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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