iron by the ten toes, A. D. 570.
But this will not do, for the prophet tells us that it is the little stone that is to do the smiting. Then again, they are to be all “broken to pieces together" at one and the same time. Consequently it must be that these kingdoms shall simultaneously exist, not only when the smiting takes place, but when the kingdom of heaven is "set up."
The little stone does not appear until the whole image stands before the prophet. The image did not pass before him a piece at a time, but all stood together, implying an existence of all the kingdoms represented by the image in some contemporary individual manner.
Now it was not in the days of the universal rule of the Roman kingdom that the little stone was brought forth. Its time had not come. The ten toes were not developed. Moreover, the kingdoms represented by the gold, the silver, and the brass did not then exist; whatever existence they formerly had was swallowed up in Rome's far-reaching, ruinous rule. Consequently, had the little stone been established then, there would have been only the legs of iron in existence, and not the entire image.
The vision, therefore, points us to some period when the Babylonian, the Persian, the Grecian, the Roman, and the ten kingdoms exist at one and the same time, thus completing the image, when the kingdom of heaven will be set up.
The stone smites the image on the feet; the toes of which signify the ten kingdoms into which Rome was divided. These must, therefore, be in existence at the period of attack; whereas they existed not until after the
days of Constantine. The whole four monarchies, symbolized by the gold, silver, brass, iron, etc., must in some way or other be upon the stage together, each in an independent form, both when the smiting takes place and when the God of heaven sets up his kingdom.—The Literalist, vol. 2, p. 32.
Undoubtedly this was to be accomplished in the latter days, even as stated by Daniel, “But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days.” (Verse 28.) And the year of grace that effected all this was A. D. 1830; for in that very year the one remaining kingdom necessary to complete the image, Greece, “The belly and thighs of brass," was officially recognized by the London Protocol of the Great Powers and declared by it "a free and independent kingdom, February, 1830.” (Heilprin's Historical Reference Book, p. 138.)
These words prove to us that when the kingdom of Christ shall first be established upon earth, there shall be found a representative of each of the four empires existing, each in its proper place. And it is remarkable that we are now, at this moment, getting into the very position which the prophecy demands before it can be fulfilled. We have had for many ages three of these four empires represented upon earth,—Persia representing the second; Turkey (as the possessor of Chaldea) representing the first; and Rome, under the sovereignty of the pope, representing the fourth. But there was not, for many ages, a representative of the third, or Grecian empire. In the year 1453 the Greek empire was subdued by the Turkish armies, and thus the first and third empires were united into one. But the nature of the prophecy requires four empires, and not three, before the time of the end; and so it has actually occurred, for about the year 1830, the Greek empire reappeared again upon the scene, and was established by the great powers of Europe, as a separate and distinct government under Otho, of Bavaria . that nothing now remains but the establishment of the fifth empirethe eternal kingdom of God, not in heaven, but upon the earth.—The Last Vials, pp. 5, 6, May, 1847.
The events which have flowed from this source, (the Greek insurrection) are the dismemberment of the Ottoman Empire, or a new and marked progress of the drying up of the mystic Euphrates under the sixth vial; and also the appearance upon the prophetic theater, at one and the same moment of time, of the whole four empires of Daniel, or the complete image of Nebuchadnezzar's dream, viz, Babylon, now identified with Turkey, Persia, Greece, and Rome.—The Apocalypse, p. 353, William Cunninghame, 1832.
In the raising up of Greece to a distinct kingdom in our day, we may now see in Turkey, Persia, Greece, and the ten European kingdoms, all these empires in existence.—Practical Guide to Prophecies, 9th edition, p. 184, Rev. Edward Bickersteth, 1852.
So that we can say within these few months, 1829, what never could have been said before, that the whole image, in its fourfold state, is at this time in distinct existence.—Literalist, vol. 1, p. 26, 1840.
It will be observed that there is a slight difference in the dates submitted by the authorities just quoted. One has it 1829 and the other 1830. Doubtless because one dated from the time that "Turkey acknowledges the independence of Greece, 1829,” to whose dominion Greece formerly belonged; while the other dated from “the official recognition of the London Protocol of Great Powers, February, 1830,” referred to respectively in Cyclopedia of Classified Dates, p. 1036, and Heilprin's Historical Reference Book, p. 138.
The ten toe kingdoms of course had been in existence ever since the division of the Roman Empire. The number sometimes varied, either more or less, but in 1830 there were exactly ten, no more and
no less. Cunninghame, in his third edition, published in 1832, enumerates them as follows: “Austria, Bavaria, England, France, Naples, Netherlands, Portugal, Sardinia, Spain, Wirtemberg." Dissertation on the Seals and Trumpets, p. 202. This list is indorsed by Elliott, Horæ Apocalypticæ, vol. 3, p. 142.
Eighteen hundred and thirty, then, is the date marking the completion of the image. In that year the head, the arms and breast, the belly and thighs, the legs, the feet and toes, were perfectly joined together. But 1830 marks more than this. It marks the appearance of the little stone, the setting up of the kingdom of God.
No wonder, then, that the students of prophecy were exceptionally wrought upon eighty years ago when beholding all these events, one of them in 1832 jubilantly exclaiming: "One would be almost ready to think that the angel of the everlasting gospel was flying through the heaven.”—Rev. Abel Pearson, in his Dissertation on the Prophecies, page 372, published in 1832.
THE 2300 DAYS.
1. In the third year of the reign of King Belshazzar a vision appeared unto me, even unto me Daniel, after that which appeared unto me at the first.
2. And I saw in a vision; and it came to pass, when I saw, that I was at Shushan in the palace, which is in the province of Elam; and I saw in a vision, and I was by the river of Ulai.
3. Then I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and, behold, there stood before the river a ram which had two horns: and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher came up last. 4. I saw the ram pushing westward, and northward, and southward; so that no beasts might stand before him, neither was there any that could deliver out of his hand; but he did according to his will, and became great.
5. And as was considering, behold, an he goat came from the west, on the face of the whole earth, and touched not the ground: and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes. 6. And he came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing before the river, and ran unto him in the fury of his power. 7. And I saw him come close unto the ram, and he was moved with choler against him, and smote the ram, and brake his two horns: and there was no power in the ram to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground, and stamped upon him: and there was none that could deliver the ram out of his hand.
8. Therefore the he goat waxed very great: and, when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and for it came up four notable ones, toward the four winds of heaven.
9. And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land. 10. 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. 11. 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. 12. 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.
13. 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? 14. And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.
15. And it came to pass, when I, even I Daniel, had seen the vision, and sought for the meaning, then, behold, there stood before me as the ap arance
of a man. 16. And I heard a man's voice between the banks of Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision.
17. So he came near where I stood; and when he came, I was afraid, and fell upon my face: but he said unto me, Understand, O son of man: for at the time of the end shall be the vision. 18. Now as he was speaking with me, I was in a deep sleep on my face toward the ground: but he touched me, and set me upright. 19. And he said, Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for at the time appointed the end shall be.
20. The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia. 21. And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king. 22. Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power.
23. And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the trangressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up. 24. 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. 25. 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. —Daniel 8: 1-25.
It is manifestly clear that the vision before us relates to the apostasy and restoration as under consideration all along.
It speaks of the little horn as magnifying himself "even to the prince of the host," that is, presuming to be as great as the Son of the Great King, Christ the Prince, or as elsewhere stated "sitting in the temple of God showing himself that he is God.” (2 Thessalonians 2: 4.) It prophesies of the downfall of the sanctuary and the treading under foot both of it and the host of heaven, the people of God. And as if to make it plainer still it states: “It cast down the truth to the ground and it practiced and prospered ... and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people.” (Verses 12, 24.)
To what other event than the overthrow of the church could this refer? In the Bishops' Bible, 1577, the accepted version of its time, a marginal comment on Daniel 8: 12 reads: “This horne shall abolish for a tyme the true doctrine.and so corrupt God's service,' and in Breeches Bible, a later and accepted version, 1609, we ob serve the same marginal comment with the addition of a further note, "That is which suppresseth God's religion and his people.'
This suppression of God's religion and people is alluded to in the preceding chapter in a similar strain: “And he shall speak great words against the Most High and shall wear out the saints of the Most High and think to change times and laws, and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time." (Verse 25.) And in either chapter there is a prophetic period revealed, the terminus of which will effect a welcomed change. In the one it is the time, times and dividing of a time, or 1260 days, signifying, as we have learned, so many years. In the other it is "2300 days” which, to preserve consistency and harmony of interpretation, represents years also.
And what is the stated event to transpire at the end of this long period? "And he said unto me unto 2300 days, then shall the sanctuary be cleansed." Not the cleansing of the sanctuary of the Jewish church, for that would signify a revival of that ancient service long since nailed to the cross; rather does it signify a revival of the sanctuary of the church of Christ, for long years polluted in apostasy. Its emergence from the "wilderness of sin" is correctly understood as a cleansing of the sanctuary.
The term sanctuary rightfully applies to the church, for therein are the offerings of God's people presented on the altar of the ordinances and sacraments, duly administered by Christ's servants. Webster says a sanctuary is "a place where divine service is performed, hence sanctuary is used for church.” In this case it is "the sanctuary” that is to be cleansed, hence nothing else than the one and only church of Christ is signified. As stated by Faber, “This sanctuary is the spiritual sanctuary of the Christian church," or as remarked by Priest "the sanctuary is the church of God." (Dissertation on the Prophecies, vol. 1, p. 190. View of the Expected Christian Millennial, p. 236.)
It appears, therefore, that upon the expiration of 2300 years the cleansing of the sanctuary or revival of the true and unadulterated service of worship will commence. It will occur at some point in the latter days, for "at the time of the end shall be the vision." (Verse 17.)
Now it must be that there is a commencing point to these years somewhere, else why were they mentioned. Two possible commencing points suggest themselves: the one is the year of seeing the vision, B. C. 553, and the other is the first scene in the vision itself. We can readily determine which is the correct one.
From B. C. 553, 2300 years, solar, bring us to A. D. 1747; or if we reckon in prophetic years it will bring us to A. D. 1714. Now, did anything happen in those years suggesting “a cleansing of the