(5-24-17) – Daniel 11: The End From The Beginning part 1
THE END FROM THE BEGINNING
One of the most plainly taught principles of Bible truth is that God declares the end from the beginning: “Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:” Isaiah 46:10. Not only is it a manner by which the Lord chooses to work, but it also describes His very character. In the giving of the Revelation to John the beloved Christ gives His people a clear representation of this truth by not only stating the fact, but by revealing this part of His character in the first and last chapter of Revelation: “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.” “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.” Revelation 1:8; 22:13.
The principle of declaring the end from the beginning is not a new truth to Adventism or the Present Truth movement, but is plainly taught in the writings of the Spirit of Prophecy and of the pioneers of the faith. Christ Himself revealed the solemn events of the New Testament by directing the mind to those of the Old Testament. The Jewish Economy in all of its types and symbols, its shadows and forewarnings, is one of the greatest evidences of the work and live of Christ. The Spirit of Prophecy, inspired and imbued with the Holy Spirit clearly teaches this fact:
“Christ as manifested to the patriarchs, as symbolized in the sacrificial service, as portrayed in the law, and as revealed by the prophets, is the riches of the Old Testament. Christ in His life, His death, and His resurrection, Christ as He is manifested by the Holy Spirit, is the treasure of the New Testament. Our Saviour, the outshining of the Father’s glory, is both the Old and the New.
“Of Christ’s life and death and intercession, which prophets had foretold, the apostles were to go forth as witnesses. Christ in His humiliation, in His purity and holiness, in His matchless love, was to be their theme. And in order to preach the gospel in its fullness, they must present the Saviour not only as revealed in His life and teachings, but as foretold by the prophets of the Old Testament and as symbolized by the sacrificial service.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 126, 127.
The life and acts of Christ written in the New Testament are not just predicted in the Old Testament, but are an expansion and an expounding of that “old” truth. A life and character hidden in the origin of a truth is revealed in its cessation. As the Lord brings to pass His “old” truths, he infuses with it a new life not before seen. For in seeing the unfolding of God’s word His people become viewers of the outworking Divinity. Can God’s people commune with His unfolding light and not be changed by it? Can they experience the purity and matchless love of God and not be changed? “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” 1 John 1:5-7.
“It is a law both of the intellectual and the spiritual nature that by beholding we become changed. The mind gradually adapts itself to the subjects upon which it is allowed to dwell. It becomes assimilated to that which it is accustomed to love and reverence. Man will never rise higher than his standard of purity or goodness or truth. If self is his loftiest ideal, he will never attain to anything more exalted. Rather, he will constantly sink lower and lower. The grace of God alone has power to exalt man. Left to himself, his course must inevitably be downward.” The Great Controversy, 555.
“Christ in His teaching presented old truths of which He Himself was the originator, truths which He had spoken through patriarchs and prophets; but He now shed upon them a new light. How different appeared their meaning! A flood of light and spirituality was brought in by His explanation. And He promised that the Holy Spirit should enlighten the disciples, that the word of God should be ever unfolding to them. They would be able to present its truths in new beauty.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 127.
Another principle equally as important is the idea of progressive revelation. God’s people are called to follow Christ “whithersoever he goeth”. Christ does not require His people to physically follow him here and there for he “is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:” Hebrews 9:24. Christ requires His servants to follow him by faith through His word as he journeys from chapter to chapter, and verse to verse expounding and bringing light to every place of Holy Writ His feet descend upon. The moment men assume they have reached the end of knowledge is the moment they become fools. “Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.” 1 Corinthians 3:18.
God, in revealing His truth, only gives that which is required for the present edification of His people. It would not be for the benefit of His people to reveal to them more than they could comprehend. He reveals to them His truth step by step and day by day. The prayer of Christ, in part, is a request of God to feed His people daily with the words of life. “Give us this day our daily bread.” “But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” “And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” Matthew 4:4; 6:11; John 6:35.
“Ever since the first promise of redemption was spoken in Eden, the life, the character, and the mediatorial work of Christ have been the study of human minds. Yet every mind through whom the Holy Spirit has worked has presented these themes in a light that is fresh and new. The truths of redemption are capable of constant development and expansion. Though old, they are ever new, constantly revealing to the seeker for truth a greater glory and a mightier power.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 127.
The most effective way to view where God is leading His people, is to see where he has hitherto led them. To begin, the history of the Millerite Movement must first be considered. William Miller a father and farmer was led to searched the scriptures hoping to find the answers to life’s fundamental questions. While finding the answers to these questions, he was led to discover clear evidence of the soon-return of Christ:
“With intense interest he studied the books of Daniel and the Revelation, employing the same principles of interpretation as in the other scriptures, and found, to his great joy, that the prophetic symbols could be understood. Angels of Heaven were guiding his mind, and opening to his understanding prophecies which had ever been dark to God’s people. Link after link of the chain of truth rewarded his efforts; step by step he traced down the great lines of prophecy, until he reached the solemn conclusion that in a few years the Son of God would come the second time, in power and glory, and that the events connected with that coming and the close of human probation would take place about the year 1843.” The Spirit of Prophecy, volume 4, 205.
Miller saw the soon coming of Christ as depicted in the Books of Daniel and Revelation. He understood that the 2300 Day prophecy of Daniel 8 and the seven times of Leviticus 26 both seemed to terminated about the year 1843. God illuminated Miller’s mind that he could comprehend then give the judgment hour message as described in Revelation 14: “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” Revelation 14:6-7. Miller faithfully gave the message that the hour of God’s judgment was rapidly drawing nigh.
While Miller’s understanding of these prophecies was comprehensive it was not complete. God had a message for Miller to give, but that truth had not reached its maturity when Miller first proclaimed the judgment hour message. The message underwent much growth from the early moments of the 1800’s to its final and decisive form under the midnight cry. One of the most prominent points of growth was under the care of Samuel Snow. The disappointment of the Millerite movement at the end the Jewish year 1843 was seen by its opponents to be a confirmation of its erroneousness. God’s people were led to search their Bibles to find the truth of the matter, for their knowledge was by the very facts, incomplete. What can be said of the movement at this critical point? Was it wrong? Were they misled? Applying the principle of ‘showing the end from the beginning’ and ‘progressive revelation’ the student of prophecy is led to one inescapable conclusion regarding the message given, it was not time for these faithful pioneers to know. The misunderstanding was not for lack of sincerity or devotion, but was for the edifying of God’s people. God chose to hold His hand over a mistake that His people may be necessarily tested. God led His people step by step from the lonely days of Miller to the flourishing movement of 1843, just as He led the Jewish exiles from the captivity of Egypt to the conquering of the promised land.
The message given by Samuel Snow was the final message to be given to the Millerites before the door closed and their destinies would be fixed on that fateful day, October 22, 1844. The midnight cry represents a message just before the door closes that will prepare God’s people to meet Him. Another way to view this is, a message that will ripen the fruit just before the harvest. Samuel Snow gave the same message of William Miller, but with more detail and specificity. Both gave the judgment hour message predicting the closed door, but the difference was in the prophetic clarity of the message presented. Miller taught Christ would come ‘about’ the year 1843, while Snow, using Miller’s message, taught ‘the exact’ day of His coming. Thus, at the end of the world there will be another message given to God’s people that will be progressively revealed, culminating in a final clarification of that message that will prepare God’s people for their close of probation.