Bible Study Guides – “How Long Shall Be the Vision?”

August 18, 2001 – August 24, 2001

MEMORY VERSE: “And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.’ Daniel 8:14.

STUDY HELP: Early Writings, 250–253.

Introduction: “Our people, who are expecting such great and important events soon to transpire, should know the reasons of their faith, that they may be able to give an answer to every man that shall ask them a reason for the hope which is in them with meekness and fear. In His word, God has revealed truths that will benefit His church. As a people, we should be earnest students of prophecy; we should not rest until we become intelligent in regard to the subject of the sanctuary, which is brought out in the visions of Daniel and John.” Review and Herald, November 27, 1883.

‘A Vision Appeared unto Me’

1 When and where was Daniel given a deeper insight into coming events? Daniel 8:1, 2.

NOTE: Two years have elapsed since Daniel’s previous vision.

“Daniel was now an old man. He had been in captivity from 605 to this year, or a total of about fifty-five years; and as he was probably around sixteen or eighteen years of age when brought to Babylon, he would now be well over seventy.” Price, The Greatest of the Prophets, 159. (See also 553, 554.)

2 What was Daniel first shown in his vision? Daniel 8:3, 4.

NOTE: “This is a clear and accurate statement of the relationship between these two peoples. The Persians became the dominant members of the union; but the Medes were never treated as inferiors or a subjugated people, but rather as confederates. The empire is always known as the Medo-Persian Empire.” Price, The Greatest of the Prophets, 161.

“Like a bully, the Medo-Persian ram charged ‘westward, northward and southward.’ In 547 BC Cyrus pushed west to conquer Lydia and take Babylon in 539. Driving south, Cambyses overran Egypt and Ethiopia in 525. Darius Hystaspes rushed northwards to overthrow the Scythians in 512.” Hardinge, Jesus Is My Judge, 164.

3 How was this part of his vision explained to Daniel? Daniel 8:20.

NOTE: “Gabriel explained that ‘the ram . . . having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia.’ Now Daniel was on familiar territory. This fitted into the outline of history he had viewed from two perspectives. Like the bear’s hunched back, the ram’s lopsided horns—one higher than the other—pointed to Persian domination. The Medes were the older, and had been the stronger, and had co-operated with the Persians for years.” Hardinge, Jesus Is My Judge, 164.

‘And as I Was Considering . . .”

4 What was the next development in Daniel’s vision? Daniel 8:5–7.

NOTE: “It is significant that many of the Greeks used to speak of themselves as the goats’ people, using the goat as a national or tribal symbol. On the coins of Lysimachus, one of the generals and successors of Alexander, the latter is represented as deified, with a horn on his head and a diadem. No words are needed to point out how the picture of great swiftness given in the prophetic description of the he-goat . . . exactly fits the astonishing speed and completeness of Alexander’s conquests.” Price, The Greatest of the Prophets, 162.

5 What then happened to the he-goat? Daniel 8:8.

NOTE: “At the height of his powers and conquest, Alexander died in 323 BC. He had a son, but this son did not inherit the kingdom (see Daniel 11:4). Instead Alexander’s kingdom was divided among his generals. There was fighting among them for a period of about twenty years. But by 301 BC, four kingdoms had emerged from the political chaos that ensued after the death of Alexander. These were 1. Macedonia under Cassander; 2. Thrace and north-western Asia Minor under Lysimachus; 3. Syria and Babylonia under Seleucus; and 4. Egypt under Ptolemy.” Shea, Daniel 7-12, 93.

6 How was the aspect of the vision explained to Daniel? Daniel 8:21, 22.

NOTE: “The goat represented Grecia and its ‘notable horn’—pointed, aggressive, direct—its premier king, Alexander the Great. This remarkable young man, with a small and dedicated army of Macedonians, lunged from the west with such rapidity that he seemed hardly to touch the ground. This had already been signaled by the leopard made swifter with the addition of two pairs of wings. His contemporary Apian wrote: ‘The empire of Alexander was splendid in its magnitude, in its armies, in the success and rapidity of its conquests, and it wanted little of being boundless and unexampled, yet in its shortness of duration, it was like a brilliant flash of lightning.’” Hardinge, Jesus Is My Judge, 165.

“It Waxed Exceeding Great”

7 What next appeared in Daniel’s vision? Daniel 8:9.

NOTE: The phrase ‘out of one of them’ could refer to either “the four notable ones” or “the four winds of heaven.” Both Dr William Shea and Dr Gerhard Hasel have shown that the Hebrew grammar requires the little horn to come from one of the four winds of heaven, rather than from one of the four horns, a division of Alexander’s empire. Those requiring more detail may consult: Shea: Selected Studies On Prophetic Interpretation,41–43 and the article by Hasel in Holbrook ed., Symposium on Daniel, 387—394. Those who teach that the little horn is Antiochus Epiphanes, an obscure and largely unsuccessful king of the Syrian portion of Alexander’s empire, teach that the little horn came from one of the four horns.

The sequence in the visions of Daniel 2 and 7 has Rome following Babylon, Medo-Persia and Greece. This is what we should expect here. The sequence of ram = Medo-Persia, described as “great” (verse 4); he-goat = Greece, described as “very great” (verse 8) prepares us for the little horn = Rome, described as “exceeding great” (verse 9).

8 How did Gabriel describe the little horn? Daniel 8:23–24. Compare Deuteronomy 28:49–53.

NOTE: “By the Spirit of Inspiration, looking far down the ages, Moses pictured the terrible scenes of Israel’s final overthrow as a nation, and the destruction of Jerusalem by the armies of Rome: ‘The Lord shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flieth; a nation whose tongue thou shalt not understand; a nation of fierce countenance, which shall not regard the person of the old, nor show favor to the young.’ The utter wasting of the land and the horrible suffering of the people during the siege of Jerusalem under Titus, centuries later, were vividly portrayed.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 467.

“He Magnified Himself Against the Prince of the Host”

9 What was Daniel told about Rome’s military conquests? Daniel 8:9, 24. (For “the pleasant land” see Zechariah 7:14, Psalm 106:24.)

NOTE: “The little horn waxed great toward the south. . . . Egypt was made a province of the Roman empire BC 30, and continued such for some centuries. The little horn waxed great toward the east. This also was true of Rome. Rome conquered Syria BC 65 and made it a province. The Little horn waxed great toward the pleasant land. Judea is called the pleasant land in many scriptures. The Romans made it a province of their empire BC 63.” Smith, Daniel and the Revelation,1918 ed., 176.

10 How is the next phase of Rome’s activity described? Daniel 8:10–13, 25.

NOTE: “I saw in relation to the ‘daily’ (Daniel 8:12) that the word ‘sacrifice’ was supplied by man’s wisdom, and does not belong to the text.” Early Writings, 74.

“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 (revolts) involve not only the earth, but also the forces of heaven, even the ruler of the forces of heaven (Daniel 8:10, 11). 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.

In each portrayal of Rome in the visions of Daniel, two successive phases are described. In Daniel 2, the legs of iron are succeeded by the feet, partly clay and partly iron. In Daniel 7, the emphasis shifts from the fourth beast itself to the horns growing from its head and in particular the little horn. Here in Daniel 8:13 we are shown the “daily” or continuance in rebellion, followed by the desolating rebellion.

“Against the Prince of Princes”

11 Who are the host of heaven? Daniel 8:10. Compare Daniel 8:24, Exodus 12:41.

NOTE: “When the angel explained the vision in Daniel 8:17–26, he explained that the mighty and holy people were to be destroyed by this power. The people of God are spoken of in the Bible as the Lord’s army. (See Exodus 12:41, Joshua 5:14, 15.)” Grosboll, God Predicts Your Future, 42

12 Who is ‘the Prince of the host’? Daniel 8:11. Compare Daniel 8:25, last part.

Note: The Prince of the host is called “the Prince of princes” in verse 25. The term “Prince” is applied to Christ in many places in the Scriptures, for example, Isaiah 9:6, “The Prince of peace,” Daniel 9:25, “Messiah the Prince,” Daniel 10:13, marginal reading, “Michael, the first of the princes,” Daniel 10:21, “Michael, your Prince,” Daniel 11:22, “the Prince of the covenant,” Daniel 12:1, “Michael, that great Prince which standeth for the children of thy people,” Acts 3:15, “the Prince of life,” Acts 5:31, “A Prince and a Saviour,” Revelation 1:5, “the Prince of the kings of the earth.” Only Jesus Christ can be regarded as “the Prince of the host.”

13 What was to be the ultimate fate of the little horn power? Daniel 8:25. Compare Daniel 2:45.

NOTE: The phrase “without hand” clearly refers to God’s final intervention on behalf of His people.

“How Long?”

14 What question is asked concerning this vision? Daniel 8:13. Compare Daniel 12:6, 8, Revelation 6:10 and Genesis 4:10.

NOTE: “Daniel, if time had been given, might perhaps have asked this question himself, but God is ever ready to anticipate our wants, and sometimes to answer even before we ask.” Smith, Daniel and the Revelation,1918 ed., 178.

“The questioner was identified as Gabriel [verse 16]. The Other, designated as ‘One holy Palmoni’ [Daniel 8:13, margin] ordered, ‘Gabriel, make Daniel understand. . . . This name is formed from two words, pele and mene. Pele indicates things that are extraordinary or miraculous, including God’s ‘wonderful’ dealings with His people. It is a name of God. [Isaiah 9:6]… The mysterious hand twice wrote mene on the wall of Belshazzar’s banquet hall to record how thoroughly ‘numbered’ and sealed up was Babylon’s fate. The meticulous accuracy of the seventy weeks of years and the cleansing of the sanctuary day 2300 and other time lines in Daniel display the precision of the Divine Chronologer. He is the Scorekeeper, judge and Timekeeper of Eternity.” Hardinge, Jesus Is My Judge, 173.

15 How is the question answered? Daniel 8:14.

NOTE: Previous visions ended with divine intervention. Daniel 2 concluded with the Stone, which destroys all earthly kingdoms before filling the whole earth as God’s eternal kingdom. Daniel 7 concluded with the judgment in heaven, which pronounced in favor of God’s people and against the powers that had oppressed them. These powers lose their kingdom and the saints possess it instead. It is to be expected then that this vision will relate to the same events. Here, however, this divine intervention is described using sanctuary symbolism, which would be familiar to the prophet.

“Erev boqer, ‘evening-morning,’ are singular nouns which when used together mean ‘day.’ Jesus answered Gabriel that on ‘day 2300,’ or the ‘2300th day’ the sanctuary would be cleansed. Since this service occurred once a year, the phrase measures anniversaries of Yom Kippur. The 2300th Day of Atonement would therefore fall 2300 years after some starting point. In their next encounter, the Wonderful Numberer (Palmoni, Daniel 8:13, margin) sent Gabriel to tell Daniel to begin numbering these anniversaries of Yom Kippur from the year 457 BC.” Hardinge, Jesus Is My Judge, 175.

16 Why was this part of the vision not explained to Daniel by Gabriel at this time? Daniel 8:26, 27.

NOTE: “He was now an old man. He had been serving as a virtual slave nearly all his life, even though he was considered a trusted official in high position: and he had grown old with the confident hope that the seventy years of the predicted captivity (Jeremiah 25:11) were soon to expire, and that a restoration to Jerusalem was then to take place. . . . Now this legitimate hope seemed rudely dashed to the ground. No wonder he fainted. Also no wonder, considering the kind of man he was, that we find him, as soon as he could get around again, and could find some relief from pressing official duties, entering upon a definite program of prayer and seeking God to learn the plain truth about it all.” Price, The Greatest of the Prophets, 214, 215.

Bible Study Guides – “The Judgment was Set”

August 11, 2001 – August 17, 2001

MEMORY VERSE: “Thou didst cause judgment to be heard from heaven; the earth feared, and was still, when God arose to judgment, to save all the meek of the earth.” Psalm 76:8, 9.

STUDY HELP: Great Controversy, 424–431.

Introduction: “To Daniel was given a vision of fierce beasts, representing thepowers of the earth. But the ensign of the Messiah’s kingdom is a lamb. While earthly kingdoms rule by the ascendancy of physical power, Christ is to banish every carnal weapon, every instrument of coercion. His kingdom was to be established to uplift and ennoble fallen humanity.” God’s Amazing Grace, 15.

“The Four Winds of Heaven Strove Upon the Great Sea”

1 When was Daniel’s dream given to him and what did he first see? Daniel 7:1–3. Compare Revelation 17:15; Isaiah 8:7; Isaiah 17:12; Isaiah 57:20. See also Jeremiah 49:36; Ezekiel 37:9; Daniel 8:8; Daniel 11:4; Zechariah 2:6; Matthew 24:31; Revelation 7:1.

NOTE: It would appear that the four winds are connected with God’s judgments upon mankind.

“The great kingdoms that have ruled the world were presented to the prophet Daniel as beasts of prey, rising when ‘the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea.’ Daniel 7:2. In Revelation 17, an angel explained that waters represent ‘peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.’ Revelation 17:15. Winds are a symbol of strife. The four winds of heaven striving upon the great sea represent the terrible scenes of conquest and revolution by which kingdoms have attained to power.” Great Controversy, 439, 440.

2 What did these beasts represent? Daniel 7:16, 17.

NOTE: “Earthly governments prevail by physical force; they maintain their dominion by war; but the founder of the new kingdom is the Prince of Peace. The Holy Spirit represents worldly kingdoms under the symbol of fierce beasts of prey; but Christ is ‘the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.’ John 1:29. In His plan of government there is no employment of brute force to compel the conscience.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 77.

“Four Great Beasts Came Up from the Sea”

3 How was the first of these beasts described? Daniel 7:4.

NOTE: “At first the lion had eagle’s wings, denoting the rapidity with which Babylon extended its conquests under Nebuchadnezzar. At this point in the vision a change had taken place; its wings had been plucked. It no longer flew like an eagle upon its prey. The boldness and spirit of the lion were gone. A man’s heart, weak, timorous and faint, had taken its place. Such was emphatically the case with the nation during the closing years of its history, when it had become enfeebled and effeminate through wealth and luxury.” Smith, Daniel and the Revelation, 1912 ed., 127.

4 What was the appearance of the second beast? Daniel 7:5.

NOTE: Liberal scholars claim that the second and third beasts represent Media and Persia respectively. Two arguments may be given to disprove this view. First, history does not record a Median empire, which overthrew Babylon and was then overthrown by a Persian empire. Second, the Bible consistently links the two into a joint kingdom. See Esther 1:19, Daniel 5:28, Daniel 6:8, 12, 15.

“The second kingdom is represented by a bear that is raised up on one side. The bear’s bi-form nature is of major importance in properly identifying the kingdom represented because it establishes a parallel with the symbol of the ram in chapter 8. The bear raised up on one side in chapter 7 is mirrored in chapter 8 by the symbol of a ram with two horns, one of which is higher—some Bible versions say ‘ longer’—than the other (verse 3). Verse 20 clearly identifies this ram as representing the dual kingdom of Media and Persia. Thus the bear of chapter 7 also represents the combined Medo-Persian kingdom.” Shea, Daniel 7-12, 37.

“This kingdom was composed of two nationalities, the Medes and the Persians.…It is said…of the bear that it raised itself up on one side; and this was fulfilled by the Persian division of the kingdom, which came up last but attained the higher eminence, becoming the controlling influence in the nation. The three ribs perhaps signify the three provinces of Babylon, Lydia and Egypt, which were especially ground down and oppressed by this power.…The character of this power is well represented by a bear. The Medes and Persians were cruel and rapacious, robbers and spoilers of the people.” Smith, Daniel and the Revelation,1912 ed., 128.

5 What did Daniel notice about the third beast? Daniel 7:6.

NOTE: “To picture the incredible speed of Alexander’s conquests and soaring ambitions, the Spirit added ‘four wings of a bird’ to the spotted feline. The Babylonian lion had one pair of wings, while the Greek leopard had two! With incredible rapidity this small but ferocious marauder seized dominion from the Danube to the Indus and from Persia to Egypt.…The leopard’s ‘four heads’ represent the kingdoms which followed Alexander’s death and the end of his unified control.…The four generals who finally took charge have been identified as Ptolemy who ruled Egypt, Palestine and part of Syria; Cassander who held Macedonia and Greece; Lysimachus who controlled Thrace and part of Asia Minor; and Seleucus who mastered other portions of Asia Minor, northern Syria and Mesopotamia.” Hardinge, Jesus Is My Judge, 141.

“Dreadful and Terrible”

6 What were the characteristics of the fourth beast? Daniel 7:7, 23.

NOTE: The iron teeth should remind us of the iron of the legs and feet of the great image of chapter 2.

“Since there were to be only four empires of worldwide authority (Daniel 2:26–45) and since this fourth beast was to be the fourth kingdom to have worldwide authority (Daniel 7:23), this fourth beast must be the same as the fourth [kingdom] of Daniel 2, which represented the Roman Empire. As in Daniel 2, this fourth empire was not to be followed by another world empire, but ten kings were to develop out of it.” Grosboll, God Predicts Your Future, 22.

7 What did Daniel then see happening to the fourth beast? Daniel 7:8, 24. Compare Daniel 2:41–43.

NOTE: “As the Roman Empire became weaker in the third and fourth centuries, a period of barbarian invasions occurred. The Alamanni coalition invaded Italy in the third century and finally in the fourth century it established itself permanently in central Europe. Then the Franks, the Burgundians, the Suevi, the Vandals, the West Goths (Visigoths), the Saxons, the East Goths (Ostrogoths) and a score or more of barbarian tribes struggled for territory. When we look at the territory of the Western Roman Empire when the empire was completely dissolved in ad 476 by Odoacer, we find that the Western Roman Empire was at that time divided into exactly ten separate barbarian kingdoms.” Grosboll, God Predicts Your Future, 23, 24.

“The Visions of My Head Troubled Me”

8 How did Daniel react to his dream? Daniel 7:15. Compare verse 28.

NOTE: “Shortly before the fall of Babylon, when Daniel was meditating on these prophecies [of Jeremiah, see Jeremiah 25:11-12] and seeking God for an understanding of the times, a series of visions was given him concerning the rise and fall of kingdoms. With the first vision, as recorded in the seventh chapter of the book of Daniel, an interpretation was given; yet not all was made clear to the prophet. ‘My cogitations much troubled me,’ he wrote of his experience at the time, ‘and my countenance changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart.’” Prophets and Kings, 553, 554.

9 What part of the dream especially troubled Daniel? Daniel 7:19, 20.

10 What was it about this part of the dream that had troubled Daniel? Daniel 7:21. Compare Revelation 13:7.

NOTE: “Of the leopardlike beast it is declared: ‘There was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies. . . . And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, and His tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.’ This prophecy, which is nearly identical with the description of the little horn of Daniel 7, unquestionably points to the papacy.” Great Controversy, 439.

‘He Shall Speak Great Words’

11 What was Daniel told about the ten horns and the little horn that followed them? Daniel 7:24.

NOTE: The little horn power was to be ‘diverse from the first,’ ‘diverse from all the beasts that were before it’ (verse 7), a different kind of power from those that preceded it. Out of Rome’s divisions, following the overthrow of the three barbarian kingdoms, the pope assumed the title of the Caesars, ‘Pontifex Maximus’, and combined spiritual authority with temporal power. A hybrid, such as God had expressly forbidden, was born. Compare John 18:36. Those who claimed to be the church of Christ set up an earthly kingdom.

12 What was Daniel shown about the activities of this little horn? Daniel 7:25.

NOTE: A three-fold accusation is made by heaven against this power, blasphemous claims (compare Mark 2:7; Matthew 12:31; John 10:33) persecution of God’s people, and a claim to have the right to change God’s law and sacred times.

Blasphemy. The claim of the papal priesthood to be able to forgive sins is repeated daily in the confessional. The claim of the popes to be the vicars of Christ, thus usurping the role of the Holy Spirit, is likewise blasphemy. See John 14:16–18. Finally the claims of the popes to be actually God are found in: The Catholic Encyclopedia Vol. 6 p.48, which describes the pope as: “not a mere man, but as it were God and the vicar of God.” Pope Leo XIII in one of his encyclical letters wrote: “We hold upon this earth the place of God Almighty.” Pope Innocent III wrote: “The pope is not simply a man but rather God on earth.” He also wrote: “The pope is not only the representative of Jesus Christ but he is Jesus Christ Himself hidden under the veil of flesh.”

Persecution. The Western Watchman, a Roman Catholic periodical (December 24, 1908) stated: “The church has persecuted. Only a tyro in history will deny that . . . Protestants were persecuted in France and Spain with the full approval of the church authorities. We have always defended the persecution of the Huguenots and the Spanish Inquisition.” Dr J. Dowling, History of Romanism, 541, 542, states: “From the birth of Popery in 606, to the present time, it is estimated by careful and credible historians, that more than fifty millions of the human family have been slaughtered for the crime of heresy by popish persecutors, an average of more than forty thousand murders for every year of the existence of Popery.”

Claim to change God’s times and law. Catholic literature consistently moves from the first of the Ten Commandments to the third, which is counted as number two. The Second Commandment, forbidding idolatry, is not found in the Roman Catholic catechism. For many years, the consistent teaching of the Roman Catholic Church was that Sabbath was changed to Sunday by the action of the Catholic Church. e.g. Geiermann: Convert’s Catechism of Catholic Doctrine,1946 ed. 50. “The church substituted Sunday for Saturday by the plenitude of that divine power which Jesus Christ bestowed upon her. . . . The Third [sic] Commandment commands us to sanctify Sunday as the Lord’s Day.”

“The Judgment Shall Sit”

13 What was the final stage of Daniel’s dream? Daniel 7:9–14.

NOTE: “Thus was presented to the prophet’s vision the great and solemn day when the characters and the lives of men should pass in review before the Judge of all the earth, and to every man should be rendered ‘according to his works.’ The Ancient of Days is God the Father. Says the psalmist: ‘Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever Thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God.’ Psalm 90:2. It is He, the source of all being, and the fountain of all law, that is to preside in the judgment. And holy angels as ministers and witnesses, in number ‘ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands,’ attend this great tribunal. ‘And, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him. And there was given Him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve Him: His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away.’ Daniel 7:13, 14. The coming of Christ here described is not His second coming to the earth. He comes to the Ancient of Days in heaven to receive dominion and glory and a kingdom, which will be given Him at the close of His work as a mediator.” Great Controversy, 479, 480.

14 What was to be the outcome of these things? Daniel 7:18, 22, 26, 27. Compare Matthew 25:31–46.

NOTE: “Here are the conditions upon which every soul will be elected to eternal life. Your obedience to God’s commandments will prove your right to an inheritance with the saints in light. God has elected a certain excellence of character; and every one who, through the grace of Christ, shall reach the standard of His requirement, will have an abundant entrance into the kingdom of glory. All who would reach this standard of character, will have to employ the means that God has provided to this end. If you would inherit the rest that remaineth for the children of God, you must become a co-laborer with God. You are elected to wear the yoke of Christ—to bear His burden, to lift His cross. You are to be diligent ‘to make your calling and election sure.’ Search the Scriptures, and you will see that not a son or a daughter of Adam is elected to be saved in disobedience to God’s law. The world makes void the law of God; but Christians are chosen to sanctification through obedience to the truth. They are elected to bear the cross, if they would wear the crown.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 125.

Bible Study Guides – “God Hath Numbered Thy Kingdom and Finished It”

August 4, 2001 – August 10, 2001

MEMORY VERSE: “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 16:18.

STUDY HELP: Prophets and Kings, 522–531.

Introduction: “You may plan for merely selfish good, you may gather together treasure, you may build mansions great and high, as did the builders of ancient Babylon; but you cannot build wall so high or gate so strong as to shut out the messengers of doom. Belshazzar the king ‘feasted in his palace,’ and ‘praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone.’ But the hand of One invisible wrote upon his walls the words of doom, and the tread of hostile armies was heard at his palace gates. ‘In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain,’ and an alien monarch sat upon the throne. (Daniel 5:30.) To live for self is to perish. Covetousness, the desire of benefit for self’s sake, cuts the soul off from life. It is the spirit of Satan to get, to draw to self. It is the spirit of Christ to give, to sacrifice self for the good of others.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 258.

“A Thousand of His Lords”

1 What was Belshazzar doing while his city was besieged? Daniel 5:1.

NOTE: “Babylon was besieged by Cyrus, nephew of Darius the Mede, and commanding general of the combined armies of the Medes and Persians. But within the seemingly impregnable fortress, with its massive walls and its gates of brass, protected by the river Euphrates, and stocked with provision in abundance, the voluptuous monarch felt safe and passed his time in mirth and revelry. In his pride and arrogancy, with a reckless feeling of security Belshazzar ‘made a great feast to a thousand of his lords, and drank wine before the thousand.’ All the attractions that wealth and power could command, added splendor to the scene. Beautiful women with their enchantments were among the guests in attendance at the royal banquet. Men of genius and education were there. Princes and statesmen drank wine like water and reveled under its maddening influence.” Prophets and Kings, 523.

2 What act of sacrilege crowned the scene of depravity? Daniel 5:2–4.

NOTE: “Exalted by wine, and blinded by delusion, the king himself took the lead in the riotous blasphemy. His reason was gone, and his lower impulses and passions were in the ascendancy. His kingdom was strong and apparently invincible, and he would show that he thought nothing too sacred for his hands to handle and profane. To show his contempt for sacred things, he desecrated the holy vessels taken from the temple of the Lord at its destruction.” Manuscript Releases vol. 10, 307.

“The Hand That Wrote”

3 What appeared at the height of the feast and what was the king’s reaction? Daniel 5:5, 6.

NOTE: “Little did Belshazzar think that there was a heavenly Witness to his idolatrous revelry; that a divine Watcher, unrecognized, looked upon the scene of profanation, heard the sacrilegious mirth, beheld the idolatry. But soon the uninvited Guest made His presence felt. When the revelry was at its height a bloodless hand came forth and traced upon the walls of the palace characters that gleamed like fire—words which, though unknown to the vast throng, were a portent of doom to the now conscience-stricken king and his guests. Hushed was the boisterous mirth, while men and women, seized with nameless terror, watched the hand slowly tracing the mysterious characters. Before them passed, as in panoramic view, the deeds of their evil lives; they seemed to be arraigned before the judgment bar of the eternal God, whose power they had just defied. Where but a few moments before had been hilarity and blasphemous witticism, were pallid faces and cries of fear. When God makes men fear, they cannot hide the intensity of their terror. Belshazzar was the most terrified of them all. He it was who above all others had been responsible for the rebellion against God which that night had reached its height in the Babylonian realm. In the presence of the unseen Watcher, the representative of Him whose power had been challenged and whose name had been blasphemed, the king was paralyzed with fear. Conscience was awakened. ‘The joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against another.’ Belshazzar had impiously lifted himself up against the God of heaven and had trusted in his own might, not supposing that any would dare say, ‘Why doest thou thus?’ but now he realized that he must render an account of the stewardship entrusted him, and that for his wasted opportunities and his defiant attitude he could offer no excuse.” Prophets and Kings, 524, 525.

4 To whom did Belshazzar turn for an interpretation of the writing? With what result? Daniel 5:7–9.

NOTE: “In vain the king tried to read the burning letters. He had found a power too strong for him. He could not read the writing. ‘The king cried aloud to bring in the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers. And the king spake and said to the wise men of Babylon, Whosoever shall read this writing, and show me the interpretation thereof, shall be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about his neck, and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom. Then came in all the king’s wise men; but they could not read the writing, nor make known to the king the interpretation thereof.’ In vain the king offered honor and promotion. Heavenly wisdom cannot be bought and sold.” Bible Echo, April 25, 1898.

“There Is a Man”

5 Who proposed a solution to Belshazzar’s dilemma? Whom did the queen recommend to the king? Daniel 5:10–12.

NOTE: “There was in the palace a woman who was wiser than them all,—the queen of Belshazzar’s grandfather. In this emergency she addressed the king in language that sent a ray of light into the darkness.…“There is a man in thy kingdom in whom is the spirit of the holy gods; and in the days of thy father light and understanding and wisdom, like the wisdom of the gods, was found in him; whom the king Nebuchadnezzar, thy father, the king, I say, thy father, made master of the magicians, astrologers, Chaldeans, and soothsayers; . . . now let Daniel be called, and he will show the interpretation.’” Bible Echo, May 2, 1898.

6 With what words did Belshazzar address Daniel? Daniel 5:13–16.

NOTE: “Daniel is remembered, and brought to the banqueting hall. The servant of God sees the evidences of the degradation and idolatry of the feast, so suddenly brought to an end; but Daniel was not disconcerted in the presence of the king and his lords. ‘I have even heard of thee,’ said the king, ‘that the spirit of the gods is in thee, and that light and understanding and excellent wisdom is found in thee.…And I have heard of thee, that thou canst make interpretations, and dissolve doubts; now if thou canst read the writing, and make known to me the interpretation thereof, thou shalt be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about thy neck, and shalt be the third ruler in the kingdom.’” Signs of the Times, July 20, 1891.

“Prior to the time that Belshazzar’s place in the kingdom and his relationship to Nabonidus were fully understood, commentators could only conjecture as to the identity of the second ruler in the kingdom. . . . Now that it is known that Belshazzar himself was only a co-ruler with his father, and hence the second ruler in the kingdom, it is clear why he could bestow no higher position in the realm than that of “third ruler.’” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary,vol. 4, 803.

7 How did Daniel respond to Belshazzar’s offer? Daniel 5:17.

NOTE: “Before that terror-stricken throng, Daniel, unmoved by the promises of the king, stood in the quiet dignity of a servant of the Most High, not to speak words of flattery, but to interpret a message of doom. ‘Let thy gifts be to thyself,’ he said, ‘and give thy rewards to another; yet I will read the writing unto the king, and make known to him the interpretation.’” Prophets and Kings, 529.

“Thou Knewest All This”

8 Of what important facts did Daniel remind Belshazzar? Daniel 5:18–21.

NOTE: “Belshazzar had been given many opportunities for knowing and doing the will of God. He had seen his grandfather Nebuchadnezzar banished from the society of men. He had seen the intellect in which the proud monarch gloried taken away by the One who gave it. He had seen the king driven from his kingdom, and made the companion of the beasts of the field. But Belshazzar’s love of amusement and self-glorification effaced the lessons he should never have forgotten; and he committed sins similar to those that brought signal judgments on Nebuchadnezzar. He wasted the opportunities graciously granted him, neglecting to use the opportunities within his reach for becoming acquainted with truth. ‘What must I do to be saved?’ was a question that the great but foolish king passed by indifferently.” Bible Echo, April 25, 1898.

9 What was Belshazzar’s sin that Daniel pointed out to the king? Daniel 5:22, 23.

NOTE: “Then in bold and emphatic words he rebuked Belshazzar for his great wickedness. He held the king’s sin up before him, showing him the lessons he might have learned but did not. Belshazzar had not read aright the experience of his grandfather, nor heeded the warning of events so significant to himself. The opportunity of knowing and obeying the true God had been given him, but had not been taken to heart, and he was about to reap the consequence of his rebellion.” Prophets and Kings, 529.


10 What was the writing on the wall and how did Daniel interpret it? Daniel 5:24–26.

NOTE: “MENE meant that God had added up the crimes of Belshazzar and his people and finished their tally. The word was repeated to stress the thoroughness and finality and accuracy of the divine decision.” Hardinge, Jesus Is My Judge, 71.

In Daniel 8:13 (see marginal reading) God is described as Palmoni, which means “The Wonderful Numberer.” The time prophecies of the Bible show how accurately God numbers the affairs of earth and finishes them.

11 How did Daniel interpret the next word of the inscription on the wall? Daniel 5:27.

NOTE: “TEKEL testified that God had ‘weighed’the character and conduct of the Babylonians and Belshazzar in His scales of eternal justice and found them lacking.” Hardinge, Jesus Is My Judge, 71.

“Be not deceived. God is not mocked. Nothing but holiness will prepare you for heaven. It is sincere, experimental piety alone that can give you a pure, elevated character and enable you to enter into the presence of God, who dwelleth in light unapproachable. The heavenly character must be acquired on earth, or it can never be acquired at all. Desires for goodness and true holiness are right so far as they go; but if you stop here, they will avail nothing. Good purposes are right, but will prove of no avail unless resolutely carried out. Many will be lost while hoping and desiring to be Christians; but they made no earnest effort, therefore they will be weighed in the balances and found wanting. The will must be exercised in the right direction. I will be a wholehearted Christian. I will know the length and breadth, the heighth and depth, of perfect love. Listen to the words of Jesus: ‘Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.’ Ample provisions are made by Christ to satisfy the soul that hungers and thirsts for righteousness.” Maranatha, 46.

“The robe of your character must be washed till it is spotless, in the fountain opened for all uncleanness. Your moral worth will be weighed in the balances of the sanctuary, and if you are found wanting, you will be at an eternal loss. All the coarseness, all the roughness, must be removed from your character before Jesus comes; for when He comes, the preparation for every soul is ended. If you have not laid aside your envy, your jealousies, your hatred one against another, you cannot enter into the kingdom of God. You would only carry the same disposition with you; but there will be nothing of this character in the world to come. Nothing will exist there but love and joy and harmony.” Signs of the Times, February 10, 1888.

12 What was the interpretation of the final word on the wall? Daniel 5:28.

NOTE: “PERES has a double meaning. It proclaimed that the kingdom was to be ‘divided’ and handed over to the Persians.” Hardinge, Jesus Is My Judge, 72.

“In that last night of mad folly, Belshazzar and his lords had filled up the measure of their guilt and the guilt of the Chaldean kingdom. No longer could God’s restraining hand ward off the impending evil. Through manifold providences, God had sought to teach them reverence for His law. ‘We would have healed Babylon,’ He declared of those whose judgment was now reaching unto heaven, ‘but she is not healed.’ Jeremiah 51:9. Because of the strange perversity of the human heart, God had at last found it necessary to pass the irrevocable sentence. Belshazzar was to fall, and his kingdom was to pass into other hands.” Prophets and Kings, 530.

“In that Night”

13 What honors were heaped upon Daniel in reward for his interpretation? Daniel 5:29.

NOTE: “As the prophet ceased speaking, the king commanded that he be awarded the promised honors; and in harmony with this, ‘they clothed Daniel with scarlet, and put a chain of gold about his neck, and made a proclamation concerning him, that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom.’” Prophets and Kings, 530.

14 What was the fate of Belshazzar and Babylon? Daniel 5:30, 31.

NOTE: “While the king and his nobles were at the height of their revelry, the Persians turned the Euphrates out of its channel, and marched into the unguarded city. As Belshazzar and his lords were drinking from the sacred vessels of Jehovah, and praising their gods of silver and gold, Cyrus and his soldiers stood under the walls of the palace. ‘In that night,’ the record says, ‘was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain. And Darius the Median took the kingdom.’” Bible Echo, May 2, 1898.

Bible Study Guides – “Is Not This Great Babylon That I Have Built?”

July 28, 2001 – August 3, 2001

MEMORY VERSE: “Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and His ways judgment: and those that walk in pride He is able to abase.” Daniel 4:37.

STUDY HELP: Prophets and Kings, 514–521.

Introduction:“The strength of nations, as of individuals, is not found in the opportunities or facilities that appear to make them invincible; it is not found in their boasted greatness. It is measured by the fidelity with which they fulfill God’s purpose.” Education, 175.

“Whatever the position we are called to fill, our only safety is in walking humbly with God. The man who glories in his supposed capabilities, in his position of power, in his wisdom, in his property, or in anything else than Christ, will be taken in the net of the enemy. He who fails to walk humbly before God will find a spirit rising up within him, prompting the desire to rule others connected with him, and causing him to oppress others who are human and erring like himself. He appropriates to himself jurisdiction and control over other men—an honour which belongs alone to God.” Review and Herald, September 8, 1896.

“The Visions of Mine Head Upon My Bed”

1 What further dream did Nebuchadnezzar have? Daniel 4:10–16.

NOTE: “To Nebuchadnezzar the king the true object of national government was represented under the figure of a great tree, whose height ‘reached unto heaven, and the sight thereof to the end of all the earth: the leaves thereof were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was meat for all;’ under its shadow the beasts of the field dwelt, and among its branches the birds of the air had their habitation. Daniel 4:11,12. This representation shows the character of a government that fulfills God’s purpose—a government that protects and upbuilds the nation. God exalted Babylon that it might fulfill this purpose. Prosperity attended the nation until it reached a height of wealth and power that has never since been equaled.” Education, 175.

2 What was the effect of this dream upon the king? Daniel 4:4, 5.

NOTE: “Nebuchadnezzar had another dream, which filled his heart with terror. In a vision of the night he saw a great tree growing in the midst of the earth, towering up to the heavens, and its branches stretching to the ends of the earth. In it the fowls of the air dwelt, and under it the beasts of the field found shelter. As the king gazed upon that lofty tree, he beheld a ‘watcher, even a holy one,’—a divine messenger, similar in appearance to the One who walked with the three Hebrews in the fiery furnace. This heavenly being approached the tree, and in a loud voice cried, ‘Hew down the tree, and cut off his branches, shake off his leaves, and scatter his fruit; let the beasts get away from under it, and the fowls from his branches; nevertheless, leave the stump of his roots in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass.’” Review and Herald, February 1, 1881.

“They Did Not Make Known to Me the Interpretation Thereof”

3 To whom did the king turn for the interpretation? Daniel 4:6, 7.

NOTE: “The king was greatly troubled by this dream. It was evidently a prediction of adversity. He repeated it to the magicians, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers; but although the dream was very explicit, none of the wise men would attempt to interpret it. Those who neither loved nor feared God could not understand the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven. They could not approach unto the throne of Him who dwelleth in light unapproachable. To them the things of God must remain mysteries.” Youth’s Instructor, November 1, 1904.

“Once more in this idolatrous nation, testimony was to be borne to the fact that only those who love and fear God can understand the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven.” Prophets and Kings, 516.

4 To whom did the king finally turn? Daniel 4:8, 9, 18.

NOTE: “The last dream which God gave to Nebuchadnezzar, and the experience of the king in connection with it, contain lessons of vital importance to all those who are connected with the work of God.…The faithful Daniel stood before the king, not to flatter, not to misinterpret in order to secure favor. A solemn duty rested upon him to tell the king of Babylon the truth.” Review and Herald, September 8, 1896.

5 What was Daniel’s reaction when the king had told him the dream? Daniel 4:19.

NOTE: “To Daniel the meaning of the dream was plain, and its significance startled him. He ‘was astonied for one hour, and his thoughts troubled him.’ Seeing Daniel’s hesitation and distress, the king expressed sympathy for his servant. ‘Belteshazzar,’ he said, ‘let not the dream, or the interpretation thereof, trouble thee.’ ‘My lord,’ Daniel answered, ‘the dream be to them that hate thee, and the interpretation thereof to thine enemies.’ The prophet realized that upon him God had laid the solemn duty of revealing to Nebuchadnezzar the judgment that was about to fall upon him because of his pride and arrogance. Daniel must interpret the dream in language the king could understand; and although its dreadful import had made him hesitate in dumb amazement, yet he must state the truth, whatever the consequences to himself.” Prophets and Kings, 517.

“It is Thou, O King, that Art Grown and Become Strong”

6 What did the tree in the dream symbolize? Daniel 4:20–22.

NOTE: “The end of all government was beautifully set forth by the Lord in the symbol of a tree that gave shelter to the beasts of the field and to the birds of the air. Nebuchadnezzar was at one time a superior ruler, a man more compassionate toward his subjects than was the ruler of any other heathen nation, and his rule was symbolized by a lofty tree. But the man who thinks it is his prerogative to command his fellow men and says, ‘You shall,’ and ‘You shall not,’ is entirely out of his place. He takes upon himself that which was never given him and lords it over God’s purchased possession. Every man is accountable to God for his actions. The man in a position of trust who is guided by the spirit of God will always protect the weak, relieve the needy, and look after the widow and the fatherless.” Manuscript Releases vol. 12, 142.

7 How did Daniel explain the cutting down of the tree? Daniel 4:23–25.

NOTE: “The dream and its meaning filled Daniel with astonishment, and ‘his thoughts troubled him.’ But he faithfully told the king that the fate of the tree was emblematic of his own downfall; that he would lose his reason, and, forsaking the abodes of men, would find a home with the beasts of the field, and that he would remain in this condition for seven years.” Manuscript Releases vol. 7, 67.

8 What did the band of iron and brass around the stump symbolize? Daniel 4:26.

9 What plea did Daniel make to the king? Daniel 4:27.

NOTE: “He urged the proud monarch to repent and turn to God, and by good works avert the threatened calamity. ‘Wherefore, O king,’ he said, ‘let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by showing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquillity.’ Had the king heeded this counsel, the threatened evil might have been turned aside.” Manuscript Releases vol. 7, 67.

“All This Came Upon the King”

10 How did the king reveal that he had not heeded Daniel’s warning? Daniel 4:28–30.

NOTE: “For a time the impression of the warning and the counsel of the prophet was strong upon Nebuchadnezzar; but the heart that is not transformed by the grace of God soon loses the impressions of the Holy Spirit. Self-indulgence and ambition had not yet been eradicated from the king’s heart, and later on these traits reappeared. Notwithstanding the instruction so graciously given him, and the warnings of past experience, Nebuchadnezzar again allowed himself to be controlled by a spirit of jealousy against the kingdoms that were to follow. His rule, which heretofore had been to a great degree just and merciful, became oppressive. Hardening his heart, he used his God-given talents for self-glorification, exalting himself above the God who had given him life and power. For months the judgment of God lingered. But instead of being led to repentance by this forbearance, the king indulged his pride until he lost confidence in the interpretation of the dream, and jested at his former fears.” Prophets and Kings, 519.

11 What immediate judgment fell upon the king? Daniel 4:31–33.

NOTE: “In a moment the reason that God had given him was taken away; the judgment that the king thought perfect, the wisdom on which he prided himself, was removed, and the once mighty ruler was a maniac. His hand could no longer sway the sceptre. The messages of warning had been unheeded; now, stripped of the power his Creator had given him, and driven from men, Nebuchadnezzar ‘did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles’ feathers, and his nails like birds’ claws.’ For seven years Nebuchadnezzar was an astonishment to all his subjects; for seven years he was humbled before all the world.” Prophets and Kings, 520.

“At the End of the Days”

12 What happened when the ‘seven times’ had been fulfilled? Daniel 4:34, first part, 36.

NOTE: “At the end of this time his reason was restored to him, and looking up in humility to the God of heaven, he recognized the divine hand in his chastisement. The transformation had come. The mighty monarch had become the humble child of God, obedient to His will. The despot had been changed into the wise, compassionate ruler.” Manuscript Releases vol. 7, 68.

13 What are the last recorded words of Nebuchadnezzar? Daniel 4:37. (Compare Daniel 4:1–3, 34, last part, 35.)

NOTE: “The once proud monarch had become a humble child of God; the tyrannical, overbearing ruler, a wise and compassionate king. He, who had defied and blasphemed the God of heaven, now acknowledged the power of the Most High and earnestly sought to promote the fear of Jehovah and the happiness of his subjects. Under the rebuke of Him who is King of kings and Lord of lords, Nebuchadnezzar had learned at last the lesson which all rulers need to learn—that true greatness consists in true goodness. He acknowledged Jehovah as the living God, saying, ‘I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and His ways judgment: and those that walk in pride He is able to abase.’ God’s purpose that the greatest kingdom in the world should show forth His praise was now fulfilled. This public proclamation, in which Nebuchadnezzar acknowledged the mercy and goodness and authority of God, was the last act of his life recorded in sacred history.” Prophets and Kings, 521.

Food For Life – Exercise to the Glory of God

Here it is the middle of summer! Can you believe time goes this quickly? What are you doing for exercise? Did you realize that exercise in God’s open air is one of the eight laws of health? And that you cannot have perfect health without it? So, let’s go to the Word of God and see just what He says about this fundamental rule of health.

In the book Counsels on Health, page 52, we read: “Another precious blessing is proper exercise. There are many indolent, inactive ones who are disinclined to physical labor or exercise because it wearies them. What if it does weary them? The reason why they become weary is that they do not strengthen their muscles by exercise, therefore they feel the least exertion. Invalid women and girls are better pleased to busy themselves with light employment, as crocheting, embroidering, or making tatting, than to engage in physical labor. If invalids would recover health, they should not discontinue physical exercise; for they will thus increase muscular weakness and general debility. Bind up the arm and permit it to remain useless, even for a few weeks, then free it from its bondage, and you will discover that it is weaker than the one you have been using moderately during the same time. Inactivity produces the same effect upon the whole muscular system. The blood is not enabled to expel the impurities as it would if active circulation were induced by exercise.

“When weather will permit, all who can possibly do so ought to walk in the open air every day, summer and winter. But the clothing should be suitable for the exercise, and the feet should be well protected. A walk, even in winter, would be more beneficial to the health than all the medicine doctors may prescribe. For those who can walk, walking is preferable to riding. The muscles and veins are enabled better to perform their work. There will be increased vitality, which is so necessary to health. The lungs will have needful action; for it is impossible to go out in the bracing air of a winter’s morning without inflating the lungs.

“Those who are always busy, and go cheerfully about the performance of their daily tasks, are the most happy and healthy. The rest and composure of night brings to their wearied frames unbroken slumber…

“Exercise will aid the work of digestion. To walk out after a meal, hold the head erect, put back the shoulders, and exercise moderately, will be a great benefit. The mind will be diverted from self to the beauties of nature. The less the attention is called to the stomach after a meal, the better. If you are in constant fear that your food will hurt you, it most assuredly will. Forget self, and think of something cheerful.

“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 fresh air was ever necessary, it is when any part of the system, as the lungs or stomach is diseased.” Counsels on Health, 52, 53.

Children’s Story – The Latchkey Was Out

Long ago doors were fastened with a heavy wooden latch. The door could be opened from the outside by a thong made of deerskin. When this latch was pulled inside, no one could open the door. So friendly people used to say, “Come and see me soon. The latchstring is out.” That meant that guests were welcome.

Once, when the city of Cincinnati, Ohio was just a frontier fort, the Indians went on the warpath. Most of the settlers grew frightened, left their homes and rushed inside the fort for safety.

But there was one family that stayed on in its log cabin outside of the fort. They had come from William Penn’s colony in Pennsylvania and were called Friends or Quakers. William Penn had taught them that when the Indians were treated kindly, as God wants all men and women to be treated, they would be peaceful and friendly. Penn had proved that this was right, for in Pennsylvania there were no Indian wars.

So the family in the cabin decided to try Penn’s way. They did not even have any guns ready.

One night the man grew a bit frightened and put the latchstring on the inside. He and his wife could not go to sleep. Finally she said, “John, that latchstring on the inside makes me feel uneasy.”

“I feel that way too, Mary,” he replied. So he got up and put the latchstring outside again.

Before long they heard Indians coming. Soon they surrounded the little cabin with wild cries and war whoops. They tried the door and saw that it would open, but they did not come in. Then, after a while, they grew quiet and began to steal away. Mary and John crept on hands and knees to a window and watched them.

On the edge of the forest the Indians sat down in a circle. They seemed to be holding a council to talk things over.

“What do you suppose they’re going to do?” Mary whispered.

“Sh-h-h,” said John. “Remember God has promised us, ‘I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.’”

Soon they saw a tall chieftain in war paint leave the circle. Slowly he walked back to the cabin alone. In his right hand he carried a long white feather. He fastened the feather to the top of the cabin door. Then all the Indians left.

There the white feather stayed for a long time. The hot summer sun shone on it. It swayed in the winter winds that swept the prairie. John and Mary never took it down, for a friendly Indian told them, “The white feather means: ‘This is the home of a man of peace. Do not harm him.’”

All of this happened long ago, but God has not changed. He still wants us to be kind and fair to all men and then trust Him to take care of us.

Restoring the Temple – Temperance: A New Look At Self-Control

What exactly is temperance?

The Oxford Dictionary defines it as moderation or self-restraint, especially in relation to eating and drinking but also in advocating abstinence. Temperance covers virtually every aspect of human life, relating to moderation in necessary functions such as eating and our interactions with others, and in abstinence in areas like smoking, alcohol and drug use. Ellen White likens temperance to athletic training:

“The runners put aside every indulgence that would tend to weaken the physical powers, and by severe and continuous discipline trained their muscles to strength and endurance, that when the day of the contest should arrive, they might put the heaviest tax upon their powers. How much more important that the Christian, whose eternal interests are at stake, bring appetite and passion under subjection to reason and the will of God!” Acts of the Apostles, 311.

We know from the Word that temperance is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit: “…love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.” Galations 5:22–26.

Temperance is a word more commonly used a century ago, and it and its concept have become unfashionable today. Pop psychology, media, and entertainment have encouraged people to give in to their impulses and whims with the justification that self-restraint might lead to emotional distress and damage. For example, the idea is suggested that anger must be released or else it will be suppressed which is destructive to self. No hint is given regarding other options, such as to exercising self-control, letting the anger dissolve, and creating a character that is not quick to anger. Let’s examine other areas where temperance should be employed.

It does not take a genius to know that food is required for life, yet many people go way beyond the need for nutrients and a satisfied appetite. More than 50 percent of Americans are overweight, men more than women, according to reported height and weight.1 Excess weight is linked to cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and other chronic diseases.

Alcohol is classified as a central nervous system depressant and is the most widespread drug abuse problem in the United States.2 Besides causing severe and often fatal health problems, including liver disease and cancer, it is a leading precipitating factor in domestic and non-domestic violence and in traffic fatalities. There is no safe alcohol level when operating a vehicle or other machinery.3 Chronic alcohol use or periodic binge drinking also causes central nervous system damage, impotence, malnutrition, and memory loss. In 1997, 39 percent of all United States traffic fatalities were related to alcohol, and each year there are over 120 million episodes of impaired driving.4 , 5 Alcohol–related accidents cost $45 billion in the United States in 1994 alone.6

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) considers tobacco use “the single most preventable cause of death and disease in the United States.” 7 It is estimated that cigarette smoking is responsible for one of every five deaths in the United States.8 Nicotine is the addictive, poisonous drug in cigarettes, cigars, pipe and chewing tobaccos and is known to be a contributing factor in causing cancer, lung disease, heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke, among many other health problems. Cigarettes contain 4,000 other chemicals that also interfere with health,9 and tobacco is usually the first drug used by young people who use alcohol, marijuana, and other drugs.10

Other drugs from which people need to abstain include marijuana, steroids and depressants (such as Valium and Quaaludes), stimulants (such as cocaine and amphetamines), hallucinogens (like LSD and PCP), and narcotics (including heroin and morphine). All are highly addictive and cause a wide range of health and social problems ranging from heart disease, impotence, mental illness and stroke, to inability to cope with activities of daily living and responsibilities to self and family. Certain drugs, such as narcotics and steroids, may be prescribed by doctors for short-term treatment of certain disorders, but they cause harm when misused.

Those who continue to indulge in their baser appetites will receive the consequences, and it is presumptuous for them to call on God for healing when they are not willing to change. “Those who will gratify their appetite, and then suffer because of their intemperance, and take drugs to relieve them, may be assured that God will not interpose to save health and life which are so recklessly periled. The cause has produced the effect. Many, as their last resort, follow the directions in the Word of God, and request the prayers of the elders of the church for their restoration to health. God does not see fit to answer prayers offered in behalf of such, for He knows that if they should be restored to health, they would again sacrifice it upon the altar of unhealthy appetite.” Medical Ministry, 14.

Whatever the vice, whether using drugs, anger, or overeating, people do not exercise self-restraint for many reasons. Reasons may include the desire to escape reality by having a few moments of perceived pleasure that they believe will help them relax, reduce depression and stress. Others engage in self-destructive behavior to forget about physical or emotional traumas and numb feelings of guilt, shame, or loneliness. These are false hopes, for intemperance not only is a pseudo-solution but in turn causes its own, often catastrophic, effects. Only in God is there found true escape from the stresses and nightmares of life.

“By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honour, and life.” Proverbs 22:4

  1. Overweight Among Adults, Chronic Diseases and Their Risk Factors, CDC Report 1999.
  2. Substance Abuse, Andrea S. King, Reviewed by Mickey Ask, MD, American Medical Association, 1999.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Traffic Safety Facts 1997: Alcohol, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Washington, DC, 1998.
  5. Liu S, et al, JAMA 1997, 277:122-5.
  6. The Economic Cost of Motor Vehicle Crashes: 1994, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Washington, DC, 1996 July.
  7. Cigarette Smoking Among Adults, Chronic Diseases and Their Risk Factors, CDC Report, 1999.
  8. Ibid.
  9. Substance Abuse, Ibid.
  10. Preventing Tobacco Use Among Young People, Surgeon General’s Report, February 24, 1994.

Inspiration – On Sanctification, Part I

The Redeemer of men prayed to His Father, ‘Sanctify them through Thy truth; Thy word is truth.’

“’And hereby we do know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whosoever keepeth His word, in him verily is the love of God perfected.’ This is true Bible sanctification, to love God and to keep His commandments.—Manuscript Releases, vol. 2, 1874, 5, 6. (“Diary—1,” 1874, January 1 to February 16, 1874.)

“What is genuine sanctification? Read Exodus 31. In that chapter we shall understand the term, for God Himself has defined it. The Lord Jesus had given the special directions how to build the tabernacle. As the children of Israel had been compelled to work on the Sabbath, the sacredness of the day was not preserved. As slaves in Egypt, they had largely lost the knowledge of the Sabbath. This is the reason the commandments of God were given in awful grandeur upon Mount Sinai. The Lord would guard His Sabbath in particular, and He knew the people would forget the commandment of the Sabbath, and in their zeal the workmen would say, ‘This work is the Lord’s, and under His supervision, and we can do His work without observing the Sabbath.’ Therefore God enforced their observance of the Sabbath. He spoke through Moses to the people.

“’Verily My Sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you. Ye shall keep the Sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord: whosoever doeth any work in the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day He rested, and was refreshed. And He gave unto Moses, when He had made an end of communing with him upon Mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God’ [Exodus 31:13–18].—Letter 19c, 1874, 2. (Written to her son Willie, April 20, 1874.)…

“We do not believe that the law sanctifies anyone. We believe that we must keep that law or we will not be saved in the kingdom of heaven. The transgressor cannot be saved in the kingdom of glory. It is not the law that sanctifies anyone, nor saves us; that law stands and cries out, repent, that your sins may be blotted out. And then the sinner goes to Jesus, and as the sinner promises that he will obey the requirements of the law, He blots out their guilty stains and sets them free, and gives them power with God.—Manuscript Releases, vol. 5, 1885, p. 7. (Sermon at Santa Rosa, “Hearing and Doing,” March 7, 1885.)

“We are looking beyond time; we are looking to eternity. We are trying to live in such a way that Christ can say, Well done, good and faithful servant. Let us live, every one of us, in that way. We may make mistakes; we may err; but God will not leave us in error. ‘If we sin we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.’ There is hope for us; we are prisoners of hope. Let us grasp the rich promises of God. The garden of God is full of rich promises. Oh, let us gather them; let us take them home; let us show that we believe in God. Let us take Him at His word; let not one of us be found distrusting God or doubting Him.

“Let us be growing Christians. We are not to stand still. We are to be in advance today of what we were yesterday; every day learning to be more trustful, more fully relying upon Jesus. Thus we are to grow up. You do not at one bound reach perfection; sanctification is the work of a lifetime.…

“You want to be like little children, hanging upon the merits of a crucified-and-risen Saviour, and then you will be fortified. How? The angels of God will be around you as a wall of fire; the righteousness of Christ, which you claim, goes before you, and the glory of God is your reward. God sanctify our tongues; God sanctify our thoughts; God sanctify our minds, that we may dwell upon heavenly themes, and then that we may impart that knowledge and light to others. There is great advancement for us, and do not stop here. May God help you to make the most of your responsibilities.—Ms 9, 1891, pp. 14, 15, 18, 19. (Sermon, “Make Proper Use of Talents,” August 22, 1891.)

“The thoughts must be upon heavenly things if you desire the Holy Spirit of God to impress truth upon the mind and soften and subdue the heart, inspiring ardent love of truth, of justice, of mercy, and of purity. The Spirit will bring to your remembrance the most precious jewels of thought. The whole heart will be warm with the contemplation of Jesus and His love, His teachings will be cherished, and you will love to speak to others the comforting things that have been opened to you by the Spirit of God. This is the privilege of every son and daughter of God. Oh, if those who believe the truth would love and fear the Lord always, if they would abide in Christ, they would treasure up the most precious experience; they would have moral and intellectual power; the grace of God would be in them ‘like a well of water springing up into everlasting life,’ and would flow forth from them as streams of living water. When persecution comes, the influence of such souls will be manifest; they will delight to magnify the truth.—Letter 19b, 1892, 6. (Written to Elder O.A. Olsen, June 19, 1892.)

“Truth, precious truth, is sanctifying in its influence. The sanctification of the soul by the operation of the Holy Spirit is the implanting of Christ’s nature in humanity. It is the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ revealed in character, and the grace of Christ brought into active exercise in good works. Thus the character is transformed more and more perfectly after the image of Christ, in righteousness and true holiness. There are broad requirements in divine truth stretching out into one line after another of good works. The truths of the gospel are not unconnected; uniting, they form one string of heavenly jewels, as in the personal work of Christ, and like threads of gold they run through the whole of Christian work and experience.

“Christ is the complete system of truth. He says, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life.’ All true believers center in Christ, their character is irradiated by Christ; all meet in Christ, and circulate about Christ. Truth comes from heaven to purify and cleanse the human agent from every moral defilement. It leads to benevolent action, to kind, tender, thoughtful love toward the needy, the distressed, the suffering. This is practical obedience to the words of Christ.—Manuscript Releases, vol.34, 1894, 6. (“Testimony 4,” August 3, 1894.)

“Satan claimed to be sanctified, and exalted himself above God even in the courts of heaven. So great was his deceptive power that he corrupted a large number of angels, and enlisted their sympathy in his selfish interest. When he tempted Christ in the wilderness he claimed that he was sanctified, that he was a pure angel from the heavenly courts; but Jesus was not deceived by his pretensions and neither will those be deceived who live by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. God will not accept a willful, imperfect obedience. Those who claim to be sanctified, and yet turn away their ears from hearing the law prove themselves to be the children of disobedience whose carnal hearts are not subject to the law of God, and neither indeed can be.—Manuscript Releases, vol. 40, 1894, 6. (“Sanctification and Repentance,” October 10, 1894.)…

“The Word has made the statement, ‘I am the Lord that do sanctify you’ if you observe the Sabbath. This is the only true sanctification in the Scriptures—that which comes from God because of obedience to His commandments. Then we may know that the little companies assembled together to worship the Lord on the day which He has blessed and made holy, have a right to claim the rich blessings of Jehovah. He who has declared that His words are spirit and life, should have their faith in strong exercise that the Lord Jesus is an honored guest in their assemblies. ‘Where two or three are met together in My name, there am I in their midst.’ If He is there, it is to enlighten and bless. Therefore as we assemble together, we all have a solemn sense of the presence of God, and know that the angels of God are in the assembly. The messengers of the gospel know by experience its truth, power and excellence. It is the hours of the Sabbath that are sacred and sanctified and holy, and every true worshiper who keeps holy the Sabbath, should claim the promise, ‘That ye may know I am the Lord that doth sanctify you.’

“I tried to make this point as impressive as possible, that the Sabbath day was a special occasion on which the people of the Lord were celebrating the memorial of His Creation; that on the Sabbath the Lord was in the assembly to bless and sanctify, and if they have faith in the Lord every Sabbath would be a day when His people in a special manner will be blessed in their acts of obedience in keeping the commandments of God.—Letter 8, 1898, 3, 4. (To Mrs. Gotzian, February 14, 1898.)

“‘We love Him, because He first loved us.’ True conversion, true sanctification, will be the cause of the change in our views and our feelings toward one another and toward God. ‘We have known and believed the love that God hath toward us. God is love, and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.’ We must increase in faith. We must know the sanctification of the Spirit. In earnest prayer we must seek God, that the divine Spirit may work in us. God then will be glorified by the example of the human agent. We shall be workers together with God.

“Sanctification of soul, body, and spirit will surround us with the atmosphere of heaven. If God has chosen us from eternity, it is that we might be holy, our conscience purged from dead works to serve the living God. We must not in any way make self our god. God has given Himself to die for us, that He might purify us from all iniquity. The Lord will carry on this work of perfection for us if we will allow ourselves to be controlled by Him. He carries on this work for our good and His own name’s glory.

“We must bear a living testimony to the people, presenting before them the simplicity of faith. We must take God at His word, and believe that He will do just as He has said. If He chastises us, it is that we may be partakers of His divine nature. It runs through all His designs and plans to carry on a daily sanctification in us. Shall we not see our work? Shall we not present to others their duty, the privilege they have of growing in grace and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ?

“‘This is the will of God, even your sanctification.’ We have not pressed forward to the mark of the prize of our high calling. Self has found too much room. Oh, let the work be done under the special direction of the Holy Spirit. The Lord demands all the powers of mind and being. It is His will that we should be conformed to Him in will, in temper, in spirit, in our meditations. The work of righteousness cannot be carried forward unless we exercise implicit faith. Move every day under God’s mighty working power. The fruit of righteousness is quietness and assurance forever. If we had exercised more faith in God and had trusted less to our own ideas and wisdom, God would have manifested His power in a marked manner on human hearts. By a union with Him, by living faith, we are privileged to enjoy the virtue and efficacy of His mediation. Hence we are crucified with Christ, dead with Christ, risen with Christ, to walk in newness of life with Him.—Letter 105, 1898, 5–7. (To Elder and Mrs. S. N. Haskell, November 28, 1898.)”

Manuscript Releases, vol. 4, 339–349.

And I Wept

I wept when I saw him in church for the first time on Wednesday. He was in his mid-70’s, with thinning silver hair and a neat brown suit.

Many times in the past I had invited him to come. Several other Christian friends had talked to him about the Lord and had tried to share the good news with him. He was a well-respected, honest man with so many characteristics a Christian should have, but he had never put on Christ, nor entered the doors of the church.

“Have you ever been to a church service in your life?”, I had asked him a few years ago. We had just finished a pleasant day of visiting and talking.

He hesitated. Then with a bitter smile he told me of his childhood experience some sixty years ago. He was one of many children in a large impoverished family. His parents had struggled to provide food, with little left for housing and clothing. When he was about ten, some neighbors invited him to worship with them. The Sunday School class had been very exciting! He had never heard such songs and stories before! He had never heard anyone read from the Bible!

After class was over, the teacher took him aside and said, “Son, please don’t come again dressed as you are now. We want to look our best when we come into God’s house.”

He stood in his ragged, unpatched overalls. Then looking at his dirty bare feet, he answered softly, “No, ma’am, I won’t—ever.”

“And I never did,” he said, abruptly ending our conversation.

There must have been other factors to have hardened him so, but this experience formed a significant part of the bitterness in his heart.

I’m sure that Sunday School teacher meant well. But did she really understand the love of Christ? Had she studied and accepted the teachings found in the second chapter of James?

What if she had put her arms around the dirty, ragged little boy and said, “Son, I am so glad you are here, and I hope you will come every chance you get, to hear more about Jesus.”

I reflected on the awesome responsibility a teacher, or pastor, or a parent has to welcome little ones in His name. How far-reaching her influence was! I prayed that I might be ever open to the tenderness of a child’s heart, and that I might never fail to see beyond the appearance and behavior of a child to the eternal possibilities within.

Yes, I saw him in the church house for the first time on Wednesday. As I looked at that immaculately dressed old gentleman lying in his casket, I thought of the little boy of long ago, and I could almost hear him say, “No, ma’am, I won’t—ever.”

And I wept.

Why Apostasy Must be Exposed

Just to sit and contemplate what has happened in the last several years and what tomorrow will surely bring, is enough to make one mentally exhausted.

We will be sorely tempted to just throw our “helpless” hands in the air and give up. In fact, this is exactly what the majority are being programmed to do and what they will do. In reality our very continued existence depends on how we deal with the issue of apostasy both in our calling to Adventism and the question of eternal life or death. As we understand this, we will better appreciate what Jesus meant when He had John write, “Here is the patience of the saints,” in Revelation 14:12, and why He had this verse placed at the end of the Three Angels’ Messages.

Over the last several years, I have heard it all—all the reasons why we should not even talk about the apostasy that has become thick. Even more I have heard why it is “sin” to expose it, especially if it is in high places, although the Bible plainly tells us that we must. I have heard statements made, as have all those who are standing firm, such as “Jesus never offended anyone.” This not only demonstrates the point, but exposes the success of the very apostasy that most are unwilling to deal with on any level. The majority which claim to be Adventists are actually and factually defending apostasy, knowingly or unknowingly, both in word and action. It is difficult to put into words the mental anguish this causes the few leaders who are trying to stay the poisonous tide of confusion and apostasy, as wave after wave continues to break upon the house which has been built on the Rock. Many times, the passion and pity displayed in the messages of warning by these messengers, are labeled hate and anger. The deception perpetrated on them is so deep that many do not realize that there is appropriate as well as inappropriate types.

The good and everlasting news about Adventism and the house built on the Rock is that it may appear as about to fall, but it does not!! In these few words lies the key, the secret, the hidden treasure which promotes health, happiness, peace and salvation, in the context of exposing apostasy. And although God knows that the overwhelming majority (yes, even in the Adventist community) will be lost, He has set these truths forth for the few who seek and shall find them.

These truths invite and warn us that we must understand our calling to Adventist Christianity in the total sense, and we must be willing to accept it in its total sense, or be lost. We must realize that what we are facing in the experience of Adventism, as it pertains to apostasy, is perhaps shocking to our generation, but certainly nothing new. In fact, what is happening, in and to this movement, is a continuation of a six thousand year history.

My brothers and sisters, we have the golden opportunity to witness the victory that all the Bible writers spoke of for the last generation in these final hours. Whether we realize it or not, we are writing history as it pertains to the eternal record both individually and collectively. Those who make a profession of Adventism, who will be saved in the end, will come to the realization and understanding of the necessity of dealing with the apostasy. They will end up being most appreciative that Jesus and all heaven have untiringly worked to bring us the “eyesalve,” or spiritual discernment, we must have in this final great struggle, in the controversy between Christ and Satan.

As our understanding is sanctified by our Lord, the mighty Captain of the Lord’s host, we will become aware that this study and the reality it portrays is both horrible and fascinating. Dear friends, we will also realize what it means to be a Seventh-day Adventist, the price paid, and the extreme privilege given to us who have been called, which none deserve or merit. We must understand by that experimental knowledge which builds the faith of Jesus. We must understand and experience the hymns, “Stand up, stand up for Jesus, ye soldiers of the cross,” “Onward Christian Soldiers,” and “Soldiers of Christ Arise,” not just sing them. This must become who we are, and not just a fanciful wish or hope, but a Christ empowered reality. We do not “do” Adventism, Adventism is something we become, it is who we are.


The motive for dealing with apostasy, in the way that Christ did, and with the same intent, is the love of souls and the hatred of sin. The passion generated both in Christ and in His followers does not come from a hatred of people, but rather a proper understanding of, and hatred for, what sin did to our Lord and His creation, the human race.

In dealing with the subject of apostasy and the principles surrounding it, we are obliged to be straightforward and accurate. But also, rightly understood, the same unwavering principles dictate that our motive must be one of salvation, not destruction. Here is where many are deceived from two different points of view. One group believes that we can hate the enemy along with the apostasy he is promoting. This is totally false, but the dilemma lies in the fact that we can only come to understand this in practical terms as we give ourselves over to the One who loves us even when we are wicked. It is very natural to hate the enemy. Why? Because he does not agree with us and is working to undermine what we believe and who we are. But one who is caught in this trap, although perhaps in “the work of the Lord,” is in reality in the business of using the Word of God to further his own cause. This has and will continue to prove to be fatal. Clean water poured into a dirty glass pollutes the water, it does not clean the glass. Right words out of a hateful heart will bring undesirable results and will not save the unclean vessel.

The other conclusion is just as deadly, both to the one who is infected and to those who are influenced wrongly by the polluted witness which follows. This comes from one who wrongly believes that because we are to love the sinner, then we are obligated to accept and tolerate (in the spiritual sense) open sin and apostasy in the church, and we are “sinning” if we expose this wrongdoing. Herein lies one of the biggest problems of Christianity in general, and certainly the plight of current Adventism. Our people are so immersed in the deception of this satanic mind set that much of their energy is used to defend wickedness and our “right” to do as we please instead of witnessing for God’s honor and defending His pure law and character.

To add to this, we have been set up to fail on all fronts since birth, through an agenda which is almost universally demonstrated in those who hold the power in the structure—the recognized organization of Adventism. This agenda surfaced in the mid-fifties, and I believe, for the last time, is coming into full bloom, not only in the Adventist movement, as we will discuss later. It will bring the whole world into the reality of what was once prophecy, now fact, found especially in the books of Daniel and Revelation and in the Spirit of Prophecy. These are the reasons we see a unified open war on God’s Word and the writings of Ellen G. White within the organized structure of Adventism today.

Sick of Hearing About Apostasy

With all of this in mind, with much more to come, we humbly, but seriously and most sincerely invite all who will, to take a hard, critical look, based on a thus saith the Lord, with much prayer and the spirit of a true student of God, and to join us in this study, of why we must deal with and expose apostasy until the job is finished and the battle over.

Frankly, it does not matter that “we are sick of hearing about apostasy.” We neither write the rules of the warfare nor does it matter how we feel, but it is eternally important to understand that the value lies in what God says and how He directs. May we be compelled through our love for Jesus, the love of His truth, and the sanctification this brings, to stand properly in our lot as Seventh-day Adventists.

We plan not only to retrace our past to establish a foundation and platform for why exposing apostasy is vital, but we hope, along the way, to keep demonstrating with clear evidence that the agenda to tear every waymark of true Adventism down is fully alive and at work in the ranks of the leadership within the structure.

We will also make the bold assertion, define, and prove, that the power of the structure has been captured by these leaders who are promoting and pressing their agenda of apostasy. Included will be some of the reasons why these leaders are not really Adventists at all, and how this complicates the warfare from the perspective of the true Adventist.

In doing this delicate but bold work, the writer is aware of what many will say. This very work is what caused the death of Christ, and virtually all those who stood firm, that we would know by name, either in the Biblical account, or the historical time of the dark ages. But this is to a large degree why we must investigate it! For if Jesus and His followers thought it worthy of dying for, and if the rejection of this aspect of the work (exposing the apostasy among the professed people of God) drove the majority to become their murderers, then we must know why and be in the right relationship with the facts, no matter how it makes us feel.

May the Holy Spirit attend every writer with love, clarity, boldness and balance; and every reader with honesty, discernment, a love for the truth, and the mind of Christ, is our prayer.