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Sabbath School Lessons on The Sanctuary
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About the Author
Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
is the author of these Sabbath School lesson study outlines. He is the Reed Larson Professor of Labor Law at Regent University School of Law. Professor Cameron has devoted his life to promoting the Gospel and defending believers. In addition to teaching at an overtly Christian law school, he continues his 41 year practice of law which is limited to the litigation of constitutional rights and religious freedom cases for employees. He holds an undergraduate degree from Andrews University and a Doctor of Law from Emory University School of Law.
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Lesson 10: The Eschatological Day of Atonement *
Introduction: If you are scratching your head about the word
"Eschatological," it means "last day events." The Day of Atonement,
as we have studied, refers to the day each year when all the sins
transferred from God's people to the sanctuary were then transferred
to a goat. The goat then headed out into the desert for its
retirement years. The Day of Atonement represented a permanent
address change for the sins the people committed during the year. So,
you ask, "What could be so important about a permanent address change
for sins in the last days?" "Last days" calls to mind the final
judgment. Do you want your sins forwarded on or do you want to be
like that goat? When Daniel prayed about the sin problem of God's
people, God gave him a special message about His grand plan to deal
with sin. Let's plunge into our study of the Bible and learn more!
- Daniel's Concern
- Read Daniel 9:1-3. What is on Daniel's mind? (Bible
prophecy revealed that the time had come for change. This
change would allow Jerusalem to be rebuilt.)
- Read Daniel 9:4-6. How does Daniel start his prayer? (With
praise! This is how every prayer should start. See Luke
- What is the main subject of the prayer? (Confession
of sin. The people have a sin problem.)
- Read Daniel 9:11-14 and Daniel 9:17-19. Why do you think
Daniel specifically mentions the sanctuary? (Consider this
from Daniel's point of view. His people have sinned. God
has executed judgment on them through captivity and the
destruction of Jerusalem and the sanctuary. The sanctuary
is the means for transferring sin and it is out of
business. Daniel and the people are loaded with sin!)
- Let's consider the issue of judgment. What kind of
judgment concerns Daniel? (Daniel's situation reflects our
lives. Disobeying God's law brings its own practical
judgment here and now. We often suffer because of our
sins. But, the bigger issue is the judgment that comes
from being unable to obtain forgiveness of sin. Being
unable to transfer sin away from the people through the
- Now that we know what consumed Daniel's thoughts, let's
turn next to the visions given to him.
- The Message
- Read Daniel 8:1-4. What would you think if you were taking
your morning walk and you saw this? (I would be
frightened, until I realized that it was a vision.)
- Since this is a vision, what message do you think God
is giving Daniel? (Last week we learned that Daniel
saw some frightening looking animals which
represented empires that would arise in the future.
This seems like that.)
- Read Daniel 8:15-20. What is the ram? (Daniel is told by a
heavenly messenger that it is the empire of Medo-Persia.
This parallels the message we studied last week!)
- Read Daniel 8:5-8 and Daniel 8:21-22. What does the goat
represent? (The power of the Greek empire. As in the prior
vision, Daniel is being shown the future.)
- Read Daniel 8:9-12. When we looked at the horns of Daniel
7, they represented authorities on earth. What kind of
earthly authority can "reach the host of the heavens?"
What kind of earthly authority can throw down some of the
host of heaven?
- Read Revelation 12:7-9. What does this suggest is
this horn? (Satan! Remember that this is symbolic.
Whatever is the meaning of this horn, at a minimum it
represents the work of Satan.)
- Look again at Daniel 8:11-12. Think back to Daniel's
prayer. Why did God decide to give Daniel repeated
"history" lessons about the future? (God is telling Daniel
that God is in charge even during frightening events.)
- When Daniel heard the reference to the sanctuary,
what do you think came immediately to his mind? (This
is what Daniel had been praying about! God's temple,
God's sanctuary on earth had been destroyed by the
Babylonians. To contemplate this must have been
- Read Daniel 8:13-14. What hope is given to Daniel? (The
sanctuary, the system for dealing with sin, will be back
- Read Daniel 8:23-25. This gives another picture of this
horn. What does it mean that he will become strong, but
not by his own power?
- What does it mean that he will be destroyed, but not
by human power? (Both references tell us that this is
spiritual warfare. This is war between Satan and
- What relevance do you find in this? (Like Daniel, our
world may seem to be spinning out of control. Perhaps
we feel that we are suffering judgment from past
sins. The message to Daniel from God is "I've got
- Read Daniel 8:26-28. How did Daniel react to this message?
Was he elated to learn that God was in control? (No. He
was sick. He did not understand. Part of the problem might
have been that the vision seems to say that God will not
be working this out until the end of time.)
- The Victory
- Let's re-read Daniel 9:1-3 now that we have more
information. The vision given to Daniel has started to be
fulfilled. Babylon has fallen, and Medo-Persia has risen
to power. What does Daniel want? (The same thing he has
always wanted - that his nation and his sanctuary would be
restored. He understands that the prophecy about the time
of restoration is near at hand.)
- Read Daniel 9:20-23. What does this teach us about our
prayers and our God? (He listens. He cares.)
- How close is heaven? (Gabriel left when the prayer
- Why has Gabriel been sent? (To give Daniel "insight
- Understanding about what? (The series of visions.
Recall that in Daniel 8:14-15 Daniel has been told
that the sanctuary will be restored in 2,300
"evenings and mornings." This is at the center of
- Read Daniel 9:24-25. What is the good news about Jerusalem
and the sanctuary? (That it will be rebuilt!)
- What other good news do we find? (Sin will end!
Wickedness will be atoned for! The most holy will be
anointed. Everlasting righteousness will come!)
- Does this sound like the sanctuary and the Day
of Atonement? (Yes. Recall that "most holy"
refers to the part of the sanctuary entered on
the Day of Atonement.)
- Read Daniel 9:26-27. This sounds terrible, right? Jesus
(the Anointed One) is cut off! I'm not going into the
numbers or the calculations, but most Christians who have
studied this in detail find that when they work through
the numbers this prophecy predicts the date of the
incarnation of Jesus, His crucifixion and the second
destruction of the temple in Jerusalem.)
- A smaller number of Christians continue the
calculation and conclude that 1844 is the date for
the beginning of the time that we have been studying:
the final judgment, the ministry of Jesus in heaven
on our behalf, the heavenly "Day of Atonement." Last
week, we put the start of this time to be around
1806, and that accords with the more specific 1844
date. What level of importance do you attach to this
series of dates? (Some attach great importance to
these dates, especially the start date for Jesus'
ministry on our behalf in the final judgment. I think
these dates serve two purposes. First, they give us
confidence that God is in charge and that we can
trust Him. Second, they comfort us that the plan of
salvation is not stalled, it is moving forward
according to God's plan.)
- Friend, are you like Daniel, concerned about the course
life has taken? Are you concerned about the sin in your
life and the lives of those around you? God has a plan and
we are living in the plan's final phase. God is bringing
an end to sin. Jesus is ministering on our behalf to cover
our sins with His blood. Will you decide today to rest
confident in His work on your behalf - in spite of
whatever troubling things are going on in your life?
- Next week: Our Prophetic Message.
* Copr. 2013, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a blackboard or some other visual aid.