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Manuscript Releases, vol. 4 [Nos. 210-259] - Contents
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    Materials on Daniel

    Daniel was closely connected with the Source of all wisdom, and this knowledge was to him more precious than the gold of Ophir. He kept his religious training on an equal with the advantages which were given him of becoming a wise and learned man. He worked with his entrusted capital. He was aroused by the situation in which he found himself in the king's court. He co-operated with God in the use of every power which had been given him, that he should not be second in anything. And we read, “As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom, and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams. Daniel was connected with God, and the secrets of the Most High were opened to him; for He is with them that fear him. “And the king communed with them, and among them all was found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; therefore they stood before the king.” And in all matters of wisdom and understanding that the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm. Continual growth in religious wisdom and intelligence did not in any sense disqualify these youth for the faithful, intelligent discharge of the important duties assigned them in the kingdom of Babylon.—Manuscript 135, 1898, 1, 2. (“True Education,” typed October 19, 1898.)4MR 121.3

    Consider the circumstances of the Jewish nation when the prophecies of Daniel were given. The Israelites were in captivity, their Temple had been destroyed, their Temple service suspended. Their religion had centered in the ceremonies of the sacrificial system. They had made the outward forms all important, while they had lost the spirit of true worship. Their services were corrupted with the traditions and practices of heathenism; and in the performance of the sacrificial rites they did not look beyond the shadow to the substance. They did not discern Christ, the true offering for the sins of men. The Lord wrought to bring the people into captivity, and to suspend the services in the Temple, in order that the outward ceremonies might not become the sum-total of their religion. Their principles and practice must be purged from heathenism. The ritual service ceased, in order that heart service might be revived. The outward glory was removed, that the spiritual might be revealed.4MR 122.1

    In the land of their captivity, as the people turned unto the Lord with repentance, He manifested Himself unto them. They lacked the outward representation of His presence; but the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness shone into their minds and hearts. When they called upon God in their humiliation and distress, visions were given to His prophets which unfolded the events of the future—the overthrow of the oppressors of God's people, the coming of the Redeemer, and the establishment of the everlasting kingdom.—Letter 57, 1896, pp. 3, 4. (To Dr. J. H. Kellogg, May 27, 1896.)4MR 123.1

    In order rightly to understand the subject of temperance, we must consider it from a Bible standpoint; and nowhere can we find a more comprehensive and forcible illustration of true temperance and its attendant blessings, than is afforded by the history of the prophet Daniel and his Hebrew associates in the court of Babylon.—Manuscript 132, 1901, 1. (Extracts from “Testimonies on Daniel One,” undated.)4MR 123.2

    It was God's design to show the Babylonians that there was a King above the king of Babylon—the God whom the Hebrew youth worshiped. These youth exalted God. They knew that they were to carry out the principles of truth, and therefore they refused the meat from the royal table and the wine from the royal cellar. Their abstinence from the prescribed bill of fare made a distinction in every way between their appearance and the appearance of those youth who indulged their appetite. There were plenty to make remarks, but these youth were faithful even in little things. And in physical appearance they were far ahead of the youth who sat at the king's table. Their simple diet kept their minds clear. They were better prepared for their studies: for they never knew the oppression caused by eating luxurious food. They were better prepared physically for taxing labor; for they were never sick. With clear minds, they could think and work vigorously. By obeying God they were doing the very things that will give strength of thought and memory.—Manuscript 47, 1898, 4, 5. (“The Echo Office and Commercial Work,” March 31, 1898.)4MR 123.3

    You remember the experience of Daniel. He received wisdom and understanding because he placed himself in right relation with God. God has intelligence for you, just as He had for Daniel. He has knowledge for you that is far above all human knowledge. If you stand where Daniel stood, you will gain a progressive education, and a progressive education means a progressive sanctification. Such an education will prepare you to inherit the kingdom that from the foundation of the world has been prepared for God's faithful ones. As you strive to obtain a knowledge of God, He will commune with you as He communed with Daniel and his companions, and will give you power that will prevail.—Manuscript 125, 1902, 3, 4. (“Words to Students,” October 1, 1902.)4MR 124.1

    Daniel in Babylon chose the wisdom that would vindicate the honor of God. He and his three companions decided that it was in the wise purpose of God that they had been taken as captives to the wicked and corrupt city of Babylon. They did not leave their religion behind them in their own nation. They determined that they would not devote their time to complaint, but that they would be cheerful, and faithful in all their business transactions; that God's compassion for them demanded the most unselfish service on their part as His representatives. They would preserve the true worship, and not permit one slur to be cast upon God.—Manuscript 48, 1898, 7. (“Treasure Hid in a Field,” undated.)4MR 124.2

    God will help our youth as He helped Daniel, if they will make the unreserved surrender of the will to Him that Daniel made, and will appreciate the opportunities of growing in understanding. He will give them wisdom and knowledge, and will fill their hearts with unselfishness. He will put into their minds plans of enlargement, and will inspire them with hope and courage as they seek to bring others under the sway of the Prince of peace.4MR 125.1

    Those who do as Daniel and his fellows did will have the co-operation of God and the angels. They will work out with carefulness the sum of their salvation, God working in them, to will and to do of His good pleasure.—Manuscript 38, 1904, 6. (“Our Work in Washington,” May 3, 1904.)4MR 125.2

    Why did Daniel refuse to eat at the king's luxurious table? Why did he refuse the use of wine as his beverage, when it was at the king's command that it was placed before him? He knew that by use wine would become to him a pleasant thing, and would be preferred before water.4MR 125.3

    Daniel could have argued that at the royal table and at the king's command, there was no other course for him to pursue. But he and his fellows had a council together. They canvassed the entire subject as to how they would improve the physical and mental powers by the use of wine. They studied this subject most diligently. The wine of itself, they decided, was a snare. They were acquainted with the history which had come to them in parchments of Nadab and Abihu. In those men the use of wine had encouraged their love for it. They drank wine before their sacred service in the sanctuary. Their senses were confused. They could not distinguish the difference between the sacred and the common fire....4MR 126.1

    Daniel and his companions had been educated in regard to Nadab and Abihu and also Abel, Seth, Enoch, and Noah. They cherished the truth that had been given them from human lips passing down the line from one generation to another. The image of God was engraved upon the heart.4MR 126.2

    A second consideration of these youthful captives was that the king always asked a blessing before his meals, and addressed his idols as Deity. He set apart a portion of his food to be presented to the idol gods whom he worshiped, and also a portion of the wine. This act, according to their religious instruction, consecrated the whole to the heathen god. To sit at the table where such idolatry was practiced, Daniel and his three brethren deemed, would be a dishonor to the God of heaven. These four children decided that they could not sit at the king's table to eat of the food placed there, or to partake of the wine, all of which had been dedicated to an idol god. This would indeed implicate them with heathenism, and dishonor the principles of their national religion and their God.—Manuscript 122, 1897, 11-13. (“Daniel,” March 10, 1897.)4MR 126.3

    It was God's purpose that these youth should become channels of light in the kingdom of Babylon. Satan was determined to defeat this purpose. He worked upon the minds of the youth who had refused to be God's representatives, causing them to be jealous of Daniel and his companions. At Satan's suggestion they laid plans to entrap those who were making such steady, rapid advancement in knowledge. There were those who tried to deceive and mislead Daniel and his companions, who tried by flattery to induce them to enter into wrong. But they failed signally, because these youth had on the armor of light. They fastened themselves to the promise, “Let him take hold of My strength that he may make peace with Me, and he shall make peace with Me.”4MR 127.1

    They knew that they must keep the eye of the mind single to the glory of God, that they must seek wisdom and strength and grace from on high. They must not allow themselves to be led, by smiles or frowns, to yield to the sophistry of Satan. They knew that no human power could be to them wisdom and righteousness and sanctification.4MR 127.2

    Satan was trying to compass their destruction. Nothing but the wisdom and strength and firmness and heroism which God could give would enable them to maintain their position in the way of holiness. They knew that they were not yet fully acquainted with the character of Satan's enmity. They would have to watch unto prayer; for they were ignorant of the obstacles they would have to meet and surmount. They knew that barriers would rise to bar their way, that embarrassment would surround them on every side.4MR 127.3

    They made a faithful study of the Word of God, that they might know the divine will. By faith they believed that the One whom they served would communicate to them His will; and in answer to their faith, God opened His Word to them. The Old Testament was to them a light shining in a dark place. They made the Word of God their textbook, looking upon it as the foundation upon which they must build character. They had only the Old Testament.4MR 128.1

    The youth of today have increased light. The Bible teaches the whole duty of men, women, and children. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” Divine wisdom came to Daniel and his companions as they studied the Word. They knew that this Word was their authority, and that it demanded their obedience. The truth was to them of the highest importance; for it placed their duty before them in a clear light.4MR 128.2

    Satan often cast his shadow across their pathway to obscure their view of divine light and darken their faith and confidence in God. But they would not yield, and the Lord gave them wisdom and power to prevail with Him in prayer. As they followed the course of study outlined for them in the courts of Babylon, they made it their aim to become statesmen who would never sacrifice principle. They knew that they were in an enemy's country, under the power of the Babylonian king, and they were obedient in all things save where they were asked to sacrifice principle.”—Letter 34, 1900, pp. 3-5. (To “My Brethren and Sisters in Australia,” February 24, 1900.)4MR 128.3

    Lessons of great importance may be learned from the history of Daniel and his companions. These youth were bound together in the sacred bonds of Christian fellowship. Daniel's name is placed first on the record because he exerted a strong influence over the other three, who looked upon him as a leader. Had he failed to take a firm stand for the right, had he pleased and indulged self, his companions also would have failed. They would not have been handed down to us as young men signally honored by the God of heaven.—Manuscript 113, 1901, 7. (“Canvassers Needed,” typed November 4, 1901.)4MR 129.1

    Then Daniel and his companions studied the Word of God, the Old Testament Scriptures, and conformed their habits, appetites, words, and actions to the instruction there given. They brought themselves under discipline, that their physical and spiritual health should not be weakened by any wrong habits. They placed themselves on the Lord's side, refusing to take part in any idolatrous practice. They knew their senses must be kept sharp, that in all their associations with idolaters, amid religious corruption, they might distinguish between right and wrong.4MR 129.2

    We ask students and teachers to look at these representative youth in wicked Babylon. Under most trying temptations, they placed themselves in a right position. We read of these “as for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.” They placed themselves under the supervision of Heaven, and the purest and most complete education was given them by God because they consecrated themselves daily to Him, and sought Him in prayer. Three times a day their supplications were offered in faith, that they should have the things they asked for, and God heard them. He co-operated with them, and they co-operated with God. It was a mutual work.—Manuscript 76, 1898, 5, 6. (“Words to Students,” typed June 16, 1898.)4MR 129.3

    The history of Daniel and his fellows is an illustration of what all youth may become in the service of God. Improve the opportunity that is now yours to obtain the very best idea of what constitutes a Christian character. Place yourselves where you can pray to God as Daniel and his fellows prayed to Him. They presented themselves to God as needy and dependant, and God gave them strength. But do you think that Daniel would have been helped as he was if he had yielded to appetite? Had he eaten the king's food and drunk his wine, he would have been unable to obtain the education necessary to make him a successful Christian statesman. He would not have appreciated the knowledge God had to give, His mind would have been confused. He knew this, for before he came to Babylon he had received that training which every child before me should receive in the home.—Manuscript 65, 1901, 4. (Sermon, typed July 28, 1901.)4MR 130.1

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