Daniel and Revelation explained

 Daniel and Revelation explained
Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers – Chapter 3 : The Holy Scriptures – Pages 112-119.
The Study of the Books of Daniel and the Revelation [* COMPILED FROM VARIOUS PUBLICATIONS, AND FROM MANUSCRIPTS OF LARGE CIRCULATION.] God’s Spirit has illuminated every page of Holy Writ, but there are those upon whom it makes little impression, because it is imperfectly understood. When the shaking comes, by the introduction of false theories, these surface readers, anchored nowhere, are like shifting sand. They slide into any position to suit the tenor of their feelings of bitterness. . . . Daniel and Revelation must be studied, as well as the other prophecies of the Old and New Testaments. Let there be light, yes, light, in your dwellings. For this we need to pray. The Holy Spirit, shining upon the sacred page, will open our understanding, that we may know what is truth. . . .
There is need of a much closer study of the word of God; especially should Daniel and the Revelation have attention as never before in the history of our work. 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 Holy 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 that the Lord God of heaven and His law are to be exalted. Read the book of Daniel. Call up, point by point, the history of the kingdoms there represented. Behold statesmen, councils, powerful armies, and see how God wrought to abase the pride of men, and lay human glory in the dust. . . .
The light that Daniel received from God was given especially for these last days. The visions he saw by the banks of the Ulai and the Hiddekel, the great rivers of Shinar, are now in process of fulfillment, and all the events foretold will soon come to pass.
Consider the circumstances of the Jewish nation when the prophecies of Daniel were given.
Let us give more time to the study of the Bible. We do not understand the word as we should. The book of Revelation opens with an injunction to us to understand the instruction that it contains. ‘Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy,’ God declares, ‘and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.’ When we as a people understand what this book means to us, there will be seen among us a great revival. We do not understand fully the lessons that it teaches, notwithstanding the injunction given us to search and study it.
In the past teachers have declared Daniel and the Revelation to be sealed books, and the people have turned from them. The veil whose apparent mystery has kept many from lifting it, God’s own hand has withdrawn from these portions of His word. The very name ‘Revelation’ contradicts the statement that it is a sealed book. ‘Revelation’ means that something of importance is revealed. The truths of this book are addressed to those living in these last days. We are standing with the veil removed in the holy place of sacred things. We are not to stand without. We are to enter, not with careless, irreverent thoughts, not with impetuous footsteps, but with reverence and godly fear. We are nearing the time when the prophecies of the book of Revelation are to be fulfilled. . . .
We have the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ, which is the spirit of prophecy. Priceless gems are to be found in the word of God . Those who search this word should keep the mind clear. Never should they indulge perverted appetite in eating or drinking.
If they do this, the brain will be confused; they will be unable to bear the strain of digging deep to find out the meaning of those things which relate to the closing scenes of this earth’s history.
When the books of Daniel and Revelation are better understood, believers will have an entirely different religious experience. They will be given such glimpses of the open gates of heaven that heart and mind will be impressed with the character that all must develop in order to realise the blessedness which is to be the reward of the pure in heart.
The Lord will bless all who will seek humbly and meekly to understand that which is revealed in the Revelation. This book contains so much that is large with immortality and full of glory that all who read and search it earnestly receive the blessing to those ‘that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein.’
Result of True Study One thing will certainly be understood from the study of Revelation – that the connection between God and His people is close and decided.
A wonderful connection is seen between the universe of heaven and this world. The things revealed to Daniel were afterward complemented by the revelation made to John on the Isle of Patmos. These two books should be carefully studied. Twice Daniel inquired, ‘How long shall it be to the end of time?’
‘And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? And He said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. 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. And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days. But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.’
It was the Lion of the tribe of Judah who unsealed the book and gave to John the revelation of what should be in these last days.
Daniel stood in his lot to bear his testimony which was sealed until the time of the end, when the first angel’s message should be proclaimed to our world. These matters are of infinite importance in these last days; but while ‘many shall be purified, and made white, and tried,’ ‘the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand.’ How true this is! Sin is the transgression of the law of God; and those who will not accept the light in regard to the law of God will not understand the proclamation of the first, second, and third angel’s messages. The book of Daniel is unsealed in the revelation to John, and carries us forward to the last scenes of this earth’s history.
Will our brethren bear in mind that we are living amid the perils of the last days? Read Revelation in connection with Daniel. Teach these things.
Unconquerable Forces Waiting 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.
We are standing on the threshold of great and solemn events. 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. The last book of the New Testament Scriptures is full of truth that we need to understand. Satan has blinded the minds of many so that they have been glad of any excuse for not making the Revelation their study. But 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.’
The books of Daniel and the Revelation should be bound together and published. A few explanations of certain portions might be added, but I am not sure that these would be needed.
This is the suggestion that I made to Elder Haskell [*SEE APPENDIX.] which resulted in the book he published. The need is not filled by this book. It was my idea to have the two books bound together, Revelation following Daniel, as giving fuller light on the subjects dealt with in Daniel. The object is to bring these books together, showing that they both relate to the same subjects.
A message that will arouse the churches is to be proclaimed. Every effort is to be made to give the light, not only to our people, but to the world. 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.
The vision that Christ presented to John, presenting the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, is to be definitely proclaimed to all nations, people, and tongues. The churches, represented by Babylon, are represented as having fallen from their spiritual state to become a persecuting power against those who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. To John this persecuting power is represented as having horns like a lamb, but as speaking like a dragon. . . .
As we near the close of time, there will be greater and still greater external parade of heathen power; heathen deities will manifest their signal power, and will exhibit themselves before the cities of the world; and this delineation has already begun to be fulfilled. By a variety of images the Lord Jesus represented to John the wicked character and seductive influence of those who have been distinguished for their persecution of God’s people. All need wisdom carefully to search out the mystery of iniquity that figures so largely in the winding up of this earth’s history. . . . In the very time in which we live, the Lord has called His people and has given them a message to bear. He has called them to expose the wickedness of the man of sin who has made the Sunday law a distinctive power, who has thought to change times and laws, and to oppress the people of God who stand firmly to honour Him by keeping the only true Sabbath, the Sabbath of creation, as holy unto the Lord.
The perils of the last days are upon us, and in our work we are to warn the people of the danger they are in. Let not the solemn scenes which prophecy has revealed be left untouched. If our people were half awake, if they realised the nearness of the events portrayed in the Revelation, a reformation would be wrought in our churches, and many more would believe the message. We have no time to lose; God calls upon us to watch for souls as they that must give an account. Advance new principles, and crowd in the clear-cut truth. It will be as a sword cutting both ways. But be not too ready to take a controversial attitude. There will be times when we must stand still and see the salvation of God. Let Daniel speak, let the Revelation speak, and tell what is truth. But whatever phase of the subject is presented, uplift Jesus as the centre of all hope, ‘the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright and morning Star.’
Dig Deeper We do not go deep enough in our search for truth. Every soul who believes present truth will be brought where he will be required to give a reason of the hope that is in him. The people of God will be called upon to stand before kings, princes, rulers, and great men of the earth, and they must know that they do know what is truth. They must be converted men and women. God can teach you more in one moment by His Holy Spirit than you could learn from the great men of the earth. The universe is looking upon the controversy that is going on upon the earth. At an infinite cost, God has provided for every man an opportunity to know that which will make him wise unto salvation. How eagerly do angels look to see who will avail himself of this opportunity! When a message is presented to God’s people, they should not rise up in opposition to it; they should go to the Bible, comparing it with the law and the testimony, and if it does not bear this test, it is not true. God wants our minds to expand. He desires to put His grace upon us. We may have a feast of good things every day, for God can open the whole treasure of heaven to us. – Review and Herald, February 18, 1890.
DANIEL
General Notes
Daniel was born in Judea c. 623 BC to an upper-class Jewish family; he was of the royal line of David. During 606 BC / 605 BC when Daniel was about 17 years old, the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar conquered the Jewish nation, Jerusalem fell and Daniel and his companions were taken captive to serve in the Babylonia government.
From 605 BC until his death in 562 BC, Nebuchadnezzar ruled and developed Babylon into a great empire. However in 23 years and through bad ruler-ship, Babylon was conquered by Cyrus the Great in 539 BC and became a colony of Achaemenid Persia. For a little while, Darius the Mede ruled in Babylon. Darius the Mede is mentioned in the Book of Daniel as king of Babylon between Belshazzar and Cyrus the Great, but he is not known to history, and no additional king can be placed between the known figures of Belshazzar and Cyrus. However, “Babylon was besieged by Cyrus, nephew of Darius the Mede, and commanding general of the combined armies of the Medes and Persians” [Prophets and Kings 523.1].
Daniel was recognised as a prophet by Christ – Matthew 24:15.
The Ministry of Daniel was during the Neo-Babylonian period: 605-539 BC.
The book of Daniel, named after its principal character, was written in the 6th century BC by a man well versed in Babylonian affairs. The facts about such knowledge, which were lost after the 6th century BC, have only relatively recently been re-established through archaeological finds.
The book of Daniel falls into two parts: chapters 1-6 being mainly historical and chapters 7-12 mainly prophetic.
The first 6 chapters of Daniel record the major events that occurred in Babylon during approximately 70 years of his Babylonia captivity and service. These chapters also record 2 prophetic visions given to Nebuchadnezzar during this time.
Chapter 1: 606 BC – Capture and Education.
Chapter 2: 603 BC – Nebuchadnezzar’s Image Dream – Future World Empires.
Chapter 3: 593 BC – The Fiery Furnace.
Chapter 4: 569 BC – Nebuchadnezzar’s Tree Dream – A Warning about His Own Future.
Chapter 5: 539 BC – The Fall of Babylon.
Chapter 6: 538 BC – The Lion’s Den.
The last 6 chapters of Daniel record his prophetic visions received from God. These prophecies foretell the emergence of major world powers from that period to the end of earth’s history; also the time of the first coming of Jesus as the Messiah / Christ.
Chapter 7: 553 BC – Four Great Beasts – Judgement.
Chapter 8: 551 BC – Ram and Goat – the 2300 Day Prophecy.
Chapter 9: 538 BC – 70 Weeks – The Messiah.
Chapters 10-12: 525 BC – King of the North, King of the South – The Time of the End.
1. Especially for Last Days.–Read the book of Daniel. Call up, point by point, the history of the kingdoms there represented. Behold statesmen, councils, powerful armies, and see how God wrought to abase the pride of men, and lay human glory in the dust. God alone is represented as great. In the vision of the prophet He is seen casting down one mighty ruler, and setting up another. He is revealed as the monarch of the universe, about to set up His everlasting kingdom–the Ancient of days, the living God, the Source of all wisdom, the Ruler of the present, the Revealer of the future. Read, and understand how poor, how frail, how short-lived, how erring, how guilty is man in lifting up his soul unto vanity. . . .  [4BC 1166.4]
The light that Daniel received direct from God was given especially for these last days. The visions he saw by the banks of the Ulai and the Hiddekel, the great rivers of Shinar, are now in process of fulfillment, and all the events foretold will soon have come to pass (Letter 57, 1896).  [4BC 1166.5]
Daniel 1:1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it.
Jehoiakim’s 3rd regnal year according to the Jewish calendar and verified by archaeological discoveries lasted from the autumn of 606 BC to the autumn of 605 BC.
In the third year – Jeremiah said it would be the fourth year – difference is due to how king years were counted when beginning to reign.
Jehoiakim [‘My God raises up’] was the second son of Josiah and his name was changed from Eliakim by his Egyptian overlord.
At the time that Nebuchadnezzar came against Jerusalem his father, Nabopolassar, had not died; his death occurred on Ab 8 [August 15?] and on Elul 1 [September 7?] Nebuchadnezzar ascended the throne.
City of Babylon – history – part of kingdom founded by Nimrod, the great grandson of Noah (Genesis 10:8-10).
1:2 And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God: which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god.
Shinar being a term for Babylonia.
For more than a thousand years since the First Dynasty, the chief god of the Babylonians was Marduk – more often called Bel [‘lord’].
1:3 And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king’s seed, and of the princes;
Ashpenaz was possibly a Persian who, like many foreigners, had won rank and honour in the service of the Chaldeans.
After the destruction of Samaria in 723/722 BC, when the ten northern tribes ceased to exist as a separate nation, the kingdom of Judah remained the sole representative of the descendants of Jacob or Israel; hence during the Exile and post-exilic period the name of Israel is used to designate the representatives of the southern kingdom.
According to custom, royal hostages were also taken (this time from the house of Judah) to receive an Egyptian training prior to their ‘replacement’ on the throne of a deceased satellite [Palestine or Syrian] king.
1:4 Children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans.
Young men, rather than Children, both physically sound and handsome were considered indispensable to officers of high rank among the ancient Orientals.
Attain 17th year before young men could enter into service of Persian kings – Daniel had reached 18 (4T570).
Age of ‘young men’ – cf. Genesis 44:20, 46:21 – Benjamin about 30 and father of 10 sons.
Chaldeans – members of the Aramaean tribe whose early settlement was in Lower Mesopotamia and who had taken over the rulership of Babylonia when Nabopolassar founded the Neo-Babylonian dynasty.
5-17. Daniel risked death by choosing to reject the king’s food and drink, but he determined to be true to God and obey the dietary requirements set out in His law. See Leviticus 11; 17:12; Deuteronomy 14:3-21. Daniel also knew that the royal diet would not be good for his health. Instead of “choice food” Daniel asked for pulse – plant foods such as grains, fruits and vegetables – and instead of wine he asked for plain water.
The ten-day test showed that Daniel and his friends were noticeably healthier than those who ate the king’s rich foods. Modern science has shown that the best diet for optimal health is a plant-based, high fiber and low cholesterol diet. People who choose these foods tend to live longer, have more energy and be more mentally alert. The key word is “defile,” which in Hebrew means just that, to “pollute, defile.” Thus, for these young men, the issue was not just healthful living or a mere personal preference; it was a moral issue as well.
1:5 And the king appointed them a daily provision of the king’s meat, and of the wine which he drank: so nourishing them three years, that at the end thereof they might stand before the king.
three years by inclusive reckoning – from the ascension of Nebuchadnezzar to the 2nd year of the king’s reign – see Daniel 1:18 & 2:1.
1:6 Now among these were of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah:
Daniel – God is my judge – a very common name among Semitic people.
Hananiah – Yahweh is gracious – at least 14 different Old Testament individuals carried this name.
Mishael – Who belongs to God? – borne by several Biblical characters.
Azariah – Yahweh helps – frequent Biblical name.
1:7 Unto whom the prince of the eunuchs gave names: for he gave unto Daniel the name of Belteshazzar; and to Hananiah, of Shadrach; and to Mishael, of Meshach; and to Azariah, of Abednego.
Belteshazzar – Bel protect his (the king’s) life?
Shadrach – a (possible) corruption of Marduk.
Meshach – explanation not known.
Abednego – servant of (the god) Nabu.
8. No Different Plan Now.–When Daniel was in Babylon, he was beset with temptations of which we have never dreamed, and he realized that he must keep his body under. He purposed in his heart that he would not drink of the king’s wine or eat of his dainties. He knew that in order to come off a victor, he must have clear mental perceptions, that he might discern between right and wrong. While he was working on his part, God worked also, and gave him “knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.” This is the way God worked for Daniel; and He does not propose to do any differently now. Man must cooperate with God in carrying out the plan of salvation (RH April 2, 1889).  [4BC 1166.6]
An Intelligent Decision.–As Daniel and his fellows were brought to the test, they placed themselves fully on the side of righteousness and truth. They did not move capriciously, but intelligently. They decided that as flesh-meat had not composed their diet in the past, it should not come into their diet in the future, and as wine had been prohibited to all who should engage in the service of God, they determined that they would not partake of it. The fate of the sons of Aaron had been presented before them, and they knew that the use of wine would confuse their senses, that the indulgence of appetite would be-cloud their powers of discernment. These particulars were placed on record in the history of the children of Israel as a warning to every youth to avoid all customs and practises and indulgences that would in any way dishonor God.  [4BC 1166.7]
Daniel and his companions knew not what would be the result of their decision; they knew not but that it would cost them their lives; but they determined to keep the straight path of strict temperance even when in the courts of licentious Babylon (YI Aug. 18, 1898).  [4BC 1167.1]
1:8 But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.
Daniel – a pious Jew – would choose not to eat:
unclean meats
beasts not killed according to Levitical law (Leviticus 17:14-15)
meat where a portion had first been offered as a sacrifice to pagan gods
luxury and unhealthful food/drink – would be contrary to the strict principles of temperance.
and for Daniel and his 3 friends the added desire to avoid:
flesh-food diets – such would interfere with the physical, mental and spiritual development.
More than a desire or a hope for goodness – they willed to do right and to shun evil.
Victory possible only by the right exercise of the will (SC48) and by their faith in God.
9. Good Behavior Gained Favor.–This officer saw in Daniel good traits of character. He saw that he was striving to be kind and helpful, that his words were respectful and courteous, and his manner possessed the grace of modesty and meekness. It was the good behavior of the youth that gained for him the favor and love of the prince (YI Nov. 12, 1907).  [4BC 1167.2]
1:9 Now God had brought Daniel into favour and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs.
God works with those who cooperate with him – Divine power + human effort (PK482)
God acted but Daniel’s character was doubtless one of gentleness, courtesy and fidelity to win the favour of his superiors.
1:10 And the prince of the eunuchs said unto Daniel, I fear my lord the king, who hath appointed your meat and your drink: for why should he see your faces worse liking than the children which are of your sort? then shall ye make me endanger my head to the king.
1:11 Then said Daniel to Melzar, whom the prince of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah,
Melzar – guardian or warden (akkadian) – actual name of the immediate tutor is not known.
1:12 Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink.
1:13 Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenance of the children that eat of the portion of the king’s meat: and as thou seest, deal with thy servants.
From childhood, these young men had been trained in strict habits of temperance. They knew of the degenerating effects of a stimulating diet, and had long ago determined not to enfeeble their physical and mental powers by indulgence in appetite.
1:14 So he consented to them in this matter, and proved them ten days.
ten days – not a long time to see a visible change.
15. Daniel’s Tempters.–In taking this step, Daniel did not act rashly. He knew that by the time he was called to appear before the king, the advantage of healthful living would be apparent. Cause would be followed by effect. Daniel said to Melzar, who had been given charge of him and his companions: “Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat and water to drink.” Daniel knew that ten days would be time enough to prove the benefit of abstemiousness. . . .  [4BC 1167.3]
Having done this, Daniel and his companions did still more. They did not choose as companions those who were agents of the prince of darkness. They did not go with a multitude to do evil. They secured Melzar as their friend, and there was no friction between him and them. They went to him for advice, and at the same time enlightened him by the wisdom of their deportment (YI Sept. 6, 1900).  [4BC 1167.4]
1:15 And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king’s meat.
1:16 Thus Melzar took away the portion of their meat, and the wine that they should drink; and gave them pulse.
pulse – food derived from plants, such as cereals and vegetables. As per Jewish tradition, berries and dates would have probably been included; dates being a part of the staple food of Mesopotamia.
17. God’s Blessing No Substitute for Effort.–When the four Hebrew youth were receiving an education for the king’s court in Babylon, they did not feel that the blessing of the Lord was a substitute for the taxing effort required of them. They were diligent in study; for they discerned that through the grace of God their destiny depended upon their own will and action. They were to bring all their ability to the work; and by close, severe taxation of their powers, they were to make the most of their opportunities for study and labor.  [4BC 1167.5]
While these youth were working out their own salvation, God was working in them to will and to do of His good pleasure. Here are revealed the conditions of success. To make God’s grace our own, we must act our part. The Lord does not propose to perform for us either the willing or the doing. His grace is given to work in us to will and to do, but never as a substitute for our effort. Our souls are to be aroused to cooperate. The Holy Spirit works in us, that we may work out our own salvation. This is the practical lesson the Holy Spirit is striving to teach us (YI Aug. 20, 1903).  [4BC 1167.6]
17. Because Daniel and his friends were faithful God blessed them with superior wisdom and intelligence.
17, 20. Honor Without Exaltation.–Daniel and his three companions had a special work to do. Although greatly honored in this work, they did not become in any way exalted. They were scholars, being skilled in secular as well as religious knowledge; but they had studied science without being corrupted. They were well-balanced because they had yielded themselves to the control of the Holy Spirit. These youth gave to God all the glory of their secular, scientific, and religious endowments. Their learning did not come by chance; they obtained knowledge by the faithful use of their powers; and God gave them skill and understanding.  [4BC 1167.7]
True science and Bible religion are in perfect harmony. Let the students in our schools learn all they possibly can. But, as a rule, let them be educated in our own institutions. Be careful how you advise them to go to other schools, where error is taught, in order to complete their education. Do not give them the impression that greater educational advantages are to be obtained by mingling with those who do not seek wisdom from God. The great men of Babylon were willing to be benefited by the instruction that God gave through Daniel, to help the king out of his difficulty by the interpretation of his dream. But they were anxious to mix in their heathen religion with that of the Hebrews. Had Daniel and his fellows consented to such a compromise, they would, in the view of the Babylonians, have been complete as statesmen, fit to be entrusted with the affairs of the kingdom. But the four Hebrews entered into no such arrangement. They were true to God, and God upheld them and honored them. The lesson is for us. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Letter 57, 1896).  [4BC 1167.8]
1:17 As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.
The 4 young men learned the skills and sciences of the Chaldeans without adopting the intermingled heathen elements.
Daniel – chosen by God as the special messenger to interpret the dreams in Chaldean format.
1:18 Now at the end of the days that the king had said he should bring them in, then the prince of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar.
Not after 36 months but after the allotted time – by inclusive reckoning covered:
Nebuchadnezzar’s ascension year
his 1st calendar year, beginning at the next New Year’s Day after his ascension
his 2nd regnal year.
1:19 And the king communed with them; and among them all was found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: therefore stood they before the king.
Examination conducted personally by Nebuchadnezzar.
In physical strength and beauty, in mental vigour and literary attainment, they stood unrivalled (PK485).
The questions asked may have required the explanation of riddles – a favoured sport in the court life of the Oriental countries. Babylonians also masters in the solving of mathematical and astronomical problems. Also, the reading and writing of the difficult cuneiform (wedge-shaped) script. (The hundreds of characters of the old Hittite, Babylonian, Assyrian and Persian writing were impressed by the wedge-shaped facets of a stylus.)
20. Spirituality and Intellect Grow Together.–As in the case of Daniel, in exact proportion as the spiritual character is developed, the intellectual capabilities are increased (RH March 22, 1898).  [4BC 1168.1]
1:20 And in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm.
1:21 And Daniel continued even unto the first year of king Cyrus.
Some 70 years later after the events described in verse 1.
Daniel lived on, but informs the reader that he went into captivity and lived to participate in the end of the Exile which lasted 70 years.
Chapter 2 deals with a dream that Babylon’s ruler had; an important dream but one which he could not remember.
The beast vision in Chapter 7 parallels Chapter 2 but greater detail is given.
1-11. The Chaldeans were highly educated advisors to King Nebuchadnezzar.
“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Corinthians 2:14. The Holy Spirit blesses the humble sincere searcher after truth with understanding that the “wise men” of the world are unable to comprehend.
Daniel 2:1 And in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, wherewith his spirit was troubled, and his sleep brake from him.
2:2 Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the astrologers, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, for to show the king his dreams. So they came and stood before the king.
2:3 And the king said unto them, I have dreamed a dream, and my spirit was troubled to know the dream.
The end of the first section of writing in Hebrew.
2:4 Then spake the Chaldeans to the king in Syriack, O king, live for ever: tell thy servants the dream, and we will show the interpretation.
Daniel now writes in Aramaic until the end of chapter 7, whereupon the rest of the book is in Hebrew.
Syriack – the Hebrew word for Aramaic – The royal family and the ruling class of the empire were Aramaic-speaking Chaldeans originating from southern Mesopotamia.
The Aramaeans – important Semitic people having a language of many dialects.
(Babylonian being the tongue of the native population of Babylon).
O king, live for ever – cf. Daniel 6:21.
2:5 The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, The thing is gone from me: if ye will not make known unto me the dream, with the interpretation thereof, ye shall be cut in pieces, and your houses shall be made a dunghill.
cut in pieces – dismembered – cut from limb to limb. The Assyrians and Babylonians were notorious for such cruelty and barbarity.
dunghill – refuse heap – ruin.
2:6 But if ye show the dream, and the interpretation thereof, ye shall receive of me gifts and rewards and great honour: therefore show me the dream, and the interpretation thereof.
2:7 They answered again and said, Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will show the interpretation of it.
2:8 The king answered and said, I know of certainty that ye would gain the time, because ye see the thing is gone from me.
The fabric of his faith was built around a belief that the gods communicated with men through the various channels represented by these men. (cf. spiritualism.)
2:9 But if ye will not make known unto me the dream, there is but one decree for you: for ye have prepared lying and corrupt words to speak before me, till the time be changed: therefore tell me the dream, and I shall know that ye can show me the interpretation thereof.
decree – sentence or penalty.
2:10 The Chaldeans answered before the king, and said, There is not a man upon the earth that can show the king’s matter: therefore there is no king, lord, nor ruler, that asked such things at any magician, or astrologer, or Chaldean.
2:11 And it is a rare thing that the king requireth, and there is none other that can show it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.
rare – difficult.
2:12 For this cause the king was angry and very furious, and commanded to destroy all the wise men of Babylon.
The command was in keeping with the customs of the times – but a bold step as they were the learned classes of society.
Babylon – perhaps the city rather than the whole realm of Babylonia.
13-19. God chose Daniel, a man of upright character, to be His representative to the court of the most powerful empire in the world. God honoured Daniel’s fervent prayer, and provided him with the interpretation of the king’s dreams.
Daniel took no credit to himself, but instead directed all the glory and honour to God. Because of his faithfulness and honesty the king eventually promoted Daniel to a high position in the government of Babylon.
2:13 And the decree went forth that the wise men should be slain; and they sought Daniel and his fellows to be slain.
Proof that they were already members of the profession of ‘wise men‘.
2:14 Then Daniel answered with counsel and wisdom to Arioch the captain of the king’s guard, which was gone forth to slay the wise men of Babylon:
Daniel was tactful in approaching his superiors.
2:15 He answered and said to Arioch the king’s captain, Why is the decree so hasty from the king? Then Arioch made the thing known to Daniel.
2:16 Then Daniel went in, and desired of the king that he would give him time, and that he would show the king the interpretation.
Daniel’s previous faithfulness in lesser things now opened the door to greater things.
Daniel’s request differed from the Chaldeans – they wanted dream details – Daniel wanted time to interpret the dream.
2:17 Then Daniel went to his house, and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions:
Obedient May Speak Freely.–Those who live in close fellowship with Christ will be promoted by Him to positions of trust. The servant who does the best he can for his master, is admitted to familiar intercourse with one whose commands he loves to obey. In the faithful discharge of duty we may become one with Christ; for those who are obeying God’s commands may speak to Him freely. The one who talks most familiarly with his divine Leader has the most exalted conception of His greatness, and is the most obedient to His commands (MS 82, 1900).  [4BC 1168.2]
The history of Daniel, if all was written, would open chapters before you that would show you the temptations he had to meet, of ridicule, envy, and hatred; but he learned to master the difficulties. He did not trust in his own strength; he laid his whole soul and all his difficulties open to his heavenly Father, and he believed God heard him, and he was comforted and blessed. He rose superior to ridicule; and so will every one who is an overcomer. Daniel acquired a serene and cheerful state of mind, because he believed God was his friend and helper. The taxing duties he had to perform were made light because he brought the light and love of God into his work. “All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth” to such as walk in them (YI Aug. 25, 1886).  [4BC 1168.3]
2:18 That they would desire mercies of the God of heaven concerning this secret; that Daniel and his fellows should not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.
Daniel and his companions could approach God with strong faith and implicit confidence because, to the best of their knowledge and ability, they were living up to His revealed will. (1 John 3:22)
2:19 Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.
Daniel’s first response is to thank God for answered prayer.
2:20 Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his:
name – often used in the Bible synonymously with ‘character’.
2:21 And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:
Daniel recognises that God alone changeth the times and the seasons (cf. Daniel 7:25 where a power on earth ‘thinks to change times and laws’). It is God’s prerogative to remove and set up kings as only He has the destiny of nations under His control ( cf. Daniel 7:25).
The LORD delights to bestow wisdom upon those who will use it wisely.
2:22 He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him.
2:23 I thank thee, and praise thee, O thou God of my fathers, who hast given me wisdom and might, and hast made known unto me now what we desired of thee: for thou hast now made known unto us the king’s matter.
2:24 Therefore Daniel went in unto Arioch, whom the king had ordained to destroy the wise men of Babylon: he went and said thus unto him; Destroy not the wise men of Babylon: bring me in before the king, and I will show unto the king the interpretation.
Daniel’s first concern was to plead for the wise men of Babylon.
2:25 Then Arioch brought in Daniel before the king in haste, and said thus unto him, I have found a man of the captives of Judah, that will make known unto the king the interpretation.
Arioch, perhaps in ignorance of Daniel’s interview with the king (v16), appears to take the undeserved credit.
2:26 The king answered and said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, Art thou able to make known unto me the dream which I have seen, and the interpretation thereof?
2:27 Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, The secret which the king hath demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, show unto the king;
2:28 But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these;
Daniel directs the king to the God of the Hebrews, whose people the king had just conquered.
God had revealed to him the future developments – from that time until Christ’s second coming – not to satisfy his curiosity but for instruction, to awaken in his mind a sense of personal responsibility toward heavenly programme.
2:29 As for thee, O king, thy thoughts came into thy mind upon thy bed, what should come to pass hereafter: and he that revealeth secrets maketh known to thee what shall come to pass.
2:30 But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living, but for their sakes that shall make known the interpretation to the king, and that thou mightest know the thoughts of thy heart.
2:31 Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible.
image – a statue.
terrible – dreadful.
2:32 This image’s head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass,
4 (metals) is often linked with the world. 4 metals being symbolic of mankind.
fine (or pure) gold.
thighs – the upper part of the hips.
brass – bronze (or copper).
2:33 His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay.
The precise brass/iron transition on the legs is not clear.
clay – earthen vessel or a potsherd rather than the clay itself – i.e.. ‘moulded clay’ or ‘earthware’.
2:34 Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces.
stone – no ordinary stone but one cut and formed by God.
cut out – quarried or broken out.
2:35 Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.
threshingfloors – a common illustration.
36-38. Nebuchadnezzar was shown the “political” future of the world. The “head of gold” is a fitting symbol for Babylon’s incomparable luxury and magnificence. Babylon was followed by the nations of Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome which eventually separated into the nations of Europe.
Each succeeding kingdom was to be inferior to the previous. Yet each kingdom was also stronger in military might than the ones that came before. This prophecy reveals the basic outline of the major prophecies of Daniel and Revelation: they start in the prophet’s day and extend to the end of time.
2:36 This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king.
Daniel includes his prayer partners.
37-42. A Dual Representation.–The image revealed to Nebuchadnezzar, while representing the deterioration of the kingdoms of the earth in power and glory, also fitly represents the deterioration of religion and morality among the people of these kingdoms. As nations forget God, in like proportion they become weak morally.  [4BC 1168.4]
Babylon passed away because in her prosperity she forgot God, and ascribed the glory of her prosperity to human achievement.  [4BC 1168.5]
The Medo-Persian kingdom was visited by the wrath of heaven because in this kingdom God’s law was trampled under foot. The fear of the Lord found no place in the hearts of the people. The prevailing influences in Medo-Persia were wickedness, blasphemy, and corruption.  [4BC 1168.6]
The kingdoms that followed were even more base and corrupt. They deteriorated because they cast off their allegiance to God. As they forgot Him, they sank lower and still lower in the scale of moral value (YI Sept. 22, 1903).  [4BC 1168.7]
2:37 Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory.
Nebuchadnezzar attributes his regnal success to his god Marduk – Daniel corrects in a kind manner.
2:38 And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold.
Thou art this head – Nebuchadnezzar was the Neo-Babylonian Empire personified.
Babylon embellished in an abundance of gold. Jeremiah (51:7) likens Babylon to a golden cup.
The Neo-Babylonian golden kingdom – the first of the 4 great kingdoms of this world (605 BC – 539 BC).
To capture Babylon, Cyrus and Darius, with the Medes and Persians, drained the Euphrates River and southerly marched along the river bed into Babylon. Babylon fell in 539 BC – Daniel 5.
2:39 And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth.
The Medo-Persian silver kingdom – the second of the 4 great kingdoms of this world (539 BC – 331 BC).
Silver being an inferior metal to gold. Medo-Persian Empire inferior to Neo-Babylonian Empire.
The origin of the Medes and Persians is unclear – Around 2000 BC, a number of Aryan tribes, led by Madai (Medes) began to migrate from southern Russia into northern Persia. Persians were among Aryans by 9th century BC. By 675 BC, a king was established in city of Anshan – but vassals of the Median king. In 553/550 BC, Cyrus became king of Persia and defeated Astyages of Media – the Persian Empire then dominant power over Median Empire as foretold by Isaiah 45:1. Babylon taken in 539 BC by strategy. Cf. also Daniel 7:6 and refer to BC 773/4.
brass – bronze or (copper).
The Persian Empire was overthrown by Alexander the Great in 331 BC at the Battle of Arbela.
The Grecian brass kingdom – the third of the 4 great kingdoms of this world (331 BC – 168 BC).
The Greeks were overthrown by the Romans in 168 BC at the Battle of Pydia.
2:40 And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise.
The Roman iron kingdom – the fourth of the 4 great kingdoms of this world (168 BC – 476 AD).
Between 168 BC – 476 AD the great empire of Rome was broken up and divided by 10 tribes / nations – the Lombards, Franks, Ostrogoths, Visigoths, Burgundians, Suevi, Heruli, Vandals, Alemanni and Anglo-Saxons. These kingdoms are represented in the nations of Europe today: Italy (the Lombards), France (Franks), England (Anglo-Saxons), Austria, Belgium, Holland, Spain (Visigoths), Portugal (Suevi), Germany (Alemanni), Switzerland (Burgundians). (Daniel 2:41-43 & Daniel 7:24.)
2:41 And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay.
42-44. The nations of Europe represented by the “iron mixed with miry clay,” have attempted many times to “mingle themselves” into a single alloy. But the prophecy says, “they shall not cleave [join] one to another.” The military might of these nations has failed to reunite them as an empire, as have treaties, alliances and diplomacy.
The royal families of Europe had intermarried their children so frequently that as the time of World War 1 they were all related to one another. Many have tried to put these nations together again; Charlemagne (AD 800), Napoleon Bonaparte (1800), Kaiser Wilhelm 1 (1914-1918), and Adolf Hitler (1939-1945). All have failed. This prophecy shows that the next great event in world history is the coming of the kingdom of God, which will destroy all earthly powers, and will continue forever.
2:42 And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken.
toes – 10 No. – correspond to the 10 horns of the 4th beast (Daniel 7:7).
part of iron, and part of clay– mixed as miry clay – Rome had lost its iron tenacity and strength – successors were manifestly weaker.
partly strong – the barbarian kingdoms differed greatly in military prowess.
partly broken– literally, ‘fragile’ or ‘brittle’.
43. Iron and Clay–Mingled Churchcraft and Statecraft.–We have come to a time when God’s sacred work is represented by the feet of the image in which the iron was mixed with the miry clay. God has a people, a chosen people, whose discernment must be sanctified, who must not become unholy by laying upon the foundation wood, hay, and stubble. Every soul who is loyal to the commandments of God will see that the distinguishing feature of our faith is the seventh-day Sabbath. If the government would honor the Sabbath as God has commanded, it would stand in the strength of God and in defense of the faith once delivered to the saints. But statesmen will uphold the spurious sabbath, and will mingle their religious faith with the observance of this child of the papacy, placing it above the Sabbath which the Lord has sanctified and blessed, setting it apart for man to keep holy, as a sign between Him and His people to a thousand generations. The mingling of churchcraft and statecraft is represented by the iron and the clay. This union is weakening all the power of the churches. This investing the church with the power of the state will bring evil results. Men have almost passed the point of God’s forbearance. They have invested their strength in politics, and have united with the papacy. But the time will come when God will punish those who have made void His law, and their evil work will recoil upon themselves (MS 63, 1899).  [4BC 1168.8]
2:43 And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.
History has verified this prophecy:
605 BC-539 BC Babylon flourished
539 BC-331 BC Persian Empire
331 BC-168 BC Greece
168 BC-476 AD Rome ruled with a strong and cruel iron grip
476 AD-today Nations have remained separate and divided.
miry clay – Rome had lost its iron tenacity and strength – successors were manifestly weak.
2:44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.
The stone (Daniel 2:45) smashes down upon modern-day earthly country-kingdoms and obliterates them; covering the entire planet.
Symbolic of Christ’s Second Coming.
Hence nations will remain separate and divided.
45-47. The validity of this prophecy has been borne out of history. Babylon was overthrown by Medo-Persia, which was in turn conquered by Greece, which was then overcome by Rome. Rome, rather than suffering defeat from another world power, slowly dissolved into the nations of Europe.
There is only one part of this prophecy that remains to be fulfilled. God will “set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed.” He will restore this world to the original beauty and perfection of Eden, and His people to a life of health and happiness. See Revelation 21 and 22.
We can have confidence that all these things will come to pass because God Himself has promised. For “the dream is certain and the interpretation thereof sure.”
2:45 Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.
stone – ‘a single stone’ in both Aramaic and Hebrew languages – a hewn stone – cut without hands.
without hands – this kingdom has a superhuman origin – founded by the mighty hand of God.
46. A Divine Revelation.–Nebuchadnezzar felt that he could accept this interpretation as a divine revelation; for to Daniel had been revealed every detail of the dream. The solemn truths conveyed by the interpretation of this vision of the night made a deep impression on the sovereign’s mind, and in humility and awe he “fell upon his face, and worshipped.” . . .  [4BC 1169.1]
Nebuchadnezzar saw clearly the difference between the wisdom of God and the wisdom of the most learned men of his kingdom (YI Sept. 8, 1903).  [4BC 1169.2]
2:46 Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face, and worshipped Daniel, and commanded that they should offer an oblation and sweet odours unto him.
fell upon his face – a mark of respect and reverence – frequently noted in Old Testament.
It is not known whether the oblation (a bloodless offering) and sweet odours (incense) were carried out – Daniel could have again pointed out the revelation was from God. Alternatively, Daniel could have accepted that Nebuchadnezzar’s limited knowledge of the true God lead him to believe he could worship through Daniel. A strict reading of the second commandment of the Decalogue brings such acts into serious question.
47. A Reflector of Light.–Through the Hebrew captives the Lord was made known to the heathen in Babylon. This idolatrous nation was given a knowledge of the kingdom the Lord was to establish, and through His power maintain against all the power and craft of Satan. Daniel and his fellow-companions, Ezra and Nehemiah, and many others were witnesses for God in their captivity. The Lord scattered them among the kingdoms of the earth that their light might shine brightly amid the black darkness of heathenism and idolatry. To Daniel God revealed the light of His purposes, which had been hidden for many generations. He chose that Daniel should see in vision the light of His truth, and reflect this light on the proud kingdom of Babylon. On the despot king was permitted to flash light from the throne of God. Nebuchadnezzar was shown that the God of heaven was ruler over all the monarchs and kings of earth. His name was to go forth as the God over all gods. God desired Nebuchadnezzar to understand that the rulers of earthly kingdoms had a ruler in the heavens. God’s faithfulness in rescuing the three captives from the flames and vindicating their course of action showed His wonderful power.  [4BC 1169.3]
Great light shone forth from Daniel and his companions. Glorious things were spoken of Zion, the city of the Lord. Thus the Lord designs that spiritual light shall shine from His faithful watchmen in these last days. If the saints in the Old Testament bore such a decided testimony of loyalty, how should God’s people today, having the accumulated light of centuries, shine forth, when the prophecies of the Old Testament shed their veiled glory into the future (Letter 32, 1899)!  [4BC 1169.4]
2:47 The king answered unto Daniel, and said, Of a truth it is, that your God is a God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing thou couldest reveal this secret.
your God is a God of gods – Marduk had only been called ‘lord of gods’ / ‘lord of kings’.
Nebuchadnezzar acknowledges Daniel’s God is infinitely superior to the Babylonian gods.
2:48 Then the king made Daniel a great man, and gave him many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief of the governors over all the wise men of Babylon.
Daniel’s aim was to exalt God before king / country.
King gave the rewards along with the position of ‘chief prefect’.
2:49 Then Daniel requested of the king, and he set Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, over the affairs of the province of Babylon: but Daniel sat in the gate of the king.
Daniel remembered his comrades – they shared in prayers (2:18); they shared in the reward.
gate – the place where Oriental kings sat as judges and where chief councils convened (Genesis 19:1).
Chapter 3:1-5. A Last Day Image.–By many, the Sabbath of the fourth commandment is made void, being treated as a thing of naught; while the spurious sabbath, the child of the papacy, is exalted. In the place of God’s laws, are elevated the laws of the man of sin,–laws that are to be received and regarded as the wonderful golden image of Nebuchadnezzar was by the Babylonians. Forming this great image, Nebuchadnezzar commanded that it should receive universal homage from all, both great and small, high and low, rich and poor (MS 24, 1891).  [4BC 1169.5]
1-2. The image from Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in chapter 2 foretold Babylon’s fall to the interior kingdoms of silver, brass and iron. Not willing for his empire to cease, the king made this image entirely of gold, proclaiming that Babylon would never end. This was a direct challenge to the God of heaven who is in control of the nations of this world.
Daniel 3:1 Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose height was threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof six cubits: he set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon.
No date is given for Chapter 3 events – certainly after events of 2nd chapter and before the king’s madness (cf. 3:28-29 and 4:34-37). A 570/569 BC court almanac, listing the highest state officials in office that year, makes no mention of Daniel and his 3 friends; therefore events of Chapter 3 may have been later than Nebuchadnezzar’s reign – alternatively, Daniel was away on king’s business (or sick).
3:2 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king sent to gather together the princes, the governors, and the captains, the judges, the treasurers, the counsellors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, to come to the dedication of the image which Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.
princes – An Aramaic word of Hurrian origin; used from Sargon II time (722-705 BC). Designated officials at the head of satrapies – the largest divisions of the empire.
governors (or prefects) – these officials administered provinces – each a part of a satrap.
3:3 Then the princes, the governors, and captains, the judges, the treasurers, the counsellors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, were gathered together unto the dedication of the image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up; and they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up.
4-26. Daniel’s three friends were forced to decide between true and false worship. This story is a fitting illustration of the cosmic battle between good and evil which is taking place in our world today. This theme runs through both the books of Daniel and Revelation.
The three Hebrews showed strong faith when they chose to trust God regardless of whether or not he would deliver them.
God may not deliver us from trouble, but He will be with us as we go through adversity. See Deuteronomy 4:30, 31; 31:6, 8.
3:4 Then an herald cried aloud, To you it is commanded, O people, nations, and languages,
Only after all had gathered came the command to worship the image.
3:5 That at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of music, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up:
A Babylonian orchestra is described.
harp – not of Babylonian origin but possibly introduced by Greeks.
3:6 And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.
fiery furnace – not many ancient examples of this kind of death penalty are on record (Jeremiah 29:22).
3:7 Therefore at that time, when all the people heard the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and all kinds of music, all the people, the nations, and the languages, fell down and worshipped the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.
3:8 Wherefore at that time certain Chaldeans came near, and accused the Jews.
The accusing party were members of the same caste as the Jews.
Racial and nationalistic antagonisms were not involved, rather professional envy and jealousy.
3:9 They spake and said to the king Nebuchadnezzar, O king, live for ever.
A similar greeting to Daniel 2:4.
3:10 Thou, O king, hast made a decree, that every man that shall hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of music, shall fall down and worship the golden image:
3:11 And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth, that he should be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.
12. We ought to obey God rather than men. Acts 5:29. These three Hebrew youths, imbued with the Holy Spirit, declared to the whole nation their faith; that he whom they worshipped was the only true and living God. … These lessons have a direct and vital bearing upon our experience in these last days.
3:12 There are certain Jews whom thou hast set over the affairs of the province of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; these men, O king, have not regarded thee: they serve not thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
3:13 Then Nebuchadnezzar in his rage and fury commanded to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Then they brought these men before the king.
14. This act of bowing the knees to the great image was understood to be an act of worship. But such an act was homage to be rendered to God alone––the Sovereign of the world, the Ruler of the universe; and these three Hebrews refused to give such honour to any idol even though composed of pure gold. In doing so, they would, to all intents and purposes, be bowing to the king of Babylon.
3:14 Nebuchadnezzar spake and said unto them, Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up?
3:15 Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of music, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?
3:16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.
careful – to be in need of.
Defendants response (RSV) – We have no need to answer you in this matter.
3:17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.
If – this introduction particle should not be taken as an indication of doubt in God’s plan to save; LXX has no introduction particle.
3:18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
19. Something Unusual Anticipated.–When the king saw that his will was not received as the will of God, he was “full of fury,” and the form of his visage was changed against these men. Satanic attributes made his countenance appear as the countenance of a demon; and with all the force he could command, he ordered that the furnace be heated seven times hotter than its wont, and commanded the most mighty men to bind the youth, and cast them into the furnace. He felt that it required more than ordinary power to deal with these noble men. His mind was strongly impressed that something unusual would interpose in their behalf, and his strongest men were ordered to deal with them (ST May 6, 1897).  [4BC 1169.6]
3:19 Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: therefore he spake, and commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was wont to be heated.
Increase heat in furnace probably produced by an extraordinary supply of chaff and crude oil.
Oil – many open oil wells in Mesopotamia.
3:20 And he commanded the most mighty men that were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace.
3:21 Then these men were bound in their coats, their hosen, and their hats, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.
3:22 Therefore because the king’s commandment was urgent, and the furnace exceeding hot, the flame of the fire slew those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
23. But the Lord did not forget His own. As His witnesses were cast into the furnace, the Saviour revealed Himself to them in person, and together they walked in the midst of the fire. In the presence of the Lord of heat and cold, the flames lost their power to consume. [PK 508.3]
When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walketh through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. Isaiah 43:2.
From his royal seat the king looked on, expecting to see the men who had defied him utterly destroyed. But his feelings of triumph suddenly changed. The nobles standing near saw his face grow pale as he started from the throne and looked intently into the glowing flames. In alarm the king, turning to his lords, asked, “Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? . . . Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.” [PK 509.1]
These lessons have a direct and vital bearing upon our experience in these last days.
The Children of God today must not expect to meet less of persecution and trial than did these ancient worthies. Just as long as we are followers of Christ we must be witnesses for him. Tribulation will assuredly come; for Satan knows that Christ has purchased salvation for the whole world, and he is determined to wrest every soul possible out of his hand. [ST, September 2, 1897 par. 7]
3:23 And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.
At this point the manuscripts of the oldest translations of Daniel, the LXX and Theodotion follow on with 68 (Apocryphal) verses of ‘The Song of the Three Holy Children’.
3:24 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonied, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king.
25. Christ Revealed by Captives.–How did Nebuchadnezzar know that the form of the fourth was like the Son of God? He had heard of the Son of God from the Hebrew captives that were in his kingdom. They had brought the knowledge of the living God who ruleth all things (RH May 3, 1892).  [4BC 1169.7]
3:25 He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.
like the Son of God. – LXX – like an angel of God. RV / RSV – like a son of the gods.
Christ joined them in their trial.
3:26 Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, and spake, and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, ye servants of the most high God, come forth, and come hither. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, came forth of the midst of the fire.
Notwithstanding his polytheiestic concepts, Nebuchadnezzar acknowledged the God of these Hebrews as ‘the most high God‘.
3:27 And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king’s counsellors, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them.
28. Associates Understood Faith.–These faithful Hebrews possessed great natural ability and intellectual culture, and they occupied a high position of honor; but all these advantages did not lead them to forget God. All their powers were yielded to the sanctifying influence of divine grace. By their godly example, their steadfast integrity, they showed forth the praises of Him who had called them out of darkness into His marvelous light. In their wonderful deliverance was displayed, before that vast assembly, the power and majesty of God. Jesus placed Himself by their side in the fiery furnace, and by the glory of His presence convinced the proud king of Babylon that it could be no other than the Son of God. The light of heaven had been shining forth from Daniel and his companions, until all their associates understood the faith which ennobled their lives and beautified their characters (RH Feb. 1, 1881).  [4BC 1170.1]
3:28 Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God.
3:29 Therefore I make a decree, That every people, nation, and language, which speak any thing amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill: because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort.
Nebuchadnezzar exceeded his rights when he sought by force to compel men to honour the God of the Hebrews (PK511).
dunghill – refuse heap – ruin.
3:30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, in the province of Babylon.
promoted – to cause to prosper / to promote – such as by money, province administration or by more elevated title.
Chapter 4:1-3 being the preface and 4-18 being the dream. These verses are Nebuchadnezzar’s personal testimony of God’s love and patient persistence with a heathen king. This is the only part of the Old Testament written by a non-Hebrew.
Daniel 4:1 Nebuchadnezzar the king, unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you.
The narrative of Chapter 4 is recorded in the form of a royal proclamation.
The once proud monarch has become a humble child of God (PK521).
4:2 I thought it good to show the signs and wonders that the high God hath wrought toward me.
4:3 How great are his signs! and how mighty are his wonders! his kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion is from generation to generation.
4:4 I Nebuchadnezzar was at rest in mine house, and flourishing in my palace:
at rest – Nebuchadnezzar was in undisturbed possession, i.e. Chapter 4 is set in the last half of his 42 year reign.
4:5 I saw a dream which made me afraid, and the thoughts upon my bed and the visions of my head troubled me.
afraid – a sudden unexpected occurrence – the dream was so explicit that the king sensed that it contained some evil message for him (PK516); it was this that alarmed him.
This was the last dream which God gave to Nebuchadnezzar.
4:6 Therefore made I a decree to bring in all the wise men of Babylon before me, that they might make known unto me the interpretation of the dream.
4:7 Then came in the magicians, the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers: and I told the dream before them; but they did not make known unto me the interpretation thereof.
Nebuchadnezzar turns to the Chaldeans for an explanation before asking Daniel to explain – even though, on a previous occasion, he had demonstrated his superior skill and wisdom.
4:8 But at the last Daniel came in before me, whose name was Belteshazzar, according to the name of my god, and in whom is the spirit of the holy gods: and before him I told the dream, saying,
of the holy gods or ‘of the holy God’.
4:9 O Belteshazzar, master of the magicians, because I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in thee, and no secret troubleth thee, tell me the visions of my dream that I have seen, and the interpretation thereof.
4:10 Thus were the visions of mine head in my bed; I saw, and behold, a tree in the midst of the earth, and the height thereof was great.
behold, a tree – Divine wisdom frequently employs parables and similitudes as vehicles for the transmission of truth.
The ancients were accustomed to seeing a meaning in every extraordinary dream – God used the agency of a dream on this occasion.
4:11 The tree grew, and was strong, and the height thereof reached unto heaven, and the sight thereof to the end of all the earth:
4:12 The leaves thereof were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was meat for all: the beasts of the field had shadow under it, and the fowls of the heaven dwelt in the boughs thereof, and all flesh was fed of it.
4:13 I saw in the visions of my head upon my bed, and, behold, a watcher and an holy one came down from heaven;
a watcher – not ‘keeping watch’, rather ‘being watchful’.
Recognised as bearing the credentials of the God of heaven (PK578); see also Ed 174-178.
4:14 He cried aloud, and said thus, Hew down the tree, and cut off his branches, shake off his leaves, and scatter his fruit: let the beasts get away from under it, and the fowls from his branches:
4:15 Nevertheless leave the stump of his roots in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts in the grass of the earth:
leave the stump – cf. Job 14:8 & Is 11:1; also Daniel 4:26 cf. 36 – ultimate sprouting typified the restoration of Nebuchadnezzar from his sickness (v. 24 & 25); not continued dynasty supremacy.
with a band – possibly physical chains that would bind the king in his maniacal condition (Jerome).
4:16 Let his heart be changed from man’s, and let a beast’s heart be given unto him: and let seven times pass over him.
heart – indicates nature; the king would take on the nature of a beast.
seven times – LXX – seven years. Nebuchadnezzar’s ordeal lasted seven years.
17-18. It is not by the might of armies, by the wisdom of rulers or by the progress of civilizations that the rise, prosperity and fall of kingdoms is determined; it is by the sovereignty of God. See Proverbs 21:1; Psalm 24:1-2.
Whether the rulers in our world today are noble or corrupt, God is still in charge, making all things work together to fulfil His purposes. Romans 8:28.
17. Men of Destiny Watched With Vigilance.–The Lord God omnipotent reigneth. All kings, all nations, are His, under His rule and government. His resources are infinite. The wise man declares, “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.”  [4BC 1170.2]
Those upon whose actions hang the destinies of nations, are watched over with a vigilance that knows no relaxation by Him who “giveth salvation unto kings,” to whom belong “the shields of the earth” (RH March 28, 1907).  [4BC 1170.3]
4:17 This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.
watchers – plural i.e.. a heavenly council or assembly.
the living – i.e. the surrounding (heathen) nations.
ruleth – God ordains, permits or intervenes.
basest – low(ly) – humbled (5:22) and abase (4:37).
Refer to Ed 174-176/8.
4:18 This dream I king Nebuchadnezzar have seen. Now thou, O Belteshazzar, declare the interpretation thereof, forasmuch as all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to make known unto me the interpretation: but thou art able; for the spirit of the holy gods is in thee.
4:19 Then Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, was astonied for one hour, and his thoughts troubled him. The king spake, and said, Belteshazzar, let not the dream, or the interpretation thereof, trouble thee. Belteshazzar answered and said, My lord, the dream be to them that hate thee, and the interpretation thereof to thine enemies.
astonied – to be appalled, perplexed or, probably embarrassed.
The king clearly saw the consternation on Daniel’s face – then he speaks in the 3rd person (cf. Ezra 7:13-15 and Esther 8:7-8).
4:20 The tree that thou sawest, which grew, and was strong, whose height reached unto the heaven, and the sight thereof to all the earth;
4:21 Whose leaves were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was meat for all; under which the beasts of the field dwelt, and upon whose branches the fowls of the heaven had their habitation:
4:22 It is thou, O king, that art grown and become strong: for thy greatness is grown, and reacheth unto heaven, and thy dominion to the end of the earth.
unto heaven – Daniel uses Oriental court language and idioms to explain.
4:23 And whereas the king saw a watcher and an holy one coming down from heaven, and saying, Hew the tree down, and destroy it; yet leave the stump of the roots thereof in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts of the field, till seven times pass over him;
4:24 This is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree of the most High, which is come upon my lord the king:
4:25 That they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and they shall wet thee with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.
4:26 And whereas they commanded to leave the stump of the tree roots; thy kingdom shall be sure unto thee, after that thou shalt have known that the heavens do rule.
Insane king not killed for a vacant throne – superstitious ancients thought that mental disturbances were caused by evil spirits who would possess the instigator or seek other grievous revenge.
27. For a time the impression of the warning and the counsel of the prophet was strong upon Nebuchadnezzar; but the heart that is not transformed by the grace of God soon loses the impressions of the Holy Spirit. Self–indulgence and ambition had not yet been eradicated from the king’s heart, and later on these traits reappeared. Notwithstanding the instruction so graciously given him, and the warnings of past experience, Nebuchadnezzar again allowed himself to be controlled by a spirit of jealousy against the kingdoms that were to follow. His rule, which heretofore had been to a great degree just and merciful, became oppressive. Hardening his heart, he used his God–given talents for self–glorification, exalting himself above the God who had given him life and power. [PK 519.1]
For months the judgement of God lingered. But instead of being led to repentance by this forbearance, the king indulged his pride until he lost confidence in the interpretation of the dream, and jested at his former fears. [PK 519.2]
A year from the time he had received the warning, Nebuchadnezzar, walking in his palace and thinking with pride of his power as a ruler and of his success as a builder, exclaimed, “Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honor of my majesty?” [PK 519.3]
4:27 Wherefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by showing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquillity.
break off thy sins by righteousness – God’s judgements may be adverted by repentance and conversion (Is 38:1,2 & 5, Jeremiah 18:7-10).
showing mercy – king admonished to practice righteousness towards all subjects and to exercise mercy towards the oppressed, miserable and poor (Micah 6:8) (Ps 72:3-4, Is 11:4).
4:28 All this came upon the king Nebuchadnezzar.
4:29 At the end of twelve months he walked in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon.
God’s time of twelve months – no Nebuchadnezzar change in way of life.
in the palace – literally ‘ upon the palace’.
4:30 The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty?
At least 2 inscriptions found in excavated ruins of Babylon testify to this proud boast.
Actual building of Babylon occurred after the Flood – Nebuchadnezzar’s father commenced the rebuilding, he completed only completed the works and built the extensions.
4:31 While the word was in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee.
fell – cf. Is 9:8 – lighted.
This immediate utterance lead to Nebuchadnezzar’s humiliation – had others also heard these heavenly words?
4:32 And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.
33. Some Today Like Nebuchadnezzar.–We are living in the last days of this earth’s history, and we may be surprised at nothing in the line of apostasies and denials of the truth. Unbelief has now come to be a fine art, which men work at to the destruction of their souls. There is constant danger of there being shams in pulpit preachers, whose lives contradict the words they speak; but the voice of warning and of admonition will be heard as long as time shall last; and those who are guilty of transactions that should never be entered into, when reproved or counseled through the Lord’s appointed agencies, will resist the message and refuse to be corrected. They will go on as did Pharaoh, and Nebuchadnezzar, until the Lord takes away their reason, and their hearts become unimpressible. The Lord’s Word will come to them; but if they choose not to hear it, the Lord will make them responsible for their own ruin (NL No. 31, p. 1).  [4BC 1170.4]
4:33 The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles’ feathers, and his nails like birds’ claws.
An unpublished cuneiform tablet in British Museum mentions a man who ate grass like a cow – the insanity could have been such where men think themselves to be animals and imitate the beast’s manner of life; alternatively, perhaps unique?
34-37. The Holy Spirit worked on Nebuchadnezzar’s stubborn heart for many years before he surrendered his life to the God of heaven. The patience God showed toward Nebuchadnezzar gives us home as He continues to work with us and those we love.
4:34 And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation:
end of the days – after 7 years.
lifted up mine eyes unto heaven – The king’s return of reason occurred with his recognition of the true God. From brute beast to a being bearing the image of God.
The first desire of the once proud king is to praise God.
4:35 And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?
This verse has close parallels with Isaiah 40:17 & 43:13.
4:36 At the same time my reason returned unto me; and for the glory of my kingdom, mine honour and brightness returned unto me; and my counsellors and my lords sought unto me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added unto me.
In simple Semitic narrative, v36 repeats v34.
returned unto me – Nebuchadnezzar also gained his royal dignity and his throne.
sought unto me – the King, monitored for improvement, then regents of state brought him back to restore the government to him.
37. Nebuchadnezzar Thoroughly Converted.–In Daniel’s life, the desire to glorify God was the most powerful of all motives. He realized that when standing in the presence of men of influence, a failure to acknowledge God as the source of his wisdom would have made him an unfaithful steward. And his constant recognition of the God of heaven before kings, princes, and statesmen, detracted not one iota from his influence. King Nebuchadnezzar, before whom Daniel so often honored the name of God, was finally thoroughly converted, and learned to “praise and extol and honour the King of heaven” (RH Jan. 11, 1906).  [4BC 1170.5]
A Warm and Eloquent Testimony.–The king upon the Babylonian throne became a witness for God, giving his testimony, warm and eloquent, from a grateful heart that was partaking of the mercy and grace, the righteousness and peace, of the divine nature (YI Dec. 13, 1904).  [4BC 1170.6]
4:37 Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.
Nebuchadnezzar’s conclusion – as a converted sinner he now recognises the righteousness of God, confesses God as the King of heaven (PK521).
1-2. In the twenty-three years since the death of Nebuchadnezzar, a series of incompetent rulers had brought Babylon to the edge of ruin. The Medo-Persian army under Cyrus the Great was attacking from the north. The king of Babylon, Nabonidus, left his son Belshazzar in charge of the kingdom and went out to do battle. Two days before Belshazzar’s feast, Nabonidus had surrendered the battlefield without a fight and fled. Meanwhile, one of Cyrus’ generals, Darius the Mede, rushed his forces to the walls of Babylon and laid siege to the city. But the city was well situated to handle a siege. Its walls were tall and strong. Its storehouses bulged with food. And the Euphrates river brought water right through the middle of the city.
Daniel 5:1 Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of his lords, and drank wine before the thousand.
Belshazzar – ‘Bel, protect the king!’ – 1st born son of Nabonidus, the last king of the Neo-Babylonian Empire.
the king – Recuperating from an illness in Lebanon, just before setting out on a campaign against Tema in western Arabia, Nabonidus entrusted the kingship to his eldest son. This was in the 3rd year – if regnal year, then winter of 553/552 BC. Belshazzar, as coruler, then controlled the affairs of Babylonia while his father resided in Tema for many years.
a great feast – The feast took place on the night Babylon fell to Cyrus’ forces. The feast occurred just after the fall of Sippar and only a few days after the lost battle at Opis.
Babylon was accustomed to drinking/revelling all night long during this festival – perhaps, one of those that monachs gave for their courtiers.
Other known festivals:
King Ashurnasirpal II – feast to open new palace – fed, wined and housed 69,574 people for 10 days.
Persian kings – fed 15,000 people every day.
Alexander the Great – 10,000 guests took part at his wedding feast.
Esther 1:3-12 describes a similar feast.
Belshazzar felt recklessly secure in his capital, protected by strong walls and a canal system which could flood the surrounding country if attacked.
before the thousand – usually the king ate in a separate hall – only on exceptional occasions did he eat with his guests.
See 4BC798 for room detail.
5:2 Belshazzar, whiles he tasted the wine, commanded to bring the golden and silver vessels which his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the temple which was in Jerusalem; that the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, might drink therein.
tasted the wine – Belshazzar was intoxicated; with reason dethroned and with enhanced lower impulses and passions, the king took the lead in the riotous orgy [PK523].
vessels – carried away from Jerusalem on 3 occasions:
Some of the Temple vessels removed in 605 BC when Nebuchadnezzar took captives (Daniel 1:1&2).
Most of those precious metals remaining – taken in 597 BC when king Jehoiachin went into captivity (2 Kings 24:12&13).
Rest of metal objects – mostly bronze – taken in 900 BC when Temple was destroyed (2 Kings 25:13-17).
his father – His grandfather [PK522]; the word is elsewhere used to mean ‘ancestor’ (1 Chronicles 2:7) and can also refer to a non-blood tie ‘predecessor’ (An Assyrian inscription calls the Israelite king Jehu, ‘a son of Omri’ – actually, Jehu was the exterminator of the whole house of Omri (2 Kings 9:10).
his wives, and his concubines – Both Aramaic words are synonyms, meaning ‘concubines’.
One (higher) class may have been from respectable, noble homes.
The other – women brought for money or captured in war.
3-4. Belshazzar defied the God of heaven, and desecrated the sacred golden vessels taken from the temple in Jerusalem.
5:3 Then they brought the golden vessels that were taken out of the temple of the house of God which was at Jerusalem; and the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, drank in them.
5:4 They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone.
praised the gods – The drunken heathen sang songs in honour to their Babylonian gods, whose images adorned the various temples of the city.
5-9. Presence of Unseen Guest Felt.–A Watcher, who was unrecognized, but whose presence was a power of condemnation, looked on this scene of profanation. Soon the unseen and uninvited Guest made His presence felt. At the moment when the sacrilegious revelry was at its height, a bloodless hand came forth, and wrote words of doom on the wall of the banqueting hall. Burning words followed the movements of the hand. “Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin,” was written in letters of flame. Few were the characters traced by that hand on the wall facing the king, but they showed that the power of God was there.  [4BC 1170.7]
Belshazzar was afraid. His conscience was awakened. The fear and suspicion that always follow the course of the guilty seized him. When God makes men fear, they cannot hide the intensity of their terror. Alarm seized the great men of the kingdom. Their blasphemous disrespect of sacred things was changed in a moment. A frantic terror overcame all self-control. . . .  [4BC 1170.8]
In vain the king tried to read the burning letters. He had found a power too strong for him. He could not read the writing (YI May 19, 1898).  [4BC 1171.1]
5-6. While the drunken revers drank toasts to their idols out of the golden cups which had been sanctified to God, a mysterious hand appeared and wrote on the wall God’s judgement upon Babylon. See vss. 26-28.
5:5 In the same hour came forth fingers of a man’s hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaster of the wall of the king’s palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote.
upon the plaster – the walls to the hall were covered with white plaster made of fine plaster of Paris.
5:6 Then the king’s countenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against another.
were loosed – cf. Isaiah 21:3 – Belshazzar was troubled by an accusing conscience; he realised that his empire was in mortal danger from:
past political blunders
his own immorality
his army’s recent disastrous defeat
his current sacrilegious acts.
5:7 The king cried aloud to bring in the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers. And the king spake, and said to the wise men of Babylon, Whosoever shall read this writing, and show me the interpretation thereof, shall be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about his neck, and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom.
scarlet – purple – a better translation from the Aramaic. Purple – the royal colour of antiquity.
The ancient royal purple was deep purplish red in colour, more nearly like crimson.
chain of gold – a common custom over many centuries (i.e. Egypt – Genesis 41:42).
the third ruler – Belshazzar was only a coruler (coregent) with his father – the second ruler in the kingdom where Nebuchadnezzar was first.
The highest position that Belshazzar could bestow was that of third ruler in the kingdom.
5:8 Then came in all the king’s wise men: but they could not read the writing, nor make known to the king the interpretation thereof.
Then came in all – Having addressed those men at the banquet (Daniel 5:7), now all the king’s wise men came into the banquet hall in response to the Belshazzar’s command.
they could not read – No reason is given and any explanation would only be conjecture.
However, the words were:
in Aramaic (Daniel 5:26-28)
of dazzling brilliance (EGW Supplementary material refers to v5-9)
so cryptic that their individual meanings did not reveal the concealed message.
5:9 Then was king Belshazzar greatly troubled, and his countenance was changed in him, and his lords were astonied.
5:10 Now the queen by reason of the words of the king and his lords came into the banquet house: and the queen spake and said, O king, live for ever: let not thy thoughts trouble thee, nor let thy countenance be changed:
the queen – The queen mother – Oriental custom that none but a ruling monarch’s mother would dare to enter into the king’s presence without being summoned (cf. Esther 4:11, 16 where the wife of a king endangered her life).
In 547 BC, Nabonidus’ mother, Belshazzar’s grandmother, had died – an extensive official court mourning had occurred – together with the respectful tone of king’s letters to their mothers, such action shows the exalted position of a queen mother.
5:11 There is a man in thy kingdom, in whom is the spirit of the holy gods; and in the days of thy father light and understanding and wisdom, like the wisdom of the gods, was found in him; whom the king Nebuchadnezzar thy father, the king, I say, thy father, made master of the magicians, astrologers, Chaldeans, and soothsayers;
There is a man – The queen mother, a representative of the earlier generation, remembered the event over 50 years earlier with Nebuchadnezzar. Under different and God-rejecting policies, Daniel would have been retired from public Babylonial service.
spirit of the holy gods – cf. Daniel 4:8&9 – similar wording suggests that the queen mother may have been a daughter of Nebuchadnezzar.
5:12 Forasmuch as an excellent spirit, and knowledge, and understanding, interpreting of dreams, and showing of hard sentences, and dissolving of doubts, were found in the same Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar: now let Daniel be called, and he will show the interpretation.
doubts – knots – difficult tasks or problems.
5:13 Then was Daniel brought in before the king. And the king spake and said unto Daniel, Art thou that Daniel, which art of the children of the captivity of Judah, whom the king my father brought out of Jewry?
Art thou that Daniel …? – Daniel was no longer the president of the magicians at the king’s court (Daniel 2:48&49). Since Nebuchadnezzar’s days, Babylon had rejected God’s will (Daniel 4:28-37; 5:23) and Belshazzar had been hostile towards the principles and the state policy that Daniel represented. Soon (Daniel 6:1-3), Daniel would enter the service of Persia whose rulers also disapproved of the official Babylonian policy.
5:14 I have even heard of thee, that the spirit of the gods is in thee, and that light and understanding and excellent wisdom is found in thee.
spirit of the gods – Belshazzar omits the adjective ‘holy’ when repeating the queen mother’s words (Daniel 5:11) and those earlier of Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 4:8).
5:15 And now the wise men, the astrologers, have been brought in before me, that they should read this writing, and make known unto me the interpretation thereof: but they could not show the interpretation of the thing:
5:16 And I have heard of thee, that thou canst make interpretations, and dissolve doubts: now if thou canst read the writing, and make known to me the interpretation thereof, thou shalt be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about thy neck, and shalt be the third ruler in the kingdom.
5:17 Then Daniel answered and said before the king, Let thy gifts be to thyself, and give thy rewards to another; yet I will read the writing unto the king, and make known to him the interpretation.
Let thy gifts be to thyself – Daniel showed continual loyalty to God. What advantageous gift would be beneficial from a man who had blasphemed God and was to loose his kingdom later that night (Daniel 5:30)?
5:18 O thou king, the most high God gave Nebuchadnezzar thy father a kingdom, and majesty, and glory, and honour:
Nebuchadnezzar – Daniel first reminds Belshazzar that God gave his grandfather the kingdom. Belshazzar had rejected those experiences learned by Nebuchadnezzar, despite knowing about his grandfather’s fall through sin and pride (Daniel 5:20&21).
5:19 And for the majesty that he gave him, all people, nations, and languages, trembled and feared before him: whom he would he slew; and whom he would he kept alive; and whom he would he set up; and whom he would he put down.
5:20 But when his heart was lifted up, and his mind hardened in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took his glory from him:
5:21 And he was driven from the sons of men; and his heart was made like the beasts, and his dwelling was with the wild asses: they fed him with grass like oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven; till he knew that the most high God ruled in the kingdom of men, and that he appointeth over it whomsoever he will.
22-24. Belshazzar knew all of God’s dealings with his grandfather, Nebuchadnezzar, yet he persistently chose to turn away from the light and remain in darkness.
5:22 And thou his son, O Belshazzar, hast not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest all this;
5:23 But hast lifted up thyself against the Lord of heaven; and they have brought the vessels of his house before thee, and thou, and thy lords, thy wives, and thy concubines, have drunk wine in them; and thou hast praised the gods of silver, and gold, of brass, iron, wood, and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know: and the God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified:
Daniel now reminds Belshazzar of what has just occurred.
5:24 Then was the part of the hand sent from him; and this writing was written.
25-31. That very night God’s judgement on Babylon was fulfilled. Darius had the seasonally low waters of the Euphrates river diverted, and under the cover of darkness his en waded under the city walls where they found the river gates still open. Once inside, they slew the unsuspecting guards and took control of the city.
Daniel lived long enough to see the first part of Nebuchadnezzar’s vision of the image fulfilled. Daniel 2. Babylon did come to an end and another kingdom took its place.
The fall of Babylon to the Medes and Persians in Daniel’s time foreshadows the fall of modern-day spiritual Babylon. See Revelation 17 and 18.
5:25 And this is the writing that was written, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN.
this is the writing – still visible upon the wall for Daniel to read the 4 words – the meaning to each word requiring Divine illumination.
5:26 This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it.
MENE – ‘numbered’ or ‘counted’.
By Divine illumination, Daniel interpreted ‘God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it’.
27. God Reads the Secret Devisings.–It is for the eternal interest of every one to search his own heart, and to improve every God-given faculty. Let all remember that there is not a motive in the heart of any man that the Lord does not clearly see. The motives of each one are weighed as carefully as if the destiny of the human agent depended upon this one result. We need a connection with divine power, that we may have an increase of clear light and an understanding of how to reason from cause to effect. We need to have the powers of the understanding cultivated, by our being partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. Let each one consider carefully the solemn truth, God in heaven is true, and there is not a design, however intricate, nor a motive, however carefully hidden, that He does not clearly understand. He reads the secret devisings of every heart. Men may plan out crooked actions for the future, thinking that God does not understand; but in that great day when the books are opened, and every man is judged by the things written in the books, those actions will appear as they are. . . .  [3BC 1160.2]
The Lord sees and understands all dishonesty in planning, all unlawful appropriation in any degree of property or means, all injustice in man’s dealing with his fellow men . . . [Daniel 5:27 quoted] (RH March 8, 1906).  [3BC 1160.4]
5:27 TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.
TEKEL – ‘weighed’.
Belshazzar had been weighed by God and found lacking in moral worth.
5:28 PERES; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.
PERES – Unlike the other words, which are passive participles of verbs, this word is a noun – singular in form – meaning ‘share’ or ‘portion’.
UPHARSIN – plural form – ‘pieces’. Thy kingdom is broken in pieces.
5:29 Then commanded Belshazzar, and they clothed Daniel with scarlet, and put a chain of gold about his neck, and made a proclamation concerning him, that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom.
Then commanded Belshazzar – The king fulfilled his promise to Daniel.
5:30 In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain.
In that night – Cyrus’ army, commanded by Gobryas, entered the palace and ‘the impious king of Babylon’ was slain. Nabonidus, absent from Babylon at that time, surrendered and Cyrus sent him to distant Carmania.
5:31 And Darius the Median took the kingdom, being about threescore and two years old.
Darius – a title (rather than a name) of several Persian kings.
Darius the Median – (grand)son of Ahasuerus (Daniel 9:1). Possibly Darius I – king of Persia (Ezra 4:4).
took the kingdom – Cyrus’ conquest of Babylon occurred in 539 BC.
Cf. parallels with final fall of Babylon (PK531-8).
1-28 Near the end of his life, Daniel faced a death decree as did his friends in chapter 3.
Again worship was the issue. Would he obey the king’s law or would he be loyal to the God of heaven?
He willingly faced death with unswerving fidelity to his heavenly Father, and God chose to deliver him.
In the end time, God’s faithful people will also face a death decree. See notes on Revelation 16.
Daniel 6:1 It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom an hundred and twenty princes, which should be over the whole kingdom;
Darius the Mede – Cyaxares II – called Ugbaru in the Nabonidus Chronicle, was the son of Astyages, the son of Ahasuerus who was Cyaxares I.
Astyages, had a son (Darius) and a daughter (Mandane – who married a Persian and bore Cyrus – the Persian.
Darius the Median upon the death of his father he became king – aged about 62 years old (Daniel 5:31)
his reign was honoured by God [PK556]
the angel Gabriel sent ‘to confirm and to strengthen him’ – Daniel 11:1
becomes a special friend of Daniel (according to the Greek historian Zenophon)
dies shortly after the fall of Babylon – only one regnal year is mentioned in Bible
about two years of fall of Babylon [PK556/7]
was the last Median ruler – Cyrus the Persian, his niece and also his son-in-law, then ruled.
Cyrus the Persian son of Mandane, daughter of Astyages
a general under his uncle, Darius the Median
conquered Babylon in 539 BC, visited uncle and offered him gifts and a palace in Babylon
in return, Darius gives his daughter as well as the kingdom
has son, Cambyses.
Cyrus the Persian – also called Gubaru in the Nabonidus Chronicle
lived for many years after the conquest of Babylon.
Darius I – beginning of the Median Empire.
hundred and twenty – cf. Ester 1:1 where Xerxes governed 127 provinces.
princes – Daniel 3:2 – designated officials at the head of the largest divisions of the empire.
6:2 And over these three presidents; of whom Daniel was first: that the princes might give accounts unto them, and the king should have no damage.
three presidents – no non-Biblical sources of this administrative body.
Daniel was first – Daniel was one – see Daniel 2:9, 4:19, 7:5, 16 where the same word is rendered ‘one’.
The aged prophet soon distinguished himself by conscientious service.
Seldom is a prime minister of a conquered kingdom appointed as a high official by the conqueror – usually executed, but Persians valued his abilities and integrity.
Princes were to guard against loss of revenue and other damage (cf. Ezra 4:13-16 with respect to records).
6:3 Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm.
an excellent spirit – Daniel’s hallmark of recognition – queen mother had noticed – see 5:11-12.
6:4 Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him.
against Daniel – While the king elevated Daniel in the interests of crown and empire; a spirit of jealousy naturally arose among Median / Persian dignitaries when a Jew occupied the position that they thought was rightfully theirs – cf. Lucifer in heaven.
any error or fault – Daniel was by now an elderly statesman in his mid 80’s (law of health and reliance upon God).
5. An Unenviable Position.–Daniel’s position was not an enviable one. He stood at the head of a dishonest, prevaricating, godless cabinet, whose members watched him with keen, jealous eyes, to find some flaw in his conduct. They kept spies on his track, to see if they could not in this way find something against him. Satan suggested to these men a plan whereby they might get rid of Daniel. Use his religion as a means of condemning him, the enemy said (YI Nov. 1, 1900).  [4BC 1171.3]
5. Daniel held the responsible position of prime minister in the kingdom of Babylon, and there were those who were envious of Daniel among the great men of the court, and they wanted to find something against him that they might bring an accusation against him to the king.
6:5 Then said these men, We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God.
They would have noticed that Daniel was absent from his office every Sabbath (day of rest). They reasoned that his set time prayers would interfere with the discharge of his official duties.
6:6 Then these presidents and princes assembled together to the king, and said thus unto him, King Darius, live for ever.
Not everyone would have assembled – only those heavily laced in jealousy.
6:7 All the presidents of the kingdom, the governors, and the princes, the counsellors, and the captains, have consulted together to establish a royal statute, and to make a firm decree, that whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions.
All – but one was Daniel! – doubtless a lie as many probably not consulted.
A decree of this nature – entirely alien to Persians but Darius the Mede evidently signed.
Note: Cyrus the Persian king rebuilt Babylon’s destroyed temples; Darius claimed that the False Smerdis (a Magian from Media) had destroyed temples through spirit of intolerance.
6:8 Now, O king, establish the decree, and sign the writing, that it be not changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not.
altereth not – irrevocable – cf. Ester 1:19, 8:8 and Darius II (BC812).
6:9 Wherefore king Darius signed the writing and the decree.
The ageing king had fallen victim to the flattery of these men; later on he would recognise their evil plot.
10. Undeviating Integrity Is Only Safe Course.–It may be a difficult matter for men in high positions to pursue the path of undeviating integrity whether they shall receive praise or censure. Yet this is the only safe course. All the rewards which they might gain by selling their honor would be only as the breath from polluted lips, as dross to be consumed in the fire. Those who have moral courage to stand in opposition to the vices and errors of their fellow men–it may be of those whom the world honor– will receive hatred, insult, and abusive falsehood. They may be thrust down from their high position, because they would not be bought or sold, because they could not be induced by bribes or threats to stain their hands with iniquity. Everything on earth may seem to conspire against them; but God has set His seal upon His own work. They may be regarded by their fellow men as weak, unmanly, unfit to hold office; but how differently does the Most High regard them. Those who despise them are the really ignorant. While the storms of calumny and reviling may pursue the man of integrity through life, and beat upon his grave, God has the “well done” prepared for him. Folly and iniquity will at best yield only a life of unrest and discontent, and at its close a thorny dying pillow. And how many, as they view their course of action and its results, are led to end with their own hands their disgraceful career. And beyond all this waits the judgment, and the final, irrevocable doom, Depart (ST Feb. 2, 1882)!  [4BC 1171.4]
6:10 Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.
his house – most ancient and modern Mesopotamian houses have flat roofs with a raised up apartment in one corner – containing latticed windows for ventilation – such rooms providing ideal seclusion places for prayer.
toward Jerusalem – Daniel’s windows faced towards Jerusalem – his boyhood city – probably never revisited.
(Cf. 1Kings 8:33, 35 & Psalm 5:7; 28:2 – the holy city, the holy oracle.)
he kneeled – the Bible records various prayer postures:
sitting – David (2 Samuel 7:18)
bowing – Eliezer (Genesis 24:26), Elijah (1Kings 18:42)
standing – Hannah (1Samuel 1:26)
kneeling – Ezra (Ezra 9:5), Jesus (Luke 22:41), Stephen (Acts 7:60). Also see Ps 95:3-6, PK48 and GW178.
three times a day – later Jewish tradition offered prayer at the 3rd, 6th & 9th hours of the day (counted from sunrise). Morning sacrifice – 3rd hour; evening sacrifice – 9th hour. 3 daily prayers became a fixed custom with every orthodox Jew – also adopted into the early church.
6:11 Then these men assembled, and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God.
found Daniel praying – As a man of God, Daniel continued with his regular prayer habits.
6:12 Then they came near, and spake before the king concerning the king’s decree; Hast thou not signed a decree, that every man that shall ask a petition of any God or man within thirty days, save of thee, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions? The king answered and said, The thing is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not.
The accusers first remind Darius of his decree and its binding implications.
6:13 Then answered they and said before the king, That Daniel, which is of the children of the captivity of Judah, regardeth not thee, O king, nor the decree that thou hast signed, but maketh his petition three times a day.
of the captivity – The hatred and contempt of the accusers portrayed Daniel as a foreigner, a Jewish exile, rather than refer to his official position. The accusers sought to undermine the king’s credibility through highly honouring Daniel; they aimed to convince Darius that his special friend was ungrateful and traitorous in character.
6:14 Then the king, when he heard these words, was sore displeased with himself, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him: and he laboured till the going down of the sun to deliver him.
deliver him – The ageing king now recognises that he has been trapped and, spending the rest of the day, tries to find a legal loophole so that Daniel and the Median / Persian law are saved.
6:15 Then these men assembled unto the king, and said unto the king, Know, O king, that the law of the Medes and Persians is, That no decree nor statute which the king establisheth may be changed.
assembled – Daniel’s enemies returned to the king in the evening – to claim their prey, knowing they had a legal right to demand his execution.
6:16 Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee.
deliver thee – cf. Daniel 3:15 where Nebuchadnezzar had uttered such words under similar conditions. God had performed miracles in the days of Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar. Darius now trusts that Daniel’s God will deliver him.
6:17 And a stone was brought, and laid upon the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet, and with the signet of his lords; that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel.
sealed it – Totally unnecessary as the wild animals would swiftly tear to pieces their prey.
Cautionary act only when lions would not harm Daniel.
Official sealing by king and his lords served:
as guarantee to Darius that Daniel would not be killed by any other means
to assure Daniel’s enemies that no attempt could be made to save him.
Sealed Egyptian tombs – may provide clue to method used for sealing an opening:
door closed
plaster covered and while still wet
seals stamped all over wet plaster
cylindrical roll seals used in lieu – numerous examples excavated in Mesopotamia –
common among Assyrians, Babylonians and Persians.
6:18 Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting: neither were instruments of musick brought before him: and his sleep went from him.
instruments of musick – obscure Aramaic word only used here in the Bible.
6:19 Then the king arose very early in the morning, and went in haste unto the den of lions.
very early in the morning – dawn – king Darius went in haste at first light.
6:20 And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel: and the king spake and said to Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions?
lamentable – full of anxiety – the voice betrayed Darius’ inner restlessness, anxiety and bitter remorse.
servant of the living God – Darius was acquainted with Daniel’s God.
6:21 Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live for ever.
O king, live for ever – cf. Daniel 2:4.
6:22 My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt.
shut the lions’ mouths – Daniel’s deliverance attributed to an act of faith (Hebrews 11:33).
innocency was found in me – before being thrown to lions, Daniel’s enemies would have taken any defence as a sign of weakness or fear; now Daniel declares his innocence.
6:23 Then was the king exceeding glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his God.
take Daniel up – the requirements of the royal decree now enacted – to cast Daniel into the den of lions (Daniel 6:7) implied the death sentence rather than the act of execution. Now, no constitutional restrictions prevent the king from removing Daniel from the lions’ den.
6:24 And the king commanded, and they brought those men which had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions, them, their children, and their wives; and the lions had the mastery of them, and brake all their bones in pieces or ever they came at the bottom of the den.
they cast them – the angry king now acted in typical fashion.
the number cast – less than 122 (Daniel 6:1&2) – not everyone involved with the plot.
their children, and their wives – A Persian custom testified by Herodotus and Ammianus Marcellinus.
6:25 Then king Darius wrote unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you.
6:26 I make a decree, That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for he is the living God, and stedfast for ever, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion shall be even unto the end.
I make a decree – Darius issues edict – similar to Nebuchadnezzar’s early edict.
6:27 He delivereth and rescueth, and he worketh signs and wonders in heaven and in earth, who hath delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.
6:28 So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian.
in the reign – sentence construction permits Cyrus to be a co ruler with, or successor to, Darius.
The book of Daniel is not in strict chronological order – events of chapter 5 & 6 occurred after those in the 7th chapter but the historical narrative of Chapters 1 – 6 is carried through to its conclusion.
The 7th chapter is a parallel vision to Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in Chapter 2, but in greater detail.
The Daniel 2 vision was given to a heathen king; the Daniel 7 vision given to Daniel shows more clearly the nature of worldly kingdoms under the symbols of beasts.
Vision symbols:
beasts – kingdoms, empires – Daniel 7:2, 3
sea or waters – peoples, multitudes –Revelation 17:15
winds – strife, commotion, war Jeremiah 25: 31-33; 49;36, 37
horns – kings, powers – Daniel 7:24.
1. This concludes the narrative of Daniel’s life and begins the account of his visions and prophecies. In chapter 2 we saw the image of four metals symbolizing the four great world empires from Daniel’s day to the end of time; in this chapter we have four beasts that represent the same kingdoms in more detail.
Daniel 7:1 In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream, and told the sum of the matters.
had a dream – saw a dream – being a parallel vision to the one in Chapter 2.
he wrote – the dream was recorded for future generation preservation – see Daniel 12:9.
sum of the matters – a summary; the important details; the salient points.
2-7. Messiah’s Ensign, a Lamb.–To Daniel was given a vision of fierce beasts, representing the powers of the earth. But the ensign of the Messiah’s kingdom is a lamb. While earthly kingdoms rule by the ascendancy of physical power, Christ is to banish every carnal weapon, every instrument of coercion. His kingdom was to be established to uplift and ennoble fallen humanity (Letter 32, 1899).  [4BC 1171.5]
2-3. In verse 23 the angel says: “The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon the earth.” Even today we portray nations with animal symbols (US: Eagle, Russia: Bear, England: Lion, etc.).
Winds in Bible prophecy depict war, strife and bloodshed. See Jeremiah 25:31-33. The “Four winds” indicates that the strife is coming from all directions of the compass. See Matthew 24:31. The “sea” and waters symbolize many people. See Revelation 17:15. So beasts arising from the turbulent waters symbolize nations arising from wars among many peoples.
7:2 Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea.
winds – used in symbolic vision to denote activity or some form of energy. Compare Ezekiel 37:9-14 where Divine energy revives the lifeless nation of Israel.
The winds of Daniel strove upon the great sea causing four great beasts (empires) to emerge which would shape world history politically, diplomatically and by their warlike force.
four winds – four compass points – political activity in various parts of the earth. Jeremiah 49:36 cf. Daniel 8:8, 11:4; Zechariah 2:6, 6:5 margin.
strove – to stir up – with continued action.
great sea – symbolic: Sea – nations of the world; Great sea – of humanity in all ages. Revelation 17:15 cf. Isaiah 17:12, Jeremiah 46:7.
7:3 And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.
four … (beasts) is often linked with the world.
beasts – kingdoms / empires – Daniel 7:2.
These beasts symbolise nations that arose out of the seas of people – land already occupied – the Near East and Europe.
v17 – ‘four kings, which shall arise out of the earth’; rather v23 – ‘kingdoms’.
They represent the same four world powers symbolised by the metallic image of Chapter 2.
came up – these world powers would rule not contemporaneously but successively.
diverse – compare the different metals presented in Daniel 2:38-40.
4. Babylon is fitly represented by a “lion.” See Jeremiah 4:7; 50:17, 43-44. Just as gold is supreme among the metals so the “lion” is king among beasts and the “eagle” is king of the birds. Babylon’s rise from a basal state of Assyria to ruler of the known world was breathtakingly swift. In the 21 years after Babylon gained its independence from Assyria, it had conquered the surrounding nations, and become the most powerful empire in the region; thus the “eagle’s wings” portray speed. See Habakkuk 1:6-8.
Later, this nation ceased to expand and conquer, represented by the wings being “plucked” off. After the death of Nebuchadnezzar the succeeding kings of Babylon chose to ignore God’s low and mock him. See note on Daniel 5:22. Then Babylon lost its lion-like nobility. It was given a “man’s heart” and made to stand upon its “feet as a man.”
7:4 The first was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man’s heart was given to it.
lionhad eagle’s wings – symbol for Babylon (605 BC – 539 BC). Babylonian objects of art often depict a winged lion. Lion + eagle was a common motif – sometimes with claws or a beak. Similarly, the eagle with a lion’s head.
lion – noted for strength – is king of beasts – represents the empire of Babylon
eagle – power and flight range – is king of birds – at height of its glory.
Nebuchadnezzar – cf. Jeremiah 4:7, 50:17,44; Lam 4:19; Ezekiel 17:3,12; Habakkuk 1:8 – ruled Babylon from Mediterranean to Persian Gulf, from Asia Minor to Egypt.
plucked – the lion was no longer able to fly like an eagle upon its prey – less powerful rulers followed Nebuchadnezzar in the kingdom of Babylon.
lifted up – a lion standing erect like a man is indicative of lion-like quality loss.
a man’s heart – King Richard’s nickname – ‘lion hearted’ – unusual courage and boldness. Conversely a ‘man hearted lion’ indicates cowardice and timidity.
In declining years, Babylon became weak and enfeebled through wealth and luxury – fell victim to the Medo-Persian kingdom.
5. The next kingdom, corresponding to the chest and arms of silver from the image of Daniel 2, is Medo-Persia. Persia was dominant over Media; which is represented by the “bear” “raise up” “on one side” The “three ribs” in the bear’s mouth likely represent the major kingdoms which Medo-Persia conquered – Babylon, Lydia (in Turkey), and Egypt. At the height of its power this empire has conquered more than six times as much land as had its predecessor Babylon. It did “devour much flesh.”
7:5 And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh.
a bear – Medo-Persian or Persian Empire (539 BC – 331 BC) – corresponding to the silver part of the image in Daniel 2:39. Silver inferior to gold; bear (in certain respects) inferior to lion.
Bear is cruel and rapacious – characteristics attributed to Medes (Isaiah 13:17-18).
raised up itself on one side – or, ‘it raised up one dominion’.
2 parts – a few years before the dual empire conquered Babylon, the Persians became the dominating power over the Medes – see Daniel 2:39.
three ribs – Lydia, Babylon and Egypt were conquered by the Medo-Persian Empire.
6. Medo-Persia was defeated by Macedonian Greece, represented as a “leopard” with “four heads” and “four wings.” The “four wings” represent unprecedented swiftness. See Habakkuk 1:6. The conquests of Macedonian Greece under Alexander the Great were more rapid than even those of Babylon. In just three short years, from 334-331 BC, he conquered the entire Persian Empire. The leopard is more agile and swift than a lion or bear, yet more frail. Alexander died in 323 BC at the age of thirty-two. His four strongest generals (Cassander, Lysimachus, Ptolemy, and Seleucas), divided the kingdom amongst themselves, symbolized by the leopard’s “four heads.”
7:6 After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it.
like a leopard – a fierce, carnivorous animal, swift and agile in its movements (Habakkuk 1:8 cf. Hosea 13:7).
The power succeeding the Persian Empire is identified as ‘Grecia’ in Daniel 8:14.
The ‘Grecia’ of Daniel was the semi-Greek Macedonian Empire of Alexander the Great, which inaugurated the Hellenistic period.
But not until Alexander’s day could reference be made to the ‘first king’ (8:21) of a Greek empire who was ‘a mighty king’ with ‘great dominion’ (11:3).
Cf. also Daniel 2:39 and refer to BC773/4.
In 338 BC – Alexander’s father, Philip, had united most of the city-states of Greece under his control.
In 336 BC – Alexander succeeded to the throne of Macedonia, a semi-Greek state on the northern border of Greece.
In 334 BC – Alexander entered Persian territory.
In 331 BC – He founded the city of Alexandria before directing his armies to Mesopotamia, the heart of the Persian Empire. At 25 years of age, the world’s greatest empire lay open to the young king. Turkistan was attacked by 329 BC and he reached north-west India in 327 BC.
In 323 BC, he made his capital in Babylon but later that year, after heavy drinking, fell ill and died of ‘swamp fever’ (ancient name for malaria).
During the next 43 years, much bloodshed occurred as Alexander’s generals and subsequent satraps fought for supremacy of total or partial control of his empire.
Before the time of Christ, the 3 Hellenistic kingdoms of Macedonia, Syria and Egypt had become Roman provinces.
Four wings of a foul – the leopard, although swift, is given four rather than two wings to denote the superlative speed (1 decade) by which Alexander and his Macedonians came into possession of the world’s greatest empire.
7. The previous empires were represented by some of the most ferocious animals of prey; but this “beast” is represented by a frightful monster. This is a fitting figure of the Roman Empire which dominated the world with its iron legions. The “iron teeth” of this monster give it a direct parallel to the iron in the image in Daniel 2:40.
It was Rome that ruled the Mediterranean world when Jesus lived on earth, and it was the Roman governor, Pilate, who set Him to the cross, where he died for the sins of all mankind. The “ten horns,” like the leopard’s “four heads,” show a splintering of the kingdom into multiple parts. See notes on vs. 24-25.
7:7 After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.
8. Verse 24 tells us, “The ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings.” So this horn is a little kingdom. See notes on vs. 24-25.
7:8 I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.
Even in modern times certain animals have come to represent nations:
United States has its eagle
Russia has its bear.
The little horn comes out of the forth beast (nation / kingdom, or king – v.17).
Has manlike eyes and a very boastful mouth.
9-10. In Daniel 2 we saw a stone crush the statue to powder, then fill the whole earth, vividly portraying the time when these nations will be judged and destroyed. At that time God will set up His kingdom and reign forever.
This chapter adds the fact that God will “sit” for a solemn day of judgement before He sets up His “everlasting dominion.” See vs. 9-12, 22 and 26. His verdict will be both just and merciful, because He commits the judgement to His Son, who gave His life for us. John 5:22, 27.
7:9 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.
The scene after probation has closed.
10 (Revelation 20:12). An Unerring Register.–There is an unerring register kept of all sins committed. All man’s impiety, all his disobedience to Heaven’s commands, are written in the books of heaven with unerring accuracy. The figures of guilt rapidly accumulate, yet the judgments of God are tempered with mercy, until the figures have reached their appointed limit. God bears long with the transgression of human beings, and continues through His appointed agencies to present the gospel message, until the set time has come. God bears with divine patience with the perversity of the wicked; but He declares that He will visit their transgressions with a rod. He will at last permit the destructive agencies of Satan to bear sway to destroy (MS 17, 1906).  [4BC 1171.6]
Accurately recorded in the books of heaven are the sneers and trivial remarks made by sinners who pay no heed to the call of mercy when Christ is represented to them by a servant of God. As the artist takes on the polished glass a true picture of a human face, so God daily places upon the books of heaven an exact representation of the character of every individual (MS 105, 1901).  [4BC 1171.7]
7:10 A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.
Judgement day – the day of reckoning.
11-12. The territory and subjects of the three previous kingdoms were not destroyed even though they ceased to exist as separate empires. In contrast, the fourth kingdom ends in the lake of fire and has no existence beyond. See Revelation 19:20.
7:11 I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame.
7:12 As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time.
7:13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.
clouds – Christ’s appearance is frequently associated with clouds – see; Acts 1:9; Revelation 1:7; 10:1; 14:14; cf. Psalm 104:3; 1 Thessalonians 4:17.
7:14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.
7:15 I Daniel was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me.
7:16 I came near unto one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things.
7:17 These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth.
A beast being a political power – it can also describe a religious power [Revelation 13:8].
7:18 But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.
7:19 Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet;
A diverse nation from the three earlier beasts:
Babylon, Persia and Greece; whose kingdoms came to an end.
The same nation as represented by the iron legs of the great metal statue (Chapter 2) – Rome with its cruel powerful iron weapons.
20-25. “The ten horns” of the beasts, like the feet of iron mixed with clay in Daniel 2, predicted that the Roman Empire would fragment into ten parts. Barbarian tribes invaded the empire’s territory from the north and east and eventually became the nations of modern Europe.
7:20 And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows.
horns – kings or powers – Daniel 7:24.
The little horn grows more stout, more powerful than any of the 10 horns.
Arising out of the pagan Roman Empire, only one European power fits this description – papal Rome – the Roman Catholic church.
Under Roman Empire, popes had no temporal powers.
When Roman Empire had disintegrated into barbarous kingdoms, the Roman Catholic church grew to dominate Europe in both religious affairs and secular affairs – for 1260 years, from 538 AD – 1798 AD.
7:21 I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;
7:22 Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.
7:23 Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.
The rule of the Roman Empire was world-wide and dominating.
7:24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.
Around 490 AD, Europe had 10 kingdoms:
Anglo-Saxons
Franks
Suevi
Visigoths
Burgundians
Alamanni
Lombards
Ostrogoths
Heruli
Vandals. Cf. Daniel 2:40-43.
Prophecy fulfilled when Papal Rome (little horn) defeats three of these nations:
493 AD – Heruli defeated.
534 AD – Vandals vanquished by Emperor Justinian, who ruled the eastern half of the Roman Empire in Constantinople.
538 AD – Justinian’s General Belisarius removes Ostrogothic power from Rome during a 20 year campaign against the Ostrogoths in Italy.
These 3 nations were supporters of Arianism, the most formidable rival of Catholicism.
The papal Rome steps to power:
330 AD – Emperor Constantine moved the political capital from Rome to Constantinople – Bishop of Rome became comparatively free from imperial control.
c 496 AD – Conversion of Clovis (leader of the Franks) to the Roman faith gave pope a political ally willing to fight church battles (barbarian invaders were still mainly Arians). For 12 centuries the sword of France, the ‘eldest son of the papacy’, was an effective agent for conversion of men to the church of Rome and maintaining papal authority.
533 AD – Emperor Justinian wrote 2 official letters – had the force of royal edits – which recognised the pope’s ecclesiastical supremacy as ‘head of all the holy churches’ in both the east and west, and he legally confirmed the bishop of Rome as the ‘head of all the holy priests of God’.
538 AD – With the papacy freed from the domination of the Arian kingdoms Justinian’s decrees became effective. The power and the authority of the papacy grew and grew.
One by one the other 7 kingdoms became catholic or yielded to Catholicism – the pope emerged as the leading figure of Europe.
25 (Exodus 31:13; Ezekiel 20:12). A Signpost Turned Around.–The Lord has clearly defined the road to the city of God; but the great apostate has changed the signpost, setting up a false one–a spurious sabbath. He says: “I will work at cross-purposes with God. I will empower my delegate, the man of sin, to take down God’s memorial, the seventh-day Sabbath. Thus will I show the world that the day sanctified and blessed by God has been changed. That day shall not live in the minds of the people. I will obliterate the memory of it. I will place in its stead a day bearing not the credentials of heaven, a day that cannot be a sign between God and His people. I will lead the people who accept this day, to place upon it the sanctity that God placed upon the seventh day. Through my vicegerent I will exalt myself. The first day shall be extolled, and the Protestant world shall receive this spurious sabbath as genuine. Through the non-observance of the Sabbath God instituted, I will bring His law into contempt. The words, ‘A sign between me and you throughout your generations,’ I will make to serve on the side of my sabbath. Thus the world will become mine. I will be ruler of the earth, prince of the world. I will so control the minds under my power that God’s Sabbath shall be an object of contempt. A sign? I will make the observance of the seventh day a sign of disloyalty to the authorities of earth. Human laws shall be made so stringent that men and women will not dare to observe the seventh-day Sabbath. For fear of wanting food and clothing, they will join with the world in transgressing God’s law; and the earth will be wholly under my dominion.”  [4BC 1171.8]
The man of sin has instituted a false sabbath, and the professed Christian world has adopted this child of the papacy, refusing to obey God. Thus Satan leads men and women in a direction opposite to the city of refuge; and by the multitudes who follow him, it is demonstrated that Adam and Eve are not the only ones who have accepted the words of the wily foe.  [4BC 1172.1]
The enemy of all good has turned the signpost round, so that it points to the path of disobedience as the path of happiness. He has insulted Jehovah by refusing to obey a “Thus saith the Lord.” He has thought to change times and laws (RH April 17, 1900).  [4BC 1172.2]
7:25 And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.
think to change times and laws
Jesus, who during 33 years, would have experienced over 1700 Sabbaths but never once did He speak to change the Sabbath day; nor is it recorded anywhere in the Bible that Sunday – the old pagan day of sun worship – should be the day of worship to God. Cf. Matthew 5:17.
An angel tells that this ‘person’, this world power, shall speak against God, persecute His saints and shall think he has changed God’s sanctified Sabbath day from Saturday (7th day) to another day (Sunday – 1st day) through an alteration of God’s eternal and unchangeable 10 Commandments.
For God’s Word to be true, there must be a world power that has thought to change God’s laws; history shows us the evidence.
The papacy has changed God’s eternal Laws:
The 1st commandment permits some gods, but ‘no strange gods’
The 2nd commandment against images has gone
The 4th commandment does not recognise the 7th day as holy
The 10th commandment has been split in two to retain ten commandments.
The church of Rome altered the stone tablet handwriting of God to more accurately reflect their compromising attitude towards paganism. Paganism relied heavily on sun worship and idol worship, so by changing these laws the church of Rome found it easier to accommodate the pagan peoples they had conquered.
In the 11th century, pope Gregory VII proclaimed the perfection of the Roman church. He put various propositions forward which included:
The church had never erred; nor would it ever err
That he, as pontiff, had the power to depose emperors (cf. Daniel 2:21)
No-one could reverse any decision that he had made
It was his prerogative to reverse the decisions of all others.
Thus the Roman church’s claim to infallibility.
By example of the pope’s authority:
In January 1077 the German emperor, Henry IV, for presuming to disregard the pope’s authority was declared to be excommunicated and dethroned. Terrified and threatened by his own princes (papal led), Henry made peace with Rome. With wife and faithful servant he crossed the Alps in winter to humble himself before pope Gregory. In an outer court and in miserable dress (head and feet exposed) he had to wait 3 days, fasting and making confession, before pardon was granted by the boastful pope (it was his duty to pull down the pride of kings).
7 biblical references cite the time that the anti-christ power will be permitted to wage war against God’s true church.
Dan. 7:25, 12:7, Revelation 11:2, 11:3, 12:6, 12:14 and 13:5.
Using a biblical calendar of 360 days with 12 30-day months:
1260 days = 42 months = 1 year (time) + 2 years + 1/2 year.
Thus all verses specify the same amount of time.
Literal or prophetic time?
Numbers 14:34 – After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, [even] forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, [even] forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise.
Ezekiel 4:6 – And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed thee each day for a year.
God, having recorded His code on file, now through later inspired writings uses the same code for us to interpret His prophecies. By inspiration, God informed both Daniel and John on the isle of Patmos of extremely important prophecies that incorporated the periods of ‘days’. Through Holy Spirit guidance and past prophecy fulfilment, man has been able to predict future events and obtain a clear view of past history through the surety of God’s Word.
538 AD + 1260 ‘day’ years = 1798 AD.
Exactly to the year the papacy suffered its ‘deathblow’.
The victories of Napoleon’s armies in Italy placed the pope at the mercy of the French revolutionary government, which now advised that the Roman religion would always be a persistent enemy of the republic. The government urged Napoleon to destroy the centre of unity of the Roman church. This occurred in 1798 when the French army, led by General Berthier, marched into Rome, proclaimed the end of political rule of the papacy and took the pope prisoner. Exiled in France the pope died.
God permitted papal Rome to rule for 1260 years to demonstrate to the universe the anti Christ power of disobedience and blasphemy; by contrast, Christ’s ministry lasted for three and a half years = 1260 days.
26-28. The climax of this prophecy is God’s final judgement. The beast and the little horn power are judged and their kingdom is taken away; at the same time the verdict is made in favour of the saints and dominion is given to them.
These same events were portrayed in Daniel 2 when the stone crushed the statue of power and filled the whole earth.
God will set up His everlasting kingdom full of love, joy and peace; there will be no sickness or death. Revelation 21:3-4.
7:26 But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end.
7:27 And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.
7:28 Hitherto is the end of the matter. As for me Daniel, my cogitations much troubled me, and my countenance changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart.
The original written language for the remainder of Daniel now returns back to Hebrew.
1-2. Daniel received this vision 12 years before the fall of Babylon. Since Babylon was about to be overthrown, the vision of this chapter begins with Medo-Persia. This chapter is also a repeat of chapter 7 with more emphasis on the judgement scene.
Daniel 8:1 In the third year of the reign of king Belshazzar a vision appeared unto me, even unto me Daniel, after that which appeared unto me at the first.
third year of the reign of king Belshazzar – i.e. 551 BC – as first year was 553 BC.
at the first – refers to vision of Daniel 7.
8:2 And I saw in a vision; and it came to pass, when I saw, that I was at Shushan in the palace, which is in the province of Elam; and I saw in a vision, and I was by the river of Ulai.
was at Shushan – present in vision only, rather than bodily.
similar transportations:
the visit of Ezekiel to Jerusalem (Ezekiel 8:3)
John to the wilderness (Revelation 17:3)
also Ellen G White (EW32,39) cf. Paul re. 2 Corinthians 12:3
palace – citadel or acropolis
Greek historian Xenophon – Persian kings later used city as a winter residence, spent rest of year at Babylon or Ecbatana.
Elam – probably still a Babylonian province at time of vision.
Ulai – an unidentified river.
Classical writers place Susa on the Euleus or on the Choaspes; possibly a canal between Choaspes and Coprates rivers.
3-4. Verse 20 identifies this “ram” as Medo-Persia. The “two horns” represent the 2 parts of the empire with the Persians, the younger of the two nations, becoming dominant over the Medes. See also noes on Daniel 7:5.
8:3 Then I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and, behold, there stood before the river a ram which had two horns: and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher came up last.
a ram which had two horns – symbolic representation of the kings of Media and Persia – explained by angel in Daniel 8:20.
higher than the other – Persia, rose after Media, became dominant power when Cyrus defeated Astyages of Media in 553 BC or 550 BC. Medes then treated as confederates rather than conquered inferiors.
8:4 I saw the ram pushing westward, and northward, and southward; so that no beasts might stand before him, neither was there any that could deliver out of his hand; but he did according to his will, and became great.
pushing westward, and northward, and southward – Medo-Persian Empire much larger than its predecessor, Babylon.
Cyrus conquered Lydia in 547 BC and Babylon in 539 BC.
Cambyses extended conquests south into Egypt and Nubia in 525 BC.
Darius Hystaspes went north against the Scythians in 513 BC.
Persian army successes – In days of Ahasuerus the empire extended from India to Ethiopia (Esther 1:1).
Persian monarch was titled ‘king of kings’ or ‘king of the countries’.
5-8. Verses 21 and 22 identify the “goat” as Greece the “notable horn between his eyes” was Alexander the Great, who came from the west and defeated the armies of Persia. Alexander died without an heir at the height of his power. His generals fought each other until there were only four left, represented by the “four horns.” See also notes on Daniel 7:6.
The two animals used to represent Medo-Persia and Greece are not wild animals of prey, but clean animals used in the sanctuary service. The next power to come into view is represented by a horn. The focus of this vision is how this power affects God’s Sanctuary, His people and His work of saving souls from sin.
8:5 And as I was considering, behold, an he goat came from the west on the face of the whole earth, and touched not the ground: and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes.
he goat – represents Greece, the Macedonian Empire of Alexander – explained by angel in Daniel 8:21; see also Daniel 7:6.
from the west – Greece lay west of the Persian Empire.
touched not the ground – this swift description depicts the astonishing speed and completeness of Alexander’s conquests; see also Daniel 7:6.
notable horn – represents the first great Grecian king – Alexander the Great; see Daniel 7:21 and parallel prophecy of Daniel 11:3&4.
8:6 And he came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing before the river, and ran unto him in the fury of his power.
8:7 And I saw him come close unto the ram, and he was moved with choler against him, and smote the ram, and brake his two horns: and there was no power in the ram to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground, and stamped upon him: and there was none that could deliver the ram out of his hand.
moved with choler – to be enraged – Choler is Old English for ‘anger’.
The Persian Empire was completely destroyed; the royal city of Persepolis, whose monumental ruins still stand, was destroyed by fire.
8:8 Therefore the he goat waxed very great: and when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and for it came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven.
waxed very great – magnified himself completely.
Prophecy predicted that Alexander, the great horn, would fall while his empire was at the pinnacle of power.
Aged 32, Alexander died of a fever – cf. Daniel 7:6.
four notable ones – Alexander’s empire was divided into 4 Macedonian (or Hellenistic) kingdoms – cf. Daniel 7:6 & 11:3,4.
9-12. We know from Daniel 2 and 7 and from history that the power which followed Greece was Rome. In chapters 2 and 7 it was shown in two phases: Pagan Rome and Divided Rome. We saw in Chapter 7 that the religious power of Papal Rome rose to dominate the divided empire.
This vision represents power. The physical actions of Pagan Rome against God’s people are symbolic of Papal persecution of God’s people and their true worship.
8:9 And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land.
them – the ‘winds’ or ‘horns’ of Daniel 8:8.
out of one of them – if ‘winds’ – from one of the four compass points, another power would arise.
the power succeeding Greece is Rome (cf. Daniel 2:40 & 7:7.
a little horn – represents Rome, in both pagan and papal phases.
Daniel, in vision, saw pagan, imperial Rome – warring against Jewish people and early Christians –
and papal Rome – warring against the true church down through the ages until today and Christ’s Second Coming.
toward the south – Egypt was long an unofficial protectorate of Rome.
By 168 BC, Egypt was in Rome’s hand – Antiochus Epiphanes, seeking to make war on the Ptolemies, was ordered out of the country.
Egypt, still under Ptolemaic administration, was a pawn of Roman Eastern policy before becoming a Roman province in 30 BC.
toward the east – the Seleucid Empire lost it’s westernmost lands to Rome about 190 BC and became the Roman province of Syria around 65 BC.
pleasant land – the land of Palestine – incorporated into the Roman Empire in 63 BC.
8:10 And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them.
host of heaven and the stars represent ‘the mighty and the holy people’ as interpreted by the angel in Daniel 8:24.
stamped upon them – In fury, Rome has persecuted God’s people so often throughout the centuries.
In the days of the tyrants (Nero, Decius and Diocletian), in pagan times and also papal times, she has never hesitated to deal harshly with those whom she chooses to condemn.
8:11 Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down.
prince of the host – a reference to Christ, who was crucified under the authority of Rome – cf. Daniel 8:25, 9:25 & 11:22.
by him – ‘from him’ i.e. from ‘the prince of the host’.
daily– continual or regular.
place – site.
Cf. ‘for the house of God to set it up in his place’ (Ezra 2:68), & Jerusalem’s destruction was soon to occur (Daniel 9:26).
8:12 And an host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practiced, and prospered.
cast down the truth – truth loaded with papal tradition and obscured by superstition.
13-14. A day in Bible prophecy equals one literal year, so the 2300 days allotted for the events in this vision are 2300 years. See Ezekiel 4:6; Numbers 14:34. This time period cannot be 2300 literal days – a little over 6 years – because this vision encompasses the Persian, Grecian, Roman, and Papal powers, and because verses 17 and 19 state that the vision extends to the end of time.
The angel does not give the starting date in this chapter but we know that is sometime during the reign of Medo-Persia (539-331 BC), which was the first kingdom in this prophecy. The exact starting date is given in chapter 9.
8:13 Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?
the transgression of desolation – term covers both pagan and papal systems of false religion, being in conflict with God’s truth.
8:14 And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.
unto me – LXX, Theodotion and the Syriac read ‘unto him’.
days – evenings, mornings.
In real time:
A ‘day’ is set by the rotation of the earth.
A ‘month’ by the movement of the moon around the earth.
A ‘year’ by the earth circling the sun.
The ‘week’ of 7 days is a period of time unique from all others – God established this period of time in honour of the creation of this planet. On the seventh day God rested from His work -not because He was tired but as an ensample to us; the Sabbath was to be a day of rest for all mankind. The importance of this special observance may be seen by God’s action when He blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it; also it became the 4th commandment of the Decalogue. In the 4th commandment alone is found the mark and seal of God – name, title and territory over which He rules and has authority. Such credentials were found in government seals used to officially identify national laws and authorise legal documents. After Moses led the Israelites out of their Egyptian captivity, God put His 10 commandment law for His people in writing high upon Mt. Sinai in Arabia. Those who rejected observing the Sabbath faced being cast out and even stoned to death – Exodus 31:14 – after 40 years, by this approach, the Israelites were being taught how to be obedient to God. Another example is given in Exodus 16, where God sent manna from heaven but no manna fell on Sabbath; God providing a double portion upon each Friday. Each week the Sabbath is a constant memorial to mankind’s creation and our Creator. Incidentally, the Sabbath runs from Friday’s sunset to Saturday’s sunset – ‘even’ starts ‘at the going down of the sun’ (see Deuteronomy 16:6 and Mark 1:32; study also Joshua 8:29; Genesis 28:11; Psalms 113:3, 136:8-9; 2 Samuel 23:4; Mark 16:2. The evening occurring before the morning (Genesis creation day verses.)
The 2300 days began at the same point that the 70 weeks (Daniel 9:24-27) began – 457 BC.
The 70 weeks are part of the 2300 days; the residual part being 1810 days.
Using the day for a year principle given in Numbers 14:34 and Ezekiel 4:6, 457 BC + 2300 years = 1844 AD.
Note that as 1 AD follows 1 BC then a time interval of 2300 years is given by 2301 ‘fence posts’; there being no zero BC/AD.
Arising from the great religious awakening of the early 1800’s, William Miller (1782-1849) and others proclaimed the imminent return of Jesus. Christ did not came as expected in 1844 and, after the great disappointment where many people gave up their faith, further Bible study and prayer by a few led to a different understanding of the ‘sanctuary’. After studying the duties that were performed by the Old Testament Jewish temple priests, they saw that Christ would have similar duties to perform in the ‘heavenly sanctuary’ before final atonement would be completed.
15-22. The angel Gabriel is given a divine command to instruct Daniel so he will “understand the vision.” However, Daniel faints before Gabriel can give him the starting date of the 2300 days/years. Daniel later states that no one understood the vision, vs. 27.
8:15 And it came to pass, when I, even I Daniel, had seen the vision, and sought for the meaning, then, behold, there stood before me as the appearance of a man.
sought for the meaning – Daniel, like many prophetic message bearers, needed to study the message.
8:16 And I heard a man’s voice between the banks of Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision.
Gabriel – Other Gabriel references – Daniel 9:21, Luke 1:11-20, 26-33 and also the prophetic message bearer to John (Revelation 1:1 and DA99)
– stands in the presence of God (Luke 1:19), and occupies Satan’s fallen position (DA99 & 693).
8:17 So he came near where I stood: and when he came, I was afraid, and fell upon my face: but he said unto me, Understand, O son of man: for at the time of the end shall be the vision.
the time of the end – the coming of Jesus (2 Thessalonians 2:8).
8:18 Now as he was speaking with me, I was in a deep sleep on my face toward the ground: but he touched me, and set me upright.
8:19 And he said, Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for at the time appointed the end shall be.
8:20 The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia.
8:21 And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king.
rough – hairy or shaggy.
great horn – a symbol of Alexander the Great.
first king – of the Greco-Macedonian world empire (cf. Daniel 7:6).
8:22 Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power.
four kingdoms – cf. Daniel 7:6.
23-25. This power is broken “without hand” (vs. 25), an expression alluding to the rock cut out without hand that destroys the image of Daniel 2.
By a quick comparison of the “fourth Beast” and its “little horn” from chapter 7 with the “little horn” of chapter 8, we see that they both represent the same power:
Daniel 7:
21 “make war with the saints”
8 “mouth speaking great things”
19 “exceeding dreadful”
11 “beast was slain… given to the burning”.
Daniel 8:
24 “destroy the mighty and the holy people”
11 “magnified himself”
23 “king of fierce countenance”
25 “broken without hand”.
This power, represented here in Daniel 8 as a blending of Pagan and Papal Rome, has throughout the course of its history fulfilled the prophecies in this chapter.
8:23 And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up.
latter time – the empire of Rome gradually replaced the weak divisions of the Macedonian Empire.
8:24 And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practice, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people.
8:25 And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.
craft – deceit.
Prince of princes – Christ – sentenced by a Roman governor:
nailed to the cross by Roman hands
pierced in His side by Roman spear.
26-27. The angel explained all parts of the vision except the 2300 days (evenings and mornings) and the cleansing of the sanctuary. Where the interpretation for these parts of the vision would be expected, Daniel instead told to close up the vision.
8:26 And the vision of the evening and the morning which was told is true: wherefore shut thou up the vision; for it shall be for many days.
evening and the morning – relates to the 2300 day / year time prophecy of Daniel 8:14.
8:27 And I Daniel fainted, and was sick certain days; afterward I rose up, and did the king’s business; and I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it.
Daniel did not understand; in Daniel 9, the angel Gabriel comes back to explain the outstanding portion of the vision; then tells of the seventy week prophecy.
1-19. It is now 538 BC Thirteen years have passed since the vision of Daniel 8. Babylon has just recently fallen to Medo-Persia. The Jews have been in captivity for 68 years, their temple lying in ruins.
Daniel is worried that the 2300 days and cleansing of the sanctuary from Daniel 8 that were not explained to him may refer to an extended captivity.
He knows that according to Jeremiah 29:10 the seventy years of Jerusalem’s desolation are almost over. Yet he understands the conditional nature of certain prophecies (Jeremiah 18:1-10; Leviticus 26), so he fears that perhaps because of his people’s sins their time in exile may extend to 2300 years, vs. 5-6, 15, and 16.
These things weigh heavily on his mind, so he intercedes in prayer for his people. Though Daniel was a devout prophet, he identifies himself with God’s rebellious people.
Daniel 9:1 In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans;
son – grandson.
The Medes were an ancient Iranian people who lived in an area known as Media (north-western Iran – formerly Persia) and who spoke the Median language.
2. God Prepares the Way.–While those who had remained loyal to God in the midst of Babylon were seeking the Lord and studying the prophecies foretelling their deliverance, God was preparing the hearts of kings to show favor to His repentant people (RH March 21, 1907).  [4BC 1172.4]
The Persians as conquerors had not executed Daniel but because of his abilities and integrity as a prime minister, had appointed him as a high official. Although busy with state affairs Daniel still studied God’s Word to understand the vision revealed to him in Chapter 8 and the soon return of the Jews after 70 years of captivity.
9:2 In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.
3-19. Prophecy and Prayer.–Daniel’s example of prayer and confession is given for our instruction and encouragement. For nearly seventy years, Israel had been in captivity. The land which God had chosen for His own possession was given into the hands of the heathen. The beloved city, the recipient of heaven’s light, once the joy of the whole earth, was now despised and degraded. The temple that had contained the ark of God’s covenant and the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy-seat, was in ruins. Its very site was desecrated by unholy feet. Faithful men who knew of the former glory were filled with anguish at the desolation of the holy house that had distinguished Israel as God’s chosen people. These men had been witnesses to the denunciations of God because of the sins of His people. They had been witnesses to the fulfillment of this word. They had been witnesses also to the promises of His favor if Israel would return to God, and walk circumspectly before Him. Aged, gray-headed pilgrims went up to Jerusalem to pray amid its ruins. They kissed its stones, and wet them with their tears, as they entreated the Lord to have mercy on Zion, and cover her with the glory of His righteousness. Daniel knew that the appointed time for Israel’s captivity was nearly ended; but he did not feel that because God had promised to deliver them, they themselves had no part to act. With fasting and contrition he sought the Lord, confessing his own sins and the sins of the people (RH Feb. 9, 1897).  [4BC 1172.5]
9:3 And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:
to seek by prayer – Prayer continued – Daniel still needed to understand “the vision of the evening and morning” [8:26].
9:4 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;
 I prayed – on behalf of the people of God. Verses 4 –19 record one of the outstanding prayers of the Old Testament.
dreadful – Awe–inspiring or revered.
keeping the covenant – God fulfils His part; man is to blame if the covenant is broken.
9:5 We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments:
9:6 Neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, which spake in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.
the prophets – Most prophets had failed to notify the people of their spiritual neglect and their directive guidance.
9:7 O Lord, righteousness belongeth unto thee, but unto us confusion of faces, as at this day; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and unto all Israel, that are near, and that are far off, through all the countries whither thou hast driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against thee.
The righteousness of God is contrasted with the unrighteousness of Israel.
9:8 O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee.
9:9 To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him;
9:10 Neither have we obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets.
9:11 Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him.
is poured – Moses had foretold that a curse would descend upon all who wilfully disobeyed God’s Law [Lev. 26:14–41; Deut. 28:15–68].
9:12 And he hath confirmed his words, which he spake against us, and against our judges that judged us, by bringing upon us a great evil: for under the whole heaven hath not been done as hath been done upon Jerusalem.
9:13 As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the LORD our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth.
9:14 Therefore hath the LORD watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us: for the LORD our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth: for we obeyed not his voice.
9:15 And now, O Lord our God, that hast brought thy people forth out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and hast gotten thee renown, as at this day; we have sinned, we have done wickedly.
9:16 O Lord, according to all thy righteousness, I beseech thee, let thine anger and thy fury be turned away from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain: because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and thy people are become a reproach to all that are about us.
thy holy mountain – Instead of being a light to the world, Jerusalem and Israel were a byword and reproach to all nations.
9:17 Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord’s sake.
sanctuary – The sanctuary in Jerusalem had laid in ruins throughout the captivity and needed re–building.
9:18 O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies.
9:19 O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name.
defer – Daniel is anxious that the promised deliverance occurs on time.
20-23. This is a continuation of the vision in chapter 8, most of which was already explained to Daniel. The only thing that was not interpreted for him was chapter 8:13-14 – the section on the 2300 days and the cleansing of the sanctuary.
In this chapter Gabriel tells him about a period of 490 years concerning the Messiah, the Jewish nation, and the temple. Daniel also receives a significant clue that allows us to pinpoint the beginning of both this 490 year period and the 2300 year prophecy.
9:20 And whiles I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God for the holy mountain of my God;
9:21 Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation.
Gabriel – The first 3 sections of the vision of Chapter 8 had been given by Gabriel. He now returns to finalise his task.
Previously the aged Daniel had “fainted, and was sick certain days”. Now stronger he has his prayer answered.
oblation – “meat offering” in KJV but an evening grain offering in the temple according to Levitical law.
9:22 And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding.
skill and understanding – in relation to the 70 years’ captivity foretold by Jeremiah [29:10] and the 2300 days that would occur before the cleansing of the sanctuary.
9:23 At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to show thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision.
24. Everlasting Righteousness Brought In.–Through His chosen agencies God will graciously make known His purposes. Then the grand work of redemption will go forward. Men will learn of the reconciliation for iniquity and of the everlasting righteousness which the Messiah has brought in through His sacrifice. The cross of Calvary is the great center. This truth acted upon will make Christ’s sacrifice effectual. This is that which Gabriel revealed to Daniel in answer to fervent prayer. It was of this that Moses and Elijah and Christ talked at His transfiguration. By the humiliation of the cross He was to bring everlasting deliverance to all who would walk after Him, giving positive evidence that they are separated from the world (Letter 201, 1899).  [4BC 1172.6]
24. A portion of the 2300 year time period has been set aside for the Jews and Jerusalem. This verse groups the first three items, and links them with the second trio:
1. “to finish the transgression”
2. “to make an end of [seal] sins”
3. “to make reconciliation for iniquity”.
1. “to bring in everlasting righteousness”
2. “to seal up the vision and prophecy”
3. “to anoint the most holy”.
In the first trio God deals with all sins by His sacrificial death and glorious resurrection within this seventy-week period. The second group reveals that Christ’s death and resurrection accomplishes everlasting righteousness, confirms the vision’s authenticity, and anoints the heavenly sanctuary for use.
9:24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.
One of the most amazing and incredible prophecies in the Bible.
An angel came to Daniel, who lived 500 years before Christ, and told him when the Messiah would come, for how long He would teach and when He would be put to death.
At the time of the vision, Jerusalem and the temple were still in ruins.
In Ezra three decrees are recorded:
1st in the first year of Cyrus – c537 BC
2nd in the reign of Darius I – c520 BC
3rd in the seventh year of Artaxerxes in 457 BC. Ezra 7:7-26.
Only the 3rd makes any genuine provision for the restoration of the civil state as a complete unit.
This was the first, subject to Persian over-lordship, to give the Jewish state full autonomy; they then had Seventy weeks.
Seventy weeks = 490 ‘days’ = 490 years.
thy people – The Jewish nation.
to finish – God, in restraint, would suffer long with the Jews as their cup of iniquity was filled.
Israel would fail to finish their transgression and make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity.
to seal up – to confirm or to ratify.
to anoint the most Holy – Not relating to a person but to the anointing of the heavenly sanctuary prior to the time of Christ’s inauguration as high priest.
25-27. These verses outline events to take place during the seventy weeks; they also have a definite structure of two groups of three.
1. “unto the Messiah the Prince”
2. “shall Messiah be cut off”
3. “shall cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease”.
1. “the street shall be built again, and the wall”
2. “shall destroy the city and the sanctuary”
3. “and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate”.
The first group concerns the Messiah, and takes place within the seventy week time period. The second trio concerns Jerusalem and an opposing prince, and is not limited to the seventy weeks.
9:25 Know therefore and understand, that 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: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.
The seventy weeks or 490 years is divided up:
49 years and the restoration of Jerusalem would be complete
(Jerusalem fully restored in 408 BC)
Then 434 years before Christ started His public ministry
(Christ baptised in 27 AD)
Leaving just the ‘seventieth week’
(27 AD – 34 AD).
going forth of the commandment – God declares to Daniel that an instruction will be given to rebuild and restore Jerusalem; then the time prophecy will start.
Messiah – Anointed one.
street – a broad place.
wall – A trench or city moat.
9:26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.
cut off – Jesus would have a violent death.
the city and the sanctuary – relating to the destruction in 70 AD by the Romans.
with a flood – in the sense of an overwhelming event.
9:27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
Christ is ‘cut off’ (v.26) in the midst of the week
(Christ is crucified in 31 AD)
The authorities in Jerusalem tolerated the preaching of the Apostles for 3 and a half years; then Stephen (first deacon chosen by church – SR260 & foremost of first seven deacons – AA97) was stoned to death in 34 AD – the first Christian martyr.
34 AD – Jewish nation ‘sealed its rejection of Christ (of the gospel – DA233) by the persecution of His disciples, and the apostles turned to the Gentiles’ – GC410; the gospel being taken to the gentiles following Stephen’s death.
The Jews at this time lost their inheritance as a nation. ‘Then the message of salvation, no longer restricted to the chosen people, was given to the world’ – GC328. Since then man comes to God, as a individual, through the shed blood of Christ.
The moment that Christ died, unseen hands ripped apart the veil in the holy temple (Matthew 27:51). The veil was heavy and strong – 3? or 4? thick – and ripped from top to bottom. By this action God gave notice to Israel that it was unnecessary to continue their sacrificial services – the Lamb of God had paid in full.
The temple priests sewed it back up and continued offering their sacrifices until the temple was torn down and destroyed in 70 AD – just as Jesus had said in Matthew 27:40.
Zechariah 12:10 – ‘This scene Christ foresaw when He beheld the city and wept over it. In the temporal ruin of Jerusalem He saw the final destruction of that people who were guilty of the blood of the Son of God.’ – GC580
the oblation to cease – Sacrifices and oblations would loose their significance when Jesus made His voluntary sacrifice.
overspreading – wing. Daniel pictures himself as being carried along upon the wing of continual oblations.
the consummation – the end of the Jewish nation.
desolate – desolater.
Chapter 10 provides the setting in Daniel’s experience for his 4th great prophecy – recorded in Chapters 11 & 12. The main body of the prophetic narrative begins 11:2 and closes 12:4; the remainder of chapter 12 being likened to a prophecy postscript.
1-12. It has been 70 years since Daniel was taken captive. He is now 87 years old.
This is Daniel’s last vision. It is recorded in chapters 10-12. Chapter 10 is the introduction; it offers a fascinating look at the supernatural intervention that takes place behind the scenes of history.
Daniel 10:1 In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a thing was revealed unto Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar; and the thing was true, but the time appointed was long: and he understood the thing, and had understanding of the vision.
536/535 BC as calculated from the fall of Babylon, by either the spring or fall year.
Daniel, who was 18 when taken captive in 605 BC (4T570), was about 88 years of age.
king of Persia – Daniel’s only prophecy dated in terms of Cyrus’ reign – seems to confirm that whole empire was now ruled by the Persians (contrast 9:1).
Cyrus – initially a prince of the little country of Anshan (in highlands of Iran) – within a few years, overthrew the kingdoms of Media, Lydia and Babylonia – united them under his rule into the largest empire yet known.
time appointed – Except for Job 7:1 & 14:14 and in this verse, the Hebrew word (occurs 500 times in Old Testament) is related to an army, to warfare or hard service; thus Daniel 10:1 emphasises an intensity of struggle.
he understood – the 3 other visions (chapters 2; 7; 8-9) were couched in highly symbolic terms; the final revelation was given largely in literal language.
10:2 In those days I Daniel was mourning three full weeks.
mourning – cause not specifically stated – probably about the time when there was a heightened Samaritan opposition against the Jews who, during the reign of Zerubbabel, had recently returned from exile (Ezra 4:1-5; PK571-2).
Events may have occurred before or after laying the foundation stone (Ezra 3:8-10) of the Temple – depends upon chronological interpretation of this period.
Significant fact – that for three full weeks, the angel was struggling to influence Cyrus (10:12&13) – indicates that a vital decision of the king was at stake.
10:3 I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.
pleasant bread – i.e. delicacies.
Daniel ate only the simplest food and just enough to maintain his strength.
anoint myself – Daniel gave up the personal luxury of soothing the skin in the very hot, dry climate – popular among ancient people.
10:4 And in the four and twentieth day of the first month, as I was by the side of the great river, which is Hiddekel;
four and twentieth day – the only exact day reference in the book of Daniel – but which calendar?
Babylonian – Persian calendar (year beginning in Spring) – then 1st month of Cyrus’ 3rd year would be about March / April 536 BC.
Otherwise, by the Jewish calendar (new year in the Fall), the time would be about March / April 535 BC.
Since the 3 weeks ended on 24th, Daniel’s fast began on 4th and extended through the Passover season – the degree of feast observance during captivity is not known.
Hiddekel – the Tigris; the smaller of the 2 great rivers of Mesopotamia.
5-7. Christ Appeared to Daniel.–No less a personage than the Son of God appeared to Daniel. This description is similar to that given by John when Christ was revealed to him upon the Isle of Patmos. Our Lord now comes with another heavenly messenger to teach Daniel what would take place in the latter days. This knowledge was given to Daniel and recorded by Inspiration for us upon whom the ends of the world are come (RH Feb. 8, 1881).  [4BC 1173.2]
10:5 Then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz:
a certain man – the heavenly Being approached in human form (cf. Genesis. 18:2, Dan. 7:13 & Revelation 1:13).
The description given is close to that given when Christ appeared to John.
Identified as Christ in SL50, GC470-471 and He was accompanied by another heavenly being.
Uphaz – unknown location – Jeremiah 10:9 is only other reference – may have been Ophir which was famous for its fine gold (1Kings 9:28) – similar Hebrew characters.
10:6 His body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in colour to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude.
beryl – perhaps the place at which the product was obtained.
lamps of fire – cf. Revelation 1:14 – a number of parallels with Revelation chapter 1 now follow.
polished brass – cf. Revelation 1:15.
10:7 And I Daniel alone saw the vision: for the men that were with me saw not the vision; but a great quaking fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves.
Daniel alone saw – Revelation given to the Lord’s chosen servant.
Presence of heavenly being was felt by those with the prophet cf. Saul & companions (Acts 9:3-7; 22:6-9).
10:8 Therefore I was left alone, and saw this great vision, and there remained no strength in me: for my comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength.
remained no strength – cf. Revelation 1:17.
10:9 Yet heard I the voice of his words: and when I heard the voice of his words, then was I in a deep sleep on my face, and my face toward the ground.
deep sleep – other Hebrew occurrences only in Judges 4:21; Ps 76:6; Daniel 8:18; Jonah 1:5-6. Usage here seems to mean ‘to be benumbed’.
10:10 And, behold, an hand touched me, which set me upon my knees and upon the palms of my hands.
hand touched me – cf. Ezekiel 2:2; 3:24; Revelation 1:17 – the hand of Gabriel (PK571-2).
set – ‘to cause to tremble’, ‘to set tottering’ – Daniel is lifted from ground in the form of a complete collapse – his strength is still insufficient to support himself without trembling.
10:11 And he said unto me, O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent. And when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling.
greatly beloved – translated ‘pleasant’ in Daniel 10:3.
Second time that Daniel is reassured that God loves him (cf.. Daniel 9:23).
12-13. Right Counsel Versus Evil Counsel.–[Daniel 10:12, 13 quoted.] By this we see that heavenly agencies have to contend with hindrances before the purpose of God is fulfilled in its time. The king of Persia was controlled by the highest of all evil angels. He refused, as did Pharaoh, to obey the word of the Lord. Gabriel declared, He withstood me twenty-one days by his representations against the Jews. But Michael came to his help, and then he remained with the kings of Persia, holding the powers in check, giving right counsel against evil counsel. Good and evil angels are taking a part in the planning of God in His earthly kingdom. It is God’s purpose to carry forward His work in correct lines, in ways that will advance His glory. But Satan is ever trying to counterwork God’s purpose. Only by humbling themselves before God can God’s servants advance His work. Never are they to depend on their own efforts or on outward display for success (Letter 201, 1899).  [4BC 1173.3]
10:12 Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.
Fear not – cf. Revelation 1:17.
Words of encouragement to the trembling prophet, and
Reassurance that Daniel’s praying for 3 weeks had been heard from the beginning by God.
13. An Invisible Struggle.–We have before us in the Word of God instances of heavenly agencies working on the minds of kings and rulers, while at the same time satanic agencies were also at work on their minds. No human eloquence, in strongly set forth human opinions, can change the working of satanic agencies. Satan seeks continually to block the way, so that the truth shall be bound about by human devising; and those who have light and knowledge are in the greatest danger unless they constantly consecrate themselves to God, humiliating self, and realizing the peril of the times.  [4BC 1173.4]
Heavenly beings are appointed to answer the prayers of those who are working unselfishly for the interests of the cause of God. The very highest angels in the heavenly courts are appointed to work out the prayers which ascend to God for the advancement of the cause of God. Each angel has his particular post of duty, which he is not permitted to leave for any other place. If he should leave, the powers of darkness would gain an advantage. . . .  [4BC 1173.5]
Day by day the conflict between good and evil is going on. Why is it that those who have had many opportunities and advantages do not realize the intensity of this work? They should be intelligent in regard to this. God is the Ruler. By His supreme power He holds in check and controls earthly potentates. Through His agencies He does the work which was ordained before the foundation of the world.  [4BC 1173.6]
As a people we do not understand as we should the great conflict going on between invisible agencies, the controversy between loyal and disloyal angels. Evil angels are constantly at work, planning their line of attack, controlling as commanders, kings, and rulers, the disloyal human forces. . . . I call upon the ministers of Christ to press home upon the understanding of all who come within the reach of their voice, the truth of the ministration of angels. Do not indulge in fanciful speculations. The written Word is our only safety. We must pray as did Daniel, that we may be guarded by heavenly intelligences. As ministering spirits angels are sent forth to minister to those who shall be heirs of salvation. Pray, my brethren, pray as you have never prayed before. We are not prepared for the Lord’s coming. We need to make thorough work for eternity (Letter 201, 1899).  [4BC 1173.7]
13-21. Who is “Michael?” His name means the one “who is like God.” Strong’s #H4317.
In the Bible, Jesus is the one who is said to be like God. Philippians 2:6; John 1:1. He is called “your Prince” in this verse and in verse 13. Our true Prince is Jesus. Isaiah 9:3; Acts 3:15; 5:31.
“Michael” is called the Archangel in Jude 9 (Archangel means “chief” or leader of the angels). Jesus is not an angel. He is the Son of God. He never had a beginning and will never have an ending. Revelation 1:8. He is eternal. John 8:58. He participated with His Father in this world’s creation. John 1:1-3. He existed before the angels and created them. Hebrews 1:3-4. They are happy to follow His commands.
10:13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.
prince – Hebrew word occurs 420 times in Old Testament but never with the meaning of ‘king’. The heavenly Being who appeared to Joshua at Jericho is termed ‘the captain of the Lord’s host (Joshua 5:14-15); Daniel similarly uses this word (Daniel 8:11,25; 10:13,21; 12:1).
The text describes a supernatural being [Satan – the prince of this world (i.e. the kingdom of Persia)] standing in opposition to the angels of God. The issue relates to the welfare of God’s people and Michael (Daniel 12:1) was involved.
withstood me – A glimpse of the mighty battle going on between the forces of good and evil.
The 21 day struggle for the control of the mind of Cyrus – Daniel praying to God for 3 weeks without an apparent answer – Daniel unaware of the struggle.
Satan – not destroyed – not even at the death of Christ – the whole universe had to understand the end product of Satan’s rebellion – the angels at Christ’s death still had to comprehend more about the great controversy.
God allows Satan a degree of freedom – while through His Spirit and His angels He pleads with men to resist evil and follow right.
Satan claims that God is a tyrant – God shows Himself as a God of love.
The king of Persia, by his own free will, finally makes his choice for good rather than evil.
In this Chapter, the veil that separates heaven from earth is drawn aside and the struggle between the powers of light and darkness is revealed.
Michael – the name Michael only appears in apocalyptic passages (Daniel 10:13,21; 12:1; Jude 9; Revelation 12:7) in instances where Christ is in direct conflict with Satan.
Michael – ‘who [is] like God? – cf. Isaiah 14:14 ‘be like the most High’ – a comparison with other scriptures identifies Michael as Christ – Jude 9 (‘the archangel’); 1 Thessalonians 4:16 (‘the voice of the archangel’); John 5:28 relates to the Son of man. [Also EW164 cf. DA421.]
I remained there – the presence of God’s angel was able to abide when the evil angel was forced to leave.
kings of Persia – 2 Hebrew manuscripts read ‘kingdom of Persia’; ancient versions read ‘king of Persia’.
10:14 Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days.
in the latter days – cf. Genesis 49:1; Numbers 24:14; Deuteronomy 4:30 – the expression refers to the final events of history.
10:15 And when he had spoken such words unto me, I set my face toward the ground, and I became dumb.
10:16 And, behold, one like the similitude of the sons of men touched my lips: then I opened my mouth, and spake, and said unto him that stood before me, O my lord, by the vision my sorrows are turned upon me, and I have retained no strength.
like the similitude – Gabriel veiled his brightness and appeared in human form (SL 52).
10:17 For how can the servant of this my lord talk with this my lord? for as for me, straightway there remained no strength in me, neither is there breath left in me.
10:18 Then there came again and touched me one like the appearance of a man, and he strengthened me,
10:19 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.
10:20 Then said he, Knowest thou wherefore I come unto thee? and now will I return to fight with the prince of Persia: and when I am gone forth, lo, the prince of Grecia shall come.
10:21 But I will show thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth: and there is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your prince.
noted – to inscribe or to write down.
scripture – a writing.
none that holdeth – there is no one who exerts himself.
your prince – Michael is spoken of as being your [plural Hebrew pronoun] prince in sharp contrast with the prince of Persia.
Michael being the champion over Satan.
1. The language of Daniel 11-12 is not symbolic in the same way that it is in chapters 2, 7 and 8. There are no images, beasts, or horns. Just the same, its language is cryptic, almost like a code. Each sentence condenses quantities of information, and many metaphors are employed.
These qualities have led to a variety of interpretations. There are, however, two very useful guidelines that all interpretations must follow to be acceptable:
1. This vision begins with a reference to King Cyrus and ends with God’s people delivered. So just like the other prophecies of Daniel, this one does not focus in on a narrow span of history but covers a long time span from the prophet’s day to the end of the world. This also means there should be some parallels that can be identified between this vision and the previous ones.
2. Within the text are several specific phrases that can be accurately pinned to certain historical events or time periods.
Daniel’s prayer had been offered “in the first year of Darius” (verse 1), the Median monarch whose general, Cyrus, had wrested from Babylonia the scepter of universal rule. The reign of Darius was honored of God. To him was sent the angel Gabriel, “to confirm and to strengthen him.” Daniel 11:1. Upon his death, within about two years of the fall of Babylon, Cyrus succeeded to the throne, and the beginning of his reign marked the completion of the seventy years since the first company of Hebrews had been taken by Nebuchadnezzar from their Judean home to Babylon. [PK 556.4]
Daniel 11:1 Also I in the first year of Darius the Mede, even I, stood to confirm and to strengthen him.
Also I – continuation of the angels statement in Daniel 10:21 – unfortunate chapter division.
The vision was given in the 3rd year of Cyrus [Revelation 10:1].
Gabriel informs Daniel that Darius the Mede has been honoured in heaven (PK556) in the first year of Darius.
In that year Gabriel had visited Darius to confirm and to strengthen him.
2. The “fourth” king of Persia after Cyrus was Xerxes (Greek name for Ahasuerus), the husband of Queen Esther, who ruled at the height of Persian power and wealth. He raised a huge army with contingents from forty different nations and attacked Greece around 480 BC.
The Persian invasion was eventually repelled, but it roused a burning desire on the part of the independent city states of Greece to unite and average themselves on the Persians. There is much more detail on the rulers and activities of this kingdom than we have seen in previous visions.
11:2 And now will I show thee the truth. Behold, there shall stand up yet three kings in Persia; and the fourth shall be far richer than they all: and by his strength through his riches he shall stir up all against the realm of Grecia.
the truth – after background and introduction (Daniel 10:1 – 11:1), the substance of the fourth great revelation begins.
three kings in Persia – those that followed Cyrus on the Persian throne:
Cambyses 530 – 522 BC
? the False Smerdis (Gaumata, whose Babylonian name was Bardiya)
a usurper 522 BC
Darius I 522 – 486 BC.
the fourth – Xerxes – identified with Ahasuerus of the book of Esther [Esther 1:1].
far richer – Xerxes was particularly proud of ‘the riches of his glorious kingdom [Esther 1:4, 6-7].
Herodotus, who wrote at length of Xerxes, refers to his military might – over 40 nations furnished troops for Xerxes’ army.
stir up all – a historical fact that Xerxes stirred up the nations of the world against Greece.
In 490 BC – Darius the Great (predecessor of Xerxes), attempting to subdue the Greeks, had been stopped at Marathon.
By the time of Xerxes, the Greek peninsula remained the only important area in the eastern Mediterranean not under Persian domination.
With the accession of Xerxes, new plans were laid for the conquest of Greece.
Herodotus records that, by 480 BC, the Persian Empire was in arms against the Greeks who were defeated at Thermopylae. Athens was take and partially burned and the Greek navy (under Themistocles) bottled up by superior squadrons in the Bay of Salamis (on coast of Attica, near Athens) – but Persian ships were in too tight formation to manoeuvre effectively – many were sunk – only a fraction escaped and Persian sea forces were eliminated from the struggle for Greece.
In 479 BC – Greeks decisively defeated Persian troops at Plataea and drove them forever from Greek soil.
The Greek successes against the Persians at Salamis and Plataea prevented Western civilisation from being engulfed by Oriental despotism – the subsequent history of Europe may have been different. Athens recognised the importance of sea power and established itself as the head of a maritime empire.
Grecia – Hebrew word ‘Javan’ in Genesis 10:2 – the Greeks, or Ionians, were descendants of Javan.
3-4. These two verses deal with Alexander’s conquests and the subsequent four divisions of his kingdom. This is the end of the obvious and easy sections of this prophecy.
11:3 And a mighty king shall stand up, that shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will.
a mighty king – ‘a valiant (warrior) king’ in Hebrew – Alexander the Great (336-323 BC).
11:4 And when he shall stand up, his kingdom shall be broken, and shall be divided toward the four winds of heaven; and not to his posterity, nor according to his dominion which he ruled: for his kingdom shall be plucked up, even for others beside those.
when he shall stand up – In 323 BC – Alexander had scarcely reached the pinnacle of his power – suddenly became ill – died 11 days later [cf. Daniel 7:6].
shall be broken – Alexander left no immediate family successors who could hold his empire together and in less than 25 years his territory was divided up between four of his leading generals.
the four winds – the four quarters of the compass – cf. 4 heads of the leopard [Daniel 7:6] and 4 horns of the goat [Daniel 8:8, 22].
not to his posterity – Alexander’s posthumous son was called king but was killed while still a child in the power struggle between the generals for empire rulership.
5-15. These verses deal with the intricate details of the rulers and activities of the divided kingdom of Greece. Ultimately two of these divisions came to dominate to such an extent that the Bible record accurately portrays them under the titles of “The King of the North,” and “The King of the South.”
The enemies of Israel, such as Babylon and Egypt, always attacked from the north and the south. Thus “The King of the North” and “The King of the South” came to symbolize the adversaries of God’s people. This entire vision depicts these enemies as warring powers whose battles adversely affect God’s people.
11:5 And the king of the south shall be strong, and one of his princes; and he shall be strong above him, and have dominion; his dominion shall be a great dominion.
The 2 kingdoms emerging from Alexander’s empire which mainly affected the Jews, who were located in Palestine, were:
Syria – ruled by the Seleucids – located in the north, and
Egypt – ruled by the Ptolemies – located in the south.
The king of Egypt at this time was Ptolemy I Soter [also called son of Lagus] from 323 BC – 285 BC who, as one of Alexander’s best generals, established the most enduring of all Hellenistic monarchies.
one of his princes – Seleucus I Nicator [323 BC – 281 BC] who made himself ruler of most of the Asiatic part of the empire.
strong above him – Seleucus I Nicator became stronger than the Egyptian king.
11:6 And in the end of years they shall join themselves together; for the king’s daughter of the south shall come to the king of the north to make an agreement: but she shall not retain the power of the arm; neither shall he stand, nor his arm: but she shall be given up, and they that brought her, and he that begat her, and he that strengthened her in these times.
11:7 But out of a branch of her roots shall one stand up in his estate, which shall come with an army, and shall enter into the fortress of the king of the north, and shall deal against them, and shall prevail:
11:8 And shall also carry captives into Egypt their gods, with their princes, and with their precious vessels of silver and of gold; and he shall continue more years than the king of the north.
Egypt – proof that Egypt was the king of the south.
their godsprecious vessels of silver and of gold – their bounty formerly taken by the Persians was now returned to Egypt by Ptolemy III Euergetes.
he shall continue – he shall refrain from attacking the king of the north.
Ptolemy III Euergetes died in 222 BC.
11:9 So the king of the south shall come into his kingdom, and shall return into his own land.
return into his own land – About 240 BC Seleucus II Callinicus was defeated and forced to return to Syria empty-handed.
11:10 But his sons shall be stirred up, and shall assemble a multitude of great forces: and one shall certainly come, and overflow, and pass through: then shall he return, and be stirred up, even to his fortress.
his sons – Seleucus III Ceraunus and Antiochus III the Great.
Seleucus III Soter, called Seleucus Ceraunus, born c. 243 BC – 223 BC), was a ruler of the Hellenistic Seleucid Kingdom, the eldest son of Seleucus II Callinicus and Laodice II. After a brief reign of three years (225–223 BC), Seleucus was assassinated in Anatolia by members of his army while on campaign against Attalus I of Pergamon. Within 2 years, Ptolemy III Euergetes also died in 222 BC.
overflow, and pass through – In 219 BC, Antiochus III the Great initiated his campaign for southern Syria and Palestine by retaking Selucia, the port of Antioch. His campaign then conquered Palestine from his rival, Ptolemy IV Philopator [who reigned 221 BC – 204 BC] and the Transjordan.
11:11 And the king of the south shall be moved with choler, and shall come forth and fight with him, even with the king of the north: and he shall set forth a great multitude; but the multitude shall be given into his hand.
moved with choler – to be enraged.
a great multitude – Historian Polybius cites the army of Antiochus III the Great as numbering 62,000 infantry, 6,000 cavalry and 102 elephants.
Ptolemy IV Philopator’s troops seemed to be about the same number as Daniel 11:12 cites many ten thousands. Historian Polybius cites 70,000 infantry, 5,000 cavalry, and 73 war elephants.
given into his hand – The Battle of Raphia, also known as the Battle of Gaza, was a battle fought on 22 June 217 BC near modern Rafah between the forces of Ptolemy IV Philopator, king and pharaoh of Ptolemaic Egypt and Antiochus III the Great of the Seleucid Empire during the Syrian Wars. It was one of the largest battles of the Hellenistic kingdoms and was one of the largest battles of the ancient world. The battle was waged to determine the sovereignty of Coele Syria.
The two largest of the Hellenistic kingdoms, Ptolemaic Egypt and the Seleucid Empire, were bitter enemies, and repeatedly fought for control of Syria. These were the Syrian Wars. The Fourth Syrian War began in 219 BC Ptolemaic Egypt was ruled by Ptolemy IV, and the Seleucid Empire was ruled by Antiochus III the Great. By 217 BC, Antiochus and the Seleucid army advanced through Syria. Ptolemy’s self interests led his ministers, advisors and generals to make serious preparations. Both kingdoms disputed Syria. The Seleucid and Ptolemaic armies met near the small Syrian town of Rafah. Antiochus initially set up his camp at a distance of 10 (about 2 km) and then only 5 stades (about 1 km) from his adversary’s. Many skirmishes took place before the battle due to this proximity. One night, Theodotus the Aetolian, formerly an officer of Ptolemy, sneaked inside the Ptolemaic camp and reached what he presumed to be the King’s tent but Ptolemy was absent and so failed to assassinate him.
This is the only known battle in which African and Asian elephants were used against each other. Ptolemy’s elephants were the now extinct North African elephants (Loxodonta africana pharaoensis) from North Africa and Eritrea. Much smaller than their Indian (Elephas maximus), or Bush (Loxodonta africana africana) cousins, they were typically around 8 foot high at the shoulder; Antiochus’ were the larger Asian elephants, brought from India. According to Polybius, the African elephants could not bear the smell, sound, and sight of their Indian counterparts. The Indian’s greater size and strength easily routed the Africans.
According to Polybius, the Seleucids suffered a little under 10,000 infantry dead, about 300 horse and 5 elephants, 4,000 men were taken prisoner. The Ptolemaic losses were 1,500 infantry, 700 horse and 16 elephants. Most of the Seleucids’ elephants were taken by the Ptolemies.
Ptolemy’s victory secured the province of Coele-Syria for Egypt, but it was only a respite; at the Battle of Panium in 200 BC Antiochus defeated the army of Ptolemy’s young son, Ptolemy V Epiphanes and recaptured Coele Syria and Judea.
11:12 And when he hath taken away the multitude, his heart shall be lifted up; and he shall cast down many ten thousands: but he shall not be strengthened by it.
not be strengthened – Ptolemy IV Philopator failed to make the best use of his victory at Raphia near Gaza.
11:13 For the king of the north shall return, and shall set forth a multitude greater than the former, and shall certainly come after certain years with a great army and with much riches.
shall return – Against a young king Antiochus III the Great seized the opportunity and attacked the Egyptians; in 201 BC he invades Palestine again.
after certain years – Probably 16 years from 217 BC [Battle of Raphia] to 201 BC [Antiochus III the Great second campaign against the south].
11:14 And in those times there shall many stand up against the king of the south: also the robbers of thy people shall exalt themselves to establish the vision; but they shall fall.
the robbers of thy people – The Romans, during the reign of Antiochus III the Great, showed an interest in the affairs of Syria and Egypt.
In 63 BC they robbed the Jews of their independence and 70 AD destroyed the Temple and city of Jerusalem.
11:15 So the king of the north shall come, and cast up a mount, and take the most fenced cities: and the arms of the south shall not withstand, neither his chosen people, neither shall there be any strength to withstand.
mount – siege-works.
the most fenced cities – the main example being the fortified city of Gaza which fell to Antiochus III the Great in 201 BC.
arms – a symbol of strength.
16-20. This section applies to the Pagan Roman Empire; it is the “King of the North” that “none shall stand before.” In 63 BC the Roman General Pompey interceded in a Jewish civil war and declared Judea a Roman protectorate.
11:16 But he that cometh against him shall do according to his own will, and none shall stand before him: and he shall stand in the glorious land, which by his hand shall be consumed.
glorious land – Palestine.
The conquest of Palestine described here is believed to be that of Pompey. In 63 BC, Pompey [Pompey the Great] intervened in a dispute between 2 brothers, Hyrcanus and Aristobulus, who were rivals to the throne of Judea.
Verses 17-19 are generally applied to Julius Caesar, ending with his assassination. Caesar Augustus, who, at the time of Christ’s birth, decreed that “the entire world should be taxed” (Luke 2:1), is pointed out in verse 20.
11:17 He shall also set his face to enter with the strength of his whole kingdom, and upright ones with him; thus shall he do: and he shall give him the daughter of women, corrupting her: but she shall not stand on his side, neither be for him.
the daughter of women – An expression possibly referring to Cleopatra, the daughter of Ptolemy XI.
Cleopatra was placed under Roman guardianship in 51 BC and 3 years later became the mistress of Julius Caesar who had invaded Egypt. After Julius Caesar was assassinated turned her affections to Mark Antony, the rival of Caesar’s heir, Octavian. In 31 BC, Octavian [later Augustus] defeated the combined forces of Cleopatra and Antony at Actium. The next year Antony’s suicide [engineered by Cleopatra?] paved the way for the new victor. Then Cleopatra, finding that she could not integrate herself with Octavian, committed suicide.
The Ptolemaic dynasty of Egypt ended with Cleopatra’s death and from 30 BC Egypt was a province of the Roman Empire.
11:18 After this shall he turn his face unto the isles, and shall take many: but a prince for his own behalf shall cause the reproach offered by him to cease; without his own reproach he shall cause it to turn upon him.
the isles – sea lands or sea coasts.
Julius Caesar was drawn from Egypt by unrest in other parts of the empire. The party of Pompey was soon defeated on the coastlands of Africa.
In the course of his Gallic Wars, Julius Caesar invaded Britain twice: in 55 and 54 BC The first invasion, in late summer, was unsuccessful: gaining the Romans little else besides a beachhead on the coast of Kent. The second invasion achieved more: the Romans installed a king, Mandubracius, who was friendly to Rome, and they forced the submission of Mandubracius’s rival, Cassivellaunus. No territory was conquered and held for Rome; instead, all Roman-occupied territory was restored to the allied Trinovantes, along with the promised tribute of the other tribes in what is now eastern England.
a prince – a military commander or man in authority.
11:19 Then he shall turn his face toward the fort of his own land: but he shall stumble and fall, and not be found.
stumble and fall – In 44 BC, Julius Caesar was assassinated in Rome.
11:20 Then shall stand up in his estate a raiser of taxes in the glory of the kingdom: but within few days he shall be destroyed, neither in anger, nor in battle.
a raiser of taxes – one who causes an oppressor to pass through.
Luke 2:1 records that Caesar Augustus, who succeeded Julius Caesar, issued a decree that all the world should be taxed.
21-24. There are two different yet worthwhile views in the interpretation of the next two sections; both have good evidence to support them.
The first view is that this is still Pagan Rome with verse 22 being a reference to this power’s part in Christ’s death.
The second is that the prophecy here shifts over to Papal Rome, with verse 22 referring to the papacy setting itself up against Christ, corresponding to “magnified himself even to the prince of the host” in Daniel 8:11.
11:21 And in his estate shall stand up a vile person, to whom they shall not give the honour of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries.
a vile person – Caesar Augustus was succeeded by Tiberias [14 AD – 37 AD]. He was an eccentric, misunderstood and unloved person.
they shall not give – they did not give.
Tiberius Claudius Nero was born on 16 November 42 BC In 39 BC, his mother Livia divorced his father and married Octavian, the future emperor Augustus in 27 BC Tiberius had a brilliant military career and with his younger brother Drusus helped carry out the expansion of the Roman empire along the Danube and into modern day Germany (16 BC – 7 BC, 4 AD – 9 AD).
In 11 BC, Augustus forced Tiberius to divorce his wife Vipsania and marry Julia, Augustus’ daughter. In 6 BC, Tiberius abruptly retired to Rhodes. In 2 AD, he returned to Rome and in 4 AD, with Augustus’s grandsons both dead, Tiberius was adopted as Augustus’s son. Tiberius in turn adopted his nephew Germanicus (great-nephew of Augustus). He then went on campaign in northern Germany, securing the frontier and returning to Rome a hero.
Tiberius succeeded Augustus in 14 AD. Initially, his rule was positive. He improved the civil service and restored Rome’s financial condition. However, Tiberius lacked Augustus’ natural rapport with the Senate and he became increasingly unpopular. This contrasted strongly with the popularity of the charismatic Germanicus, his expected successor. When Germanicus died in 19 AD, it was widely believed that Tiberius had poisoned him in order that his own son, Drusus, should succeed. But in 23 AD, Drusus died, throwing open the question of the succession.
Tiberius’s reliance upon the ambitious and brutal Sejanus, the head of the Praetorian guard (the imperial bodyguards), resulted in allegations of tyranny. In 27 AD, Tiberius retired to Capri, never returning to Rome. Two years later, realising that Sejanus was trying to seize power, Tiberius had him executed. In 35 AD, Tiberius made Gaius (son of Germanicus) and his own grandson, Gemellus, joint heirs.
Tiberius died on 16 March 37 AD and was succeeded by Gaius, also known as Caligula.
peaceably – After a reign of more than 40 years Augustus died peacefully in his bed in 14 AD. Aided by his mother, Livia, Tiberius then peacefully ascended the throne even though he was only a stepson of his predecessor.
11:22 And with the arms of a flood shall they be overflown from before him, and shall be broken; yea, also the prince of the covenant.
arms of a flood – Showing power with his flood-like armies, Tiberius was successful in military campaigns in Germany, Armenia and Parthia.
prince of the covenant – a reference to the Messiah, Jesus Christ.
Jesus was crucified in 31 AD in the reign of Tiberius [14 AD – 37 AD] and upon the order of his procurator of Judea, Pontius Pilate.
11:23 And after the league made with him he shall work deceitfully: for he shall come up, and shall become strong with a small people.
11:24 He shall enter peaceably even upon the fattest places of the province; and he shall do that which his fathers have not done, nor his fathers’ fathers; he shall scatter among them the prey, and spoil, and riches: yea, and he shall forecast his devices against the strong holds, even for a time.
25-30. Under the first interpretation – that this is still Pagan Rome – this passage refers to the civil war between Octavian Augustus as “King of the North” in conflict with Mark Antony and Cleopatra in Egypt as “King of the South” in 31 BC.
Under the second interpretation this section refers to the crusades which Papal Rome as king of the north launched to reclaim the Holy Land from the Muslims, “the King of the South,” around AD 1095-1272.
11:25 And he shall stir up his power and his courage against the king of the south with a great army; and the king of the south shall be stirred up to battle with a very great and mighty army; but he shall not stand: for they shall forecast devices against him.
11:26 Yea, they that feed of the portion of his meat shall destroy him, and his army shall overflow: and many shall fall down slain.
they that feed – a reference to royal favourites.
Throughout the reigns of the Roman Caesars, successors obtained the throne often via the violent death of their predecessor.
overflow – be washed or be swept away.
Cleopatra, frightened by the din of battle, withdrew from Actium, taking her 60 ships supplied by the Egyptian navy. Antony followed her and thus giving victory to Augustus.
11:27 And both these kings’ hearts shall be to do mischief, and they shall speak lies at one table; but it shall not prosper: for yet the end shall be at the time appointed.
 11:28 Then shall he return into his land with great riches; and his heart shall be against the holy covenant; and he shall do exploits, and return to his own land.
Then shall he return – a possible reference to the siege and destruction of Jerusalem by Titus in 70 AD.
11:29 At the time appointed he shall return, and come toward the south; but it shall not be as the former, or as the latter.
11:30 For the ships of Chittim shall come against him: therefore he shall be grieved, and return, and have indignation against the holy covenant: so shall he do; he shall even return, and have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant.
31-35. “The abomination that maketh desolate” refers here to the Church of Rome and points to the Reformation period and the persecution of “heretics” by the Roman Catholic Papacy.
11:31 And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.
stand – stand up.
pollute – to profane.
Possibly a reference to the sacrificing of children to a heathen god.
sanctuary of strength – the holy place or the refuge.
The earthly sanctuary in Jerusalem was surrounded by fortifications.
The heavenly sanctuary, where Christ pleads His blood on behalf of sinners, is the pre-eminent place of refuge.
abomination that maketh desolate – the work of the papacy.
Jesus identified the Roman armies surrounding the city as the abomination of desolation [Matthew 24:15].
11:32 And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.
he – the papacy.
flatteries – smooth, slippery things.
do exploits – a reference to those who opposed the papal encroachments and kept their faith [e.g. the Waldenses, the Albigenses, etc..
11:33 And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days.
shall instruct many – those living within the jurisdiction of Rome and beyond would, in times of peace and persecution, still “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations” [Matt 28:19].
fall – God’s people, down through the centuries, have been targeted because of their witness and faith.
many days – this period being the same as the 1260 days [years] during which the power of apostacy most blatantly blasphemed God.
11:34 Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries.
a little help – God in His wisdom does not always see fit to deliver His saints from death but martyrs know that their life was “hid with Christ in God” [Colossians. 3:3].
11:35 And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed.
make them white – God sometimes permits His children to suffer so that their characters may be purified and made fit for heaven.
Christ “learned … obedience by the things which he suffered” [Hebrews 5:8].
time of the end – the end of the 1260 years – see also Daniel 8:17; 11:40 & 12:4, 9 where the same expression occurs.
By comparison with DA 234; 5T 9, 10 and GC 356, 1798 AD marked the beginning of the time of the end.
a time appointed – an expression applied to Israel’s appointed meetings with God; the time of the end is an appointed time in God’s programme of events.
36-39. This description of the Papal church parallels closely the descriptions of the “little horn” in Daniel chapter 7 and the “little horn” in Daniel chapter 8.
11:36 And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done.
11:37 Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.
11:38 But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things.
11:39 Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory: and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain.
40-45. These verses depict the events leading up to the destruction of the Papacy. Which is portrayed as “the king of the north.” The rise and fall of this same power, at the end of time, under the symbolism of Babylon the Great, is portrayed in Revelation 17:7-11.
What we know from the text is that “the King of the North” will face an adversary symbolized by “the King of the South,” and God’s faithful people are caught in the middle. This indicates that Catholicism will be attacked in some manner by “the King of the South” at “the time of the end.”
Some scholars believe that the “King of the South,” who opposes Catholicism at the time of the end, is atheism and/or its philosophical offspring, communism. They believe it could be atheism because, like Egypt in the Old Testament, it declares, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice?” They think it might be communism because of its power and atheistic views.
In verse 45 the Papacy is said to place “his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain.” In scripture “Holy Mountain” refers to both God’s true Church on Earth and to heaven itself, where Jesus carries on His high priestly ministry today. Ezekiel 28:12-15; Isaiah 65:25; Daniel 9:16; Zechariah 8:3; Joel 3:17. Thus, scholars see in these verses a picture of Satan, through the Papacy, putting itself between the “seas” (the people) and the “glorious holy mountain” (God’s true church and Christ’s sanctuary ministry in heaven).
11:40 And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.
11:41 He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon.
11:42 He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape.
11:43 But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps.
11:44 But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him: therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many.
11:45 And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.
Verses 12:1 – 12:4 form a continuation of Daniel Chapter 11.
1. The vision finishes with events at the end of time: the close of probation, the time of trouble coinciding with the seven last plagues, the Second Coming of Christ and the establishment of His everlasting kingdom. See Revelation 19-21.
Daniel 12:1 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.
at that time – or ‘in that time’ – refers to the time of the disappearance of the power at the end of chapter 11. Events of Daniel 11:45 and 12:1 may occur simultaneously or, alternatively, one may proceed and the other follow on immediately afterwards.
Michael – cf.. Daniel 10:13 – the divine Champion in the great controversy takes action to deliver His people.
stand up – Christ arises to deliver His people (GC613, 633, 641-2 & 657).
prince – cf.. Daniel 10:13.
standeth for – ‘who stands over’ giving protection.
time of trouble – Christ’s mediation ceases and God’s Spirit is withdrawn from men:
Pent up powers of darkness descend with indescribable fury upon the world
Scene of strife such as no pen can picture (GC613-4).
delivered – outcome is not in doubt (cf. 7:18,22,27 & 10:14).
the book – the book of life.
2-3. The words “shall awake” here speak of the resurrection of the dead. The righteous at the glorious Second Coming of Christ are raised to meet their Redeemer and receive life everlasting. The wicked dead will be raised later to receive their reward.
For information on other special resurrections in the Bible see Jude 9; Matthew 17:1-8; 26:64; 27:50-53.
12:2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
shall awake – a special resurrection precedes Christ’s second advent ‘All who have died in the faith of the third angel’s message’ will arise at that time (GC637; Revelation 1:7). Also those who pierced Him are raised – SOP quote relating to John 19:34.
contempt – Hebrew word used only here and in Isaiah 66:24 – ‘to repel’ i.e. the abhorrence of sin – which will ensure that sin will never again mar the harmony of the universe.
3. (Psalm 8:3; 147:4; Daniel 12:3). Each to Give His Measure of Light.–Every shining star which God has placed in the heavens obeys His mandate, and gives its distinctive measure of light to make beautiful the heavens at night; so let every converted soul show the measure of light committed to him; and as it shines forth the light will increase and grow brighter. Give out your light, . . . pour forth your beams mirrored from heaven. O daughter of Zion, “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee” (Letter 38, 1890).  {4BC 1153.3}
3. Stars and Gems in Crown.–By living a life of devotion and self-sacrifice in doing good to others, you might have been adding stars and gems to the crown that you will wear in heaven, and laying up unfading, eternal treasures (MS 69, 1912).  [4BC 1174.1]
12:3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.
they that be wise – those who teach / those who are prudent / those who have insight.
4-10. Instead of interpreting the vision for Daniel, the angel says, “seal the book” until “the time of the end.”
In the early 1800’s, many honest and Godly Bible students around the world, independent of one another, begin to unravel the correct meaning of the book of Daniel. See Revelation 10:8-11; 14:6-7.
12:4 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.
shut up the words – cf. Daniel 8:26 (similar admonition) – not the whole book of Daniel was to be closed until 1798 but only that part of Daniel’s prophecy dealing with the last days (AA585, DA234). After prophecy fulfilment then the message proclaimed (GC356). Cf. the ‘little book open’ in the hand of the angel of Revelation 10:1-2 (TM115).
12:5 Then I Daniel looked, and, behold, there stood other two, the one on this side of the bank of the river, and the other on that side of the bank of the river.
12:6 And one said to the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?
wonders – 3 wonders as 3 time prophecies in Daniel 12 – 1260, 1290 and 1345.
12:7 And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.
a time, times, and an half – 7 biblical references cite the time that the anti-christ power will be permitted to wage war against God’s true church.
Dan. 7:25, 12:7, Revelation 11:2, 11:3, 12:6, 12:14 and 13:5.
Using a biblical calendar of 360 days with twelve 30-day months:
1260 days = 42 months = 1 year (time) + 2 years + 1/2 year.
Thus all verses specify the same amount of time.
God permitted papal Rome to rule for 1260 years to demonstrate to the universe the anti Christ power of disobedience and blasphemy; by contrast, Christ’s ministry lasted for three and a half years = 1260 days.
12:8 And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?
12:9 And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.
10. The Wicked Lack Understanding.–[Daniel 12:10 quoted.] The wicked have chosen Satan as their leader. Under his control, the wonderful faculties of the mind are used to construct agencies of destruction. God has given the human mind great power, power to show that the Creator has endowed man with ability to do a great work against the enemy of all righteousness, power to show what victories may be gained in the conflict against evil. To those who fulfil God’s purpose for them will be spoken the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” The human machinery has been used to do a work that is a blessing to humanity; and God is glorified.  [4BC 1174.2]
But when those to whom God has entrusted capabilities give themselves into the hands of the enemy, they become a power to destroy. When men do not make God first and last and best in everything, when they do not give themselves to Him for the carrying out of His purposes, Satan comes in, and uses in his service the minds that, given to God, could achieve great good. Under his direction, they do an evil work with great and masterly power. God designed them to work on a high plane of action, to enter into His mind, and thus to acquire an education that would enable them to work the works of righteousness. But they know nothing of this education. They are helpless. Their powers do not guide them aright; for they are under the enemy’s control (Letter 141, 1902).  [4BC 1174.3]
12:10 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.
11-13. The 1290 days begins with the “daily” taken away and the “abomination that maketh desolate” set up. In this text the “abomination” that is set up in the Roman Papal system. The best explanation so far is that this time period starts in AD 508. At this time the question of supremacy between the Catholic and Arian branches of Christianity was settled in favour of Catholicism by the subjection of the Arian tribes by Clovis, king of the Franks.
Using the day for a year rule, this makes the 1290 days end in 1798 at the same time as the 1260 days/years. If we start the 1335 days at the same time it brings us to 1843, very near the end of the 2300 days/years of Daniel 8:14.
12:11 And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.
daily – Hebrew word means continual – same as Daniel 8:11.
12:12 Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.
13. Daniel Standing in His Lot Now.–[Daniel 12:9, 4, 10, 13 quoted.] 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 (MS 176, 1899).  [4BC 1174.4]
12:13 But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.
THE REVELATION
Understanding the Book of Revelation and the Purpose of Prophecy
The word revelation means to reveal or disclose. In a special sense, the book of Revelation is meant to reveal vital issues to the New Testament Church—the end-time Church in particular—about end-time events. God does not want us to be ignorant about the future:
Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets. [Amos 3:7]
God has always wanted people to be informed, aware, and warned about future difficulties. Throughout the history of Israel, He sent prophets to warn His people about future impending doom. It has always been God’s purpose to steer people away from calamity.
Biblical Prophecy: Warning and Encouragement
God uses prophecy for two purposes: to warn and to encourage. For example, prophecy warns us of the Enemy’s plans and encourages us with hope and the promise of victory. The book of Revelation is full of such warnings and encouragements. It discusses the forces working against Christ and the actions they will take, so that we can recognize them when they happen, and steer clear of any participation with the Antichrist forces.
We also read in the book of Revelation about the promise of final restoration—a new heaven and a new Earth. These come with the final destruction of sin and Satan, the originator of sin. Because Revelation pertains specifically to the end of time, and because we live in the closing time of Earth’s history, this book, in particular, deserves our attention if we want to recognize the signs and know the future.
When we understand what is to take place, our fear of the end times won’t control us. And that’s what God wants. When calamities occur, many are afraid and wonder what is happening. But those that study God’s Word don’t need to be afraid. In His kindness, God gives us the sure word of prophecy for our warning and encouragement.
The Book of Revelation is a Revelation of Christ
Jesus Christ is the central theme of everything we read in Revelation. He is the heart of the book. It is crucial that as we study some of the darker prophecies about the Antichrist and the final controversy, we remember that Christ is the ultimate Victor over all evil.
What is a chiasm / chiastic structure in the Bible?
A chiasm / chiasmus is a literary device in which a sequence of ideas is presented and then repeated in reverse order. The result is a “mirror” effect as the ideas are “reflected” back in a passage. Each idea is connected to its “reflection” by a repeated word, often in a related form.
The structure of a chiasm is usually expressed through a series of letters, each letter representing a new idea. For example, the structure ABBA refers to two ideas (A and B) repeated in reverse order (B and A). Often, a chiasm includes another idea in the middle of the repetition: ABXBA. In this structure, the two ideas (A and B) are repeated in reverse order, but a third idea is inserted before the repetition (X). By virtue of its position, the insertion is emphasized.
Many passages in the Bible exhibit chiastic structure; for example:
And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted. [Matthew 23:12]
And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: [Mark 2:27]
An example where ABCXCBA is found occurs in Joel 3:17-21:
17 So shall ye know that I [am] the LORD your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more.
18 And it shall come to pass in that day, [that] the mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters, and a fountain shall come forth of the house of the LORD, and shall water the valley of Shittim.
19 Egypt shall be a desolation, and Edom shall be a desolate wilderness, for the violence [against] the children of Judah, because they have shed innocent blood in their land.
20 But Judah shall dwell for ever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation.
21 For I will cleanse their blood [that] I have not cleansed: for the LORD dwelleth in Zion.
where
A – God dwells in Zion (verse 17a)
B – Jerusalem is holy (verse 17b)
C – Foreign invaders are banished (verse 17c)
X – The blessings of the Kingdom (verse 18)
C – Foreign enemies are destroyed (verse 19)
B – Jerusalem and Judah are preserved (verses 20–21a)
A – God dwells in Zion (verse 21b)
The book of Revelation is also a chiasm. A chiasm is a double list of related items in which the order of the second list is opposite to the order of the first list. If we divide Revelation at the end of chapter 14 into two halves, and then divide each half into separate divisions we can find related pairs of content. These pairs go in opposite directions. It is organized like a mirror image.
The chiastic structure divides Revelation into two major groups. The first half deals primarily with the experience of God’s people during the Christian era. This is called the historical half. The second half deals almost exclusively with last day events and is called the eschatological half. The word ” eschatological” comes from the Greek word eschaton, meaning “end.”
The historical half covers all of human history. Therefore, it has not been completely fulfilled yet because not all of Christian history has happened yet. For example, the seventh seal, seventh trumpet, and final scene in the great controversy division are still waiting for their fulfillment. The eschatological half is still to be fulfilled in the future. We can see the inspiration of God in this beautiful demonstration of literary art as well as the love of God who does everything He can to warn us and call us out of the false systems of this world into His marvelous truth.
Revelation 1:1 – 14:20 form the first half with Revelation 15:1 – 22:21 forming the second.
Sub-dividing each half gives:
PROLOGUE [ 1:1 – 1:8 ]
EPILOGUE [ 22:8 – 22:17 ]
Introduction. 1:1
Testimony of Jesus. 1:2
I, Jesus, sent this testimony. 22:16
Blessed is he who reads. 1:3
Blessed is he who keeps. 22:7
Behold He is coming. 1:7
Behold, I am coming soon. 22:12,20
I am the Alpha and the Omega. 1:8
I am the Alpha and the Omega. 22:13
7 CHURCHES [ 1:10 – 3:22 ]
NEW JERUSALEM [ 21:9 – 22:9 ]
Christ walks among seven lamps. 2:1
Christ is the eternal Lamp. 21:23
Tree of life. 2:1
Tree of life. 22:2
Open door. 3:8
Gates never closed. 21:25
Christ sits on His Father’s throne. 3:21
Throne of God and of the Lamb. 22:1,3
New Jerusalem comes down from heaven. 3:12
New Jerusalem comes down from heaven. 21:10
I am coming soon. 3:11
I am coming soon. 22:7
7 SEALS [ 4:1 – 8:1 ]
MILLENNIUM [ 19:11 – 21:8 ]
Heaven opened. 4:1
Heaven opened. 19:11
Rider on white horse and riders on colored horses. 6:2-8
Rider on white horse followed by other riders on white horses. 19:11-16
Souls of martyrs under altar ask for judgment. 6:9-10
Souls of martyrs resurrected and enthroned as judges. 20:4-6
White robes. 6:11; 7:9-14
White robes. 19:14
Kings, etc. ask to be killed. 6:15-16
Kings, etc. are killed. 19:17-21
7 TRUMPETS [ 8:2 – 11:18 ]
7 LAST PLAGUES [ 15:1 – 16:21 ]
1. Earth. 8:7
1. Earth. 16:2
2. Sea. 8:8-9
2. Sea. 16:3
3. Rivers and fountains. 8:10-11
3. Rivers and fountains. 16:4
4. Sun, moon, stars. 8:12
4. Sun. 16:8-9
5. Darkness, bottomless pit, locusts. 9:1-11
5. Darkness on throne of the Beast. 16:10-11
6. River Euphrates. 9:13-21
6. River Euphrates. 16:12,16
7. Loud voices: The kingdom is Christ’s! 11:15-18
7. A loud voice: It is done! 16:17-21
GREAT CONTROVERSY [ 11:19 – 14:20 ]
FALL OF BABYLON [ 17:1 – 19:10 ]
True mother dressed in white. 12:1-2
False mother, dressed in purple. 17:4
Her children keep the commandments. 12:17
Her children are harlots. 17:5
Woman in wilderness. 12:14
Woman in wilderness. 17:3
Beast with 7 heads, 10 horns. 12:3;13:1
Beast with 7 heads, 10 horns. 17:3
Fallen is Babylon! 14:8
Fallen is Babylon! 18:2
Testimony of Jesus. 12:17
Testimony of Jesus. 19:10
1-3. Revelation an Open Book.–Many have entertained the idea that the book of Revelation is a sealed book, and they will not devote time and study to its mysteries. They say that they are to keep looking to the glories of salvation, and that the mysteries revealed to John on the Isle of Patmos are worthy of less consideration than these. But God does not so regard this book. . . .  [7BC 954.1]
The book of Revelation opens to the world what has been, what is, and what is to come; it is for our instruction upon whom the ends of the world are come. It should be studied with reverential awe. We are privileged in knowing what is for our learning. . . .  [7BC 954.2]
The Lord Himself revealed to His servant John the mysteries of the book of Revelation, and He designs that they shall be open to the study of all. In this book are depicted scenes that are now in the past, and some of eternal interest that are taking place around us; other of its prophecies will not receive their complete fulfillment until the close of time, when the last great conflict between the powers of darkness and the Prince of heaven will take place (RH Aug. 31, 1897).  [7BC 954.3]
1-2. (2 Peter 2:1; 1 John 4:1). The Trustee of Divine Revelation.–[Revelation 1:1, 2 quoted.] The whole Bible is a revelation; for all revelation to men comes through Christ, and all centers in Him. God has spoken unto us by His Son, whose we are by creation and by redemption. Christ came to John exiled on the Isle of Patmos to give him the truth for these last days, to show him that which must shortly come to pass. Jesus Christ is the great trustee of divine revelation. It is through Him that we have a knowledge of what we are to look for in the closing scenes of this earth’s history. God gave this revelation to Christ, and Christ communicated the same to John.  [7BC 953.7]
John, the beloved disciple, was the one chosen to receive this revelation. He was the last survivor of the first chosen disciples. Under the New Testament dispensation he was honored as the prophet Daniel was honored under the Old Testament dispensation.  [7BC 953.8]
The instruction to be communicated to John was so important that Christ came from heaven to give it to His servant, telling him to send it to the churches. This instruction is to be the object of our careful and prayerful study; for we are living in a time when men who are not under the teaching of the Holy Spirit will bring in false theories. These men have been standing in high places, and they have ambitious projects to carry out. They seek to exalt themselves, and to revolutionize the whole showing of things. God has given us special instruction to guard us against such ones. He bade John write in a book that which should take place in the closing scenes of this earth’s history (MS 129, 1905).  [7BC 953.9]
Revelation 1:1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:
The Gospels give us things of the past.
The Revelation give us things of the future.
The Divine Calendar of coming events.
Prophecy is the finger of God pointing the way; history in advance or history written backwards.
History is but the unrolled scroll of prophecy.
Same ground covered by 7 churches, 7 seals, 7 trumpets.
Revelation – to reveal – an uncovering / unfolding of events – not a sealed book void of understanding; but neglected through ‘sealed’ misbelief – another fulfilment of prophecy [Isaiah 29:11-12].
Christ’s instruction [Revelation 22:10] is to ‘seal not’ – to unfold to all who will hear and obey.
Revelation – our road guide, our travelling manual.
God given book – letter from heaven by Divine Author – only book Divinely named.
Contains the personal signature of Jesus.
John the writer; Jesus Christ the Author.
Christ the one Mediator between God and man.
Christ sent and signified it by his angel – given in signs and symbols.
Like Daniel, events, nations and churches are given in prophetic language using cartoons/symbols – thus protecting God’s servants – e.g.. Pagan Rome during the Dark Ages.
Cf. Jesus who used parables:
to attract attention
use of nature / surroundings for common people to understand
revealed truth ‘as they were able to bear it’
listeners prevented from being too quickly repelled via His unpopular message of Truth.
Revelation written for ‘the servants of God’
Revelation 1:2 called by the dual name of:
the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ
1:2 Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.
testimony or witness of Jesus Christ [Revelation 12:17 & 19:10].
1:3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.
66 books in the Bible – no other begins and ends with a promise to the reader, hearer and doer – cf. Revelation 22:14.
1:4 John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;
seven – the number seven is used symbolically throughout Revelation to indicate fullness, completeness and perfection.
seven = Union of God and mankind.
‘Religion’ means ‘to bind’ or tie back to God.
The seven Spirits (of God) are portrayed as seven lamps of fire [Revelation 4:5] and the seven eyes of the Lamb [Revelation 5:6] and refer to the Holy Spirit.
1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
The power in the Blood of the Lamb.
1:6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
Amen – a known accolade since early Christian worship (of the 2nd century).
1:7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.
clouds – Christ’s appearance is frequently associated with clouds – see Daniel 7:13; Acts 1:9; Revelation 10:1; 14:14; cf. Psalm 104:3; 1 Thessalonians 4:17.
The fourth gospel alone records the incident of the piercing of the side of Jesus – this gives indirect evidence that the Revelation came from the same hand as the Gospel of John.
Amen – a known accolade since early Christian worship (of the 2nd century).
8. Sinner Given a Second Trial.–As representative of the fallen race, Christ passed over the same ground on which Adam stumbled and fell. By a life of perfect obedience to God’s law, Christ redeemed man from the penalty of Adam’s disgraceful fall. Man has violated God’s law. Only for those who return to their allegiance to God, only for those who obey the law that they have violated, will the blood of Christ avail. Christ will never become a party to sin. Bearing the penalty of the law, He gives the sinner another chance, a second trial. He opens a way whereby the sinner can be reinstated in God’s favor. Christ bears the penalty of man’s past transgressions, and by imparting to man His righteousness, makes it possible for man to keep God’s holy law (MS 126, 1901).  [6BC 1092.7]
1:8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.
A reference to God the Father, the Almighty.
Creator of all Genesis 1:1 – note plural Hebrew word for ‘God’.
Christ – First and Last cf. Revelation 1:11, 22:13
Jesus the First in time John 1:1-3
in position Hebrews 1:6
in object Colossians 1:16
Jesus to be the first in the life of a Christian
Hebrews 12:2 Author and finisher of our faith
the seed of the woman.
9. Companions of John on Patmos.–John was sent to the Isle of Patmos, where, separated from his companions in the faith, his enemies supposed he would die from hardship and neglect. But John made friends and converts even there. They thought that they had at last placed the faithful witness where he could no longer trouble Israel or the wicked rulers of the world.  [7BC 954.5]
But all the heavenly universe saw the result of the conflict with the aged disciple and his separation from his companions in the faith. God and Christ and the heavenly host were John’s companions on the Isle of Patmos. From them he received instruction which he imparted to those separated with him from the world. There he wrote out the visions and revelations he received from God, telling of the things which would take place in the closing period of this earth’s history. When his voice would no longer witness for the truth, when he could no longer testify of the One he loved and served, the messages given to him on that rocky, barren coast were to go forth as a lamp that burneth (MS 150, 1899).  [7BC 954.6]
Glorious Truths Entrusted to John.–Often the very best men, those whom God uses to His name’s glory, are unrecognized by human wisdom, but not for one moment are they forgotten by God. When John was exiled to the Isle of Patmos, there were many who thought him to be past service, an old and broken reed ready to fall at any time. But the Lord saw fit to use him in that lonely island home where His servant was imprisoned. The world and the bigoted priests and rulers rejoiced that they were at last rid of his ever fresh testimony. [1 John 1:1-3 quoted.]  [7BC 954.7] (1 John 1:1-10.).
This whole chapter is full of brave courage, of hope and faith and assurance. It was because of this testimony, so amazing to those who wished to forget Christ, who hated the crucified Redeemer, whom they had rejected, that they wished to get that voice beyond their hearing, that his testimony might no more be a witness against their wicked deeds in crucifying the Lord of glory. But they could not put him in any place where his Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ could not find him.  [7BC 954.8]
Christ’s servants who are true and faithful may be unrecognized and unhonored by men . . . , but the Lord will honor them. They will not be forgotten by God. He will honor them by His presence because they have been found true and faithful. Those who have grown old in the cause and work of God have an experience of great value for the church. God honors His servants who have grown old in His service. The most glorious truths concerning the last chapters of this earth’s history were given to the aged disciple whom Jesus loved (MS 109, 1897).  [7BC 954.9]
9-15. God’s Plan for Future Ages.–The hand of persecution falls heavily on the apostle. He is banished to the Isle of Patmos “for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.” He writes, “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day.” He was filled with unspeakable joy; for heaven seemed open before him. In clear, distinct tones a voice spoke to him, saying, “I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last.” Turning, he beheld his Master, with whom he had walked and talked in Judea, on whose breast he had leaned.  [7BC 955.3]
But Oh, how changed is His appearance! John had seen Him clothed in an old purple robe and crowned with thorns. Now He is clothed with a garment of heavenly brightness, and girt about with a golden girdle. Writing of His appearance, John says, “His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; and his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.” . . .  [7BC 955.4]
God’s plan for future ages was revealed to John. The glories of heaven were opened before his enraptured vision. He saw the throne of God, and heard the anthems of joy resounding through the heavenly courts. As we read his description of what he saw in his vision, we long to stand with the redeemed in the presence of God.  [7BC 955.5]
Half a century had passed since Jesus ascended to present His church before God, and to prepare mansions for His faithful ones. He still loved His people; for He came to His aged servant to reveal to Him God’s plans for the future.  [7BC 955.6]
On the rugged, desolate island John was left alone with God and his faith. Here, among the rocks and cliffs, he held communion with his Maker. He reviewed his past life, and at the thought of the blessings he had received at the hand of God, peace filled his heart. He had lived the life of a Christian, and he could say in faith, “It is well with my soul.” Not so the emperor who had banished him. He could look back only on fields of warfare and carnage, on desolated homes and weeping widows and orphans–the result of his ambitious desire for pre-eminence (MS 99, 1902).  [7BC 955.7]
9, 10. John’s Last Years.–It was after John had grown old in the service of the Lord that he was exiled to Patmos. And on that lonely isle he received more communications from heaven than he had received during the rest of his lifetime (RH July 26, 1906).  [7BC 955.1]  (Psalm 71:9 – Cast me not off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength faileth.; Psalm 92:14 – They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing; ; Isaiah 46:4 – And [even] to [your] old age I [am] he; and [even] to hoar hairs will I carry [you]: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver [you].).
Christ’s aged representative was exiled that his testimony might no longer be heard; for it was a living power on the side of right. But though separated from his brethren, he was visited by Christ, whom he had not seen since the ascension (RH May 16, 1899).  [7BC 955.2]
1:9 I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.
John – imprisoned on Patmos for preaching ‘the Word of God and the Testimony of Jesus’ – wrote the Revelation from within a Roman island prison. These writings meant much to the early church – through their quotations/writings all of the manuscript of Revelation, if lost, could have been reproduced.
Through John’s teachings, the Roman worship of Caesar was attacked:
John worshipped the God-Man – not the man-god
Caesar worship covered the whole Roman Empire at this time.
Emmanuel – ‘God with us’ – the motto of Truth.
The Lord Jesus – God who came as man; as compared with
The Pope – man who comes as God.
10. Christ Appears on the Sabbath.–The Sabbath, which God had instituted in Eden, was as precious to John on the lonely isle as when he was with his companions in the cities and towns. The precious promises that Christ had given regarding this day he repeated and claimed as his own. It was the sign to him that God was his. . . . On the Sabbath day the risen Saviour made His presence known to John. [Revelation 1:10-13, 17, 18 quoted.]  [7BC 955.8]
The persecution of John became a means of grace. Patmos was made resplendent with the glory of a risen Saviour. John had seen Christ in human form, with the marks of the nails, which will ever be His glory, in His hands and His feet. Now he was permitted again to behold his risen Lord, clothed with as much glory as a human being could behold, and live. What a Sabbath was that to the lonely exile, always precious in the sight of Christ, but now more than ever exalted! Never had he learned so much of Jesus. Never had he heard such exalted truth (YI April 5, 1900).  [7BC 955.9]
1:10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,
It was on the Sabbath that the Lord of glory appeared to the exiled apostle’ – AA 581.
Jesus, who during 33 years, would have experienced over 1700 Sabbaths but never once is it recorded anywhere in the Bible that Sunday should be the day of worship to God.
the Lord’s day – expression found only once in Scriptures at a time when the death decree was operative:
Once a year, everyone in the Empire had to appear before the magistrates in order to burn a pinch of incense to the godhead Caesar, and to say ‘Caesar is Lord’.
Refusal was treason and open opposition to the established religion.
Emperor worship began after the death of Caesar.
Roman emperor Domitian – died 96 AD – probably one who sent John into exile on Isle of Patmos.
In 96 AD, Domitian put to death his cousin (Florius Clemens) and exiled his wife (Floria Domitailla), niece of Domitian – both were charged with ‘atheism’ but probably were Christians.
Domitian was first Emperor who arrogated divine honours in his lifetime – government announcements were to begin ‘Our Lord and God Domitian commands …..’. Honour Domitian as god – or die. Choose either the Lord Jesus Christ or the emperor of Rome. Domitian claimed to be lord – his day, the Emperor’s day, thus became the lord’s day. Jesus is ‘King of kings and Lord of lords [Revelation 19:16]. John upheld the true Lord’s day – the seventh day Sabbath – and in defiance of a pagan day wrote ‘the Lord’s day’.
1:11 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.
Alpha and Omega, the first and the last – a reference to God the Son, Jesus Christ – [Revelation 1:18].
seven – the number seven is used symbolically throughout Revelation to indicate fullness, completeness and perfection.
The order of the churches listed here and in chapters 2 & 3 represent geographical sequence in which a messenger carrying a letter from Patmos would reach these seven cities in the province of Asia.
Many churches in Asia were not listed, viz. the churches of Miletus (nearest to Patmos), Troas (near Pergamos) and Colosse (near Laodicea) are not mentioned. The messages to the seven churches chosen have, from old, been understood as being messages to the seven periods of the Christian church between the ascension of Christ until His return in glory [Revelation 2:25].
The prophesy of the seven churches can be applied in three ways:
local application
historical application
spiritual application.
Ephesus the apostolic age
desirable
the 1st century (Apostolic Church)
Smyrna the period of pagan persecutions
sweet perfume
pagan persecutions – the 2nd & 3rd centuries & the first part of the 4th century
was dead yet lived
Pergamos from Constantine’s time to the great apostasy
elevation
Constantine – great apostasy – the 4th & 5th centuries & half of the 6th century
church and politics united
Thyatira the period of papal supremacy
contrition
Dark Ages – the 6th century to the 15th century
the church of the night
Sardis the churches of the Reformation
that which remains
the Reformation churches – the 16th & 17th century & about half of the 18th century
lived yet dead
Philadelphia ‘a church yet to come’ – written quote of 17th century
brotherly love
Advent awakening – the second half of the 18th century & the first half of the 19th century
Laodicea the last age, preceding the coming of Christ
judging the people
last period – from the mid 19th century until the end of the world.
1:12 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;
seven – the number seven is used symbolically throughout Revelation to indicate fullness, completeness and perfection.
Reminiscent of the seven golden candlesticks in the holy place of the earthly sanctuary [Exodus 25:31-37] – they are the seven churches [Revelation 1:20].
The candlestick’s (church’s) sole purpose is to uphold the lighted candle [Psalms 119:105 & Proverbs 6:23].
1:13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.
1:14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;
1:15 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.
1:16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.
seven stars – ‘angels’ or messengers, sent to the seven churches [Revelation 1:20] – reference to God’s ministers i.e.. leaders or elders of the churches, who like the heavenly stars, God fills with light and guides their movements – see GW13/14 & AA900.
1:17 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:
18-20. The Self-existent, Unchangeable One.–[Revelation 1:18-20 quoted.] These are wonderfully solemn and significant statements. It was the Source of all mercy and pardon, peace and grace, the self-existent, eternal, unchangeable One, who visited His exiled servant on the isle that is called Patmos (MS 81, 1900).  [7BC 955.11] (John 1:1-3).
1:18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
I am he that liveth – ‘The living (One)’ – the familiar Old Testament term ‘living God’ [Joshua 3:10] – the verb implies continuous, living, abiding life.
and was dead – literally ‘became dead’ i.e. a reference to the crucifixion and thus John was in vision with Christ.
Amen – a known accolade since early Christian worship (of the 2nd century).
keys – a symbol of power and jurisdiction [or knowledge – Matthew 16:19 cf. Luke 11:52].
1:19 Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;
1:20 The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.
In Revelation a mystery is a cryptic symbol about to be explained; the symbols of Revelation are also referred to as wonders [Revelation 12:1] and signs [Revelation 15:1].
1-5. The Warder of the Temple Courts.— [Revelation 2:1-5 quoted.] The words fall from the lips of One who cannot lie. The picture reveals eternal vigilance. Christ is in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks, walking from church to church, from congregation to congregation, from heart to heart. He that keepeth Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps. If the candlesticks were left to the care of human beings, how often the light would flicker and go out! But God has not given His church into the hands of men. Christ, the One who gave His life for the world, that all who believe in Him may not perish but have everlasting life, is the watchman of the house. He is the warder, faithful and true, of the temple courts of the Lord. . . .  [7BC 956.2]  (1 Peter 1:5 – Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. ; Jude 24 – Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present [you] faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,).
Christ walks in the midst of His churches through the length and breadth of the earth. He looks with intense interest to see whether His people are in such a condition spiritually that they can advance His kingdom. He is present in every assembly of the church. He knows those whose hearts He can fill with the holy oil, that they may impart it to others. Those who faithfully carry forward the work of Christ, representing in word and deed the character of God, fulfill the Lord’s purpose for them, and Christ takes pleasure in them (RH May 26, 1903).  [7BC 956.3]
Evil Results of Neglect.–[Revelation 2:1-5 quoted.] In this scripture are outlined the conditions of acceptance with God. The first experience of the Ephesus church led to good works. God took delight in the fact that His church reflected the light of heaven by revealing the spirit of Christ in tenderness and compassion. The love that dwelt in the heart of Christ; the love that caused Him to give Himself a sacrifice for humanity, and to suffer with forbearance the reproach of men, even to the extent of being called a devil; the love that prompted Him to perform mighty works of healing during His ministry–this was the love that was to be revealed in the lives of His disciples.  [7BC 956.4] (Ephesians 1:1, 15, 16.).
But they neglected to cherish Christ’s compassion and tenderness. Self, as manifested in hereditary traits of character, spoiled the principles of the grand, good works that identified the members of the Ephesus church as Christians. The Lord Jesus must needs show them that they had lost that which was everything to them. The love that constrained the Saviour to die for us, was not revealed in its fullness in their lives; and hence they were unable to bring honor to the name of the Redeemer. And as they lost their first love, they increased in a knowledge of scientific theories originated by the father of lies (MS 11, 1906).  [7BC 956.5]
1. Constant Diligence in Behalf of His Church.–In the message to the church at Ephesus, Christ is represented as holding the seven stars in His hand, and walking in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks. He is represented as “walking” among them, thus illustrating His constant diligence in behalf of His church. He that keepeth Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps. Nor does He become indifferent. These figures are to be carefully studied by the undershepherds, and faithfully applied to their own experience, that they may not lose sight of their great privilege of securing light from the Source of all light, and giving it in turn to those for whom they labor (Letter 4, 1908).  [7BC 956.1]  (Psalm 121:3-4 – He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.).
Revelation 2:1 Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;
seven – the number seven is used symbolically throughout Revelation to indicate fullness, completeness and perfection.
2-6. Losing the Talent of Love.–This message is an example of the way in which the ministers of God are to give reproof today. Following the commendation for earnest labor comes the reproof for losing the talent of love, which is a most sacred trust. It was the love of God that saved the fallen race from eternal death (MS 136, 1902).  [7BC 956.7]
2. Bible Religion Means Constant Work.–Genuine faith always works by love. When you look to Calvary it is not to quiet your soul in the non-performance of duty, not to compose yourself to sleep, but to create faith in Jesus, faith that will work, purifying the soul from the slime of selfishness. When we lay hold of Christ by faith, our work has just begun. Every man has corrupt and sinful habits that must be overcome by vigorous warfare. Every soul is required to fight the fight of faith. If one is a follower of Christ, he cannot be sharp in deal, he cannot be hardhearted, devoid of sympathy. He cannot be coarse in his speech. He cannot be full of pomposity and self-esteem. He cannot be overbearing, nor can he use harsh words, and censure and condemn.  [6BC 1111.4]
The labor of love springs from the work of faith. Bible religion means constant work. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God that worketh in you, both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” We are to be zealous of good works; be careful to maintain good works. And the true Witness says, “I know thy works.”  [6BC 1111.5]
While it is true that our busy activities will not in themselves ensure salvation, it is also true that faith which unites us to Christ will stir the soul to activity (MS 16, 1890).  [6BC 1111.6]
2:2 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:
2:3 And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.
4-5.Spiritually Fallen, but Unaware of It.–In view of the many virtues enumerated, how striking is the charge brought against the church at Ephesus: “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.” This church had been highly favored. It was planted by the apostle Paul. In the same city was the temple of Diana, which, in point of grandeur, was one of the marvels of the world. The Ephesian church met with great opposition, and some of the early Christians suffered persecution; and yet some of these very ones turned from the truths that had united them with Christ’s followers, and adopted, in their stead, the specious errors devised by Satan.  [7BC 957.2]  (1 Kings 11:4 – For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, [that] his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as [was] the heart of David his father.).
This change is represented as a spiritual fall. “Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works”–as outlined in the preceding verses. The believers did not sense their spiritual fall. They knew not that a change had taken place in their hearts, and that they would have to repent because of the noncontinuance of their first works. But God in His mercy called for repentance, for a return to their first love and to the works that are always the result of true, Christlike love (MS 11, 1906).  [7BC 957.3]
Loss of Love a Moral Fall.–The losing of the first love is specified as a moral fall. The loss of this love is represented as something that will affect the entire religious life. Of those who have lost this love, God says that unless they repent, He will come to them, and remove their candlestick out of its place (MS 1, 1906).  [7BC 957.4]
4. Love for Christ Need Not Flag.–“Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.” Thine is a decay, a declension in holy zeal–not forsaken is the object of it, but lost is the fervor. The first affection of the convert to Christ is deep, full, and ardent. It is not necessary that this love should become less as knowledge increases, as the more and increased light shines upon him. That love should become more fervent as he becomes better acquainted with his Lord. . . .  [7BC 956.8]  (2 Peter 3:18 – But grow in grace, and [in] the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him [be] glory both now and for ever. Amen. ; 2 John 6 – And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.).
God will accept nothing less than the whole heart. Happy are they who from the commencement of their religious life have been true to their first love, growing in grace and the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. The sure result of their intercourse and fellowship with their beloved Lord will be to increase their piety, their purity, their fervor. They are receiving a divine education, and this is illustrated in a life of fervor, of diligence and zeal. . . .  [7BC 956.9]
It is our work to know our special failings and sins, which cause darkness and spiritual feebleness, and quenched our first love (RH June 7, 1887).  [7BC 957.1]
2:4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
2:5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
7 I will‘s of Jesus in Revelation – each to 1 of 7 churches. 7 (perfect number) denotes completeness – 7th day completed creation week. Many 7’s divided into 3 + 4, i.e. 7 seals (4 horsemen + 3 signs of Advent) and 7 trumpets (4 western Rome + 3 woes).
The order of Christ’s promises: I will reveals the Unfolding of Christ from earth’s beginning to the full consummation in heaven.
1st 4: Journey of Israel parallels the church’s journey to glory.
Revelation 2:7 – ‘tree of life’ was lost in Genesis 3.
Revelation 2:11 – ‘not hurt in second death’ – sin entered and death followed.
Revelation 2:17 – ‘hidden manna’ – church was in the wilderness [Acts 7]
Revelation 2:26 – triumph over nations cf.. triumphant reign of David and Solomon.
Last 3: Lift us from earth to heaven.
Revelation 3:5 – not blot name from the book of life – robe of white.
Revelation 3:12 – ‘new Jerusalem’.
Revelation 3:21 – crowning promise (given to Laodicians) – seated with Christ on His throne.
6. The Sin of the Nicolaitans.–Is it [our sin] the sin of the Nicolaitans, turning the grace of God into lasciviousness (RH June 7, 1887)?  [7BC 957.5]  (Jude 4 – For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.).
Doctrine of the Nicolaitans.–The doctrine is now largely taught that the gospel of Christ has made the law of God of no effect; that by “believing” we are released from the necessity of being doers of the Word. But this is the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which Christ so unsparingly condemned (ST Jan. 2, 1912).  [7BC 957.6]  (Romans 3:31 – Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.).
2:6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate.
7. The Leaves of the Tree of Life.–[Revelation 2:7 quoted.] Must we wait until we are translated before we eat of the leaves of the tree of life? He who receives into his heart the words of Christ knows what it means to eat the leaves of the tree of life. [John 6:33-63 quoted.]  [7BC 957.7]  (Revelation 22:2 – In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, [was there] the tree of life, which bare twelve [manner of] fruits, [and] yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree [were] for the healing of the nations.).
When the believer, in the fellowship of the Spirit, can lay his hand upon truth itself, and appropriate it, he eats the bread that comes down from heaven. He enters into the life of Christ, and appreciates the great sacrifice made in behalf of the sinful race.  [7BC 957.8]
The knowledge that comes from God is the bread of life. It is the leaves of the tree of life which are for the healing of the nations. The current of spiritual life thrills the soul as the words of Christ are believed and practiced. Thus it is that we are made one with Christ. The experience that was weak and feeble becomes strong. It is eternal life to us if we hold the beginning of our confidence firm unto the end.  [7BC 957.9]
All truth is to be received as the life of Jesus. Truth cleanses us from all impurity, and prepares the soul for Christ’s presence. Christ is formed within, the hope of glory (MS 103, 1902).  [7BC 957.10]
7, 11, 17, 29. (Also Revelation 3:6, 13, 22). Ears Closed to Folly and Nonsense.–“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” If you “hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches,” and meditate upon the instruction given to them, your ears will be closed to the folly and nonsense which surround you. You will neither hear and repeat these things, nor will you ever hanker after them. When Christ satisfies the soul hunger, these trivialities are to you distasteful and disgusting. You have no desire to feast upon them, but choose instead the bread of heaven (MS 92, 1901).  [7BC 957.11]
2:7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
1st 3 churches: hear first, then the promise is given.
2:8 And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;
Smyrna – 100 AD – 323 AD – Myrrh – crushed seeds used as perfume.
9. The Synagogue of Satan.–Christ speaks of the church over which Satan presides as the synagogue of Satan. Its members are the children of disobedience. They are those who choose to sin, who labor to make void the holy law of God. It is Satan’s work to mingle evil with good, and to remove the distinction between good and evil. Christ would have a church that labors to separate the evil from the good, whose members will not willingly tolerate wrong-doing, but will expel it from the heart and life (RH Dec. 4, 1900).  [7BC 958.1]
2:9 I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.
When truth is accepted, persecution and hatred follow.
Persecution followed from Gaul (France) to Africa and Syria.
c 177 AD prejudice grew.
Christians forbidden to be in public places, not to buy nor sell in markets.
Christians insulted, stoned, robbed, scoffed at and imprisoned.
the synagogue of Satan – Christians were turning away from the Bible and God’s commandments – led into the ‘dark ages’.
10. Crowns Bestowed by Christ.–In that day of final punishment and reward, both saints and sinners will recognize in Him who was crucified the Judge of all living. Every crown that is given to the saints of the Most High will be bestowed by the hands of Christ–those hands that cruel priests and rulers condemned to be nailed to the cross. He alone can give to men the consolation of eternal life (RH Nov. 22, 1898).  [7BC 958.2]
2:10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
Under Diocletian, medals were struck bearing the words ‘The Christians are no more’.
ten days – equivalent to 10 years (Ezekiel 4:6) -303 AD – 313 AD.
312 AD – Battle at Milvian Bridge.
Constantine’s decree at Milan in 313 AD placed Christianity on an even footing with other religions of the empire.
By subsequent edicts, Constantine effectively made Christianity the state religion – such societies could receive gifts and legacies. This marks the beginning of the church’s great possessions and with it entered a worldly spirit; thus is traced the decay of its primitive simplicity and a decline from the early high moral standard.
I will – one of the pearls of promise strung on the prophetic outline of the 7 churches.
2:11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.
1st 3 churches: hear first, then the promise is given.
2:12 And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges;
2:13 I know thy works and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.
2:14 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.
2:15 So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate.
2:16 Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.
2:17 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.
1st 3 churches: hear first, then the promise is given.
2:18 And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass;
2:19 I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first.
2:20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.
2:21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.
2:22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.
2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.
2:24 But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden.
2:25 But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.
2:26 And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:
Last 4 churches: The order is reversed – the promise is given before being told to hear.
2:27 And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.
2:28 And I will give him the morning star.
2:29 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
1-5. A Few Faithful Ones in Sardis.–The church of Sardis is represented as having in it a few faithful ones among the many who had become, as it were, careless and insensible of their obligations to God. “Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.” Who is so favored as to be numbered among these few in Sardis? Are you? Am I? Who are among this number? Is it not best for us to inquire into this matter, in order that we may learn to whom the Lord refers when He says that a few have not stained their white robes of character (MS 81, 1900)?  [7BC 959.3]  (Matthew 22:14 – For many are called, but few [are] chosen.).
Read the Third Chapter of Revelation.–In the message to the church at Sardis two parties are presented–those who have a name to live, but are dead; and those who are striving to overcome. Study this message, found in the third chapter of Revelation. [Revelation 3:1, 2 quoted.] Who are meant by those that are ready to die? and what has made them thus? The explanation is given, “I have not found thy works perfect before God.” [Revelation 3:3-5 quoted.]  [7BC 959.4]
To the church of the present day this message is sent. I call upon our church members to read the whole of the third chapter of Revelation, and to make an application of it. The message to the church of the Laodiceans applies especially to the people of God today. It is a message to professing Christians who have become so much like the world that no difference can be seen [Revelation 3:14-18 quoted] (RH Aug. 20, 1903).  [7BC 959.5]
1-4. Weighing the Character.–[Revelation 3:1-3 quoted.] The discrimination revealed by Christ in weighing the characters of those who have taken to themselves His name, as Christians, leads us to realize more fully that every individual is under His supervision. He is acquainted with the thoughts and intents of the heart, as well as with every word and act. He knows all about our religious experience; He knows whom we love and serve (MS 81, 1900).  [7BC 959.2]  (Hebrews 4:13 – Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things [are] naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.).
1-3. Remember How Thou Hast Received.–A warning is given of a time when errors would come in as a thief to steal away the faith of God’s people, when they must watch diligently and be constantly guarded against the delusions of the enemy.  [7BC 958.5]
In Sardis many had been converted through the preaching of the apostles. The truth had been received as a bright and shining light. But some had forgotten the wonderful manner in which they had received the truth, and Jesus found it necessary to send reproof.  [7BC 958.6]
One after another of the old standardbearers had fallen, and some had become wearied of the oft-repeated truths. They desired a new phase of doctrine, more pleasing to many minds. They thought they needed a wonderful change, and in their spiritual blindness did not discern that their sophistries would uproot all the experiences of the past.  [7BC 958.7]
But the Lord Jesus could see the end from the beginning. Through John He sent them the warning, “Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief” (MS 34, 1905).  [7BC 958.8]
Hazards of Quibbling.–[Revelation 3:1-3 quoted.] Among the people to whom this message was sent, there were those who had heard and been convinced by the preaching of John the Baptist, but who had lost the faith in which they once rejoiced. There were others who had received the truth from Christ’s teaching, and who were once ardent believers, but who had lost their first love, and were without spiritual strength. They had not held the beginning of their confidence firm unto the end. They had a name to live, but as far as exerting a saving influence is concerned, they were dead. They had a form of godliness without the power. They quibbled about matters of no special importance, not given by the Lord as tests, till these matters became as mountains, separating them from Christ and from one another. . . .  [7BC 958.9]  (2 Timothy 2:23-26 – But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes. And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all [men], apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And [that] they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.).
“I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.” With God outward show weighs nothing. The outward forms of religion, without the love of God in the soul, are utterly worthless.  [7BC 958.10]
“Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die.” This is our work. There are many ready to die spiritually, and the Lord calls upon us to strengthen them. God’s people are to be firmly united in the bonds of Christian fellowship, and are to be strengthened in the faith by speaking often to one another about the precious truths entrusted to them. Never are they to spend their time in accusing and condemning one another (RH Aug. 10, 1905).  [7BC 959.1]
1. Faithful Stewards Over Ourselves.–[Revelation 3:1 quoted.] God calls upon this church to make a change. They had a name to live, but their works were destitute of the love of Jesus. Oh, how many have fallen because they trusted in their profession for salvation! How many are lost by their effort to keep up a name! If one has the reputation of being a successful evangelist, a gifted preacher, a man of prayer, a man of faith, a man of special devotion, there is positive danger that he will make shipwreck of faith when tried by the little tests that God suffers to come. Often his great effort will be to maintain his reputation.  [7BC 958.3]  (2 Corinthians 4:7 – But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. ; Galatians 2:20 – I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. ; Philippians 1:21 – For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. ; Philippians 3:8 – Yea doubtless, and I count all things [but] loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them [but] dung, that I may win Christ,).
He who lives in the fear that others do not appreciate his value is losing sight of Him who alone makes us worthy of glorifying God. Let us be faithful stewards over ourselves. Let us look away from self to Christ. Then there will be no trouble at all. All the work done, however excellent it may appear to be, is worthless if not done in the love of Jesus. One may go through the whole round of religious activity, and yet, unless Christ is woven into all that he says and does, he will work for his own glory (Letter 48, 1903).  [7BC 958.4]
Revelation 3:1 And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.
seven – the number seven is used symbolically throughout Revelation to indicate fullness, completeness and perfection.
3:2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.
3. Hold Fast to the Pledge.–“Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent,” Those who have been born again remember with what joy and gladness they received the light of heaven, and how eager they were to tell everybody of their happiness. . . .  [7BC 959.6]   (Hebrews 3:6 – But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.; Hebrews 4:14 – Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast [our] profession.; Hebrews 10:23 – Let us hold fast the profession of [our] faith without wavering; (for he [is] faithful that promised;)).
“Hold fast.” This does not mean, Hold fast to your sins; but, Hold fast to the comfort, the faith, the hope, that God has given you in His Word. Never be discouraged. A discouraged man can do nothing. Satan is seeking to discourage you, telling you it is of no use to serve God, that it does not pay, and that it is just as well to have pleasure and enjoyment in this world. But “what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” You may have worldly pleasure at the expense of the future world; but can you afford to pay such a price?  [7BC 959.7]
We are to “hold fast” and live up to all the light we receive from heaven. Why? Because God wants us to grasp the eternal truth, and act as His helping hand by communicating the light to those who are not acquainted with His love for them. When you gave yourself to Christ, you made a pledge in the presence of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit–the three great personal Dignitaries of heaven. “Hold fast” to this pledge.  [7BC 959.8]
“And repent.” The life we live is to be one of continual repentance and humility. We need to repent constantly, that we may be constantly victorious. When we have true humility, we have victory. The enemy never can take out of the hand of Christ the one who is simply trusting in His promises. If the soul is trusting and working obediently, the mind is susceptible to divine impressions, and the light of God shines in, enlightening the understanding. What privileges we have in Christ Jesus!  [7BC 959.9]
A true sense of repentance before God does not hold us in bondage, causing us to feel like persons in a funeral procession. We are to be cheerful, not sorrowful. But all the time we are to be sorry that after Christ had given His precious life for us, we gave so many years of our life to the powers of darkness. We are to feel sorrow of heart as we remember that after Christ had given His all for our redemption, we used in the service of the enemy some of the time and capabilities which the Lord entrusted to us as talents to use to His name’s glory. We are to repent because we have not endeavored in every way possible to become acquainted with the precious truth, which enables us to exercise that faith which works by love and purifies the soul.  [7BC 960.1]
As we see souls out of Christ, we are to put ourselves in their place, and in their behalf feel repentance before God, resting not until we bring them to repentance. If we do everything we can for them, and yet they do not repent, the sin lies at their door; but we are still to feel sorrow of heart because of their condition, showing them how to repent, and trying to lead them step by step to Jesus Christ (MS 92, 1901).  [7BC 960.2]
3:3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.
4-5. True and Loyal and Faithful.–[Revelation 3:4, 5 quoted.] This is the reward to be given to those who have obtained a pure and spotless character, who before the world have held fast to the faith. Jesus Christ will confess their names before the Father and before His angels. They have been true and loyal and faithful. Through evil report as well as good report they have practiced and taught the truth (MS 26, 1905).  [7BC 960.4]  (Luke 12:8 – Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God:).
An Eternal Weight of Glory.–“Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.” Because of their faith this honor is bestowed on them. In this life they did not boast, nor lift up their souls unto vanity. With intensity of desire, with a pure, holy faith, they grasped the promise of eternal riches. Their one desire was to be like Christ. Ever they kept the standard of righteousness uplifted. To them is given an eternal weight of glory, because on the earth they walked with God, keeping themselves unspotted from the world, revealing to their fellow beings the righteousness of Christ. Of them the Saviour declares, “They shall walk with me in white, in the world that I have prepared for them” [Revelation 3:5 quoted] (RH Aug. 10, 1905).  [7BC 960.5]  (2 Corinthians 4:17-18 – For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding [and] eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen [are] temporal; but the things which are not seen [are] eternal.).
4, 5, 10. (1 Corinthians 10:12, 13). The Promise of Victory.–[Revelation 3:4, 5 quoted.] These words are given for the people while they are in connection with the world, subject to temptations and influences which are deceiving and deluding. While they stay their mind upon Him who is their sun and their shield, the blackness and darkness that surround them will not leave one spot or stain upon their garments. They will walk with Christ. They will pray and believe and work to save the souls that are ready to perish. These are trying to break the bands that Satan has fastened upon them, and they will not be put to shame if by faith they will make Christ their companion. Temptations and deceptions will be constantly brought up by the great deceiver to spoil the work of the human agent, but if he trusts in God, if he is humble and meek and lowly of heart, keeping the way of the Lord, heaven will rejoice, for he will gain the victory. God says, “He shall walk with Me in white, with unsullied garments, for he is worthy” (MS 97, 1898).  [7BC 960.6]
4.  God the Husband of His Church.–God is the husband of His church. The church is the bride, the Lamb’s wife. Every true believer is a part of the body of Christ. Christ regards unfaithfulness shown to Him by His people as the unfaithfulness of a wife to her husband. We are to remember that we are members of Christ’s body (Letter 39, 1902).  [7BC 985.9]
3:4 Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.
5. Angels Weighing Moral Worth.–Christ says of the overcomer, “I will not blot out his name out of the book of life.” The names of all those who have once given themselves to God are written in the book of life, and their characters are now passing in review before Him. Angels of God are weighing moral worth. They are watching the development of character in those now living, to see if their names can be retained in the book of life. A probation is granted us in which to wash our robes of character and make them white in the blood of the Lamb. Who is doing this work? Who is separating from himself sin and selfishness (HS 138)?  [7BC 960.7]
3:5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.
6, 13, 22. Ears Closed to Folly and Nonsense.–“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” If you “hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches,” and meditate upon the instruction given to them, your ears will be closed to the folly and nonsense which surround you. You will neither hear and repeat these things, nor will you ever hanker after them. When Christ satisfies the soul hunger, these trivialities are to you distasteful and disgusting. You have no desire to feast upon them, but choose instead the bread of heaven (MS 92, 1901).  [7BC 957.11]
3:6 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
Last 4 churches: The order is reversed – the promise is given before being told to hear.
3:7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;
8. An Open Door.–The true Witness declares: “Behold, I have set before thee an open door.” Let us thank God with heart and soul and voice; and let us learn to approach unto Him as through an open door, believing that we may come freely with our petitions, and that He will hear and answer. It is by a living faith in His power to help, that we shall receive strength to fight the battles of the Lord with the confident assurance of victory (RH July 9, 1908).  [7BC 960.9]
The Door of Communication.–The true Witness has given us the assurance that He has set before us an open door, which no man can shut. Those who are seeking to be faithful to God may be denied many of the privileges of the world; their way may be hedged up and their work hindered by the enemies of truth; but there is no power that can close the door of communication between God and their souls. The Christian himself may close this door by indulgence in sin, or by rejection of heaven’s light. He may turn away his ears from hearing the message of truth, and in this way sever the connection between God and his soul. . . . Neither man nor Satan can close the door which Christ has opened for us (RH March 26, 1889).  [7BC 961.1]  (Hebrews 10:19-20 – Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;.).
Light From the Threshold of Heaven.–[Revelation 3:8, 9 quoted.] Whenever tempted, we have this open door to behold. No power can hide from us the light of the glory which shines from the threshold of heaven along the whole length of the ladder we are to climb; for the Lord has given us strength in His strength, courage in His courage, light in His light. When the powers of darkness are overcome, when the light of the glory of God floods the world, we shall see and understand more clearly than we do today. If we only realized that the glory of God is round about us, that heaven is nearer earth than we suppose, we should have a heaven in our homes while preparing for the heaven above (MS 92, 1901).  [7BC 961.2]
3:8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.
3:9 Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.
3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
3:11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.
3:12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.
3:13 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
Last 4 churches: The order is reversed – the promise is given before being told to hear.
14-18. Our Condition Revealed.–The message to the Laodicean church reveals our condition as a people (RH Dec. 15, 1904).  [7BC 961.3]  (2 Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.).
Message for the Idlers in the Vineyard.–To the idlers in the Lord’s vineyard the Laodicean message is sent (MS 26, 1905).  [7BC 961.4]
Application of Laodicean Message.–The message to the Laodicean church is applicable to all who have had great light and many opportunities, and yet have not appreciated them (RH March 11, 1902).  [7BC 961.5]  (Romans 2:17-24.).
Fervor of Love Lacking.–The message to the Laodicean church is applicable to our condition. How plainly is pictured the position of those who think they have all the truth, who take pride in their knowledge of the Word of God, while its sanctifying power has not been felt in their lives. The fervor of the love of God is wanting in their hearts, but it is this very fervor of love that makes God’s people the light of the world (RH July 23, 1889).  [7BC 961.6]
Laodicean Message for Adventists.–The message to the Laodicean church is highly applicable to us as a people. It has been placed before us for a long time, but has not been heeded as it should have been. When the work of repentance is earnest and deep, the individual members of the church will buy the rich goods of heaven. [Revelation 3:18 quoted.] Oh, how many behold things in a perverted light, in the light in which Satan would have them see.  [7BC 961.7]
You may manifest great zeal in missionary effort, and yet because it is corrupted with selfishness, and tastes strongly of self, it is nought in the sight of God; for it is a tainted, corrupted offering. Unless the door of the heart is open to Jesus, unless He occupies the soul temple, unless the heart is imbued with His divine attributes, human actions when weighed in the heavenly balances, will be pronounced “Wanting.” The love of Christ would make you rich; but many do not realize the value of His love. Many do not realize that the spirit which they cherish is destitute of the meekness and lowliness of Christ, destitute of the love that would constitute them channels of light (MS 33, 1894).  [7BC 961.8]
Has God Made a Mistake?–The Laodicean message is applicable to the church at this time. Do you believe this message? Have you hearts that feel? Or are you constantly saying, We are rich and increased in goods, and have need of nothing? Is it in vain that the declaration of eternal truth has been given to this nation to be carried to all the nations of the world? God has chosen a people and made them the repositories of truth weighty with eternal results. To them has been given the light that must illuminate the world. Has God made a mistake? Are we indeed His chosen instrumentalities? Are we the men and women who are to bear to the world the messages of Revelation fourteen, to proclaim the message of salvation to those who are standing on the brink of ruin? Do we act as if we were (MS 51, 1901)?  [7BC 961.9]
Professors but Not Doers.–The Laodicean message applies to all who profess to keep the law of God, and yet are not doers of it. We are not to be selfish in anything. Every phase of the Christian life is to be a representation of the life of Christ. If it is not, we shall hear the terrible words, “I know you not” (RH Oct. 17, 1899).  [7BC 962.1]
An Insipid Religious Experience.–The message to the Laodicean church applies most decidedly to those whose religious experience is insipid, who do not bear decided witness in favor of the truth (Letter 98, 1901).  [7BC 962.2]
“Hear, O Hear.”–I tell you in the  name of the Lord, that those who have had great light are today in the state described by Christ in His message to the Laodicean church. They think that they are rich, and increased in goods, and feel that they have need of nothing. Christ speaks to you. Hear, O hear, if you have any regard for your souls, the words of the great Counselor, and act upon them [Revelation 3:18 quoted] (Letter 5, 1897).  [7BC 962.3]
To Rid the Church of Fanaticism.–The design of the message to the Laodiceans was to rid the church of . . . fanatical influences; but the effort of Satan has been to corrupt the message, and destroy its influence. He would be better pleased to have fanatical persons embrace the testimony, and use it in his cause, than to have them remain in a lukewarm state. I have seen that it was not the design of the message to lead brother to sit in judgment over his brother, to tell him what to do, and just how far to go, but for each individual to search his own heart, and attend to his own individual work (2SG 223).  [7BC 962.4]
Bankrupt!–Many are Laodiceans, living in a spiritual self-deception. They clothe themselves in the garments of their own righteousness, imagining themselves to be rich and increased with goods and in need of nothing, when they need daily to learn of Jesus, His meekness and lowliness, else they find themselves bankrupt, their whole life being a lie (Letter 66, 1894).  [7BC 962.5]
Self-inflated Religion.–Love of self excludes the love of Christ. Those who live for self are ranged under the head of the Laodicean church who are lukewarm, neither cold nor hot. The ardor of the first love has lapsed into a selfish egotism. The love of Christ in the heart is expressed in the actions. If love for Christ is dull, the love for those for whom Christ has died will degenerate. There may be a wonderful appearance for zeal and ceremonies, but this is the substance of their self-inflated religion. Christ represents them as nauseating to His taste [Revelation 3:17, 18 quoted] (MS 61, 1898).  [7BC 962.6]
Self-exaltation a Dangerous Element.–Self-exaltation is a dangerous element. It tarnishes everything it touches. It is the offspring of pride, and it works so ingeniously that, unless guarded against, it will take possession of the thoughts and control the actions.  [7BC 962.7]
The Laodicean message must be proclaimed with power; for now it is especially applicable. Now, more than ever before, are seen pride, worldly ambition, self-exaltation, double-dealing, hypocrisy, and deception. Many are speaking great swelling words of vanity, saying, “I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing.” Yet they are miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked (RH Sept. 25, 1900).  [7BC 962.8]
Self-love, Self-deception, and Self-justification.–Those whom Christ warns have some excellent qualifications, but they are neutralized by all who have a diseased self-love, self-deception, self-justification for gross neglect to help brethren in the service of God by encouraging words and deeds. There is a dead fly in the ointment. They are being weighed by One who never makes a mistake. He tells the result of actions which demonstrate that the love of Christ is not an abiding principle in the soul. God calls upon you all to learn from Christ His meekness. Put away your faculty for seeing the mistakes of others. Turn your attention to your own defects. Your self-righteousness is nauseating to the Lord Jesus Christ. [Revelation 3:15-18 quoted.] These words apply to the churches and to many of those in positions of trust in the work of God (MS 108, 1899).  [7BC 962.9]
Spiritual Novices.–There are a large number of professing Christians who do not really follow Jesus. They do not bear the cross by proper self-denial and self-sacrifice. Although making a great profession of being earnest Christians, they weave into the fabric of their character so many of the threads of their own imperfections that the beautiful pattern is spoiled. Of them Christ says: “You boast of being rich and increased with supposed spiritual attainments. In reality you are neither cold nor hot, but are filled with vain conceit. Unless converted, you cannot be saved; for you would mar heaven with your unsanctified wisdom. I cannot endorse your spirit and your work. You do not act according to the divine Example. You are following a pattern merely of your own invention. Because you are lukewarm, I must spew you out of My mouth.”  [7BC 963.1]
Let us thank the Lord that while this class is so numerous, there is still time for repentance. Jesus says, “I, your Redeemer, know your works. I am familiar with the motives that prompt you to declare boastingly in regard to your spiritual condition, ‘I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing.’ Thou ‘knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.'”  [7BC 963.2]
Those who are in this condition are willfully ignorant. They do not discern the real character of sin. By their wrongdoing they constantly misrepresent the character of Christ and put Him to open shame. Professing to have a knowledge of the truth, they act in spirit as novices. They do not seem to understand the truth that must be expressed in word and deed to show a decided difference between him that serveth God and him that serveth Him not. They are false claimants of every Christian blessing and privilege, when, as Christ’s representatives, they are not rich in spiritual grace or in good works. They are wretched, poor, blind, maimed. What a position to be in! They stand in their own light.  [7BC 963.3]
But notwithstanding their willful ignorance, they are not left by the Lord without added warning and counsel (MS 138, 1902).  [7BC 963.4]
3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
Amen – a known accolade since early Christian worship (of the 2nd century).
15-22. Labor Lost on the Church in Laodicea.–[Revelation 3:15-22 quoted.] This is the testimony borne concerning the church at Laodicea. This church had been faithfully instructed. In his letter to the Colossians, Paul wrote: “Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. For I bear him record, that he hath a great zeal for you, and them that are in Laodicea, and them in Hierapolis.”  [7BC 964.4]  (Colossians 4:12-13 – Epaphras, who is [one] of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. For I bear him record, that he hath a great zeal for you, and them [that are] in Laodicea and them in Hierapolis.).
Much excellent labor was bestowed upon the Laodicean church. To them was given the exhortation, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” But the church did not follow up the work begun by God’s messengers. They heard, but they failed to appropriate the truth to themselves, and to carry out the instruction given them. The result that followed is the result always sure to follow the rejection of the Lord’s warnings and entreaties (MS 128, 1903).  [7BC 964.5]
15-21. Laodicean Message to Go to the World.–The Laodicean message has been sounding. Take this message in all its phases and sound it forth to the people wherever Providence opens the way. Justification by faith and the righteousness of Christ are the themes to be presented to a perishing world (Letter 24, 1892).  [7BC 964.3]
15-20. A Fountain of Living Water.–The condition of many of those who claim to be the children of God is exactly represented by the message to the Laodicean church. There is opened before those who serve God, truths of inestimable value, which, brought into the practical life, show the difference between those who serve God and those who serve Him not.  [7BC 963.9]  (John 4:13-14 – Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.).
The earth itself is not more richly interlaced with veins of golden ore than is the field of revelation with veins of precious truth. The Bible is the storehouse of the unsearchable riches of God. But those who have a knowledge of the truth do not understand it as fully as they might. They do not bring the love of Christ into the heart and life.  [7BC 964.1]
The student of the Word finds himself bending over a fountain of living water. The church needs to drink deeply of the spirituality of the Word. Their service to God needs to be very different from the tame, lifeless, emotionless religious experience that makes many believers but little different from those who believe not, very similar in spirit to the unconverted (MS 117, 1902).  [7BC 964.2]
15-16. Worse Than Infidels.–Halfhearted Christians are worse than infidels; for their deceptive words and noncommittal position lead many astray. The infidel shows his colors. The lukewarm Christian deceives both parties. He is neither a good worldling nor a good Christian. Satan uses him to do a work that no one else can do (Letter 44, 1903).  [7BC 963.6]  (Matthew 6:22-24 – The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great [is] that darkness! No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.).
Fate of the Halfhearted Ones.–There are those who, though professedly serving God, are witnessing against Him. To them the message to the Laodicean church is given. Christ says to them, “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot.” When the avenging angel shall pass through the land, Christ cannot say of them, “Touch them not. I have graven them upon the palms of my hands.” No; of these halfhearted ones He says, “I will spew them out of my mouth. They are offensive to me” (Letter 44, 1903).  [7BC 963.7]  (Luke 13:24-30.).
Dead in Trespasses and Sins.–To those who do not practice it, the Word of God is a dead letter. Christ says of such, “I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” He cannot present their case to the Father. If they realized that they were sinners, He could plead in their behalf, and the Lord would arouse them by His Holy Spirit. But they are worse than dead in trespasses and sins. They hear the Word, but make no application of it to themselves; instead, they apply the Word spoken to their neighbors (MS 163a, 1898).  [7BC 963.8]
15. The Mount of Vision.–If every man who has influence could ascend some mount of vision from which he could behold all his works as Christ beholds them when He declares, “I know thy works”; if the laborer could trace from cause to effect every objectionable word and act, the sight would be more than he could bear (MS 128, 1903).  [7BC 963.5]
3:15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
17-20. Shall We Open the Heart’s Door?–We must have the buyers and the sellers cleared out of the soul temple, that Jesus may take up His abode within us. Now He stands at the door of the heart as a heavenly merchantman; He says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” “Open unto me; buy of me the heavenly wares; buy of me the gold tried in the fire.” Buy faith and love, the precious, beautiful attributes of our Redeemer, which will enable us to find our way into the hearts of those who do not know Him, who are cold and alienated from Him through unbelief and sin. He invites us to buy the white raiment, which is His glorious righteousness; and the eyesalve, that we may discern spiritual things. Oh, shall we not open the heart’s door to this heavenly visitor (BE Jan. 15, 1892)?  [7BC 964.7]
17. Exhausting the Patience of God.–Christ sees that which man does not see. He sees the sins which, if not repented of, will exhaust the patience of a long-suffering God. Christ cannot take up the names of those who are satisfied in their own self-sufficiency. He cannot importune in behalf of a people who feel no need of His help, who claim to know and possess everything (RH July 23, 1889).  [7BC 964.6]  (Romans 11:20-21 – Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: For if God spared not the natural branches, [take heed] lest he also spare not thee. ; Romans 12:3 – For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think [of himself] more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. ; Romans 12:16 – [Be] of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.).
3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
18-21. The Conflict Is for Us.–The true Witness presents encouragements to all who are seeking to walk in the path of humble obedience, through faith in His name. He declares, “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.”  [7BC 966.1]  (Philippians 3:12-15).
These are the words of our Substitute and Surety. He who is the divine Head of the church, the mightiest of conquerors, would point His followers to His life, His toils, His self-denials, His struggles and sufferings, through contempt, through rejection ridicule, scorn, insult, mockery, falsehood, up the path of Calvary to the scene of the crucifixion, that they might be encouraged to press on toward the mark for the prize and reward of the overcomer. Victory is assured through faith and obedience.  [7BC 966.2]
Let us make an application of the words of Christ to our own individual cases. Are we poor, and blind, and wretched, and miserable? Then let us seek the gold and white raiment that He offers. The work of overcoming is not restricted to the age of the martyrs. The conflict is for us, in these days of subtle temptation to worldliness, to self-security, to indulgence of pride, covetousness, false doctrines, and immorality of life (RH July 24, 1888).  [7BC 966.3]
A Hope of Reform.–The church must and will shine forth “fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners.” God’s servants must, by laboring together with Christ, roll away the curse that has made the church so lukewarm. [Revelation 3:15-19 quoted.] The chastening reveals a hope of reform [Revelation 3:20, 21 quoted] (Letter 130, 1902).  [7BC 966.4]  (Song of Solomon 6:10 – Who [is] she [that] looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, [and] terrible as [an army] with banners? ; Isaiah 1:16-19.).
Laodicean Call Brings Fruitage.–I saw that this call to the Laodicean church will affect souls. A becoming zeal is called for by God on our part. We must repent, throw away our whole feelings, feel our destitution, buy gold that we may be rich, eyesalve that we may see, white raiment that we may be clothed (Letter 2, 1851).  [7BC 966.5]
Hope for the Laodiceans.–[Revelation 3:15-17 quoted.] Yet the case of those who are rebuked is not a hopeless one; it is not beyond the power of the great Mediator. He says: “I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.” Though the professed followers of Christ are in a deplorable condition, they are not yet in so desperate a strait as were the foolish virgins whose lamps were going out, and there was no time in which to replenish their vessels with oil. When the bridegroom came, those that were ready went in with him to the wedding; but when the foolish virgins came, the door was shut, and they were too late to obtain an entrance.  [7BC 966.6]  (Matthew 25:1-12.).
But the counsel of the true Witness does not represent those who are lukewarm as in a hopeless case. There is yet a chance to remedy their state, and the Laodicean message is full of encouragement; for the backslidden church may yet buy the gold of faith and love, may yet have the white robe of the righteousness of Christ, that the shame of their nakedness need not appear. Purity of heart, purity of motive, may yet characterize those who are halfhearted and who are striving to serve God and mammon. They may yet wash their robes of character and make them white in the blood of the Lamb (RH Aug. 28, 1894).  [7BC 966.7]
There is hope for our churches if they will heed the message given to the Laodiceans (MS 139, 1903).  [7BC 966.8]
18-20. A Merchantman Laden With Riches.–The great Redeemer represents Himself as a heavenly merchantman, laden with riches, calling from house to house, presenting His priceless goods [Revelation 3:18-20 quoted] (RH July 23, 1889).  [7BC 965.7]
Knocking at the Heart’s Door.–The Lord knocks at the door of your heart, desiring to enter, that He may impart spiritual riches to your soul. He would anoint the blind eyes, that they may discover the holy character of God in His law, and understand the love of Christ, which is indeed gold tried in the fire (RH Feb. 25, 1890).  [7BC 965.8]  (Job 22:21-25.).
Spiritual Riches for the Soul.–Jesus is going from door to door, standing in front of every soul temple, proclaiming, “I stand at the door, and knock.” As a heavenly merchantman, He opens His treasures and cries, “Buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear.” The gold that He offers is without alloy, more precious than that of Ophir; for it is faith and love. (Isaiah 13:12 – I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir. ; Matthew 13:45-46 – Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.).
The white raiment He invites the soul to wear is His own robe of righteousness; and the oil for anointing is the oil of His grace, which will give spiritual eyesight to the soul in blindness and darkness, that he may distinguish between the workings of the Spirit of God and the spirit of the enemy. “Open your doors,” says the great Merchantman, the possessor of spiritual riches, “and transact your business with Me. It is I, your Redeemer, who counsels you to buy of Me” (RH Aug. 7, 1894).  [7BC 965.9]
18. The Vendor of Priceless Treasures.–The great Vendor of spiritual riches is inviting your recognition. [Revelation 3:18 quoted.] . . . The Saviour comes with jewels of truth of the richest value in distinction from all counterfeits, all that is spurious. He comes to every house, to every door; He is knocking, presenting His priceless treasure, urging, “Buy of me” (Letter 66, 1894).  [7BC 964.8]  (Isaiah 55:1 – Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.).
The Costly Wares of Heaven.–The wares of heaven are offered to our churches. Every individual needs to have a decided interest in the invitation of Christ. Brethren and sisters, are your thoughts after this order? “These sharp, decided words do not mean me; I am in a fairly good condition spiritually, though I may not have all the fervor and zeal that some have. I believe the truth. Those to whom this message belongs may take it. I think some need it.” You who think and reason thus, be assured that you are the very ones to whom this message belongs. While the costly wares of heaven are open before you, draw nigh and buy that which you have lost–the gold of love and faith, and the white raiment which is the righteousness of Christ (Letter 30a, 1892).  [7BC 964.9]
Virtues Wanting Among Us.–The gold that Jesus would have us buy of Him is gold tried in the fire; it is the gold of faith and love, that has no defiling substance mingled with it. The white raiment is the righteousness of Christ, the wedding garment which Christ alone can give. The eyesalve is the true spiritual discernment that is so wanting among us, for spiritual things must be spiritually discerned (RH April 1, 1890).  [7BC 965.1]
Ample Provision for All.–The true Witness has said, “Buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear.” What is the shame of this nakedness and poverty? It is the shame of clothing ourselves with self-righteousness, and of separating ourselves from God, when He has made ample provision for all to receive His blessing (HS 139).  [7BC 965.2]  (Isaiah 64:6 – But we are all as an unclean [thing], and all our righteousnesses [are] as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. ; Philippians 3:9 – And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:.).
Encouraging Counsel for the Church.–The counsel of the true Witness is full of encouragement and comfort. The churches may yet obtain the gold of truth, faith, and love, and be rich in heavenly treasure. “Buy of me gold . . . that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear.” The white raiment is the righteousness of Christ that may be wrought into the character. Purity of heart, purity of motive, will characterize every one who is washing his robe, and making it white in the blood of the Lamb (RH July 24, 1888).  [7BC 965.3]
Woven in the Loom of Heaven.–There is nothing in us from which we can clothe the soul so that its nakedness shall not appear. We are to receive the robe of righteousness woven in the loom of heaven, even the spotless robe of Christ’s righteousness (RH July 19, 1892).  [7BC 965.4]  (Isaiah 61:10 – I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh [himself] with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth [herself] with her jewels. ; Zechariah 3:4-5 – And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment. And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head. So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the LORD stood by.).
Correct Views for the Conscience.— The eye is the sensitive conscience, the inner light, of the mind. Upon its correct view of things the spiritual healthfulness of the whole soul and being depends. The “eyesalve,” the Word of God, makes the conscience smart under its application; for it convicts of sin. But the smarting is necessary that the healing may follow, and the eye be single to the glory of God. The sinner, beholding himself in God’s great moral looking glass, sees himself as God views him, and exercises repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ….  [7BC 965.5]  (Matthew 6:22 – The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. ; James 1:23-25 – For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth [therein], he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.).
The Laodiceans . . . were not entirely blind, else the eyesalve would have done nothing to restore their sight, and enable them to discern the true attributes of Christ. Says Christ, By renouncing your own self-sufficiency, giving up all things, however dear to you, you may buy the gold, the raiment, and the eyesalve that you may see (RH Nov. 23, 1897).  [7BC 965.6]
3:18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
20. Will You Squander God’s Talents?— Says the true Witness, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock.” Every warning, reproof, and entreaty in the Word of God, or through His delegated messengers, is a knock at the door of the heart; it is the voice of Jesus, asking for entrance. With every knock unheeded, your determination to open becomes weaker and weaker. If the voice of Jesus is not heeded at once, it becomes confused in the mind with a multitude of other voices, the world’s care and business engross the attention, and conviction dies away. The heart becomes less impressible, and lapses into a perilous unconsciousness of the shortness of time, and of the great eternity beyond.  [7BC 966.9]  (Proverbs 1:23-33).
The heavenly Guest is standing at your door, while you are piling up obstructions to bar His entrance. Jesus is knocking through the prosperity He gives you. He loads you with blessings to test your fidelity, that they may flow out from you to others. Will you permit your selfishness to triumph? Will you squander God’s talents, and lose your soul through idolatrous love of the blessings He has given (RH Nov. 2, 1886)?  [7BC 967.1]
No Discouraging Message for the Church.–We have no discouraging message for the church. Although reproofs and cautions and corrections have been made, yet the church has stood as God’s instrumentality to diffuse light. The commandment-keeping people of God have sounded forth a warning to the world, to all languages, tongues, and kindreds. The church of God is a living witness, a continual testimony, to convince men if accepted, to condemn them if resisted and rejected (MS 96, 1893).  [7BC 967.2]
3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
21. Privileges for God’s Obedient Children.–God loves His obedient children. He has a kingdom prepared, not for disloyal subjects, but for His children whom He has tested and tried in a world marred and corrupted by sin. As obedient children, we have the privilege of relationship with God. “If children,” He says, “then heirs” to an immortal inheritance. . . . Christ and His people are one (Letter 119, 1897).  [6BC 1077.8]
The Harvest of Resistance.–The Spirit of God keeps evil under the control of conscience. When man exalts himself above the influence of the Spirit, he reaps a harvest of iniquity. Over such a man the Spirit has less and less influence to restrain him from sowing seeds of disobedience. Warnings have less and less power over him. He gradually loses his fear of God. He sows to the flesh; he will reap corruption. The harvest of the seed that he himself has sown, is ripening. He has a contempt for God’s holy commandments. His heart of flesh becomes a heart of stone. Resistance to truth confirms him in iniquity. It is because men sowed seeds of evil, that lawlessness, crime, and violence prevailed in the antediluvian world.  [6BC 1112.4]
All should be intelligent in regard to the agency by which the soul is destroyed. It is not because of any decree that God has sent out against man. He does not make man spiritually blind. God gives sufficient light and evidence to enable man to distinguish truth from error. But He does not force man to receive truth. He leaves him free to choose the good or to choose the evil. If man resists evidence that is sufficient to guide his judgment in the right direction, and chooses evil once, he will do this more readily the second time. The third time he will still more eagerly withdraw himself from God and choose to stand on the side of Satan. And in this course he will continue until he is confirmed in evil, and believes the lie he has cherished as truth. His resistance has produced its harvest (MS 126, 1901).  [6BC 1112.]
A Life and Death Question.–[Galatians 6:7, 8 quoted.] Wonderful truth! This is a two-edged sword which cuts both ways. This life and death question is before the whole human race. The choice we make in this life will be our choice through all eternity. We shall receive either eternal life or eternal death. There is no middle ground, no second probation. We are called upon to overcome in this life as Christ overcame. Heaven has provided us with abundant opportunities and privileges, so that we may overcome as Christ overcame, and sit down with Him on His throne. But in order to be overcomers, there must be in our lives no petting of fleshly inclinations. All selfishness must be cut out by the roots (Letter 156, 1900).  [6BC 1112.6]
No trace of Imperfection in Christ.–Those who claim that it was not possible for Christ to sin, cannot believe that He really took upon Himself human nature. But was not Christ actually tempted, not only by Satan in the wilderness, but all through His life, from childhood to manhood? In all points He was tempted as we are, and because He successfully resisted temptation under every form, He gave man the perfect example, and through the ample provision Christ has made, we may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption which is in the world through lust.  [7BC 929.2]
Jesus says, “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” Here is the beginning of our confidence which we must hold steadfast unto the end. If Jesus resisted Satan’s temptations, He will help us to resist. He came to bring divine power to combine with human effort.  [7BC 929.3]
Jesus was free from all sin and error; there was not a trace of imperfection in His life or character. He maintained spotless purity under circumstances the most trying. True, He declared, “There is none good but one, that is, God”; but again He said, “I and my Father are one.” Jesus speaks of Himself as well as the Father as God, and claims for Himself perfect righteousness (MS 141, 1901).  [7BC 929.4]
The Obedience of a God or a Man?–Christ’s overcoming and obedience is that of a true human being. In our conclusions, we make many mistakes because of our erroneous views of the human nature of our Lord. When we give to His human nature a power that it is not possible for man to have in his conflicts with Satan, we destroy the completeness of His humanity. His imputed grace and power He gives to all who receive Him by faith.  [7BC 929.5]
The obedience of Christ to His Father was the same obedience that is required of man. Man cannot overcome Satan’s temptations without divine power to combine with his instrumentality. So with Jesus Christ; He could lay hold of divine power. He came not to our world to give the obedience of a lesser God to a greater, but as a man to obey God’s holy law, and in this way He is our example. The Lord Jesus came to our world, not to reveal what a God could do, but what a man could do, through faith in God’s power to help in every emergency. Man is, through faith, to be a partaker in the divine nature, and to overcome every temptation wherewith he is beset.  [7BC 929.6]
The Lord now demands that every son and daughter of Adam, through faith in Jesus Christ, serve Him in human nature which we now have. The Lord Jesus has bridged the gulf that sin has made. He has connected earth with heaven, and finite man with the infinite God. Jesus, the world’s Redeemer, could only keep the commandments of God in the same way that humanity can keep them (MS 1, 1892).  [7BC 929.7]
Christ Kept the Level of Humanity.–Satan thought that by his temptations he could delude the world’s Redeemer to make one bold move in manifesting His divine power. . . .  [7BC 929.8]
It was a difficult task for the Prince of life to carry out the plan which He had undertaken for the salvation of man, in clothing His divinity with humanity. He had received honor in the heavenly courts, and was familiar with absolute power. It was as difficult for Him to keep the level of humanity as for men to rise above the low level of their depraved natures, and be partakers of the divine nature.  [7BC 930.1]
Christ was put to the closest test, requiring the strength of all His faculties to resist the inclination when in danger, to use His power to deliver Himself from peril, and triumph over the power of the prince of darkness. Satan showed his knowledge of the weak points of the human heart, and put forth his utmost power to take advantage of the weakness of the humanity which Christ had assumed in order to overcome his temptations on man’s account (RH April 1, 1875).  [7BC 930.2]
No Particular Adaptation for Obedience.–We need not place the obedience of Christ by itself, as something for which He was particularly adapted, by His particular divine nature, for He stood before God as man’s representative and was tempted as man’s substitute and surety. If Christ had a special power which it is not the privilege of man to have, Satan would have made capital of this matter. The work of Christ was to take from the claims of Satan his control of man, and He could do this only in the way that He came–a man, tempted as a man, rendering the obedience of a man (MS 1, 1892).  [7BC 930.3]
God Endured Temptation in Christ.–God was in Christ in human form, and endured all the temptations wherewith man was beset; in our behalf He participated in the suffering and trials of sorrowful human nature (SW Dec. 10, 1907).  [7BC 930.4]
3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
3:22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
Last 4 churches: The order is reversed – the promise is given before being told to hear.
Revelation 4 – largely describes a scene centring upon God’s throne.
Revelation 4:1 After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will show thee things which must be hereafter.
4:2 And immediately I was in the spirit; and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.
one sat – John gives a detailed description of the Son in Revelation 1:13-16, here only the Father’s presence could be described as, unlike the human / divine nature of Christ, any description in human language would be incomplete.
3. The Father Abundantly Satisfied.–The atonement that has been made for us by Christ is wholly and abundantly satisfactory to the Father. God can be just, and yet the justifier of those who believe (MS 28, 1905).  [6BC 1071.7]
Justification Means Complete Pardon.–[Romans 3:24-26 quoted.] Here the truth is laid out in plain lines. This mercy and goodness is wholly undeserved. The grace of Christ is freely to justify the sinner without merit or claim on his part. Justification is a full, complete pardon of sin. The moment a sinner accepts Christ by faith, that moment he is pardoned. The righteousness of Christ is imputed to him, and he is no more to doubt God’s forgiving grace.  [6BC 1071.8]
There is nothing in faith that makes it our saviour. Faith cannot remove our guilt. Christ is the power of God unto salvation to all them that believe. The justification comes through the merits of Jesus Christ. He has paid the price for the sinner’s redemption. Yet it is only through faith in His blood that Jesus can justify the believer.  [6BC 1071.9]
The sinner cannot depend upon his own good works as a means of justification. He must come to the point where he will renounce all his sin, and embrace one degree of light after another as it shines upon his pathway. He simply grasps by faith the free and ample provision made in the blood of Christ. He believes the promises of God, which through Christ are made unto him sanctification and righteousness and redemption. And if he follows Jesus, he will walk humbly in the light, rejoicing in the light and diffusing that light to others. Being justified by faith, he carries cheerfulness with him in his obedience in all his life. Peace with God is the result of what Christ is to him. The souls who are in subordination to God, who honor Him, and are doers of His Word, will receive divine enlightenment. In the precious Word of God there is purity and loftiness as well as beauty that, unless assisted by God, the highest powers of man cannot attain to (ST May 19, 1898).  [6BC 1071.10]
The Mingling of Judgment and Mercy.–As the bow in the cloud is formed by the union of the sunlight and the shower, so the rainbow encircling the throne represents the combined power of mercy and justice. It is not justice alone that is to be maintained; for this would eclipse the glory of the rainbow of promise above the throne; man could see only the penalty of the law. Were there no justice, no penalty, there would be no stability to the government of God.  [6BC 1071.11]
It is the mingling of judgment and mercy that makes salvation full and complete. It is the blending of the two that leads us, as we view the world’s Redeemer and the law of Jehovah, to exclaim, “Thy gentleness hath made me great.” We know that the gospel is a perfect and complete system, revealing the immutability of the law of God. It inspires the heart with hope, and with love for God. Mercy invites us to enter through the gates into the city of God, and justice is sacrificed to accord to every obedient soul full privileges as a member of the royal family, a child of the heavenly King.  [6BC 1072.1]
If we were defective in character, we could not pass the gates that mercy has opened to the obedient; for justice stands at the entrance, and demands holiness, purity, in all who would see God. Were justice extinct, and were it possible for divine mercy to open the gates to the whole race, irrespective of character, there would be a worse condition of disaffection and rebellion in heaven than before Satan was expelled. The peace, happiness, and harmony of heaven would be broken up. The change from earth to heaven will not change men’s characters; the happiness of the redeemed in heaven results from the characters formed in this life, after the image of Christ. The saints in heaven will first have been saints on earth.  [6BC 1072.2]
The salvation that Christ made such a sacrifice to gain for man, is that which is alone of value, that which saves from sin–the cause of all the misery and woe in our world. Mercy extended to the sinner is constantly drawing him to Jesus. If he responds, coming in penitence with confession, in faith laying hold of the hope set before him in the gospel, God will not despise the broken and contrite heart. Thus the law of God is not weakened, but the power of sin is broken, and the scepter of mercy is extended to the penitent sinner (Letter 1f, 1890).  [6BC 1072.3]
4:3 And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.
jasper – not the modern variegated or veined opaque quartz (red, yellow, brown or green) but a translucent stone as described by the ancient naturalist, Pliny.
sardine – the carnelian or some other stone of a reddish colour; Pliny notes that this stone was to be found at Sardis.
Hence references are to brilliant light flashing from the throne of God and tempered by the soft green light of an encircling rainbow [cf. Ezekiel 1:26-28].
rainbow – represents the combination of justice and mercy that characterizes God [see Ed115; cf. COL148].
4:4 And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.
4:5 And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.
seven – the number seven is used symbolically throughout Revelation to indicate fullness, completeness and perfection.
4:6 And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.
beasts – Greek ‘living beings’.
full of eyes – a symbol of the intelligence and ceaseless vigilance of heavenly beings.
4:7 And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.
4:8 And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.
six wings – The cherubim of Ezekiel’s vision each had four wings [Ezekiel 1:6,10,21], whereas the seraphim of Isaiah had six [Isaiah 6:2]. wings being an indication of speed with which God’s heavenly creatures execute their errands.
4:9 And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever,
4:10 The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
4:11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
Revelation 5, which focuses upon the Lamb and the sealed scroll, ‘needs to be closely studied. It is of great importance to those who shall act a part in the work of God for the last days’ – 9T267.
Revelation 5:1 And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.
I saw – same setting as Revelation 4 but new scenes and important new symbols.
him that sat – John gives a detailed description of the Son in Revelation 1:13-16, here only the Father’s presence could be described as, unlike the human / divine nature of Christ, any description in human language would be incomplete; hence (like Revelation 4:2,3) the participle rather than the name is identified.
book – ‘scroll’ rather than ‘book’. In John’s day, the papyrus roll was the most common type of book. The codex, or book of leaves fastened together at one edge, occurred around the second centuryAD.
within and on the backside – Ancient papyrus scrolls, by nature of the material used, seldom exceeded 30 feet in length. Normally text was written on 1 side (the inside) but when more space was required, the backside of the papyrus was used.
sealed – the book was perfectly sealed and only the Lamb could open it (Revelation 5:3, 15).
The Jewish rulers decision to reject Christ ‘was registered in the book which John saw in the hand of Him that sat upon the throne’ – COL294.
seven – the number seven is used symbolically throughout Revelation to indicate fullness, completeness and perfection.
5:2 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?
Who is worthy to open the book? – not a question of strength, dignity nor position but of victory and moral worth (cf. Revelation 4:11, 5:5).
5:3 And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.
no man – not one – no man, nor being throughout the universe, was considered worthy.
in heaven – a literary device employed to describe all of God’s universe.
to look thereon – to read it and reveal its contents.
5:4 And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.
I wept much – John’s intense emotional reaction to the drama passing before his eyes.
5:5 And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.
elders – cf. Revelation 4:4.
Weep not – or ‘stop weeping’ – John was already in tears.
Lion of the tribe of Juda – cf. Genesis 49:9, Matthew 1:2.
Lion – signifies strength (cf. Revelation 9:8,17; 10:3 & 13:2,5).
Christ has won the victory (see ‘hath prevailed’ note below) over evil.
The triumphant One
The One who champions the cause of His people.
The One who, through the shedding of His blood, has redeemed His people.
Root of David – cf. Isaiah 11:1 & 10.
Shoot out of the stock [LXX, root] of Jesse, David’s father.
cf. – Romans 15:12 – Paul applies the latter figure to Jesus, implying that Christ is a second David.
David – Israel’s greatest king and military father.
Restored the kingdom to Israel (Matthew 21:9 cf. Acts 1:6).
Christ – Did not restore a literal kingdom to the Jews.
Victor over Satan – restored heavenly kingdom.
Thus, title and implication is appropriate.
hath prevailed – to conquer, to be victorious.
Christ’s victory in the great controversy with Satan gives Him the right to open the book.
His victory is unique – the integrity of God’s character was at stake – which is expressed in His law.
Never man nor angel could accomplish vindication – for all are subject to His law (PP 60).
Only Christ, who is God, and whose character the law is an expression, could achieve such a vindication of the divine character – a central thought of Revelation 5.
seven – the number seven is used symbolically throughout Revelation to indicate fullness, completeness and perfection.
6 The Lamb in the Midst of the Throne.–The Lamb of God is represented before us as in the midst of the throne of God. He is the great ordinance by which man and God are united and commune together. Thus men are represented as sitting in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. This is the appointed place of meeting between God and humanity (MS 7, 1898).  [7BC 967.5]  (Ephesians 2:4-7 – But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised [us] up together, and made [us] sit together in heavenly [places] in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in [his] kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.).
5:6 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.
in the midst – The Lamb appeared in the midst of all and now becomes the vision’s focal point.
four beasts – See Revelation 4:6.
Elders – See Revelation 4:4.
Lamb – the Greek word (arnion) – used 29 times in Revelation and once elsewhere in New Testament – John 21:15.
John has just heard Christ called a lion and a conqueror but now sees a lamb.
Christ’s victory is not one of physical force but of moral excellence.
His sinless life sacrifice – symbolised by a lamb taken without blemish – gained the victory over evil.
Only in John’s writings does the New Testament characterisation of Christ as ‘the lamb’ occur
Philip (Acts 8:32) and Peter (1 Peter 1:19) apply to Him the Old Testament symbol of a lamb.
as it had been slain – the word as implies symbolic – no real lamb being slaughtered before God’s throne (the heavenly sanctuary). Consequently, other features of this vision are also symbolic: 7 lamps (Revelation 4:5); 4 living creatures (Revelation 4:6) and the book (Revelation 5:1).
In the earthly sanctuary service, the lamb receives a death wound as it is slain for sacrifice.
had been slain – the verb form implies that the act of slaughter had occurred in the past but that the results remain.
seven hornsseven signifies perfection; horns being symbols of strength and glory.
The seven horns of the Lamb indicates perfection in strength.
seven eyes -a symbol of perfect wisdom and intelligence. The seven eyes are identified as the seven Spirits of God – an expression used for the Holy Spirit (Revelation 1:4) cf. Revelation 4:5, where ‘seven lamps’ are used.
sent forth – See Zechariah 1:10; 6:5; John 14:26; 15:26; 16:7; Gal 4:6.
5:7 And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.
he came and took – He came and has taken.
8. Prayers Made Fragrant by Christ’s Merit.–As the high priest sprinkled the warm blood upon the mercy seat while the fragrant cloud of incense ascended before God, so, while we confess our sins and plead the efficacy of Christ’s atoning blood, our prayers are to ascend to heaven, fragrant with the merits of our Saviour’s character. Notwithstanding our unworthiness, we are to remember that there is One who can take away sin, and who is willing and anxious to save the sinner. With His own blood He paid the penalty for all wrongdoers. Every sin acknowledged before God with a contrite heart, He will remove [Isaiah 1:18; Hebrews 9:13, 14 quoted] (RH Sept. 29, 1896).  [7BC 970.14]
5:8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.
harps – lyres – instruments used to accompany singing.
vials – bowls or saucers – dishes for presenting offerings. Josephus (Antiquities iii. 6.6 [143]) records that such, filled with incense, were placed on the shewbread in the sanctuary.
The prayers of the saints are regarded as being precious in heaven, for which golden receptacles are employed.
odours – incense.
prayers of saints – Christ’s triumphant church on earth is represented by the elders, each in possession of harps.
9-12. Power and Efficiency for the Church.–Divine ministration is needed to give power and efficiency to the church in this world. God’s family on earth, subject to temptations and trials, is very near to His heart of love. He has ordained that communication be kept up between heavenly intelligences and His children on this earth. Angels from the courts above are sent forth to minister to those who shall be heirs of salvation (MS 142, 1899).  [7BC 922.4]
Good Angels Restrain Satan.–God has angels whose whole work is to draw those who shall be heirs of salvation. Whenever one takes a step toward Jesus, Jesus is taking steps toward him. The angels’ work is to keep back the powers of Satan (MS 17, 1893).  [7BC 922.5]
To the Aid of Tempted Souls.–Heavenly angels are commissioned to watch the sheep of Christ’s pasture. When Satan with his deceptive snares would deceive if possible the very elect, these angels set in operation influences that will save the tempted souls if they will take heed to the Word of the Lord, realize their danger, and say: “No, I will not enter into that scheme of Satan. I have an Elder Brother on the throne in heaven, who has shown that He has a tender interest in me, and I will not grieve His heart of love. I know and am assured that He is watching over His children, keeping them as the apple of His eye. There is no diminishing of His love. I will not grieve the heart of Christ; I will try not to become a tempter to others” (Letter 52, 1906).  [7BC 922.6]
Angels Share in the Final Triumph.–As invisible agencies, angels are  working through human beings to proclaim the commandments of God. Angels have far more to do with the human family than many suppose. Speaking of the angels, “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?”  [7BC 922.7]
Holy angels will join in the song of the redeemed. Though they cannot sing from experimental knowledge, “He hath washed us in His own blood, and redeemed us unto God,” yet they understand the great peril from which the people of God have been saved. Were they not sent to lift up for them a standard against the enemy? They can fully sympathize with the glowing ecstasy of those who have overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony (Letter 79, 1900).  [7BC 922.8]
Angels Cooperate With Human Agencies.–Holy, ministering agencies of heaven are cooperating with human agencies to lead into safe paths all who love truth and righteousness. It is the greatest joy of the angels of heaven to spread the shield of their tender love over souls who turn to God; and Satan fights determinedly to retain every soul that has had light and evidence. His fierce, unabated desire is to destroy every soul possible. Will you choose to stand under his banner?  [7BC 922.9]
Angelic agencies are standing firm, determined that he shall not obtain the victory. They would recover every soul in our world who is under Satan’s banner if these poor souls would not so eagerly seek to keep out of and away from their merciful ministrations and rescuing power. Their deep and earnest love for the souls for whom Christ has died is beyond measurement. They would make these deceived souls intelligent  in regard to how they might arm themselves and break the spell which Satan has cast upon them.  [7BC 922.10]
If they would only look unto Jesus, and for one moment discern truly, sincerely, what love has been expressed in the sacrifice which has been made for them! If only they could see the determined efforts of Satan to eclipse by his hellish shadow every ray of light that would come into the mind and heart of persons now dead in trespasses and sins! O that they would awake from their torpor as the whole world will soon awake by the trumpet of God, which will announce His appearing! . . .  [7BC 922.11]
Angels are keeping back the destroying agencies; for they have an intense interest for these rebellious sons, and they want to help them to return to the fold in safety and peace, that they may finally be overcomers, and be saved, eternally saved with the family of God in heaven (MS 29, 1900).  [7BC 923.1]
Heavenly  Atmosphere Brought to Earth.–The work of these heavenly beings is to prepare the inhabitants of this world to become children of God, pure, holy, undefiled. But men, though professing to be followers of Christ, do not place themselves in a position where they can understand this ministry, and thus the work of the heavenly messengers is made hard. The angels, who do always behold  the face of the Father in heaven, would prefer to remain close by the side of God, in the pure and holy atmosphere of heaven; but a work must be done in bringing this heavenly atmosphere to the souls who are tempted and tried, that Satan may not disqualify them for the place the Lord would have them fill in the heavenly courts.  [7BC 923.2]
Principalities and powers in heavenly places combine with these angels in their ministration for those who shall be heirs of salvation. But how sad it is that this work is hindered by the coarseness, the roughness, the worldly-mindedness of men and women who are so desirous of securing their own ends, of gratifying their own wishes, that they lose sight of the Word of God, which should be their instructor and their guide.  [7BC 923.3]
The Lord gives to every angel his work for this fallen world. Divine help is provided for men and women. They have the opportunity of cooperating with the heavenly intelligences, of being laborers together with God. There is placed before them the possibility of gaining a fitness for the presence of God, of being enabled to see His face. Heavenly angels are working to bring the human family into a close brotherhood, a oneness described by Christ as like that existing between the Father and the Son. How can men so highly favored by God fail to appreciate their opportunities and privileges? How can they refuse to accept the divine help proffered? How much it is possible for human beings to gain if they will keep eternity in view!  [7BC 923.4]
Satanic agencies are always warring for the mastery over the human mind, but the angels of God are constantly at work, strengthening the weak hands and confirming the feeble knees of all who call upon God for help (RH July 4, 1899).  [7BC 923.5]
The Line of Heavenly Communication.–The angels of God are communicating with and guarding His people, and are pressing back the powers of darkness that they shall not have any control over those who shall be heirs of salvation. Are we working in harmony with the angels? This is the line of communication the Lord has established with the children of men (MS 1, 1890).  [7BC 923.6]
A Special Work for Each Angel.–The Lord Jesus has a special work appointed for each of the angelic family. Human agencies have also an appointed work to do in behalf of their own souls and the souls of others saved through their influence. The angels of God will make effectual the work of men. . . .  [7BC 923.7]
They have an intense desire that human agencies shall come where they will find a refuge. The angels had a constant guardianship over Christ from His birth until His reception into the heavenly courts. . . . Angels are working through human agents who will be worked, to bring sinners to God. . . .  [7BC 923.8]
O that those who are halting between two opinions could only understand the agencies continually at work to keep at bay the armies of the power of darkness! By presenting earthly advantages or earthly obstacles to defeat the purposes of God, and by various other methods, Satan would intercept every ray of light from the messengers of God. But if the curtain could be rolled back, and eyes now blind to the invisible agencies could view with restored spiritual vision the conflict continually going on in behalf of the souls perishing away from Christ, what a difference would be made in the working of the agencies in this world! Decided advance movements would be made. Without delay their entire influence for good would be thrown on the side of Christ. They would behold the intense interest of the angels of God in behalf of souls who are throwing away the opportunities and privileges now so valuable to them to obtain an experimental knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ whom He has sent (MS 29, 1900).  [7BC 923.9]
5:9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
a new song – entirely different from those sung before – a common Old Testament expression (Psalms 33:3; 40:3; Isaiah 42:10).
The song being the product of a unique experience – salvation through the victory of Jesus Christ.
Sung by those having a ‘new name’ (Revelation 2:17; 3:12), who inhabit the ‘new Jerusalem’ (Revelation 21:2), when all things are made ‘new’ (Revelation 21:5).
worthy – God has been vindicated from Satan’s accusations through His Son’s victory.
thou wast slain – Christ’s death – being the channel through which God’s character is vindicated.
Through a blood sacrifice for sin, God’s people are redeemed.
5:10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.
kings and priests – a kingdom of priests – cf. Revelation 1:6; also Exodus 19:6.
Christ is king – His kingdom being His church – each individual member being a priest (cf. the ‘royal priesthood’ of 1 Peter 2:9).
A (high) priest – one who presents offerings to God (cf. Hebrews 5:1; 8:3). As such, all Christians may present ‘spiritual sacrifices’ to God (1 Peter 2:5,9) without the mediation of another human being. Our mediator being Christ (1 Timothy 2:5), our ‘great high priest’ and through Him it is our privilege to ‘come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need’ (Hebrews 4:15-16).
11. Angel Hands Linked About the World.–John writes, “I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne.” Angels were united in the work of Him who had broken the seals and taken the book. Four mighty angels hold back the powers of this earth till the servants of God are sealed in their foreheads. The nations of the world are eager for conflict; but they are held in check by the angels. When this restraining power is removed, there will come a time of trouble and anguish. Deadly instruments of warfare will be invented. Vessels, with their living cargo, will be entombed in the great deep. All who have not the spirit of truth will unite under the leadership of satanic agencies. But they are to be kept under control till the time shall come for the great battle of Armageddon.  [7BC 967.8]
Angels are belting the world, refusing Satan his claims to supremacy, made because of the vast multitude of his adherents. We hear not the voices, we see not with the natural sight the work of these angels, but their hands are linked about the world, and with sleepless vigilance they are keeping the armies of Satan at bay till the sealing of God’s people shall be accomplished.  [7BC 967.9]
The ministers of Jehovah, angels have skill and power and great strength, being commissioned to go forth from heaven to earth to minister to His people. They are given the work of keeping back the raging power of him who has come down like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. The Lord is a refuge for all who put their trust in Him. He bids them hide in Him for a little moment, until the indignation shall be overpast. He is soon to come out of His place to punish the world for its iniquity. Then the earth shall disclose her blood and shall no more cover her slain (Letter 79, 1900).  [7BC 967.10]
Heaven a Place of Busy Activity.–Oh, that all could behold our precious Saviour as He is, a Saviour. Let His hand draw aside the veil which conceals His glory from our eyes. It shows Him in His high and holy place. What do we see? Our Saviour, not in a position of silence and inactivity. He is surrounded with heavenly intelligences, cherubim, and seraphim, ten thousand times ten thousand of angels.  [7BC 967.11]
All these heavenly beings have one object above all others, in which they are intensely interested–His church in a world of corruption. All these armies are in the service of the Prince of heaven, exalting the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world. They are working for Christ under His commission, to save to the uttermost all who look to Him and believe in Him. These heavenly intelligences are speeding on their mission, doing for Christ that which Herod and Pilate did against Him. They confederate together to uphold the honor and glory of God. They are united in a holy alliance, in a grand and sublime unity of purpose, to show forth the power and compassion and love and glory of the crucified and risen Saviour.  [7BC 968.1]
In their service, these armies of heaven illustrate what the church of God should be. Christ is working in their behalf in the heavenly courts, sending out His messengers to all parts of the globe, to the assistance of every suffering one who looks to Him for relief, for spiritual life and knowledge.  [7BC 968.2]
The church of Christ on earth is amid the moral darkness of a disloyal world, which is trampling upon the law of Jehovah. But their Redeemer, who has purchased their ransom with the price of His own precious blood, has made every provision that His church shall be a transformed body, illumined with the Light of the world, possessing the glory of Emmanuel. The bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness, shining through His church, will gather into His fold every lost, straying sheep, who will come unto Him and find refuge in Him. They will find peace and light and joy in Him who is peace and righteousness for ever (Letter 89c, 1897).  [7BC 968.3]
5:11 And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;
many angels – After the 4 beasts (living creatures) and 24 elders have given their testimony, the host of heaven also acclaim the Lamb’s worthiness. God is now vindicated before the angels – since Satan’s first accusation in heaven, they have not fully understood His action in banishing Satan and saving men (DA761,764).
ten thousand – not a literal number but a numberless host – ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands.
12. The Finishing Touch  of Immortality.–We have a living, risen Saviour. He burst the fetters of the tomb after He had lain there three days, and in triumph. He proclaimed over the rent sepulcher of Joseph, “I am the resurrection and the life.” And He is coming. Are we getting ready for Him? Are we ready so that if we shall fall asleep, we can do so with hope in Jesus Christ? Are you laboring for the salvation of your brothers and sisters? The Life-giver is soon to come. The Life-giver is coming to break the fetters of the tomb. He is to bring forth the captives and proclaim, “I am the resurrection and the life.” There stands the risen host. The last thought was of death and its pangs. The last thoughts they had were of the grave and the tomb, but now they proclaim, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” The pangs of death were the last things they felt. “O death, where is thy sting?” The last thing they acknowledged was the pangs of death. When they awake the pain is all gone. . . .  [6BC 1093.4]
Here they stand, and the finishing touch of immortality is put upon them, and they go up to meet their Lord in the air. The gates of the city of God swing back upon their hinges, and the nations that have kept the truth enter in. There are the columns of angels on either side, and the ransomed of God walk in through the cherubims and seraphims. Christ bids them welcome and puts upon them His benediction. “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: . . . enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” What is that joy? He sees of the travail of His soul, and is satisfied.  [6BC 1093.5]
That is what we labor for. Here is one, who in the night season we pleaded with God on his behalf. There is one that we talked with on his dying bed, and he hung his helpless soul upon Jesus. Here is one who was a poor drunkard. We tried to get his eyes fixed upon Him who is mighty to save and we told him that Christ could give him the victory. There are the crowns of immortal glory upon their heads, and then the redeemed cast their glittering crowns at the feet of Jesus; and then the angelic choir strikes the note of victory, and the angels in the two columns take up the song, and the redeemed host join as though they had been singing the song on the earth, and they have been.  [6BC 1093.6]
Oh, what music! There is not an inharmonious note. Every voice proclaims, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain.” He sees of the travail of His soul, and is satisfied. Do you think anyone there will take time to tell of his trials and terrible difficulties? “The former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.” “God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes” (MS 18, 1894).  [6BC 1093.7]
5:12 Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.
power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing – a seven fold (signifying perfection) doxology of the heavenly hosts – the implied praise of heaven being seen as complete and perfect.
5:13 And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.
every creature – every created being.
The symbolic scenes of Revelation 4 & 5 refer to the song being sung:
by the angels when Christ was installed at the right hand of God after His ascension.
by the saints when the new earth is established (AA601,602; GC671)
by the redeemed and angels in eternity 8T44 (cf. PP541; GC545, 678).
Thus the visions of Revelation 4 & 5 do not relate to one specific occurrence in heaven but rather a timeless, symbolic portrayal of Christ’s victory and God’s vindication. The heavenly accolade commencing at the cross and rising to a crescendo as the great controversy comes to its victorious climax when all creation recognises God’s righteousness (GC670,-671).
in heaven, and on the earth – In ancient cosmology, this constituted the entire universe.
Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power – 4 ascriptions of the sevenfold Revelation 5:12 doxology.
power – ‘to rule’ or have ‘dominion’. A different Greek word to Revelation 5:12 which implied ‘strength’.
the Lamb – equality with the Father exists (Phil 2:9-11).
5:14 And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.
Amen – a known accolade since early Christian worship (of the 2nd century).
Revelation 6:1 And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see.
6:2 And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.
6:3 And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see.
6:4 And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.
6:5 And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.
6:6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.
6:7 And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see.
6:8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.
9. Opening of the Fifth Seal.–When the fifth seal was opened, John the Revelator in vision saw beneath the altar the company that were slain for the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. After this came the scenes described in the eighteenth of Revelation, when those who are faithful and true are called out from Babylon [Revelation 18:1-5 quoted] (MS 39, 1906).  [7BC 968.5]
6:9 And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:
6:10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?
6:11 And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.
6:12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;
‘The Lisbon earthquake’ occurred on 1st November 1755 – the sea rose to 50 feet above its ordinary level and it was felt in the continents of Europe, Africa and America – a tract of more than 4,000,000 square miles – it destroyed 60,000 – 90,000 lives.
The dark day and night of 19th May 1780 – recorded as being mysterious and of unexplained phenomenon. It covered the New England states in North America and parts of Canada.
13-17. John Witnessed Terrors of the Last Days.–John . . . was a witness of the terrible scenes that will take place as signs of Christ’s coming. He saw armies mustering for battle, and men’s hearts failing them for fear. He saw the earth moved out of its place, the mountains carried into the midst of the sea, the waves thereof roaring and troubled, and the mountains shaking with the swelling thereof. He saw the vials of God’s wrath opened, and pestilence, famine, and death come upon the inhabitants of the earth (RH Jan. 11, 1887).  [7BC 982.3]
6:13 And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.
The falling of the stars occurred on the morning of 13th November 1833 and was seen by the inhabitants of the eastern states of USA – reported as being as high as 2,000,000 shooting stars in an hour and lasting for 5 – 6 hours.
14-17. A Lively Image of Glory.–In this scene of the resurrection of the Son of God is given a lively image of the glory that will be revealed at the general resurrection of the just at the second appearing of Christ in the clouds of heaven. Then the dead that are in their graves shall hear His voice and come forth to life; and not only the earth, but the heavens themselves, shall be shaken. A few graves were opened at the resurrection of Christ; but at His second coming all the precious dead, from righteous Abel to the last saint that dies, shall awake to glorious, immortal life.  [5BC 1110.3]
If the soldiers at the sepulcher were so filled with terror at the appearance of one angel clothed with heavenly light and strength, that they fell as dead men to the ground, how will His enemies stand before the Son of God, when He comes in power and great glory, accompanied by ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands of angels from the courts of heaven? Then the earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and be removed as a cottage. The elements shall be in flames, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll (ST April 22, 1913).  [5BC 1110.4]
6:14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
15-17. The Tattered Shreds of Human Reasoning.–The whole world stands condemned before the great moral standard of righteousness. In the great day of judgment every soul that has lived on the earth will receive sentence in accordance as to whether his deeds have been good or evil in the light of the law of God. Every mouth will be stopped as the cross with its dying Victim shall be presented, and its real bearing shall be seen by every mind that has been sin blinded and corrupted. Sinners will stand condemned before the cross, with its mysterious Victim bowing beneath the infinite burden of human transgression. How quickly will be swept away every subterfuge, every lying excuse! Human apostasy will appear in its heinous character. Men will see what their choice has been. They will then understand that they have chosen Barabbas instead of Christ, the Prince of Peace.  [6BC 1069.3]
The mystery of the incarnation and the crucifixion will be plainly discerned; for it will be presented before the mind’s eye, and every condemned soul will read what has been the character of his rejection of truth. All will understand that they have erred from the truth by receiving the misinterpretations and bewitching lies of Satan instead of “every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” They read the announcement, “Thou, O man, hast chosen to stand under the banner of the great rebel, Satan, and in so doing thou hast destroyed thyself.” Whatever may have been the endowment of talent, whatever may have been the supposed wisdom, the rejecter of truth has then no ability to turn unto God. The door is shut, as was the door of the ark in Noah’s day.  [6BC 1069.4]
The great men of earth will then understand that they have surrendered mind and heart to ensnaring philosophy which pleased the carnal heart. Hope and grace and every inducement had been held out by One who loved them, and gave His life for them, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life, but they refused the love of God. Their lofty opinions, their human reasonings, were extolled; they declared themselves sufficient in themselves to understand divine mysteries, and they thought their own powers of discrimination were strong enough to discern truth for themselves. They fell an easy prey to Satan’s subtlety, for he presented before them specious errors in human philosophy, which has an infatuation for human minds. They turned from the Source of all wisdom, and worshiped intellect. The message and the messengers of God were criticized and discarded as beneath their human, lofty ideas. The invitations of mercy were made a jest, and they denied the divinity of Jesus Christ and derided the idea of His pre-existence before He assumed human nature. But the tattered shreds of human reasoning will be found to be only as ropes of sand in the great day of God (ST March 7, 1895).  [6BC 1069.5]
Wicked Will Feel Agony of Cross.–Those who reject the mercy so freely proffered, will yet be made to know the worth of that which they have despised. They will feel the agony which Christ endured upon the cross to purchase redemption for all who would receive it. And they will then realize what they have lost–eternal life and the immortal inheritance (RH Sept. 4, 1883).  [6BC 1069.6]
Indescribable Confusion of the Wicked.–When sinners are compelled to look upon Him who clothed His divinity with humanity, and who still wears this garb, their confusion is indescribable. The scales fall from their eyes, and they see that which before they would not see. They realize what they might have been had they received Christ, and improved the opportunities granted them. They see the law which they have spurned, exalted even as God’s throne is exalted. They see God Himself giving reverence to His law.  [6BC 1069.7]
What a scene that will be! No pen can describe it! The accumulated guilt of the world will be laid bare, and the voice of the Judge will be heard saying to the wicked, “Depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”  [6BC 1070.1]
Then those who pierced Christ will remember how they slighted His love and abused His compassion; how they chose in His stead Barabbas, a robber and murderer; how they crowned the Saviour with thorns, and caused Him to be scourged and crucified; how, in the agony of His death on the cross, they taunted Him, saying, “Let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him.” “He saved others; himself he cannot save.” They will seem to hear again His voice of entreaty. Every tone of solicitude will vibrate as distinctly in their ears as when the Saviour spoke to them. Every act of insult and mockery done to Christ will be as fresh in their memory as when the satanic deeds were done.  [6BC 1070.2]
They will call on the 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. “The wrath of the Lamb”–One who ever showed Himself full of tenderness, patience, and long-suffering, who, having given Himself up as the sacrificial offering, was led as a lamb to the slaughter, to save sinners from the doom now falling upon them because they would not allow Him to take away their guilt (RH June 18, 1901).  [6BC 1070.3]
6:15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;
16. Two Kinds of Crowns.–On whose side are we? The world cast Christ out, the heavens received Him. Man, finite man, rejected the Prince of life; God, our sovereign Ruler, received Him into the heavens. God has exalted Him. Man crowned Him with a crown of thorns, God has crowned Him with a crown of royal majesty. We must all think candidly. Will you have this man Christ Jesus to rule over you, or will you have Barabbas? The death of Christ brings to the rejecter of His mercy the wrath and judgments of God, unmixed with mercy. This is the wrath of the Lamb. But the death of Christ is hope and eternal life to all who receive Him and believe in Him (Letter 31, 1898).  [5BC 1107.2]
Under Satan’s Black Banner.–Each son and daughter of Adam chooses either Christ or Barabbas as his general. And all who place themselves on the side of the disloyal are standing under Satan’s black banner, and are charged with rejecting and despitefully using Christ. They are charged with deliberately crucifying the Lord of life and glory (RH Jan. 30, 1900).  [5BC 1107.3]
6:16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
6:17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?
God in wrath will perform His ‘strange act’ rather than He be seen by men as a God of Love – see Isaiah 28:21.
By parenthetical prophecy, Revelation 7, which occurs between the 6th & 7th seals, forms a scriptural passage of additional comment, inserted by interlude, into a theme of scripture already (grammatically) complete.
Revelation 7 – God’s last message to prepare a people.
1-3. Probationary Time Running Out.–Already kingdom is rising against kingdom. There is not now a determined engagement. As yet the four winds are held until the servants of God shall be sealed in their foreheads. Then the powers of earth will marshal their forces for the last great battle. How carefully we should improve the little remaining period of our probation (RH Nov. 27, 1900)!  [7BC 968.10]  (Ephesians 4:30 – And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.).
Just before we entered it [the time of trouble], we all received the seal of the living God. Then I saw the four angels cease to hold the four winds. And I saw famine, pestilence and sword, nation rose against nation, and the whole world was in confusion (Day-Star, March 14, 1846).  [7BC 968.11]
Everything in the world is in an unsettled state. The nations are angry, and great preparations for war are being made. Nation is plotting against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. The great day of God is hasting greatly. But although the nations are mustering their forces for war and bloodshed, the command to the angels is still in force, that they hold the four winds until the servants of God are sealed in their foreheads (RH Jan. 28, 1909).  [7BC 968.12]
Revelation 7:1 And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.
four is often linked with the world:
four winds
four seasons
four quarters of the earth.
winds in prophecy often symbolises war.
four winds – war in the north, south, east and west – all the world is involved.
2-3. Angels Read the Mark.–What is the seal of the living God, which is placed in the foreheads of His people? It is a mark which angels, but not human eyes, can read; for the destroying angel must see this mark of redemption. The intelligent mind has seen the sign of the cross of Calvary in the Lord’s adopted sons and daughters. The sin of the transgression of the law of God is taken away. They have on the wedding garment, and are obedient and faithful to all God’s commands (Letter 126, 1898).  [7BC 968.13]
The Signature of God’s Appointment.–The Israelites placed over their doors a signature of blood, to show that they were God’s property. So the children of God in this age will bear the signature God has appointed. (Exodus 12:7 – And they shall take of the blood, and strike [it] on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it. ; Exodus 12:12-13 – For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I [am] the LORD. And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye [are]: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy [you], when I smite the land of Egypt. ; Ezekiel 9:4 – And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof. ; Ezekiel 20:12 – Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I [am] the LORD that sanctify them. ; Ezekiel 20:20 – And hallow my sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I [am] the LORD your God.).
They will place themselves in harmony with God’s holy law. A mark is placed upon every one of God’s people just as verily as a mark was placed over the doors of the Hebrew dwellings, to preserve the people from the general ruin. God declares, “I gave them my Sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctify them” (RH Feb. 6, 1900).  [7BC 968.14]
God’s Special Possession.–Every soul in our world is the Lord’s property, by creation and by redemption. Each individual soul is on trial for his life. Has he given to God that which belongs to Him? Has he surrendered to God all that is His as His purchased possession? All who cherish the Lord as their portion in this life will be under His control, and will receive the sign, the mark of God, which shows them to be God’s special possession. Christ’s righteousness will go before them, and the glory of the Lord will be their rereward. The Lord protects every human being who bears His sign. [Exodus 31:12-17 quoted.]  [7BC 969.1]  (Exodus 31:12-17.).
This recognition of God is of the highest value to every human being All who love and serve Him are very precious in His sight. He would have them stand where they are worthy representatives of the truth as it is in Jesus (Letter 77, 1899).  [7BC 969.2]
Natural Traits Must Be Transformed.–How few bear in mind that the tempter was once a covering cherub, a being whom God created for His own name’s glory. Satan fell from his high position through self-exaltation; he misused the high capabilities with which God had so richly endowed him. He fell for the same reason that thousands are falling today, because of an ambition to be first, an unwillingness to be under restraint. The Lord would teach man the lesson that, though united in church capacity, he is not saved until the seal of God is placed upon him. . . .  [7BC 969.3]
The Lord has a work for us all to do. And if the truth is not rooted in the heart, if the natural traits of character are not transformed by the Holy Spirit, we can never be colaborers with Jesus Christ. Self will constantly appear, and the character of Christ will not be manifested in our lives (Letter 80, 1898).  [7BC 969.4]
Without Spot or Wrinkle.–Missionary agencies are greatly needed in every branch of God’s work. Our institutions need converted, devoted men, who will make the Lord their dependence. God will reveal through such workers the power of His grace. His servants are to be distinguished from the world by the seal of the living God; their words and their works are to reveal that they are laborers together with God.  [7BC 969.5]
God can use the human agent just to the extent that he will be worked by the Holy Spirit. To men who accept positions of responsibility as presidents, ministers, physicians, or workers in any line, I am bidden to say: God will test every man who enters His service. He does not ask, Do they possess learning and eloquence? Have they ability to command and control and manage? He asks, Will they represent My character? Will they walk in humility, that I may teach them My way? The soul temple must not be defiled by any loose or unclean practice. Those whom I will acknowledge in the courts of heaven must be without spot and wrinkle.  [7BC 969.6]
The Lord will use humble men to do a great and good work. Through them He will represent to the world the ineffaceable characteristics of the divine nature (Letter 270, 1907).  [7BC 969.7]
An Honor to Bear God’s Sign.–Those who come out from the world, to stand distinct from worldlings in words and works, those who realize that it is an honor to bear God’s sign, will receive power to become His sons. The Lord will have men who can be depended on. No one will enter the courts above who does not bear the sign of God. Those who in this sin-cursed earth bear this sign in holy boldness, looking upon it as an honor, will be recognized and honored by Christ in the courts above (Letter 125, 1903).  [7BC 969.8]  (John 1:12 – But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, [even] to them that believe on his name:.).
Will the Angel Pass Us By?–“And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” In a little while every one who is a child of God will have His seal placed upon him. O that it may be placed upon our foreheads! Who can endure the thought of being passed by when the angel goes forth to seal the servants of God in their foreheads (RH May 28, 1889)?  [7BC 969.9]  (Jeremiah 8:20 – The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved. ; 1 John 3:3 – And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.).
Passport to the Holy City.–Only those who receive the seal of the living God will have the passport through the gates of the Holy City. But there are many who take upon themselves responsibilities in connection with the work of God who are not wholehearted believers, and while they remain thus cannot receive the seal of the living God. They trust in their own righteousness, which the Lord accounts as foolishness (Letter 164, 1909).  [7BC 970.1]
The Mark of Distinction.–Those who would have the seal of God in their foreheads must keep the Sabbath of the fourth commandment. This is what distinguishes them from the disloyal, who have accepted a man-made institution in the place of the true Sabbath. The observance of God’s rest day is the mark of distinction between him that serveth God and him that serveth Him not (MS 27, 1899).  [7BC 970.2]
Like Christ in Character.–The seal of the living God will be placed upon those only who bear a likeness to Christ in character (RH May 21, 1895).  [7BC 970.3]
Image of Christ on the Soul.–As wax takes the impression of the seal, so the soul is to take the impression of the Spirit of God and retain the image of Christ (ST July 18, 1911).  [7BC 970.4]
The Seal and the Commandments.–Many will not receive the seal of God because they do not keep His commandments or bear the fruits of righteousness (Letter 76, 1900).  [7BC 970.5]
Bitter Disappointment in the Day of God.–The great mass of professing Christians will meet with bitter disappointment in the day of God. They have not upon their foreheads the seal of the living God. Lukewarm and halfhearted, they dishonor God far more than the avowed unbeliever. They grope in darkness, when they might be walking in the noonday light of the Word, under the guidance of One who never errs (Letter 121, 1903).  [7BC 970.6]
7:2 And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea,
seal = mark = sign – such words are used interchangeably (Romans 4:11).
7:3 Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.
The mark of God’s people – to be sealed by God (Isaiah 8:16; Revelation 14:9).
If Sabbath is kept – man’s obedience is given to God.
If Sunday is kept as the sacred day – obedience given to Rome as God never sanctified any other day.
The Catholic’s mark of distinction (the stamp of her power and authority above all other religions) is Sunday sacredness.
Sunday is based upon tradition only – see Christ’s words in Matt 15:3&9.
4-17. Strive to Be Among the 144,000.–[Revelation 7:9-17 quoted.] Those whom the Lamb shall lead by the fountains of living waters, and from whose eyes He shall wipe away all tears, will be those now receiving the knowledge and understanding revealed in the Bible, the Word of God. . . .  [7BC 970.8]  (2 Corinthians 3:18 – But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, [even] as by the Spirit of the Lord.).
We are to copy no human being. There is no human being wise enough to be our criterion. We are to look to the man Christ Jesus, who is complete in the perfection of righteousness and holiness. He is the author and finisher of our faith. He is the pattern man. His experience is the measure of the experience that we are to gain. His character is our model. Let us, then, take our minds off the perplexities and the difficulties of this life, and fix them on Him, that by beholding we may be changed into His likeness. We may behold Christ to good purpose. We may safely look to Him; for He is all-wise. As we look to Him and think of Him, He will be formed within, the hope of glory.  [7BC 970.9]
Let us strive with all the power that God has given us to be among the hundred and forty-four thousand (RH March 9, 1905).  [7BC 970.10]
7:4 And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.
7:5 Of the tribe of Juda were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand.
7:6 Of the tribe of Aser were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Nephthalim were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Manasses were sealed twelve thousand.
7:7 Of the tribe of Simeon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Levi were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Issachar were sealed twelve thousand.
7:8 Of the tribe of Zabulon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Joseph were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand.
9. The Palms and the Robes.–The palms signify that they have gained the victory, and the white robes that they have been clothed with the righteousness of Christ. Thank God that a fountain has been opened to wash our robes of character, and make them as white as snow (Und. MS 23).  [7BC 970.11]  (John 12:12-13 – On the next day much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed [is] the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord.).
7:9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;
7:10 And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.
7:11 And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God,
7:12 Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.
Amen – a known accolade since early Christian worship (of the 2nd century).
7:13 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?
7:14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
7:15 Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.
7:16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.
17. Higher Education in the Future Life.–Christ, the heavenly Teacher, will lead His people to the tree of life that grows on either side of the river of life, and He will explain to them the truths they could not in this life understand. In that future life His people will gain the higher education in its completeness. Those who enter the city of God will have the golden crowns placed upon their heads. That will be a joyful scene that none of us can afford to miss. We shall cast our crowns at the feet of Jesus, and again and again we will give Him the glory and praise His holy name. Angels will unite in the songs of triumph. Touching their golden harps, they will fill all heaven with rich music and songs to the Lamb (MS 31, 1909).  [7BC 988.8]
A Boundary Where Man’s Resources Cease.–It is the duty and privilege of all to use reason as far as man’s finite faculties can go; but there is a boundary where man’s resources must cease. There are many things that can never be reasoned out by the strongest intellect or discerned by the most penetrating mind. Philosophy cannot determine the ways and works of God; the human mind cannot measure infinity.  [6BC 1079.7]
Jehovah is the fountain of all wisdom, of all truth, of all knowledge. There are high attainments that man can reach in this life through the wisdom that God imparts; but there is an infinity beyond that will be the study and the joy of the saints throughout eternal ages. Man can now only linger upon the borders of that vast expanse, and let imagination take its flight. Finite man cannot fathom the deep things of God; for spiritual things are spiritually discerned. The human mind cannot comprehend the wisdom and power of God (RH Dec. 29, 1896).  [6BC 1079.8]
Avoiding Guesswork in the Quest for God.–Human talent and human conjecture have tried by searching to find out God. But guesswork has proved itself to be guesswork. Man cannot by searching find out God. This problem has not been given to human beings. All that man needs to know and can know of God has been revealed in His Word and in the life of His Son, the great Teacher.  [6BC 1079.9]
Let men remember that they have a Ruler in the heavens, a God who will not be trifled with. He who puts his reason to the stretch in an effort to exalt himself and to delineate God, will find that he might far better have stood as a humble suppliant before God, confessing himself to be only an erring human being.  [6BC 1079.10]
God cannot be understood by men. His ways and works are past finding out. In regard to the revelations that He has made of Himself in His Word, we may talk, but other than this, let us say of Him, Thou art God, and Thy ways are past finding out.  [6BC 1079.11]
There is a knowledge of God and of Christ which all who are saved must have. “This is life eternal,” Christ said, “that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”  [6BC 1079.12]
The question for us to study is, What is truth–the truth for this time, which is to be cherished, loved, honored, and obeyed? The devotees of science have been defeated and disheartened in their effort to find out God. What they need to inquire is, What is truth (MS 124, 1903)?  [6BC 1079.13]
7:17 For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.
Revelation 8:1 And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.
This verse relates to the events of the preceding chapters – i.e. the 7 seals which covered the history of the church during what is called the Christian Era.
The opening of the first 6 of 7 seals are portrayed in Revelation 6 & 7 against spectacular events; when the seventh seal is opened there is silence in heaven – the heavenly courts, having been filled with praise and song, are now silent for about the space of half an hour.
Interpretation 1 – The heavenly hosts accompany Christ to earth. In prophetic terms, half an hour = 7.5 days; heaven being silent as the angels are with Jesus for the second coming.
Interpretation 2 – A silence of awesome expectation exists.
8:2 And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets.
A new and distinct series of events is introduced which cover the principal political and warlike events of the Christian Era.
This theme continues at Revelation 8:6.
3-4. Prayers Made Fragrant by Christ’s Merit.–As the high priest sprinkled the warm blood upon the mercy seat while the fragrant cloud of incense ascended before God, so, while we confess our sins and plead the efficacy of Christ’s atoning blood, our prayers are to ascend to heaven, fragrant with the merits of our Saviour’s character. Notwithstanding our unworthiness, we are to remember that there is One who can take away sin, and who is willing and anxious to save the sinner. With His own blood He paid the penalty for all wrongdoers. Every sin acknowledged before God with a contrite heart, He will remove [Isaiah 1:18; Hebrews 9:13, 14 quoted] (RH Sept. 29, 1896).  [7BC 970.14]  (Isaiah 1:18 – Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. ; Hebrews 9:13-14 – For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?).
Incense Represents Blood of Atonement.–[Revelation 8:3, 4 quoted.] Let the families, the individual Christians, and the churches bear in mind that they are closely allied to heaven. The Lord has a special interest in His church militant here below. The angels who offer the smoke of the fragrant incense are for the praying saints. Then let the evening prayers in every family rise steadily to heaven in the cool sunset hour, speaking before God in our behalf of the merits of the blood of a crucified and risen Saviour.  [7BC 971.1]  (Psalm 141:2 – Let my prayer be set forth before thee [as] incense; [and] the lifting up of my hands [as] the evening sacrifice. ; Ephesians 5:2 – And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.)
That blood alone is efficacious. It alone can make propitiation for our sins. It is the blood of the only-begotten Son of God that is of value for us that we may draw nigh unto God, His blood alone that taketh “away the sin of the world.” Morning and evening the heavenly universe behold every household that prays, and the angel with the incense, representing the blood of the atonement, finds access to God (MS 15, 1897).  [7BC 971.2]
With Humble Hearts Survey the Atonement.–Let no one take the limited, narrow position that any of the works of man can help in the least possible way to liquidate the debt of his transgression. This is a fatal deception. If you would understand it, you must cease haggling over your pet ideas, and with humble hearts survey the atonement.  [6BC 1071.4]
This matter is so dimly comprehended that thousands upon thousands claiming to be sons of God are children of the wicked one, because they will depend on their own works. God always demanded good works, the law demands it, but because man placed himself in sin where his good works were valueless, Jesus’ righteousness alone can avail. Christ is able to save to the uttermost because He ever liveth to make intercession for us.  [6BC 1071.5]
All that man can possibly do toward his own salvation is to accept the invitation, “Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” No sin can be committed by man for which satisfaction has not been met on Calvary. Thus the cross, in earnest appeals, continually proffers to the sinner a thorough expiation (MS 50, 1900).  [6BC 1071.6]
8:3 And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.
John for a moment, in verses 3-5, directs attention to an entirely different scene – a message of hope and comfort for the church prior to the introducing terrible scenes. Amidst strife and war, Christ as High Priest would continue to minister for them in the heavenly sanctuary; thus the church’s prayer would be offered with incense to the Father and strength / support gained during tribulation.
another angel – not one of the seven trumpet angels.
altar – altar of incense – within the first compartment of the earthly sanctuary.
Here relating to the heavenly sanctuary where the entire work of mediation for all saints (God’s people) is presented for the whole of the gospel era.
8:4 And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand.
8:5 And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.
filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth – end of time symbolic act when Christ’s ministration in the sanctuary has forever ceased.
voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake – such occurrences take place at the close of probation.
8:6 And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.
Trumpets 1-4 sound one after another without interval until Western Rome falls, ‘divided’ and never again to unite [as foretold in Daniel 2 and 7 via complementary prophecy].
Trumpets 1-4 concern Europe and Africa.
Trumpets 5-6 deals with the East.
Trumpet 7 includes the whole world.
Trumpets 5-7 are called ‘woe’.
1st trumpet – Alaric & Goths at war against Western Rome. 395 – 419 AD
2nd trumpet – Genseric & Vandals at war against Western Rome. 419 – 456 AD
3rd trumpet – Attila & Huns at war against Western Rome. 456 – 476 AD
4th trumpet – Odoacer & Heruli at war against Western Rome. 476 – ? AD
5th trumpet – Saracens & Islam at war against Eastern Rome. 1299 – 1449 AD giving 150 years.
6th tumpet – Turks & Islam at war against Eastern Rome. 1449 – 1840 AD giving 391 years & 15 days. The collapse of the Ottoman Empire occurred in 1840 AD.
7th trumpet – Jesus at war against the wicked. 1844 AD until the new earth.
8:7 The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.
Theodosius, The Roman emperor died in January 395 AD and before the winter’s end, the Goths under Alaric were invading the Roman empire. Thrace, Macedonian, Attica and Peloponnesus were conquered; the city of Rome was not reached until 410 AD when it fell. Germany lay as a desert, people massacred and consumed by fire to Alaric’s 4 years destruction of Italy.
hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth:
hail – Gothic invasion, from northern origin, represented as hail
fire – destruction by flame of city and country
blood – terrible slaughter of citizens of the empire.
8:8 And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood;
8:9 And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.
8:10 And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters;
8:11 And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.
8:12 And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise.
8:13 And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!
Revelation 9:1 And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.
Trumpet 5 concerns the Arabs.
Revelation 9:1-3 depict the eastern scene of Arabia.
a star fall from heaven unto the earth – the rise of Mohammed – inspired by his religion, the Arabs united to conquer much of the world.
bottomless pit – abyss – Arabia’s vast empty desserts – nothing but sand, wind, soil and empty space.
9:2 And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.
the sun and the air were darkened – this metaphor occurs when locusts swarm in the desert – they appear like clouds of smoke.
9:3 And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.
locusts – the Arabs are described as unusual locusts (see verses 4, 11 & 7).
9:4 And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.
should not hurt – locusts usually destroy green vegetation – these were to torment those people which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.
Having crossed from Africa into Spain and pushed through France with the aim of conquering Europe, the Saracens were heavily defeated at Tours by Charles Martel (726 AD); consequently, they were restrained on the borders of the districts where lived the Waldenses, the Vaudois and other people holding to truth.
9:5 And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man.
five months – 150 days = 150 years (adopting the Numbers 14:34 and Ezekiel 4:6 ‘day / year’ principle).
Mohammed began public preaching in 612 AD.
In 762 AD, Bagdad was founded by Caliph al-Mausur; the Caliphs terminated the progress of the Arabian Empire.
9:6 And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.
9:7 And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men.
locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle – Old Italians called ‘locusts’ by a name meaning ‘little horses’.
crowns like gold – Ezekiel (23:42) had likened the turbans of the desert people to ‘beautiful crowns upon their heads’.
faces of men – see ongoing text below.
9:8 And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions.
faces of menhair of women – Pliny (1st century) described Arabs with turbans as having long, uncut hair but with a moustache or beard.
9:9 And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle.
breastplates of iron – By the 6th / 7th century, Saracens (i.e. Arab warriors) wore defensive armour.
9:10 And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months.
hurt men five months – Saracen conquest led to loss of half the Roman Empire.
On 27.7.1299 Othman first invaded the territory of Nicomedia.
Another power (as prophesied) was to conquer the Roman Empire.
The Saracens (militant Islam) settled and built Bagdad on the Tigris, beyond the Euphrates, beyond the ancient Roman Empire frontier. They settled as a nation and ceased to torment; thus the progress of the Arabian Empire was terminated.
9:11 And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.
they had a king over them – usually locusts have no king (see Proverbs 30:27) – these had a destructive king named Othman, who founded the Ottoman Empire.
Abaddon – destruction, ruin.
Apollyon – a destroyer.
9:12 One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter.
9:13 And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God,
Trumpet 6 concerns the Ottoman Empire and Eastern Rome.
golden altar – altar of incense.
horns – touched by the blood of atonement; see Leviticus 4:7, 18, 25, 30.
Atoning blood calls for the destruction of the wicked – salvation of righteous made sure by sacrifice at Calvary.
Eastern Rome destroyed because they trusted in idols and had forgotten the Blood of the Covenant (Hebrews 10:26 – 31).
9:14 Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates.
four angels – the four leading sultanies of the Ottoman Empire were Aleppo, Icomium, Damascus and Bagdad.
the great river Euphrates – the second great Mohammedan onslaught.
Whereas trumpet 5 tormented, the 6th one slays and brings a complete end to the Roman Empire.
9:15 And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men.
four angels were loosed – identified in 1563 by John Foxe as ‘Turks’ – Turkish sultans (political and religious leaders).
an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year – 391 years 15 days; adopting the Numbers 14:34 and Ezekiel 4:6 ‘day / year’ principle. John Palaeolgus, the Emperor died on 27.7.1449 – end of the 150 years and start of the 391 years + 15 days. Before his brother could take the crown of Eastern Rome, he had to beg permission – thus his independence was gone.
This time prophecy ended on 11.8.1840 when there was war between Turkey and Egypt. The Sultan of Turkey appealed to Europe for help and an ultimatum to Egypt was sent by Britain, Russia, Austria and Prussia; thus the Sultan of Turkey had signed away his independence. [As a result of this very day fulfilment, over 1000 atheists were converted by the amazing accuracy of this prophecy.]
9:16 And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them.
two hundred thousand thousand – probably related numerically over the 391 years + 15 day period?
9:17 And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone.
fire and smoke and brimstone – the cannons used are to be seen in the Istanbul Museum and the breaches in the wall are still preserved.
9:18 By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths.
9:19 For their power is in their mouth, and in their tails: for their tails were like unto serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt.
9:20 And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk:
idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood – God used Mohammedanism to punish apostate Christendom that had turned to idols. The vow of Mahomet II was published in all the mosques (11.3.1470) to destroy the idols.
God says He hates images (Deuteronomy 16:22).
Constantinople’s parade of images on the damaged walling was the last desperate idolatrous procession before its fall.
9:21 Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.
murders – i.e. the murdered saints.
sorceries – prayers to the dead.
fornication – union with the world.
thefts – the confiscated property of the martyrs.
Revelation 9 closes with the 6th trumpet events; 7th trumpet not introduced until Revelation 11:15.
By parenthetical prophecy, Revelation 10:1 – 11:14 forms a scriptural passage of additional comment, inserted by interlude, into a theme of scripture already (grammatically) complete – such insertion being similar to that of Revelation 7.
1-11. No Less a Person Than Christ.–The mighty angel who instructed John was no less a personage than Jesus Christ. Setting His right foot on the sea, and His left upon the dry land, shows the part which He is acting in the closing scenes of the great controversy with Satan. This position denotes His supreme power and authority over the whole earth. The controversy had waxed stronger and more determined from age to age, and will continue to do so, to the concluding scenes when the masterly working of the powers of darkness shall reach their height. Satan, united with evil men, will deceive the whole world and the churches who receive not the love of the truth. But the mighty angel demands attention. He cries with a loud voice. He is to show the power and authority of His voice to those who have united with Satan to oppose the truth.  [7BC 971.3]  (Daniel 12:4-13).
After these seven thunders uttered their voices, the injunction comes to John as to Daniel in regard to the little book: “Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered.” These relate to future events which will be disclosed in their order. Daniel shall stand in his lot at the end of the days. John sees the little book unsealed. Then Daniel’s prophecies have their proper place in the first, second, and third angels’ messages to be given to the world. The unsealing of the little book was the message in relation to time.  [7BC 971.4]
The books of Daniel and the Revelation are one. One is a prophecy, the other a revelation; one a book sealed, the other a book opened. John heard the mysteries which the thunders uttered, but he was commanded not to write them.  [7BC 971.5]
The special light given to John which was expressed in the seven thunders was a delineation of events which would transpire under the first and second angels’ messages. It was not best for the people to know these things, for their faith must necessarily be tested. In the order of God most wonderful and advanced truths would be proclaimed. The first and second angels’ messages were to be proclaimed, but no further light was to be revealed before these messages had done their specific work. This is represented by the angel standing with one foot on the sea, proclaiming with a most solemn oath that time should be no longer.  [7BC 971.6]
This time, which the angel declares with a solemn oath, is not the end of this world’s history, neither of probationary time, but of prophetic time, which should precede the advent of our Lord. That is, the people will not have another message upon definite time. After this period of time, reaching from 1842 to 1844, there can be no definite tracing of the prophetic time. The longest reckoning reaches to the autumn of 1844.  [7BC 971.7]
The angel’s position, with one foot on the sea, the other on the land, signifies the wide extent of the proclamation of the message. It will cross the broad waters and be proclaimed in other countries, even to all the world. The comprehension of truth, the glad reception of the message, is represented in the eating of the little book. The truth in regard to the time of the advent of our Lord was a precious message to our souls (MS 59, 1900).  [7BC 971.8]
Revelation 10:1 And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire:
another mighty angel – Distinct from:
the angels who hold the four winds (Revelation 7:1)
those with the seven trumpets (Revelation 8:2)
the angel at the altar (Revelation 8:3)
those in the river Euphrates (Revelation 9:14).
Identified as Christ – identical appearance to first angel of Revelation 14.
both have a special message to proclaim.
both utter proclamation with a loud voice.
both use similar language – cf. Creator God Revelation 10:6 and 14:7.
both proclaim ‘time’
one that time should be no more;
the other, that God’s judgement hour has come.
Revelation 14:6 – occurs before probation close and applicable in last generation (i.e. since 1798).
the gospel proclamation that day of Christ was at hand – only relevant since 1798.
(not relevant prior to this – until ‘that man of sin be revealed’ 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3.)
come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud – Christ’s appearance is frequently associated with clouds – see Daniel 7:13; Acts 1:9; Revelation 1:7; 14:14; cf. Psalm 104:3; 1 Thessalonians 4:17.
rainbow – cf. Revelation 4:3; Ezekiel 1:26-28.
A rainbow occurs when the sun shines through clouds and its light is diffused.
as it were the sun – cf. the description of Christ in Revelation 1:16.
feet – or, lower extremities – feet and legs, which are likened to pillars of fire – cf. Song of Solomon 5:15.
10:2 And he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth,
in his hand – cf. the symbolism of Ezekiel 2:9.
a little book – a little scroll – a diminutive form of biblos – distinctly smaller than the one of Revelation 5:1.
little book open – by inference, book once closed or sealed.
Daniel 12:4 – Daniel’s prophecy was to be shut up and the book sealed until the time of the end.
No other book closed / sealed except book of Daniel.
Revelation 10 gives only instruction to (re-) open a book.
The time prophecy of Daniel 12:6-7 concords with that of Revelation 10.
In Daniel 11:30, the papal power is brought to view.
Daniel 11:35 – the little horn (papal) supremacy ended in 1798 AD (end of 1260 years) – beginning of the time of the end.
In 1798, the seal to the little book was broken so that the sealed portions of Daniel’s prophecy could be understood as prophetic knowledge increased (Daniel 12:4). John, in vision, sees the little book open, the sealed portions of Daniel’s prophecy being revealed.
upon the sea, andthe earth – a world-wide proclamation; a message for the whole world.
Between 1840 – 1844 and by the power of God, the first angel’s message went to every missionary station in the world (GC611).
10:3 And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices.
loud voice – cf. Revelation 1:10; 5:2; 6:10; 7:2.
seven – the number seven is used symbolically throughout Revelation to indicate fullness, completeness and perfection. seven thunders uttered their voices – a future message – to be revealed following the full proclamation of the third angel’s message.
10:4 And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not.
I was about to write – the visions were recorded by John as they occurred and not at a later date.
Seal up – like Daniel, John understood the message but was told not to record this part of the vision. (see 2 Corinthians 12:4)
10:5 And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven,
lifted up his hand – a gesture adopted when making an oath.
10:6 And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer:
who created – Christ, as Lord of history, makes this proclamation – He swears by Himself, for there is no higher authority. (see Hebrews 6:13)
time no longer – no more prophetic time – since the 2300 days of Daniel 8:14, which ended in 1844, there is to be no further message bearing on a definite time.
7. The Last Period of Probation.–The gospel dispensation is the last period of probation that will ever be granted to men. Those who live under this dispensation of test and trial and yet are not led to repent and obey will perish with the disloyal. There is no second trial. The gospel that is to be preached to all nations, kindreds, tongues, and peoples presents the truth in clear lines, showing that obedience is the condition of gaining eternal life. Christ imparts His righteousness to those who consent to let Him take away their sins. We are indebted to Christ for the grace which makes us complete in Him (MS 40, 1900).  [7BC 971.9]
10:7 But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.
days – years.
the seventh angel – for events, see Revelation 11:15-19.
the mystery of God – cf. Mark 4:11; Colossians 2:2; 4:3; 1 Timothy 3:16 – God’s plan of redemption, as revealed to His people.
as he hath declared to his servants the prophets – God’s constant Old Testament theme.
10:8 And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and said, Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth.
the voicefrom heaven spakeagain – the same voice of Revelation 10:4 which told John not to record the vision of the seven thunders.
Go and take – John is now instructed to participate in the vision as recorded under Revelation 10:2.
10:9 And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey.
Give me the little book – John acts the part of God’s people during 1840 – 1844. The proclaimed advent message was sweet but, when Christ did not return on 22 October 1844, sadness and bitterness replaced their prior joy and expectations.
eat it up – cf. Ezekiel 3:1 and Jeremiah 15:1. A figure of speech for total comprehension of the book’s contents – akin to the advent believer’s experience as they came to understand what took place upon fulfilment of the 2300 day prophecy.
make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey – [see verse note below].
10:10 And I took the little book out of the angel’s hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter.
it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter – a familiar form of Hebrew parallelism.
sweet as honey – cf. Ezekiel 3:3 – Prophets of God have often experienced the ecstasy of divine vision and the bitterness of its human attribute – cf. God’s love and His judgements.
10:11 And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.
he – the angel, Christ.
Thou must prophesy again – cf. Ezekiel 3:1, 4 – John, in vision, is informed that God’s people will, despite their disappointment, have to go forth and proclaim the message of the third angel (Revelation 14:9-12).
many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings – the whole world needs to be informed.
The parenthetical prophecy follows on from Revelation 10.
1. Measuring the Church of God.–The grand judgment is taking place, and has been going on for some time. Now the Lord says, Measure the temple and the worshipers thereof. Remember when you are walking the streets about your business, God is measuring you; when you are attending your household duties, when you engage in conversation, God is measuring you. Remember that your words and actions are being daguerreotyped [photographed] in the books of heaven, as the face is reproduced by the artist on the polished plate. . . .  [7BC 972.1]  (1 Peter 4:17 – For the time [is come] that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if [it] first [begin] at us, what shall the end [be] of them that obey not the gospel of God? ; 2 Peter 1:10-11 – Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.).
Here is the work going on, measuring the temple and its worshipers to see who will stand in the last day. Those who stand fast shall have an abundant entrance into the kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. When we are doing our work remember there is One that is watching the spirit in which we are doing it. Shall we not bring the Saviour into our everyday lives, into our secular work and domestic duties? Then in the name of God we want to leave behind everything that is not necessary, all gossiping or unprofitable visiting, and present ourselves as servants of the living God (MS 4, 1888).  [7BC 972.2]
Revelation 11:1 And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.
a reed – cf. Ezekiel 40:3,6; Zechariah 2:1-2 – the reed is used as a measuring line.
Rise – John, again, is summoned to participate in the vision.
measure – Zechariah 2:2-4 gave an assurance that Jerusalem would be rebuilt without walls and inhabited by a multitude of men and cattle; at that time Jerusalem lay in ruins.
The measurement of the temple and worshippers should likewise be seen as God’s promise of restoration and preservation in an era of terror just before Christ’s second coming. In John’s day, the literal temple of Jerusalem also lay in ruins; it will never be restored as a divinely recognised centre of worship.
At a time just before Christ’s return, it will appear as though spiritual Jerusalem (the church) has also fallen.
the temple of God – refers to the heavenly sanctuary or temple. Following 22 October 1844, the role of Christ as high priest in the heavenly sanctuary began to be understood by Adventist believers. Since then, more and more light has been given upon the sanctuary.
them that worship – God’s people – true spiritual Israel – they are also measured.
measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein – measuring suggests a work of judgement:
the church of God is to be measured / judged. – 1 Peter 4:17-19.
the measuring, which suggests a work of judgement, takes place at a specific period in the history of the church.
‘the grand judgment is taking place, and has been going on for some time’ – (MS4, 1888).
all our words and actions are being recorded in the books of heaven – Revelation 20:12-13
will we stand fast in the last days?
are we truly servants of the living God? – 2 Peter 1:1-11.
11:2 But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.
the court – John was conversant with Herod’s temple, which had:
an inner court, with divisions:
Court of the Women
Court of Israel
Court of the Priests.
a great outer court:
Court of the Gentiles.
a separating barrier between the inner and outer courts – Ephesians 2:14 – ‘a middle wall of partition’.
Gentiles not permitted into inner court – on pain of death – only Israelites could enter within the barrier.
In vision:
the inner court represents the temple of God – to be measured.
the outer court represents this earth – not to be measured.
leave out – Greek word suggests ‘throw out’ or ‘discard’.
John is instructed not to measure the outer court – represents those who are not true worshippers, nor desire to belong to the house of Israel.
the court which is without the templeis given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot – Prior to its destruction in 70 AD, the great temple in Jerusalem had inner courts – for the Jewish worshippers only – and a large outer court – for devout Gentiles (apostate Christendom) who had a desire to worship God, i.e. they ‘trampled’ for 1260 years upon the holy city.
the holy city – Jerusalem (Daniel 9:24 cf. Luke 21:20) – the people of God.
forty and two months – 7 biblical references cite the time that the anti-christ power will be permitted to wage war against God’s true church.
Dan. 7:25, 12:7, Revelation 11:2, 11:3, 12:6, 12:14 and 13:5.
Using a biblical calendar of 360 days with 12 30-day months:
1260 days = 42 months = 1 year (time) + 2 years + 1/2 year; thus all verses specify the same amount of time.
tread under foot – By an act of down treading, the outer court of the holy city is given over to the Gentiles. Similarly, Daniel 7:7,23 refers to the fourth kingdom’s activity during 538-1798 AD when God’s people (the saints of the most High – Daniel 7:25) are persecuted, or trodden down.
11:3 And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.
my two witnesses – The two witnesses represent the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament; as symbolic images, these represent the vehicle by which God witnesses to us.
The types, sacrifices, and prophecies of the Old Testament point forward to a Saviour to come. The Gospels and Epistles of the New Testament tell of a Saviour who has come in the exact manner foretold by type and prophecy.
The Bible is to prophecy in sackcloth for 1260 days – John 5:39 refers.
The bible’s a book with the answers at the back.
they shall prophesy – During the papal supremacy, from 538-1798 AD (1260 ‘days’ of Daniel 7:25), the Spirit of God, as manifest by the Scriptures, stood as witness.
a thousand two hundred and threescore days – 7 biblical references cite the time that the anti-christ power will be permitted to wage war against God’s true church.
Dan. 7:25, 12:7, Revelation 11:2, 11:3, 12:6, 12:14 and 13:5.
Using a biblical calendar of 360 days with 12 30-day months:
1260 days = 42 months = 1 year (time) + 2 years + 1/2 year; thus all verses specify the same amount of time.
clothed in sackcloth – a common sign of mourning (2 Samuel 3:31) and of penitence (Jonah 3:6,8 Although church persecution did not continue for 1260 years (see Matthew 24:22), God always had His faithful witnesses.
11:4 These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.
Again symbolic language is used.
the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth – this symbolic language provides further identification of the ‘two witnesses’; by parallel scripture, see Zechariah 4:1-6, 11-14 and Psalm 119:105.
two olive trees, and the two candlesticks – represent ‘the two anointed ones (‘sons of oil’ in Bible margin), that stand by the Lord of the whole earth’ – Zechariah 4:14.
Through the two golden pipes of the olive branches, oil flows – Zechariah 4:12; similarly for the Revelation text, where the oil (Holy Spirit) flows to mankind via the Old and New Testament Scriptures.
11:5 And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.
fire proceedeth – cf. 2 Kings 1:10, 12 – Elijah’s judgement of the messengers of Ahaziah.
Cf. Revelation 20:15 – destruction in the lake of fire, will occur to those who continue to resist the Holy Spirit’s calling (the sin unto death of 1 John 5:16); also see Hebrews 6:4-6.
mouth – mouths.
11:6 These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.
power – authority.
shut heaven – 1 Kings 17:1; Luke 4:25 and James 5:17 record Elijah’s prayer / words to Ahab when dew nor rain would fall for 3 1/2 years; great famine occurred throughout the land. The two witnesses have such power during their prophecy; in addition they have power to turn watersto blood and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.
watersto blood – alludes to Moses and the first plague upon Egypt (Exodus 7:19-21).
all plagues – any plague.
11:7 And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.
when they shall have finished their testimony – 1798 AD, end of 1260 days.
the beast (a nation) shall kill the two witnesses (the Bible).
This is first mention of the beast in Revelation (other than the four beasts, or beings, of Revelation 4:6).
Rome’s policy had been one of Bible reverence – God’s Word being locked away / kept hidden from people by unknown (Latin) tongue. At close of 1260 days, another power was to make open, avowed war upon the Word of God.
the beast refers to the First French Republic (1792 to 1804) which, through atheism popularity and the then anti-religious spirit, destroyed the Scriptures in France. On 10 November 1793 a decree in Paris abolished religion. Atheism ‘killed off’ the Bible.
the bottomless pit – France had no foundation – atheism being a new form of satanic power (GC269).
shall overcome them, and kill them – attempt to destroy the Word of God.
11:8 And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.
bodies – or, body; cf. mouth (Revelation 11:5).
shall lie – a sign of a revolting indignity (cf. Psalm 79:2-3).
the great city – allegorically, was called Sodom and Egypt; France has been identified as the great city, which, around 1798, manifested the given characteristics.
spiritually – rather, by a spiritual figure of speech (cf. Isaiah 1:10).
Sodom – symbolic of moral degradation, vice and luxury (Genesis 19:4-8; Ezekiel 16:46-58).
Egypt – a country well known for the denial of God – symbolic of bold scepticism and Christian rejection – see Exodus 5:2.
where also our Lord was crucified – again, allegorical wording – not literal Jerusalem as this was never Sodom and Egypt.
crucified – With Holy Spirit rejected, many of God’s followers perished during the French persecutions; by such actions our Lord was crucified anew.
Review Hebrews 6:4-6 and the ‘sin unto death’ of ‘the Holy Ghost’ with respect to France’s role since 1798 – impossible now for her to become a leading Christian based nation.
11:9 And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.
people and kindreds and tongues and nations – France was not alone in rejecting the Scriptures through atheism / anti-religious warfare.
three days and an half – 3 1/2 years by prophetic reckoning.
10 November 1793 – a Parisian decree issued to abolish religion.
17 June 1797 – French government removed restrictions against the practice of religion.
11:10 And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.
dwell upon the earth – cf. Revelation 3:10; 6:10; 8:13; 13:8, 14; 17:2, 8 – text refers to the unrighteous – to receive God’s judgements.
make merry – no longer bound by Scriptural conviction, the wicked loose themselves in merriment.
send gifts – a sign of rejoicing – see Esther 9:22.
tormented – the guilty conscience is tormented by the convicting power of two prophets (two witnesses); often an intolerable burden.
11:11 And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.
The scriptures lay dead for three days and an half, i.e. years (refer to Ezekiel 4:6 and Numbers 14:34), until on 17 June 1797, the French government voted to reinstate religion after seeing how their society lustfully worshipped their ‘goddess of reason’ harlot. This legislated atheism was a quite logical backlash to the papacy’s terrible cruel inquisitions but it only lasted 3 and a half years.
The scriptures were reinstated and flourished:
The British and Foreign Bible Society was founded in 1804
The American Bible Society in 1816.
Spirit of life – the ‘breath of life’ (Genesis 6:17; 7:15) was restored; man received life (Genesis 2:7).
from God – the Life Giver – raises His faithful witnesses.
stood upon their feet – cf. 2 Kings 13:21; Ezekiel 37:10.
great fear fell – the two witnesses, once more, torment the guilty conscience of the wicked who stand aghast at the Word’s resurrection.
11:12 And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.
great voice from heaven – the voice of God Himself, beckons His Word.
Come up hither – the two witnesses are resurrected by God and bidden to enter heaven.
The exaltation of the Scriptures since the early 19th century has resulted in their widest circulation rather than their intended suppression / oblivion.
ascended up to heaven in a cloud – cf. Acts 1:9 – when Jesus bade His disciples farewell, a cloud ‘received him out of their sight’; as ‘the Word was made flesh’ (John 1:14). A cloud to be used regarding Christ’s return – Acts 1:9 ,11.
11:13 And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.
same hour – almost immediately following the ascension of the two witnesses into heaven.
a great earthquake – not literal – earthquake(s) are used repeatedly in Scripture to portray:
the turmoil and upheaval prior to the second advent (Mark 13:8; Revelation 16:18).
the collapse of Catholicism in France during the late 1700’s.
tenth part – not the final earthquake as only 1/10 falls.
of the city – namely, papal Rome – France being one of its 10 divisions.
the God of heaven – frequently used – see Daniel 2:18, 19, 37, 44 cf. Ezra 5:11-12, 6:9; 7:12.
11:14 The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly.
The second woe – the judgement under the sixth trumpet – ended in 1840.
the third woe – seventh trumpet events (Revelation 11:15-19) – beginning 1844.
cometh quickly – 1840 to 1844 = 4 years.
11:15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.
11:16 And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God,
11:17 Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.
11:18 And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.
19. Tables of Stone a Convincing Testimony.–When God’s temple in heaven is opened, what a triumphant time that will be for all who have been faithful and true! In the temple will be seen the ark of the testament in which were placed the two tables of stone, on which are written God’s law. These tables of stone will be brought forth from their hiding place, and on them will be seen the Ten Commandments engraved by the finger of God. These tables of stone now lying in the ark of the testament will be a convincing testimony to the truth and binding claims of God’s law (Letter 47, 1902).  [7BC 972.3]  (Isaiah 6:1-7; Isaiah 58:12-14 – And [they that shall be] of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in. If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, [from] doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking [thine own] words: Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken [it].).
Ark in Heaven Contains Commandments.–Sacrilegious minds and hearts have thought they were mighty enough to change the times and laws of Jehovah; but, safe in the archives of heaven, in the ark of God, are the original commandments, written upon the two tables of stone. No potentate of earth has power to draw forth those tables from their sacred hiding place beneath the mercy seat (ST Feb. 28, 1878).  [7BC 972.4]
11:19 And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.
lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail – these occurrences take place at the close of human probation (Revelation 8:5; 16:17-18) when Christ’s ministration in the heavenly sanctuary has ended.
Chapter 12: this line of prophecy – continues to end of book – sets forth church of God in conflict with evil powers and ultimate triumph.
Revelation 12:1 And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:
wonder – ‘a sign’, ‘a mark’ or ‘a token’ – here, a sign portending forthcoming events.
heaven – the sky rather than God’s dwelling place.
woman – used in Old Testament to represent the true church – Isaiah 54:5-6; Jeremiah 6:2.
An apostate church – Jeremiah 3:20; Ezekiel. 23:2-4 – a corrupt woman.
Also in New Testament – 2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:25-32; Revelation 17:1-3.
The church is about to give birth to Christ (vs. 2,4,5) and, following His ascension (v. 5), later to suffer persecution (vs. 13-17); cf. Acts 7:38.
clothed with the sun – represents the glory of God, especially as revealed in the gospel. Cf. Revelation 17:4 where the false church is arrayed in gaudy garments and carrying a cup filled with abominations.
moon – a representation of the system of types and shadows of Old Testament times. The moon is seen as reflected sunlight – the ceremonial law being fulfilled in the life and death of Christ.
crown – a victor’s crown rather than a kingly crown – see Revelation 2:10.
twelve stars – as New Testament focus, 12 apostles rather than 12 patriarchs – but note that the picture of 12 tribes is also carried over to the New Testament (see Revelation 7:4).
 12:2 And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.
The church is presented at the time the Messiah is about to be born.
3-6, 13-17. God’s People in the Minority.–Under the symbols of a great red dragon, a leopardlike beast, and a beast with lamblike horns, the earthly governments which would especially engage in trampling upon God’s law and persecuting His people, were presented to John. The war is carried on till the close of time. The people of God, symbolized by a holy woman and her children, were represented as greatly in the minority. In the last days only a remnant still existed. Of these John speaks as they “which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” (ST Nov. 1, 1899).  [7BC 972.5]
12:3 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.
The dragon is identified in v. 9.
red – Satan’s connection with God’s church – always a role of persecutor or destroyer.
seven heads: Cf. Revelation 13:1 – the beast seen by John rising from the sea
Cf. Revelation 17:3 – the scarlet coloured beast.
The heads in Revelation 17:9-10 are identified as ‘seven mountains’ and ‘seven kings’.
Thus the seven heads of the dragon represent political powers that have aided the dragon in his persecuting power.
ten horns: Cf. Revelation 13 and 17 – the beast also has 10 horns.
Note also the fourth beast of Daniel – Dan. 7:7.
crowns – ‘something bound around’.
12:4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.
12:5 And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.
12:6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.
7 biblical references cite the time that the anti-christ power will be permitted to wage war against God’s true church.
Dan. 7:25, 12:7, Revelation 11:2, 11:3, 12:6, 12:14 and 13:5.
a thousand two hundred and threescore days: Using a biblical calendar of 360 days with 12 30-day months:
1260 days = 42 months = 1 year (time) + 2 years + 1/2 year.
Thus all verses specify the same amount of time.
7-9. Satan’s Corrupt Working.— There is a grand rebellion in the earthly universe. Is there not a great leader of that rebellion? Is not Satan the life and soul of every species of rebellion which he himself has instigated? Is he not the first great apostate from God? A rebellion exists. Lucifer revolted from his allegiance and makes war on the divine government. Christ is appointed to put down the rebellion. He makes this world His battlefield. He stands at the head of the human family. He clothes His divinity with humanity and He passes over the ground where Adam fell and endures all the assaults of Satan’s temptations, but He does not yield in a single instance.  [4BC 1163.4]
The salvation of a world is at stake. He resisted the archdeceiver. In behalf of man He must conquer as a man, and in the very same manner man must conquer by “It is written.” His own words under the guise of humanity would be misjudged, misinterpreted, falsified. His own words spoken as the divine Son of God could not be falsified.  [4BC 1163.5]
It will be in the last great day when every case receives as his works have been; it will be the final and eternal condemnation of the devil and all his sympathizers and all who have served under his jurisdiction and have identified themselves with him. Will he have a reason to assign for his rebellion? When the Judge of all the world demands, Why have ye done thus? what reason can he assign, what cause can he plead? Bear in mind every tongue is silent, every mouth that has been so ready to speak evil, so ready to accuse, so ready to utter words of recrimination and falsehood is stopped, and the whole world of rebellion stands speechless before God; their tongues cleave to the roof of their mouth. The place where sin entered can be specified.  [4BC 1163.6]
“Thou wast perfect in thy ways . . . till iniquity was found in thee.” “Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness.” All this was the gift of God. God was not chargeable with this–making the covering cherub beautiful, noble and good. “By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: . . . thou has defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick.” In this place “traffick” is the emblem of corrupt administration. It denotes the bringing of self-seeking into spiritual offices. Nothing in spiritual service is acceptable to God except the purposes and works that are for the good of the universe. To do good to others will redound to the glory of God.  [4BC 1163.7]
The principles of Satan’s working in heaven are the same principles by which he works through human agents in this world. It is through these corrupting principles that every earthly empire and the churches have been increasingly corrupted. It is by the working out of these principles that Satan deceives and corrupts the whole world from the beginning to the ending. He is continuing this same policy-working, originally begun in the heavenly universe. He is energizing the whole world with his violence with which he corrupted the world in the days of Noah (Letter 156, 1897).  [4BC 1163.8]
A Battle Against Principalities and Powers.–Could human beings know the number of the evil angels, could they know their devices and their activity, there would be far less pride and frivolity. Satan is the prince of demons. The evil angels over whom he rules do his bidding. Through them he multiplies his agencies throughout the world. He instigates all the evil that exists in our world.  [6BC 1119.5]
But though the principalities and powers of darkness are both many in number and unceasing in activity, yet the Christian should never feel hopeless or discouraged. He may not hope to escape temptation through any lack of satanic efficiency. He who sent a legion to torture one human being cannot be repulsed by human wisdom or power alone.  [6BC 1119.6]
Speaking of Satan, the Lord declares that he abode not in the truth. Once he was beautiful, radiant in light. But God’s Word declares of him, “Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty.”  [6BC 1119.7]
Satan instigated others to rebel, and after they were cast out of heaven he bound them together in a confederacy to do all the evil possible to man, as the only means of striking God. Excluded from heaven, he resolved to be avenged by injuring the workmanship of God. Around the standard of rebellion that he planted, evil workers of all generations have rallied. Evil angels have united with evil men in a warfare against Christ’s kingdom.  [6BC 1119.8]
Satan’s aim had been to reproduce his own character in human beings. No sooner was man created than Satan resolved to efface in him the image of God, and to place his stamp where God’s should be. And he has succeeded in instilling into the heart of man the spirit of envy, of hatred, of ambition. In this world he has set up a kingdom of darkness, of which he, the leader in guilt, is prince. He desired to usurp the throne of God. Failing in this, he has worked in darkness, in crookedness, in deception, to usurp his place in the hearts of men. He has set up his throne between God and man, to appropriate the adoration that belongs to God alone (MS 33, 1911).  [6BC 1119.9]
Under Whose Control?–I want you to consider what kind of a position we should be left in if we had not the ministry of holy angels. . . . “We wrestle not against flesh and blood.” We meet the opposition of men, but there is someone behind that opposition. It is the prince of the powers of darkness with his evil angels that are constantly at work, and we want to consider, all of us, that our warfare is “against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world.”  [6BC 1119.10]
Who is it that is ruling the world today, and who is it that have chosen to stand under the banner of the prince of darkness? Why, it is nearly the whole world at large. All the world that have not accepted Jesus Christ have chosen for their leader the prince of darkness; and just as soon as they stand under his banner, they have connection with evil angels. Either the evil angels or the angels of God are controlling the minds of men. Our minds are given to the control of God, or to the control of the powers of darkness; and it will be well for us to inquire where we are standing today–whether under the blood-stained banner of Prince Emmanuel, or under the black banner of the powers of darkness.  [6BC 1120.1]
We must make every preparation in our power in order to resist the enemy of souls. Every provision has been made; everything in God’s plan has been arranged so that man should not be left to his own impulses, to his own finite powers, to carry on the warfare against the powers of darkness in his own finite strength; because he would certainly fail if he were thus left to himself (MS 1, 1890).  [6BC 1120.2]
Faithful Sentinels on Guard.–There are good and evil angels. Satan is ever on the alert to deceive and mislead. He is using every enchantment to allure men into the broad road of disobedience. He is working to confuse the senses with erroneous sentiments, and remove the landmarks by placing his false inscription on the signposts which God has established to point the right way. It is because these evil agencies are striving to eclipse every ray of light from the soul that heavenly beings are appointed to do their work of ministry, to guide, guard, and control those who shall be heirs of salvation. None need despair because of the inherited tendencies to evil, but when the Spirit of God convicts of sin, the wrongdoer must repent and confess and forsake the evil. Faithful sentinels are on guard to direct souls in right paths (MS 8, 1900).  [6BC 1120.3]
Constant Warfare of the Angels.–If the curtain could be rolled back, and each one could discern the constant activities of the heavenly family to preserve the inhabitants of the earth from Satan’s seductive wiles, lest in their careless attitude they should be led astray through satanic strategy, they would lose a large degree of their self-confidence and self-assurance. They would see that the armies of heaven are in continual warfare with satanic agencies, to obtain victories in behalf of those who do not sense their danger, and who are passing on in unconscious indifference (MS 32, 1900).  [6BC 1120.4]
Walking as Christ Walked.–Those who walk even as Christ walked, who are patient, gentle, kind, meek and lowly in heart, those who yoke up with Christ and lift His burdens, who yearn for souls as He yearned for them–these will enter into the joy of their Lord. They will see with Christ the travail of His soul, and be satisfied. Heaven will triumph, for the vacancies made in heaven by the fall of Satan and his angels will be filled by the redeemed of the Lord (RH May 29, 1900).  [7BC 949.2]
The Imitation of Christ.–True religion is the imitation of Christ. Those who follow Christ will deny self, take up the cross, and walk in His footsteps. Following Christ means obedience to all His commandments. No soldier can be said to follow his commander unless he obeys orders. Christ is our model. To copy Jesus, full of love and tenderness and compassion, will require that we draw near to Him daily. O how God has been dishonored by His professed representatives (Letter 31a, 1894)!  [7BC 949.3]
7. War in Heaven.–Opposition to the law of God had its beginning in the courts of heaven, with Lucifer, the covering cherub. Satan determined to be first in the councils of heaven, and equal with God. He began his work of rebellion with the angels under his command, seeking to diffuse among them the spirit of discontent. And he worked in so deceptive a way that many of the angels were won to his allegiance before his purposes were fully known. Even the loyal angels could not fully discern his character, nor see to what his work was leading. When Satan had succeeded in winning many angels to his side, he took his cause to God, representing that it was the desire of the angels that he occupy the position that Christ held.  [7BC 972.6]
The evil continued to work until the spirit of disaffection ripened into active revolt. Then there was war in heaven, and Satan, with all who sympathized with him, was cast out. Satan had warred for the mastery in heaven, and had lost the battle. God could no longer trust him with honor and supremacy, and these, with the part he had taken in the government of heaven, were taken from him.  [7BC 973.1]
Since that time Satan and his army of confederates have been the avowed enemies of God in our world, continually warring against the cause of truth and righteousness. Satan has continued to present to men, as he presented to the angels, his false representations of Christ and of God, and he has won the world to his side. Even the professedly Christian churches have taken sides with the great apostate (RH Jan. 28, 1909).  [7BC 973.2]
The Influence of Mind on Mind.–In so deceptive a way did he [Lucifer] work that the sentiments that he inculcated could not be dealt with until they had developed in the minds of those who received them.  [7BC 973.3]
The influence of mind on mind, so strong a power for good when sanctified, is equally strong for evil in the hands of those opposed to God. This power Satan used in his work of instilling evil into the minds of the angels, and he made it appear that he was seeking the good of the universe. As the anointed cherub, Lucifer had been highly exalted; he was greatly loved by the heavenly beings, and his influence over them was strong. Many of them listened to his suggestions and believed his words. “And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.”  [7BC 973.4]
Cast out of heaven, Satan set up his kingdom in this world, and ever since, he has been untiringly striving to seduce human beings from their allegiance to God. He uses the same power that he used in heaven–the influence of mind on mind. Men become tempters of their fellow men. The strong, corrupting sentiments of Satan are cherished, and they exert a masterly, compelling power. Under the influence of these sentiments, men bind up with one another in confederacies (Letter 114, 1903).  [7BC 973.5]
Satan’s Refusal to Obey Christ.–He [Satan] declares he cannot submit to be under Christ’s command, that God’s commands alone will he obey. Good angels weep to hear the words of Satan, and to see how he despises to follow the direction of Christ, their exalted and loving Commander.  [7BC 973.6]
The Father decides the case of Satan, and declares that he must be turned out of heaven for his daring rebellion, and that all those who united with him in his rebellion should be turned out with him. Then there was war in heaven. Christ and His angels fought against Satan and his angels, for they were determined to remain in heaven with all their rebellion. But they prevailed not. Christ and loyal angels triumphed, and drove Satan and his rebel sympathizers from heaven. (3SG 38).  [7BC 973.7]
Rebellion Transferred to This World.–When Satan rebelled, there was war in heaven, and he, with all his sympathizers, was cast out. He had held a high office in heaven, possessing a throne radiant with light. But he swerved from his allegiance to the blessed and only Potentate, and fell from his first estate. All who sympathized with him were driven from the presence of God, doomed to be no more acknowledged in the heavenly courts as having a right there. Satan became the avowed antagonist of Christ. On the earth he planted the standard of rebellion, and round it his sympathizers rallied (MS 78, 1905).  [7BC 973.8]
12:7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
12:8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
10. Satan Cast Down by Death of Christ.–The casting down of Satan as an accuser of the brethren in heaven was accomplished by the great work of Christ in giving up His life. Notwithstanding Satan’s persistent opposition, the plan of redemption was being carried out. Man was esteemed of sufficient value for Christ to sacrifice His life for him. Satan, knowing that the empire he had usurped would in the end be wrested from him, determined to spare no pains to destroy as many as possible of the creatures whom God had created in His image. He hated man because Christ had manifested for him such forgiving love and pity, and he now prepared to practice upon him every species of deception by which he might be lost; he pursued his course with more energy because of his own hopeless condition (3SP 194, 195).  [7BC 973.10]
Satan Uprooted From Affections of the Universe.–In carrying out his enmity to Christ until He hung upon the cross of Calvary, with wounded, bruised body and broken heart, Satan completely uprooted himself from the affections of the universe. It was then seen that God had in His Son denied Himself, giving Himself for the sins of the world, because He loved mankind. The Creator was revealed in the Son of the infinite God. Here the question, “Can there be self-denial with God?” was forever answered. Christ was God, and condescending to be made flesh, He assumed humanity and became obedient unto death, that He might undergo infinite sacrifice (MS 50, 1900).  [7BC 974.1]  (2 Corinthians 5:19 – To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. ; Philippians 2:6 – Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:.).
Accusing Power of Satan Broken.–Christ on the cross, not only draws men to repentance toward God for the transgression of His law–for whom God pardons He first makes penitent– but Christ has satisfied justice; He has proffered Himself as an atonement. His gushing blood, His broken body, satisfy the claims of the broken law, and thus He bridges the gulf which sin has made. He suffered in the flesh that with His bruised and broken body He might cover the defenseless sinner. The victory gained at His death on Calvary broke forever the accusing power of Satan over the universe, and silenced his charges that self-denial was impossible with God and therefore not essential in the human family (MS 50, 1900).  [7BC 974.2]  (John 3:14-17 ; Galatians 6:14 – But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. ; Hebrews 9:22 – And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.).
12:10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
11. Power to Conquer Day by Day.–All who will can be overcomers. Let us strive earnestly to reach the standard set before us. Christ knows our weakness, and to Him we can go daily for help. It is not necessary for us to gain strength a month ahead. We are to conquer from day to day (MS 28, 1886).  [7BC 974.3]  (Deuteronomy 33:25 – Thy shoes [shall be] iron and brass; and as thy days, [so shall] thy strength [be].).
The Secret of Overcoming Sin.–We become overcomers by helping others to overcome, by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. The keeping of the commandments of God will yield in us an obedient spirit, and the service that is the offspring of such a spirit, God can accept (Letter 236, 1908).  [7BC 974.4]
12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
12. Battle of Armageddon Soon to Be Fought.–There are only two parties in our world, those who are loyal to God, and those who stand under the banner of the prince of darkness. Satan and his angels will come down with power and signs and lying wonders to deceive those who dwell on the earth, and if possible the very elect. The crisis is right upon us. Is this to paralyze the energies of those who have a knowledge of the truth? Is the influence of the powers of deception so far reaching that the influence of the truth will be overpowered?  [7BC 982.4]
The battle of Armageddon is soon to be fought. He on whose vesture is written the name, King of kings and Lord of lords, leads forth the armies of heaven on white horses, clothed in fine linen, clean and white (MS 172, 1899).  [7BC 982.5]
Every form of evil is to spring into intense activity. Evil angels unite their powers with evil men, and as they have been in constant conflict and attained an experience in the best modes of deception and battle, and have been strengthening for centuries, they will not yield the last great final contest without a desperate struggle. All the world will be on one side or the other of the question. The battle of Armageddon will be fought, and that day must find none of us sleeping. Wide awake we must be, as wise virgins having oil in our vessels with our lamps. . . .  [7BC 982.6]
The power of the Holy Ghost must be upon us, and the Captain of the Lord’s host will stand at the head of the angels of heaven to direct the battle. Solemn events before us are yet to transpire. Trumpet after trumpet is to be sounded, vial after vial poured out one after another upon the inhabitants of the earth. Scenes of stupendous interest are right upon us (Letter 112, 1890).  [7BC 982.7]
David’s Struggle [Psalm 17]–David was a representative man. His history is of interest to every soul who is striving for eternal victories. In his life two powers struggled for the mastery. Unbelief marshalled its forces, and tried to eclipse the light shining upon him from the throne of God. Day by day the battle went on in his heart, Satan disputing every step of advance made by the forces of righteousness. David understood what it meant to fight against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world. At times it seemed that the enemy must gain the victory. But in the end, faith conquered, and David rejoiced in the saving power of Jehovah.  [3BC 1142.9]
The struggle that David went through, every other follower of Christ must go through. Satan has come down with great power, knowing that his time is short. The controversy is being waged in full view of the heavenly universe, and angels stand ready to lift up for God’s hard pressed soldiers a standard against the enemy, and to put into their lips songs of victory and rejoicing (MS 38, 1905).  [3BC 1143.1]
All Paths Are Beset With Peril.–You need not be surprised if everything in the journey heavenward is not pleasant. There is no use in looking to our own defects. Looking unto Jesus, the darkness passes away, and the true light shineth. Go forth daily, expressing the prayer of David, “Hold up my goings in Thy paths, that my footsteps slip not.” All the paths of life are beset with peril, but we are safe if we follow where the Master leads the way, trusting the One whose voice we hear saying, “Follow Me.” “He that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” Let your heart repose in His love. We need sanctification, soul, body, and spirit. This we must seek for (NL No. 11, p. 2).  [3BC 1143.2]
12:12 Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.
12:13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.
12:14 And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.
7 biblical references cite the time that the anti-christ power will be permitted to wage war against God’s true church.
Dan. 7:25, 12:7, Revelation 11:2, 11:3, 12:6, 12:14 and 13:5.
a time, and times, and half a time: Using a biblical calendar of 360 days with 12 30-day months:
1260 days = 42 months = 1 year (time) + 2 years + 1/2 year.
Thus all verses specify the same amount of time.
12:15 And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.
12:16 And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.
17. Satan’s Masterpiece of Evil.–Those who love and keep the commandments of God are most obnoxious to the synagogue of Satan, and the powers of evil will manifest their hatred toward them to the fullest extent possible. John foresaw the conflict between the remnant church and the power of evil, and said, “The dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”  [7BC 974.6]
The forces of darkness will unite with human agents who have given themselves into the control of Satan, and the same scenes that were exhibited at the trial, rejection, and crucifixion of Christ will be revived. Through yielding to satanic influences, men will be transformed into fiends; and those who were created in the image of God, who were formed to honor and glorify their Creator, will become the habitation of dragons, and Satan will see in an apostate race his masterpiece of evil–men who reflect his own image (RH April 14, 1896).  [7BC 974.7]
Only Two Parties Upon Earth.–There are only two parties upon this earth–those who stand under the bloodstained banner of Jesus Christ and those who stand under the black banner of rebellion. In the twelfth chapter of Revelation is represented the great conflict between the obedient and the disobedient [Revelation 12:17;  13:11-17 quoted] (MS 16, 1900).  [7BC 974.8]
The Earth a Stage for Horrors.–[Revelation 12:17 quoted.] Satanic agencies have made the earth a stage for horrors, which no language can describe. War and bloodshed are carried on by nations claiming to be Christian. A disregard for the law of God has brought its sure result.  [7BC 974.9]  (Ephesians 6:10-12 – Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places].).
The great conflict now being waged is not merely a strife of man against man. On one side stands the Prince of life, acting as man’s substitute and surety; on the other, the prince of darkness, with the fallen angels under his command [Ephesians 6:12, 13, 10, 11 quoted] (RH Feb. 6, 1900).  [7BC 974.10]
12:17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
testimony or witness of Jesus Christ [Revelation 1:2 & 19:10].
Revelation 13 – 18 is concerned with the culmination of apostasy at the end of time.
The vision of Revelation 13 is later unfolded in Revelation 17.
1, 2, 11. God’s People in the Minority.–Under the symbols of a great red dragon, a leopardlike beast, and a beast with lamblike horns, the earthly governments which would especially engage in trampling upon God’s law and persecuting His people, were presented to John. The war is carried on till the close of time. The people of God, symbolized by a holy woman and her children, were represented as greatly in the minority. In the last days only a remnant still existed. Of these John speaks as they “which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” (ST Nov. 1, 1899).  [7BC 972.5]
Revelation 13:1 And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.
Revelation 13 – key chapter in the panorama of final events.
a beast is a political power [Daniel 7:17,23] – it can also describe a religious power [Revelation 13:8].
Revelation 13 – two beasts are presented:
1st beast – 7 heads and 10 horns – represents papal Rome but in more detail.
7 heads being the papacy – a symbol of Satan down through the history of 7 successive powers.
13:2 And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.
dragon gave power, seat and great authority to the beast.
beast receives it’s seat from the dragon – therefore the beast:
Arose after the decline and fall of pagan Rome -AD300 – 538.
Sits on same seat as the dragon (i.e. its headquarters is Rome).
13:3 And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.
First beast is revived.
13:4 And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?
the dragon was the world power at the time of Christ – pagan Rome [cf. Matthew 2:16].
Satan worked through the dragon.
13:5 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.
First beast rules for forty and two months.
7 Biblical references cite the time that the anti-christ power will be permitted to wage war against God’s true church:
Dan. 7:25, 12:7, Revelation 11:2, 11:3, 12:6, 12:14 and 13:5.
forty and two months: Using a biblical calendar of 360 days with 12 No. 30-day months:
1260 days = 42 months = 1 year (time) + 2 years + 1/2 year.
Thus all verses specify the same amount of time.
True church in wilderness for 1260 days (years): From 538 AD – 1798 AD.
13:6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.
The beast is a blasphemeth power – Scripture reveals blasphemy:
John 10:33 – The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.
Luke 5:21 – And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, Who is this which speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?
Daniel 7:25 – And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.
What world religious power claims to have changed the 4th commandment the law of God?
What world political power is responsible for changing times?
According to God – the day commenced at sunset see notes for Daniel 8:14.
According to the Romans – the day commenced at 12.00 midnight.
13:7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
8. Angels Weighing Moral Worth.–Christ says of the overcomer, “I will not blot out his name out of the book of life.” The names of all those who have once given themselves to God are written in the book of life, and their characters are now passing in review before Him. Angels of God are weighing moral worth. They are watching the development of character in those now living, to see if their names can be retained in the book of life. A probation is granted us in which to wash our robes of character and make them white in the blood of the Lamb. Who is doing this work? Who is separating from himself sin and selfishness (HS 138)?  [7BC 960.7]
A Just Punishment for the Sinner.–Moses manifested his great love for Israel in his entreaty to the Lord to forgive their sin, or blot his name out of the book which He had written. His intercessions here illustrate Christ’s love and mediation for the sinful race. But the Lord refused to let Moses suffer for the sins of His backsliding people. He declared to him that those who had sinned against Him He would blot out of His book which He had written; for the righteous should not suffer for the guilt of the sinner.  [7BC 987.7]  (Exodus 32:30-33 – And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses said unto the people, Ye have sinned a great sin: and now I will go up unto the LORD; peradventure I shall make an atonement for your sin. And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold. Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin–; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written. And the LORD said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book.).
The book here referred to is the book of records in heaven, in which every name is inscribed, and the acts of all, their sins, and obedience, are faithfully written. When individuals commit sins which are too grievous for the Lord to pardon, their names are erased from the book, and they are devoted to destruction (ST May 27, 1880).  [7BC 987.8]
Without Shedding of Blood Is No Remission.–Christ was the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. To many it has been a mystery why so many sacrificial offerings were required in the old dispensation, why so many bleeding victims were led to the altar. But the great truth that was to be kept before men, and imprinted upon mind and heart, was this, “Without shedding of blood is no remission.” In every bleeding sacrifice was typified “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”  [7BC 932.8]
Christ Himself was the originator of the Jewish system of worship, in which, by types and symbols, were shadowed forth spiritual and heavenly things. Many forgot the true significance of these offerings; and the great truth that through Christ alone there is forgiveness of sin, was lost to them. The multiplying of sacrificial offerings, the blood of bulls and goats, could not take away sin (ST Jan. 2, 1893).  [7BC 933.1]
The Lesson of the Animal Sacrifices.–A lesson was embodied in every sacrifice, impressed in every ceremony, solemnly preached by the priest in his holy office, and inculcated by God Himself–that through the blood of Christ alone is there forgiveness of sins. How little we as a people feel the force of this great truth! How seldom, by living, acting faith, do we bring into our lives this great truth, that there is forgiveness for the least sin, forgiveness for the greatest sin (RH Sept. 21, 1886)!  [7BC 933.2]
13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
The beast (usually represents a political power – see Daniel 7:17, 23) is also a religious power.
The world worships him – i.e. the beast.
Beast is a world religious power.
13:9 If any man have an ear, let him hear.
13:10 He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.
go into captivity – occurred in 1798 when the beast received its deadly wound.
Pope Pius VI was taken prisoner by Berthier, the French general when he entered Rome with a French army and proclaimed the political rule of the papacy had ended., and the papal government was for a time abolished in 1798.
The new pope was elected on 14 March 1800.
11-17. Persecuting Hand of the Enemy.–[Revelation 13:11-13 quoted.] Religious powers, allied to heaven by profession and claiming to have the characteristics of a lamb, will show by their acts that they have the heart of a dragon, and that they are instigated and controlled by Satan. The time is coming when God’s people will feel the hand of persecution because they keep holy the seventh day. Satan has caused the change of the Sabbath in the hope of carrying out his purpose for the defeat of God’s plans. He seeks to make the commands of God of less force in the world than human laws.  [7BC 975.7]  (Daniel 7:25 – And he shall speak [great] words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. ; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 – Let no man deceive you by any means: for [that day shall not come], except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.).
The man of sin, who thought to change times and laws, and who has always oppressed the people of God, will cause laws to be made enforcing the observance of the first day of the week. But God’s people are to stand firm for Him. And the Lord will work in their behalf, showing plainly that He is the God of gods (MS 135, 1902).  [7BC 975.8]
Church and the World in Corrupt Harmony.–The Word of God plainly declares that His law is to be scorned, trampled upon, by the world; there will be an extraordinary prevalence of iniquity. The professed Protestant world will form a confederacy with the man of sin, and the church and the world will be in corrupt harmony.  [7BC 975.9]
Here the great crisis is coming upon the world. The Scriptures teach that popery is to regain its lost supremacy, and that the fires of persecution will be rekindled through the timeserving concessions of the so-called Protestant world (GCB April 13, 1891).  [7BC 975.10]
11. A Unique Symbol.–Here is a striking figure of the rise and growth of our own nation. And the lamblike horns, emblems of innocence and gentleness, well represent the character of our government, as expressed in its two fundamental principles, republicanism and Protestantism (4SP 277).  [7BC 975.3]
Shield of Omnipotence Over America.–The United States is a land that has been under the special shield of the Omnipotent One. God has done great things for this country, but in the transgression of His law, men have been doing a work originated by the man of sin. Satan is working out his designs to involve the human family in disloyalty (MS 17, 1906).  [7BC 975.4]
The Prospect Before Us.–Prophecy represents Protestantism as having lamblike horns, but speaking like a dragon. Already we are beginning to hear the voice of the dragon. There is a satanic force propelling the Sunday movement, but it is concealed. Even the men who are engaged in the work, are themselves blinded to the results which will follow their movement.  [7BC 975.5]
Let not the commandment-keeping people of God be silent at this time, as though we gracefully accepted the situation. There is the prospect before us of waging a continuous war, at the risk of imprisonment, of losing property and even life itself, to defend the law of God, which is being made void by the laws of men (RH Jan. 1, 1889).  [7BC 975.6]
13:11 And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.
another beast rises as the first beast goes ‘into captivity’ and receives a ‘deadly wound’.
Only one world power was rising in 1798.
1776 – USA declaration of independence
1787 – USA Constitution came into effect.
The second beast – symbolises the United States of America.
USA was rising lamblike in 1798 – Christ is the Lamb of God.
The second beast:
would be a Christian nation having religious liberty.
would arise out of the earth – indicates a sparsely populated territory.
cf. Revelation 13:1 – ‘out of the sea’ – a densely populated area of land.
is not part of the first beast – it is not part of the papacy – it is a Protestant nation.
although lamblike at first, the USA grows up to spake as a dragon – it becomes a world super power.
The second beast:
will abandon Protestant principles through countenance and support to Romanism
will legislate against religious liberty
will become a persecuting power by allegiance to Rome
will introduce a decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God
will abjure government principles to enact a Sunday law
this will imply renouncing an oath.
Protestantism – joins hand with popery – this gives the hand of fellowship to the Roman power.
Law imposed against the Sabbath of God’s creation prior to God’s undertaking his ‘strange act’.
13:12 And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
The second beast:
would support the papacy – today, the bulk of Catholic finance and support comes from the USA.
compel worship of the first beast.
13-14. Miracles Performed in Our Sight.–The time is at hand when Satan will work miracles to confirm minds in the belief that he is God. All the people of God are now to stand on the platform of truth as it has been given in the third angel’s message. All the pleasant pictures, all the miracles wrought, will be presented in order that, if possible, the very elect will be deceived. The only hope for anyone is to hold fast the evidences that have confirmed the truth in righteousness (RH Aug. 9, 1906).  [7BC 975.11]  (2 Thessalonians 2:7-12).
Miracles Wrought Under Supervision of the Enemy.–[Matthew 7:21-23 quoted.] These may profess to be followers of Christ, but they have lost sight of their Leader. They may say, “Lord, Lord”; they may point to the sick who are healed through them, and to other marvelous works, and claim that they have more of the Spirit and power of God than is manifested by those who keep His law. But their works are done under the supervision of the enemy of righteousness, whose aim it is to deceive souls, and are designed to lead away from obedience, truth, and duty. In the near future there will be still more marked manifestations of this miracle-working power; for it is said of him, “And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men” (ST Feb. 26, 1885).  [7BC 975.12]
13:13 And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,
14-17. Tested by the Image.–The Lord has shown me clearly that the image of the beast will be formed before probation closes; for it is to be the great test for the people of God, by which their eternal destiny will be decided. . . . [Revelation 13:11-17 quoted.] . . .  [7BC 976.2]
This is the test that the people of God must have before they are sealed. All who proved their loyalty to God by observing His law, and refusing to accept a spurious sabbath, will rank under the banner of the Lord God Jehovah, and will receive the seal of the living God. Those who yield the truth of heavenly origin and accept the Sunday sabbath, will receive the mark of the beast (Letter 11, 1890).  [7BC 976.3]
Apostasy and National Ruin.–When the Protestant churches shall unite with the secular power to sustain a false religion, for opposing which their ancestors endured the fiercest persecution; when the state shall use its power to enforce the decrees and sustain the institutions of the church–then will Protestant America have formed an image to the papacy, and there will be a national apostasy which will end only in national ruin (ST March 22, 1910).  [7BC 976.4]
The Mark of Apostasy and God’s Patience.–There are many who have never had the light. They are deceived by their teachers, and they have not received the mark of the beast. The Lord is working with them; He has not left them to their own ways. Until they shall be convicted of the truth and trample upon the evidence given to enlighten them, the Lord will not withdraw His grace from them (Letter 7, 1895).  [7BC 976.5]
14. Preparing for the Image of the Beast.–Already preparations are advancing, and movements are in progress, which will result in making an image to the beast. Events will be brought about in the earth’s history that will fulfill the predictions of prophecy for these last days (RH April 23, 1889).  [7BC 976.1]
13:14 And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.
15-17. Perfecting the Device of Satan.–When the legislature frames laws which exalt the first day of the week, and put it in the place of the seventh day, the device of Satan will be perfected (RH April 15, 1890).  [7BC 976.6]
13:15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.
This prophecy indicates some kind of union of churches.
The bond of union is:
worship the image of the beast – papal allegiance through: Sunday sacredness and Immortality of the soul.
16-17. History Will Be Repeated.–History will be repeated. False religion will be exalted. The first day of the week, a common working day, possessing no sanctity whatever, will be set up as was the image at Babylon. All nations and tongues and peoples will be commanded to worship this spurious sabbath. This is Satan’s plan to make of no account the day instituted by God, and given to the world as a memorial of creation.  [7BC 976.7]  (Daniel 3:1-18).
The decree enforcing the worship of this day is to go forth to all the world. In a limited degree, it has already gone forth. In several places the civil power is speaking with the voice of a dragon, just as the heathen king spoke to the Hebrew captives.  [7BC 976.8]
Trial and persecution will come to all who, in obedience to the Word of God, refuse to worship this false sabbath. Force is the last resort of every false religion. At first it tries attraction, as the king of Babylon tried the power of music and outward show. If these attractions, invented by men inspired by Satan, failed to make men worship the image, the hungry flames of the furnace were ready to consume them. So it will be now. The papacy has exercised her power to compel men to obey her, and she will continue to do so. We need the same spirit that was manifested by God’s servants in the conflict with paganism (ST May 6, 1897).  [7BC 976.9]
Men in Authority to Hear.–God is going to bring around a condition of things where the good men and the men in authority will have an opportunity to know what is truth indeed. And because a people will not bow the knee to the image, and receive the mark of the beast in the hand or the forehead, but will stand to the truth because it is truth, there will be oppression, and an attempt to compel the conscience; but those who have known the truth will be afraid to yield to the powers of darkness. God has a people who will not receive the mark of the beast in their right hand or in their forehead. . . .  [7BC 976.10]
Not a move has been made in exalting the idol sabbath, in bringing around Sunday observance through legislation, but Satan has been behind it, and has been the chief worker; but the conscience should not be compelled even for the observance of the genuine Sabbath, for God will accept only willing service (RH April 15, 1890).  [7BC 977.1]
The Law of God Made Void.–A time is coming when the law of God is, in a special sense, to be made void in our land. The rulers of our nation will, by legislative enactments, enforce the Sunday law, and thus God’s people be brought into great peril. When our nation, in its legislative councils, shall enact laws to bind the consciences of men in regard to their religious privileges, enforcing Sunday observance, and bringing oppressive power to bear against those who keep the seventh-day Sabbath, the law of God will, to all intents and purposes, be made void in our land; and national apostasy will be followed by national ruin (RH Dec. 18, 1888).  [7BC 977.2]
Contempt for the Great Lawgiver.–The sins of the world will have reached unto heaven when the law of God is made void; when the Sabbath of the Lord is trampled in the dust, and men are compelled to accept in its stead an institution of the papacy through the strong hand of the law of the land. In exalting an institution of man above the institution ordained of God, they show contempt for the great Lawgiver, and refuse His sign or seal (RH Nov. 5, 1889).  [7BC 977.3]
Prepared for Injustice.–As Christ was hated without cause, so will His people be hated because they are obedient to the commandments of God. If He who was pure, holy, and undefiled, who did good and only good in our world, was treated as a base criminal and condemned to death, His disciples must expect but similar treatment, however faultless may be their life and blameless their character.  [7BC 977.4]
Human enactments, laws manufactured by satanic agencies under a plea of goodness and restriction of evil, will be exalted, while God’s holy commandments are despised and trampled underfoot. And all who prove their loyalty by obedience to the law of Jehovah must be prepared to be arrested, to be brought before councils that have not for their standard the high and holy law of God (RH Dec. 26, 1899).  [7BC 977.5]
Living in a Momentous Period.–We are living in a momentous period of this earth’s history. The great conflict is just before us. We see the world corrupted under the inhabitants thereof. The man of sin has worked with a marvelous perseverance to exalt the spurious sabbath, and the disloyal Protestant world has wondered after the beast, and has called obedience to the Sabbath instituted by Jehovah disloyalty to the laws of the nations. Kingdoms have confederated to sustain a false sabbath institution, which has not a word of authority in the oracles of God (RH Feb. 6, 1900).  [7BC 977.6]  (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 – Let no man deceive you by any means: for [that day shall not come], except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.).
The Question Before Us Now.–The Sabbath question is to be the issue in the great final conflict, in which all the world will act a part. Men have honored Satan’s principles above the principles that rule in the heavens. They have accepted the spurious sabbath, which Satan has exalted as the sign of his authority. But God has set His seal upon His royal requirement. Each Sabbath institution, both true and false, bears the name of its author, an ineffaceable mark that shows the authority of each.  [7BC 977.7]
The great decision now to be made by every one is, whether he will receive the mark of the beast and his image, or the seal of the living and true God (ST March 22, 1910)  [7BC 977.8]
Mark of Beast Not Yet Applied.–Sunday-keeping is not yet the mark of the beast, and will not be until the decree goes forth causing men to worship this idol sabbath. The time will come when this day will be the test, but that time has not come yet (MS 118, 1899).  [7BC 977.9]
13:16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
The living majority receive the mark of the beast – terrible results follow.
13:17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
God gave man free choice – to do his will.
Christ said: ‘whosoever will’ may ‘come’ and ‘follow me’ – Mark 8:34.
But the mark of the papacy is enforced – by boycott.
The wicked bring the boycott – God brings the plagues.
The righteous will be blamed for the calamities – cf. 1Kings 18:17&18:
Elijah (probably) blamed for the famine
Elijah – a type of Last Day Message
Elijah accused
Elijah fed by God’s angels
Elijah translated.
Calamities come through:
Transgression of God’s laws
Doing violence to God’s laws
Forsaking God’s law.
13:18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.
Here is wisdom – Cf. Revelation 17:9 – ‘And here is the mind which hath wisdom’. Refer to Ephesians 1:17 and 1 Corinthians 2:14.
count – count or calculate.
a man and of the beast – already identified via Revelation 13:1-10 as the pope.
the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.
the beast – papal Rome (already identified in earlier notes under Revelation 13:1-10).
At the head of the beast power is a man – the pope (likewise already identified via Revelation 13:1-10 notes) whose
number is Six hundred threescore and six.
For the identification of this we are told to count or calculate something associated with the man.
The popes of Rome are crowned ‘Vicarius Filii Dei’.
The title Vicarius Filii Dei (which means ‘vicar or representative of the Son of God’):
 [V=5 + I=1 + C=100 + A=0 + R= 0 +I=1 + V=U=0 + S=0] + [F=0 + I=1 + L=50 +I=1 + I=1] + [D=500 + E=0 +I=1] = 666
The pope’s tiara, which is worn on solemn occasions, is made up of cloth of gold and comprises of:
      3 crowns with
  252 pearls
  229 diamonds
    32 rubies
    19 emeralds
    11 sapphires
  —–
 666
  —–
Jesus, the Son of God, when crucified had a superscription written over Him in Greek, Latin and Hebrew.
Romiith’ is the Hebrew name for the Roman beast or Roman kingdom and this word as well as the former Greek word ‘Lateinos’ also summate to 666; the equivalent in Latin ‘Dvx Cleri’ likewise.
 [R=200 + O=6 + M=40 + I=10 + I=10 + TH=400] = 666
 [L=30 + A=1 + T=300 + E=5 + I=10 + N=50 + O=70 + S=200] = 666
 [D=500 + V=5 + X=10] +  [C=100 + L=50 + E=0 + R=0 + I=1] = 666
Quotation from “Newton on Prophecy” (from page 620) cites:
“No other word, in any language whatever, can be found to express both the same and the same thing.”
Revelation 14 :1-5 is closely connected with Revelation 13:11-18.
1-4. Reaching the Mark of Perfection.–The mighty power of the Holy Spirit works an entire transformation in the character of the human agent, making him a new creature in Christ Jesus. When a man is filled with the Spirit, the more severely he is tested and tried, the more clearly he proves that he is a representative of Christ. The peace that dwells in the soul is seen on the countenance. The words and actions express the love of the Saviour. There is no striving for the highest place. Self is renounced. The name of Jesus is written on all that is said and done.  [6BC 1117.17]
We may talk of the blessings of the Holy Spirit, but unless we prepare ourselves for its reception, of what avail are our works? Are we striving with all our power to attain to the stature of men and women in Christ? Are we seeking for His fullness, ever pressing toward the mark set before us–the perfection of His character? When the Lord’s people reach this mark, they will be sealed in their foreheads. Filled with the Spirit, they will be complete in Christ, and the recording angel will declare, “It is finished” (RH June 10, 1902).  [6BC 1118.1]
A Mark of Character.–[Revelation 14:1-4 quoted.] This scripture represents the character of the people of God for these last days (MS 139, 1903).  [7BC 977.11]
The Signet of Heaven.–John saw a Lamb on Mount Zion, and with Him 144,000 having His Father’s name written in their foreheads. They bore the signet of heaven. They reflected the image of God. They were full of the light and the glory of the Holy One. If we would have the image and superscription of God upon us, we must separate ourselves from all iniquity. We must forsake every evil way, and then we must trust our cases in the hands of Christ. While we are working out our own salvation with fear and trembling, God will work in us to will and to do of His own good pleasure (RH March 19, 1889).  [7BC 978.1]  (Revelation 14:9-12.).
Christ Formed Within.–[Revelation 14:1-3 quoted.] Why were they so specially singled out? Because they had to stand with a wonderful truth right before the whole world, and receive their opposition, and while receiving this opposition they were to remember that they were sons and daughters of God, that they must have Christ formed within them the hope of glory (MS 13, 1888).  [7BC 978.2]
Eternal Interests Supreme.–Those who have in their foreheads the seal of the infinite God will regard the world and its attractions as subordinate to eternal interests (RH July 13, 1897).  [7BC 978.3]
Identity of 144,000 Not Revealed.–Christ says that there will be those in the church who will present fables and suppositions, when God has given grand, elevating, ennobling truths, which should ever be kept in the treasure house of the mind. When men pick up this theory and that theory, when they are curious to know something it is not necessary for them to know, God is not leading them. It is not His plan that His people shall present something which they have to suppose, which is not taught in the Word. It is not His will that they shall get into controversy over questions which will not help them spiritually, such as, Who is to compose the hundred and forty-four thousand. This those who are the elect of God will in a short time know without question.  [7BC 978.4]  (2 Timothy 2:14-16 – Of these things put [them] in remembrance, charging [them] before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, [but] to the subverting of the hearers. Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane [and] vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.).
My brethren and sisters, appreciate and study the truths God has given for you and your children. Spend not your time in seeking to know that which will be no spiritual help. “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” This is the all-important question, and it has been clearly answered. “What is written in the law? how readest thou? (MS 26, 1901).  [7BC 978.5]
Revelation 14:1 And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.
I looked – I saw.
a Lamb – The Lamb (cf. Revelation 5:6).
mount Sion – The 144,000 (Revelation 7:4) are seen with the Lamb following their triumph over the beast and his image. Earlier John had seen them passing through the severest trials, being boycotted and condemned to death. In their darkest hour they are delivered; now eternally secure with the Lamb from earth’s conflicts.
his Father’s name – rather His name and the name of His Father.
in their foreheads – cf. Revelation 13:16 – the mark of the beast in their forehead.
14:2 And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps:
I heard a voice – heard a sound.
 In Revelation 15:2&3, the 144,000 have harps and are singing.
voice of many waters – cf. Revelation 1:15.
voice of a great thunder – sound of great thunder.
thunder – connected with Divine presence (Job 37:4; Ps 29; Revelation 4:5, 6:1).
voice of harpers – sound as of harpers.
John is cautious as he may not have seen actual instruments being played.
14:3 And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.
sung – sing. Narrative told in the dramatic present tense.
the throne – this was introduced in Revelation 4:2.
before the four beasts – Cf. Revelation 4:6 – Beasts – Greek ‘living beings’.
elders – Cf. 4:4 – where John saw four and twenty elders.
no man could learn – being the summated experiences of the hundred and forty and four thousand.
4. God’s People Follow the Lamb Now.–The Lord has a people on the earth, who follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth. He has His thousands who have not bowed the knee to Baal. Such will stand with Him on Mount Zion. But they must stand on this earth, girded with the whole armor, ready to engage in the work of saving those who are ready to perish. Heavenly angels conduct this search, and spiritual activity is demanded of all who believe present truth, that they may join the angels in their work.  [7BC 978.6]  (1 Peter 2:21 – For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: ; 1 John 2:6 – He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.).
We need not wait till we are translated to follow Christ. God’s people may do this here below. We shall follow the Lamb of God in the courts above only if we follow Him here. Following Him in heaven depends on our keeping His commandments now. We are not to follow Christ fitfully or capriciously, only when it is for our advantage.  [7BC 978.7]
We must choose to follow Him. In daily life we must follow His example, as a flock trustfully follows its shepherd. We are to follow Him by suffering for His sake, saying, at every step, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him.” His life practice must be our life practice. And as we thus seek to be like Him, and to bring our wills into conformity to His will, we shall reveal Him (RH April 12, 1898).  [7BC 978.8]
14:4 These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.
5. Satan’s Miracles “Right in your Sight.”–The time is coming when Satan will work miracles right in your sight, claiming that he is Christ; and if your feet are not firmly established upon the truth of God, then you will be led away from your foundation. The only safety for you is to search for truth as for hid treasures. Dig for the truth as you would for treasures in the earth, and present the word of God, the Bible, before your Heavenly Father and say, Enlighten me; teach me what is truth. . . . You should store the mind with the word of God; for you may be separated, and placed where you will not have the privilege of meeting with the children of God (RH April 3, 1888).  [7BC 911.3]
Miracle-working Deceptions of Satan.–None need be deceived. The law of God is as sacred as His throne, and by it every man who cometh into the world is to be judged. There is no other standard by which to test character. “If they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Now, shall the case be decided according to the Word of God, or shall man’s pretensions be credited?  [7BC 911.4]
Says Christ, “By their fruits ye shall know them.” If those through whom cures are performed, are disposed, on account of these manifestations, to excuse their neglect of the law of God and continue in disobedience, though they have power to any and every extent, it does not follow that they have the great power of God. On the contrary, it is the miracle-working power of the great deceiver. He is a transgressor of the moral law, and employs every device that he can master to blind men to its true character. We are warned that in the last days he will work with signs and lying wonders. And he will continue these wonders until the close of probation, that he may point to them as evidence that he is an angel of light and not of darkness (RH Nov. 17, 1885).  [7BC 911.5]
Ordeal of the Sifting Time.–Satan will work his miracles to deceive; he will set up his power as supreme. The church may appear as about to fall, but it does not fall. It remains, while the sinners in Zion will be sifted out–the chaff separated from the precious wheat. This is a terrible ordeal, but nevertheless it must take place. None but those who have been overcoming by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony will be found with the loyal and true, without spot or stain of sin, without guile in their mouths. . . . The remnant that purify their souls by obeying the truth gather strength from the trying process, exhibiting the beauty of holiness amid the surrounding apostasy (Letter 55, 1886).  [7BC 911.6]
14:5 And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.
6-12. Soon to Be Understood.–The fourteenth chapter of Revelation is a chapter of the deepest interest. This scripture will soon be understood in all its bearings, and the messages given to John the revelator will be repeated with distinct utterance (RH Oct. 13, 1904).  [7BC 978.10]
Identifying the Three Angels.–Christ is coming the second time, with power unto salvation. To prepare human beings for this event, He has sent the first, second, and third angels’ messages. These angels represent those who receive the truth, and with power open the gospel to the world (Letter 79, 1900).  [7BC 978.11]
A Loyal Company.–The churches have become as described in the eighteenth chapter of Revelation. Why are the messages of Revelation fourteen given? Because the principles of the churches have become corrupted. . . . [Revelation 14:6-10 quoted.]  [7BC 979.1]
Apparently the whole world is guilty of receiving the mark of the beast. But the prophet sees a company who are not worshiping the beast, and who have not received his mark in their foreheads or in their hands. “Here is the patience of the saints,” he declares; “here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus” (MS 92, 1904).  [7BC 979.2]
Large Numbers Accept the Truth.–The time of God’s destructive judgments is the time of mercy for those who have no opportunity to learn what is truth. Tenderly will the Lord look upon them. His heart of mercy is touched; His hand is still stretched out to save, while the door is closed to those who would not enter. Large numbers will be admitted who in these last days hear the truth for the first time (RH July 5, 1906).  [7BC 979.3]
14:6 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,
Revelation 14:6-12 cover the 3 Angels Message – Seventh Day Adventists’ proclamation to the world declaring today’s most important message.
angel – messenger (margin). See Judges 2:1.
4 is often linked with the world – nation, kindred, tongue and people.
A world-wide message
which goes to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people.
given just before Christ’s Second Advent.
having the everlasting gospel – the complete restoration of the truth.
Truths lost in the Dark Ages are all restored.
7. Giving Glory to God.–To give glory to God is to reveal His character in our own, and thus make Him known. And in whatever way we make known the Father or the Son, we glorify God (MS 16, 1890).  [7BC 979.4]
14:7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.
the hour of his judgment is come – the pre-advent judgement is foretold.
The last message before probation closes.
No more will a gospel of salvation be given.
The 3 Angels Message is more important than those receiving God’s flood message given by Noah.
 Why? – when Jesus finishes His work in the Heavenly Sanctuary and comes ‘as a thief in the night’ it will be too late.
8. World Drunk With Wine of Babylon.–God denounces Babylon “because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.” This means that she has disregarded the only commandment which points out the true God, and has torn down the Sabbath, God’s memorial of creation.  [7BC 979.5]  (Daniel 7:25 – And he shall speak [great] words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. ; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 – Let no man deceive you by any means: for [that day shall not come], except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.).
God made the world in six days and rested on the seventh, sanctifying this day, and setting it apart from all others as holy to Himself, to be observed by His people throughout their generations.  [7BC 979.6]
But the man of sin, exalting himself above God, sitting in the temple of God, and showing himself to be God, thought to change times and laws. This power, thinking to prove that it was not only equal to God, but above God, changed the rest day, placing the first day of the week where the seventh should be. And the Protestant world has taken this child of the papacy to be regarded as sacred. In the Word of God this is called her fornication.  [7BC 979.7]
God has a controversy with the churches of today. They are fulfilling the prophecy of John. “All nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.” They have divorced themselves from God by refusing to receive His sign. They have not the spirit of God’s true commandment-keeping people. And the people of the world, in giving their sanction to a false sabbath, and in trampling under their feet the Sabbath of the Lord, have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication (Letter 98, 1900).  [7BC 979.8]
14:8 And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.
Modern Babylon is exposed; God’s people called to ‘come out’ – see Revelation 18:1-4.
9-12. The Real Issue in the Final Conflict.–[Revelation 14:9, 10 quoted.] It is for the interest of all to understand what the mark of the beast is, and how they may escape the dread threatenings of God. Why are men not interested to know what constitutes the mark of the beast and his image? It is in direct contrast with the mark of God. [Exodus 31:12-17 quoted.]  [7BC 979.9]
The Sabbath question will be the issue in the great conflict in which all the world will act a part. [Revelation 13:4-10 quoted.] This entire chapter is a revelation of what will surely take place [Revelation 13:11, 15-17 quoted] (MS 88, 1897).  [7BC 979.10]
What Is the Mark of the Beast?–John was called to behold a people distinct from those who worship the beast and his image by keeping the first day of the week. The observance of this day is the mark of the beast (Letter 31, 1898).  [7BC 979.11]
Warning Against Mark of the Beast.–The third angel’s message has been sent forth to the world, warning men against receiving the mark of the beast or of his image in their foreheads or in their hands. To receive this mark means to come to the same decision as the beast has done, and to advocate the same ideas, in direct opposition to the Word of God. Of all who receive this mark, God says, “The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb.” . . .  [7BC 979.12]
If the light of truth has been presented to you, revealing the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, and showing that there is no foundation in the Word of God for Sunday observance, and yet you still cling to the false sabbath, refusing to keep holy the Sabbath which God calls “My holy day,” you receive the mark of the beast. When does this take place? When you obey the decree that commands you to cease from labor on Sunday and worship God, while you know that there is not a word in the Bible showing Sunday to be other than a common working day, you consent to receive the mark of the beast, and refuse the seal of God.  [7BC 980.1]
If we receive this mark in our foreheads or in our hands, the judgments pronounced against the disobedient must fall upon us. But the seal of the living God is placed upon those who conscientiously keep the Sabbath of the Lord (RH July 13, 1897).  [7BC 980.2]
A Life and Death Question.–This message embraces the two preceding messages. It is represented as being given with a loud voice; that is, with the power of the Holy Spirit. Everything is now at stake. The third angel’s message is to be regarded as of the highest importance. It is a life and death question. The impression made by this message will be proportionate to the earnestness and solemnity with which it is proclaimed (MS 16, 1900).  [7BC 980.3]
Not a Visible Mark.–In the issue of the great contest two parties are developed, those who “worship the beast and his image,” and receive his mark, and those who receive “the seal of the living God,” who have the “Father’s name written in their foreheads.” This is not a visible mark (ST Nov. 1, 1899).  [7BC 980.4]
Guard Against Mystery of Iniquity.–The third angel’s message increases in importance as we near the close of this earth’s history. . . .  [7BC 980.5]  (2 Thessalonians 2:7-12.).
God has presented to me the dangers that are threatening those who have been given the sacred work of proclaiming the third angel’s message. They are to remember that this message is of the utmost consequence to the whole world. They need to search the Scriptures diligently, that they may learn how to guard against the mystery of iniquity, which plays so large a part in the closing scenes of this earth’s history.  [7BC 980.6]
There will be more and still more external parade by worldly powers. Under different symbols, God presented to John the wicked character and seductive influence of those who have been distinguished for their persecution of His people. The eighteenth chapter of Revelation speaks of mystic Babylon, fallen from her high estate to become a persecuting power. Those who keep the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus are the object of the wrath of this power [Revelation 18:1-8 quoted] (MS 135, 1902).  [7BC 980.7]
The Time of Test Makes the Issue Clear.–The work of the Holy Spirit is to convince the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. The world can only be warned by seeing those who believe the truth sanctified through the truth, acting upon high and holy principles, showing in a high, elevated sense, the line of demarcation between those who keep the commandments of God and whose who trample them under their feet. The sanctification of the Spirit signalizes the difference between those who have the seal of God and those who keep a spurious rest day.  [7BC 980.8]
When the test comes, it will be clearly shown what the mark of the beast is. It is the keeping of Sunday. Those who, after having heard the truth, continue to regard this day as holy bear the signature of the man of sin, who thought to change times and laws (Letter 12, 1900).  [7BC 980.9]
The Last Act in the Drama.–The substitution of the false for the true is the last act in the drama. When this substitution becomes universal, God will reveal Himself. When the laws of men are exalted above the laws of God, when the powers of this earth try to force men to keep the first day of the week, know that the time has come for God to work. He will arise in His majesty, and will shake terribly the earth. He will come out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the world for their iniquity (RH April 23, 1901).  [7BC 980.10]
The Mark of Distinction.–We are nearing the close of this earth’s history. Satan is making desperate efforts to make himself god, to speak and act like God, to appear as one who has a right to control the consciences of men. He strives with all his power to place a human institution in the position of God’s holy rest day. Under the jurisdiction of the man of sin, men have exalted a false standard in complete opposition to God’s enactment. Each Sabbath institution bears the name of its author, an ineffaceable mark showing the authority of each. The first day of the week has not one particle of sanctity. It is the production of the man of sin, who strives in this way to counterwork God’s purposes.  [7BC 980.11]  (Exodus 31:13-17 ; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 – Let no man deceive you by any means: for [that day shall not come], except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.).
God has designated the seventh day as His Sabbath. [Exodus 31:13, 17, 16 quoted.]  [7BC 981.1]
Thus the distinction is drawn between the loyal and the disloyal. Those who desire to have the seal of God in their foreheads must keep the Sabbath of the fourth commandment. Thus they are distinguished from the disloyal, who have accepted a manmade institution in place of the true Sabbath. The observance of God’s rest day is a mark of distinction between him that serveth God and him that serveth Him not (RH April 23, 1901).  [7BC 981.2]
14:9 And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,
In Revelation 14:9-11 is given the warning against worshipping the beast and receiving it’s mark.
God will not punish without warning us about the mark.
He sends a message to warn us about the mark.
He reveals the mark‘s identity.
mark distinguishes one thing from another – applied religiously, it relates to some outstanding belief or power not present elsewhere.
God’s mark of distinction for mankind is His Ten Commandments (Exodus 31:13&17; 20:12&20).
Scripture written – Holy Spirit inspired – but Ten Commandments so important to mankind that God, with His finger, wrote these Laws Himself.
His 4th Commandment tells us to remember the Sabbath day – to keep the 7th day holy.
The mark of distinction of God’s Sabbathkeepers is Seventh-day worship – the keeping of God’s 4th Commandment.
The mark of God’s people – to be sealed by God (Isaiah 8:16; Revelation 7:3).
What is the Catholic mark of distinction? What is their stamp of power and authority above all other religions? – Sunday worship.
10. Coal and Oil Agencies in Final Destruction.–Those majestic trees which God had caused to grow upon the earth, for the benefit of the inhabitants of the old world, and which they had used to form into idols, and to corrupt themselves with, God has reserved in the earth, in the shape of coal and oil to use as agencies in their final destruction. As He called forth the waters in the earth at the time of the Flood, as weapons from His arsenal to accomplish the destruction of the antediluvian race, so at the end of the one thousand years He will call forth the fires in the earth as His weapons which He has reserved for the final destruction, not only of successive generations since the Flood, but the antediluvian race who perished by the Flood (3SG 87).  [1BC 1090.8]
Two Kinds of Crowns.–On whose side are we? The world cast Christ out, the heavens received Him. Man, finite man, rejected the Prince of life; God, our sovereign Ruler, received Him into the heavens. God has exalted Him. Man crowned Him with a crown of thorns, God has crowned Him with a crown of royal majesty. We must all think candidly. Will you have this man Christ Jesus to rule over you, or will you have Barabbas? The death of Christ brings to the rejecter of His mercy the wrath and judgments of God, unmixed with mercy. This is the wrath of the Lamb. But the death of Christ is hope and eternal life to all who receive Him and believe in Him (Letter 31, 1898).  [5BC 1107.2]
Under Satan’s Black Banner.–Each son and daughter of Adam chooses either Christ or Barabbas as his general. And all who place themselves on the side of the disloyal are standing under Satan’s black banner, and are charged with rejecting and despitefully using Christ. They are charged with deliberately crucifying the Lord of life and glory (RH Jan. 30, 1900).  [5BC 1107.3]
14:10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:
14:11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.
torment – trial or testing.
12. God’s Denominated People.–Who are these? God’s denominated people–those who on this earth have witnessed to their loyalty. Who are they? Those who have kept the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ; those who have owned the Crucified One as their Saviour (MS 132, 1903).  [7BC 981.4]
What Is God’s Sign?–The sign of obedience is the observance of the Sabbath of the fourth commandment. If men keep the fourth commandment, they will keep all the rest (Letter 31, 1898).  [7BC 981.5]  (Exodus 31:13-17.).
The Mark of the Holy Sabbath.–There is to be a mark placed upon God’s people, and that mark is the keeping of His holy Sabbath (HS 217).  [7BC 981.6]  (Ezekiel 9:4 – And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.).
Loyal to Whom?–God has declared that it means much to discard the Word of the living God, and accept the assertions of those who seek to change times and laws. [Exodus 31:12-17 quoted.]  [7BC 981.7]
Those who in the face of these specifications refuse to repent of their transgressions will realize the result of disobedience. Individually we need to inquire, In observing a day of rest, have I drawn my faith from the Scriptures, or from a spurious representation of truth? Every soul who fastens himself to the divine, everlasting covenant, made and presented to us as a sign and mark of God’s government, fastens himself to the golden chain of obedience, every link of which is a promise. He shows that he regards God’s Word as above the word of man, God’s love as preferable to the love of man. And those who repent of transgression, and return to their loyalty by accepting God’s mark, show themselves to be true subjects, ready to do His will, to obey His commandments. True observance of the Sabbath is the sign of loyalty to God (MS 63, 1899).  [7BC 981.8]
Fidelity Grows With the Emergency.–In Revelation 14 John beholds another scene. He sees a people whose fidelity and loyalty to the laws of God’s kingdom, grow with the emergency. The contempt placed upon the law of God only makes them reveal more decidedly their love for that law. It increases with the contempt that is placed upon it (MS 163, 1897).  [7BC 981.9]
It Is Time to Fight!–Let no one yield to temptation and become less fervent in his attachment to God’s law because of the contempt placed upon it; for that is the very thing that should make us pray with all our heart and soul and voice, “It is time for thee, Lord, to work: for they have made void thy law.” Therefore, because of the universal contempt, I will not turn traitor when God will be most glorified and most honored by my loyalty.  [7BC 981.10]  (Psalm 119:126 – [It is] time for [thee], LORD, to work: [for] they have made void thy law. ; Malachi 3:18 – Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.).
What! shall Seventh-day Adventists relax their devotedness when all their capabilities and powers should be placed on the Lord’s side; when an unflinching testimony, noble and uplifting, should come from their lips? “Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold.”  [7BC 981.11]
When the law of God is most derided and brought into the most contempt, then it is time for every true follower of Christ, for those whose hearts have been given to God, and who are fixed to obey God, to stand unflinchingly for the faith once delivered to the saints. “Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.” It is time to fight when champions are most needed (RH June 8, 1897).  [7BC 981.12]
14:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
Christ now points out His people:
they are saints
they are sanctified people
they refused to receive the mark of the beast
they keep the commandments of God
have the faith of Jesus.
The message produces a people who keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
Not just the 10 Commandments, but the 10 are always included.
The people have the faith of Jesus and not just a faith in Jesus.
This includes the teachings of Jesus. See Gal 1:23; 1 Timothy 3:9 & 4:1; 2 John 9; John 8:12
It is impossible to keep God’s commandments and at the same time receive the mark of the beast.
Revelation 14:6-12 – The 3 Angels Message:
It is God’s message for today – not preached by John Wesley, Luther, etc. as message was not due – it is the last message to a lost & dying world.
Who is preaching this message?
At the First Coming of Christ – not preached by the established churches – so God raised up a special messenger – John the Baptist.
When Christ entered the Most Holy Place in the heavenly sanctuary on 22 October 1844, not one of His followers was aware of what He was doing. So God, in the form of the Holy Spirit, spoke to His people the next morning and later raised up a special messenger, Ellen G. Harmon (White).
Near to Christ’s Second Coming, Christ asks ‘Shall I find faith upon the earth?’ – God’s established Laodicean churches will not be preaching ‘Present Truth’ – the vast majority of the people would have yielded to receiving the mark of the beast.
13. God Honors the Faithful Aged.–There are living upon our earth men who have passed the age of fourscore and ten. The natural results of old age are seen in their feebleness. But they believe God, and God loves them. The seal of God is upon them, and they will be among the number of whom the Lord has said, “Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord.” With Paul they can say, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished by course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also which love his appearing.” There are many whose grey hairs God honors because they have fought a good fight and kept the faith (Letter 207, 1899).  [7BC 982.1]  (2 Timothy 4:7-8 – I have fought a good fight, I have finished [my] course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.).
14:13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.
14:14 And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.
14:15 And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.
the harvest of the earth is ripe – Matt 13:38-43 – the harvest is the end of the world.
Refer Matt 24:30&31 – Jesus sends 3 mighty angels / messages. The angels gather together the righteous to prepare for Christ’s Second Advent.
Cf. Mal 3:1 – At Christ’s First Advent:
Jesus sent His angel / messenger – John the Baptist.
Cf. Revelation 22:16 – At Christ’s Second Advent:
Jesus sends His ‘angel to testify unto you these things in the churches’
This is the 3rd angel’s message of Revelation 14:9-11.
14:16 And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.
14:17 And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.
14:18 And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.
14:19 And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.
14:20 And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.
Revelation 15:1 And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God.
2-3. (Exodus 15:1-19; Deuteronomy 31:30 to 32:44; Isaiah 26:2). The Final Song of Victory.–What a song that will be when the ransomed of the Lord meet at the gate of the Holy City, which is thrown back on its glittering hinges and the nations that have kept His word–His commandments–enter into the city, the crown of the overcomer is placed upon their heads, and the golden harps are placed in their hands! All heaven is filled with rich music, and with songs of praise to the Lamb. Saved, everlastingly saved, in the kingdom of glory! To have a life that measures with the life of God–that is the reward (MS 92, 1908).  [7BC 982.2]
15:2 And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.
15:3 And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.
In Revelation 14:2, John heard the sound of the 144,000 singing.
15:4 Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.
15:5 And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened:
15:6 And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues, clothed in pure and white linen, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles.
15:7 And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever.
15:8 And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.
1-21. John Witnessed Terrors of the Last Days.–John . . . was a witness of the terrible scenes that will take place as signs of Christ’s coming. He saw armies mustering for battle, and men’s hearts failing them for fear. He saw the earth moved out of its place, the mountains carried into the midst of the sea, the waves thereof roaring and troubled, and the mountains shaking with the swelling thereof. He saw the vials of God’s wrath opened, and pestilence, famine, and death come upon the inhabitants of the earth (RH Jan. 11, 1887).  [7BC 982.3]  (Psalm 46:1-3 – To the chief Musician for the sons of Korah, A Song upon Alamoth. God [is] our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; [Though] the waters thereof roar [and] be troubled, [though] the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah. ; Matthew 24:7-8 – For 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.).
Revelation 16:1 And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth.
a great voice out of the temple – The voice of God Himself – the seven plague-bearing angels had already come out of the  temple (Revelation 15:6) and no man (no one / no being) was able to enter into the temple (Revelation 15:8).
pour out the vials – in certain respects, the affection of the earth with such calamities have parallels with the 10 Egyptian plagues (Exodus 5:1 to 12:30):
God’s authority and power are superior
decisive defeat of men who had chosen to defy God
God’s justification brings honour and glory to His name
plagues are literal – the first four not being universal (GC628).
16:2 And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image.
The vials are poured out upon those that had the mark of the beast.
noisome and grievous sore – painful and severe.
16:3 And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man; and every living soul died in the sea.
every living soul – every living thing (i.e. includes both animal and human life).
16:4 And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood.
16:5 And I heard the angel of the waters say, Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus.
16:6 For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy.
16:7 And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments.
16:8 And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire.
scorch men with fire – normally the sun’s warmth provides life-giving properties, excessive warmth and energy results in world’s most severe drought and famine (GC628).
16:9 And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory.
16:10 And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain,
beast – the papacy in its revived state.
his kingdom – all but a small remnant.
full of darkness – while men grope for light in a spiritual dark world, God sends a literal darkness symbolic of the deeper spiritual night to come.
16:11 And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds.
blasphemed the God of heaven – the hatred of God is confirmed under the fifth plague.
16:12 And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.
16:13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.
3 deceitful powers:
dragon – spiritualism – represents Satan working through the medium of spiritualism.
beast – papacy – 1st beast of Revelation 13 (this identity believed by most Protestants).
false prophet – the sector of Protestantism which, after hearing the truth, will reject it, uniting to summon the support of the state.
14-17. The Armies of God Take the Field.–We need to study the pouring out of the seventh vial. The powers of evil will not yield up the conflict without a struggle. But Providence has a part to act in the battle of Armageddon. When the earth is lighted with the glory of the angel of Revelation eighteen, the religious elements, good and evil, will awake from slumber, and the armies of the living God will take the field (MS 175, 1899).  [7BC 983.2]
14-16. Two Opposing Powers.— Two great opposing powers are revealed in the last great battle. On one side stands the Creator of heaven and earth. All on His side bear His signet. They are obedient to His commands. On the other side stands the prince of darkness, with those who have chosen apostasy and rebellion (RH May 7, 1901).  [7BC 982.8]  (Ephesians 6:12 – For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places].).
Satan Mustering His Forces for Last Battle.–The present is a solemn, fearful time for the church. The angels are already girded, awaiting the mandate of God to pour their vials of wrath upon the world. Destroying angels are taking up the work of vengeance; for the Spirit of God is gradually withdrawing from the world. Satan is also mustering his forces of evil, going forth “unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world,” to gather them under his banner, to be trained for “the battle of that great day of God Almighty.” Satan is to make most powerful efforts for the mastery in the last great conflict. Fundamental principles will be brought out, and decisions made in regard to them. Skepticism is prevailing everywhere. Ungodliness abounds. The faith of individual members of the church will be tested as though there were not another person in the world (MS 1a, 1890).  [7BC 983.1]
16:14 For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.
The 3 deceitful powers unite and
require the assistance of the kings of the earth (i.e. the civil powers)
make final assault upon God, His people and His truth.
Protestant churches unite with the world and papal powers against God’s Commandment keepers.
Protestant churches unite upon such doctrinal points as held in common.
Image of the beast – like 1st beast of Revelation 13 – will seek aid of civil power to persecute ‘heretics’.
16:15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.
I come as a thief – cf. 1 Thessalonians 5:2; 2 Peter 3:10. For the promise of His return see Isaiah 28:16-22; etc.
16:16 And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.
16:17 And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.
It is done – Human probation has ended; Christ’s ministration has forever ceased.
16:18 And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.
These events occur following probation close (see Revelation 8:5; 11:19).
16:19 And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.
16:20 And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.
16:21 And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.
Saints are in ‘peace’ during plague of hail – Isaiah 32:17-19.
Saints protected in ‘the munitions of rocks: bread shall be given him; his waters [shall be] sure.’ – Isaiah 33:16.
Plagues close – Jesus returns -‘Thine eyes shall see the king in his beauty: they shall behold the land that is very far off.’ – Isaiah 33:17.
Revelation 17 & 18 relate to one vision and their imagery is largely based upon historical parallels in the Old Testament being largely drawn from Isaiah 13, 14, 47 and Jeremiah 25, 50, 51 and Ezekiel 26 -28; i.e.. mystical Babylon is the figurative counterpart of the ancient literal city situated upon the Euphrates.
Revelation 17, an unfolding of Revelation 13, deals primarily with the sentence against Babylon (church and state).
1-5. Deceiver of All Nations.–In the seventeenth of Revelation is foretold the destruction of all the churches who corrupt themselves by idolatrous devotion to the service of the papacy, those who have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. [Revelation 17:1-4 quoted.]  [7BC 983.3]  (2 Thessalonians 2:7-12).
Thus is represented the papal power, which with all deceivableness of unrighteousness, by outside attraction and gorgeous display, deceives all nations; promising them, as did Satan our first parents, all good to those who receive its mark, and all harm to those who oppose its fallacies. The power which has the deepest inward corruption will make the greatest display, and will clothe itself with the most elaborate signs of power. The Bible plainly declares that this covers a corrupt and deceiving wickedness. “Upon her forehead was a name written, Mystery, Babylon the Great, The Mother of Harlots and Abominations of the Earth.”  [7BC 983.4]
What is it that gives its kingdom to this power? Protestantism, a power which, while professing to have the temper and spirit of a lamb and to be allied to Heaven, speaks with the voice of a dragon. It is moved by a power from beneath (Letter 232, 1899).  [7BC 983.5]
Revelation 17:1 And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will show unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters:
Revelation chapter 17 is in two sections:
symbolic vision of verses 3-6 as seen by John
what he was told [Revelation 17:7] is explained in verses 8-18.
Angel identified as one of the 7 plague-bearing angels of Revelation 15 and 16; therefore
message relevant at time of 7 plagues.
the judgment of the great whore takes place under the 7th plague [Revelation 16:19].
judgment – sentence / decision / verdict.
Babylon’s criminal career reaches its climax under the 6th plague [Revelation 16:12-16]; the sentence being executed under the 7th [Revelation 16:17-19, 17:13-17, 18:4, 8 and 19:2].
sitteth upon many waters – the ancient city of Babylon was situated upon the literal waters of the Euphrates [Jeremiah 50:12-13, 38]; the prosperity of Babylonia depending upon her two great rivers, the Tigris and the Euphrates.
many waters – or peoples [Jeremiah 51:12-13] – teaming multitudes of the world.
17:2 With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.
committed fornication – used figuratively to refer to an illicit alliance of professed Christians with some master other than Christ (here, a religio-political compact between an apostate church and the nations of the earth (cf. Tyre – Isaiah 23:15, 17). Thus an unholy alliance exists between two parties – (1) the woman (great whore) and (2) the kings of the earth.
inhabitants ….. made drunk – by deception, through co-operating with the policy of the great whore; complete intoxication where normal powers of reason and judgement have been stupefied and spiritual perception benumbed.
17:3 So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.
scarlet (or crimson) – a brilliant colour certain to attract attention. Colour of sin – Isaiah 1:18 – cf. red dragon of Revelation 12:3.
beast – in Bible prophecy: commonly represents political powers (Daniel 7:3-7,17).
Here, in Revelation 17, with the woman representing the religious power / church.
seven heads – In ancient Canaanite mythology ‘leviathan’ (Job 41:1, Ps 74:13&14) was regarded as a 7-headed serpent that fought the gods and the forces of right; i.e. a personification of the forces of evil. Ancient Canaanite texts from Ras Shamrah speak of a 7-headed monster ‘Lotan’ – the Biblical leviathan.
Also Egypt – Nile – crocodile; one with 7 heads would be a symbolic monster.
17:4 And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:
purple and scarlet – colours of royalty (Ezekiel 27:7 & margin) but here the woman represents a corrupt church / system.
decked with gold and precious stones and pearls – description of a wealthy system.
gold – man is often fooled by this deceiving metal.
17:5 And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
forehead – reflects character (or choice).
Names often reflect character or (past) events.
BABYLON THE GREAT – a harlot mother who has given birth to offspring – she has produced many daughters.
BABYLON THE GREAT – includes apostate Protestantism – the daughters included.
BABYLON THE GREAT – a prophetic symbol for the organised, universal, apostate religious organisation.
17:6 And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.
martyrs – witnesses.
The crimes of mystical Babylon:
Seduction – of the kings of the earth into illicit union in order to further her own sinister designs.
Oppressive despotism – by sitting on many waters oppressing the people of the earth.
Contributing to human delinquency by making the people of earth (saints excluded) drunk with the wine of her political policy and hence act as accomplices in her evil plot.
Drunkenness – from the spilt blood of saints.
Murder and attempted murder of Christ’s bride – the woman of Revelation 12.
17:7 And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns.
17:8 The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.
The interpretation of this verse is dependant upon an understanding of the chronology of the prophecy (past, present and future):
The beast that thou sawest was, and is not – John’s vision being post 1798.
The beast power has 4 phases – was, is not; shall ascend, and go into perdition.
    past,   present,       future      and future / ultimate destruction.
is not – here, the papacy sits as a religious power.
shall ascend out of the bottomless pit – i.e. post 1798 and following earthly imprisonment (captivity).
17:9 And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.
mountains – a common prophetic symbol designating political or religio-political powers.
seven mountains – an allusion to the city of Rome with its 7 hills.
17:10 And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.
17:11 And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.
17:12 And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.
13-14. A Confederacy of Satan’s Forces.–[Revelation 17:13, 14 quoted.] “These have one mind.” There will be a universal bond of union, one great harmony, a confederacy of Satan’s forces. “And shall give their power and strength unto the beast.” Thus is manifested the same arbitrary, oppressive power against religious liberty, freedom to worship God according to the dictates of conscience, as was manifested by the papacy, when in the past it persecuted those who dared to refuse to conform with the religious rites and ceremonies of Romanism.  [7BC 983.6]
In the warfare to be waged in the last days there will be united, in opposition to God’s people, all the corrupt powers that have apostatized from allegiance to the law of Jehovah. In this warfare the Sabbath of the fourth commandment will be the great point at issue; for in the Sabbath commandment the great Lawgiver identifies Himself as the Creator of the heavens and the earth (MS 24, 1891).  [7BC 983.7]
17:13 These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.
power – authority – see also Revelation 18:1.
14. Christ Glorified in the Last Crisis.–As Christ was glorified on the day of Pentecost, so will He again be glorified in the closing work of the gospel, when He shall prepare a people to stand the final test, in the closing conflict of the great controversy (RH Nov. 29, 1892).  [7BC 983.8]
17:14 These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.
17:15 And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.
waters – a symbol for human beings (Isaiah 8:7; Daniel 7:2).
sea or waters – peoples, multitudes.
17:16 And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.
upon – and.
naked – deprived of her gorgeous attire (Revelation 17:3&4); thus left in embarrassment and shame.
17:17 For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.
hearts – minds.
17:18 And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.
that great city – literal Babylon.
From the days of Babel, the city of Babylon has be representative of organised opposition to the purposes of God on earth.
Whereas Revelation 17 deals primarily with the sentence against Babylon, Revelation 18 is concerned with the execution of that sentence.
Revelation 18 is highly poetic and figurative in character.
1-8. Danger in Worldly Alliances.–[Revelation 18:1-8 quoted.] This terrible picture, drawn by John to show how completely the powers of earth will give themselves over to evil, should show those who have received the truth how dangerous it is to link up with secret societies or to join themselves in any way with those who do not keep God’s commandments (MS 135, 1902).  [7BC 985.7]
1-5. Every Power of Evil Will Work.–As God called the children of Israel out of Egypt, that they might keep His Sabbath, so He calls His people out of Babylon, that they may not worship the beast or his image. The man of sin, who thought to change times and laws, has exalted himself above God, by presenting a spurious sabbath to the world; the Christian world has accepted the child of the papacy, and cradled and nourished it, thus defying God by removing His memorial, and setting up a rival sabbath.  [7BC 984.8]  (Daniel 7:25 – And he shall speak [great] words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. ; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 – Let no man deceive you by any means: for [that day shall not come], except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.).
After the truth has been proclaimed as a witness to all nations, every conceivable power of evil will be set in operation, and minds will be confused by many voices crying, “Lo, here is Christ; lo, He is there. This is the truth, I have the message from God, He has sent me with great light.” Then there will be a removing of the landmarks, and an attempt to tear down the pillars of our faith. A more decided effort will be made to exalt the false sabbath, and to cast contempt upon God Himself by supplanting the day He has blessed and sanctified. This false sabbath is to be enforced by an oppressive law.  [7BC 985.1]
Satan and his angels are wide awake and intensely active, working with energy and perseverance through human instrumentalities to bring about his purpose of obliterating from the minds of men the knowledge of God. But while Satan works with his lying wonders, the time will be fulfilled foretold in the Revelation, and the mighty angel that shall lighten the earth with his glory will proclaim the fall of Babylon, and call upon God’s people to forsake her (RH Dec. 13, 1892).  [7BC 985.2]
Part of a Series of Events.–The message in regard to the fall of Babylon must be given. God’s people are to understand in regard to the angel who is to lighten the whole world with his glory, while he cries mightily, with a loud voice, “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen.” The solemn events which are now taking place belong to a series of events in the chain of history, the first link of which is connected with Eden. Let the people of God prepare for what is coming upon the earth. Extravagance in the use of means, selfishness, heresies, have taken the world captive. For centuries satanic agencies have been at work. Will they now give up without a struggle (MS 172, 1899)?  [7BC 985.3]
Two Calls to the Churches.–[Revelation 18:1, 2 quoted.] This is the same message that was given by the second angel. Babylon is fallen, “because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.” What is that wine?–her false doctrines. She has given to the world a false sabbath instead of the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, and has repeated the falsehood that Satan first told to Eve in Eden–the natural immortality of the soul. Many kindred errors she has spread far and wide, “teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”  [7BC 985.4]  (Matthew 15:9 – But in vain they do worship me, teaching [for] doctrines the commandments of men. ;  Matthew 21:11-13 – And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee. And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves. ; John 2:13-16 – And the Jews’ passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem, And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise.).
When Jesus began His public ministry, He cleansed the temple from its sacrilegious profanation. Among the last acts of His ministry was the second cleansing of the temple. So in the last work for the warning of the world, two distinct calls are made to the churches. The second angel’s message is, “Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.” And in the loud cry of the third angel’s message a voice is heard from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities” (RH Dec. 6, 1892).  [7BC 985.5]
Three Messages to Be Combined.–The three angels’ messages are to be combined, giving their threefold light to the world. In the Revelation, John says, “I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.” [Revelation 18:2-5 quoted.] This represents the giving of the last and threefold message of warning to the world (MS 52, 1900).  [7BC 985.6]
1. The Angel of Revelation 18.— The prophecies in the eighteenth of Revelation will soon be fulfilled. During the proclamation of the third angel’s message, “another angel” is to “come down from heaven, having great power,” and the earth is to be “lightened with his glory.” The Spirit of the Lord will so graciously bless consecrated human instrumentalities that men, women, and children will open their lips in praise and thanksgiving, filling the earth with the knowledge of God, and with His unsurpassed glory, as the waters cover the sea.  [7BC 983.9]  (Habakkuk 2:14 – For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.).
Those who have held the beginning of their confidence firm unto the end will be wide awake during the time that the third angel’s message is proclaimed with great power (RH Oct. 13, 1904).  [7BC 984.1]
Message Prepares for Translation.–Amid the confusing cries, “Lo, here is Christ! Lo, there is Christ!” will be borne a special testimony, a special message of truth appropriate for this time, which message is to be received, believed, and acted upon. It is the truth, not fanciful ideas, that is efficacious. The eternal truth of the Word will stand forth free from all seductive errors and spiritualistic interpretations, free from all fancifully drawn, alluring pictures. Falsehoods will be urged upon the attention of God’s people, but the truth is to stand clothed in its beautiful, pure garments. The Word, precious in its holy, uplifting influence, is not to be degraded to a level with common, ordinary matters. It is always to remain uncontaminated by the fallacies by which Satan seeks to deceive, if possible, the very elect.  [7BC 984.2]  (2 Timothy 2:14-16 – Of these things put [them] in remembrance, charging [them] before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, [but] to the subverting of the hearers. Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane [and] vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.).
The proclamation of the gospel is the only means in which God can employ human beings as His instrumentalities for the salvation of souls. As men, women, and children proclaim the gospel, the Lord will open the eyes of the blind to see His statutes, and will write upon the hearts of the truly penitent His law. The animating Spirit of God, working through human agencies, leads the believers to be of one mind, one soul, unitedly loving God and keeping His commandments–preparing here below for translation (RH Oct. 13, 1904).  [7BC 984.3]
Refreshing of the Latter Rain.–As the members of the body of Christ approach the period of their last conflict, “the time of Jacob’s trouble,” they will grow up into Christ, and will partake largely of His Spirit. As the third message swells to a loud cry, and as great power and glory attend the closing work, the faithful people of God will partake of that glory. It is the latter rain which revives and strengthens them to pass through the time of trouble. Their faces will shine with the glory of that light which attends the third angel (RH May 27, 1862).  [7BC 984.4]  (Jeremiah 30:7 – Alas! for that day [is] great, so that none [is] like it: it [is] even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it. ; Hosea 6:3; Joel 2:23 – Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first [month]. ; Zechariah 10:1 – Ask ye of the LORD rain in the time of the latter rain; [so] the LORD shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain, to every one grass in the field. ; Ephesians 4:13-15 – Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we [henceforth] be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, [and] cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, [even] Christ:.)
Not to Wait for Latter Rain.–We must not wait for the latter rain. It is coming upon all who will recognize and appropriate the dew and showers of grace that fall upon us. When we gather up the fragments of light, when we appreciate the sure mercies of God, who loves to have us trust Him, then every promise will be fulfilled. [Isaiah 61:11 quoted.] The whole earth is to be filled with the glory of God (Letter 151, 1897).  [7BC 984.5]  (Isaiah 61:11 – For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.).
Revelation of the Righteousness of Christ.–The time of test is just upon us, for the loud cry of the third angel has already begun in the revelation of the righteousness of Christ, the sin-pardoning Redeemer. This is the beginning of the light of the angel whose glory shall fill the whole earth (RH Nov. 22, 1892).  [7BC 984.6]
No Time Specified for Outpouring.–I have no specific time of which to speak when the outpouring of the Holy Spirit will take place–when the mighty angel will come down from heaven, and unite with the third angel in closing up the work for this world; my message is that our only safety is in being ready for the heavenly refreshing, having our lamps trimmed and burning (RH March 29, 1892).  [7BC 984.7]
Revelation 18:1 And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.
another angel – not the Chapter 17 angel – a symbolic [EW245] angel – the Holy Spirit.
Repeats the Second Angel’s message of Revelation 14:8 [GC603].
Unites with Third Angel of Revelation 14:9-11 in proclamation of God’s final message to the world [EW77].
from heaven – the Angel:
Comes from God’s throne room and His presence.
Is seen by John in vision descending to earth.
Is on a special mission:
commissioned to proclaim God’s last message of mercy
to warn mankind of Babylon’s fate.
great power – great authority – cf. Revelation 17:13.
lightened – illuminated.
Satan seeks to shroud the earth in darkness.
God sets it ablaze with His glorious light of saving truth.
glory – a representation of God’s character – especially in connection with the plan of salvation.
18:2 And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.
cried mightily – This voice proclaimed during the time of the 3rd angel.
Everyone must hear the Revelation 18 message – it merits the most careful study.
Babylon the great – cf. Revelation 14:8 and 17:5.
is fallen – Babylon has spiritually fall – now to be punished cf. Isaiah 13:21&22, 21:9 & Jeremiah 51:8.
devils – demons – Babylon is now wholly possessed (e.g.. by modern spiritism).
foul spirit – unclean spirit.
unclean and hateful bird – this is typical ancient Hebrew poetry utilising an intensity of metaphors.
Between 1840 – 1844 and by the power of God, the first angel’s message went to every missionary station in the world, but the religious interest witnessed will be exceeded by the mighty movement under the last warning of the third angel (GC611).
Revelation 18:1-2, 4 relate to the time when the announcement of the fall of Babylon (Revelation 14:8) is repeated, with the additional mention of her corruptions since the summer of 1844 (GC603).
3-7. Meaning of Antichrist to Be Understood.–Those who become confused in their understanding of the Word, who fail to see the meaning of antichrist, will surely place themselves on the side of antichrist. There is no time now for us to assimilate with the world. Daniel is standing in his lot and in his place. The prophecies of Daniel and of John are to be understood. They interpret each other. They give to the world truths which every one should understand. These prophecies are to be witnesses in the world. By their fulfillment in these last days they will explain themselves.  [7BC 949.6]
The Lord is about to punish the world for its iniquity. He is about to punish religious bodies for their rejection of the light and truth which has been given them. The great message, combining the first, second, and third angels’ messages, is to be given to the world. This is to be the burden of our work. Those who truly believe in Christ will openly conform to the law of Jehovah. The Sabbath is the sign between God and His people; and we are to make visible our conformity to the law of God by observing the Sabbath. It is to be the mark of distinction between God’s chosen people and the world (MS 10, 1900).  [7BC 949.7]
Society Ranging Into Two Classes.–All society is ranging into two great classes, the obedient and the disobedient. Among which class shall we be found?  [7BC 949.8]
Those who keep God’s commandments, those who live not by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God, compose the church of the living God. Those who choose to follow antichrist are subjects of the great apostate. Ranged under the banner of Satan, they break God’s law and lead others to break it. They endeavor so to frame the laws of nations that men shall show their loyalty to earthly governments by trampling upon the laws of God’s kingdom.  [7BC 949.9]
Satan is diverting minds with unimportant questions, in order that they shall not with clear and distinct vision see matters of vast importance. The enemy is planning to ensnare the world.  [7BC 949.10]
The so-called Christian world is to be the theater of great and decisive actions. Men in authority will enact laws controlling the conscience, after the example of the papacy. Babylon will make all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. Every nation will be involved. . . [Revelation 18:3-7 quoted] (MS 24, 1891).  [7BC 949.11]
All Heaven on Christ’s Side.–The determination of Antichrist to carry out the rebellion he began in heaven will continue to work in the children of disobedience. Their envy and hatred against those who obey the fourth commandment will wax more and more bitter. But the people of God are not to hide their banner. They are not to ignore the commandments of God, and in order to have an easy time, go with the multitude to do evil. . . .  [7BC 949.12]
The greater man’s influence for good, under the control of the Spirit of God, the more determined will be the enemy to indulge his envy and jealousy toward him by religious persecution. But all heaven is on the side of Christ, not of Antichrist. Those who love God and are willing to be partakers with Christ in His sufferings, God will honor. Antichrist, meaning all who exalt themselves against the will and work of God, will at the appointed time feel the wrath of Him who gave Himself that they might not perish but have eternal life. All who persevere in obedience, all who will not sell their souls for money or for the favor of men, God will register in the book of life (MS 9, 1900).  [7BC 950.1]
Human Reason vs. God’s Wisdom.–Many exalt human reason, idolize human wisdom, and set the opinions of men above the revealed wisdom of God. This affords opportunity for the working of Satan, and the spirit of Antichrist is far more widespread than any of us imagine. . . .  [7BC 950.2]
The maxims of the world, that know not God, have been worked into the theories of the church. In the eyes of men, vain philosophy and science, falsely so-called, are of more value than the Word of God. The sentiment prevails to a large extent that the divine Mediator is not essential to the salvation of man. A variety of theories advanced by the so-called worldly-wise men for man’s elevation, are believed and trusted in more than is the truth of God, as taught by Christ and His apostles.  [7BC 950.3]
The lying spirit that enticed Eve in Eden, finds acceptance with the majority of earth’s inhabitants today. Even the Christian world refuses to be converted by the Spirit of God, but listens to the prince of darkness, as he comes to them in the garb of an angel of light. The spirit of Antichrist is prevailing in the world to a far greater extent than it has ever prevailed before.  [7BC 950.4]
The day of test and purification is just upon us. Signs of a most startling character appear, in floods, in hurricanes, in tornadoes, in cloudbursts, in casualties by land and by sea, that proclaim the approach of the end of all things. The judgments of God are falling on the world, that men may be awakened to the fact that Christ will come speedily (RH Nov. 8, 1892).  [7BC 950.5]
18:3 For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.
abundance – power probably by influence.
delicacies – idle luxury.
18:4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.
another voice – another angelic voice.
Come out of her, my people – God’s people will hear and respond to come out of mystical Babylon almost right up the close of probation.
Cf. Isaiah 48:20; Jeremiah 50:8, 51:6, 45 – God calls His people in ancient times to flee from literal Babylon in order to return to Jerusalem. Today, His true people need to hear His voice and heed His call – the repeated 2nd angel’s call of Revelation 14:8 – to come out of mystical Babylon in order that they may be accounted worth to enter the New Jerusalem.
There is an urgency to the message – God’s people are to make haste.
partakers – bearing a share of the responsibility, they would be punished with plagues.
her sins:
In general – all the sins Babylon leads men to commit.
Specifically – the sins delineated in Revelation 17:2-6.
In Revelation 18, Babylon is charged with 5 counts (see Revelation 18:2, 3, 5, 7, 23 & 24):
Pride and arrogance
Materialism and luxury
Adultery
Deception
Persecution.
her plagues – the punishment about to be given as per the judgement or sentence of Revelation 17:1.
Nature of plagues:
Briefly given in Revelation 16:19; 17:16; 18:8 & 21.
Now, graphically but highly figuratively and indirectly described in Revelation 18.
Plagues 1-5 are poured out primarily on those who collaborate with Babylon – the rulers and the inhabitants of the earth (Revelation 17:1-2, 8 & 12).
Plague 6 prepares the way for the punishment administered under plague 7.
Plague 7 relates to the punishment of Babylon – the united religious organisations upon earth.
18:5 For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.
her sins – cf. Revelation 18:4 & Jeremiah 50:14.
reached – to glue or fasten firmly together. The sins are depicted as a mountainous mass reaching upwards.
unto heaven – Babylon’s sins described as a figurative mountain which arises before God in heaven.
Possible allusion to the tower of Babel.
remembered – As applied to God – He is on the point of rewarding men for their actions, whether good or bad.
God’s long-suffering is about to end – His judgement upon mystical Babylon is about to be executed.
her iniquities – Her wicked acts and their consequent results – especially the specific crimes of Revelation 17 & 18.
18:6 Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double.
Babylon the great is to be paid:
  in full for her evil deeds (see Revelation 17:16&17),
  according to her deeds so will she be punished,
  the punishment will be metered out as a double measure (cf. Isaiah 40:2: Jeremiah 16:18: 17:18).
her works – God uses her treatment of others as the norm / standard for dealing with Babylon.
fill – mix. The same cup in which she has mixed an evil potion for others to drink, God will now mix a terrible mixture and compel her to mix (see Revelation 14:8; 17:4. & cf. Jeremiah 50:15, 29).
18:7 How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.
Measure for measure, the punishment will fit the crime. Her suffering and mourning will be in proportion to her former boasting and dissipation.
sorrow – mourning, as a result of the plagues that torture her.
saith in her heart – is saying in her mind – the thoughts while the angel of Revelation 18:4 delivers her message of warning (prior to probation close) and during the 6th plague.
Inordinate conceit has produced utter confidence in her evil scheme to rule the world.
The attempt to deceive others has resulted in absolute self-deception.
Not only has she made others ‘drunk’, she also is in a state of intoxication.
I sit a queen – present tense continuation.
True church represented in Scripture as a ‘chaste virgin’ (2 Corinthians 11:2); Christ’s bride (Ephesians 5:23-32 cf.. Revelation 12:1; 19:7 & 8).
The great harlot impersonates Christ’s bride before earth’s inhabitants, claiming dominion in His name.
But she is a counterfeit ‘queen’ (cf. Isaiah 47:6-10) – a harlot who never had a legal husband – yet able to boast that ‘kings’ and ‘great men’ wait upon her.
no widow – As a ‘widow’, she would have no legal status, nor claim upon the allegiance of the whole world (cf. Isaiah 47:8, 10).
sorrow – certain to come when she least expects.
18:8 Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.
Suddenly and unexpectedly the plagues occur upon mystical Babylon.
one day – One year if / at prophetic time.
Note ‘one hour’ similarity in Revelation 18:10, 17 & 19.
Greek form of words suggest a point – rather than a period of time (cf. Isaiah 47:9, 11; Jeremiah 50:31; 51:8).
death – The final result of her plagues is given first.
famine:
Literal famine occurs under the 4th plague (Revelation 16:8&9) and is experienced by adherents of Babylon.
Here, used figuratively – refers to the judgement of Babylon as an organisation – occurs under the 7th plague.
utterly burned – burned up – with figurative fire [see GC653-657] – Babylon’s fate being foretold in Revelation 18:21.
fire – cf. Jeremiah 50:32; 51:24-25, 37.
strong – fully able (to carry out His will).
judgeth her – Babylon’s judgement is so certain that the angel speaks as though the event has occurred – God knows the end from the beginning.
18:9 And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning,
Cf. Revelation 16:14, 16; 17:2, 12-14.
bewail her – mourn for her – in loud, unrestrained wailing.
 The kings and ‘merchants’ also anticipate their own impending fate (see Revelation 18:11).
lament – to beat (one’s breast), or to cut (one’s body) in grief.
smoke of her burning – cf. Isaiah 13:19; Jeremiah 50:32 (see also Revelation 14:10-11; 17:16; 18:6).
18:10 Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.
Standing afar off – recently in close collaboration with Babylon, they now wish to distance themselves from Babylon even though they rejected God’s call to ‘come out of her’. They were involved with her ‘sins’ and consequently shared in her plagues and must soon share her fate (cf. Ezekiel 27:33 & 35).
Alas, alas – Through mystical Babylon’s assurance that the ‘queen’ would be enthroned forever, they had expected to ‘receive power’ and endless dominion – now they realise too late and are filled with utter remorse.
great city – the former greatness and power of mystical Babylon is emphasized.
18:11 And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more:
merchants – Revelation 18:23 – ‘the great men of the earth’.
If figuratively – a representation of the pedlars of the spiritual merchandise of Babylon – those who have sold her doctrines and policies (described as her ‘wine’ elsewhere) to the ‘kings’ and all mankind.
If literal – commercial and business leaders of the earth whose wealth has contributed to Babylon’s greatness.
no man buyeth – Disillusioned, they now refuse to have anything to do with Babylon.
merchandise – with Babylon destroyed, the flow of corrupt goods around the world ends.
18:12 The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble,
28 items are listed in Revelation 18:12&13 to show the comprehensiveness of Babylon’s hold upon the world.
If figuratively – the list stresses the comprehensiveness of her corrupt doctrines and policies.
If literal interpretation – the list highlights the extensive commercial interests of Babylon.
A similar merchandise list is given in Ezekiel 27:3-25, 33.
thyine wood – scented wood – i.e. odoriferous wood used for incense.
brass – rather, bronze.
18:13 And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men.
odours – incense.
ointments – myrrh.
frankincense – white or pale resinous gum usually obtained from the bark of certain trees imported from Arabia – used as an ingredient in the sacred incense of the sanctuary.
beasts – domesticated animals such as cattle.
chariots – a Greek loan word from the Gallic, or Celtic – introduced into the Asia Minor by the Gauls – who became the Galatians. The word means four-wheeled travel coaches. John was acquainted with this local term and may well have lived in Asia Minor.
slaves – bodies (cf. Romans 8:11).
souls of men – human beings.
Biblically, the word ‘soul’ often means ‘human beings’ or ‘person’.
18:14 And the fruits that thy soul lusted after are departed from thee, and all things which were dainty and goodly are departed from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all.
fruits – reference to the time when the great harlot would enjoy the fruits of her lust.
soul – often equivalent to the personal pronoun (see Psalm 16:10; Matthew 10:28 & Revelation 18:13).
dainty and goodly – the fat and splendid things – the contributions to a life of luxury.
find them no more at all – The finality of Babylon’s fate is cited here and then 6 more times in Revelation 18:21-23.
Babylon descends into the perdition of Revelation 17:8 & 11 – never to rise again (cf. Jeremiah 51:26; Ezekiel 26:21; 27:36; 28:19).
18:15 The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing,
made rich by her – the partnership with Babylon had been mutually beneficial (cf. Ezekiel 27:33).
18:16 And saying, Alas, alas, that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls!
18:17 For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off,
so great riches – or, All this wealth.
is come to nought – has been made desolate.
shipmaster – helmsman – the navigational officer in charge – not the owner of the ship.
trade by sea – work the sea, i.e. obtain a living from the sea.
18:18 And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city!
cried – ‘cried out’ or ‘continued to shout’.
A veritable babel of voices as those in Revelation 18:17 kept shouting back and forth.
What city – Babylon – it served as the capital of the empire; the city almost square and with 1 mile long walls was in need of enlargement in the days of Nabopolassar and Nebuchadnezzar – see 4BC794-900 and Cf. Ezekiel 27:32.
18:19 And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas, that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate.
cast dust – a sign of extreme grief (rather than shame) (cf. Ezekiel 27:30).
18:20 Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.
Rejoice – Keep on exalting.
In contrast, Babylon’s desolation brings victory and joy to the righteous beings throughout the universe.
The anthem of victory is recorded in Revelation 19:1-6.
The feast celebrating the deliverance of God’s people is alluded to in Revelation 19:7-9.
heaven – The inhabitants of heaven are first to rejoice in the triumph of Christ and His church.
holy apostles – saints and apostles.
avenged you – judged your judgement – executed your sentence.
Babylon had decreed the death of God’s people (see Revelation 13:15).
Babylon now suffers the same fate – Cf. the fate of Haman in Esther 7:10.
Divine sentence upon Babylon (Revelation 17:1,16-17) – the event takes place under the 7th plague.
18:21 And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.
a mighty angel – an angel excelling in strength.
a great millstone – of such size that man was unable to turn – in ancient times turned by an animal.
cast it into the sea – cf. Jeremiah 51:63 & 64; Isaiah 13:19 & Revelation 14:8.
In one action, the millstone is hurled into the sea depths.
with violence – with a rush, or, with a shock.
found no more at all – John’s description of the desolate state of ancient Babylon (Revelation 18:21-23) must have been impressive to people who later witnessed the hapless city become an uninhabitable.
18:22 And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee;
voice – sound. All activity had ceased.
18:23 And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.
candle – lamp. The absence of all life and activity is portrayed by the utter blackness of the night when a candle is snuffed.
bridegroom – all social and family life in Babylon has ended (cf. Jeremiah 25:10).
great men of the earth – cf. Isaiah 23:8; Ezekiel 26:17; 27:8; Revelation 6:15.
sorceries – the deceptions practised by Babylon to secure worldly allegiance.
18:24 And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.
Mystical Babylon represents apostate religion since the beginning of time.
all that were slain – may relate to martyrs of all time or those who died in the closing struggle of the great controversy between good and evil.
Revelation 13 – 18 is concerned with the culmination of apostasy at the end of time.
Imagery of Revelation 17 & 18 is largely based upon historical parallels in the Old Testament being largely drawn from Isaiah 13, 14, 47 and Jeremiah 25, 50, 51 and Ezekiel 26 -28; i.e.. mystical Babylon is the figurative counterpart of the ancient literal city situated upon the Euphrates.
Revelation 19:1 And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God:
after these things – after the judgement, plagues and return of Jesus.
Alleluia – praise ye Yahweh – this New Testament accolade being found only in Revelation 19 (1, 3, 4 and 6).
19:2 For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand.
righteous – just.
19:3 And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever.
Alleluia – praise ye Yahweh – this New Testament accolade being found only in Revelation 19 (1, 3, 4 and 6).
19:4 And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia.
Amen – a known accolade since early Christian worship (of the 2nd century).
Alleluia – praise ye Yahweh – this New Testament accolade being found only in Revelation 19 (1, 3, 4 and 6).
19:5 And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great.
a voice came out of the throne – either God’s voice or one speaking for Him.
fear – reverential awe.
19:6 And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.
Alleluia – praise ye Yahweh – this New Testament accolade being found only in Revelation 19 (1, 3, 4 and 6).
7-9. God the Husband of His Church.–God is the husband of His church. The church is the bride, the Lamb’s wife. Every true believer is a part of the body of Christ. Christ regards unfaithfulness shown to Him by His people as the unfaithfulness of a wife to her husband. We are to remember that we are members of Christ’s body (Letter 39, 1902).  [7BC 985.9]  (Ephesians 5:23-25 – For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so [let] the wives [be] to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;.).
Conduct Befitting the Bride of a King.–The church is the bride, the Lamb’s wife. She should keep herself pure, sanctified, holy. Never should she indulge in any foolishness; for she is the bride of a King. Yet she does not realize her exalted position. If she understood this, she would be all-glorious within (Letter 177, 1901).  [7BC 986.1]
Clean Garments.–The church is the bride of Christ, and her members are to yoke up with their Leader. God warns us not to defile our garments (Letter 123 1/2, 1898).  [7BC 986.2]
Feasting on the Word.–A banquet has been prepared for us. The Lord has spread before us the treasures of His Word. But we must not come to the repast clothed in citizen’s dress. We must have on the white robe of Christ’s righteousness, which has been prepared for all the guests (MS 70, 1901).  [5BC 1097.5]
Out of Tribulation.–Remember that every one who shall be found with the wedding garment on will have come out of great tribulation (RH April 17, 1894).  [5BC 1097.6]
19:7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.
19:8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.
righteousness – righteous deeds.
19:9 And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.
19:10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
fell at his feet – typical Oriental gesture of reverence and worship.
testimony or witness of Jesus [Revelation 1:2 & 12:17].
prophecy – any inspired message communicated by God through a recipient ‘prophet’.
19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
opened – standing open (cf. Revelation 4:1; 11:19 & 15:5).
white horse – holiness of character.
Horses used for warfare or governmental business; favoured by kings and military leaders.
Christ, as King of Kings, figuratively, appears to John on a white horse.
doth judge and make war – against the forces assembled to destroy His people. (Cf. Revelation 13:15; 16:13-14, 16-17)
19:12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
19:13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
19:14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
19:15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
out of his mouth – As human life occurred by God’s Word (Psalm 33:6,9) so will it be terminated.
rule them – shepherd them.
rod of iron – cf. Revelation 2:27 – The ancient shepherd’s rod had a crook on one end – to guide the sheep – and a heavy metallic ferrule on the other – which served as a weapon of assault.
19:16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
19:17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;
an angel standing in the sun – in ancient combat, an armour bearer would stand near his lord; John sees the angel standing in the light emanating from Christ’s presence.
19:18 That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.
kings, … captains, … mighty men, … horses, … all men – the assemble of Satan’s whole army.
19:19 And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.
war – ‘the battle of that great day of God’ (Revelation 16:14), called in the Hebrew tongue ‘Armageddon’ (Revelation 16:16).
19:20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
a lake of fire – the lake which is fire. Not the one a thousand years later but the first judgement from God at the beginning of the millennium. [James White ‘presented’ two lakes of fire – RH 21.1.1862]
19:21 And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.
Revelation 20:1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
come down – descending down to earth.
key – a sign of overall control.
bottomless pit – as Revelation 20:3 – a symbolic vision where John sees Satan’s activities halted.
chain – a symbol of restraint.
20:2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
laid hold – to seize.
dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan – names as listed in Revelation 12:9.
bound – again symbolic – Satan and his angels being bound to a depopulated earth.
20:3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.
bottomless pit – as Revelation 20:1 – a symbolic vision where John sees Satan’s activities halted.
set a seal – cf. Revelation 7:2 – the sealing symbolises Satan’s restraint for the whole thousand years.
must – of necessity, being part of God’s divine plan.
loosed – symbolic, being the opposite of ‘bound’ (Revelation 20:2). At the close of the thousand years, the earth will be repopulated – this time by the wicked of all ages.
a little season – an unspecified duration but long enough for Satan to organise an assault upon New Jerusalem by the resurrected wicked.
20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
thrones – symbols of authority / judgement – to pass sentence. Cf. Daniel 7:22 – ‘judgment was given to the saints of the most High’.
souls – cf. Revelation 6:9.
beheaded – to cut off with an axe. Ancient Rome executed by axe; later the sword was used.
witness of Jesus – testimony of Jesus – cf. Revelation 1:2, 9.
word of God – Cf. Revelation 1:2, 9.
which had not worshipped – the third angel’s message of Revelation 14:9-12 had been heeded.
lived – came to life.
reigned with Christ – when the seventh angel comes the reign begins in heaven – cf. Daniel 7:27; Revelation 11:15.
thousand years – cf. Revelation 20:2.
5-6. Marks of Curse in Second Resurrection.–At the first resurrection all come forth in immortal bloom, but at the second, the marks of the curse are visible upon all. All come up as they went down into their graves. Those who lived before the Flood, come forth with their giant-like stature, more than twice as tall as men now living upon the earth, and well proportioned. The generations after the Flood were less in stature (3SG 84, 85).  [7BC 986.4]
20:5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
rest of the dead – the wicked dead.
lived not – came not to life.
But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished – a parenthetical statement inserted between the preceding verse and the remainder of this verse.
20:6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
second death – the death of the wicked after 1000 years (Revelation 20:14).
Down through the ages both righteous and wicked have been subject to first death – cf. 1 Corinthians 15:22; Hebrews 9:27.
All are resurrected – John 5:28-29 – the righteous receive immortality – 1 Corinthians 15:52-55 – and the wicked an eternal death  – Revelation 20:9; 21:8 – where God destroys both body and soul in hell – Matthew 10:28.
power – authority.
priests – cf. Isaiah 61:6 and Revelation 1:6. The saints remain in the company and service of God and of Christ.
20:7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
loosed – the 1000 year of confinement of Revelation 20:2 will end; the wicked then being resurrected.
prison – the bottomless pit – Revelation 20:1. Satan’s confinement upon an unpopulated earth.
20:8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.
nations which are in the four quarters of the earth – the unsaved of all nations.
Gog – obscure in meaning – cf. Ezekiel 38:2 – the name used by Ezekiel to designate the leader of the heathen hosts.
Magog – likewise of obscure mening – Ezekiel 38:2 – Gog’s homeland.
Under enacted conditions, Ezekiel’s prophecy would have been literally fulfilled; now only a degree of fulfillment will occur in the final struggle against God.
to battle – for the battle.
as the sand of the sea – numerically, beyond identification – ‘as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which [is] upon the sea shore’ – Genesis 22:17.
9, 10, 14. New Jerusalem Preserved Amid Flames.–When the flood of waters was at its height upon the earth, it had the appearance of a boundless lake of water. When God finally purifies the earth, it will appear like a boundless lake of fire. As God preserved the ark amid the commotions of the Flood, because it contained eight righteous persons, He will preserve the New Jerusalem, containing the faithful of all ages, from righteous Abel down to the last saint which lived. Although the whole earth, with the exception of that portion where the city rests, will be wrapped in a sea of liquid fire, yet the city is preserved as was the ark, by a miracle of Almighty power. It stands unharmed amid the devouring elements (3SG 87).  [7BC 986.5]  (Genesis 8:1 – And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that [was] with him in the ark: and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters asswaged; ; 2 Peter 3:10 – But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.).
20:9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.
breadth of the earth – cf. Habakkuk 1:6.
compassed – encircled.
camp – New Jerusalem – an encampment of people – Hebrews 13:11, 13 – the saints being within the already ascended (cf. Revelation 21:1, 9, 10 ) city during the siege (EW292-3).
and the beloved city – even the beloved city.
fire – destruction by literal fire.
devoured – total annihilation – the second death of Revelation 20:6 – no endless torture, nor ever-burning hell cf. Jude7.
20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
lake of fire – cf. Revelation 19:20. The earth’s surface being a sea of flames as the wicked are consumed and the earth is purified.
lake of fire and brimstone – cf. Revelation21:8.
beast and the false prophet – symbolic creatures; the devil being literal.
for ever and ever – unto the ages of the ages cf. Revelation 14:11.
20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
throne – an authoritative symbol, here for judgement where white depicts the purity and justness of verdicts.
him that sat – both Christ ( Romans 14 ) and the Father (Hebrews 12:23) are recorded as sitting in judgement; here Christ affiliates as divine judge (GC666). Working in complete unity, in Revelation 4:2, 8-9: 5:1,7,13; 6:16; 7:10,15; 19:4 and 21:5 the Father is seated on the throne.
fled away – through the absolute power of him that sat on the great white throne.
12-15. The Book of Life.–The book here referred to is the book of records in heaven, in which every name is inscribed, and the acts of all, their sins, and obedience, are faithfully written. When individuals commit sins which are too grievous for the Lord to pardon, their names are erased from the book, and they are devoted to destruction (ST May 27, 1880).  [7BC 987.8]
12-13. God’s Law Seen in New Light.–When the judgment shall sit, and everyone shall be judged by the things written in the books, the authority of God’s law will be looked upon in a light altogether different from that in which it is now regarded by the Christian world.  Satan has blinded their eyes and confused their understanding, as he blinded and confused Adam and Eve, and led them into transgression. The law of Jehovah is great, even as its Author is great. In the judgment it will be recognized as holy, just, and good in all its requirements. Those who transgress this law will find that they have a serious account to settle with God; for His claims are decisive (RH May 7, 1901).  [7BC 986.6]  (Daniel 7:9-10 – 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. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.).
All the Worlds Witness Judgment.–Christ would have all understand the events of His second appearing. The judgment scene will take place in the presence of all the worlds; for in this judgment the government of God will be vindicated, and His law will stand forth as “holy, and just, and good.” Then every case will be decided, and sentence will be passed upon all. Sin will not then appear attractive, but will be seen in all its hideous magnitude. All will see the relation in which they stand to God and to one another (RH Sept. 20, 1898).  [7BC 986.7]  (Romans 3:19 – Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. ; Romans 7:12 – Wherefore the law [is] holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. ; Jude 15 – To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard [speeches] which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.).
Deep Heart Searching.–[Revelation 20:12 quoted.] Then men will have a clear, sharp remembrance of all their transactions in this life. Not a word or a deed will escape their memory. Those will be trying times. And while we are not to mourn over the time of trouble to come, let us, as Christ’s followers, search our hearts as with a lighted candle to see what manner of spirit we are of. For our present and eternal good, let us criticize our actions, to see how they stand in the light of the law of God. For this law is our standard. Let every soul search his own heart (Letter 22, 1901).  [7BC 986.8]
Every Case Examined.–Though all nations are to pass in judgment before Him, yet He will examine the case of each individual with as close and searching scrutiny as if there were not another being on earth (RH Jan. 19, 1886).  [7BC 986.9]  (Psalm 33:13-15 – The LORD looketh from heaven; he beholdeth all the sons of men. From the place of his habitation he looketh upon all the inhabitants of the earth. He fashioneth their hearts alike; he considereth all their works. ; Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 – Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this [is] the whole [duty] of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether [it be] good, or whether [it be] evil. ; Jeremiah 17:10 – I the LORD search the heart, [I] try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, [and] according to the fruit of his doings. ; Hebrews 4:13 – Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things [are] naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.).
Angels Marking Deeds of Men.–All heaven is interested in our salvation. The angels of God are walking up and down the streets of these cities, and marking the deeds of men. They record in the books of God’s remembrance the words of faith, the acts of love, the humility of spirit; and in that day when every man’s work shall be tried of what sort it is, the work of the humble follower of Christ will stand the test, and will receive the commendation of Heaven (RH Sept. 6, 1890).  [7BC 986.10]  (Malachi 3:16-17 – Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard [it], and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. ; 1 Corinthians 3:13 – Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.).
As Accurate as Photographer’s Plate.–All of us, as beings blessed of God with reasoning powers, with intellect and judgment, should acknowledge our accountability to God. The life He has given us is a sacred responsibility, and no moment of it is to be trifled with; for we shall have to meet it again in the record of the judgment. In the books of heaven our lives are as accurately traced as in the picture on the plate of the photographer. Not only are we held accountable for what we have done, but for what we have left undone. We are held to account for our undeveloped characters, our unimproved opportunities (RH Sept. 22, 1891).  [7BC 987.1]
Our Characters Represented in Books.–In the books of heaven are accurately recorded the sneers and the trivial remarks of sinners who pay no heed to the call of mercy made, as Christ is presented to them by His ministering servants. As the artist takes on the polished glass a true picture of the human face, so the angels of God daily place upon the books of heaven an exact representation of the character of every human being (ST Feb. 11, 1903).  [7BC 987.2]
Heaven’s Service Record.–All who are partakers of this great salvation wrought out by Jesus Christ are under obligation to work as laborers together with God. In the heavenly courts the roll is called, on which every name is registered, and the heavenly agencies respond to the call. The service given by every human being upon earth is there recorded. If any are negligent, it is recorded; if diligent, the same is reported; if idlers, the fact stands against their names. In all the great mass of humanity, not one is lost sight of. Then let every one be ready to answer the call, saying, “Here, Lord, ready for action.”  [7BC 987.3]
The world has claims upon you. If you fail to shine as lights in the world, some will rise in the judgment, and charge upon you the blood of their souls. It will be seen that you were an agent in the hands of the enemy of God and man to mislead and deceive by your profession of Christianity. You did not lead souls to piety and devotion. You had a name to live, but were spiritually dead. You had not the vitalizing influence of the Spirit of God, which is abundantly provided for all who, in faith, make demands upon it (RH Aug. 16, 1898).  [7BC 987.4]
A Daily Inventory.–God judges every man according to his work. Not only does He judge, but He sums up, day by day and hour by hour, our progress in welldoing (RH May 16, 1899).  [7BC 987.5]
20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
the dead – the resurrected wicked.
small and great, stand – all will stand before God to receive full justice. In rank and life, status has no sway ‘For there is no respect of persons with God’ (Romans 2:11).
books – cf. Daniel 7:10.
another book – one more book, ‘the book of life’.
according to their works – the enactment of Romans 2:6.
20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell – depict the universality of the second resurrection where none will avoid appearing in person before God on His throne.
20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
death and hell – such mortal phenomena have no part in the new earth.
‘The last enemy [that] shall be destroyed [is] death’ (1 Corinthians 15:26); (see 1 Corinthians 15:53-55).
lake of fire – cf. Revelation 20:10; 21:8.
second death – cf. Revelation 20:6; 21:8.
20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
whosoever – the book of life records all who have at some time professed faith in Christ (see Like 10:20; Philippians 4:3).
The names of those who fail to endure are blotted out. (Revelation 3:5).
lake of fire – cf. Matthew 25:41, 46: Revelation 20:10; 21:8.
1-4. God’s Family United at Last.–Now the church is militant, now we are confronted with a world in midnight darkness, almost wholly given over to idolatry. But the day is coming in which the battle will have been fought, the victory won. The will of God is to be done on earth, as it is done in heaven. Then the nations will own no other law than the law of heaven. All will be a happy, united family, clothed with the garments of praise and thanksgiving–the robe of Christ’s righteousness.  [7BC 988.2]  (Isaiah 30:26 – Moreover the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day that the LORD bindeth up the breach of his people, and healeth the stroke of their wound.).
All nature in its surpassing loveliness will offer to God a constant tribute of praise and adoration. The world will be bathed in the light of heaven. The years will move on in gladness. The light of the moon will be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be sevenfold greater than it is now. Over the scene the morning stars will sing together, and the sons of God will shout for joy, while Christ and God will unite in proclaiming, “There shall be no more sin, neither shall there be any more death” (RH Dec. 17, 1908).  [7BC 988.3]
1. No Engulfing Ocean.–The sea divides friends. It is a barrier between us and those whom we love. Our associations are broken up by the broad, fathomless ocean. In the new earth there will be no more sea, and there shall pass there “no galley with oars.” In the past many who have loved and served God have been bound by chains to their seats in galleys, compelled to serve the purpose of cruel, hardhearted men. The Lord has looked upon their suffering in sympathy and compassion. Thank God, in the earth made new there will be no fierce torrents, no engulfing ocean, no restless, murmuring waves (MS 33, 1911).  [7BC 988.1]  (Isaiah 33:21 – But there the glorious LORD [will be] unto us a place of broad rivers [and] streams; wherein shall go no galley with oars, neither shall gallant ship pass thereby.).
Revelation 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
new heaven and a new earth – not a creation but a re-creation, a forming anew of existing elements. cf. 2 Peter 3:13.
and there was no more sea – The heavens, earth and seas will no longer exist as currently known – cf. PP44 – at creation, noble rivers and lovely lakes existed but not loathsome swamps.
21:2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
holy city – cf. Daniel 9:24 and Matthew 27:53.
Ancient Jerusalem contained the Temple – where God manifested His presence to His people.
Spiritual degeneration occurred – Jesus pronounced the Temple as a den of thieves (Matthew 21:13) and predicted the city’s destruction (Matthew 22:7 & Luke 21:20).
coming down – In vision, John sees the city descending – see PP62.
from God – God – the author, originator and source of everything.
out of heaven – its place of origin (Revelation 3:12; 21:10).
prepared – With the preparation already complete, the city now stands perfected and fully prepared (cf. GC645, 648).
bride – city likened to a fully adorned bride (cf. Revelation 19:7).
husband – the Lamb, Jesus Christ (cf. Revelation 19:7).
21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
great voice – speaker not identified – unlikely God, as tense is not in third person.
tabernacle – tent, booth or dwelling.
with men / with them / with them – 3 times in this verse the speaker stresses that God is making His home with His people for eternity.
dwell – Ezekiel 37:27 described conditions that might have occurred; here is described conditions soon to be fulfilled.
4. The Christian’s Summer.–This earth is the place of preparation for heaven. The time spent here is the Christian’s winter. Here the chilly winds of affliction blow upon us, and the waves of trouble roll against us. But in the near future, when Christ comes, sorrow and sighing will be forever ended. Then will be the Christian’s summer. All trials will be over, and there will be no more sickness or death. “God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying . . . : for the former things are passed away” (MS 28, 1886).  [7BC 988.4]
21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
all tears – every tear (cf. Revelation 7:17 & Isaiah 25:8; 65:19).
there shall be no more death – death – a result of sin – shall be no more.
Death, the last enemy, is destroyed – cf. 1 Corinthians 15:54 & Revelation 21:26.
sorrow – bereavement grief – completely removed.
crying – no cause will exist for crying in this beautiful world.
pain – likewise banished.
former things – today’s conditions, that bear the mark of the curse (Revelation 22:3), will have ceased.
21:5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.
he – not identified – could be the Father, who in Revelation 4:2 was seated upon the throne, or Christ (see Matthew 25:31).
Behold – the speaker calls attention to an important pending disclosure.
all things – no part of the curse will remain (cf. Revelation 22:3).
new – cf. Revelation 21:1 – new, in quality and from existing elements (rather than new elements).
Write – John in vision is commanded at different times to record his experience (cf. Revelation 1:19; 2:1; 14:13; etc.).
true and faithful – God’s words and promises, being genuine and trustworthy, are fully dependable (Revelation 22:6).
21:6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.
It is done – It has / They have come to pass.
Alpha and Omega – cf. Revelation 1:8.
athirst – The true believer desires to drink deeply the spiritual riches from God rather than amass worldly things and goods.
fountain – spring (cf. John 4:14; Revelation 7:17; 22:17).
of the fountain of the water of life freely – out of the spring of that water which is life itself; i.e. the promise of immortality (1 Corinthians 15:53).
freely – gratuitously. The gift of immortality – purchased ‘without money and without price’ (Isaiah 55:1).
21:7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
overcometh – continually / habitually conquers. Although he may make mistakes (see 1 John 2:1), the Christian, living by the power of the Holy Spirit, continues to grow spiritually (cf. Revelation 2:7, 11, 17, 26 & 3:5, 12,21).
all things – these things – i.e. the promises given in the Revelation, especially this chapter.
his God, and he shall be my son – cf. Genesis 17:7; 2 Samuel 7:14.
21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
21:9 And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will show thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.
one of the seven angels – cf. Revelation 17:1 where an angel has presented mystical Babylon. Now John’s attention is drawn towards the New Jerusalem.
Jerusalem and ancient Babylon, historically, were traditional enemies – representing good (an honourable woman – Revelation 19:7; 21:2) and evil (a fallen woman – Revelation 17:5) – the two sides of the great controversy.
the Lamb’s wife – cf. Revelation 19:7; 21:2.
21:10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,
in the spirit – in vision (cf. Revelation 1:10).
great and high mountain – an advantage point to see everything.
descending – cf. Revelation 21:2.
21:11 Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;
glory of God – His abiding presence will never leave New Jerusalem (cf. Exodus 40:34; 1 Kings 8:11).
light – a light-giving body – see Philippians 2:15; cf. Revelation 21:23.
clear as crystal – to flash forth light.
21:12 And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:
wall great and high, and had twelve gates – ancient cities had such walls / gates for protection against enemies. John is trying to record in known, human language the celestial city as seen in pictorial prophecy – interpretational care is needed as the city’s grandeur is not a function of withstanding enemy attack.
twelve gates – cf. Ezekiel 48:31-34.
twelve angels – pictured as having angelic gatekeepers.
twelve tribes – cf. Ezekiel 48:31-34 ; Revelation 7:4.
21:13 On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.
three gates – like Ezekiel, John sees three gates on each side of the city.
21:14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
twelve – recorded 5 times in Revelation 21:12-14.
twelve apostles – see Ephesians 2:20 – the New Testament church was built upon the foundation of Christ’s 12 apostles.
21:15 And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof.
reed – cf. Ezekiel 40:3; Revelation 11:1 – the dimensions are such that the heavenly home is both adequate and sufficient.
21:16 And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal.
foursquare – a sign of perfect balance – cf. Exodus 27:1; 28:16; 30:2; 39:9; 2 Chronicles 3:8; Ezekiel 41:21; 43:16; 45:2; 48:20.
twelve thousand furlongs – about 1,378.4 miles (2,218 km) as 1 furlong is approximately 185m.
Adopting the usual perimeter method of measurement, the city would have sides of 344.6 miles (551.4 km).
height – to be equal, the city would be 344.6 miles (551.4 km) high. (The height may be ‘proportionate’ with the sides.)
21:17 And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel.
measured the wall – 144 cubits would equate to about 210 feet (64m) using the New Testament cubit of about 17.5 inches (445mm). Rather than wall height, thickness may be implied.
according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel – whatever the dimensions of the New Jerusalem, it will be perfect for the saints occupancy.
21:18 And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.
pure gold – as rays of light fall upon the city, its structure appears to be transparent as glass.
21:19 And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald;
garnished – adorned.
jasper – cf. Revelation 4:3.
sapphire – possibly lapis lazuli – a very hard transparent or translucent sky-blue stone.
chalcedony – identification uncertain – perhaps a gem of greenish colour.
emerald – a gem of bright green colour.
21:20 The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolyte; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.
sardonyx – possibly an onyx with red and brown layers against a white background.
sardius – probably a reddish coloured gem.
chrysolyte – golden stone; unidentified yellow coloured stone.
beryl – probably a sea-green coloured gem.
topaz – probably a near transparent yellow coloured stone.
chrysoprasus – possibly a purple coloured gem.
jacinth – probably a purple coloured gem.
amethyst – probably a purple coloured gem.
21:21 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.
one pearl – the gem size being beyond human comprehension.
21:22 And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.
temple – the holy and most holy places of the sanctuary; not the outer courts and other buildings.
The earthly sanctuary was symbolic of God’s dwelling place.
In the garden of Eden, Adam and Eve dwelt in the presence of God.
When sin is no more, God’s church will be re-established to dwell in His presence.
No structure will be required to symbolise God’s dwelling place.
23. Only One Source of Light.–Christ “loved the church, and gave himself for it.” It is the purchase of His blood. The divine Son of God is seen walking amid the seven golden candlesticks. Jesus Himself supplies the oil to these burning lamps. He it is that kindles the flame. “In him was life; and the life was the light of men.”  [6BC 1118.7]
 No candlestick, no church, shines of itself. From Christ emanates all its light. The church in heaven today is only the complement of the church on earth; but it is higher, grander–perfect. The same divine illumination is to continue through eternal ages. The Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the light thereof. No church can have light if it fails to diffuse the glory it receives from the throne of God (MS 1a, 1890).  [6BC 1118.8]
21:23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.
no need – God’s presence will illuminate the city throughout eternity – cf. Isaiah 60:19-20.
Human created light being inferior to that produced by the glory of God.
21:24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.
nations – cf. Isaiah 60:3,5; Revelation 7:9; 21:26.
kings – an Old Testament illustration – cf. Isaiah 60:11.
21:25 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.
no night – the result of God’s glory.
21:26 And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.
of the nations – cf. Revelation 21:24.
21:27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
any thing that defileth – an allusion to Isaiah 52:1.
 John has based much of the New Jerusalem imagery upon the ancient prophets who described the Jerusalem that might have been.
worketh abomination, or maketh a lie – cf. Revelation 21:8.
book of life – cf. Philippians 4:3.
In vision, John had been shown the city’s exterior (Revelation 21:10); now the angel focuses John’s attention to various items within the city.
1-2. Higher Education in the Future Life.–Christ, the heavenly Teacher, will lead His people to the tree of life that grows on either side of the river of life, and He will explain to them the truths they could not in this life understand. In that future life His people will gain the higher education in its completeness. Those who enter the city of God will have the golden crowns placed upon their heads. That will be a joyful scene that none of us can afford to miss. We shall cast our crowns at the feet of Jesus, and again and again we will give Him the glory and praise His holy name. Angels will unite in the songs of triumph. Touching their golden harps, they will fill all heaven with rich music and songs to the Lamb (MS 31, 1909).  [7BC 988.8]
1. Efficacy of Christ’s Blood.–Thank God that He who spilled His blood for us, lives to plead it, lives to make intercession for every soul who receives Him. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin. It speaketh better things than the blood of Abel, for Christ ever liveth to make intercession for us. We need to keep ever before us the efficacy of the blood of Jesus. That life-cleansing, life-sustaining blood, appropriated by living faith, is our hope. We need to grow in appreciation of its inestimable value, for it speaks for us only as we by faith claim its virtue, keeping the conscience clean and at peace with God.  [7BC 947.11]
This is represented as the pardoning blood, inseparably connected with the resurrection and life of our Redeemer, illustrated by the ever-flowing stream that proceeds from the throne of God, the water of the river of life (Letter 87, 1894).  [7BC 948.1]
Revelation 22:1 And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.
pure river – cf. Ezekiel 47:1.
clear – ‘brilliant’, ‘bright’.
out of the throne – cf. Ezekiel 47:1; Zechariah 14:8.
2. Life-giving Power in Tree of Life.–The tree of life is a representation of the preserving care of Christ for His children. As Adam and Eve ate of this tree, they acknowledged their dependence upon God. The tree of life possessed the power to perpetuate life, and as long as they ate of it, they could not die. The lives of the antediluvians were protracted because of the life-giving power of this tree, which was transmitted to them from Adam and Eve (RH Jan. 26, 1897).  [7BC 988.9]  (Genesis 2:9 – And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.).
Life-giving Fruit Ours Through Christ.–The fruit of the tree of life in the Garden of Eden possessed supernatural virtue. To eat of it was to live forever. Its fruit was the antidote of death. Its leaves were for the sustaining of life and immortality. But through man’s disobedience, death entered the world. Adam ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the fruit of which he had been forbidden to touch. His transgression opened the floodgates of woe upon our race.  [7BC 988.10]  (John 1:4 – In him was life; and the life was the light of men.).
After the entrance of sin, the heavenly Husbandman transplanted the tree of life to the Paradise above; but its branches hang over the wall to the lower world. Through the redemption purchased by the blood of Christ, we may still eat of its life-giving fruit.  [7BC 989.1]
Of Christ it is written, “In him was life; and the life was the light of men.” He is the fountain of life. Obedience to Him is the life-giving power that gladdens the soul.  [7BC 989.2]
Christ declares: “I am the bread of life; he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst” [John 6:57, 63; Revelation 2:7, last part, quoted] (ST March 31, 1909).  [7BC 989.3]
Tree of Life Planted for Us.–The sons of men have had a practical knowledge of evil, but Christ came to the world to show them that He had planted for them the tree of life, the leaves of which were for the healing of the nations (MS 67, 1898).  [7BC 989.4]  (Psalm 19:10 – More to be desired [are they] than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. ; John 6:54-57 – Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.).
The leaves of the tree of life are proffered you. They are sweeter than honey and the honeycomb. Take them, eat them, digest them, and your faintheartedness will pass away (MS 71, 1898).  [7BC 989.5]
Christ . . . was the tree of life to all who would pluck and eat (MS 95, 1898).  [7BC 989.6]
Bible the Tree of Life to Us.–Let all bear in mind that the tree of life bears twelve manner of fruits. This represents the spiritual work of our earthly missions. The Word of God is to us the tree of life. Every portion of the Scripture has its use. In every part of the Word is some lesson to be learned. Then learn how to study your Bibles. This book is not a heap of odds and ends. It is an educator. Your own thoughts must be called into exercise before you can be really benefited by Bible study. Spiritual sinew and muscle must be brought to bear upon the Word. The Holy Spirit will bring to remembrance the words of Christ. He will enlighten the mind, and guide the research (Letter 3, 1898).  [7BC 989.7]
Christ the Tree of Life.–Christ is the source of our life, the source of immortality. He is the tree of life, and to all who come to Him He gives spiritual life (RH Jan. 26, 1897).  [7BC 989.8]
22:2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
tree – a symbol of eternal life from the source of life.
tree of life – cf. Genesis 2:9; also 8T288, 289. Ezekiel 47:7, 12 cites ‘many trees’.
twelve manner of fruits – fully sufficient for eternity, beyond consumption (Zechariah 47:12).
healing – ‘service’, ‘nurture’, ‘care’ – ‘household attendants’.
Zechariah 47:12 cites ‘the leaf thereof for medicine’ – margin has ‘for bruises and sores’.
3-4. A Definition of Heaven.–Christ is the truth of all that we find in the Father. The definition of heaven is the presence of Christ (Und. MS 58).  [7BC 989.9]
22:3 And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:
throne of God and of the Lamb – with no more curse God and Christ will reign in the city.
shall serve – ‘to worship’, ‘to minister’.
22:4 And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.
see his face – an ‘intimate relationship’ expression having mutual confidence.
in their foreheads – upon their foreheads – a symbol of ownership and authentication.
22:5 And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.
no night – God’s presence and glory provide sufficient luminosity to provide an ‘everlasting light’. Revelation 21:23; Isaiah 60:19, 20.
giveth them light – ‘will illuminate them’ – the restoration of harmonious relationships formerly severed by sin in the garden of Eden.
they shall reign – cf. Revelation 5:10 – denotes freedom without persecution, not ruler-ship of other worlds.
22:6 And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to show unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.
faithful and true – an endorsement of God’s trustworthiness and genuinity.
Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel – The Holy Spirit illuminated Old Testament prophets; likewise the spirit of John.
22:7 Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.
I come quickly – Relating to Jesus’ second coming, the angel quotes Jesus – Revelation 1:1; 22:12, 20.
blessed – one of the 7 beatitudes of Revelation – the others being Revelation 1:3; 14:13; 16:15; 19:9; 20:6; and 22:14.
the sayings – the counsels and warnings.
22:8 And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which showed me these things.
fell down to worship – John, having just heard the angel quote Jesus, reacted as if in the presence of the Lord.
22:9 Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.
See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant – cf. Revelation 19:10.
which keep the sayings of this book – namely ‘the testimony of Jesus’ (Revelation 19:10); also cf. John 1:1.
worship God – The angel directs John’s worship to God (Revelation 14:7, being the first angel’s message).
10-12. Christ’s Intercession Soon to Cease.–The One who has stood as our intercessor; who hears all penitential prayers and confessions; who is represented with a rainbow, the symbol of grace and love, encircling His head, is soon to cease His work in the heavenly sanctuary. Grace and mercy will then descend from the throne, and justice will take their place. He for whom His people have looked will assume His right–the office of Supreme Judge (RH Jan. 1, 1889).  [7BC 989.11]
Probation Ends When Least Expected.–When probation ends, it will come suddenly, unexpectedly–at a time when we are least expecting it. But we can have a clean record in heaven today, and know that God accepts us; and finally, if faithful, we shall be gathered into the kingdom of heaven (MS 95, 1906).  [7BC 989.12]
No Second Probation.–There is not a second probation for anyone. Now is probationary time, before the angel shall fold her golden wings, the angel of mercy, and shall step down from the throne, and mercy, mercy is gone forever (MS 49, 1894).  [7BC 989.13]
Time of Probation’s Close Not Revealed.–God has not revealed to us the time when this message will close, or when probation will have an end. Those things that are revealed we shall accept for ourselves and for our children; but let us not seek to know that which has been kept secret in the councils of the Almighty. . . .  [7BC 989.14]  (John 9:4 – I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.).
Letters have come to me asking me if I have any special light as to the time when probation will close; and I answer that I have only this message to bear, that it is now time to work while the day lasts, for the night cometh in which no man can work. Now, just now, it is time for us to be watching, working, and waiting.  [7BC 989.15]
The Word of the Lord reveals the fact that the end of all things is at hand, and its testimony is most decided that it is necessary for every soul to have the truth planted in the heart so that it will control the life and sanctify the character. The Spirit of the Lord is working to take the truth of the Inspired Word and stamp it upon the soul so that the professed followers of Christ will have a holy, sacred joy that they will be able to impart to others. The opportune time for us to work is now, just now, while the day lasts. But there is no command for anyone to search the Scriptures in order to ascertain, if possible, when probation will close. God has no such message for any mortal lips. He would have no mortal tongue declare that which He has hidden in His secret councils (RH Oct. 9, 1894).  [7BC 989.16]
22:10 And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.
Seal not – Unlike the book of Daniel (Daniel 12:4), the Revelation prophecy is to be proclaimed world-wide.
the time is at hand – cf. Revelation 1:1 & 3.
22:11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.
The decree of Revelation 22:11 comes at the close of the investigative judgement.
22:12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
I come quickly – See Revelation 22:7.
reward – ‘hire’, ‘wages’, ‘that which is due’. cf. Matthew 5:12, 46; 20:8; 2 Peter 2:13.
to give – ‘to pay off’, ‘to discharge what is due’, ‘to recompense’.
work – ‘an act done’.
Christ’s righteousness is accepted in place of man’s failure
God accepts man as if he had not sinned
Wholly surrendered to God, the Father examines Christ, man’s substitute
Only on the day of judgement will the penitent’s sin be blotted out
Consequently, should subsequent separation from God occur, pardoning Love is removed and the book of remembrance, which recorded his good deeds, is not considered in the judgement. The righteous man then being guilty of all his sins, including those formerly pardoned.
13-17. The Alpha and Omega of Scripture.–[Revelation 22:13-17 quoted.] Here we have the Alpha of Genesis and the Omega of Revelation. The blessing is promised to all those who keep the commandments of God, and who cooperate with Him in the proclamation of the third angel’s message (RH June 8, 1897).  [7BC 990.2]
13. Sinner Given a Second Trial.–As representative of the fallen race, Christ passed over the same ground on which Adam stumbled and fell. By a life of perfect obedience to God’s law, Christ redeemed man from the penalty of Adam’s disgraceful fall. Man has violated God’s law. Only for those who return to their allegiance to God, only for those who obey the law that they have violated, will the blood of Christ avail. Christ will never become a party to sin. Bearing the penalty of the law, He gives the sinner another chance, a second trial. He opens a way whereby the sinner can be reinstated in God’s favor. Christ bears the penalty of man’s past transgressions, and by imparting to man His righteousness, makes it possible for man to keep God’s holy law (MS 126, 1901).  [6BC 1092.7]
The Alpha and Omega.–When the students of prophecy shall set their hearts to know the truths of Revelation, they will realize what an importance is attached to this search. Christ Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega, the Genesis of the Old Testament, and the Revelation of the New. Both meet together in Christ. Adam and God are reconciled by the obedience of the second Adam, who accomplished the work of overcoming the temptations of Satan and redeeming Adam’s disgraceful failure and fall.  [6BC 1092.8]
The two Adams will meet in Paradise and embrace each other, while the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet, and all who have refused the opportunities and privileges given to them at such infinite cost, and have not returned to their loyalty, will be shut out of Paradise (MS 33, 1897).  [6BC 1093.1]
22:13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
Alpha and Omega – first and last Greek alphabet letters. Jesus at the beginning , as Creator, and at end (Revelation 1:8).
beginning and the end – everything created exists as a result of Christ – cf. Colossians 1:16-17.
beginning and the end – the plan of salvation is bound up in Jesus. – cf. Revelation 1:11,17.
The above three verse titles show Christ in relationship to man’s salvation.
14. City of God for Commandment Keepers.–None who have had the light of truth will enter the city of God as commandment breakers. His law lies at the foundation of His government in earth and in heaven. If they have knowingly trampled upon a