Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Sabbath School Insights No. 10, Qtr 3-06

Special Insights No. 10

Third Quarter 2006 Adult Sabbath School Lessons

“The Gospel, 1844, and Judgment”

(Produced by the Editorial Board of the 1888 Message Study Committee)

Rome and Antiochus”


Our lesson takes a different turn this week as it focuses upon the major view that the Christian world takes when studying the prophecies of Daniel. The lesson author deals with the subject in two parts, this week and the next, so we will here look at these general questions: “What difference does this view of Antiochus as the little horn make to the gospel in Daniel?” “Is there a reason why the view of Antiochus is so prevalent and what might we miss if we accept such a belief?”


To answer these questions we need to first review why God sent Israel into Babylon. Usually we assume that God’s purpose for the Captivity was primarily punishment for Israel’s rebellion and stubbornness. However, a closer look at the book of Jeremiah suggests a more redemptive purpose. In chapter 25 Jeremiah tells of God’s displeasure with His people, and that they will be taken by Nebuchadnezzar as slaves.


It is an interesting side note that this whole issue dates back to Israel’s cry for a king, to be like other nations (1 Sam. 8:1-5; cf. 7:3-4). They are still not convinced that God is big enough to lead them by Himself. Now it seems that He is going to let Israel have the best possible opportunity to see the other nations and how they operate. In chapter 29 Jeremiah picks up the same topic of how Israel will go to Babylon, but notice His intent:


“‘When seventy years have been completed for Babylon I will visit you and fulfill My good word to you, to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart’” (Jer. 29:10-13, NASB).


It would seem that God’s intention was to have Israel learn their need of a new heart from their experiences in Babylon. Please read Jeremiah 30-31, especially 31:31-34, and compare God’s instructions to Moses in Deuteronomy 4-11. Note the emphasis upon the connection between serving God from the heart and the danger of Baal worship. It is as if God was putting on another evangelistic series in Babylon as He did in Egypt to wean His people off false gods and build faith in Him and His ways by putting them where they have to closely compare Him with other gods!


When we see God’s explicit intent in sending Israel to Babylon, then the issues that are dealt with in the prophecies of Daniel take on a deeper significance. For example, the suggestion that Antiochus is the little horn because he desecrated the Jewish temple by erecting idols in its precinct and offering strange sacrifices does not address God’s issues with Israel as delineated by Jeremiah. Israel had already desecrated the temple in a way far worse than Babylon or Antiochus could ever do by their heart rebellion and then denying they had done anything wrong (see Jer. 7:4-11). The thought that restoring the physical temple and its services would resolve the problem seems futile unless the real issues are dealt with.


Even before the time of Antiochus (174-165 B.C.), God spoke through Malachi about what His people were doing after returning from Babylon. God saw the condition of the people and what they were doing in the temple that Zerubabbel restored (Eze. 8:1-17). God was so disappointed that He said, “‘Oh that there were one among you who would shut the gates [of the temple] that you might not uselessly kindle fire on My altar! I am not pleased with you,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘nor will I accept an offering from you’” (Mal. 1:10, NASB). Clearly Israel had not grasped their problem, and more specifically God’s New Covenant gift of a new heart and a life of righteousness by faith in Him.


With the coming of 1844, attention was drawn to the heavenly sanctuary. Through the Sabbath issue the world was again brought to face the problem of Israel. The Sabbath focused attention upon the law and its relationship to the gospel in ways most had not understood. The Old Testament had been seen as being only for the Jews, and the New for Christians. Now that was challenged. The need to cleanse the heart of sin needed to be seen in light of the law and the gospel. Unfortunately, too many of our pioneers became debaters over the Sabbath and failed to see the deeper issues of Christ and His righteousness and what this means for the world.


When E. J. Waggoner and A. T. Jones (the 1888 “messengers”) began to speak on the law and the gospel, they brought a new focus. The covenant issue highlighted the need to better understand what God had originally expected of Israel in how they were to obey Him. The other unique views, such as what Christ had done for all men, the closeness of Christ to the sinner, etc., all united in addressing the real issue that God had been dealing with His people from the beginning. The 1888 message was Heaven’s gift to finally overcome the heart of sin that had derailed God’s people for so many years. Is this not what we should have expected “the beginning” of the loud cry and latter rain to do?


So, we return to the two questions we started with. (1) “What difference does this view of Antiochus as the little horn make to the gospel in Daniel?” Simply put, the Antiochus view derails the 2300 day prophecy which reveals God’s timetable to finally resolve the besetting problem of His church. The sanctuary services properly understood show that God’s intent to cleanse the earth of sin includes cleansing the hearts of His people, and they need to understand His ways that will get the job done. Nothing less will do.


(2) “Is there a reason why the view of Antiochus is so prevalent and what might we miss if we accept such a belief?” Again simply put, we face an enemy that is determined to distract us from the source of our estrangement from our Heavenly Father. Anything that blinds us to our real need and its remedy while our Savior is preparing the final work for His coming will ultimately render us unfit for eternity. Jesus is not willing that any should be lost. The work that is before us is most important. May we gather courage and strength from the history of God’s saving work for His people from the beginning, knowing that we are laboring in harmony with Heaven’s purpose in this Day of Atonement.

Robert Van Ornam


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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Sabbath School Insights No. 9, Qtr 3-06

Special Insights No. 9

Third Quarter 2006 Adult Sabbath School Lessons

“The Gospel, 1844, and Judgment”

(Produced by the Editorial Board of the 1888 Message Study Committee)

“Day-Year Principle”

Our Lesson Author/Editor has done a very thoughtful job of explicating the “day-year principle.” There is no need for us to say it all over again. Thank God that the Seventh-day Adventist Church in our third century (1844 until now) has been blessed so that today those who are studying our current Sabbath School lessons are a major denomination around the world.

So far as this writer is aware, we are the only sizable denomination in existence that holds to the principle of understanding the time prophecies of Daniel and Revelation as a “day for a year.” Yet reverent-minded scholars for centuries have recognized the truth of the principle. Their modern descendants have abandoned the truth their forefathers saw!

The significance of the “day-year principle” tells us several things:

(a) The Lord, the God of eternity, the Ancient of Days, has humbled Himself to come within “time” and share it with us.

(b) Time has been set apart for the express purpose of dealing with the problem of sin which has taken root in human hearts.

(c) God intends that the problem of sin in the “great controversy between Christ and Satan” shall be resolved within a foreseen period of time. It is not heaven’s intention that the problem go on like a running sore, throughout centuries more, or for an eternity.

(d) The commencement of the cosmic Day of Atonement is the beginning of that final period of time during which that great controversy shall be finished in victory for “the Lamb.”

(e) Wars and rumors of wars and multitudinous troubles are not to divert the attention of God’s people from the work which the world’s great High Priest has set Himself to accomplish in the hearts of His people.

(f) This special period just “before the great and dreadful day of the Lord” is when Heaven has promised to send us “Elijah the prophet,” who will “turn hearts.” It’s in those hearts that the great High Priest is performing His final work of at-one-ment, or reconciliation with God and also with us as one another.

(g) This work is going forward, even as we write and read.

(h) It may be progressing in “hearts all around us” and we may not be aware of it. This is another way of speaking of the “shaking” experience which is also going on at the same time.

(i) God’s time prophecies in Daniel and Revelation are not pre-ordained designations of when this or that must happen by divine fiat; they represent God’s infinite foreknowledge that humanity needs this length of time to be able to learn the various lessons that become “present truth” in these last days.

(j) Now at last, after 6000 years, the time has come when humanity can grasp what the great High Priest wants to do in preparing a people of all races, languages, cultures, for translation at the coming of Jesus.

(k) In God’s providence He “sent” to His people in 1888 a message which if accepted and appreciated would have accomplished that work in that generation (cf. 1893 General Conference Bulletin, p. 419).

Thus, the time for the great “Day” of Atonement that God designated (1844, at the end of the 2300 year prophecy) is when humanity (that is, people whose hearts are alert to divine revelation) should be ready to appreciate truths associated with the end of time. (They could not have been comprehended in earlier times!) Hence, the raising up of William Miller and the 1844 movement. The great mass of those who at first accepted the “first” and “second angel’s messages” abandoned their faith when the Great Disappointment came; but the Lord at last had a “remnant” ready to endure through it all and emerge to follow the great High Priest by faith as He left the first apartment and began His second apartment ministry (cf. Early Writings, p. 254.

Luther, Calvin, the Wesleys, could not have been ready for this in their day. This is why the great “doctrine of justification by faith” that Luther understood so “clearly” in his day could not have been clear enough for the post-1844 era.

Post-1844, it is the Lord’s intention that the truth of justification by faith prepare a people not only for death, but for translation at the coming of the Savior. Ample time following the end of the 2300 years has been given.

“Elijah” will do for modern Israel what he did for ancient Israel: cut through red tape and confusions that have perplexed the world church, and summon everyone to a great modern “Mt. Carmel” that no one can prevent coming. “Halting between two opinions” in helpless indecision will come to an end (cf. Mal. 4:5, 6; 1 Kings 18). “The powers of heaven will be shaken.” The weak will become strong, transformations in character and personality will be seen everywhere as the full truth of justification by faith penetrates to hearts world-wide (cf. Zech. 12: 8).

The coming of the Messiah within the “70 weeks” prophecy “sealed up the vision” (mareh) of the 2300 days/years. Nothing but determined, sinful unbelief can now deflect the conviction that the truth of the 2300 days/years imparts. The reason is that the apparently cold, mechanical math that cloaks the truths of the New Covenant, the nearness of the Savior, His justifying power, His closing High Priestly ministry, lie within like a sweet kernel in a hard-to-crack nut; he who rejects the “present truth” of justification by faith rejects the last gospel appeal God can send. Let’s receive it gladly!

Robert J. Wieland


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Thursday, August 17, 2006

1888 Message Conference & Seminar Schedule

1888 Message Conference


September 1-3, 2006

Valley Center Seventh-Day Adventist Church

14919 Fruitvale Road, Valley Center, California


Friday, September 1

7:00 p.m. Why We Hunger for Latter Rain Truth, Robert J. Wieland

Sabbath, September 2

9:30 a.m. 1888 Message Mission Report, Robert J. Wieland, Carol Kawamoto

10:00 a.m. Lesson Study: Rome and Antiochus, Fred Bischoff

11:00 a.m. 1888 and the Elijah Message Due Now, Robert J. Wieland

Hospitality luncheon and supper will be provided.

2:00 p.m. Interviews by Robert J. Wieland

2:30 p.m. Overview of the 1888 Message Timeline, Mary Chun

Zooming in on the 1888 Minneapolis Conference, Dan Peters

3:30 p.m. The Everlasting Gospel, Dean Strait

4:30 p.m. Discussion Groups

5:30 p.m. Questions & Answers

6:00 p.m. Vespers with Elder Wieland

6:30 p.m. Supper

7:30 p.m. Facing “The Daily” Crisis, Robert J. Wieland

8:30 p.m. Book Sale

Sunday, September 3

10:00 a.m. “The Marriage of the Lamb” and Our Paradigm Shift, Robert J. Wieland

11:00 a.m. Book Sale

For more information contact Mary Chun: (909) 824-5046

Doug Munson: (858) 486-2377(for directions)


September 15-17 (Friday evening—Sunday noon)

Northstar Camp, Anoka, Brainerd, Minnesota

Speaker: Robert J. Wieland

For Information: (765) 506-0436


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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Sabbath School Insights No. 8, Qtr 3-06

Special Insights No. 8

Third Quarter 2006 Adult Sabbath School Lessons

“The Gospel, 1844, and Judgment”

(Produced by the Editorial Board of the 1888 Message Study Committee)

“1844 Made Simple”

“1844 Made Simple” is the title of Thursday’s lesson. Doing the math makes connecting the time elements of the 490 years (70 weeks) and the 2300 years an easy task. We can do this in either of two ways. One way is to add the 2300 years to the decree of 457 B.C. to find the terminal date of 1844. The second way is to first subtract 490 from 2300 which comes to A.D. 34 with 1810 years remaining. By adding the 1810 years to 34 we arrive at the year 1844. This marvelous time prophecy reveals clearly that God is in control of the timetable of human history.

That which makes “1844 Made Simple” is its connection to the message of Christ, our sin-pardoning Redeemer who cleanses those who believe. This message, in the end-time setting, is the “loud cry of the third angel.” It is the message of the “latter rain.” Rain is sent from heaven for growing and harvesting crops. The time element, 1844, was ordered in eternity to be the time of the harvest and of the “latter rain.” This year, as with the year 31 A.D., is very important in God’s calendar of events for us. Both time elements were given to us through Daniel.

Daniel is one of the most important books of the Bible for us to understand. This book connects the Old and New Testaments. Through Daniel, God revealed the exact year of Christ’s death and final events leading to His return. One of those final events occurred in the year 1844.

Daniel demonstrates God’s complete control and comprehension over time and nations in giving detailed prophecies about the succession of kingdoms and rulers. Daniel foretells the eventual establishment of Messiah’s kingdom, which will overthrow the kingdoms of this world.

This week’s lesson is a continuation of last week’s study about “doing the math” in the seventy weeks’ prophecy of Daniel 9. The editor has done an excellent job in “doing the math,” so we will not duplicate it.

And since the editor did the math concerning these time prophecies, we will concentrate in considering the work of Jesus as our High Priest in the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary, which began in 1844. The 2300 prophetic period is the final “count-down” which from 457 B.C. to the zero year of 1844 was completed.

God prepared the date 1844 in the heavenly councils. When the fullness of that time came our High Priest entered the Holy of Holies to mediate the restoring, justifying, and cleansing work of the heavenly sanctuary in God’s plan for our redemption.

Several parts of the plan of redemption are joined together with the date 1844. These are located in the three angels’ messages of Revelation 14:6-12. Included are the messages of the everlasting gospel, the pre-advent judgment, creation, the declaration of Babylon’s apostasy, the warning against the mark of the beast, obedience to the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. Joined together these make up the whole of the work of Christ and of His people in the time of the end.

These messages prepare the people of earth for the harvest of character that immediately precedes the coming of the Reaper. After the messages are given, the time for reaping begins. This reaping is outlined in Revelation 14:14-20. In the figure of harvesting fully ripened grapes we can read the destiny of everyone of earth. Those with the character of Jesus will be gathered into the heavenly storage; those without His character will be placed in the winepress of judgment.

Rain must fall in order to produce the ripening of the harvest. Both in the type and in the reality this rain was, and is, connected with the Day of Atonement. This ripening rain is therefore connected to1844 in that it falls during the time of the Day of Atonement in conjunction with the work of our High Priest in the cleansing of the sanctuary. In 1859 Ellen White wrote, “Nearly all believed that this message [Laodicean] would end in the loud cry of the third angel” (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, p. 186). 1n 1858 an angel joined as one “the latter rain, the refreshing from the presence of the Lord, [and] the loud cry of the third angel” (Early Writings, p. 271). Most certainly there are differences of emphasis in the three terms, but in essence they are the message and the experience of Christ and His righteousness.

The “loud cry” is the message of the latter rain. This spiritual rain began thirty years after 1844, in 1888, in the message of the righteousness of Christ. Referring to this in 1892, Mrs. White wrote:

“The time of test is just upon us, for the loud cry of the third angel has already begun in the revelation of the righteousness of Christ, the sin-pardoning Redeemer” (Selected Messages, book 1, p. 363).

This message was given in conjunction with the cleansing of the sanctuary. The Hebrew word for “cleansed” in Daniel 8:14 is tsadaq. This word is pregnant with meaning. It can be translated using the following terms: to cleanse, to justify, to restore, to be made righteous in conduct and character, to be made or put right, to declare right, to be justified, to do or to bring justice (in administrating law), to vindicate, to save.

All these terms are associated with the message “of the righteousness of Christ, the sin-pardoning Redeemer,” that in the end-time setting is the “loud cry of the third angel.” Christ is our covering and He is, through the work of the Holy Spirit, formed within us as “the hope of glory.” This is the message of the cleansing of the sanctuary. This is “1844 made simple.” Christ and His righteousness (1888) is the only message that makes sense of the date 1844 and makes it simple to understand.

Gerald L. Finneman


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Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Sabbath School Insights No. 7, Qtr 3-06

Special Insights No. 7

Third Quarter 2006 Adult Sabbath School Lessons

“The Gospel, 1844, and Judgment”

(Produced by the Editorial Board of the 1888 Message Study Committee)

“70 Weeks”

The prophecy that the Lord gave to Daniel in chapter 8 is simple and clear (you can write its four symbols in your margin): (1) the ram with two horns = Medo-Persia (vs. 3, 4). (2) The goat with one great horn = Grecia (vss. 5-8). (3) The little horn which attacked the sanctuary of God = pagan and papal Rome (vss. 9-13). (4) The only symbol left unexplained there was the 2300 “days” [years, prophetic time] (vs. 14). Now in chapter 9 the angel comes back to explain to Daniel what’s missing (vss. 21-23). The 2300 years begin with the decree of 457 B. C. (our Sabbath School quarterly explains all this very clearly).

But we want to look at what happens at the close: the only event in Christian history that corresponds to the end of the 2300 year prophecy in 1844 is the Great Second Advent Movement of 1831-44, climaxing with the Great Disappointment. The great events that took place after 457 B. C. in the revival and rebuilding of Jerusalem and its government are paralleled by great events taking place in the last days:

Point 1 is the restoration of Israel after their Babylonian captivity compared with the prophecy of Revelation 10:7-10 about that great angel who stands with one foot on the earth and one on the sea—a symbol of the worldwide proclamation of the Advent Message from 1831-1844, which brought about the restoration of the sanctuary message. “In the days of the voice of the seventh angel [Rev. 8-11], when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as He hath declared to His servants the prophets. And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and said, Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel. ... And I ... said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey. And I took the little book out of the angel’s hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey; and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter” (10:7-10). A perfect description of the Great Disappointment—its joyous anticipation and its pain.

Point 2 is God’s call to the Jews in Babylon after their captivity to come back to rebuild Jerusalem and the Temple. The parallel is God’s call in Revelation to His people in the last days, “Come out of her, My people” (18:1-4).

Point 3 is the certainty of God’s message going to all the world to prepare a people for the second coming of Jesus. “The street [was certainly] built again and the wall, even in troublous times” (Dan. 9:25); the parallel is the certainty of that “loud cry” message lighting the earth with glory just before the return of Jesus. Will God’s gospel be restored and preached in its purity? Yes! Do not be discouraged by the troubles in the world and in the church. The gospel will be purified. We may not know how God will accomplish this, but it will happen, just as surely as the temple and Jerusalem were rebuilt anciently.

Point 4 is this: all pride must be removed and laid in the dust; there will be a people aroused with self crucified. Will there be resistance? Christ was resisted, can we expect less?

Christ’s ministry began with His baptism in 27 A. D., an act which involved His experience of corporate repentance for the sins of all mankind. As Daniel corporately repented for the sins of his people in chapter 9, God’s people will corporately repent of their own sins and of the sins of their forefathers and of the world (they will follow the example of Christ at His baptism). They will realize that they have no righteousness of their own; the sins of others would be their sins except for the grace of a Savior who has delivered them from them. In the last days, the church will appear to fall, but it will be purified. Then the gospel will spread like wildfire around the world (see Matt. 24:14).

Sadly, just like the Jewish nation rejected their Messiah, many in the world will finally reject the pure, true gospel. But many also will accept. Take courage as you seek to share the 1888 message of righteousness by faith. “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love” (1 Cor. 16:13, 14, NIV).

Lloyd Thomas


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Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Sabbath School Insights Special Edition

Sabbath School Insights Special Edition

Regarding Our Third Quarter Lessons

These Lessons on “The Gospel, 1844, and Judgment” are arousing much interest far and wide. They have been occasioned by a virtual crisis in the Seventh-day Adventist Church over the fundamental doctrine of “the Sanctuary” as it has been held from our pioneer days in the 1844 movement.

There have been influential leaders and pastors who have expressed doubt about the church’s teachings of the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary after the 2300 years that ended with 1844. Opposition and ridicule from non-Adventist church leaders have encouraged this confusion. Our young people in general are not well grounded in these teachings that made us to be a people. In an effort to strengthen the faith of the world church, these lessons have been especially prepared. But a key truth seems to have been omitted.

There are solid Seventh-day Adventists, loyal to the church, worldwide, who are beginning to recognize truth in “the pioneer view” of “the daily” of Daniel 8:11-13, 11:31, and 12:11. Most Seventh-day Adventists do not even know that there is an alternate view to what our Quarterly presents in Lesson 11, which is the so-called “new view” of “the daily.” Yet Ellen White supported the pioneer view all her life, beginning with her clear-cut statement in Early Writings, pp. 74, 75 (1850):

“Then I saw in relation to the ‘daily’ (Dan. 8:12) that the word ‘sacrifice’ was supplied by man’s wisdom, and does not belong to the text, and that the Lord gave the correct view of it to those who gave the judgment hour cry. When union existed, before 1844, nearly all were united on the correct view of the ‘daily’; but in the confusion since 1844, other views have been embraced, and darkness and confusion have followed. Time has not been a test since 1844, and it will never again be a test.”

This statement has been much controverted; yet the White Estate have discovered a manuscript of hers from as late as 1910 expressing her severe disapproval of Elders A. G. Daniells and W. W. Prescott promoting the “new view” among our ministers (the same view that our Lesson advocates). She never in her long lifetime uttered a word derogatory to the pioneer view. Our pioneers who had survived to the early 1900s when the “new view” was first agitated deplored it; not one believed it.

In a nutshell the two views can be contrasted:

(a) The “pioneer view” sees “the daily” (ha tamid, Heb.) as paganism (a) being “lifted up,” “exalted,” or absorbed and incorporated into Roman Catholic teachings explaining how the Roman Catholic Church became paganism baptized (Dan. 8:11, 12, rum, Heb.), and (b) paganism politically removed to make room for exalting the papacy, (11:31, sur, Heb.).

The pioneer view also sees that the 1290 days and 1335 days of 12:11, 12 specify a time line that locks in the “correct view” of the daily. The two time periods stretch from the removal of paganism as a political power (Clovis’s conversion to Romanism in 408 A.D., 1290 years extending to 1798, the end of the 1260 years), and the 1335 years as extending to 1843, a time of special blessing to anyone whose lot in life is cast after that date.

(b) The “new view” sees “the daily” as the ministry of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary actually “taken away” from the minds of the people by the papacy.

The “new view” proponents have no explanation for these time periods, according to the original edition of our Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 4, p. 881.

Many have been distressed that our Sabbath School Bible Study Guide for this third quarter makes no mention of this alternative view. There are numerous other anomalies and blind spots in the “new view” explication of the “daily.”

In his “Glacier View Manuscript” Dr. Desmond Ford acknowledges that a number of our prominent and capable theologians have abandoned the Sanctuary doctrine and left the church in a move initiated by their acceptance of this “new view” of “the daily” (pp. 79, 129, 295, 596; two of these were this writer’s Religion professors in Southern Junior College and the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary).

This writer is convinced that an issue as pivotal as this deserves very careful study and understanding in our Sabbath School Bible Study Guide.

Until such time as we are privileged to see an official exposition of the view that Ellen White and our pioneers believed, you may read it in:

Daniel and the Revelation by Uriah Smith, comments on Daniel 8 and 12.

The Story of Daniel the Prophet, by S. N. Haskell, the same.

Brief explanations can be found in this author’s The Gospel in Daniel and Have We Followed Cunningly Devised Fables. For those who wish to dig into the Hebrew linguistics, John Peters has an excellent study entitled, The Mystery of “The Daily,” all available from the 1888 Message Study Committee, 8784 Valley View Drive, Berrien Springs, MI 49103 (269-473-1888), or from this author at 2065 Combie Rd., Meadow Vista, CA 95722 (RJW1888@aol.com).

Robert J. Wieland


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