- Introduction. Our lesson authors don’t hesitate to inform us that studying Daniel 11 is “challenging.” In your personal examination of Daniel’s messages to God’s people, you may find that most of the chapters of Daniel are challenging as is any explanation of the details of these chapters. Aren’t you glad that God deals with the challenges of understanding last-day events as described in the book of Daniel so that with study and prayer they become clear and beautiful? What would you suggest to the person who struggles to understand these messages?
- Prophecies about Persia and Greece. Who were the three kings who followed Cyrus as the leaders of Persia? Alexander the Great is never mentioned by name in the Bible, but scholars agree that he was the ruler of Macedonia and became the ruler of the known world. How old was Alexander when he died? How were his successors chosen? Based on accounts recorded in Daniel 11:2-4 and Daniel 8:3-8 and 20-11, how can you show that Alexander was the recognized leader of the ancient world at that time?
- War between the north and the south. The book of Daniel chronicles some of the conflicts between the northern and southern portions of Alexander’s kingdom after his death. What makes these battles between heathen nations important for us Christians to know about? Considering all the opposition and hatred pounded on God and His people through the centuries, why does He
“fight for the right” to defend His followers? Can we be worth it?
- Rome and the prince of the covenant. Based on our lesson for Tuesday, what do you think of the transition in history from Hellenistic kings (Greece) to pagan Rome? How do you link the text of Daniel 11:6 declaring that the ruler “shall do according to his own will” with pagan Rome’s style of leadership?” How is the crucifixion of Jesus portrayed in this passage? Are you grateful or confused by God’s way of expounding on future events? What can we do to make our reading of Bible prophecy even more rewarding?
- The next power. If we thought the revelation of last day events was over with that portion of our lesson, we’d better sit up and pay attention to the next section! Rome is Rome, but there are different dimensions to the pagan Rome we see revealed in the Bible about 2,000 and more years ago and the papal Rome of the very last days of earth’s history. In what ways is papal Rome different from pagan Rome? How does papal Rome reveal opposition to the heavenly sanctuary? To God’s covenant of salvation? What religious acts of apostasy does papal Rome follow today? How important are these and other differences between the Bible and papal Rome? Or does God save us no matter what we believe?
- Final Events. This short section is based on the six verses starting with Daniel 11:40. Our lesson guide assures us that the book of Daniel is the only place in the Bible where we see the expression, “time of the end.” Find all of the references if you can. What are the time limits? Be sure to study the description of end-time events after the conclusion of this week’s lesson.
Discussion topic: (from our lesson guide)
“(T)he correlation of Daniel 11 with Daniel 7 and 8 reinforces the view of Luther and many other Protestant commentators that the institution of the papacy and its teachings constitute the fulfillment of these prophecies in history. In this connection, Ellen G. White says: “No church within the limits of Romish jurisdiction was long left undisturbed in the enjoyment of freedom of conscience. No sooner had the papacy obtained power than she stretched out her arms to crush all that refused to acknowledge her sway, and one after another the churches submitted to her dominion.”