What About the 2,300 Days?
A Few Date Setters Have Deceived Millions
William Miller (1782 – 1849), a self-taught Bible student and Baptist preacher, got too excited after reading Daniel chapters 8 and 9. Assuming all prophecies followed the day-year principle from chapters 7 and 9, he (1) made the 2300 days of Daniel 8 to be 2300 years, (2) made the “sanctuary” of Daniel 8 the world, and (3) started the 2300 years with the decree of Cyrus from Daniel 9. Since the decree of Cyrus was about 456 B.C., he arrived at a date of March, 1844. He and others began promoting this across the nation in 1831. When nothing happened in March, he revised it to October, 1844. When nothing happened, he gave up … but his followers did not! They kept on revising dates or their meanings.
Ellen Gould (Harmon) White (1827-1915) was a 15-year-old girl when she was converted to the Adventist teachings of the Millerites. She had numerous visions that were accepted by the Adventists, including the explanation that Jesus did come in 1844, but to a heavenly sanctuary to begin an investigative judgment rather than to earth to bring in the Day of Judgment. In 1846, shortly after the Great Disappointment, she married James White, an Adventist minister. Together they formed the Seventh Day Adventists, holding to their explanation of Miller’s prophecy and adding a legalistic interpretation of the Sabbath. After James died in 1881, she traveled the world as a missionary spreading SDA doctrine, including vegetarianism and other heresies.
Charles Taze Russell (1852-1916) was a disillusioned Christian teenager when he stumbled into a meeting by one of the Adventist faithful in 1870. The teacher, Jonas Wendell, corrected Miller’s prophecy by adding a generation of 30 years to it, thus predicting the Lord’s return in 1874. The young Russell leaped at the news and promoted this date for many years, changing his views of what happened on that date after nothing happened. He also set 1914 among other dates as the end of the world. He loved numerology and thought the Great Pyramid of Egypt contained divine wisdom. His adoring followers are the Jehovah’s Witnesses today.
Harold Camping (1921- ) a civil engineer was Christian Reformed until 1988. In 1958, he formed Family Radio and later sold his construction business to run it himself. More than 140 stations owned by Family Radio carry his program. Mr. Camping declares the Holy Spirit has left all churches, Satan has entered them, and no one can be saved in a local church. He calls on his followers to trust him as the only truth left on earth. He has forecast September 6, 1994 and May 21, 2011 as dates for the Lord’s return. His parabolic interpretations include making 276 (3x4x23) sailors in Acts 27 crucial to the great tribulation running from 1988 to 2011! His Bible chronology is even worse!
What Do We Do with the 2300 Days of Daniel 8:14?
- We know that the days are limited to the latter times of the divided Greek kingdom (8:23).
- We know literal 24-hour days are here by virtue of Daniel 8:26!
- We read the prophecy and trust the Holy Spirit that it is about Greece, which was already gone before the Lord Jesus Christ was born (8:9,21 cp Luke 2:1).
- We know 24-hour days are here by the shortness of Greece and the temple!
- We accept Daniel 8 and 9 are two separate visions of different events, so we do not start counting 2300 days or years from the decree of Cyrus (8:1 cp 9:1).
- From two visions in 7 and 8, we know one little horn is Roman, the other is Greek.
- We admit from Daniel’s response it had to do with His people – Jews (8:27).
- We know this has nothing to do with a New Testament antichrist at all (8:23).
- We know this has nothing to do with the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
- We grasp a Jewish dedication holiday in the winter was not from Moses (John 10:22).
- We thank God for prophecies like this to expose heretics for His children.
- If we knew nothing else, we know this vision is confined to the Greek Empire, but we can read reliable histories that confirm the persons, events, and timing.
- Daniel’s final vision reveals more by the many battles between the kings of the north (Seleucids in Syria) and the kings of the south (Ptolemies in Egypt).
How Do We Look for the Lord’s Second Coming?
- This past Sunday we saw faithful saints looking for His coming (Jude 20-21).
- Since it comes as a thief without warning, we live carefully (I Thes 5:1-11; II Pet 3:10-14).
- Since it includes admiring our Lord, we love it (II Thess 1:10; II Timothy 4:8).
- Since the Thessalonians did it to their praise, so can we (I Thess 1:9-10).
- It is the blessed hope to comfort one another (Titus 2:13; I Thess 4:13-18).