Notice: This is only a section of a study called “Why you need to do your own research.” Please read the introduction first. Mr. Jakes was added to our list because he mentioned us by name.
Adult Sabbath School Lesson
by Edwin M. Cotto
We came across Dr. Ford’s critique concerning the 3rd quarter 2006 Sabbath School Lesson and decided to take a fair look into his article. While reading through the article, we found ourselves agreeing with some of it, but disagreeing with most of it. Some would say that that would be expected, but we have no problem admitting when a critic makes points that are true, and we do not hesitate to acknowledge them and accept them. To be fair, we invite all to read Dr. Ford’s complete article first (click here) and then read our critique, because we will only be focusing on those major and doctrinal points within his paper. The reason being is because those biblical arguments, representing the majority of the article, are brought forth with the intent to prove that our doctrines are unbiblical, of which we believe otherwise. Therefore, to prevent people from thinking we have something to hide, we provide the entire article for all to read.
We begin by posting his argument first, in italic, and following will be our critique of that argument:
The Hebrew word for “days”
In Daniel 8:14
“… But what about Daniel 8:14? Well, the Hebrew word for days, though often used by Daniel, is not here to be found. The Hebrew expression rendered ‘evening mornings’ is not identical with the similar words of Genesis 1 (see modem translations), and Daniel 8:26 with its inclusion of the article before each Hebrew term proves that what is intended is the daily evening and morning sacrifice. (‘Evening’ and ‘morning’ refer to points of time, not the dark and light parts of the day. Take the concordance and see.)”
We grabbed our Strong’s concordance/definitions, as Dr. Ford suggested, and this is what we found…
The Hebrew words translated “days” in Daniel 8:14 are ‛ereb and bôqer. The word ‛ereb means “dusk” and is often translated “night, even, evening, evening tide and days.” The second word, bôqer, means “dawn, break of day, morning” and is often translated, “morning, marrow, early and day.” So generally the words ‛ereb and bôqer mean evening and morning. This is awfully similar to what we find in Genesis 1. Take a look:
And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening (‛ereb) and the morning (bôqer) were the first day.
And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening (‛ereb) and the morning (bôqer) were the second day.
And the evening (‛ereb) and the morning (bôqer) were the third day.
Notice that the combination of the evening and morning, or the ‛ereb and the bôqer, make up the “yom” which is the Hebrew word translated as “day.” Where then does Dr. Ford say that the two words in Daniel 8:14 are not the same words in Genesis 1? They are the exact same words, and since both words put together make up a “day,” the same words, found in Daniel 8:14, also make up a “day.” Why were these Hebrew words used in Daniel 8:14 and not simply the Hebrew word “yom?” Perhaps these were used to place emphasis on the importance of this prophecy in showing how that at the end of this time period, something major in God’s plans was to be accomplished, much like at the end of their use in Genesis 1 something major in God’s plan was accomplished… the creation.
Now Dr. Ford makes the following comment…
“… and Daniel 8:26 with its inclusion of the article before each Hebrew term proves that what is intended is the daily evening and morning sacrifice.”
The article “the” is not in the Hebrew, but we can see how it was placed there in the English language. However we do not agree that this proves that the intention in Daniel 8:26 is the evening and morning sacrifice, simply because the daily sacrifice was not rendered “evening and morning” as found in this verse but rather “morning and evening.” The following verse will show the true order in which the daily sacrifices were to take place:
(3) And thou shalt say unto them, This is the offering made by fire which ye shall offer unto the LORD; two lambs of the first year without spot day by day, for a continual burnt offering.
(4) The one lamb shalt thou offer in the morning (boqer), and the other lamb shalt thou offer at even (ereb)
A similar passage is found in Exodus when Moses was instructing Aaron and his sons on how to perform daily sacrifices:
(38) Now this is that which thou shalt offer upon the altar; two lambs of the first year day by day continually.
(39) The one lamb thou shalt offer in the morning (boqer); and the other lamb thou shalt offer at even (ereb).
Perhaps the translators knew this, which is probably why, when they included the word “sacrifices” in the texts in Daniel, they did it in italic, showing that it was not in the original text.
It is also note-worthy to see that the Hebrew word translated “sacrifice” in Numbers 28:3-6 in describing the “morning/evening” sacrifice is “’ishshâh,” and this word is nowhere to be found in all of Daniel chapter 8. In fact, the Hebrew word translated “sacrifices” in Daniel 9:27, which some say this is also speaking about the “daily” sacrifice, is again not the same Hebrew word used to describe the daily sacrifice in Numbers 28. Then, the Hebrew words zedach and olah, which are translated “burnt offerings” in the book of Numbers (see Numbers 28:3, 6) and elsewhere are also missing from all of the book of Daniel! Dr. Ford insists that sanctuary words be found in Daniel 8 in order for us to connect it with the Day of Atonement, but he cant explain why words connected to the daily sacrifice are missing!
Now examine the above verses in Numbers 28 carefully. Note the difference between the order in which the two words “boqer” and “ereb” appear in the Hebrew of Daniel 8:14, 28 and the order in which they were to be observed according to Numbers 28:3-4 and Exodus 29:38-39. In Numbers, God said that the daily (day by day) sacrifices were to take place beginning first with the morning (the boqer) sacrifice and then ending with the evening (the ereb) sacrifice. If the “days” in Daniel 8:14, 28 were the same as the daily sacrifices, the order of the Hebrew words would have rather been “boqer/ereb.” The sequance is different! Add to this that, as mentioned already, the Hebrew words translated “sacrifice” and “burnt offerings” in Numbers 28 and elsewhere are no where to be found in all of Daniel, especially Daniel 8, showing that the intention is not the daily morning/evening sacrifices as our critic contends.
The Hebrew word for “cleansed”
in Daniel 8:14
“Not only is ‘days’ missing from Daniel 8:14, but ‘cleansed’ is missing also—see most modem translations.”
It is certainly true that the Hebrew word translated “cleansed” for the Day of Atonement in Leviticus 16 is not the same word used here. However, researchers have found that the word “tsadeq” which is used in Daniel 8:14 is related in a very special way to the context of what the Day of Atonement is all about. Notice its use elsewhere in the scriptures:
–Used in the Context of Judgement, Vindication of the Righteous and the Punishment of the Wicked:
(8) The LORD shall judge the people: judge me, O LORD, according to my righteousness (tsadeq), and according to mine integrity that is in me.
(9) Oh let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end; but establish the just (tsadeq): for the righteous God trieth the hearts and reins.
(4) For thou hast maintained my right and my cause; thou satest in the throne judging right (tsadeq).
(5) Thou hast rebuked the heathen, thou hast destroyed the wicked, thou hast put out their name for ever and ever.
(6) O thou enemy, destructions are come to a perpetual end: and thou hast destroyed cities; their memorial is perished with them.
(7) But the LORD shall endure for ever: he hath prepared his throne for judgment.
(8) And he shall judge the world in righteousness (tsadeq), he shall minister judgment to the people in uprightness.
Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified (tsadeq) when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.
-Used in the Context of Salvation:
(2) The LORD hath made known his salvation: his righteousness (tsadeq) hath he openly shewed in the sight of the heathen.
(123) Mine eyes fail for thy salvation, and for the word of thy righteousness (tsedeq).
(11) He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify (tsadeq) many; for he shall bear their iniquities.
(22) Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.
(23) I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.
(24) Surely, shall one say, in the LORD have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed.
(25) In the LORD shall all the seed of Israel be justified (tsadeq), and shall glory.
-Used in the Context of Purification and cleansing:
(17) Shall mortal man be more just (tsadeq) than God? shall a man be more pure (taher) than his maker?
(9) The righteous (tsadeq) also shall hold on his way, and he that hath clean (taher) hands shall be stronger and stronger.
Note: The word “pure” in Job 4:17 and the word “clean” in Job 17:9 are translated from the Hebrew word “taher” which is the same word used to describe the cleansing at the Day of Atonement (Lev. 16:30). With these two verses we see that both taher and tsadeq are interchangable!
(20) The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness (tsadeq); according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me.
(9) The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous (tsadaq) altogether.
(14) What is man, that he should be clean? and he which is born of a woman, that he should be righteous (tsadeq)?
See also Eccl. 9:2 and Job 17:9.
Notice that the Hebrew word “tsadeq” and its derivations are associated with such concepts as Judgement, Vindication, Righteousness, Salvation, Purification and Cleansing. All these concepts are exactly what the Day of Atonement is all about. Notice the following quote:
“From the Hebrew sadaq, “to be just,” “to be righteous.” The verb occurs in the form here found (niphal) only this once in the O.T., which may suggest that a specialized meaning of the term is indicated. Lexicographers and translators suggest various meanings, such as “be put right,” or “be put in a rightful condition,” “be righted, “be declared right,” “be justified,” “be vindicated.” … Thus the Hebrew sadaq may convey the additional thought that God’s character will be fully vindicated as the climax to “the hour of his judgement” (Rev. 14:7), which began in 1844.” -The Seventh-Day Adventist Commentary vol. 4, pp. 844, 845, (orig. ed. 1955).
Therefore although “taher” is not found in Daniel 8:14, both taher and tsadeq can be used interchangably, and the word “tsadeq” conveys an even deeper meaning to what the Day of Atonement was all about. Both taher and tsadeq are also found many times in the same context! (see also Malachi 3:3)
Take note also that while translating the Hebrew bible into the Greek language, 70 Jewish scholars chose to translate the Hebrew word “tsadeq” in Daniel 8:14 into the Greek word “katharizō.” This same greek word (which is Strong’s #2511) is used to describe the “cleansing” of the sanctuary on the Day of Atonement in Leviticus 16:30. Notice:
(14) And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed (katharizō). –King James Version, LXX.
(30) For on that day shall the priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse (katharizō) you, that ye may be clean (katharizō) from all your sins before the LORD. –King James Version, LXX.
The greek “katharizō” is also used to describe the cleansing of the Heavenly Sanctuary in Hebrews 9:23. Here the King James Version translates this greek word as “purified.” Notice:
(23) It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified (katharizō) with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.
You can look this up in the Septuagint online by clicking HERE. A free download is also available at that website.
I think its a better idea to study this in it’s original text, then by merely looking at modern translations.
The defilement of the Sanctuary
“Observe also that the defilement of the Sanctuary is not being caused by the sins of the saints, but by the nasty little horn—the Antichrist. (The SDA Bible Dictionary in its article on ‘the little horn’ says this quite clearly.)”
This argument is correct to an extent. Yes the context does speak of the little horn as the one causing all the trouble, and if we consider only what chapter 7 says then it would certiantly make sense to say that it’s only his sins that are brought forth in the judgment. But our critic fails to see the broader application of these chapters, and how connected they are. If you see the chart we created a little below this article (in the The Coming of Christ in Daniel 7 section), you will notice that the judgement of Daniel 7 parallels the cleansing of the Sanctuary of Daniel 8. If therefore the judgement of Daniel 7 and the cleansing of the sanctuary of Daniel 8 parallel each other, then both include the sins of both the “nasty little horn” and the sins of the people, for it was the sins of the people that were removed on the Day of Atonement when the sanctuary was cleansed (see Leviticus 16).
Also, as is also seen in the chart, this event (judgement/cleansing) is the very last thing to take place just before the coming of Christ and the establishing of his kingdom, because it takes place after Rome (the fourth beast) and after the 10 divisions of Rome (the 10 horns). That the fourth beast is Rome is agreed upon by most biblical scholars, both Jewish and Christian, and is made crystal clear by its parallel in Daniel 2, the fourth part of the image. Both have iron, and both “brake in pieces and subdues.”
If then this judgment takes place at the end of time, or in other words, in the last days, note carefully that the bible teaches that in the last days both the righteous and the wicked will go through the judgment:
2 Corinthians 5:10
(10) For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
(17) I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work
(14) For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.
1 Peter 4:17
(17) For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
It is a Hebrew concept that both the righteous and the wicked appear before judgement:
(1) If there be a controversy between men, and they come unto judgment, that the judges may judge them; then they shall justify the righteous, and condemn the wicked.
1 Kings 8:32
(32) Then hear thou in heaven, and do, and judge thy servants, condemning the wicked, to bring his way upon his head; and justifying the righteous, to give him according to his righteousness.
As you can see, with God both parties are to be present in judgement, which results in the condemning of the wicked and the justifying of the righteous. That the righteous are justified is seen in the very context of Daniel 7, for after the coming of the Ancient of Days, “judgement was given to (or towards, in favour of) the saints of the most high (see verse 22).
In fact, in the next argument it will be shown through Matthew 22 that both those who claim to be righteous and those who are actually wicked will appear in an “investigative judgement” near the close of this earth’s history, after which Christ will destroy all the wicked and his kingdom be established, just as is shown in the judgment scene of Daniel 7 and 8 (see chart below).
Evidence in the New Testament
“Furthermore, if we placed a New Testament in the hands of the Lesson author and asked for evidence of an attenuated Investigative Judgment, to what would he turn?”
To Matthew chapter 22 (among other places). There are 5 points in this chapter we want our readers to notice:
Point 1: Once the wedding was furnished with guests, the king comes in to “see” those present. While seeing, he finds a man unprepared for the wedding (verse 11). With all the people that were present the king found one unprepared individual there. The king’s “seeing” and finding this certain individual must have therefore been an investigation he performed upon those who were there.
Point 2: This is not a scene of heaven, but of earth, because both “good and bad” are present. This means that when the king “investigates” those present, he is investigating those upon the earth.
Point 3: The king can be none other then God himself. If God, then he has to be in heaven, looking (investigating) down upon the earth, for God on earth would result in the destruction of the earth by reason of his glory. Therefore God, from heaven, is investigating both the good and bad people on earth.
Point 4: After the king performs the “investigation” of the people at this wedding, he finds a man unprepared and as a result pronounces a “judgment” upon him (verse 13). This is therefore an “Investigative Judgment” because along with the investigation there was a Judgment.
Point 5: This scene of the “Investigative Judgment” takes place before the Second Coming. Notice what Jesus says in Luke 12:
(36) And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately.
(37) Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.
Notice in verse 36 how it specifically says that Jesus will come “from” the wedding. If therefore the wedding and the marriage were the same event, how is it that he comes “from” the wedding to pick up his children? The marriage, says John the Revelator, is the Second Coming:
(7) Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.
If the above verse were read in context, you will find two very important points:
A) Just before verse 7, all those in heaven proclaim, “True and righteous are his Judgments…” (verse 2) God has performed a Judgment in heaven upon the wicked on earth before Jesus’ Second Coming. The greek word translated “Judgments” here is “krisis” which can be subjectively (for) or objectively (against). In other words, God just finished performing either subjective or objective Judgments upon people before the coming. This is why we read of both “good and bad” in the Investigative Judgment (the wedding) of Matthew 22. An objective Judgment was pronounced upon that “great whore” –verse 3.
B) Right after this verse, a scene of the Second coming of Jesus Christ is seen:
Revelation 19:11- 21
“And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God… And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”
The fact that verse 7 says that the marriage “of the Lamb is come” and that his wife has “made herself ready” shows how both Christ and his bride (the true church) will be “united” with him at his Second Coming. The “marriage” is the “unity” of Christ with his bride the church… as a marriage is the unity of a man with his wife.
See our study: The Investigative Judgement in Matthew 22
“Despite the laborious research of scholars over the last century and a half, SDA’s appear to have learned nothing from them about the interpretation of Daniel. We have retained the basic prophetic positions of William Miller. Let me illustrate: The Lesson assumes the sequence of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome and the second coming of Christ, thereby omitting the most important event of all the ages—the First Advent and the Cross. Matthew 21:42-44, however, applies the stone of Psalm 118:22 and Daniel 2:34-45 to the first advent of Christ. Even our SDA Bible Commentary says, ‘These words strongly reflect the thought of Daniel 2:44-45…’ (Vol. 5:476).”
While the stone in Daniel 2 certiantly represents Christ, it does not necessarily have to represent the same “event” relating to Christ mission in chapters 7, 8 or 9. Note what Daniel says in regards to what this stone will actually do:
(44) And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.
Note carefully that this stone, or kingdom, will “consume all these kingdoms.” The Chaldee word “suph” is a verb which literally means “to come to an end.” Christ’s first Advent did not cause any of these kingdoms to “come to the end.” In fact, Rome continued in power even after Christ ascended back to heaven! We believe it makes more sense to believe that this stone represents the coming of Christ as lord of his kingdom at his second coming, where…
“… he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.” -1 Corinthians 15:23-25.
Note the Greek verb translated “he shall have put down.” According to Strong’s and Thayer’s Greek definitions, this greek verb means “to be render entirely idle, useless, inactivate.” This definition strongly parallel’s the meaning of the word “suph” in Daniel 2:44, for a kingdom which has literally “come to an end” is indeed “entirely idle, useless, inactivate.”
Furthermore, the Stone of Daniel 2 comes in after the ruling of those four nations (Babylon, Media/Persia, Greece and Rome). Soon after the fourth kingdom ceases its domination of the then-known world, Daniel then says that Rome will become partly strong, and partly weak, represented by the strong iron of Rome extended downward from the legs, and the soft clay (Daniel 2:33, 42). This means that the coming of the Stone (Christ) must take place at a time when Rome is no longer the world kingdom, but rather a kingdom that is both strong and weak. Christ’s first advent, however, took place at a time when Rome was at its strongest ruling power. The following list will demonstrate:
Babylon (verse 38)
Media/Persia (verse 39)
Greece (verse 39)
strong Rome (verse 40)
strong/weak Rome (verses 41-42)
Stone (verses 34, 44-45)
The fact that Christ’s first advent took place during the time when Rome ruled the world suggests that the Stone of Daniel 2 is not speaking about his first advent, but of his second.
The power received by Christ
“To properly exegete Daniel, one must remember that it is not the practice of the Old Testament to separate the two advents. The kingdom of God is seen as a unit ushered in by the death of the Messiah and consummated at his return. Thus the parallel passage in Daniel 7:13-14 is cited by Christ in Matthew 28:18 as applying to him, because of the victory of the Cross.”
We went back and took a second look at these passages. Notice what its actually says:
(13) I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.
(14) And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.
Now the Matthew passage:
And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost
Notice in Daniel 7:13 that Jesus came, not to the earth at his second coming, but, “…to the Ancient of days” and “near before him.” That is where he received, “dominion, and glory, and a kingdom.” However, while speaking in Matthew 28:18, Jesus on earth when he received his “power” because he is speaking to his disciples, telling them to go to all nations, teaching and baptizing them, “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” How then can Dr. Ford really say that these two passages parallel each other when both take place in two seperate different locations?
Furthermore, we agree that Jesus received glory after his resurrection, but he did not yet receive a “kingdom” according to 1 Corinthians 15:24, which makes it clear he receives his kingdom at his second coming, where he shall “put down all rule and all authority and all power.” Now 1 Corinthians 15:24 says that Christ delivers up the kingdom to God, but it should always be remembered that everything that is God’s, is Christ’s as well (John 3:35, 5:26-27, 13:3, 17:10-11).
The power given to Christ in Matthew 28:18 is not the same given in Daniel 7:13, for, while it might be glorious, it does not include a “kingdom” or a “dominion” as Daniel 7:13 includes, and is not the same kind of power being spoken of, as will now be shown below.
The passage in Matthew 28:18, when compared to Luke’s and Mark’s account, shows that the power given to Christ is rather the gift of the Holy Spirit, which would be later manifested through the disciples at Pentecost. Let us compare those accounts now (notice the underlined parts):
“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (Matthew 28:18-20)
“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.” (Mark 16:15-20)
“And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things. And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high. And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them.” (Luke 24:46-50)
“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.” (Act 1:8-9)
Take note that when all accounts are understood together, we learn that the power spoken of by Christ is that of the power of the Holy Spirit which, says Christ, “I send…” –Luke 24:49. Please look carefully… Matthew 28:18 says that Christ receives “power” and in Luke 24:49 it is Christ himself who sends his power, being the gift of the Holy Spirit, to his disciples, so that following their preaching they can perform signs and wonders, including casting out demons, healing the sick and speaking in tongues (Mark 16:17) all of which took place in Acts 2 and beyond.
The coming of Christ in Daniel 7
“Had our Quarterly acknowledged these truths about inaugurated and consummated eschatology, as taught by scholars for decades, the way would have been paved to correctly exegete Daniel 8:14. In that verse the Sanctuary is a symbol of the kingdom of God, and thus the verse parallels both the stone of Daniel 2 and the coming of the Son of Man in chapter 7, as well as the bringing in of the ‘everlasting righteousness’ of Daniel 9:24.”
The following chart will illustrate how Daniel 8:14 does not parallel the stone of Daniel 2:44:
Actually, the “coming of the son of man” takes place within the context of the judgment (see verse 10, 11, 12 and then 13). And the judgement parallels the “cleansing of the sancuary.” The stone, instead, parallels the destruction of the kingdoms.
This coming in Daniel 7:13-14 is not his Second Coming to this earth, for it reads…
I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.
Jesus the “Son of man” came to the Father (the Ancient of Days) and was brought “near before him.” The father, of course, is in heaven. This is not the Second Coming of Christ, where he puts down “all rule and all authority and power.” Hence it can not parallel the destroying stone of Daniel 2:44.
The context of Daniel 9 is on the ministry of Messiah and how he will be “cut off.” It is not on events regarding world empires, as is the case in Daniel 2, 7 and 8. Christ, the Messiah, is that “righteousness” of Daniel 9:24 (see 1 Corinthians 1:30), and he was crucified during the Roman empire, not after or before it. Therefore the “bringing in of everlasting righteousness” of Daniel 9:24 takes place within the time of Pagan Rome; it can not be added to the above chart, and if there is a parallel, it will parallel Pagan Rome, not the Stone of Daniel 2.
The Hebrew words “chazon” and “morah”
“Finally, on page 74 of the Adult Teachers Guide, much space is given to the supposedly great distinction between chazon and mareh— words translated as ‘vision.’ This is enough to make any Hebraist, not paid by the denomination, weep. The words are used interchangeably, as anyone who knows English can find out by using a Strong’s Concordance. Chazon refers to the ecstatic experience of prophetic vision, and mareh to its contents. The latter comes from a root meaning ‘to see.’ Mareh is found several times in the later chapters of Daniel and it is not limited to the detail overheard, concerning the 2300 evening-mornings. O that the brethren might play fair!”
Okay, but it should be remembered that this is not the only method Adventists use to show that there is a connection between Daniel’s 8 and 9. Enough proof that these are connected can be seen by simply reading these visions in our own language.
Note that as Gabriel begins interpreting the vision in Daniel 8, he begins interpreting it in the order in which Daniel saw it… the ram, the goat, the little horn, and the 2300 days. Gabriel makes it through his interpretation all the way up to the 2300 day prophecy, but suddenly, as he spoke only a few words about it…
(27) And I Daniel fainted, and was sick certian days…
Daniel fainted. Why would Gabriel continue explaining the vision to someone who is unconscious? Gabriel had to stop explaining the vision once before, and had to wake him up in order for him to continue:
(16) And I heard a man’s voice between the banks of Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision.
(17) So he came near where I stood: and when he came, I was afraid, and fell upon my face: but he said unto me, Understand, O son of man: for at the time of the end shall be the vision.
(18) Now as he was speaking with me, I was in a deep sleep on my face toward the ground: but he touched me, and set me upright.
(19) And he said, Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for at the time appointed the end shall be.
As Gabriel began to explain the vision saying, “Understand, O son of man, for at the time of the end shall be the vision…” Daniel suddenly falls into a “deep sleep,” causing Gabriel to have to wake up in order for Gabriel to continue his explanation. This same thing happened to Daniel just after Gabriel began explaining the part about the 2300 days. Why Gabriel didn’t wake him up the second time is debatable, but its reasonable to believe that Daniel wouldn’t of been alive to fully experience the 2300 day part of this prophecy anyway, so that part of his explanation could have therefore waiting until a later date.
When Gabriel began explaining the 2300 day prophecy, the only thing he said about it was that it was “true,” and that it should be shut up because it wont be for “many days” (verse 26), but the rest of the 2300 day prophecy was left unexplained because Daniel suddenly fainted again. However, this time Daniel got worst… not only fainting, but also getting severely sick (see verse 27). Hence the reason for not explaining the rest of the vision was not because Gabriel did not fulfill his command, but because Daniel was just too weak to continue listening:
“As the terrible persecution to befall the church was unfolded to the prophet’s vision, physical strength gave way. He could endure no more, and the angel left him for the time. Daniel ‘fainted, and was sick certain days.’ ‘And I was astonished at the vision,’ he says, ‘but none understood it.’
Yet God had bidden his messenger, ‘Make this man to understand the vision.’ That commission must be fulfilled. In obedience to it, the angel, some time afterward, returned to Daniel, saying, ‘I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding;’ ‘therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision.’ [Daniel. 9:22, 23, 25-27.] There was only one point in the vision of chapter eight which had been left unexplained, namely, that relating to time,–the period of the 2300 days; therefore, the angel, in resuming his explanation, dwells exclusively upon the subject of time.” –Great Controversy, page 325.
There is further evidence of a connection between chapters 8 and 9. As seen in the above quote, Gabriel ended his explanation in chapter 8 with regards to time (the 2300 day prophecy) yet resumes his explanation in chapter 9 again with time. Also in chapter 8, the 2300 day prophecy was not a vision, but something he “heard.” Likewise in chapter 9 Gabriel begins explaining his vision, not of something seen, as in the ram, goat, beasts, etc, but of an audition, something he again “hears.”
The bridge is clearly seen by a plain reading of these texts in English. Adventists use of moreh and chazon is simply a deeper way of explaining this connection. However, because some newer versions of some concordances, including Strong’s, have played with these words in the original (for some odd reason, we don’t know), and in some cases changed the word into chazon when it was originally moreh (see this video for details), we don’t always resort to this explanation only, and its understandable by Dr. Ford would reason the way he did above.
The claims of Dr. Ford are repeated by critics today, especially by critic Dale Ratzlaff in his book “Cultic Doctrine of the Seventh Day Adventist Church.” Although Dr. Ford was met with hard responses which could not be refuted, and documented in the churches own written defense of seven volumes called “The Daniel and Revelation Committee Series,” our opponents today continue to ignore these responses and regurgitate the same own charges over and over again.
We recommend for those truly seeking for truth in this matter, to purchase these volumes (take a look here) or to read Clifford Goldstein’s “1844 Made Simple” or “Graffiti in the Holy of Holies.”
For further study, see:
–The ABC’s of Dr. Desmond Ford’s Theology (off site)
–The phrase “within the vail” in Hebrews 6:19
–The decree of Ezra 7
–Who is the little horn of Daniel 8?
–Desmond Ford- So many questions, and still seeking answers (off site)
Take a look at how other, not-so-popular critics have been caught plagiarizing: