Lesson 10 Part l
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We have studied the failures of the Jewish nation and the Christian Church.  Just as Christianity came from the cradle of Judaism, Protestantism developed within Catholicism.  The force behind each movement was a pursuit of truth about God.  Truth needs restoration from time to time.  Man becomes careless and forgets.  Man-made teachings gradually displace the Word of God.  Without divine light, we stumble in darkness.  The farther we stray from God’s Word, the darker the darkness.  In spite of the vast technological knowledge we have today, are we entering the new dark ages?

Jesus reserved the continent of North Americaas a haven for Protestantism.  This new world discovery became a refuge for all seeking religious freedom.  During the past two centuries, millions of immigrants arrived on these shores seeking religious freedom and opportunity.  No one argues that God has immensely blessed this nation.  But it is not the natural wealth of this country that made us great.  The United States became great because she was God-fearing and lived by the principles of righteousness.

The troubles we face now are due to the fact that we have lost sight of our Creator.  Like the Jews of old, we have forgotten God.  As a nation, we seek pleasure more than righteousness.  We love things more than we love God.  We have become a nation of idolaters.  TV feeds our degenerate souls by glamorizing sin a thousand times each day.  Our minds are filled with meaningless and empty diversions.  We never have enough money or enough time.  (If you don’t believe it, ask a friend for some of either!)  We have become poor managers of our natural resources.  Evidence all around indicates that America is headed downhill fast!

At the end of the American Revolution one of our forefathers wrote, “The spirit of the times may alter, will alter.  Our rulers will become corrupt, our people careless.  A single zealot may commence persecution, and better men are his victims.  It can never be too often repeated, that the time for fixing every essential right on a legal basis, is whole our rulers are honest and we united.  From the conclusion of this war we shall be going downhill. It will not then be necessary to resort every moment to the people for their support.  They will be forgotten, therefore, and their rights disregarded.  They will forget themselves, and in the sole faculty of making money, they will never think of uniting to affect a due respect for their rights.  The shackles, therefore, which shall be knocked off at the conclusion of the war, will remain on us long, will be heavier and heavier, till our rights shall revive or expire in a convulsion.”  Thomas Jefferson Notes on Virginia, Vol 8, page 402

Was Jefferson prophetic?  Are his 200 hundred-year-old remarks on target?  If you think Jeffersonwas prophetic, Bible prophecy is even more accurate for God alone declares the end from the beginning.

Another look at Daniel 7

We need to study Daniel 7 more thoroughly because we’re seeking an understanding of the importance of 1844.  How can we know for sure that 1844 marks the “appointed time of the end?”

Daniel’s four beasts, discussed in the last lesson, parallel the same kingdoms that Nebuchadnezzar saw.  These kingdoms were Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome.  Even though history removes any doubt about the identity and chronological progression of these kingdoms.  Daniel 7 has information greater than the rise and fall of 4 kingdoms!

Daniel 7 contains an important key that unlocks the significance of 1844.  Notice what Daniel says,  “As I looked, thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took his seat.  His clothing was as white as snow; the hair of his head was white like wool.  His throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze.  A river of fire was flowing, coming out from before him.  Thousands upon thousands attended him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him.  The court was seated, and the books were opened.”  Daniel 7:9,10

What did Daniel see taking place in heaven?  What is the meaning of this courtroom scene?  Daniel saw the judgment of mankind!  Reread the verses above and reflect on the following points for a moment:

1.      Thrones (plural) were put in place or arranged.  Heaven was made ready for a great event.

2.      The Ancient of Days, the Father presides.  His appearance is greater than the brightness of the sun.  His throne (compared to the other thrones) is so bright that it appears to be on fire.  The glowing angels that encircle him appear to Daniel as wheels of fire.

3.      This is no ordinary convention in heaven.  Billions of angels throughout the universe have been summoned to this special occasion.

4.      The Father takes his seat.  The court was seated.  And the books of record were opened.  But the scene doesn’t end with these verses.  There’s more. Daniel says, “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven.  He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence.  He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all people’s nations and men of every language worshipped him.  His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.”  Daniel 7:13,14

5.      In this vast assembly of angels, Daniel sees a being that looked very different than the heavenly host. This being looked like a “son of man.”  Consider the significance of this.  Billions of angels are gathered in the courtroom and center stage stands a being that looks like one of the human race!  This “son of man” can only be Jesus.

6.      Jesus is taken before the Ancient of Days by a retinue of holy angels.

7.      As Daniel watches, Jesus receives authority, glory and sovereign power.

8.      Daniel concludes the vision saying that Jesus is ultimately worshipped by everyone in heaven an on the earth and His kingdom will never pass away or be destroyed.  (Contrast this with the 4 beasts representing kingdoms that rise and fall.)

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