A Voice in the
Wilderness

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Walk-thru the Bible
-- series --
Daniel

Chapters - Topics:
  • 001 - Not Being Defiled (ch1)
  • 002 - Image of Ten Toes (ch2)
  • 02a - Alien Connection (2:40-44)
  • 003 - Have Given Their Bodies (ch3)
  • 004 - Nebuchadnezzar's Testimony (ch4)
  • 006 - Implications of Daniel/Lions to Rebuilding the Temple
  • 008 - 2300 days (8:13-14)


Re: Not being Defiled  (Daniel 1)

And Daniel laid on his heart that he would not defile himself with the
king's food, nor with the wine which he drank. So he asked permission
of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. (vs8)

This comes from one of the "famous" Scripture passages, so we won't
delve into the complete chapter in depth. Nebuchadnezzar has captured
Jerusalem, taking people and objects from the temple into Babylon. The
temple objects he puts in the "treasure house of his god" (vs2), and
out of the captives, they seek out the best and brightest of Judah's
youth to train up in the ways of Babylon, to come into useful service
to their new masters.  Training covers a three-year period. Not only
are they taught Babylonian culture, language and education; the
training is a complete package deal. It also includes the food they
eat; and they are given new names.

Trouble is, there comes to be a conflict between God's Law, and that of
Babylon. If these youths are to be trained into service for the royal
court, they are also to eat what people of the royal court eat. What 
the king eats, they eat. Trouble is, the king eats pork and all sorts 
of other things which to the Jew are "unclean". Now, while we know from
Jesus' words that what "enters" the stomach does not defile, but what
comes out of the heart (Mt15:20); these lads were of a mind to obey
God's Law, if at all possible.

Daniel's name means, "judgment of God; God my Judge". No doubt, his 
name was a continual reminder to himself that he was ultimately 
answerable to Jehovah. He becomes the ringleader for the four. Rather 
than blandly melding into the crowd and not stirring waves, he goes to
the one in charge of them...

Could we please Not Defile Ourselves?

What do you mean?! Are you 'too good' for our food? Do you think you're
better than us? If I don't follow orders and stick with the program,
and you don't turn out right, the king will whack off my head. (vs10)

Yes, I know I added a little, to represent what a similar request today
might elicite in similar circumstances.  Not only was Daniel taking a
'big chance' in terms of Melzar, let us not forget that Daniel and his
three buddies were  1) youths, and they were  2) captives. In those 
kinds of cultures the younger did not 'talk back' to their elders. And 
captives had even less rights. You respectfully answered, "Yes, sir!  
No, sir! and how lowly shall I bow, sir?" In other words, Daniel was 
taking a big chance that, merely asking such a 'favor' would end him 
up, at best, in menial slave labor; and in worst case, the chopping
block where he would lose his head.

Daniel respectfully asks that a test be conducted. "I beg you, try your
servants ten days. And let them give us vegetables to eat and water to
drink. Then let our appearance be seen before you..." (vs12-13) and
compare us with the others who are going through this same training.
Overall, they have three years to come up to royal standards. Ten days
is a relatively short time, by comparison; so if the test fails, they 
have the rest of the three years to 'get with the program'.

And that's also the challenge. Ten days is a "short time". What
substantive difference is ten days going to make in terms of physical
development?  You can be sure that Daniel was taking a major step of
faith, as he stepped out on this "limb".

So many people think they have to compromise their standards in order
to make headway, climbing the ladder to success. How many women think
they have to sleep with the boss in order to get that promotion? How
many men compromise their fidelity to their wives at the "mens"
nightclubs, and wine and dine their superiors, to "impress" them, in
order to win that client? And then, what happens once the new level of 
status is achieved? What happens to the family and marriage as all that
money is rolling in, and they surround themselves with all those
'things'? Well, if you want to get to the 'top', you "gotta do what you
gotta do!" ..gotta be a 'player'. Oh, really?!?

Notice that God honored Daniel's faith, and caused them to look "fairer 
and fatter in flesh than all the boys who had eaten the king's food".  
(vs15) (In those cultures, robustness was "in") "Proof is in the 
pudding". Daniel made the request, God honored their faith, and they 
came out on top. In addition, these four came through their education 
being smarter than all their classmates. Notice -Who- gave them this 
wisdom. "..God gave them knowledge.." (vs17)  And what would you guess 
that their leaner diet, and their not being drunk along with everybody 
else, made them healthier. And it is a known fact that a healthy body 
is a big step towards a brighter mind.

So now, what if your refusal to compromise lands you in the
unemployment line? What if refusing to go to bed with the boss gives
you a pink slip instead of a promotion? Well, in chapter 3, the three
are going to answer that God is able to deliver... but even if He
doesn't choose to this time, "..we will not serve your gods..." (3:18) 
Be honest... do you -really- want to be working for somebody who 
doesn't respect your faithfulness to God? If you get demoted, count it 
a blessing. God has something else (better) for you... which we will
see in chapter 6.

But we are called upon to keep pure before God. We say we look forward
to Christ's coming. Well... "everyone who has this hope on him purifies
himself, even as He is pure." (1Jn3:3) But such purity won't fall into
our laps. Daniel "laid it on his heart"(vs8) to not be defiled. NKJV/KJV
say "-purposed-". Daniel did not "go along with" the regime passively,
"after all, we are the captives and have no rights"... wringing the
hands in futility.

You see, "holiness" is not a -feeling-. I still remember vividly about
14 years ago when we first moved to Spokane, we were visiting 'all' the
area churches to see if there was one suitable to make our "home". This
one particular place, after the morning sermon, the pastor spent a good
10-15 minutes of "mood-setting". Psyching the congregation to leave the
service with "holy thoughts". Much as 'worship music' sets an emotional
tone; this pastor was verbally spreading 'halos' around the
congregation. Getting people's emotions worked into a peaceful,
passive, "holiness".

Thing is... holiness is not a feeling. It may include feelings. But it 
is a position. A position of being "separated" from the world's filth.  
(1Pet1:14-16, 2Cor6:14-18, Eph5:1-18) In the case of Phinehas, it
involved taking a spear and piercing through the two as they were in
bed in the tent, to kill them, (Num25:7-8) where an Israelite brought a
pagan woman into the camp. In the case of the temple worship, holiness
included armed guards to keep the defiled 'out of' the temple.
(2Ch23:19) Sometimes holiness includes anger. Anger at the wicked and
their evil.  (Ps139:21-22)

For Daniel and his three buddies, it meant taking the initiative, and
respectfully explaining the situation to the superior; being willing to
be tested, and let God honor their faithfulness, and bring about the
needed results.

A child of God who wants to be holy to the Lord cannot be a mere
pew-warmer. It is 'easy' to be holy "in church". Oh yes, Lord, I love
You! ...as the hands are raised in "praise", and the tears of emotion
flow down the face. But when a person goes out the doors, and that car 
cuts you off on your way home...does that -halo- 'slip'? When the 
company has that halloween party, do you attend, dressed up as some 
demon or seductress of darkness?

Oh yes, I can attest to the fact that you will lose business if you 
won't do, like in my case, signs/banners for halloween, santas, easter 
bunnies, gay issues, rock bands.  But even there, where you might have
a confrontation the first few times, and the potential customer goes
"Hmph!!" and taunts about the "manner in which you conduct business",
the Lord also has a way of not bringing those types around in the
future. One subscriber, who cooks/bakes professionally, shared how the
Lord blessed when such a similar stand was made, and fellow-workers
were trying to politick her 'out'; that business actually grew, and her
superiors kept her and fired those who were stirring up the trouble.  
Again, we'll see this again later in this book, won't we.

If you are faithful to the Lord and "purpose in your heart" to not be
defiled, the Lord will honor your faithfulness.

We need to be like the words of an old Sunday School song:

    Dare to be a Daniel, dare to stand alone
    Dare to have a purpose firm, dare to make it known.

Amen!

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Re: Image of Ten Toes (Daniel 2) And in the second year of the reign of King Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, with which his spirit was troubled and his sleep left him (vs1) Again, another famous chapter. We are not going to delve into every verse. These walk-thrus are an 'overview'. You have your Bibles; you can read it. But we'd like to address two things: Daniel's interpreting of the dream, and the Ten Toes. First thing of note is when Nebuchadnezzar has this dream. It is in his second year as king. If we assume, for the sake of argument, that King Neb took Daniel captive during his first year, this means that Daniel is barely into the middle of his three-year training period. (Remember last week) So, when we see the king exhorting/demanding the magicians and conjurers to tell him his dream, Daniel is still a "nobody". And notice from 1:17 when it says at the end of their training period that Daniel "had understanding in all visions and dreams", we can assume that this incident in ch2 likely plays a big part in that assessment. And so... another thing we notice is that Daniel is still a "kid" when he makes the dream known to the king; likely, still in his teens. So, King Neb has a dream. And as we observe what Daniel tells him, this is a rather fantastic vision. About 2500 years of prophetic history all at one go. Certainly, enough to make one lose one's sleep. The king also knows that his conjurers are a bunch of fakes. The psychic hotlines always make their commercials, supposedly "knowing" all about the people they are giving the "readings" to. But we know that a lot of it is manipulation of the subject. A lot of people claim to have a "gift" for interpreting dreams. But how does anyone know for sure they know what they are talking about? Thus, good King Neb tests his magicians. How can he be sure they -really- 'know' the meaning of the dream, unless they can also tell him 'what' the dream was. So he issues the command: Tell me the dream AND its interpretation. If somebody claims to "know" all about you, to give you a "reading", but has to ask you your birth date, and such things to read the charts or cards... you know they are fake. If they -really- know about you, and it is from God, don't you think God can also tell them what your birth date is? With a death threat hanging over them, they finally tell the truth for a change. "..there is no other who can reveal it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.." (vs11) The message to the king is not from satan and his demons. If it had been, perhaps they could have conjured up the dream? But the dream is from the Most High, and no one else. And so they admit this to the king, just like Pharaoh's magicians said, "This is the finger of God" (Ex8:19) Well, we know that Daniel is still in training, because he doesn't know 'what's going on'. But he steps out on that limb again, and asks for "time", and -he- will make the matter known. (vs16) What a "brash" young man!? No... Faith! And as God reveals it to Daniel, rather than conducting a crusade and displaying his "gift" before TV cameras, he praises God who "changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and sets up kings. HE GIVES WISDOM TO THE WISE..." (vs20-23) OK, Daniel, here's your "lucky break"! "Are you able to make known to me the dream which I have seen, and its meaning?" (vs26) Oh, yes sir, your royal highness! Last night I got 'spirit-filled' with this "gift", and now -I'm- going to tell you things by exercising -my- gift... OK, now, let me squiggle my fingers up to my forehead, squint and groan, and I'm going to "prophesy" to you. Oh! Just one moment, your majesty. It's coming to me. Wait! Let me lay my hands on you so I can "get a reading" from your aura. Perhaps I might have your sash to wrap myself in it, so I can 'feel' your spirit. Well... not quite!! You see, we have recorded here the way God -really- works. And here is Truth. The king's vision is a "secret" which "cannot be shown..by the..fortune-tellers". (vs27) It is of a different realm. There was a reason Nebuchadnezzar's magicians and sorcerers could not reveal the matter. The dream was from the Most High. "There is a GOD in heaven who reveals secrets and makes known to King Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days." (vs28) You see, the Most High is the only One Who tells "the end from the beginning". There is "no other" god like Him. There is no other to "compare" Him to. (Is46:5-11) Based on this... "Your dream, and the visions of your head upon your bed -ARE- THESE..." (vs28b) Notice that Daniel does not do like the psychic hotlines do. "I see such-n-such....is that about right?" The psychics play off the answers to arrive at their next observations. God had revealed the matter to Daniel. There was no question. There were no uncertainties. The thing was known. "And the dream is CERTAIN, and its meaning is SURE" (vs45) Daniel, you're just a "kid"!! "O king..He [God] who reveals secrets makes known to you what shall happen. But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living man, but so that the meaning might be known to the king.." (vs29-30) There is a false notion in many circles today that God calls "special people" to do His work. Not so! Daniel was a teen-ager. The apostles were "dumb/stupid" fishermen. David was a humble shepherd. It doesn't take special talents to serve God. But what it does take is a heart which has "purposed" to "not defile [itself] with the king's [delicacies]" (1:8) Later in the book, when God gives Daniel dreams which he doesn't understand, his path to hearing God's voice is "prayer..holy desires..fasting..sackcloth and ashes..confession.." (9:3-4) Service for God does not require "anointing services", but a humble and contrite heart. God says, "But to this one I will look, to the afflicted and contrite spirit, and the one who trembles at My Word." (Is66:2) So now... to the dream. Again, you can read about it. It is an image representing world empires, of which Nebuchadnezzar was at the head. And it works its way through Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome. And then, the ten toes. "Secrets" as to what is to be in "the latter days" (vs28) "in the days of these kings" (vs44a) Now, when we started into "Daniel" last week, if you were hoping that this series would give you "answers" to prophetic puzzles... sorry to disappoint you. That is not going to happen. Jesus spoke of the "leaves" of the "fig tree". (Mt24:32-33) We are not yet "in the days" of these kings. We are fast-approaching, and just about there. But we only now see the Fig Leaves as we approach "summer". Until the Holy Spirit-indwelt Church is taken "out of the midst" (2Th2:7) the lawless one will not yet be "revealed". (vs8) Those events over which he presides obviously cannot yet be happening until he -is- revealed, and takes control. But we can see how the leaves are past the nubbin stage and are budding out. But until it happpens, it is all yet "secrets". The "ten toes" have been labeled in all sorts of ways over the years. The most commonly held belief is that it will be some sort of "revived Roman Empire". Some people assume it is the United States due to its Rome-like representative democracy, or perhaps the British Empire due to its Magna Carta. Currently there are speculations from various sources that Bill Clinton is the one. Or, if Gore makes it, his Veep is a "Jew" and could provide the Jews with a false messiah. Others speculate it to be Prince Charles, and cite various functions he continually shows up to, even though he doesn't hold any "real" office in England. Yet others look to somebody in Scotland. Of course, these things address the revived "Roman Empire" angle; but do not address the number "10". With "Roman" on the minds, and thinking how the Roman empire expanded northward into Europe, many have taught that the ten toes would be ten nations of the European Common Market. But the EU, now, has become larger than "10". Then there is the "Club of Rome" which in 1968 divided the world up into ten regions. This past September the UN summit discussed revamping its military structure, to have "ten" national representatives leading it. More recently I read where somebody had added up the likely Arab (etc) nations that would be attacking Israel in the near-future, and came up with "ten"; making the observation that, the way the Arabs are always infighting amongst themselves, it was like clay and iron not mixing. And not to be forgotten, the ancient Roman empire did extend around to where the Arab nations are. But I believe two little sentence/phrases give us a better clue as to the nature of things. This will not reveal "who" these "kings" are, but will tell the nature of this "mixed" up mess. Rev17:5 speaks of "Mystery Babylon". And Dan2:43 says, "they shall mix themselves with the seed of men. But they shall not cling to one another.." Let us consider this latter matter first. When it says "they" will mix "with" the "seed" of men, "they" is something -OTHER-THAN- "men". "They" is a separate entity from "men". And "seed" is a genetic term; of reproduction. We considered this several years ago, but we will see it again. * UFO/s * alien abductions * aliens The days we are in are as the "days of Noah". (Mt24:37) In the days of Noah, there was an interbreeding between the "sons of God" (angelic beings/demons -Jude6) and the "daughters of men". (Gen6:2,4) We have observed in the past how the UFO phenomenon is demonic; and how "abductions" always seem to include sexual/reproductive things. We have wondered in the past if there might not now already be "giants" and "men of renown" (Gen6:4) on the earth. Perhaps, some world leaders? However, this "mix"ing is to be "in the days of these kings". Satan is yet to be cast down to the earth out of heaven, along with his demons. (Rev12:9) And they won't any longer have access to Heaven and God's throne (vs8) like they do now (Job1:6,etc), where satan is the "accuser of the brethren". (Rev12:10) So, if the world is presently being introduced to UFOs and resident aliens (like on the TV show "Roswell"), what will things be like when satan is totally stuck on the earth? Medical science is already making long strides ahead in genetics and reproductive cloning hybrid technology. I keep reading of many things going on in Great Britain in these things. But how does the demonic and the human -truly- mix? Satan has his own agenda, and it has nothing to do with the 'good' of mankind. While he will push a worldwide "unity", his ultimate goal is to destroy humanity. And he will -almost- succeed, as we learned from Zech14:16, Mt24:22 that mankind will almost be wiped out, except that Christ intervenes and has shortened satan's time. Thus, as iron and clay don't mix, his purposes will be at odds with man's. As for the clay and iron not adhering, being partly strong, partly weak (2:41-42), we see that already. Whatever the exact labels of the "ten" entities turns out to be, we already see the world moving towards a one-world government. And yet, in the midst of that, individual nations are struggling with and balking at giving up autonomous sovereignty. And so, even if they are united as "one", individual nations will -still- be looking out for their -own- interests, which sometimes will be at odds with the will of the "one". It will be the question, "Are you with us, or not?" And then, "Babylon". Many others, much more scholarly-minded than me, have analyzed Revelation chs 17-18. It seems quite obvious that there is a very real probability that the Roman "church" is the religious arm of that which will cause people to worship the image of the beast. (Rev13:13-15) But it is equally obvious that there is political power. "kings" (Dan2:44) However, as well as being ten regional entities, there is also a "strong city". (Rev18:10) While we always look at Rome, there is also another city in the world that is even more powerful. No, not Washington, DC. But New York City. Where is the UN headquartered? NYC. In fact, from things I've read, it seems that the UN compound is its own mini-nation, with its own security, passports and whatnot. People from other nations who cannot obtain visas to enter the US, can gain access to the UN... -on- US soil. And they obviously have to have access via NYC to gain entrance into the UN. Babylon the great and the ten toes is not the US. But likely related to NYC..? NYCity, in its own way, is even distinct from the rest of the -state- of New York. When you file your state taxes, there are separate returns for the city from the rest of the state. When you go about obtaining a driver's license, the rules for learning and being tested are different. Where is the "New York Stock Exchange"? Where is the cultural "Broadway"? Where is the original gateway where the world's "huddled masses" came to? NYC is likely the world's greatest melting pot of the world's ethnicities. Where is the Statue of Liberty? The Statue of Liberty, given to the US by the French. In the past I have called it the Statue of the queen of heaven. If I can trust the information that came via e-mail recently, it is of Roman origins, the goddess of freedom, "Libertas". Rome had many statues to her. And as with many things of Roman paganism, its origins actually came out of the middle east... Ishtar. During Solomon's time, Ashtoreth, the queen of heaven. Related to Egypt's Isis. Those female goddesses of fertility and sexual pleasures were all related to each other, from time period to next... from kingdom to kingdom... as the ages progressed. They just successively changed her name. What Solomon worshiped, NYC has a statue to her for the whole world to admire as they enter the United States; the "New World". Rev17:10 speaks of "seven kings". The statue has seven spikes ("horns") on her head. And I've read various theories as to what those seven (and eighth) might be. None of them have ever seemed conclusive enough to stick in my mind as being "possible", so I'm not going to address them here. When one looks at Revelation ch18 and the fall of Babylon, one does not really readily see Babylon, Iraq; although there are some who suggest that it refers to Iraq. And the Vatican in Rome doesn't really -quite- answer all the descriptions listed, either. But New York City -could- (could). And yet, when vs24 speaks of the "blood of prophets, and of saints", that sounds like the Vatican. Perhaps it is another 'split' prophecy? Perhaps ch17 is the Vatican? And ch18 is NYC? The catholic church has all these "mystery" doctrines. And it has been the RCC that has been responsible for so much persecution "of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus." (17:6) The 'world' doesn't persecute Christians or Jews as much. It is mostly religious entities. And primarily at the top of that list, and ultimate successor of all those preceding pagan religions, is the Roman "church". And a lot of ch18 contains more of the merchant, commerce, arts, shipping, etc. aspects. While the Vatican has been a repository of the world's art, has its fingers into many commercial ventures, and even recently is setting up its own monetary system; ch18 really fits NYC better. Notice the terminology: 1) "Come here, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot.." (17:1) And that chapter ends with the "ten horns" (ten toes?) destroying the "harlot", "Mystery Babylon". Now, with all of the power the Vatican seems to have, and has had for centuries, this would seem like an unlikely scenario. Except that, as I was reading just the other day at one of the online news services, that one of the European country's representatives to the UN is starting to voice the notion that the UN needs to unseat the Vatican out of the UN. Up until now the Vatican funtions, in many ways, like a nation state. They have a seat in the UN, and embassies in many countries around the world. But no other "church" or religion does this. So, it seems the seeds of the Vatican's demise are already being planted, even before the man of sin is revealed. It's a losing proposition before he ever gains power. And then, 2) "And after these things I saw another angel come down from Heaven...Babylon the great has fallen, has fallen!" (18:1-2) There seems to be a distinction between "Mystery Babylon" and "Babylon the great". The words "after these things" indicates a new thought. If (if) Babylon the great is what New York City represents to the world, then vs4 also makes a lot of -literal- sense. We often observe it in terms of Believers of Jesus Christ coming out of the apostate (Babylonish) church system. But who are God's people, even -before- the "Church"? The "..Jew first.." (Rom1:16b) Where is the world's heaviest concentration of Jewish population? New York City. And so, before NYC's destruction God proclaims, "Come out of her, My people (Jews), that you may not...receive of her plagues" (Rev18:4) Even the world foresees such a destruction. I've not seen them, but Hollywood has produced movies where the primary plot is NYC's destruction; by atom bomb, comet, earthquake, etc. Perhaps it seems we got far afield of the "ten toes" when we shifted to "Babylon"? From where will the kings of the ten toes be coordinated? Likely, as things appear to be now, from Babylon..? All these prophesies are interrelated. One aspect does not exist without the other. You cannot talk about how a car runs by only discussing the 4 wheels. There is also the engine which makes it run. Notice that the ten horns "give their power and authority to the beast" (Rev17:13) There are the "ten", but they get their marching orders from the beast. And notice that Revelation ch13 has "two" different beasts. The first one combines the "seven heads and ten horns" and is characterized by "blaspheme" (vs1). The second beast "exercises all the authority of the first beast". (vs12) Perhaps one is headquartered in Rome, and the other in NYC? I'm not going to try to pretend to be an expert and "reveal" anything here. I don't know. And if anybody else claims to know it 'all', they are probably wrong! We are just observing "pieces" to the prophetic puzzle. Looking at "fig leaves". I read many things that others speculate as they try to finalize conclusions... and they all have little "holes" in their logic and observations. (There may be holes in 'my' observations, too) When they finalize one aspect, then there is some Scripture 'here' that would seem to disagree with their conclusion. Some other idea, a passage over 'there' doesn't quite mesh. We are not yet -quite- "in the days of these kings" yet. But we are seeing WHAT LOOK LIKE the puzzle "pieces" turned up on the table, all ready to start being put together, to make the "whole" of the picture come into proper perspective and focus. So... who is going to put this puzzle together and clear this all up for us? The destruction of Babylon is pictured like "a great millstone" being thrown down. (Rev18:21) In Nebuchadnezzar's dream it was a "stone" that was "cut out of the mountain without hands" which comes along and crushes the whole image. (Dan2:45) Notice the stone crushes not only the ten toes...but the whole thing...the complete world system. "And I saw Heaven opened. And behold a white horse! And He sitting on him was called Faithful and True. And in righteousness He judges and makes war." And He "strikes the nations" and will rule them "with a rod of iron". He is the "King of kings and Lord of lords" (~Rev19:11-16) Who? "The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ. And He will reign forever and ever." (Rev11:15) As the world is plotting "together against Jehovah and against His anointed (Christ)", as Jehovah "shall mock at them", He is going to hand the rule over to His "begotten-Son" Who will "dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel". (Ps2) We may not yet be certain where all the puzzle pieces go. But we know -Who- knows. And that is enough. The "stone" that comes to do this is not cut with human hands. (Dan2:45) In other words, -we- are not preparing "the kingdom" for Christ to come and rule over. When Christ sets up His kingdom, it will not be man's doing. It will be -His-. Therefore, is it at all surprising that we will not know all the details until He performs them. When the disciples asked Jesus about the kingdom, He replied, "It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father has put in His own authority." (Acts1:7) In the case of the disciples, He told them to "await the promise of the Father". (vs4) They were waiting for the Holy Spirit. We are "looking for the blessed hope, and the appearance of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ." (Tit2:13) The next major event to happen before the puzzle starts being put together, is the Rapture of Christ's Believers. (Jn14:3, 1Th4:17, 2Th2:7-8) And for those who "love His appearing" there is waiting a "crown of righteousness". (2Tim4:8) Amen! [Top] - [Walk-thru Directory]
Re: Alien Connection (Daniel 2:40-44) "And the fourth kingdom shall be as strong as iron. Inasmuch as iron crushes and smashes all things, and as the iron that shatters all these, it will crush and shatter. And as to that you saw, the feet and the toes were partly of potters' clay and partly of iron, the kingdom shall be divided. But there shall be in it the strength of iron, because you saw the iron mixed with clay of the potter. And as the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly fragile. And as you saw the iron mixed with the clay of the clay, they shall be mixed with the seed of men. But they shall not adhere to one another, even as iron does not mix with clay. And in the days of these kings, the God of Heaven shall set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed. And the kingdom shall not be left to other people. It shall break in pieces and destroy all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever." (Dan2:40-44) This is a most amazing passage. Earlier God had spoken of the -heathen- Nebuchadnezzar as "My servant", as he was to be used by God to discipline Israel. (Jer25:9;27:6) Israel is in exile, and God gives Nebuchadnezzar a dream. A dream about the future. And, of all things, this insight is given to him while he is yet in unbelief. He has not yet been humbled and brought before God in Faith. (Dan4) This passage pasted in here is the portion of the dream foretelling events that are fast upon us 'now'. We know that the time of the Lord's return is imminent. And we are told that His second coming will happen "in the days of these kings." The part I'd like us to notice right now is where it says, "they shall be mixed with the seed of men. But they shall not adhere to one another.." (vs43) -SOMTHING- or -SOMEONE- is going to be mixed in with humanity... and likely it has already begun. What does "they" refer to? As with typical prophecy, it doesn't say specifically. A bit of 'mystery' there. But it is something which is not 'human'; because, notice that it mixes -with- the "seed" of men. In Scripture the word "seed" usually refers to genetics. Offspring. Something to do with reproduction, sex, genes. Something to do with either combining and/or altering something about humanity's makeup. This is -God's- prophecy about these times we live in. Now, we know that Satan has been imitating and trying to usurp God's authority throughout human history. Star Trek Next Generation series proclaims that there is "no God". That the God of the Bible is a most reprehensible concept that Jean Luc would never want to -inflict- upon any new alien society, as he observes the "Prime Directive" to not alter alien cultures. Any time a new culture has "problems" with their "gods", it usually ends up being a technological malfunction, where an orbiting satellite is zapping people (Rev13:13) because of their failure to stay within certain prescribed bounds, based on 'implants'. It was not -really- God "punishing" them for wrong-doing. And with "no God", man has evolved himself into a state of perfection, 'far-surpassing' the moralities and teachings of Scripture. "God" is now -beneath- us. "God" is some crazy maniac ["Q"], basically demented; who needs to be cajoled into leaving us alone, and stop having his -omnipotent- tantrums. Now... all the popular programs -HAVE- gods. The God Most High, having been evolved out of humanity, being out of the picture; now we can concentrate and proclaim the 'gods' man believes in. And in this, we can observe how this "mixing" with "seed" is being portrayed today. When Star Trek Voyager began a few years ago, it's main message was reawakening the Native American 'mother earth' and 'spirit guide' doctrine, which society is pretty much embracing, even to cohabitation with Promise Keepers, March for Jesus, etc. Star Trek Deep Space 9, of course, had two basic doctrines. The "wormhole aliens" (gods), the "orbs" (mystical trance-like visions), and "emissary" (Cpt. Cisco) of the Beijorans. [Ed: Please excuse if I misspell these names. Most of them I've never seen in print.] And then, there was the "Dax" symbiont. An invading entity which becomes "one" with the host both physically, spiritually, emotionally and mentally; and the relationship is mutually codependent. However, when there has to be a choice 'which' life to save, the symbiont always has priority. Then, there's Earth Final Conflict. From its theme music to its plots, it portends great evil. Alien beings threatening to destroy humanity, but working within the political system, manipulating elections and politicians. Using humans to further their engineering. Altering humans for their own purposes. Controlling humans through mind implants. There is also depiction of "resistance cells" and the intrigue of all that, just as many are actually preparing for now in reality. These aliens are "god-like" in their self-presumptions and their quasi mental/spiritual "commonality", but their control and "power" is -technological-. And even this "commonality" can be detected with technical instruments and computers. All these, so far, prepare humanity to be able to conceive of alternate deities; particularly the "western mind", which has been 'tainted' by centuries of "Judeo-Christian" background and mentality. Anything else, up until recent years, has been assumed to be "heathen" and demonic. So, we've had years of "softening" and "wearing down" of the monotheistic view of only "one" God. A "God Most High" Who is above all gods. Of course, let's not forget the "kiddie shows". The Saturday cartoons. The after-school programs that your kids are watching before you get home from work. Power Rangers, Turtle-Power, Hercules, Zenia Warrior Princess, and all the animated cartoons depicting evil enchanted sorcerors, witches, demons and other evil creatures, as well as the latest craze, "Pokemon". And the video games by which they become "hands-on" with these entities. They all have ties to mythical deities, mystical "powers", supernatural, demons and demon-possession. And the latest prime-time offerings, Samantha, Charmed, Buffy, etc. The list goes on and on; in fact, this year it seems like hardly any of the new programs or shows they promo 'aren't' of this kind of theme! With all that "conditioning" Now, in the past year we are being taught the historical backgrounds, and having revealed to us the "mysteries" of Mythology. "Star Gate - SG1" The Guaould are the universe's worst nightmare. The pyramids of Egypt, and all the "gods" that originated in Egypt come from these beings, who are actually from another place. They inhabit human forms through their entity, the "larvae". (Like Dax's symbiont) There is the "seal/mark" on the forehead. (Rev13:16) [Ed: on the Babylon-5 series they had personal ID/communicators attached to the "right hands"] A couple weeks ago we were informed "who" is at the very foundation of this whole complex mythological structure. In the episode they needed to find "Thor". Once they had worked their way through "layers" of testing, and actually met "Thor" ... Thor was a creature like the current depictions of UFO "aliens". The little "gray" creature with the slanted "bug" eyes. You see, the current UFO/aliens are the same entities (spirits) as the ancient 'gods' of mythology. Think about the prime component of "alien abduction" accounts. Genetic, sexual experiments and tests; as well as alien births from human mothers. Anybody who speaks about UFO's as an "expert" pretty much always speaks of them in "spiritual" terms. They are from a different "dimension". [Ed: "spiritual" dimension] But notice the common threads in pretty much -all- of these things, from kiddie cartoons, to the most sophisticated "Star Wars" episodes. 1) -ALL- of them are steeped in "spiritism". A "force" that is out there, or a force the individual can harness [Ed: like "christians" claim to use the "power of prayer" and engage in "prayer warfare"]. 2) Possession. The alien entity invading/indwelling a human, either as a larva-like creature, or by infusion "spiritually" where the telling sign is the "eyes", or with implants. Sometimes this possession is manifest in malevolence. But also, quite often the alien has transformed itself to appear to be human in order to coexist undetected, until enough of them have infiltrated to "take over". (2Cor11:12-14) 3) Malevolence of the aliens. They are typically out to destroy humanity. (Rev12:12) And their power is so great, and their technology is so far beyond anything man has, that man hasn't got a chance. When they have changed their form to appear human, or have taken possession, the one who appears "human" in that form, has super-human strength. (Lk8:29, Acts19:16) 4) Altering/mutating of humans for the purposes of the aliens, often by cohabitation. "As it was in the days of Noah" (Mt24:37, Gen6:4) We've mentioned in the past, but it's been awhile: think about some of the mythological characters; the ones with part human, part animal features. It is said that most 'ideas' that any human culture has today, originated to some degree in -fact- many years ago. All of the ancient religions had "the gods" coming down and interacting with humans. These gods were as promiscuous as mankind, and some of them cohabited with humans...in the legends. Again...back to the days of Noah...when the "sons of God" cohabited with the "daughters of men", it speaks of "giants" and "heros" in "ancient times"; "men of name". (Gen6:4) Enough so to become the basis for later mythological characters? Quite likely. And notice what it says, "And Jehovah saw that the evil of man was great on the earth, and every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the day long." (Gen6:5) I realize we are but scratching the surface of this subject, and this particular study is a bit "rag-tag" and rambling. It is not my desire to spend a lot of time on this, because there is no need to "know the deep things of satan" (Rev2:24) in microscopic detail. You that have your eyes open, you have already seen all these things, and I have said nothing new here. 'Just briefly, loosely, bringing a few observations together in one little package here to help us understand... Do we realize what we are seeing in the world around us? Do we see "how close" we are to That Day? Like the "days of Noah" things were "only evil all the day long." What we see with all these programs we are bombarded with, the forces of evil are actually "preparing" humanity for what is coming. Conditioning the minds, so that when the "man of sin" is revealed (2Th2:8), humanity will welcome him with open arms, and be -expecting- it. Notice Daniels words, "in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors have come to the full, a king, strong of face and skilled at intrigues, shall stand up." (Dan8:23) As Believers we see all that goes on around us, and we strain to see anything "good" anymore, and are hard-pressed to find it. What we are experiencing is this iniquity coming "to the full". In terms of Israel's prophetic timetable, part of God's purpose in unleashing Wrath to Judge mankind, is "to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make atonement for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, (Dan9:24) Jesus said that the time of judgment would be so bad that unless it had been shortened, no flesh would come out alive. (Mt24:22) Such a severe judgment is 'fitting' for such severe evil. "..they are deserving.." (Rev16:6) Satan rebelled against God, so like in the conversation regarding Job, God said, OK...do your worst. Mankind decided to follow satan, so God said, do your worst. Once the full measure of evil has been filled up, God is going to bring it all to an end. Then, full atonment will be made upon Israel. And when all is said and done, all prophecies will have been fulfilled. And then there will be "everlasting righteousness". But until then, until the Believers are "redeemed" from this world (Rom8:23), we will see things get continually worse. (2Tim3:13) Dearly Beloved in Jesus Christ... Do not let this worry you. We sometimes forget that it is necessary for things to first get worse, so that the "iniquity of the Amorites" might be "full" (Gen15:16) ...in order that God's coming judgment can be fully 'just'. Satan is preparing the world for his rule through all these offerings from Hollywood, essentially telling them what his rule is going to be like. But we have God's promises through His Word as to how He is going to crush satan once and for all time. The world is fearful. We are told that "men [will be] fainting from fear, and expectation of the things coming on the earth. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken." (Lk21:26) But for the Believer, "But you, brothers, are not in darkness, that the Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of day; we are not of night, nor of darkness." (1Th5:4-5) We are exhorted regrding the ordering our lives, "But take heed to yourselves that your hearts not be loaded down with headaches, and drinking, and anxieties of life, and that day come suddenly upon you as a snare, for it will come in on all those sitting on the face of all the earth. (Lk21:34-35) We already know that God watches us, but do we realize that these "aliens" (demon beings) are also watching? ...either from the "heavenlies"; or as they are presently inhabiting or masquerading as fellow-humans, either as 'ordinary' people of the world, or as that "spirit-filled" pretend-christian? "..therefore we also, having so great cloud of witnesses lying around us, having laid aside every weight and the easily surrounding sin, through patience let us also run the race set before us, looking to the Author and Finisher of our faith, Jesus.." (Heb12:1-2) Amen! [Top] - [Walk-thru Directory]
Re: Have Given their Bodies (Daniel 3) Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who has sent His Angel and has delivered His servants who trusted in Him, and have changed the king's words and have given their bodies that they might not serve nor worship any god except their own God. (vs28) Just because someone 'acknowledges' the Most High does not indicate that the person is a Believer. Remember how satan "believes" in God's existence, but is not saved. (Jas2:19) In the previous chapter when Daniel reveals the king's dream, notice the king's response. Two things: 1) He acknowledges that Daniel's God is "a God of gods, and a Lord of kings" (2:47) But notice that he also 2) bows -to- Daniel and offers an offering and incense -to- Daniel. (vs46) Perhaps Daniel's 'youth' keeps him from having boldness to refrain the king from this activity, like Scripture records of others? (Acts10:26, 14:13-15, Rev22:9) While he acknowledges the Most High, his heart is not yet a believer. This fact is proven in chapter 3. Nebuchadnezzar has a huge statue erected. What did this thing look like? Was it a replica of what his dream had been? After all, if he was proclaimed the "head of gold" (2:38), judging by what we are going to see in the next chapter, he is also a rather proud man; perhaps he wanted to make sure that everybody in his kingdom knew -just- 'how great' he was..? Kings did this, for their -own- legacy. Or, judging by the dimensions (10ft x 100ft), perhaps it was merely a large obelisk? Whatever the case, the king has it built, and -EVERYBODY- is to bow to it. That's "everybody" ... "people, nations and languages" (vs4) And what is the penalty for disobedience? Death in the fiery furnace. While this account is historical, it also portends something for the not-too-distant future. What the "head of gold" did then, the ruler of the "ten toes" is also going to do. There is going to be another "image" that people will be required to worship, and if they don't, they are "to be killed". (Rev13:15) The next image will be demon-possessed, as it will be given "a spirit", and it will "speak". We know the story. Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah [Editor: I really prefer to call them by their -real- Jewish names] did not bow to the image. Some of the other subjects notice, and report the matter to the king. Now, the question comes up... why did these others even notice that the three were not bowing, if they themselves were bowing? Interesting, huh! Like tattle-tale Suzy proclaiming, "Johnny didn't have his eyes closed during the prayer!" Well, Suzy, if -your- eyes were closed, how would you even know about Johnny? So now we get down to the main purpose of this study. What these three purposed is the very same thing people in the near future will face. In the case of Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, the king takes special interest. Remember, when Daniel reveals the king's dream, Daniel is given a special place at "the gate of the king" (2:49), the seat of power; and he also asks and these three are promoted over "the affairs of the province of Babylon". They have positions of prominence. So the king does not just immediately throw them into the fire. He tries to 'reason' with them, and gives them a "second chance". After all, the king is a "reasonable man"! He wants to make sure they "understand" the edict. Perhaps they hadn't heard the announcement the first time around..? Hopefully, just a "misunderstanding"? Mmmm?? "We don't need to discuss the matter with your highness." (vs16) If God is able to deliver us, He will deliver us. But even if He doesn't... "we will not serve your gods nor worship the golden image which you have set up." (vs18) Notice two things about their reply: 1) They are not challenging God. They are not making deals with God... "if You will deliver us, we will blah, blah, blah". They were not "calling down" God's power to "prove Himself"; thus, 'manipulating' God through their "gifts" or "power of prayer". They knew God was capable of delivering them; but they were also prepared that if it was His will for them to die, they would accept that. 2) They are not compromising. When it had been merely a matter of foods previously (Col2:21, 1Tm4:3, Heb13:9), they submitted to a time of testing. (ch1) While the Mosaic law had things about "unclean" foods, those were not part of the Ten Commandments. Being "unclean" didn't necessarily mean death. But here, the first and primary Law was being challenged. "You shall have no other gods before Me...you shall not bow yourself down to [images]" (Ex20:3,5) Nebuchadnezzar's edict struck at the very core of what it meant to be, either a Jew, or an unbeliever. Oh, and a third thing... They do not lash out and condemn the king. They do not yell out, "God will strike you down, you heathen pig!!" They remain respectful of his position, calling him, "O king". (vs16-18) Even as Paul, after he learned 'who' the high priest was, apologizes for lashing out at him, "I did not know..that he was the high priest; for it is written, You shall not speak evil of the ruler of your people" (Acts23:5), even though the high priest was in the wrong, and was conducting an "illegal" court. Most of us, I suspect, if asked, would say we would respond as these three did. And yet, would we, really? If we cannot be separated to the Lord in the little things, how could we possibly expect to stand up to the big ones? (Jer12:5) When someone asks you a "reason of the hope in you" (1Pt3:15) because you are 'different'... Oh! Uuuh! You say you try to 'blend in' and not be noticed? Not stir up trouble? If a conversation does come up, are you 'tolerant' of other beliefs? Do you 'adapt' your language, using their terminology, knowing you define the terms differently, in order to be 'harmonious' with them? To "not offend" them? Are you ashamed to "name the name of Christ"? (2Tm2:19) Well, the "iniquity" blends in easier, doesn't it. But you know, "if you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed.." (1Pt4:14) But this is the crux. -Whose- praise are we looking for? Men, or God? Many in Jesus' day "believed" in Him, but would not profess their belief because they didn't want to be ousted from the temple. They "loved the glory of men more than the glory of God." (Jn12:42-43) There is coming a time when the whole world will be required to worship the image of the antichrist. (Rev13) And to make matters worse, it will also be tied into economics. This religious allegiance will be tied into one's ability to conduct business. That "mark", be it a subdermal implant, tattoo, or whatever it turns out to be, will not be -only- a means of buying and selling. It will be tied into the "image of the beast". You want to be able to buy groceries? You need the 'chip'. Do you want the chip? You must pledge allegiance to the beast and his image. Mere existence will be synonymous with worship of the beast. If you are walking along, and an undercover operative does not receive your chip's signal into his tracking device, you will be immediately apprehended, to see if there is a malfunction of your chip. They find you don't have one? Why not? Oh, you say you have "called upon the name of the Lord" and got saved? (Joel2:32) Well, you can still make your choice. You can still become part of the regime and have all the food you want, and pay your bills. You say, "NO!"? Are you sure? Well, get along over there you &@#%@#@ Christian! Off with your head! (Rev20:4) In the case of Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, they went into the fire. We know the story. The Lord, Himself, comes into the fire and protects them. (3:25) And Nebuchadnezzar, again, acknowledges the "Most High God". (vs26) And notice his observations. Their simple act of obedience to the Most High had the effect of "[changing] the king's word". (vs28) Not only had he set up an image to be worshipped, the very act of giving the edict made him, Nebuchadnezzar, god-like in his power over his subjects. In those cultures, the king was considered as a god to the people. His word was law. At his command people could either live, or die. He had pronounced "death", and the Most High had thwarted his purpose. The sentence had been so severe that those carrying out his orders were killed by the flames (vs22). But the Most High kept his orders from killing the three. And he sees the devotion of God's faithful servants. There is no greater love than for a person to give his life on behalf of another. (Jn15:13) These three have given themselves to death for their God. In the coming days, this is the exhortation to those who believe during the coming time of wrath. Out of the thousands who read these writings, I expect that a relatively -few- (handfuls) of you are actually, presently, Believers into Jesus Christ. As for the rest (most) of you, when the Rapture takes place, you will still be here. I expect many of you who are remnant, will suddenly realize the error by which you had been deceived. You will appropriate the promise in Joel, and will "call upon the name of the Lord" and be saved. But do not expect to be around long. You -will- be faced with the choice: 1) God and death, or 2) world ruler and (physical) life. God says to you, "Do not at all fear what you are about to suffer...be faithful to death, and I will give you the crown of life." (Rev2:10) There will be no escape. Where Jesus promised that the "gates of hell" would NOT -prevail- against the "Church" (Mt16:18), even though we know that there have been many martyrs and those tortured over the centuries; during the coming time, when the "dragon" makes war with the "saints", it says that he is given authority to "overcome them". (Rev13:7) -All- converts will die. If you are a Believer during this time, be strong like Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, who "gave their bodies" in order to not deny the Most High. Remember Jesus' words, "..whoever shall deny Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father in Heaven" (Mt10:33) You will be given the choice: Take the 'Angel implant' (?) or die. But remember the greater choice: "If anyone worships the beast and its image, and receives a mark in his forehead or in his hand, he also will drink of the wine of the anger of God...the cup of His wrath. And he will be tormented by fire and brimstone before the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb". (Rev14:10) "And they will go out and see the dead bodies of the men who have sinned against Me; for their worm will not die, nor will their fire be put out; and they will be an object of disgust to all flesh." (Is66:24) But to those who are "faithful unto death", "who had been beheaded for the witness of Jesus and for the Word of God, and who had not worshiped the beast nor his image, nor had received his mark on their foreheads, nor in their hands...they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years." (Rev20:4) Amen! [Top] - [Walk-thru Directory]
Re: Nebuchadnezzar's Testimony (Daniel 4) Nebuchadnezzar the king, to all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth: Peace be multiplied to you. It seemed good before me to declare the signs and wonders that the Most High God has done with me. How great are His signs! And how mighty are His wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and His rule is from generation to generation...Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and exalt and honor the King of Heaven, all whose works are truth and His ways judgment. And those who walk in pride He is able to humble. (vs1-3,37) Daniel has interpreted the king's dream (ch2), the king has seen God work in preserving Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah through the fire (ch3); but he -still- relies upon his magicians and conjurers when God gives him another dream. God has been reaching out to Nebuchadnezzar through His faithful servants, but the king is not getting the message. Like so many people do, when all else fails and they turn to God; Nebuchadnezzar does the same. He calls in his conjurers -first-; and they are not able to reveal his dream, and so "at last" (vs8) he calls on Daniel. The king knows of Daniel's God. He knows that Daniel represents the "spirit of the holy gods". (vs8,18) Daniel has not only been "talking the talk" but has been "walking the walk". He is known for his trust in the Most High, and -living- like it. So, now, to the dream: What a fantastic dream. You can read its details. Daniel does two things. He interprets the dream, and he pleads with the king. In the November commentary we noticed how Daniel in ch5, before Belshazzar, first chides/condemns the king, and then interprets the dream to let Belshazzar know his judgment. He explains first, 'why' he is being judged (vs17-23); and then, 'what' the judgment is (vs25-28) Nebuchadnezzar is being given warning. He is to be stripped of power and transformed into a hideous animal-like creature, and chased out of civilization, to be with the animals. He will be in this state for seven years. (vs25) Until when? What is the purpose? "..until you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He will."(vs25b) And now Daniel does an unthinkable thing. He presumes to "preach". But again, as is his practice, he steps out on that limb in faith. "..break off your sins by righteousness, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor. Perhaps there will be duration to your prosperity" (vs27) In other words, Here's the verdict, but please, King, repent; perhaps God will spare you. Notice the difference between Daniel and Jonah. Jonah simply goes and preaches, 'In 40 days Nineveh will be destroyed'. And in his heart he is thumbing his nose at them, 'Phooey on you...losers!! Good riddance!' The people repent, and God was "compassionate over the evil that He had said to do to them, and He did not do it." (Jon3:10) And Jonah, then, goes into a pout. (ch4) 'Isn't this why I ran away in the first place? Because I know you are compassionate and merciful'. (4:2) You see, this is it. God does not desire to destroy people. He did not create humanity with the "purpose" of making them "perish" (2Pt3:9) He continually pleads, "turn, turn...for why will you die?" (Ezek33:11) And so Daniel gives Nebuchadnezzar the meaning of God's dream. Here is God's judgment because you have been proudly going your own way in sin. But please, reconsider your ways, and repent. Well... we are not told what intervenes for the next year. Perhaps Nebuchadnezzar is 'scared' into walking "softly" for awhile? But his heart has not changed. After a year, dreams become forgotten. And he is admiring himself. Look at all that -I- have built; that I have built by -MY- power, to reflect -MY- majesty! (vs30) Boy, oh boy! The buttons were just popping off his shirt and coat right and left, as his chest swelled with pride...and his servants were grovelling around him due to his "greatness" ...picking up all the buttons. "-WHILE- the word was in the king's mouth..." (vs31) He did not even get a chance to finish all his resplendent thoughts and words of SELF-grandeur, as God reached down: "O King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken. The kingdom has departed from you." He did not repent. He puffed himself up with pride. The prophecy came true. He became a beast. For "seven years" he was a creature of mythological description. They (whoever "they" is) say that most things in mythology have basis and origins in fact from ancient times. Whether they be prediluvian creatures, or products of the genetic "giants" (Gen6:4), or Nebuchadnezzar's temporary time as a mutant. Part of Egypt's religion with Isis and Horus includes aspects harking back to Noah's flood, and also the prophecies about Christ's resurrection. We can be sure the Scripture is correct when it says that this man grew feathers and claws. (vs33) Any mythological creatures and/or imaginations of this sort of thing have their basis and origins in fact. Now, we get to the core of this whole account and Nebuchadnezzar's testimony. What was the purpose for all this? Why would God sentence the king to such a 'harsh' judgment? Well, it's like the axiom, 'The taller they stand, the harder they fall'. God judges according to the person's knowledge and level of rebellion. If a person is deserving a few stripes, his punishment is less. (Lk12:48) Nebuchadnezzar was the "head of gold". God had entrusted the whole world under his care. "For to whomever much is given, of him much shall be required. And to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more." Nebuchadnezzar was as great a king as the world ever would know. But he also had a head-full of pride to match. He wielded his power ruthlessly, "he killed whom he would, and whom he would he kept alive. And whom he would, he set up; and whom he would, he put down" (5:19) Thus, his humiliation needed to be mirror-image and compensatory to the loftiness of his pride. "Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall." (Pr16:18) The king "fell" BIG TIME! What was God's purposed outcome of this humiliation? Was God merely being vengeful? If He was, He would have simply destroyed the king permanently. But God knew that there was a germ of a seed to sprout into righteousness. God's foreknowledge saw the king's end. Thus, God "bothered to" inflict Nebuchadnezzar... to "draw" him to Himself. (Jn6:44) "..for whom the Lord loves He chastens, and He scourges every son whom He receives." (Heb12:6) The outcome was that Nebuchadnezzar would see the Light. He would come to realize that he, Nebuchadnezzar, wasn't necessarily all that great; but that his greatness came about because the Most High established him. He had been God's "servant" to discipline Israel. (Jer25:9, 27:6, etc) He was to understand that "the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He will" (vs32b) Nebuchadnezzar was afflicted with the same sickness Lucifer was. The kingdoms of the world had been given into his hand (Lk4:6), but he decided to raise himself up to be "like the Most High". (Is14:14) While Lucifer is slated to "be brought down to hell, to the sides of the Pit" (Is14:15), Nebuchadnezzar's "understanding returned to [him]" (vs34) Where satan is headed for the Lake of Fire, Nebuchadnezzar "blessed the Most High" and "praised and honored Him who lives forever, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom..." Where God needs to cast the dragon out of Heaven to the earth, after warfare, ultimately to cast him into the Lake of Fire; God needed to simply get Nebuchadnezzar's attention. Nebuchadnezzar was not a "lost cause". After seven years without a king, the way eastern ancient kingdoms used to function; typically, Nebuchadnezzar could have expected to be without his kingdom -permanently-. His successor would have seen to his early demise, and would have seized power. But when Nebuchadnezzar was humbled before the Lord, God restored his kingdom to him. All his former cabinet, staff and advisors returned to him to serve him. And God even granted that his kingdom should become even greater than it had been. (vs36) And notice his "statement of Faith". It is as clearcut an O.T. indication of Faith as one will find anywhere from anyone. When Philip asked the Ethiopian as to his heart, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." (Acts8:37b) Nebuchadnezzar says, "Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and exalt and honor the King of heaven.." (vs37) Yes, folks, I believe we will see Nebuchadnezzar in Heaven with the rest of the saints. And notice that Nebuchadnezzar is likely the only non-Jew whose writing ever became part of the Scriptures. (Possibly, also Luke & Acts?) And we know his conversion is real, because the night his son Belshazzar is destroyed, Daniel reminds him of his father's conversion, and the dramatic nature of it. (5:18-22) A couple of things we can see in practical terms: 1) When we see things in the world looking desperate and seemingly hopeless, we can be assured that God, the Most High, -IS- in control. He does not allow anything that does not fulfill His purpose. No matter how awful things may seem, we can be assured that God knows about it, and He is allowing it... or has taylored it. 2) It doesn't matter how formidable a person of high rank may seem, nobody is so lofty but what God is able to reach them, if they are 'foreknown' to be reached. As evil as President Clinton and his veep, Al Gore are, it is not impossible for people like them to be humbled before the Lord. There have been rumors that the traitor Jane Fonda became a Christian. A person wondered whether it could be true. It -COULD- be true. However, in her case, more evidence continues to come out to the contrary. But look at Saul/Paul, who persecuted the early Church; God dramatically struck him down and got his attention, and he became one of the primary N.T. writers. A couple of closing comparisons: In the previous lesson we noticed that Nebuchadnezzar, the "head of gold" set up an image to be worshipped; and that the ruler of the "ten toes" would be doing the same. Now, notice how Nebuchadnezzar is given "seven years" after which he comes to his senses and turns to the Most High; but the ruler of ten toes will be given "seven years", where he will rebel against God in wrath, persecute Israel, and end up in the "abyss". (Rev20:3) Where Nebuchadnezzar began as an evil king and then had his kingdom restored to him because he repented; the kingdom will be wrenched away from the dragon, who began as the "anointed cherub that covers" (Eze28:14), as Christ sets up His everlasting kingdom in righteousness. But notice in both cases... "..the Most High rules in the kingdom of men.." (vs32) He is, "King of kings, and Lord of lords" (Rev19:16) Amen! [Top] - [Walk-thru Directory]
Re: 2300 days (Daniel 8:13-14) The other evening I happened upon the local SDA channel as they were broadcasting a documentary on the progressive (ever-changing) teachings of William Miller ("Millerites" was apparently a prior name for the Seventh Day Adventists) about the "second coming" of Jesus Christ. Over a year ago I also happened upon one of their preachers alleging that he was going to talk about the "rapture", but ended up talking about the "second coming", instead. While we know passages such as 1Th4:16-17, 2Th2:7-8, Re4:1, Jn14:3, etc, they seem to totally ignore those, and instead concentrate on Daniel 8:13-14. In this context they continually emphasize the Day/Year concept where, when Scripture speaks prophetically about "days", those days are -really- "years". So they take Daniel's 2300 days, allege that it starts with the decree by Cyrus to rebuild Jerusalem (Dan9:25), same as the "70 weeks" are calculated (9:24), and project that out 2300 years to the 1790s. They say the catholic popes were antichrist (even in BC years of Cyrus?), and that the French in the 1790s prophetically deposed the pope as being the ruler of the "kings of the earth" (Re17:18), thus fulfilling those 2300 "years". So then, as Christ did not return in the 1790s, and a few more dates came and went, they recalculated a few more times; Christ didn't come in 1843; recalculated again and predicted and settled on a certain day (this was 'it' this time) in the fall of 1844. When Christ did not come, they -explained- it through the parable of the 10 virgins, that the bridegroom "tarried". (Mt25:5 kjv) So apparently, since 1844, they are in this "tarrying" mode; because according to them, the prophecies HAVE BEEN FULFILLED. What did Jesus say about those who proclaim that the Master "delays" His coming? (Mt24:48) "For yet a little while, and He who is coming will come and will not linger." (Heb10:37) ...or "tarry" (kjv) However, in watching the documentary, knowing that Jesus has -NOT- yet returned, but seeing them continue to predict through the history of Miller's teachings, and me wondering 'how' they were going to ultimately explain it away (Oh... "tarrying"! Boink upside the head: Why Silly Me!)...I got to realizing that I've never before actually -looked- at these 2300 days. Have always zoomed/skipped over them when reading. FIRST OF ALL, unless the passage context indicates otherwise, Scripture is to be taken literally. When Dan9:24-27 speaks of "weeks", we know from the spread of history indicated, and as history has unfolded and been fulfilled precisely, as carefully calculated by Dave Hunt (he may have doctrinal problems regarding repentance and the literalness of hell, but in this he did good research) in his book "How Close are We?" [link] that the day/year concept does apply there. The "week" is "seven years". However Peter also gives a formula about a day being like a thousand years. (2Pt3:9) And we have an example about Israel's 2000 years in exile, followed by the Millennium of Messiah's reign... "After two days He will restore us to life. In the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live in His presence." (Ho6:2) Trouble is, when KJV/NKJV use the word "days" in Dan8:14, that is a terribly imprecise translation in that instance. (Anything I see of the SDA these days, they all seem to use the NKJV) If you look it up in your Bible software, you will see two (2) Strongs numbers; two words: Evenings and Mornings. Like in "Fiddler on the Roof": Sunrise, sunset. The same way God specifies the literal 24-hour "days" of creation: "evening and the morning" (Gen1:5,8,etc) This passage in Daniel is talking about LITERAL 24-hour "days"; NOT "years"! (And to think: how an entire false cult, along with its extensive eschatological teachings, including all those full-color brochures regularly in our mailboxes for their prophecy conferences, is based around the sloppy translation of that one verse!) Daniel's "70th week" is easy to see as "seven (7) years". (Dan9:27) We also see 3 1/2 years: the "middle" of the 70th week. (Dan9:27) Also spoken of as "time, times and a half" (Dan7:25,12:7) Which is verified by 1260 days (Re11:3, 12:6) and 42 months (Rev11:2, 13:5) (These, based on the Biblical Jewish 30-day month) The seven years, and the 3 1/2 years are -precise- periods of time; it has been specified in many different ways...there is no mistaking it. And if the two prophets are prophesying for 42 months, are killed, and then resurrected; their resurrection marks the end of those 1260 days; 1260 days after the daily sacrifices are taken away, which happens in the "middle". But then Daniel throws us some curves. After the sacrifices are stopped it says... "there shall be 1290 days" (Dan12:11) That's a month more. And then... "Blessed is he who waits and comes to the 1335 days" (Dan12:12) 2 1/2 months more. What are those? I've not yet found a Scripture passage that jumps out at me as a suggested answer. Nor have I heard/read anybody else's suggestion. I've never heard anybody actually even address them, even to recognize that they are there, let alone that they don't know. And then, what is this 2300 days? "For how long is the vision, concerning the regular sacrifice and the transgression of desolation, to permit both the holy place and the host to be trampled? And he said to me, For two thousand three hundred evenings and mornings; then the holy place will be put right." (Dan8:13b-14) It's about the restoration of the daily sacrifices, antichrist's stopping of them in the middle of the 70th week, and then the rectifying of everything, restoring the purity of the holy place (sanctuary). It's not about the 70th week, as a whole. It's not (specifically) about the Second Coming. It does not address the Rapture. But specifically the sacredness of the (resumed) 'sacrifices' and where they are offered up. These are the sacrifices originally given... "And this is what you shall offer on the altar: two lambs of the first year, day by day continually. One lamb you shall offer in the morning, and the other lamb you shall offer at evening...This shall be a continual burnt offering throughout your generations at the door of the tent of meeting before Jehovah, where I will meet you to speak with you." (Ex29:38-39,41) The temple area is going to be trampled by gentiles for 42 months. (Re11:2) But before that starts, the daily sacrifices will have resumed before that; in order for them to then be stopped. When the 42 months (1260 days) are ended, will that mean that at that point the "holy place will be put right"? Or does that happen at the 1290 days? Or since the "blessing" is mentioned, is that 1335 days? Seven years is 2520 days. 2300 days is 6 years 4 1/2 months (rounding off). What happened to the remaining 7 1/2 months? Thus, do the 2300 days (daily sacrifices) commence 7 1/2 months -into- the 70th week? 8 1/2 months? 10 months? Or, looking at it another way: Do they end at the same time as the 1260 days? 1290 days? 1335 days? The end of the 42-month Gentile trampling corresponds with the death/resurrection of the two prophets. And as they are resurrected it says... "And in the same hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell. In the earthquake seven thousand people were killed, and the rest were terrified and gave glory to the God of Heaven." (Re11:13) Where prior to this the world has been cursing God, here finally they give glory to God, and after this are great calamities: earthquake making islands sink, and hailstones...likely the last big -shake-. (Re16:17-21) Is that the point where the earth is "moved out of its place"? (Is13:13) ...as the earth is perhaps interacting with some celestial body that flings it out farther away from the sun? (Zec14:5-7) Is all this celestial activity what is embodied in the 'extra' month or 2 1/2 months? Thus the evil is officially 'dealt' with at the end of 1260 days? Is there any reference in Scripture to a seven month period of time? The Ark was in the land of the Philistines for seven months. (1Sa6:1) But that doesn't likely apply here. "For seven months the house of Israel shall be burying them, in order to cleanse the land." (Ezk39:12) Burying whom? The fallen dead from the Gog Magog conflict. (Ezk38-39) We won't look up the passages now, but in the OT when they were preparing to setup the tabernacle and all such things related to sacrifice and worship, Israel was always told to purify and consecrate themselves, the altar, priests, etc. e.g. Ex29:35-37 In my mind I've always seen the similarities between Gog/Magog and Armageddon. ch39 ends with, "And I will not hide My face from them anymore; for I have poured out My Spirit on the house of Israel, declares the Lord Jehovah." (39:29) And the next chapter begins Ezekiel's vision of the Millennial temple. Questions! Questions! And as Jesus told the expectant disciples, who wanted to know... "Will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?" He answers... "It is not yours to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority." (Ac1:6-7) We are not trying to "map out" what -will- happen. But like we do, looking at the puzzles of prophecy... here are some pieces that may appear to 'fit'? Would a Gog/Magog conflict at the beginning of the 70th week, instead, result in Israel's enemies finally agreeing to a 'peace' agreement? (Dan9:27) And so they now cleanse the land of all the dead corpses for seven months. (Ezk39:12) And with the cleansing finished, -then- the 2300 days regarding the daily sacrifices can commence? (Dan8:14) The seven months and 2300 days, thus, adding up to seven years? But the peace and resumption of sacrifices will be short-lived, as the antichrist stops them. Not suggesting what -IS-. Just looking at the pieces of the puzzle spread out on top of the table. We do not move the pieces, nor fit them together. But we are watching as God is moving things. Do you suppose...? I've never before heard anybody else propose this relationship of events. But as I got my Bible out, while the SDA (Miller) program was running, and started looking, it was a put the fingers to the head (or chin) "Hmmmm" moment. However then, one thing troubling with this scenario is how Ezk38:8,11 speak of Israel "now all of them dwell safely...a people at peace, who dwell safely" ... which is decidely -NOT- the case these days, as Israel's enemies come at them with missiles, suicide bombers, rock throwers, flotillas, etc.; and if somebody gets attacked in some parts of Jerusalem, the police often won't even come. Or, since there are 7 1/2 months, 2520 minus the 2300 days: do they sign the covenant first, and Israel is immediately lulled into complacency of "safety", and within a half month immediately, BAM!, they get attacked; it's a quick war; and they start burying the dead? This also, then, gives greater credence to the view of those, over the years, who have equated the Gog/Magog war to the beginning of the 70th week, and thus the burning of the weapons for "seven years" (Ezk39:9) to -the- 70th week. I've never seen any problem with them doing so the first seven years going into the Millennium. If Paul's "last" trumpet doesn't have to be the "7th" (in Revelation), neither do the seven years of burning need to be the same as the 70th week. But... We can observe the 'pieces' of the puzzle, but the fact that not everything quite yet 'fits' totally, in our minds, we can see that we don't yet have all the answers, do we. "Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord comes. But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief comes, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be dug through. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man comes at an hour you do not expect. Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made administrator over his household, to give them food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing." (Mt24:42-26) [Top] - [Walk-thru Directory]