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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