Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Daniel 12:4

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Shut up the words, and seal the book - When a prophet received a prediction concerning what was at a considerable distance of time, he shut his book, did not communicate his revelation for some time after. This Daniel was commanded to do, Daniel 8:26. See also Isaiah 29:10, Isaiah 29:11; Revelation 22:10. Among the ancients, those were said to seal, who in the course of their reading stamped the places of which they were yet doubtful, in order to keep them in memory, that they might refer to then; again, as not yet fully understood. This custom Salmasius, in his book De modo Usurarum, p. 446, proves from Hesychius.

Many shall run to and fro - Many shall endeavour to search out the sense; and knowledge shall be increased by these means; though the meaning shall not be fully known till the events take place: Then the seal shall be broken, and the sense become plain. This seems to be the meaning of this verse, though another has been put on it, viz., "Many shall run to and fro preaching the Gospel of Christ, and therefore religious knowledge and true wisdom shall be increased." This is true in itself; but it is not the meaning of the prophet's words.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words - To wit, by sealing them up, or by closing the book, and writing no more in it. The meaning is, that all has been communicated which it was intended to communicate. The angel had no more to say, and the volume might be sealed up.

And seal the book - This would seem to have been not an unusual custom in closing a prophecy, either by affixing a seal to it that should be designed to confirm it as the prophet‘s work - as we seal a deed, a will, or a contract; or to secure the volume, as we seal a letter. Compare the notes at Daniel 8:26; Isaiah 8:16.

Even to the time of the end - That is, the period when all these things shall be accomplished. Then

(a) the truth of the prediction now carefully sealed up will be seen and acknowledged;

(b) and then, also, it may be expected that there will be clearer knowledge on all these subjects, for the facts will throw increased light on the meaning and the bearing of the predictions.

Many shall run to and fro - Shall pass up and down in the world, or shall go from place to place. The reference is clearly to those who should thus go to impart knowledge; to give information; to call the attention of men to great and important matters. The language is applicable to any methods of imparting important knowledge, and it refers to a time when this would be the characteristic of the age. There is nothing else to which it can be so well applied as to the labors of Christian missionaries, and ministers of the gospel, and others who, in the cause of Christian truth, go about to rouse the attention of men to the great subjects of religion; and the natural application of the language is to refer it to the times when the gospel would be preached to the world at large.

And knowledge shall be increased - To wit, by this method. The angel seems to mean that in this way there would be an advance in knowledge on all the subjects of religion, and particularly on the points to which he had referred. This would be one of the characteristics of these times, and this would be the means by which it would be accomplished. Our own age has furnished a good illustration of the meaning of this language, and it will be still more fully and strikingly illustrated as the time approaches when the knowledge of the Lord shall fill the whole world.

Having thus gone through with an exposition of these, the closing words of the vision Daniel 12:1-4, it seems proper that we should endeavor to ascertain the meaning of the angel in what is here said, and the bearing of this more particularly on what he had said before. With this view, therefore, several remarks may be made here.

(1) it seems clear that there was in some respects, and for some purpose, a primary reference to Antiochus, and to the fact that in his times there would be a great rousing up of the friends of God and of religion, as if from their graves.

(a) The connection demands it. If the close of the last chapter refers to Antiochus, then it cannot be denied that this does also, for it is introduced in immediate connection with that, and as referring to that time: “And at that time.”

(b) The facts referred to would require the same interpretation. Thus it is said that it would be a time of trouble, such as there had never been since the nation existed - a state of things which clearly refers to the calamities which would be brought upon them by the persecutions of Antiochus Epiphanes.

(c) This interpretation seems to be in accordance with the purpose of the angel to give the assurance that these troubles would come to an end, and that in the time of the greatest calamity, when everything seemed tending to ruin, God would interpose, and would secure the people, and would cause his own worship to be restored. Porphyry then, it appears to me, was so far right as to apply this to the times of Antiochus, and to the events that occurred under the Maccabees. “Then,” says he, “those who, as it were, sleep in the dust of the earth, and are pressed down with the weight of evils, and, as it were, hid in sepulchres of misery, shall rise from the dust of the earth to unexpected victory, and shall raise their heads from the ground the observers of the law rising to everlasting life, and the violators of it to eternal shame.” He also refers to the history, in which it is said that, in the times of the persecutions, many of the Jews fled to the desert, and hid themselves in caves and caverns, and that after the victories of the Maccabees they came forth, and that this was metaphorically ( μεταφορικῶς metaphorikōs ) called a resurrection of the dead. - Jerome, in loc. According to this interpretation, the meaning would be, that there would be a general uprising of the people; a general arousing of them from their lethargy, or summoning them from their retreats and hiding-places, as if the dead, good and bad, should arise from their dust.

(2) This language, however, is derived from the doctrine of the literal resurrection of the dead. It implies the belief of that doctrine. It is such language as would be used only where that doctrine was known and believed. It would convey no proper idea unless it were known and believed. The passage, then, may be adduced as full proof that the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust, was understood and believed in the time of Daniel. No one can reasonably doubt this. Such language is met used in countries where the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead is not believed, and where used, as it is in Christian lands, is full proof, even when employed for illustration, that the doctrine of the resurrection is a common article of belief. Compare the notes at Isaiah 26:19. This language is not found in the Greek and Latin classic writers; nor in pagan writings in modern times; nor is it found in the earlier Hebrew Scriptures; nor is it used by infidels even for illustration; and the proof, therefore, is clear that as employed in the time of Daniel the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead was known and believed. If so, it marks an important fact in the progress of theological opinion and knowledge in his times. How it came to be known is not intimated here, nor explained elsewhere, but of the fact no one can have any reasonable doubt. Even now, so clear and accurate is the language, that if we wish to express the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead, we cannot do it better than by employing the language of the angel in addressing Daniel. (See Editor‘s Preface to volume on Job.)

(3) The full meaning of the language is not met by the events that occurred in the times of the Maccabees. As figurative, or, as Porphyry says, metaphorical, it might be used to describe those events. But what then occurred would not come up to the proper and complete meaning of the prediction. That is, if nothing more was intended, we should feel that the event fell far short of the full import of the language; of the ideas which it was fitted to convey; and of the hopes which it was adapted to inspire. If that was all, then this lofty language would not have been used. There was nothing in the facts that adequately corresponded with it. In the obvious and literal sense, there was nothing which could be called a resurrection to “everlasting life;” nothing that could be called an awaking to “everlasting shame and contempt.” There was nothing which would justify literally the language “they shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and as the stars forever and ever.” The language naturally has a higher signification than this, and even when employed for illustration, that higher signification should be recognized and would be suggested to the mind.

(4) The passage looks onward to a higher and more important event than any that occurred in the times of the Maccabees - to the general resurrection of the dead, of the just and the unjust, and to the final glory of the righteous. The order of thought in the mind of the angel would seem to have been this: he designed primarily to furnish to Daniel an assurance that deliverance would come ill the time of the severe troubles which were to overwhelm the nation, and that the nation would ultimately be safe. In doing this his mind almost unconsciously glanced forward to a final deliverance from death and the grave, and he expressed the thought which he designed to convey in the well-known and familiar language used to describe the resurrection. Commencing the description in this manner, by the laws of prophetic suggestion (compare the Introduction to Isaiah, Section 7.), the mind finally rested on the ultimate event, and what began with the deliverance in the times of the Maccabees, ended in the full contemplation of the resurrection of the dead, and the scenes beyond the last judgment.

(5) If it be asked what would be the pertinency or the propriety of this language, if this be the correct interpretation, or what would be its bearing on the design of the angel, it may be replied:

(a) that the assurance was in this way conveyed that these troubles under Antiochus would cease - an assurance as definite and distinct as though all that was said had been confined to that;

(b) that a much more important, and more cheering general truth was thus brought to view, that ultimately the people of God would emerge from all trouble, and would stand before God in glory - a truth of great value then, and at all times;

(c) that this truth was of so universal a nature that it might be applied in all times of trouble - that when the church was assailed; when the people of God were persecuted; when they were driven away from their temples of worship, and when the rites of religion were suspended; when the zeal of many should grow cold, and the pious should be disheartened, they might look on to brighter times. There was to be an end of all these troubles. There was to be a winding up of these affairs. All the dead were to be raised from their graves, the good and the bad, and thus the righteous would triumph, and would shine like the brightness of the firmament, and the wicked would be overwhelmed with shame and contempt.

(6) from all this it follows that this passage may be used to prove the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead, and the doctrine of eternal retribution. Not, indeed, the primary thing in the use of the language as applied by the angel, it is, nevertheless, based on the truth and the belief of these doctrines, and the mind of the angel ultimately rested on these great truths as adapted to awe the wicked, and to give consolation to the people of God in times of trouble. Thus Daniel was directed to some of the most glorious truths that would be established and inculcated by the coming of the Messiah, and long before he appeared had a glimpse of the great doctrine which he came to teach respecting the ultimate destiny of man.

Uriah Smith
Daniel and the Revelation, 305

Verse 4

The “words” and “book” here spoken of, doubtless refer to the things which had been revealed to Daniel in this prophecy. These things were to be shut up and sealed until the time of the end; that is, they were not to be specially studied, or to any great extent understood, till that time. The time of the end, as has already been shown, commenced in 1798. As the book was closed up and sealed to that time, the plain inference is that at that time, or from that point, the book would be unsealed; that is, people would be better able to understand it, and would have their attention specially called to this part of the inspired word. Of what has been done on the subject of prophecy since that time, it is unnecessary to remind the reader. The prophecies, especially Daniel’s prophecy, have been under examination by all students of the word wherever civilization has spread abroad its light upon the earth. And so the remainder of the verse, being a prediction of what should take place after the time of the end commenced, says, “Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” Whether this running to and fro refers to the passing of people from place to place, and the great improvements in the facilities for transportation and travel made within the present century, or whether it means, as some understand it, a turning to and fro in the prophecies, that is, a diligent and earnest search into prophetic truth, the fulfillment is certainly and surely before our eyes. It must have its application in one of these two ways; and in both of these directions the present age is very strongly marked.DAR 305.3

So of the increase of knowledge. It must refer either to the increase of knowledge in general, the development of the arts and sciences, or an increase of knowledge in reference to those things revealed to Daniel, which were closed up and sealed to the time of the end. Here, again, apply it which way we will, the fulfillment is most marked and complete. Look at the marvelous achievements of the human mind, and the cunning works of men’s hands rivaling the magician’s wildest dreams, which have been accomplished within the last hundred years. It was recently stated in the Scientific American that within this time more advancement has been made in all scientific attainments, and more progress in all that tends to domestic comfort, the rapid transaction of business among men, the transmission of intelligence from one to another, and the means of rapid transit from place to place and even from continent to continent, than all that was done for three thousand years previous, put together.DAR 306.1

By a series of vignettes the artist has given us in the accompanying plates a bird’s-eye view of some of the most wonderful discoveries and marvelous scientific and mechanical achievements of the present age. In the upper left hand corner of Plate I, we have —DAR 306.2

1. The self-binding reaping machine, representing a large class of inventions by which the processes of agriculture have been revolutionized within the memory of multitudes now living.DAR 306.3

2. On the circular shield is the cotton gin, which in its first rude form, by Whitney, in 1793, lifted cotton culture into one of the great industries of the world.DAR 307.1

3. The sewing-machine, of the importance of which in the industrial world since its invention by Elias Howe, Jr., in 1846, nothing need be said.DAR 307.2

4. An electric street-car, propelled by the trolley system, which represents the achievements in electrical discovery, such as electric lighting, electric power, as illustrated in the great Niagara plant, etc.DAR 307.3

5. The phonograph, by which human speech can be indefinitely preserved and transmitted.DAR 307.4

6. The invention of photography, with which, with its application to engraving, all are familiar.DAR 307.5

7. Typical of the wonderful inventions in printing machinery, some perfecting presses delivering from a roll of paper, from 30,000 to 60,000 completed papers, printed on both sides, cut, pasted, and folded ready for delivery, every hour.DAR 307.6

8. The monster siege and battle guns of the present day.DAR 307.7

9. Represents the monstrous telescopes of the last quarter of a century, by which such marvelous discoveries in the heavens have been made.DAR 307.8

10. The telephone, by which a man in Chicago can carry on vocal conversation with another man in New York.DAR 307.9

11. The discovery of petroleum, which has revolutionized domestic lighting, and is making possible horseless vehicles for common roads.DAR 307.10

12. A mining scene suggesting the pneumatic drill and other modern devices for tunneling mountains and exploring the hidden depths of the earth.DAR 307.11

13. The steam fire-engine, one of the greatest safeguards of modern times.DAR 307.12

14. The Brooklyn Bridge, showing what strides have been made in engineering skill in these days. This is probably soon to be surpassed by a similar and much larger structure, over the Hudson, connecting New York with Jersey City.DAR 307.13

15. The Washington monument, the highest solid monument in the world (555 ft., 5½ inches).DAR 308.1

16. The bicycle, working a revolution in suburban personal travel. The manufacturers’ estimate for the output in 1896, in the United States alone, is three quarters of a million machines. This, and trolley street-car propulsion, are rendering horses a drug on the market.DAR 308.2

17. A telegraphic instrument. First put in operation in 1844. There are now untold thousands of miles of telegraphic wire in use.DAR 308.3

18. The magnificent ocean iron ships of the present day. For passenger and war service nothing was ever produced to compare with the great steamers of the present decade.DAR 308.4

19. Railway transportation. The empire express on N. Y. Central; fastest train in the world, averaging nearly sixty miles an hour. Jan. 1, 1890, according to Scientific American of Aug. 30, 1890, there were in the United States alone 161,397 miles of track. There were invested in American railways $9,680,942,240. In 1889 five hundred million passengers, were carried, and the gross earnings were over one billion dollars.DAR 308.5

Many other things might be spoken of, such as submarine armor to explore the depths of the sea, balloons to explore the spaces above us, power spinning-machines, and anesthetics to prevent pain in surgery, etc., etc.DAR 308.6

What a galaxy of wonders to originate in a single age! How marvelous the scientific attainments of the present day, upon which all these discoveries and achievements concentrate their light! Truly, viewed from this standpoint, we have reached the age of the increase of knowledge.DAR 308.7

And to the honor of Christianity let it be noted in what lands, and by whom, all these discoveries have been made, and so much done to add to the facilities and comforts of life. It is in Christian lands, among Christian men, since the great Reformation. Not to the Dark Ages, which furnished only a travesty of Christianity; not to pagans, who in their ignorance know not God, nor to those who in Christian lands deny him, is the credit of this progress due. Indeed, it is the very spirit of equality and individual liberty inculcated in the gospel of Christ when preached in its purity, which unshackles human limbs, unfetters human minds, invites them to the highest use of their powers, and makes possible such an age of free thought and action, in which these wonders can be achieved.DAR 308.8

Of the marvelous character of the present age, Victor Hugo speaks as follows: —DAR 309.1

“In science it works all miracles; it makes saltpeter out of cotton, a horse out of steam, a laborer out of the voltaic pile, a courier out of the electric fluid, and a painter of the sun; it bathes itself in the subterranean waters, while it is warmed with the central fires; it opens upon the two infinities those two windows, — the telescope on the infinitely great, the microscope on the infinitely little; and it finds in the first abyss the stars of heaven, and in the second abyss the insects, which prove the existence of a God. It annihilates time, it annihilates distance, it annihilates suffering; it writes a letter from Paris to London, and has the answer back in ten minutes; it cuts off the leg of a man — the man sings and smiles.” — Le Petit Napoleon.DAR 309.2

But if we take the other standpoint, and refer the increase of knowledge to an increase of Biblical knowledge, we have only to look at the wonderful light which, within the past sixty years, has shone upon the Scriptures. The fulfillment of prophecy has been revealed in the light of history. The use of a better principle of interpretation has led to conclusions showing, beyond dispute, that the end of all things is near. Truly the seal has been taken from the book, and knowledge respecting what God has revealed in his word, is wonderfully increased. We think it is in this respect that the prophecy is more especially fulfilled, but only in an age like the present could the prophecy, even in this direction, be accomplished.DAR 309.3

That we are in the time of the end, when the book of this prophecy should no longer be sealed, but be open and understood, is shown by Revelation 10:1, 2, where a mighty angel is seen to come down from heaven with a little book in his hand open. For proof that the little book, there said to be open, is the book here closed up and sealed, and that that angel delivers his message in this generation, see on Revelation 10:2.DAR 309.4

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Michael signifies, "Who is like God," and his name, with the title of "the great Prince," points out the Divine Saviour. Christ stood for the children of our people in their stead as a sacrifice, bore the curse for them, to bear it from them. He stands for them in pleading for them at the throne of grace. And after the destruction of antichrist, the Lord Jesus shall stand at the latter day upon the earth; and He shall appear for the complete redemption of all his people. When God works deliverance from persecution for them, it is as life from the dead. When his gospel is preached, many who sleep in the dust, both Jews and Gentiles, shall be awakened by it out of their heathenism of Judaism. And in the end the multitude that sleep in the dust shall awake; many shall arise to life, and many to shame. There is glory reserved for all the saints in the future state, for all that are wise, wise for their souls and eternity. Those who turn many to righteousness, who turn sinners from the errors of their ways, and help to save their souls from death, Jas 5:20, will share in the glory of those they have helped to heaven, which will add to their own glory.
Ellen G. White
The Acts of the Apostles, 585

In the Revelation all the books of the Bible meet and end. Here is the complement of the book of Daniel. One is a prophecy; the other a revelation. The book that was sealed is not the Revelation, but that portion of the prophecy of Daniel relating to the last days. The angel commanded, “But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end.” Daniel 12:4. AA 585.1

It was Christ who bade the apostle record that which was to be opened before him. “What thou seest, write in a book,” He commanded, “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.” “I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore.... Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter; 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.” Revelation 1:11, 18-20. AA 585.2

The names of the seven churches are symbolic of the church in different periods of the Christian Era. The number 7 indicates completeness, and is symbolic of the fact that the messages extend to the end of time, while the symbols used reveal the condition of the church at different periods in the history of the world. AA 585.3

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Ellen G. White
The Desire of Ages, 234-5

The time of Christ's coming, His anointing by the Holy Spirit, His death, and the giving of the gospel to the Gentiles, were definitely pointed out. It was the privilege of the Jewish people to understand these prophecies, and to recognize their fulfillment in the mission of Jesus. Christ urged upon His disciples the importance of prophetic study. Referring to the prophecy given to Daniel in regard to their time, He said, “Whoso readeth, let him understand.” Matthew 24:15. After His resurrection He explained to the disciples in “all the prophets” “the things concerning Himself.” Luke 24:27. The Saviour had spoken through all the prophets. “The Spirit of Christ which was in them” “testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.” 1 Peter 1:11. DA 234.1

It was Gabriel, the angel next in rank to the Son of God, who came with the divine message to Daniel. It was Gabriel, “His angel,” whom Christ sent to open the future to the beloved John; and a blessing is pronounced on those who read and hear the words of the prophecy, and keep the things written therein. Revelation 1:3. DA 234.2

“The Lord God will do nothing, but He revealeth His secret unto His servants and prophets.” While “the secret things belong unto the Lord our God,” “those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever.” Amos 3:7; Deuteronomy 29:29. God has given these things to us, and His blessing will attend the reverent, prayerful study of the prophetic scriptures. DA 234.3

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Ellen G. White
Fundamentals of Christian Education, 409

The use which men have made of their capabilities, by misusing and abusing their God-given talents, has brought confusion into the world. They have left the guardianship of Christ for the guardianship of the great rebel, the prince of darkness. Man alone is accountable for the strange fire which has been mingled with the sacred. The accumulation of many things which minister to lust and ambition has brought upon the world the judgment of God. When in difficulty, philosophers and the great men of earth desire to satisfy their minds without appealing to God. They ventilate their philosophy in regard to the heavens and the earth, accounting for plagues, pestilences, epidemics, earthquakes, and famines, by their supposed science. Hundreds of questions relating to creation and providence, they will attempt to solve by saying. This is a law of nature. FE 409.1

There are laws of nature, but they are harmonious, and conform with all God's working; but when the lords many and gods many set themselves to explain God's own principles and providences, presenting to the world strange fire in the place of divine, there is confusion. The machinery of earth and heaven needs many faces to every wheel in order to see the Hand beneath the wheels, bringing perfect order from confusion. The living and true God is a necessity everywhere. FE 409.2

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Ellen G. White
The Great Controversy, 356

The apostle Paul warned the church not to look for the coming of Christ in his day. “That day shall not come,” he says, “except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed.” 2 Thessalonians 2:3. Not till after the great apostasy, and the long period of the reign of the “man of sin,” can we look for the advent of our Lord. The “man of sin,” which is also styled “the mystery of iniquity,” “the son of perdition,” and “that wicked,” represents the papacy, which, as foretold in prophecy, was to maintain its supremacy for 1260 years. This period ended in 1798. The coming of Christ could not take place before that time. Paul covers with his caution the whole of the Christian dispensation down to the year 1798. It is this side of that time that the message of Christ's second coming is to be proclaimed. GC 356.1

No such message has ever been given in past ages. Paul, as we have seen, did not preach it; he pointed his brethren into the then far-distant future for the coming of the Lord. The Reformers did not proclaim it. Martin Luther placed the judgment about three hundred years in the future from his day. But since 1798 the book of Daniel has been unsealed, knowledge of the prophecies has increased, and many have proclaimed the solemn message of the judgment near. GC 356.2

Like the great Reformation of the sixteenth century, the advent movement appeared in different countries of Christendom at the same time. In both Europe and America men of faith and prayer were led to the study of the prophecies, and, tracing down the inspired record, they saw convincing evidence that the end of all things was at hand. In different lands there were isolated bodies of Christians who, solely by the study of the Scriptures, arrived at the belief that the Saviour's advent was near. GC 357.1

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Ellen G. White
The Great Controversy, 360

Concerning the popular system of interpreting, or misinterpreting, the Scriptures, Wolff wrote: “The greater part of the Christian church have swerved from the plain sense of Scripture, and have turned to the phantomizing system of the Buddhists, who believe that the future happiness of mankind will consist in moving about in the air, and suppose that when they are reading Jews they must understand Gentiles; and when they read Jerusalem, they must understand the church; and if it is said earth, it means sky; and for coming of the Lord they must understand the progress of the missionary societies; and going up to the mountain of the Lord's house, signifies a grand class meeting of Methodists.”—Journal of the Rev. Joseph Wolff, page 96. GC 360.1

During the twenty-four years from 1821 to 1845, Wolff traveled extensively: in Africa, visiting Egypt and Abyssinia; in Asia, traversing Palestine, Syria, Persia, Bokhara, and India. He also visited the United States, on the journey thither preaching on the island of Saint Helena. He arrived in New York in August, 1837; and, after speaking in that city, he preached in Philadelphia and Baltimore, and finally proceeded to Washington. Here, he says, “on a motion brought forward by the ex-President, John Quincy Adams, in one of the houses of Congress, the House unanimously granted to me the use of the Congress Hall for a lecture, which I delivered on a Saturday, honored with the presence of all the members of Congress, and also of the bishop of Virginia, and of the clergy and citizens of Washington. The same honor was granted to me by the members of the government of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, in whose presence I delivered lectures on my researches in Asia, and also on the personal reign of Jesus Christ.”—Ibid., pages 398, 399. GC 360.2

Dr. Wolff traveled in the most barbarous countries without the protection of any European authority, enduring many hardships and surrounded with countless perils. He was bastinadoed and starved, sold as a slave, and three times condemned to death. He was beset by robbers, and sometimes nearly perished from thirst. Once he was stripped of all that he possessed and left to travel hundreds of miles on foot through the mountains, the snow beating in his face and his naked feet benumbed by contact with the frozen ground. GC 361.1

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Ellen G. White
The Great Controversy, 521

In order to sustain erroneous doctrines or unchristian practices, some will seize upon passages of Scripture separated from the context, perhaps quoting half of a single verse as proving their point, when the remaining portion would show the meaning to be quite the opposite. With the cunning of the serpent they entrench themselves behind disconnected utterances construed to suit their carnal desires. Thus do many willfully pervert the word of God. Others, who have an active imagination, seize upon the figures and symbols of Holy Writ, interpret them to suit their fancy, with little regard to the testimony of Scripture as its own interpreter, and then they present their vagaries as the teachings of the Bible. GC 521.1

Whenever the study of the Scriptures is entered upon without a prayerful, humble, teachable spirit, the plainest and simplest as well as the most difficult passages will be wrested from their true meaning. The papal leaders select such portions of Scripture as best serve their purpose, interpret to suit themselves, and then present these to the people, while they deny them the privilege of studying the Bible and understanding its sacred truths for themselves. The whole Bible should be given to the people just as it reads. It would be better for them not to have Bible instruction at all than to have the teaching of the Scriptures thus grossly misrepresented. GC 521.2

The Bible was designed to be a guide to all who wish to become acquainted with the will of their Maker. God gave to men the sure word of prophecy; angels and even Christ Himself came to make known to Daniel and John the things that must shortly come to pass. Those important matters that concern our salvation were not left involved in mystery. They were not revealed in such a way as to perplex and mislead the honest seeker after truth. Said the Lord by the prophet Habakkuk: “Write the vision, and make it plain, ... that he may run that readeth it.” Habakkuk 2:2. The word of God is plain to all who study it with a prayerful heart. Every truly honest soul will come to the light of truth. “Light is sown for the righteous.” Psalm 97:11. And no church can advance in holiness unless its members are earnestly seeking for truth as for hid treasure. GC 521.3

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Ellen G. White
My Life Today, 63

The Outpouring of the Holy Spirit

And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. Revelation 18:1 ML 63.1

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Ellen G. White
Prophets and Kings, 547

Honored by men with the responsibilities of state and with the secrets of kingdoms bearing universal sway, Daniel was honored by God as His ambassador, and was given many revelations of the mysteries of ages to come. His wonderful prophecies, as recorded by him in chapters 7 to 12 of the book bearing his name, were not fully understood even by the prophet himself; but before his life labors closed, he was given the blessed assurance that “at the end of the days”—in the closing period of this world's history—he would again be permitted to stand in his lot and place. It was not given him to understand all that God had revealed of the divine purpose. “Shut up the words, and seal the book,” he was directed concerning his prophetic writings; these were to be sealed “even to the time of the end.” “Go thy way, Daniel,” the angel once more directed the faithful messenger of Jehovah; “for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.... Go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.” Daniel 12:4, 9, 13. PK 547.1

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. 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” (verse 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. PK 547.2

From the rise and fall of nations as made plain in the books of Daniel and the Revelation, we need to learn how worthless is mere outward and worldly glory. Babylon, with all its power and magnificence, the like of which our world has never since beheld,—power and magnificence which to the people of that day seemed so stable and enduring,—how completely has it passed away! As “the flower of the grass,” it has perished. James 1:10. So perished the Medo-Persian kingdom, and the kingdoms of Grecia and Rome. And so perishes all that has not God for its foundation. Only that which is bound up with His purpose, and expresses His character, can endure. His principles are the only steadfast things our world knows. PK 548.1

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Ellen G. White
Selected Messages Book 2, 105-7

The book that was sealed was not the book of Revelation, but that portion of the prophecy of Daniel which related to the last days. The Scripture says, “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” (Daniel 12:4). When the book was opened, the proclamation was made, “Time shall be no longer.” (See Revelation 10:6.) The book of Daniel is now unsealed, and the revelation made by Christ to John is to come to all the inhabitants of the earth. By the increase of knowledge a people is to be prepared to stand in the latter days. 2SM 105.1

“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, 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” (Revelation 14:6, 7). 2SM 105.2

This message, if heeded, will call the attention of every nation and kindred and tongue and people to a close examination of the Word, and to the true light in regard to the power that has changed the seventh-day Sabbath to a spurious sabbath. The only true God has been forsaken, His law has been discarded, His sacred Sabbath institution has been trampled in the dust by the man of sin. The fourth commandment, so plain and explicit, has been ignored. The Sabbath memorial, declaring who the living God is, the Creator of the heavens and the earth, has been torn down, and a spurious sabbath has been given to the world in its place. Thus a breach has been made in the law of God. A false sabbath could not be a true standard. 2SM 105.3

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Ellen G. White
SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 4 (EGW), 1166

The Spirit of God, with its vivifying power, must be in every human agent, that every spiritual muscle and sinew may be in exercise. Without the Holy Spirit, without the breath of God, there is torpidity of conscience, loss of spiritual life. Many who are without spiritual life have their names on the church records, but they are not written in the Lamb's book of life. They may be joined to the church, but they are not united to the Lord. They may be diligent in the performance of a certain set of duties, and may be regarded as living men; but many are among those who have “a name that thou livest, and art dead.” 4BC 1166.1

Unless there is genuine conversion of the soul to God; unless the vital breath of God quickens the soul to spiritual life; unless the professors of truth are actuated by heaven-born principle, they are not born of the incorruptible seed which liveth and abideth forever. Unless they trust in the righteousness of Christ as their only security; unless they copy His character, labor in His spirit, they are naked, they have not on the robe of His righteousness. The dead are often made to pass for the living; for those who are working out what they term salvation after their own ideas, have not God working in them to will and to do of His good pleasure. 4BC 1166.2

This class is well represented by the valley of dry bones Ezekiel saw in vision (The Review and Herald, January 17, 1893). 4BC 1166.3

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Ellen G. White
SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 4 (EGW), 1174

3 (see EGW comments on Isaiah 60:1). 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 (Manuscript 69, 1912). 4BC 1174.1

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

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Ellen G. White
SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7 (EGW), 971

(Ch. 5:8; Psalm 141:2; John 1:29; Ephesians 5:2.) 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

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 (Manuscript 15, 1897). 7BC 971.2

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Ellen G. White
Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3, 95

“The secret things belong unto the Lord our God; but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever.” Men professing to be ministers of God, raise their voices against the investigation of prophecy, and tell the people that the prophecies, especially of Daniel and John, are obscure, and that we cannot understand them. But some of the very men who oppose the investigation of prophecy because it is obscure, eagerly receive the suppositions of geologists, which dispute the Mosaic record. But if God's revealed will is so difficult to be understood, certainly men should not rest their faith upon mere suppositions in regard to that which he has not revealed. God's ways are not as our ways, neither are his thoughts as our thoughts. Human science can never account for his wondrous works. God so ordered that men, beasts, and trees, many times larger than those now upon the earth, and other things, should be buried in the earth at the time of the flood, and there be preserved to evidence to man that the inhabitants of the old world perished by a flood. God designed that the discovery of these things in the earth, should establish the faith of men in inspired history. But men, with their vain reasoning, make a wrong use of these things which God designed should lead them to exalt him. They fall into the same error as did the people before the flood—those things which God gave them as a benefit, they turned into a curse, by making a wrong use of them. 3SG 95.1

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, 9-10

Dear Brethren and Sisters Who Shall Assemble at the Michigan Camp Meeting,

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9, 11

“Yet a little while, and He that shall come will come, and will not tarry.” Hebrews 10:37.

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 113-5

Consider the circumstances of the Jewish nation when the prophecies of Daniel were given. TM 113.1

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. TM 113.2

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.... TM 113.3

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Ellen G. White
This Day With God, 131.2

The knowledge of the way of the Lord is increasing, and will continue to increase. Heresy and superstition are clothing the world in the sackcloth garments of rebellion and transgression. Literature and cheap fiction of every order is circulated like the leaves of autumn, and the minds of thousands are so taken up with irreligious, cheap trash that there is no place in the mind for solid reading. The Word of God and all that would elevate man from his degradation is passed by with indifference. TDG 131.2

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Ellen G. White
The Upward Look, 37.2

Many, very many, will be terribly surprised when the Lord shall come suddenly as a thief in the night. Let us watch and pray, lest coming suddenly He find us sleeping. My soul is deeply stirred as I consider how much we ought to do for perishing souls. The prediction of Daniel, “Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased” (Daniel 12:4), is to be fulfilled in our giving of the warning message; many are to be enlightened regarding the sure word of prophecy.... UL 37.2

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