From Battle to Victory, 2020, Quarter 1, Lesson 11

por Tim Rumsey marzo 07, 2020

From Battle to Victory, 2020, Quarter 1, Lesson 11

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Sabbath (March 7): From Battle to Victory­

Daniel 10 introduces the book’s final vision, which comprises the last three chapters. The vision forms the third “repetition and enlargement” of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of the metal man and its revelation of the four great world empires stretching from Daniel’s day to Christ’s second coming. Although this vision runs parallel with the three earlier iterations of the prophetic timeline, it focuses more heavily on “the time of the end” (Daniel 11:40) and earth’s final events than do chapters 2, 7, or 8. At the same time, it also reveals more of the hidden spiritual battle that is unfolding as the great controversy rages.

Discussion Questions:

  • Read Daniel 10:1. What three things does Daniel explain about the vision introduced in this chapter? (“The thing was true,” “the time appointed was long,” and “he understood the thing, and had understanding of the vision.”)

  • Read the following verses from the latter part of Daniel’s final vision, and discuss how each one relates to the three aspects of the vision brought out in Daniel 10:1.

    • Daniel 11:2. “The thing was true.” (God’s prophetic word is truth, and those who study it, live by it, and teach it to others have the promise that they are basing their lives on a solid Rock.)

    • Daniel 11:35, 40; 12:1. “The time appointed was long.” (This vision extends until the end of time and Christ’s second coming. In a special way, the vision focuses on the very final events connected with the battle of Armageddon [Daniel 11:40-45], the close of probation [Daniel 12:1], and the second coming [Daniel 12:2].)

    • Daniel 11:33; 12:10. “He understood the thing…” (God has given divine understanding to all His people throughout history that have treasured His word. At the end of time, we are promised that same gift, and it will be given to those who seek and accept God’s purification and cleansing from sin [compare Daniel 12:10].)

  • Read the following passage from the book In Heavenly Places and discuss the realities that every soldier of Christ must face. How can we remain faithful to God and experience His victory on a daily basis? (Answers will vary.)

To follow Christ is not freedom from conflict. It is not child’s play. It is not spiritual idleness. All the enjoyment in Christ’s service means sacred obligations in meeting oft stern conflicts. To follow Christ means stern battles, active labor, warfare against the world, the flesh, and the devil. Our enjoyment is the victories gained for Christ in earnest, hard, warfare.... We are enlisted for labor, “not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life” (John 6:27).... {HP 117.3}

Every soul must count the cost. Not one will succeed but by strenuous effort. We must spiritually exercise all our powers and crucify the flesh with its affections and lusts. Crucifixion means much more than many suppose.... {HP 117.4}

It is a constant watchfulness to be faithful unto death, to fight the good fight of faith until the warfare is ended and as overcomers we shall receive the crown of life.39 {HP 117.5}

Sunday (March 8): Fasting and Prayer, Once Again

The vision recorded in Daniel 10 occurred “in the third year of Cyrus” (Daniel 10:1), in 536 B.C. Within the last few months, about 50,000 Jews had returned to Jerusalem under Cyrus’s decree. The Bible does not state why Daniel remained in Babylon—perhaps he felt he was too old, or he decided to remain close to the throne in his position of influence in order to help his people in any way that he could.  It is clear, however, that his heart was in Jerusalem with the Jews, and with God.

Discussion Questions:

  • Read Daniel 10:2,3. We are given no explanation in this chapter as to why Daniel was mourning, praying, and fasting. However, what do we, once again, see that Daniel’s natural and first response to crisis is? (Daniel prays, earnestly, when faced with dangerous, difficult, or discouraging situations.)

  • Read Ezra 4:4,5. It is possible that Daniel’s prayer and fasting resulted from opposition taking place in Jerusalem to the rebuilding of the temple. If this was indeed the situation, what role was Daniel performing on behalf of his people in Jerusalem? (He was interceding for them before God.)

  • Read Daniel 10:12. What impact did Daniel’s prayer of intercession have in heaven? (Gabriel, presumably, was sent “the first day” that Daniel began praying to work on behalf of God’s people.) What encouragement should we gain from this amazing revelation of heaven’s answer to Daniel’s prayer? (God hears our prayers, and responds to them. There is no delay in heaven’s “processing” of our prayers.)

  • Read Deuteronomy 7:2-4; 14:2. The Jews rebuilding the temple in Jerusalem had received an offer of assistance from the nearby Samaritans. However, based on the principles in these verses, and the lessons painfully learned from their own history, the Jews refused the offer of help. Why did the Jewish leaders refuse this help? Was this a wise choice? (They did not want to enter into any relationship with unbelievers that would spiritually threaten their dependence on, and obedience to, God.) What lesson does their decision have for us today? (Answers will vary.)

Only a remnant had chosen to return from Babylon; and now, as they undertake a work seemingly beyond their strength, their nearest neighbors come with an offer of help. The Samaritans refer to their worship of the true God, and express a desire to share the privileges and blessings connected with the temple service. “We seek your God, as ye do,” they declare. “Let us build with you.” But had the Jewish leaders accepted this offer of assistance, they would have opened a door for the entrance of idolatry. They discerned the insincerity of the Samaritans. They realized that help gained through an alliance with these men would be as nothing in comparison with the blessing they might expect to receive by following the plain commands of Jehovah. {PK 568.1}

The principles set forth in Deuteronomy for the instruction of Israel are to be followed by God’s people to the end of time. True prosperity is dependent on the continuance of our covenant relationship with God. Never can we afford to compromise principle by entering into alliance with those who do not fear Him. {PK 570.2}

Monday (March 9): A Vision of the Prince

Daniel’s vision had a marked physical impact upon the prophet, as well as those who were around him. In today’s lesson we will look at the Person Daniel sees in vision, as well as the effect this vision had on the prophet.

Discussion Questions:

  • Read Daniel 10:4-6. What seven descriptions does Daniel give of the heavenly being he sees? (He is clothed in linen, he has gold around his waist, his body appears like beryl, his face is like lightning, his eyes look like fire, his arms and feet are like bronze, and his voice sounds like a multitude.) Is it any surprise that Daniel falls to the ground in response? (No! He actually has to be revived three times in this chapter as he comes face to face with heavenly beings.)

  • Read Joshua 5:13-15, Ezekiel 1:26-2, and Revelation 1:12-16. Compare these descriptions of divine appearances with that in Daniel 10. Who has appeared to Daniel? (It seems clear that Daniel is seeing the Son of God, the pre-incarnate Jesus Christ.)

This description is similar to that given by John when Christ was revealed to him upon the Isle of Patmos. No less a personage than the Son of God appeared to Daniel. Our Lord comes with another heavenly messenger to teach Daniel what would take place in the latter days. {SL 49.3}

  • Read Daniel 10:7. Why did Daniel’s companions flee when Daniel entered into this vision? (They were probably Chaldean idolaters, and when the Holy Spirit fell upon Daniel, they were as anxious to get away from God’s presence as were Adam and Eve to hide from their Creator after their transgression.)

  • Read Daniel 10:8,9,15,17. What physical impact did the vision have on Daniel? (He had no strength, he appeared to be in a deep sleep, he was initially lying facedown, he could not speak, and there was no breath left in him. Apparently he was not breathing.) Compare the effects of Daniel’s vision with a vision that Ellen White once had. What similarities do you see?

A parallel circumstance occurred in Parkville, Michigan, January 12, 1861. It was the day of the dedication of the Parkville meeting-house, and a large audience had assembled. Elder White and his wife, Elder J. H. Waggoner, and the writer were present. At the close of the service, Mrs. White gave an exhortation, and the blessing of God rested upon her in a remarkable degree. After sitting down, she was taken off in vision, and remained seated.

There was present a Doctor Brown, a hale, strong man physically, who was a Spiritualist medium. As was afterward learned, he had said that Mrs. White's visions were the same as spirit mediumship, and that if she had one where he was, he could bring her out of it in one minute.

Elder White gave an invitation for all who desired to do so to come forward and by examination satisfy themselves as to her condition while in vision. Some one said, "Doctor, go ahead, and do as you said you would." Elder White then asked: "Is there a doctor in the house? We always like to have physicians examine Mrs. White in vision."

The doctor started quite bravely; but before he got half way to Mrs. White, he turned deathly pale and shook like a leaf. He was urged to go on and make the examination. As soon as this was completed, he made his way rapidly to the door, and seized hold of the knob to go out.

Those standing by prevented him, saying: "Go back, and do what you said you would do. Bring that woman out of the vision." Elder White, seeing the doctor trying to get out of the door, said, "Will the doctor please report to the audience?" He replied, "Her heart and pulse are regular, but there is not a particle of breath in her body." Then, in great agitation, he again grasped the knob of the door. The people near him said, "Doctor, what is it?" He replied, "God only knows; let me out of this house." And out he went.

It was evident that the spirit that influenced him as a medium was no more at rest in the presence of the power that controlled Mrs. White in vision than were the demoniacs who inquired of the Saviour, "Art Thou come hither to torment us before the time?" And like the Chaldeans mentioned above, he fled to "hide" himself. (Taken from The Prophetic Gift in the Gospel Church, pages 52-54. Some paragraph breaks added.)

Tuesday (March 10): Touched by an Angel     

In today’s lesson we will look at heaven’s tender and compassionate response to Daniel’s prayer and fasting. The angel sent to help and comfort Daniel interacts with the aged prophet in powerful ways that bring to light the need of God’s people today.

Discussion Questions:

  • Read Daniel 10:10-19. How many times does the angel touch Daniel? (Three times.) Does this seem strange? Why wouldn’t a single supernatural touch be sufficient to strengthen and help Daniel? (The angel’s repeated touches indicate first the extent of the impact that the vision had on Daniel. Second, it reveals the compassion and care that God has for us. Even if a single touch from heaven “should” be enough for us, God does not give up on us.)

  • Read Daniel 10:10-14. What does the angel’s first touch do for Daniel? (It enables him to stand, hear, and understand God’s word.) Comparing Revelation 10:8-10, what parallel does this first “angel’s touch” have for God’s people in the Advent Movement today? (This movement began as people read, studied, heard, and believed in God’s prophetic word. New spiritual life never comes separately from a renewed interest in and acceptance of God’s word.)

  • Read Daniel 10:15-17. What does the angel’s second touch do for Daniel? (It enables him to speak.) Comparing Revelation 10:11, what commission are God’s people given after they have “eaten” the word of God? (They are to speak God’s word to the world.)

  • Read Daniel 10:18,19. What does the angel’s third touch do for Daniel? (It gives him strength.) Comparing Revelation 14:6 and 18:1, what kind of strength do God’s people need today to complete the mission given to them? (They need divine strength to share the everlasting gospel and the Three Angels’ Messages with the world!)

Wednesday (March 11): A Great Conflict

Throughout the book of Daniel the theme of the “great controversy” between God and Satan is revealed. Chapter 10 again focuses on the reality of a great spiritual battle involving all creatures in the universe. This time, the battle involves the king of Persia, the Jews in Jerusalem, heavenly beings and fallen angels. The book Prophets and Kings explains the situation in Daniel 10 this way:

While Satan was striving to influence the highest powers in the kingdom of Medo-Persia to show disfavor to God’s people, angels worked in behalf of the exiles. The controversy was one in which all heaven was interested. Through the prophet Daniel we are given a glimpse of this mighty struggle between the forces of good and the forces of evil. For three weeks Gabriel wrestled with the powers of darkness, seeking to counteract the influences at work on the mind of Cyrus; and before the contest closed, Christ Himself came to Gabriel’s aid. “The prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days,” Gabriel declares; “but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.” Daniel 10:13. All that heaven could do in behalf of the people of God was done. The victory was finally gained; the forces of the enemy were held in check all the days of Cyrus, and all the days of his son Cambyses, who reigned about seven and a half years. {PK 571.2}

Discussion Questions:

  • Read Daniel 10:20,21 and Ephesians 6:10-12. What kind of battle is described in these verses? (We are engaged in a spiritual battle that includes heaven and earth.) Do you think Daniel understood this? (Apparently he did, which is why he prayed so frequently and earnestly.) Based on what we have studied of Daniel’s life, what helped him maintain this “great controversy” worldview, even while living in Babylon? (First, he had purposed in his heart to remain faithful to God [see Daniel 1:8]. He recognized that his life was to be full of conflict between good and evil. Second, he studied the word of God faithfully [see Daniel 9:2], and this immersion in the prophetic word allowed him to view the events of life from a Biblical perspective. Third, he habitually prayed to God and relied on His power and wisdom [see Daniel 6:10 and 2:23].)

  • Read 2 Corinthians 10:3-5. In what ways do these verses reveal the spiritual battle that was being waged for the mind and will of King Cyrus? (Salvation is gained and lost primarily through the choices made by people in response to the promptings of the Holy Spirit and the powers of darkness. The mind is like a fortress, or a “strong hold,” and its defenses can be trained to keep out either Satan or the Holy Spirit.) In Daniel 10, the angel from heaven says that he was struggling for 21 days to convince Cyrus to help the Jews. What does this reveal about the importance of our choices, and the strength of the spiritual forces battling for control of our minds? (Clearly, the battle is real, and the stakes are far higher than we often realize or admit.)

Thursday (March 12): A Victorious Prince

The name Michael literally means, “who is like God.” It is a fitting title for the divine, supernatural Being that fights for God’s honor and His people. The reference in Daniel 10:13 to Michael as “one of the chief princes” has caused some to question if this name can really refer to the Son of God. However, it is possible that this designation reflects the multiple personalities contained in the Godhead (compare Genesis 1:26). Others have argued that the word one in “one of the chief princes” actually means “the first of the chief princes,” and therefore exalts this Person as the head of the heavenly armies (compare Daniel 8:25). In today’s lesson we will take a closer look at Michael, the mysterious divine Warrior.

Discussion Questions:

  • Read Daniel 10:13. Who comes to help the angel, presumably Gabriel, in his fight with the “prince of the kingdom of Persia”? (Michael.)

  • Read Exodus 15:11; Deuteronomy 33:29; and Isaiah 36:20. In these, and other similar passages, some form of the injunction “Who is like God” appears. What is the setting of these passages, and how is God portrayed in them? (In all of these passages, God is portrayed as a Warrior fighting for and defending His people.) What does this tell you about the character of God? What impact does this have on your faith in God? (Answers will vary.)

  • The proper name Michael appears four times in the Bible (in addition to Daniel 10:134) in reference to a supernatural being. Read the following passages in which this name is used and discuss what each one reveals about the character and work of Michael:

    • Daniel 10:21. (Michael is Daniel’s prince. Though living in a land and empire controlled by the “prince of the kingdom of Persia,” Daniel ultimately served another Ruler. Michael also sustains and helps His angels in the great fight against evil.)

    • Daniel 12:1. (Michael works for the deliverance of His people.)

    • Jude 9 and 1 Thessalonians 4:16. (Michael is the archangel, and at the second coming He is the “Lord himself” that shouts with the “voice of the archangel” at the resurrection.)

    • Revelation 12:7-9 and Luke 10:18. (Michael fought against Satan in heaven and cast him out of heaven. It is not surprising, then, that Jesus Christ—or Michael—said He saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.)

  • Read the following passage from the book Prophets and Kings and discuss the responsibility we have to work and fight the Lord’s battles and not get sidetracked by other things in life. What encouragement should we gain from the assurance that Michael our Prince is fighting with us and for us? (Answers will vary.)

This was a time of wonderful opportunity for the Jews. The highest agencies of heaven were working on the hearts of kings, and it was for the people of God to labor with the utmost activity to carry out the decree of Cyrus. They should have spared no effort to restore the temple and its services, and to re-establish themselves in their Judean homes. But in the day of God’s power many proved unwilling. The opposition of their enemies was strong and determined, and gradually the builders lost heart. Some could not forget the scene at the laying of the cornerstone, when many had given expression to their lack of confidence in the enterprise. And as the Samaritans grew more bold, many of the Jews questioned whether, after all, the time had come to rebuild. The feeling soon became widespread. Many of the workmen, discouraged and disheartened, returned to their homes to take up the ordinary pursuits of life. {PK 572.1}

Friday (March 13): Daniel 10 and Spiritual Victory

As we close this week’s lessons on Daniel 10, we will look at several important keys to spiritual victory demonstrated in the life of Daniel.

  1. Spiritual victory comes by exercising self-denial. In 2 Peter 1:4-7, temperance is listed as one of the essential rungs in the ladder to participating in the divine nature. Salvation can never be earned through self-denial, and neither can it be experienced without self-denial. From his youth, Daniel’s life demonstrated the power and importance of temperance on our spiritual connection with God.

  2. Spiritual victory comes when we lift up our eyes. In Daniel 10:5 the prophet says that he lifted up his eyes and saw the Man clothed in linen. Prior to this he had been standing by the Tigris River, presumably looking at the water. Water in Bible prophecy can represent people, and Daniel received this communication and strength from heaven only as he looked away from people, and toward heaven.

  3. Spiritual victory comes by humbling ourselves before God. “By [Daniel 10:12-13] 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, 18899, emphasis added}

  4. Spiritual victory comes through protection from heaven.Over every man good and evil angels It is the man himself who determines which shall win. 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. {Lt201-1899, emphasis added}  

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Tim Rumsey
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