November 14, 2009 – November 20, 2009
“He shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws. … But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end.” Daniel 7:25, 26.
Study Help: The Great Controversy, 49–60; “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 1171, 1172.
“The man of sin, who thought to change times and laws … will cause laws to be made enforcing the observance of the first day of the week. But God’s people are to stand firm for Him.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 230.
1 What was Daniel shown about the end of worldly empires? Daniel 7:11, 12. Explain the “great words” spoken by the “little horn.”
Note: “It is one of the leading doctrines of Romanism that the pope is the visible head of the universal church of Christ, invested with supreme authority over bishops and pastors in all parts of the world. More than this, the pope has been given the very titles of Deity. He has been styled ‘Lord God the Pope,’ and has been declared infallible. He demands the homage of all men. The same claim urged by Satan in the wilderness of temptation is still urged by him through the Church of Rome, and vast numbers are ready to yield him homage.” The Great Controversy, 50.
2 What will Christ receive at the end of His mediatorial work? Daniel 7:13, 14; Luke 19:12.
Note: “As foreshadowed in the type, and foretold in the Scriptures, Christ, at the time appointed, entered the most holy place of the temple of God in heaven. He is represented by the prophet Daniel as coming at this time to the Ancient of days. …
“This coming is foretold also by the prophet Malachi: ‘The Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts’ [Malachi 3:1].” The Southern Watchman, January 24, 1905.
3 What promise with reference to God’s kingdom is very precious to the saints? Micah 4:8; Daniel 7:18.
Note: “The kingdom forfeited by sin, Christ has regained, and the redeemed are to possess it with Him. ‘The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever.’ Psalm 37:29. A fear of making the saints’ inheritance seem too material has led many to spiritualize away the very truths which lead us to look upon the new earth as our home. Christ assured His disciples that He went to prepare mansions for them. Those who accept the teachings of God’s Word will not be wholly ignorant concerning the heavenly abode. And yet the apostle Paul declares, ‘Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.’ I Corinthians 2:9. Human language is inadequate to describe the reward of the righteous. It will be known only to those who behold it. No finite mind can comprehend the glory of the Paradise of God.” The Story of Redemption, 430, 431.
4 After a long period of persecution promoted by the “little horn,” what power will be given to the saints? Daniel 7:21, 22.
Note: “Daniel declares that when the Ancient of Days came, ‘judgment was given to the saints of the Most High.’ Daniel 7:22. At this time the righteous reign as kings and priests unto God. John in the Revelation says: ‘I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them.’ ‘They shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.’ Revelation 20:4, 6. It is at this time that, as foretold by Paul, ‘the saints shall judge the world.’
“I Corinthians 6:2. In union with Christ they judge the wicked, comparing their acts with the statute book, the Bible, and deciding every case according to the deeds done in the body. Then the portion which the wicked must suffer is meted out, according to their works; and it is recorded against their names in the book of death.” The Great Controversy, 661.
5 What is one of the most outstanding characteristics of the “little horn”? Daniel 7:25, first part.
Note: “The Roman Church now presents a fair front to the world, covering with apologies her record of horrible cruelties. She has clothed herself in Christlike garments; but she is unchanged. Every principle of the papacy that existed in past ages exists today. The doctrines devised in the darkest ages are still held. Let none deceive themselves. The papacy that Protestants are now so ready to honor is the same that ruled the world in the days of the Reformation, when men of God stood up, at the peril of their lives, to expose her iniquity. She possesses the same pride and arrogant assumption that lorded it over kings and princes, and claimed the prerogatives of God. Her spirit is no less cruel and despotic now than when she crushed out human liberty and slew the saints of the Most High.” The Great Controversy, 571.
6 What presumptuous attitude would the “little horn” take toward the law of God? Daniel 7:25, middle part. Why is this such a heinous crime in God’s sight?
Note: “The papacy has attempted to change the law of God. The second commandment, forbidding image worship, has been dropped from the law, and the fourth commandment has been so changed as to authorize the observance of the first instead of the seventh day as the Sabbath. But papists urge, as a reason for omitting the second commandment, that it is unnecessary, being included in the first, and that they are giving the law exactly as God designed it to be understood. This cannot be the change foretold by the prophet. An intentional, deliberate change is presented: ‘He shall think to change the times and the law’ [Daniel 7:25]. The change in the fourth commandment exactly fulfills the prophecy. For this the only authority claimed is that of the church. Here the papal power openly sets itself above God.” The Great Controversy, 446. [Emphasis in original.]
“The changed signpost is pointing the wrong way, but God has not changed. He is still the mighty God of Israel.” Prophets and Kings, 185.
7 How long was the “little horn” to dominate the “Christian” world? Daniel 7:25, last part. In symbolic prophecy, what does a day stand for? Number 14:34; Ezekiel 4:6.
Note: “A day in symbolic prophecy represents a year.” The Great Controversy, 324.
“The forty and two months are the same as the ‘time and times and the dividing of time,’ three years and a half, or 1260 days, of Daniel 7—the time during which the papal power was to oppress God’s people.” Ibid., 439.
“The 1260 years of papal supremacy began in A.D. 538, and would therefore terminate in 1798. At that time a French army entered Rome and made the pope a prisoner, and he died in exile. Though a new pope was soon afterward elected, the papal hierarchy has never since been able to wield the power which it before possessed.” Ibid., 266.
8 What is written about the persecution during the period of papal supremacy? Revelation 12:6, 13, 14; 13:5.
Note: “Christians were forced to choose either to yield their integrity and accept the papal ceremonies and worship, or to wear away their lives in dungeons or suffer death by the rack, the fagot, or the headsman’s ax. Now were fulfilled the words of Jesus: ‘Ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for My name’s sake.’ Luke 21:16, 17. Persecution opened upon the faithful with greater fury than ever before, and the world became a vast battlefield. For hundreds of years the church of Christ found refuge in seclusion and obscurity. Thus says the prophet: ‘The woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and three-score days.’ Revelation 12:6.” The Great Controversy, 54, 55.
9 How does Daniel describe the final triumph of the kingdom of light over the powers of darkness? Daniel 7:26, 27.
Note: “The kingdom of God’s grace is now being established, as day by day hearts that have been full of sin and rebellion yield to the sovereignty of His love. But the full establishment of the kingdom of His glory will not take place until the second coming of Christ to this world. ‘The kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven,’ is to be given to ‘the people of the saints of the Most High.’ Daniel 7:27. They shall inherit the kingdom prepared for them ‘from the foundation of the world.’ Matthew 25:34. And Christ will take to Himself His great power and will reign.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 108.
10 What impact did this vision have on Daniel? Daniel 7:28.
Note: “With the first vision, as recorded in the seventh chapter of the book of Daniel, an interpretation was given; yet not all was made clear to the prophet. ‘My cogitations much troubled me,’ he wrote of his experience at the time, ‘and my countenance changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart.’ Daniel 7:28.” Prophets and Kings, 553, 554.
“The cross of Calvary, while it declares the law immutable, proclaims to the universe that the wages of sin is death. In the Saviour’s expiring cry, ‘It is finished,’ the death knell of Satan was rung. The great controversy which had been so long in progress was then decided, and the final eradication of evil was made certain. The Son of God passed through the portals of the tomb, that ‘through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.’ Hebrews 2:14. Lucifer’s desire for self-exaltation had led him to say: ‘I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: … I will be like the Most High.’ God declares: ‘I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth, … and never shalt thou be any more.’ Isaiah 14:13, 14; Ezekiel 28:18, 19.
“The whole universe will have become witnesses to the nature and results of sin. And its utter extermination, which in the beginning would have brought fear to angels and dishonor to God, will now vindicate His love and establish His honor before the universe of beings who delight to do His will, and in whose heart is His law. Never will evil again be manifest. Says the word of God: ‘Affliction shall not rise up the second time.’ Nahum 1:9. The law of God, which Satan has reproached as the yoke of bondage, will be honored as the law of liberty. A tested and proved creation will never again be turned from allegiance to Him whose character has been fully manifested before them as fathomless love and infinite wisdom.” The Great Controversy, 503, 504.
“ ‘Know therefore that the Lord thy God, He is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love Him and keep His commandments to a thousand generations; and repayeth them that hate Him to their face, to destroy them: He will not be slack to him that hateth Him, He will repay him to his face. Thou shalt therefore keep the commandments, and the statutes, and the judgments, which I command thee this day, to do them’ [Deuteronomy 7:9–11]. If God’s commandments are to be binding for a thousand generations, it will take them into the kingdom of God, into the presence of God and His holy angels. This is an argument that cannot be controverted. The commandments of God will endure through all time and eternity. Are they, then, given us as a burden?—No. ‘And the Lord commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that He might preserve us alive, as it is at this day.’ [Deuteronomy 6:24.] The Lord gave His people commandments, in order that by obeying them they might preserve their physical, mental, and moral health. They were to live by obedience; but death is the sure result of the disobedience of the law of God.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 413.
©2005 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted with permission.