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Friday: Further Thought ~ From Dust to Stars — 9 Comments

  1. Well, we have come to the end of the quarter and it has been an interesting study. Personally I have put more effort into studying this set of lessons than I have for quite some time, mainly because I have not previously taken the time to check the history that we have associated with the prophecies. If anything, I am a little more wary of some of the dates e use but not the intent of the prophecies. Further, I am convinced more than ever that currently, we have a golden opportunity to show true Christianity to Catholic Christians who have become disenchanted with their church. Who knows that at this time we are seeing a direct fulfilment of:

    A second angel followed and said, “‘Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great,’ which made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries." Rev 14:8 NIV


    Then I heard another voice from heaven say:
    “‘Come out of her, my people,’
    so that you will not share in her sins,
    so that you will not receive any of her plagues;
    for her sins are piled up to heaven,
    and God has remembered her crimes." Rev 18:4,5 NIV

    And maybe we have been raised up as a church for just such a time as this. The question that I ask myself is "Are we really prepared for this situation, or are we going to stand on the high moral ground admiring the view and saying, "We told you so!"

    Finally, the judgement for us is not about when it happens but about where we have placed our faith, evidenced in such simple acts as giving cups of water in Jesus name. How do we action our faith?

  2. Yes,let us not blame individuals for what others of their group have done. A member of my family blamed Christians as a group for bring covid to his area because a few were foolish and gathered together and thus spread the virus.

    • This is such an "Eden-time" sort of feeling. We blame others when we cannot deal with the anguish, the guilt, the frustration in ourselves. And these feelings come out of what we can say self-protection. In order do deviate from our own, we tend to blame others. This is what happened at Eden, and will happen at the end too! We know that at the end, a people with different attitude and courage will be blamed for all the troubles that the mankind has brought to itself. This virus is here because men has distorted God's counseling on food, for example. On the other hand, if we look at the real origin of this mess, there was a lot of people going hungry in the 80's because of a political regime. Afterall, the origin of all of this is sin. And sin goes back to ego. Ego try to excuse itself always! May we allow God to control ourselves more than ever, and may we place ego under the shadow of Christ's love! Look at another example, I'm feeling so sad because it seems that as a person I'm not doing all that I should in society because of this crisis. Also, I try to get my Sabbath School Class to meet virtually tomorrow, and people decided that other church program was more important. Then I really became even more frustrated. To me, the heart of the church is in the Sabbath School, then I tend to think that this is not what my colleagues think... Nevertheless, I cannot blame others, I have to continue to move on, and believing that God will provide for us all individually. May we all pass this test/life and be found worthy...

  3. Hopefully, the end of this quarter is the beginning of our deeper look individually into this great prophecy through Daniel (and John in the Revelation) as these things are soon to come upon the world. (Ellen states this study should take "first place" in the minds of God's people.)

    The two key verses in Daniel that missed notice in the quarterly are Dan 2:21; 12:10. We must be wise, which is contrasted with being wicked. Only the wise are given wisdom, and only the wise "will understand". In Daniel 1 we saw how the young men acquired an experience that made them "10 times wiser", and here in Daniel 12, we see the great need for this wisdom, which Solomon tells us "is the principle thing" we must acquire(Prov 4:7).

    The final question above requires this wisdom to understand correctly. The first 6 chapters of Daniel demonstrate the true nature and results of receiving the Gospel, which will be seen in all we do and say, especially in trials of faith. Paul writes that we should "be not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is". Isn't this what the young men followed in Daniel 1, which kept them faithful in every trial? If we do not gain self-control over the simple things, the severe trials that threaten life itself will be impossible to face with "strong confidence.

    Valuable lessons in the experience and visions of Daniel, the servant of God.

    • Very good to see you back Robert. I do enjoy your thoughts, they bring to us the essence of preparedness to meet our Lord and Saviour, as a result of choosing the right side. May I interject how to acquire wisdom and gain self control. Some one in the congregation I was at a month or so before COVID-19 made its way to the U.S. yelled out surrender. Yes that is the essence, but the details are left out.

      I like lists in this case, steps to wisdom from God, and self control, Christ, salvation, and eternal life.

      1. One way or another, a desire for Truth is sparked within us, we see the love of God in a friend who does a kind deed, or maybe just smiles in passing by, or maybe in nature, mathematics, or physics. Maybe the love of God is seen in a mother and father who have just brought a new addition to the family into this world. We are then drawn to Bible study and prayer, and ultimately to the foot of the Cross, where we see the unparalleled love that God gave to us in the form of His only Son.

      2. If we do not resist the revelation of Gods love we are driven by this love to give of ourselves to Christ without reserve. Then Christ with all the treasures of heaven gives Himself to us.

      3. We seek salvation. We cannot earn salvation, but it helps us in our journey to wisdom from on high and self control to seek salvation as if it were the most valuable possession we ever pursued.

      4. We ask for Christ to give us power, love, and of a sound mind. Thus we can surrender bad habits. Thus we die to self that Christ may live in us. Thus we take up the Cross of Christ and follow in the path of self denial and sacrifice(wisdom and self control).

      5. Allow the Holy Spirit to reveal to us the preciousness of Christ. Thus Christ is sought and found. The Holy Spirit has brought to us the realization of Christ majesty and power. We stretch forth our hands to Him and say, we believe.

      6. We now see Jesus. We visualize Him as our Prince and Saviour, to give us repentance and forgiveness from our sins. We visualize Him encircled with the glory of heaven, with infinite treasures in His hands to bestow upon all who would turn from their rebellion.

      7. Engulfed with the power of the Holy Spirit, we go out and tell the world of our risen Saviour and what He has done for us. In the midst of this our self control is, and wisdom is magnified by the One who gives all to us because we have surrendered to Him.

      I appreciate everyone’s contribution this quarter, we are blessed.

      May grace (God’s unmerited favor) and spiritual peace [which means peace with God and harmony, unity, and undisturbedness] be ours from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 1:2. ampc.

  4. Most of Dan 10 is devoted to revealing the unseen ‘warfare’ in the heavenly realm that is involved in what becomes earth’s history. We should be able to correctly apply or interpret Dan 12:1 Who are the “your people” to be delivered. They are the same ones spoken of in Dan 9:24; 10:14: “70 sevens are decreed for ‘your people’... to bring in everlasting salvation...”; and “... what will happen to ‘your people’ in the latter/end-of days.” In Dan 10 we are given a preview of Dan 12:1.
    The scene is Michael (prince of Israel) and an angel warring with the prince of Persia concerning Cyrus, king of Persia. These are angelic forces who act in support or pursuit of the purposes of either God or Satan (Dan 10:21). God’s purpose here was completing the restoration/deliverance of “your people”, the Jews/Israel, from Babylonian captivity. Who is the *Deliverer* in the scene? Michael or Cyrus?
    God said of Cyrus, about 200 years before his reign: “... who says of Jerusalem, ‘She shall be inhabited!’ And of the cities of Judah,’They shall be built’. And I will raise up her ruins/desolation”. Who says of Cyrus, ‘My shepherd! He will perform all My desire’. And says of Jerusalem, ‘She will be built’, and of the temple, ‘Your foundation will be laid.’”(Isa 44:26,28). “Thus says the Lord to Cyrus, His Anointed, whom I have taken by the right hand to subdue nations before him, to loose the loins of kings; to open doors before him... I will go before you and make the rough places smooth... for the sake ... of Israel my chosen ... I have aroused him in righteousness and I will make all his ways smooth; he will build My city and will let My exiles go free ... Israel has been saved by the Lord with an everlasting salvation ... In the Lord all the offspring/seed of Israel will be justified/vindicated and will glory.” (Isa 45:1-25).
    God presents Cyrus altogether as His Messiah/Deliverer bringing everlasting salvation. All things in Scripture point to Christ (Jn 5:39,40; Lk 24:25-27, 44-49). In chap. 9 Daniel was praying anticipating the liberation of the Jews from the 70 years captivity in Babylon. But God reveals to him the greater eternal deliverance through Christ to take place 70 weeks of years later (Dan 9:24,25). He learned of the ruining and rebuilding/restoration of the heavenly temple/sanctuary (Jn 2:14-22; Dan 9:26,27; 8:11-13,23-26; Acts 15:14-18); of the laying of the foundation of the kingdom (Dan 2:44,45; Jer 51:25,26; Rom 9:33; 1 Cor 3:11; Rev 21:14...); of the vindication or justification of the sanctuary (Dan 8:14; Jn 2:19; Rom 4:24 - 5:2; Dan 7:13,14; Matt 21:37-44). It was because of transgression that the people were given over to the Horn (Dan 8:12). They had been given over to Babylon for the same reason (Dan 9:5-14; Dt 4:26-30; Lev 26:14-45). God gave them over to their enemies. This time their enemy was in their own house (Matt 10:36; Mic 7:5,6). God had declared that He would give them over to a “foolish shepherd” (Zch 11:4,15-17) from whom He, Himself, would redeem His sheep (Ezk 34:10,11,21,22; Jer 23:1-6; Jn 10:10,11,14-18).
    Christ was “numbered with the transgressors”(Isa 53:12; Lk 22:36,37) and opposed by the Horn. From the outset of His ministry we saw how the angels ministered to Him. They strengthened and encouraged Him in His 40 day trial in the wilderness, as the angel did for Darius, the other deliverer (Dan 11:1). There the angel arose/stood to strengthen/encourage and protect Darius. This wilderness trial typified Christ’s whole 31/2 years ministry in Israel. Wilderness represented Jerusalem’s desolation as prophesied. The wild animals of the wilderness represented Satan, scribes, priests, Pharisees (Mk 3:13; Matt 3:7; Lk 3:7; 23:33). Israel had joined the nations, God’s enemies (Hos 7:8,9; Ezek 23:30; Lam 1:3; 2:9; Acts 4:25-28). When does Michael arise/stand? (Remember the prince of Persia “stood” against the angel for 21 days in Dan 10:13).
    Michael *arose* in the time of the greatest tribulation in this world’s history (Matt 24:21). That can be applied to no one but Christ - His whole 31/2 year ministry, but especially the time of the Last Supper to “it is finished” on the cross. From the beginning of His ministry Satan tried to divert Him from the cross, to disobey His Father’s command (Lk 4:6,7; Jn 14:30,31). On His way to the upper room Jesus said, “Now My soul has become troubled; and what shall I say, ‘Father save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour.”(Jn 12:27). The cup was already trembling in His hand. Moses and Elijah had already appeared on the mount to encourage Him. Now it was the turn of the Prince of Israel, Michael, to “go to war” on His behalf (Dan 10:20,21; 12:1; Rev 12:7). Satan did not leave this up to one of his emissaries. In the garden we see how Christ’s humanity recoiled from or revolted against the task. His sweat like drops of blood He pleaded for relief. ANGELS attended Him and strengthened and encouraged Him to persevere, three times. He would “see His seed” if He would render Himself as a guilt offering (Isa 53:10-12; Rev 7:9,14,15). Michael and His angels strengthened Christ to endure the cross.

    • Hello Kenny, this is how I have come to understand the meaning of "thy people"(Dan 9) and "the children of thy people"(Dan 12).

      In Daniel 9, the 70 weeks were determined/cut off for Judah, which would be those alive in Jesus' day and the 3 1/2 years afterwards. The "children of thy people" in Daniel 12 is referring to the time yet to come(soon?), and cannot be the same people if we understand Daniel 9 and what is meant by "to finish the transgression". Transgression = "rebellion against a covenant". When Stephen was stoned as a servant of Christ, the leaders of the Jewish nation sealed their fate and "finished" their rebellion against God, meaning they were fixed in their determination to reject the only Messiah this world will see. So as told through Moses and Jesus, their nation was removed from God's favor/protection and was dispersed among the nations/gentiles with no special favor except as they individually receive Jesus as Lord and Savior, the Lamb of God, and become the people of God by faith in Jesus, for there is "no other name" whereby we are saved.

      Fast forward to Daniel 12, and the "children of thy people" are shown in Rev 7 to be from "every nation, kindred, tribe, tongue and people", as well as of the 12 tribes. This means spiritual Israel. As Paul states, "if you are Christ's, you are Abraham's seed". All who are saved are "Israel", which have, like Jacob, confessed their sins and placed their trust in the Lamb of God. We must have the experience of Israel(Jacob) to be among the redeemed.

      The people in Daniel 9 represent the nation of Israel in the last remaining tribe not yet dispersed among the nations, until they finished their rebellion against God in the time appointed for their probation(this was the remnant of Israel preserved until the Messiah would come, the seed of Abraham through David). Those in Daniel 12 are still being gathered to receive the seal of God. These are all those who will be found faithful when the last test of faith comes upon the world as described in Rev 13. Like Daniel, they will stand in their lot at the end of the days when Michael/Jesus stands for His faithful and returns in Glory.

  5. Looking back over the quarter, I find it interesting that at the get go, “Daniel purposed in his heart...” It seems like we each must come to that. When he did, all the rest of the book of Daniel unfolded. From Nebuchadnezzars dream, the fiery furnace and Belshazzar's feast and downfall, all of these involved Daniel being obedient to God. That obedience came because he knew the God he served and had complete trust in him. His night in the lions den was nothing for him, but it confirmed Darius statement that “the God whom you serve is able to deliver you”. It takes the constant connection to God that Daniel had, to understand the importance of the visions he had. They were sealed up for us to see and understand. This quarter has made me want to study Daniel & Revelation together to gain a better understanding of both. It’s exciting to have the knowledge and technology we have now days, to really be able to dig deep. Can’t wait to see what next quarter brings us.


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