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Sabbath: From Dust to Stars — 12 Comments

  1. I guess that most of us who are older have travelled long distances in a car with our kids. It does not take long for the chorus to start, "Are we nearly there yet?" And when the journey is over 1000km and takes two days to complete, there are a lot of those questions asked on the way.

    When our kids were little we lived in Adelaide and a trip to visit Carmel's grandparents near Newcastle meant 1000km of fairly boring travel. On one particular trip we decided to take a back road for the last couple of hundred km, because it meant we would not have to drive through Sydney (which is pretty tough going. We did not realise though that the back road was really quite rough and going was a lot slower than we imagined. Night fell and we were still on a very rough road. Everyone was very apprehensive and was blaming me for poor decision making. Our son suddenly announced that he was going to pray about it, and said, "Dear Jesus, Help us to find a good road! Amen!" Within 200m we were on a tar-sealed road, and while it only lasted less than 1 km it gave us the boost needed to finish the journey.

    The book of Daniel has set us on the course of history and it is pretty rough going. But, Chapter 12 is like the boost of hope, just before we get there. Enjoy your study this week, and stay safe. Further, invite your friends who are missing their face-to-face Sabbath School classes to join us as well.

    • Maurice Ashton,
      I do have question,at the of Sunday lesson we told about some will die or be put to death...is it during the trial period?

      • i could not find the bit that you were referring to but I think that it is probably fair to say that there is the potential to die or be put to death during most periods of earth's history. That should not really phase us if we have good relationship with Jesus, the giver of life.

  2. for sure i have been keenly following on the study about DANIEL that i had known to be tough, but to my realisation through your page am able to undestand it more and more. tank you so much for bringing this on board. daniel chapter 12 gives us hope even in this time of truoble we believe that will always win and be victor iwhen he comes back in JESUS NAME.

  3. I am surprised by the fact that the author of the lesson made no attempt at explaining the significance of the 1260 days prophecy. Are we abandoning the 538 and 1798 dates now?

    • I think that the lack of exposure to the the issues of the 1260 day prophecy is partly the problem of the nature of the lesson where the authors (or the editing committee) want to present solutions rather than provide opportunities for us to discuss the prophecies among ourselves.

      I do not have a problem with the 1260 days representing the period of persecution but when I did some study on the two dates in question my studies raised the question, why did they choose those two dates. The problem is that the onset and demise of papal power took place over centuries and wasn't defined by specific events. From the time of Constantine in the 4th century to the baptism of Hovis in France, the papacy had been increasingly using its temporal power to force subjects to "convert" to Christianity. Likewise, by the time of the capture of the Pope in 1798, the temporal power of the Papacy had been diminishing due to the Reformation, the defection of the German states and the French Revolution. In fact, in the follow up to the capture of the Pope, certain guarantees were made regarding the state financing of the church in France.

      I mention these things, not to undermine the prophecy but to try and put into perspective that the characteristics of the persecutor are perhaps more important than the timing. Just something to consider.

      • I believe the evidence is clear that the last of the 3 Arian powers was removed from power in Rome in 538, allowing Rome to rule unchallenged until the arrest of the Pope in 1798. These events and their dates are without dispute. It was the actions of Clovis in 508 that allowed the setting up of this power which would gain control 30 years later, thus the 1290 "days" of Daniel 12.

        Since we are looking back at these events, the math is simple to do and the accuracy of what God has revealed "through His servants the prophets" gives confidence to those who study the scriptures. It was not for Daniel's sake, but ours, that these prophecies were given in Daniel's day.

        Perhaps this excerpt will help:

        "Having wiped out the Vandals, Belisarius in 534 began his campaign against the Ostrogoths in Italy. Though this campaign lasted for twenty years before the imperial armies emerged completely victorious (see Hodgkin, op. cit., vol. 5, pp. 3-66), the decisive action occurred early in the campaign. The Ostrogoths, who had been driven from Rome, returned and laid seige to it in 537. The seige lasted for a full year, but in 538 Justinian landed another army in Italy, and in March the Ostrogoths abandoned the seige (see Hodgkin, op. cit., vol. 4, pp. 73-113, 210-252; Charles Diehl, “Justinian,” in Cambridge Medieval History, vol 2, p.15). It is true that they re-entered the city for a very brief time in 540, but their stand was short-lived. Their withdrawal from Rome in 538 marked the real end of Ostrogothic power, though not of the Ostrogothic nation. Thus was “plucked up” the third of the three horns that stood in the way of the little horn."

        and this:
        "Some find it significant that Vigilius, the pope who held office in 538, had, the year before, replaced a pope who had been under Gothic influence. The new pope owed his office to the Empress Theodora, and was regarded by Justinian as the means of uniting all the churches, East and West, under his own imperial dominance. It has been pointed out that, beginning with Vigilius, the popes were more and more men of the state as well as of the church, and often became rulers of the state (Charles Bemont and G. Monod, Medieval Europe, p. 121*)."

        Lastly, 2 Peter 1:19-21

  4. Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I shall fear no evil because I know Jesus is with me.
    The book of Daniel begins with Nebuchadnezzar invading Judea and taking captives to Babylon; the book of Daniel concludes, in contrast, with Michael standing up to deliver God’s people from end-time Babylon. That is, as shown all through Daniel, in the end.
    Jesus told Jeremiah to tell the King to surrender and go with Nebuchadnezzar and not to rebel, if he rebels the end will be death. God is in control of worries, fear, stress etc. Despite he told us about the end time pestilences that will come to humans, he see, knows and beholds our future and worries and fears.
    It was seventy years looking forward or seventy looking backward depending who were looking. But all in all although the road was rough God promised to help his people, which he did.
    Finally when we get through Dan 12, Matt 24 and Rev, we shall stand with him safe at last.

  5. It's so comforting and inspiring that Daniel and his companions remain faithful to God. This is encouraging for us in these times. It's good that they displayed wisdom and understanding as a personal virtue. We need to remain steadfast like this as well with God's help.

  6. I believe it is more important for us to come away from a study of Daniel with the assurance that God is in control of cosmic history and Michael will be victorious than for us to be able to determine with absolute certainty which dates are the exact markers of the timeline given. We all fall on a different point of the spectrum line of faith. From simple faith like my grandmother, “ God said, I believe and that is good enough for me”, to the very curious and inquisitive that what to know every detail and interpretation.

    I thank God that if we keep our focus on the first part, His being in control and Micheal’s victory on our behalf, all will be well.

  7. Maurice,

    Thanks for the additional information you provided. Your comments are very helpful. I attempted to figure out the real purpose of predictive prophecy, and this is what I found:

    “Now I tell you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe that I am He.” [John 13:19]

    This means that biblical predictions were not made to merely inform us about future events, but rather to lead us to Jesus Christ.

    Viewed this way, the exact date for the beginning and the end of persecution is not very important. Perhaps, there is no precise date for them, but rather the approximate time it happened.

    It's like figuring out when a flu began. Did it start with the first sneeze, or when the body temperature rose above 98 degrees?

    Does this make sense to you?


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