Bible Study Guides – God’s Omniscience Of Earthly Affairs

November 7, 2009 – November 13, 2009

Key Text

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“As we near the close of this world’s history, the prophecies recorded by Daniel demand our special attention, as they relate to the very time in which we are living. With them should be linked the teachings of the last book of the New Testament Scriptures.” Ibid., 547.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Additional Reading

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

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

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

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