Q&A: Why 1844 Is Perfectly Logical

Q: I would like to see the following statement proved from the Bible only: "Jesus moved from the Holy to the Holy of Holies on Oct. 22, 1844" Please don't refer to any other writings besides the Bible to explain this. I believe that it is cults that use other writings besides the Bible to prove their doctrines (heresies).

A: Great question. First of all let me start out by saying that I can't prove that statement to you. While I am willing to share with you why I believe what I believe there is no way I can prove those beliefs. So I hope that even if we disagree we can at least appreciate one another's faith.

Now I also want to tackle another statement you made.

"Please don't refer to any other writings besides the Bible to explain this. I believe that it is cults that use other writings besides the Bible to prove their doctrines (heresies)."

If this is true then all churches are cults that teach heresy. The reason why is because when we are dealing with apocalyptic literature such as Daniel and Revelation, there is just no way of fully understanding it without using extra-biblical historical resources. Adventists are Historicists in their interpretation of scripture and as such we use extra-biblical historical resources to help us understand the events that the prophecies are delineating. If this approach makes the SDA church a heretical cult then Victorinus, Arnuf of Orleans, Eberhard II (all Catholic) and Martin Luther, John Calvin, Isaac Newton (all protestant) are also heretics for they all followed the Historicists method of interpreting prophecy. In addition, even if you are not a Historicist but are instead a Futurist or a Prederist (the majority of Christendom) you still have to use extra-biblical historical sources to explain the prophecies. So I conclude that when the SDA church uses historical writings and calendars that are extra-biblical in order to arrive at their understanding of 1844 they are simply doing what every body else does and are thus not a cult and not heretical.

What would make us a cult is if, like the Mormons, we relied only on Ellen White or other pioneers such as Uriah Smith in order to teach the 1844 doctrine. But this is not the case. 1844 was understood by William Miller and many others without the help of Ellen White (she hadn't even begun her ministry yet) and the consequent revelations of the sanctuary being in heaven do not necessitate EGW to be understood. In short, SDA's don't need EGW for any of our doctrines. They stand on the Bible alone. In addition, the SDA church does not put EGW next to James, Paul, Peter or any other Biblical writer. We place her beneath them. She did the same when she was alive. While there are some SDA's who treat her as though she was scripture this goes against the church's stance and even against EGW's own position. We consider her writings to be authoritative and inspired but they do not interpret scripture for us, they do not replace scripture for us, and they sure don't have an equal standing with scripture.

Now onto your question. Like I said, I cant prove it but I will simply explain to you why I believe it is true.

Most Christians teach that the judgment took place on the cross. Others teach that it will take place at the second coming. There are numerous NT verses that show the apostles were looking forward to a future judgment. This was after the cross, therefore, biblicaly speaking the judgment did not take place at the cross. Then there are the passages that say that when Jesus comes he comes to award both the righteous and the wicked including those who have not seen death (others teach the judgment happens at death). This shows us that a decision was reached before the second coming. Then there is Revelation 14:6, a message that is pronounced before the second coming and says that the judgment has already begun. Thus, the judgment did not happen at the cross and it will not happen at the second coming but since Jesus comes with rewards it cant happen after the second coming either. So the message is clear, the judgment happens sometime between the cross and the second coming. 1844 happens to between those two events. (see below)

Now that doesnt prove the date per se, in order to come to the actual date October 22, 1844 we would have to interpret Daniels prophecies using the Historicist method of interpretation. To do that would take so long that Im not going to do it here. But at this point Adventists establish the start time of the prophecy which Gabriel gives to Daniel and we count the 2300 years and we arrive at 1844. Using more complex historical sources such as calendars etc. we arrive at the October 22 date. None of this necessitates EGW or any other Adventist pioneer. If you are really interested in reading about the evidence for this then I recommend Clifford Goldsteins "1844 Made Simple" and Marvin Moores "The Case for the Investigative Judgment." Not that they can prove it either, but at least you will be able to see two very well written books on the topic that do not use EGW at all.
Anyways, understanding that the sanctuary of Daniel is the sanctuary in heaven (of course we are not suggesting that there is some building in heaven that looks just like the OT sanctuary)we then conclude through a systematic study of the sanctuary, its type and anti-type etc. that Jesus began his final work of cleansing the sanctuary in 1844. If you want to read my views on the theology of the Investigative Judgment then I recommend my paper (The Investigative Judgment)...

Honestly K, I am not a stickler on October 22, 1844. While I agree its the best interpretation of the time line I don't get hung up on it. The judgment could have begun in 1922 for all I care. The date doesn't change the theology of the judgment at all. The point is that God is now doing his final work on behalf of man, he is trying to get as many people into heaven before time runs out for us, and Jesus is coming soon.


  1. 1) There is a judgment before the second coming according to Daniel 7

    Daniel 7 speaks about a JUDGMENT soon after the reign of Babylon, Medo-persia, Greece, Rome (little horn), but before God establishes His kingdom (second coming). John Gill (Baptist), Albert Barnes and others identified the little horn power to be Papal Rome, which ruled supreme over 538AD-1798AD.

    Rome has been a government under the Popes for some twelve hundred years. (Source: Complete Works of the Most Rev. John Hughes, Archbishop of New York, 1866, Volume 2. pg. 778)

    In 1689, Drue Cressener (1638-1718) wrote, “The first appearance of the beast was at Justinian’s recovery of the Western Empire, from which time to about the year 1800 will be about 1260 years...For if the first time of the beast was at Justinians recovery of the city of Rome, then must not it end till a little before the year 1800.” [Drue Cressener, The Judgment of God Upon the Roman Catholic Church, p309, 312]

    Could there be a judgement that starts after 1798 but before Christ comes with his ‘rewards’?

    The Preacher's Homiletic Commentary, the note on Dan. 7:9, 10 declares: “The passage exhibits the judgment-seat of God, with myriads of attendant an­gels, and the infliction of pronounced doom on a large portion of the human race. . .It appears rather to be an INVISIBLE JUDGMENT carried on within the veil and revealed by its effects and the execution of its sentence. . . . As, however, the sentence is not yet by any means fully executed, it may be SITTING NOW"

    2) Daniel 8 speaks of the same judgment but calls it the ‘cleansing of the sanctuary’

    Daniel 8 speaks about a CLEANSING OF THE SANCTUARY (represents a JUDGMENT according to the earthly sanctuary service in Leviticus) following Medo-persia, Greece, Rome (little horn).

    Some say the latter is Antiochus Epiphanes, but Luther, the Berlenburg Bible, Adam Clarke and others stated that the little horn could be papal Rome. Here Daniel 8 and 7 seems to speaking of the same JUDGEMENT that follows the kingdoms of this world.

  2. 3) Judgement was future in Paul’s day

    Paul and NT writers spoke about a ‘judgment to come’. So in Paul’s day, the judgment was future. Revelation 14 speaks about a ‘JUDGEMENT HAS COME’, just before Christ will come to harvest the earth. Could this be the same judgment spoken in Daniel 7 and 8?

    4) God has an appointed time to judge the world

    Acts 17:31 speaks about God has APPOINTED a day (time) to JUDGE. Daniel 8:17-19 tells us that there is an “APPOINTED” time at the “end” when the “Sanctuary is cleansed” (Daniel 8:13). Could the end of 2300 days in Daniel 8:14 identified as years by Adam Clarke, William Davis, and many others, be the starting time of appointed time to judge?

    The notes found in the Baptist Berlenburg Bible (1739), and John Tillinghast, English clergyman (1604–1655) state 70 weeks are part of 2300 years. Phillip Newell's commentary states ‘determined’ in Daniel 9:24 means cutting off from a ‘longer portion’.

    The Harper Study Bible, Gleason. L. Archer, and countless others say, the 70 weeks began in 457 BC. If 2300 years began at the same time as identified by the above, one should end up in 1844.

  3. 5) The earthly temple was an example of the heavenly temple

    Heb. 8:5 says the earthly temple, which had two apartments, was a copy and shadow (example) of the heavenly. Could Christ be following the example He gave to Moses in heaven? Shouldn't He since He says it's an example? Notice the parallels:

    a) God appears on the Mercy Seat on the Day of Judgment in Lev. 16:2 while the Ancient of Days takes his Seat for judgment in Daniel 7:9,10.

    b) High Priest MOVES into the Most Holy on the day of judgment in a CLOUD in Lev. 16:13 while Jesus our High Priest MOVED with a CLOUD into the presence of the Ancient of days when judgment was set in place in Daniel 7:13. Here’s a place where Christ moved from one place to another. The context, which is judgment and books opened after the reign of the little horn power (538-1798) show that this was not at the ascension?

    c) A Ram and a Goat is involved on the day the earthly sanctuary was cleansed (Lev. 16:5) while Daniel 8 begins with a Ram and a Goat (Daniel 8:3-5), when the sanctuary at the end at an “appointed” time is to be cleansed. Daniel 8 uses clean animals or sanctuary animals unlike Daniel 7. There must be a connection between Daniel 8 and sanctuary in Leviticus?

    6) Christ moves through the holy place and most holy in the book of revelation

    Revelation (New Testament) depicts Christ ministering in both holy place and most holy place ministries (See Rev. 1:12,13; 4:5; 8:3-5; 11:19). At one point in time, a door was opened in heaven and we see the ark of the covenant in the most Holy place (Rev. 11:19)

    7) Hebrew 9 describes both holy place and most holy place. Heb. 6 describes Jesus entering the veil, which was the first one. Heb. 9 talks about the "second veil." There are two!

  4. 8) Hebrew 9:23 says heavenly sanctuary needs to be cleansed just like the earthly was cleansed.

    Not with the blood of bulls or goats, but with the blood of Christ. Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones, the New-Century Bible and others concur:

    New-Century Bible, "What is meant by the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary must be determined by its meaning as applied to the earthly. The ritual of the Day of Atonement was designed, not merely to atone for the sins of the people, but to make atonement for the sanctuary itself. The sense of this would seem to be that the constant sin of Israel had communicated a certain uncleanness to the sanctuary. Similarly the sin of mankind might be supposed have cast its shadow even into heaven".—New-Century Bible, "Hebrews," p. 191. (Italics supplied.)

    9) If Paul meant to teach that Christ at His ascension entered into the Most Holy Place in Heb 9:24, he would have employed the phrase 'hagia hagion', which he uses in Hebrews 9:1-3, which, without ambiguity refers exclusively to the Most Holy Place. But, he didn’t. The Greek word translated “holy place” is “hagion” which refers at times to the first apartment of the sanctuary, the Holy Place, or as in other verses to the sanctuary (both apartments) as a whole. The scholars of ESV and NLT translated Heb. 9:24 as Holy Places.

    10) The Father is omnipresent. Jesus and the Father have always been together in the heavenly sanctuary; the only reason the presence of God was confined in the earthly temple was due to the problem of sinful man. That problem doesn't exist in heaven. Besides, Dan. 7 pictures the Father arriving at the judgment in a fiery chariot. Ezekiel also describes a movable throne.

    11) The judgement is not for God. He knows who are his. It is for the angels and the watching universe. Hence, the mention of myriads of angels when books were opened in Daniel 7, and judgment was set in place.

    12) No condemnation for them that belong to Jesus. A death has already occurred. Jesus died. He bore our guilt and sins. Believers are saved by placing their faith in Jesus alone. For such, the judgment will be given in their favour (Dan 7). The verdict is NO CONDEMNATION!

    'There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus...' (Rom. 8:1-4).

    1. Wow John! Excellent Bible study. Very clear and concise. I am very impressed. I especially appreciate your use of non-SDA sources. It shows you have really done your homework and also shows that Adventism stands on very solid ground when it comes to the IJ doctrine. Would you mind if I published your comments as a guest blog post next week? I think its definitely worth sharing.


  5. Mate, publish it!

    Could you add this as point 12 (make 'no condemnation' point 13) : 12) The reason why Day of Atonement language is used in Hebrews 9 and 10 is because the sacrificial aspect of the Day of Atonement took place at the cross. Jesus did not have to die again later or in 1844. It was a perfect sacrificial atonement. Jesus was clear, 'It is finished!'. He cleanses the sanctuary with the blood that He shed on the cross. Just because the sacrificial aspect took place at the cross does not mean that the entire Day of Atonement was fulfilled at the cross. Besides, Heb 9:13 refers 'to bulls and goats, the ashes of an heifer' (Hebrews 9:13). Ashes of an heifer on the Day of Atonement? No! The high priest did other things throughout the year, and bulls and bulls and goats were used at other times too.

    At the end of the post, if you like, you can include these non-SDA sources on 1260 days, 70 weeks, 2300 years.

    1260 years: http://everlasting-gospel.blogspot.com/2011/09/non-adventist-sources-ad538-ad1798.html

    2300 years: http://everlasting-gospel.blogspot.com/2011/09/non-adventist-sources-457bc1844.html


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