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The Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers, vol. 4

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    I. High Lights on the Prophecies of Daniel


    Ellen White expounds the symbolic image of Daniel 2 as the inspired portrayal of the course of empire from Nebuchadnezzar’s day on “to the close of time,” with the “establishment of God’s everlasting kingdom” as the climax of the grand outline. 6E. G. White, Prophets and Kings, 503. She declares that the respective periods of dominance, in the successive rise and fall of empires, have been governed by the law of “obedience or disobedience,” each nation having its “period of trial as to whether it will exalt the one Ruler, the only true God.” And she adds, “The centuries have their mission. Every moment has its work.” 7E. G. White, “Lessons From the Life of Daniel-XIII,” The Youth’s Instructor, September 29, 1903, pp. 6, 7. As all citations in this section are from Mrs. White, the source only will be named in the remaining documentation of this chapter.PFF4 1140.1

    “Each actor in history stands in his lot and place,” she writes. They have “prepared themselves to fill positions for good or evil,” though none are forced to take any given course of action. They nevertheless “act their part in the fulfillment of history.” They will “fall into line as witnesses to confirm truth that they themselves do not comprehend.” 8“Caiaphas,” The Review and Herald, June 12, 1900. p. 369. Such is the deeper meaning of history. These four world powers, Mrs. White declares, “have come upon the stage of action” to “demonstrate that God is ruling in the affairs of this world.” Thus the “voice of God, heard in past ages, is sounding down along the line, from century to century.” 9“Lessons From the Life of Daniel-XIII,” The Youth’s Instructor, September 29, 1903, pp. 6, 7. And Mrs. White indicates our place in that line: “Our position in the image of Nebuchadnezzar is represented by the toes, in a divided state, and of a crumbling material, that will not hold together.” 10Testimonies for the Church 1:361.PFF4 1140.2


    While the decline from the strength of iron to the weakness of iron mingled with potter’s clay, in the feet arid toes of the image, represents the “deterioration of the earthly kingdoms in power and glory,” she states that it also “fitly represents the deterioration of religion.” 11“Lessons From the Life of Daniel-XII,” The Youth’s Instructor, September 22, 1903, p. 6. This degeneration came through the disintegration of the purer faith of the early Christian church, as it had been under the “iron” Roman Empire. And Mrs. White adds the significant point that the feet and toes, or the divided kingdoms that followed, include the Papacy. 12“Loyalty or Disloyalty,” The Review and Herald, February 6, 1900, p. 81. Perhaps the most striking statement of all is this:PFF4 1140.3

    The mingling of church craft and state craft is represented by the iron and the clay. This union is weakening all the power of the churches. This investing of the church with the power of the state will bring evil results.” 13E. G. White, Ms. 63, 1899. So it was that the strength of the early evangelical faith was vitiated through intermingling with the great papal departures.PFF4 1141.1


    The symbolic stone that smites the image on the feet clearly represents Christ’s kingdom, soon to “succeed all earthly kingdoms,” thenceforth to stand forever.” 14The Desire of Ages, 34. Thus “we are waiting for our Lord from Heaven to come to earth to put down all authority and power, and set up His everlasting kingdom.” 15Testimonies for the Church 1:360, 361.PFF4 1141.2

    4. “LITTLE HORN” OF Daniel 7 IS PAPACY

    In Daniel 7 the paralleling outline, though employing different symbols, covers the same fateful centuries. The blowing winds, whipping up the sea, are a “symbol of strife,” Mrs. White explains. “The four winds of heaven striving upon the great sea, represent the terrible scenes of conquest and revolution by which kingdoms have attained to power.” 16The Great Controversy, 439, 440, (1911). And the same four world powers, and the same division of the Roman fourth, are followed by the emergence of the predominant Little Horn, which is expressly identified as “the Papacy,” 17The Great Controversy, 439, 446. elsewhere called the “Man of Sin.” 18The Great Controversy, 446.PFF4 1141.3

    5. LITTLE HORN’S 1260 YEARS FROM 538 TO 1798

    The three and one-half “times,” predicted for the special dominance of the Little Horn, are identical with the 42 “months,” or 1260 year-days given elsewhere, “during which the papal power was to oppress God’s people.” These Ellen White places as extending from A.D. 538, when the pre-eminence of the Papacy was recognized, on to 1798, when “the pope was made captive by the French army.” 19The Great Controversy, 54, 439. And she adds that the scene portraying the Son of man coming to the Ancient of days (of Daniel 7:13, 14), was not a description of the second advent, but rather of Christ coming to the Ancient of days to receive dominion, glory, and a kingdom, which He would obtain “at the close of His work as Mediator” after the 2300 years had ended. 20The Great Controversy, 480.PFF4 1141.4

    6. 2300 YEARS FROM 457 B.C. TO A.D. 1844

    Mrs. White confirms the established interpretation of the 2300 years, with its integrated 70 weeks of years, based on the principle that “a day in prophecy stands for a year. The seventy weeks, or 490 days, represents 490 years.” 21Prophets and Kings, 698. And the sanctuary of Daniel 8:11-14 “unquestionably points to the sanctuary in heaven,” 22The Great Controversy, 417. “or “the New Jerusalem temple of which Christ is Mediator.” 23E. G. White, Ms. 63, April 22, 1899. The beginning of the 2300 years she places “in the autumn of B.C. 457,” when the decree of Artaxerxes Longimanus to restore and build Jerusalem “went into effect.” 24The Great Controversy, 410; Early Writings, 243. And she is likewise explicit on the “close of the 2300 days, in 1844,” identifying it as the “time appointed for the judgment,” 25The Great Controversy, 486. when “the work of investigation and blotting out of sins” began.PFF4 1142.1

    7. 70 WEEKS FROM 457 B.C. TO A.D. 34

    As to the 70 weeks of years, beginning in the “autumn of B.C. 457,” with the cross in the “midst” of the seventieth week, Mrs. White makes these explicit statements:PFF4 1142.2

    “From this time [457 B.C.] four hundred and eighty-three years extended to the autumn of A.D. 27. According to prophecy, this period was to reach to the Messiah, the Anointed One. In A.D. 27, Jesus at His baptism received the anointing of the Holy Spirit, and soon afterward began His ministry....PFF4 1142.3

    ” ‘In the midst of the week He shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease.’ In the spring of A.D. 31, Christ, the true Sacrifice, was offered on Calvary....PFF4 1143.1

    “The one week-seven years-ended in A.D. 34.” 26Prophets and Kings, 699.PFF4 1143.2


    On Daniel 11 and 12, Ellen White has little to say, except that “the prophecies of the eleventh of Daniel have almost reached their final fulfillment.” 27“The Day of the Lord Is Near, and Hasteth Greatly,” The Review and Herald, November 24, 1904, p. 16.PFF4 1143.3


    On the sealing and unsealing of the book of Daniel, in commenting on Daniel 12:4 (“But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased”), her observation is explicit, though restrictive. “The book that was sealed is not the Revelation, but that portion of the prophecy of Daniel relating to the last days,” 28The Acts of the Apostles, 585 (italics supplied). The major portion was understood as it was fulfilled down through the centuries, as Christ admonished in Matthew 24:15.PFF4 1143.4


    The “time of the end,” of Daniel 12:4, was commonly believed to have begun in 1798, as the 1260 years terminated. Mrs. White notes the unsealing of the “book” (of Daniel), and the running to and fro, as pertaining to the increased knowledge of the prophecies, since 1798: “But since 1798 the book of Daniel has been unsealed, knowledge of the prophecies has increased, and many have proclaimed the solemn message of the judgment near.” 29The Great Controversy, 356 (see also p. 360, and E. G. White, Letter 12, 1907). Such an increase of knowledge, she adds, will prepare a people “to stand in the latter days.” 30E. G. White, Ms. 32, 1896. Ms. 176, 1899, contains the expression, “Knowledge of Christ and the prophecies relating to Him will be greatly increased as they near the close of this earth’s history.” Her teachings were in clear accord with standard Adventist exposition.PFF4 1143.5

    This much for Daniel’s major prophecies. The unsealing of the book of Daniel was accomplished by the judgment-hour and related messages of Revelation 14, in relation to time. 31E. G. White, Ms. 59, 1900.PFF4 1143.6

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