Can the Little Horn Change God's Law? Index

As we have studi3ed the book of Daniel, three areas of vital concern have been brought to our attention.

  1. There is a great controversy going on between Christ and Satan. One of the central issues in this controversy is over how people worship God. The book of Daniel has revealed to us that the rise and fall of empires doesn't just happen, God is in control of human events. The last conflict to come upon planet Earth will be similar to the conflict that came to Daniel and the Hebrews in ancient Babylon. It will be a conflict over how people worship God.
  2. The book of Daniel has predicted a major apostasy from the truth of God's Word. Ancient Babylon has become symbolic of mighty spiritual Babylon in the book of Revelation. In Lesson 9 we learned that Daniel predicted the rise of the little horn that would lead the church to mix error and truth, paganism with Christianity. Daniel's prediction has been proven correct: there has been a major apostasy from the Word of God in Christendom (Daniel 7; II Thessalonians 2:1-7).
  3. Daniel has also revealed to us that God's people will be able to resist the apostasy and stand victorious with Jesus Christ in the great controversy because they have built a deep, personal, abiding relationship with Jesus Christ. Daniel 6 emphasizes the importance of Christians taking time with God in Bible Study and prayer. We must know what God's word says and must have a deep personal relationship with Christ or we will never make it through the final events of earth's history.

The little horn emerges as one of the chief antagonists in this great controversy, because it is the instrument through which apostasy has entered the Christian church. We will soon see that Satan, through the little horn has endeavored to server the relationship between God and His people. Satan well knows that if we have a deep relationship with God and are well fortified with Bible truth, we will no be overcome by his attacks. Ingeniously he has used the little horn power to attempt to make changes in God's law that have to do with our relationship with God. This lesson will reveal whether or not the little horn can change God's law. The next lesson will give the astonishing revelation of just how the little horn has attempted to change the law of God.

The Little Horn vs. God's Law
1. What specifically would the little horn think to change? Daniel 7:25 And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. Changing God's law is impossible, and yet amazingly, the little horn power thinks it has such great power that it can actually change God's law. Please notice that the text does not say it will do it, but only that it thinks it can do it. Note also that it would think to change not just the law, but the times and the law. One of the key thoughts we have noticed already in Daniel is the need to take time with God. Now we see the little horn would attempt to change the times, the very area that deals with people taking time to build a relationship with God.
2. How many commandments are in God's law? Exodus 34:26 And he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments.  
3. What is so special about the ten commandments?

Exodus 31:18 And He gave unto Moses, when He had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.

Exodus 32:15-16 And Moses turned, and went down from the mount, and the two tables of the testimony were in his hand: the tables were written on both their sides; on the one side and on the other were they written. And the tables were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, graven upon the tables.

The Ten Commandments are the only part of the Bible that God, Himself wrote with His own finger. The rest of Scripture was written by the prophets as God communicated with them. The Ten Commandments were of such vital importance that God wrote them with His own finger on tables of stone. This indicated their permanency. Very quickly we can see the great presumption of the little horn. It has attacked and attempted to change the one part of the Bible that God Himself wrote. In attempting to change God's law, it has attacked God Himself.

The Ten Commandments are a transcript of the character of God. They reveal to us what God is like. God's law is thus a reflection of Himself. To attempt to change God's law would actually be an attempt to change God.

The Ten Commandments
4. What is the first commandment? Exodus 20:3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.  
5. What does the second commandment prohibit? Exodus 20:4-6 Thou shalt not make unto thee and graven image, or any likeness or any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; and shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.  
6. What does the third commandment say? Exodus 20:7 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh His name in vain. These first three commandments have upheld the supremacy of the true God, the uniqueness of the true God, as the only One worthy of our worship, honor and respect.
7. What does the fourth commandment require of God's people?

Exodus 20:8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

Exodus 20:9-11 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all they work: but the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God; in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

 
8. What specifically are people to keep as the Sabbath day? Exodus 20:10 ...but the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God; in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: The 4th commandment identifies the specific day of the week go's people are to remember belongs to Him. They are to cease their worldly activities and send the day with their Creator/Redeemer, relaxing in God's creation and spending time in communion with Him.
9. What commandment did God give to protect the family? Exodus 20:12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.  
10. What moral standards does God uphold in the last five of the Ten Commandments?

Exodus 20:13 Thou shalt not kill

Exodus 20:14 Thou shalt not commit adultery

Exodus 20:15 Thou shalt not steal

Exodus 20:16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour

Exodus 20:17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet they neighbour's wife, not his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's

 

As amazing and incredible as it may seem seem, Daniel 7 predicts that the little horn will attempt to change these very Ten Commandments. Obviously, it has to be a very subtle change, because an open attempt to attack God's law and change it would promptly be met with resistance by Christian people.

One of the subtle ways that Satan has sought to discredit God's law today has been through the suggestion that since we re saved by grace, we no longer need to keep God's law. Is salvation by grace a license to sin? What does the Bible say about this?

Law and Grace
11. What is sin? 1 John 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.  
12. Which law is it that points out sin? Romans 7:7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law said, Thou shalt not covet. God's law points out, or reveals sin. In quoting the tenth commandment Paul indicates that the law involved is the Ten commandment law.
13. Is grace an excuse for sin?

Romans 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?

Romans 6:2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

A person saved by the grace of God will live an obedient life. Grace is not an excuse for breaking God's law. In fact, the opposite is true. A person saved by grace no longer wishes to dwell in sin or live in disobedience of God's law.
14. What is the purpose of God's law? Romans 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight for by the law is the knowledge of sin. The law does not save; it reveals the sinner's need of salvation. The law does not justify, or cleanse, it only shows our need of cleansing. It is God's great mirror, reflecting the sinner's need of cleansing and redemption. (James 1:23, 24).
15. How only can the Christian be cleansed? 1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin. Only through Jesus can people receive cleansing. The Bible is very clear that people are not saved by law-keeping; they are saved solely by the blood of Jesus Christ. He cleanses, and then He provides the power to live a life of obedience. God's Holy law shows people their need of cleansing, but it cannot cleanse. Only Jesus can.
16. How then are people saved? Ephesians 2:8, 9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast. The New Testament is crystal clear. People are saved solely by what Jesus Christ does for them (grace). Law-keeping and good works are the result of a saving relationship with Jesus Christ, but never a means to obtaining that relationship.
Old Testament Salvation
    The New Testament makes clear that God saves people by grace and expects them to live a live of obedience because they have a relationship with Him. Many people have not realized that the Old Testament teaches exactly the same concept. In both testaments God's people are saved by grace and then, because He has redeemed them they will keep His law.
17. Did God give the Ten Commandments to Israel before or after He redeemed them from Egypt?

Exodus 19:4, 5 Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself. Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine.

Exodus 20:1, 2 And God spake all these words, saying, 'I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.'

Notice how clearly God spells it out. The reason why Israel was asked to obey was an outgrowth of the fact that God had already redeemed them. Nowhere does Scripture give any indication that God ever asks people to obey as a condition to redemption. He first of all redeems them, and then He asks for their obedience.
18. What is the Old Testament motive for obeying God? Deuteronomy 6:4, 5 hear, O Israel: the LORD our God is one LORD: and thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. Most Christians will quickly notice that this commandment to love God is the same one Jesus repeated in Matthew 22:37. The second great commandment of Jesus, to love your neighbor, is also an Old Testament commandment found in Leviticus 19:18. These two great summations of the law that Jesus gives are actually Old Testament commandments. The command to love God in Deuteronomy 6 immediately follows the giving of the Ten Commandments in Deuteronomy 5, indicating clearly that love was to be the motive for obedience to God even in the Old Testament.
19. Was Old Testament religion a legalistic religion? Micah 6:8 He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God. This is surely not evidence of a legalistic religion, but a life of obedience that springs out of a loving relationship with God.
20. Was the new birth experience also an Old Testament experience? Ezekiel 36:26, 27 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.

Here again, the very elements of gospel religion are presented. In order to serve God, people must receive a new heart. The Holy Spirit would live in this new heart, and it would be the Holy Spirit living and dwelling in the people that would cause them to obey their Heavenly Father.

God has only one plan of salvation. In both Old and New Testaments, God always saves people solely by grace through faith, and never by works. Works and law keeping, in both Old and New Testament, were always the result of a relationship with god, and never a means to obtaining that relationship.

21. Does God, His law, or His plan of salvation ever change?

Malachi 3:6 For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.

Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

Matthew 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

What great news this is! Our God doesn't change. What He said in Old Testament times is the same that He says in New Testament times. The plan of salvation is more fully revealed in the New Testament, but it is not different. The relationship of law and grace is the same in both Old and New Testaments. God's law is as eternal and changeless as God Himself. To change God's law would be to change the character of God and God has declared He does not change. What assurance there is in this for the Christian! We do not serve a fickle God who changes with every whim that comes along, but one who can be counted on to deliver.

In spite of all these scriptural assurances of the changelessness of God, Daniel 7 reveals the incredible news that the little horn would attempt to alter that which God Himself has declared unalterable - His holy law. We have learned in this lesson that God's law cannot be changed. In the next couple of lessons we will examine in detail this purported attempt to change God's eternal, changeless law. Daniel 7:25 says 'he will think to change times and laws.' How has the little horn done this?

22. Are you thankful that God has an eternal and changeless law? Are you thankful that He saves us by grace and then gives us power to keep His law through our relationship with Him?