This month we are looking at The Book of Daniel verse-by-verse. In the previous post, we covered the second half of Daniel Chapter 6. Here is the summary:
Now it looked like the first six chapters of Daniel were REALLY about the FIRST THREE HEATHEN KINGS over God's people. If this book ended here, it may have been called "Heathen Kings" instead of "Daniel". However, this was known as "The Book of Daniel".
There were twelve chapters in this book and we have finished six of them. We are halfway through The Book of Daniel. It appeared the first half of The Book of Daniel was a story about how Daniel was able to get COMPLETE SPIRITUAL protection in a heathen nation. Daniel did this by purposing in his heart NOT to be defiled. Daniel had a process and didn't act in his own strength...he ALWAYS waited on God...and God worked on the Leaders.
We will see that The Book of Daniel turned from history (First Half) to prophecy (Second Half) because Daniel FIRST focused on helping others, then pointing them to God.
Today, we will begin the prophetic half of The Book of Daniel...
Before we begin the second half of The Book of Daniel, please take a moment to look at the Big Picture...EVERYTHING in this book followed the model: Understanding foundational Doctrine was the CAUSE, and miracles and revelation through spiritual manifestations was the EFFECT.
The people who love the "signs and wonders" in The Book of Daniel are ONLY seeing half the benefit...and it was ONLY the effects. If a person TRULY wanted to have the "signs and wonders" today that occurred in Daniel's time, they would first focus on understanding foundational Doctrine.
Notice, the entire book was written according to this model: six chapters of understanding foundational doctrine and six chapters of miracles and revelation through spiritual manifestations.
However, the first six chapters were written the SAME way WITHIN each chapter: The majority of verses dealt with understanding foundational Doctrine and the minority of verses dealt with miracles and revelation through spiritual manifestations.
FURTHERMORE, the last six chapters were written the SAME way WITHIN each chapter. However, this time it was: The minority of verses dealt with understanding foundational Doctrine and the majority of verses dealt with miracles and revelation through spiritual manifestations.
Notice, this would also mean that BEFORE we see "signs and wonders" in the church today, we will FIRST need to see the church understand foundational Doctrine...which means being able to explain the WHY behind foundational Doctrine, not just the WHAT.
"1 In the first year of Belshazzar 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."
The events in this chapter occurred after Nebuchadnezzar's reign (Chapters 1-4) and before Belshazzar gets judged by God (Chapter 5). This meant this revelation came during a time when the land was spiritually protected by Nebuchadnezzar's confession that God was Supreme and during the time that Belshazzar hadn't stated his will about his beliefs...under a time of mercy. This story was told by an anonymous narrator.
"2 Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of heaven brake forth upon the great sea.
3 And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.
4 The first was like a lion, and had eagle's wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made to stand upon two feet as a man; and a man's heart was given to it.
5 And, behold, another beast, a second, like to a bear; and it was raised up on one side, and three ribs were in its mouth between its teeth: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh.
6 After this I beheld, and, lo, another, like a leopard, which had upon its back four wings of a bird; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it."
7 After this I saw in the night-visions, and, behold, a fourth beast, terrible and powerful, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth; it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with its feet: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns."
The interpretation of this vision was given in the second half of this chapter, so I'm going to wait until then to discuss it. For now, consider what John wrote in Revelation 13:
"1 and he stood upon the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns, and seven heads, and on his horns ten diadems, and upon his heads names of blasphemy.
2 And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his throne, and great authority."
We are going to see that John was the New Testament Daniel...back to Daniel 7:
"8 I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another horn, a little one, before which three of the first horns were plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things."
The next passage was one that we referenced during the discussion of I Corinthians 3. Notice how God was equated with a fire...
"9 I beheld till thrones were placed, and one that was ancient of days did sit: his raiment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was fiery flames, and the wheels thereof burning fire.
10 A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousands of thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened."
Thousands of thousands equals millions. Ten thousand times ten thousand equals one hundred million.
"11 I beheld at that time because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake; I beheld even till the beast was slain, and its body destroyed, and it was given to be burned with fire."
12 And as for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and a time."
A season was a dispensation.
A time was a year.
"13 I saw in the night-visions, and, behold, there came with the clouds of heaven one like unto a son of man, and he came even to the ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.
14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all the peoples, nations, and languages should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed."
That was the end of the vision.
"15 As for me, Daniel, my spirit was grieved in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me.
16 I came near unto one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth concerning all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things."
Daniel was grieved and troubled by this vision. He asked an angel to explain him the interpretation of the vision. Here was the interpretation:
"17 These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, that shall arise out of the earth.
18 But the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever."
The Kingdom of God/Jesus occurs after these four kings. Let's look at those four kings again:
"4 The first was like a lion, and had eagle's wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made to stand upon two feet as a man; and a man's heart was given to it."
I believe this was Nebuchadnezzar (Babylon). This kingdom was occurring at the time of this vision.
"5 And, behold, another beast, a second, like to a bear; and it was raised up on one side, and three ribs were in its mouth between its teeth: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh."
I believe this was the Medo-Persians...the kingdom that came with Darius.
"6 After this I beheld, and, lo, another, like a leopard, which had upon its back four wings of a bird; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it."
I believe this was Greece under Alexander the Great.
"7 After this I saw in the night-visions, and, behold, a fourth beast, terrible and powerful, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth; it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with its feet: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns."
I believe this was the Roman empire. Now, back to the interpretation from the angel...
"19 Then I desired to know the truth concerning the fourth beast, which was diverse from all of them, exceeding terrible, whose teeth were of iron, and its nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with its feet;
20 and concerning the ten horns that were on its head, and the other horn which came up, and before which three fell, even that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake great things, whose look was more stout than its fellows.
21 I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;
22 until the ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the Most High, and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom."
I believe this was the Anti-Christ and ten kings from Revelation 13:
"3 And I saw one of his heads as though it had been smitten unto death; and his death-stroke was healed: and the whole earth wondered after the beast;
4 and they worshipped the dragon, because he gave his authority unto the beast; and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? And who is able to war with him?
5 and there was given to him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and there was given to him authority to continue forty and two months.
6 And he opened his mouth for blasphemies against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, even them that dwell in the heaven.
7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and there was given to him authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation."
I believe the reason this king was different was because it is a system. It appeared the Roman Empire was a system that was mortally wounded at Jesus' Resurrection (Revelation 13:3), yet comes back supporting the Anti-Christ during the Tribulation. Here was what the angel said to Daniel:
"23 Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all the kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.
24 And as for the ten horns, out of this kingdom shall ten kings arise: and another shall arise after them; and he shall be diverse from the former, and he shall put down three kings.
25 And he shall speak words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High; and he shall think to change the times and the law; and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and half a time."
Remember, a time was a year. A times was two years. So a time and times and half a time is 3 1/2 years...half the Tribulation.
Again, this was consistent with what John wrote in Revelation 13:5 by saying the Anti-Christ had forty-two months (3 1/2 years).
"26 But the judgment shall be set, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end.
27 And the kingdom and the dominion, and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High: his kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him."
The angel ended his interpretation by stating that the saints of the Most High win and God's (Jesus') Kingdom is an everlasting kingdom.
"28 Here is the end of the matter. As for me, Daniel, my thoughts much troubled me, and my countenance was changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart."
Daniel was troubled by this but kept the matter in his heart.
If we look at this vision chronologically, Daniel had already interpreted Nebuchadnezzar's dream which was the most general description of the critical events that would occur. Nebuchadnezzar was the golden head, several kingdoms came after his, and then God destroyed the entire man-made king system and replaced it with His Godly Kingdom that covers everything.
The vision we covered today would have been the second vision concerning this matter. It would have more detail as God was bringing into focus the events that were yet to come...
The vision was consistent with the "night vision" Daniel got that led to him interpreting Nebuchadnezzar's dream. The key points that were brought into greater focus in this "second night-vision" were:
-the identification of an individual known as "the beast"
-the identification of an individual known as "the dragon" that was different than "the beast"
-the law would be changed for 3 1/2 years
Monday, we will look at Chapter 8 of The Book of Daniel.