Bible Study Guides – Building for Eternity

September 13 – 19, 2020

Key Text

“Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).

Study Help: Education, 301–309.


“He who co-operates with the divine purpose in imparting to the youth a knowledge of God, and molding the character into harmony with His, does a high and noble work. As he awakens a desire to reach God’s ideal, he presents an education that is as high as heaven and as broad as the universe; an education that cannot be completed in this life, but that will be continued in the life to come; an education that secures to the successful student his passport from the preparatory school of earth to the higher grade, the school above.” Education, 19.



  • What do we have to look forward to in eternity? 1 Corinthians 2:9; Isaiah 64:4.

Note: “God’s ideal for His children is higher than the highest human thought can reach. ‘Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect’ (Matthew 5:48). This command is a promise. The plan of redemption contemplates our complete recovery from the power of Satan.” The Desire of Ages, 311.

“The education begun here will not be completed in this life; it will be going forward throughout eternity, ever progressing, never completed. Day by day the wonderful works of God, the evidences of His miraculous power in creating and sustaining the universe, will open before the mind in new beauty. In the light that shines from the throne, mysteries will disappear, and the soul will be filled with astonishment at the simplicity of the things that were never before comprehended.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 328.



  • What often accompanies us in our Christian life, and what should our attitude be as a result? Why? 1 Peter 4:12, 13.

Note: “God’s children are always being tested in the furnace of affliction. If they endure the first trial, it is not necessary for them to pass through a similar ordeal the second time; but if they fail, the trial is brought to them again and again, each time being still more trying and severe. Thus opportunity after opportunity is placed before them of gaining the victory and proving themselves true to God. But if they continue to manifest rebellion, God is compelled at last to remove His Spirit and light from them.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 1146.

  • What is tested by the fire of trial? 1 Corinthians 3:9, 10, 12.

Note: “It makes every difference what material is used in the character building. The long-expected day of God will soon test every man’s work. ‘The fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is’ (1 Corinthians 3:13). As fire reveals the difference between gold, silver, and precious stones, and wood, hay, and stubble, so the day of judgment will test characters, showing the difference between characters formed after Christ’s likeness and characters formed after the likeness of the selfish heart. All selfishness, all false religion, will then appear as it is. The worthless material will be consumed; but the gold of true, simple, humble faith will never lose its value. It can never be consumed; for it is imperishable. One hour of transgression will be seen to be a great loss, while the fear of the Lord will be seen to be the beginning of wisdom. The pleasure of self-indulgence will perish as stubble, while the gold of steadfast principle, maintained at any cost, will endure forever.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1087, 1088.

“This character building is a most important work. It is not a work that ends in this life, but which tells in the future life. What you make of yourself here through the merits and grace of Christ will be retained through eternal ages, and I am most earnest that you should not meet a low standard. ‘Learn of me,’ says the Great Teacher, ‘I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest to your soul’ (Matthew 11:29). The peace that Christ gives will never, never bring sorrow with it.” This Day With God, 37.



  • What is revealed by the fire? 1 Corinthians 3:13.

Note: “The angels of God are walking up and down the streets of these cities, and marking the deeds of men. They record in the books of God’s remembrance the words of faith, the acts of love, the humility of spirit; and in that day when every man’s work shall be tried of what sort it is, the work of the humble follower of Christ will stand the test, and will receive the commendation of Heaven.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 987.

“Young men and women should regard a good character as a capital of more value than gold or silver or stocks. It will be unaffected by panics and failures, and will bring rich returns when earthly possessions shall be swept away. … Integrity, firmness, and perseverance are qualities which all should seek earnestly to cultivate; for they clothe the possessor with a power which is irresistible, a power which makes him strong to do good, strong to resist evil, strong to bear adversity.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 656.

  • How were Lot and Solomon saved “as by fire?” Genesis 19:16, 17; 1 Kings 11:4.

Note: “Lot chose Sodom as a place of residence because he looked more to the temporal advantages he would gain than to the moral influences that would surround himself and his family. What did he gain so far as the things of this world are concerned? His possessions were destroyed, part of his children perished in the destruction of that wicked city, his wife was turned to a pillar of salt by the way, and he himself was saved ‘so as by fire’ (1 Corinthians 3:15). Nor did the evil results of his selfish choice end here; but the moral corruption of the place was so interwoven with the character of his children that they could not distinguish between good and evil, sin and righteousness.” Messages to Young People, 419.

“Solomon may have been saved ‘as by fire,’ yet his repentance could not efface those high places, nor demolish those stones, which remained as evidences of his crimes. He dishonored God, choosing rather to be controlled by lust than to be a partaker of the divine nature.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 2, 1031.



  • How does the fire affect our learning and our future? 1 Corinthians 3:14, 15.

Note: “Eternity is before us. All improvements we make here of our mental powers, all the high attainments we make in refining and elevating ourselves by connecting closely with heaven, will be translated with us, while if we dwarf our capabilities by inaction, if we deteriorate our talents, which are susceptible of the highest cultivation, we cannot in the better world redeem that past neglect of self-culture, that great loss.

“Some may be saved as by fire. Their useless life has brought to them infinite loss. We should make improvement in this life, all that we can by the help and grace of God, knowing we can take these improvements with us into heaven. We will glorify our Father in heaven in proportion as we purify and perfect our characters here.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 9, 21.

“To go forth into the next, the future life, deprived of half the power which might be carried there is a terrible thought. The days of probation lost here in acquiring a fitness for heaven, is a loss which will never be recovered. The capacities of enjoyment will be less in the future life for the misdemeanors and abuse of moral powers in this life. However high we might attain in the future life, we might soar higher and still higher, if we had made the most of our God-given privileges and golden opportunities.” This Day With God, 350.

  • How did Daniel and his companions show the results of building their education on the eternal Rock? Daniel 1:20.

Note: “The youth should be learners for the next world. Perseverance in the acquisition of knowledge, controlled by the fear and love of God, will give them an increased power for good in this life, and those who have made the most of their privileges to reach the highest attainments here, will take these valuable acquisitions with them into the future life. They have sought and obtained that which is imperishable. The capability to appreciate the glories that ‘eye hath not seen, nor ear heard’ (1 Corinthians 2:9), will be proportionate to the attainments reached in the cultivation of the faculties in this life.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 49.



  • How can we make up for lost opportunities? Ephesians 5:16.

Note: “We are admonished to redeem the time. But time squandered can never be recovered. We cannot call back even one moment. The only way in which we can redeem our time is by making the most of that which remains, by being co-workers with God in His great plan of redemption.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 342.

“The greatest possible good we can do to our fellow men is to overcome our own faults and improve our characters, making them as excellent and symmetrical as possible.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 9, 21.

  • How much time are we given to make the right decision? Hebrews 3:12–15.

Note: “We should watch and work and pray as though this were the last day that would be granted us. How intensely earnest, then, would be our life. How closely would we follow Jesus in all our words and deeds.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 200.

  • What should our prayer be? Psalm 139:23, 24.

Note: “Lord, take my heart; for I cannot give it. It is Thy property. Keep it pure, for I cannot keep it for Thee. Save me in spite of myself, my weak, unchristlike self. Mold me, fashion me, raise me into a pure and holy atmosphere, where the rich current of Thy love can flow through my soul.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 159.



1    How does education throughout our lifetime constitute only a beginning?

2    What purpose does testing and trial serve in the work of education?

3    How do our choices affect our usefulness and even our eternal destiny?

4    What does it mean to be saved “as by fire”?

5    How can we ensure that we do the best work for eternity?

© 2019, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Watch the Signs

The “abomination of desolation” is first described in the book of Daniel (Daniel 11:31). A few days before His crucifixion, Jesus spoke to His disciples about this entity saying, “whoever reads, let him understand” (Matthew 24:15).

The meaning of the Hebrew word abomination in the book of Daniel is translated abomination or a detestable thing. Throughout the Old Testament the word is quite common and is almost always used in regard to detestable idols or something to do with idolatry.

In the New Testament the words eramus or eromosis are used for desolation or devastation.

Jesus said, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all nations, and then the end will come [notice the context]. ‘Therefore when you see the “abomination of desolation,” spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place’ (whoever reads, let him understand), ‘then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let him who is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house. And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes.’ ” (Matthew 24:14–18). (See also Mark 13:14–16).

The expression “abomination of desolation” is not used in the gospel of Luke, but it talks about the same thing. It says, “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her (don’t return). For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled” (Luke 21:20–22).

This was the clear instruction given by Jesus just a few days before He was crucified. When they saw the abomination stand where it should not, they were to flee out of Jerusalem. If they were in the country, they were not to return to the city.

What exactly is the abomination of desolation?

There have been many different explanations, but here we will stick with inspired statements that tell us what we need to know.

“Jesus declared to the listening disciples the judgments that were to fall upon apostate Israel, and especially the retributive vengeance that would come upon them for their rejection and crucifixion of the Messiah. Unmistakable signs would precede the awful climax. The dreaded hour would come suddenly and swiftly. And the Saviour warned His followers: ‘When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place (whoso readeth let him understand), then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains’ (Matthew 24:15, 16). When the idolatrous standards of the Romans should be set up in the holy ground, which extended some furlongs outside the city walls, then the followers of Christ were to find safety in flight. When the warning sign should be seen, judgment was to follow so quickly that those who would escape must make no delay. He who chanced to be upon the housetop must not go down through his house into the street; but he must speed his way from roof to roof until he reach the city wall, and be saved ‘so as by fire’ (1 Corinthians 3:15). Those who were working in the fields or vineyards must not take time to return for the outer garment laid aside while they should be toiling in the heat of the day. They must not hesitate a moment, lest they be involved in the general destruction.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 4, 26, 27.

The signal to flee, according to this passage, was when the idolatrous standards of the Romans were set up outside the city walls. It was so important that they escape that there was no time for delay, not even to go to their house to get a coat.

Unmistakable signs were given by Jesus. “All the predictions given by Christ concerning the destruction of Jerusalem were fulfilled to the letter. The Jews experienced the truth of His words of warning, ‘With what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again’ (Matthew 7:2).

“Signs and wonders appeared, foreboding disaster and doom.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 4, 31.

What were some of these signs and wonders?

“A comet, resembling a flaming sword, for a year hung over the city. An unnatural light was seen hovering over the temple. Upon the clouds were pictured chariots mustering for battle. Mysterious voices in the temple court uttered the warning words, ‘Let us depart hence.’ The eastern gate of the inner court, which was of brass, and so heavy that it was with difficulty shut by a score of men, and having bolts fastened deep into the firm pavement, was seen at midnight to be opened of its own accord.

“For seven years a man continued to go up and down the streets of Jerusalem, declaring the woes that were to come upon the city.” Ibid.

How many Christians perished in the destruction of Jerusalem?

“Not one Christian perished in the destruction of Jerusalem. Christ had given His disciples warning, and all who believed His words watched for the promised sign. After the Romans had surrounded the city, they unexpectedly withdrew their forces, at a time when everything seemed favorable for an immediate attack. In the providence of God the promised signal was thus given to the waiting Christians, and without a moment’s delay they fled [in the fall of A.D. 66] to a place of safety—the refuge city Pella, in the land of Perea, beyond Jordan.” Ibid., 32.

The greatest sign was when the abomination of desolation stood, but before that there were many other signs that told it was time to get ready to go. When the abomination of desolation appeared, it was the last call for Christ’s followers who had listened to His warning to find safety in flight, and thus save their lives, so that not one Christian perished.

The first siege of Jerusalem, under the Roman army, happened under General Cestius. He surrounded Jerusalem with the Roman armies but, when it seemed favorable to attack, he unexpectedly withdrew his forces. When Cestius began to retreat, he planted the abomination of desolation, the banner of Rome, on the holy ground. When the Roman standards were planted there, right outside the city of Jerusalem, it was the sign for the followers of Christ to flee. All the predictions that Christ gave concerning the destruction of Jerusalem were fulfilled to the letter.

Ellen White wrote in Christ’s Object Lessons, 296, that when Jerusalem was destroyed, the whole area where the temple had been was plowed like a field.

In the spring of A.D. 70, when there were over a million Jews inside the city of Jerusalem for the Passover, the Roman army, with Titus at its head, returned and surrounded the city again. This second and final siege lasted from the time of the Passover in March/April until the city fell about August 30 of that same year.

Ellen White describes it this way: “Terrible were the calamities which fell upon Jerusalem in the siege of the city by Titus. The last desperate assault was made at the time of the passover, when millions of Jews had assembled within its walls to celebrate the national festival. Their stores of provision, which if carefully preserved would have been sufficient to supply the inhabitants for years, had previously been destroyed through the jealousy and revenge of the contending factions, and now all the horrors of starvation were experienced.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 4, 32.

Horrible things happened. “The Roman leaders endeavored to strike terror to the Jews, and thus cause them to surrender. Those prisoners who resisted when taken, were scourged, tortured, and crucified before the wall of the city. Hundreds were daily put to death in this manner, and the dreadful work continued until, along the valley of Jehoshaphat and at Calvary, crosses were erected in so great numbers that there was scarcely room to move among them.” Ibid., 33.

The destruction of Jerusalem is a type of what is going to happen at the end of the world. “The Saviour’s prophecy concerning the visitation of judgments upon Jerusalem is to have another fulfillment, of which that terrible scene was but a faint shadow.” Ibid., 37.

This is a scary thought! History records that over a million Jews were slaughtered during the destruction of Jerusalem. We have no idea just how many were led away captive and taken to Rome. Some of them were killed by gladiators for their entertainment in the coliseum. Others were made slaves and sent all over the world. What happened then was to have another fulfillment.

Ellen White says that that terrible scene was “a faint shadow” of a future event. The word faint means small, almost insignificant.

She says, “The second advent of the Son of God is foretold by lips which make no mistake: ‘Then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory’ (Matthew 24:30). …

“Let men beware lest they neglect the lesson conveyed to them in the words of Christ. He has declared that He will come the second time, to gather His faithful ones to himself, and to take vengeance on them that reject his mercy. As He [Jesus] warned His disciples of Jerusalem’s destruction, giving them a sign of the approaching ruin that they might make their escape, so He has warned His people of the day of final destruction, and given them signs of its approach, that all who will may flee from the wrath to come. Those who behold the promised signs are to ‘know that it is near, even at the door’ (verse 33, last part).” Ibid., 38.

What is the abomination of desolation today?

Remember, this is a two-fold prophecy. We know what the abomination of desolation was to the Christians in Jerusalem, but what does it represent today? Christians must identify the banner or flag of Rome, today. It is Sunday worship. The abomination of desolation today is Sunday worship, the symbol, sign, and mark of Rome’s self-assumed authority.

Look back again at Matthew 24:14–18. “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. ‘Therefore when you see the “abomination of desolation” spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place’ [remember, Jerusalem was called the holy city] (whoever reads, let him understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes.’ ”

Notice, the gospel goes to all the world and then the abomination of desolation is planted.

Let’s look at the first fulfillment. In his letter to the Colossians, Paul said that the gospel had been preached throughout the world. He said, “If indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister” (Colossians 1:23). This letter was written before A.D. 66.

“After the truth has been proclaimed as a witness to all nations, at a time when every conceivable power of evil is set in operation, when minds are confused by the many voices crying, ‘Lo, here is Christ,’ ‘Lo, He is there,’ ‘This is truth,’ ‘I have a message from God,’ ‘He has sent me with great light,’ and there is a removing of the landmarks, and an attempt to tear down the pillars of our faith—then a more decided effort is made to exalt the false sabbath, and to cast contempt upon God Himself by supplanting the day He has blessed and sanctified.” Selected Messages, vol. 3, 406.

One of the signs that precedes the setting up of the abomination of desolation is a removing of the landmarks of the Seventh-day Adventist faith—a removing of the landmarks.

There is a good reason that the magazine we publish here at Steps to Life is called LandMarks of Historic Adventism. There are many baptized into the Seventh-day Adventist church who do not know the historic fundamentals of Adventism. That is why we hold that name—because a removing of the landmarks and the pillars of the Adventist church has been going on for a long time.

Let’s review the history of ancient Jerusalem and pay particular attention to the events surrounding the planting of the abomination of desolation. In The Spirit of Prophecy, volume 4, page 31, it says, “Signs and wonders appeared, foreboding disaster and doom.”

She says, “A comet, resembling a flaming sword, for a year hung over the city.” Ibid. Because the Chinese began documenting signs in heaven over 200 years before Christ, we have accurate records of the history of Halley’s comet from that time clear up to the present day. And we know then, that Halley’s Comet was seen by those in Jerusalem around February, of A.D. 66. Cestius began his siege a few months later. Halley’s comet was one of the major signs warning of impending destruction in Jerusalem.

“At the time of the siege, the Jews were assembled at Jerusalem to keep the Feast of the Tabernacles, and thus the Christians throughout the land were able to make their escape unmolested. Without delay they fled to a place of safety.” The Great Controversy, 31. This was in the fall and Halley’s Comet was in the spring.

The siege was not resumed by Titus until Passover time, A.D. 70, which was a little over three years later. Why is it that Jesus said in both Matthew and Luke that when that happens, flee? Don’t even come back down into your house. Don’t even come back from the field. Flee, right then. I don’t know if I know the complete answer to that question yet. I have been thinking about this and studying it for a long time. But, part of the answer had to do with the internal corruption that occurred in Jerusalem during that time.

The people were instructed by false teachers that no matter what happened, you should stay in the city to be protected, but that was an error. What the people were taught was exactly opposite of what Jesus had predicted. So if you believed what Jesus said, you fled and got out. If you listened to what the church said, you stayed in and perished.

“In their blind and blasphemous presumption the instigators of this hellish work publicly declared that they had no fear that Jerusalem would be destroyed, for it was God’s own city. To establish their power more firmly, they bribed false prophets to proclaim, even when Roman legions were besieging the temple, that the people were to wait for deliverance from God.” Ibid., 29.

The leaders instructed not to flee. Stay right there, and God will save you. Everybody who listened to their lie got slaughtered. It says, “To the last, multitudes held fast to the belief that the Most High would interpose for the defeat of their adversaries.” Ibid.

The greatest danger of coming back to the city of Jerusalem was the risk of being deceived by the false teachers saying that safety and security was in staying there and waiting for deliverance that would never come. Sadly, the majority of the people obeyed man instead of God. They showed that they loved man and their church more than God whom they professed to follow and obey.

Who represents Jerusalem today?

Now we come to a critical question. As the abomination of desolation is a two-fold prophecy, meaning that it is going to have another occurrence in the last days, then who represents Jerusalem today? Who is God’s chosen church, as was Jerusalem, that has been given the oracles of God?

Referring to the Seventh-day Adventist church, Ellen White said, “Jerusalem is a representation of what the church will be if it refuses to walk in the light that God has given. Jerusalem was favored of God as the depositary of sacred trusts.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 67.

Has the Seventh-day Adventist Church been favored of God as the depositary of sacred trusts? Who is it that has all the publishing rights to the prophetic works of Ellen White? The Seventh-day Adventist Church is the depositary of sacred trusts.

“But her people perverted the truth, and despised all entreaties and warnings. They would not respect His counsels. The temple courts were polluted with merchandise and robbery.” Ibid.

“There was danger that Battle Creek would become as Jerusalem of old—a powerful center. If we do not heed these warnings, the evils that ruined Jerusalem will come upon us.” Ibid., 133.

“The same danger exists today among the people who profess to be the depositaries of God’s law. They are too apt to flatter themselves that the regard in which they hold the commandments will preserve them from the power of divine justice. They refuse to be reproved for evil, and charge God’s servants with being too zealous in putting sin out of the camp. A sin-hating God calls upon those who profess to keep His law to depart from all iniquity. Neglect to repent and obey His word will bring as serious consequences upon God’s people today as did the same sin upon ancient Israel. There is a limit beyond which He will no longer delay His judgments. The desolation of Jerusalem stands as a solemn warning before the eyes of modern Israel, that the corrections given through His chosen instruments cannot be disregarded with impunity.” Ibid., vol. 4, 166, 167.

If we don’t listen to the warnings God has given to us, the ruin that came upon Israel will come upon us. Ellen White said in a letter in The Early Elmshaven Years, 45, 46: “For a week before I fully consented to go to Battle Creek [church headquarters], I did not sleep past one o’clock. Some nights I was up at eleven o’clock, and many nights at twelve. I have not moved from impulse, but from the conviction that at this time that I must begin at Jerusalem.”

This is a very interesting statement. Jerusalem represents the headquarters of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Will the abomination of desolation, that is, the banner of Rome, Sunday worship, be planted in the headquarters of the professed Seventh-day Adventist Church?

In Ezekiel 8, the prophet in vision is told about abominations in the temple in Jerusalem. Then in chapter 9, it tells about the destruction that is going to occur because of these abominations and about the people of God who are sighing and crying for these abominations that are occurring within the church.

Years ago, while I was attending Walla Walla college and studying these prophesies, my teacher tried to explain to me that this was all about something that was going on in Ezekiel’s time. But that is not the case.

In Selected Messages, vol. 3, 338, it says, “Each of the ancient prophets spoke less for their own time than for ours, so that their prophesying is in force for us.” They spoke more for our time.

“All the great events and solemn transactions of Old Testament history have been, and are, repeating themselves in the church in these last days.” Ibid., 339.

“The last books of the Old Testament show us workers taken from the laborers in the field. Others were men of high ability and extensive learning, but the Lord gave them visions and messages. These men of the Old Testament spoke of things transpiring in their day, and Daniel, Isaiah, and Ezekiel not only spoke of things that concerned them as present truth, but their sights reached down to the future, and to what should occur in these last days.” Ibid., 419, 420.

Daniel, Isaiah, and Ezekiel are specifically mentioned that they had “their sights” clearly down on our time. When we read from Ezekiel, we are not just reading about something that happened several hundred years before Christ. We are reading about something that’s going to happen in the last days.

Ellen White said that the prophecy in Ezekiel 9 will be fulfilled to the very letter. (See The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, 1303.)

When Ezekiel mentions Jerusalem, he is talking about the Seventh-day Adventist church. When He talks about the temple, He is talking about the headquarters of the Seventh-day Adventist church. These abominations in Ezekiel 8 will be seen occurring within the Seventh-day Adventist church and we need to be aware of these things.

Ezekiel 8 verse 16 states: “So He brought me into the inner court of the Lord’s house; and there, at the door of the temple of the Lord, between the porch and the altar, were about twenty-five men with their backs toward the temple of the Lord and their faces toward the east, and they were worshiping the sun toward the east.”

This is what the faithful were sighing and crying about in chapter 9. Did you notice how many people there were? “About twenty-five men.”

In the 1901 General Conference Bulletin, on page 378, it says, “The general conference constitution.” Under article 1 it says, “This organization shall be known as the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.” [April 22, 1901-Extra # 17]

Under article 2, “Object. The object of this Conference shall be to unify and to extend to all parts of the world, the work of promulgating the everlasting gospel.”

Article 4, on the executive committee, section 1, on page 379, says: “The Executive Committee of this Conference shall be twenty-five in number.” Interesting!

This article is not intended to point a finger at anybody. God’s people interpret prophecy that has been fulfilled in the past and we try to understand prophecy that will be fulfilled in the future. However, if you look at history you will find that we have a very poor track record at recognizing when a prophecy is being fulfilled right in front of us.

Remember, Jesus came to His people and said, “This day” this prophecy is “fulfilled in your ears” (Luke 4:21). And what happened? They tried to kill him.

We have a very poor track record.

My dear friends, prophecy is being fulfilled right in front of our eyes, and the question is, Will we not recognize it until it is too late?

We had better pay attention and recognize the signs. They are like the handwriting on the wall and we would not want to miss them.

(Unless appearing in quoted references or otherwise identified, Bible texts are from the New King James Version.

Pastor John J. Grosboll is Director of Steps to Life and pastors the Prairie Meadows Church in Wichita, Kansas. He may be contacted by email at:, or by telephone at: 316-788-5559.

Bible Study Guides – “No Prophecy of the Scripture is of Any Private Interpretation”

MEMORY VERSE: “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation.” 2 Peter 1:20.

STUDY HELP: Acts of the Apostles, 529–537.

INTRODUCTION: “The perils of the last days are upon us, and in our work we are to warn the people of the danger they are in. Let not the solemn scenes which prophecy has revealed be left untouched. If our people were half awake, if they realized the nearness of the events portrayed in the Revelation, a reformation would be wrought in our churches, and many more would believe the message. We have no time to lose; God calls upon us to watch for souls as they that must give an account. Advance new principles, and crowd in the clear-cut truth. It will be as a sword cutting both ways. But be not too ready to take a controversial attitude. There will be times when we must stand still and see the salvation of God. Let Daniel speak, let the Revelation speak, and tell what is truth. But whatever phase of the subject is presented, uplift Jesus as the center of all hope, ‘the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright and morning Star’ Revelation 22:16.”

Testimonies, vol. 6, 61.


“As we near the close of this world’s history, the prophecies recorded by Daniel demand our special attention, as they relate to the very time in which we are living. With them should be linked the teachings of the last book of the New Testament Scriptures. Satan has led many to believe that the prophetic portions of the writings of Daniel and of John the Revelator cannot be understood. But the promise is plain that special blessing will accompany the study of these prophecies. ‘The wise shall understand’ (verse 10), was spoken of the visions of Daniel that were to be unsealed in the latter days; and of the revelation that Christ gave to His servant John for the guidance of God’s people all through the centuries, the promise is, ‘Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein.’ Revelation 1:3.” Prophets and Kings, 547, 548.

  1. The name “Daniel” means “God is my Judge.” Judgement is a theme running throughout this book. Notice the following:

  • Daniel 1:18–21. Nebuchadnezzar judges Daniel and his three friends.
  • Daniel 3:13–29. Nebuchadnezzar judges Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, but God overrules.
  • Daniel 4:31–33. God pronounces judgement upon Nebuchadnezzar.
  • Daniel 5:18–28. Daniel pronounces God’s judgement on Belshazzar and Babylon.
  • Daniel 6:16–17, 24. Darius pronounces sentence on Daniel. God overrules and Darius condemns Daniel’s enemies.
  • Daniel 7:9–14, 26. Daniel sees in vision God’s judgement.
  • Daniel 8:13–14. Daniel hears the prophecy concerning the time of God’s judgement.
  • Daniel 12:10. God’s judgement on both the righteous and wicked.
  1. Judgement means “to bring justice.” Notice how the following passages explain the Bible concept of judgement.

  • Genesis 4:10. Abel’s blood cries out to God for justice.
  • Psalm 10:12–15. The psalmist cries out to God “to requite mischief and spite with Thy hand.”
  • Daniel 8:13. The call to God is, “How long is evil to be permitted to oppress God’s people?
  • Revelation 6:10. The martyred saints cry out to God to judge and avenge their blood.
  1. The Book of Daniel promises deliverance for God’s people.

  • Daniel 2:5, 13, 48–49. God delivers Daniel and his three friends from Nebuchadnezzar’s death decree.
  • Daniel 3:27. God delivers Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego from Nebuchadnezzar’s death decree.
  • Daniel 6:20–22. “My God hath sent His angel and hath shut the lion’s mouths.”
  • Daniel 7:25–27. The little horn wears out the saints of the Most High but it is they who receive the kingdom.
  • Daniel 12:1. “A time of trouble such as never was…and at that time thy people shall be delivered.”
  1. The Book of Daniel is the book of the kingdom. Every chapter begins with a reference to kingly power, either man’s or God’s.

  • Daniel 1:1–2. The apparent destruction of the kingdom of God by Babylon. (But notice that God gave Jehoiakim into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar. God is in control.)
  • Daniel 1:1. The conflict is between Jerusalem and Babylon. This conflict continues between spiritual Babylon and spiritual Jerusalem in Revelation. This is the conflict between true and false worship. Idolatry and its conflict with true worship runs through much of Daniel and Revelation.
  1. The first six chapters of Daniel contain history with some prophecy. The last six chapters of the book contain prophecy with some history. What has been acted out in narrative form is taught by prophetic vision.

  • Those who worship idols are inferior in wisdom to those who worship and obey God. Compare Daniel 1 and 2.
  • Those who refuse to submit to idolatrous worship will be delivered by God. Compare Daniel 3 and 6 with Daniel 12.
  • Earthly laws fall to the ground before the decree of the Divine Lawgiver. Compare Daniel 6 with Daniel 7:25–26.
  • God will condemn self-worship and blasphemy. Compare Daniel 4 and 5 with Daniel 7:25–27. Worship, true and false, is the major issue. Compare Revelation 13 and 14.
  1. Daniel is the book of the sanctuary.

  • The pivotal verse of the entire book is Daniel 8:14.
  • Can you find mention of the sanctuary in chapters 1, 5, 8, 9, 11 and 12? The sanctuary has been defiled by the sins of God’s people, desolated by Babylon and will be cleansed by the Son of man at the time of the end.
  • In the Book of Daniel, God uses the teaching technique of repetition and expansion. Each vision rehearses the ground of the previous vision and focuses on some part of it to add additional light. Those who fail to appreciate this truth will find themselves reaching private interpretations. For example, since Daniel 2 ends with Rome in both its imperial and its papal forms, (first the iron and then iron mixed with clay) each of the other visions, Daniel 7, Daniel 8–9 and Daniel 11–12, will also end with Rome, in its imperial and then its papal form. Failure to see this led to some to substitute Turkey for papal Rome in the final vision.


  1. How is the book of Daniel contrasted with the Book of Revelation? Daniel 12:4, 9, Revelation 22:10.

NOTE: “In the Revelation are portrayed the deep things of God. The very name given to its inspired pages, ‘the Revelation,’ contradicts the statement that this is a sealed book. A revelation is something revealed. The Lord Himself revealed to His servant the mysteries contained in this book, and He designs that they shall be open to the study of all. Its truths are addressed to those living in the last days of this earth’s history, as well as to those living in the days of John. Some of the scenes depicted in this prophecy are in the past, some are now taking place; some bring to view the close of the great conflict between the powers of darkness and the Prince of heaven, and some reveal the triumphs and joys of the redeemed in the earth made new. Let none think, because they cannot explain the meaning of every symbol in the Revelation, that it is useless for them to search this book in an effort to know the meaning of the truth it contains. The One who revealed these mysteries to John will give to the diligent searcher for truth a foretaste of heavenly things. Those whose hearts are open to the reception of truth will be enabled to understand its teachings, and will be granted the blessing promised to those who ‘hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein.’ ” Acts of the Apostles, 584- 585.

  1. The first eleven chapters of Revelation deal with three great visions, the Seven churches, the Seven Seals and the Seven Trumpets. Each vision looks at the period from apostolic times to the time of the end.

  • The seven churches describe the spiritual state of the church during this period in seven stages: Ephesus, the apostolic church which began well but lost its first love, Smyrna, the church of the imperial persecutions, “faithful unto death,” Pergamos, the church which compromised with false worship, Thyatira, the persecuted church in the wilderness, Sardis, the church of the failed reformation, with “a name that thou livest and art dead,” Philadelphia, the church of the advent awakening, and finally Laodicea, a people judged, woefully unprepared for her Lord’s scrutiny.
  • The seven seals describe the history of the church. First, a rider on a white horse “conquering and to conquer.” Then a rider on a red horse, suffering and persecuted. Then a rider on a black horse at a time of spiritual famine. Next a rider on a deathly pale horse suffering the terrible persecutions of the dark ages. Next comes the cry of the martyrs calling to God for judgement on their persecutors. Next we see the signs of Christ’s soon coming and the cry, “Who shall be able to stand?” In answer to this question, John hears that 144,000 will be able to stand and then he sees the great multitude of those who will come through the Great Tribulation because they have washed their robes.
  • The seven trumpets reveal God’s judgements on Rome, the persecutor of God’s people. First are pictured the attacks on the Western Roman empire and the African Roman empire through Alaric and the Goths, Genseric and the Vandals, Atilla and the Huns and Odoacer and the Heruli. The final three trumpets are called “woes” and, under the 5th trumpet, we see the rise of Islam in response to the darkness brought by papal Rome. Then follow the Turks who destroy the Eastern Roman Empire. Read Great Controversy, 334–335 for the marvelous fulfilment of Revelation 9:15. Revelation 10 describes the Great Disappointment and Revelation 11 begins with a brief mention of the judgement of God’s people. The 1260 years of the papal suppression of the words of God is described and the rise of atheism is also described. All these events come within the period of the 6th trumpet. The vision ends with the 7th trumpet, the establishment of the kingdom of Christ and the judgement.
  • The remainder of Revelation deals with the beginning, progress and triumphant outcome of the Great Controversy between Christ and Satan, first in heaven and then on earth. We see the final conflict and its outcome for the enemies of God, Babylon, and for God’s people, the New Jerusalem. It would be well to read the final two chapters of this book aloud.


  1. What attitude should we take towards the Book of Revelation? Revelation 1:3.

NOTE: “In the Scriptures are presented truths that relate especially to our own time. To the period just prior to the appearing of the Son of man, the prophecies of Scripture point, and here their warnings and threatenings pre-eminently apply. The prophetic periods of Daniel, extending to the very eve of the great consummation, throw a flood of light upon events then to transpire. The book of Revelation is also replete with warning and instruction for the last generation. The beloved John, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, portrays the fearful and thrilling scenes connected with the close of earth’s history, and presents the duties and dangers of Gods people. None need remain in ignorance, none need be unprepared for the coming of the day of God. It is not enough to have an intellectual knowledge of the truth. This alone cannot give the light and understanding essential to salvation. There must be an entrance of the word into the heart. It must be set home by the power of the Holy Spirit. The will must be brought into harmony with its requirements. Not only the intellect but the heart and conscience must concur in the acceptance of the truth.” Review and Herald, September 25, 1883.

The Character of Daniel

It is through the Bible that we learn about God and His work for us and through us. In 1 Corinthians 10:11, we read that the stories of the Bible were recorded as examples for us upon whom the ends of the world are come. One is the stories contained in the book of Daniel. God’s grace and salvation are seen throughout the entire book of Daniel. In the prophetic portion of the book, the history of the world is pictured in dreams and symbols, but equally significant for us are the lessons that we can learn from the development of Daniel’s character, himself. We are told that “The case of Daniel may be studied with profit by all who desire perfection of character.” Signs of the Times, November 5, 1896. With this counsel in mind, let us look at the character traits of Daniel.

In the first chapter of Daniel, seven character traits are described as well as four rewards which were granted to Daniel because of his faithfulness. Let’s see what we can learn by studying the character of Daniel in relationship to our preparation for the soon appearing of Christ.

Daniel 1:1–2 tells us of the captivity of the children of Israel by Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. This was prophesied by God’s prophet in Isaiah 39:3–7. As we research this event in history we learn that over 18,000 people were carried away to Babylon. (See 2 Kings 24:14–16.) Of these 18,000, God was able to chose four as His special messengers to this lost nation of Babylon. Thus the first character trait, seen in Daniel 1:3–7, is that he was chosen. These four young men were chosen because there was something different about their lives and character than the rest of the Israelites. It will be the same with the people of God at the end of the earth. They are a special chosen people who have as their purpose the proclamation of the Three Angels’ Messages of Revelation 14. Just as Daniel chose to follow God, regardless of the cost, so we must make that decision if we will be among the chosen of God.

The second and third character traits can be summarized by the words conviction and commitment. Daniel 1:8 says that “he purposed in his heart the he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank.” As a child, Daniel had been raised to know God’s health laws and in this foreign land he had an opportunity to eat and drink as he wanted. So the offer of the King to eat of his meat and wine was a test of Daniel’s personal convictions in the areas of diet, health, and obedience to God’s claims in all areas of his life. Before he took any public stand in regard to his diet, he determined in his own heart that what he had been taught had been truth and he was convicted of his need to remain faithful to God in this area. His next step was to make a public statement of his conviction not to defile himself. What a commitment this was to truth. When Daniel requested that he might not defile himself with the kings diet, the prince of the eunuchs was fearful that the young men would look worse than those who had the privilege of eating the King’s food. He was concerned that allowing the Hebrews to eat and drink according to their custom would make them less fit than the rest of the young men and could thereby endanger his own life.

We might ask ourselves, “Was the matter of diet really important enough to risk their lives?” This is what Ellen White tells us about their decision in regard to diet. “What if Daniel and his companions had made a compromise with those heathen officers and had yielded to the pressure of the occasion by eating and drinking as was customary with the Babylonians? That single instance of departure from principle would have weakened their sense of right and their abhorrence of wrong.” Fundamentals of Education, 81. This makes it extremely clear that our choices in dietary matters can weaken or strengthen our sense of wrong. There is a strong temptation to eat as we desire or to eat according to the customs around us. We do this because it is easier and does not hurt feelings, but the situation of Daniel had much more at stake than hurting feelings. It could have cost him and the prince of the eunuchs their lives. It is therefore clear that we should not conform our dietary decisions or any other of God’s commands to what is customary in the surroundings we find ourselves. Another statement from The Great Controversy makes a similar observation about putting ourselves on common ground with the world. From page 509 we read, “Conformity to worldly customs converts the church to the world, it never converts the world to Christ. Familiarity with sin will inevitably cause it to appear less repulsive. He who chooses to associate with the servants of Satan will soon cease to fear their master. When in the way of duty we are brought into trial, as was Daniel in the Kings court, we may be sure that God will protect us; but if we place ourselves under temptation we shall fall sooner or latter.”

Just as Christ struggled with appetite in the wilderness, so must we. If we are to gain perfection in character, we must overcome in this area of our life. Overcoming appetite is so crucial that Christ fasted for forty days in order to overcome. Through His strength we may be victors not only of appetite, but we may have the moral power to be victorious over every other temptation of Satan. Please note the following, found in Counsels on Diet and Foods, 59: “The controlling power of appetite will prove the ruin of thousands, when, if they had conquered on this point, they would have had moral power to gain the victory over every other temptation of Satan. But those who are slaves to appetite will fail in perfecting Christian character. The continual transgression of man for six thousand years had brought sickness, pain, and death as its fruits. And as we near the close of time, Satan’s temptation to indulge appetite will be more powerful and more difficult to overcome.” Just as Daniel overcame on the point of appetite, so must we, if we are going to stand in these final days as God’s lighthouse to the world.

So, what would become of Daniel’s request to the prince of the eunuchs? Why would the prince of the eunuchs even consider Daniel’s request if it might cost him his life? Part of the reason the prince considered Daniel’s request was because of his fourth character trait, courtesy. Daniel 1:9 tells us that, “God had brought Daniel into favor and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs.” Daniel had indeed gained the respect of the Babylonians, partly because of the courteous and respectful way in which he approached them. He had been taken from his home and was a captive in a strange land, but his courtesy was a daily witness to his captors. In Sanctified Life, 20, 21 we read: “Daniel possessed the grace of genuine meekness. He was true, firm, and noble. He sought to live in peace with all while he was unbending as the lofty cedar whenever principle was involved. In everything that did not come in collision with his allegiance to God, he was respectful and obedient to those who had authority over him, but he had so high a sense of the claims of God that the requirements of earthly rulers were held subordinate. The record of his noble, self denying life is an encouragement to our common humanity. From it we may gather strength to nobly resist temptation and firmly, and in the grace of meekness, stand for the right under the severest trial.”

Daniel’s ability to stand firm based on principle was a result of his fifth character trait, that of confidence in God’s Word. Daniel risked his very life because he had faith in God’s Word. The Bible is full of examples of men and women who have risked everything because of their belief in God’s Word. We may not have been in that position in the past, but each of us may face the same decision Daniel did, some time in the near future. Are we willing to risk all to follow God’s Word? The promise of protection is sure. (See 1 John 4:4, 1 Samuel 2:30, and 2 Peter 1:3–10.)

Because of Daniel’s courtesy and firm stand for principle the head eunuch decided to allow Daniel to have a ten day test of the diet he proposed. (See Daniel 1:10–16.) With confidence in God’s Word, Daniel, for not just the next ten days, but throughout his entire stay in Babylon, displayed his sixth and seventh character traits, courage and consistency. It takes true courage and strength of character, not just a momentary flash of glory, to stand for a lifetime, faithful to our God. Daniel 1:21 says that Daniel “continued.” This kind of courage and consistency, only God can give. Once we take a stand for God, we must, with His help, display consistency in our walk in the truth. Without this our witness will be weak if not even harmful. A quote from Prophets and Kings, 487, 488, brings this home to our heart. It says: “Strong, subtle influences may bind them to the world; but the Lord is able to render futile every agency that works for the defeat of His chosen ones; in His strength they may overcome every temptation, conquer every difficulty. There is need of men who like Daniel will do and dare for the cause of right. Pure hearts, strong hands, fearless courage are needed; for the warfare between vice and virtue calls for ceaseless vigilance.” We must, in our warfare against appetite and every other sin that the Devil brings our way, “stand like Daniel, that faithful statesmen, a man who no temptation could corrupt.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 332.

God never leaves the faithfulness of His children unrewarded. As a result of his obedience, in all areas to God, Daniel experienced rewards that were not shared by the other captives. First, Daniel experienced in his physical being a special impact. He was healthier than those who ate the King’s food. (See Daniel 1:15–16.) His countenance glowed with life and vitality and he had a degree of health that was not experienced by his fellow captives. We too can find health beyond that seen in the world when we follow God’s health laws.

Daniel also experienced an intelligence that was not common among the people around him. (See Daniel 1:17–20.) As we develop our spiritual character and are faithful to follow His requirements for health, God can also bless us with skill in learning. From the Review and Herald, March 22, 1898, this vital link between our spiritual nature and our mental capabilities is emphasized. “As in the case of Daniel, in exact proportion as the spiritual character is developed, the intellectual capabilities are increased.” Daniel 1:17 also states that Daniel had special insight into the meaning of the dreams of the King. He had an understanding and wisdom that only God could give. Finally Daniel was rewarded with a tremendous influence in the country of Babylon. The influence he had in society, and especially with the King, can be seen throughout the rest of the book of Daniel. If these rewards, physical health, intelligence, insight, and influence, were just seen in Daniel, one might say that it was just a coincidence. However, the Bible is full of examples of men and women who, by obeying God, have received similar rewards in their life. One must think of David, Joseph, Queen Esther, Moses, John the Baptist, and Paul. All of these pillars of Bible history were blessed as they obeyed God in their daily lives.

In conclusion, we must, in these closing hours of earth’s history, develop each of these seven character traits if we are going to stand for Jesus during these trying times. God wants us to be His very special chosen people to witness to this world. He wants us to be a people of deep conviction that is based on His word. He wants us to be committed to stand up for our convictions regardless of the circumstances or pressures brought upon us by the world. He wants us to be a courteous people that deal with each other gently and with meekness. He wants us, through study of the Bible and through life’s experiences, to develop firm and unshakable confidence in Him and His Word. Also, He wants us to have courage to privately and publicly stand for principle regardless of the circumstances or costs. Lastly, God wants us to be consistent in our character development and in our Christian walk before Him and the world. The development of these traits is crucial to the perfection of our character and our ability to witness to the power of God.

In Education, 57, we read: “The greatest want of the world is the want of men—men who do not fear to call sin by its right name, men who will not be bought or sold, men who in their inmost soul are true and honest, men whose conscience is as true to duty as the needle to the pole, men who will stand for the right though the heavens fall.” I want to develop this kind of character, one that is pleasing to God and is safe for Jesus to take to heaven, where sin will never again exist. We must have each of these seven traits of character. Just as God helped Daniel develop a lovely character, He will be our helper also. May we each strive, in the struggles of our captivity, in this world of “Babylon,” to be ready for the Lord’s soon return to claim His faithful children as His own. May this be not just a desire, but a reality in each of our lives. Let us pray for this experience for ourselves and all those we love in Christ Jesus.

Janet Headrick is a registered nurse, wife, mother and grandmother. She writes from Rago, Kansas.

Inspiration – Daniel in the Lion’s Den

When Darius took possession of the throne of Babylon, he at once proceeded to reorganize the government. He “set over the kingdom an hundred and twenty princes . . .  and over these three presidents; of whom Daniel was first” (Daniel 6:1, 2). And “Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm” (verse 3). The honors bestowed upon Daniel excited the jealousy of the leading men of the kingdom. The presidents and princes sought to find occasion for complaint against him. “But they could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him” (verse 4).

What a lesson is here presented for all Christians. The keen eyes of jealousy were fixed upon Daniel day after day; their watchings were sharpened by hatred; yet not a word or act of his life could they make appear wrong. And still he made no claim to sanctification, but he did that which was infinitely better—he lived a life of faithfulness and consecration.

The more blameless the conduct of Daniel, the greater was the hatred excited against him by his enemies. They were filled with madness, because they could find nothing in his moral character or in the discharge of his duties upon which to base a complaint against him. “Then said these men, We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God” (verse 5). Three times a day Daniel prayed to the God of heaven. This was the only accusation that could be brought against him.

A scheme was now devised to accomplish his destruction. His enemies assembled at the palace and besought the king to pass a decree that no person in the whole realm should ask anything of either God or man, except of Darius the king, for the space of thirty days, and that any violation of this edict should be punished by casting the offender into the den of lions. The king knew nothing of the hatred of these men toward Daniel, and did not suspect that the decree would in any way injure him. Through flattery they made the monarch believe it would be greatly to his honor to pass such an edict. With a smile of satanic triumph upon their faces, they come forth from the presence of the king, and rejoice together over the snare which they have laid for the servant of God.

An Example of Boldness and Fidelity

The decree goes forth from the king. Daniel is acquainted with the purpose of his enemies to ruin him. But he does not change his course in a single particular.

With calmness he performs his accustomed duties, and at the hour of prayer he goes to his chamber, and with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he offers his petitions to the God of heaven. By his course of action he fearlessly declares that no earthly power has the right to come between him and his God and tell him to whom he should or should not pray. Noble man of principle! he stands before the world today a praiseworthy example of Christian boldness and fidelity. He turns to God with all his heart, although he knows that death is the penalty for his devotion.

His adversaries watch him an entire day. Three times he has repaired to his chamber, and three times the voice of earnest intercession has been heard. The next morning the complaint is made to the king that Daniel, one of the captives of Judah, has set at defiance his decree. When the monarch heard these words, his eyes were at once opened to see the snare that had been set. He was sorely displeased with himself for having passed such a decree, and labored till the going down of the sun to devise a plan by which Daniel might be delivered. But the prophet’s enemies had anticipated this, and they came before the king with these words: “Know, O king, that the law of the Medes and Persians is, That no decree nor statute which the king establisheth may be changed.

“Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, He will deliver thee” (verses 15, 16). A stone was laid upon the mouth of the den, and sealed with the royal seal. “Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting: neither were instruments of musick brought before him: and his sleep went from him” (verse 18).

“My God Hath Sent His Angel”

Early in the morning the monarch hastened to the den of lions, and cried, “Daniel, Oh Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions?” (verse 20). The voice of the prophet was heard in reply, “Oh king, live for ever. My God hath sent His angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before Him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, Oh king, have I done no hurt.

“Then was the king exceeding glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his God” (verses 22, 23). Thus was the servant of God delivered. And the snare which his enemies had laid for his destruction proved to be their own ruin. At the command of the king they were cast into the den, and instantly devoured by the wild beasts.

The Sanctified Life, 42–45.

The Need for Certainty – Part II

In Part 1 of this article we learned that all of the apostles taught the infallibility of the church. Even the apostles, themselves, were infallible. If this is the case, in such an uncertain world and uncertain times, in what, then, can we believe?

The One Infallible, Certainty!

How can you know with certainty, how can you know with infallible certitude, exactly what you believe? How can you know for sure? This is a question that every Bible- believing Christian needs to understand. Where can you find certainty? How can you know for sure that something is infallible, that all the demons of hell or the governments of the world cannot change it because it is the truth? Where can you find that kind of certainty? That is what people are looking for today. We read from the Bible in Revelation 2:18–26 that you cannot get it from the church, you cannot get it from church councils (See Acts 21:18), you cannot get it from theologians (See Acts 20). You cannot even get it from the apostle Peter.

Since you need to know for a surety, I will show what is absolutely for certain. It is infallible. It has infallible certainty. You can know the truth, and by means of the truth you can have salvation, if you choose it. We will go to a source that is accepted by every Roman Catholic in the world. We will go to a source that is accepted by Protestants. We are going to go to the apostle Peter himself.

We see in Galatians 2 that Peter himself was not infallible, but Peter knew the source of infallible certainty. He knew where to get it, and he tells us where we can get it. He says, “For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming [that is the Second Coming] of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’ And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.” 2 Peter 1:16–18. Here, Peter is referring to a story in Matthew 17.

In Matthew 16:28 Jesus said, “Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.” Now who were the ones that were standing right there that were not going to see death until they saw the Son of Man coming in His kingdom?— Peter, James and John. How could He say that? Because, in just a few days Jesus was going to show them, in miniature, what the Second Coming of Christ would be like. We read in the very next chapter, Matthew 17:1–5, “Now after six days [six days after Jesus’ statement in Matthew 16:28] Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, ‘Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, let us make here three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.’ While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!’” Notice, Jesus was transfigured before them into a glorious personage, just as He will appear in the clouds at His Second Coming, and there were two people talking with Him. One of them was Moses, who had died on Mount Nebo as recorded in Deuteronomy, but Jude tells us Moses had been resurrected from the dead and taken to heaven. Who did Moses represent? Moses represented all those who have died in Christ. We all probably know someone, a Christian who loved and followed Jesus, who has died. But they are not going to stay dead, because Jesus is coming again. The graves are going to open up, and they are going to come up in the clouds. Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17 the dead in Christ are going to rise first, so Moses represents those who have died in Christ but who will be resurrected to go with the Lord. Elijah was also there, and the book of Kings tells us that Elijah was taken by a chariot of the Lord up into heaven. Who did Elijah represent? Since he never died, and never will, he represents the people who are living on the earth in the last generation and who are ready to meet the Lord. You see, the Transfiguration was a symbol of the Second Coming of Christ, in miniature. And, you notice, Peter was one of the ones that saw this. He heard the voice of the Father saying out of the luminous cloud, “This is My beloved Son. The Jews may decide to crucify Him. They may decide to spit in His face. The Roman Soldiers may nail Him to a cross, but just remember, this is My Son in whom I am well pleased. You listen to Him.”

So Peter says to the people, “What we told you when we preached about the Second Coming of Christ and His coming in glory, it was not some cunningly devised fable. It was not something that we made up. We were eyewitnesses of His majesty. We saw it. We heard it.” But now remember what you need? You need something that is infallible. You need something that you know absolutely for certain. Do you know that there is something that is even more certain than what the apostles saw? They saw the Second Coming of Christ in miniature; they heard the voice of God themselves, and they reported it to us.

An Even More Sure Word

But there is something that is even more certain than that. Look at 2 Peter 1:19, “We also have the more sure prophetic word.” More sure than what? Made more sure than what you see and hear. It is infallible! The church is not infallible, the theologians are not infallible, the preachers are not infallible, even the apostles are not infallible, but the Word of the Lord, the word of prophecy is infallible. It is more sure than what you see and hear, and you can depend on it. It will never ever fail.

Do you know how many learned people have tried to prove the Bible is wrong? They have been trying for hundreds of years. My grandfather was one of them. There was a time when he was a skeptic. William Miller was, at one time, a skeptic. These people tried to prove that the Bible was wrong. They used to say, “There never were any people like the Hittites.” The Bible talks a lot about the Hittites. They said, “Somebody made that up, because we do not have any record that there were any Hittites.” They are not saying that any more, because archeologists have found abundant evidence in the Middle East of a large nation in ancient times called the Hittites.

People used to say, “There never was a king Belshazzar as written of in Daniel, because we do not have any record of it in the Greek records of the Babylonian kings.” But, archeologists have since discovered a great deal of evidence, so no one is arguing today whether Belshazzar existed. They all know that they were wrong.

That is what happens every time skeptics try to prove the Bible wrong. The Bible is an infallible guide to truth. Peter says it is more sure than what you see and hear. It is infallible. You can depend on it.

“We also have the more sure prophetic word which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” 2 Peter 1:19–21.

Whenever this subject comes up there immediately is a controversy between Roman Catholics and Protestants. Roman Catholics say that the church gave us the Bible. The Protestants say that the Bible gave us the church. Which is so? Let us go to the Bible itself for the answer. In James 1:17, 18, James is talking to the Christian church, as you can see in verse seventeen, and he says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. Of His own will [It is not talking about the church here, it is talking about God in heaven.] He brought us [the church] forth….” Who is the parent here, and who is the child? The parent is God in heaven; the child is the church.

The church was formed by the Word of God. The Word of God produced the church. The church does not produce the Word.

I have been questioned about how we acquired the Bible. Jesus, Himself, tells us. “Then He said to them, ‘These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.’” Luke 24:44. Those are the three divisions of the Hebrew Bible that contain exactly the same books that we have today in the Old Testament. Jesus confirms that we still have the same books in the Old Testament as they had in His day. It is infallible. You can depend on the Old Testament.

How about the New Testament? Jesus answers that for us, also. “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of Truth [Holy Spirit] who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me. And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning.” John 15:26, 27. Who did Jesus say was to bear witness to the whole world that He was the Messiah? It was the apostles. He selected them. The early church did not produce the New Testament. Do not ever get confused on that. That is a lie. The apostles wrote the New Testament under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and the church received it from them. The Bible is not the word of the church. The Bible is the Word of the Lord.

The early church understood this concept. There were all kinds of people (see Revelation 2 and 3), who were coming to the early church saying, “I am an apostle.” The early church tested these people claiming to be apostles and found out that they were liars. The early church had one simple rule as to whether a book should appear in the New Testament—was it written by an apostle? All of the books in the New Testament came from apostles.

Peter knew the prophetic Word was Scripture. He says, “…that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation—as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.” 2 Peter 3:15, 16. Peter recognized that the apostle Paul’s writings were Scripture. The apostle Paul wrote over half the books in the New Testament, so there is the evidence for over half the books in the New Testament. This Book, the Scriptures, is infallible.

“Oh,” somebody says, “can you really say something like that?” Yes, I can. “But aren’t there some mistakes in the Bible? Did the translators make some mistakes? Did the copyists make mistakes?” Let me ask you something. Suppose you received a letter. The person who wrote you the letter dictated it to his secretary, and the secretary misspelled a word. The person told you the truth, but the secretary they dictated the letter to misspelled a word. Do you throw out the letter as being in error? No. This is what happened with the Bible. When we look at the Greek text, we can see that the people the apostles dictated to sometimes made a grammatical mistake. It does not change the message. I want to tell you something. It is all true. It is infallible. If you follow it, you will be saved.

The Strongest Arguments

The two strongest evidences in the Bible that prove that it is infallible are:

1 Fulfillment of prophecy. Prophecy has been fulfilled over and over and over again.

Just a hundred years ago people who were studying Bible prophecy said, “The time is going to come in the United States when this country is going to get very close to Rome.” And people said, “Oh no, this is a Protestant country; that will never happen here.” But it is happening here! How did they know that? They knew it from studying Revelation 13, 14 and 17.

As a boy I can remember when all the different churches were split up. There were people who studied Bible prophecy in Revelation 17 who said, “According to Revelation 17 there is going to be a movement when all the churches are going to try to get together.” People did not believe them. The Bible told the truth nineteen hundred years ago. It is that way with every single Bible prophecy.

Infallibility. This is the strongest proof of all that the Bible is true, that it is infallible. In Romans 8 the apostle explains the Gospel. He shows how a sinner, who cannot save himself, can have his sins taken away by the blood of Christ. If he puts his trust in Jesus, all of his guilt can be taken away; his life can be changed; he can receive the Holy Spirit, and he can live a new life. Then in Romans 8:16 Paul says, “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.” When you surrender your heart to Jesus as your Lord and Saviour from sin, the Holy Spirit changes your heart. The Holy Spirit comes in, changes your heart, and takes away the hate, the bitterness, the anger, the clamor, the competition, the sourness, the negativeness; all these awful things of sin that have ruined your life and ruined your family, the Holy Spirit takes them all away. That is the strongest evidence that the Bible is infallible and that it is true! And that is what all the apostles taught.

Maybe you have tried a hundred times to change. Mark Twain said that it is not hard to stop smoking. He said, “I quit smoking a thousand times.” That means that he started again at least nine hundred ninety-nine times. You may say, “I am not going to speak that way anymore to my wife because it hurts her,” and then you do it again. You try, and you try, and you try, and you find out, like the Bible says, that the sinner is in hell. He is bound with the cords of his sins, and there is nothing he can do about it. The Holy Spirit sets you free and gives you the power. He gives you a new heart so that you think differently; you feel differently; you speak differently; and everybody says, “What has happened? This is not the same person anymore.” The Holy Spirit is living inside, and when the Spirit bears witness with your spirit that you are a child of God, you are not a child of the devil anymore. You do not have covetousness anymore. You do not have wrath, anger, clamor and strife in your home anymore, because you have given your heart to the Lord, and you have the peace of heaven in your heart and in your home. When that happens, that is a miracle that all the philosophy, all the psychology, all the sociology, all the learning of this world cannot produce. None of those things can give you a new heart. Only the Holy Spirit can do that, and that happens when you yield yourself to Jesus as your Lord and Saviour.

The strongest proof that the Bible is true is the miracle that God has worked in your life. No matter how many unbelievers there are, you know the Bible is infallible and it is true, because it has happened to you.

Do you want that miracle to happen in your life? It can. Even if you are the worst sinner, it can happen to you. Paul said that Jesus came to this world to save sinners “of whom I am chief.” I Timothy 1:15. Paul was a murderer, you know, and the people he murdered were not criminals. They were holy people. Do you want Jesus to come into your heart and your life to give you a new heart? That is a Bible promise. The Lord says, “I will give you a new heart, a new spirit. If you will seek me with all your heart you are going to find me.” (See Ezekiel 26:36, Jeremiah 29:13.) Jesus said, “Come to Me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me,…and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28–30.

Do you want to come? Do you say, “Lord Jesus I want the strife, the anguish, the trouble, the anger, the wrath, the bitterness, all of these awful things that sin has produced, out of my life; I want a new heart! Is that what you want? Only He can give it to you, and He will give it to you, if you want it. He said, “If you come to Me I will give you rest for your souls.” Ibid. You will have the evidence that the Bible is so. It is the infallible proof of the Christian religion. It is infallible, and if you follow and do what it says, you will be saved.

Bible Study Guides – “The Hour of His Judgment”

May 7-13, 2000

MEMORY VERSE: “And, behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” Revelation 22:12.

STUDY HELP: The Great Controversy, 423–425.

INTRODUCTION: “Says the prophet: ‘Who may abide the day of His coming? And who shall stand when He appeareth? For He is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: and He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and He shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.’ Malachi 3:2, 3. Those who are living upon the earth when the intercession of Christ shall cease in the sanctuary above are to stand in the sight of a holy God without a mediator. Their robes must be spotless, their characters must be purified from sin by the blood of sprinkling. Through the grace of God and their own diligent effort they must be conquerors in the battle with evil. While the investigative judgment is going forward in heaven, while the sins of penitent believers are being removed from the sanctuary, there is to be a special work of purification, of putting away of sin, among God’s people upon earth. This work is more clearly presented in the messages of Revelation 14. When this work shall have been accomplished, the followers of Christ will be ready for His appearing.” The Great Controversy, 425.

“The Judgment Was Set and the Books Were Opened”

1 What vision was Daniel given of the judgment? Daniel 7:9, 10.

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.…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’ (Revelation 5:11,) attend this great tribunal.” The Faith I Live By, 209.

2 What are the books by which we are to be judged? James 2:10–12; Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14; Revelation 20:12; Malachi 3:16.

NOTE: “The books are opened—the book of life and the book of death. The book of life contains the good deeds of the saints; and the book of death contains the evil deeds of the wicked. These books are compared with the statute book, the Bible, and according to that men are judged.” Early Writings, 52. (See also, The Faith I Live By, 210.)

“And Behold I Come Quickly”

3 How are we shown that the decisions of the judgment are made before Christ returns? Revelation 22:11, 12.

NOTE: See Christ’s Object Lessons, 310.

4 What warning are God’s people called to give the world as they preach the everlasting Gospel? Revelation 14:6, 7.

NOTE: “The judgment is now passing in the sanctuary above. For many years this work has been in progress. Soon—none know how soon—it will pass to the cases of the living. In the awful presence of God our lives are to come up in review. At this time above all others it behooves every soul to heed the Saviour’s admonition, ‘Watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.’ Mark 13:33. ‘If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.’ Revelation 3:3.” The Faith I Live By, 211.

“One Like the Son of Man”

5 Who did Daniel see appearing before the throne of God in the judgment? Daniel 7:13.

NOTE: “Attended by a cloud of heavenly angels, our great High Priest enters the Holy of Holies, and there appears in the presence of God to engage in the last acts of His ministration in behalf of man—to perform the work of investigative judgment, and to make an atonement for all who are shown to be entitled to its benefits.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 4, 307, 308.

6 How does Paul express the confidence that we may have in the intercession of Jesus on our behalf? Hebrews 4:15, 16.

NOTE: “Jesus does not excuse their sins, but shows their penitence and faith, and, claiming for them forgiveness, He lifts His wounded hands before the Father and the holy angels, saying, ‘I know them by name. I have graven them on the palms of My hands.’ ‘The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.’ [Psalm 51:17.] And to the accuser of His people He declares, ‘The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan; even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee. Is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?’ [Zechariah 3:2.] Christ will place His own signet upon His faithful ones, that He may present them to His Father ‘a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing.’ Their names stand enrolled in the book of life, and concerning them it is written, ‘They shall walk with me in white; for they are worthy.’” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 4, 310.

“I Will Not Blot Out His Name”

7 What work is required of us if our sins are to be blotted out of the books of record? Acts 3:19.

NOTE: “The conditions of obtaining mercy of God are simple and just and reasonable. The Lord does not require us to do some grievous thing in order that we may have the forgiveness of sin.…but he that confesseth and forsaketh his sin shall have mercy. Repentance includes sorrow for sin, and a turning away from it. We shall not renounce sin unless we see its sinfulness; until we turn away from it in heart, there will be no real change in the life.” The Faith I Live By, 127. (See also The Great Controversy, 483.)

8 What must the grace of God achieve in our lives in order for our names to remain in the Book of Life? Revelation 3:5.

NOTE: “The expression, ‘He that overcometh,’ indicates that there is something for every one of us to overcome. The overcomer is to be clothed in the white raiment of Christ’s righteousness, and of him it is written: ‘I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before My Father, and before His angels.’ O, what a privilege it is to be an overcomer, and to have our names presented before the Father by the Saviour Himself!” Sons and Daughters of God, 369. (See also Historical Sketches, 181.)

“His Bride Hath Made Herself Ready”

9 What triumphant proclamation in heaven will announce the end of the judgment? Revelation 19:6–8.

NOTE: “If we knew that in just one year from now, the Lord would come in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory, what a feeling of solemnity would rest upon us! How earnestly we should strive to prepare for His coming, that, clothed in the wedding garment, we might go in unto the marriage supper of the Lamb.” Counsels to Writers and Editors, 109.

“And you that have not sanctified your souls by obeying the truth, do you expect that Christ at His appearing will make you ready? There will then be no atoning blood to wash away the stains of sins. It is while it is called today that you may, if you will, hear His voice, and harden not your heart, as in the day of provocation. It is today that the Spirit of God invites. It is today that the sweet voice of mercy is falling upon your ears. It is today that the heavenly invitation comes to you. It is today that in Heaven everything says, ‘Come.’ And the Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come.’ And whosoever will, let him come and take of the water of life freely.” The Review and Herald, August 17, 1869.

10 How does Paul describe that readiness? Ephesians 5:25–27.

NOTE: “Do you want to find Jesus? He is at the feast. You may find Him here. He has come up to the feast. There are men and women that have brought Him with them; and now we want you to press through, and touch the hem of His garment, that you may receive of the virtue that is found in Him, and triumph in the God of your salvation. The waters of the fountain are freely opened for you; and will you drink? Will you come? Will you obey the gracious invitation? Come, for all things are now ready. Whosoever will, let him come and partake of the waters of life freely.…We make appeals to you, in the name of our Master, to get ready. We make appeals to you to rid yourselves of the pride of the world, the pride, and vanity, and folly, of life. Jesus loves you. Jesus pities you. The angelic host He sends to minister unto you. And now, while all Heaven is interested for you, will you be interested for yourselves? Will you begin to seek God earnestly for your own salvation? Will you work it out with fear and trembling? Will you be careful how you step before God? Will you have the approbation of Him whose arm moves the universe?” The Review and Herald, August 17, 1869.

“Let Him be Holy Still”

11 What solemn pronouncement will mark the close of the judgment? Revelation 22:11.

NOTE: “Jesus is in His holy temple, and will now accept our sacrifices, our prayers, and our confessions of faults and sins, and will pardon all the transgressions of Israel, that they may be blotted out before He leaves the sanctuary. When Jesus leaves the sanctuary, then they who are holy and righteous, will be holy and righteous still; for all their sins will then be blotted out, and they will be sealed with the seal of the living God. But those that are unjust and filthy, will be unjust and filthy still; for then there will be no priest in the sanctuary to offer their sacrifices, their confessions, and their prayers before the Father’s throne. Therefore what is done to rescue souls from the coming storm of wrath, must be done before Jesus leaves the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary.” Early Writings, 48.

12 How does Paul emphasize the need for us to make our decision for Christ today? 2 Corinthians 6:1, 2.

NOTE: “We believe without a doubt that Christ is soon coming. This is not a fable to us; it is a reality. We have no doubt, neither have we had a doubt for years, that the doctrines we hold today are present truth, and that we are nearing the judgment. We are preparing to meet Him who, escorted by a retinue of holy angels, is to appear in the clouds of heaven to give the faithful and the just the finishing touch of immortality. When He comes, He is not to cleanse us of our sins, to remove from us the defects in our characters, or to cure us of the infirmities of our tempers and dispositions. If wrought for us at all, this work will all be accomplished before that time. When the Lord comes, those who are holy will be holy still. Those who have preserved their bodies and spirits in holiness, in sanctification and honor, will then receive the finishing touch of immortality. But those who are unjust, unsanctified, and filthy will remain so forever. No work will then be done for them to remove their defects and give them holy characters. The Refiner does not then sit to pursue His refining process and remove their sins and their corruption. This is all to be done in these hours of probation. It is now that this work is to be accomplished for us.” Maranatha, 221.

13 How does the Bible picture the distress of those who put off the decision too long? Jeremiah 8:20.

NOTE: “O, that we would remember that it is court week with us, and that our cases are pending! Now is the time to watch and pray, to put away all self–indulgence, all pride, all selfishness. The precious moments that are now by many worse than wasted should be spent in meditation and prayer. Many of those who profess to be keeping the commandments of God are following inclination instead of duty. As they are now, they are unworthy of eternal life. To these careless, indifferent ones, I would say, ‘Your vain thoughts, your unkind words, your selfish acts, are recorded in the book of heaven. The angels that were present at Belshazzar’s idolatrous revelry stand beside you as you dishonor your Redeemer. Sadly they turn away, grieved that you should thus crucify Him afresh, and put Him to open shame.’” Maranatha, 39. (See also See The Great Controversy, 490.)

The Handwriting on the Wall

Among the many things we see when we look at love is the fact that love can have limits. A young man is deeply in love with a young woman and tries desperately to win her love in return. If she never responds by loving him, his love for her will eventually reach its limits. He will give up and give his affections to somebody else.

Unfaithfulness to the marriage vow is the tragic thing that often brings love to the limits beyond which it cannot go.

God is love, but even the love of God must have its limits. The love of God cannot accept rebels into the kingdom of heaven. This would be going beyond its proper limits.

The love of God cannot go on forever forgiving a sinner while he continues to rebel and do injuries to other persons.

The Bible tells us that the love of God sets limits in sin for nations and also for individuals. The nations that God commanded Moses and Joshua to destroy had reached the limits that God’s love must set. The Bible tells us about some individuals who kept on sinning until they reached the limits that God’s love must set. We will study about one of them in this article.

The Handwriting on the Wall

In Daniel 5:22 we read a story—a very human, though tragic, story. This is the story of a man who knew what he ought to do, but did not do it. “Thou…, O Belshazzar, hast not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest all this.”

Belshazzar was the king of Babylon. Babylon was one of the greatest empires, and greatest cities, of its day. Belshazzar was apparently the grandson of the great Nebuchadnezzar, who had built Babylon to its glory.

For many years we have marveled, and even doubted, at the reports that have come down through the centuries about the glories of ancient Babylon, but the modern science of archaeology has made it clear that the stories are indeed true. We know that the hanging gardens, rising terrace upon terrace, existed in all the unmatched grandeur with which legend has vested them, and its palaces were majestic. Its temples, mansions, and pleasure grounds were magnificent. Even the bottoms of the canals that crossed the city were covered with glazed tile, some beautifully ornamented with figures of trees, birds, and animals. Figures of lions, executed in brilliantly enameled tiles, have been dug from the ruins, many as bright and perfect as when they glistened on the walls of Babylon some 2,500 years ago. The royal banquet hall was 58 feet wide and 168 feet long. It is said that its pillars were figures of slaves, cast in bronze, standing upon the backs of figures of elephants, their hands supporting the ceiling.

Nebuchadnezzar, the grandfather of Belshazzar, had built this city to its greatness, but Belshazzar was not the man his grandfather, or even his father, Nabonidus, had been. On a prayer tablet from the hand of Nabonidus, archaeologists have found these words: “As for Belshazzar, my first born son, place in his heart fear of Thy great divinity, let him not turn to sinning; let him be satisfied with the fullness of life.”

Apparently Nabonidus was concerned about this son—and with good reason.

Standing Alone

Belshazzar had grown up in Babylon. He knew how God had dealt with the great Nebuchadnezzar, but he did not pay attention to this object lesson. He knew well about the exploits of his grandfather, invading the territories around the empire and bringing back slaves. He knew, too, how some of the slaves from Israel had risen to be prominent in the kingdom and how they had influenced Nebuchadnezzar so that he became a believer in the true God, instead of the sun god of Babylon.

He remembered well the time when Nebuchadnezzar had the strange dream, as recorded in Daniel, chapter 2, in answer to his question whether Babylon would last forever. He knew how Daniel had explained the meaning of the dream, showing that God had sent the dream to reveal the history of the world.

The image that was shown in this dream had a head of gold, representing Babylon, then other metals to show other future empires. Belshazzar remembered well how his grandfather had resolved to overthrow the prophecy, and had built a huge image, all of gold, to show that Babylon would not give way to another kingdom. He stood this great image on the plain of Dura. (See Daniel 3.) Here he called all the leaders of the empire to bow down before the image that he had built. Among these leaders came three who worshipped the God of Israel.

They would not bow down. It was called to the attention of the king, and he was sorry, because he greatly admired these stalwart young men from Israel whose intellectual brilliance had won them places among the advisors of his realm. So he decided to give them a second chance.

“Didn’t you understand the order?” he asked. “We will give you another chance. This time, when you hear the music, just bow down, and everything will be all right.”

The young men knew another chance wouldn’t make any difference, so they gave their answer to the king. Their reply is one of the great moments in history.

“We are not careful to answer, O King,” they said. “Our God is able to deliver us if He chooses to do so, but whether He does or whether He does not, know thou, O King, that we will not bow down to the image.”

Nothing quite like this had ever happened in Babylon before, and the God of heaven took notice of it.

Again the music sounded, and all the people, except these three, bowed low. Three against the thousands! Of course the devil tempted them, as he tempts Christians today—telling them it was not the letter of the law that was important, only the spirit, and that God would understand that the intent of their heart was that the image represented Him, etc., etc. But these men were not like the compromising, milk and water Christians of today—they were made of sterner stuff. They wasted no time on such rot. They would not even stoop to lace their shoes. Tall and straight they stood—three against the thousands and the might of great Babylon.

So they were thrown into the fiery furnace, with heat so great that it destroyed the men who threw them in, but the Son of God Himself came down and walked through that furnace with them and delivered them. Belshazzar knew all about this.

Stark, Raving Mad

Belshazzar knew also about the madness of his grandfather. Nebuchadnezzar had walked upon the ramparts of the city, his heart swelling with pride, as he looked across the monuments of his success. “Is not this great Babylon, that I have built,” he thought. He pushed aside all the warning and counsels that God had given him. He tried to force them out of his mind. He just could not believe anything evil could happen to great Babylon.

So the Lord sent him another dream. God saw something good in this king, and worked to save him. God said to him, “You are going to live like a beast in the fields and eat grass like the oxen, until you learn that the Most High ruleth in the affairs of men. In Daniel 4 we read how it happened. The king went mad—stark, raving mad. They drove him from the palace, and for seven long years he wandered through the forests and the fields, until his hair was like an animal, and his fingernails like claws.

Some have refused to believe this remarkable story, but the archaeologists have now deciphered a tablet of the king from the ruins of Babylon, on which appears corroborating testimony, telling of a time when the illustrious monarch conducted no business of the kingdom.

“In all dominions I did not build a high place of power. In Babylon buildings for the honor of my kingdom I did not lay out. I did not sing the praises of my Lord, I did not furnish His altars with victims, nor did I clear out the canals.”

For seven long years the king was mad. Then, even as God had said, his reason returned to him, and he returned to the throne, a changed man—a humbled, converted, surrendered man—as his prayer and proclamation in Daniel 4 indicate.

Crossing the Line

All of this Belshazzar knew. He had grown up right there in Babylon. Some of these things he had probably seen with his own eyes, and the rest had been recounted in his ears time and time again, but still he went on in folly.

We read in Daniel 5:1, 2: “Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of his lords, and drank wine before the thousand. Belshazzar, while he tasted the wine, commanded to bring the golden and silver vessels which his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the temple which was in Jerusalem; that the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, might drink therein.”

Belshazzar, of course, did not realize that this was to be his last feast. If he had known that, he would have acted very differently, for he was like all men, in that he expected to get right with God someday. I do not believe you can find a man on earth who really intends to be lost. Deep in his heart every man plans that he will get right with God—someday. Not now, but someday.

I met a stranger in the city of Hilo, Hawaii, and invited him to attend my meetings there. He answered: “I know all about your meetings. I attended some by one of your evangelists in Florida. I know the truth.”

“Well,” I said, “why do you not live up to it?”

“Oh,” he said, “I am going to hell.”

I said, “You are the first man I ever met who was planning on it.”

“Oh, I am not planning on it,” he said, “but I am afraid that is the way it’s going to work out.”

You see, nobody really plans to be lost. Everybody plans to get right with God—someday—but for many, that day never comes.

“There is a line, by us unseen, that crosses every path—the hidden boundary between God’s patience and His wrath.”

You can not tell how close you are to that line, and Belshazzar did not know either, so in his drunken impiety, he committed a great sacrilege. He called for the golden and silver vessels that had been used in the worship of God in Jerusalem and ordered them filled with wine, that he and his companions might drink from them.

The Hand of Doom

Satan had convinced him that God does not care for His sacred things, even as he does with men today. He tells them that God will take no notice, but He does. Men today defile the holy things of God—His holy day, His holy money, His holy ceremonies of worship—thinking that God will do nothing about it, but He will, even as He did with Belshazzar. We read in verses 5 and 6: “In the same hour came forth fingers of a man’s hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaster of the wall of the king’s palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote. Then the king’s countenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against another.”

Have you ever seen a man suddenly in fear of his life? Have you noticed how quickly the curses die upon their lips, and they start imploring one another for help? I have. It makes a great difference when they are suddenly brought face to face with eternity.

So the face of the king was changed, as he suddenly became aware that there were those in the dining hall whom he had not counted. As he had looked out across the vast room, he had thought that he knew everyone who was there, but he did not. There were some in the banquet hall that he had not reckoned with, as there are in every banquet hall—the silent watchers of God, recording everything that is said and done. They do not argue, these silent watchers. They never try to force us to do what is right, but they are always there. Even when we raise our hands in blasphemy against God, they do not interfere; they just write it all into the record, for the judgment day.

In his wild alarm, the king made a mistake that has been made by many other men since then. Wanting to understand something that God had done, he appealed to the wise men of the world to help him. This is entirely useless. They may be wise in the learning of the world, but if they do not know God, there is no use asking them anything of a spiritual nature. They will give the wrong answer every time.

So the king called for his wise men, and they came. “Now all the king’s wise men came; but they could not read the writing, or make known to the king its interpretation. Then king Belshazzar was greatly troubled, his countenance was changed, and his lords were astonished.” See Daniel 5:8, 9. (NKJV.)

Called As a Witness

Now the queen had not been in the banquet hall that evening. This was apparently the queen mother, not Belshazzar’s own wife. She had been in her own palace, listening with great concern to the sound of merriment from the banquet hall, for as a matter of actual fact, there was an enemy army camped outside the city walls at that very moment, trying to find a way to get in. Belshazzar, young, arrogant, and foolish, had decided to show his contempt for them by having a feast while they were there—which was a matter of great concern to the queen mother. She knew that Nebuchadnezzar would never have done a thing like that.

So her concern mounts as she listens to the sound of feasting progressing toward drunkenness, but as the sound of merriment suddenly stops and an awesome silence prevails, she is alarmed more than ever. Hastily summoning a servant, she sent him running to the banquet hall to learn the cause of the strange silence. The servant can only report that something terrible has happened, so she goes herself. Entering the banquet hall, she sees the lords and ladies in a stupor of drunken fear, and the king paralyzed by terror. Following the direction in which all eyes are turned, she sees the writing on the wall, and she remembers Daniel. Approaching the king, she says: “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… made master of the magicians…now let Daniel be called, and he will shew the interpretation.” Daniel 5:11, 12.

So, they sent for Daniel. Daniel was an old man now. For seventy years or more he had lived in Babylon, since his captivity as a youth. He had seen all of God’s dealing with Nebuchadnezzar, had seen him come, and had seen him go. Now he finds himself once more called to explain the works of God to a king of Babylon—but how different the message this time! As he stood before the king, Belshazzar said: “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.” Daniel 5:16.

“…Daniel answered and said before the king, ‘Let thy gifts be to thyself, and give thy rewards to another; yet I will read the writing unto the king, and make known to him the interpretation.” Daniel 5:17.

In the hushed silence of the banquet hall, Daniel begins to speak but not, at first, to read the writing. He fastens his eyes upon Belshazzar, and as he looks at the young king, his mind runs back across the years. He remembers all that God has done to and through Nebuchadnezzar. He finally says:

“O thou king, the most high God gave Nebuchadnezzar thy father a kingdom, and majesty, and glory, and honor: And for the majesty that He gave him, all people, nations, and languages, trembled and feared before him: whom he would he slew; and whom he would he kept alive; and whom he would he set up; and whom he would he put down. But when his heart was lifted up, and his mind hardened in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took his glory from him: And he was driven from the sons of men; and his heart was made like the beasts, and his dwelling was with the wild asses: they fed him with grass like oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven; till he knew that the most high God ruled in the kingdom of men, and that he appointeth over it whomsoever He will. And thou his son, O Belshazzar, hast not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest all this!” Daniel: 5:18-22.

Weighed in the Balances

Here Daniel spelled out the tragedy of the young king’s life. He knew what he ought to do, but he didn’t do it. Daniel went on:

“…this is the writing that was written, ‘MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN. This is the interpretation of the thing: Mene; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it. Tekel; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting. Peres; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.” Daniel 5:25-28.

So Daniel left the banquet hall—and none too soon, for while he had still been talking to the young king, the armies of the Medes and Persians were entering the city. They had found a way to turn aside the waters of the Euphrates River, and they had marched down the riverbed, under the wall, into the city. In a few moments they burst into the banquet hall, and in that night was Belshazzar, king of the Chaldeans, slain.

Have you ever considered how differently sin opens her banquet, from how she closes it? As sin opens her banquet, there is laughter, gaiety, music, and song, but when she closes it—how different. Why don’t you laugh now Belshazzar? Here, have a drink! Let the clowns beguile you; let lust satisfy you; let the praise of your lords and ladies reward your bold sacrilege!

No! Sin’s banquet has closed. In all the great banquet halls, there are no smiles now—except upon the lips of the devil and his legions, who move in to look upon the faces of their victims. This is how sin’s banquet closes, then and now.

Belshazzar was weighed in the balances of God and found wanting—because he knew what he ought to do, but didn’t do it.

Dear friend, do you, today, know what you ought to do? Do not make the mistake that the king of Babylon made.

Saying Goodbye to God

Among all the names that come down to us across the pages of American history, I suppose there is no name more loaded with infamy and shame than the name of Aaron Burr. Burr was a man of great ability and of great ambition. You remember the story of how he became angry with Alexander Hamilton, then secretary of the treasury, over some trifle and challenged Hamilton to a duel.

Hamilton didn’t believe in duels, but he thought honor compelled him to accept the challenge. So they met, and Burr fired the shot into Hamilton’s heart that killed him, while Hamilton fired his shot into the air.

But public indignation was aroused against Burr. From there he went steadily downward in bitterness and sorrow, until finally he died by his own hand, disowned by his family, despised by his countrymen, loaded with infamy and shame.

This story every American knows, but few know the story of the earlier tragedy that lies behind this tragedy in the life of Aaron Burr.

When Burr was a young man, he was a student at Princeton University. While he was there, an evangelist came to town and preached the gospel of the living God. Burr, along with other students, attended the services and felt the call of God to his heart. He felt convinced that he should become a Christian.

Then he made the same mistake that Belshazzar made. Wanting advice on a spiritual matter, he went to a worldly wise man for counsel—he went to the president of the university.

“Sir,” he said, “what is your advice? I have been attending evangelistic services, and I feel convicted that I should become a Christian.”

The president answered: “I cannot tell you whether you should become a Christian or not, but this is my advice. Wait until the evangelist has left town, and no one is here to influence you. Then, by yourself, think it through and make your own decision.”

Like most of the devil’s advice, that sounded reasonable, so Burr agreed to do it. Call after call was made at the meetings, but he sat in his seat and refused to respond. Finally the meetings were closed, the evangelist moved on to his next appointment, and the revival influences ebbed away.

The fellow students of Aaron Burr reported that late, late one starry night, as they were studying in the dormitory, they heard a sudden noise. Looking out, they saw young Aaron Burr, leaning far out of his dormitory window, his face turned to the sky, gazing for a long moment towards the heavens. Then they heard his voice ring out on the silent night, “Goodbye, God. I have made my decision.”

This is the story that lies behind the tragedy of Aaron Burr. Like Belshazzar, he knew what he ought to do, but did not do it.

Bible Study Guides – “Then Shall the Sanctuary be Cleansed”

December 2, 2000 – December 8, 2000

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: Great Controversy, 423–431.


“…the beginning of the seventy weeks is fixed beyond question at 457 B.C., and their expiration in A.D. 34. From this data there is no difficulty in finding the termination of the 2300 days. The seventy weeks—490 days—having been cut off from the 2300, there were 1810 days remaining. After the end of 490 days, the 1810 days were still to be fulfilled. From A.D. 34, 1810 years extend to 1844. Consequently the 2300 days of Daniel 8:14 terminate in 1844. At the expiration of this great prophetic period, upon the testimony of the angel of God, ‘the sanctuary shall be cleansed.’” The Great Controversy, 328.

“How Long?”

  1. What question marks the culmination of the prophecy of Daniel 8? Daniel 8:13.

NOTE: The early part of the prophecy covers familiar ground. As in the prophecies of Daniel 2 and of Daniel 7, world powers are pictured in conflict. In this late stage of its history, further information about Babylon is not necessary. Medo-Persia and Greece are described and the emergence of the fourth power, Rome, described in its imperial and papal phases. Then comes the question: How long will the sanctuary and the host be trodden underfoot?

  1. Who was the one who answered this question? Daniel 8:13, margin.

  2. What answer was given? Daniel 8:14.

  3. What Bible examples may be given to demonstrate the principle of a day in prophecy representing a year? Ezekiel 4:4–6; Numbers 14:33, 34.

NOTE: “A day in prophecy stands for a year. See Numbers 14:34; Ezekiel 4:6. The seventy weeks, or four hundred and ninety days, represent four hundred and ninety years.” Prophets and Kings, 698.

“At the Time of the End”

  1. How was Daniel shown that the fulfillment of this vision would take place in the distant future? Daniel 8:17.

  2. What event was to take place at the end of the 2300 days? Daniel 8:14.

NOTE: Some have suggested that nitsdak, rendered cleansed, should be translated ‘be justified,’ ‘vindicated,’ or ‘restored to its rightful state.’ But a building cannot be justified or vindicated or declared righteous. Only a person can.

“Purged With Blood”

  1. What misunderstanding did Daniel have about the sanctuary to be cleansed? Daniel 9:17.

NOTE: See The Great Controversy, 417.

  1. How is this cleansing to be done? Hebrews 9:22.

NOTE: “What is the cleansing of the sanctuary? That there was such a service in connection with the earthly sanctuary, is stated in the Old Testament Scriptures. But can there be anything in heaven to be cleansed? In Hebrews 9 the cleansing of both the earthly and the heavenly sanctuary is plainly taught…. The cleansing, both in the typical and in the real service, must be accomplished with blood: in the former, with the blood of animals; in the latter, with the blood of Christ. The cleansing was not a removal of physical impurities, for it was to be accomplished with blood, and therefore must be a cleansing from sin. But how could there be sin connected with the sanctuary, either in heaven or upon the earth? As the sins of the people were anciently transferred, in figure, to the earthly sanctuary by the blood of the sin offering, so our sins are, in fact, transferred to the heavenly sanctuary by the blood of Christ. And as the typical cleansing of the earthly was accomplished by the removal of the sins by which it had been polluted, so the actual cleansing of the heavenly is to be accomplished by the removal, or blotting out, of the sins which are there recorded. This necessitates an examination of the books of record to determine who, through repentance of sin and faith in Christ, are entitled to the benefits of His atonement. Then [in the great day of final award] by virtue of the atoning blood of Christ, the sins of all the truly penitent will be blotted from the books of heaven. He [Christ] asks for His people not only pardon and justification, full and complete, but a share in His glory and a seat upon His throne.” The Faith I Live By, 206.

“Consider the Vision”

  1. Why was Gabriel unable to complete his task of explaining the vision to Daniel? Daniel 8:16, 27.

  2. When Gabriel returned, how did he explain the purpose of his visit? Daniel 9:22-23.

NOTE: “The angel had been sent to Daniel for the express purpose of explaining to him the point which he had failed to understand in the vision of the eighth chapter, the statement relative to time—‘unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.’ After bidding Daniel ‘understand the matter, and consider the vision,’ the very first words of the angel are: ‘Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy Holy City.’” The Great Controversy, 326.

“Seventy Weeks are Determined”

  1. What event was to begin the time period covered by this vision? Daniel 9:24, 25, first part.

NOTE: See The Great Controversy, 326.

  1. In what year does the Bible place this commandment? Ezra 7:8. (The commandment is given in verses 11–26. See also Ezra 6:14.)

NOTE: See The Great Controversy, 326, 327.

  1. What events would take place during the first 70 weeks of the prophecy? Daniel 9:25–27.

NOTE: See The Great Controversy, 327.

Bible Study Guides – “Call on Me in the Day of Trouble”

February 17, 2001 – February 23, 2001

MEMORY VERSE: “And call upon Me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify Me.” Psalm 50:15.

STUDY HELP: Great Controversy, 613–634.


“Those who are earnestly seeking a knowledge of the truth and are striving to purify their souls through obedience, thus doing what they can to prepare for the conflict, will find, in the God of truth, a sure defense. ‘Because thou hast kept the word of My patience, I also will keep thee’ (Revelation 3:10), is the Saviour’s promise. He would sooner send every angel out of heaven to protect His people than leave one soul that trusts in Him to be overcome by Satan.” Great Controversy, 560.

“Exceeding Great and Precious Promises”

1 What promises of divine help in time of trouble have we been given? Psalm 46:1–3; Psalm 91:3–10.

NOTE: “Our God is an ever-present help in every time of need. He is perfectly acquainted with the most secret thoughts of our heart, with all the intents and purposes of our souls. When we are in perplexity, even before we open to Him our distress, He is making arrangements for our deliverance. Our sorrow is not unnoticed. He always knows much better than we do, just what is necessary for the good of His children, and He leads us as we would choose to be led if we could discern our own hearts and see our necessities and perils, as God sees them.” Signs of the Times, May 25, 1888.

2 How swiftly does God hear the cry of His children? Isaiah 65:24. (Compare Daniel 9:21.)

NOTE: “Since He has made such gracious promises, why do we not trust God? Why do we not take Him at His word? We must have increased faith.” Review and Herald, May 27, 1884.

“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.” Review and Herald, February 8, 1881.

“I Also Will Keep Thee”

3 What is required on our part to ensure that God will watch over us in time of trouble? Revelation 3:10.

NOTE: See The Great Controversy, 593.

4 What is even more necessary than a mere knowledge of the Scriptures? Revelation 1:3.

NOTE: “When the books of Daniel and Revelation are better understood, believers will have an entirely different religious experience. They will be given such glimpses of the open gates of heaven that heart and mind will be impressed with the character that all must develop in order to realize the blessedness which is to be the reward of the pure in heart. The Lord will bless all who will seek humbly and meekly to understand that which is revealed in the Revelation. This book contains so much that is large with immortality and full of glory that all who read and search it earnestly receive the blessing to those ‘that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein.’ One thing will certainly be understood from the study of Revelation,—that the connection between God and His people is close and decided. Let us give more time to the study of the Bible. We do not understand the Word as we should. The book of Revelation opens with an injunction to us to understand the instruction that it contains…. When we… understand what this book means to us, there will be seen among us a great revival.” The Faith I Live By, 345.

“Thy Words were Found and I did East Them”

5 What brought consolation to Jeremiah in his time of trouble? Jeremiah 15:15, 16.

NOTE: “The word of the living God is not merely written, but spoken. The Bible is God’s voice speaking to us, just as surely as though we could hear it with our ears. If we realized this, with what awe would we open God’s word, and with what earnestness would we search its precepts! The reading and contemplation of the Scriptures would be regarded as an audience with the Infinite One. When Satan presses his suggestions upon our minds, we may, if we cherish a ‘Thus saith the Lord,’ be drawn into the secret pavilion of the Most High.” [Psalm 27:5.] Testimonies, vol. 6, 393.

6 What precious promise may we claim in prayer? John 14:26.

NOTE: See The Great Controversy, 600 and The Desire of Ages, 355.

“Hezekiah Prayed unto the Lord”

7 What example of prayer for deliverance are we given from the life of Hezekiah? Isaiah 37:16–20.

NOTE: “When the king of Judah received the taunting letter, he took it into the temple and ‘spread it before the Lord’ and prayed with strong faith for help from heaven, that the nations of earth might know that the God of the Hebrews still lived and reigned. The honor of Jehovah was at stake; He alone could bring deliverance.” Conflict and Courage, 239.

8 In what wonderful way was Hezekiah’s prayer answered? Isaiah 37:36. (Compare Psalm 91:7, 8.)

NOTE: “Hezekiah was not left without hope. Isaiah sent to him, saying, ‘Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, That which thou hast prayed to Me against Sennacherib king of Assyria I have heard.’… That very night deliverance came. ‘The angel of the Lord went out, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred fourscore and five thousand.’… The God of the Hebrews had prevailed over the proud Assyrian. The honor of Jehovah was vindicated in the eyes of the surrounding nations. In Jerusalem the hearts of the people were filled with holy joy. Their earnest entreaties for deliverance had been mingled with confession of sin and with many tears. In their great need they had trusted wholly in the power of God to save, and He had not failed them.” Conflict and Courage, 239.

“Our Eyes are upon Thee”

9 What wonderful prayer of faith in God’s deliverance did Jehoshaphat pray? 2 Chronicles 20:9–12.

NOTE: See Prophets and Kings, 200.

10 How did Jehoshaphat express his confidence in God’s power to save? 2 Chronicles 20:17. (Compare Exodus 14:13, 14.)

NOTE: “We dared not venture in a mist and perplexity, and were obliged to stand still and see the salvation of God. The words from the living oracles teach us when tried and tempted and surrounded with difficulties, the safe course for us to pursue is to patiently wait, to be of good courage, and commit the keeping of soul and body to God.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 3, 325.

11 How was Jehoshaphat’s prayer answered? 2 Chronicles 20:20–22.

NOTE: See Prophets and Kings, 202.

“My God Hath Sent His Angel”

12 What examples of deliverance are to be found in the lives of Daniel and Paul? Daniel 6:19–23, Acts 27:20–25.

NOTE: “A man whose heart is stayed upon God will be the same in the hour of his greatest trial as he is in prosperity, when the light and favor of God and of man beam upon him…. The power that is near to deliver from physical harm or distress is also near to save from the greater evil, making it possible for the servant of God to maintain his integrity under all circumstances, and to triumph through divine grace.” Conflict and Courage, 255.

13 What promise of final deliverance is given to God’s people? Daniel 12:1.

NOTE: “‘They have come out of great tribulation. They have walked in the fiery furnace in the world, heated intensely by the passions and caprices of men who would enforce upon them the worship of the beast and his image, who would compel them to be disloyal to the God of heaven. They have come from the mountains, from the rocks, from the dens and caves of the earth, from dungeons, from prisons, from secret councils, from the torture chamber, from hovels, from garrets. They have passed through sore affliction, deep self-denial, and deep disappointment. They are no longer to be the sport and ridicule of wicked men. They are to be no longer mean and sorrowful in the eyes of those who despise them. Remove the filthy garments from them, with which wicked men have delighted to clothe them. Give them a change of raiment, even the white robes of righteousness, and set a fair mitre upon their heads.’ They were clothed in richer robes than earthly beings had ever worn; they were crowned with diadems of glory such as human beings had never seen. The days of suffering, of reproach, of want, of hunger, are no more; weeping is past. Then they break forth in songs, loud, clear, and musical; they wave the palm branches of victory, and exclaim, ‘Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.’ Oh, may God endue us with His Spirit and make us strong in His strength! In that great day of supreme and final triumph it will be seen that the righteous were strong, and that wickedness in all its forms and with all its pride was a weak and miserable failure and defeat. We will cling close to Jesus, we will trust Him, we will seek His grace and His great salvation. We must hide in Jesus, for He is a covert from the storm, a present help in time of trouble.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 2, 210.