Introduction: Last week we ended our study with a number of questions
unresolved. We agreed that the 2,300 days of Daniel 8:14 had to be
symbolic days (meaning a day equals a year), not literal days. So,
what happens at the end of this 2,300 years? What does it mean for
the sanctuary to be reconsecrated? What sanctuary are we talking
about? Is this the end of the world? Is it the beginning of the first
judgment in heaven that we discussed in connection with Daniel 7? We
agreed that we would pick up our study of this mystery this week. So,
let’s jump into our study!

  1. The Sanctuary

    1. Read Daniel 8:13-14. Put yourself in Daniel’s place. If
      you had a short “wish list” about the future, what would
      be on it? (Recall that Daniel had been taken from his home
      when he was a very young man. He would want to return to
      his native country, Judah.)

      1. What would come to Daniel’s mind when the sanctuary
        was mentioned in his vision? (Daniel would surely
        think about the sanctuary (temple) that was built by
        Solomon. See 1 Chronicles 22:17-19.)

      2. Did Solomon’s temple exist at the time of Daniel’s
        vision? (No. The Babylonians had destroyed Jerusalem
        and Solomon’s temple. This was part of the tragedy of
        his youth. He had been taken captive, and the
        important institutions of his country had been
        destroyed. This included the city of Jerusalem and
        Solomon’s temple, the center of Jewish worship.)

      3. When Daniel heard that the sanctuary would be
        “reconsecrated” (NIV) (“cleansed” NKJV) what would he
        logically think was going to happen? (It is logical
        to believe his first thoughts were that Solomon’s
        temple would be rebuilt. This vision of the future
        could be about one of Daniel’s most dearly held hopes
        – that the Jewish worship center would be back in

      4. What other possibilities might come to Daniel’s mind
        when he heard about the sanctuary being
        reconsecrated? (Read Psalms 102:19, Exodus 25:8-9 and
        Hebrews 8:1-5. Moses had originally been given “the
        pattern” so that the sanctuary in the wilderness was
        modeled after the sanctuary in heaven. Solomon then
        built a permanent version of the sanctuary to house
        the ark of God and to continue the worship and the
        sacrificial services. Only the copy on earth had been
        destroyed. The heavenly original still existed. Since
        the sanctuary on earth had been destroyed, Daniel
        might have thought this had something to do with the
        sanctuary in heaven.)

    2. Living in 2004, we know that thereafter the temple in
      Jerusalem was rebuilt and for hundreds of years Jews held
      their daily sacrifices and worshiped God in the sanctuary.
      We also know that in 70 A.D., the Romans destroyed the
      sanctuary. Given our knowledge, what sanctuary do you
      think is being referred to in Daniel 8:14? (Read Daniel
      8:17. Since this is a vision “of the end,” and since we
      know the sanctuary on earth was destroyed almost 2,000
      years ago, that leaves only the sanctuary in heaven as the
      subject of this vision.)

      1. What argument can you make that the vision might
        refer to a sanctuary that is again rebuilt in
        Jerusalem before the world ends? (Such an argument
        would deny that Jesus is the Messiah. It would ignore
        Jesus’ High Priestly ministry in heaven referred to
        in Hebrews. If the Jews rebuilt a temple in Jerusalem
        it would be to continue the same sacrificial system
        which Jesus fulfilled by His life and death.)

        1. Read Hebrews 9:8-12. What does this suggest
          about the possibility of a new temple being
          built in Jerusalem? (Hebrews tells us that the
          temple on earth was both an illustration and an
          impediment to Jesus work for us in heaven. The
          idea that it would be rebuilt at sometime before
          the Second Coming of Jesus is completely at odds
          with Hebrews and the entire concept of Jesus
          fulfilling the symbolism of the sanctuary

    3. The reasonable conclusion, based on what we know about
      history, and our understanding of the gospel, is that the
      sanctuary to be reconsecrated (cleansed) is the heavenly

  2. The Nature of the Cleansing

    1. If Daniel 8:14 is about reconsecrating (cleansing) the
      sanctuary in heaven, the logical question is, “Why would
      it need to be cleaned?”

    2. Read Leviticus 16:32-34. These three verses describe in
      summary form a yearly event for the Jewish people. Can you
      tell me about this event? (Throughout the year the people
      would come to the temple to sacrifice an animal for the
      forgiveness of their sins. Symbolically, the shed blood of
      the animal transferred the sin from the person to the
      sanctuary. Then once a year, on the Day of Atonement, the
      sanctuary itself was cleansed of all of these sins which
      had accumulated over the year. On that day the High Priest
      entered the Most Holy place of the sanctuary.)

    3. What about the sins of the people? Were they completely
      taken care of during the year? (Read Leviticus 16:29-30.
      It appears that the cleansing of the sanctuary on the Day
      of Atonement was the final act in the removal of the sins
      from the people.)

    4. Recall that the sanctuary on earth was patterned after the
      sanctuary in heaven? Do you think there is a parallel
      activity in heaven? If so, what is it? (According to the
      text in Hebrews that we previously read ( Hebrews 9:11-12),
      Jesus is the sacrifice for the heavenly sanctuary. He is
      also the High Priest who enters the Most Holy Place.)

      1. When Daniel 8:14 tells us that the sanctuary will be
        reconsecrated (cleansed) could it mean that after the
        2300 day period the Day of Atonement in heaven will
        take place? (That seems to be precisely what is
        meant. Since the sanctuary could not be the sanctuary
        on earth, it must be the sanctuary in heaven. Hebrews
        tells us that Jesus will enter the Most Holy place of
        the heavenly sanctuary – so it makes perfect sense
        that this is the meaning of Daniel 8:14.)

    5. Read Daniel 2:34-35. What is the end of the story of this

    6. Read Daniel 7:21-22, 25-27. What is the end of the story
      of this vision?

    7. Read Daniel 8:14, 24-26. What is the end of the story of
      this vision?

      1. Are these visions generally parallel?

      2. Are the endings generally parallel?

        1. If so, what is the common ending? (In each one
          of these endings God wins. But, there is more to
          the end than that. The win in chapter 8 comes
          after the sanctuary is cleansed. The win in
          chapter 7 comes after the court opens and
          judgment is entered. The win in chapter 2 comes
          supernaturally. Thus, God wins and so do His
          saints after a procedure is followed (the
          judgment or the sanctuary cleansing).

  3. The Meaning of the Day of Atonement.

    1. Read Daniel 8:26-27. Did Daniel understand what it meant
      to reconsecrate the sanctuary in heaven?

      1. Notice that verse 27 says that Daniel did not
        understand the vision. Did he not understand any of
        it? (This is the Ram/Goat/Horn vision we discussed in
        detail last week. Gabriel told Daniel about the
        meaning of the Ram and the Goat. It was only the horn
        and the 2,300 days that was not specifically
        explained. Since Daniel calls the this (v.26)”the
        vision of the evenings and mornings” it must be the
        2,300 days that most specifically create the

      2. What do you think is the Day of Atonement in heaven
        represents? Is this the beginning of the judgment?
        The end of the judgment? The Second Coming of Jesus?
        (We know from the parallelism in the visions we have
        studied that the end of the world starts with a
        judgment of the righteous and ends with the Second
        Coming of Jesus. All of that, the judgment and the
        “conclusion” to sin, occurred within the Day of

        1. If we could determine the date for the ending of
          the 2,300 day prophecy, would this be the start
          or the ending of the judgment? (Now you know why
          Daniel thought it was “beyond understanding.”
          Stay tuned for our next two studies to see if we
          can figure out the answer. Next week we will
          find some more clues.)

    2. Friend, are you ready for the judgment?

  4. Next week: God’s Timetable.