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If I Were Told the Future - Lesson 18

The Ram and the Goat

Picture 1 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 18
The Ram and the Goat
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Let’s pray together before beginning this lesson:
O Lord,

May our study of the book of Daniel help us to trust more and more Your prophetic Word, as well as the rest of Your Holy Scriptures.

We also ask You to give us the will and the courage we need to share this knowledge with those around us, rather than selfishly keeping these precious treasures for ourselves.

In Jesus Christ we pray.

Amen.
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Picture 2 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 18
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Hebrews 5:13,14 Comments
For every one that uses milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.

But strong meat belongs to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
Remembering one of the seven keys allowing a proper understanding of Bible prophecy, that is, «Simple prophecies first, then complex ones», we now continue our study of the book of Daniel by taking up the prophecy contained in chapter 8: the ram and the goat.
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Daniel 8:1 Comments
In the third year of the reign of king Belshazzar a vision appeared to me, even to me Daniel, after that which appeared to me at the first. Two years after his vision of the mythical beasts, which we studied in our last lesson, Daniel received another one, just as interesting as the first one.

This vision constitutes the prophecy of the ram and the goat.
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Picture 4 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 18
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Daniel 8:3 Comments
Then I lifted up my eyes, and saw, and, behold, there stood before the river a ram which had two horns.

And the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher came up last.
Daniel’s vision begins with a ram which has two horns unequal in length.

In our last lesson, we learned that a beast symbolizes a kingdom, a political power.

What kingdom does this ram symbolize?
Daniel 7:23
The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom on earth.
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Picture 5 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 18
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Daniel 8:16,20 Comments
And I heard a man’s voice between the banks of Ulai, which called, and said,

«Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision.» (...)

«The ram which you saw having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia.»
Bible prophecy does not give way to interpretation!

Sent by God, the angel Gabriel himself answers the question: the ram symbolizes the Medo-Persian Empire.

Since at that time the kingdom of Babylon was just about to fall, we notice that the prophecy begins immediately with the kingdom of Media and Persia, which overthrew Babylon in 539 B.C.
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Picture 6 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 18
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Daniel 8:3 Comments
Then I lifted up my eyes, and saw, and, behold, there stood before the river a ram which had two horns.

And the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher came up last.
Just as in Daniel 7, in which the bear was raised up on one side, the ram has two horns unequal in length, symbolizing the superiority of some over others within the Medo-Persian kingdom.
Daniel 7:5
And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side.
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Picture 7 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 18
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Daniel 8:3 Comments
There stood before the river a ram which had two horns.

And the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher came up last.
Prophecy is very precise: the higher horn «came up last».

Indeed, history teaches us that the Medo-Persian Empire was, in its early stages, marked by the domination of the Medes.

But in 550 B.C., a conflict within the empire brought the victory of the Persian Cyrus II the Great over Astyages of Media, thus fulfilling the prophecy.

However, the Medes were not treated as subjugated people by the Persians, but rather as confederates.
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Picture 8 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 18
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Daniel 8:4 Comments
I saw the ram pushing westward, and northward, and southward; so that no beasts might stand before him. As foretold, the successive conquests of the Medo-Persian kingdom spread its empire in the mentioned directions:
  • before invading the kingdom of Babylon in 539 B.C., King Cyrus had struck westward by conquering Lydia in 547 B.C.;
     
  • afterwards, Cambyses struck southward by invading Egypt and Nubia in 525 B.C.;
     
  • then Darius I, son of Hystapes, struck northward by overcoming the Scythians in 513 B.C.
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Picture 9 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 18
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Daniel 8:4 Comments
I saw the ram pushing westward, and northward, and southward; so that no beasts might stand before him, neither was there any that could deliver out of his hand.

But he did according to his will, and became great.
The Medo-Persian Empire covered so much territory that when the king of Persia, Xerxes (Ahasuerus), began to reign, in 510 B.C., his kingdom was stretching «from India even to Ethiopia.» (Esther 1:1)
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Picture 10 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 18
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Daniel 8:5 Comments
And as I was considering, behold, a he-goat came from the west on the face of the whole earth, and touched not the ground.

And the goat had a notable horn between his eyes.
As he was considering the ram, Daniel saw a goat coming from the west.

What does this new beast symbolize?
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Picture 11 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 18
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Daniel 8:21 Comments
And the rough goat is the king of Grecia.

And the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king.
Here again, the angel Gabriel gives us the answer directly: the goat symbolizes Greece.

The large horn represents the first king of the Greek Empire: Alexander the Great.
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Daniel 8:5 Comments
And as I was considering, behold, a he-goat came from the west on the face of the whole earth, and touched not the ground. Coming from the west, the Greek Empire struck the Medo-Persian kingdom.

As symbolized by the winged leopard (also representing Greece in the prophecy of Daniel 7), and the goat which does not touch the ground, the victory of the Greeks over the Medo-Persian kingdom was very swift.
Daniel 7:6
After this I beheld, and see another, like a leopard, which had on the back of it four wings of a fowl.
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Daniel 8:6,7 Comments
And [the goat] came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing before the river, and ran to him in the fury of his power.

And I saw him come close to the ram, and he was moved with choler against him, and smote the ram, and broke his two horns.

And there was no power in the ram to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground, and stamped on him: and there was none that could deliver the ram out of his hand.
Thus, Alexander the Great overcame Darius III Codomannus, king of Persia, at the Battle of Arbela, in 331 B.C.
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Daniel 8:8,22 Comments
Therefore the he-goat waxed very great: and when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and for it came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven. (...)

Now that [horn] being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power.
Just as the prophecy foretold, Alexander the Great died at the height of his fame, in 323 B.C., at the age of 32, only a few years after the conquest of the Medo-Persian kingdom.

He was then succeeded by his four generals:
  • Lysimachus;
  • Cassander;
  • Ptolemy;
  • Seleucus.
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Daniel 7:6 Comments
After this I beheld, and see another, like a leopard, which had on the back of it four wings of a fowl.

The beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it.
In the previous prophecy (Daniel chapter 7), the prediction of the division of the Greek empire between four rulers was suggested by the leopard with four heads.

The prophecy of Daniel chapter 8, which contains more details, now confirms this interpretation.
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Daniel 8:8 Comments
The great horn was broken; and for it came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven. The Greek generals shared the empire «toward the four winds of heaven»:
  • Northward, Lysimachus took Thrace and most of Asia Minor.
     
  • Southward, Ptolemy acquired Egypt, Palestine and the south of Syria.
     
  • Eastward, Seleucus seized the rest of Asia Minor, the north of Syria, and the East nearly to the Indus River.
     
  • Westward, Cassander kept Macedonia, and nominal sovereignty over Greece.
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Picture 17 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 18
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Daniel 8:22 Comments
Now that [horn] being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power. Of course, the division of the Greek Empire contributed to its weakening, thus preparing the ground for the next universal kingdom...
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Daniel 8:9 Comments
And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the Pleasant Land. Indeed, just as we saw in our last two lessons, the Greek Empire was conquered by the Roman Empire, at the Battle of Pydna in 168 B.C., when Lucius Aemilius Paulus defeated Perseus, the last king of Macedonia.

Then, exactly as foretold, Rome spread its dominion:
  • toward the east with Syria in 65 B.C;
     
  • toward the south with Egypt, after a long protectorate, in 30 B.C.;
     
  • and also «toward the Pleasant Land», that is, toward Palestine, in 63 B.C.
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Daniel 8:10,11 Comments
And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped on them.

Yes, he magnified himself even to the Prince of the host.
Rome «waxed great, even to the host of heaven», «even to the Prince of the host».

As foretold, Jesus, Prince of the heavenly host, was crucified under the authority of Rome.
Revelation 19:13,14
His name is called The Word of God.

And the armies which were in heaven followed Him on white horses.
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Picture 20 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 18
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Daniel 8:11 Comments
Yes, he magnified himself even to the Prince of the host.

And by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of the sanctuary was cast down.
As foretold, under the rule of Rome «the place of the sanctuary was cast down» when, in A.D. 70, the Roman legions led by Titus besieged and destroyed the city of Jerusalem, burning down its temple.
Luke 21:20
And when you shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is near.
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Daniel 8:11 Comments
Yes, he magnified himself even to the Prince of the host.

And by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of the sanctuary was cast down.
The work of Rome against the Prince of the host and Messiah, and against Jerusalem and its temple, will be the subject of a future lesson on Daniel chapter 9.
Daniel 9:26
And after three score and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for Himself.

And the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary.
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Daniel 8:9 Comments
And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the Pleasant Land. You may have noticed that, in our last lesson, the Roman Empire was symbolized by a beast with iron teeth, and that the little horn arose only after this beast.

So, why does the little horn now designate Rome?

Here is why: Daniel 8 gives us more clues about the identity of this power, in addition to those that we have already found in Daniel 7.

First, we can see here that the identity of the little horn is closely linked with the name of Rome.
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Picture 23 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 18
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Daniel 7:7,8,19,20 Comments
Behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly. (...) It had ten horns.

I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn. (...)

Then I would know the truth of (...) the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up.
The prophecy of Daniel 7, subject of our last lesson, had already told us that the little horn was closely linked with Rome.

Indeed, we saw the little horn coming up, like the other ten horns, directly from the head of the fourth beast, which symbolizes the Roman Empire.
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Daniel 8:10,11 Comments
And [the little horn] waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped on them.

Yes, he magnified himself even to the Prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of the sanctuary was cast down.
In a symbolic way, this power having succeeded to the Roman Empire, although closely linked with the name of Rome, also «magnified himself even to the Prince of the host» (Jesus), attacking the daily sacrifices.

We must remember these valuable clues to identify the little horn.
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Daniel 8:12 Comments
And a host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground.

And it practiced, and prospered.
According to the prophecy, the little horn attacks the work of sacrifice Jesus performed for the salvation of men.

It successfully darkens this perfect work, thus «casting truth down to the ground», and prospering doing all this.
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Picture 26 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 18
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Daniel 8:13,14 Comments
Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said to that certain saint which spoke,

«How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?»

And he said to me,

«To two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.»
In the heart of the prophecy of Daniel 8, as the lethal work of the little horn is presented, a question is asked: «How long?»

We will study this passage in detail in our lesson «The 2300 Days».
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Picture 27 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 18
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Daniel 8:16,23 Comments
And I heard a man’s voice between the banks of Ulai, which called, and said,

«Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision.» (...)

«And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up.»
As we have just seen, the angel Gabriel was sent to make Daniel understand the meaning of his vision.

Gabriel gives interesting details about the little horn.

First, the leader of this power will be «a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences».
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Daniel 8:24 Comments
And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power.

And he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practice, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people.
Here is another clue: the mighty power of the little horn does not come from «his own power», but rather from an outer source.

Also, it attacks the holy people, and overcomes them, as we saw in our last lesson.
Daniel 7:21
The same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them.
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Daniel 8:24,25 Comments
He shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practice, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people.

And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many.

He shall also stand up against the Prince of princes.
The case of the little horn is far from brilliant: «he shall destroy wonderfully», «destroy the mighty and the holy people», «destroy many», «stand up against» Jesus «the Prince of princes»...
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Daniel 8:25 Comments
He shall also stand up against the Prince of princes.

But he shall be broken without hand.
Fortunately, the sad reign of the little horn will end abruptly, «without hand», an expression which reminds us of the way the stone destroyed the image in the prophecy of Daniel chapter 2.
Daniel 2:34
You saw till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image on his feet that were of iron and clay, and broke them to pieces.
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Daniel 8:15 Comments
And it came to pass, when I, even I Daniel, had seen the vision, and sought for the meaning... Just as Daniel did, we must seek to understand this prophecy.

However, we must recognize that the angel Gabriel has already provided us with most of the interpretation! In fact, we only have to identify the power symbolized by the little horn, and the picture will be complete.

Let’s therefore review the nine clues we found in Daniel 7 in our previous lesson, and the nine others contained in Daniel 8.
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Picture 32 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 18
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9 clues about the little horn, given by Daniel chapter 7
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Picture 33 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 18
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9 more clues about the little horn, given by Daniel chapter 8
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Luke 11:9 Comments
Seek, and you shall find. As we have seen in our previous lesson, we will discover the identity of the little horn in a future lesson. Meanwhile, we encourage you to think about it.

Do not hesitate to consult history books and encyclopedias: with the help of the 18 clues provided by the Word of God, you will surely discover the identity of the power symbolized by the little horn.

You might be quite surprised...
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Daniel 8:17,19 Comments
[The angel Gabriel] said to me, «Understand, O son of man: for at the time of the end shall be the vision.» (...)

And he said, «Behold, I will make you know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for at the time appointed the end shall be.»
Just as for all the prophecies found in the book of Daniel, understanding this prophecy is all the more important since it especially concerns the generation who will live during the last days of this world.

Thus the order «Understand!» applies even more to us than to Daniel!
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Let’s thank God:
Father,

As we progress in our study of the book of Daniel, we find more and more precise and detailed prophecies. The fulfillment of these prophecies strengthens our trust in Your Word.

As for the events not yet fulfilled, they call us to seriously and conscientiously prepare ourselves.

Please help us to pay attention to the vital warnings You give us through Your prophetic Word.

We thank You for Your presence and Your love. In Jesus Christ we pray.

Amen.
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Lesson 18 - Test The test of Lesson 18 is waiting for you!

Source of the Pictures of this Lesson
Screen 1: In: «Photo Gallery 5,000 volume 1» by Media Graphics International, 037_200.JPG. Screen 2: In: «The Watchtower» magazine (June 15, 1985), Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, p.9. Screen 3: BERRAN, Robert. In: «My Bible Friends, volume 5» (DEGERING, Etta B.), p.45. Used by permission. Copyright ©1963, 1991 by Review and Herald® Publishing Association, USA. All Rights Reserved. Screen 4: BISHOP, Tom. «Ram and he-goat of Daniel 8». In: «New Pictoral Aid For Bible Study» (BREADEN, Frank), Australian Division of Seventh-Day Adventists, 1970, chart #33. Screen 5: COLLINS, Fred. In: «The Bible Story, volume 6» (MAXWELL, Arthur S.), p.62. Used by permission. Copyright ©1955, 1983 by Review and Herald® Publishing Association, USA. All Rights Reserved. Screen 6: BISHOP, Tom. «Ram and he-goat of Daniel 8» and «Lion and bear of Daniel 7». In: «New Pictoral Aid For Bible Study» (BREADEN, Frank), Australian Division of Seventh-Day Adventists, 1970, charts #33 and #20. Composite picture by Cyberspace Ministry. Screen 7: STEEL, John. In: «God Cares, volume 1» (MAXWELL, C.Mervyn), Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1981, p.150. Screen 8: «Persian Weapons - Battle of Gaugamela (331 BC)». In: «Battles of the World», Compton’s Home Library, 1996. Screen 9: «Greek-Persian Wars - Cunaxa (401 BC)». Suse Palace of Artaxerxes II. In: «Battles of the World», Compton’s Home Library, 1996. Screen 10: BISHOP, Tom. «Ram and he-goat of Daniel 8». In: «New Pictoral Aid For Bible Study» (BREADEN, Frank), Australian Division of Seventh-Day Adventists, 1970, chart #33. Screen 11: «Alexander the Great - Battle of Gaugamela (331 BC)». In: «Battles of the World», Compton’s Home Library, 1996. Screen 12: BISHOP, Tom. «Ram and he-goat of Daniel 8» and «Leopard and fourth beast of Daniel 7». In: «New Pictoral Aid For Bible Study» (BREADEN, Frank), Australian Division of Seventh-Day Adventists, 1970, charts #33 and #21. Composite picture by Cyberspace Ministry. Screen 13: STEEL, John. In: «God Cares, volume 1» (MAXWELL, C.Mervyn), Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1981, p.150. Screen 14: «Greek soldiers fighting in a phalanx.» In: «Deluxe Compton’s Interactive Encyclopedia CD - 1998 Edition», Compton’s Home Library, 1997. Screen 15: BISHOP, Tom. «Leopard and fourth beast of Daniel 7». In: «New Pictoral Aid For Bible Study» (BREADEN, Frank), Australian Division of Seventh-Day Adventists, 1970, chart #21. Screen 16: BISHOP, Tom. «Four horns and little horn of Daniel 8». In: «New Pictoral Aid For Bible Study» (BREADEN, Frank), Australian Division of Seventh-Day Adventists, 1970, chart #34. Picture edited by Cyberspace Ministry. Screen 17: «Remains of the Parthenon.» In: «Bible Then & Now» (ROBERTS, Jenny), MacMillan, New York, 1996, p.34. Screen 18: BISHOP, Tom. «Four horns and little horn of Daniel 8». In: «New Pictoral Aid For Bible Study» (BREADEN, Frank), Australian Division of Seventh-Day Adventists, 1970, chart #34. Screen 19: STEEL, John. In: «L’Espoir de l’Humanité» volume 3 (Ellen G. White), éditions Le Monde Français, Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1972, p.622. Screen 20: STEEL, John. In: «God Cares, vol.2» (MAXWELL, C. Mervyn), Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1985, p.29. Screen 21: MANISCALCO, Joe. In: «Images from the Bible and Sacred History CD», Chosen Works, MLI Software, JM247.BMP. Screen 22: Unknown source. Screen 23: In: MAXWELL, Arthur S. «The Bible Story, volume 6», p.61. Picture edited by Cyberspace Ministry. Used by permission. Copyright ©1955, 1983 by Review and Herald® Publishing Association, USA. All Rights Reserved. Screen 24: NUMAZAWA, Shigemi. «Leonid meteor storm». Japan Planetarium Laboratory. From the Web site: http://www.skypub.com/sights/meteors/leonids/98preview.html. Screen 25: Unknown source. Screen 26: Picture from: Generation of graphics on CoolText.com (http://www.cooltext.com/). Screen 27: STEEL, John. In: «The Triumph of God’s Love, volume 1» (WHITE, Ellen G.), Pacific Press Publishing Association and Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1950, p.166. Screen 28: «Scenes of the Waldensian Persecution», Museum at La Torre, Italy. In: WHITE, Ellen G., «The (New, Illustrated) Great Controversy», Laymen for Religious Liberty Inc., 1990. Screen 29: «Battle of Agincourt, 1415». In: «Battles of the World», Compton’s Home Library, 1996. Screen 30: GREENE, Nathan. In: «La Sentinelle» magazine (August 1995), Pacific Press Publishing Association, p.8,9. Screen 31: In: «The Watchtower» magazine (December 15, 1991), Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, p.17. Screen 32: Picture Collection «Corel Gallery Magic» by Corel, 1997, CD #2, CC39.CMX. Picture edited by Cyberspace Ministry. Table of Screen 32: BISHOP, Tom. «Identification of the little horn». In: «New Pictoral Aid For Bible Study» (BREADEN, Frank), Australian Division of Seventh-Day Adventists, 1970, chart #22. Screen 33: Picture Collection «Corel Gallery Magic» by Corel, 1997, CD #2, DETECTVS.CMX. Picture edited by Cyberspace Ministry. Table of Screen 33: BISHOP, Tom. «Identification of the little horn». In: «New Pictoral Aid For Bible Study» (BREADEN, Frank), Australian Division of Seventh-Day Adventists, 1970, chart #22. Screen 34: In: «The Watchtower» magazine (February 1, 1988), New York, Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, p.1. Screen 35: EASTMAN, Bryant. In: «La Sentinelle» magazine (October 1994), Pacific Press Publishing Association, p.13. Screen 36: In: «Photo Gallery 5,000 volume 1» by Media Graphics International, 44_157.JPG.
Any copyrighted images not bearing a statement of permission, are used for the purpose of non-commercial scholarly commentary or criticism in accordance with section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law, and with article 29 of Canada Copyright Act (Chapter C-42), which by law can be without the consent or endorsement of the copyright holder. Images lacking attribution are either known or assumed to be in the public domain, or have an as yet undetermined status. Anyone having knowledge of proper attribution for an image is requested to contact us via email below so that it can be correctly noted. It is our intent to comply fully with applicable laws regarding intellectual property rights.

Lesson 18 - Test The test of Lesson 18 is waiting for you!