Friday: Further Thought – Daniel and the End Time

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

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Satan has led many to believe that the prophetic portions of the writings of Daniel and of John the revelator cannot be understood. But the promise is plain that special blessing will accompany the study of these prophecies. ‘The wise shall understand’ [Dan. 12:10], was spoken of the visions of Daniel that were to be unsealed in the latter days; and of the revelation that Christ gave to His servant John for the guidance of God’s people all through the centuries, the promise is, ‘Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein.’ Revelation 1:3”. — Ellen G. White, Prophets and Kings, pp. 547, 548.

Though we tend to look at the book of Daniel in the context of the rise and fall of nations, the judgment (Dan. 7:22Dan. 7:26Dan. 8:14), and the final deliverance of God’s people in the time of trouble (Dan. 12:1), we saw this week that the book of Daniel also can give us examples of what it means for us individually to be prepared for trials and persecution, whenever they come. In this sense, these stories present us with crucially important messages in the last days. After all, however helpful it may be to know about the “mark of the beast” and the “time of trouble” and upcoming persecution, if we haven’t had the kind of experience with God that we need, all this knowledge will only condemn us. More than anything else, we need the “born again” experience that Daniel and the others, including Nebuchadnezzar, had.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Read Daniel’s prayer in Daniel 9:3-19. How does this prayer show that Daniel understood grace, and that God loves and redeems us out of His own graciousness, as opposed to any merit or goodness on our own part? Why is this a truth so important not just to understand but to experience?
  2. In class, discuss the challenges that the three Hebrews (Daniel 3) and Daniel (Daniel 6faced in regard to standing up when their religious practices were threatened by political authorities. What similarities do you find in the two accounts? What differences? And what can we learn from both accounts about how we can be powerful witnesses by being faithful?
  3. What does it mean to be “born again”? Why would Jesus say that we “must be born again” (John 3:7)?
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Source: Daily Sabbath School Lessons