Bible Study Guides – “A Man Greatly Beloved” Lessons on the Book of Daniel

June 30, 2001 – July 6, 2001

General Introduction

“Daniel, the Prime Minister of the greatest of earthly kingdoms, was at the same time a prophet of God, receiving the light of heavenly inspiration. A man of like passions as ourselves, the pen of inspiration describes him as without fault. His business transactions, when subjected to the closest scrutiny of his enemies, were found to be without one flaw. He was an example of what every businessman may become when his heart is converted and consecrated, and when his motives are right in the sight of God. . . .

“Unwavering in his allegiance to God, unyielding in his mastery of self, Daniel, by his noble dignity and unswerving integrity, while yet a young man, won the ‘favour and tender love’ of the heathen officer in whose charge he had been placed. . . . He rose speedily to the position of Prime Minister of the kingdom of Babylon. Through the reign of successive monarchs, the downfall of the nation, and the establishment of another world empire, such were his wisdom and statesmanship, so perfect his tact, his courtesy, his genuine goodness of heart, his fidelity to principle, that even his enemies were forced to the confession that ‘they could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he was faithful.’

“Honored by men with the responsibilities of state and with the secrets of kingdoms bearing universal sway, Daniel was honored by God as His ambassador, and was given many revelations of the mysteries of ages to come. His wonderful prophecies, as recorded by him in chapters 7 to 12 of the book bearing his name, were not fully understood even by the prophet himself; but before his life labors closed, he was given the blessed assurance that ‘at the end of the days’—in the closing period of this world’s history—he would again be permitted to stand in his lot and place. . . .

“We may, like Daniel and his fellows, live for that which is true and noble and enduring. And learning in this life the principles of the kingdom of our Lord and Saviour, . . . we may be prepared at His coming to enter with Him into its possession.” Conflict and Courage, 254.

“The More Sure Word of Prophecy”

MEMORY VERSE “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts.” II Peter 1:19.

STUDY HELP: Last Day Events, 15–17.

Introduction “The prophecies present a succession of events leading down to the opening of the judgment. This is especially true of the book of Daniel. But that part of his prophecy which related to the last days, Daniel was bidden to close up and seal ‘to the time of the end.’ Not till we reach this time could a message concerning the judgment be proclaimed, based on a fulfillment of these prophecies. But at the time of the end, says the prophet, ‘many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.’ Daniel 12:4.” The Great Controversy, 356.

“A Light That Shineth In a Dark Place”

1 How does the psalmist describe the Word of God? Psalm 119:105.

NOTE: “Those who study the word of God with hearts open to the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, will not remain in darkness as to the meaning of the word. ‘If any man willeth to do His will,’ Christ said, ‘he shall know of the teaching whether it be of God, or whether I speak from Myself.’ John 7:17, R.V. All who come to Christ for a clearer knowledge of the truth will receive it. He will unfold to them the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, and these mysteries will be understood by the heart that longs to know the truth. A heavenly light will shine into the soul temple, and will be revealed to others as the bright shining of a lamp on a dark path.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 36.

2 How does Peter describe the “more sure word of prophecy”? II Peter 1:19.

NOTE: “Every child of God should be intelligent in the Scriptures, and able, by tracing the fulfillment of prophecy, to show our position in this world’s history. The Bible was written for the common people as well as for scholars, and is within the comprehension of all. The great truths which underlie man’s duty to his fellow men and to his Maker are clearly revealed; and those who really want the truth need make no mistake. The way is not left in uncertainty, as though we were standing where four roads met, not knowing which one to take. The truth is our guide; it is to us like a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.” Counsels on Sabbath School Work, 23.

“He Revealeth His Secret”

3 What precious promise has the Lord made? Amos 3:7.

NOTE: “In the annals of human history, the growth of nations, the rise and fall of empires, appear as if dependent on the will and prowess of man; the shaping of events seems, to a great degree, to be determined by his power, ambition, or caprice. But in the word of God the curtain is drawn aside, and we behold, above, behind, and through all the play and counterplay of human interest and power and passions, the agencies of the All-merciful One, silently, patiently working out the counsels of His own will. . . . In the history of nations the student of God’s word may behold the literal fulfillment of divine prophecy.” Conflict and Courage, 250.

4 How did Daniel show his awareness of this truth? Daniel 2:20–22, 27–28.

NOTE: “In past ages the Lord God of heaven revealed His secrets to His prophets. The present and the future are equally clear to Him. The voice of God echoes down the ages, telling man what is to take place. Kings and princes take their places at their appointed time. They think they are carrying out their own purposes, but in reality they are fulfilling the word that God has spoken.” Youth’s Instructor, December 1, 1903.

“Those Things Which Are Revealed Belong unto Us”

5 While the secret things belong to God, to whom do those things belong which He reveals to His servants the prophets? Deuteronomy 29:29.

NOTE: “The idea that certain portions of the Bible cannot be understood has led to neglect of some of its most important truths. The fact needs to be emphasized, and often repeated, that the mysteries of the Bible are not such because God has sought to conceal truth, but because our own weakness or ignorance makes us incapable of comprehending or appropriating truth. The limitation is not in His purpose, but in our capacity. Of those very portions of Scripture often passed by as impossible to be understood, God desires us to understand as much as our minds are capable of receiving. ‘All Scripture is given by inspiration of God,’ that we may be ‘thoroughly furnished unto all good works.’ II Timothy 3:16, 17.” Education, 171.

6 When was the message of the book of Daniel to be clearly understood? Daniel 12:4, 9. Compare Daniel 8:26.

NOTE: “His wonderful prophecies, as recorded by him in chapters 7 to 12 of the book bearing his name, were not fully understood even by the prophet himself; but before his life labors closed, he was given the blessed assurance that ‘at the end of the days’—in the closing period of this world’s history—he would again be permitted to stand in his lot and place. It was not given him to understand all that God had revealed of the divine purpose. ‘Shut up the words, and seal the book,’ he was directed concerning his prophetic writings; these were to be sealed ‘even to the time of the end.’ ‘Go thy way, Daniel,’ the angel once more directed the faithful messenger of Jehovah; ‘for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. . . . Go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.’ Daniel 12:4, 9, 13. As we near the close of this world’s history, the prophecies recorded by Daniel demand our special attention, as they relate to the very time in which we are living. With them should be linked the teachings of the last book of the New Testament Scriptures. Satan has led many to believe that the prophetic portions of the writings of Daniel and of John the revelator cannot be understood. But the promise is plain that special blessing will accompany the study of these prophecies. ‘The wise shall understand’ (verse 10), was spoken of the visions of Daniel that were to be unsealed in the latter days.” Prophets and Kings, 547, 548.

“A Little Book Open”

7 How was John shown in vision the unsealing of Daniel’s book? Revelation 10:1, 2.

NOTE: “The book that was sealed was not the book of Revelation, but that portion of the prophecy of Daniel which related to the last days. The Scripture says, ‘But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased’ (Daniel 12:4). When the book was opened, the proclamation was made, ‘Time shall be no longer.’ (See Revelation 10:6.) The book of Daniel is now unsealed, and the revelation made by Christ to John is to come to all the inhabitants of the earth. By the increase of knowledge a people is to be prepared to stand in the latter days.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 105.

8 When Daniel’s book was first studied by the church, how was John shown its effect? Revelation 10:8–10.

NOTE: “Though, like the first disciples, they themselves had failed to understand the message which they bore, yet it had been in every respect correct. In proclaiming it they had fulfilled the purpose of God, and their labor had not been in vain in the Lord. Begotten ‘again unto a lively hope,’ they rejoiced ‘with joy unspeakable and full of glory.’ Both the prophecy of Daniel 8:14, ‘Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed,’ and the First Angel’s Message, ‘Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come,’ pointed to Christ’s ministration in the Most Holy Place, to the investigative judgment, and not to the coming of Christ for the redemption of His people and the destruction of the wicked. The mistake had not been in the reckoning of the prophetic periods, but in the event to take place at the end of the 2300 days. Through this error the believers had suffered disappointment, yet all that was foretold by the prophecy, and all that they had any Scripture warrant to expect, had been accomplished. At the very time when they were lamenting the failure of their hopes, the event had taken place which was foretold by the message, and which must be fulfilled before the Lord could appear to give reward to His servants.” The Great Controversy, 423, 424.

“That, When It Is Come to Pass, Ye May Believe”

9 How did Christ explain the purpose of predictive prophecy? John 13:19.

NOTE: “They should know the things that will come to pass before the closing up of the world’s history. These things concern our eternal welfare, and teachers and students should give more attention to them. —6T 128, 129 (1900). We should study the great waymarks that point out the times in which we are living. —4MR 163 (1895). Those who place themselves under God’s control, to be led and guided by Him, will catch the steady tread of the events ordained by Him to take place. —7T 14 (1902). We are to see in history the fulfillment of prophecy, to study the workings of Providence in the great reformatory movements, and to understand the progress of events in the marshaling of the nations for the final conflict of the great controversy. —8T 307 (1904).” Last Day Events, 14, 15.

10 Against what danger are we warned by Peter? II Peter 1:20, 21.

NOTE: “The Lord has called out a people from among men, and has given them great light and knowledge in regard to His word. In Exodus 31:12–18 He declares the relation which they are to sustain to Him. God has not authorized us to exalt men, and keep the minds of students directed toward those who evidently do not bear the signature which He has placed upon His chosen people. ‘Verily My Sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you.’ Those who refuse to stand as God’s chosen people, sanctified and made holy through doing His word, are as guideposts pointing in the wrong direction. So also are they who would encourage the youth to study as a pattern the so-called wise men, who have not been wise enough to know God and do His commandments.” Counsels to Writers and Editors, 116, 117.

“So Shall Ye Prosper”

11 What sound counsel did Jehoshaphat give to his people? II Chronicles 20:20.

NOTE: “The light of prophecy still burns for the guidance of souls, saying, ‘This is the way, walk ye in it.’ It shines on the pathway of the just to commend, and on the way of the unjust to lead to repentance and conversion. Through its agency sin will be rebuked and iniquity unmasked. It is progressive in the performance of its duty to reflect light on the past, the present, and the future. If those who have received the light will appreciate and respect the testimonies of the Lord, they will see the religious life in a new light. They will be convicted. They will see the key that unlocks the mysteries that they have never understood. They will lay hold of the precious things that God has given them to profit withal and will be translated from the kingdom of darkness into God’s marvelous light.” My Life Today, 42.

12 What was the source of the prophets’ messages? II Peter 1:21.

NOTE: “Some have neglected the Bible under the erroneous impression that the indwelling of the Spirit was preferable to the study and guidance of the Scriptures. Such will be exposed to Satan’s snares and fatal delusions. The Holy Spirit and the Word are in perfect harmony. The Holy Spirit inspired the Scriptures and always leads to the Scriptures. . . . Everything in the religious world is to be tried by the Scriptures. ‘To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them’ (Isaiah 8:20). The claimed enlightenment of the Spirit within is to be tested and tried by the Word of God, which is the detector of the pure wheat. . . .” That I May Know Him, 195.

Children’s Story – A Secret to Tell

Do you know what a secret is?

The dictionary says a secret is something that isn’t known by others or something that is known by only a few people.

One day Jesus was moving through a crowd of people. A woman who had been sick for many years touched the hem of His coat. Right away she was healed.

Just think how happy she must have been. But the strange thing about her healing was that she decided to keep it a secret.

She didn’t get to, though. Jesus knew someone had touched His coat. Turning, He asked,

“Who touched Me?”

The woman answered, “I did.”

If you had been this woman, would you have kept Jesus’ healing a secret?

When we tell others what Jesus has done for us we are “witnessing” for Him. Witnessing about Jesus is always wise.

When the woman told Jesus He had healed her, the people in the crowd heard her, too. This was a good thing because they learned Jesus really could heal diseases.

We should never be afraid to tell others that Jesus has healed us of our sins. We should never be ashamed because we are Christians. There have been many times when children told about their love for Christ and others learned to love Him, too.

“For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to save everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16).

“Whoever will confess (tell others about) Me before men, him will I confess before My Father in heaven” (Matthew 10:32).

Dear Jesus, make us good witnesses for You. Help us always to be ready to tell others that we love You. Thank you for hearing and answering our prayers. In Thy precious Name. Amen.

Happy Moments With God, Margaret Anderson, ©1962, 112.

Editorial – Without Knowing It

God’s people are affected more than they realize by the topics in the public press and media. There are topics being promoted by various individuals on the Internet with YouTube videos and other communications that are designed to raise alarm. As Adventists, we know that the end of the world is coming, but we need to be rational in our decisions and not act on the latest Internet gossip.

For several years now the Adventist people have been troubled by the frenzy that develops over these rumors. This barrage of messages are claimed to be directly from God. Of course, the “inside” or “secret” information cannot be documented, leaving no way for validation. The people distributing these communications worldwide cannot substantiate any evidence that the original source people actually had visions in the Biblical sense. (See Numbers 12:6; Isaiah 8:19, 20.)

It is not the part of prudence to believe any e-mail that comes around claiming to have as its source any secret society. This is not the way that God communicates the truth to His people. It is time for us to pray. It would be well if God’s people, in the face of these uncertain times, would go to the Lord, in prayer and say, “Lord you know what is going to happen and I earnestly pray that you will teach me, not only how I can serve you today, but also what you would have me do with my money, time, and every resource that you have placed in my hand. I am opening my heart to you, Lord, to be directed as you see fit; please lead me in just the way you would have me go today.”