God’s Special Gift for His Last Day Church, Part III

In Matthew 24, Jesus said that there would be many false prophets. Ellen Harmon, later Ellen White after she married James White, a minister, told the people to check her out. She said, “Now, I know my work is a supernatural work and it is either of God or the devil, but you will have to check it out and decide.” (See Testimonies, vol. 5, 671.)

We must check out anyone who claims to be a prophet. A few years ago when I was at a camp meeting that we were conducting, a man came up to me and said, “I am a prophet.” I do not scoff at anybody who claims to be a prophet, because the Lord could send us a prophet at any time. But there us a text in the Bible that says to prove all things. It is 1 Thessalonians 5.

So when this man told me that he was a prophet (actually it was his friend standing by me who told me that the man was a prophet), I had some questions. Then there was a lady from France several years ago who said that she had the gift of prophecy. I do not scoff at that, but I have some questions for her, too. In fact, if you, or I or anybody said, “I believe that the Lord has sent me the gift of prophecy,” we should be checked out by the church to see whether we meet the tests of a prophet, which are in the Bible.

Tests of a True Prophet

I will list ten, and I will give some texts.

If a person is a true prophet, they will tell the truth. The Bible says that it is impossible for God to lie. They will make predictions that come true, according to Jeremiah 28:9.

A true prophet will prophesy in the Lord’s name. 2 Peter 1:21.

A true prophet will not give some private interpretation of Scripture. 2 Peter 1:20.

A true prophet will point out the sins of the people of God. Isaiah 58:1. If a person is a true prophet, they will not just come to you with some lovey-dovey message and never tell you about your character defects, which need to be changed. That is a hard test for many so-called prophets to pass.

A true prophet will warn God’s people of coming judgment. Isaiah 24:20, 21 would be one example.

A true prophet will build up, or edify, the church. They will not tear it apart. 1 Corinthians 14:3, 4.

A true prophet will teach in harmony with preceding prophets and with the Law of God. Isaiah 8:20 says, “To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word,…there is no light in them.” This is one of the most important ones of all, and many so-called prophets cannot pass this test.

A true prophet will recognize the incarnation that Jesus came in the likeness of sinful flesh. 1 John 4:1-3. This is an exceedingly important test, also. Many so-called prophets cannot pass this one either.

A true prophet will not lead people into some kind of fanaticism, some crazy idea that you find out too late has ruined your health, or your family, or something else in your life. They must have good fruit. When you listen to what a true prophet says, you will have good results in your life. Let me give you a quick example.

Sometime past there was a person, I do not know if this person actually claimed to have the prophetic gift, but they professed to have a special message from God for His people. They went around to different churches in the West Coast of the United States, then moved eastward. Wherever they went, one of the things we began to notice was that families would break up. Wives would be leaving their husbands, and they would follow this man here and there. When I saw that, I said, “That man is not a true prophet. It is not good fruit. A true prophet does not go around breaking up families in God’s church.” Jesus said that a true prophet would bear good fruit. (See Matthew 7:15-20.)

Some day I am going to show the evidence in the life and work of Ellen White, and let me tell you there is a mountain of evidence, to prove that she was a prophet. I am not embarrassed; I am not afraid; I have studied this. I do not believe this because somebody told me; I checked it out myself for several months. I wanted to know for sure, and there is no question! The evidence is overwhelming! God sent us a special messenger who was more than a prophet. When we read what she wrote, it leads us right back to the Bible. I have been reading her writings for over 40 years, and over and over again I have read something that she wrote which I did not know. I said, “Does the Bible teach that?” So I would start checking out the Bible and there it was. I had not noticed it.

But I do want to spend just a little time on the last test of all:

A true Bible prophet must have visions and dreams—period. That is what the Bible says. “Then He said, [This is God speaking to Aaron and Miriam.] ‘Hear now My words: If there is a prophet among you, I, the Lord, make Myself known to Him in a vision; I speak to him in a dream.’” Numbers 12:6. Notice, if anyone claims to be a prophet, the Lord says if he or she is really a prophet He will make Himself manifest to that person. How? In a vision and in a dream.

Now what happens to a prophet when they are in vision? The book of Daniel gives us a fuller description of a prophet in vision than any other place in the Bible, although there are a few other descriptions. The most complete description of a prophet in vision is in Daniel 10:7. Daniel gives the record of this vision. He says, “And I, Daniel, alone saw the vision, for the men that were with me did not see the vision; but a great terror fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves.”

So the other men realized that something supernatural was happening. That is what occurs when a prophet is in vision. Other people in the room realize that something supernatural is happening. What is this supernatural thing? Look what it says in Daniel 10:8. “…I saw this great vision, and no strength remained in me; for my vigor was turned to frailty in me, and I retained no strength.”

Continuing in verse 9 we read, “Yet I heard the sound of his words; and while I heard the sound of his words I was in a deep sleep on my face, with my face to the ground. Suddenly, a hand touched me.…” Then he receives instruction from the angel about the latter day; and then it says, “And suddenly, one having the likeness of the sons of men [That is Jesus Christ.] touched my lips; then I opened my mouth and spoke, saying to Him who stood before me, ‘My Lord, because of the vision my sorrows have overwhelmed me, and I have retained no strength. For how can this servant of my Lord talk with you, my Lord? As for me, no strength remains in me now, nor is any breath left in me.’” Daniel 10:16, 17.

A Prophet in Vision, Does not Breathe

Daniel says, “How can I talk to You Lord, when I am not breathing? There is no breath left in me.” You know, if you took a mirror right now, and if you put this mirror right in front of your face and speak, moisture will gather on the mirror, because when you talk the air is coming out of your mouth. It is only one of the ten signs, but it is a significant one. A prophet in vision does not breathe. That is a supernatural experience. Now, friends, this is something that is pretty hard to fake.

When I was a freshman in college, I was in a swimming class and, of course, we had to swim under water and do different things. One of the things the instructor had us do was to hyperventilate then we would hang onto the side of the pool and put our head in the water. We were timed to see how long we could hold our breath.

The longer you can hold your breath, the better you can swim underwater. There are professional divers whom, I am told, can hold their breath under water for three and a half minutes after they have hyperventilated. There is some danger involved in that. I could not do it for three and a half minutes. I tried, and I was one of the last ones in the class to lift my head out of the water. My head was under the water for one minute and fifty seconds.

Do you know how long Ellen Harmon White held her breath while she was in vision? I would like to share a few eyewitness accounts. You see, you have to have eyewitnesses if you are going to know that a person is a prophet.

Eyewitness Account

Merritt Kellogg, md, writes on May 29, 1853: “Sister White was in vision about twenty minutes or half an hour. As she went into vision, everyone present seemed to feel the power and presence of God and some of us did indeed feel the Spirit of God resting upon us mightily. We were engaged in prayer and social meeting Sabbath morning at about nine o’clock. [Generally Ellen White went into vision in public when she was in a religious meeting, and often when she was praying.] Brother White, my father, and Sister White had prayed and I was praying at the time. There had been no excitement, no demonstrations. We did plead earnestly with God, however, that He would bless the meeting with His presence and that He would bless the work in Michigan.

“As Sister White gave the triumphant shout, ‘Glory, glory, glory,’ which you have heard her give so often as she goes into vision, Brother White arose [That is her husband.] and informed the audience that his wife was in vision. After stating the manner of her visions and that she did not breathe while in vision, he invited anyone who wished to do so to come forward and examine her.

“Doctor Drummond, a physician, who before he saw her in vision had declared her visions to be of hypnotic origin and that he could give her a vision, stepped forward and after a thorough examination turned very pale and remarked, ‘She does not breathe.’ I am quite certain that she did not breathe at that time while in vision nor in any of several others, which she has had, when I was present.

“The coming out of the vision was as marked as her going into it. The first indication that we had that the vision was ended was in her again beginning to breathe. She drew her first deep breath long and full in a manner showing that her lungs had been entirely empty of air. After drawing the first breath, several minutes passed before she drew the second, which filled the lungs precisely as did the first. Then a pause of two minutes and a third inhalation after which the breathing became normal.” This was written by a medical doctor. (See General Conference Bulletin, 1893, 59, 60, by M. G. Kellogg, M.D., Battle Creek, Michigan, December 28, 1890.)

The Unbeliever

In 1857, there was a man present when she went into vision who did not believe in the visions, did not believe there was anything supernatural. In the same way, Elder White stood up and invited anybody who was present to examine her. They tried all kinds of things. They would take a candle and put it in front of her mouth when she was talking to see if there was any air coming out. The fire would not flicker. They would take a mirror and put it in front of her mouth to see if any moisture gathered on the mirror. No moisture collected on the mirror.

But this man, Brother Bordeau, decided to be much more direct. He put his hand right over her mouth to see if there was breath; there was not any evidence of breath. He had been told that she did not breathe and he said, “Well, I am going to check this out.” So do you know what he did? He took one hand and put it over her nose, closing off the air passages, and he put the other hand over her mouth. And then everybody began to watch. Would you not watch such an experiment?

Everybody watched. One minute went by. Two minutes went by. Three minutes went by. Five minutes went by. What happens in five minutes? A few years ago when I was in Texas, a lady was choked for four or five minutes by somebody who was in her garage. Now she was still alive, but after that she was a vegetable for as long as she lived. If you are choked for four or five minutes and if you survive, you have such severe brain damage that you are a vegetable the rest of your life. You cannot talk; you cannot hear; you cannot understand; you cannot communicate. You just lie there in bed. You are a vegetable. That is it after four or five minutes.

However, Brother Boredau kept holding on for more than five minutes. He kept on six minutes. Seven minutes. Eight minutes. Nine minutes. Ten minutes. (See Statement of D. T. Bourdeau, February 4, 1891, quoted in J. N. Loughborough, The Great Second Advent Movement, 210.)

At ten minutes all of a sudden he became very frightened and he just got up and went out of the room. He could not take it any longer. Now, nothing happened. There were times when she was in vision for over two hours without breathing. The people who saw that said, “The Lord has sent to us a prophet. The Lord has sent us somebody who is more than a prophet, a special messenger to prepare us for His Second Coming.” (See Statement of D. T. Bourdeau, February 4, 1891, quoted in J. N. Loughborough, The Great Second Advent Movement, 210.)

Special Light from Heaven

I want to tell you, friends, I have read Mrs. White’s books. I consider these books to be of greater value than all the books I studied to get my Master’s Degree, my Doctor’s Degree or any other degree. These books are more valuable to me than any of those things, because these books contain special light from heaven.

Suppose somebody reading this knew a world famous physician, and I was sick. So you said to me, “I have a relative who is a world famous physician. I think He could help you, and I would like to get you an appointment so that you can see Him.” If you were sick, would you want to see this person?

But, friend, these books contain the wisdom of the Great Physician. The information I have found in these books has saved me from great, great suffering.

We still have these books available. Today we can get the writings of Mrs. White in three volumes. We have taken many, many of the books and put them into three volumes so that we can take them with us wherever we go. I have the entire Ellen White writings now on CD ROM on my computer. I take it with me wherever I go, anywhere in the world, so I can check things. I am asked questions, because some people think that I am a theologian. I am not actually that smart. It is just that I have access to light from heaven that leads me back to Bible truth.

Knowing Him Better

I want to tell you, friends, I have read these books for over forty years and I have checked them over, I believe, thousands of times. I have checked them over and over again with the Bible. They always agree. The knowledge in these books and this writing has led me closer to Jesus, they have helped me to know Him better.

My dear friends, if there is somebody reading this who has never been exposed to this information before, if you are that person, let me tell you something. I am not trying to push something off on you. All I am saying is, “Check it out. Check it out. Just get down on your knees and say, Lord, is this really true? Have you really sent to us a special messenger? Please help me to see the evidence. Check it out.”

The Bible says to prove all things. Hold fast that which is good. I have checked it out, and I found that it is good.

Here are a few things in Ellen White’s writings about what is going to happen in our time. See if she told the truth. This was written before the First World War, before the development of worldwide Communism, before the Second World War, the development of the atomic bomb and the riots in our cities. This was written before all of those things happened.

Current Events

She said the conditions in our cities were going to get more and more objectionable. (See Testimonies, vol. 7, 82.) Has that happened? The time was going to come when the power of the labor unions would be very impressive. (See Ibid., 84.)

She said the time was going to come when the atmosphere was going to be polluted in our cities. (See Ministry of Healing, 262.) They did not have cars when she wrote that. She said the time was going to come when there was going to be great unrest among the nations and there was going to be great wars and millions of lives were going to be lost. (See Review and Herald, May 26, 1891; Ibid., November 17, 1910.)

By the way, back when she said that, because of the recently discovered theories of evolution, people were saying, “The world is getting better and better.” Ellen White said the time was coming when there was going to be more trouble than there had ever been in the world. There was going to be millions of lives lost in great wars. (See Signs of the Times, April 21, 1890.) Has that happened?

Right after the turn of the twentieth century she wrote that very soon grievous troubles were going to break out among the nations that would not cease until Jesus comes.” (See Review and Herald, November 24, 1904.) Has that happened? She said a time of great anarchy is coming in the world. (See Patriarchs and Prophets, 101.) She said there was going to come a time when gigantic monopolies would be formed. Has that happened? You are seeing it happen right in front of your eyes.

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

But why are we happy anyway? Because we have special light from heaven that not only explains the darkness around us, but shows us also the light at the end of the tunnel and how to be ready for the soon coming of Jesus.

Friend, I have so much in my heart. I want to invite you, oh, please, if you have never checked these things out, do so. It will be one of the greatest blessings that will lead you to an understanding of Bible truth.

Over and over again I have been in situations where people ask me how I know so much about the Bible. They think that I must be smart. It is not that I am smart; it is just that I am like the early disciples who went to listen to John the Baptist. I want to listen, to read the special messenger, to get information about how to get ready for the Second Coming, and I have been greatly blessed. I would like for you to have the same blessing that I have had. Just check it out.

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

August 18, 2001 – August 24, 2001

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

STUDY HELP: Early Writings, 250–253.

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

‘A Vision Appeared unto Me’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘And as I Was Considering . . .”

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

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

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

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

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

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

“It Waxed Exceeding Great”

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

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

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

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

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

“He Magnified Himself Against the Prince of the Host”

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

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

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

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

“We see that there are two rebellions mentioned: a. the continuance in rebellion (Daniel 8:12); (often called the ‘daily’) and b. the desolating rebellion (Daniel 8:13). These two rebellions (revolts) involve not only the earth, but also the forces of heaven, even the ruler of the forces of heaven (Daniel 8:10, 11). These two rebellions are two successive stages of the great spiritual war being described: First, that which is the ‘continuance in rebellion’, and then the prophet sees an army given to the little horn power against the ‘continuance in rebellion’ (Daniel 8:12).” Grosboll, God Predicts Your Future, 40.

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

“Against the Prince of Princes”

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

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

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

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

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

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

“How Long?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

September 22, 2001 – September 28, 2001

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

STUDY HELP: Great Controversy, 635-650.

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

“Thy People Shall be Delivered”

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

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

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

NOTE: See Great Controversy, 637.

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

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

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

“Seal the Book”

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

NOTE: See Prophets and Kings, 547.

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

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

See also Desire of Ages, 234, 235.

“How Long Shall It be?”

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

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

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

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

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

“I Heard But I Understood Not”

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

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

See also Great Controversy, 344.

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

NOTE: See Prophets and Kings, 547, 548.

“The Wise Shall Understand”

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

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

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

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

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

“Blessed is he That Waiteth”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Thou Shalt Stand in Thy Lot”

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bible Study Guides – “I Saw This Great Vision”

September 8, 2001 – September 14, 2001

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

STUDY HELP:The Sanctified Life, 49–52.

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

“He Had Understanding of the Vision”

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

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

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

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

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

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

“A Certain Man Clothed in Linen”

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

NOTE: Hiddekel is the River Tigris.

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

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

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

“There Remained No Strength in Me”

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

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

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

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

“Thy Words Were Heard”

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

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

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

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

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

“Now I Am Come to Make Thee Understand”

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

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

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

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

‘‘O Man Greatly Beloved”

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

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

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

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

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

September 1, 2001 – September 7, 2001

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

STUDY HELP: Prophets and Kings, 698, 699.

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

“The Number of the Years”

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

NOTE: See Prophets and Kings, 554.

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

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

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

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

“Neither Have we Hearkened unto Thy Servants the Prophets”

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

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

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

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

“Whiles I was Speaking and Praying”

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

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

See also Desire of Ages, 234.

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

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

“Seventy Weeks are Determined”

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

NOTE: “The word here translated ‘determined’ literally signifies ‘cut off.’ Seventy weeks, representing 490 years, are declared by the angel to be cut off, as specially pertaining to the Jews. But from what were they cut off? As the 2300 days was the only period of time mentioned in chapter 8, it must be the period from which the seventy weeks were cut off; the seventy weeks must therefore be a part of the 2300 days, and the two periods must begin together.” Great Controversy, 326.

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

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

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

NOTE: “The seventy weeks were declared by the angel to date from the going forth of the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem. If the date of this commandment could be found, then the starting point for the great period of the 2300 days would be ascertained. In the seventh chapter of Ezra the decree is found. Verses 12–26. In its completest form it was issued by Artaxerxes, king of Persia, 457bc. But in Ezra 6:14 the house of the Lord at Jerusalem is said to have been built ‘according to the commandment of Cyrus, and Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia.’ These three kings, in originating, reaffirming, and completing the decree, brought it to the perfection required by the prophecy to mark the beginning of the 2300 years. Taking 457bc, the time when the decree was completed, as the date of the commandment, every specification of the prophecy concerning the seventy weeks was seen to have been fulfilled.” Great Controversy, 326.

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

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

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

NOTE: See Great Controversy, 327, 328.

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

NOTE: See Great Controversy, 35.

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

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

Bible Study Guides – The Vision of the Wheels

June 28, 2009 – July 4, 2009

Key Text

“The appearance of the wheels and their work [was] like unto the color of a beryl: and they four had one likeness: and their appearance and their work [was] as it were a wheel in the middle of a wheel.” Ezekiel 1:16.

Study Help: Education, 173–184; Testimonies, vol. 5, 750–754.


“Those who have many talents and those who have few are to work unitedly, as a wheel within a wheel. And if all feel their responsibility and accountability to God, they will do His will, acting their part according to His appointment.” Medical Ministry, 201.

1 Under what mournful circumstances was the prophet Ezekiel given his first vision? Ezekiel 1:1–3.

Note: “This vision [of the wheels within the wheels] was given to Ezekiel at a time when his mind was filled with gloomy forebodings. He saw the land of his fathers lying desolate. The city that was once full of people was no longer inhabited. The voice of mirth and the song of praise were no more heard within her walls. The prophet himself was a stranger in a strange land, where boundless ambition and savage cruelty reigned supreme. That which he saw and heard of human tyranny and wrong distressed his soul, and he mourned bitterly day and night.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 752.

2 Describe what Ezekiel saw. Ezekiel 1:4–7. What factor in Ezekiel’s vision had special significance in the days of the prophet, and what does it mean in our day? Ezekiel 1:8.

Note: “While nations have rejected God’s principles, and in this rejection have wrought their own ruin, yet a divine, overruling purpose has manifestly been at work throughout the ages. It was this that the prophet Ezekiel saw in the wonderful representation given him during his exile in the land of the Chaldeans, when before his astonished gaze were portrayed the symbols that revealed an overruling Power that has to do with the affairs of earthly rulers.” Prophets and Kings, 535.

“The wheellike complications that appeared to the prophet to be involved in such confusion were under the guidance of an infinite hand. The Spirit of God, revealed to him as moving and directing these wheels, brought harmony out of confusion; so the whole world was under His control. Myriads of glorified beings were ready at His word to overrule the power and policy of evil men, and bring good to His faithful ones.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 752.

“In Ezekiel’s vision God had His hand beneath the wings of the cherubim. This is to teach His servants that it is divine power that gives them success. He will work with them if they will put away iniquity and become pure in heart and life.” Ibid., 754.

3 What realization of the psalmist parallels Ezekiel’s vision and why should it echo in our hearts? Psalm 121:1–4.

Note: “He who slumbers not, who is continually at work for the accomplishment of His designs, can carry forward His great work harmoniously. That which appears to finite minds entangled and complicated, the Lord’s hand can keep in perfect order. He can devise ways and means to thwart the purposes of wicked men, and He will bring to confusion the counsels of them that plot mischief against His people.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 754.

4 What assurance does God extend to us in seeking to promote His cause on the earth? Matthew 28:20; Romans 8:31.

Note: “We permit ourselves to feel altogether too much care, trouble, and perplexity in the Lord’s work. We need to trust Him, believe in Him, and go forward. The tireless vigilance of the heavenly messengers, their unceasing employment in their ministry in connection with the beings of earth, show us how God’s hand is guiding the wheel within a wheel. The divine Instructor is saying to every actor in His work, as He said to Cyrus of old, ‘I girded thee, though thou hast not known me.’ [Isaiah 45:5.]” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 1161.

5 Of what should the hand beneath the wheels in Ezekiel’s vision remind us? Jeremiah 32:27.

Note: “God is acquainted with every man. Could our eyes be opened we would see that eternal justice is at work in our world. A powerful influence, not under man’s control, is working. Man may fancy that he is directing matters, but there are higher than human influences at work. The servants of God know that He is working to counteract Satan’s plans. Those who know not God cannot comprehend His movements. There is at work a wheel within a wheel. Apparently the complication of machinery is so intricate that man can see only a complete entanglement. But the divine hand, as seen by the prophet Ezekiel, is placed upon the wheels, and every part moves in complete harmony, each doing its specified work, yet with individual freedom of action.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 1161.

6 Describe the creatures which Ezekiel saw, and explain the significance of their appearance as a flash of lightning. Ezekiel 1:9–14; Hebrews 1:7.

Note: “The bright light going among the living creatures with the swiftness of lightning represents the speed with which this work will finally go forward to completion.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 754.

7 How is efficiency depicted in Ezekiel’s vision? Ezekiel 1:15–21.

Note: “The striking feature of divine operations is the accomplishment of the greatest work that can be done in our world by very simple means. It is God’s plan that every part of His government shall depend on every other part, the whole as a wheel within a wheel, working with entire harmony. He moves upon human forces, causing His Spirit to touch invisible chords, and the vibration rings to the extremity of the universe.” Evangelism, 93.

8 How else is this principle described? Zechariah 4:10.

Note: “God often uses the simplest means to accomplish the greatest results. It is His plan that every part of His work shall depend on every other part, as a wheel within a wheel, all acting in harmony. The humblest worker, moved by the Holy Spirit, will touch invisible chords, whose vibrations will ring to the ends of the earth, and make melody through eternal ages.” The Desire of Ages, 822, 823.

9 What else did Ezekiel see and hear in this vision? Ezekiel 1:22–25. Describe the most glorious aspect of the scene, and explain how it can encourage us today. Ezekiel 1:26, 27.

Note: “We are standing on the threshold of great and solemn events. Prophecy is fast fulfilling. … Those who are making an effort to change the Constitution and secure a law enforcing Sunday observance little realize what will be the result. A crisis is just upon us.

“But God’s servants are not to trust to themselves in this great emergency. In the visions given to Isaiah, to Ezekiel, and to John we see how closely heaven is connected with the events taking place upon the earth and how great is the care of God for those who are loyal to Him. The world is not without a ruler. The program of coming events is in the hands of the Lord. The Majesty of heaven has the destiny of nations, as well as the concerns of His church, in His own charge.

“We permit ourselves to feel altogether too much care, trouble, and perplexity in the Lord’s work. Finite men are not left to carry the burden of responsibility. We need to trust in God, believe in Him, and go forward.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 753, 754.

10 What scene did Ezekiel finally behold, and how did he respond? Ezekiel 1:28.

Note: “There were wheels within wheels in an arrangement so complicated that at first sight they appeared to Ezekiel to be all in confusion. But when they moved, it was with beautiful exactness and in perfect harmony. Heavenly beings were impelling these wheels, and, above all, upon the glorious sapphire throne, was the Eternal One; while round about the throne was the encircling rainbow, emblem of grace and love. Overpowered by the terrible glory of the scene, Ezekiel fell upon his face, when a voice bade him arise and hear the word of the Lord. Then there was given him a message of warning for Israel.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 751.

“A rainbow is represented in Heaven round about the throne, also above the head of Christ, as a symbol of God’s mercy encompassing the earth. When man, by his great wickedness provokes the wrath of God, Christ, man’s intercessor, pleads for him, and points to the rainbow in the cloud, as evidence of God’s great mercy and compassion for erring man; also the rainbow above the throne and upon His head, emblematical of the glory and mercy from God resting there for the benefit of repentant man.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 1, 78.

Additional Reading

“These lessons are for our benefit. We need to stay our faith upon God, for there is just before us a time that will try men’s souls. Christ, upon the Mount of Olives, rehearsed the fearful judgments that were to precede His second coming: ‘Ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars.’ ‘Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.’ [Mark 13:7, 8.] While these prophecies received a partial fulfillment at the destruction of Jerusalem, they have a more direct application to the last days.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 753.

“Every nation that has come upon the stage of action has been permitted to occupy its place on the earth, that the fact might be determined whether it would fulfill the purposes of the Watcher and the Holy One. Prophecy has traced the rise and progress of the world’s great empires—Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. With each of these, as with the nations of less power, history has repeated itself. Each has had its period of test; each has failed, its glory faded, its power departed.” Prophets and Kings, 535.

“All that prophecy has foretold as coming to pass, until the present time, has been traced on the pages of history, and we may be assured that all which is yet to come will be fulfilled in its order.” Prophets and Kings, 536.

“The day of doom for the kingdom of Judah was fast approaching. No longer could the Lord set before them the hope of averting the severest of His judgments. ‘Should ye be utterly unpunished?’ He inquired. ‘Ye shall not be unpunished.’ Jeremiah 25:29.

“Even these words were received with mocking derision. ‘The days are prolonged, and every vision faileth,’ [Ezekiel 12:22] declared the impenitent. But through Ezekiel this denial of the sure word of prophecy was sternly rebuked. ‘Tell them,’ the Lord declared, ‘I will make this proverb to cease, and they shall no more use it as a proverb in Israel; but say unto them, The days are at hand, and the effect of every vision. For there shall be no more any vain vision nor flattering divination within the house of Israel. For I am the Lord: I will speak, and the word that I shall speak shall come to pass; it shall be no more prolonged: for in your days, O rebellious house, will I say the word, and will perform it, saith the Lord God.’ [Ezekiel 12:23–25.]

“ ‘Again,’ testifies Ezekiel, ‘the word of the Lord came to me, saying, Son of man, behold, they of the house of Israel say, The vision that he seeth is for many days to come, and he prophesieth of the times that are far off. Therefore say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; There shall none of My words be prolonged any more, but the word which I have spoken shall be done, saith the Lord God.’ Ezekiel 12:22–28.” Prophets and Kings, 450.

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

Keys to the Storehouse – Two Precious Miracles

Sight is a gift that God has bestowed upon man. Each has been blessed with two eyes to see and appreciate the wonders of His creation. Satan loves to use these two most precious miracles to pervert our conception of God. For the majority of the time we are surrounded by distractions carefully designed to keep us under his control, “for out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.” Matthew 15:19. Does the glitter and sparkle of this world attract your attention so much that you are drawn in and allow your eyes to be fixed on those things that Satan has designed to defile and corrupt your heart and mind? Sincere prayer is needed for that eyesalve which gives the spiritual discernment to see the deceptions of the devil. Once our eyes have been healed and opened through Jesus Christ our Savior, those things that once attracted our attention will be distasteful and we will refuse to open the door of our eyesight to the entire world with its foibles or character flaws. The eyes are one of the avenues to the soul of man and much caution is required for their protection.

It must always be remembered that the devil wants our eyes to be attracted to this world in such a way as to cause our whole body and mind, which is the temple of God, to be poisoned. David said, “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes.” Psalm 101:3. This principle treasured in each heart and practiced daily will guard the eyes and protect the soul.

Exercise good judgment in selecting reading material or watching that which will properly nourish the soul with heavenly food so that our talents can be used to give glory to God. “I hope you will take special care of your eyes, for they are a great treasure. We can lose a limb, but if we have our eyesight, we can still find something with which to employ our time. But to lose the sight is a dreadful loss.

“The Lord is good to me, very good. He has preserved my health and strength, and even though I am seventy-eight years of age, I can still rise before day, and write for hours before breakfast. My eyes trouble me somewhat if I take cold, but if I am careful; I can do a great deal of work.

“Mabel, do not devote the precious talent of sight to reading that which you cannot use, and will not benefit you. The life of the soul cannot be sustained unless right food is given it. The mind must be properly fed.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 3, 135.

Remember today that our minds must be properly fed. The voluminous hay and straw which the devil continually presents will only harm and eventually destroy the temple of God. This is exactly what the devil would have happen.

Pray each day:

“Lord, I choose right now to set no thing before my eyes that will pull my heart earthward or that would waste the precious moments you have given me this day to reflect your character. I appreciate so much this precious talent of sight and I do not want to use it in any way that would give glory to the devil, but in ways that will result in heavenly beams shining to all around me.” Amen.

Bible Study Guides – Unbalanced Minds

February 6, 2011 – February 12, 2011

Key Text

“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.

Study Help: The Great Controversy, 511–517; The Desire of Ages, 631.


“It was Satan’s purpose to mingle truth with error, that through these deceptive exercises he might make of none effect the genuine work of God.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 77, 78.

1 Why are the warnings given in Matthew 24:4 and Isaiah 8:20 so important for our time?

Note: “I would say to our dear brethren who have been so eager to accept everything that came in the form of visions and dreams, Beware that you be not ensnared. Read the warnings that have been given by the world’s Redeemer to His disciples to be given again by them to the world. The Word of God is solid rock, and we may plant our feet securely upon it. Every soul must needs be tested, every faith and doctrine must needs be tried by the law and the testimony. Take heed that no man deceive you. The warnings of Christ on this matter are needed at this time; for delusions and deceptions will come in among us, and will multiply as we near the end.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 952.

2 How were dreams and visions used to deceive Israel, and what should we learn from this? Jeremiah 23:25–27.

Note: “There will be false dreams and false visions, which have some truth, but lead away from the original faith. The Lord has given men a rule by which to detect them: [Isaiah 8:20 quoted]. If they belittle the law of God, if they pay no heed to His will as revealed in the testimonies of His Spirit, they are deceivers.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 98.

3 How has God warned His people about false dreams and visions, and why does Satan use them? Jeremiah 29:8, 9.

Note: “After a very solemn meeting with these deceived ones [who claimed to have from God messages of reproof to others], confessions were made that they threw themselves into attitudes resembling Sister White, as nearly as they could. It was all a farce, a deception. Yet many things they told came to pass as they predicted.

“I was asked how this could be if the visions were all false. I told them that it was Satan’s purpose to mingle truth with error, that through these deceptive exercises he might make of none effect the genuine work of God. From that time all their many visions ceased. What has become of those who had the visions, and those who encouraged them? Several now living are skeptics, have no belief in the gifts of the church, no faith in the truth, no religion at all. Such, I have been shown, is the sure result of spurious visions.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 77, 78.

4 What do we know about the different categories of dreams mentioned in the Word of God? Ecclesiastes 5:3; Jeremiah 23:32; I Kings 3:5.

Note: “There are many dreams arising 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. Such dreams, taking into the account the persons who have them, and the circumstances under which they are given, contain their own proofs of their genuineness.’ ” Testimonies, vol. 5, 658.

5 What were true prophets called in old times, and why? I Samuel 9:9; Numbers 12:6; 24:16, 17.

Note: “To Christ ‘give all the prophets witness.’ Acts 10:43. From the promise given to Adam, down through the patriarchal line and the legal economy, heaven’s glorious light made plain the footsteps of the Redeemer. Seers beheld the Star of Bethlehem, the Shiloh to come, as future things swept before them in mysterious procession.” The Desire of Ages, 211, 212.

6 What will some hold as revelations from God? Ezekiel 13:7, 8.

Note: “Let none cherish the idea that special providences or miraculous manifestations are to be the proof of the genuineness of their work or of the ideas they advocate. When persons will speak lightly of the word of God, and set their impressions, feelings, and exercises above the divine standard, we may know that they have no light in them.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 146.

“They [who are deceivers that belittle the law of God] are controlled by impulse and impressions, which they believe to be from the Holy Spirit, and consider more reliable than the Inspired Word. They claim that every thought and feeling is an impression of the Spirit; and when they are reasoned with out of the Scriptures, they declare that they have something more reliable. But while they think that they are led by the Spirit of God, they are in reality following an imagination wrought upon by Satan.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 98, 99.

7 With what presumptuous claim will many try to justify their course of action in the last days? Acts 8:9, 10.

8 What consequences result from the influence of those refusing to accept the counsel of godly brethren? Isaiah 50:11.

Note: “I have been shown many who will claim to be especially taught of God, and will attempt to lead others, and from mistaken ideas of duty they will undertake a work that God has never laid upon them. Confusion will be the result. Let everyone seek God most earnestly for himself that he may individually understand His will.

“There will be those who will claim to have visions. When God gives you clear evidence that the vision is from Him, you may accept it, but do not accept it on any other evidence.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 72.

“These teachers follow the sparks of their own kindling, move according to their own independent judgment, and cumber the truth with false notions and theories. They refuse the counsel of their brethren, and press on in their own way until they become just what Satan would desire to have them—unbalanced in mind. …

“The great adversary of God and man [Satan] is exulting today that he has succeeded in deceiving souls, and in diverting their means and ability into harmful channels.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 56.

9 What contrast can be seen between the words of Paul in Philippians 3:12–14 and some professed Christians today?

Note: “The apostle Paul had been caught up to the third heaven and had seen and heard things that could not be uttered, and yet his unassuming statement is: ‘Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after.’ Philippians 3:12. Let the angels of heaven write of Paul’s victories in fighting the good fight of faith. Let heaven rejoice in his steadfast tread heavenward, and that, keeping the prize in view, he counts every other consideration dross. Angels rejoice to tell his triumphs, but Paul makes no boast of his attainments. The attitude of Paul is the attitude that every follower of Christ should take as he urges his way onward in the strife for the immortal crown.” The Acts of the Apostles, 562.

“None of the apostles or prophets ever claimed to be without sin. Men who have lived nearest to God, men who would sacrifice life itself rather than knowingly commit a wrong act, men whom God had honored with divine light and power, have confessed the sinfulness of their own nature. They have put no confidence in the flesh, have claimed no righteousness of their own, but have trusted wholly in the righteousness of Christ. So will it be with all who behold Christ.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 160.

10 What do we know about anyone who claims sanctification above the possibility of committing sin? I John 1:8–10.

Note: “Let the recording angels write the history of the holy struggles and conflicts of the people of God; let them record their prayers and tears; but let not God be dishonored by the declaration from human lips, ‘I am sinless; I am holy.’ Sanctified lips will never give utterance to such presumptuous words. …

“Let those who feel inclined to make a high profession of holiness look into the mirror of God’s law. As they see its far-reaching claims, and understand its work as a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart, they will not boast of sinlessness. ‘If we,’ says John, not separating himself from his brethren, ‘say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.’ ‘If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.’ I John 1:8, 10.” The Acts of the Apostles, 561, 562.

11 Explain one major contrast to help us discern between the Spirit of God and Satan’s counterfeit. I Kings 19:12, 13; 18:26, 28; I Corinthians 14:33, 40.

Note: “Mere noise and shouting are no evidence of sanctification, or of the descent of the Holy Spirit. …

“The Lord desires to have in His service order and discipline, not excitement and confusion.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 35.

“The things you have described as taking place in Indiana, the Lord has shown me would take place just before the close of probation. Every uncouth thing will be demonstrated. There will be shouting, with drums, music, and dancing. The senses of rational beings will become so confused that they cannot be trusted to make right decisions. And this is called the moving of the Holy Spirit.

“The Holy Spirit never reveals itself in such methods, in such a bedlam of noise. This is an invention of Satan to cover up his ingenious methods for making of none effect the pure, sincere, elevating, ennobling, sanctifying truth for this time.” Ibid., 36.

12 How can we distinguish between the true gift of tongues and the false one? Acts 2:6–8; I Corinthians 14:9; Isaiah 8:19.

Note: “Some of these persons [a certain class of Sabbathkeepers] have exercises which they call gifts and say that the Lord has placed them in the church. They have an unmeaning gibberish which they call the unknown tongue, which is unknown not only by man but by the Lord and all heaven. Such gifts are manufactured by men and women, aided by the great deceiver. Fanaticism, false excitement, false talking in tongues, and noisy exercises have been considered gifts which God has placed in the church. Some have been deceived here.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 412.

Review and Thought Questions:

1 How can we stand firm against all of Satan’s delusions?

2 For what purpose does Satan mingle truth with error?

3 What boastful claims are made by professed believers controlled by feelings, impressions and imaginations?

4 If order and discipline in a meeting are replaced by excitement and confusion, what spirit is leading?

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


Children’s Story – God Chose One Weak

Over 160 years ago, before there were any Seventh-day Adventists, something very wonderful and special happened. God’s true people had just experienced a bitter disappointment. They had studied their Bibles deeply and carefully and learned that Jesus was going to clean His sanctuary. These sincere Bible students thought the earth was the sanctuary to be cleansed. They thought it meant that Jesus was coming back to this earth, and they were so excited and happy. However, there was one problem. They did not understand what the sanctuary was or where it was. Jesus did not come to this earth as they expected. What a disappointment! Anyone who has ever looked forward to a very special visitor coming to visit, and they never arrive, can well understand the feeling. That is how it was for these people, only far worse. The special guest they had anticipated was Jesus, and He did not come, at least not in the way they had expected.

When Jesus did not return, many quit following Him. But there were some who remained true and were deeply troubled. They wondered where they had been mistaken. Jesus loved these people dearly. He knew their sincerity. So He did something extraordinary for His dear ones.

One day, as a young seventeen-year-old girl, Ellen Harmon was earnestly praying with four friends. They became alarmed when Ellen quit breathing and had no awareness of her surroundings. They soon noticed that though Ellen was not breathing, her pulse was regular, her skin was healthy looking, and her eyes were open and looking at something as though far off in the distance. They watched and waited. What they did not know at the time was that Ellen was experiencing a heavenly vision. God was showing and telling her special things.

When the vision was over, Ellen told her friends what she had seen. God had shown her the travels of His children on their way to the heavenly city. The friends were so happy and praised God for His goodness. Ellen herself was happy, thinking her duty done. However, one week later, the same angel visited her again and told her God wanted her to share with others what she had been shown.

At that time a group of believers were meeting in the home of Ellen’s parents for Bible study and prayer. The leader asked Ellen to tell the group what God had shown her. Now, Ellen became afraid. She was just a young girl and very weak as a result of a serious accident that had occurred when she was nine years old.

Because of her fear, like Jonah, she ran. On the day of the meeting she got into a sleigh and traveled four miles to the home of a friend. Alone, in an upstairs room she spent the entire day praying to be released from her duty. Finally, near evening, she surrendered to God’s will, promising to share what she had been shown. By the time she arrived home the meeting was over. But when they met again, Ellen faithfully related what God had shown her in vision. This brought great happiness and comfort to the faithful believers.

A few days later, Ellen’s father noticed she was still troubled. When questioned, she talked of how God had told her to share with others what she had seen. She wondered why the Lord had chosen someone weak, young, poor, and having no one with whom to travel. How could she do what the Lord asked? Who would arrange the meetings and how could the people ever hear her soft, hoarse voice. Besides, she felt that the people would only laugh at her.

As Ellen bemoaned the difficulties, feeling weak and frail indeed, her father tenderly spoke to her. “Ellen, if God has called you to do a work for Him, He will make you strong enough to do it, and He will open a way for you to begin. We will pray for you in our meeting tonight.”

That very night, as they prayed, God sent her fresh courage to do His work. She was willing to do anything, go anywhere, if she could only have the smile of Jesus on her.

Just a couple days later, Ellen’s brother-in-law came in a sleigh from 30 miles away, asking her to visit them. Ellen saw God’s hand opening the way to fulfill His call and gladly went. Though the air was icy and her breathing painful due to the cold, she was happy because she was obeying God’s will. When Ellen stood to speak, she tried for five minutes to share her vision, but her voice was so weak and hoarse that it could barely be heard. Suddenly, her voice rang out clear and loud. For two hours she shared about the travels of God’s people on their way to heaven, the second coming of Jesus and the glories of heaven. When she sat down, her voice became weak and hoarse again.

Many people wondered why the Lord chose someone so weak, so frail to do His work. But when they heard the miracle of her voice, they knew the message was from the Lord. They knew that God had strengthened her to give them evidence of His power and care for them.

For many years God worked through Ellen. Through her He sent many messages of hope, comfort, guidance, instruction, even warnings and reproof, always in love, to protect His people and lead them to the heavenly home with Him.

Story adapted from Stories of My Grandmother, by Ella M. Robinson, Review and Herald Publishing, Takoma Park, Maryland

Children’s Story – You Can’t Fool God

During the early years of Adventism, there was much confusion of belief, many false ideas, and much fanaticism. Through Satan, many things were taught that were opposite to what Jesus and the Bible teach. God, because He loves us, sent a special messenger to help straighten out these false and fanatical beliefs. Her name was Ellen (Harmon) White.

This story recounts how two fanatical people tried to trick Ellen, to escape hearing God’s messages through her, and to keep others from hearing as well. But while they could have tricked Ellen, they could not trick God.

One day a man, Otis Nichols, from Dorchester, Massachusetts, visited the Harmon home. He asked that Ellen and Sarah, her sister, visit them. They wanted to hear about Ellen’s visions and, if possible, put an end to the fanatical teachings of two men living and preaching in their area.

When Mr. Nichols returned to his home in Dorchester, Ellen and Sarah went with him. Soon after arriving, two men knocked on the door on a business errand. Upon finishing their business, they asked Mr. Nichols if they could stay the night. Mr. Nichols, happy with the request, invited them in, explaining that they would get to meet and visit with the Harmon sisters.

Remarkably, the two men, Mr. Robbins and Mr. Sargent, quickly decided that they had urgent business that would prevent their staying the night. Disappointed, Mr. Nichols said, “Too bad, but you will have a chance to meet the sisters in Boston. We’re planning to bring Sister Ellen with us to speak to the company on Sabbath.” The two men said that was fine, and they would spread the word and meet them there.

That evening during family worship, God gave Ellen a vision, in which He told her that on Sabbath, rather than going to Boston as planned, she was to go to Randolph, about ten miles south of Boston.

Mr. Nichols was alarmed and protested, reminding her of all the people already notified and eagerly looking forward to hearing about her visions. Calmly she replied that she would do as God had bidden her and that He would make clear the reasons after their arrival in Randolph.

What Ellen, Sarah and Mr. Nichols did not know, but the Lord knew, was that upon leaving Mr. Nichols’ home, Mr. Robbins and Mr. Sargent, rather than keeping their word to spread the news of Miss Harmon speaking in Boston, had announced that there would be no meeting in Boston but that the meeting would instead be in Randolph.

Sabbath morning, eager men, women and children gathered at a believer’s home for worship. Happy in outwitting the Harmon sisters and Mr. Nichols, Mr. Sargent, who did most of the speaking, was sharing his fanatical views. He also told the people, “You have heard about those visions of Ellen Harmon. Don’t listen to them; they are of the devil.” As he was speaking, there was a knock on the door. Imagine the astonishment and dismay of the speaker and his colleague when in walked Ellen, Sarah and Mr. Nichols! Stopping in the middle of a sentence, Mr. Sargent turned to Mr. Robbins, requesting him to announce the closing hymn and stating that they would meet again after lunch.

Mealtime soon over, the people eagerly gathered again in the meeting room awaiting what would follow. During opening prayer, the Lord gave Ellen another vision. Nothing could have displeased the two fanatical preachers more. They knew that Ellen was against their strange teachings. Something, they thought, must be done to take the attention off Ellen and her vision. Mr. Robbins stood up and, announcing a hymn, began to sing, but few joined him. Mr. Sargent also attempted to distract the people. Picking up a Bible, he began reading in a loud voice. Someone from the audience requested, “Will you please stop singing and reading. We want to hear what Sister Ellen is saying.”

Desperate to distract, they continued shouting and singing until both were hoarse and so shaky that they could scarcely hold their books. During that time, Ellen’s voice “rang out clear and distinct. Every word could be heard.” All could see that she was under God’s control. They noticed her dignified manner. They noticed, to their shock, that she was not breathing, even when she spoke. They recognized that the words she spoke, far from being of the devil, were words full of encouragement, light and truth.

Mr. Thayer, who owned the home where the meeting took place, stood up. He said, “I have been told that visions which come from Satan can be stopped by laying an open Bible on the person having the vision. Mr. Sargent, will you make this test?”

“I will not!” was the reply.

At that point Ellen was sitting in a chair resting comfortably against the wall. Mr. Thayer, picking up a large family Bible, approached Ellen and placed the Bible on her chest. Immediately she lifted that heavy Bible over her head in one hand and proclaimed, “The inspired testimony from God!”

For an entire hour she held that heavy Bible above her head with one hand and, while speaking, turned the pages with her other hand, pointing at the pages.

Someone exclaimed, “Let’s see if she is pointing at, and quoting the texts correctly!” With eager anticipation someone brought a chair. One at a time different people climbed up on that chair to see, exclaiming in astonishment, “Sister Ellen is turning the pages and pointing her finger at the very texts she is using. Without looking, she is quoting correctly!” As the vision was about to close, nearly four hours later, Ellen began sharing scenes relating to the punishment of the wicked. Mr. Sargent and Mr. Robbins became troubled and silent. The hushed audience waited, hoping and praying. Would they confess? Sadly, they did not. But did they fool God? Not for a moment. God knew all along and in His love and providence brought true light to those who sincerely love Him.

Story adapted from Stories of My Grandmother, by Ella M. Robinson, Review and Herald Publishing Association, Hagerstown, Maryland.