Dan Augsburger
The Really "Good" News
of Daniel 8:14

Someone recently wrote on my Facebook "wall" thanking me for having written a paper on the judgment of Daniel 8:14 when I was in the Seminary years ago, and shared how it had caused them to dig deeper and become convinced in their understandings of the Bible. I responded with a few thoughts to which I add a few more here:

The paper, “The Good News of Daniel 8:14,” was an outgrowth of Dr. Murdock, one of my professors and a wonderfully godly man, inviting me to look through his files and finding something interesting to write on. I had been seeking an interesting topic and wasn’t having much success, so he invited me to look through his files. Having served on the Daniel committee as well as being at what were called teh "Glacier View Meetings," Dr. Murdock had knowledge and resources beyond what I had ever seen, and instilled in me an interest in studying the concept of judgment found in Daniel 8:14.

So I began studying the concept of judgment found in Daniel 8:14 (“And he said to me, ‘For two thousand three hundred days; then the sanctuary shall be cleansed,'" and the Bible in general. I also looked at why Daniel 8:14 is translated “cleansed” in some versions instead of “vindicated” (I found the “cleansed” rendering is also used in many ancient versions which means the word "cleansed" is a very acceptable rendering, and reflects the fact that multiple things are going on for which multiple words bring a more complete understanding); why the word “cleansed” used in Lev. 16 is different from the word used in Daniel 8:14 though they both point to the same event (I discovered that the same word could not have been used since the one spoke of what had happened for the people on the particular day, while they other pointed forward, and thus necessitated a different shade of meaning for the word “cleansed”). A chapter also looked to the timing of all of this.

Finally I began writing. At the time I was doing my study, the concept of judgment was still seen negatively, but I was finding that so far as God’s children were concerned, the concept of judgment was a positive one and not only led to their exoneration,but also the restoration of what they had  lost by  the evil powers that had been falsely accusing them.

It was in writing the conclusion that the phrase “good news” came to me. As a result I concluded the paper asserting, “this judgment is good news! This judgment is the good news of Daniel 8:14." Eventually the "good news" idea became the title of the paper and the book that was later published.

The paper was read by several of the teachers at the Seminary and other organizations. Eventually it was shared widely. My Dad found the paper at a school in Australia, and friend told me of having read it in South America. I had nothing to do with sending it, aside from giving permission to various entities to reprint and mail it out. It was eventually sent all over the world and I believe it led to a better understanding of judgment. I also noticed that the "good news" idea began appearing in books being pusblished on the same topic.

Speaking for myself, I believe the concept of judgment found in the Bible is exceedingly hopeful for God’s people, and one which all Christians would subscribe to it if understood correctly.

For those who raise objections that judgment has to contain negative element, it is true. When the group being falsely accused is exonerated, it necessarily means a negative judgment to those who were doing the accusing. And of course in all of this God’s Kingdom and His way of running the universe is also vindicated. The “data” of the judgment is the information found in the lives of the people who claimed to believe and obey God, and which God points to as proof that His way of running the universe was the best way.

Please understand that the overcoming that provides the data is not something done apart from God’s grace and power working in a person’s life but because God’s grace is working. God’s people are as weak as water—Paul used the term “dead” in discussing our ability to do right—and thus look to God and depend on God to overcome. They are saved because of what Jesus did for them on the cross, to which nothing can be added or taken away. But His power enables an overcoming that is the ultimate righteousness by faith, which is declarative in the sense that we are forensically forgiven, and also practical in the right living and holiness that becomes possible through the indwelling of Jesus.

To better understand what I am saying when I speak of judgmenet, imagine you are out driving your car one afternoon, have a great time, and eventually return home and park your car in the garage. Later that evening as you are eating supper there is a knock at your door and you discover the police have arrived to arrest you for being part of a horrible accident where people died and cars were damaged, but from which you kept right on driving? What would be your evidence? Looking at the damage at the accident scene? Considering the people who lost their lives? That data would certainly prove that an accident had taken place, but it would not prove your innocence. No, you would take the police to your garage, show them your car. They would then examine your car and realize that though a car like yours was at the scene, it could not have been your car. Your car would be your evidence. And the police would leave looking for the real culprit.

God is being falsely accused in our day, and many godly people have lost their lives at the hands of accusers, some of which also claim to be Christians. And a great cry has gone up begging God to come, judge, and make things right. The saints under the altar are crying out for this in Rev. 6:11 (“How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?”) which points to a particularly dark time in earth’s history. But that same cry for judgment rises up in our day by individuals being harassed for their faith throughout the earth. The evidence that brings this dismal situation to an end ultimately is found in the evidence of the lives of those who are truly following and obeying God!

Is it not good news that we can look forward to a day when God will judge , exonerate and restore, that which was lost? I find it hard to believe that Christians of any denomination would argue against this exhonorating judgment. It is wonderful good news. And more people should know about it.

So I am thankful for the person who wrote me sharing how the paper impacted them. The paper was later published in book form as “The Good News of Daniel 8:14” by Teach Services in Brushton, NY.” I believe it is still available through them.