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Sabbath Bible Lessons

Symbols From the Sanctuary Service - Treasures of Truth, Part 3

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Lesson 6 Sabbath, August 5, 2023

The Heavenly Ministry Overshadowed

MEMORY TEXT: “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5).

“The intercession of Christ in our behalf is that of presenting His divine merits in the offering of Himself to the Father as our substitute and surety; for He ascended up on high to make an atonement for our transgressions.”—Faith and Works, p. 105.

Suggested Reading:   Faith and Works, pp. 105-108

Sunday July 30

1. Messages Through the Prophets

a. How does God reveal His will to mankind and what message is especially designed for the last days? Numbers 12:6; Daniel 8:1, 2.

“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.”—The SDA Bible Commentary [E. G. White Comments], vol. 4, p. 1166.

“Ministers and people declared that the prophecies of Daniel and the Revelation were incomprehensible mysteries. But Christ directed His disciples to the words of the prophet Daniel concerning events to take place in their time, and said: ‘Whoso readeth, let him understand.’ Matthew 24:15. And the assertion that the Revelation is a mystery, not to be understood, is contradicted by the very title of the book: ‘The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him, to show unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass. . . . 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.’ ”—The Great Controversy, p. 341.

Monday July 31


a. What does the ram symbolize and how was that prophecy fulfilled? Daniel 8:3, 4, 20; Esther 1:1.

“While the nations rejected God’s principles, and in this rejection wrought their own ruin, it was still manifest that the divine, overruling purpose was working through all their movements. . . .

“Every nation that has come upon the stage of action has been permitted to occupy its place on the earth, that it might be seen whether it would fulfill the purpose of ‘the Watcher and the Holy One.’ Prophecy has traced the rise and fall of the world’s great empires—Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. With each of these, as with nations of less power, history repeated itself. Each had its period of test, each failed, its glory faded, its power departed, and its place was occupied by another.”—Education, pp. 176, 177.

b. What does the very great he-goat symbolize and how was that fulfilled? Daniel 8:5–8, 21, 22.

“Alexander found it much easier to subdue kingdoms than to rule his own spirit. After conquering nations, this so-called great man fell through the indulgence of appetite—a victim of intemperance.”—Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, p. 29.

c. Although the Bible relates with unerring accuracy the history of the world’s empires, what words of Christ should we ever keep in mind? John 18:36.

“It is acquaintance that awakens sympathy, and sympathy is the spring of effective ministry. To awaken in the children and youth sympathy and the spirit of sacrifice for the suffering millions in the ‘regions beyond,’ let them become acquainted with these lands and their peoples. In this line much might be accomplished in our schools. Instead of dwelling on the exploits of the Alexanders and Napoleons of history, let the pupils study the lives of such men as the apostle Paul and Martin Luther, as Moffat and Livingstone and Carey, and the present daily-unfolding history of missionary effort. Instead of burdening their memories with an array of names and theories that have no bearing upon their lives, and to which, once outside the schoolroom, they rarely give a thought, let them study all lands in the light of missionary effort and become acquainted with the peoples and their needs.”—Education, p. 269.

Tuesday August 1


a. What does the mighty little horn represent and how was that fulfilled? Daniel 8:9–12.

“The crown removed from Israel passed successively to the kingdoms of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. God says, ‘It shall be no more, until He come whose right it is; and I will give it Him.’ ”—Education, p. 179.

“Alexander and Caesar found it easier to subdue a world than to subdue themselves.”—Child Guidance, p. 96.

b. How are the words “great,” “very great,” and “exceeding great” used to illustrate the vast comparisons of each of the kingdoms? Daniel 8:4, 8, 9. What is the meaning of standing up against the host of heaven and the stars? Daniel 8:10; Genesis 37:9–11.

“ ‘These things saith He that holdeth the seven stars in His right hand.’ Revelation 2:1. These words are spoken to the teachers in the church—those entrusted by God with weighty responsibilities. The sweet influences that are to be abundant in the church are bound up with God’s ministers, who are to reveal the love of Christ. The stars of heaven are under His control. He fills them with light. He guides and directs their movements. If He did not do this, they would become fallen stars. So with His ministers. They are but instruments in His hands, and all the good they accomplish is done through His power. Through them His light is to shine forth. The Saviour is to be their efficiency. If they will look to Him as He looked to the Father they will be enabled to do His work. As they make God their dependence, He will give them His brightness to reflect to the world.”—The Acts of the Apostles, pp. 586, 587.

“John calls to remembrance the wonderful incidents that he has witnessed in the life of Christ. In imagination he again enjoys the precious opportunities with which he was once favored, and is greatly comforted. Suddenly his meditation is broken in upon; he is addressed in tones distinct and clear. He turns to see from whence the voice proceeds, and, lo! he beholds his Lord, whom he has loved, with whom he has walked and talked, and whose sufferings upon the cross he has witnessed. But how changed is the Saviour’s appearance! He is no longer ‘a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief’ (Isaiah 53:3). He bears no marks of His humiliation. His eyes are like a flame of fire; His feet like fine brass, as it glows in a furnace. The tones of His voice are like the musical sound of many waters. His countenance shines like the sun in its meridian glory. In His hand are seven stars, representing the ministers of the churches.”—The Sanctified Life, pp. 77, 78.

Wednesday August 2


a. Who is the prince of the host and how did the little horn magnify itself against Him? Daniel 8:11, 25; Revelation 19:16; 17:14.

“The line of prophecy in which these symbols are found begins with Revelation 12, with the dragon that sought to destroy Christ at His birth. The dragon is said to be Satan (Revelation 12:9); he it was that moved upon Herod to put the Saviour to death. But the chief agent of Satan in making war upon Christ and His people during the first centuries of the Christian Era was the Roman Empire, in which paganism was the prevailing religion. Thus while the dragon, primarily, represents Satan, it is, in a secondary sense, a symbol of pagan Rome.”—The Great Controversy, p. 438.

b. Since Christ did not complete the final work of atonement on the cross (Romans 5:8–11), what work did Jesus continue as an atonement in the heavenly sanctuary? Hebrews 3:1; 8:1, 2; 9:8, 9, 21–26.

“Our great High Priest completed the sacrificial offering of Himself when He suffered without the gate. Then a perfect atonement was made for the sins of the people. Jesus is our Advocate, our High Priest, our Intercessor.”—The SDA Bible Commentary [E. G. White Comments], vol. 7, p. 913.

c. After the fall of imperial Rome, how did the papacy transfer the intercessory ministration of the heavenly sanctuary to its own institutions on earth? 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4; 1 Timothy 2:5.

“The incense that is offered now by men, the masses that are said for the deliverance of souls from purgatory, are not of the least avail with God. All the altars and sacrifices, the traditions and inventions whereby men hope to earn salvation are fallacies. No sacrifices are to be offered without; for the great High Priest is performing His work in the holy place. . . .

“In His intercession as our Advocate Christ needs no man’s virtue, no man’s intercession. Christ is the only sin bearer, the only sin-offering. Prayer and confession are to be offered only to Him who has entered once for all into the holy place. . . .

“The so-called intercession of the saints is the greatest falsehood that can be invented. Priests and rulers have no right to interpose between Christ and the souls for whom He has died, as though invested with the Saviour’s attributes, and able to pardon transgression and sin. They themselves are sinners.”—Ibid.

Thursday August 3

5. The Heavenly Sanctuary Cleansed

a. How does Daniel’s prophecy foretell that the daily ministration of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary was to be hidden and marred? Daniel 8:11, 12.

b. How long was this revolt—the same revolting spirit that attempted to become equal to God originally in heaven (Isaiah 14:12–14)—to continue and overshadow the atoning ministration of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary? Daniel 8:13, 14.

“Lucifer in heaven desired to be first in power and authority; he wanted to be God, to have the rulership of heaven; and to this end he won many of the angels to his side. When with his rebel host he was cast out from the courts of God, the work of rebellion and self-seeking was continued on earth.”—Reflecting Christ, p. 51.

“The Saviour gathered His disciples about Him, and said to them, ‘If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.’ . . . The strife for the highest place was the outworking of that same spirit which was the beginning of the great controversy in the worlds above, and which had brought Christ from heaven to die. . . . Had Lucifer really desired to be like the Most High, he would never have deserted his appointed place in heaven; for the spirit of the Most High is manifested in unselfish ministry. Lucifer desired God’s power, but not His character. He sought for himself the highest place, and every being who is actuated by his spirit will do the same. Thus alienation, discord, and strife will be inevitable. Dominion becomes the prize of the strongest. The kingdom of Satan is a kingdom of force; every individual regards every other as an obstacle in the way of his own advancement, or a steppingstone on which he himself may climb to a higher place.”—The Desire of Ages, pp. 435, 436.

c. What will we understand when we know the end of the 2300 days? Isaiah 43:25; Revelation 14:6, 7.

Friday August 4

Personal Review Questions

1. How can we identify true prophets with a message from God?

2. Describe the meaning of the ram and he-goat.

3. Distinguish between great, very great, and exceeding great in this prophecy.

4. What earthly power sought to usurp Christ’s work in the sanctuary above?

5. What was to occur at the termination of the 2300 days?

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