[ 949 ] Les Feldick [ Book 80 - Lesson 1 - Part 1 ] Daniel Part 1: Daniel 1:1-2:39 |a
[ 950 ] Les Feldick [ Book 80 - Lesson 1 - Part 2 ] Daniel Part 1: Daniel 1:1-2:39 |b
[ 951 ] Les Feldick [ Book 80 - Lesson 1 - Part 3 ] Daniel Part 1: Daniel 1:1-2:39 |c
[ 952 ] Les Feldick [ Book 80 - Lesson 1 - Part 4 ] Daniel Part 1: Daniel 1:1-2:39 |d
[ 953 ] Les Feldick [ Book 80 - Lesson 2 - Part 1 ] Daniel Part 2: Daniel 2:40-4:25 |a
[ 954 ] Les Feldick [ Book 80 - Lesson 2 - Part 2 ] Daniel Part 2: Daniel 2:40-4:25 |b
[ 955 ] Les Feldick [ Book 80 - Lesson 2 - Part 3 ] Daniel Part 2: Daniel 2:40-4:25 |c
[ 956 ] Les Feldick [ Book 80 - Lesson 2 - Part 4 ] Daniel Part 2: Daniel 2:40-4:25 |d
[ 957 ] Les Feldick [ Book 80 - Lesson 3 - Part 1 ] Daniel Part 3: Daniel 4:26-7:8 |a
[ 958 ] Les Feldick [ Book 80 - Lesson 3 - Part 2 ] Daniel Part 3: Daniel 4:26-7:8 |b
[ 959 ] Les Feldick [ Book 80 - Lesson 3 - Part 3 ] Daniel Part 3: Daniel 4:26-7:8 |c
[ 960 ] Les Feldick [ Book 80 - Lesson 3 - Part 4 ] Daniel Part 3: Daniel 4:26-7:8 |d
DANIEL: PART I
Daniel 1:1 – 2:39
Okay, good to see everybody in this afternoon. For those of you visiting for the first time, we trust that this will be a new experience. We’re glad to have you with us. And for those of you joining us on television, it’s the same old story. We’re just a simple Bible study. And I’m so thrilled at the response we’re getting because of that. We’re keeping it simple, and yet people are hearing things they have never heard before.
Now you know what that tells me? Most church people are pitifully ignorant of the Word. I mean pitifully ignorant. It’s almost heart breaking. But anyhow, we keep hammering away. We’re going to keep repeating some of these things. But this afternoon we are going to digress for a little while and go into the Book of Daniel. I don’t know how many programs that will take. We’re going to take it verse-by-verse, because we’ve had so many requests for it. And I usually listen to what people ask for.
And again, for you out there in television as well as all of you here, we want to thank you for your prayers and your financial help and, as I’ve already mentioned, your letters. My, how the letters just thrill us when people write—young and old. I mean, all the way from 15 or 16 and on up to 90. And it is the same thing all over—we hear, “Never have I heard anything like this before.”
Well, I’m not ashamed of that, because I’m not pulling any strings. I’m not twisting it. I’m just telling people, hey, what does the Book say? But you know, there are a lot of people that just can’t accept that. They’ve got to go by what they’ve always heard. What you say doesn’t mean anything, because it doesn’t jive with what I’ve always heard. Well, I don’t care what you’ve always heard – we’re going to go by the Book!
All right, Daniel—now I’ve got to give some history, because I know most of you probably don’t like history as much as I do. But if you don’t have history in your background, then this Book is almost a closed Book—because so much of it is based on history. As I’ve said before, God does so many things in time-frame prophecies for the Nation of Israel. Well, when He puts it in a time frame, what does that tell you?
A period of history goes by. I was just looking at a few of them again the other night. I should have written a note or so, and I could have passed it on. Maybe I can do it next taping. But anyhow, how many times did God make a promise to somebody in Israel for a certain number of years? The first one was Abraham. Four hundred and thirty years. Then there are several that are 490 years that ended right to the day. And then there are still other 430 years, I think. All of these are definitive time frames for a particular prophecy.
All right, now the first point I always like to make when I open the Book of Daniel is—remember, that three of the prophets in the Old Testament wrote from outside the borders of Israel. Everybody else wrote from within Israel. You know, I always make the same point with Paul. Paul is the only one of our New Testament writers that writes from outside the land of Israel. And he was called outside the land of Israel. Daniel is the first one; Ezekiel is the second one; and the third one is John, who wrote Revelation.
Now you know that Ezekiel was contemporary with Daniel out there in the Mede and Persian Empire, shortly after the Babylonian empire passed away. But Ezekiel held forth from the River Chibar, if I remember right, and Daniel writes from the palace in Babylon. And John writes from the Island of Patmos. They’re all three outside the borders of Israel. Then the other unique thing is—all three write in symbolism. You have to be able to define their symbolism if you’re going to understand what they’re talking about.
Now, let’s just start with Ezekiel, for example. What’s one of the first symbols that Ezekiel uses? The dry bones. Well, he’s not talking about human bones out there in some meadow some place. He’s talking about the Children of Israel in a symbolic way. They were like dry bones out there. They’d been out there in the dispersion for hundreds of years, and then they’re going to come back as we’ve already seen. Well, that’s all symbolism.
Now Daniel is going to give us several symbols. The first one we’re going to see, hopefully yet today, and that’s the image of a military type individual with a head of gold, the chest in silver, the belly of brass, the legs of iron, and the feet iron and clay. Well, that’s symbolism. It doesn’t say until you read through and let it define itself.
Then look at John in Revelation. My goodness, the first thing he says in chapter 6 verse 1 is what? “Behold, I saw a white horse and in his hand was a bow.” Well now, he’s not talking about a literal horse and a literal human being on it. It’s a symbolic picture of the coming of the anti-Christ. So that’s what we mean, that these three books are written prophetically and in symbolism. But all three were written outside the land of Palestine.
All right, now another point I like to make, before we get started here too fast, is that after the Tower of Babel—and I trust you all know where that took place. Right there where our servicemen have been serving for the last several years. That was the location of the Tower of Babel just south of Baghdad. In fact, a lot of the soldiers have already written me and told me that they have been and seen some of the residue of Ancient Babylon. Okay, so that’s the historical setting for the Empire of Babylon.
All right, then it will be followed by the next Empire right next door. Then the other point, I’ll probably be making it again before the afternoon is over, is that all these kings and queens and leaders were what? Relatives. Does that shock you? They were all relatives. And even though they fought and they murdered and they killed, yet it was their next of kin that they were murdering.
So that’s another thing you have to keep in mind—that it was the Medes and Persians over in Babylon, but it was a man who was, if I’m not mistaken, the son-in-law of Nebuchadnezzar or something like that. We’ll, get into that later. But anyway, this is just all historical background. There in the Middle East, in the very cradle of civilization, arises the first great world empire.
Now the thinking man will immediately say, “Now, wait a minute. They didn’t even know about the Western Hemisphere.” I know that. They didn’t know about it. So consequently, it wasn’t even considered to be under their control. But all the rest of the known world could have been Nebuchadnezzar’s domain. Even though he didn’t do it all, he could have. He was the first great world empire. And that’s why it starts out, then, here in chapter 1 verse 1, about Nebuchadnezzar. All right, I think that’s enough of introduction, hopefully.
All right, now the other time frame. You’ve got to remember that the Babylonians invaded and besieged Jerusalem three distinct times. They came in the first time and they didn’t destroy the city or the Temple. But they took all the elite of Israel back to Babylon as captives. And that’s, of course, how Daniel and his three friends came to Babylon. They were part of the elite of the ruling class of Israel.
All right, then about five or six years later, Nebuchadnezzar came back because the Jewish king that he had left as sort of a caretaker wasn’t paying his dues. That riles these kings, you know.
So now he goes back to Jerusalem. And just to square things with this king who is cheating him on his tributes, what does he do? He destroys the city. He destroys the walls, and he destroys the Temple. That was on his second incursion. All right, then four or five, or six years later again Nebuchadnezzar comes back. Now he takes all the rest of Israel that’s left back to Babylon with a few sheep herders and nondescript people who were of no account. So always remember, that Nebuchadnezzar invaded and besieged Jerusalem and Judah three distinct times.
But now Daniel goes out with the first one. Daniel was not in the one when the Temple was destroyed. That was after he had already been in Babylon. Now the other thing is—it says that these guys were children. Now I’m not going to carry the point too far. But that means in my thinking that they had not yet gone through Bar Mitzvah. And for Israel that’s usually at what age? Fourteen. So these four kids were somewhere between 12 and 14 years. Now imagine, those are just kids, and yet they were taken back because of their known ability and intelligence.
The Babylonians—you know, I was thinking about this sometime, either coming up or last night when I woke up a bit. You know, we always like to think the ancients were almost like cavemen. They were just grunting and so forth. No. Don’t you think it! They had an intelligence level that would just blow your mind. All right, so what I had to think—what do you suppose those Babylonians had to do with these Hebrew kids in order to find out who was the smartest and knew the most different things? What do you suppose they did? They tested them. I’m sure they did. They laid out these fancy Babylonian tests using the math and the astronomy and all these things, and here comes these four little Hebrew boys right to the top of the list. That’s the ones we want down in Babylon. Okay. Now I think I’m ready to jump in and come at it verse-by-verse.
“In the third year (Now you’ve got to watch your language here, or you’ll get mixed up.) of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it.” Now like I said, this isn’t the time he destroys the Temple. That’s going to come the next time.
“And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah (Israel’s king) into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God: which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god;…”
Now what I want you folks, and my television audience the same way, what was the first commandment? “Thou shalt have no other Gods before me.” Now what does that tell you about Israel’s Jehovah God? He’s a jealous God. And He had every right to be, because He’s the creator of everything, remember. All right, so now the first thing these pagan Gentiles do is strip off some of the gold from things in the Temple. They didn’t destroy it, but they certainly vandalized it. And of all things, where do they take it? Back into the temple of their idolatrous gods.
Now again, I know we can’t put ourselves in God’s place. I don’t ever think that. But can you imagine how God would feel about that? My, it just made His blood boil, if I dare use that expression. How these pagans went in there and stripped the gold and the silver and so forth out of the Temple in Jerusalem and carried it back to Babylon and took it in as part of the worship of their pagan gods.
Now you have to realize that from the very onset of the human race, 99.9% of the human race has been—what’s the word? Rebellious. Aren’t they? They’re all rebellious. They don’t want anything to do with what God says. Somebody sent me an interesting clipping from their daily paper just yesterday. It was a research firm that I’d heard of before, so it wasn’t a come-lately. And you know what he found? Seventy some percent of the American people are firmly convinced that everybody is going to Heaven. Everybody’s going to Heaven—whether they’re Buddhist, whether they’re Muslim—no matter what they are. Everybody’s going to Heaven. They can pick and choose. They can take any way they want.
Well, that must make God’s blood boil, when He has made it so plain and puts it out so clearly that, no, there’s not 15 or 20 different ways to Heaven. There’s one! And I’ll probably get a lot of flack. The more we go on, the more opposition we get. But listen, this Book is true. If I didn’t believe it, I wouldn’t make a statement like that. But I believe it. I know this Book is true from cover-to-cover. And the only way you can get to Heaven is by believing in your heart that Jesus died for your sins, was buried, and rose again.
All right, so continuing on now in Daniel chapter 1 verse 2, the Babylonians–“…carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god;…” That was primarily the female goddess Astarte. That was always the number one god for the ancients. It was the female god. Verse 3:
“And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, (Now don’t throw that word out. Keep it in your computer.) that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king’s seed, and of the princes;” So what was the royal line of these kids? They were in the royal family. They were destined to become part of the royal family.
And that’s what old Nebuchadnezzar wanted. He didn’t want just an ordinary fellow out there who was herding sheep or sawing lumber and building houses. He wanted the elite of Israel. That’s why, I think, he tested them. Now that’s my idea. I can’t show that from Scripture. I remind people all the time—I try to tell you when I’m not quoting Scripture. This is just my idea. But it stands to reason. He had a way of determining that these four kids were the best of Israel. Now verse 4:
“Children in whom was no blemish, (They were healthy. They were intelligent. They were—what’s the word I like to use? They were athletic. They had energy to burn.) but well favoured, and skillful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge,…” See that? Now, we’re describing these four little boys. We’re going to come to their names up here in verse 7. But we’re describing these four little twelve-year old boys.
“…cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king’s palace, (In other words, they didn’t have any problem waiting on the king and the royal court. They had self-confidence.) and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue (or the language) of the Chaldeans.” In other words, they’re just going to turn these kids inside and out and make them puppets of their regime. See that? All right, verse 5:
“And the king appointed them a daily provision of the king’s meat, (Now, I like the word food better than meat.) and of the wine which he drank: (Now don’t think for a minute those royal people didn’t have the best wine in the world.) so nourishing them three years, (Now they’re fifteen.) that at the end thereof they might stand before the king.” In other words, be at a position where the king can start giving them responsibility. Now remember, they’re only fifteen.
“Now among these were of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah:” Those were the Jewish names. Now they each had a definitive definition of a name of God. All right, but what do the Babylonians do? They give them a new name. They substitute the names of Babylonian gods for the Hebrew’s God.
“Unto whom the prince of the eunuchs gave names: for he gave unto Daniel the name of Belteshazzar; and to Hananiah (he gave), of Shadrach; and to Mishael (he gave), of Meshach, and to Azariah, of Abed-nego. 8. But Daniel purposed in his heart…” What was the word? “Heart.” See, and again we have to always come back to this scriptural term—that it’s the heart that God is looking at. It doesn’t make any difference how much head knowledge we have got; it’s what ends up in the heart.
Now of course, I know that term leaves a lot of questions in people’s minds. So far as I’m concerned, the heart is what I call the soul—the will, the mind, and the emotion. That’s the heart of our being. And it’s with the heart we believe for our salvation.
I had to show somebody yesterday that animals cannot be in Heaven as we are. Now I’m sure that God has the wherewithal to place animals. But you see, they can’t die and enjoy a plan of salvation like we do, because they do not have that spiritual entity that man has.
We alone of God’s creation have that spiritual connection. So with this heart—it’s the invisible part of created Adam. Now I guess I’d better use Scripture with Scripture. I had the first guy in years complain in a letter yesterday—why do I jump all over the Bible? He said why don’t you just stay in one chapter? Well, that’s not my mode of teaching. That’s why.
Come back with me to Genesis chapter 1, and drop all the way down to verse 26. Now here we are at the end of the five days of creation. And now comes the sixth day wherein God will create man and woman.
“And God said, (Now that word God is Elohim in the Hebrew. And that’s the Triune God.) Let us (The plurality. He doesn’t say let me, but rather–) Let us make man in our image, (again denoting plurality) Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:…” Now stop a minute and think. At this point in time was God in human form? Now I’m not tricking you, you know. No. What was He? He was Spirit. Invisible. Eternal. From eternity past to eternity future. He was a spiritual, invisible God.
All right, so when it says that He’s going to make man in His image, what part of His image is He talking about? The invisible. Now you know, I’ve gone back and done this years and years ago. I used to do autopsies when I was in the service. Not a lot, but enough that I found out what that old human body is made of. And my part of the autopsy was, you remember, I took out the brain.
I sliced it so it could go up to the laboratory and be examined under the microscope. Now I always do this just for common sense illustration. As I was slicing that brain and putting it down into little particles of cells that could go under the microscope, did I ever see the soul? Did I ever see that person’s mind? Did I ever see their will? Did I ever see the seat, as we call it, of their emotions? Course not. Why? They’re invisible. But are they real? As real as you and I sitting here today. Just as real as anything can be. So we have to know what we’re talking about. When God says I’m creating man in our image, it was an invisible creation. That was the mind, the will, and the emotions—the soul.
And then He put in the spirit—that part that makes man able to commune with God. Then He put that invisible spirit makeup in a what? Well, in a body. All right, man becomes functional. All these invisible entities are in the body. And that’s continued now for 6,000 years. All right, now going on in verse 26:
“…Let us make man in our image, (in the realm of the invisible) after our likeness: and let them (Adam and Eve, now, is who we’re really talking about.) have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all…”
Was all in the Garden of Eden? Huh? No. No. Adam’s dominion wasn’t confined to the Garden. How much dominion did he have? The whole planet. It was all under his dominion. All right, so He says, in verse 28—I think where the word is actually used.
“…have dominion over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” Adam had final control over everything in God’s creation that was given to Adam.
All right, now then, he’s alone for a good long while, because that invisible part of Eve stays in Adam. And, oh, people can’t handle that. Sorry, but that’s the way it was. The invisible soul and spirit of Eve was in Adam. And when Adam was put to sleep and God says, I’m going to make a helpmeet for him, what did He do? He took that out. And just like He put a body around Adam’s mind, will, and emotion; He puts a body around Eve’s invisible make up. So now she’s a visible person with all these invisible entities, as I call them. That’s the beginning of the human race.
All right, now we’ve got a few minutes. First thing we know, and I don’t know how long, what do Adam and Eve do? Well, they rebel. Now they didn’t commit some horrible, drunken orgy. They didn’t commit some horrible, immoral sexual act. But what did they do? They disobeyed God. That’s all. God says you shall not eat of it, and they said, Satan says we can. That was their fall.
All right, now come back to Romans. I want to come back to the heart concept. Come all the way up to Romans chapter 10 and for sake of time, drop in at verse 8. Romans 10 verse 8, you all there? Because I want you to see it with your own eyes.
“But what saith it? The Word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy (What?) heart:…” (So where does the Word of God penetrate the human being? Into that mind, will, and emotion that makes up our personality.) that is, the word of faith, which we preach; 9. That if thou shalt confess (or proclaim audibly) with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine (What again?) heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” And that’s where most of Christendom is missing it. They’re letting people just give them mental assent, “Yea, that’s what I’ve always heard. I believe that.” That’s not what God is looking for.
God is looking for faith that goes down right into the heart of our being. That’s where God labors. And like I told a gentleman on the phone, dogs don’t have that. Animals don’t have that. Only humans. That’s why we are at the top of the totem pole in creation, because God created man to be in fellowship with Him. All right, I thought I had one more, yeah, still in verse 10—how Paul emphasizes the heart all the way through here.
“For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11. For the Scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.”
All right, here’s the whole concept then of salvation. We don’t just give a mental assent, “O, yeah, I’ve always heard that Jesus died and went to the cross. I’ve always heard that He died and was resurrected.” That’s not the heart. That’s head. But we understand that this work of salvation was accomplished when Christ died, was buried, and rose again. And we believe that with all our heart, throwing away everything else. I just shared with a couple of people. I had a lady down in San Antonio, and I gave her an answer that just blew her away. I haven’t got time but maybe in the next program. But listen, everything else has to be blown away—and we stay only, only, on that finished work of the cross—where Christ has done everything that needs to be done.
LESSON ONE * PART II
STUDY of DANIEL – PART 1
Daniel 1:1 – 2:39
Okay, good to see you all back. We’ll get on with our next half hour. We’re going to stay in our study of Daniel. But first I want to again thank my television audience, as well as all you folks here, for all of your kind letters, your financial help, and your prayers. I just want you all to know I can’t do it without it. And even though these are rough financial times, and we keep looking for things to start diving, they’re not. My, you can’t imagine the box of letters we’ve had each day the last two days. So, thank you out there in TV-land. How we—our hearts—go out to you.
And again, we always are mindful of those of you who write that you are fighting disease of one kind or another or financial problems. We cherish taking those requests into the Throne Room. We really do.
All right, for those of you here in the viewing audience, we’ll go back for just a moment to Daniel. To just pick up what’s on the board, we’re in Book number 80. I don’t know how many of these programs will continue through Daniel, but we’ll take it as it comes, verse-by-verse. So if you’ll come back with me to Daniel chapter 1—and I purposely deferred a couple of things, because I didn’t want to have too much introductory stuff—but I’ve got to get it in someplace. So what I think I’ll do is come back to chapter 1 and verse 1. I think that’s really all we need. Why, when Israel was so connected to their God, did He permit these pagan Babylonians to come in and do battle with them? Well, there’s going to be reasons, and I’ll show you in just a minute. But in Daniel chapter 1:
“In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it.” And of course, like we’ve already seen, he took all of the upper-crust captives back to Babylon. Then several years later he came back and destroyed the city, the wall, the gates, and the Temple. Then he came back a third time and took almost everything that was left of the population. All right, so why? Well, you’ve got to remember that Israel was always under God’s blessings, but also His chastisements.
Come back with me now to Leviticus chapter 26. This is a two-fold prophecy. Now this took place the first time, like we’ve just seen, with Nebuchadnezzar coming and taking the people of Israel captive. It happened again when the Romans came in A.D. 70. They didn’t just take them back to one place; they scattered them from one end of the world to the other. But it was still two of the dispersions that were in Israel’s future.
All right, the first one is where they went to Babylon—Leviticus chapter 26:32 and 33. But it’s a valid prophecy even for today, and I use it whenever I speak of signs of the times—how this is already fulfilled with Israel back in the land. But you’ve got to remember, that it was originally directed to Israel with regard to 600 B.C., because Leviticus is way back in the time of Moses.
See, now here again, the scoffer cannot comprehend that. That way back, hundreds of years before the fact, Moses is predicting this Babylonian captivity. Then we get a little closer to it, and Isaiah predicts the name of the emperor that will send them back. I mean, that’s what is so unique about Scripture.
You know, I heard one of the major commentators the other day interviewing one of the major scoffers of right-wing television. I don’t like to use names. I don’t want to get in trouble, if I can help it. But the commentator said, “Now wait a minute. You are always condemning this network. Have you ever listened to it?” “No way.” “Well, how can you condemn something you’ve never listened to?” Isn’t that right? Same thing with this Book. Do you know that 99 out of 100 people who scoff at this Book have never read one verse of it? All they go by is their gut feeling and hearsay. And all I tell people is, “Listen, just realize how intrinsically this Book has been put together.”
I used an illustration way back in one of the first programs twenty years ago. Just like a finely tuned Swiss watch with all of its intricate movements—take any one of them out, and it will stop. But, you see, that’s this Book. It is so put together – intrinsically. All right, Leviticus chapter 26, drop down to verse 32 where God says through Moses:
“And I will bring the land (That is the land of Canaan.) into desolation: and your enemies who dwell therein (That is the Canaanites at this point in time.) shall be astonished at it.” At what? The desolation. How unproductive a beautiful strip of land could become, could so completely fall apart. But God did it with earthquakes. He did it with pestilence. He did it with drought. It stopped raining. All right, so here it is all foretold almost 1,000 years ahead of time. Now verse 33:
“And I will scatter you among the heathen, and will draw out a sword after you: (In other words, there’d be tremendous loss of life.) and your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste. 34. Then (When Israel is out of the land and everything is destroyed, God says–) shall the land (the Promised Land, the land of Canaan) enjoy her Sabbaths,…”
Well, what was the Sabbath in Israel’s history? They had to leave the land fallow every seventh year. From the time that they came in under Joshua, they had to leave it fallow. God said, “I’ll give you enough extra on the sixth year and the first year that you won’t miss it.” But did they believe God? No. They kept on farming it. They kept on taking out the fruit. So God says it’s going to get them. All right, here it is. So when they’re out of the land, and there’s no production, there’s no farming, there’s no fruit trees growing, “Then shall the land rest and enjoy her (What?) Sabbaths.”
Now like I said in the beginning of the first program, 490 years are in one of these categories. For 490 years Israel never gave the land the Sabbath rest. So how many years did it owe God? Seventy. Seventy times seven is 490. All right, so He permitted these pagans to bring destruction into their country and to take them out captive, so that the land could enjoy its make-up Sabbaths.
All right, now there was a second reason that Israel was so guilty. Who wants to guess? What was their problem? Oh, come on. Idolatry! They had a pagan god under every green tree. The Temple was still operating, but that didn’t make any difference. They were still worshipping all the pagan gods and goddesses. Unbelievable! I still can’t get over it as often as I’ve read it and taught it. How these people, brilliant as they were then, just like they are today; and yet so ignorant that they would worship idols of gold and silver and stone and ignore the God of Israel. It’s unbelievable. But they did.
Now for that, turn with me to Jeremiah chapter 44, and we’ll see how this becomes part of the problem. This is why they hated Jeremiah so horribly that they threw him into a dungeon, you know. Jeremiah 44, let’s drop in at verse 15. Now this is hard to comprehend. Yet it’s exactly what the Book says. It describes it so perfectly. Now even in the Book of Hosea, what was the problem? They were following after all these pagan gods.
Those of us that were up in Israel just the other day, up in the northern part, we saw the old altar of Dan—the first tribe to go into abject idolatry. They’ve found the whole thing now, the altar and everything, under dirt for all these hundreds and hundreds of years. But just to prove that the Bible was not kidding, Dan was the first to go into idolatry with all their pagan immorality.
“Then all the men who knew that their wives had burned incense unto other gods, and all the women that stood by, a great multitude, even all the people that dwelt in the land of Egypt,…” Now there’s a lot of Jews that ran down to Egypt to escape Babylon. All right, in Pathros, now look at their response when Jeremiah accuses them of their idolatry. They said in verse 16:
“As for the word that thou hast spoken unto us in the name of Jehovah, we will not listen unto thee. 17. But we will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth forth out of our own mouth, to burn incense (You remember, that was part of pagan worship.) unto the (Who?) queen of heaven,…”
See, it was always the female goddesses that were at the top of everything, and they would send these people into the most abject immorality. Unbelievable. And that’s who they are worshipping, these female goddesses.
“…and to pour out drink-offerings unto her, (Now remember that drink offering, because we’re going to come to why Daniel won’t drink the wine of Nebuchadnezzar.) as we have done, we, and our fathers, our kings, and our princes, in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem: (Now what a lie, the next statement.) for then had we plenty of victuals, and were well, and saw no evil.”
“But since we left off to burn incense to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink-offerings unto her, we have wanted all things,…” They were destitute. They needed this, and they needed that, because they had left off worshiping the female goddesses. What a lie. All right, now verse 19:
“And when we burned incense to the queen of heaven, and poured out drink-offerings unto her, did we make her cakes to worship her, and pour out drink-offerings unto her, without our men?” The women just went ahead and did it anyway.
“Then Jeremiah said unto all the people, to the men, and to the women, and to all the people who had given him that answer, saying, 21. The incense that ye burned in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, ye, and your fathers, your kings, and your princes, and the people of the land, did not the LORD remember them, and came it not into his mind?”
And what did he do? He brought the Babylonians, and they went under abject misery. Now you’ve got to realize, too, the Ancients—especially the upper crust—did they ever exercise any human rights? They didn’t know what it was. They would kill left and right and never blink an eye, because they were just serfs. They were slaves.
I will never forget—I guess it was the first time we went to Israel—we could still go up the rampart to Masada, but we can’t do that anymore. They’ve got it all fenced off. I guess it was too dangerous. But see, when the Romans besieged Masada—I trust you all know that Masada is that high mountain that they had a fortress on the top. When the Romans besieged Masada, the only way to the top was up what they called the Snake Trail. It’s only about three feet wide. Well, two men could hold off an army.
So they knew they would never capture those 900 Jews by going up the Snake Trail. So, what’d they do? They started building a rampart from the north. Ten thousand Roman troops, plus who knows how many Jewish slaves, start building this earthen rampart from down on the desert floor all the way to within ten feet of the top. And I’ll never forget it as long as I live. As I was walking up that with our Jewish guide, he said, “You know, Les, no one will ever know how many Jewish bodies were just simply left to die, covered up by the dirt. And they just kept on going.”
Well see, that was the attitude towards the human. It’s still like that in a lot of places today, but more so in antiquity. Human lives meant nothing to these people. You could just as well cut off a chicken’s head. It didn’t make any difference. Always keep these things in mind—that when these people went into captivity, they were now going to be subjected to no human rights as we understand them.
All right, now let’s come back and we’ll pick up where we left off in the last program. In Daniel, I think we’re still in chapter 1, and we’ll pick up in verse 9. Let’s look at verse 8 just for a review.
“But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with a portion of the king’s meat, (or food) nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.” Now there again, you have to understand, what was the mentality? How could a good, righteous Jew like little 15 year-old Daniel eat this meat that had been offered to a pagan female goddess? How could they drink wine that, before they even did anything, they would pour out a portion of it as a libation for pagan gods? Well, Daniel said, “I can’t do that.”
Well, you know, Paul had a little bit of controversy with that, didn’t he? He said they won’t bother me, because I know those dumb idols can’t do anything. But on the other hand, he did condescend and say that’s all right. If it’s going to be offensive to someone if I eat meat offered to the idols at the temples, he said, I’ll never eat another bite of meat as long as I live. So it’s always been that controversy. All right, but now then, back to Daniel chapter 1 verse 9.
“Now God had brought Daniel into favor and tender love with the prince (or the top man) of the eunuchs.” Now, does that ring a bell? I’m going to use two Scriptures. Turn with me first up to Romans. Well, I’ve got another one of those age-precipitated, what Floridians call a “senior moment.” I know it’s in Romans, but I’ve forgotten my reference. Can you believe that? Romans 15. Thank you. For our television audience, I guess I should tell them, I’m sick today. I’m not up to par, so bear with me.
(Les was really sick when he taped these two programs, but felt he’d let the studio audience down if he didn’t. Under the circumstances, Les did a superb job.– Jerry Pool)
Romans chapter 15 and verse 3, no, it’s verse 4. Sorry about that if you’ve written it in your notebook already. Romans chapter 15 verse 4, now this is the Apostle Paul writing to us.
“For whatsoever things were written aforetime (Old Testament) were written for our (What’s the word?) learning,…” Not doctrine. You don’t find the plan of salvation in the Old Testament. You won’t find the Christian walk as we experience it in the Old Testament. That was all Law. That was Israel. But here it is. It’s still profitable as Paul says, “…all Scripture is profitable.” Of course it is.
“For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” Now, take the young lad, 15 years old, down in a foreign country. In a foreign palace where any slip of the tongue and his head is off. Don’t you imagine he was homesick for Jerusalem? But, did Daniel ever turn against his God? Never.
All right, another one I like to look at is Joseph. I think rather than going back and reading it, you all know the account of Joseph. My goodness, the young man, too, probably in a late teen situation, and his brothers connived against him. First they were going to put him to death. Then they thought better of that, so they threw him in the pit. And what do you suppose old Joseph is thinking about now? Is this all part of God’s doing? And that’s typical. I mean, we’re all human. They were, too. All right, then he ends up in the house of Potiphar, and he gets put in the slammer because Potiphar’s wife falsely accused him of propositioning her. And how long was he in prison? I think about ten years.
Well, now ten years in an Egyptian prison was not a Sunday school picnic. It was like a dungeon. But, did Joseph ever give up? No. No. And the day finally came when God put His thumb on Joseph and, by a supernatural turn of events, Joseph becomes the second man in Egypt. He becomes the sustainer, then, of his own family.
All right, now come back to Daniel. It is the same way. Daniel, now, is there because of who he is. He’s a believer. He’s a Jew. Yet he never relinquishes his faith in the God of Abraham. He never gives it up. All right, verse 9:
“Now God had brought Daniel into favor and tender love with the prince (or the head) of the eunuchs.” Which, of course, the first thing they did, even as a young lad; they neutered him. So he’s a eunuch, but he never stopped trusting the God of Abraham.
“And the prince of the eunuchs said unto Daniel, I fear my lord the king, who hath appointed your food and your drink: for why should he see your faces worse looking than the children who are of your sort?…” In other words, Daniel, I’ve got to keep you looking as good as the Babylonian kids, or my head is off. So Daniel says, sorry, but I don’t need your Babylonian rich food and drink. You can bring me (What’s the word in the King James?) pulse. Now the best way I can explain “pulse,” is Gerber’s baby food. Am I right? Pretty close. It was strictly vegetables. It was ground to where it was just a mush. That was pulse. And that’s all Daniel wants for himself and his three friends.
All right, come back to the text. Verse 10, the last part like I just said, they thought nothing of cutting somebody’s head off. He says:
“…for why should he see your faces looking worse than the children which are of your sort? then shall ye make me endanger my head to the king.” What’s he talking about? Swish!!! Beheading. That’s nothing new for the Middle East. It’s been there for centuries. All right, look what Daniel says in verse 11.
“Then said Daniel to Melzar, whom the prince of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, 12. Prove (or test) thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse (Gerber’s baby food for ten days) to eat, and water to drink.” No wine. Just water and pulse.
“Then let our countenances to be looked upon before thee, and the countenance of the children that eat of the portion of the king’s food: and as thou seest, deal with thy servants.” If we start looking pale and impoverished, and you can profit by getting rid of us, go ahead. But Daniel knows it’s not going to happen. All right, verse 15:
“And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children (That is of Babylon.) which did eat the portion of the king’s food. 16. Thus Melzar took away the portion of their food, and the wine that they should drink; and gave them pulse. (just a ground-up vegetable) 17. As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom:…”
What does that tell you? Those kids were smart. Those kids had the answers. Now remember, they’re kids. They’re still only 15 years old. But God is using them, now, to confound all the intelligence of the Babylonians. All right, verse 20:
“And in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king enquired of them, he found them (these four Jewish lads) ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm.” From one end of the empire to the other, he couldn’t find anybody who could compare with these Jewish lads. Now verse 21 and I’m going to have to wind this up.
“And Daniel continued (That is in his service to these pagan governments.) even unto the first year of king Cyrus.” Now, if you’ve never heard it before, you’re going to hear me teach it as plain as I know how in the first few programs. Who was King Cyrus? Well, he was the king of the next empire coming—the Medes and the Persians. All right, what did Cyrus do? Cyrus wrote the decree that the Jews had the full freedom to go back to Jerusalem. He gave them all that they needed from the forests of Lebanon. He gave them absolute protection as they traveled, so that they could rebuild the Temple and rebuild the city of Jerusalem and get things cranked up and going for the next great event. Which was what? The first coming of Christ!
All right, to recap: Nebuchadnezzar took Daniel down into Babylon in the first year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign. So Daniel covered the whole scope of the 70 years of captivity. He was already 12 or 14 when he went down there, so how old is he at the end of the captivity? Eighty. But anyway, he’s going to stay in his place of authority until long after Cyrus sends the decree to send the Jews back. So where does that put Daniel. Probably 90 years old and all that time he’s been serving in a pagan government and has never let it defile him.
All right, now what is that for us? That’s what Paul means. That all these things are written for our learning, and they are written for our profit. How are we to operate in a system that is totally against us? We never compromise. Don’t ever compromise your faith. Be willing to do what Jonah did and walk the plank before you compromise these biblical truths. Now we’re living in a time—somebody sent us a paper the other day. Maybe I mentioned it in the last program. I think I did. Where 70% of American Christians think everybody is going to Heaven. How can they? Impossible!
LESSON ONE * PART III
DANIEL – Part 1
Daniel 1:1 – 2:39
Okay, good to have everybody in this afternoon. We’ve already realized that we’ve got a lot of new folks today, and we want to welcome you. For those of you joining us on television, we’ve probably got the same thing, probably got a lot of folks who are just catching it for the first time. We are just an informal Bible study. We take it pretty much verse-by-verse, and all we can do is let the Holy Spirit open your understanding and trust that you’ll learn to study and enjoy it like never before.
We have one book. We haven’t advertised it now for a long time. It’s eighty-eight questions and answers that come from the material in our program. We got a new shipment in a while back, so we have plenty of them available in case any of you are interested. Just call the 800 number, and we’ll get them out to you. Probably the best $11 you will ever spend.
All right, we’re going to pick right up where we left off in our last half hour. That will be in Daniel chapter 2, and we’ll start right at verse 1. And again, in case some of you were new and missed the last program, you remember that Daniel was one of the four young lads that were taken captive. And when I say young, they were really young. They were probably between 12 and 14 years of age. And I want to have you keep that in mind when you see what responsibilities the Lord gives this young man, or this young lad, Daniel at the age of 12, 13, or 14. He’s taken captive by the Babylonians down to Babylon. In the number one chapter, we had pretty much the introduction of how he ends up down in the palace of the king.
All right, now when we come into chapter 2 verse 1, we’re going to pick up where Daniel is going to be put in a tremendous place of responsibility. And don’t forget his age. Now he might be 14 or 15. But he’s not a man. He’s still just a child.
“And in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar…” Now you’ve got to watch your language; otherwise, you’d say, now wait a minute, back there in chapter 1 it says “in the third year.” No, watch the differences in who we’re talking about. In chapter 1 verse 1, it’s the third year of the Jewish king Jehoiakim. But here we’re talking about:
“And in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, wherewith his spirit was troubled, and his sleep brake from him. 2. Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the astrologers, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, for to shew the king his dreams. So they came and stood before the king.”
Now those were all various groups of what they called the wise men in the time of the ancients. And they were primarily demonically inspired and enlightened sorcerers in witchcraft and so forth. The last group, the Chaldeans, was pretty much what you’d call the wise. They were probably the guys that really used some intelligence, especially in discerning the solar system and so forth. They all had a pretty good handle on the brain. So anyway, these so-called wise men of Babylon are now before the king.
“And the king said unto them, I have dreamed a dream,…” Now I know there’s a lot of controversy. Some people think he remembers it, but he just wants to put these guys on trial to see if they’re good enough to recover it.
But on the other hand, I have to feel—since we’re dealing with the Omnipotence and the Omniscience of God being able to reveal to Daniel what the old king dreamed—I think he had totally forgotten it, but he had understood the ramifications of it. For one reason or other, he understood that this was something totally different than anything he’d ever dreamed before. And that’s why he is so set on having it recovered.
“…I have dreamed a dream, and my spirit was troubled to know the dream. 4. Then spake the Chaldeans to the king in Syriack,…” Now, again, this isn’t all that important, but the scoffers sure like to pick up on it. From chapter 1 verse 1 up unto this verse, Daniel has been writing in the Hebrew language. Now he switches over to the Syriack, or what we call the Aramaic, and then he speaks in Aramaic all the way over to chapter 7.
And then he finishes the Book in Hebrew again. And of course, the scoffers just scream at that—that just goes to show it’s a forgery. No, Daniel is not a forgery. It just shows he’s already been in Babylon long enough to be comfortable with the Aramaic, or the Syriack, language. On the other hand, he was raised in the Hebrew language, so he was able to use that as well. But anyway, now he’s speaking in the Aramaic language.
“…O king, live forever: tell thy servants the dreams, and we will show the interpretation. 5. The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, The thing is gone from me: (I can’t tell you what I dreamed. You’ve got to tell me. Kind of preposterous request, isn’t it?) The thing is gone from me: if ye will not make known unto me the dream, with the interpretation thereof, ye shall be cut in pieces, and your houses shall be made a dunghill.”
Now what does that tell you? That’s the mentality of these oriental despotic dictators. And they haven’t changed. We see the same thing today. Old Saddam Hussein was notorious for his cruelty. And Nebuchadnezzar was no different. It made no compunction to him if these guys couldn’t do the impossible. He’d just as soon cut them up and feed them to the dogs, as not. And I want you to get that—that picture of the thinking of this oriental king.
“But (he says) if ye show the dream, and the interpretation thereof, ye shall receive of me gifts and rewards and great honor: therefore show me the dream, and the interpretation thereof. 7. They answered again and said, Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will show the interpretation of it. 8. The king answered and said, I know of certainty that ye would gain the time, because ye see the thing is gone from me.”
What’d he tell them? He said, you’re just arguing for time. You’d better come up with it, or you’re dead. You’re gone. And in the Oriental system of things, it wasn’t just a husband and father who was put to death, but who else? The wife and children. That was all part of their system. Verse 8 again:
“The king answered and said, I know of certainty that ye would gain the time, because ye see the thing is gone from me. 9. But if ye will not make known unto me the dream, there is but one decree for you: for ye have prepared lying and corrupt words to speak before me, till the time be changed: therefore tell me the dream, and I shall know that ye can show me the interpretation thereof.” Or else! That’s about the attitude. Tell it to me, or else you are dead ducks, we’d say today.
“The Chaldeans answered before the king, and said, (Now, these are the more elite of the four groups.) There is not a man upon the earth that can show the kings matter: therefore there is no king, lord, nor ruler, that asked such things of any magician, or astrologer, or Chaldean.” King, you are asking the impossible. Nobody can do what you’re asking.
“And it is a rare thing that the king requireth, and there is none other that can show it before the king, except the gods,…” Now look at that. That’s a small “g”. The gods. Well you see, all the pagan world understood were all their gods and goddesses. Now always remember that other than Israel, nobody had a concept of the One True God. Not an iota. So, all they can fall back on are their pagan, small “g-o-d-s.” Their small pagan gods. See, plural. That’s what I want you to see.
“…and there is none other that can show it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh. 12. For this cause the king was angry and very furious, and commanded to destroy all the wise men of Babylon.” Now you want to remember, he’s an absolute despotic dictator. He has absolutely no kindness towards the human race whatsoever, unless he can benefit from it.
“And the decree went forth that the wise men should be slain; and they sought Daniel and his fellows to be slain.” Now who’s in the same bunch? Daniel and his three friends: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. So Daniel immediately comes under this decree to be put to death along with all the rest of the wise men of Babylon. All right, now verse 14, now we come back to the crux of the matter. Daniel is just a lad of 14 or 15 years old.
“Then Daniel answered with counsel and wisdom to Arioch the captain of the king’s guard, who was gone forth to slay the wise men of Babylon:” In other words, he was already on his way to carry out the king’s decree.
“He answered and said to Arioch the king’s captain, Why is the decree so hasty from the king? Then Arioch made the thing known to Daniel. (He explained the circumstances.) 16. Then Daniel went in, and desired of the king that he would give him time,…” What do you suppose Daniel wants with time? What would you do? Pray! Absolutely. Daniel in some words said just give us some time to pray about it. That’s what he’s begging for.
“Then Daniel went in, and desired of the king that he would give him time, and that he would show the king the interpretation. (After he’s prayed about it.) 17. Then Daniel went to his house, and made the thing known to (His three fellow Jewish lads, all the same age who had been renamed, of course, by the Babylonians.) Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, his companions:” They had been renamed Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the Babylonian.
“That they would desire mercies of the God of heaven concerning this secret; (or this dream) that Daniel and his fellows should not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. (See how crucial this is getting?) 19. Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.” Not the gods of paganism, but the God of Heaven—the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
“Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his: (Now watch this, because God has never changed. It’s still just as appropriate today as it was when Daniel wrote it.) 21. And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, (or world rulers) and setteth up kings: (or world leaders) he giveth wisdom unto the wise, knowledge to them that know understanding:”
“He (Now remember what we’re talking about – the God of Heaven.) He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him. (And then Daniel prays.) 23. I thank thee, and praise thee, O thou God of my fathers, who hast given me wisdom and might, and hast made known unto me now what we desired of thee: for thou hast now made known unto us the king’s matter.”
Now I’m going to keep hammering at it. Imagine the kid, fifteen years of age, with this kind of a situation. His faith—how well-grounded he was before the Babylonians actually took him captive. Now verse 24:
“Therefore Daniel went in unto Arioch, whom the king had ordained to destroy the wise men of Babylon: he went and said thus unto him, (Begging on behalf of those old pagan, idolatrous, godless, and god worshipping pagans—Daniel still has the whereabouts to plead their case as well.) Destroy not the wise men of Babylon: bring me in before the king, and I will show unto the king the interpretation. 25. Then Arioch brought in Daniel before the king in haste, and said thus unto him, I have found a man of the captives of Judah, (not really a man—a child) that will make known unto the king the interpretation. 26. The king answered and said unto Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, Art thou able to make known unto me the dream which I have seen, and the interpretation thereof?”
Now again, why is he so aghast? You’re just a kid. And you can tell me what all these magicians can’t? You see that? Now why am I making the point? I want you to realize the power and the Omniscience of the God of Daniel. But my goodness, He’s not just the God of Daniel. I trust He’s the God of everyone in this room today. He hasn’t changed. He’s the same yesterday, today, and forever. He’s just as much the God of wisdom today as He was back here with Daniel. Don’t ever lose that. We’re dealing with the same God. Now granted, He deals with us in a different mode than He did with the Old Testament believers, but it’s the same God. The Sovereign God of the universe.
“Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, The secret (Now lock that word, I’m going to come back to it after a bit.) The secret which the king hath demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, show unto the king; 28. But there is a God in heaven (that the Babylonians knew nothing of) there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets,…” Now I think this is as good a place as any. Come back with me to Deuteronomy. Most of you already know what it’s going to be, don’t you? Deuteronomy 29:29.
I dropped a note the other day to the old gentleman who made me aware of this verse years and years ago when I hadn’t been in Oklahoma all that long. He was a retired college president. He was a retired Army General. And he was one of my best students. He came up one night after class, and he said, “Les, I think I have found a verse that you will just love.” And I had never seen it before. And this is it. I wrote him the other day, and I said, “Dr. Baker, I want you to know I use this verse over and over and over.” How I thanked him for making me aware of it.
“The secret things (See that? Those things that man has absolutely no possible ability to understand because they’re in the mind of God.) The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed (In other words, He’ll reveal these things little by little.) those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children…” Now this, of course, is Moses speaking of Israel. But it’s still one of those verses that carries all the way through, because of God’s unchanging Omnipotence. So always remember that God is the One who keeps things secret.
Now the reason I made such a big deal over the secret things of God, is because of our Apostle. Now turn all the way up to the New Testament. Our Apostle Paul is constantly letting us know that all the things that he is writing in his epistles you will not find anywhere else in Scripture, because they were kept secret. God kept it secret until He revealed it.
All right, the first one I want to look at is Romans 16:25. Most of Christendom does not understand this to this day. That’s why they disagree with me on my line of teaching. They don’t understand that Paul had things revealed unto him that no one else had ever been given.
The Twelve didn’t know them. The Old Testament Prophets didn’t know them. They were strictly kept secret until God revealed them to this Apostle. And that’s what makes his apostleship so uniquely different. Romans 16 verse 25 and if you’ve never learned anything else before, remember this today. I don’t care if you remember nothing else today. I want you to remember this—that this is why Paul constantly, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, refers to the things that have been kept secret. Our God is a God who can keep secrets.
“Now to him that is of power to establish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, (And what’s the other word for mystery? Secret. Here Paul has now been given the wherewithal to proclaim a message that has been kept secret since when?) which was kept secret since the ages began,”
All right, now this is just one or two of them. I’m not going to have time to look at all of them, but turn ahead to Ephesians chapter 3 verses 1 through 9. They are all filled with this very thing, how that God has revealed to this Apostle things never before revealed. But I want to bring it down to the frosting on the cake, if I can put it that way, verse 9. I haven’t got time to read all eight of them. Let’s just read verse 9.
“And to make all men see (He’s not just the Apostle of Israel now. He’s the Apostle of all—Gentiles as well as Jews.) to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery (the secret) which from the beginning of the world had been hid in God,…” It was kept secret. Nobody had ever heard these things before.
That’s why Peter writes in his little epistle—in Paul’s things “are things hard to be understood.” Why? They’ve been kept secret. It was never revealed until this man.
“…from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, (the same God) who created all things by Jesus Christ:”
Well, that was all aside. You got that free for nothing. Come back with me to Daniel. Come back to Daniel now. Daniel makes it so evident that what he is able to do is to reveal the secrets because his God knows everything and will reveal as He see fits. Go back to Daniel chapter 2 verse 28 again.
“But there is a God in heaven (The same One we deal with.) that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days….” Now, you see, that’s the secret of why Nebuchadnezzar had an idea that there was such an important revelation in this dream that it would actually be worth killing all of the wise men of Babylon to get at the core of it. He knew that there was something of intrinsic value to this dream, and that’s what it was. It was foretelling the whole future of the Gentile world, and we still teach it as such to this day. All right, reading on:
“…shall be in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these; 29. As for thee, O king, thy thoughts came into thy mind upon thy bed, what should come to pass hereafter:…” And that’s why I think any student or teacher of prophecy will have to use Daniel as the foundation for all their teaching. Daniel is the very bedrock of all of our end-time prophecy. And even old pagan king Nebuchadnezzar had an inkling this was something more than just another dream. All right, verse 30:
“But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living, but for their sakes that shall make known the interpretation to the king, and that thou mightest know the thoughts of thy heart.”
Now we have to understand that when Daniel begins to unfold and recover this dream, and we’ll be looking at it in a future program, he’s going to lay out the whole timeline of Gentile history starting with Nebuchadnezzar himself, who was the first of the Gentile Empires built. Now there were other kingdoms, of course, but Babylon under Nebuchadnezzar was the very first of the Gentile, the then-known world, Empire.
Now you’ve got to remember, the then-known world wasn’t all that great. It was that part of the Middle East around the Euphrates River, maybe on a little ways, and then across over the land of Israel. That’s why it’s in Scripture, because Babylon was intrinsically involved with Israel. And then, of course, down to Egypt—that was the then-known world. And old Nebuchadnezzar already had all of that under his thumb. He was an absolute monarch.
From this point on, then, we’re going to see the unfolding of all the great Gentile Empires that came down the pike one right after the other. The Babylonians and then the Medes and the Persians and then the Greeks and then the Romans—and then the Roman Empire went into the dust in history. It disappeared. And pretty much the rest of the time it was anyone with control of the Muslim world. Now here we are back in our present day and all four of these kingdoms are back in the news. Back in the news. Almost every day. You say—what? Well, goodness sakes, for the last four or five years all we’ve had in the front page news is what country? Iraq—and what’s Iraq? Babylon. Baghdad is only about twenty miles from the very ruins of ancient Babylon.
All right, then the next was the Medes and the Persians. Well, who were the Persians? Iran. What shows up in the news every day? Iran is back at the top. All right, and then came the Greeks. Well, what was the Greek Empire? Well, that was that empire that brought about all of our classics in literature and music and art and architecture and all that. And they’re pretty much back in the news.
And then what followed the Greek? The Romans and now we’ve got the Revived Roman Empire coming up in Western Europe. I still feel that’s the prophetic empire, the Revived Ten Nations of Western Europe. All of these things were in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream.
But I want you to jump up to the New Testament in our closing remarks with regard to God knowing the end from the beginning. Come all the way up to Acts chapter 2, and we have to hurry. We’ve only got a minute left. Acts chapter 2 and drop in at verses 22 and 23. Because when you look at the world today, you almost wonder, is anybody still in control? Don’t you worry about it. Our God is still in control. Everything that happens is for a purpose. Everything.
You know, I told my oldest son way last spring when all the presidential primaries began, I said, “Greg, never forget (I think it was FDR that said it. I’m not sure, but I think he did.) that elections are not won by people, they’re won by events. Just watch and see what happens between now and Election Day.” Well, what was the big event that turned the election? The financial crash. That’s all it took and, bingo, everything went the other way—by God’s design.
All right, quickly, Acts chapter 2 and let’s go down to verse 23, where Peter is, of course, referring to the crucified, resurrected Messiah. He says:
“Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and (What?) foreknowledge of God,…” Was God taken by surprise by the crucifixion? No. It was all blueprinted. It had to happen. He had to die. He had to shed His blood. That was what took the place of the atoning blood of the animals all the way up through the Old Testament. It was all according to the foreknowledge of God, and it has never changed to this very day.
LESSON ONE * PART IV
DANIEL – PART I
Daniel 1:1 – 2:39
Okay, good to see everybody back again for another half hour. We’re going to pick right up where we left off in Daniel chapter 2, and we’re going to jump in at verse 31. Again, we want to thank our television audience for all of your prayers, your gifts, your letters, and everything. My, we just can’t do it without you. We just trust that you’re sharing these things with your friends and relatives to get them interested in studying the Word of God on their own. That’s my whole premise. It is to get people into the Book.
All right, we’re going to go right on and pick up where we left off in verse 31of Daniel chapter 2. And again, for a quick review, remember that Daniel is primarily a prophecy concerning the coming Gentile empires beginning with Nebuchadnezzar who was the first real world-empire dictator. Now there were other kingdoms ahead of them, of course. But Nebuchadnezzar was really the first great world empire builder and a total, total despotic dictator.
All right, this Nebuchadnezzar has had a dream. And Daniel has been able, by God’s help, to recover the dream. Now he’s going to explain the interpretation. What did it mean? All right, verse 31, and Daniel says to Nebuchadnezzar:
“Thou, O King, sawest, (in his dream) and behold a great image. (in other words, the likeness of a man) This great image, whose brightness was excellent, (or frightening—some translations put) stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible.” And again, frightening, beyond human comprehension. Now he’s beginning to explain the dream.
“This image’s head was of fine gold, (Now that’s why we know it’s a depiction of a human likeness.) his breast (or his chest and shoulders) and his arms of silver, his belly (or the abdomen down to the upper thigh) and his thighs of brass, 33. His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay (were made up of a mixture of iron and clay).”
All right, now we’re going to just briefly—and I’ll go back and put it on the board. Here we’ve got a head of gold, a chest of silver, a belly of brass, legs of iron, and feet of iron and clay. Now those of you who know anything about chemistry—what are the specific gravities of these various metals? Well, gold is the heaviest. Silver is the next. Brass is the next. Iron is the next. And iron and the clay is the lightest of all. So right off the bat, if you’ll use your thinking cap, what is the balance of that makeup? It’s top-heavy. Exactly what I wanted to hear. It’s top-heavy. The highest specific gravity, gold, is at the top and the lowest is down here.
All right, now all of this is just sort of an inimical figure that God is showing. And in the progression of these Gentile empires that have already been established by history, they were just exactly that. They were top-heavy. We’re going to see the reason for that—that when Christ returns and destroys these Gentile empires; which, by the way, are already back on the world again tonight.
All these original empires—Babylon is present-day Iraq—the very center of the news. The Medes and the Persians were the next empire. And Iran is in the news and Syria. And then came the Greek Empire, which was, again, predominately by a Syrian general. And then the Roman Empire, which is our Revived European Community. It’s all back in the news every day. But I’m running ahead of myself. Back up now to verse 34. After seeing this likeness of a man with all of these metals, he says in, your dream you looked at that image until:
“Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands,…” Well, now if you remember, about a year or two ago I did a whole series of programs on the Stone of Scripture. Remember those? How that all through Scripture, from Exodus through the Book of Revelation, God the Son, Jesus Christ, is depicted as a Stone of one sort or another. He was the Rock that Moses smote. He was considered the Corner Stone of Israel. He’s considered the Head Stone of the corner. All through Scripture you have these references to Christ as a Stone or a Rock.
Well, in Daniel’s vision then, or in Nebuchadnezzar’s vision, rather. Daniel interrupts it. After he sees this humongous likeness of a man with gold, silver, brass, iron, and so forth, there came something from a non-human concept—without hands. It had nothing to do with man’s power or whatever. So it had to be the Stone of Scripture—God the Son, Jesus Christ.
“…which smote the image upon his feet (Now all of this is pertinent. He doesn’t smite it on the head. He smites it on its feet. So Daniel says–) you saw a stone cut out without hands (which is the Second Coming of Christ) which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and broke them to pieces.” Just crushes it. All right, now if you’ve got a little imagination at all, if you can see this top-heavy image suddenly stricken by a rolling boulder that hits it on its feet, what happens to it? Well, it tips over. And as that stone rolls over that tipped-over statue, or likeness of a man, what happens? It’s ground to powder. All right, now get that all in your imagination, because that’s what we’re drawing here. All right, “You saw a stone cut out without hands. It smote the image upon his feet, which were made of iron and clay, and broke them to pieces.” All right, now here’s what happened to the rest of it.
“Then was the iron, (the legs) the clay, the brass (the belly area) the silver, (the chest area) and (finally) the gold, (the head) broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors;…”
Now we aren’t as acquainted with threshing floors as we are John Deere combines. Isn’t that right? When you see that old combine going across the wheat field, what trails behind it? A cloud of dust and chaff. Well, where’s the grain? Up in the tank. It’s saved. All right, now the likeness here is that the ancient Jews, or whoever would use the threshing floor, would pour that grain from an elevated place and let the wind take the chaff and the dust away, just like a combine does today. All right, that’s what would happen to the residue of these empires.
Now we’re going to come to that as we go through the afternoon. That as those empires rise and fall, at Christ’s Second Coming they will all be evident. And they are today. My goodness, I’ve gone through this more than once. The Babylonian Empire—what was it known for initiating way back in 600 B.C.? Banking—all of the world’s banking goes back to the Babylonian bankers. That was where it first began, the system of banking.
All right, the next big empire was the Medes and the Persians. Well, to this day what is one of the most high-priced commodities in the Middle East? Well, I can’t even say oil now, the way it dropped. I was going to say except oil. But what’s one of the highest priced commodities that come out of Persia? Rugs! My, if you see a little Persian rug that’s just nothing, it’ll cost several hundred dollars—still today. All right, that’s been their commodity for centuries. They are known of their beautiful Persian rugs and so forth.
All right, then the next empire was Greek. What came predominately out of the Greek empire? Architecture, with their beautiful capitals, you know, and the columns and all that. And literature. That all began in the Greek Empire.
All right, then comes the Roman Empire. And what’s the Roman Empire the precipitator of? Courts of law. Rome was the first empire that declared a man was innocent until he was proven guilty. You didn’t know that, did you?
All right, that was all the beginning, then, of what we now call Western Civilization. And it’s with us full-scale again today. The whole world’s banking system ties right back to Ancient Babylon. The whole carpet industry of the Middle East goes all the way back to the Medes and the Persians. All of our architecture and all of our literature and the classics and so forth go back to the Greek Empire. And our whole system of law and courts and human rights had its beginnings in the Roman Empire. And they are all evident today.
And we’re getting ready, now, for the return of Christ. And again, as they all stand with all of their pomp and their circumstance and their power and their corruption, when Christ returns He’ll destroy every bit of it. Every vestige of it will be blown away like the chaff of a thresher’s floor. That’s the beauty of prophecy.
All right, let’s come back to verse 36, and we’ll detail it even a little closer. Verse 36, now Daniel says to Nebuchadnezzar:
“That’s the dream; (That’s what you saw. You saw this huge likeness of a human being.) and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king.” And here it comes, verse 37:
“Thou, O king, art a king of kings:…” Now, like I mentioned earlier, there had been previous little tribal empires. Nimrod, of course, began in that same area way back in Genesis chapter 10. So there have been other little tribal empires, but there had never been a world empire under one man like the Babylonian. It was the first of the great Gentile empires.
In fact, Israel under David and Solomon had a greater empire probably than even Nebuchadnezzar. But of the Gentile world, Nebuchadnezzar was the very first. All right, so reading in verse 37 again:
“Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven (Remember what I said in the last half hour? God puts them in. He takes them out. Even to our present day there is not a head of government that isn’t there by God’s design.) hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory.”
Now, how many people realize what a glorious kingdom Nebuchadnezzar had? At 600 years before Christ, the city wall was so wide that four sets of chariots could go side-by-side around the top of that wall. The hanging gardens of Babylon were one of the wonders of the ancient world. There was nothing that ol’ Nebuchadnezzar could not bring into being, because he taxed the masses for everything they had, and he spent it for the beauty of the city of Babylon. So, it was a gorgeous city. Verse 38:
“And wheresoever the children of men dwell,…” Now again, we have to be careful. The then-known world was pretty much centered around Israel, the Mediterranean, and on out beyond the Euphrates, and maybe toward the western fringes of India and China. That was the then-known world. That’s all. Nothing was known yet of the Western Hemisphere. Nothing was really known of the Far East. The then-known world was centered right there.
In fact, I just drew it on a map for one of my Oklahoma classes the other night. When we speak of these kingdoms in the Middle East, it was just that area within a few miles of the Mediterranean Sea and then on out past present day Iran and Iraq. That was the then-known world. And at this time, ol’ Nebuchadnezzar was in control of all of it. He had the then-known world under his thumb. All right, you have everything.
“And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made (Watch the language. Who made him? God did. God gave to Nebuchadnezzar the wherewithal to be–) thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold.” Everything in that then-known world was under one man’s control. Consequently, he was that head of gold of the statue. He was the first great Gentile Empire. Verse 39:
“And after thee…” Because we know the Babylonian Empire didn’t last all that long. I think if I remember right, about 150 years. That’s not long in terms of history. And what happened? Well, at the drunken feast of his grandson, which was a generation or two later, the Medes and Persians, with a little more technology, dammed up the Euphrates River that ran through Babylon. They dammed it up, bypassed the city, and their armies walked in on the dry riverbed and caught the Babylonians totally by surprise. So their great big city wall was all for nothing. All right, so Daniel tells Nebuchadnezzar that after you have come and gone–
“And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee,…” Now doesn’t that shock you? How can an inferior kingdom defeat a superior one? Well, they weren’t inferior militarily. They had to be superior. But in which way were they inferior? Politically. Because now we know from history that the Medes and the Persians were two kingdoms that came together, but they kept their authority divided.
Now what’s more inept than a committee? Isn’t that about right? What can one man do that a committee can never get done? All he has to do is speak it, and it’s done. A committee can sit there and argue for months on end. All right, now that’s the progress, then, of these various metals. Even though militarily each succeeding empire is far superior, or they wouldn’t have been able to whip them, politically they got weaker—because more and more people got involved in government. That’s the whole concept here.
Now keep that in mind as we come down. If I was a good artist, I’d go to the blackboard. But you know, I keep thinking all the time—I’ve got to share this with my whole T.V. audience. Way back in the late ‘80s I was teaching this to one of my classes in Oklahoma, and I was using the blackboard. Well, I knew that I couldn’t draw. But I wanted to put something up there that at least had some kind of a concept of a man. So I just used a stick-man. Just a stick with a head, legs, you know—as simple as I could make it.
Well, don’t you know, that was a night that one of my regular attendees brought a friend who had never ever heard anything from the Book. He told me about it years later after he’d become a believer and one of my best students, even to this day. And he said, “Les, do you remember the first time I came to your class?” And I said, “Well, vaguely, but why?” He said, “You remember you had that stupid stick man on the board? We got to the car and I said to my friend. Pat, what in the world did you drag me into? I never heard of anything so stupid in all my life.” And she said, “Just settle down and come back with me next week, and in a few weeks you’ll understand.” He said, “I did. And I did.”
And he has become an avid, avid student and testimony of God’s Grace. So I kind of cringe from going to the board and doing something like that, because I’m afraid someone else will happen to tune in and think, what in the world is he talking about? But anyway, for now I’m just going to do it verbally, and maybe I’ll get to the board if I get a lot of courage.
“And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, (Which we now know from history was the Medes and the Persians, or the silver part of the image.) and another third kingdom of brass, (the belly area) which shall bear rule over all the earth.”
Now as time goes by—each one of these empires lasts from 150 or 200 years, leading all the way up to the Roman Empire at about 50 or 60 B.C. going on into A.D. 300—each succeeding empire conquered more territory. In other words, the Medes and the Persians not only took over what Nebuchadnezzar had, but they expanded, especially to the west. Now here again, all of this is indicative that God, in the foreordained plan of things, went from the Middle East west rather than east.
Now think about that. Everything that has been taking place since ancient Babylon, the big push of civilization and technology and all these things, has been to the west. Not to the east. The East is still steeped in the pagan ancient religions. They have very little. Now China, of course, has the underground church. I’ll never take that away from them. But by-and-large, India, Pakistan, China, where are they? They’re still under those ancient eastern religions which all had their roots back at the Tower of Babel.
But beginning with these empires, the big push was to the west. First Syria, and then when Alexander the Great came on the scene, it became the Greek Empire. And then what was the fourth one? Rome, further west yet. And then Rome, of course, extended their empire as far west as Great Britain and Ireland and so forth. So always remember that God in His design of things saw fit to send Christianity to the west rather than to the east.
In fact, I’ve got another of that very same thing. I hope I can find it. I didn’t plan to do this, but come back with me to the Book of Acts. As Paul and Barnabas began their work leaving Antioch in Syria, they went west. First, of course, over to Cyprus, and then they went on up into what is present day Turkey. And then we find that on the Second Missionary Journey they had again gone through Turkey and had gone all the way to the Aegean Sea. And then we come to the place where—did you find it? Sixteen, okay, I’m not quite there yet. All right, in chapter 16, yeah, chapter 16, they’re on the western coast of Turkey. They’re on the shore of the Aegean Sea. Greece is just across to the west. All right, now as he had made that trek the length of Turkey, he was going to go up north a little ways and then swing back through Northern Turkey, through the shores of the Black Sea and go back to Antioch in Syria.
But, a miracle happened. Now let’s pick it up. I’ve got time. Acts chapter 16—I still haven’t got it, Jerry. No. I want it where the Holy Spirit told them they had to go back across the Sea to Europe. Okay, okay, now we’ve finally got it. Sorry about that for all of you on television, but that’s part of Les Feldick’s teaching. All right, Acts 16 verse 6.
“Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, (Now that’s up in central Turkey.) and were forbidden of the Holy Spirit to preach the word (Where?) in Asia.” Now of course, Asia in Scripture is pretty much the whole land of Turkey, but we can also go on back to the Middle East and so forth. All right, the Holy Spirit forbade Paul from turning and going back to the east; but instead, now come to verse 7.
“After they had come to Mysia, (Which is out there in the Aegean Sea.) they intended to go into Bithynia: (Which is over there on the north part of Turkey, next to the Black Sea. They had intended to make a U-turn and go back east along the shore of the Black Sea.) but the Holy Spirit permitted them not.”
Now, you see, it wasn’t Paul’s idea. It wasn’t anybody else’s idea. It was God’s idea. Paul – you’re not going to go back east. You’re going to go west. All right, verse 8:
“And they passing by Mysia came down to Troas. (Which is the same place as the ancient city of Troy.) 9. And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, (Now that’s Greece—west across the Aegean Sea from where they were in ancient Troy.) a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed (or begged) him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, (Greece) and help us.” Paul had no intentions of going to Greece, but the Holy Spirit in a vision gave him this instruction not to go back to the east, but to continue on west across the Aegean and go into Macedonia.
Now in verse 10 we see the obedience of the man. He had no intention of traveling on across to Europe. That was almost like barbarian territory to the man. But he doesn’t argue—verse 10:
“And after he had seen the vision, (Luke is writing. Luke says–) immediately we endeavored to go into Macedonia, (Exactly as the Holy Spirit had instructed.) assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel unto them.” Now what does that mean? That meant that God was going to keep moving west with the Christian message instead of letting Paul take it back to the east.
And you know, I have stressed that in my 30 years of teaching. The Euphrates River has always been a boundary line between western civilization and the Oriental religions of idolatry and opium dens and you name it to the east. And the western world has been blessed because of it.
I mentioned, I think on the program this morning. When did the female of the species really enjoy their liberty? With the advent of Christianity. They were nothing but chattel for the first 4,000 years of human history. They had no rights. No education. Nothing. But, you see, Paul’s Gospel opened up the rights of not only women, but everyone. And the same way with some of our minorities—you would never have experienced the freedoms and the privileges that you do in Western Civilization, because the Orient has always made slaves of any of what we call the minority.
So again, I just can’t emphasize it enough. Thank God that the Gospel went west instead of east!
LESSON TWO * PART I
DANIEL – PART II
Okay, good to see everybody back again for another afternoon of taping. We’ll just go right back to where we left off in Daniel. For those of you joining us on television, we’re just a verse-by-verse Bible study. And again, I don’t expect everybody to agree with me on every point, but learn to search the Scriptures. That’s the name of the game. And I think you’ll find that most of the time you’ll end up agreeing with me anyway.
All right, now let’s pick up right where we left off in our last half hour. That was after the end of verse 39 in Daniel chapter 2. Where Daniel is going through the interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream—the head of gold, the chest of silver, the belly of brass, the legs of iron, and the feet a combination of iron mixed with clay. We made the emphasis that the specific gravity of gold is the greatest, and the specific gravity of the clay is the least. So it’s a deterioration.
Now, we’re going to look at the fourth one first. Then we’re going to go and look at some things on the board. All right, verse 40. After these first three empires have come and gone, the fourth empire that will usurp the other three—geographically as well as politically and economically. This is the fourth kingdom of verse 40.
“And the fourth kingdom shall be as strong as iron: (Now of course, this is the Roman Empire—the most ferocious military machine that had ever existed up to that time.) forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise.” Which it did. The boots of the Roman soldiers were fearsome. All right, now verse 41:
“And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, (In other words, it is an amalgamation that does not really hold.) the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it (That is this coming kingdom.) the strength of iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay.” Now the miry means something like muddy. When you take clay and add water to it, you’ve got a muddy mixture. All right, now then verse 42:
“And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, (Now remember, this is at the bottom of the statue.) so the kingdom (This final Revived Roman Empire that we see in Western Europe, I feel, today—with all of its ethnic differences and all of its political differences, yet they’re in a United States of Europe, supposedly. All right, this is the iron mixed with clay that Scripture is predicting.) shall be partly strong, and partly broken.”
“And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: (In other words, they all have their ethnic differences. And even within any of the European Nations, you have many ethnic groups. So, they’ll mix themselves with the seed of men–) but they shall not cleave one to another,…” In other words, they will not be a solid democracy like we’ve seen in the United States. They are always going to have these differences of opinion. See, they still haven’t agreed on a constitution.
“…but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.” All right, now we know that this is the closing Revived Roman Empire—this whole consortium of empires coming down from 606 B.C. under Nebuchadnezzar and down through the ancient Roman Empire, which disappeared and now has reappeared since World War II in what we call the European Union.
All right, all of these come together as we see it today. Globalism on every hand and that’s why I feel this whole financial debacle is just another step God designed to bring in World Economies and World Government and a World Church. It’s all coming together so fast. All right, now verse 44:
“And in the days of these kings…” That final Revived Roman Empire, which is now 28 or 30 nations—but it is always going to go back to the original ten. That is the way I look at it—that Club of Rome. That European Community as it first began.
And I remind people, back up during the ‘70s the media never called them anything but The Ten. And that was the original Ten European Nations. Now I still feel that those are the ten toes of this image, even though there have been a lot of them added. All right, while that is holding forth, out of that Empire will come the anti-Christ, of course, and the final seven years of Tribulation that will trigger the Second Coming as we see in verse 44.
“And in the days of these kings (this consortium, I think, of the European Union) shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed:…” Now that’s the Kingdom that Jesus presented in His earthly ministry, the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth where He will rule and reign from Jerusalem.
“…shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, (As the stone—as we saw earlier in the afternoon—cut out without hands. It will strike this image on the feet.) and it shall stand forever.”
All right, now someone in our audience this afternoon had a beautiful picture of this. If I could draw it that way, I would draw it. I’m going to see if the guys can get this on the screen so that you’ll get a good image of what I’m talking about—this image of a likeness of a Roman Solider. They’ve got it on there now. Okay, now if they can draw it up, hopefully you’ll be able to see the head of gold, the shoulders and the chest of silver, the belly of brass, the two legs of iron leading on down to the feet and the ten toes of the iron and the clay.
Now, I used that just to give you a mental picture of this great likeness that Nebuchadnezzar saw in his dream. Now I’m going to go to the board and, without benefit of having to do any drawing, I’m going to do it verbally. Up here we have the head of gold, which was, of course, Babylon—Nebuchadnezzar. Then we went down to the chest of silver. So bear with me, because I want this all implanted in your thinking. And you’ll remember better what you see than what you hear. So this would be the Medes and the Persians. They consorted together—two kingdoms.
Then we come down to Alexander the Great and the Kingdom of Greece. Greece, of course, was headed up by Alexander who died when he was 33. That’s the brass part of the statue. And when he died at 33, the kingdom was divided between four generals. They each had a territory designated to them. And it just so happened that one general, Antiochus the Great, had Syria as his domain. He also was in control of Jerusalem and the Nation of Israel. That’s why we kind of associate the coming anti-Christ as being somehow connected to Syria.
All right, then the fourth kingdom, of course, was the Roman. That’s the two legs of iron. It was a democracy, or I prefer to call it a republic. All right, then we come on down to the Revived Roman Empire which is several hundred years after the last one died. I think the Roman Empire disappeared about, oh, I’m going to estimate A.D. 350.
So from A.D. 350 until we come after World War II in1945, we have the beginning of a Revived Roman Empire. And, of course, it is the democracy that they’re trying to establish even today. And this is a combination that does not really hold together—iron and clay. It’s a weak admixture. It is now down to what I will call a democracy. Now I haven’t got the time to explain the difference between a republic and a democracy, but there is a difference.
All right, now the main thing we like to point out when we teach this on the board is that as you come down through these various metals, even though gold is by far the most expensive, basically for common use it’s the least. In other words, you wouldn’t build a plow or a garden tool—even if it was dirt-cheap—you wouldn’t make it of gold, because it’s too soft. It has no strength.
All right, so you come down to the next one. It’s a little better than the gold, but still not the best. You come on down and brass is certainly better than either one of these. Iron is better than brass. Then you come down to that which is still the strength of iron and clay. All right, now this is the political side of the coin—of that statue.
You start out with an absolute dictator. Nobody had any room to argue with him over anything. He was absolute in his political power. But militarily he’s still over here—the least of any of them, because even the Medes and Persians were able to defeat him. So what you’ve got here is that as you come down through, the political concept gets weaker and weaker and weaker because from one dictator you go to two. Then after the Medes and Persians have run out—they’re defeated by Alexander the Great. It ends up with four. And then you come down to the Roman Empire, which is now the first concept of a republic. They had a senate. Even the Caesars could not declare war or do anything without the okay of the senate. Then you come down to the present day where we’ve got democracy. Each one of these governments gets precipitously weaker. See that?
All right, but on the other hand, when we come to the military power. My, now look what a difference. Why Babylon wouldn’t last five minutes under American Military power today. And we saw that both times they invaded Iraq. It’s just stupendous—the military power that we have! I remember reading when they first invaded Iraq. They would try to hide their tanks, maybe in a back alley someplace. Hey, we found them and destroyed the tank without destroying anything else. So you see, when you compare the military power of our militaries today, compared with poor ol’ Nebuchadnezzar, he wouldn’t have lasted five minutes.
Well, the same thing happened with the Medes and Persians. They were weaker politically. It probably took them a month or two to decide when to invade. But when they invaded, they were able to defeat Nebuchadnezzar. Now the Medes and Persians held forth for about 150 years. Then along comes Alexander the Great and he whipped them hands down. He was known for his speed of conquest. But he died at 33, and his empire was divided to four Generals. Well, those four Generals couldn’t hold the empire together, so what happened? The Romans came along. The Romans usurped the Grecian Empire, but they incorporated so much of the intellectual part of Greece—their architecture and their classical literature and so forth. So the Greek and the Roman Empires sort of enhanced each other.
But here came the Romans. Again, compared to Babylon they were fearsome. The whole world quaked at the thought of the Roman legions. All right, they disappeared from view, and we have the onset, then, of the Mohammedans and the appearance of Islam and so forth. Then we come to World War II. And out of World War II we come to the Revived Roman Empire, when the survivors of Europe came together with their Club of Rome and began what has now become the European Union.
So this is the whole concept of history—that these little empires, all Gentile, all of them overran and controlled Jerusalem. Now turn with me to Luke 21, if I’m not mistaken. Luke 21—let’s start at verse 20. Here again, this is during the time of Christ. So it’s in red if you’ve got a red-edition Bible. Jesus is speaking prophetically. He’s looking forward only 40 years, because He was crucified at A.D. 29 or 30, and in A.D. 70 these events took place when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem. All right, now look at the words of the Lord Jesus in verse 20. He says:
“And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. (That is of the city of Jerusalem.) 21. Then (when Jerusalem comes under attack) let them who are in Judea flee to the mountains; and let them who are in the midst of it depart out; let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. (In other words, if you’re living out in Egypt, for goodness sakes don’t go to Israel. It’s not the best place to be.) 22. For these be the days of vengeance,…”
Now remember, God is a God of love and a God of mercy, but at times He becomes the God of vengeance—especially pertaining to Israel.
All through the Babylonian captivity—why did little Daniel and his three friends end up in Babylon? Well, God was judging the nation for two purposes. Number 1, they did not keep the seventh year sabbatical for the land. They were to let the land lay fallow, remember? Every seven years. Well, over a period of 490 years they never did. So what did God do? He emptied the land and it laid rest for 70 years to pick up those 70 sabbaticals.
But the other reason was that the Jews had almost completely fallen into idolatry. All you’ve got to do is go back and read the prophets. My, they were just constantly warning Israel to turn away from all their pagan worship or He would send in people of another language. That’s the way the prophet put it. You’ll have foreign languages in your midst. What’d it mean? They’d be overrun by foreigners. My, they had idols. And as we’re going to see in our next program, it was an abomination what they worshipped.
I won’t even dare put it graphically on the program. I can’t. But it was so immoral that there was no remedy. So what does God do? He let Nebuchadnezzar come in with his armies. They destroyed the city and took the Jews captive. But only for 70 years, then they were permitted to come back.
“For these be days of vengeance,…” This coming Roman invasion in A.D. 70. The Babylonian invasion was 600 years back. This is another one. Now of course, at the time of Christ’s earthly ministry, what was Israel’s biggest act of rebellion and unbelief? Well, the crucifixion. That just proved that they could not believe a thing the God of Abraham said. So He comes in with vengeance. All right, now He’s predicting it. But it doesn’t happen until 40 years later. All right, now verse 23:
“But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that are nursing in those days! (That is when this big Roman invasion comes. And we know from history it did—the Roman general Titus.) for there shall be great distress in the land, (That is the land of Israel.) and wrath upon this people.” God’s wrath because of their unbelief.
And there was just seemingly no remedy for it. Three years of wonders and signs and miracles—did it affect them? No, just a precious few. The rank and file of Israel scorned everything that He said and did. And what was their final decree? “We’ll not have this man to rule over us.” A carpenter’s son? So they crucified Him.
All right, but now you see, God is still in His heaven. He was raised from the dead. He went back to Glory. Thirty years later His prophecies came true. All right, now read on in verse 24.
“And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, (And they did. They died by the thousands under the Romans.) and shall be led away captive into all the nations:…” Now that was the beginning, then, of the dispersion of the Jewish people from A.D. 70 up until our own present time. Then beginning about 1900, some of them started going back to their homeland—which brought about the present-day Israel as we know it in the news every day. All right, now watch this prophesy.
“…and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem (Which maintained its city entity all up through the centuries, Jerusalem has never failed to exist.) shall be trodden down of the Gentiles,…” Beginning with Nebuchadnezzar, followed by the Medes, followed by the Greeks, followed by the Romans, followed by the Mohammedans, followed by the Moors, and then followed by the British. In 1948 they became an independent state, but they’re still under the heavy hand of America and Western Union. They are not a free nation to really do as they want to do.
All right, so Jerusalem, from the words of the Lord Himself is going to:
“…shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” Now fulfilled means it’s going to come to that point in time when God is going to re-enter the affairs of planet earth at His Second Coming.
I always like to compare that, and I think I’ve got time. Six minutes, yeah. Now jump ahead with me to Romans, because I always like to tie these two together. Because I think it’s such a perfect fit. Romans chapter 11 and remember the terminology. “The times of the Gentiles” is that period of human history beginning with Nebuchadnezzar where Jerusalem and the land of Israel are under the heel of the Gentile governments or their military boot. All right, now in Romans chapter 11 our Apostle, the Apostle Paul, the Apostle of the Gentiles, gives us another group that’s designated.
“For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery,…” The opposite of that is—oh, Paul says, how I wish that you could be aware of these things. But see, most of Christendom is still ignorant. They don’t want to listen. They don’t want to hear it. And it’s getting worse by the day. But the Book is true. It’s going to happen!
“For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, (Or secret, something that has never been revealed in Scripture until we get to Paul. And what’s this mystery?) lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; (Now here’s the mystery that was kept secret until Paul revealed it.) that blindness…” Spiritual blindness—that the people of Israel cannot see the truth of God’s word. And it’s so evident today.
All you’ve got to do is read some of their theologians, and it just makes you gasp. How can they dream this stuff up? And they never, never seemingly can come to the truth of their Old Testament. It’s just amazing. But you see, that’s all been decreed.
“…that blindness in part is happened to Israel, (They cannot comprehend the things of God. But there’s another time word, and what is it?) until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in.”
Now you’ve got two terms concerning Gentiles. The times of the Gentiles is when their political and their military systems will walk and control the streets of Israel. Paul comes up with another group of Gentiles—the fullness of the Gentiles. And what is that? The Body of Christ!
A Pauline revelation you will not find anywhere else in your Bible. That’s why most theologians today are all mixed up. They will not recognize Paul’s distinctive Apostleship. But it is, because he was designated to go to the Gentile world and is the Apostle of the Gentiles as seen in Romans 11:13.
Now let’s see if I can find the other one back in the Book of Acts. Come back with me, Honey, I think it is chapter 15. Yeah, this one I can find. Acts chapter 15 and this is after that counsel in Jerusalem where Paul finally convinces the Twelve that his Apostleship is divinely appointed. He is here by God’s design to take salvation to the Gentile world. And Peter, James, and John just couldn’t see it. They thought that his Gentile converts had to become adherents to Judaism.
So they have this counsel in Jerusalem, and they hammer it all out. Finally Paul and Barnabas come to the crux of the matter, and they win the argument. All right, now we come down to verse 12. The setting is in Jerusalem.
“Then all the multitude kept silence, and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them.” Contrary to everything in the Old Testament. All right, now the next verse:
“And after they had held their peace, James (who was by now the leader of the Jerusalem Church, not Peter) answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken (or listen) unto me: 14. Simeon (Peter) hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles,…” This was unheard of in the Jewish culture, as they had nothing to do with the Gentiles.
And I’ll show in our next taping session, why. In fact, it came up in one of my classes here in Oklahoma just the other night. Why did the Jews refer to Gentiles of their day as “dogs”? I won’t tell you this time. I’ll let you think about it. Why were they called “dogs”? And they were, you know. All right, I’ll leave that to the next taping.
“Peter hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them (Gentiles) a people for his name. (Now then, prophetically, time-wise, we’ve got to keep going.) 15. And to this (James says) agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, (In the Old Testament and he goes back to the Book of Amos.) 16. After this (after the calling out of this Gentile Body of Christ) I will (What?) return,…”
That’s Christ’s Second Coming, and that will end the times of the Gentiles ruling Israel. Christ will set up His own Kingdom, and He will rule and reign from Jerusalem. It will be Heaven-on-earth. No more sin. No more curse. No more death. No more sickness. No more sorrow. It’s going to be Heaven-on-earth under the rulership of the King of Kings.
All right, but that cannot happen until the Body of Christ is completed first. And that’s what Romans 11 is talking about. That when the fullness of the Gentiles has been brought in and the Body of Christ is complete and it’s taken out of the way by what we call the Rapture, then that will trigger the Tribulation and the Second Coming and the coming of the glorious Kingdom.
LESSON TWO * PART II
DANIEL – PART II
Daniel 2:1- 4:25
Okay, it’s good to see everybody back again. We’re going to move right on into our next half hour, which will be from Daniel chapter 2. We’re going to drop in at verse 44. Again, for those of you joining us on television, we want to thank you for your letters, for your financial help, but most of all for your prayers. My, we just got back from a week in Florida, and everybody that goes by says—we pray for you every day. Well, what more could I ask for? So continue to do that, because without the prayers of the saints, we’d probably be in trouble in no time.
All right, we’re going to pick right up in our study of Daniel, back to chapter 2 verse 44. For those of you here in the studio and for those of you joining us out there in television, we appreciate again that you let us know that you take notes and that you’re learning how to study on your own.
All right, after the description of the Roman Empire, as we ended in our last half hour—and we put it up here on the board. We left it up here—how the Babylonians were the head of gold. The chest of silver was the Medes and the Persians. Greece was the brass part of that great image, remember. Then the last part, the legs of iron, was an empire that they couldn’t even describe.
And, of course, we know from history that the Roman Empire was awesome. The Roman Legions were feared from one end of the then-known world to the other. But they, too, went down into the dustbin of history and disappeared from view until, you might say, after World War II. Now, we have a re-appearance of what we call the Revived Roman Empire. Which entailed much of the same geographical area as the original Roman Empire and that, of course, will be the ten toes of clay and iron. We’re going to pick it up now in verse 44.
“And in the days of these kings…” In other words, when these revived Roman Empire nations have come together. I still feel—I’ve taught it for thirty-some years—that it will be the original ten nations of Western Europe who formed the Club of Rome and later on became the European Community. Even though they’ve now added and added, yet the original ten are pretty much in control.
All right, so they’re going to be the empire of the anti-Christ in the closing seven years. That’s where we pick them up now. This Revived Roman Empire out of which the anti-Christ has come. The seven years will run their course, and then the next event is the thousand year Kingdom on earth. And again, I’m realizing more and more that precious few church people, let alone the unchurched world—yeah, I’ve got heads nodding all over—they don’t know what you’re talking about. A Kingdom on earth? See, they think we’re the kingdom.
I’ll never forget a couple in one of my classes here in Oklahoma years ago. They went to a Bible conference here in Oklahoma, and they came back and said “Les, all they talked about for the whole several days of the Bible conference was, we’ve got to build the Kingdom. We’ve got to fill the Kingdom.” Well, we’re not in the Kingdom. Heavens, no, we’re not in the Kingdom. The Kingdom is that which is still future when Christ will return and be the King of Kings on planet Earth from His headquarters in Jerusalem. We are in the Body of Christ. We’re not building the Kingdom, per se; we’re building and filling the Body of Christ.
All right, now verse 44, here we have the introduction from Daniel of this earthly Kingdom over which God the Son will yet one day rule. Verse 44:
“And in the days of these kings (In other words, these final ten kings that comprise the Revived Roman Empire out of which the anti-Christ has come.) in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven…” Now, you see, this is the term of the biblical God in the Book of Daniel—the God of heaven. And even Nebuchadnezzar is going to come to this point in a future chapter—where he recognizes the God of heaven or the Most High God is another term. All right, and this God of Heaven:
“…set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people,…” As all these previous ones have. You see, when the Medes and the Persians overran the Babylonians, they kept most of what the Babylonians had established. And all the way down through the Gentile empires, they would keep what had been before. But here we have the opposite. Nobody is going to be able to take over anything of this Kingdom.
“…shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms,…” In other words, all the empire-builders of the present day age, the global system as we now see it coming on the scene, will be utterly destroyed. And Christ will return and set up His Kingdom. Now verse 44, the last four words:
“…it shall stand forever.” Now that’s the terminology. Even though Revelation says 1,000 years, yet this Kingdom is going to go right on into eternity as an earthly kingdom.
Now just to tantalize your thinking, I’m not going to stop and teach on this, but come all the way back to Revelation chapter 21. After the thousand years have run their course on this planet—renovated, of course miraculously—so it will be from east to west and pole-to-pole like the Garden of Eden. It’s going to be glorious! But nevertheless, Satan is going to come back for a short time, and he will defile the whole. And once again God will utterly destroy it. I think He’s going to take out the whole universe. Now that will stretch your mind, won’t it?
You know, I’ve shared this before, and I’m going to share it again. Quite a few years ago now, probably back in the middle ‘60s; I was taking a scientific journal. There was an article in there by a scientist, a physicist, on the origin of the universe. And of course, a lot of it was above my head in the mathematics and everything. But anyhow, his whole concept was that everything originated in one original source of light. And out of that source of light came everything of the universe and planet Earth—everything. But anyway, the exciting part was when he came to the end of his article and he said—I can foresee that in the eons of time, out into the future, someday that whole thing will go back into that original source of light.
Well, I think Iris you probably remember. I said, “Honey, this guy is closer to the truth than he has any idea.” Because who is Light? God is. So if out of that source of Light, which was God Himself, we have the whole universe appear and planet Earth, and everything that’s in it has all come from this original Creator, then I can see that someday the whole thing will be pulled back into that original source of Light because–. Now, I guess I didn’t intend to do this. I’m just flying free here. Before you go to Revelation 21, maybe we should stop at II Peter, I think it is. Let’s see how II Peter describes what I think is going to be the demise of this whole universe. It has to happen, because Satan has defiled everything.
II Peter chapter 3, dropping down to verse 10, and if this isn’t perfect language for pulling everything back. And with God nothing is impossible. If He created it at the spoken word, He can pull it in. And here it is.
II Peter 3:10-11a
“But the day of the Lord (Now you want to remember, the Day of the Lord is that whole timeline from the beginning of the Tribulation on into the Second Coming and through the Kingdom and right on into Eternity.) But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens (Now I feel that’s what we call space.) shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements (In other words, all the material that makes up our universe.) and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also (It’s not going to escape.) and the works that are therein (Even though it’s been a beautiful Kingdom now for 1,000 years, yet it’s all going to go.) and the works that are therein shall be burned up. 11. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved,…”
Now for those of you who are scientists, you’ll realize that that’s textbook language in chemistry and physics. Right? See, I’ve got a good doctor over here. I can always look to him, and he nods. It’s right? Yeah, the elements. The elements are what make up the atomic table. Isn’t that the term for it? It’s been a long time since I’ve had it. But anyway, all these elements will melt with fervent heat, and they’re going to be dissolved. My, if you’ve ever worked at a chemistry bench, isn’t that the name of the game? You see things literally dissolve right before your eyes. It’s going to happen. The Book says so. All right, so these things are going to be dissolved. So consequently, Peter says:
II Peter 3:11b-13
“…what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, 12. Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, (In other words, I feel it’s the beginning of Eternity, not the Kingdom.) wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? (Hey, that’s plain scientific language, as plain as you can get it.) 13. Nevertheless (Peter says, don’t let that shake you up because–) we, according to his (God’s) promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.” Now that’s not gobbledy-gook, that’s plain English.
Now compare that with Revelation 21, where I trust you already are. Now this is John writing, but the same God. Revelation 21, and after the events that take place between the Kingdom and the Great White Throne. The Great White Throne has been finished. The lost are sent to their doom. Now what’s next on God’s agenda? Verse 1:
“And I saw a new heaven (just exactly as Peter put it) I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.” Now that’s the advent of Eternity.
All right, now then, what kicked me off on that was—come way back again to Daniel. After the 1,000 year reign and the Great White Throne Judgment has been accomplished, then I feel this whole universe will be pulled back into the Creator, and He will re-create new heavens and a whole new earth. Why? Because Satan has defiled everything. And nothing of Satan’s defilement is going to go into our eternity. Now that’s the way I have to look at it. So everything will be brand new. Okay, now come back to Daniel chapter 2 verse 44, reading that again.
“…but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, (that have come out of the 6,000 years of human history) and it (this coming kingdom) shall stand for ever. 45. Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands,…” In your dream—in your vision of this huge image with a head of gold, the chest of silver, the belly of brass, the legs of iron, and the feet and toes of iron and clay—standing there as a huge individual out there maybe on the plains of the Middle East. And Daniel’s interpretation of the vision says that all of a sudden here came a stone cut out without hands.
Now whenever you have something accomplished without human hands, who’s doing it? The Invisible God! This is the power of God that will crush. It’ll be in the person, of course, of God the Son who will crush all the residue of those kingdoms. That is toward the end of the Tribulation, getting it ready for the Kingdom. He will crush the residue of those Gentile empires.
“…and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; (The whole image, which is the picture of empires, remember, is going to be crushed and ground to powder.) the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.”
Now just stop and think a minute. Here this pagan, Oriental king got a picture in symbolism of the whole time of human history from 606 B.C. to the advent of eternity. No wonder he was all shook up. He knew that this was something special. And that’s why he was ready to kill all of the wise men of Babylon to get down to the root of the thing. It was the very picture of human history as we now look back on it.
All right, now verse 46, after the interpretation was given to the king. He probably didn’t get a gist of all of it, but enough to make him pretty somber.
“Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face, and worshipped Daniel,…” Now you see, that always happens when the pagans have some kind of a supernatural manifestation. They worship the guy that’s in front of them. You know, they did Peter. They did Paul. And this is no different.
“…fell on his face, and worshipped Daniel, and commanded that they should offer an oblation and sweet odours unto him. (Just as if he were another one of their gods.) 47. The king answered unto Daniel, and said, Of a truth it is, that your God (See, now he’s getting a little bit of a revelation.) that your God is a God of gods, (He’s supreme over all of ours.) and a Lord of kings, (Here we come again, as we looked in the last half hour.) and a revealer of (What?) secrets, (Because He knows the end from the beginning, but He doesn’t tell it all. He keeps it secret until He’s ready to reveal it.) seeing that thou couldest reveal this secret.”
“Then the king made Daniel a great man, and gave him many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, (And don’t forget what we learned up there in chapter 2. How old is Daniel? He’s just a lad. Even now he’s only in his teens. But because God’s hand was with him, he was perfectly capable to handle the role.) and chief of the governors over all the wise men of Babylon.” Now verse 49:
“Then Daniel requested of the king, (on behalf of his three Jewish friends) and he set Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, over the affairs of the province of Babylon: but Daniel sat in the gate of the king.”
Now, if you know your Old Testament Bible, to sit in the gate meant what? Well, you were the top dog. That’s what the term really meant. To sit in the gate meant that you were at the top of the heap. All right, so that was Daniel’s role after telling the interpretation of the dream.
Now let’s move on into chapter 3. We’re going to get a glimpse, now, of how awful the morality and the immorality of these pagan ancients at the time of even the Roman Empire really was. And if you remember at the end of our last program, I was talking about—why did the Jews call the Romans dogs? Well, I’m going to show you right here. This is why. Because the Romans hadn’t improved a bit; if anything, they’d gotten worse.
“Nebuchadnezzar the king (Now remember, I’m going to show you why the Jews called the Romans dogs.) Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose height was threescore cubits, (Now, threescore is sixty, and a cubit is about a foot-and-a-half. So that’s about a ninety-foot high column.) and the breadth thereof six cubits: he set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon.”
“Then Nebuchadnezzar the king sent to gather together the princes, the governors, and the captains, the judges, the treasurers,…(in other words, all of his governmental people)…to come to the dedication of the image which Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.”
Now, I do not dare tell a T.V. audience what this image really was. I’ll let you do that yourself by the searching of Scripture. But it is so obscene, it is so immoral. That’s why God called it over and over an abomination. And I’ll let you do that on your own. I’m not going to do it on a public program. But anyway, here’s this great image, now. And they bring all the governmental big-whigs to celebrate the erection of it. Come down now to verse 4.
“Then an herald cried aloud, To you it is commanded, O people, nations, and languages.” See, it’s a universal decree for that then-known period of time. Now remember as I said in the last half hour, the then-known world was primarily what we call the Euphrates Area, the Middle East, the area around the Nation of Israel, and the Mediterranean Sea. They knew nothing of the Western Hemisphere. They knew nothing of South America or anything like that. Even Europe was pretty much still out in the barbarian areas of history.
All right, nevertheless, he calls all the representatives of his empire together at the dedication of this horrifically immoral image.
“That at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of music,…” Ring a bell? What do you do today when you’ve got a big event? Why, you surround it with music. These guys weren’t as ancient as you thought they were. They were civilized, but they were so pagan and immoral in their worship.
“That at what time ye hear the sound of the…kinds of music, ye fall down and worship the golden image (Now no doubt it was made of wood and covered with gold.) that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up:” Now, I’m just going to give you a couple of Scripture verses to help us get an inkling. Come back with me to Ezekiel chapter 16 verse 17. Then, for those of you taking notes, we’re going to go back and look at Numbers 33:52. Let’s look at this one first. Ezekiel 16 verse 17, and while you are looking it up, let me remind you.
Where did all this kind of gross immoral idolatry begin? Tower of Babel. The Tower of Babel—you go back and you study some of that. There’s a tremendous book. It is hard reading, and I don’t like to recommend it, but it’s called The Two Babylons by a guy by the name of Hislop (H-i-s-l-o-p). I’ve read it at least twice. But, oh, it’s laborious because it’s such small print.
But see, he goes back and he constructs all this paganism of the gods and the goddesses and how they would just—unbelievable—and yet these people bought into it. And they weren’t stupid. They were intelligent people. Yet they were so satanically consumed by this stuff that it became the very basis of their whole civilization. And archeology is proving it. Archeology is constantly digging up the worship of this horrible pagan society. All right, Ezekiel 16 verse 17—now I’m going to take you all the way back to Moses, so just bear with me. Verse 17:
“Thou hast also taken thy fair jewels of my gold and of my silver, which I had given thee, (Now God is speaking to the Jews, to Israel. You have taken the things–) and madest to thyself images of men, and didst commit whoredom with them.” With what? The images. They’d fall down and worship that vile filthy image as part of their everyday worship. No wonder God had to take stringent matters.
All right, the next one is Numbers 33:52. And this is all along the same line. It’s all dealing with the same kind of idolatry. Numbers 33:52 and those of you who are Bible students, you can carry on from here. And you wonder how God put up with it as much as He did. All right, now here’s one of those chapters where you really should read more of it than just one verse in order to pick up the flow of the whole chapter. But here we’re dealing with Israel preparing to go into the Promised Land. The Canaanites have been there now for 400 years. And what was the prophecy? Now I’ve got to keep testing you people, so you don’t forget what I’ve taught you.
When God told Abraham he would have to wait 430 years before his children’s children’s children could go in and take the land, why was he going to have to wait so long? Because the iniquity of the Canaanites had not reached the full mark. Now here again, God knows the end from the beginning. God knew that these Canaanites were going to keep going deeper and deeper and deeper into gross immorality. And when they hit the full mark, then He’s going to send Israel in with the command to do what? Kill every one of them. They were so vile. At what level were they? Dogs! And that’s exactly why Israel called the Gentiles dogs. They had a dog’s morality. All right, Numbers 33:52. My goodness that half hour is gone already. Let’s start at verse 51:
“Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye are passed over Jordan into the land of Canaan; 52. Then ye shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their pictures, and destroy all their molten images, and quite pluck down (or take down) all their high places:” Which were, again, images much like what Nebuchadnezzar was speaking of in Daniel.
Now as I was preparing this over the last several weeks, we know that the world is coming full circle. Now, we’re not to the place where we’ve got images in our backyard. But what is now in the living room of almost every home of any consequence around the world? The internet. And what is the plague of all plagues on the internet? I haven’t seen it, fortunately. But, oh, I’ve had so many of the people understand it. They catch it accidentally, and it’s awful. Pornography.
Pornography. It’s taking the world by storm. I get enough calls just in my little ministry from both men and women—my husband is all hooked on pornography. Once in a while a husband will call—my wife is hooked on pornography. Hey, it’s the very thing God was dealing with way back here in Israel’s history. So this is all a part—that’s why I’m doing what I’m doing, so that you’ll realize that this isn’t anything new. We’re facing it again.
Come back with me to Deuteronomy chapter 7 verse 1. Deuteronomy chapter 7 verse 1, let’s do this quickly. I’m going to run out of time.
“When the LORD thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee,…” And why is He casting them out? Because of their gross, vile immorality. Now a lot of people think God’s unkind. He had to, or it would totally destroy His other people. So always remember, there’s nothing new. It’s just back on the scene.
LESSON TWO * PART III
DANIEL – PART II
Daniel 2:1- 4:25
All right, it’s good to have everybody back from their break. We’re going to jump right in where we left off in Daniel chapter 3 and verse 6. And those of you watching on television, again, we always like to remind you that we’re independent. I’m not associated with any group. And, yes, I’m just a cattle rancher. It is baby calf arriving time. I love my ranching, and I love the cattle, but I love this even more.
It kind of amuses people that I’m a cattle rancher and still doing what I’m doing with the Word of God. But God has seen fit to bless us with both sides of the coin. Hasn’t He, Honey? And we do love our ranching. When we are out in these cities—like all week in Florida last week—my, what a joy to drive up our hill to the ranch! So, we just praise the Lord for everything. As always, we want to thank you for your letters, your prayers, and your financial help. We just couldn’t do it without you. God is so good to the ministry.
All right, Daniel chapter 3 and we’ve been talking about this horrible image that Nebuchadnezzar raised out there on the plains of the Euphrates Valley. No wonder Daniel would rather go to the lions’ den as fall down and worship such a vile, immoral image. All right, verse 6, Nebuchadnezzar puts out a decree.
“And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth (this image) shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. (Okay, I’m sorry. I said lions’ den. This is into the fiery furnace, first.) 7. Therefore at that time,…” At the time when the decree goes out through the whole empire that everyone now has to pay homage to this image that’s been raised by ole Nebuchadnezzar.
Now like I showed you, three score cubits—that’s 60 and 30; that’s about 90 feet tall. And six cubits across, so it’s quite a humongous thing. Verse 7:
“Therefore at that time, when all the people heard the sound of…(I’m not going to list all the music.)…and all kinds of music, all the people, the nations, and the languages, fell down and worshipped…” Now I know that not everybody from every nation was there. But like we saw earlier, it was their governmental representatives. It’s just like when we have a big deal in Washington, whether it’s the funeral of an ex-president or like on inauguration day. Everyone on earth sends representatives. I think that’s what we’ve got pictured here. It isn’t that everybody on earth was there, but all their representatives, all their government wheels.
“…the languages, fell down and worshipped the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up. 8. Wherefore at that time certain Chaldeans came near, (Now remember what the Chaldeans were. They were the top dogs of all the soothsayers. They were sort of a little click all their own.) the Chaldeans came near, and accused the Jews.”
Now don’t lose sight of the fact that the Jews had been taken out of their homeland several years previous to all this. They’ve now been relocated to the country of Babylon, which is present day Iraq. All right, so these Jews, not just Daniel and his three friends, but probably multitudes of them, were not taking part in bowing down to this image.
Now, I think it bears repeating. In one of our previous programs after we started the Book of Daniel, there were two reasons that God used Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians to invade and defeat the Israelites and take them captive to Babylon for seventy years.
The first one, you remember, was they had not kept the seven year sabbatical. This meant that from the time they went in and occupied the land under Joshua, they were to let the productive part of Israel, that is the farmland and the orchards and what have you, to lie fallow every seventh year. It was called the sabbatical year. But they never did. For four hundred and ninety years they never kept a single sabbatical. So what did God say? I’m going to get it! So He uprooted them, and the land lay utterly desolate and unproductive for 70 years.
But the other major reason for God dealing so drastically with Israel was they had fallen so far into idolatry—unbelievable—in spite of all the warnings. Now, let’s go back where we left off in the last program. I’d been debating whether to go back and finish that or not. But let’s go back to Deuteronomy chapter 7; because, you see, this is so intrinsic in our understanding of how God does, or why God does, the things that He does. Well, it’s not because He was unkind or that He was ruthless. But He had to control the behavior of the human race some way or other. When you come back to Deuteronomy chapter 7, Moses is—more or less—in one instance he’s reviewing, and then on the other hand he’s looking forward to the time when Israel would come in and occupy the land of Canaan. He knows it’s going to happen because—well, like down at verse 12.
“Wherefore it shall come to pass, if ye hearken to these judgments, and keep, and do them, that the LORD thy God shall keep unto thee the covenant and the mercy which he swear unto thy fathers: 13. And he will love thee, and bless thee, and multiply thee:…” He would give them all these things, and they would be blessed beyond measure. But the warning was, don’t fall into their idolatry, because God can’t stomach that. And did they fall? Yes. My, I’ve shown you Jeremiah 44 over and over through the years.
At the time of Jeremiah, which was just before the Babylonian captivity, who were they worshipping? The Queen of Heaven. And what was the worship of the Queen of Heaven? The grossest immorality! All right, but back here in Deuteronomy chapter 7, now come all the way down to verse 22.
“And the LORD thy God will put out those nations before thee by little and little: thou mayest not consume them at once, lest the beasts of the field increase upon thee. 23. But the LORD thy God shall deliver them unto thee, and shall destroy them with a mighty destruction, until they be destroyed.” Now that’s speaking of the Canaanites.
“And He shall deliver their kings into thine hand, and thou shalt destroy their name from under heaven: there shall no man be able to stand before thee, until thou have destroyed them. 25. The graven images of their gods shall ye burn with fire: thou shalt not desire the silver or gold that is on them,…” Now like I said in the earlier program, they would usually make these things out of a wood base and then veneer it with gold or silver. Is that the right word? Veneer? They would veneer it with silver or gold.
“…nor take it unto thee, lest thou be snared therein: (That is by this idolatrous worship.) for it is (What?) an abomination to the LORD thy God.” And that is one of the worst words that the English language can give us to show how God looked at these idolatrous practices. It was an abomination. Now verse 26 and this is what made me think of the internet. And I closed with that in the last half hour.
“Neither shalt thou bring an abomination into thine house, lest thou be a cursed thing like it: but thou shalt utterly detest it,…” Now listen, beloved, this is exactly what our attitude has to be today. I don’t believe in going out in the street and marching and wearing placards and all that. But on the other hand, we have to let whoever we can know how we detest these immoral behaviors. This started way back here with Israel.
“…but thou shalt utterly detest it, and thou shall utterly abhor it; (Why?) for it is a cursed thing.” And sooner or later it’s going to trigger God’s judgment, even as it did on Israel.
Well, I think I’d better show you the verse in Jeremiah once again, even though we’ve used it over and over. Go all the way up to Jeremiah 44. Because this is why God was so judgmental, if I may use the word, and why He was so severe with Israel—because they had rejected the worship of the true God and had fallen into idolatry.
“Then all the men who knew that their wives had burned incense unto other gods, (See, it wasn’t just the men, it was the women.) and all the women that stood by, a great multitude, even all the people that dwelt in the land of Egypt, in Pathros, answered Jeremiah, saying,” In other words, they had actually migrated down into Egypt and taken all this immoral idolatry with them.
“As for the word that thou hast spoken unto us in the name of the LORD, we will not hearken unto thee. 17. But we will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth forth out of our own mouth, to burn incense unto the queen of heaven,…”
Now, every culture had their female goddesses. Astarte, what’s the other one I’m trying to think of—Diana of the Ephesians was one, and Athena of the Athenians. They were all the top female goddesses of their idolatrous worship. All right, so here again, these Israelites, these Jews, were offering incense to the “queen of heaven.”
“…and to pour out drink-offerings unto her, as we have done,…” and so on and so forth. I want you to realize that I’m not just putting out fluff when I say that the Jews had fallen so deeply into gross immorality centered around these pagan gods and goddesses.
All right, let’s come back to Daniel. Confronted with this vile pagan worship of immoral things, Shadrach and Meshach and Abednego—they just couldn’t handle it. They had prayed again, as they had before. All right, now the Chaldeans in verse 8 came and accused the Jews, primarily Daniel and his friends, but probably others as well; because most of the nation, you know, has now taken up residence in Babylon. Verse 9:
“They spake and said to the king Nebuchadnezzar, O king, live for ever. 10. Thou, O king, hast made a decree, that every man that shall hear the sound of the…music, shall fall down and worship the golden image; 11. And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth, that he should be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. 12. There are certain Jews whom thou hast set over the affairs of the province of Babylon,…”
Now see, this is what got them. That these Jewish young people—now let’s give them a little more credit—maybe they’re up to 16, maybe 17, but they’re actually in the top rungs of government in Babylon. These others just couldn’t handle it that these young Jewish lads were in such places of authority, and yet they are flying in the face of the king by not bowing down to the image. They’re staying true to their God. All right, verse 12 again:
“There are certain Jews whom thou hast set over the affairs of the province of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; these men, O king, have not regarded thee: they serve not thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up. (Again, I can’t tell you what it was, but it was awful!) 13. Then Nebuchadnezzar in his rage and furry commanded to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Then they brought these men before the king.”
“Nebuchadnezzar spake and said unto them, Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up? 15. Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the…music, (I’m not going to name all the instruments every time.) ye fall down and worship the image, which I have made; well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?”
You see what a pompous fool he is? In other words, even the God of Israel could not overrule him, he thought. Now, we’re going to see what happens to the guy a little later in the Book of Daniel. But see, isn’t this exactly typical of many of the world leaders that we have seen in our own time, especially those of you that are as old as I am? My, you go back to Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin, Gorbachev, Khrushchev, Mao Tse-tung, what ignoramuses. And yet they were so pompous. And actually, Mao Tse-tung, especially, actually considered himself a god to the Chinese. It’s not just Nebuchadnezzar. It’s so typical throughout the human race.
And, of course, all of this is showing us a picture of the coming Tribulation. I haven’t mentioned that before, but I should have. This is all drawing us a symbolic picture of what Israel will be going through in the Tribulation under the rule of the pompous jerk that’s coming, the anti-Christ. But he won’t be a jerk. He’s going to be extremely intelligent. He’s going to be extremely charismatic. We’re seeing a lot of it in our own country today. How one man can all of a sudden get the world to just fall at his feet. Well, I’m not claiming he’s the anti-Christ, I’m saying he’s a prototype. It’s just showing us what can happen in just a matter of a few months. Well, I’ll let it go at that. Now come back to chapter 3 verse 16.
“Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. (We’re not worried about how we answer.) 17. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.” Now remember, this is a picture of Israel going through the Tribulation under the horrors of the anti-Christ. That’s what I want you to compare now.
“…our God is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. 18. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou has set up.” Then verse 19, here’s the man’s true nature. He’s serious.
“Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego: therefore he spake, and commanded that they should heat the furnace seven times more than it was wont to be heated. (In other words, really fire it up. Now, I’m thinking they must have used bellows, much like a forge.) 20. And he commanded the most mighty men that were in his army to bind…(these three Jews)…and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace.” Now you’ve all heard the story, but hopefully I can pull a little more out of it than what you’ve normally gotten.
“Then these men were bound in their coats, their hosen, and their hats, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. 22. Therefore because the king’s commandment was urgent, and the furnace exceeding hot, the flame of fire slew those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. (to throw them into the fire) 23. And these three men,…fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.”
“Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonished, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counselors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king. (Now watch it.) 25. He answered and said, Lo, I see four (Not bound, they’re loose.) men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.” And that’s who it was.
Christ immediately identifies Himself with these three believing Jews to give us the picture of how He will, likewise—and I think I’ve got a minute now. Let’s jump all the way up to Matthew 24 to start out with how there’s going to be a remnant of Israel in the very middle of the fiery furnace of the Tribulation, and God is going to spare them. He’s going to protect them, just like He did the three Jews in Babylon.
For that, let’s go up to Matthew 24 in the words of the Lord Jesus Himself. We’ve looked at it before, but it never hurts to repeat. In fact, I guess our letters say it constantly, don’t they, Honey? Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. We had a letter yesterday just exactly that way. Les, repeat, repeat, repeat. I got one from a fellow who had been a Catholic priest in a monastery. I don’t remember the details, but he said the same thing. Les, he said, repeat, repeat, repeat; otherwise I would have never gotten it. So bear with me.
We’ll repeat again, Matthew 24, when the Lord Jesus is speaking to the Twelve concerning the Tribulation. Now remember, Matthew 24 is all Tribulation-ground. Don’t let anybody kid you. Verse 15 is at the mid-point when things are really going to get hot. The first three-and-a-half years are bad enough, but now it’s just like the fiery furnace of Babylon. It’s going to be heated seven times more than you can ever imagine. So verse 15:
“When ye therefore (Jesus is speaking.) shall see the abomination of desolation, (In other words, the anti-Christ that’s coming is going to be just as an abomination as Nebuchadnezzar’s image. And I just compare the two to the same thing.) when ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)”
“Then let them who be in Judea flee into the mountains:” Now here is what I’ve always called the escaping remnant of Israel. And from Zechariah 13, it’s one third of them. So the prophecy is sure, that one third of Israel is going to go through this fiery trial; two thirds will lose their lives. But here we go. This one third of Israel is going to flee into the mountains.
“Let him who is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: 18. Neither let him who is in the field return back to take his clothes.” In other words, urgency.
“And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that are nursing in those days!” Young mothers. In other words, it’s going to be a mixed cross-section of Israel. This is not the 144,000. This is an escaping remnant that is going to survive the Tribulation and be able to go into the Kingdom under Christ’s rule and reign and repopulate the Nation of Israel. But the verse I want you to see is verse 20.
“But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: (Now watch this.) 21. For then (at the mid-point of the seven years) shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, (And then He looks ahead through the centuries.) no, nor ever shall be.”
Now, for an exercise in your memory, can you think of all the horrors of past history? Why, it’s more than we can number, the horrors that the human race has gone through. But I guess the epitome was the Holocaust. The Holocaust—six million Jews lost their lives over a matter of a couple or three years. And don’t you ever doubt it.
You know, I’ve always told people. If you ever have a doubt about the Holocaust, just come and I’ll tell you. We knew a fellow that was with the paratroopers. They were one of the first ones into one of the major death camps. And they saw all the carcasses of those emaciated Jews. Piled like cordwood, but every once in a while they’d see fingers still moving.
And he had the proof of it, because the regimental photographer was with them. And he took tons of pictures. And he had those pictures in his attic until one night he just couldn’t stand it anymore. He got up and went down and threw them into the fire. And he was rehearsing that with our Jewish guide. You remember? And Eli said, oh, if the Israeli government would have known that, they’d have paid you thousands for those pictures, because they were official. They were taken by the army photographer. Don’t ever doubt the holocaust. Don’t ever doubt how awful, awful it was.
All right, but the Lord Jesus said this is going to be worse. If I read language, He said there is nothing like it—never has been, nor ever will be. So, this is like the fiery furnace of Daniel for this remnant of Jews. But in the midst of it, they’re not going to be touched. God is going to supernaturally protect this remnant of Israel. They won’t get a thing touching them of anything that could possibly be done. God is going to help them survive, so that they can come back and come into His glorious Kingdom.
All right, this whole concept of the fiery furnace is the only emphasis I want to make. This is a picture of the remaining, or the remnant, of Israel going through those final years of the Tribulation with the anti-Christ standing over them.
Well, let’s go back to Revelation. I’ve got time enough. Let’s go back to Revelation, and we’ll get a picture of their escape. Revelation chapter 12 verse 13, and remember, the dragon in these verses is the anti-Christ with the power and influence indwelt by Satan himself. Revelation 12, jumping in at verse 13, this is the mid-point, again, of the Tribulation—the same thing that Jesus was talking about in Matthew 24. Verse 13:
“And when the dragon (Satan, in the person of the anti-Christ) saw that he was cast unto the earth, (In other words, he’s now ruling and reigning through the man anti-Christ.) he persecuted the woman who brought forth the man child. (which is Israel) 14. And to the woman (Now, of course, we’ve got to remember that we’re not dealing with the whole, we’re dealing with the remnant, the third part of Israel.) And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness,…”
Now, don’t picture her being picked up by American helicopters or anything else. They’re going to walk. Because you see, when Israel left Egypt, it is the same language. Remember–I took you and I gave you wings of a eagle that you might escape Egypt. Well, it’s the same thing here. They’re going to walk or maybe drive cars, I don’t know. But they’re not going to fly. They’re going to escape out into their place of safety, wherever it is, by a supernatural working of Israel’s God. In this case, He’s going to put them–
“…into the wilderness into her place, where she is nourished (In other words, God is going to take care of them. Just like He did Israel in the desert.) for three and a half years…”
Then when you come down to verses 15 and 16, the anti-Christ sends out a military force to destroy them. But God opens the earth just like He opened the Red Sea. The earth opens up, and the anti-Christ’s military, or whatever it is, a regiment or whatever, we don’t know—but it’s going to be swallowed up by the earth. And then verse 17:
“And the dragon (the anti-Christ and Satan) was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, who keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” In other words, God is going to supernaturally save out of the fiery furnace His remnant of Israel.
LESSON TWO * PART IV
DANIEL – PART II
Daniel 2:1 – 4:25
Okay, good to have everybody back from your break time. We’ll get right back to where we left off in Daniel. But again, I always like to welcome our television audience. My goodness, I don’t want to forget that they are out there, because they are so faithful and the letters are so encouraging. And we just praise the Lord every day.
My, when we were in Florida, we had dinner after church on Sunday with a couple who were “snowbirds”. They had come out of a dead religion. My, how excited. You just can’t image how excited people can get when they finally find the truth of the Word of God. And to think that we’re a part of it is mind-boggling.
So, that’s why we always appreciate everybody’s prayers. Not just for us personally, but for our listening audience—that we’ll get “Lydia’s”. And every once in a while we get a letter—I’m one of your Lydia’s—that’s what we love to hear—“whose heart the Lord opened.” They’ve listened to what we said and choose right. Because it’s still a choice, you know. You can choose to reject it or to believe it.
All right, let’s come back to where we left off in verse 26. Is that right? Chapter 3 verse 26, I don’t know what I’d do without my front row. They’re the ones that kind of keep me up to par. Daniel chapter 3 verse 26, and here we have Nebuchadnezzar, again, aghast that these three young Jewish lads have survived that heated furnace.
Now, I suppose the scoffer says this is just legend. But no, it’s not. The God in the Old Testament did the miraculous and all for our learning. After all, God is the same, but He’s not working in those kinds of miraculous ways. Because you see, we have the Book. This is the miracle in itself. That we have everything we need right here between two covers. So all these things, as Paul said, were written for our learning. And I think I made my point in the last half hour, that this is all a preview of the Nation of Israel going through the horrors of the Tribulation, the fires that are still coming.
And I appreciate when people come up and share things with me. I just had one of our listeners share at break time where he was witness to one of the tests of our nuclear bombs back in 1950, and how horrendous that was. Then imagine what they are now. Because see, they don’t quit. They don’t quit improving, improving, improving. I know. I read a book sometime back that was pretty much the life of these Ph.D.’s—young, sharp scientists out there in our laboratories working on these weapons of mass destruction. And they’re just constantly refining them.
And like he said, where they had detonated, everything, the steel towers, the mock villages, and everything were totally reduced to ash. Well, that was in 1950! Can you imagine what they’re doing today? So, when I speak of the Tribulation days and the earth being reduced to rubble—with over 2,000 of those now in warehouses around the world, why, they could destroy this earth twice over. And we know it’s coming. It’s going to have to happen, because God is yet going to bring in that glorious Kingdom, which will be like the Garden of Eden. All right, but back to Daniel now:
“Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning furnace, and spake, and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, ye servants of the most high God, (Now he’s making a little headway, isn’t he? He’s not there yet, but he’s not referring so much to his pagan gods. But now he’s recognizing that the God of the Jews is the most high God.) come forth, and come hither. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, came forth of the midst of the fire.”
“And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king’s counselors, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, (The fire never touched them.) nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them.” Miraculous? Absolutely! It just shows us, again, what our God is able to do.
You know, I’m constantly aware—because you see, as I mentioned in one of our previous tapings, the most popular books the last twelve months in America, three of them in particular, sold by the millions. And all three of them were authored by atheists ridiculing the concept of God. So, I have to come back with the opposite approach. Our God is still the One who created this universe.
And all you have to do is on a clear night, go out away from a lot of light and look at the sky. And then remind yourself that you’re only seeing just one little particle of the whole, and God’s in control of all of it. He can do whatever He wants with it. And just because we’re not seeing things happen today like happened back here, doesn’t mean that God has lost His power. He just hasn’t seen fit to use it. But the day is coming when, yes, He’s going to intervene again in human history, and we are going to see the results of His power.
All right, so here is just a good evidence of His miraculous power. That these young Jewish lads, in such a heated furnace, came out without even a hair singed. All right, now then, ol’ Nebuchadnezzar’s starting to get the gist, isn’t he? He’s waking up a little bit.
“Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, who hath sent his angel, (Now in this case, I feel it was God the Son Himself.) and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God.” In other words, they stayed true.
Well you see, believers have done that in the last 2,000 years of human history—where they would rather die the martyr’s death as to give in to something false. All right, now ol’ Nebuchadnezzar completely changes his attitude, and now he makes another decree, verse 29.
“Therefore I make a decree, That every people, nation, and language, who speak anything amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, shall be cut in pieces,…(Now he’s going the other extreme. Now he’s going to cut up anybody that opposes it. The foolishness of men is the only way I can put it. And they haven’t changed all that much.)…because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort.” Well, that’s certainly true. At least he got the message. Now verse 30:
“Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, in the province of Babylon.” In other words, they moved even further up the governmental ladder. And remember now, they’re still rather young lads.
Now, we’ll go on into chapter 4. Because we’re going to go through the Book of Daniel chapter and verse, and after that? I don’t know yet.
“Nebuchadnezzar the king, unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth:…” Now here again, I’ve got to remind you. How much of the earth does Nebuchadnezzar know? Just that little sphere of the Middle East. They have no idea of the vastness, I don’t think, of China and the islands of the sea. They certainly know nothing of the Western Hemisphere. They know nothing of Europe, but only of their then-known world, the present area of civilization. Of course he was the ruling monarch, and he makes these decrees.
“…who dwell in all the earth; (That is his known earth.) Peace be multiplied unto you. 2. I thought it good to show the signs and wonders that the high God hath wrought toward me.” Now, I think it behooves us—go back with me to Genesis. Because you know, I love to compare Scripture with Scripture.
So come back to Genesis chapter 14, if I’m not mistaken. I want you to see the difference between God as He revealed Himself to Israel and God as He’s now revealing Himself to this pagan king. Because it’s the same God, but He certainly has various names and titles and so forth.
Now back here in Genesis 14 we have Abram shortly after his call out of Ur of the Chaldees. He comes to the rescue of his nephew Lot and his fellow Sodomites. All right, Genesis chapter 14 and they have defeated those people who overran Sodom, with Lot and fellow citizens, and now verse 17.
“And the king of Sodom went out to meet him after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer, and of the kings that were with him, at the valley of Shaveh, which is the king’s dale. 18. And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.” Now, that’s as far as we can carry it here. This was his title—Melchizedek was the priest of the most high God.
All right, now let’s move up to Exodus chapter 6. Now we come to the name of God that was intrinsic in God’s relationship with Israel. So, we start out with Abram still recognizing the most high God, which, of course, is what Nebuchadnezzar is realizing. But Israel gets to the place where the name of God that is most convenient or well known to them is Jehovah. And we find that in Exodus chapter 6 verse 3.
“And I appeared unto Abraham, (In other words, God is speaking to Moses in verse 2.) unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, (See, the Most High God, but now move on.) but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them.” But now He is.
All right, so the term Jehovah, then, becomes that name of God that Israel was most associated with. And Jehovah is what’s used, usually, in our Old Testament. It’s capital L, capital O, capital R, capital D. That’s Jehovah.
When Saul of Tarsus on the road to Damascus fell to his knees and cried out “Lord, what would you have me to do?” Well, what Lord was he speaking of? Jehovah! That was the name that Israel was associated with and understood. And Jehovah, again, was God the Son. Now that’s just basic biblical understanding. That in the Old Testament, yes, the Gentile Nebuchadnezzar and Abraham, early on, understood the God of Heaven, or the Most High God. But when it came down to a relationship between the believing Jew and that same Most High God, it was Jehovah. It was God the Son. It was LORD. Follow me? All right, see, I just had to give you that free for nothing.
But, here this ol’ Gentile, pagan king as yet understands nothing more than the Most High God. He’s come that far. All right, back to Daniel chapter 4.
“How great are his signs! (Well, I reckon! When you can throw young men into a furnace and have them come out un-singed, I reckon that’s a sign.) and how mighty are his wonders! his kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion is from generation to generation.” Well, that’s exactly, of course, what Daniel saw in his vision back there in chapter 2. That this coming Kingdom ruled by God the Son is an everlasting Kingdom. But it’s going to be a literal, earthly kingdom now, not a spiritual thing, a literal.
“I Nebuchadnezzar was at rest in my house, and flourishing in my palace: 5. I saw a dream (The ol’ boy is constantly dreaming, isn’t he? And he had another one. Now he’s got a dream that’s rather disconcerting, because it’s going to affect him personally.) which made me afraid, and the thoughts upon my bed and the visions of my head troubled me. 6. Therefore made I a decree…”
He liked to use his authority, didn’t he? You know, you’ve got to look at these world leaders. There’s just something about them, and they haven’t changed. When they get to the place that the whole world is looking up to them, it affects them. They get the idea that, you know, they’re something special. They lose sight of the fact that they’re mere flesh. This ol’ Nebuchadnezzar is a good example of world leaders.
“…made I a decree (same thing as he did before) to bring in all the wise men of Babylon before me, that they might make known unto me the interpretation of the dream. 7. Then came in the magicians, the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers: and I (Nebuchadnezzar) told the dream before them; but they did not make known unto me the interpretation thereof.” But here comes Daniel to the rescue, verse 8.
“But at the last Daniel came in before me, whose name was Belteshazzar, according to the name of my god, (In other words, that’s why he renamed him.) and in whom is the spirit of the holy gods:…” See, now there again, ol’ Nebuchadnezzar still hasn’t got it all straight. He recognizes there’s a Most High God, but he’s still going to hang onto his own pagan gods. But, verse 9:
“O Belteshazzar, master of the magicians, because I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in thee, and no secret troubleth thee, tell me the visions of my dream that I have seen, and the interpretation thereof.” Now I’m going to bring you on. No, I guess I’m close enough. I’ll keep going—verse 10. I didn’t want to spend a lot of time just reading, but sometimes you have to.
“Thus were the visions of mine head in my bed; I saw, and behold a tree in the midst of the earth, and the height thereof was great.” Now you know, it’s rather interesting. What’s one of the first things we learn in Genesis? The tree. Which one? The tree of life.
And the tree of life is, of course, intrinsic to all of Scripture. And it will appear again in Revelation chapter 22. So, it’s interesting, when you look at the human race, how they take things that began in Genesis or maybe in the Garden or even shortly after, and, in fact, all the way up to the Flood. They can take those things that were ordained of God, and they have completely adulterated and polluted it.
Now, one thing I’m referring to is the horoscope. Now the horoscope was well-known by the Adamic Race long before the Flood. They understood the movements of the constellations. It was actually the Word of God in the stars. And they were able to interpret it. But, what did mankind, under Satan’s instigation, do? They polluted it. They adulterated it, so that now the study of the stars is usually Satanic and demonic.
All right, now the same way with the image of a tree. We already saw an instance of it back here in chapter 3. What’d they make an image like unto? A tree. So the tree becomes a polluted thing of that which was so holy and so perfect. So, just kind of watch for these things as you study Scripture. All right, now in this dream he sees a tree. Where was I? Verse 11.
“The tree grew, and was strong, and the height thereof reached unto heaven, and the sight thereof to the end of all the earth: 12. The leaves thereof were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was food for all: the beasts of the field had shadow under it, and the fowls of the heaven dwelt in the boughs…” and so on and so forth. What’s he seeing a picture of? Himself. His own sovereignty, and how he was in the place of providing for his, today we’d call them the electorate, I guess, but his subjects. And he was responsible for their welfare. All right, when he was a benevolent king, he could do that. All right, verse 13:
“I saw in the visions of my head upon my bed, and, behold, a watcher (an angel) and an holy one came down from heaven; 14. He cried aloud, and said thus, Hew down the tree, (In the dream, now, he sees this huge beautiful tree with all of its provisions, not only for humans, but also for the animals and the birds and everything, and the angel says–) Cut down the tree, and cut off his branches, shake off his leaves, and scatter his fruit: let the beasts get away from under it, and the fowls from his branches: 15. Nevertheless leave the stump of his roots in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass,…”
Now, what should that immediately send you back to? The first image of gold, silver, brass, iron. In other words, there’s going to be following empires that will still preserve much of what ol’ Nebuchadnezzar began. In fact, I’ve taught it here on the program over the years. Every one of these empires left certain attributes that are in the world today. Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonian Empire were the beginning of what we call the banking system. Not like it is today, but anyway, the banking system had its origin in ol’ Nebuchadnezzar.
All right, now what’s also going to be involved here? He’s going to have certain residue of the Roman Empire, the iron, that’s going to carry on, and the brass which was the Medes and Persians. All these attributes are still going to be evident, starting with the stump that is Nebuchadnezzar. All right, now let’s move on.
“…and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts in the grass of the earth:” In other words, Nebuchadnezzar, like this tree, is going to be cut down to the earth. Now verse 16, now remember, this is still the miraculous God that saved the little Jewish boys in the fiery furnace. This same God is going to bring this about in the life of ol’ king Nebuchadnezzar.
“Let his heart be changed from man’s, and let a beast’s (or an animal’s) heart be given unto him; and let seven times (or seven years) pass over him.” So what happened? He lives like an animal for seven years.
“This matter is by the decree of the watchers, (angels who have intervened) and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High (See, here we come back to that title of God again.) ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will,…” Now we’ve got to always be aware of that. As much as we love our democratic form of government and our liberties and all these things, yet we also have to know that the God of all has His thumb on everything.
All right, this is what we’re to learn from the Old Testament. Five minutes left? All right, verse 18:
“This dream I king Nebuchadnezzar have seen. Now thou, O Belteshazzar, (Remember, that’s the other name for Daniel.) declare the interpretation thereof, forasmuch as all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to make known unto me the interpretation: but thou art able; for the spirit of the holy gods (See, he’s still got that pagan mentality.) is in thee.” All right, I hope we’ve got time to go through this interpretation. Then we’ll be ready to move on in our next taping. Verse 19:
“Then Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, was astonished for one hour, and his thoughts troubled him. The king spake, and said, Belteshazzar, let not the dream, or the interpretation thereof, trouble thee. Belteshazzar (Daniel) answered and said, My lord, the dream be to them that hate thee, and the interpretation thereof to thine enemies. 20. The tree that thou sawest, which grew, and was strong, whose height reached unto the heaven, (In other words, was well up into the air.) and the sight thereof to all the earth; 21. Whose leaves were fair, and the fruit thereof much,…” In other words, it was a beautiful tree, productive in every area.
“…and in it was food for all; under which the beasts of the field dwelt, and upon whose branches the fowls of the heaven had their habitation: (That was the picture of his kingdom.) 22. It is thou, O king, that art grown and become strong: for thy greatness is grown, and reacheth unto heaven, and thy dominion to the end of the earth.” In other words, he controlled the then-known world.
“And whereas the king saw a watcher (an angel) and an holy one coming down from heaven, and saying, Hew (or cut) the tree down, and destroy it; yet leave the stump of the roots thereof in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, (We’ve already explained.) in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts of the field, till seven times (or seven years) pass over him;” Now verse 24:
“This is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree of the most High, which is come upon my lord the king: (In other words, speaking through Daniel.) 25. That they shall drive thee from the men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and they shall wet thee with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over thee, til thou know (Now here it is. Here’s the whole crux of the matter.) til thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.”
In other words, why did Nebuchadnezzar get to the place that he got? Because of God. Why will he become like an animal of the field? Because of God. It’s going to be restored as we go on, but I haven’t got time today. But it’s all in the hands of a Sovereign God. And the world can’t comprehend that. The world thinks they are running it their own way. No they’re not!
You know, I’ve said on this program for all these years (man, I can’t believe it’ll soon be 19 years). I’ve said it over and over, when God sent the whole ball of wax rolling back there in Genesis chapter 1 and instituted time, and here we are 6,000 years later and everything that has happened in 6,000 years was by His design. Everything! Nothing was by accident.
And now here we are approaching the end-time, and everything is coming together so fast. I feel this whole financial thing is no more than setting the stage for a global world system. A global banking system! I wouldn’t be surprised that in another year we’ll probably have a new currency. Wouldn’t surprise me a bit, but I hope not. But, it could very well happen. Why? Because in God’s design, it has to come. By the time the anti-Christ makes his appearance, the world has to be ready for a world government and a world currency and a world religion. And, oh, all the forces are working so frantically to bring their religions of the world into one.
Now, I remember reading about the ecumenical movement when I was a teenager. And it scared the socks off of me, because the writers back then used to make it so stringent that there would be so much pressure from all the big major religious systems of the world to bring everybody under the umbrella, and if not, your head would go. Well, it’s coming. And we can see that it’s coming. And all according to God’s plan. Every bit of it is according to His blueprint. And like I’ve said over and over, is He ever a day late? Not one hour. Everything is right on schedule.
So anyway, we’re going to leave it here. Time is gone. Nebuchadnezzar now is going to go out and live like an animal for seven years, so that he’ll come to his senses and realize that the God of Daniel is the God of Creation!
LESSON THREE * PART I
DANIEL – PART III
Daniel 4:26 – 7:8
Okay, good to have everybody in this afternoon. It’s another beautiful day in Tulsa. For those of you out in television, we want to welcome you to another Bible study. We are so thrilled at the response that you are learning to use your own Bibles and you’re getting an understanding of things you never had before. What else could we ask for? We just praise the Lord for it.
Again, we want to thank everyone (you in here, as well as our audience) for your prayers and your financial help; and that we can just continue to reach more and more folks with the truth, we trust, of God’s Word.
All right, we’re going to continue right on where we left off in our last program, which was a few weeks ago when we finished taping. But nevertheless, we’re going to pick right up in our next verse, which would be Daniel chapter 4 verse 24. Daniel chapter 4 verse 24. Now remember, we were just looking at the dream that ol’ Nebuchadnezzar had concerning a huge tree. And the tree was supplying everything of the needs of not only humans but the animals and the birds. And it was to be interpreted, again, by his little Jew, Daniel—who had already interpreted an earlier dream. So Daniel comes to his rescue once again.
“This is the interpretation, O King, and this is the decree of the most High,…” Now, I’ve got to stop there a minute again. Remember, this is the term of deity that we see throughout the Book of Daniel, because it is dealing with Gentile subjects. And to the Gentile, He was the Most High God.
And as I pointed out in one of our previous programs, to the Nation of Israel He was the LORD. He was the God of Abraham, but primarily Jehovah was the name that Israel understood as the God of Abraham. But here, concerning these Gentile kings, the term the Most High, or the Most High God, is the prevalent one. All right, now you come to verse 25. Here comes the interpretation of that dream of a great tree.
“That they shall drive thee (that is Nebuchadnezzar) from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and they shall wet thee with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over thee, (seven years will go by) till thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.” Now this is something that is hard for even those of us who are believers to comprehend, that God puts evil men in places of authority.
But we’re not to question it. In fact, a thought just comes to me. Keep your hand in Daniel. We’ll be right back. Jump all the way up to Romans chapter 13 where the Apostle Paul is making the same claim. Romans chapter 13, and let’s start at verse 1. Because when we look back at history, and we look at men like Hitler, you mean, he was there by God’s ordaining? Yes! Absolutely! If God wouldn’t have wanted Hitler to rule, He would have gotten rid of him long before he got old enough to even aspire for office. But see, here’s how the Apostle Paul puts it for us even today—Romans 13 starting at verse 1.
“Let every soul (or every person) be subject unto the higher powers. (And he’s not talking about the powers of God. He’s talking about powers of human government.) For there is no power (no government, no emperor) but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.” Isn’t that something? Every ruler is there by God’s design. Verse 2:
“Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves condemnation.”
Now here, of course, is the way we normally look at government. They are to be benevolent, and they are to be for our good.
“For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. (In other words, it’s the law breaker who should fear government.) Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, (In other words, be a good citizen.) and thou shalt have praise of the same: 4. For he (the leader, the emperor, the king, the president) is the minister of God to thee for good.…” Now, that’s hard to swallow, isn’t it? But that’s the scriptural concept, and we have to leave it at that.
All right, come back to Daniel. Again, Daniel is interpreting the dream of this pagan King Nebuchadnezzar. All right, verse 25 again:
“That they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen,…” In other words, he’s going to be out there like a wild animal for seven years. What’s the purpose? To teach that king a royal lesson, because he’s been so pompous. He’s so proud of everything he’s accomplished in setting up the city of Babylon and the kingdom, and he just about got himself convinced that he was God himself. So God’s going to teach him a lesson that he will be whatever God wants him to be. In this case, it’s going to be like a wild animal.
“…and seven times (or seven years) shall pass over thee, until thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.” Now, believe it! God is Sovereign. He’s still the ruler of this universe and planet Earth in particular. Now verse 26, Daniel continues on.
“And whereas they commanded to leave the stump of the tree roots; thy kingdom shall be sure unto thee, after that thou shalt have known that the heavens do rule.”
Now when this tree, which is indicative of Babylon and Nebuchadnezzar, is cut down, do you remember the instructions in our last program? They were to leave a stump, and around the stump were to be a band of brass and band of iron. Well, the symbolic issue was that the succeeding empires are still going to be part of the Babylonian empire. And we’ve seen it all through human history. We have the influence of the Babylonian, the Mede and the Persian, and the Greek and the Roman Empires.
They are with us still today. Even though those empires went into the dust of history, here they are. They’re back in the news everyday. Iran is Ancient Persia. Iraq is Ancient Babylon. Syria was a part of the Greek empire.
Now, I had an interesting little note last night after we got home from Branson. I had to catch up on our reading, and what did I run across? Our new Secretary of State, Mrs. Clinton, is making overtures now to re-establish diplomatic relations with Syria. We broke off all relations with Syria several years ago, because they were inundating our efforts in Iraq. Now isn’t it amazing that Syria—now, I’ve got to show you something else. See, this is a teaching class. I don’t worry about following a format or a syllabus or anything like that. That doesn’t bother me.
Come back with me to—I just about lost where I was going—Ezekiel 38, just a few pages back from where we are in Daniel. Ezekiel 38 and how I think in light of the present day situation everything is coming together so fast. And when I read that our Secretary of State is going to reinstitute relations with Syria. Why?—when we’ve been so careful to keep them on the back burner because of their terrorist activities. Well, just like we’re seeing here in Nebuchadnezzar’s situation, God is in control of everything.
Now Ezekiel 38 and this, of course, is the chapter concerning what we call the great northern invasion. Here are the nations that will be associated with Russia. Verse 5, Ezekiel 38, Persia—well, I’ve already told you, that’s Iran. Ethiopia, that’s down in Africa. Libya is northern Africa. Gomer—that’s more or less probably Eastern Europe: the Balkans, Yugoslavia, and so forth. The house of Togarmah—that’s Turkey—and all his bands. Who’s missing? Syria! Why?
Oh, I guess your guess is as good as mine. But Syria is not going to be involved in this great northern invasion. Syria is going to be more involved in the Tribulation and the coming of the anti-Christ. It’s just amazing how all these things fit even in the absence of Syria. Well, why is Syria absent? Well, for a reason.
All right, back to Daniel. You got all that free for nothing! Back to Daniel chapter 4, so they left the tree roots, verse 26.
“…thy kingdom shall be sure unto thee, after that thou shalt have known that the heavens (or the God of heaven) do rule. 27. Wherefore, O king, let my counsel…” Now remember, who’s talking? Daniel. And Daniel is no longer the 12 or 14 year old lad that we started out with in chapter 1. Years have been going by.
Nebuchadnezzar is just about to the end of his life already and Daniel, too. He’s getting old right along with everybody else, you know. Time doesn’t stop for anybody. So by the time we get to the end of Daniel, he’s going to be probably up in his 90’s. They went from one empire to the next, but here Daniel’s still dealing with Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel’s probably in his late 50s or 60s by now.
“Wherefore, O king, let my counsel by acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities (How?) by shewing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquility.” Or your peaceful pursuit of happiness, because he’s had it pretty good. Nebuchadnezzar has been living royally. Now verse 28:
“All this came upon the king Nebuchadnezzar. 29. At the end of twelve months…” A year after Daniel has warned him—King, you better start changing your ways. You better start treating the downtrodden better instead of being pompous and concerned only with the super. All right, but it didn’t have a bit of effect.
“At the end of twelve months he walked in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon.” You know, I started to think as I was preparing this—you know, I think maybe some people would wish I wouldn’t read all these verses. Why don’t you just skip a bunch of this?
But what you’ve got to realize is, there’s a vast segment of my T.V. audience that never has read this Book. They call and tell me, don’t ever take the Scripture off the screen. It was the first time I had ever read anything from this Book. So, when I start reading, just bear with me, and we’ll trust that the Word will have far more impact than anything I can say anyway. So, that’s why I’m not going to apologize for reading a lot of these things. Because it’s still the Word of God and the Word of God is what’s so powerful. All right, so the king is now speaking in his pride and his pomp.
“The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honor of my majesty?” You see the egotism there? But see, that’s most world leaders. Just as soon as they get into a place of power—and it starts a lot further down the ladder than just the very head of a nation. I think you can almost look at every state governor. They immediately get a certain amount of pride and power and authority. It’s just human nature. But here’s this king, all puffed up with his own importance. Then verse 31:
“While the word was in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from heaven,…” Now here’s another thing. I can’t help this. We’ve got to be reminded that all through the Old Testament the supernatural is commonplace. I trust you know that.
Not that it’s myth. It’s not legend. It’s as true as anything can be. But God did work in the realm of the miraculous all the way up through Israel’s history. Now you see, in our Age of Grace, that’s absent. I’ve said it over and over, and I know this upsets some of these miracle workers. But I just simply say that God is not doing the miraculous in this Age of Grace. Because it’s unnecessary. We don’t need situations like this. You know why? We’ve got this Book. This is all we need and the Holy Spirit who is inspiring us to read it and study it.
But you’ve got to remember that here, and again when the Tribulation opens, that just as soon as that man anti-Christ goes to Jerusalem with the idea of setting up a treaty between Israel and the Arab world, the supernatural is going to kick in. God will sovereignly cause the Arab world to sit down and make a treaty with Israel with the brokering power of the anti-Christ. The supernatural for the next seven years is going to be constant. Everything that takes place during the Tribulation will again be supernatural, just like here. Here this old king is no more than gloating in his own pomp and circumstance and God speaks from Heaven. Well, that doesn’t happen today. But it happened all through the Old Testament. All right, so pick it up where I just left off—verse 31 again.
“…there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee.” What you think is yours and what you think you are enjoying, by tomorrow morning at sunrise is going to be gone so far as you are concerned. Why? The kingdom won’t disappear, but Nebuchadnezzar goes out and lives like a wild animal. All right, reading on in verse 32.
“And they shall drive thee from men, (In other words, because they’ll think he’s insane.) and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: (That’s what the Book says. And that’s what happened. He actually went out and lived seven years like a beast of the field.) they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven years shall pass over thee, until thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and (He) giveth it to whomsoever he will.” Now are you getting the gist? Who’s in control of every government? The Most High God.
Now I’m speaking deliberately. I’m thinking of when we were in Branson. We had a fellow there who has a whole series of radio stations from West Africa to East. Right down though the heart of Muslim Africa. And most of his radio time is our material. I asked the question—how in the world can Africa understand my program in English? Well, his answer was, English is still the basic language of the business world. So even the most common place African may not be able to converse in English, but they can understand it. And, he said, the other thing about your program is that you speak deliberately and slowly, and they can get it. So bear with me.
See, I keep all that in mind. We’re going to speak like that if possible, so that anyone can understand. I’m getting to the place on the phone, when these young secretaries go ‘prprprpr’—you know. I just have to say, hey, young lady, I’m getting old. Slow down. I can’t understand people who talk so fast. So bear with me. This is why I purposely try to speak slowly and read slowly. Because we’ve got people out there that are trying to grasp it, and they wouldn’t if I talked too fast. Okay, that’s just a common sense explanation. All right, now verse 33:
“The same hour (Even as God has spoken and said the kingdom would be taken from him.) was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles’ feathers, (See, he was like a madman, insane.) and his nails like birds’ claws.
“And at the end of the days (Now Nebuchadnezzar has come to his senses.) I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honored him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation:”
“And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay (or resist) his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?” No human has that kind of prerogative.
“At the same time (Nebuchadnezzar says) my reason (his sanity) returned unto me; and for the glory of my kingdom, mine honor and brightness returned unto me; and my counsellors and my lords sought unto me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added unto me. 37. Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honor the King (capital K) of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.” Or put down like a beast in the field.
Have you seen the progression? How did he start out? A total pagan—proud of the fact that he could put to death anybody he wanted to put to death. He could make second in the Kingdom anyone. He had total, total power. And all he relied on were the gods of paganism. Israel’s God was just another god among the gods, although it did have more power. But you see, he has progressively moved from that to this testimony.
Now, will Nebuchadnezzar be in Heaven? I kind of think so, because he has come to this full realization of faith in the God of Glory. Now, that’s just my own opinion. And I think we can have the same thing with Darius and Cyrus. All three of those pagan oriental kings, before they died, came to a realization that the God of Heaven, the Most High God, was the True Ruler of the universe. And I think God probably honored that as sufficient faith for their salvation.
So anyway, that carries Nebuchadnezzar throughout pretty much the rest of his life. Now we’re just going to keep on going. We drop down into chapter 5 and now we’re already two generations down the road. Nebuchadnezzar’s grandson is now ruling. Now you’ve got to go back into some other areas. In fact, now is as good a time as any.
Let’s go back to Jeremiah chapter 27 verse 7. Jeremiah, you know, is the prophet that was holding forth at the time of Daniel, although Jeremiah never got to Babylon. You remember, they found him in a dungeon in Jerusalem. But nevertheless, Jeremiah is still contemporary at least with the earlier part of Daniel’s life. Jeremiah chapter 27 and, oh, let’s jump in at verse 6.
“And now have I given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant; (Because God put him there.) and the beasts of the field have I given him also to serve him. 7. And all nations shall serve him, (that is Nebuchadnezzar) and his son, (who was the General Nabonidus) and his son’s son, (or his grandson) until the very time of his land come: and then many nations and great kings shall serve themselves of him.”
All right, now when you come back to Daniel chapter 5, Nabonidus is the son of Nebuchadnezzar. He’s ruled in the interval. Now we’ve already covered so many years of time, that when we get into chapter 5, we have the name Belshazzar who is going to see the handwriting on the wall. He is Nebuchadnezzar’s grandson. Not son, but his grandson. Okay?
“Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of his lords, and drank wine before the thousand. 2. Belshazzar, while he tasted the wine, commanded to bring the golden and silver vessels which his…” Now the King James says father. I didn’t check any other versions. I haven’t got one anyway. But it should be grandfather, because Belshazzar was a grandson. But the reason is that the term father and grandfather in the Hebrew is the same word. So it was up to the translators to use whichever one they wanted. But here in verse 2 it should be grandfather.
“…his grandfather Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the temple which was in Jerusalem; (Of course we covered that in the early chapters.) that the king, and his princes, (That is the present king now, Belshazzar.) his wives, and his concubines, might drink therein.”
Now what are they doing? They are blaspheming the holy things of Israel’s Temple. Now, when we say holy, remember that the things in the Temple were designated as holy because they were set apart for Temple use. They were holy. All right, the priests were holy. They were set apart for the Temple services. That’s where we get the terminology for these vessels that Nebuchadnezzar had taken from the Temple before they destroyed it. He carried them to Babylon, but at least he had the wherewithal not to use them in his pagan temple worship. But Belshazzar does, and he’s going to pay through the nose for doing so.
“Then they brought the golden vessels that were taken out of the temple of the house of God which was at Jerusalem; and the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, drank in them.” In other words, he just has a great, you might say, a drunken banquet. They drank from them. Verse 4:
“They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone.” Count them, how many are they? Six. And six in Scripture is what? The number of man. This whole thing is completely absent of God.
LESSON THREE * PART II
DANIEL – PART III
Daniel 4:26 – 7:8
Okay, good to have everybody in this afternoon, again, and back from your coffee break. Once again we want to welcome our television audience wherever you are. It’s so thrilling to get our mail—I think from every state in the Union now, as well as various places around world. It’s just amazing how the internet, for one thing, covers all the world. We were just told in Branson the other day that we’re on a European system that I didn’t even know we are on. We’re not paying for it, but it covers a hundred million households. So pray for that. You just trust we’ll fill up the Body of Christ and we’ll be out of here!
All right, let’s get back to where we left off in the last half hour. We just got started in chapter 5, in case somebody out there missed it. We’ve now gone beyond King Nebuchadnezzar. He’s faded off the scene. He goes into the dustbin of history. His son Nabonidus took over in the meantime. Now in the break time, a lot of you were asking me what the guy’s name was, and I hope you can catch it. N-a-b-o-n-i-d-u-s—Nabonidus—and he was the son of Nebuchadnezzar. But in chapter 5 we’re already into the next generation. Time keeps going, you know. Belshazzar, then, is the son of Nabonidus. He’s the grandson of Nebuchadnezzar.
All right, now that’s history. Now, I know a lot of people don’t like history, but if you’re going to appreciate this Book, you’d better learn to love history, because this is what it is. It’s God’s Story. And He’s the One that’s in total control.
All right, we were introduced in chapter 5, in the first four verses of our last program, to this King Belshazzar who is blaspheming by using the utensils that were brought back from Jerusalem. They literally stole them from the Temple. But at least Nebuchadnezzar and his son did not commit the blasphemy of using those holy vessels of silver and gold for their drunken banquets. But Belshazzar does. And he’s going to pay royally for doing so.
All right, so he brings out all the vessels that had been brought from Jerusalem and uses them in their drunken banqueting. Verse 4:
“They drank wine, and praised the gods (the pagan gods which were made) of gold, and of silver, (there’s two products and) of brass, of iron, (there’s four) of wood, and of stone (six).” And as I mentioned in the closing remarks last time, six is the number of man. So this was something that was totally absent of anything of God’s power.
All right, now then verse 5. You’ve all heard the story of the “handwriting on the wall.” This is how it all came about. We’re going to take it verse by verse; otherwise, you’ll miss something.
“In the same hour (while they’re banqueting) came forth fingers of a man’s hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaster of the wall of the king’s palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote.” That’s all that was visible, was the part of a man’s hand.
“Then the king’s countenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against another.” Honey! Do you remember? The one and only time that she got up to do something in public, she was glad she was behind something because she said her knees were knocking!
And you’ve probably all experienced it. You know, polls have been taken—really. What is the most frightening thing that people can think could happen? To speak to a public audience. Well, when I was looking this up—I didn’t say anything to her until now. But she had an experience, and she said never again. But her knees knocked. And she said, “You didn’t hear them?”
But see, this is nothing new. This is way back in antiquity. You didn’t know that did you, Honey? Even old Belshazzar’s knees were knocking. All right, verse 7:
“The king cried aloud to bring in the astrologers, the Chaldeans,…” Now remember, we covered all that in chapter 1. These were all segments of the magicians and soothsayers, but they had their rank. And the Chaldeans, of course, were supposedly the most intelligent and the most gifted of all these others.
“…the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers. And the king spake, and said to the wise men of Babylon,…” Now you’ve got to remember that these pagans did not depend on anything of the God of Scripture. All they knew were the pagan gods and goddesses of all the way back to the Tower of Babel. See, that’s when they really began. All right, so he says to these wise men.
“…Whosoever shall read this writing, and show me the interpretation thereof, shall be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about his neck, and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom. 8. Then came in all the king’s wise men:…” Now, I hope you’ve got enough imagination to picture all this—how that all these astrologers and these soothsayers and these guys that were drawing on demonic power are coming together to try to interpret this handwriting on the wall. But they could not.
“Then came in all the king’s wise men: but they could not read the writing, nor make known to the king the interpretation thereof. 9. Then was king Belshazzar greatly troubled, and his countenance was changed in him, (In other words, he starts to show his worry.) and his lords (his underlings) were astonished.” Verse 10:
“Now the queen by reason of the words of the king and his lords came into the banquet house: and the queen spoke and said, O king, live for ever: let not thy thoughts trouble thee, nor let thy countenance be changed: 11. There is a man in thy kingdom,…”
Now stop and think. When something like this happened, who should have been the first person to come to Belshazzar’s mind? Well, Daniel! These people were human. They knew what had been taking place in the past. Don’t think that they didn’t talk about things and discuss things like we would. Don’t you suppose that old Nebuchadnezzar shared with his son, and maybe even this grandson, how Daniel had interpreted his dream? And how the three little Hebrew boys were cast into the fiery furnace and never got touched. That was all rehearsed. They knew that. And yet, the last thing they think of is anything that pertains to the God of Heaven. All right, but the queen evidently did. So she said:
“There is a man in thy kingdom, in whom is the spirit of the holy gods;…” You see how deep that paganism goes? Even though Daniel had proved over and over—and the other three young Hebrew lads—how the God of Israel was superior over all the pagan gods, yet they try to connect it, if anything, to their own gods. All right, so verse 11 again.
“There is a man in thy kingdom, in whom is the spirit of the holy gods; and in the days of thy father (Grandfather, again, we’re going back to Nebuchadnezzar.) light and understanding and wisdom, like the wisdom of the gods, (small g—their pagan gods) was found in him; whom the king Nebuchadnezzar thy (grand) father, the king, I say, thy (grand) father, made master of the magicians, astrologers, Chaldeans, and soothsayers;” In other words, Daniel just put them to shame with his God-given wisdom.
“Forasmuch as an excellent spirit, and knowledge, and understanding, interpreting of dreams, and showing of hard sentences, and dissolving of doubts, were found in the same Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar: now let Daniel be called, and he will show the interpretation.” Verse 13:
“Then was Daniel brought in before the king. And the king spake and said unto Daniel, Art thou that Daniel, who art of the children of the captivity of Judah, whom the king, my (grand) father brought out of Jewry? (Or out of Jerusalem.) 14. I have even heard of thee, (Well, I would think so!) that the spirit of the gods is in thee, and that light and understanding and excellent wisdom is found in thee.”
But see, who’s he leaving out? The True God of Israel. The Most High. They’re still leaning on the gods of paganism. It’s just unbelievable, and yet it isn’t. We’re no different today. The world is no different today. All right verse 15:
“And now the wise men, the astrologers, have been brought in before me, that they should read this writing, and make known unto me the interpretation thereof; but they could not show the interpretation of the thing: 16. And I have heard of thee, that thou canst make interpretations, and dissolve doubts: now if thou canst read the writing, and make known to me the interpretation thereof, thou shalt be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold (same thing as he said before to the Babylonians) about thy neck, and shalt be the third ruler in the kingdom.”
Now Daniel comes forth. Now, how old is he? Have you been keeping track? He’s up in his sixties, maybe even seventies. Remember, he was twelve when they took them from Jerusalem to Babylon. But Daniel has stayed in the high echelons of the Babylonian government all through Nebuchadnezzar’s rule and all through Nabonidus’ rule. And he’s still there with the third one now, Belshazzar. And then, if you want to see something interesting, let’s just jump all the way over, I hope I can find it, to chapter 10. Now this is just to wet your appetite.
“In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia (Now that’s the king of the next empire!) a thing was revealed unto (Who?) Daniel,…”
Well, I figured it up the other night. He is now 80-some years old—which makes sense. Because how long was the captivity? Seventy years. Well, we know he lived beyond the captivity. How young was he when he went down? Twelve or fourteen. So, twelve plus seventy in my arithmetic is 82. But he’s already going on into the Mede and Persian Empire. And from what I gather, he probably lived to about 93 or 94 years of age, which in antiquity was quite a while.
Okay, coming back to chapter 5, again, Daniel is coming along in years. He’s certainly not at the end of it, but he’s probably in his late 60’s or 70’s. Verse 17:
“Then Daniel answered and said before the king, Let thy gifts be to thyself, (You can have your gold and your silver, because you’re not going to be around to give it to me anyway. It’s kind of a clue right here.) and give thy rewards to another; yet I will read the writing unto the king, and make known to him the interpretation.” Verse 18, here it comes.
“O thou king, the most high God gave Nebuchadnezzar thy (grand) father a kingdom, and majesty, and glory, and honor: 19. And for the majesty that he gave him, all people,…” That is for the then-known world, remember—which is only that area out in the Middle East and up to the Mediterranean., as that was about it at that time.
“And for the majesty that he gave him, all people, nations, and languages, trembled and feared before him: (Because don’t forget, now, that head of gold was absolute.) whom he would he slew; and whom he would he kept alive; (He was absolute in his power.) and whom he would he set up; and whom he would he put down. 20. But when his heart was lifted up, and his mind hardened in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took his glory from him:”
“And he was driven from the sons of men; and his heart was made like the beasts, and his dwelling was with the wild asses: (that is the wild animals of the forest) they fed him with grass like oxen,….”
Now I’ve got to stop a minute. Do you think old Belshazzar knew that? Of course he would have, because he knew Grandpa had been out there in the world with animals. Why, of course he knew. Well, what’s Daniel doing? I think Daniel is just pushing the dagger into the very spiritual heart of this wicked king. He’s reminding him of the power of Daniel’s God. All right, verse 22:
“And thou his (grand) son, (Now, I’m making the correction as we go. I trust that you’re seeing that.) O Belshazzar, hast not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest all this;”
They knew it. They knew what kind of a God they were dealing with in reality. But, I can’t help it. Are men any different today? Not one whit. They have no concept of the power of the God of this Book. I doubt if there’s hardly anybody in Washington D. C. anymore that has a true understanding of the God of this Book. Oh, they may give Him some point of a reference, but to really know that He’s in control? I have to doubt it. All right, so it’s no different back here in 500 and some B.C.
“But hast lifted up thyself against the Lord of heaven; and they have brought the vessels of his house (that is the Temple) before thee, and thou, and thy lords, thy wives, and thy concubines, have drunk wine in them; and thou hast praised the gods of silver, and gold, of brass, iron, wood, and stone, (all those pagan worthless gods of idols, and you know that they–) which see not, nor hear, nor know: and the (True) God (capital G) the God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose (in other words, who owns) are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified:”
“Then was the part of the hand sent from him; and this writing was written. (Now here’s the part I know you all know. This, everybody, I think, realizes—how Daniel came down on him with all the force of the God of Glory.) 25. And this is the writing that was written, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN.”
“This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it.” But how many times is the word spoken? Twice. Emphasis. That’s what you’ve got to look for in Scripture. That wasn’t an accident. God is emphasizing that very statement. God has numbered your kingdom. God has numbered your kingdom. And what did he find. “And finished it.”
“TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.” Now, I read sometime back, that in antiquity almost the heart of their world was the balances.
Everything was established by balances, whether it was trade or buying commodities and everything. It was all on the basis of the balances. You know how they are. All right, so God used that as an illustration that he and his behavior and his absolute rejection of the God of Daniel—because of that the balances were completely against him.
“…weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.” Belshazzar, you don’t stand a chance. Now it’s rather interesting that Daniel makes no effort to help this man spiritually. Nebuchadnezzar he did. But this man, he makes no indication. All he’s giving him is his judgment. Which, of course, will fall before the next morning.
All right, So “MENE, MENE—God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it.” Belshazzar you’ve had it! It’s over. “TEKEL—You’ve been weighed in the balances and you don’t measure up.”
“PERES; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and the Persians.” Now, I don’t know if you know history well enough. While they were sitting in this huge banquet hall there in Babylon; where, of course, the Euphrates River flowed right through the center of the city. Unbeknown to the Babylonians, what had the Medes and Persians done? They had diverted the water away so that the Euphrates going under the wall dried up, and they walked in on dry ground and completely surprised the Babylonians. They were defeated before sunrise.
Okay, now that’s the history. All right, the kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and the Persians, which were indicated by the silver of Nebuchadnezzar’s image back there in chapter 2. All right, so verse 29:
“Then commanded Belshazzar, and they clothed Daniel with scarlet, and put a chain of gold about his neck, and made a proclamation concerning him, that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom. 30. In that night (Not the next one. That same night.) was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain.”
“And Darius (The next emperor of the combination of the Medes and the Persians. Now you see, that whole Middle East is so closely connected. The Medes and the Persians were just off to the northeast of Babylon. And a lot of their government people were intermarried. They were cousins and so forth. So this was all pretty much a family thing, really.) And Darius, the Median took the kingdom, being about sixty two years old.”
All right, now then, Daniel moves right on from this Babylonian palace over to the palace of the Medes and the Persians. He continues to be a high government official even in the next empire. Now we come into chapter 6, and we’re going to be dealing primarily with this next kingdom, the Medes and the Persians. It’s this kingdom that will give the Jews permission to go back and rebuild the Temple and Jerusalem. But it will not be under Darius, it will be under Cyrus. And like I’ve already shown you, by the time Cyrus becomes the king, Daniel will be up in his 80’s, and on up into his 90’s before he evidently passes off the scene.
Okay, so let’s keep moving verse by verse, because there’s no chapter breaks in the original. Chapter 6 verse 1, the Medes and the Persians are now the ruling empire with the capital over in Shushan.
“It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom an hundred and twenty princes, which should be over (or they will rule as authority) the whole (Mede and Persian empire) kingdom;” Which would cover that whole part of the Euphrates Valley and all the way on over to Israel and even down into Egypt.
“And over these (would rule) three presidents; of whom Daniel was first:…” Now, you see, this is amazing. I mean, this is, again, the miracle working of God. That here this little fellow Daniel—kidnapped, really, at the age of twelve and taken from Jerusalem to Babylon—becomes from almost the age of 15 a ruling entity throughout the Babylonian Empire, and just moves on over a hundred miles or so to the next capital, or the next empire, in Shushan. Just unbelievable. And he becomes a leader of the empire. All right, so Daniel is the first of the three presidents who gave account, of course, to the hundred and twenty.
Now what are you seeing governmentally? Well, Nebuchadnezzar didn’t report to anybody. He did not have a congress. He did not have a cabinet. If he needed help, he called in the astrologers, and so forth, but he had no political organization to which he reported. All right, now you see, by the time we get to the next empire, the Medes and the Persians—you remember when we described the image, the head of gold was totally a singular head. Then we come to the Medes and Persians. It’s down to two. But even the two heads of the Persian Empire have these 120 princes to whom they would report, and then the three presidents. So what have you got? Well, you’ve got the beginning of republic or democracy type of government.
It’s no longer an absolute monarch. Remember, that was the whole idea of Nebuchadnezzar’s image of gold, silver, and so forth. All right, so then verse 3:
“Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit (in other words, the Spirit of the God of Israel) was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm.” Daniel is coming close to being the king of the whole Mede and Persian Empire. Verse 4:
“Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom;…” What was their number one reason? He’s a Jew! That’s what the Gentile world can’t handle. A Jew in our Gentile Empire, with this kind of power? It just ate at them like a cancer.
“…sought to find occasion against Daniel…(Because they could see that since God’s power was within him and directed him…)…they could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him. (In other words, he had no scandal. He had no dishonesty. He was what a political leader should be.) 5. Then said these men, We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God.”
Now here it comes. The Satanic power was, again, trying to pin Daniel to the wall with regard to his worship of the true God. Verse 6:
Daniel 6:6 -7
“Then these presidents and princes assembled together to the king, and said thus unto him, King Darius, live for ever. (That was an oriental greeting that was pretty much used commonly.) 7. All the presidents of the kingdom, the governors, and the princes, the counsellors, and the captains, have consulted together to establish a royal statute, and to make a firm decree, that whosever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save of thee, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions.”
What are they doing? They’re setting him up. You’ve heard of conspiracies, haven’t you? Well, this is a total conspiracy in order to trap Daniel. And the main reason was their jealousy because he was a good Jew.
LESSON THREE * PART III
DANIEL – PART III
Daniel 4:26 – 7:8
Okay, looks like everyone is back from the coffee break once again. We’re ready to start program number three this afternoon. So again, we like to welcome our television audience. I have to keep reminding you that we’ll never cease to thank the Lord enough for all your prayers, your kind letters, and, my—I always have to look at Iris—how we enjoy your letters.
You know, I’m blessed. I know I mentioned it on a program years ago. One of the things that made me really not want to jump on this when they called and asked if I would come on television was because I thought I would just get abused, and I would get verbally taken to the woodshed, you know. But it hasn’t happened. We’ve probably had two or three letters that were less than kind, but those kinds are not hard to put in the trash can. So, we do thank you for your letters of encouragement. We praise the Lord that He’s seen fit to protect us from all the attacks of the evil one, so like poor Daniel.
Okay, here we are in Daniel. And because of his faith and his trust in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, God had blessed him with all of his wisdom and understanding—his integrity. Yet the world can’t stand it, can they? They just can’t handle a man of integrity. And I could make comments even in our own political system. Let someone make a stand on their faith, and they will be attacked like you will not believe. Well, the same thing happened to Daniel. Just as soon as that decree was signed, instead of putting his tail between his legs and running, what does Daniel do? He just flaunts it all the more.
And here we’ve got it, now, as we pick it up in Daniel chapter 6 and verse 10. Reading verse 9, again—that’s where we just left off.
“Wherefore King Darius signed the writing and the decree. (That he had been kind of hoodwinked into signing.) 10. Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, (And don’t think he didn’t know every word that it said.) he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.” The decree didn’t change one iota of Daniel’s respect and love for his God. All right, verse 11:
“Then these men assembled, (Now remember who we’re talking about. We’re talking about the 120 back there in verse 1 and the other two of the three presidents. Daniel was one, and there were two others. So the two presidents and the 120 are the conspiracy against him.) and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God. 12. Then they came near, and spoke before the king concerning the king’s decree;…” And this is what they tell the king.
“…Hast thou not signed a decree, that every man that shall ask a petition of any God or man within thirty days, save of thee, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions? The king answered and said, The thing is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not.” In other words, they could never change something that had been signed and decreed.
“Then answered they and said before the king, That Daniel, (See how they’re pointing the finger at him.) which is of the children of the captivity of Judah, (that Jew) regardeth not thee, O king, nor the decree that thou hast signed, but maketh his petition three times a day. 14. Then the king, when he heard these words, was sore displeased with (Daniel? No.) with himself,…”
He got tricked, because he had a lot respect for Daniel. Now Darius, too, like Nebuchadnezzar, is going to be making progress to the place where he finally has to admit that the God of Israel is the God of everything. But so far, he’s still sort of halfway between. All right, so he was utterly disgusted with himself.
“…and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him: and he labored till the going down of the sun to deliver him.” Now what he did, we don’t know. But he was evidently trying everything that the law would allow to reverse the decree, but these adversaries give him no room. Verse 15:
“Then these men (the 122) assembled unto the king, and said unto the king, Know, O king, that the law of the Medes and Persians is, That no decree nor statute which the king establisheth (or signed) may be changed. 16. Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, (I suppose on his way to the lions’ den.) Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will (What?) deliver thee. ”
What do we have? I think an inkling now of Darius’ faith in the God of Daniel. Now just watch for it—as these men come ever so slowly to a final recognition of the God of Glory. All right, he says, I am sure your God will deliver thee.
“And a stone was brought, and laid upon the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet, (So that there was no possible way of somebody slipping in and rescuing him.) and with the signet of his lords; that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel. (Now we’ll just move on.) 18. Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting:…” See, he’s not just forgetting about Daniel. He’s doing everything he can to make sure that the God of Daniel will rescue him. He begins with fasting.
“…neither were instruments of music brought before him: and his sleep went from him. (I think he paced the floor most of the night.) 19. Then the king arose very early in the morning, and went in haste unto the den of lions. 20. And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel:…”
I imagine the old fellow thought he was spitting into the wind, as we say, that Daniel was long down the throats of the lions. I don’t think he really expected an answer. But on the other hand, I think his faith is increasing so that he felt it was possible.
“…he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel: and the king spake and said to Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, (See, he’s not talking about his pagan gods now. He said, Daniel, is your God–) whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions?”
And verse 21. Now listen, don’t ever take this as just a story. This is the Word of God to prove His power. And like I said at the beginning of the first half hour, we have to understand that all the way up through Israel’s history, the supernatural was not that unusual. Even in the life of some of the prophets and David and Solomon, the supernatural was evident. Not like we are today. Well, you know, I always like to refer to Sir Robert Anderson’s book The Silence of God. If you haven’t got it, for goodness sakes buy it. One of the best books you can have in your library—The Silence of God. What’s he showing? That during this Age of Grace, God’s not doing things like this. We’re not to expect it. We’re not to look for it. But it’ll pick up again as soon as the Tribulation starts when He starts dealing with Israel. All right, back to Daniel.
“Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live for ever.” He’s as well as he was twenty-four hours ago.
“My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt.” I haven’t done any scandalized “cooking the books.” Are you with me? Daniel says—I’m not guilty of that. He said—I haven’t embezzled. I haven’t done anything contrary to your will. So there was no spiritual reason for God to punish him. He said, “I’ve done no hurt.”
“Then was the king exceeding glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he (What’s the word?) believed in his God.” See? His faith! It’s always been the faith! Starting with Adam—when he was restored to fellowship, it was Adam’s faith. Likewise, Daniel’s faith—because he believed in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. All right, now verse 24:
“And the king commanded, and they brought those men who had accused Daniel, (See, now the worm turns, doesn’t it? And those 122 men who had accused Daniel–) and they cast them into the den of lions,…” But as the Orientals did all through history, it wasn’t just the husband. They would kill the whole family. Even as late as the Romans—if one of their politicians was found guilty, it wasn’t he alone, but his wife and children as well. So this is all typical of the Oriental mindset. So they cast these 122 men into the den of lions.
“…them, their children, and their wives; and the lions had the mastery of them, and broke all their bones in pieces or ever they came at the bottom of the den. 25. Then king Darius wrote unto all people, nations, and languages; that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you. 26. I make a decree, That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: (Why?) for He (The God of Daniel. He’s not just some piece of some rock or gold or silver. He–) is the living God, and steadfast for ever, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion shall be even unto the end.”
All right, now I’m thinking of a time way back during Moses serving Israel—Exodus chapter 18. Let’s turn back, because I want you to see that even though God was primarily dealing with Israel from the call of Abraham—whenever I put it on the board, I always say Jew only with what? Exceptions! And I want you to realize that. God did make exceptions. There were times when Gentiles came to a faith and trust in Israel’s God. And I suppose I can just about use the rest of this half hour on this situation in the life of Moses. It’s his father-in-law. Who remembers the name of his father-in-law? Jethro! Hey, that’s good. I’ve got some Bible students out there.
Jethro—he was a Midian prince. And you remember that when Moses was first driven out of Egypt because he had killed the Egyptian, he took up with the gals that were watering the sheep. Remember the story? And he ended up marrying one of them. So his father-in-law was this Jethro, a Midianite and a Gentile.
All right, now here’s the account. I can’t help but come back and show how Jethro expressed much of the same things as Nebuchadnezzar and Darius and, I think, Cyrus. I think all these Gentile kings came to a knowledge of salvation by faith in the God of Abraham. All right, Exodus chapter 18 starting at verse 1, Honey.
“When Jethro, the priest of Midian, Moses’ father-in-law, heard of all that God had done for Moses, and for Israel his people, and that the LORD had brought Israel out of Egypt; (You remember, when he was leading the children of Israel.) 2. Then Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, took Zipporah, Moses’ wife, after he had sent her back. 3. And her two sons;…Gershom;… 4. …and Eliezer;…”
“And Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, came with his sons and his wife unto Moses into the wilderness, where he encamped at the mount of God: (down there at Mount Sinai) 6. And Jethro said unto Moses, I thy father-in-law Jethro am come unto thee, and thy wife, and her two sons with her. 7. And Moses went out to meet his father-in-law, and did obeisance, and kissed him; (You know the Oriental way.) and they asked each other of their welfare; (Well, that’s typical, isn’t it?) and they came into the tent.”
“And Moses told his father-in-law all that the LORD had done unto Pharaoh and to all the Egyptians for Israel’s sake, and all the travail that had come upon them by the way, and how the LORD delivered them. 9. And Jethro (What’s the next word?) rejoiced…” Now the average Arab wouldn’t feel that way. They didn’t think anything good should happen to Israel. But Jethro did.
“And Jethro rejoiced for all the goodness which the LORD had done to Israel, whom he had delivered out of the hand of the Egyptians. 10. And Jethro said, Blessed be the LORD, who hath delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of Pharaoh,…” Verse 11:
“Now I know that the LORD is greater than all gods: (Small ‘g’—see how far he’s come?) for in the thing wherein they dealt proudly he was above them. (In other words, the God of Abraham is the God above everything.) 12. And Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, took a burnt-offering and sacrifices for God: and Aaron came, and all the elders of Israel, to eat bread with Moses’ father-in-law before God. 13. And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses sat to judge the people: and the people stood by Moses from the morning unto the evening.”
And then, of course, we see that Jethro comes up with a method of helping Moses deal with all the responsibility. But what I wanted you to see was that even way back here the father-in-law of Moses comes to a faith in the God of Abraham. All right, now then, with that, let’s come back to Daniel, once again. So Darius is following in the footsteps of Jethro and a few others throughout the Old Testament; who were Gentiles, but they came to embrace the God of Israel. And now we have Darius. All right, let’s drop down to where we left off. So now Darius writes a new decree speaking of the God of Daniel.
“He delivereth and rescueth, and he worketh signs and wonders in heaven and in earth, who delivered Daniel from the power of the lions. 28. So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of (the next big emperor) Cyrus the Persian.”
All right, now then, I guess we’ve got a few minutes left. We’ll go on into chapter 7, and once again we have a prophetic view of the future empires. But instead of metals of gold, silver, and so forth, Daniel is going to see these Gentile empires as voracious beasts. And that, of course, is what the Gentile empires have been. They’ve been bestial in their overall behavior.
“In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon…” Now this, of course, backs up again. This is a chronological unfolding. But now we are at its period of time when Daniel is probably in his mid-80’s.
“In the first year of Belshazzar the king of Babylon, Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream, and told the sum of the matters. 2. Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea.” Now that’s not the Mediterranean or the Atlantic. It’s the great sea of Humanity. Even in that period of time, the then-known world was already teaming with millions of folks. And out of that great sea of Humanity–
“And four great beasts (wild animals) came up from the sea, diverse one from another (each one different from another).” All right, now here we begin the unfolding of these same four empires spoken of as beasts of prey. Verse 4:
“The first was like a lion, and had eagles wings: I beheld (in his vision) till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man’s heart was given to it.” Now that’s Daniel’s picture of Babylon and Nebuchadnezzar. And we have already seen how Nebuchadnezzar was removed and then his grandson had the empire taken from him. All right, now then, following the Babylonian Empire of Nebuchadnezzar, Nabonidus, and Belshazzar–
“And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh.”
All right, now we have the Mede Empire coming all the way from present day Iran, across present day Iraq, present day Persia, down across the land of Israel or Palestine, and all the way down to Egypt. That all became part of the Mede and Persian Empire. That’s why it spoke of devouring much flesh. Now this is all history in advance. Now verse 6:
“After this (Here comes the next empire.) I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it.” Now of course, what that is depicting, I think—you know the story of Alexander the Great. How he went swiftly across the Middle East and conquered more territory than even the Medes and the Persians had conquered, but he did it in such speed for that day and time.
You’ve got to remember that they were on foot. They were on horseback and so forth. But he would take chances. In other words, he would cross maybe a bay at low tide, and he could do it quickly enough, that instead of going miles around, he could just cut across. That was Alexander the Great. He took tremendous chances. But by it, he moved so swiftly.
All right, now the vision depicts four. Well, we also know from history, that when Alexander the Great died at the age of 33, his empire was divided between his four major generals. So the empire was divided. And the part that affected Israel is that with which we concern ourselves the most. That, of course, was Persia and Egypt, with Israel in the middle. All right, so that was the prophecy, then, of the third empire, the Greek.
Now we come to the fourth, which follows the Greek, and that is the Roman. And now we find an empire that, just like the feet of iron and clay was indescribable, so also was Daniel’s vision. He just can’t describe this fourth and final Gentile Empire.
“After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was (different or) diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.”
Now we know that the vision of the Medes and the Persians was a two-horned creature. Greece was a one-horned creature. But this fourth beast has ten horns; and, of course, it jumps all the way over to the end time when the anti-Christ will come out of a ten nation consortium. All right, so the Roman Empire follows all these three previous ones. And it was by far more powerful, more fearsome, and more heartless than any of the rest of them put together. All right, now verse 8. We’ve got to keep moving. Daniel says:
“I considered the horns, and behold, there came upon them another little horn,…” Now this is leaping to the Tribulation period. That’s what Scripture does. He’s leaping all the way from 500 B.C. to wherever time is in front of us as yet—when the Tribulation will begin with the appearance of this man of sin, the son of perdition, and all the various terms of Scripture. I think there are twelve of them, if you search through it.
“…there came upon them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns (out of the ten) plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn (This anti-Christ, this prince of Daniel chapter 9, the son of perdition in II Thessalonians chapter 2, the man of sin. All those various terms are dealing with this anti-Christ that is yet future. He’s still out in front of us. And here’s his description.) in this horn (in this coming prince) were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.”
All right, let’s just skip ahead to chapter 11. We pick up a further description of this one little horn who is the coming anti-Christ in Daniel chapter 11. Drop down to verse 21. Now all these descriptions of the anti-Christ, whether it’s in the Old Testament, or whether it’s in Christ’s earthly ministry, or if it’s in the Book of Revelation. They all depict this coming world ruler, which we feel the whole global system is being prepared for.
“And in his estate shall stand up a vile person,…” Now, he’s going to be charismatic. In other words, he’s going to be the kind of a person that the masses will flow to. They’re going to worship him. But yet he is wicked to the ‘nth’ degree.
“And in his estate shall stand up a vile person, to whom they shall not give the honor of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom (And I think it’s basically the European Union. He will obtain–) the kingdom by flatteries.” What does that tell you? He’s a smooth talker if ever there was one.
He’s going to be an orator. He’s going to be someone that’s going to be glib with his answers. Nobody’s going to be able to embarrass him. He is going to just simply bamboozle, if I can use that word, he’s going to bamboozle the world. They’re literally going to fall at his feet and acclaim him as the world’s messiah and Israel’s Messiah all wrapped up in one.
So, never lose sight of the fact that this little horn of Daniel chapter 7 is the anti-Christ of the coming Tribulation period. We’ll pick it up in our next half hour.
LESSON THREE * PART IV
DANIEL – PART III
Daniel 4:26 – 7:8
Okay, program number four for the afternoon. We’re all back, and we’ll get right on with it so we can get out on time and be on our way home. For those of you out in television, I trust you know by now that we put four of these programs together in one afternoon. If you’re ever in the Tulsa area, we’d love to have you stop by. The food is all gone, isn’t it? It’s just unbelievable. I went over to see if there was anything left, and, no, it’s all gone. So, if you want a good afternoon of snacks and meat from the Word – why, come in and see us.
Okay, we’re going to pick right up where we left off in Daniel chapter 7. Then we’re going to run back to the New Testament. We’ll get a brief picture, where I’m not getting real in depth. And again, I always realize that when it comes to these prophetic things, it’s just like chronology. You can’t find two prophecy guys that agree. Everybody has their own idea.
And I still like to stick pretty much to the ones I’ve had over the years. I’ve seen no reason to change a lot. Now, I know with the advent of Islam and the Muslim world, a lot of the prophecy guys are going in that direction—that the anti-Christ will be Muslim and all that. But I don’t think so. He may be Muslim, but he will still come out of a revived Roman Empire, and that, of course, means Western Europe. You want to remember that Europe is turning Muslim so fast, it’s no problem for somebody in the European government to be a Muslim.
But anyway, the anti-Christ is probably alive and well. I think so. I think we’re that close. He will never be made known while we’re here, because he cannot make his move until after the Church is gone, as II Thessalonians tells us. But we’ll look ahead at him a little bit. You know, I don’t like to spend a lot of time on these things. We’re going to be gone in the Rapture anyway. This isn’t what really matters.
It’s all right to have a cursory knowledge of these things, but don’t get all hung up on those final seven years—because, after all, we’re gone. One of the most ridiculous statements I ever got was the guy who wrote, “I can’t agree with you on a pre-trib Rapture. I want to be here.” Imagine? He can have it! He thought he wanted to be here to witness it. Well, these kinds of people are so ignorant. Just as soon as the Church is gone, our Gospel of Grace ends. And that’s the only Gospel that he would know, I would think.
But you see, Jesus made it so plain in Matthew 24, that when these final seven years start, it will go back to the Kingdom Gospel, Matthew 24:14, “And this Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world…and then shall the end come.” Well, when’s the end coming? When the seven years are finished! So somebody of the Grace persuasion won’t get very far in those seven years. So, it’s ridiculous to even think in those terms. If you’re saved, you’ll go in the Rapture; if you’re lost, you will stay.
All right, we left off in Daniel 7. I’ll read it again before we jump into the New Testament and pick up some more descriptions of this little horn who comes up out of the Ten. Daniel chapter 7 once again, just to pick up where we left off—verse 8.
Daniel saw in verse 7, of course, a vision of this beast who had ten horns. Now remember, these beasts are all governments. They’re not wild animals. They’re merely symbolic of these empires that would be coming, and this last revived Roman Empire would have ten horns—ten nation states or ten governments. All right, verse 8 again:
“I considered the horns, (in other words, these ten nations) and, behold there came up among them another little horn, (in the midst of the ten) before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots:…”
In other words, I think it’s the three nations that are the smallest in the European Union. I’ve said this for 35 years, and I see no reason to change. It will be the three little nations of The Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg. They’re all three part of the ten of the European Nations, and I think that they will all of a sudden just lose their identity. Out of those ten nations, then, will come this man anti-Christ.
“…among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn (this coming world leader, the anti-Christ) were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things.” And I made my comment just before the end of the half hour, that he will be charismatic. He’s going to be a smooth-tongued manipulator. He’s going to be brilliant, and the world will fall at his feet.
All right, come up with me now into the New Testament. We’ll go to II Thessalonians chapter 2 where is one of the few instances Paul makes a reference to Old Testament prophecy. But he hits the nail right on the head, of course, because the Holy Spirit inspired him to write it. II Thessalonians chapter 2 starting at verse 3 and we’ve looked at these verses many, many times over the years.
II Thessalonians 2:3
“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day (That is the beginning of those final seven years when the peace treaty is signed between Israel and the Muslim world, brokered by this man anti-Christ.) shall not come, except (or unless) there come (a departure first) a falling away first, and that man of sin (See, that was one of his titles in Scripture) and that man of sin (the one horn of Daniel) be revealed, (Here’s another title.) the son of perdition;” These are all titles concerning this man anti-Christ. Now look how Paul describes the son of perdition.
II Thessalonians 3:4a
“Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, (In other words, the world is going to forget all about the God of Scripture, and this guy is the one to whom they’re going to be loyal.) Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God…” The anti-Christ will actually be like the Caesars, you know, who claimed Deity. Only this guy is going to do it even to a greater extent.
II Thessalonians 3: 4b
“…so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, (Which, of course, will be reconstructed in the first three-and-a-half years by virtue of the seven-year peace treaty.) so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, (Which will be rebuilt in Jerusalem) showing (or letting the world know) himself that he is God.”
All right, now that’s Paul’s account. Now let’s come back to Revelation chapter 13 and John the Revelator gives us another description of this same individual. And remember, he will be a human, born of a woman. But in the middle of the seven years, Satan is going to indwell him like he did Judas at Christ’s first advent.
“(John writes) And I stood upon the sand of the sea, (a symbolic picture of the sea of humanity—the teaming billions of the world’s population. And out of the sea of humanity–) and saw a beast (Now again, this is a symbolic picture of this political world leader that’s coming.) rise up out of the sea, (out of humanity) having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.”
Now, the beast in Revelation I usually picture as two entities. It can be the government of that final seven years, and it can be the man anti-Christ. Now here, of course, we’re dealing with this government with the ten horns and so forth—which I still feel is the composite of the European Union. And this government that will be coming forth will have all the vestiges of the previous empires before. I’ve gone over this a hundred times.
The Babylonian was what? The banking system. The Medes and the Persians were commerce. They are still known for their carpet production and so forth The Greek Empire was known for its intellectualism—the arts and the sciences and the architecture and the literature and so forth. That was all part of the Greek Empire. Well, it’s still with us. Then the Roman Empire was predominately known for its democratic form of government and the courts of justice.
That’s why Paul, when he couldn’t make first base there in Israel in Caesarea, who did he appeal to? Caesar. Why? Because the Roman government prided itself that a man was innocent until proven guilty. Well, isn’t that our credo. Absolutely! So where did it all begin? In the Roman Empire. That was unheard of in the first three empires. So, you have all those attributes of the first four great Gentile empires coming together now in a revived Roman Empire. And I feel it’s headed up by the European Union. That’s why I said, thirty-some years ago, that the Euro would appear and it would go right by the dollar. Well, it did. And it still is. And now, I think, we’re probably headed to a completely new global currency, but that’s neither here nor there.
But here in chapter 13, we have the appearance, first, of the seven year government out of which will come this great world despot. All right, so now in verse 2:
“And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, (the vestiges of the Greek Empire) and his feet were as the feet of a bear, (the remains of the Medes and the Persians) and his mouth as the mouth of a lion (the remains of the Babylonian): and the dragon (Satan) gave him his power, and his throne, and great authority.” But now, remember, who is Sovereign above Satan? Well, God is. God is still the One that’s in control. So this man will come into authority and power and satanic indwelling by virtue of God’s Sovereignty.
All right, now in order to see how Satan is going to indwell this individual, back up a page or two in Revelation to chapter 12. Now, these are things that are hard to take except by faith. You cannot put two and two together and make it make sense, because it’s not the way we normally consider these things. But the Word of God says it, and that’s what we have to go by. Revelation chapter 12 and we’re at the midpoint. That’s obvious because of verses 5 and 6, so at the midpoint of those final seven years, verse 7:
“And there was war in heaven: (Who would ever think of war in the Glories of Heaven? But there’s going to be.) Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; (Who’s the dragon? Satan.) and the dragon (or Satan) fought and his angels, (in other words, all his demonic hordes) 8. And prevailed not; neither was their place (that is Satan and his demons) found any more in heaven.” And here’s why.
“And the great dragon was cast out, (out of heaven) that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”
Now, just to make this more believable, come all the way back to the Book of Job—which is probably one of the first portions of Scripture put to print. Job. You all know the account. But again, I want to have you see it with your own eyes. The Book of Job chapter 1 verse 6—I trust you all know them, but let’s look at it. Now, why am I coming back here? That Satan has access to heaven.
“Now there was a day when the sons of God (Which in this case, we feel, were the angelic hosts.) came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.” You see that? In other words, when God is having a conference with his angelic hosts, old Satan is in the midst of them. Verse 7:
“And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? (Where’d you come from?) Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. 8. And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job,…” All I want you to see, was that Satan was already having access into the heavenlies clear back here at the time of Job.
All right, come back with me quickly, then, to Revelation chapter 12. Now at the midpoint of the Tribulation:
“…Satan was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. 10. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God,…” I’ve been emphasizing throughout these last years of television that there’s coming an earthly kingdom over which Jesus Christ will rule and reign. Well, at this point now in Scripture, it’s just three-and-a-half years away.
“…Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: (Why?) for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, (That is, out of heaven.) who accuseth them before our God day and night.”
Now that’s hard for us to comprehend. But I have taught it before, and I’ll say it again—every time one of us sins, who points it out to God? Satan does. He’s right there, “See what your servant just did?” He’s a constant accuser of you and me as believers. All right, now verse 11.
“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. 12. Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe (Now watch this carefully.) to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! For the devil (Satan) is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.” How long? Three-and-half years.
Now, isn’t it evident that at the midpoint of the Tribulation he’s cast out of heaven knowing he only has three-and-a-half years left? He’s going to pour out everything of his vile and his power and his hatred, particularly to the nation of Israel, but to humanity in general. That’s why I, many times, make the statement that the Tribulation’s last three-and-a-half years, which Psalms calls the wrath and vexation of God, is also the wrath and vexation of Satan. So, it’s double-barreled. It’s a doubled-barreled attack on planet earth by virtue of this satanic being.
All right, now when he comes down to the earth, he’s going to indwell this man anti-Christ. That’s where he’ll get his power according to this verse in chapter 13. Now then, come back to Revelation 13 verse 2, repeated.
“And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, (This is the empire. The government has all, like I said earlier, the vestiges of the previous four.) and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon (Satan) gave him his power, and his throne, and great authority.” So, Satan is going to indwell him just like he did Judas of old.
“And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered (or were amazed) after the beast.” And now, of course, we’re not talking about the empire; we’re talking about the individual.
“And they worshipped the dragon (Satan) who gave power unto the beast: (the man anti-Christ) and they worshipped the beast (anti-Christ), saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? 5. And there was given unto him a mouth…” Remember what Daniel said—he will come speaking flatteries. He has the wherewithal to speak fluently.
“And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; (He’s satanic to the core, remember.) and power (first, from Satan; but sovereignly under God) was given unto him to continue forty and two months.” See, that’s why I can definitely say this is the middle of the seven years. Because what’s forty-two months? Three-and-a-half years. And he’s going to continue until the end, which is the end of the seven years.
“And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.” See, that’s what Daniel foretold at first, and the Lord Jesus repeated it in Matthew 24. And that is in the middle of the seven years.
I think we’ve got time. Go back to Daniel a minute, so that you’ll see where I’m coming from. Go back to Daniel. Jump ahead a couple of chapters from where we are, and go to chapter 9. These are verses I think most of my listeners are aware of. That in the middle of the week, that final seven years that as yet has not been consummated—it’s still out there in the future regardless of what some of these scoffers may say. The prince that shall come up there in verse 26–
“And he shall confirm (or make) the covenant (or a treaty) with many (It will involve Israel and the whole Arab world—the whole Middle East.) for one week: (Or seven years—it will be a seven-year treaty. But here’s the kicker. Here’s the whole clue.) and in the midst of the week (or at the end of three-and-a-half years) he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it (that is the restored Temple in Jerusalem) desolate, (He will defile it.) even until the consummation, (in other words, the end of those three-and-a-half years) and that determined (In other words, everything that’s been prophesied.) shall be poured upon the desolator.”
All right now, that’s the horn that we talked of in chapter 6. Now back to Revelation 13. This is the man anti-Christ in all of his satanic power. And with that power, of course, he’s going to just literally get the world to fall at his feet. All right, back to Revelation 13 So here, again, is a reference to that rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem. He’s going to blaspheme—verse 6.
“…to blaspheme the name of God, and his tabernacle, (In other words, the Temple that had been operating for three-and-a-half years. He shuts it down. But he’s also going to blaspheme the–) and them that dwell in heaven. 7. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, (or languages and dialects) and nations.” In other words, he’s going to have total control of the whole world’s population.
Now, I had a fellow in the business world tell me already two years ago, that the world now has computer capability of giving a bio—about a one page biography—of every human being on earth. All seven billion of them. So he will have total control of every individual and will be able to track them. You know, this is mind-boggling, and yet it shouldn’t be any more when we see the technology that’s exploding around us.
All right, so he’s going to have total political power under the satanic power, but still under God’s Sovereignty. All right, now verse 8 and, listen, when you see what is happening right here in our own country; my, this isn’t hard to believe. This next verse:
“And all that dwelleth upon the earth shall (What?) worship him,…” Why? They’ll think he’s the messiah. Israel is going to take him as the Messiah, and the rest of the world will fall in suit. So they’ll worship him, those who have never become believers.
“…whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. 9. If any man have an ear, let him hear.” Wake up! Be aware of what’s taking place in the world now-a-days. We are in exciting times, no doubt about it. Now then verse 10:
“He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.” This world ruler with absolute power, almost like Nebuchadnezzar of old, will be ruling planet earth at least for the last three-and-a-half years. Now, he will be evident in the first three-and-a-half, but not with the satanic power. He’s going to be more or less doing it on his own. But he’s still going to be something to be dealt with through the first three-and-a-half years.
All right, then his “sidekick,” if I can call it that, is in chapter 11. And that is another beast, or another human personality, coming up out of the earth. He had two horns like a lamb, but speaks also as a dragon. We call this individual, then, the False Prophet. Now where we get the title is in chapter 19. I think we’ve got time to look over there a minute. So these two men working in consort, under the power of Satan, will literally control planet earth. All right, we pick them up in their end in Revelation 19 verse 20. Then we’re going to close.
“And the beast (the man anti-Christ) was taken, and with him the false prophet…” The one with the two horns like the lamb—he is a religious leader under the world religion that’s coming.
“…These were both cast alive into a lake of fire burning with fire and brimstone.” So those are the two major characters of those final seven years—the Beast anti-Christ, and the False Prophet.