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Insight #10 June 3, 2017
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Second Quarter 2017 Adult Sabbath School Lessons
Prophecy and Scripture
June 3, 2017

"The Sermon. Rome in the Book of Daniel" Advent Review and Sabbath Herald 77, 23, pp. 354, 355.

          In 2 Peter 1:16-19, where the apostle is recalling the fact that they saw the kingdom and glory of God in the transfiguration of Jesus on the mount, of which they were eye-witnesses, you remember these words: "We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts," as well as everywhere else. The object of prophecy, then, is to give light in the dark. 

          You know, likewise, that it is written that "darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people;" and that is the time of the world in which we are now living. You know also of that expression in Ephesians 6, touching "the rulers of the darkness of this world." Darkness does cover the earth, and gross darkness the people, but God has caused his light to shine in this darkness. And the light that particularly shines in the darkness of this world, to give light to those who are in the darkness, is "prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place." 

          You know also: you have found in your lessons, over and over, that the prophecies of the book of Daniel are written especially for the last days. He who revealeth secrets maketh known "what shall be in the latter days." "It shall be for many days." "At the time of the end shall be the vision." "Shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end." Then, the book of Daniel, being prophecy written especially for the time of the end, and the prophecy being as a light shining in a dark place; in that, it is the prophecy that is particularly to give light in the time of the end. But the book of Daniel, I repeat, discusses principally only two great powers—Babylon and Rome.  

          The history of Babylon of old—that of Rome of old—has instruction in it—through the book of Daniel—that must be, and will be, light to the people who are living in the time of the end, and who are in, and surrounded with, the darkness of this world. We know that in one phase of Rome, it is particularly a prophecy of these times, and that is in the characteristic of the little horn—the union of Church and State, the changing of God's law, the persecuting of God's people, etc. All this is spoken of in the last times, and we have studied that particularly all these years. 

          Eight years ago, only a little later than this, I spoke from this pulpit one Sabbath, on the fulfillment of the prophecy concerning the likeness of Rome in our day in the uniting of religion and the State in the United States government. We ourselves have seen this done, in spite of the Constitution, in spite of all principle, in the declaring this to be "a Christian nation;" and in the changing of the Sabbath of the Lord to Sunday.  This was done when in Congress the fourth commandment was read as expressing the reasons for the pending legislation, and then was so interpreted that "the first day of the week, commonly called Sunday," must be the Sabbath that is meant in the fourth commandment, and shall be meant in the United States, so far as legislation goes, and the power of the United States shall go, to cause respect for it. In the study of that procedure we saw the very likeness of what had been before, when the Church, in the fourth century, united herself with the Roman State, and exalted Sunday in the place of the Sabbath of the Lord, and put under a curse all who presumed to work on Sunday, and who did not work on the Sabbath. I need not further review that. 

          But there is more to Rome than just that, — a good deal more. And all of it is to show us that, in this time in which we live, that which was Rome in its day is instruction to us in our day. What Rome did in the course of her going away from God, and leading the world away from God, is instruction to us in our day, when we see the like thing carried on, in the same way precisely, and for the same purpose precisely. As I have often said on this subject: Two things that are so much alike in the making, must be alike when they are made. {June 5, 1900 AT JONES, Advent Review and Sabbath Herald 354}

Alonzo T. Jones.

~Richard Kearns