Bible Study Guides – “The Judgment was Set”

August 11, 2001 – August 17, 2001

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

STUDY HELP: Great Controversy, 424–431.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Four Great Beasts Came Up from the Sea”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Dreadful and Terrible”

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

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

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

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

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

“The Visions of My Head Troubled Me”

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

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

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

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

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

‘He Shall Speak Great Words’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“The Judgment Shall Sit”

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

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

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

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

Editorial – 1843, Pt. III

In the September 2004 issue, four points were presented regarding the interpretation of prophecy given in Daniel 8:13, 14:

  1. Who and what is the little horn in Daniel 8?
  2. Daniel 8:12, 13 speak of two separate rebellions, first the continuance in rebellion and second the desolating or depopulating rebellion.
  3. This is a time prophecy.
  4. This is a time prophecy having to do with end-time events, because the angel said to Daniel, in regard to the 2300 days, that the vision dealt with the time of the end.

Discussion was given on points 4 and 3 and started on point 2. We continue with point #2.

In Daniel 12:11, we see that after the continuance in rebellion is removed and the desolating rebellion is set up in its place, another time period of 1290 days will follow. Any interpretation of the two rebellions in Daniel 8:13, 14 must, in addition to explaining a 2300-day interval between a beginning and a closing event, also be able to explain a 1290-day interval between the time that the continuance in rebellion is removed and the desolating rebellion is set up. When we look at the context of this time prophecy in Daniel 12:4–13, we see that this time prophecy extends until the time of the end. (See especially Daniel 12:4, 6–9, 13.) Thus, for a third time, we see facts from the Scriptures that make it completely impossible for the prophecy to refer to Antiochus Epiphanes in the second century b.c. Incidentally, the services in the Jewish sanctuary could never be truly called the “continuance in rebellion,” which is the way the “daily” is described in Daniel 8:12.

Finally, we will look at point #1. Who is the little horn in Daniel 8? Our critics have proclaimed that this little horn is Antiochus Epiphanes, one of about 20 kings of a division of Alexander’s empire in the second century b.c. We will give the characteristics of this little horn from the book of Daniel and let our readers decide if Antiochus Epiphanes fits any of these or not. This little horn is not only greater than the Medo-Persian empire but it is even greater than Alexander the Great! Notice Daniel 8:4, which says literally that the ram (Medo-Persia) was great (or magnified himself), and then Daniel 8:5–8, which shows that the goat (the empire of Alexander the Great) became exceeding great. This is talking about a worldwide power—“the whole earth.” Verse 5. In describing the little horn, the prophet said that it became great beyond measure. (Verse 9.) But this is just the beginning. This little horn power (2) was victorious against some of the army of heaven and cast some of them to the ground. (3) It fought against the commander of the army of heaven. (Verse 11.) (4) It was the power responsible for removing the continuance in rebellion and setting up the desolating rebellion in its place. (Verses 11, 12.) (5) He will destroy many while they are at ease. (Verse 25.) (6) He will be broken or shattered or destroyed without hand, that is without human agency. (Verse 25.)

Was Antiochus Epiphanes destroyed without human hand, that is without human agency, or in other words, by divine intervention? The historical record simply states that he died while on an expedition against the Parthians in 164 b.c.

However, if we look at the Roman power, it fits every single specification of the prophecy.

  1. It was greater than Alexander the Great and the empire he set up.
  2. It was victorious against some of the army of heaven. (God’s people are described as His army. See Exodus 12:41.)
  3. It fought against the Commander of the army of heaven—it was the Roman power, for example, who crucified Jesus.
  4. The Roman power was responsible later for removing the continuance in rebellion and setting up the desolating rebellion.
  5. The Roman power has not yet come to its end, but according to Bible prophecy, it will come to its end by divine intervention and not by any human hand.

Purified and Refined

One of the mysteries of the Bible that is interesting to study is when God swears. The highest form of taking an oath or judicial swearing is when a man swears by God. He swears that God is his witness, and that what he is saying is the truth. There are many instances in the scriptures where holy men swore by God concerning an important issue. (See Genesis 24:3; II Chronicles 36:13; Nehemiah 13:25; Psalm 15:4.)

Although it is awesome when a human being takes an oath with God as his witness, it is much more awesome when the Creator of the heavens and the earth decides to say something under oath. When God swears, He swears by Himself. (See Jeremiah 22:5 and Exodus 32:13.)

Any time God swears, something exceedingly important is being communicated, and especially important when it is recorded that God swore not to a human being, but to another member of the Godhead.

In the latter part of the book of Daniel, God the Son swore something in the name of His Father. This is recorded in Daniel 10:6: “I lifted my eyes and looked and behold a certain man clothed in linen whose waist was girded with gold of Uphaz. His body was like beryl, his face like the appearance of lightning, his eyes like torches of fire, his arms and feet like burnished bronze in color, and the sound of his words like the voice of a multitude.” Ellen White says in The Sanctified Life, 49, 50, after she quotes Daniel 10:2–6: “This description is similar to that given by John when Christ was revealed to him upon the isle of Patmos. No less a personage than the Son of God appeared to Daniel.”

Daniel received this great vision which describes and predicts what would happen from the time in which he received the vision up until the time of the end, and even beyond. Daniel 11:32–34 describes the great Papal persecution. In verse 35, he says, “And some of those of understanding shall fall, to refine them, purify them, and make them white, until the time of the end.” This Papal persecution was to go on until the time of the end—the last epochal period in earth’s history. Daniel is told in Daniel 12:4: “Shut up the words and seal the book until the time of the end.” Until the time of the end, these prophecies were not going to be comprehended, especially the prophecy in regard to time.

Let us look at this vision more deeply starting with Daniel 12:5, 6: “Then I, Daniel, looked. And there stood two others, one on this riverbank and the other on that riverbank. And one said to the man clothed in linen [Jesus Christ], who was above the waters of the river, ‘How long shall the fulfillment of these wonders be?’ ” What wonders is he talking about? He is talking about all that has been described in this vision that started clear back in chapter 10 and goes all the way through chapter 11. He wants to know how long it is going to be until the time of the end.

This is an important enough question that the Son of God answered it by taking an oath. “Then I heard the man clothed in linen [Jesus Christ], who was above the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand to heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever, that it shall be for a time, times, and half a time, and when the power of the holy people has been completely shattered, all these things shall be finished.” Daniel 12:7.

Notice what Daniel then says in Daniel 12:8, 9: “Although I heard, I did not understand. Then I said, ‘My lord, what shall be the end of these things?’ And He said, ‘Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.’ ”

Daniel understood chapters 10 and 11, but he did not understand about the three and a half times or three and a half years. But this period of time was important enough in the plan of salvation and in working out the mystery of God that the Lord Jesus swore in the name of His Father.

If it was that important, then we need to understand this time period, the 1260-day prophecy. In the Jewish calendar, a month had 30 days, and a year had 12 months. So a year was 360 days. Three and a half years would be 1260 days.

This 1260-day period of time is so important that it is mentioned over and over again in the books of Daniel and Revelation. It is even referred to by Jesus Christ himself in Matthew 24 and in Mark 13. Without this time period, many of the prophecies in Daniel and Revelation would be impossible to comprehend or interpret. It is extremely important!

We are going to go over a number of facts concerning the 1260-day prophecy. First of all, this prophecy is in prophetic time because it was to extend until the time of the end. It could not possibly be literal days. This period of time anchors the events in Bible prophecy, and it forces only one type of interpretation of Bible prophecy, the historical interpretation. If you understand the 1260-day prophecy, you cannot be led astray by futurism or by any of these other interpretations of Bible prophecy.

In Daniel 7, Daniel has been enumerating and explaining the characteristics of the little horn power which makes war against the people of God. He says: “He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, shall persecute the saints of the Most High, and shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand for a time and times and half a time.” Daniel 7:25.

Notice, this little horn power is going to have the power to persecute for three and a half times, or 1260 literal years. For that period of time, the little horn power is going to have the power to persecute the saints. Other characteristics of the little horn power can be seen in the prophecy of Daniel 7. Daniel has been describing the four world empires in the beginning of the prophecy—Babylon was represented by a lion, Medo-Persia by a bear, Greece by a leopard, and the Pagan Roman Empire by a great and dreadful beast.

These were the four great empires of the world, and the Bible teaches all the way through the Book of Daniel that there is not going to be another world empire. It teaches that the fourth kingdom would be divided or broken up. This is exactly what it teaches in Daniel 7, where this dreadful beast has ten horns. Notice what it says in verse 8: “I was considering the horns, and there was another horn, a little one, coming up among them, before whom three of the first horns were plucked out by the roots. And there, in this horn, were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking pompous words.”

What does a horn represent? It represents a king or a kingdom. (Daniel 7:17, 24.) So the Western Roman Empire was to be divided up into ten kingdoms. This happened between A.D. 351 and A.D. 476. The Bible also predicted that a little horn was to arise that would uproot three of these ten kingdoms.

This little horn power could not arise until the ten kingdoms were in place, which was not until A.D. 476. It is interesting to note that the little horn power could not possibly be Antiochus Epiphanes, as many believe. He existed 600 years before that time.

Somebody may question, how then do you understand this power applying to the papacy, because it existed long before the sixth century, or long before A.D. 476? That is not hard to explain. What is a horn? A horn is a king, someone who has civil, governmental authority. The papacy existed before these ten horns existed, but it did not exist as a horn; it did not have a civil government.

In the days of the apostle Paul, the bishop of Rome did not have a kingdom. Caesar was the king, and anyone else who claimed to be king would be crucified. The apostle Paul talks about this very thing in II Thessalonians where he talks about the papal power, the man of sin. Notice what he says in II Thessalonians 2:6: “And now you know what is restraining, that he [the papacy] may be revealed in his own time.” What was then restraining? The Pagan Roman Empire. The papacy could not develop its real power until the Caesar was taken out of the way. You see, II Thessalonians 2 agrees perfectly with Daniel 7. The mystery of lawlessness already existed, the antichrist power was already there, but Paul says that he could not really be revealed yet.

Even when the Roman Empire was divided up, and there were no more Caesars, there was still someone who had civil authority in Rome. His name was Odoacer, and he ruled the kingdom of the Heruli, who were Arians. They controlled the whole country of Italy. No one could even be chosen as Pope without his permission. This power kept the papacy in check.

Something had to be done to get Odoacer out of the way. So an alliance was made, and Theodoric, king of the Ostrogoths, came down with his army and defeated Odoacer in A.D. 493. Actually though, that did not help very much, because Theodoric and the Ostrogoths were Arians too. The Pope still could not have his way, because he was still under the control of the Ostrogoth’s power right there in Rome.

One Down, Two to Go

Now the Ostrogoths were in control. They had enemies in northern Africa called the Vandals. These people built great ships, and every year they would go to one of the port cities in the Roman Empire and loot the city, taking its wealth. One year they looted the city of Rome for 14 days and took all the wealth that they could find and many prisoners. Understandably, this made the people in Rome very unhappy.

The papacy could never exert its power as long as the Vandals and the Ostrogoths were in control of Italy. Something had to be done. The papacy contacted Justinian, the head of the Eastern Roman Empire in Constantinople. They needed help. Justinian sent the armies of the Eastern Roman Empire, and the Vandals were destroyed around A.D. 534.

There was still one kingdom left, and that was the Ostrogoths. They were driven from the city of Rome in A.D. 538. That was the earliest time that the papacy could exert civil power and authority and be called a little horn power. It now had become the little horn that would persecute the saints for 1260 years.

From A.D. 538, if you extend the 1260-year period, you come to 1798. A few decades before that, John Wesley was preaching the gospel, both in America and in England. He realized that something important was about to happen, and he wrote and taught that the time of papal persecution was about to end.

Persecuted and Broken

We learned from Daniel 12:6, 7, that during this period of time, the power of the holy people would be broken, or graphically translated, shattered and destroyed.

This is a mystery that I cannot explain and do not understand. Why would God allow His people to be persecuted, and broken? We will not fully understand this until we get to heaven, but we have been given a few hints in the Spirit of Prophecy as to why and how God allowed this to happen. In The Desire of Ages, in the chapter “It Is Finished,” Ellen White says that Satan was not then (at the cross) totally destroyed. She said that both for the sake of angels and for men the devil must be allowed to live to more fully develop his principles so that both angels and men could understand what his character was like.

That is an incredible statement. The devil must be allowed to develop the true principles of his government, of his character. The 1260-year period of persecution was the period of time when that happened. The Bible says in Nahum 1:9, “What do you imagine against the Lord? affliction will not rise up the second time.” Why will affliction not rise up a second time? Because all humanity will have seen the consequences of sin, and it will be abhorrent to them.

We also cannot explain why it took so long. Daniel could not understand it, neither could Adam and Eve. They thought that the Messiah would come quickly. They did not realize that it was going to take thousands of years. God knew that the people of past ages could not bear to comprehend all of this, so He said, “The words are going to be sealed until the time of the end.”

Measuring the Temple

There is an amazing prophecy in Revelation 11 which some people think is still in the future. Notice, right in the middle of the prophecy, we are given some specifications. “Then I was given a reed like a measuring rod. And the angel stood, saying, ‘Rise and measure the temple of God.’ ” Revelation 11:1.

What is the temple of God? Paul said over and over that it is the church. You can see that clearly if you study the following chapters: Ephesians 1, 2, 4, and I Corinthians 3, 6.

“Rise and measure the temple of God, the altar, and those who worship there.” What altar is this? You remember Paul said in Hebrews 13:10: “We have an altar from which those who minister in the temple [that is, in the earthly sanctuary] have no right to eat.” This is the altar of the New Covenant.

“But leave out the court.” Revelation 11:2. In the New Covenant, where is the court? The court is this world, in the New Covenant. The altar was where the sacrifice was slain. Where was the sacrifice slain in the New Covenant? It was slain in this world. And then, after you come to the altar, before you come into the sanctuary, you come to the laver, and the laver is where people are washed and purified.

If you are going to be purified at all, you must be purified in this world. You are not going to be taken up to heaven and be purified there, like some people think. If you are ever going to be purified, you are going to be purified right here. The laver is in the court. Only the pure will see God. (Matthew 5:8.) Only the sanctified, only the holy, will dwell in His presence. (Hebrews 12:14.)

You must be washed, you must be purified. “Everyone who has this hope in him must be purified even as He is pure.” I John 3:3. Friend, do not let anyone talk you out of your birthright. Jesus died on the cross so that you could have eternal life, but He cannot give it to you unless you are purified.

“Leave out the court which is outside the temple and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles.” Who are the Gentiles? It is not talking about Jews and Gentiles by blood; it is talking about spiritual Israel versus those who are not part of spiritual Israel.

These Gentiles are professed Christians. They are professed Jews. Remember, a curse is pronounced twice, in Revelation 2:9 and 3:9, against those who say that they are Jews, but they really are not.

“It has been given to the Gentiles. And they will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months.” Here again you have the 1260-day period. What is the holy city? If you belong to Jesus, if you have given your heart to Him, your name is written down there already. The holy city is a representation of the church. They will tread it down, persecute it, for forty-two months.

“And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.” Revelation 11:3. This is a mystery. I cannot tell you why God determined that it was going to take this period of time in order for the whole universe to see the full development of the character of Satan.

This is the period of time also when the woman would have to flee into the wilderness for 1260 days, prophesied in Revelation 12. We cannot explain the mystery of the 1260 days; it is one of the great mysteries of Bible prophecy.

In Daniel 12:9, 10, we are told something about this mystery: “Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, made white, and refined, but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand.” None of the wicked shall understand these things that we are studying. However, there will also be many people who, despite the persecution and tribulation and the treading down of the city, will be purified and made white and tried. Many people will have washed their garments in the blood of the Lamb.

This is a number so great that the Bible says that it will be like the sands of the sea, like the stars of heaven. That number is not yet made up. God wants to use the young people of the present generation to help make up this number that will be as the sand of the sea and as the stars of heaven.

God wants to use you. Do you want to be a part of that group that will be purified and made white and tried? Do you want to receive an eternal inheritance, a birthright where there will not be anymore tribulation or pain? Do you want to be part of that?

[Emphasis supplied.]

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

The Judgment

In the Bible we find that God has, at different times, given life and death warnings. Moses came to Egypt and had a message from God—“Let My people go.” They rejected the message, and Pharaoh replied, “Who is God that He should tell us that?” As a result, they first lost their cattle, then their crops, and eventually their first-born. Finally, they lost their army and Pharaoh himself.

Jeremiah came to Israel with a life and death message, calling them to repent and to return to the true worship of God. They wanted to hear love spoken and thought that his message was too straight; they cast him into a miry pit. Because they rejected Him, God could not protect them; and although they claimed to be worshiping Him, going through the motions of religion, their city was completely destroyed.

Then there was John the Baptist who came with a message of repentance to Israel. They rejected the message, and what happened? Again, Jerusalem was destroyed and lay in ruins for many years. The Jewish people were scattered all over the world.

So at various times, God has had life and death messages that have been given to various groups, individuals, and nations. But twice in this world’s history, He has had a life and death message for the whole world. The first one came through Noah. “Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping things, and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.” Genesis 6:5–7. Conditions then must have been something like today. The Bible says that every imagination of man’s heart was evil continually.

God said that it had become unbearable to allow this to go on in the universe, and he decided that He was going to put a check on sin. But God is merciful; He did not do it overnight. “And the Lord said, My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.” Verse 3. In I Peter 3, we find that this power that pled with men was the same power that raised Jesus from the dead and that was manifested at Pentecost. It was not just human power; it was the power of the Holy Spirit. The Bible tells us that when God sends a warning message the second time, it will again be as in Noah’s time. There will be many scoffers. “Knowing this first, that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of Creation. For this they willfully forget that by the Word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. But the heavens and the earth which now exist are kept in store by the same Word, reserved for fire until the Day of Judgment and perdition of ungodly men.” II Peter 3:3–7. Notice it says that they willfully forget. In other words, they choose to ignore the evidence by which they might have a knowledge of the flood. The world today is being kept in store by this same power; but this time it is not to be destroyed by water but by fire.

Now there were scoffers in Noah’s day, and there are scoffers today. But scoffers did not change the facts then, nor will they today. God has given evidence by which, if people are interested, they can find that the Bible is true. Even if the whole world disbelieves God’s Word, His Word is still going to come true!

Now, if the judgment has come, and if it is going to be preached, someone must know that it has begun. Somewhere in the Bible there must be a time pointed out as to when the judgment is going to begin. Paul tells us in Acts 17:31, “He has appointed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness.” God has had to put the date for the judgment some place in the Bible, and we want to find it.

Daniel 7 gives us an approximate date for the beginning of the judgment, though it does not give us an exact time.

“I watched until thrones were put in place, and the Ancient of Days was seated; His garment was white as snow, and the hair of His head was like pure wool. His throne was a fiery flame, its wheels a burning fire; a fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him. A thousand thousands ministered to Him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him. The court was seated, and the books were opened.” Daniel 7:9, 10.

Now if you will continue on to verses 11–13, you will see that this is not yet the end of the world. “I watched then [after the court had been seated] because of the sound of the pompous words which the horn was speaking.” We find in Revelation that while the horn reigned for 1,260 years, at which time it received a deadly wound, yet it would be healed and all of the world would wonder after the beast. So Daniel hears the horn speaking after the judgment has set.

There is a principle that every prophecy builds on the one before it. The prophecy of Daniel 8 covers much of the same history as Daniel 7. It begins with the rule of Medo-Persia and relates the fall of that kingdom before Alexander the Great. After giving more details about the rule of Greece, it goes over the reign of the little horn power. When it comes to the end of the little horn power, it also goes into the judgment; but this prophecy gives us something a little more specific. “And he said unto me, For two thousand three hundred days; then the sanctuary shall be cleansed.” Daniel 8:14. The Jews knew what that terminology meant. The cleansing of the sanctuary was a term that had reference to the Day of Atonement, which was a period of judgment for the Jews. Because we are dealing with prophetic time, we know this to be a time period of two thousand three hundred literal years. This places the judgment a great distance into the future.

“Now it happened, when I, Daniel, had seen the vision and was seeking the meaning, that suddenly there stood before me one having the appearance of a man. And I heard a man’s voice between the banks of the Ulai, who called, and said, Gabriel, make this man understand the vision. So he came near where I stood, and when he came I was afraid and fell on my face; but he said to me, Understand, son of man, that the vision refers to the time of the end.” Verses 15–17.

We know that the time period stretches to the time of the end; but without a starting point, this still is not very specific.

Gabriel was told to explain the vision to Daniel, but he was not able to finish because Daniel fainted. Upon his recovery, however, Daniel kept praying and the angel came back.

“Now while I was speaking, praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God for the holy mountain of my God, yes, while I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, reached me about the time of the evening offering. And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I have now come forth to give you skill to understand. At the beginning of your supplications the command went out, and I have come to tell you, for you are greatly beloved; therefore consider the matter, and understand the vision.” Daniel 9:20–23.

To what vision is Gabriel referring? The vision in chapter 8! This is the vision which Gabriel started to explain, but Daniel became sick before he finished explaining about the 2,300 days. “Go finish your explanation,” God said. “You did not finish.”

The only part of that vision which had not been explained was the part dealing with time. Naturally, Gabriel does not go back and talk about the powers of Greece and Medo-Persia; he starts right in where he left off, explaining the 2,300 days. “Seventy weeks are determined for your people and for your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince, there shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; … Then He shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; but in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering.” Verses 24, 25, 27.

Now there is an unfortunate mistranslation here. The word determined is from the word “chathak”. In Hebrew it literally means “cut off.” The reason the translators did not translate it that way is because, failing to go back to the previous vision, they could not determine from what it was cut off. Seventy weeks must be cut off from some larger period of time. There is only one time period in the vision of the beginning and that is the 2,300 days, or years. Now he said 70 weeks are cut off from this 2,300-day period. Seventy weeks is 490 literal years. If you cut 490 from 2,300, there are 1,810 years left. In other words, of the 2,300 years, 490 were given especially to the Jewish people.

The 490-day period began with the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem. This took place in 457 B.C. It then extended until A.D. 34. At that time, Stephen was stoned and persecution broke out in Jerusalem, scattering the followers of Jesus everywhere. It was then that the gospel began to go to the Gentiles. By the way, as 1844 follows 1798, it also fits the prophecy of Daniel 7.

Other than the prophecy in Daniel 8 and 9, there is no prophecy in all of the Bible that reveals a date for the judgment to begin. Daniel 7 gives the approximate date for the judgment to begin, but Daniel 8 is the only one that gives the time.

“As it was in the days of Noah, so will it be also in the days of the Son of Man.” Luke 17:26. In Noah’s day, those who heeded God’s warning, though very few in number, were saved, while those who scoffed at the message were lost. The Bible says that there is coming a judgment. It also tells us that the judgment message will be preached with a loud voice. I believe, according to Bible prophecy, that the judgment has already begun. When it is ended, the destiny of all mankind will have been decided. When the judgment is over, the pronouncement will be made, ‘He who is unjust let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still.’ And behold, I am coming quickly.” Revelation 22:11, 12.

This has not yet taken place, but the time is rapidly approaching when all decisions relative to salvation will have been irrevocably made. Remember, the flood did not come immediately after Noah entered the ark and the door was closed. There were still seven days, but probation was closed. Everyone had made his final decision.

“As the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away.” Matthew 24:37, 39.

When probation closes, no one is going to know, but their destiny will be fixed. People did not know that their destiny had been fixed when Noah entered the ark, but it had been fixed. In Noah’s day, God gave them 120 years. The final judgment message has already been proclaimed for a longer period than that, but God is still waiting. Do you know why He is waiting? He is waiting for us, because He loves us so much. Not everyone has made a decision yet, and God wants to give us a little more time. “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” II Peter 3:9.

Today, God’s message is going to all the world. Where you and I will be a million years from now depends on what we do with God’s message today. In Noah’s day, every person who was saved had to make a choice to be in the ark. They did not have to make a choice to be outside, as that is where they already were. There is not a man or woman who has to make a decision to be lost; we are already lost. If you would be saved, however, you have to make a decision to follow God. It is not something that just comes naturally. You have to say, “Lord, I am going to follow You all the way.”

Pastor Marshall Grosboll, with his wife Lillian, founded Steps to Life. In July 1991, Pastor Marshall and his family met with tragedy as they were returning home from a camp meeting in Washington state, when the airplane he was piloting went down, killing all on board.

Bible Study Guides – The Judgment Hour Revealed Again

November 21, 2009 – November 27, 2009

Key Text

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

Study Help: Selected Messages, Book 1, 164–168; The Great Controversy, 409–432.


“The correct understanding of the ministration in the heavenly sanctuary is the foundation of our faith.” Evangelism, 221.

1 In the third year of Belshazzar’s reign, what restless activity was Daniel shown in vision? Daniel 8:1–8. Identify the nations represented in this vision. Daniel 8:20–22.

Note: “In the vision of the prophet He [God] is seen casting down one mighty ruler, and setting up another. He is revealed as the monarch of the universe, about to set up His everlasting kingdom—the Ancient of days, the living God, the Source of all wisdom, the Ruler of the present, the Revealer of the future.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 1166.

“From the rise and fall of nations as made plain in the books of Daniel and the Revelation, we need to learn how worthless is mere outward and worldly glory. Babylon, with all its power and magnificence, the like of which our world has never since beheld—power and magnificence which to the people of that day seemed so stable and enduring—how completely has it passed away! As ‘the flower of the grass,’ it has perished. James 1:10. So perished the Medo-Persian kingdom, and the kingdoms of Grecia and Rome. And so perishes all that has not God for its foundation. Only that which is bound up with His purpose, and expresses His character, can endure. His principles are the only steadfast things our world knows.” Prophets and Kings, 548.

2 What principle should we bear in mind when we study the history of these nations? Isaiah 40:7, 8, 21–23.

Note: “ ‘He that is slow to anger,’ says the wise man, ‘is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit, than he that taketh a city’ [Proverbs 16:32]. The man or woman who preserves the balance of the mind when tempted to indulge passion stands higher in the sight of God and heavenly angels than the most renowned general that ever led an army to battle and to victory. Said a celebrated emperor when on his dying bed, ‘Among all my conquests there is but one which affords me any consolation now, and that is the conquest I have gained over my own turbulent temper.’ Alexander and Caesar found it easier to subdue a world than to subdue themselves. After conquering nation after nation, they fell—one of them ‘the victim of intemperance, the other of mad ambition.’ ” Child Guidance, 95, 96.

3 Through what action would the power represented by the “little horn” exalt itself, as considered before? Daniel 8:9–11.

Note: “Says Daniel, of the little horn, the papacy: ‘He shall think to change times and the law.’ Daniel 7:25, R.V. And Paul styled the same power the ‘man of sin,’ who was to exalt himself above God. One prophecy is a complement of the other. Only by changing God’s law could the papacy exalt itself above God; whoever should understandingly keep the law as thus changed would be giving supreme honor to that power by which the change was made. Such an act of obedience to papal laws would be a mark of allegiance to the pope in the place of God.” The Great Controversy, 446.

4 How did Daniel foresee the papal opposition to the truth? Daniel 8:12. How was this prophecy fulfilled?

Note: “Among the leading causes that had led to the separation of the true church from Rome was the hatred of the latter toward the Bible Sabbath. As foretold by prophecy, the papal power cast down the truth to the ground. The law of God was trampled in the dust, while the traditions and customs of men were exalted. The churches that were under the rule of the papacy were early compelled to honor the Sunday as a holy day. Amid the prevailing error and superstition, many, even of the true people of God, became so bewildered that while they observed the Sabbath, they refrained from labor also on the Sunday. But this did not satisfy the papal leaders. They demanded not only that Sunday be hallowed, but that the Sabbath be profaned; and they denounced in the strongest language those who dared to show it honor. It was only by fleeing from the power of Rome that any could obey God’s law in peace.” The Great Controversy, 65.

5 What was revealed to Daniel with reference to the cleansing of the sanctuary? Daniel 8:13, 14. How are we to understand this “cleansing”? Hebrews 9:22, 23.

Note: “The coming of Christ as our high priest to the most holy place, for the cleansing of the sanctuary, brought to view in Daniel 8:14; the coming of the Son of man to the Ancient of Days, as presented in Daniel 7:13; and the coming of the Lord to His temple, foretold by Malachi, are descriptions of the same event; and this is also represented by the coming of the bridegroom to the marriage, described by Christ in the parable of the ten virgins, of Matthew 25.” The Great Controversy, 426.

“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. Paul states, as the reason why this cleansing must be performed with blood, that without shedding of blood is no remission. Remission, or putting away of sin, is the work to be accomplished.” Ibid., 417, 418. [Emphasis in original.]

“As the priest entered the most holy once a year to cleanse the earthly sanctuary, so Jesus entered the most holy of the heavenly, at the end of the 2300 days of Daniel 8, in 1844, to make a final atonement for all who could be benefited by His mediation, and thus to cleanse the sanctuary.” Early Writings, 253.

6 In what other ways is the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary described? Acts 3:19; Revelation 14:6, 7; Hebrews 9:11–14. Name some important points we should consider on this subject.

Note: “At the time appointed for the judgment—the close of the 2300 days, in 1844—began the work of investigation and blotting out of sins.” The Great Controversy, 486.

“Christ is cleansing the heavenly sanctuary from the sins of the people, and it is the work of all who are laborers together with God to be cleansing the sanctuary of the soul from everything that is offensive to Him. Everything like evil surmising, envy, jealousy, enmity, and hatred, will be put away, for such things grieve the Holy Spirit of God and put Christ to an open shame. Love of self will not exist, nor will any engaged in this work be puffed up.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 11, 55.

7 Who was sent to help Daniel to understand the visions given to him? Daniel 8:15, 16.

Note: “Wonderful thought—that the angel who stands next in honor to the Son of God is the one chosen to open the purposes of God to sinful men.” The Desire of Ages, 99.

“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’ [Daniel 8:14].” The Great Controversy, 326.

8 Why are the messages given to Daniel so important for us today? Daniel 8:17–19.

Note: “Such subjects as the sanctuary, in connection with the 2300 days, the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, are perfectly calculated to explain the past Advent movement and show what our present position is, establish the faith of the doubting, and give certainty to the glorious future. These, I have frequently seen, were the principal subjects on which the messengers should dwell.” Early Writings, 63.

“We are living in the time of the end, when the judgments of God are in the land. Signs on every hand show that the agencies of evil are strengthening. Lucifer and his servants are working with unceasing activity. In this time of peril the people who keep the Sabbath of the fourth commandment are to be awake to the situation, prepared to resist the attacks of the enemy.” Australasian Union Conference Record, April 15, 1912.

9 How is Rome again represented in prophecy, including its latter time? Daniel 8:23–25; II Thessalonians 2:7, 8. How was Daniel affected by the vision? Daniel 8:26, 27.

Note: “The angel Gabriel, though commanded to make Daniel understand the vision, gave him only a partial explanation. As the terrible persecution to befall the church was unfolded to the prophet’s vision, physical strength gave way. He could endure no more, and the angel left him for a time. Daniel ‘fainted, and was sick certain days.’ ‘And I was astonished at the vision,’ he says, ‘but none understood it.’ [Daniel 8:27.]” The Great Controversy, 325.

Additional Reading

“Jesus stands in the holy of holies, now to appear in the presence of God for us. There He ceases not to present His people moment by moment, complete in Himself. But because we are thus represented before the Father, we are not to imagine that we are to presume upon His mercy, and become careless, indifferent, and self-indulgent. Christ is not the minister of sin. We are complete in Him, accepted in the Beloved, only as we abide in Him by faith.” The Signs of the Times, July 4, 1892.

“As the ministration of Jesus closed in the holy place, and He passed into the holiest, and stood before the ark containing the law of God, He sent another mighty angel with a third message to the world. A parchment was placed in the angel’s hand, and as he descended to the earth in power and majesty, he proclaimed a fearful warning, with the most terrible threatening ever borne to man. This message was designed to put the children of God upon their guard, by showing them the hour of temptation and anguish that was before them. Said the angel, ‘They will be brought into close combat with the beast and his image. Their only hope of eternal life is to remain steadfast. Although their lives are at stake, they must hold fast the truth.’ The third angel closes his message thus: ‘Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus’ [Revelation 14:12]. As he repeated these words, he pointed to the heavenly sanctuary. The minds of all who embrace this message are directed to the most holy place, where Jesus stands before the ark, making His final intercession for all those for whom mercy still lingers and for those who have ignorantly broken the law of God. This atonement is made for the righteous dead as well as for the righteous living. It includes all who died trusting in Christ, but who, not having received the light upon God’s commandments, had sinned ignorantly in transgressing its precepts.

“After Jesus opened the door of the most holy, the light of the Sabbath was seen, and the people of God were tested, as the children of Israel were tested anciently, to see if they would keep God’s law. I saw the third angel pointing upward, showing the disappointed ones the way to the holiest of the heavenly sanctuary. As they by faith enter the most holy, they find Jesus, and hope and joy spring up anew. I saw them looking back, reviewing the past, from the proclamation of the second advent of Jesus, down through their experience to the passing of the time in 1844. They see their disappointment explained, and joy and certainty again animate them. The third angel has lighted up the past, the present, and the future, and they know that God has indeed led them by His mysterious providence.” Early Writings, 254, 255.

©2005 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted with permission.

Bible Study Guides – God’s Law Unchangeable

November 14, 2009 – November 20, 2009

Key Text

“He shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws. … But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end.” Daniel 7:25, 26.

Study Help: The Great Controversy, 49–60; “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 1171, 1172.


“The man of sin, who thought to change times and laws … will cause laws to be made enforcing the observance of the first day of the week. But God’s people are to stand firm for Him.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 230.

1 What was Daniel shown about the end of worldly empires? Daniel 7:11, 12. Explain the “great words” spoken by the “little horn.”

Note: “It is one of the leading doctrines of Romanism that the pope is the visible head of the universal church of Christ, invested with supreme authority over bishops and pastors in all parts of the world. More than this, the pope has been given the very titles of Deity. He has been styled ‘Lord God the Pope,’ and has been declared infallible. He demands the homage of all men. The same claim urged by Satan in the wilderness of temptation is still urged by him through the Church of Rome, and vast numbers are ready to yield him homage.” The Great Controversy, 50.

2 What will Christ receive at the end of His mediatorial work? Daniel 7:13, 14; Luke 19:12.

Note: “As foreshadowed in the type, and foretold in the Scriptures, Christ, at the time appointed, entered the most holy place of the temple of God in heaven. He is represented by the prophet Daniel as coming at this time to the Ancient of days. …

“This coming is foretold also by the prophet Malachi: ‘The Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts’ [Malachi 3:1].” The Southern Watchman, January 24, 1905.

3 What promise with reference to God’s kingdom is very precious to the saints? Micah 4:8; Daniel 7:18.

Note: “The kingdom forfeited by sin, Christ has regained, and the redeemed are to possess it with Him. ‘The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever.’ Psalm 37:29. A fear of making the saints’ inheritance seem too material has led many to spiritualize away the very truths which lead us to look upon the new earth as our home. Christ assured His disciples that He went to prepare mansions for them. Those who accept the teachings of God’s Word will not be wholly ignorant concerning the heavenly abode. And yet the apostle Paul declares, ‘Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.’ I Corinthians 2:9. Human language is inadequate to describe the reward of the righteous. It will be known only to those who behold it. No finite mind can comprehend the glory of the Paradise of God.” The Story of Redemption, 430, 431.

4 After a long period of persecution promoted by the “little horn,” what power will be given to the saints? Daniel 7:21, 22.

Note: “Daniel declares that when the Ancient of Days came, ‘judgment was given to the saints of the Most High.’ Daniel 7:22. At this time the righteous reign as kings and priests unto God. John in the Revelation says: ‘I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them.’ ‘They shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.’ Revelation 20:4, 6. It is at this time that, as foretold by Paul, ‘the saints shall judge the world.’
“I Corinthians 6:2. In union with Christ they judge the wicked, comparing their acts with the statute book, the Bible, and deciding every case according to the deeds done in the body. Then the portion which the wicked must suffer is meted out, according to their works; and it is recorded against their names in the book of death.” The Great Controversy, 661.

5 What is one of the most outstanding characteristics of the “little horn”? Daniel 7:25, first part.

Note: “The Roman Church now presents a fair front to the world, covering with apologies her record of horrible cruelties. She has clothed herself in Christlike garments; but she is unchanged. Every principle of the papacy that existed in past ages exists today. The doctrines devised in the darkest ages are still held. Let none deceive themselves. The papacy that Protestants are now so ready to honor is the same that ruled the world in the days of the Reformation, when men of God stood up, at the peril of their lives, to expose her iniquity. She possesses the same pride and arrogant assumption that lorded it over kings and princes, and claimed the prerogatives of God. Her spirit is no less cruel and despotic now than when she crushed out human liberty and slew the saints of the Most High.” The Great Controversy, 571.

6 What presumptuous attitude would the “little horn” take toward the law of God? Daniel 7:25, middle part. Why is this such a heinous crime in God’s sight?

Note: “The papacy has attempted to change the law of God. The second commandment, forbidding image worship, has been dropped from the law, and the fourth commandment has been so changed as to authorize the observance of the first instead of the seventh day as the Sabbath. But papists urge, as a reason for omitting the second commandment, that it is unnecessary, being included in the first, and that they are giving the law exactly as God designed it to be understood. This cannot be the change foretold by the prophet. An intentional, deliberate change is presented: ‘He shall think to change the times and the law’ [Daniel 7:25]. The change in the fourth commandment exactly fulfills the prophecy. For this the only authority claimed is that of the church. Here the papal power openly sets itself above God.” The Great Controversy, 446. [Emphasis in original.]

“The changed signpost is pointing the wrong way, but God has not changed. He is still the mighty God of Israel.” Prophets and Kings, 185.

7 How long was the “little horn” to dominate the “Christian” world? Daniel 7:25, last part. In symbolic prophecy, what does a day stand for? Number 14:34; Ezekiel 4:6.

Note: “A day in symbolic prophecy represents a year.” The Great Controversy, 324.

“The forty and two months are the same as the ‘time and times and the dividing of time,’ three years and a half, or 1260 days, of Daniel 7—the time during which the papal power was to oppress God’s people.” Ibid., 439.

“The 1260 years of papal supremacy began in A.D. 538, and would therefore terminate in 1798. At that time a French army entered Rome and made the pope a prisoner, and he died in exile. Though a new pope was soon afterward elected, the papal hierarchy has never since been able to wield the power which it before possessed.” Ibid., 266.

8 What is written about the persecution during the period of papal supremacy? Revelation 12:6, 13, 14; 13:5.

Note: “Christians were forced to choose either to yield their integrity and accept the papal ceremonies and worship, or to wear away their lives in dungeons or suffer death by the rack, the fagot, or the headsman’s ax. Now were fulfilled the words of Jesus: ‘Ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for My name’s sake.’ Luke 21:16, 17. Persecution opened upon the faithful with greater fury than ever before, and the world became a vast battlefield. For hundreds of years the church of Christ found refuge in seclusion and obscurity. Thus says the prophet: ‘The woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and three-score days.’ Revelation 12:6.” The Great Controversy, 54, 55.

9 How does Daniel describe the final triumph of the kingdom of light over the powers of darkness? Daniel 7:26, 27.

Note: “The kingdom of God’s grace is now being established, as day by day hearts that have been full of sin and rebellion yield to the sovereignty of His love. But the full establishment of the kingdom of His glory will not take place until the second coming of Christ to this world. ‘The kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven,’ is to be given to ‘the people of the saints of the Most High.’ Daniel 7:27. They shall inherit the kingdom prepared for them ‘from the foundation of the world.’ Matthew 25:34. And Christ will take to Himself His great power and will reign.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 108.

10 What impact did this vision have on Daniel? Daniel 7:28.

Note: “With the first vision, as recorded in the seventh chapter of the book of Daniel, an interpretation was given; yet not all was made clear to the prophet. ‘My cogitations much troubled me,’ he wrote of his experience at the time, ‘and my countenance changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart.’ Daniel 7:28.” Prophets and Kings, 553, 554.

Additional Reading

“The cross of Calvary, while it declares the law immutable, proclaims to the universe that the wages of sin is death. In the Saviour’s expiring cry, ‘It is finished,’ the death knell of Satan was rung. The great controversy which had been so long in progress was then decided, and the final eradication of evil was made certain. The Son of God passed through the portals of the tomb, that ‘through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.’ Hebrews 2:14. Lucifer’s desire for self-exaltation had led him to say: ‘I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: … I will be like the Most High.’ God declares: ‘I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth, … and never shalt thou be any more.’ Isaiah 14:13, 14; Ezekiel 28:18, 19.

“The whole universe will have become witnesses to the nature and results of sin. And its utter extermination, which in the beginning would have brought fear to angels and dishonor to God, will now vindicate His love and establish His honor before the universe of beings who delight to do His will, and in whose heart is His law. Never will evil again be manifest. Says the word of God: ‘Affliction shall not rise up the second time.’ Nahum 1:9. The law of God, which Satan has reproached as the yoke of bondage, will be honored as the law of liberty. A tested and proved creation will never again be turned from allegiance to Him whose character has been fully manifested before them as fathomless love and infinite wisdom.” The Great Controversy, 503, 504.

“ ‘Know therefore that the Lord thy God, He is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love Him and keep His commandments to a thousand generations; and repayeth them that hate Him to their face, to destroy them: He will not be slack to him that hateth Him, He will repay him to his face. Thou shalt therefore keep the commandments, and the statutes, and the judgments, which I command thee this day, to do them’ [Deuteronomy 7:9–11]. If God’s commandments are to be binding for a thousand generations, it will take them into the kingdom of God, into the presence of God and His holy angels. This is an argument that cannot be controverted. The commandments of God will endure through all time and eternity. Are they, then, given us as a burden?—No. ‘And the Lord commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that He might preserve us alive, as it is at this day.’ [Deuteronomy 6:24.] The Lord gave His people commandments, in order that by obeying them they might preserve their physical, mental, and moral health. They were to live by obedience; but death is the sure result of the disobedience of the law of God.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 413.

©2005 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted with permission.

Bible Study Guides – God’s Omniscience Of Earthly Affairs

November 7, 2009 – November 13, 2009

Key Text

“I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.” Daniel 7:9.

Study Help: The Great Controversy, 479–491; Testimonies, vol. 4, 384–387.


“Above the distractions of the earth He [God] sits enthroned; all things are open to His divine survey; and from His great and calm eternity He orders that which His providence sees best.” The Ministry of Healing, 417.

1 How does God reveal His secrets? Amos 3:7; Numbers 12:6.

Note: “The multitude of dreams arise from the common things of life, with which the Spirit of God has nothing to do. There are also false dreams, as well as false visions, which are inspired by the spirit of Satan. But dreams from the Lord are classed in the word of God with visions and are as truly the fruits of the spirit of prophecy as visions.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 569.

2 What is our duty regarding dreams and visions? Deuteronomy 13:1–5; 18:20–22; I John 4:1. How was Daniel’s moral credibility as a prophet established?

Note: “Except the one perfect Pattern, there is not described in the Sacred Pages a single character more worthy of emulation than that of the prophet Daniel. Exposed in youth to all the allurements of a royal court, he became a man of unbending integrity and fervent devotion to God. He was subjected to the fierce temptations of Satan, yet his character was not vacillating, nor his course changeable. He was firm where many would be yielding; he was true where they would be false; he was strong where they would be weak. Daniel was a lofty cedar of Lebanon.” Our High Calling, 249.

3 What was Daniel shown, and why is his prophetic vision important for us? Daniel 7:1, 2.

Note: “Shortly before the fall of Babylon, when Daniel was meditating on these prophecies and seeking God for an understanding of the times, a series of visions was given him concerning the rise and fall of kingdoms. With the first vision, as recorded in the seventh chapter of the book of Daniel, an interpretation was given; yet not all was made clear to the prophet.” Prophets and Kings, 553.

“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.” Ibid., 547.

4 What do the “winds” and “waters” or “sea” represent? Jeremiah 51:1, 2; 4:13; Revelation 17:15. Explain the significance of what Daniel saw coming up from the sea. Daniel 7:3, 16, 17.

Note: “[Daniel 7:2 quoted.] In Revelation 17 an angel explained that waters represent ‘peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.’ Revelation 17:15. Winds are a symbol of strife. The four winds of heaven striving upon the great sea represent the terrible scenes of conquest and revolution by which kingdoms have attained to power.” The Great Controversy, 440.

“The great kingdoms that have ruled the world were presented to the prophet Daniel as beasts of prey.” Ibid., 439, 440.

5 What does the first beast represent? Daniel 7:4, first part; Jeremiah 4:6, 7; Habakkuk 1:6–8.

Note: “Under King Nebuchadnezzar, Babylon was the richest and most powerful kingdom on the earth. Its riches and splendor have been faintly portrayed by Inspiration.” The Youth Instructor, September 29, 1903.

6 Under what symbol is the weakening of Babylon described? Daniel 7:4, last part.

Note: “In God’s appointed time, that kingdom of pride and power [Babylon], ruled by men of the highest intellect, was broken, shattered, helpless. Christ has declared, ‘Without Me, ye can do nothing’ [John 15:5]. Illustrious statesmen did not regard themselves as being dependent upon God. They thought that they themselves had created all their grandeur and exaltation. But when God speaks, they are as the grass that groweth up, and as the flower of the grass that fadeth away. The word and will of God alone liveth and endureth forever.” Bible Training School, December 1, 1912.

“The kingdom of Babylon passed away because, in their prosperity, her rulers forgot God, and ascribed her honor and glory to human achievement. So today, when men forget God and refuse to obey His law, they are humiliated. God tests them, and if they do not humble their hearts and confess their sins, they receive the penalty of transgression.” The Review and Herald, February 6, 1900.

7 Describe the beasts that followed. Daniel 7:5–7, 23. Why was each of these empires prevented from enduring forever?

Note: “The crown removed from Israel passed successively to the kingdoms of Babylon [the lion], Medo-Persia [the bear], Greece [the leopard], and Rome [the fourth beast, dreadful and terrible].” Education, 179.

“They [the kingdoms] deteriorated because they cast off God. Forgetting Him, they sank lower and lower in the scale. The vast empire of Rome crumbled into pieces.” The Review and Herald, February 6, 1900.

8 Describe the “little horn” which arose among the ten horns. Daniel 7:8, 24. What should be our attitude regarding the controversial nature of this subject?

Note: “The vast empire of Rome crumbled to pieces, and from its ruins rose that mighty power, the Roman Catholic Church. This church boasts of her infallibility and her hereditary religion. But this religion is a horror to all who are acquainted with the secrets of the mystery of iniquity. The priests of this church maintain their ascendency by keeping the people in ignorance of God’s will, as revealed in the Scriptures.” The Youth’s Instructor, September 22, 1903.

“We may have less to say in some lines, in regard to the Roman power and the Papacy, but we should call attention to what the prophets and apostles have written under the inspiration of the Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit has so shaped matters, both in the giving of the prophecy, and in the events portrayed, as to teach that the human agent is to be kept out of sight, hid in Christ, and the Lord God of heaven and His law are to be exalted.” Evangelism, 577.

9 Describe the awesome scene which followed in Daniel’s vision. Daniel 7:9, 10. How was the same event shown to John the Revelator? Revelation 11:19.

Note: “The Ancient of Days is God the Father. Says the psalmist: ‘Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever Thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God.’ Psalm 90:2. It is He, the source of all being, and the fountain of all law, that is to preside in the judgment.” The Great Controversy, 479.

“The announcement that the temple of God was opened in heaven and the ark of His testament was seen points to the opening of the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary in 1844 as Christ entered there to perform the closing work of the atonement.” Ibid., 433.

“As the books of record are opened in the judgment, the lives of all who have believed on Jesus come in review before God. Beginning with those who first lived upon the earth, our Advocate presents the cases of each successive generation, and closes with the living. Every name is mentioned, every case closely investigated. Names are accepted, names rejected. When any have sins remaining upon the books of record, unrepented of and unforgiven, their names will be blotted out of the book of life, and the record of their good deeds will be erased from the book of God’s remembrance.” Ibid., 483.

10 How is the investigative judgment represented in one of Christ’s parables? Matthew 22:11, 12.

Note: “In the parable of Matthew 22 the same figure of the marriage is introduced, and the investigative judgment is clearly represented as taking place before the marriage. Previous to the wedding the king comes in to see the guests, to see if all are attired in the wedding garment, the spotless robe of character washed and made white in the blood of the Lamb. Matthew 22:11; Revelation 7:14. He who is found wanting is cast out, but all who upon examination are seen to have the wedding garment on are accepted of God and accounted worthy of a share in His kingdom and a seat upon His throne. This work of examination of character, of determining who are prepared for the kingdom of God, is that of the investigative judgment, the closing work in the sanctuary above.

“When the work of investigation shall be ended, when the cases of those who in all ages have professed to be followers of Christ have been examined and decided, then, and not till then, probation will close, and the door of mercy will be shut.” The Great Controversy, 428.

Additional Reading

“In the power of the Spirit the delegated servants of Christ are to bear witness for their Leader. The yearning desire of the Saviour for the salvation of sinners is to mark all their efforts. The gracious invitation, first given by Christ, is to be taken up by human voices and sounded throughout the world: ‘Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.’ Revelation 22:17. The church is to say: ‘Come.’ Every power in the church is to be actively engaged on the side of Christ. The followers of Christ are to combine in a strong effort to call the attention of the world to the fast-fulfilling prophecies of the word of God. Infidelity and spiritualism are gaining a strong hold in the world. Shall those to whom great light has been given be cold and faithless now?

“We are on the very verge of the time of trouble, and perplexities that are scarcely dreamed of are before us. A power from beneath is leading men to war against Heaven. Human beings have confederated with satanic agencies to make void the law of God. The inhabitants of the world are fast becoming as the inhabitants of the world in Noah’s day, who were swept away by the Flood, and as the inhabitants of Sodom, who were consumed by fire from heaven. The powers of Satan are at work to keep minds diverted from eternal realities. The enemy has arranged matters to suit his own purposes. Worldly business, sports, the fashions of the day—these things occupy the minds of men and women. Amusements and unprofitable reading spoil the judgment. In the broad road that leads to eternal ruin there walks a long procession. The world, filled with violence, reveling, and drunkenness, is converting the church. The law of God, the divine standard of righteousness, is declared to be of no effect.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 43, 44.

“The solemn, sacred truth—the testing message given us of God to communicate to the world—lays every one of us under the strongest obligation to so transform our daily life and character that the power of the truth may be well represented. We should have a continual sense of the shortness of time and of the fearful events which prophecy has declared must speedily take place. It is because these truths are not made a reality that the life is so inconsistent with the truth which we profess. Many hide in the earth talents which should be invested where they will be accumulating to be returned to God when He shall say: ‘Give an account of thy stewardship’[Luke 16:2]. Moses became great because he used his talents to do the work of God, and an increase of talents was then given him. He became eloquent, patient, self-reliant, and competent to do the greatest work ever entrusted to mortal man. This is the effect upon character whenever men give themselves to God with the whole soul, and listen for His commands that they may obey them.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 612, 613.

©2005 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted with permission.

If the Foundations be Destroyed, part 2

Daniel 8 reveals who and what the little horn power is. It also mentions two armies: 1. The little horn was given an army, (“a host” according to the King James Version), and 2. The army of heaven.

Who is the army of heaven? According to Luke 2 it includes the angels. They are called “the host of heaven.” But the army of heaven is not just the angels. It is also made up of God’s people in the world. Daniel 8 says that God’s army, His host, would be trampled by the little horn power.

Revelation 11 tells us that the Gentiles would trample the worshippers and the court, for forty-two months, and that a time would come to measure the temple, the altar and the worshippers. We are living in that measuring time.

What is the sanctuary spoken of in Daniel 8? This is an important question to answer because our opponents have attacked us on this point for one hundred and fifty years, and we are still being attacked. We are also being attacked from within Adventism on who and what this sanctuary is.

The Lord told His people that they were to build Him a sanctuary so that He might dwell among them. (See Exodus 25:8.) It is God’s presence that makes the building a tabernacle or a temple. The Jews had a problem with this in the days of Christ, and He rebuked them severely. “Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears by the temple, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple, he is obliged to perform it [he is guilty].’ ”

Jesus called them fools. He said, “Which is greater, the gold that is the building or the temple that sanctifies the gold?” The temple is not holy because of the gold or because it is a beautiful building. The temple is holy because God’s presence is there.

The Jewish temple in the old covenant is a symbol of the Christian church. (See Ephesians 2:19–22 and The Desire of Ages, 160–162.) It is also a symbol that God wants every human being and every angel to be a temple for the indwelling of the divine Spirit.

“The subject of the sanctuary was the key that unlocked the mystery of the disappointment of 1844. It opened to view a complete system of truth, connected and harmonious.” The Great Controversy, 423. In the old covenant there was an earthly sanctuary. But in the new covenant there is a heavenly sanctuary. (See Psalm 11:4; Jeremiah 17:12; Hebrews 8 and 9; Revelation 1:13; 4:5; 8:3-5; 11:19; 15:4; 14:15, 17; 16:1, 16, 17.)

In the Bible we find two sanctuaries or temples. The earthly sanctuary in the Old Covenant is a type of the heavenly sanctuary in the New Covenant. The reason there was a great disappointment in 1844 is because the people did not understand the Biblical teaching of the sanctuary. They thought that the sanctuary was the earth.

It was like that in the days of Christ. Even the disciples were confused. They did not understand the nature of the kingdom that Christ was going to set up. They were disappointed when Jesus was crucified because they longed and hoped He would set up an earthly, temporal kingdom. They were still in the Old Covenant in their thinking. But the kingdom was a spiritual, eternal kingdom, with its headquarters in heaven.

It was that way with the Adventists in 1844. Their arithmetic was right, the date they set was right, the truth they were preaching was so, but they did not understand the nature of the sanctuary, so they were terribly disappointed. Many people today still do not understand the sanctuary. As we saw stated in part one, our opponents think that in Daniel 8 it is talking about the earthly sanctuary. In this article we will look at the prophecies that pointed to the destruction of Jerusalem, contrasting them with those of Daniel 8.

Daniel 9 contains the seventy-week prophecy. Seventy weeks were cut off for the Jews, beginning in 457 B.C. and ending in 34 A.D. “After the sixty-two weeks, Messiah shall be cut off, but not for himself and the people of the prince who is coming shall destroy the city and the sanctuary.” Daniel 9:26. What sanctuary is this? This is the earthly sanctuary.

“And the end of it shall be with a flood, And till the end of the war desolations are determined. Then He [the Messiah] shall confirm in a covenant with many for one week; But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, Even until the consummation, which is determined is poured out on the desolate.” Daniel 9:26, 27.

In this prophecy a short time after the Messiah is cut off, the earthly sanctuary would be destroyed. Jesus predicted this, “Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and his disciples came up to show him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said to them, ‘Do you not see all these things? Assuredly I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another that shall not be thrown down.’ ” Matthew 24:1, 2.

Jesus said that it was going to happen in that generation, not sometime way down at the end of history. “Assuredly, I say to you, all these things shall come upon this generation . . . Your house is left to you desolate.” Matthew 23:36, 38.

“But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near.” Luke 21:20. Daniel predicted it and Jesus predicted it. The Apostle Paul also predicted it. “In that He says, a new covenant, He has made the first obsolete. Now that which is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.” Hebrews 8:13. It was Jerusalem and the earthly sanctuary that would vanish away a short time after the book of Hebrews was written.

The Apostle Paul attempted to prepare the Christian community for what was going to happen. People were looking to the city of Jerusalem and Paul said in effect, “Do not look there.” “For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come.” Hebrews 13:14. So it is clear when you read Daniel 9:26, 27; Matthew 23 and 24; Luke 21; and the book of Hebrews, that a short time after the crucifixion of Christ, the temple at Jerusalem would be destroyed.


The Sanctuary Destroyed Again?


“So he came near where I stood, [this is the angel who came to explain the vision to Daniel] and when he came I was afraid and fell on my face; but he said to me, Understand, son of man, that the vision refers to the time of the end.” Daniel 8:17. The vision here is about the twenty-three hundred days, the little horn power and the time of the end. The temple in Jerusalem was destroyed a short time after the crucifixion, but this vision is not about something in the time of Christ and the apostles. This vision is to extend to the time of the end. It could not possibly be talking about the earthly sanctuary, because the earthly sanctuary was not going to extend to the time of the end.

The prophecy about this sanctuary is something that continues until the time of the end. “Look, I am making known to you what shall happen in the latter time of the indignation; for at the appointed time, the end shall be . . . And the vision of the evenings and mornings [the vision of the twenty-three hundred days] which was told is true. Therefore seal up the vision, For it refers to many days in the future.” Daniel 8:19, 26.

Referring to the little horn power Daniel says, “And forces shall be mustered by him, and they shall defile the sanctuary fortress; Then they shall take away the daily sacrifices [the continuance in rebellion. Called the continuance in Daniel 8:12. Sacrifices should not be there], and place there the abomination of desolation.” Daniel 11:31.

“And from the time that the daily [constant rebellion] is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he who waits, and comes to the one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days. But you, go your way till the end [the end of the days]; for you shall rest [stand in your lot in the judgment. See The Great Controversy, 488.].” Daniel 12:11–13. The twelve hundred and ninety days and the thirteen hundred and thirty-five days will extend to the time of the end, or the time of the judgment. Paul makes it very clear in Hebrews 9 that the judgment occurs in the end period of earth’s history.

The continuance and abomination of desolation and the twenty-three hundred days mentioned in Daniel 8, refers to something that will go to the end of time. It could not possibly be talking about the earthly sanctuary because it had been destroyed many hundreds of years before.

The “daily” or “constant rebellion,” that had been constant in the ancient world ever since the days of Cain was taken away and something else called “the abomination that makes desolate” was set up in its place, in 508 A.D.

The sanctuary that is talked about in Daniel could not possibly be the earthly sanctuary. All the lines of evidence are pointing in a different direction. The earthly sanctuary had been destroyed hundreds of years earlier as predicted, long before the prophecies in Daniel 8, 11 and 12 took place. That leaves only one other conclusion, since there are only two sanctuaries that are taught in Scripture: the earthly and the heavenly. It is talking here about the heavenly sanctuary.

What did the little horn power do to this sanctuary? “The place of his sanctuary [the heavenly sanctuary] was cast down . . . How long will the vision be concerning the daily [the daily or constant rebellion] and the transgression of desolation [the abomination of desolation]? The giving of both the sanctuary and the host [the people of God] to be trampled under foot.” Daniel 8:11, 13.

The little horn power is especially pointed out in God’s Word as the power that would cast down the sanctuary, trample it and defile it. What does it mean when it says, “They will cast it down and trample it and defile it?” Revelation 13:16 answers this simply, “Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle [sanctuary or temple] and those who dwell in heaven.”


Accountable for all Slain


“Therefore indeed. I send you prophets, and wise men, and scribes . . . And some of them you will . . . persecute . . .That on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth.” Matthew 23:34, 35.

Jesus told the Jews that they would be accounted guilty of all the righteous blood shed upon the earth. In the end, the God of heaven will accuse Babylon of being guilty of every murder committed in the world. “The light of a lamp shall not shine in you anymore, and the voice of bridegroom and bride shall not be heard in you any more. For your merchants were the great men of the earth, for by your sorcery all the nations were deceived. And in her was found the blood of prophets and saints, and of all who were slain on the earth.” Revelation 18:23, 24.

The Lord says, “You are to blame. The responsibility is at your door for everything.” If the Jews had accepted the Messiah, the whole history of the world would have been different. And if Babylon had kept hold of the gospel, the whole history of the world would be different also.

Babylon is guilty of all the innocent blood in the world. The little horn power (in Daniel 8) is the culmination of, the continuance in rebellion—paganism. That was the universal constant of the ancient world from the time of Cain until in its second phase it developed into the apostasy of the latter times. The antichrist power, the man of sin, is judged by God as responsible for all the innocent blood shed in the latter times.

It is especially noted in prophecy as being responsible for the defiling of the sanctuary. In Revelation 13:6 this power would open its mouth in blasphemy. It will open its mouth in blasphemy against God’s sanctuary. What was this blasphemy? Let us consider two or three major factors in this blasphemy against God’s sanctuary: that cast it down to the ground and trampled on it.

When Jesus came to this world, He offered His life on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins. Ellen White said that after Jesus was resurrected and ascended to heaven He went to the throne of God to be our Mediator. His work as our Mediator in heaven is just as important and vital to our salvation as His death on the cross.

Ellen White says in The Great Controversy, 488, that the devil hates the truths that bring to the minds of God’s people the fact that they have an all-powerful Mediator. He hates truths like those found in Hebrews 4:14–16, “Seeing then that we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

We have an all-powerful Mediator who can help, no matter how weak and sinful we are. No matter how much trouble we are in. Jesus said, “All power is given to me.” That means He is able to save perfectly everyone who comes to God through Him. (See Hebrews 7:25.)

One of the significant points of the blasphemy against God’s sanctuary was the removal of the Mediator, and placing instead human mediators. Christ the Mediator was completely removed from the heavenly sanctuary and, in the minds of men, human beings were put in His place. That is blasphemy. Blasphemy against the temple in heaven where there is an all-powerful Mediator.

When men look to human mediators, they do not get the help they need. Then they cannot overcome sin. They invent a theology that allows you to confess and confess and confess. You go and confess and you think you are saved. But there is no power. That is blasphemy. The gospel according to the New Testament presents an all-powerful Mediator. When you come to Him, you receive mercy and grace. That is power to help when you need it.

One of the biggest reasons for the crime and trouble that we have in the world today is because the Mediator has been taken away in many minds. Ellen White is very specific, that God lays at the door of the church the crime in society. (See The Great Controversy, 389.) We have taken away the help and unless you get men’s eyes back on the all-powerful Mediator, there is no help. There is no victory. That is not all, when you take away the divine Mediator, people are going to live in sin because without a divine Mediator to give help, there is no way out from your sin.

Jesus said to His disciples, “Without Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5. I do not know about you, but that is not hard for me to believe at all. Have you ever tried it? It is easy to see from our society that people without Christ go down hill quickly, and crime, wars and every variety of sin increase.

We must be in harmony with the Law of God or we will be lost. There is no truth that is taught more succinctly than this in the sanctuary system. This theme runs throughout the Bible.

Another part of the blasphemy was to remove the Law altogether. The Law says I cannot divorce my wife except for fornication. The kings of Europe, during the Middle Ages, discovered that if they received permission from the right person, they could divorce their wives and marry someone else.

Why was the seventh commandment no longer enforced? Because the Law had been removed and people did not look to the Law of God. They looked to the church to find out what they could do and what they could not do. As one writer said, If you got permission, you could sleep in peace even if you murdered your own father. Daniel 7:25 predicted that the Law of God will be removed. That was blasphemy against the sanctuary in heaven. The Mediator was removed and the Law was removed.

How is God’s sanctuary to be cleansed or restored? To restore it in the mind of men, their eyes must be focused on God and His Law in the sanctuary. The sanctuary cannot be cleansed until the condition of things done by the little horn is remedied. In your mind you must see that that Law is still valid. It has not been changed. But you need more, you need an all-powerful Mediator that you can pray to and get help to bring your life into perfect harmony with that Law. Until that happens the sanctuary cannot be restored.

The sanctuary can only be cleansed, or restored to its rightful state, when God has a group of people that keep perfectly that Law. “Here is the patience of the saints; Here are those that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” Revelation 14:12. The two things that the little horn did to trample the sanctuary, to cast it down, to defile it, have to be restored. The commandments and the High Priestly ministry of Jesus, the One Mediator, have to be restored to their rightful place.

The sanctuary is going to be cleansed. The judgment and the cleansing of the sanctuary involves three stages: first the righteous will be judged, then the wicked during the millennium followed by their execution at the end and finally the scape goat is dealt with at the end of the millennium.

The sanctuary will be cleansed and we will have a part in it. When it is over, either we will be cleansed from our sins, we will be keeping the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus, or we will be the other part of the cleansing process. Sin will be done away with. God has decided it.

When I look out in the world and see what sin has done, I am glad that God has made that decision. The question now is, Will I be cleansed of sin through the power of the Holy Spirit, through the mediation of Christ? Or will I cling to it and be destroyed when sin is destroyed?

The whole subject of the cleansing of the sanctuary in Daniel 8:10–14 has an extremely serious message for every single person in the world. That is what Adventism is about. We have a job to tell the world. The sanctuary will be restored to its rightful state and we need to decide what side we will be on when that happens.

I want the Law of God restored in my heart and to put my whole trust in Jesus as my Mediator so that my life can be changed. The best of us are not good enough and the worst of us are not so bad that the Lord cannot save us, if we put our trust in our all-powerful Mediator. I invite you to commit your life to Jesus, your all-powerful Mediator, today.


Bible Study Guides – The “ Little Horn ”

October 10, 2010 – October 16, 2010

Key Text

“I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.” Daniel 7:8.

Study Help: The Great Controversy, 444, 445; Life Sketches, 96.


“Through half-converted pagans, ambitious prelates, and world-loving churchmen he [Satan] accomplished his purpose.” The Great Controversy, 53.

1 What vision was given to Daniel concerning four beasts and which of the beasts especially left a deep impression on his mind? Daniel 7:1–4, 7, 8.

2 Name at least four of the characteristics mentioned in Daniel 7:7.

3 As Daniel was observing the ten horns, what did he see? Daniel 7:8.

4 How many of the characteristics previously mentioned show that the little horn represents the papal power? Compare Daniel 7:8, 20, 21, 25, 26 and Revelation 13:2, 5–7, 10. See also Numbers 14:34 and Ezekiel 4:6 for the year/day principle used in calculating prophetic time.

  1. a blasphemous power
  2. makes war against the saints and overcomes them
  3. a mouth which speaks great things
  4. “the little horn power” appears when the three powers remaining from the pagan Roman government are removed
  5. was to continue for the same length of time, 1260 years
  6. this power was to be terminated

Note: “The forty and two months are the same as the ‘time and times and the dividing of time’ [Daniel 7:25], three years and a half, or 1260 days, of Daniel 7—the time during which the papal power was to oppress God’s people. This period … began with the supremacy of the papacy, A.D. 538, and terminated in 1798. At that time the pope was made captive by the French army, the papal power received its deadly wound, and the prediction was fulfilled, ‘He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity’ [Revelation 13:10].” The Great Controversy, 439.

“A French army entered Rome and made the pope a prisoner, and he died in exile. Though a new pope was soon afterward elected, the papal hierarchy has never since been able to wield the power which it before possessed.” Ibid., 266.

5 In what year was the temporal power of the papacy established?

Note: “The 1260 years of papal supremacy began in A.D. 538.” The Great Controversy, 266.

6 Where did the faithful find a refuge when persecuted for not accepting papal heresies? Revelation 12:6.

Note: “The papal power sought to hide from the people the word of truth, and set before them false witnesses to contradict its testimony. When the Bible was proscribed by religious and secular authority; when its testimony was perverted, and every effort made that men and demons could invent to turn the minds of the people from it; when those who dared proclaim its sacred truths were hunted, betrayed, tortured, buried in dungeon cells, martyred for their faith, or compelled to flee to mountain fastnesses, and to dens and caves of the earth—then the faithful witnesses prophesied in sackcloth. Yet they continued their testimony throughout the entire period of 1260 years. In the darkest times there were faithful men who loved God’s word and were jealous for His honor. To these loyal servants were given wisdom, power, and authority to declare His truth during the whole of this time.” The Great Controversy, 267, 268.

7 What was the true nature of the teachers who did not use the Bible? II John 7, 9.

Note: “Satan well knew that the Holy Scriptures would enable men to discern his deceptions and withstand his power. It was by the word that even the Saviour of the world had resisted his attacks. At every assault, Christ presented the shield of eternal truth, saying, ‘It is written.’

“To every suggestion of the adversary, He opposed the wisdom and power of the word. In order for Satan to maintain his sway over men, and establish the authority of the papal usurper, he must keep them in ignorance of the Scriptures. The Bible would exalt God and place finite men in their true position; therefore its sacred truths must be concealed and suppressed. This logic was adopted by the Roman Church. For hundreds of years the circulation of the Bible was prohibited. The people were forbidden to read it or to have it in their houses, and unprincipled priests and prelates interpreted its teachings to sustain their pretensions. Thus the pope came to be almost universally acknowledged as the vicegerent of God on earth, endowed with authority over church and state.” The Great Controversy, 51.

8 What plan did Satan have to gain the allegiance of the whole world, and what institutions did his agents continually attack? II Thessalonians 2:4.

Note: “The archdeceiver had not completed his work. He was resolved to gather the Christian world under his banner and to exercise his power through his vicegerent, the proud pontiff who claimed to be the representative of Christ. Through half-converted pagans, ambitious prelates, and world-loving churchmen he accomplished his purpose. Vast councils were held from time to time, in which the dignitaries of the church were convened from all the world. In nearly every council the Sabbath which God had instituted was pressed down a little lower, while the Sunday was correspondingly exalted. Thus the pagan festival came finally to be honored as a divine institution, while the Bible Sabbath was pronounced a relic of Judaism, and its observers were declared to be accursed.

“The great apostate had succeeded in exalting himself ‘above all that is called God, or that is worshipped.’ II Thessalonians 2:4. He had dared to change the only precept of the divine law that unmistakably points all mankind to the true and living God.” The Great Controversy, 53.

9 What is a sign of the major characteristic of the great deceiver and particularly of his human agent? Revelation 14:9.

Note: “The special characteristic of the beast, and therefore of his image, is the breaking of God’s commandments.” The Great Controversy, 446.

10 What must characterize the children of God, and what is the sign of this? Ezekiel 20:12, 20; II John 6.

Note: “In the fourth commandment, God is revealed as the Creator of the heavens and the earth, and is thereby distinguished from all false gods. It was as a memorial of the work of creation that the seventh day was sanctified as a rest day for man. It was designed to keep the living God ever before the minds of men as the source of being and the object of reverence and worship. Satan strives to turn men from their allegiance to God, and from rendering obedience to His law; therefore he directs his efforts especially against that commandment which points to God as the Creator.” The Great Controversy, 53, 54.

“As the Sabbath was the sign that distinguished Israel when they came out of Egypt to enter the earthly Canaan, so it is the sign that now distinguishes God’s people as they come out from the world to enter the heavenly rest.” Maranatha, 244.

Additional Reading

“But the beast with lamblike horns was seen ‘coming up out of the earth’ [Revelation 13:11]. Instead of overthrowing other powers to establish itself, the nation thus represented must arise in territory preciously unoccupied and grow up gradually and peacefully. It could not, then, arise among the crowded and struggling nationalities of the Old World—that turbulent sea of ‘peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues’ [Revelation 17:15]. It must be sought in the Western Continent.

“What nation of the New World was in 1798 rising into power, giving promise of strength and greatness, and attracting the attention of the world? The application of the symbol admits of no question. One nation, and only one, meets the specifications of this prophecy; it points unmistakably to the United States of America. Again and again the thought, almost the exact words, of the sacred writer has been unconsciously employed by the orator and the historian in describing the rise and growth of this nation. The beast was seen ‘coming up out of the earth;’ and, according to the translators, the word here rendered ‘coming up’ literally signifies ‘to grow or spring up as a plant.’ And, as we have seen, the nation must arise in territory previously unoccupied. A prominent writer, describing the rise of the United States, speaks of ‘the mystery of her coming forth from vacancy,’ and says: ‘Like a silent seed we grew into empire.’—G. A. Townsend, The New World Compared With the Old, 462. A European journal in 1850 spoke of the United States as a wonderful empire, which was ‘emerging,’ and ‘amid the silence of the earth daily adding to its power and pride.’ ”—The Dublin Nation. Edward Everett, in an oration on the Pilgrim founders of this nation, said: “Did they look for a retired spot, inoffensive for its obscurity, and safe in its remoteness, where the little church of Leyden might enjoy the freedom of conscience? Behold the mighty regions over which, in peaceful conquest, … they have borne the banners of the cross!”—Speech delivered at Plymouth, Massachusetts, December 22, 1824, page 11.

“ ‘And he had two horns like a lamb’ [Revelation 13:11]. The lamblike horns indicate youth, innocence, and gentleness, fitly representing the character of the United States when presented to the prophet as ‘coming up’ in 1798. Among the Christian exiles who first fled to America and sought an asylum from royal oppression and priestly intolerance were many who determined to establish a government upon the broad foundation of civil and religious liberty. Their views found place in the Declaration of Independence, which sets forth the great truth that ‘all men are created equal’ and endowed with the inalienable right to ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.’ And the Constitution guarantees to the people the right of self-government, providing that representatives elected by the popular vote shall enact and administer the laws. Freedom of religious faith was also granted, every man being permitted to worship God according to the dictates of his conscience. Republicanism and Protestantism became the fundamental principles of the nation. These principles are the secret of its power and prosperity. The oppressed and downtrodden throughout Christendom have turned to this land with interest and hope. Millions have sought its shores, and the United States has risen to a place among the most powerful nations of the earth.

“But the beast with lamblike horns ‘spake as a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed;… saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.’ Revelation 13:11–14.” The Great Controversy, 440–442.

©2005 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – The Mystery of Iniquity

September 26, 2010 – October 2, 2010

Key Text

“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” II Thessalonians 2:3, 4.

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 33–43. The Great Controversy, 49–54.


“The special characteristic of the beast, and therefore of his image, is the breaking of God’s commandments.” The Great Controversy, 446.

1 Next to Christ, who was the most exalted among the angels and what do we know of his position? Ezekiel 28:12–14.

Note: “Sin originated with him who, next to Christ, had been most honored of God and who stood highest in power and glory among the inhabitants of heaven. Before his fall, Lucifer was first of the covering cherubs, holy and undefiled.” The Great Controversy, 493, 494.

2 What led this anointed cherub on the course that separated him from the privileges of heaven? Ezekiel 28:6, 15–17.

Note: “Lucifer might have remained in favor with God, beloved and honored by all the angelic host, exercising his noble powers to bless others and to glorify his Maker. … Instead of seeking to make God supreme in the affections and allegiance of His creatures, it was Lucifer’s endeavor to win their service and homage to himself. And coveting the honor which the infinite Father had bestowed upon His Son, this prince of angels aspired to power which it was the prerogative of Christ alone to wield.” The Great Controversy, 494.

3 How does the prophet Isaiah contrast the original position of Lucifer with his later condition perpetuated throughout history? Isaiah 14:12–14.

Note: “Little by little Lucifer came to indulge the desire for self-exaltation. … Though all his glory was from God, this mighty angel came to regard it as pertaining to himself. Not content with his position, though honored above the heavenly host, he ventured to covet homage due alone to the Creator.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 35.

“The desire for self-exaltation had brought strife into the heavenly courts, and had banished a multitude of the hosts of God. Had Lucifer really desired to be like the Most High, he would never have deserted his appointed place in heaven; for the spirit of the Most High is manifested in unselfish ministry. Lucifer desired God’s power, but not His character. He sought for himself the highest place, and every being who is actuated by his spirit will do the same. Thus alienation, discord, and strife will be inevitable. Dominion becomes the prize of the strongest. The kingdom of Satan is a kingdom of force; every individual regards every other as an obstacle in the way of his own advancement, or a steppingstone on which he himself may climb to a higher place.” The Desire of Ages, 435, 436.

4 On what were Lucifer’s ambitions focused?

Note: “Pride in his own glory nourished the desire for supremacy. The high honors conferred upon Lucifer were not appreciated as the gift of God and called forth no gratitude to the Creator. He gloried in his brightness and exaltation, and aspired to be equal with God.” The Great Controversy, 495.

5 Where was Lucifer cast when his rebellion was overcome, and how many angels joined him in rebellion? Isaiah 14:15; Revelation 12:4, 7–9.

Note: “When through his rebellion he [Lucifer] was cast out of heaven, he determined to make man his victim, and the earth his kingdom. He cast the blame of his rebellion upon Christ, and in determined hatred of God, sought to wound Him through the fall of man.” The Bible Echo, November 1, 1892.

6 Having been cast out of heaven, how has Lucifer continued his destructive work? Revelation 12:12; I Peter 5:8, 9.

Note: “From the very beginning of the great controversy in heaven it has been Satan’s purpose to overthrow the law of God. It was to accomplish this that he entered upon his rebellion against the Creator, and though he was cast out of heaven he has continued the same warfare upon the earth. To deceive men, and thus lead them to transgress God’s law, is the object which he has steadfastly pursued. Whether this be accomplished by casting aside the law altogether, or by rejecting one of its precepts, the result will be ultimately the same.” The Great Controversy, 582.

7 How may the particular representative of Satan in this world be positively identified, and what sign will identify the national pawn he will use? Revelation 13:1, 2, 17, 18.

Note: “In [Revelation] chapter 13 (verses 1–10) is described another beast, ‘like unto a leopard,’ to which the dragon gave ‘his power, and his seat, and great authority’ [verse 2]. This symbol, as most Protestants have believed, represents the papacy, which succeeded to the power and seat and authority once held by the ancient Roman empire. Of the leopardlike beast it is declared: ‘There was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies. … And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, and His tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations’ [verses 5–7]. This prophecy, which is nearly identical with the description of the little horn of Daniel 7, unquestionably points to the papacy.” The Great Controversy, 439.

“The prophecy of Revelation 13 declares that the power represented by the beast with lamblike horns shall cause ‘the earth and them which dwell therein’ [verse 12] to worship the papacy—there symbolized by the beast ‘like unto a leopard.’ The beast with two horns is also to say ‘to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast;’ and, furthermore, it is to command all, ‘both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond,’ to receive the mark of the beast [verses 14, 16].” Ibid., 578, 579.

8 What do the Scriptures say of the ambitions of the antichrist? Daniel 7:25.

Note: “The special characteristic of the beast, and therefore of his image, is the breaking of God’s commandments. Says Daniel, of the little horn, the papacy: ‘He shall think to change times and the law.’ Daniel 7:25, R.V. And Paul styled the same power the ‘man of sin’ [II Thessalonians 2:3], who was to exalt himself above God. One prophecy is a complement of the other. Only by changing God’s law could the papacy exalt itself above God; whoever should understandingly keep the law as thus changed would be giving supreme honor to that power by which the change was made. Such an act of obedience to papal laws would be a mark of allegiance to the pope in the place of God.” The Great Controversy, 446.

“Those who become confused in their understanding of the Word, who fail to see the meaning of antichrist, will surely place themselves on the side of antichrist. There is no time now for us to assimilate with the world. Daniel is standing in his lot and in his place. The prophecies of Daniel and of John are to be understood. They interpret each other. They give to the world truths which every one should understand. These prophecies are to be witnesses in the world. By their fulfillment in these last days they will explain themselves.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 949.

9 What did Paul reveal concerning the “mystery of iniquity,” and what Old Testament prophecy foreshadowed this? II Thessalonians 2:3–5; Ezekiel 28:1, 2.

Note: “Little by little, at first in stealth and silence, and then more openly as it increased in strength and gained control of the minds of men, ‘the mystery of iniquity’ [II Thessalonians 2:7] carried forward its deceptive and blasphemous work. Almost imperceptibly the customs of heathenism found their way into the Christian church. The spirit of compromise and conformity was restrained for a time by the fierce persecutions which the church endured under paganism. But as persecution ceased, and Christianity entered the courts and palaces of kings, she laid aside the humble simplicity of Christ and His apostles for the pomp and pride of pagan priests and rulers; and in place of the requirements of God, she substituted human theories and traditions.” The Great Controversy, 49.

10 What special warning did Paul give to the Ephesian church in his farewell to them? Acts 20:28–30.

Note: “The dangers that would assail the church at Ephesus were revealed to the apostle. [Acts 20:29, 30 quoted.] Paul trembled for the church as, looking into the future, he saw the attacks which she must suffer from both external and internal foes.” The Acts of the Apostles, 395.

11 When did the attempt to change God’s law (Daniel 7:25)—particularly the Sabbath—begin to take place? II Thessalonians 2:7.

Note: “Protestants now urge that the resurrection of Christ on Sunday made it the Christian Sabbath. But Scripture evidence is lacking. No such honor was given to the day by Christ or His apostles. The observance of Sunday as a Christian institution had its origin in that ‘mystery of lawlessness’ (II Thessalonians 2:7, R.V.) which, even in Paul’s day, had begun its work. Where and when did the Lord adopt this child of the papacy? What valid reason can be given for a change which the Scriptures do not sanction?” The Great Controversy, 54.

Additional Reading

“Even at that early date he saw, creeping into the church, errors that would prepare the way for the development of the papacy.

“Little by little, at first in stealth and silence, and then more openly as it increased in strength and gained control of the minds of men, ‘the mystery of iniquity’ carried forward its deceptive and blasphemous work. Almost imperceptibly the customs of heathenism found their way into the Christian church. The spirit of compromise and conformity was restrained for a time by the fierce persecutions which the church endured under paganism. But as persecution ceased, and Christianity entered the courts and palaces of kings, she laid aside the humble simplicity of Christ and His apostles for the pomp and pride of pagan priests and rulers; and in place of the requirements of God, she substituted human theories and traditions. The nominal conversion of Constantine, in the early part of the fourth century, caused great rejoicing; and the world, cloaked with a form of righteousness, walked into the church. Now the work of corruption rapidly progressed. Paganism, while appearing to be vanquished, became the conqueror. Her spirit controlled the church. Her doctrines, ceremonies, and superstitions were incorporated into the faith and worship of the professed followers of Christ.

“This compromise between paganism and Christianity resulted in the development of ‘the man of sin’ foretold in prophecy as opposing and exalting himself above God. That gigantic system of false religion is a masterpiece of Satan’s power—a monument of his efforts to seat himself upon the throne to rule the earth according to his will.

“Satan once endeavored to form a compromise with Christ. He came to the Son of God in the wilderness of temptation, and showing Him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them, offered to give all into His hands if He would but acknowledge the supremacy of the prince of darkness. Christ rebuked the presumptuous tempter and forced him to depart. But Satan meets with greater success in presenting the same temptations to man. To secure worldly gains and honors, the church was led to seek the favor and support of the great men of earth; and having thus rejected Christ, she was induced to yield allegiance to the representative of Satan—the bishop of Rome.

“It is one of the leading doctrines of Romanism that the pope is the visible head of the universal church of Christ, invested with supreme authority over bishops and pastors in all parts of the world. More than this, the pope has been given the very titles of Deity. He has been styled ‘Lord God the Pope’*, and has been declared infallible. He demands the homage of all men. The same claim urged by Satan in the wilderness of temptation is still urged by him through the Church of Rome, and vast numbers are ready to yield him homage. …

“God has never given a hint in His word that He has appointed any man to be the head of the church. The doctrine of papal supremacy is directly opposed to the teachings of the Scriptures. The pope can have no power over Christ’s church except by usurpation.” The Great Controversy, 49–51.

* For the title “Lord God the Pope” see a gloss on the Extravagantes of Pope John XXII, title 14, ch. 4, Declaramun. In an Antwerp edition of the Extravangantes, dated 1584, the words “Dominum deum Nostrum Papam” (“Our Lord God the pope”) occur in column 153. In a Paris edition, dated 1612, they occur in column 140. In several editions published since 1612 the word “Deum” (“God”) has been omitted.

©2005 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.