Bible Study Guides – “What Shall be the End of These Things?”

September 22, 2001 – September 28, 2001

MEMORY VERSE: “And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.” Daniel 12:1.

STUDY HELP: Great Controversy, 635-650.

Introduction: “In the time of trouble just before the coming of Christ, the righteous will be preserved through the ministration of heavenly angels; but there will be no security for the transgressor of God’s law. Angels cannot then protect those who are disregarding one of the divine precepts.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 256.

“Thy People Shall be Delivered”

1 What wonderful promise is made for God’s people during the “time of trouble such as never was”? Daniel 12:1.

NOTE: “God’s long-suffering has ended. The world has rejected His mercy, despised His love, and trampled upon His law. The wicked have passed the boundary of their probation; the Spirit of God, persistently resisted, has been at last withdrawn. Unsheltered by divine grace, they have no protection from the wicked one. Satan will then plunge the inhabitants of the earth into one great, final trouble.…The people of God will then be plunged into those scenes of affliction and distress described by the prophet as the time of Jacob’s trouble. Those only who have clean hands and pure hearts will stand in that trying time. Now is the time for the law of God to be in our minds, foreheads, and written in our hearts.…What leisure time we have should be spent in searching the Bible, which is to judge us in the last day.…Let the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ be in your minds continually and let them crowd out worldly thoughts and cares. When you lie down and when you rise up, let them be your meditation. Live and act wholly in reference to the coming of the Son of man.” The Faith I Live By, 339.

2 Of what two resurrections was Daniel told? Daniel 12:2. Compare John 5:28-29, Mark 14:61-62, Revelation 1:7.

NOTE: See Great Controversy, 637.

3 What promise is made to those who have sought to bring others into harmony with God’s will? Daniel 12:3. (For “wise” compare verse 10.)

NOTE: The marginal reading for “wise” in this verse is ‘teachers.’

“The worth of a soul cannot be fully estimated by finite minds. How gratefully will the ransomed and glorified ones remember those who were instrumental in their salvation! No one will then regret his self-denying efforts and persevering labors, his patience, forbearance, and earnest heart yearnings for souls that might have been lost had he neglected his duty or become weary in well-doing. Now these white-robed ones are gathered into the fold of the Great Shepherd. The faithful worker and the soul saved through his labor are greeted by the Lamb in the midst of the throne, and are led to the tree of life and to the fountain of living waters. With what joy does the servant of Christ behold these redeemed ones, who are made to share the glory of the Redeemer! How much more precious is heaven to those who have been faithful in the work of saving souls! ‘And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars.’ What is done through the co-operation of men with God is a work that shall never perish, but endure through the eternal ages.” In Heavenly Places, 364.

“Seal the Book”

4 What was Daniel told about his book? Daniel 12:4, first part, 9.

NOTE: See Prophets and Kings, 547.

5 What was Daniel told about “the time of the end”? Daniel 12:4, last part.

NOTE: ‘The book that was sealed was . . . that portion of the prophecy of Daniel which related to the last days. The Scripture says, ‘But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased’ (Daniel 12:4). When the book was opened, the proclamation was made, ‘Time shall be no longer.’ [See Revelation 10:6.] The book of Daniel is now unsealed, and the revelation made by Christ to John is to come to all the inhabitants of the earth. By the increase of knowledge a people is to be prepared to stand in the latter days.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 105.

See also Desire of Ages, 234, 235.

“How Long Shall It be?”

6 Whom did Daniel next see in his vision? Daniel 12:5, 6.

NOTE: “The inquirer was Gabriel, who years earlier had asked Jesus the same question concerning ‘cleansing-of-sanctuary day 2300.’ The identity of the other Being hovering above the waters is revealed by His sacerdotal [priestly] robes. He had appeared as the High Priest at the beginning of Gabriel’s explanation. [Daniel 10:5] Now at its conclusion He again appeared similarly ‘clothed in linen.’ The question ‘till when?’ as well as the two speakers, connect the reader with the discussion which Daniel overheard in his third oracle.’ [Daniel 8:13-14].” Hardinge, Jesus Is My Judge, 231.

7 What did Daniel hear the Man clothed in linen say? Daniel 12:7. Compare Daniel 7:25, Revelation 11:2, 3, 12:6,14, 13:5.

NOTE: “In the gesture used by God when making a covenant oath, [Ezekiel 20:5, Ezekiel 47:14] Jesus raised both His right and left hands towards heaven, and swore in the name of the One who lives forever. Because He could swear by no one greater, He pledged in His own name [Hebrews 6:13].” Hardinge, Jesus Is My Judge, 232.

“The ‘holy people’ are those who held to the religion of the Bible when the majority of those who called themselves Christians forsook the religion of the Bible and forbade anyone to own or read a Bible, who yielded their allegiance to the leaders of the church and lived in disobedience to the Bible and the law of God.…For reasons which God has not revealed to us, the great counterfeit system of Christianity was to destroy the holy people of God. It was to have power over the people of God—to ‘wear out the saints of the Most High’—for three and a half times (Daniel 7:25, 12:7). A ‘time” is the same as a year [Daniel 11:13, see margin] A Jewish year was 12 months of thirty days or each 360 days; therefore three and one-half years are 1260 days. This period of time of 1260 days when ‘the power of the holy people,’ that is the spiritual descendants of the apostles and the early church, was to be broken was to last until the time of the end. (Daniel 11:35-36).” Grosboll, God Predicts Your Future, 259.

“I Heard But I Understood Not”

8 What was Daniel’s reaction to this prophecy? Daniel 12:8. Compare 1 Peter 1:10–12.

NOTE: “The prophets to whom these great scenes were revealed longed to understand their import. They ‘inquired and searched diligently:…searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify.…Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you;…which things the angels desire to look into.’ 1 Peter 1:10–12. To us who are standing on the very verge of their fulfilment, of what deep moment, what living interest, are these delineations of the things to come—events for which, since our first parents turned their steps from Eden, God’s children have watched and waited, longed and prayed!” Education, 183.

See also Great Controversy, 344.

9 How was Daniel gently shown that the understanding of this prophecy was not for him? Daniel 12:9.

NOTE: See Prophets and Kings, 547, 548.

“The Wise Shall Understand”

10 What was Daniel told about those who will live during the time of the end? Daniel 12:10.

NOTE: “The truth received into the heart accomplishes the transformation of the mind and heart and character. To Daniel the Lord revealed the condition of the inhabitants of the earth in these last days. ‘Many shall be purified,’ He said, ‘and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.’ This is a subject the comprehension of which will put to the stretch every spiritual sinew and muscle. There is a great work to be done for the members of the church, to wean them from their idols. The church-members have had great blessings; they have had the living oracles of God opened to their understanding; they have not been left in darkness and error, as those who are doing wickedly. Now God calls upon those who claim to believe the truth to show to the world its converting power on the heart and character, and to reveal to the world that they are of the number who are being purified, and made white, and tried.” Review and Herald, March 7, 1899.

“Pardon is offered to all who will return their allegiance to the law of God. But there are those who refuse to accept a ‘thus saith the Lord.’ They will not reverence and respect His law. They make rigorous human enactments in opposition to a ‘thus saith the Lord,’ and by precept and example lead men, women, and children into sin. They exalt human enactments above the divine law. But the condemnation and wrath of God are suspended over the disobedient. The clouds of God’s justice are gathering. The material of destruction has been piled up for ages; and still apostasy, rebellion, and disloyalty against God is continually increasing. The remnant people of God, who keep His commandments, will understand the word spoken by Daniel, ‘Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand’ (Daniel 12:10).” This Day With God, 84.

11 How may we understand the teachings of the Bible? John 7:17, Psalm 107:43.

NOTE:“I am pained to know that some who preach the present truth today are really unconverted men. They are not connected with God. They have a head religion, but no conversion of the heart; and these are the very ones who are the most self-confident and self-sufficient; and this self-sufficiency will stand in the way of their gaining that experience which is essential to make them effective workers in the Lord’s vineyard. I wish I could arouse those who claim to be watchmen on the walls of Zion to realize their responsibility. They should awake and take a higher stand for God, for souls are perishing through their neglect. They must have that sincere devotion to God that will lead them to see as God sees and take the words of warning from Him and sound the alarm to those who are in peril. The Lord will not hide His truth from the faithful watchman. Those who do the will of God shall know of His doctrine. The wise shall understand;’ but ‘the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand.’” Testimonies vol. 4, 527.

“Blessed is he That Waiteth”

12 Of what further prophetic period did the Lord speak to Daniel? Daniel 12:11.

NOTE: These words remind us of Daniel’s previous visions. See Daniel 8:11–13, Daniel 11:31.

“We see that there are two rebellions mentioned: a. the continuance in rebellion (Daniel 8:12); (often called the ‘daily’) and b. the desolating rebellion (Daniel 8:13).…These two rebellions are two successive stages of the great spiritual war being described: First, that which is the ‘continuance in rebellion,’ and then the prophet sees an army given to the little horn power against the ‘continuance in rebellion’ (Daniel 8:12).” Grosboll, God Predicts Your Future, 40.

“The continuance in rebellion (Daniel 8:12) represented paganism but paganism was to be abolished and the abomination that depopulates set up.…The papacy was the abomination that did desolate, depopulate the world of holy people. Those who clung, at the cost of their lives, to the religion of the Bible, were hunted and destroyed until at times the religion of Jesus Christ was almost obliterated from certain parts of the earth. Clovis, leader of the Franks, renounced paganism and accepted papal or Catholic Christianity in ad 496. Clovis launched a religious war against the other nations around him whom he judged to be either pagans or Arians.…Clovis won many victories during the next few years after he became Roman Catholic. In ad 507 he defeated the Visigoths in Gaul {modern France] and in ad 508 he pursued them to their southern strongholds and vanquished them.…Concerning this time, historians note: ‘It was decided that the Franks, and not the Goths, were to direct the future destinies of Gaul and Germany, and that the Catholic faith, and not Arianism, was to be the religion of these great realms. Clovis was the first to unite all the elements from which the new social order was to be formed—namely, the barbarians, whom he established in power; the Roman civilisation, to which he rendered homage by receiving the insignia of patrician and consul from the Emperor Anastasius; and finally, the Catholic Church, with which he formed that fruitful alliance which was continued by his successors.’ Clearly then in ad 508 paganism, the continuance or the continuous rebellion, was taken away as the national religion and the papacy was set up as the national or state religion.” Grosboll, God Predicts Your Future, 262, 263.

France thus became “the first son of the church.” At the end of the 1260 years of papal supremacy, France was to be the instrument of its undoing 1290 years after Clovis, king of the Franks, united his political and military might with the papacy.

13 What further time period is briefly mentioned? Daniel 12:12.

NOTE: While no time is given for the start of this prophetic period, its absence would suggest that it runs parallel with the other time period previously mentioned. Beginning in 508, along with the 1290 days, it would therefore end in 1843. A blessing is pronounced on those come to the end of this period.

“In the matching vision given to John [Revelation 10] Jesus held up in His hand Daniel’s ‘little book open.’ Its messages may be understood. The student of Daniel and Revelation now has the chronological framework within which to consider the directive Christ gave to John. He was bidden to ‘eat’ the prophecies of Daniel which were now ‘open.’ In fact, he was to “eat it up” in its entirety, that is, read and mentally digest it thoroughly. John was promised that he would find Daniel’s ‘time’ messages as sweet as honey in his mouth and would be thrilled with their preciousness. He was warned, however, that after he had digested their meaning, ‘his belly’ would become bitter.…In this prophetic tableau John was representative of God’s people living at the time when the prophecy of the ‘2300th cleansing-of-the-Sanctuary day’ was reaching its consummation. In the opening decades of the nineteenth century the Baptist farmer William Miller, and others in Europe and South America, led believers to study the prophecies of Daniel.…Miller concluded that it pointed to the year 1843. This marked the end of the 1335 days. This year of joyous anticipation proved euphoric for all who believed that the Saviour would return.” Hardinge, Jesus Is My Judge, 238, 239.

“In every part of the land light was given concerning this message, and the cry aroused thousands. It went from city to city, from village to village, and into the remote country regions. It reached the learned and talented, as well as the obscure and humble. This was the happiest year of my life. My heart was full of glad expectation.” Life Sketches, 59.

“Thou Shalt Stand in Thy Lot”

14 With what comforting words did the Lord conclude His message to Daniel? Daniel 12:13.

NOTE: “The time has come for Daniel to stand in his lot. The time has come for the light given him to go to the world as never before. If those for whom the Lord has done so much will walk in the light, their knowledge of Christ and the prophecies relating to Him will be greatly increased as they near the close of this earth’s history.” Manuscript Releases vol. 21, 407.

“Daniel has been standing in his lot since the seal was removed and the light of truth has been shining upon his visions. He stands in his lot, bearing the testimony which was to be understood at the end of the days.” Sermons and Talks vol. 1, 225.

“There is something for every one to do. Every soul that believes the truth is to stand in his lot and place, saying, ‘Here am I; send me.’ Isaiah 6:8.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 49.

15 What blessing on the student of the Book of Revelation may equally apply to studying the Book of Daniel? Revelation 1:3.

NOTE: “I have been instructed that the prophecies of Daniel and the Revelation should be printed in small books, with the necessary explanations, and should be sent all over the world. Our own people need to have the light placed before them in clearer lines. Those who eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of God will bring from the books of Daniel and Revelation truth that is inspired by the Holy Spirit. They will start into action forces that cannot be repressed. The lips of children will be opened to proclaim the mysteries that have been hidden from the minds of men. Many of the prophecies are about to be fulfilled in quick succession. Every element of power is about to be set to work. Past history will be repeated; old controversies will arouse to new life, and peril will beset God’s people on every side. Intensity is taking hold of the human family. It is permeating everything upon the earth.…Study Revelation in connection with Daniel, for history will be repeated.…We, with all our religious advantages, ought to know far more today than we do know. Angels desire to look into the truths that are revealed to the people who with contrite hearts are searching the word of God and praying for greater lengths and breadths and depths and heights of the knowledge which He alone can give. As we near the close of this world’s history, the prophecies relating to the last days especially demand our study.…Christ through His servant John has here declared what shall be in the last days; and He says, ‘Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein.’” Maranatha, 30.

Bible Study Guides – “Now Will I Show Thee the Truth”

September 15, 2001 – September 21, 2001

MEMORY VERSE: “The people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.” Daniel 11:32, last part.

STUDY HELP: Conflict and Courage, 257.

Introduction: “Heavenly agencies have to contend with hindrances before the purpose of God is fulfilled in its time. The king of Persia was controlled by the highest of all evil angels. He refused, as did Pharaoh, to obey the word of the Lord. Gabriel declared, He withstood me twenty-one days by his representations against the Jews. But Michael came to his help, and then he remained with the kings of Persia, holding the powers in check, giving right counsel against evil counsel.” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary,vol. 4, 1173.

“The prophecy of the eleventh chapter of Daniel has nearly reached its complete fulfillment. Soon the scenes of trouble spoken of in the prophecies will take place.” Testimonies,vol. 9, 14.

NOTE: Because of the nature of this lesson, many notes are written by the compiler, though he is indebted to the work of a number of commentators. The necessity of keeping the notes comparatively brief has made it difficult to quote directly from writers whose views the compiler respects. These notes express the views of the compiler and should not be regarded as authoritative.

“A God in Heaven That Revealeth Secrets”

1 How was Daniel shown the influence of heaven in the affairs of nations? Daniel 11:1.

NOTE: “Daniel’s prayer had been offered ‘in the first year of Darius’ (verse 1), the Median monarch whose general, Cyrus, had wrested from Babylonia the sceptre of universal rule. The reign of Darius was honored of God. To him was sent the angel Gabriel, ‘to confirm and to strengthen him.’ Daniel 11:1. Upon his death, within about two years of the fall of Babylon, Cyrus succeeded to the throne, and the beginning of his reign marked the completion of the seventy years since the first company of Hebrews had been taken by Nebuchadnezzar from their Judean home to Babylon.” Prophets and Kings, 556, 557.

2 How was the history of the Medo-Persian Empire summarized for Daniel? Daniel 11:2.

NOTE: This vision took place in the third year of Cyrus. See Daniel 10:1. These four Persian kings were Cambyses, Cyrus’ son, who reigned from 530–522 bc, and committed suicide in despair during a revolt by an impostor called Smerdis who held power for seven months in 522. He was succeeded by Darius the Great, who reigned from 522–486 bc. The one who stirred up all against the realm of Greece was Xerxes (called Ahasuerus in the Book of Esther.). According to the Greek historian, Heroditus, the Persian army numbered five and a quarter million men.

“His Kingdom Shall be Broken”

3 How was the rise and break-up of Alexander the Great’s empire explained to Daniel? Daniel 11:3, 4. Compare Daniel 7:6; Daniel 8:21, 22.

NOTE: Alexander became king of Macedonia and ruler of Greece at the age of twenty. With an army of 50,000 men he invaded the Persian Empire and in five years had conquered it. He never lost a battle. Having marched his troops as far as India, he found them unwilling to follow him further. ‘”Sighing for new worlds to conquer,” he gave himself up to debauchery. His end came in Babylon when, after a prolonged drinking bout, he collapsed in a high fever and died eleven days later in his thirty-second year. As prophecy had foretold, his infant sons did not succeed him. Instead his generals fought among themselves dividing the empire among themselves.

“Many falter and fall because of the indulgence of a perverse temper. Alexander and [Julius] Caesar found it much easier to subdue a kingdom than to rule their own spirits. After conquering nations, the world’s so-called great men fell, one of them through the indulgence of appetite, a victim of intemperance, the other through presumption and mad ambition.” Testimonies,vol. 4, 348.

4 What was Daniel told about the struggles between the king of the north and the king of the south? Daniel 11:5–15.

NOTE: Of the four divisions of Alexander’s empire, only two directly affected the people of God; Ptolemy and his successors, whose empire was based in Egypt, and Seleucus and his successors, whose empire was based in Syria. Indeed, as the wars among Alexander’s generals developed, Alexander’s empire gradually fell under the control of these two powers. Ptolemy and his successors are known as “the king of the south” and the Seleucids as “the king of the north,” which was their relationship to Jewish people. In the wars between these powers, God’s people suffered greatly, most notably at the hands of Antiochus Epiphanes, one of the Seleucid kings, in whose reign Rome asserted its power over “the king of the north.”

“As we see the fulfillment of prophecy, our faith in the final triumph of Christ’s kingdom should strengthen; and we should go forth with renewed courage to do our appointed work.” Christian Service, 111.

“The Robbers of Thy People”

5 What new power is then introduced into the account? Daniel 11:14, 16.

NOTE: The phrase “the robbers of thy people” literally means “the breakers of thy people” that is, the power that was to destroy the Jews. This destruction had been described in Daniel 9:26, last part and 27, last part. The “king of the south”, Ptolemy Epiphanes, was five years old and “the king of the north,” Antiochus the Great, formed an alliance with other powers to divide Ptolemy’s empire among them. At this point, Rome intervened on Ptolemy’s behalf “to establish the vision.” Rome was the most prominent power in each of Daniel’s visions. But notice that Daniel is reassured that the power which was to destroy his people would, in their turn, also fail. The phrase “the glorious land” is the same as “the pleasant land” in Daniel 8:9.

6 What was Daniel shown about the career of successive Roman emperors? Daniel 11:17–22.

NOTE: The careers of Julius Caesar, Augustus, and Tiberius are briefly referred to. Julius’ campaign in Palestine with support from the Jews, “upright ones,” his relationship with Cleopatra who was his mistress but not his wife, his subsequent conquests, and his assassination on returning to his own land are recorded. His successor, Augustus, is described as “a raiser of taxes”, which recalls Luke 2:1. He was not to die in battle but suffered from chronic ill-health which rendered him prematurely old, sickly and easily exhausted from the age of thirty-five. He was succeeded by Tiberius who was described by Augustus his stepfather as “too vile to wear the purple of Rome.” His name was a byword for appalling debauchery throughout his life. He succeeded to the purple peaceably, unlike his two predecessors who won power by conquest. His mock-humility won the senate’s approval for his claim to power. His armies won important victories on the northern frontier. But the most significant event of his reign was the death of “the Prince of the covenant,” the crucifixion of Jesus. Compare Daniel 8:25, last part.

7 What was Daniel shown about the methods of the Roman Empire? Daniel 11:23–28. Compare Daniel 8:24, 25.

NOTE: “At this time the Romans were only a small people; but by their clever methods of leagues and alliances, by which they always professed themselves ready to go to the assistance of the weak and oppressed, they were rapidly becoming strong.” Price, The Greatest of the Prophets, 294.

“If we regard this period, ‘for a time’ [verse 24], as a prophetic ‘time’ or 360 years, the years should probably be reckoned from the event mentioned in the next verse, which is 31 bc. [The Battle of Actium] Counting 360 years from this would bring us to about the year 330, when the seat of the empire was moved from Rome to Constantinople.…This removal to Constantinople marked the end of the exclusive rule of the seven-hilled city, though the empire continued.” Price, The Greatest of the Prophets, 295. (n.b. There was no year zero between bc and ad. Thus, for practical purposes, one subtracts a year in calculating times periods crossing this boundary.)

“They Shall Fall by the Sword”

8 How was the transition from imperial Rome to papal Rome described? Daniel 11:29–31.

NOTE: “The time appointed” may be the end of the period mentioned in verse 24. The conflict which took place was to be of a different nature from the previous two conflicts between Rome and Egypt. The source of the conflict was theological, rather than military. Rome intervened in a theological debate over the nature of the Trinity. Constantine wished to impose a unified religion over the entire empire and called a church council over which he presided. Constantine failed to resolve the debate, despite the resolutions of the Council of Nicea.

“The ships of Chittim” coming against Rome refers to the destruction of imperial Rome by Genseric the Vandal, whose great fleet played a vital part in his victory. But to reassert the power of Rome required both an alliance with those who had forsaken the holy covenant, and the use of military might. A marriage of pagan practices and Christianity took place and a union of church and state. The first king to impose this new religion by force was Clovis, king of the Franks who was named the first Catholic Majesty in 508 and France “the first son of the Church.” Following the intervention of Justinian’s armies, the last of the three barbarian powers was overthrown (see Daniel 7:8, 20, 24) and the pope installed as bishop-king of Rome.

9 What was Daniel shown about the years of persecution of God’s people? Daniel 11:32–35. Compare Daniel 7:21, 25.

NOTE: One is reminded of the missionary exploits of the Waldenses, who were nicknamed Sabbatati from their observance of the Sabbath. Rome reserved its most appalling persecutions for these faithful witnesses. As Daniel 7:25 foretold, these “many days” of persecution would be appointed by heaven to be 1260 years. Their history shows how many times their papal opponents deceived them by flattery and false promises, having failed to overcome them with military might. The Waldenses were but one group, perhaps the best known, of faithful believers during these Dark Ages. Faithful Sabbath-keepers are recorded in many countries, including India, France, Norway, Bohemia, Transylvania, Hungary, Lombardy, Scotland, Ireland and Bulgaria. Even in places like Ghana, the Sabbath was regarded as the sacred day.

“When Rome at one time determined to exterminate the hated sect, a bull was issued by the pope, condemning them as heretics, and delivering them to slaughter. They were not accused as idlers, or dishonest, or disorderly; but it was declared that they had an appearance of piety and sanctity that seduced ‘the sheep of the true fold.’ Therefore the pope ordered ‘that malicious and abominable sect of malignants,’ if they ‘refuse to abjure, to be crushed like venomous snakes.’—Wylie, b. 16, ch. 1. Did this haughty potentate expect to meet those words again? Did he know that they were registered in the books of heaven, to confront him at the judgment? ‘Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren,’ said Jesus, ‘ye have done it unto Me.’ Matthew 25:40. This bull called upon all members of the church to join the crusade against the heretics. As an incentive to engage in this cruel work, it ‘absolved from all ecclesiastical pains and penalties, general and particular; it released all who joined the crusade from any oaths they might have taken; it legitimatized their title to any property they might have illegally acquired; and promised remission of all their sins to such as should kill any heretic. It annulled all contracts made in favor of Vaudois [Waldenses], ordered their domestics to abandon them, forbade all persons to give them any aid whatever, and empowered all persons to take possession of their property.’—Wylie, b. 16, ch. 1. This document clearly reveals the master spirit behind the scenes. It is the roar of the dragon, and not the voice of Christ, that is heard therein.” Great Controversy, 77.

10 What was Daniel told about the papacy’s manner of proceeding? Daniel 11:36–39. Compare Daniel 7:75, first part; Revelation 13:5–7.

NOTE: See Great Controversy, 77, 78.

“At the Time of the End”

11 What blow was the papacy to suffer at the time of the end? Daniel 11:40, first part.

NOTE: The literal king of the south was based in Egypt. Revelation 11:8 speaks of a spiritual Egypt.

See Great Controversy, 269, 270.

In 1798, France, “the first son of the church,” sent an army to Rome. The soldiers entered the Sistine Chapel and commanded the cardinals, there assembled for the anniversary of the pope’s accession to the throne, to perform a grand mass and Te Deum to commemorate the termination of the pope’s authority. Five days later he was taken from Rome and was taken from prison to prison to France where he died a prisoner the following year.

12 How would the papacy respond to this attack? Daniel 11:40, last part, 43.

NOTE: In dealing with unfulfilled prophecy, it is wise to be most cautious. In this closing part of the prophecy, the leading character is “the king of the north.” The literal “king of the north” was the Seleucid portion of Alexander’s empire. This power has played no part in the history of God’s people for over 2000 years. All Daniel’s previous prophecies in their closing stages focused on papal Rome. So do the prophecies of Revelation. It would be remarkable for this prophecy to finish differently. The literal “glorious land” was Palestine. The “glorious holy mountain” (verse 45) was Mount Zion, the site of the temple. Spiritual Israel does not look to literal Palestine as its home. Edom, Moab and Ammon (verse 41) were all nations closely related to Israel, though often hostile to God’s people. See Genesis 19:37, 38; Genesis 36:1. What would their spiritual equivalent be? The east (see verse 44) is associated with Christ’s coming and events connected with it. See Matthew 24:27; Revelation 7:2; Revelation 16:12.

“He Shall Come to His End”

13 What was Daniel shown about the end of the papacy? Daniel 11:44, 45. Compare Revelation 13:7, 8; Revelation 16:19; 18.

14 Who intervenes on behalf of His people? Daniel 12:1.

NOTE: “I want to be among that number who shall have their names written in the book, who shall be delivered. I want the overcomer’s reward. The masterly temptations of Satan will overpower many who now profess to believe the truth. Their unworthy course of action, their denial of Christ, will make it necessary for God to blot their names from the Book of Life. But O, may it not be so with us!” Review and Herald, March 26, 1889.

“By this we see the importance of having our names written in the Book of Life. All whose names are registered there will be delivered from Satan’s power, and Christ will command that their filthy garments be removed, and that they be clothed with His righteousness. ‘And they shall be Mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up My jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.’ In the time of trouble, Satan stirs up the wicked, and they encircle the people of God to destroy them. But he does not know that ‘pardon has been written opposite their names in the books of heaven.” Review and Herald, November 19, 1908.

Bible Study Guides – “I Saw This Great Vision”

September 8, 2001 – September 14, 2001

MEMORY VERSE: “Then there came again and touched me one like the appearance of a man, and he strengthened me, and said, O man greatly beloved, fear not: peace be unto thee, be strong, yea, be strong. And when he had spoken unto me, I was strengthened, and said, Let my lord speak; for thou hast strengthened me.” Daniel 10:18, 19.

STUDY HELP:The Sanctified Life, 49–52.

Introduction: “Daniel was an aged man. His life had been passed amid the fascinations of a heathen court, his mind cumbered with the affairs of a great empire; yet he turns aside from all these to afflict his soul before God, and seek a knowledge of the purposes of the Most High. And in response to his supplications, light from the heavenly courts was communicated for those who should live in the latter days. With what earnestness, then, should we seek God, that He may open our understanding to comprehend the truths brought to us from Heaven.” Review and Herald, February 8, 1881.

“He Had Understanding of the Vision”

1 When was Daniel finally able to understand the things revealed to him? Daniel 10:1.

NOTE: The vision had been given in Daniel 8. Gabriel had explained a great deal of the vision in Daniel 8:19–26. He was not able to complete this explanation, however, because of Daniel’s collapse, though he was able to tell the aged prophet that the vision “of the evening and the morning” (i.e. Daniel 8:14, remember that this prophecy concerned “evening–morning 2300”) would encompass many days. When Gabriel returned to Daniel, he was able to explain the part of the vision that concerned especially the Jewish people. That explanation finished with the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans. Now it would appear that the remainder of the vision has been explained to the prophet.

2 What was Daniel’s reaction to his realization of the length of time encompassed by the vision? Daniel 10:2, 3.

NOTE: Once again Daniel is deeply distressed by what he has learned about the time that would elapse before the vision was fulfilled.

“It cannot now be said by the Lord’s servants, as it was by the prophet Daniel: ‘The time appointed was long.’ Daniel 10:1. It is now but a short time till the witnesses for God will have done their work in preparing the way of the Lord.” Testimonies,vol. 6, 406.

“The time of waiting may seem long, the soul may be oppressed by discouraging circumstances, many in whom confidence has been placed may fall by the way; but with the prophet who endeavored to encourage Judah in a time of unparalleled apostasy, let us confidently declare, ‘The Lord is in His holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before Him.’ Let us ever hold in remembrance the cheering message, ‘The vision is yet for an appointed time, ‘The vision is yet for an appointed time…: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.…The just shall live by his faith.’” My Life Today, 55.

“A Certain Man Clothed in Linen”

3 After Daniel’s three weeks of mourning, how did heaven respond to his grief? Daniel 10:4, 6.

NOTE: Hiddekel is the River Tigris.

“Jesus is our friend; all heaven is interested in our welfare; and our anxiety and fear grieve the Holy Spirit of God. We should not indulge in a solicitude that only frets and wears us, but does not help us to bear trials.…He invites the weary and care-laden, ‘Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’ Lay off the yoke of anxiety and worldly care that you have placed on your own neck, and ‘take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.’ Matthew 11:28, 29. We may find rest and peace in God.” The Faith I Live By, 63.

4 Who was it that appeared to Daniel? Revelation 2:18. Compare Daniel 12:6, 7.

NOTE: “This description is similar to that given by John when Christ was revealed to him upon the Isle of Patmos. No less a personage than the Son of God appeared to Daniel. Our Lord comes with another heavenly messenger to teach Daniel what would take place in the latter days.” The Sanctified Life, 49, 50.

“There Remained No Strength in Me”

5 How did Daniel’s companions react to this vision? Daniel 10:7.

NOTE: “If one angel from heaven caused the Roman guard to fall as dead men, how can those who are unprepared, unholy, bear the sight and live, of seeing Jesus in the glory of His Father and ten thousand angels accompanying Him. O how can sinners bear this sight! They will cry for rocks and mountains to fall on them, and hide them from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb.” Youth’s Instructor, April 1, 1854.

6 How did Daniel himself respond to the vision? Daniel 10:8, 9.

NOTE: “All who are truly sanctified will have a similar experience. The clearer their views of the greatness, glory, and perfection of Christ, the more vividly will they see their own weakness and imperfection. They will have no disposition to claim a sinless character; that which has appeared right and comely in themselves will, in contrast with Christ’s purity and glory, appear only as unworthy and corruptible. It is when men are separated from God, when they have very indistinct views of Christ, that they say, ‘I am sinless; I am sanctified.’” The Sanctified Life, 50, 51.

“Thy Words Were Heard”

7 How was Daniel addressed by the heavenly messenger? Daniel 10:11, 12.

NOTE: “What great honor is shown to Daniel by the Majesty of heaven! He comforts His trembling servant and assures him that his prayer has been heard in heaven. In answer to that fervent petition the angel Gabriel was sent to affect the heart of the Persian king. The monarch had resisted the impressions of the Spirit of God during the three weeks while Daniel was fasting and praying, but heaven’s Prince, the Archangel, Michael, was sent to turn the heart of the stubborn king to take some decided action to answer the prayer of Daniel.” The Sanctified Life, 51.

8 What had delayed heaven’s response to the prophet’s distress? Daniel 10:13.

NOTE: “While Satan was striving to influence the highest powers in the kingdom of Medo-Persia to show disfavor to God’s people, angels worked in behalf of the exiles. The controversy was one in which all heaven was interested. Through the prophet Daniel we are given a glimpse of this mighty struggle between the forces of good and the forces of evil. For three weeks Gabriel wrestled with the powers of darkness, seeking to counteract the influences at work on the mind of Cyrus; and before the contest closed, Christ Himself came to Gabriel’s aid. ‘The prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days,’ Gabriel declares; ‘but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.’ Daniel 10:13. All that heaven could do in behalf of the people of God was done. The victory was finally gained; the forces of the enemy were held in check all the days of Cyrus, and all the days of his son Cambyses, who reigned about seven and a half years.” Prophets and Kings, 571, 572.

The marginal reading for “Michael, one of the chief princes,” is “Michael, the chief or first of the princes.” The name “Michael” means “He who is like the Most High.” (Some commentators express it as a question.) This title was coveted by Lucifer. See Isaiah 14:14. But it rightly belongs to the One we know as Jesus Christ. Compare Philippians 2:6 and John 1:1. Jesus is called by this name five times in the Scriptures (three times in Daniel, once in Jude and once in Revelation). The New Testament references describe Him as the leader of the angels (Jude 9, Revelation 12:7). In Matthew 13:41; Matthew 16:27; Matthew 24:31 and Mark 13:26, 27, Christ is clearly the Leader of the angels. In 1 Thessalonians 4:16, we are told that the voice of the Archangel will call the dead in Christ to arise. John 5:28, 29 shows that the voice that will call the dead to arise is the voice of Christ.

“Now I Am Come to Make Thee Understand”

9 What was Gabriel’s purpose in coming to Daniel? Daniel 10:14. Compare Daniel 8:16, 17; Daniel 9:21–23.

NOTE: “The words of the angel, ‘I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God,’ [Luke 1:19] show that he holds a position of high honor in the heavenly courts. When he came with a message to Daniel, he said, ‘There is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael [Christ] your Prince.’ Daniel 10:21. Of Gabriel the Saviour speaks in the Revelation, saying that ‘He sent and signified it by His angel unto His servant John.’ Revelation 1:1. And to John the angel declared, ‘I am a fellow servant with thee and with thy brethren the prophets.’ Revelation 22:9, R. V. Wonderful thought—that the angel who stands next in honor to the Son of God is the one chosen to open the purposes of God to sinful men.’ Desire of Ages, 99.

10 What was Daniel’s reaction to Gabriel’s words? Daniel 10:15–17.

NOTE: “So great was the divine glory revealed to Daniel that he could not endure the sight. Then the messenger of heaven veiled the brightness of his presence and appeared to the prophet as ‘one like the similitude of the sons of men’ (verse 16). By his divine power he strengthened this man of integrity and of faith, to hear the message sent to him from God.” The Sanctified Life, 52.

‘‘O Man Greatly Beloved”

11 How did Gabriel reply to Daniel’s trembling words and what was Daniel’s response? Daniel 10:18, 19.

NOTE: “Daniel was a devoted servant of the Most High. His long life was filled up with noble deeds of service for his Master. His purity of character and unwavering fidelity are equaled only by his humility of heart and his contrition before God. We repeat, The life of Daniel is an inspired illustration of true sanctification.” The Sanctified Life, 52.

12 With what words did Gabriel introduce Daniel’s final revelation from heaven? Daniel 10:20, 21.

NOTE: “‘The Lord God will do nothing, but He revealeth His secret unto His servants and prophets.’ While ‘the secret things belong unto the Lord our God,’ ‘those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever.’ Amos 3:7; Deuteronomy 29:29. God has given these things to us, and His blessing will attend the reverent, prayerful study of the prophetic scriptures.” Desire of Ages, 234.

Bible Study Guides – “Understand the Matter and Consider the Vision”

September 1, 2001 – September 7, 2001

MEMORY VERSE: “And I prayed unto the LORD my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love Him, and to them that keep His commandments.” Daniel 9:4.

STUDY HELP: Prophets and Kings, 698, 699.

Introduction: “As the time approached for the close of the seventy years’ captivity, Daniel’s mind became greatly exercised upon the prophecies of Jeremiah. He saw that the time was at hand when God would give His chosen people another trial; and with fasting, humiliation, and prayer, he importuned the God of heaven in behalf of Israel.” The Sanctified Life, 46.

“The Number of the Years”

1 Because of his vision, what did Daniel set out to study? Daniel 9:1, 2. Compare Jeremiah 25:11, 12.

NOTE: See Prophets and Kings, 554.

2 When did these events take place? Daniel 9:1, 2. Compare Daniel 6.

NOTE: Darius’ reign was very brief and Daniel only mentions his first year. See also Daniel 11:1. It may well be that the prayers that led to Daniel’s experience in the lion’s den were connected with his studies of Jeremiah’s prophecy.

3 What did Daniel decide to do as a result of his study of the Scriptures? Daniel 9:3.

NOTE: “With faith founded on the sure word of prophecy, Daniel pleaded with the Lord for the speedy restoration of the captive exiles to the land of their fathers.” Review and Herald, March 21, 1907.

“Neither Have we Hearkened unto Thy Servants the Prophets”

4 What was the burden of Daniel’s prayer? Daniel 9:4–15, 18, 19.

NOTE: “Notice these words. Daniel does not proclaim his own fidelity before the Lord. Instead of claiming to be pure and holy, he identifies himself with the really sinful of Israel. The wisdom which God imparted to him was as far superior to the wisdom of the wise men of the world as the light of the sun shining in the heavens at noonday is brighter than the feeblest star. Yet ponder the prayer from the lips of this man so highly favored of Heaven. With deep humiliation, with tears, and with rending of heart, he pleads for himself and for his people. He lays his soul open before God, confessing his own vileness, and acknowledging the Lord’s greatness and majesty. What earnestness and fervor characterize his supplications! He is coming nearer and nearer to God. The hand of faith is reached upward to grasp the never-failing promises of the Most High. His soul is wrestling in agony. And he has the evidence that his prayer is heard. He feels that victory is his. If we as a people would pray as Daniel prayed, and wrestle as he wrestled, humbling our souls before God, we should realize as marked answers to our petitions as were granted to Daniel. Hear how he presses his case at the court of Heaven.” Review and Herald, February 8, 1881.

5 What especially was on Daniel’s heart? When was Daniel praying? Daniel 9:16, 17, 21. Compare Daniel 8:14.

NOTE: “Daniel’s heart turns with intense longing to the desolate sanctuary of God. He knows that its prosperity can be restored only as Israel shall repent of their transgressions of God’s law, and become humble, faithful, and obedient.” The Sanctified Life, 47.

“Whiles I was Speaking and Praying”

6 Who came in answer to Daniel’s prayer? Daniel 9:20, 21. Compare Isaiah 65:24.

NOTE: “As Daniel’s prayer is going forth, the angel Gabriel comes sweeping down from the heavenly courts to tell him that his petitions are heard and answered. This mighty angel has been commissioned to give him skill and understanding—to open before him the mysteries of future ages. Thus, while earnestly seeking to know and understand the truth, Daniel was brought into communion with Heaven’s delegated messenger.” The Sanctified Life, 48.

See also Desire of Ages, 234.

7 How did Gabriel explain his mission to Daniel? Daniel 9:22, 23. Compare Daniel 8:16.

NOTE: “God had bidden His messenger: ‘Make this man to understand the vision.’ That commission must be fulfilled. In obedience to it, the angel, some time afterward, returned to Daniel, saying: ‘I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding;’ ‘therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision.’ Daniel 8:27, 16; 9:22, 23, 25–27. There was one important point in the vision of chapter 8 which had been left unexplained, namely, that relating to time—the period of the 2300 days; therefore the angel, in resuming his explanation, dwells chiefly upon the subject of time.” Great Controversy, 325.

“Seventy Weeks are Determined”

8 What time period did Gabriel begin to explain to the prophet? Daniel 9:24, first part.

NOTE: “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.” Great Controversy, 326.

9 What was to take place during that period of time? Daniel 9:24.

NOTE: “The transgression was to be finished; that is, the Jewish people were to fill up the cup of their iniquity, which they did in the rejection and crucifixion of Christ. An end of sins, or of sin-offerings, was to be made. This took place when the great offering was made on Calvary. Reconciliation for iniquity was to be provided. This was made by the sacrificial death of the Son of God. Everlasting righteousness was to be brought in; the righteousness which our Lord manifested in His sinless life. The vision and the prophecy were to be sealed up, or made sure. By the events given to transpire in the seventy weeks, the prophecy is tested. By this the application of the whole vision is determined. If the events of this period are accurately fulfilled, the prophecy is of God and will all be accomplished; and if these seventy weeks are fulfilled as weeks of years, then the 2300 days, of which these are a part, are so many years. Thus the events of the seventy weeks furnish a key to the whole vision. And the ‘most holy’ was to be anointed; the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary.” Smith, Daniel and the Revelation,1918 ed., 217.

10 When was this period to begin? Daniel 9:25, first part.

NOTE: “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, 457bc. But in Ezra 6:14 the house of the Lord at Jerusalem is said to have been built ‘according to the commandment 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 457bc, 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.” Great Controversy, 326.

11 How long a period was to elapse from the going forth of the commandment until the appearance of Messiah the Prince? How much of this time was to be devoted to rebuilding of the city streets and walls? Daniel 9:25.

NOTE: “‘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’—namely, sixty-nine weeks, or 483 years. The decree of Artaxerxes went into effect in the autumn of 457bc. From this date, 483 years extend to the autumn of ad27. (See Appendix) At that time this prophecy was fulfilled. The word ‘Messiah’ signifies ‘the Anointed One.’ In the autumn of ad27 Christ was baptized by John and received the anointing of the Spirit. The apostle Peter testifies that ‘God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power.’ Acts 10:38. And the Saviour Himself declared: ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor.’ Luke 4:18. After His baptism He went into Galilee, ‘preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, The time is fulfilled.’ Mark 1:14, 15.” Great Controversy, 327.

12 What was to happen during the final part of the prophecy? Daniel 9:26, first part; Daniel 9:27, first part.

NOTE: See Great Controversy, 327, 328.

13 What was to be the fate of the city and the sanctuary? Daniel 9:26, last part; Daniel 9:27, last part. Compare Matthew 24:15–20; Luke 21:20–24 and Luke 19:42–44.

NOTE: See Great Controversy, 35.

14 When was the remainder of the vision revealed to Daniel? Daniel 10:1.

NOTE: “Upon the occasion just described, the angel Gabriel imparted to Daniel all the instruction which he was then able to receive. A few years afterward, however, the prophet desired to learn more of subjects not yet fully explained, and again set himself to seek light and wisdom from God.” The Sanctified Life, 49.

Food for Life – Pure, Fresh Air!

How valuable it is…So, therefore, very important for the human body.

From Counsels on Health we read: “Many labor under the mistaken idea that if they have taken cold, they must carefully exclude the outside air, and increase the temperature of their room until it is excessively hot. The system may be deranged, the pores closed by waste matter, and the internal organs suffering more or less inflammation, because the blood has been chilled back from the surface and thrown upon them. At this time, of all others, the lungs should not be deprived of pure, fresh air. If pure air is ever necessary, it is when any part of the system, as the lungs or stomach, is diseased. Judicious exercise would induce the blood to the surface, and thus relieve the internal organs. Brisk, yet not violent exercise in the open air, with cheerfulness of spirits, will promote the circulation, giving a healthful glow to the skin and sending the blood, vitalized by the pure air, to the extremities. The diseased stomach will find relief by exercise. Physicians frequently advise invalids to visit foreign countries, to go to the springs, or to ride upon the ocean in order to regain health; when in nine cases out of ten, if they would eat temperately and engage in healthful exercise with a cheerful spirit, they would regain health and save time and money. Exercise, and a free abundant use of the air and sunlight—blessings which Heaven has freely bestowed upon all—would give life and strength to the emaciated invalid.

“By active exercise in the open air every day, the liver, kidneys, and lungs also will be strengthened to perform their work. Bring to your aid the power of the will, which will resist cold and will give energy to the nervous system.

“Fresh air will prove far more beneficial to sick persons than medicine, and is far more essential to them than their food. They will do better, and will recover sooner when deprived of food, than when deprived of fresh air.

“If they would become enlightened, and let medicine alone, and accustom themselves to outdoor exercise, and to air in their houses, summer and winter, and use soft water for drinking and bathing purposes, they would be comparatively well and happy, instead of dragging out a miserable existence.

“Sleeping rooms especially should be well ventilated and the atmosphere made healthy by light and air.

“Sleeping apartments should be large, and so arranged as to have a circulation of air through them day and night. Those who have excluded the air from their sleeping rooms, should begin to change their course immediately. They should let in air by degrees, and increase its circulation until they can bear it winter and summer, with no danger of taking cold. The lungs, in order to be healthy, must have pure air.”

—Counsels on Health, 52–59.

Children’s Story – God Made Many Wonders

Linda found a crab crawling along the beach.

“Oh, look at this funny crab,” she said. “See, he is crawling sideways.”

“That is the way crabs travel,” said Daddy. “It’s a wonder they ever get anywhere.”

“Where did he come from?,” asked John.

“From the ocean,” Daddy told him. “There are many crabs in the ocean. See his little shell house? When it is too small for him, he will shed it and have another just the right size for him.”

“How can he do it?” Linda wondered.

“I don’t know, Linda. He is one of God’s wonders. The earth and sea are full of wonders.”

“Tell us about them—all of them,” said John.

“Oh, I couldn’t tell you about all of them,” laughed Daddy; “there are too many. But I can tell you about
a few.

“In the ocean are many little creatures, like the crab, who live in shell homes just right for them. There are many kinds of fish too, and one that carries a light to show him the way through the darkness!

“There are many wonders all around us, too, like the little creatures that look like the things around them. The garden toad wears a funny wrinkled coat to look like the brown earth. The walking stick looks like a twig, and a dead-leaf moth looks like a dead leaf on the bush where he is resting.”

“Tell us more,” said Linda.

“We must start for home,” said Mother, “but I think it’s a good thing to think about some of God’s wonders. It helps us to know how great and wonderful God is, and to know that He will care for us.”

The day was almost over. The sun had slipped behind the hills and now the sky was growing darker. The baby robins had settled down in their nest beneath mother’s wings. Father robin had just begun his evening song.

“Look at the evening star,” said Mother; “isn’t it beautiful?”

“Yes,” said John, “It’s the first star in the sky tonight.”

“Sometimes I wonder which is more beautiful, the blue sky of the daytime, or the starry sky at night,” said Mother.

“I like the blue sky the best,” said John, “when the big white clouds are sailing along.”

“Think of all the beautiful things in the world,” said Mother. “Let’s name a few of them.”

“I like tall mountains, covered with snow,” said John.

“I like sunsets and rainbows,” said Mother, “and the moon and stars. I like trees with branches waving in the air.”

“I like oceans and rivers and lakes,” said Linda.

“Little things are beautiful, too,” said Mother; “rose petals, butterflies, and birds. Sometimes I think the little things are the most beautiful of all.”

“I see something beautiful right now,” said John, with a big yawn, “and it’s little. It’s a lightning bug just turning on his light.”

“God has made a beautiful world for us to enjoy.”

God “doeth great things . . . and wonders without number.” Job 9:10.

Restoring the Temple – Air, Breath of Life

Is there anything like going out to the countryside and inhaling a lung-full of fresh clean air? You can feel the oxygen coursing through your blood and invigorating your body and mind. Breathing is something we take for granted, but we cannot go for long without oxygen. In 1976, French diver Jacques Mayol made the free diving record of 325 feet (99 meters), holding his breath for 3 minutes, 39 seconds. This was done only after years of training and is by far the exception of the limit of the human body, rather than the rule. Most people lose consciousness after only one or two minutes without oxygen and will die a few minutes later.

Every cell in your body requires a continuous supply of oxygen. Your respiratory and cardiovascular systems work in tandem to provide each cell with oxygen and eliminate excess carbon dioxide. The body was perfectly designed to perform this function, and failure by either system causes death. Through the normal process of quiet breathing we inhale about 500 ml (half a quart) of air. When we deep breathe, we can increase this amount by about 3100 ml (3+ quarts).1

Yet the air we breathe often contains far more than the elements we require for life. The Industrial Revolution, which began in the late eighteenth century, changed our air forever and not in a positive way. Not until the late twentieth century did governments start to regulate air pollution, which has helped reduce toxins in our atmosphere, but so far it has not been enough. In 1990, United States industry alone emitted more than 2.4 billion pounds of toxic pollutants into the air.2 What does this mean to our health? Fifty-thousand to one-hundred twenty thousand premature deaths in the United States have been related to exposure to air pollutants.3 Air pollution is not limited to the out-of-doors but also occurs indoors with exposure to paint fumes, housecleaning solvents, fumes from carpeting, etc.

What can you do to limit your exposure to pollutants and get as much life-giving pure air as possible? One major change that is highly encouraged is a move to the country, where air is often significantly cleaner and less saturated with toxins than city air. Where moving is not a possibility, individuals and families should retreat to the country as often as they can.

“Let several families living in a city or village unite and leave the occupations which have taxed them physically and mentally, and make an excursion into the country, to the side of a fine lake, or to a nice grove where the scenery of nature is beautiful. They should provide themselves with plain, hygienic food, the very best fruits and grains, and spread their table under the shade of some tree or under the canopy of heaven. The ride, the exercise, and the scenery will quicken the appetite, and they can enjoy a repast which kings might envy.” 4

Also important for air health is making sure you reduce the amount of chemicals used in your home and workshop and maintain adequate ventilation whenever chemicals are used. Open your home to the outside air whenever possible, especially in the bedroom when you sleep. Invest in a high-quality air purifier, and if the air is dry in your area, a humidifier would also be recommended.

Practice breathing exercises. In a relaxing environment, preferably in fresh outside air, take several breaths, inhaling as deeply as possible. Hold for a few seconds then slowly release. Think about your posture. Breathing power should come from your diaphragm and abdominal muscles. Poor posture contributes to less effective muscle contractions and the lungs cannot reach their optimum capacity.

Ever since the moment God breathed the breath of life into Adam’s nostrils, we have been dependent upon this substance. Oxygen-infused air is the most important element that sustains us. Medical workers are trained to observe the ABCs of rescue, which prioritize the steps of resuscitation. A for airway—make sure the individual has a clear passage with which to breathe. B for breathing—check their breathing and if absent start breathing for them. C for circulation—make sure their heart is beating, and if not, start compressions. As you can see, breathing is the number one priority in saving one’s life. Without this one thing, we will die quickly. Even the beatings of the heart cannot be sustained without near constant oxygen supply. This is an allegory to our spiritual life. As God breathed in Adam’s nostrils, which combined with the dust of the earth to become man’s soul, our relationship with our Creator became our highest priority for the sustenance of eternal life.

“The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.” Job 33:4.

  1. Principles of Anatomy and Physiology, Gerard J. Tortora and Nicholas P. Anagnostakos, Harper and Row, New York, 1990, 707.
  2. Air Pollution and Respiratory Health, CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health, 1999.
  3. Ibid.
  4. The Adventist Home, E.G. White, Review and Herald Publishing Association, Hagerstown, Maryland, 1952, 501.

Inspiration – On Sanctification, part II

The human organism is the handiwork of God. The organs employed in all the different functions of the body were made by Him. The Lord gives us food and drink that the wants of the human body may be supplied. He had given the earth different properties adapted to the growth of food fit for His children. He gives the sunshine and the showers, the early and the latter rain. He forms the clouds and sends the dew. All are His gifts. He has bestowed His blessings upon us liberally, but all these blessings will not restore the blessings of God unless man cooperates with God making painstaking effort to know himself, to understand how to care for the delicate human machinery. He must diligently help to keep himself in harmony with nature’s laws. He who consecrates all his powers to God, seeking intelligently to obey the laws of nature, stands in his God-given manhood, and is recorded in the books of heaven as a man—Letter 139, 1898, p. 16. (To Elder A. T. Jones, December 16, 1898.)

The gospel fits all periods and all relations of life. No man can separate fellowship with God from a life of holiness. Sanctification takes in the whole being. Many in this our day claim fellowship with God while by their lives they deny their claim. “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth; but if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.” To walk in the light is to know and obey the truth. To have fellowship with one another is to treat one another as children of God.—Letter 21, 1901, pp. 13, 14. (To Elder E. E. Franke, October 5, 1900.)

By our faith and works we are to declare that God is our wisdom, our sanctification, our righteousness. He has given us the strongest encouragement to draw nigh to Him, and the nearer we come to Him, the nearer we come to the law of harmony and unity and holiness.

The practical lesson we are all to learn in genuine Bible religion is that we are to be of one mind and one judgment, that the law of God is a law of love to God and to man. Even disappointment and suffering is made unto us a means of sanctification. It elevates and purifies the soul, helping us to work out the will of God.—Letter 54, 1901, p. 2. (To “My Dear Son Edson White,” June, 1901.)

In the Sermon on the Mount, Christ has given a definition of true sanctification. He lived a life of holiness. He was an object-lesson of what His followers are to be. We are to be crucified with Christ, buried with Him, and then quickened by His Spirit. Then we are filled with His life.

Our sanctification is God’s object in all His dealing with us. He has chosen us from eternity that we may be holy. Christ gave Himself for our redemption, that through our faith in His power to save from sin, we might be made complete in Him. In giving us His Word, He has given us bread from heaven. He declares that if we eat His flesh and drink His blood, we shall receive eternal life. Why do we not dwell more upon this? Why do we not strive to make it easily understood, when it means so much? Why do not Christians open their eyes to see the work God requires them to do? Sanctification is the progressive work of a lifetime. The Lord declares, ‘This is the will of God, even your sanctification.’ Is it your will that your desires and inclinations shall be brought into conformity to the divine will?

As Christians, we have pledged ourselves to realize and fulfill our responsibilities, and to show to the world that we have a close connection with God. Thus, through the godly words and works of His disciples, Christ is to be represented.

God demands of us perfect obedience to His law—the expression of His character. “Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid; yea, we establish the law.” This law is the echo of God’s voice, saying to us, “Holier, yes, holier still.” Desire the fullness of the grace of Christ; yea, long—hunger and thirst—after righteousness. The promise is, “Ye shall be filled.” Let your heart be filled with an intense longing for this righteousness, the work of which God’s Word declares is peace, and its effect, quietness and assurance forever.

It is our privilege to be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. God has plainly stated that He requires us to be perfect; and because He requires this, He has made provision that we may be partakers of the divine nature. Only thus can we gain success in our striving for eternal life. The power is given by Christ. “As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God.”

God requires of us conformity to His image. Holiness is the reflection from His people of the bright rays of His glory. But in order to reflect this glory, man must work with God. The heart and mind must be emptied of all that leads to wrong. The Word of God must be read and studied with an earnest desire to gain from it spiritual power. The bread of heaven must become a part of the life. Thus we gain eternal life. Then is answered the prayer of the Saviour, “Sanctify them through Thy truth; Thy word is truth.”—Letter 153, 1902, pp. 6–9. (To Elder and Mrs. S. N. Haskell, September 27, 1902.)

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” To be justified means to be pardoned. To those whom God justifies He imputes Christ’s righteousness; for the Saviour has taken away our sins. We stand before the throne of God justified and sanctified. We are emptied of self, and through the sanctification of the truth Christ abides in our hearts.—Letter 202, 1902, pp. 1, 2. (General letter to “My Dear Brethren and Sisters,” December 15, 1902.)

All over the fields there is not among the laborers that humiliation of soul, that sanctification of the Spirit of God that there should be. Of what use is it for us to say that we have the grace of Christ, unless this grace is revealed in the daily life, in the thoughts, the words, and the actions?…—Ms 11, 1903, p. 1. (“Words of Counsel”, March 26, 1903.)

If sanctified through the truth, those who carry the last message of warning and mercy to a guilty world will act in accordance with the principles of truth. Knowing and obeying the truth, they cannot be otherwise than in fellowship one with another. Through confession and reformation they will remove everything that divides hearts. And He who forgives our sins cleanses us from all the rubbish that has been accumulating around us through human devising—rubbish that encouraged alienation and strife, and that perpetuated difficulties because of our refusal to submit to Christ’s yoke.

The soul needs cleansing. The love of the truth sanctifies the soul. Sanctification is not the work of a moment; it is the result of a yielding of the heart to Christ, an acceptance of the conditions of salvation—a process that God will carry forward day by day, steadily, progressively, never ending, but ever blending heart with heart, soul with soul, a refining process going on day by day, in God’s own way, in doing His will until all true believers are complete in Him. This is the work that is to be done by every believer.—Letter 192, 1903, pp. 6, 7. (To A. T. Jones, August 28, 1903.)…

When the sacredness of Christ’s character is brought into the daily life, God is glorified.…Sancti-fication means purification. The wisdom that comes from above is first pure, then peaceable.…The word of God, obeyed, is the divine revelation that works in heart and mind, and sanctifies the soul. The words of truth are to be cherished. Not one charge given by God is to be disregarded. If obeyed, the Word will restrain every evil thought, word, and act.…

True holiness is the fruit of Christ’s death. It was by this infinite sacrifice that the Holy Spirit was purchased for the human family. Christ gave Himself for His church, that through obedience to the sacred words of truth the members might receive His sanctification.—Letter 336, 1906, pp. 5–7. (To “Brethren in Responsible Positions in Australia,” October 25, 1906.)

It is the gospel, and the gospel alone, that will sanctify the soul. And this makes possible to the receiver that life “that measures with the life of God.” This is the record that God has given us, even eternal life; and this life is in His Son. He who is a partaker of the divine nature will escape the corruptions that are in the world through lust. His faith in Christ as the Life-giver, gives him life. “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God, that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”

This life of sanctification and joy in believing is for every soul who in faith will claim the promises of the Word of God, and draw upon divine strength for the work of overcoming.—Letter 393, 1907, p. 3. (To Mabel Workman, November, 1907.)

If we keep our minds stayed upon Christ, He will come unto us as the rain, as the former and latter rain upon the earth. As the Sun of righteousness, He will arise with healing in His wings. We may grow as the lily, revive as the corn, and grow as the vine. By constantly looking to and patterning after Christ, as our personal Saviour, we shall grow up into Him in all things. Our faith will grow, our conscience will be sanctified. We will more and more become like Christ in all our works and words. Thank God, we shall believe His Word. “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”—Letter 106, 1908, p. 5. (To Elder and Mrs. S. N. Haskell, April 2, 1908.)

Faith says, Move forward. Christ says, “Lo I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” Go on, step by step, departing not from that spirit of sanctification through the truth which the presence of the Spirit of God and obedience to the truth will give. Let none who have accepted this blessed faith and hope be found lacking in the spirit of self-sacrifice as they engage in the sacred work of presenting to the people, the truth in its simplicity.—Letter 142, 1909, p. 8. (To A. G. Daniells, October 27, 1909.)

As a people, and individually, we need to receive fresh supplies of grace day by day. We need the endowment of the Holy Spirit, which is able to sanctify the soul. Many of us do not realize the sacredness of our profession of faith; therefore there is much talking and little real faith, little convincing evidence that the Holy Spirit is imbuing our hearts, illuminating our minds, and strengthening us to perform the will of Him who day by day is calling us out of darkness and into His marvelous light.—Ms 55, 1912, p. 1. (To sanitarium workers: “A Call to Awake,” typed August 3, 1912.)

Manuscript Releases, vol. 4, 349–357.

Do You Really Love Jesus? – Part III

Although there are many others, the “Tamper” Accusation is one of the last areas of attack on the Spirit of Prophecy. This one is the most dangerous, because it is the most subtle. Many of those who make this charge profess to believe, 100 percent, in the authority of Ellen White. They may not make an attack undermining her authority, they may not say some things were only her opinions, or claim only in vision or the Bible and the Bible only—all of the other things we looked at, they may not do.

Even though they agree that the authority of the Spirit of Prophecy is equal with the authority of the Bible, they say that some things in Ellen White’s published books were not written by her. Have you ever heard that? That is what we want to examine. Let us briefly overview a few points in relation to this theory.

Republication and Changes

Just like every other attack on the Spirit of Prophecy, you could make the same attack on the Bible.

There are two primary supports for the tamper charge: There were changes in things that were republished and there are alleged contradictions between earlier Spirit of Prophecy writings and later Spirit of Prophecy writings, and contradictions between the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy writings.

It is true that there were changes; that fact is true. Does anybody claim that there are contradictions in the Bible? Many people do. “Those who take only a surface view of the Scriptures will, with their superficial knowledge, which they think is very deep, talk of the contradictions of the Bible, and question the authority of the Scriptures.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 20. That is the exact same thing some people are doing with the Spirit of Prophecy—talking of contradictions and questioning its authority.

Jesus says, “If I bear witness of Myself, My witness is not true.” John 5:31. But in John 8:14 we read, “Jesus answered and said unto them, Though I bear record of Myself, yet My record is true.” The two statements appear to the superficial Bible student to be contradictory. If you study it out you will find that “bear record” and “bear witness” means the same thing. A skeptic could use that to say there are contradictions, not only in the Bible, but in what Jesus said. That is just one example of many in the Bible.

Skeptics and Infidels

“In the very same way that they treat the writings in my published articles and in my books, so do skeptics and infidels treat the Bible.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 19.

What do skeptics and infidels say about the Bible? They say there are contradictions in it. The same way these skeptics and infidels treat the Bible, people are treating the Spirit of Prophecy.

“From various sources I have been receiving letters containing statements regarding supposed inconsistencies in the Testimonies and reasons why they cannot be regarded as reliable.” Loma Linda Messages, 176.

One alleged contradiction occurs between Spirit of Prophecy, vol.1, 29, and Patriarchs and Prophets, which was the later revised and updated version of the first volume in the Spirit of Prophecy series.

In the first reference it says that Satan “repented of his rebellion,” but in the second reference it says, “He nearly reached the decision to return, but pride forbade him.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 39. So people say, See, that is a contradiction. The answer for that claim is actually very easy. The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 1 quote is from Chapter 3, “Temptation and Fall.” Satan had already been cast out of heaven; he was here on the earth and then he repented of his rebellion. However, in the Patriarchs and Prophets quote, Satan is still in heaven; he almost reached his decision to repent but pride forbade him. The two quotes are not talking about the same time or the same event—so there is not the least bit of a contradiction. As is so often the case, the problem involves not understanding the context of the two statements.

Examining the Charges

Let us examine the charges for the alleged unauthorized changes in the Spirit of Prophecy. It is true; there were things which Mrs. White wrote that were republished later, and in the republication there were some things added, some things taken out, some things revised. The same thing is true in the Bible. Let us look at all three cases found in the Bible: things added, things left out, and wording changed or variation in wording.

“Then took Jeremiah another roll, and gave it to Baruch the scribe, the son of Neriah; who wrote therein from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of the book which Jehoiakim king of Judah had burned in the fire.” Jeremiah 36:32.

Jeremiah’s writings had been burned, but they were rewritten. They were redone, but “there were added besides unto them many like words.” Many words were added, when the inspired writings were redone.

1 Corinthians 5:9, gives one of several examples of things left out of the Bible. Paul is writing to the Corinthians. We call it Corinthians, book 1, or first Corinthians. In actual fact, it is really at least 2 Corinthians, and what we call 2 Corinthians is at least 3 Corinthians, because, if you will notice in 1 Corinthians 5:9, Paul says, “I wrote unto you in an epistle” or in a letter. He had already written to them once, at this point in time, but for whatever reason God did not see fit to preserve that letter and have it part of the Bible. It was not included.

There are other examples in the Bible of things being rewritten and slightly revised, of things added and of things left out. See 2 Samuel 22 and Psalm 18. The two are basically identical but a little different. Other examples are Psalm 14 and Psalm 53; 2 Peter 2 and the book of Jude.

Let us look at Deuteronomy 5, and by all means, do not miss this one. This is the strongest rebuke in the entire Bible to the tamper charge. What does the name, Deuteronomy, mean? the second book of the law, the second or repeated legislation. Deuteronomy is a repeat of what was already stated in Exodus, especially, and some of Leviticus and Numbers. It is a republication, we might say, although it was not published on printing presses.

In Deuteronomy 5 we even have the repeat of the Ten Commandments—which originally were written by God’s own finger in tables of stone because they are eternal, unchanging. Deuteronomy 5:7 begins the Ten Commandments almost word for word, but not exactly, as Exodus 20, until you get to verse 15, in the fourth commandment. Verse 12 begins the fourth commandment, but notice what it says in verse 15. Instead of saying the fourth commandment was given because God created the earth in six days and rested on the seventh, it says: “And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the Lord thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the Lord thy God commanded thee to keep the Sabbath day.”

Is that what the fourth commandment said, which is the heart of the Ten Commandments and contains the Seal of God? No, very clearly, it is quite different. If there is anything that should never be changed, it would be the Seal of God that He wrote with His own finger in stone, representing its eternal and unchangeable nature! The skeptic would say, somebody must have been tampering with the book of Deuteronomy here! In fact, it must have been somebody who did not like the Sabbath, because they worded it in such a way as to make it sound like it was a Jewish Sabbath, as though it was given to the Jews when they came out of Egypt and that is why God commanded them to keep the Sabbath day.

That would make it a pretty sinister motive, would it not? We can attribute just about the most sinister motive there is to tampering with Deuteronomy 5:15. But then we would have to ask when was it tampered with?

In the Septuagint—which is the Greek translation of the Old Testament translated a few hundred years before Christ—this verse appears the way it is here. So it would have to have been tampered with before Christ came to this earth. The same is true with the Hebrew manuscripts that were around before Christ came to this earth.

What Does Jesus Say?

So, if this was tampered with before Christ came, let us see what Christ had to say about it. In Matthew 4:4 is the story of when Christ was led out into the wilderness and was tempted by Satan. Jesus said, in verse 4, “‘It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.’”

How much? every Word. “It is written.” Where was it written? Was the New Testament written at this point in time? No! He was quoting from the Old Testament. From what book in the Old Testament was He quoting? Deuteronomy! The only place in the Old Testament He could have been quoting is Deuteronomy 8:3. In Matthew 4:7 He again quotes from Deuteronomy: “It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.’” That is from Deutero-nomy 6:16. The third time: “‘It is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.’” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 315, says that Matthew 4:10 is a quotation from the Septuagint of Deuteronomy 6:13.

Did Jesus decide to undermine the authority of the book of Deuteronomy because somebody might have tampered with it? No. He quoted from it three times. “It is written,”—and He even said that we are to live by “every word.” This means Deuteronomy as well as the rest of Scripture.

It is interesting also that these three quotes from Deuteronomy are the first recorded in the Bible of Jesus quoting Scripture. Jesus did not fall for the tamper accusation, and Jesus is our perfect Example. We will not be in danger if we follow His example.

Now there are some things in the book of Deuteronomy that are not in Exodus, Leviticus or Numbers, the previous books. There are some things in the previous books that are not in Deuteronomy. There are some things that are revised, not worded the same, and there are some things that are basically unchanged.

Further Clarification

It is the same with the Spirit of Prophecy. In the later books, some things have been added; some things have been left out; some things have been revised, and some things are about the same.

“My mind has been exercised upon the question of the Testimonies that have been revised. We have looked them over more critically. I cannot see the matter as my brethren see it. I think the changes will improve the book. If our enemies handle it, let them do so.” Selected Messages, Book 3, 97.

Oh, some people say, maybe that was not written by Ellen White; maybe that was written by the tamperers. Well we will look at that more as we continue.

Wiser than God?

“Regarding the testimonies, . . . Some matters must be withheld because some persons would make an improper use of the light given. Every jot and tittle is essential and must appear at an opportune time. In the past, the testimonies were carefully prepared before they were sent out for publication. And all matter is still carefully studied after the first writing.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 57.

Some things were left out because some people would make an improper use of them. Unfortunately, some people now are making an improper use of the fact that they were left out—thinking that their own foolishness is wiser than God’s wisdom on what should or should not have been left out or revised.

C. White wrote, “Sister White was responsible for leaving out or adding to matters…in the later editions of our books.…She had many times direct instruction from the angel of the Lord regarding what should be omitted and what by At should be added in new editions.” Selected Messages, Book 3, 452, Appendix C.

Does anyone reading this think that they have a better idea than direct instructions from the angel as to what should have been left out or put in?

God Cares About the Small Things

Let me give you another example that helps to disprove the tamper accusation. Mrs. White was given a vision of a situation before it actually occurred. Ballanger was trying to change some of the Seventh-day Adventist doctrines in a magazine that was published under the title, The Sentinel. Regarding the situation with Ballanger and the Salamanca vision, she writes, “Those in counsel pointed to certain passages, declaring that this must be cut out, and that must be changed.” Testimonies to Ministers, 469.

Now this was not publication of her inspired writings. This was just a Seventh-day Adventist magazine, but she was given this very important vision before the incident occurred. Because of the vision, she was able to stop the action.

Another vision Sister White had revealed that one of her helpers stole her hairnet. When the helper became afraid of getting caught, she burned it to eliminate the evidence. God gave Mrs. White a vision about who stole it and He even showed her that it had been burned. (See Campfire Junior Stories by Arthur White.) If God gave a special vision for something as insignificant as a hairnet, would He not give a special vision if somebody was tampering with the Spirit of Prophecy?

Pulling the Wool Over the Eyes of God?

“The Lord has preserved this Holy Book by His own miraculous power in its present shape.…Men should let God take care of His own Book,…as He has done for ages.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 15, 17. If God can take care of the Bible, can He take care of the Spirit of Prophecy? Yes, He can.

There have been some translations of the Spirit of Prophecy that may not be the most accurate. Some things may have been left out of them, but the same could be said about the Bible. There are some translations of the Bible that are not very good. With the Bible we can go back and study the original language—the Hebrew or Greek. With the Spirit of Prophecy we can go back ro the original language—English.

There have also been books, published since 1915, which contain typographical errors or minor punctuation changes. Punctuation was not inspired, nor was it inspired in the Bible. Most of the recent books were published from letters and manuscripts, for which the handwritten or signed manuscript is on file, so we know they are valid. There are two things to watch out for in these compilations that were published since Ellen White passed away. First is the ellipsis (…). When an ellipsis is used, you need to study the quote in its original context to see if something has been omitted relevant to its meaning. Second, the headings are not inspired. Last Day Events, 51, is just one example. It says, “A New Denomination Not Needed.” That is not inspired; Ellen White did not write that. The Bible also has headings; many Bibles have headings at the top of the page or down through the sections of the Bible. They are not inspired.

Reports Are Not True!

“After the matter for the Testimony is prepared, every article must be read by me.” Ibid., Book 3, 98. “What I write by hand is copied out by faithful helpers. Before any of this matter is printed, it is read over and closely examined by me.” Manuscript Release, 8, 21, 22. “I read over all that is copied, to see that everything is as it should be. I read all the book manuscript before it is sent to the printer.” Selected Messages, Book 3, 90. “The reports that are circulated, that any of my helpers are permitted to add matter or change the meaning of the messages I write out, are not true.” Ibid, Book 1, 50.

“And now to all who have a desire for truth I would say: Do not give credence to unauthenticated reports as to what Sister White has done or said or written.” She says, “If you desire to know what the Lord has revealed through her, read her published works.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 696. [Emphasis supplied.]

Throughout all the people who support the tamper accusations, there is not general agreement on what was supposedly tampered with and what was not.

“They feel at liberty to reject any portion that does not agree with them. That is the foundation for all these fanaticisms and winds of doctrines that are going around. One or more of these deceptions, especially the tamper accusation, is employed. When there is something in the Spirit of Prophecy that is so clear that they cannot harmonize it with what they believe and are teaching, they just say, oh, that was tampered with, or that was uninspired, or that was lesser light or any one of these theories that are undermining the authority of the Spirit of Prophecy.

It is funny how those who believe every word in the Spirit of Prophecy books, and who do not try to teach anything that contradicts the Spirit of Prophecy, are not the ones running around saying it has been tampered with. It is the ones who are wanting to reject something in the Spirit of Prophecy who are undermining it. Strange how that works.

Making of No Effect

Revelation 22:18, 19 presents a very solemn warning. This warning applies to the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy. “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book; And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the Book of Life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”

Is there any warning in these two verses that if somebody actually did succeed in adding something to the Bible, and if you believed it, you would be lost? No. God promises us that no one will be lost for believing everything in the Bible: “Brethren, cling to your Bible, as it reads, and stop your criticisms in regard to its validity, and obey the Word, and not one of you will be lost.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 18. The warning of Revelation 22:18,19 is to the person who would add or take away from God’s word. So, if no one did add to or take away things from the Spirit of Prophecy, but I am claiming that tampering was done, then I am taking away from the Spirit of Prophecy. I am the one to whom the warning applies! But if I implicitly believe everything that is in the Bible and in the Spirit of Prophecy, then the warning does not apply to me—regardless of whether or not someone else tried to add or take away from God’s Word.

In Genesis 3, we often talk about the devil’s first lie, “Ye shall not surely die.” But how often do we notice in verse 1 what the devil said to pave the way for his first lie? The very first thing out of that archfiend’s mouth was, “Yea, hath God said…” casting doubt on God’s Word!

“It was through making the word of God of none effect that sin was brought into the world.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 345. That is how serious it is. We are all here in this sinful world because the devil undermined the authority of God’s Word, and somebody believed it.

Satan’s Last Deception

“The very last deception of Satan will be to make of none effect the testimony of the Spirit of God. . . Satan will work ingeniously, in different ways and through different agencies, to unsettle the confidence of God’s remnant people in the true testimony.” Ibid., Book 1, 48.

We have looked at many of these ingenious ways. Testimonies, vol. 5, 675, says, “The testimonies are rejected, and many excuses which are untrue are offered to others as the reason for refusing to receive them.”

“It is God’s plan to give sufficient evidence of the divine character of His work to convince all who honestly desire to know the truth. But He never removes all opportunity for doubt. All who desire to question and cavil will find occasion.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 72.

If you are trying to find something in the Spirit of Prophecy that is evidence that it has been tampered with, you will find it. But that does not mean it is true. You can do the same thing with the Bible.

“I pity those who have set their feet in the path of doubt and unbelief. I would gladly help them if I could, but the experience of the past gives me little hope that they will ever come to the light. No amount of evidence will convince men of the truth so long as they are unwilling to yield their pride, subdue their carnal nature, and become learners in the school of Christ.” Ibid.

“Let not those who seek to hedge up my way and destroy the influence of my words deceive themselves with the belief that they are doing God service. They are serving another master, and they will be rewarded according to their work. Rebellion will exist as long as Satan exists.” Ibid.

What do the tamper accusation, and all the other accusations, do? They destroy the influence of her words.

“They have professed to believe the visions, but have acted contrary to them. Their example and influence have raised doubts in the minds of others. It would have been better for the cause of present truth had they both opposed the gifts. Then the people would not have been deceived, and would not have stumbled over these blind teachers.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 234. (See also Upper Look p. 115)

“All who believe that the Lord has spoken through Sister White, and has given her a message, will be safe from the many delusions that will come in these last days.” Selected Messages, Book 3, 84.

You will not find one quote that says all who believe the Spirit of Prophecy has been tampered with, or any of these other accusations, will be safe from the many delusions.

I appeal, with tears, to anyone who may have accepted or taught accusations on the authority of the Spirit of Prophecy, even if accepted and taught honestly, to repent, to confess, and do your best to correct the wrong impressions left on the minds of others. Merely ceasing to promote error is not enough. A stand must be taken on the side of truth which is as much or more public as the stand which was previously taken on the side of error. Your decision will prove if you really love Jesus.

Sin in the Church

Let Christ’s methods be followed in dealing with those who make mistakes.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 266.

Ellen White explains: “A sister for whom I had a testimony that she lacked discretion and caution, and did not fully control her words and actions, came in with her husband and manifested feelings of great unreconciliation and agitation.… Her pride was touched as I brought out her faults in so public a manner. Here was evidently the main difficulty. But why should she feel thus? The brethren and sisters knew these things were so, therefore I was not informing them of anything new.…Her husband seemed to feel unreconciled to my bringing out her faults before the church and stated that if Sister White had followed the directions of our Lord in Matthew 18:15–17 he should not have felt hurt: ‘Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone.…’ My husband then stated that he should understand that these words of our Lord had reference to cases of personal trespass, and could not be applied in the case of this sister. She had not trespassed against Sister White. But that which had been reproved publicly was public wrongs which threatened the prosperity of the church and the cause. Here, said my husband, is a text applicable to the case: 1 Timothy 5:20: ‘Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.’” Testimonies, vol. 2, 14, 15.

Are We to Openly Rebuke Sin?

“We must cry aloud and spare not, lest our silence be interpreted to mean consent. The time has come when each one must stand in his lot and place, prepared to call sin, sin, and righteousness, righteousness.” Loma Linda Messages, 48.

One, Glorying in Sin, Leavens the Whole Body of Believers

“Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?” 1 Corinthians 5:6. “The history of Achan teaches.…Sin is corrupting in its nature.” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 2, 996. “Disobedience…tends to corrupt the faith of others. That which looked very wrong to them at first, gradually loses this appearance by being constantly before them.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 146.

Purpose of Open Rebuke — Teaches Others to Fear and Stops the Leaven

“Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.” 1 Timothy 5:20. “Open rebuke is necessary, to prevent others from being ensnared.” Series B, 26. “Sin and sinners in the church must be promptly dealt with, that others may fear God.” Testimonies on Sexual Behavior, Adultery, and Divorce, 105.

“Put away the evil from among you. And those who remain shall hear and fear, and hereafter they shall not again commit such evil among you.” Deuteronomy 19:19, 20 NKJV.

Open Rebuke is to be as Broad as the Injury Done

“If the wrongdoer only were concerned, and the work reached no farther than him, he alone should have the words of warning; but when his course of action is doing positive harm to the cause of truth, and souls are imperiled, God requires that the warning be as broad as the injury done.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 152.

Are Only Prophets and Leaders Called to Rebuke Sin?

“It is the duty of every faithful servant of God, to firmly and decidedly withstand these perverters of the faith, and to fearlessly expose their errors by the word of truth.” Sketches from the Life of Paul, 192.

“It is the duty of both watchmen and laymen to give the trumpet a certain sound.” Home Missionary, February 1, 1890. “It is not enough to merely profess to believe the truth. All the soldiers of the cross of Christ virtually obligate themselves to enter the crusade against the adversary of souls, to condemn wrong and sustain righteousness.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 254. “The church members that are awake will rise to the emergency, manifesting greater diligence as iniquity abounds. The very manifestations of satanic power are to be presented in their true light before the people.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 15, 310. “No longer consent to listen without protest to the perversion of truth. Unmask the pretentious sophistries.…” Selected Messages, Book 1, 196.

Are Leaders to be Openly Rebuked?

“When he [a servant of God] begins to work against the truth, and make his disaffection public, declaring things untrue which are true, these things must be met. The people must not be left to believe a lie. They must be undeceived.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 7, 332. “When men stand out in defiance against the counsel of God, they are warring against God. Is it right for those connected with such ones to treat them as if they were in perfect harmony with them…? Though they be ministers or medical missionaries…Open rebuke is necessary, to prevent others from being ensnared.” Series B, 26.

God is No Respecter of Persons

“Men of courage and energy are needed to expose fashionable sins. Iniquity must not be palliated and excused. Those who lead the church to follow the customs and practices of the world, are not to be lauded and exalted. No regard for family or position will hinder the faithful servants of Christ from guarding the interests of His people. God is no respecter of persons.” Southern Watchman, July 12, 1904. “It is no time now to tolerate sleepy watchmen, and they never should have been tolerated.” Review and Herald, March 24, 1896. “In the work of reform to be carried forward today, there is need of men who, like Ezra and Nehemiah, will not palliate or excuse sin, nor shrink from vindicating the honor of God.…[Those who] will not hold their peace when wrong is done, neither will they cover evil with a cloak of false charity. They will remember that God is no respecter of persons.…” Conflict and Courage, 269.

Like John, Expose Plainly and Pointedly the Sins of Individual Leaders

“The message we bear must be as direct as was the message of John. He rebuked kings for their iniquity.…And our work in this age must be as faithfully done. Selected Messages, Book 2, 151. “The work of John was to expose the character of the works of the Pharisees, to set their traditions and heresies in their true light before the people.” Review and Herald, April 3, 1894. “Kings and rulers came to the wilderness to hear the prophet, and were interested, and deeply convicted as he fearlessly pointed out their particular sins.” Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 2, 48. “God requires His people in this age of the world to stand for the right as unflinchingly as did John in opposition to soul-destroying errors.” The Acts of the Apostles, 555.

Should We Just Pray—For the Sins of the Church?

“Zimri, a prince of the chief housein the tribe of Simeon.…publicly appeared before the people leading a Midianitish harlot, one of high standing, a daughter of a chief house in Midian, in the sight of Moses and the congregation. He thus showed open contempt of God. He gloried in his shame; for wine had perverted his senses.…Moses and the people who had taken no part in this great departure from God’s law, were weeping and lamenting at the door of the tabernacle for the sins of the people, and the plague that had begun.…The priests were weeping between the porch and the altar, crying, ‘Spare Thy people, O Lord, and give not Thine heritage to reproach.’ Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, and rose up from among the congregation, and took a javelin, and went after the man of Israel into the tent, and killed them both. This staid the plague.…The point to be marked is, that Moses’ prayers were not heard, neither his weeping nor the sorrow and prayers of those who had maintained their integrity, until justice was executed upon that demoralized, God-defying prince. God says of Phinehas, He ‘hath turned away My wrath from the children of Israel.’ It was the greatest mercy that Phinehas could do to Israel, to deal promptly and decidedly with the guilty, and thus be instrumental in turning the wrath of God from the congregation of Israel. Something besides prayers and tears are needed in a time when reproach and peril are hanging over God’s people. The wicked works must be brought to an end.” Review and Herald, May 17, 1887.

“The sin of one man caused Israel to be beaten before the enemy. Something more than prayer was required. They were to get up and cleanse the camp of Israel.” Conflict and Courage, 120. “There are conditions to the fulfillment of God’s promises, and prayer can never take the place of duty.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 143. “Many are longing to grow in grace; they pray over the matter, and are surprised that their prayers are not answered. The Master has given them a work to do whereby they shall grow. Of what value is it to pray when there is need of work?” Youth’s Instructor, February 3, 1898. “We entreat those who have a connection with God to pray earnestly and in faith, and not to stop here, but to work as well as pray, for the purification of the church.” Review and Herald, June 3, 1880.

Is it “Christlike”— to Show God’s People Their Sins?

“Jesus…never purchased peace by covering iniquity, or by anything like compromise.…He was never indulgent to their sins. He was too much their friend to remain silent while they were pursuing a course which would ruin their souls.…” The Upward Look, 220.

“Christ, at the very beginning of His ministry, openly rebuked the super-ficial morality and ostentatious piety of the Jews.” Redemption, vol. 4, 33.

“Then spake Jesus to the multi-tude,…saying,…Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!…Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers…” Matthew 23:1, 2, 13, 33. “Christ, who knew their hearts, held up their religious pretensions as God viewed them. He stripped from them their robe of apparent righteousness, laying bare their hypocrisy.” Signs of the Times, February 10, 1898. “The Lord did not permit the sins of His people to pass without rebuke.” Ibid., June 2, 1881. “Jesus did not let the matter drop without administering a rebuke to His enemies.” Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 2, 197.

Is it Love—to Show God’s People Their Sins?

“‘You must have charity,’ is the cry heard everywhere…But true charity is too pure to cover an unconfessed sin.…The apostle teaches that while we should manifest Christian courtesy we are authorized to deal in plain terms with sin and sinners; that this is not inconsistent with true charity.” The Acts of the Apostles, 555, 556.

“Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbor.…” Leviticus 19:17.

“To practice the principle of love will not prevent us from dealing plainly with our brethren, in kindness pointing out wrongs and shortcomings when it is necessary to do so. Manuscript Releases, vol. 15, 156.

“The hearts of God’s servants will overflow with love and sympathy for the erring…but they will have no soft words for sin. They show the truest friendship who reprove error and sin without partiality and without hypocrisy.” Evangelism, 368. “True love is a love which seeks first the honor of God and the salvation of souls. Those who have this love will not evade the truth to save themselves from the unpleasant results of plain speaking.” Review and Herald, October 22, 1901.

“Those who have the true love of God in their hearts will not teach that sin should be handled with
gloved hands
.” Signs of the Times, April 21, 1881.

Is it Critical or Negative—to Show God’s People Their Sins?

“The office of a messenger whom God has chosen to send with reproofs and warnings, is strangely misunderstood at the present time.” Review and Herald, July 25, 1893.

“Should a case like Achan’s be among us, there are many who would accuse those who might act the part of Joshua in searching out the wrong, of having a fault-finding, wicked spirit.” Ibid., June 8, 1886.

“Opposition has risen in the church to the plain testimony.…If the wrongs of individuals are touched, they complain of severity, and…are ready to…overlook the wrong which made it necessary for reproof and rebuke. When the church depart from God they despise the plain testimony, and complain of severity and harshness. It is a sad evidence of the lukewarm state of the church.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 2, 283, 284.

“Let none…charge the servants of God with being too zealous in endeavoring to cleanse the camp…” Prophets and Kings, 416.

“The salvation of sinners demands that every Christian shall act his part, and put forth a certain measure of positive power. ‘Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.’ The word must be spoken in season and out of season to those who are beguiled by Satan, and led to do evil things. Satan is working through his agents, and shall the soldiers of Christ exert no positive influence to save souls that are walking in the broad road to death?” Review and Herald, December 12, 1893.

Are We to Focus on the Sins of the Church?

“God requires His servants to walk in the light and not cover their eyes that they may not discern the working of Satan. They should be prepared to warn and reprove those who are in danger through his subtlety.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 196.

“If defiling sins are cherished…the displeasure of God rests upon the church,…until the members do all in their power to show their hatred for sin, and their determination to cast it out of the church.” The Ellen G. White 1888 Messages, 144 . “When the people realize that darkness is settling upon them, and they do not know the cause, they should seek God earnestly,…until the wrongs which grieve His Spirit are searched out and put away.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 265.

“It is a sin in any church not to search for the cause of their darkness…in the midst of them.” Ibid., vol. 3, 520.

Warn Sinners of Their Sins Continually

“Keep the warning message of truth before the people.…We are to cry aloud and spare not.” Counsels to Writers and Editors, 174. “Ministers should be faithful watchmen, seeing the evil and warning the people. Their dangers must be set before them continually and pressed home upon them.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 515. “There is constant need of earnest, decided messages of warning.” Reflecting Christ, 32.

“The natural heart does not enjoy this constant reproving of sin and continual exalting of righteousness.” Signs of the Times, November 5, 1894. “Some…think the trouble is with the ones who…point out the sins of the people and correct their errors.…They think that the labors…would be acceptable if they were not continually condemning wrong and reproving sin.…These poor souls, I saw, were deceived by Satan.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 258, 259.

“Listen to hear them [Israelites] respond, ‘We do not wish to be continually reminded of our sins. Speak to us words of peace, encouragement, and hope, but do not keep ever before us . . . our backslidings.’” Signs of the Times, June 23, 1881.

“They were then decided…He [Moses] was not the right kind of man. He was too unyielding and kept their sins continually before them, warning, reproving, and threatening them with God’s displeasure.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 300.

Are We to Remain Neutral and Say Nothing?

“If God abhors one sin above another, of which His people are guilty, it is of doing nothing in a case of emergency. Indifference or neutrality in a religious crisis is regarded of God as a grievous crime; and equal to the very worst type of hostility against God.” Review and Herald, September 30, 1873.

“Arduous and unpleasant duties have to be performed. None are to place themselves where they will sanction wrong by silence. They aid and abet the schemes of the enemy by keeping their lips closed when they should speak decidedly.…” The Upward Look, 206.

“Those who, in an effort to be neutral,…may think that they are rendering a service to God, but such a thought is delusive.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 16, 10.

“Many have tried neutrality in a crisis, but they have failed in their purpose. No one can maintain a neutral ground. Those who endeavor to do this will fulfill Christ’s words, ‘No man can serve two masters’…[they] will at last be found enlisted on the enemy’s side.” This Day With God, 240.

Those Who Are Indifferent—Neutral Are Spewed Out

“‘If wrongs are apparent among His people, and if the servants of God pass on indifferent to them, they virtually sustain and justify the sinner, and are alike guilty and will just as surely receive the displeasure of God; for they will be made responsible for the sins of the guilty.’” Testimonies, vol. 5, 676.

“Those who by their carelessness or indifference permit God’s name to be dishonored by His professed people, are numbered with the transgressor,—registered in the record of Heaven as partakers in their evil deeds.” Signs of the Times, April 21, 1881. “Because thou art lukewarm,…I will spue thee out of My mouth.” Revelation 3:16.