Why Study the Book of Daniel?<br />Charles e Whisnant, Daniel series<br />The importance of the book of Daniel cannot be overstated.<br />It is an indispensable introduction to New Testament prophecy. <br />It bridges the gap between Israel’s historical books and the New Testament. <br />It reveals details about the comings of the Anointed One, the Antichrist and other princes. <br />It tells of the Tribulation, followed by the Lord’s return. <br />It speaks about the resurrections and the judgments of God. <br />It covers “the Times of the Gentiles.” <br />It shows that God is sovereign in the affairs of man. <br />It proves there is a God in heaven who rules history. <br />It uncovers a great spiritual warfare among the angelic and demonic forces. <br />It illustrates what true dedication to God means, and what God is willing to do through, and for, those who are committed to Him. <br />It provides a solid basis for comfort in the midst of adversity. <br />It discloses godly principles for politicians and officials. <br />It offers hope for God’s people so they will not fall away. <br />It challenges God’s people to faithfulness. <br />It contains an unusual amount of practical truth that is applicable to Christians today. <br />It predicts an everlasting kingdom ruled by the Son of Man. <br />Daniel reveals: <br />The time of the Messiah’s two advents <br />God’s interest in, care for, and chastisement of His chosen people <br />Reasons for the Jews to take comfort during the exile <br />There is a God in heaven <br />God hates and judges sin <br />Pride goes before a fall <br />The appropriate responses to crises <br />History in advance <br />God sets the times and boundaries of nations <br />God is faithful to His covenant promises and to His people Israel <br />Israel’s deliverance and blessings in the coming Millennial Age <br />God’s interest in and care for His chosen people, even when they sin <br />God’s infinite superiority over the gods of Mesopotamia <br />God plans for His people from the time of the Babylonian exile until eternity <br />Israel’s time of distress <br />The mighty power of prayer <br />The coming of five kingdoms <br />The triumph of the Son of Man <br />The absolute sovereignty of Yahweh <br />Daniel is one of the most amazing people in the Bible. He was carried away from his native Israel by King Nebuchadnezzar in 605 B.C., probably while he was still a teen. He spent the rest of his life in Babylon and he seems to have lived to a ripe old age. Daniel actually outlived the Babylonian Empire, and he was present throughout the duration of the captivity of the Jewish people. It was no doubt largely due to his prayers that the captivity came to an end. After that, he lived on, advising and rebuking kings, and serving as a high government official. What a man!<br /> This prophet actually became a legend in his own time. Ezekiel, who was brought to Babylon just a few years after Daniel, mentions him with an almost holy reverence, and places him in the company of men like Noah and Job (Ezek. 14:14 & 20). It is also interesting that when Christ later came to earth he relied heavily upon Daniel’s prophecies for some of his key teachings regarding the end-days (cf. Mt. 24:15). The early church father and Bible scholar, Jerome, states: "none of the prophets has so clearly spoken concerning Christ as has this prophet Daniel." <br />Daniel was not only a patriot, statesman, and prophet, but he was a dreamer of dreams and a seer of visions. God talked to him and on several occasions mighty angels appeared to him. Because of his uncanny vision and understanding of the times he was able to interpret God’s word to the pagan kingdoms of Babylonia and Persia. He was also able to receive God’s revelation for those who are interested in searching it out even in our own day.<br /> The serious study of this book should impart to each of us an unusual view of history, and should greatly help us to interpret the times in which we are living. So let us delve into this exciting work. We will not attempt to study this book verse by verse. It seems better for us in this short commentary to try and get a glimpse of the blueprint. Once we can see God’s plan, the rest should quickly fall into place and fit together perfectly.<br />PREPARATION FOR THE WORK OF GOD (1:1 - 1:21)<br /> Daniel was taken to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar after the latter’s first venture into the land of Israel (2 Ki. 24:1-4). At that time, Nebuchadnezzar not only took Daniel, but he also took Daniel’s friends, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, plus other captives from the land of Israel. Later in 597 B.C., he would make an additional raid into the land and carry away the prophet Ezekiel and others (2 Ki. 24:10-17; cf. Isa. 3:1-3). Finally in 586 B.C. he would return to destroy Jerusalem and either kill or take captive most of the remaining people.<br /> Upon their arrival in Babylon, Daniel and his friends were assigned to the royal court and given new names. Instead of their names containing "El" and "Yah" signifying the true God, they were assigned names containing derivatives of "Bel," "Sheshach," "Rak" and "Nego," all relating to pagan gods and goddesses. Daniel was given the name Belteshazzar and his three friends were given the following names: Hananiah was named Shadrach; Mishael was named Meshach; and Azariah was named Abednego (1:6-7). We will soon see that their new names did not diminish the power of the Almighty God of Israel as displayed in their lives.<br /> The four were also assigned royal food to eat. Daniel immediately resolved "not to defile himself with the royal food and wine" (1:8). Instead he asked for only vegetables to eat and water to drink (1:12). The king’s official who was placed over Daniel and his friends was fearful to comply with Daniel’s request. He did so only after doing a ten day test and after seeing that their physical appearance was better than the others under his care (1:15). As Carson states, "Human resources provide meals, but only God provides physical nourishment." <br /> We may think, "What’s so bad about royal food?" Unfortunately, the king’s royal dainties probably included a few items like catfish from the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, and perhaps some good ole Babylonian barbecued pork chops. The commands of the Torah or Law (Deut. 14:1-21) would have forbidden such foods, so Daniel and his friends didn’t want to take any chances. In addition, some of the meats and wines offered them would likely have been tainted through idolatrous sacrifice.<br /> Thus one of the first lessons we learn from Daniel is that we cannot feast on the fare of this age and accomplish great feats for God. For instance, we cannot become "couch potatoes," watching six hours of TV a day and expect to accomplish great things for God in our time. Daniel had commitment to God and it paid off for him and for all Israel many times over.<br /> Perhaps one very important reason for Daniel’s early deportation and his subsequent usefulness to God was his great preparation. We read that Daniel and the others taken were from the nobility. They were all not only handsome, but well informed, quick to understand and qualified (1:4). It is interesting how God always seems to use prepared people. I remember the story of an old country preacher who proudly prayed this prayer: "God I thank you that I am ig-nur-runt. Make me ig-nur-runt-er!" God is not impressed with such a prayer, and such an attitude certainly does not qualify as biblical humility. God mightily used the Apostle Paul, but Paul was mightily prepared. Paul had sat at the feet of one of Israel’s brightest scholars, Gamaliel. Paul apparently went to the top of his class and excelled over all his contemporaries in his knowledge and zeal for Judaism (Gal. 1:14)<br />. Many people in the scriptures did not have the benefits of formal education like Daniel or Paul, but they nevertheless demonstrate a thorough preparation of spirit. Mary, the mother of Jesus, was probably not a formally educated person, but one look at her prayer in Luke 1:46-55 will assure us that she had a deep and profound knowledge, with much preparation in the things of God. The same was true with the disciples of Jesus. They were unlearned fishermen, but their hearts were prepared to immediately accept the Messiah and to commit everything they had to him as soon as they saw him.<br /> The problem of lack of knowledge is no problem for God. When we are prepared, God will give us what special knowledge we must have do his work. We read of Daniel and his friends: "To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning" (1:17). James 1:5 tells us that he will do the same for us. We must remember that God always seems to use prepared people. We also see here that God does not necessarily spurn the learning of this world. Some of it may at times be useful in the kingdom of God (cf. Acts 17:28).<br /> We see that Daniel was not only prepared, but he continued to prepare himself for God’s use. He was truly "set apart" or sanctified. Later the king would find the wisdom and understanding of Daniel and his friends "ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom" (1:20)<br />THE REASON FOR THE BABYLONIAN CAPTIVITY OF JUDAH<br />Charles e Whisnant, Daniel Series Introduction <br />Man faces the inevitable course of sin throughout its history. And that is the constancy cycle of a decaying society. <br />1ATHE DECADENT SOCIETY: (THE PROCESS/STATE OF DECAY OR DECLINE.<br />1BSymptoms of decadences in America<br />America is on a terminal course of decadence. Nations fall as a result of this disease.<br />2ATHE NATIONS THAT RISED UP FROM DECADENCE.<br />1BIsrael.<br />2BDaniel become the instrument in the times of Israel’s destruction to help it raise up again.<br />3ATHE DECADENT THAT LEAD JUDAH INTO CAPTIVITY:<br />1BThe Place<br />1CJudah: God’s Place<br />2CBabylon: Devil’s Place<br />3CGod against Satan, true religion verse false religion<br />2BThe Period<br />1C606 B.C-605 B.C. first group of people leaving Judah.<br />3BThe Punishments:<br />1CThe Captivity in Babylon. Isaiah 24:1-6, Jeremiah 7:24-26, 8:1-3<br />2CThere will never be a divine judgment that is unexpected. 1 Chronicles 7:14<br />3CReasons why Judah went into judgment?<br />1DBecause the people never heard the prophets<br />2DBecause the people never learned from history.<br />3DBecause the people never listen to prophecy.<br />4DBecause the people never heeded the revival results<br />5DThey never got it until they were in captivity.<br />4BTHE PERSON<br />1CDaniel: God’s man in a time of crisis.<br />He never defected, never compromises, never took a step out of the will of God, he stood for truth, and honorable character in according to the standard of his God.<br />4BTHE PURPOSE: Why did God take Israel into captivity<br />1CTo manifest His sovereignty<br />2CThere are terrible results in rejecting God.<br />3CTo purge His people. Five good things came out of this:<br />1DIsrael was never again idolatries<br />2DSynagogue were born<br />3DO.T. Scriptures was brought together and canonize.<br />4DA remnant return to reestablish that country<br />5CBecause they were disperse everywhere they carried the message of God to heathen land.<br />THE SPIRIT OF BABYLON VERSES THE SPIRIT OF GOD<br />Daniel 1:1-10 Charles e Whisnant, May 11, 2011 Daniel 27.4<br />INTRODUCTION:<br />We live in a day of compromise; we have learned the art of compromise from the early stages of our lives to live a life of least resistance. We live on the thin line of what we know is right. We just do our duty. We hold our conviction until it gets in our way of our comforted or our easy. We have a standard as long as it doesn’t interfere with something we wish to do. If we can get by with a little less than our best we will do it.<br />COMPROMISE: An inability to deal with the biblical data that God has intended us to deal with, because we are overwhelmed with our own personal desires.<br />“Until I become willing to submit myself to the principles of scripture and apply them to my life, and change, I am not the Christian I ought to be.” The change that God is looking for comes from the inner person rather than just the outward person.<br />1AHISTORY OF MANKIND<br />1BHistory traces the actions of man, as if man was all. It takes no notice, little notice of God.<br />2BHistory records that man has usurp Christianity for superstition. They place their confidence in something pertaining to God, but not God.<br />2ATHE TAKING OF THE VESSELS FROM THE TEMPLE:<br />1BWhen the king of Babylon took the vessels from the temple, the 70 years of captivity began.<br />3AYOUNG DANIEL WAS TAKEN FROM HIS HOME LAND<br />1BYoung thinkers, and quick-witted and eager to learn. They had minds to match their bodies (Daniel and the three boys)<br />2BThey are taken to Babylon and they are taught in the ways of the Chaldeans..what is going to happen to the boys?<br />3BNebuchadnezzar wants to best from Jerusalem. He wants to train them in the ways of the Chaldeans. He assigns Azhpenaz to work with these boys.<br />4ATHE QUALIFICATION FOR THE KINGS TRAINING PROGRAM: vs. 4<br />1BIntelligent, well instructed.<br />2BSkilled in wisdom.<br />3BCunning in knowledge.<br />4BUnderstanding science.<br />5BAn aptitude for deep study.<br />5ATHE KINGS PLAN FOR THE TRAINING vs. 5<br />1BFor three years they would learn to like, eat, learn the ways of the kingdom, giving all the things that Babylon could afford.<br />2BThe king wanted to make the boys good Babylonians. He thought if he could get their mind and body he could get them.<br />3BTo live in Babylon and yet to be a true citizen of a far different world. To be “in the world, yet not “of it.”<br />4BThe world give a lot of glitter and enchantment. It’s difficult to preserve the faith and standards of Heaven in the streets of Babylon. <br />6ASO DANIEL AND THE BOYS HAD TO MAKE A CHOICE.<br />EXTRA MATERIAL:<br /><ul><li>Colossians 3:
"Paul says, "Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus ...."
This is not a reference to eloquence in our words or craftsmanship in our deeds.
Indeed, this is not a proof text on "excellence" at all.
Paul is not so much concerned here with earthly performance of tasks as he is with our seeking the things above.
The point is not the quality of the "whatsoever we do," it is the motive, the internal principle that animates the "whatsoever we do" that concerns Paul here.</li></ul>Every imperative given in the New Covenant is given against the backdrop of "walking in heavenly places" with an "attitude bent on Christ". <br /><ul><li>"for the Christian, living the moral life by faith is interwoven into the very fabric of Biblical revelation and redemption in Christ; living the moral life is only possible through being in union with the active obedience of our Savior, Jesus Christ..
.In the Biblical text, morality is grounded in history, or more precisely, the moral life of the believer is grounded in the redemptive-historical work of God in Christ's death and resurrection...the saving work of Christ's death and resurrection (the event) is the ground for the life of faith (moral obedience).
There is no life of faith without the power of the cross and the resurrection. There is no moral Christian life without union with Christ.
The imperative command is grounded in the indicative event.
Moreover, the believer is to see himself as a participant in the saving work of Christ; the believer is not a spectator.
Hence, the confession of the believer is this: 'When Christ died, I died; when Christ arose, I arose.' The faithful obedience of the believer is grounded in (implied in) and flows out of Christ's work. The death and resurrection effects or is the source of an active living faith." -- William Dennison, "Biblical Theology and the Issue of Application in Preaching" in "Reformed Spirituality", pp. 144, 147, 149</li></ul>UNORDINARY LIFE OF DANIEL AND THE THREE HEBREW BOYS?<br />CHARLES E. WHISNANT, MAY 18 2011 DANIEL 1:8-9 27.5<br />MUCH OF THE FUTURE LIFE DEEPENDS UPON KNOWING OUR EARLY DAYS. The time for thought is at the beginning of life and there is no period which so much demands…as our early days.<br />QUESTION: HOW OLD DOES A CHILD HAVE TO BEFORE THEY CAN HEAR FROM GOD?<br />“There never was a man yet who had faith and who had not trails.” “Life’s great emergencies call us to great moral integrity.”<br />“I believe the key to the willingness of Daniel to take a stand against the pagan society in which he lived. His willingness not to compromise the absolutes of God. Where there is a principle in the word of God you never compromise your behavior. We can endure the crushing blows of the breakers of life if we have a Proper Anchor. What anchored Daniel had been his commitment to the Word of God.<br />THE BABYLONIANS PROCESS OF BRAINWASHING DANIEL AND THE THREE BOYS.<br />6BSO DANIEL AND THE BOYS HAD TO MAKE A CHOICE<br />1BThat severe troubles come before the good.<br />2BThat strength of character can overcome the evil of circumstance.<br /> 3B Character is more important than beauty, strength, and education. Daniel had four sources of strength:<br />1CIncorruptible conscience<br />2CChosen companion.<br />3CDirect communications from Heaven.<br />4CHabitual prayer<br />7BTHEY ATTEMPTED TO DO THIS IN THREE WAYS?<br />1CWanted to reeducate them.<br />2CThey renamed them. <br />Daniel “God is my Judge” to Beteshazzar “the idol god , chief god.<br />Hananiah “the gracve and favour of God” to Shadrack “sun-god.”<br />Mishael “comparable to God” to Meshach “goddess of beauty and pleasure.<br />Azariah “God my help” to Abednego “servant of Lucifer.”3CThey wanted to expose upon them Chaldeans life-style.<br />8BDANIEL PURPOSED IN HIS HEART vs. 8<br />Would Daniel accept the promotion and the ambition and the dazzle of Babylon? Would this added pressure cause Daniel to yield? No! He was determined to keep himself right.<br />1CThere are temptations to be resisted<br />2BThere is a right method of resisting temptation.<br />1CMust come from the heart.<br />2CHis mind was made up<br />3CFirmness of purpose.<br />Thus the bottom line to an uncompromised life is the STATEMENT OF THE WORD OF GOD. They learned to filter everything through the WORD OF GOD. The Word of God became their GRID which to filter out all the stuff from the world. Daniel guards his heart as Proverbs 4:23 tells us to do.<br />Daniel had every reason to compromise, but he didn’t. You know why? Character. The absolute obedience to the principles of the Word of God. He had conviction, he held with love. God can use a person like Daniel today.<br />CHARACTERISTICS OF AN UNCOMPROMISING LIFE<br />1AAN UNEMBARRASSED AUDACITY Vs. 8<br />Daniel could have hem howl around the issue but he did not. He told Ashpenaz the real reason why he could not eat of the king’s meat! It would defile him.<br />We need the kind of people who are not embarrassed of their commitment to the Word of God and the Lord of Bible. They are not embarrassed to the Lordship of Christ.. Like Moses. Like David: Psalms 40:8-10. Psalms 71:15, Romans 9:33; Mark 8:38, I Peter 4:16; 11 Timothy 1:7-8; Psalms 119:46.<br />Jeremiah 9:3; Ezekiel 3:9, ! Chronicle 12:8 Philippians 1:27<br />Isaiah: Isaiah 50:1. And Paul in 11 Timothy 1:7-8.<br />Nobody ought to intimate us out of our message. A group of people who are not ashamed of Christ.<br />2AAN UNORDINARY QUALITY OF EXCELLENCE vs. 12<br />1CThe boys had a higher level of commitment. It was a matter of choice. But when it is establish you want to live on a higher view of life, and you set an unordinary quality of behavior. Have you notice those who have this quality just don’t do it like everyone else does it. <br />2CAaron: Leviticus 10:8-10, Numbers 6:1-4; Hannah in I Samuel 1:13-15 and Jeremiah in 35:5-8.<br />3AUNEARTHLY (NOT OF THIS WORLD) PROTECTION VS 9<br />1B“Now God.” After Daniel purposed in his heart in vs. 9 God moved in vs. 9.<br /> 2BEven if people do not like your conviction they admired him for it. When you meet someone with conviction you respect that someone<br />3BThe reason things went well with Daniel, was not him, but God. God protects those who have made an uncanny commitment to serve God at all cost.<br />UNORDINARY LIFE OF DANIEL AND THE THREE HEBREW BOYS?<br />CHARLES E. WHISNANT, MAY 18 25 and 2011 DANIEL 1:8-9 27.6<br />We have heard the phrase “every man have their price, and every person will sell out at some point or another.<br />Does every person have their price? Did Daniel?<br />Does our moral value last as long as it doesn’t get in the way of our desires? What are we willing to set aside for the greater desire what we have? What we say we believe is only as good as long as we still believe it to be important.<br />PEOPLE WHO DID NOT HAVE A PRICE TO SELL OUT THEIR CONVICTION IN THE TIME OF THREAT.<br />COMPROMISE IS VERY SUTLED.<br />Some people say they believe the Bible, but they stay in a church where the Bible is not even taught.<br />DANIEL, HAN-A-NI-AH, MI-SHAL-EL, and AZ-ARI-AH really good young men.<br />SO WHAT WAS THE RESULTS OF THIS KIND OF COMITTMENT TO A LIFE THAT WOULD NOT SELL OUT FOR ANY PRICE THEIR CONVICTIONS?<br />CHARACTERISTICS OF AN UNCOMPROMISING LIFE<br />1AAN UNEMBARRASSED AUDACITY. Vs. 8<br /><ul><li>Daniel simply explains in no uncertain terms his position. He simple stated truthful what he believed. He did not say, “My Dad and Mom said I shouldn’t do this.”</li></ul>2AAN UNORDINARY QUALITY OF EXCELLENCE. Vs 12<br /><ul><li>They ate no food nor drank the wine. They He went a step above the standard, a cut above the others. He didn’t live on the edge of right.</li></ul>3AUNEARTHLY PROTECTION. Vs, 9<br /><ul><li>God sure proved Himself with Daniel and the boys didn’t He?</li></ul>4AUNHAMPERED DETERMINATION (PERSISTENT)<br /><ul><li>Vs 10-11
Daniel has an alternative, another way to appeal his case. Daniel goes to Melzar who has no personal fear of the King. Daniel didn’t stop with the firsts no to compromise. Daniel didn’t say:
“Well I knew what was right, I tried, things just didn’t work out, and I wanted to but now I just have to go alone with the kings’ diet.”
I would say, a spirit that is going to help you not compromise your conviction, will also help you find another way to solve the problem. If the first door doesn’t open there is a second door.</li></ul>5AUNFAILING FAITH: A SENSE OF INVINCIBILITY<br /><ul><li>Daniel really believe my sermon on Romans 6:8 45.75. God is not unreasonable in His comments for us to live the Christian life. Daniel really believed. He had the confidence that God would provide the means to prove them better than the others.
Someone said this Sin brings about and purity brings confidence.
You know when a Christian is living a holy life, as Christ desires us to do; I think there is a sense of invincibility about that life.</li></ul>Isaiah 43:2 2When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee”<br /><ul><li>There is this sense of invincibility this unbeatable, strong, attitude of no defeat.</li></ul>6AAN UNTYPICAL TEST<br />We can say we want to have an uncompromised life? But do you believe God is going to test you. He will.<br />I am going to stand…you will have your change soon or later. <br /><ul><li>Daniel said, “I am ready</li></ul>7A UNCALCULATED BLESSING<br /><ul><li>VS. 17 God have them Knowledge, skill in all learning, wisdom, understanding, and visions and dreams.
The key to the rest of the prophecy of the book of Daniel</li></ul>The Kingdom That Shall Never Be Destroyed<br />Daniel 2:1-49<br />INTRODUCTION<br />1A In Daniel 2, we read about Nebuchadnezzar’s dream and Daniel’s interpretation...<br />1B. Nebuchadnezzar challenges his magicians, sorcerers, et al, to tell him both the dream and its interpretation, and they are unable - Daniel 2:1-13<br />2B God reveals the secret of the dream to Daniel in a night vision - Daniel 2:14-23<br />3B Daniel approaches the king and explains that God has made known to him both the dream and its interpretation - Daniel 2:24-30<br />4B Daniel then tells the dream, and gives the interpretation of it, to the amazement of<br />Nebuchadnezzar - Daniel 2:31-49)<br />1C The king had seen a great image<br />1D With head of gold<br />2D With chest and arms of silver<br />3DWith belly and thighs of bronze<br />4D With legs of iron, and feet mixed with iron and clay<br />2C The great image was destroyed by a small stone made without hands<br />1D The image representing the rise and fall of four world empires<br />2D The stone representing a kingdom that God would set up<br />3CThe king praises God, and exalts Daniel along with his three friends<br />2. There are certainly two key thoughts expressed in this chapter...<br />1B God is a revealer of secrets - Daniel 2:19,22,28-29,47<br />2B God can make know the future and bring it pass - Daniel 2:28-29,21<br />3. But of particular interest to us ought to be the “kingdom” in verse 44...<br />1B. Which the God of heaven Himself shall set up<br />2B. Which shall never be destroyed, but consume other kingdoms and stand forever<br />4. Several questions naturally come to mind concerning this “kingdom”...<br />1B. When would God set it up?<br />2B. Has it been set up as foretold?<br />3B If it has, and if it shall never be destroyed...<br />1) Where is it now?<br />2) What is the future of this kingdom?<br />3) Can we be a part of this indestructible kingdom?<br />[In this lesson, we shall endeavor to provide the answers to such questions. Let’s start with the first:<br />When would this “kingdom” be set up...?]<br />I. THE PREPARATION FOR THE INDESTRUCTIBLE KINGDOM<br />A. “IN THE DAYS OF THESE KINGS...” (44)<br />1. Daniel describes the image as depicting four kingdoms which shall rise and fall<br />2. The first one is definitely Babylon - Daniel 2:37-38<br />3. With Babylon as the starting point, world history confirms that the next three kingdoms<br />would be:<br />a. The Medo-Persian empire, represented by the chest and arms of silver<br />b. The Grecian empire, represented by the belly and thighs of bronze<br />c. The Roman empire, represented by the legs of iron, with feet mixed with iron and clay<br />4. Thus one could look for the establishment of the “indestructible kingdom” in the days of the<br />Roman empire<br />B. WHEN “THE TIME IS FULFILLED”...<br />1. Notice what John the Baptist began preaching during the days of the Roman empire (“the<br />kingdom of heaven is at hand”) - Matthew 3:1-2<br />2. Jesus proclaimed this also, adding “the time is fulfilled” - Mark 1:14-15<br />a. What “time” was fulfilled?<br />b. The time described by Daniel!<br />[So the “indestructible kingdom” was to be set up in the days of the Roman empire. During Roman empire both John and Jesus anticipated its establishment. This leads to our next question: Has it been set up as foretold?...]<br />II. THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE INDESTRUCTIBLE KINGDOM<br />A. DURING JESUS’ EARTHLY MINISTRY, IT WAS “AT HAND”...<br />1. This is what both John and Jesus proclaimed - Matthew3:1-2; Mark 1:14-15<br />2. Yet after Jesus’ death, there were those who were still waiting for the kingdom - e.g.,<br />Joseph of Arimathea, Luke 23:50-51<br />B. BUT FOLLOWING THE ASCENSION OF JESUS...<br />1. He is far above all principality, power, might, dominion – Ephesians 1:20-21<br />2. All has been made subject to Him - 1 Peter 3:22<br />3. He is ruler over the kings of the earth - Revelation 1:5<br />4. He rules the nations with a rod of iron - Revelation 2:26-27<br />-- He truly has all authority in heaven and on earth! - cf. Matthew 28:18<br />C. THIS SUPPORTS WHAT IS REVEALED LATER IN DANIEL...<br />1. Consider Daniel 7:13-14<br />a. Where one like the Son of Man approaches the Ancient of Days (God)<br />b. And is given dominion, glory, and a kingdom which shall not be destroyed<br />2. Compare this with Acts 1:9<br />a. Daniel describes the ascension from a heavenly perspective<br />b. Whereas Luke describes it from an earthly perspective!<br />[It is clear, then, that the King (Jesus) has received a kingdom, that the indestructible kingdom was set up when He returned to heaven! But one might naturally ask: Where is it now? The answer is found when we consider...]<br />III. THE NATURE OF THE INDESTRUCTIBLE KINGDOM<br />A. THINGS TO REMEMBER ABOUT THIS KINGDOM...<br />1. It was described by Daniel as a “stone cut...without hands which became a great<br />mountain and filled the whole earth” - Daniel 2:34-35<br />a. “without hands” suggests it is not your ordinary kingdom<br />b. Also, it would start small and then grow larger<br />2. Compare this with what Jesus taught about the nature of His kingdom<br />a. His kingdom is not of this world - John18:36; cf. Romans 14:17<br />b. It would start small, and grow to encompass the earth – Matthew 13:31-33<br />-- Thus this “indestructible kingdom” would start small, and would be spiritual in nature<br />B. THIS KINGDOM THEREFORE INVOLVES THOSE IN THE CHURCH...<br />1. The Christians at Colosse were in the kingdom - Colossians 1:12-13<br />2. Those at Thessalonica likewise - 1 Th 2:12<br />3. Along with the seven churches in Asia – Revelation 1:6,9<br />4. Indeed, all Christians receive their part in this “indestructible kingdom” - Hebrews 12:28<br />a. Including us gathered here this day!<br />b. Fulfilling the statement that this kingdom would fill the whole earth!<br />c. For here we are, on the other side of the planet from Jerusalem, yet citizens of this<br />kingdom foretold in Daniel!<br />[Whoever is willing to “repent and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15) can be a part of the kingdom Jesus established when He sat down at the right hand of God following His ascension to heaven. This leads us to yet another question: What is the future of this kingdom...?]<br />IV. THE FUTURE OF THIS INDESTRUCTIBLE KINGDOM<br />A. IT WILL LAST FOREVER...<br />1. As Daniel told Nebuchadnezzar - Daniel 2:44<br />a. “which shall never be destroyed”<br />b. “it shall stand forever”<br />2. As the writer to the Hebrews stated: “a kingdom which cannot be shaken” - Hebrews 12:28<br />3. As the angel Gabriel spoke to Mary: “of His kingdom there will be no end” - Luke 1:31-33<br />B. AT CHRIST’S COMING, IT WILL BE DELIVERED TO THE FATHER...<br />1. As taught by Paul to the Corinthians - 1 Corinthians 15:23-26<br />a. When Christ comes, He shall deliver the kingdom to God the Father, having put an end<br />to all rule, authority and power b. Until then, Christ shall reign until all enemies are placed under His feet, the last enemy being death<br />2. As Jesus taught in the parable of the tares - Matthew 13:40-43<br />a. At the end of the age, His angels will gather out of the kingdom those that offend and<br />practice lawlessness<br />b. Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father<br />CONCLUSION<br />1. And so this kingdom...<br />a. Foretold by Daniel, proclaimed by John the Baptist and Jesus Himself<br />b. Was begun in the days of the Roman empire, with Christ as its king and His disciples as its citizens<br />Idolatry and the Image and Faith and the Furnace <br />Daniel Chapter Three<br />Charles e. Whisnant, Pastor/Teacher June 22, 29 2011<br />INTRODUCTION<br />Nebuchadnezzar, from the very beginning, seems intent on fulfilling a grand objective. He wants not only to establish a great kingdom, but it seems he envisioned a world empire. He hoped, like all ambitious despots and Satan, who stands behind them, to rule the world. Thus, in chapter 1 we find the king assembling a large pool of advisors representing the various schools of wisdom from all over the world. In this sense, he welcomed Daniel and his three Hebrew friends (remember that Solomon was renowned for his wisdom).<br />Every lesson from the Word of God is for our spiritual growth. My prayer is that your mind’s understanding will be enlightened and your heart’s beliefs will we quicken and the application will be applied.<br />A. Nebuchadnezzar erects an image and demands everyone worship it.<br /> 1. (1) The image is made and set up.<br />What should Nebuchadnezzar have learned from his dream and the interpretation of Daniel, as recorded in Daniel 2? <br />Just from observing these key words and phrases one can see that one of the major themes of Daniel 3 has to do with worship and specifically idol (image) worship<br />2. (2-3) All Babylonia’s dignitaries gathered at the dedication of the image.<br /><ul><li>All the leaders in Babylon were required to be present and by some estimates the number was in the thousands (or even much higher). This was a call for these leaders to publicly acknowledge their absolute loyalty to the King by bowing to the image (possibly an image of the King himself).</li></ul>3. (4-6) The command to worship the image.<br /><ul><li>There is a time to disobey the king, and it would be when his commands clearly contradicted God's commands to not worship images.</li></ul>Notice also the important role of music in worship, in this case false worship. Does the modern church really recognize the vital role that music plays in preparing our hearts for worship of God in spirit and in truth (John 4:23-24- I fear the 21st century church in America is drifting away from the singing of theologically rich psalms and hymns and spiritual songs (Ephesians 5:19 failing to recognize the important role of "deeper" bibliocentric lyrics (which can still have a good beat!) in teaching sound doctrine to the saints (cp Colossians 3:16).<br />TORDREY’S TOPIC IDOLATRY CONSISTS IN<br />Bowing down to images -Exodus 20:5; Deuteronomy 5:9 Worshipping images -Isaiah 44:17; Daniel 3:5,10,15 Sacrificing to images -Psalms 106:38-note; Acts 7:41 Worshipping other gods -Deuteronomy 30:17; Psalms 81:9-note Swearing by other gods -Exodus 23:13; Joshua 23:7 Walking after other gods -Deuteronomy 8:19 Speaking in the name of other gods -Deuteronomy 18:20 Looking to other gods -Hosea 3:1 Serving other gods -Deuteronomy 7:4; Jeremiah 5:19 Fearing other gods -2 Kings 17:35 Sacrificing to other gods -Exodus 22:20 Worshipping the true God by an image, -Ex 32:4, 5, 6; Ps 106:19-, Ps 106:20 Worshipping angels -Colossians 2:18 Worshipping the host of heaven -Deuteronomy 4:19; 17:3 Worshipping demons -Matthew 4:9-10; Revelation 9:20 Worshipping dead men -Psalms 106:28-note Setting up idols in the heart -Ezekiel 14:3,4 Covetousness -Ephesians 5:5; Colossians 3:5 Sensuality -Philippians 3:19 Is changing the glory of God into an image -Romans 1:23; Acts 17:29 Is changing the truth of God into a lie -Romans 1:25; Isaiah 44:20 Is a work of the flesh -Galatians 5:19,20 Incompatible with the service of God - HYPERLINK "http://biblia.com/bible/nasb95/Ge%2035.2" Ge 35:2,3; Josh 24:23; 1Sa 7:3; 1Ki 18:21; 2Co 6:15,16 <br />Idolatry is the universal human tendency to value something or someone in a way that hinders the love and trust we owe to God. It is an act of theft from God whereby we use some part of creation in a way that steals from honor due to God. Idolatry conflicts with our putting God alone first in our lives, in what we love and trust (Exodus 20:3-5: Deut 5:7-9; Romans 1:21-23). In idolatry we put something or someone, usually a gift from God, in a place of value that detracts from the first place owed to God alone, the gift Giver. That thing or person is an idol.<br />THEY WHO PRACTICE <br />Forget God -Deuteronomy 8:19; Jeremiah 18:15 Go astray from God- Ezekiel 44:10 Pollute the name of God -Ezekiel 20:39 Defile the sanctuary of God -Ezekiel 5:11 Are estranged from God -Ezekiel 14:5 Forsake God -2 Kings 22:17; Jeremiah 16:11 Hate God -2 Chronicles 19:2,3 Provoke God -Deuteronomy 31:20; Isaiah 65:3; Jeremiah 25:6 Are vain in their imaginations -Romans 1:21 Are ignorant and foolish -Romans 1:21,22 Inflame themselves -Isaiah 57:5 Hold fast their deceit -Jeremiah 8:5 Carried away by it -1 Corinthians 12:2 Go after it in heart -Ezekiel 20:16 Are mad upon it -Jeremiah 50:38 Boast of it -Psalms 97:7-note Have fellowship with devils -Hosea 4:12 Ask counsel of their idols -Hosea 4:12<br />THE PRIDEFUL ANGRY KING. THE EVIL ENVY OF THE CHALDEANS. A FURNACE OF BLAZING FIRE. AND THREE YOUNG MEN WHO DID NOT BLOW TO EXTERNAL PRESSURES <br />DANIEL 3:4-30 CHARLES E WHISNANT, PASTOR/TEACHER JULY 06 2011<br />July 13, 20, 2011<br />Our decisions, our attitudes and our behaviors are determined by one of two things: external pressure, or internal principle.<br />But basically we have to come down to that bottom line. <br />Do we do what we do, say what we say and act the way we act because we have convictions about it or because we feel the pressure coming from the outside? <br />And are our convictions somewhat altered by whatever pressures are brought to bear upon us? <br />There are times when I'm in a situation where if I say what I believe I'll alienate a lot of people and I face that same bottom line. <br />It doesn't really matter that these three Hebrew young men did what they did. It doesn't really matter to us today unless there is something here that we have gained personally in the way we confront the world.<br />Do we put God first? <br />Do we put His Word first? <br />Do we do what we do based entirely upon internal principle or do we vacillate and compromise and act on external pressure<br />DANIEL THREE OUTLINE:<br />The flow of the text is a narrative text and it flows from: (from John MacArthur)<br />The ceremony: 3:1-3<br />The command: 3:4<br />The conspiracy: 3:5-12<br />The coercion: 3:13-15<br />The courage: 3:16-18<br /> The consequences: 3:19-23<br />The companion: 3:24-25<br /> The commendation: 3:26-30. <br />Now, we move from the ceremony to the command in verse 4. "Then an herald cried aloud, To you it is commanded, O people, nations and languages." . And so he calls together all of this multinational and he gives them a command. (The assembly of the United Nations of that time)<br />"That at that time," and that means at that precise moment, he wants absolute submission in absolute precision at a very exacting moment, "At that moment that you hear the sound of the horn, the Dine, the lyre, the sackbut, the psaltery, the dulcimer and all kinds of music, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up."<br />Then there is a psaltery, I mean there's a lot of speculation but it's useless, there's a psaltery and that is a harp with a sounding board. A lyre was a high sounding harp and a psaltery was a low sounding harp. <br />And then there was a dulcimer, and believe it or not that's basically a bagpipe. <br />And then all kinds of music with all these instruments was the cue. When the music started everybody was instantly to fall down and worship the image.<br />The consequences come in verse 6: "And whoever falleth not down and worshipeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace<br />A burning fiery furnace if it was a fiery furnace, so we assume that the burning is set there for the strengthening so you'll understand that it's a excellent approach that he makes. Anybody who refuses to bow down constitutes a treasonous act and will be thrown into the fiery furnace. If you're standing in opposition to the greatness of Nebuchadnezzar, that's all for you.<br />So verse 7 says: "Therefore at that time, that precise moment, when all the people heard the sound of the horn, the pipe, the lyre, the sackbut, the psaltery and all kinds of music, all the people, the nations and the languages," there they are again, "fell down and worshiped the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up." <br /><ul><li>“literally reads as soon as they were hearing they were falling down.</li></ul>Men invariably bow to the system; they bow to the powers that be. They do whatever they have to do. Afraid to lose their position and so they compromise.<br />And so we move to the ceremony to the command to the conspiracy in verse 8...the conspiracy. Now watch this.<br />Vs 8 "Wherefore at that time, certain Chaldeans came near and accused the Jews."<br />And the Chaldeans resented this, they were angry about this. And so it says they accused the Jews. <br />That's a very interesting word. It means literally to "eat the pieces of." It is used to eat the pieces of flesh that are torn off a body as a rapacious animal would strip the flesh and the tissue off a body and consume it. <br />In verse 9: "They spoke and said to the king, Nebuchadnezzar, O king, live forever." Gave him all that flowery jazz that kings like to hear. "We're really here, king, just to assure you of our commitment." <br />Verse 10: "Thou, O king, hast made a decree." And they go through the whole deal. "That every man that shall hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, sackbut, psaltery and dulcimer and all kinds of music shall fall down and worship the golden image and whoever falleth not down and worshipeth that he should be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace." And they got it pretty accurate, that's pretty well verbatim what the king said. <br />"There are certain Jews whom thou hast set over the affairs of the province of Babylon," and that's what stuck in their craw...chapter 2 verse 49, that is what really aggravated them that these captive Hebrews would be given such a high ranking place. "Those certain Jews, 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." <br />Slaves, imported hostages, foreigners, and you've made rulers out of them and they rule over us. That's what really eats at them. <br />And you get a little bit of the insight of the appalling sin of envy. God says, for example, in Proverbs 14 verse 30: "A sound heart is the life of the flesh but envy the rottenness of the bones."<br />From the conspiracy we go to the fourth feature in this narrative, the coercion. Forcing them to do something they don’t want to do or make threats<br />And by coercion here we find Nebuchadnezzar confronting the three and trying to coerce them into a response that is more fitting. But we find them to be unshakeable. <br />Notice, we'll read 13 to 15, . "Then Nebuchadnezzar in his rage and fury," <br />Boy, he's really getting carried away. Who is that God that will deliver you out of my hands? He's got a short memory, this guy. Has he forgotten the same God that was able to reveal dreams and visions? What a maniac.<br />We go then from the ceremony to the command to the conspiracy to the coercion and finally the courage, <br />Verse 16. And this is the climax, it's just fabulous. "Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego answered and said to the king," <br />Now, what are they going to say? "O Nebuchadnezzar," they don't give him all that long-live-the-king stuff, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we're not careful to answer thee in this matter." I love that. Well, what does that mean? <br />Well, basically we just don't have anything to say. It isn't arrogant; there just was nothing to say. They were simply admitting their guilt. <br />HOW TOSTAND FIRM IN THE FIRE!<br />Verse 17 and 18: "If it be so, our God whom we serve..." and that's pretty direct, "is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king, one way or another, but if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up," end of speech...period, paragraph.<br />faith held true in the worst moment.<br />I submit to you that this is because they were absolutely committed to internal principle. <br />I Know Whom I Have Believe<br />They had been taught the Word of God and they knew that they were to respond in a certain manner based upon the truth of God and they would not compromise that no matter what the external pressures were. <br />What virtue...and it wasn't dependent on whether or not they got their miracle, they would accept God's will even if it meant death rather than be idolatrous.<br />There is no compromise for one who stands like this. <br />God is just as good when He doesn't heal as He is when He does. <br />God is just as loving when He doesn't provide all that we think we need as when He does. <br />God is just as gracious when He says no as He is when He says yes. <br />God is God and God is to be uncompromisingly worshiped and what He does is His business. <br />You might sum it up by saying: <br />In God's case, death is as good as life. Right? Paul said it, "For to me to live is Christ and to die is...what?...gain." <br />Death never put any fear in his heart. <br />Death never forced him to compromise. He put his head one day on a block and an axehead flashed in the sun and severed it from his body and he never flinched and compromised.<br />Is our faith so real that there's no price to make us bow down? <br />So, we see the ceremony, the command, the conspiracy, the coercion and the courage. And now the consequences, verse 19. <br />Well, after that little deal, Nebuchadnezzar was full of fury. In verse 13 it says he had rage and fury, now he's full of it. "And the form of his visage was changed."<br />You know what that means? That means his facial expression was altered, he was so mad that he began to wrinkle up his face and make faces at them. This is a grown man...stupid, he is so thwarted in his egomaniacal effort to have everybody worship him, he's just literally enraged and he starts making faces at them.<br />There is no fool on earth like a man who has lost his temper. <br />Verse 20: "He commanded the most mighty men that were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and cast them into the burning fiery furnace." <br />As far as we know this, trying to reconstruct this, it was probably a pit in the ground that had a some kind of opening down low and at the top there was an open hole and they were thrown in the open hole though the fire was stoked and fed from below. <br />Verse 21 "And then these men were bound in their coats, their stockings, their turbans and their other garments and cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace." <br />They were all dressed up and I think the kind of a hint here from the Holy Spirit that they had really come to do what was right as those who responded to the king. <br />They were not rebellious.' <br />They were properly attired for such a great event. <br />They just couldn't follow through in disobedience to their God <br />And so they were wrapped up in a great big hurry, their clothes weren't even changed; they just wrapped them up and threw them in the midst of the fiery furnace. As I said, likely from a hole in the top.<br />Verse 22: "Therefore because the king's commandment was urgent," he was completely out of control, "and the furnace exceedingly hot, the flame of the fire slew those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego." <br />Verse 23: "And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, fell down," and that's why we believe there was a hole at the top and they were cast down, "bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace."<br />Here are the contrasting fates of the king’s men verse God’s men. And it will serve as a foreshadowing of the fate of every person ever born, for all will either experience the eternal fires of Gehenna and separation from God or the eternal presence of God Who delivers believers from the wrath to come.<br />SUFFICIENT GRACEFOR EVERY "FIERY FURNACE<br />THE BELIEVER'SFIERY FURNACES<br />"FIERY FURNACES"CAN LOOSE OUR BONDSAND SET US FREE!<br />We move from the consequences to the companion in<br /> verse 24. "Then Nebuchadnezzar, the king, was astounded and rose up in a hurry and spoke 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. Verse 25 He answered and said, Lo, I see four men, not bound but loose, walking around in the midst of the fire and they have no hurt. And the form of the fourth is like a son of the gods."<br />Now you think Nebuchadnezzar was shook when this started, he is really shook now.<br />What about the phrase "a son of the gods," who is that? <br />Nebuchadnezzar was a pagan. He wouldn't have known the Son of God if he had seen Him. He wouldn't have understood a pre-incarnate Christophany or appearance of Christ such as we find in Genesis 18. <br />1 believe that what Nebuchadnezzar had in his mind with that statement is simply an angelic being ... because over in verse 28 of this same chapter, he uses the word "angel." <br />I believe they knew they weren't burning and God sent His angel to care for them. <br />Christophanies (appearances of Christ) were not uncommon in the OT, one of the most dramatic occurring to Hagar who had been banished from Abram's family and was met by the "Angel of the LORD" in the wilderness...<br />So, the ceremony, the command, the conspiracy, the coercion, the courage, the consequence, the companionship and lastly, believe it or not, the commendation... <br />verse 26: "Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace and spoke and said, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, you servants of the Most High God." How did he know that? Well, it was obvious he had met his match. "Come forth, come here." I love this. "Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came forth from the midst of the fire." You've got to believe Nebuchadnezzar was rubbing his eyes all this time.<br />GOD'S DELIVERANCE IS COMPLETE!<br />Verse 27 And here we go again. "And the princes, the governors, the captains, the king's counselors being gathered together saw these men upon whose body the fire had no power nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them."<br />Four things were unchanged in the fiery furnace - (1) They were not burned in any way; (2) Their hair was not singed; (3) Their garments were not altered (no soot); and (4) There was no smell of fire. The only changed was the removal of the rope that bound them!<br />Verse 28 "Then Nebuchadnezzar spoke and said," now watch this, "Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego." <br />he is simply acknowledging what theologians call "henotheism."<br />And then the commendation, verse 29: "Therefore I make a decree that every people, nation and language who speak anything amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego shall be cut in pieces and their houses shall be made a refuse heap," <br />Verse 30 And then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the province of Babylon." And when you already rule and you get promoted, that's some promotion.<br />If you think the Chaldeans were unhappy at the beginning in chapter 3 you can imagine what it was like at the end in chapter 3<br />