Special Insights No. 11
Third Quarter 2006
“The Gospel, 1844, and Judgment”
(Produced by the Editorial Board of the 1888 Message Study Committee)
“The Sanctuary and the Little Horn”
“THE DAILY” and the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists
Though an understanding of the daily is not essential to salvation, yet it has occupied an honored place in our code of doctrine from the beginning of the movement. While it should not be made a matter of controversy, its historic place in prophetic interpretation in our one surviving and chief book of doctrine, “Daniel and the Revelation,” should not be disturbed without due cause.
No teaching depicts so well the centuries of imperious rule by a power that passes through two phases of desolation in its relation to Christianity—one pagan and one papal. The one type of desolation is called continual, the other abominable—abominable because of the more distinctly moral element involved that is called transgression. The first phase of desolation wrought havoc upon Christianity through a system that fostered outright worship of false gods, the second through the base and blasphemous assumption of the place of the true God. Paganism was not destroyed but its preeminence was “taken away” by being blended or baptized into a new system called the papacy, professing to worship the true God but in fact arrogating to itself the prerogatives of God. In its new and far more subtle and deceptive form it remains a continual desolator of true Christianity until it is consumed and destroyed unto the end.
Should this doctrine be retained in the new book [revised by Smith]? We believe it should ... because it is a rational interpretation of the prophecy and can be as staunchly defended as it has been from the beginning (pages 29, 30).
The angel used language entirely familiar to Daniel in describing the pagan service which was to be supplanted by “the abomination of desolation.” The terms “daily” and “continual” were currently used in describing pagan worship, hence Daniel was not in doubt as to their meaning [quotes follow from “the Cylinder of Cyrus which was written in Daniel’s day”] (pages 63, 64).
The suggestion that in a footnote or in the appendix it be stated that some apply the “daily” of Daniel 8:13 to the papal priesthood, would bring confusion to the reader. ... This would weaken the appeal of the entire book, and confuse many readers. ... We must take into account the statements made by Mrs. E. G. White. ... Again and again she has classed this book with leading books which have come from her pen, emphasizing their value and the circulation they should be given. Two references are particularly striking:
“The interest in ‘Daniel and Revelation’ is to continue as long as probationary time shall last. God used the author of this book as a channel through which to communicate light to direct minds to the truth.”—MS. 174, 1899.
“Everything that can be done should be done to circulate ‘Thoughts on Daniel and the Revelation.’ I know of no other book that can take the place of this one. It is God’s helping hand.”—MS. 76, 1901 (pages 104, 105).
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