October 22 is no ordinary day. It is a day etched in Bible prophecy, a day that, in the year 1844, something significant happened not only on earth, but also in heaven. October 22 of every year is a solemn reminder of what took place over 150 years ago, 175 years as of this year to be exact. The sad truth is that many of those to whom the glorious truth of October 22, 1844 have been committed, have rejected it, condemning it as error. For those who may not know the prophecy of October 22, 1844 of which we are referring, it is the opening of the Investigate Judgment, which corresponds with Jesus moving from the Holy Place to the Most Holy Place of the Heavenly Sanctuary thus opening up the final phase of His atonement on fallen man’s behalf. However in 1844, October 22 was a day of disappointment, but the days after were days of rejoicing once the truth of the heavenly sanctuary and the Day of Atonement were fully comprehended by the people of God.
The date is calculated from Daniel 8:14. “The scripture which above all others had been both the foundation and central pillar of the advent faith was the declaration: “Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.”1 Firstly it must be understood that in Bible prophecy a day represents a year (see Numbers 14:34 and Ezekiel 4:6); therefore the 2300 days are not literal days but years, which brings us to our next point that the sanctuary here referred to is not the earthly sanctuary which would have been long done away at the termination of the 2300 years, but rather the sanctuary in heaven.
Daniel chapter 8 ends with Daniel fainting because of his lack of understanding of the portion of the vision left unexplained, namely the 2300 days. The angel Gabriel appears to Daniel in the following chapter to give him an explanation of the 2300 days or years. It is in verse 24 that the calculation of the 2300 prophetic days is found wherein the starting date for the prophecy is determined. "Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy Holy City. . . . Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for Himself. . . . And He shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week He shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease."
“The angel had been sent to Daniel for the express purpose of explaining to him the point which he had failed to understand in the vision of the eighth chapter, the statement relative to time—'unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.’ After bidding Daniel ‘understand the matter, and consider the vision,' the very first words of the angel are: 'Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy Holy City.’ The word here translated ‘determined' literally signifies 'cut off.’ Seventy weeks, representing 490 years, are declared by the angel to be cut off, as specially pertaining to the Jews. But from what were they cut off? As the 2300 days was the only period of time mentioned in chapter 8, it must be the period from which the seventy weeks were cut off; the seventy weeks must therefore be a part of the 2300 days, and the two periods must begin together. The seventy weeks were declared by the angel to date from the going forth of the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem. If the date of this commandment could be found, then the starting point for the great period of the 2300 days would be ascertained. In the seventh chapter of Ezra the decree is found. Verses 12-26. In its completest form it was issued by Artaxerxes, king of Persia, 457 B.C. But in Ezra 6:14 the house of the Lord at Jerusalem is said to have been built ‘according to the commandment [‘decree,’ margin] of Cyrus, and Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia.’ These three kings, in originating, reaffirming, and completing the decree, brought it to the perfection required by the prophecy to mark the beginning of the 2300 years. Taking 457 B.C., the time when the decree was completed, as the date of the commandment, every specification of the prophecy concerning the seventy weeks was seen to have been fulfilled.”2 Now that the starting date has been determined, one only needs to subtract that starting date from 2300 years to arrive at the ending date, which brings us to the year 1844.
Some may be inquiring how the cleansing of the sanctuary is the same thing as the Investigate Judgment. Others may be wondering how we arrive at the exact date for the opening of the Investigative Judgement. To understand the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary we must look at the cleansing of the earthly, also called the Day of Atonement. “Under the Mosaic system the cleansing of the sanctuary, or the great Day of Atonement, occurred on the tenth day of the seventh Jewish month (Leviticus 16:29-34), when the high priest, having made an atonement for all Israel, and thus removed their sins from the sanctuary, came forth and blessed the people.”3 Using the Jewish reckoning and calendar, the Day of Atonement fell upon the 22 of October in the year 1844. While those looking for Christ’s return and the subsequent cleansing of the earth (which they thought to be the sanctuary referred to in Daniel 8:14) by fire on October 22,1844, were sorely disappointed when nothing apparently happened, they would soon realize that something did happen in the heavenly sanctuary—the opening of the Investigative Judgment in which Christ would examine the lives of all who professed belief in him beginning with the cases of the dead and finally blotting out the sins of all who were found truly penitent based on the records of their deeds. “Solemn are the scenes connected with the closing work of the atonement. Momentous are the interests involved therein. The judgment is now passing in the sanctuary above. For many years this work has been in progress. Soon--none know how soon--it will pass to the cases of the living. In the awful presence of God our lives are to come up in review. At this time above all others it behooves every soul to heed the Saviour's admonition: 'Watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.’ Mark 13:33. ‘If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.' Revelation 3:3.”4 The judgment is still in progress, but is soon to close as the fulfillment of Bible prophecy indicates. When the judgment is completed, Revelation 22:11 and 12 will be fulfilled: “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.”
October 22 of this year is like none of the other October 22 memorials that have come before in that we are so much closer to the close of the Investigative Judgment today than at any other time. There are events presently taking place that are unprecedented and we are seeing the rapid fulfillment of Bible prophecies that usher in earth’s final crisis. Please, on this memorial of October 22, 1844, take the time to consider that “every man's work passes in review before God and is registered for faithfulness or unfaithfulness. Opposite each name in the books of heaven is entered with terrible exactness every wrong word, every selfish act, every unfulfilled duty, and every secret sin, with every artful dissembling. Heaven-sent warnings or reproofs neglected, wasted moments, unimproved opportunities, the influence exerted for good or for evil, with its far-reaching results, all are chronicled by the recording angel.”5 Examine yourself each day, surrender fully to Christ and ask God for an experience as had the advent believers who awaited their Lord’s return in 1844. “Go to your rest at night with every sin confessed. Thus we did when in 1844 we expected to meet our Lord. And now this great event is nearer than when we first believed. Be ye always ready, in the evening, in the morning, and at noon, that when the cry is heard, ‘Behold, the Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet Him,’ you may, even though awakened out of sleep, go forth to meet Him with your lamps trimmed and burning.”6
White, Ellen. The Great Controversy (1911), page 409
White, Ellen. The Great Controversy (1911), page 326
White, Ellen. The Great Controversy (1911), page 399
White, Ellen. The Great Controversy (1911), page 490
White, Ellen. The Great Controversy (1911), page 482
White, Ellen. Testimonies for the Church, Volume 9 (1909), page 48