Hard Questions Answered
Q. What is the relationship between Daniel 8 and 9?
A. "Understand ... the vision" (Dan. 9:23). But what vision is to be understood? Daniel received no vision in ch. 9. However, in ch. 8, Daniel had received a vision that "none understood" vs.27. That Daniel is charged in ch.9, "to understand the vision" though no vision is given, leaves no doubt that the angel in ch.9 is explaining that portion of the vision of ch. 8 that "none understood:" The Hebrew confirms this link. The words for vision in ch. 8 & 9 are "hazon" & "mareh." Hazon refers to the entire vision (Dan. 8:1) & mareh to that part of the vision concerning the "evening-morning" (Dan. 8:26,27). It was the mareh that was not understood in ch. 8:27 & the mareh that Gabriel was sent to explain in ch. 9:23. The verb "determined" in 9:24 also means "to cut off; as is seen in Mishnaic Hebrew the intended relation being that the 70-weeks (literally 490 years) are to be "cut off" from the larger 2300 days/years of ch. 8.
Q. Why do we use the day for a year principle for the 2,300 days?
A. Usually Num. 14:34 & Eze. 4:6 are invoked to provide keys for the year-day model of interpretation. In addition we will make mention of four things to consider. 1) The vision itself is symbolic, not literal. Thus, the time frame given in it should be viewed as symbolic. 2) The expression "2,300 evening-morning" is not a common way to express time, evidence that a literal time is not meant. 3) The question in vs. 13 included everything in the vision (Media-Persia, Greece, & Rome, pagan & papal), a duration of hundreds of years. 2,300 literal days, span just over six years, a time period too short considering the events involved in the question. 4) For over a century before the outbreak of the French Revolution in 1789, a line of prophetic expositors from the Protestant Historicist School of interpretation had been predicting the approaching end of the 1260 years of Papal supremacy based on their exposition of Rev. 11, and that France would be the instrument of the overthrow and downfall of the Papacy (see Miller's Works, vol.1, p.203-211). Nearly all of them fixed the time between the years 1785 & 1795 using the day for a year principle of prophetic interpretation. How can it be possible that these servants of God could, without a prophetic spirit, so exactly describe events more than 100 years before they were literally fulfilled? Careful study of the history of Europe and the French Revolution in the light of the forecasts penned by these expositors will demonstrate remarkable precision as they applied the day for a year principle in prophetic interpretation.
Q. Was the Atonement complete at the cross?
A. Our reply depends on defining the term "atonement" The atonement was complete at the cross, in that an all sufficient, once-for-all sacrifice for sin had been made. But more aspects of atonement are seen in the sanctuary service, particularly the year-end service on the day of atonement when sin was finally dealt with. Antitypically this service is more fully realized in the context of the end-time judgment; which was clearly future from the days of the apostles (Acts 17:31; 24:25). It is in this sense that a final phase of atonement is to be understood—not in repeating or adding to the sacrificial atonement, but in fulfilling those aspects of the service of the day of atonement as they relate to the final judgment. The sacrifices point to the cross and its atonement, but the priestly ministry also points to Christ as He applies the benefits of that atonement. When this work is completed we understand that the final phase of atonement will have been fulfilled.
Q. Is Satan made our savior if he is represented by Azazel?
A. The view that regards Azazel as symbolizing Satan has been held through the centuries by many theologians, without finding it necessary to view him as a savior. It is argued though that if Azazel typifies Satan, he must be our savior, because Azazel/Scapegoat and the Lord's goat were both sin offerings. If confined to Lev. 16:5 we might conclude both goats to be sin offerings. But we are informed that lots were cast for them; the idea being, to decide which one of the two would be the sin offering (cf. Acts 1:26). This is evident in vs. 9, which describes the goat [not goats] on which the Lord's lot fell as the sin offering. Moreover, the scapegoat's blood was never shed. A live goat could not properly be considered a sin offering (see Heb. 9:22). The view that Azazel is a personal being is supported by the construction of the Hebrew itself. One goat "for Jehovah," the other "for Azazel." Concerning our sin, Jesus provides the sole propitiation (1 Jn. 2:2; 4:10). As for Satan's sin, no substitute is granted to bear his guilt. He must himself "atone" for his sin in causing men to sin. In this sense we can grasp Lev. 16:10 concerning Azazel, "to make an atonement with him" Satan makes no atonement for our sins. But he will bear the retributive punishment for his liability as the instigator of sin.
Q. Did Christ Enter the Most Holy Place at His Ascension?
A. It is proposed that Heb.9 places Christ in the most holy place from His ascension. It is pointed out that Christ's ministry in heaven is set forth in the context of Day of Atonement imagery; therefore, Christ has been fulfilling the antitypical Day of Atonement in the most holy place since He ascended. First, there are clear comparisons between the Day of Atonement allusions in Hebrews and Christ's heavenly ministry.
Let's now examine Heb.9 to discover why. The arrangement of the sanctuary in vss. 1-7 is described by the author as a parable in vs.9, "Which was a figure (parable)." In this parable each apartment is described as a tabernacle in its own right: "For there was a tabernacle made; the first... And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all" (vss.2, 3). (cf. 6, 7). So in the framework of one sanctuary we have in a parabolic form two distinct tabernacles.
Vs.8 now relates the significance of the mutual interchange that existed between the two apartments "The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing." In the end of the year the first tabernacle services were to be substituted for the second tabernacle services (see Lev. 16:17).
These apartments and their respective ministries were to function sequentially one after the other, not concurrently. In order for the yearly ministry to commence, the daily ministry would be obliged to finish its term. The lesson of this mutual interchange between the two apartments was to convey to the Jew that when Jesus, our High Priest, enters into the very presence of God in the heavenly tabernacle to make intercession for us "no man" is to be found ministering in the earthly tabernacle (Lev. 16:17).
The "first tabernacle" of vs.8 becomes the representative symbol of the old, earthly tabernacle in its entirety whose term is now up and whose function for the believer is to cease. The "Holiest of all" becomes the representative symbol of the "greater and more perfect "heavenly tabernacle in its entirety whose ministry has commenced for the believer, taking precedence over its counterpart. Lev.16:17 is given its epic significance and superimposed on the relation of the earthly "first tabernacle" to its heavenly counterpart the "holiest of all."
Christ did not enter the second apartment of the heavenly sanctuary to commence the Day of Atonement at His ascension. But He entered what the second apartment served to illustrate in the parable, namely the heavenly "greater and more perfect tabernacle."