Welcome to AHA Bible Moments!

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“Bible History IS Secular History when given the truth, whole truth, and nothing but the truth.”

You are about to enter the world of “I didn’t know that” moments from the Bible!

 Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still; teach the righteous and they will add to their learning.

Proverbs 9:9

Paul Harvey, during his daily radio broadcasts, made famous the statement “The Rest of the Story.” He would tell the unfamiliar stories behind the familiar stories of men, feats, events and situations. Did you know the same is true of many “bible stories” found in the Old and New Testament scriptures? The following may not be quite the same as Mr. Harvey’s reviews of history, events and people, but they can be just as stunning, revealing, informative, and mind opening.

This publication will look at dozens of these surprising “aha moments” from miniJimscripture. Some will startle, some readers will find them particularly satisfying, and some will realize that history and the Bible are the same thing; a review of what was and remains an actuality. The Bible stories in scripture are space-limited and cannot publish everything surrounding, coinciding, or consequential to these stories. Some Bible time events are well-known and others not quite as well known but none the less found in scripture with a correlating “aha moment”. NOTE: The Bible and history are contemporaneous.

Included in this website are messages from others who serve our God; i.e. studied individuals such as ministers and Bible teachers.

Let’s explore some of these aha moments in scripture and have a ton of fun while doing so!!

– Dr. J

Bible Devotions or Bible Study?

Bible Devotions are like paying the minimum amount due on ones credit card debt. One seldom gains ground. Bible study is like paying the monthly balance in full plus something extra. We gain ground quickly!

 

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Article #2 of Our Daniel Studies

 ‘Pre-eminence, Purpose, Purity & Prophecy’ is an apt summary of the book.

Pre-eminence because the book shows time and again that it is God who rules in the kingdoms of men (Dan 4:17 / 4:25 / 4:32). It is He who orders the steps of a good man (Psalm 37:23), indeed,Man’s goings are of the LORD; how can a man then understand his own way?” (Proverbs 20:24). This was the basis of Daniel’s life, a confident assurance that whatever happened on the outside, however desperate things seemed to be, God was still on the throne, the One who is the same, yesterday, today,  (Hebrews 13:8).

Purpose for two reasons:

Firstly because this book underlines the fact that God has a purpose for all that happens in our lives (HIS creation), as Daniel and his friends show – who would have thought that these teenagers who were dragged away in shackles would be the ones to bring the most powerful nation to its knees? Paul reminds us:And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Rom 8:28).

called

Secondly, purpose becauseDaniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.” (Dan 1:8).

NOTE: This text in Daniel 1:8 infers that Daniel was also a eunuch.

 

In this context the ‘purpose’ referred to is a determined conscious decision that is made in the heartFor where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Matt 6:21). Daniel’s treasure was to do the will of God regardless of what others thought or said, as we will see in chapter 6:Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, [that everyone should worship king Darius alone or be thrown to the lions] he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.” (Dan 6:10). Oh for men and women who purpose in their hearts to serve God. In the New Testament Paul purposed in his heart to preach the gospel:But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.” (Acts 20:24 NKJV) “…woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!” (1 Corinthians 9:16), as a result of this purpose of heart we read:And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three Sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures” (Acts 17:2). For these people, serving God was a way of life, not just a ‘Sunday thing’. The challenge for us as we go through this book is: are we really living lives worthy of our calling? (Eph 4:1; Col 1:10; 1 Thess 2:12).

  • Purity. Because of Daniel’s purpose of heart there was a beautiful purity about Daniel (as there was with Joseph). It is so easy for us to get tainted by the world and our surroundings, but when we do, it can so quickly escalate out of control. Chuck Smith sums it up clearly and concisely, “The flesh is never satisfied”. Chuck Missler comments that the more you feed a desire, the more you need to feed that desire; if you give into drink, you will need more drink to be satisfied, but then that will not be enough. If you take drugs, you will soon need more drugs to feed your habit; but that will not be enough. If you lust after the flesh, you will find yourself wanting more and more. If you gossip, one little story is never enough. Sin will always take you further than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you want to pay. If you have a tin of pure white paint, how many drops of black paint would it take to stop it being pure white? And so it is with our lives. Daniel never gave in; and twice in the book of Ezekiel God points to Daniel as an example of what a righteous man should be like. (Ezekiel 14:14 /20). May God put us through His crucible to remove the dross so that, like pure gold, we become reflections of His glory.refletion

 

Next week: Article #3 of our Daniel study

The Bait

riverbankWhen I was growing up we didn’t do a lot of fishing.  Once in a while my dad would take us down to the river bank. I love the thought of catching fish but I hated the thoughts of killing a worm or even touching them. My dad would bait my hook.. I wasn’t a natural fisher-kid. I think I was only about eight or nine, and everywhere I threw my line  I got snagged. I lost the sinkers, hook and the bait. One time I almost lost the whole pole

My dad was getting frustrated with me. He told me if I lost another sinker or if I got’ my line caught in weeds again, it was over. Seems my fishing days were on the line, literally. This made me sad. I was just beginning. Even at a young age I was not a quitter.

It was getting dark and my dad said I had to reel  my line in. I was petrified. I thought for sure my line was snagged.. My fishing line was going back and forth in the current. Strange I thought. I did not mention this to my dad as I felt like a failure already.  Now, the time of facing the music had come because we were going home.

caught oneMy dad came over to watch me reel in my line. To my great surprise there was a fish on the end of my line! To me that was a miracle! What I thought was a snag on a branch was actually this fish swimming around trying to figure out how to get unhooked. My dad came to my rescue as I never caught a fish before; I also never even took one off the hook. I felt bad for this fish. He was blinking his big eyes at me while hanging by the huge embedded hook tn his jaw. My dad said the fish was not big enough to keep so he got the hook out and released the Sucker (fish) back in the river. I hope it lived a long and happy life. Somehow the type of fish, a Sucker, is how we are to get sucked in by Satan’s hand-crafted and sharp hooks.

Sometimes I do the same stupid “mistakes” over and over again They are not really mistakes. A mistake sounds so much nicer than — sin. Regardless of what the sin is, it seems to pull me down the river and I can’t stop because of the hook in my jaw.

We all have weaknesses and I know full well what mine are. As foolish as it is sometimes I go fishing for them. Satan uses many things to bait us back into sin . He knows our weaknesses and how to lure us with his baited hook Once we take the bait we have “pleasure for a short time.” The really bad news is the bait he uses covers the hidden sharp hook. That hook will embed deeply into our jaw. We could easily die with the hook of Satan embedded in our jaw.

This is wisdom from the Old Testament even though it is not addressing hooks in the jaw….it could be applied to any sin in our past that tempts us.

Genesis 19:17 (NASB)

17 When they had brought them outside,  one said, “Escape for your life! Do not look behind you, and do not stay anywhere in the valley; escape to the mountains, or you will be swept away.”

Thankfully, our fish story doesn’t end there. Our Father will come to rescue us, when we repent and ask for help; He will gently get the hook of Satan out of our mouth. We have a loving Father in Heaven and Jesus our Savior died to save us from the sins that easily beset us. GOD LOVES US ALWAYS!

Galatians 1:3-5…3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ,who gave Himself for our sins so that He might rescue us from this present evil page, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forevermore. Amen.

These days I don’t fish. I still don’t like worms. However, I still get tempted by things in the world. Regretfully at times I take the bait. Then I am hooked again, needing to be rescued. God is graceful and compassionate. I get so tired of falling for the same old line yet the pull of the current seems too strong to resist. I know it is not too strong though as the LORD will make us a way of escape It is a choice to take the bait of Satan.

1 Corinthians 10:13

No temptation has over taken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.

May we never forget God loves us and gave His ALL for us The question that is in my heart of hearts is will I give Him my all, always. May we ignore the bait meant to take us down and hold on to JESUS who wants only the best for us. Our Prevailing Hope to overcome temptation is asking the LORD for strength. We can prevail over and walk away from whatever the most enticing bait. With God all things are possible. It is our choice to prevail over the besetting sin or take the bait and pay the consequences.

choice-

Brenda McKee

www.prevailinghope.com

 

 

 

 

Study Notes on the book of Daniel

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Book of Daniel Study Notes

The following study notes (by Assistant Pastor Barry Forder) were used for Deal Christian Fellowship’s Monday night Bible studies during autumn – winter 2006.

The notes have been ‘tidied up’ to make them easier to read and understand. Additional comments, charts and graphs have been added where appropriate.

Whilst every care has been taken with grammar and spelling, these are only notes and as such are not intended to be a literary classic!

The real aim of these notes is to stimulate the reader to pursue their own study on the verses, issues and topics covered. There is no greater task that can be undertaken in this life than to seek to understand God’s Word. All other achievements in the Christian life will bear much more fruit if they are firmly rooted in the soil of God’s Word.But he that received seed into the good ground is he that hears the word, and understands it; which also bears fruit, and brings forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.” (Matt 13:23)

We Teach – You Decide

Northern Michigan Bible School

As always, the reader is encouraged to be like the Bereans in Acts 17:11, whoreceived the word with all readiness, and searched the scriptures daily to see whether these things were so’. In other words, don’t just take these notes as fact – check it out yourself. Let the word of God alone be the standard by which that you judge things.

Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be
ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

2 Timothy 2:15

Introduction

The book of Daniel is one of the best-loved books of the Bible; it gives us the events­ of ‘Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego and the fiery furnace’ and ‘Daniel in the lion’s den’ – histories that many of us learned and loved at Sunday school. However the years have come and gone and we so often tend to just skip over those quaint little histories without them having any real impact on our lives; however, I believe that once we have completed a serious verse-by-verse study of this amazing book we will never be the same. This book gives us real perspective, it helps us to see things the way that God sees them – the way Daniel saw them.

Daniel, whose name means ‘God is my judge’, was just a teenager, probably about 14 or 15 when the Babylonian army, led by king Nebuchadnezzar, came and took him, his friends and about 10,000 others of the brightest and royalty of Judah away from all they knew, and carried them away into a distant land to a culture and language they did not know. It’s hard for us to imagine the feelings and emotions of a young teenager being taken from the security of a family, not knowing if he would ever see them again.

Although we are told that there was *not a righteous **man in Jerusalem at that time (Jeremiah 5:1; Jeremiah 8:5-6), (*the reason for God bringing His judgment upon the Kingdom of Judah), it would seem that there were still some God-fearing mothers, for Daniel and his friends had been brought up to know and fear God and even their names were a continual reminder of the God of Israel. But would that be enough? After all, how many young people today, after seeing all that Daniel saw, and enduring all he endured, would make a stand for God in the midst of a pagan culture? How many of our young people leave home and go to the University of ‘Babylon’ somewhere in America, where secular humanism rules, and find their once vibrant faith destroyed as they become ‘free’ to do what they want, as the moral constraints and stability of a loving family (church and/or home) become just memories? And how many of us can truly say, as we are thrust out into the world every Monday morning, that we desire purity more than worldly pleasure? **Bar-mitzveh is at age 13 but military life begins at age 20.

secret agent

Secret Agent

Do we really fear God and shun evil as did Job? (Job 1:8). Do we run from temptation like Joseph? (Gen 39:12). Do we find ourselves dropping the odd expletive (Col 3:8), telling a ‘funny’ course joke to our colleagues so that we will fit into the crowd (Eph 5:4), maybe telling the odd little ‘white’ lie (Col 3:9).Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?” (James 3:10-11). Were you in church praising God last Sunday, and then blending right back into the world on Monday? I heard of a man who went up to a Christian once and asked: ‘You’re a Christian aren’t you?’ The Christian replied ‘That’s for you to tell me’ – i.e. it should be obvious to all around us. Too many Christians act as secret agents, never wanting to blow their cover.

Daniel hadn’t been in Babylon long before they could tell what the most important thing in his life really was. It is my earnest prayer and desire that by the time we reach the end of this study, we too can say along with Daniel that we have ‘purposed in our hearts that we will not defile ourselves’ – no matter what the cost.

Dr Chuck Missler makes an incredible statement that he urges all of us to challenge, he says:

We are living at a time in history about which the Bible says more than it does about the time that Jesus walked the shores of Galilee or climbed the mountains of Judea”

Does the Bible really say more about the days we are living in than it does about the time of Jesus? If it does, then a study of this book will be one of the most important and timely ventures that we can undertake. May God richly bless you as you read and study His word!

General notes about the book

The book of Daniel records the collapse of the nation of Israel and the beginning of the ‘times of the gentiles’ – a period of time that will last until the Messiah returns to set up His kingdom and re-establish Israel.And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me: Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up” (Acts 15:13-16)

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate: and verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see me, until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord. (Luke 13:34-35)

And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.” (Isaiah 2:2-4)

NOTE: We will deal more fully with this whole idea of ‘Replacement Theology’ – the lie that God is finished with Israel – in part 2 (chapters 7-12) of our Daniel study.

As we will see, the book of Daniel is very much a book of prophecy, foretelling the history of the world in advance; from the time of the Babylonian empire of Nebuchadnezzar, to the final worldly empire of Antichrist; then ultimately into the Millennial reign of Jesus.

A simple chart per the life of Israel:

  • Creation is around 6,000 BC; the beginning of time [Genesis 1:4, 5]
    Flood happened 1657 years later; 10 Generations from Adam to Noah
  • Noah to Abraham is also 10 generations; sometime around 2,000 BC
  • Exiled in Egypt 400+ years
  • 400 or so years under the judges but Tribal connections were a confederacy
  • Kings of a united Israelis, Saul David and Solomon
  • Nation of Israel becomes Northern and Southern kingdoms; Israel and Judah
  • Assyrians disperse the 10 northern tribes around 722 BC by Assyrians
  • Judah is captured by Nebuchadnezzar 606, 597, & 586 BC
  • 70 years captivity in Babylon
  • DANIEL reminds King Cyrus of the 70 years per Jeremiah (536 BC)
  • Zerubbabel takes first wave of about 50,000 back to Jerusalem-Judah now a province of Persia
  • 70 years later Ezra takes another small group back to Jerusalem-Judah
  • 17 years later Nehemiah takes the last group of Judeans back to Jerusalem-Judah
  • Daniel 11 comes into play but more on this in a later article

Note the map on the following page. Not only is the West Bank part of the Nation of Israel back around 1,000 BC, and as two kingdoms (950 to 720 BC) so is the east side of the Jordan River, today known as the country of Jordan.

This territory which is today called Jordan was the territory of the Tribes of Manasseh, Gad, and Reuben. Although this series of article is about the Book of Daniel, it would be wise to understand that “Father Abraham” had six sons through a late-life marriage with Ketur’ah [Genesis 25]. These sons Abraham did not want to mix with Isaac’s offspring so he sent them “EAST.” This would suggest that the populations in the territory Daniel spent his life is where descendants of Abraham’s six other sons and where he told them to go and occupy.

daniel map tribes.jpg

Daniel the Period of the Judges -Part 2

The next period is that of the Judges. The books of Judges, Ruth, and part of 1 Samuel cover this period of time. It lasted up until about 1050 BC; almost 400 years.

Next are two periods or phases. The first is the period of the United Kingdom of Saul, David and Solomon. Upon the death of Solomon in 931 BC, the kingdom divides into the Northern Kingdom of Israel, and the Southern Kingdom of Judah (Tribe of). We call this next period the Divided Kingdom period.bible books.jpg

During this latter period, a number of evil kings rule Israel and a mixed number of evil and good kings rule Judah. The books of 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, and 2 Kings cover these periods of time. 1 Chronicles and 2 Chronicles which were written at a later date also cover these periods of time. The poetical books (Psalms, Proverbs, and others) were written mostly by David and Solomon, but it is speculated they had other authors. Also during these periods, several prophetic books called the pre-exilic prophetical books were written to warn both Israel and Judah of their coming judgment if they refused to turn back to God. The Northern Kingdom of Israel was conquered by Assyria in 722 BC as warned by God through the prophet Isaiah.

The Southern Kingdom of Judah lasted until around 605 BC when it was conquered in three phases by the King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. This begins the period called the Judean Exile. The first phase of the exile began about 605 BC when Daniel and many of the nobility in Judah were exiled by King Nebuchadnezzar to Babylon. The second phase occurred in 597 BC when Ezekiel and 10,000 Jews were exiled to Babylon. And the third phase occurred in 586 BC when Nebuchadnezzar attacked again destroying Jerusalem and the temple in Jerusalem exiling all but the poor farmers of Judah.

The conquering of the Kingdom of Judah is written about in the books of 2 Kings, 2 Chronicles, and some of the prophetical books. The Exilic prophets cover the period of the exile – which lasted 70 years.

JIV note – ever since the demise of the Northern Kingdom of Israel, 722 BC, and the Southern Kingdom of Judah, 605, 597, & 586 BC, were exiled. Descendants of Israel and Judah have been and remain dispersed all over the earth while a few of the very poor and some farmers have always remained in their homeland to this very day. This is why we find Israelites on all the continents and in various countries around the world (Matthew 24:31, Isaiah 11:12, Revelation 7. This event is called the Diaspora. Only recently have as many Jews (Israelites) begun to live in Israel than are scattered around the world. I heard that up to recently there were more Jews living in United States than in Israel; particularly New York City. Possibly the Diaspora is ending.

It should also be noted that we are not exactly sure what happened to the people from the Northern Kingdom of Israel, though there are theories and some evidence about different people groups throughout the world being related to the “ten lost tribes of Israel.” The term Jew comes from the name Judah – so Jews in general are descendants of the Southern Nation of Judah, consisting mainly of three of Israel’s tribes, Judah, Benjamin, and parts of Levi. We studied the migration of the Israeli Tribes in a previous study.

The next period of Old Testament history is the Post-Exilic period. After 70 years in Babylon, a group of Judean Jews returned to the land of Israel by order of the conquering Medes and Persians. They rebuilt both the temple and the city of Jerusalem. The books of Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther as well as the post-exilic prophets cover this period of history. It concludes about 400 BC. There is a gap between this time and the beginning of the New Testament.

The final period of Old Testament history is this 400 year Interim-Testament period. During this period of time, no Scripture was written so technically it is post-Old Testament and pre-New Testament history. It is sometimes called the 400 Silent Years. This is a period of time after the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the temple after the exile, and leading up to the birth of Christ about 4 BC. It is also the period of time when the Maccabeus books from the Apocrypha were written.

During this time an evil ruler named Antiochus Epiphanes killed many of the remaining Judean-Jews desecrating their temple by setting an idol in the temple and offering a pig as a sacrifice. (We will run into him again in our study of Daniel) The Maccabean revolt occurred against Antiochus Epiphanes. The Jews of today get their celebration of Hanukkah from this period in history.

heisnothere.jpgFinally this leads up to the New Testament birth, life, death, and resurrection of Christ. Christ was born around 4 BC and died sometime around 30 AD. Right after Christ’s death and resurrection, the Church Age began, and has continued up until now.

JIV NOTE: The entire New Testament was written and completed before 100 AD.

Islam [Mohammed] began its first roots 500 plus years later; 610 A.D.

How does the book of Daniel fit into Old Testament history? The book of Daniel covers a period of time from about 605 BC, up until around 535 BC. It is the period of time called The Exile. Daniel was kidnapped and exiled to Babylon (in present day Iraq) about 605 BC. He was about 15 years old. He served King Nebuchadnezzar and 2 other kings in Babylon. He also served King Darius, the Medo-Persian ruler right after he conquered the Babylonian Empire of Belshazzar.

Daniel’s book prophesies in detail about the period of time between when he lived up through the time of Christ. He prophesies when Jesus the Messiah or Christ was to come. And he gives detailed prophecies about still future events leading up to the end of the world; i.e. the Millennial period. The Bible ceases to give us information after the millennial period.

(JIV) Two covenants given by God are unchangeable and exist throughout this entire O.T. and N.T. period; the promise to Israel of a land free from outside influence and honored as God’s chosen People by their neighbors, and, the covenant of the Church Rapture.

The period of the Babylonian Exile was predicted early in the Old Testament

During the time of the Exodus, right before Moses’ death and right before Israel conquered the land of Canaan, God warned Israel through Moses the consequences of disobedience to God’s Law. (JIV) I believe the same thing is true of the Canaanites. God used His chosen People to exert judgment upon a people originating from Ishmael and Esau who totally rejected God.

God continues the warning to Israel through Moses in the verses following Deuteronomy 28:48. In the next verses he predicts:

The LORD will bring a nation against you from afar, from the end of the earth, as the eagle swoops down, a nation whose language you shall not understand, a nation of fierce countenance who shall have no respect for the old, nor show favor to the young. Moreover, it shall eat the offspring of your herd and the produce of your ground until you are destroyed, who also leaves you no grain, new wine, or oil, nor the increase of your herd or the young of your flock until they have caused you to perish. And it shall besiege you in all your towns until your high and fortified walls in which you trusted come down throughout your land, and it shall besiege you in all your towns throughout your land which the LORD your God has given you. … Deuteronomy 28:49-52 (NASB)

If one continues reading God’s warning, s/he will see where Moses predicts the Exile and the Diaspora:

And it shall come about that as the LORD delighted over you to prosper you, and multiply you, so the LORD will delight over you to make you perish and destroy you; and you shall be torn from the land where you are entering to possess it. Moreover, the LORD will scatter you among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other end of the earth; and there you shall serve other gods, wood and stone, which you or your fathers have not known.

Deuteronomy 28:63-64 (NASB)

God warns them that disobedience to His Law, and in particular idolatry, will bring on the punishment that happened in the time of Daniel. This passage, written during the time of the Exodus, was written about 800 years before it was fulfilled!

I should mention, that just as God through Moses predicted the Diaspora, He also predicted the Restoration (Millennium). God gives them hope. We see this in the following passage:

So it shall be when all of these things have come upon you, the blessing and the curse which I have set before you, and you call them to mind in all nations where

the LORD your God has banished you, and you return to the LORD your God and obey Him with all your heart and soul according to all that I command you today, you and your sons, then the LORD your God will restore you from captivity, and have compassion on you, and will gather you again from all the peoples where the LORD your God has scattered you. If your outcasts are at the ends of the earth, from there the LORD your God will gather you, and from there He will bring you back.

And the LORD your God will bring you into the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it; and He will prosper you and multiply you more than your fathers. Moreover the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, in order that you may live. And the LORD your God will inflict all these curses on your enemies and on those who hate you, who persecuted you.

And you shall again obey the LORD, and observe all His commandments which I command you today. Then the LORD your God will prosper you abundantly in all the work of your hand, in the offspring of your body and in the offspring of your cattle and in the produce of your ground, for the LORD will again rejoice over you for good, just as He rejoiced over your fathers; if you obey the LORD your God to keep His commandments and His statutes which are written in this book of the law, if you turn to the LORD your God with all your heart and soul.

Deuteronomy 30:1-10 (NASB)

A partial restoration from the exile to Babylon happened a few years after the death of Daniel. Up until this day, there has not been a full restoration of Israel back to its land. We are however, some 3400 years after Moses’ prophecy, are seeing this restoration happening – fulfilled prophecy from 3400 years ago! In 1948 we saw the establishment of Israel as a nation, and we see a migration of Jews going back to Israel. Many millions today have lost their identity as of Israeli descent, but DNA testing will alert or shock this Israelite sea of people in the four corners of the world.

Question to ponder. What is the probability that these two prophecies – the Diaspora and the Restoration – would occur 800 years and 3400 years after their respective predictions? Only God could make such a prediction!

Manasseh the son of Hezekiah; (Hezekiah was a good and godly king mentioned in 2 Kings 20.) Manasseh was evil. He whole-heartedly brought idolatry into Judah. A partial summary of his evil is given in the following verses:

Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem; his mother’s name was Hephzibah. He did great evil in the sight of the LORD, according to the abominations of the nations whom the LORD dispossessed before the sons of Israel. For he rebuilt the high places which Hezekiah his father had destroyed; and he erected altars for Baal and made an Asherah, as Ahab king of Israel had done, and worshiped all the host of heaven and served them.

And he built altars in the house of the LORD, of which the LORD had said, “In Jerusalem I will put My name.” For he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the LORD. And he made his son pass through the fire, practiced witchcraft and used divination, and dealt with mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the sight of the LORD provoking Him to anger. Then he set the carved image of Asherah that he had made, in the house of which the LORD said to David and to his son Solomon, “In this house and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen from all the tribes of Israel, I will put My name forever.”

2 Kings 21:1-7 (NASB)

Notice that Manasseh not only was into idolatry, but he also worshipped Molech and to which he sacrificed one of his sons:

And he made his son pass through the fire …. 2 Kings 21:6 (NASB)

Manasseh was not only disobeying God’s Law, but he was whole-heartedly doing one of the same things for which God destroyed the Canaanites when he allowed Israel to conquer them.

Amon son of Manasseh: An evil king who reigned only two years. Notice that he conceived his son Josiah when he was about 15. Does this speak of immorality in the land? People did marry younger upon occasion, so I am not sure, but it is something to ponder.

Josiah son of Amon. Josiah, unlike his father and grandfather, was a good and godly king. He undid most of what his grandfather Manasseh did, tearing down the altars and places of idolatry which Manasseh had set up. Again we see the child sacrifice of his father and grandfather mentioned where it says that he got rid of it:

He (Josiah) also defiled Topheth, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, that no man might make his son or his daughter pass through the fire for Molech.

2 Kings 23:10 (NASB)

Jehoahaz son of Josiah; An evil king who reigned only three months. Put on the throne by Pharaoh Neco (of Egypt) when Neco had killed the godly king Josiah. We can see the suggestion here that these kings did not raise their sons in the way of God.

Eliakim son of Josiah. (Renamed Jehoiakim) He was another evil king who reigned eleven years.

Jehoiakin son of Jehoiakim. Another evil king reigned eight years and was taken captive by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon along with many others including Daniel, Shaddrack, Meshach and Abednego.

Mattaniah (Zedekiah) uncle of Jehoiakin. He was another evil king who was basically a puppet of Nebuchadnezzar. Again he was walking in the paths of his evil fathers, including the terrible sin of child sacrifice:

Then the king of Babylon made his uncle Mattaniah, king in his place, and changed his name to Zedekiah. 2 Kings 24:17 (NASB)

The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD in the tenth year of Zedekiah, king of Judah, which was the eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar, they put their detestable things in the house which is called by My Name, to defile it. And they built the high places of Baal that are in the valley of Ben-hinnom to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire to Molech, which I had not commanded them nor had it entered My mind that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin. Jeremiah 32:1, 34-35 (NASB)

So what were conditions like just before the Babylonian/Daniel exile? They were like the conditions (idolatry, immorality, child sacrifice, etc.) in which God warned them not to get involved 800 years earlier under Moses.

same.png

THINGS.

They were doing the same things for which God had destroyed the Canaanites through the ‘semi-conquering’ Israelites! They simply did NOT complete their mission as commanded by God.

Dr. J. Stark

April, 2019

Seasonal Christianity

We will continue with our study on Daniel next week! We at Aha Bible Moments hope you and your loved ones have a blessed Resurrection Sunday. May we celebrate Jesus Christ our risen Savior!

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4seas0ns

Each season of the year has both its good and it’s not so wonderful parts to it. Spring brings the “bounce” back into summer lover lives. Summer has it sunshine and warmth, fall brings it colors and cooler weather; winter brings its non-discerning snow that blankets the good, bad and ugly of every neighborhood. But, there are also the rougher sides to each season. To most these downsides need not to be elaborated. They are personal perspectives. It also depends on which part of the world in which one is located. Winter in Argentina is summer in the northern hemisphere. So…it all depends upon the observer. One size never fits all. Plus, it greatly depends on what the observer sees compared to his or her expectations.

What about seasonal Christianity? The control word here is “consistency.” One size does not fit all but all should have the same joy of Jesus…but we don’t; neither in our eyes nor in the eyes of those who observe. Experience has taught us two, if not three, vital principles about what today is called Christianity and what the Book of Acts teaches (actually the entire Bible attempts to teach us if and when we seek, then we will find).

  1. If a true believer does not feel as close to God as s/he once did, even if it was just a few minutes ago, it isn’t God who moved. But, it is observed by others.
  2. Being a Christian is a life style, not a religion or denomination. Life styles are observable. In this case the old saying, “Do as I say not as I do” is foreign to a believer and his or her witness by observation.
  3. If we are neither hot nor cold per living a life in Christ, God has a bad taste in his mouth per that individual and HIS observation.
  4. MAYBE 4 PRINCIPLES…We may be the ONLY “Bible” a neighbor, fellow worker, casual observer, or person on the street ever reads.

believeIs it tough to be a believer in Christ? NO! But, a believer in Christ is a two word statement: to BE and to LIVE (believe). Is it tough to live the life of a believer? Only if we are more concerned about appearances, culture, social expectations, staus and what different people groups (Church, work, recreational, part of town…any observer) “may” think of us” including inabilities to forgive all who have sinned against us.

Matthew 6:14 & 15 makes it very clear. If we forgive others as in everyone for his or her sins against us, the heavenly Father will forgive us. If we do NOT FORGIVE others who violate us, then the same heavenly Father will not forgive us.

Forgiveness does not mean one must find a way to become a bosom buddy or be socially tolerant of bible compromises. It does mean to not hold it in one’s heart as an issue losing sleep over it or poisoning conversations “over the fence” as one might say. The Greek word translated as “forgive” in the New Testament, aphiēmi, carried a wide range of meanings, including to remit (a debt), to leave (something or someone) alone, to allow (an action), to leave, to send away, to desert or abandon, and even to divorce. Forgiveness is an action, not a feeling. Unfortunately to some, forgiveness per the Bible also means to “not speak against or slander.” Feelings get in the way of our actions.

The late J. Harold Smith once put it, “when one person (studies) reads the Bible, one hundred people read our lives” (emphasis mine). In 2 Corinthians 3:2 we read…(ESV) You yourselves are our letter (epistle) of recommendation, written on our hearts, to be known and read by all. It can be read in every language without interpretation. In biblical terms, we are epistles and (small letter “a”) apostles. Many will likely think or state, I simply can’t live by these standards. I slip up and people see that also. To think or even share that is an absolute truth, but to confess a wrong or hard feeling is part of being an epistle. This too is seen and read by observers. Paul called himself a sinner.

In no way does this article or the Bible suggest compromise as a solution to forgiving or getting along with the world. Forgiveness does not mean being tolerant. As true believers (to be and to live) we are told to not conform to the ways of the world as a way of life but to personally transform our hearts to reflect Christ in us. Compromise is the current vogue or way of this world.

No CompromiseWe do not compromise with the devil. He is the prince and power of this world. Jesus said in John 14:30 ”…for the ruler (Satan) of this world is coming. He has no claim on me.SIDE NOTE: Any who wish to be skeptics by pointing out that as this verse suggests Satan is coming so he is not yet here, read on. The Greek for coming is er’-khom-ahee.” It means “a middle voice verb used only in the present imperfect tense.” Huh? Yup! It means already present.

This is why we are commanded to “not conform to this world.” It is a matter of transforming our lives TO Christ even more so than from the world. It is a bit like two parallel efforts but the same goal. We should not need to run from sin as much as we should run to our salvation. Do we run from a danger or do we run to safety? Running from something does not assure we are ever far enough away from it to avoid some form of contact with it. Running to safety is specific. We YADDA (know) when we get there. Running to Christ is leaving a sinful life behind. Praise God there is sin forgiveness.

In a very real sense, this reflects what E. M. Bounds (1835-1913) put it in one of his great writings.

We have a wrong estimate of what we think is a Church’s strength. Paraphrasing him, Mega-churches must have it right because they have appeal and are MEGA for a reason of some form of demonstrative strength; size; beauty; parking spaces; awesome sound systems; music. To grasp a true churches strength we must go back and study, meaning STUDY to the Book of Acts for what it says, not for some form of starting point after which we adjust “church” to fit culture(s), men’s design, and political correctness to not be offensive. The church is not a building or denomination. Denominations or the lack of one is not the church. Believers are the church.

As Mr. Bounds puts it, “Church (Christianity) strength does not consist in its numbers and its money, but in the holiness of its members (emphasis mine).

Ephesians 4:4 backs him up…One body, and one Spirit, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all. Here in this verse, preceding verses, or following verse can anyone find the church having anything to do with possessions, size, wealth, “eloquence [that] fills the pulpit (Bounds)”, and check book balances. These are all (kole in the Hebrew and pas in the Greek) man measures. E. M. Bounds adds, “The aggregate of the personal holiness of the members of each [congregation; one church] is the only measure of strength.” Like the oft used example of a “whatever” is only as strong as its weakest link.” Knowledge or even understanding is not an eternal choice.

There was a time when sin would slink around side streets and dark alleys (men love darkness rather than light). Today due to tolerance, political correctness, coming out of closets, and civil compromise, it is found in parades, flaunted on the Internet, heard and seen on the news, and in our school curriculum. Lord, forgive us for we have sinned as a church, a people, a nation, a creation. A. W. Tozer put it well when he wrote, “There is no middle ground. The Lord does not recognize ‘agreeing to disagree’.”

Being in church does not make one a Christian (sheep) by association. Neither can a Christian school, bible college education or being raised in what one considers a Christian family, make one a member of God’s family; even if a member of a local mega-denomination. I shared this with another person some time ago. He said, “Now you are getting personal.” I agreed.

Rev. Dr. Jstark
April 13, 2019

How Does the Book of Daniel Fit into the Bible and history? Part 1

puzzle fitHow does the book of Daniel fit into the Bible and history?

The following is a rather detailed history of the O.T. leading up to the time of Daniel. It will best serve as a personal Old Testament Bible guide. Memorizing it could be daunting. Knowing where to find the answer is the best approach. Find it in THIS background to Daniel. This would be the equivalent in most universities at a graduate level study. Do not be alarmed. There are no written tests.

Three Periods of Old Testament History:

The first verse in the Bible reveals that…

…“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1 NASB

We do not know exactly when creation took place, as there may be a gap between

Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2 as the additional possibility of a gap between these two verses and when God created day and night (V5). The way we currently understand the laws of Physics, including the Theory of General Relativity, secular and evangelical scientists are certain that the universe (time, space, and matter) had a beginning and has not always existed. The book of Genesis reveals that God created the universe “In the beginning…” This is also the beginning of the period we will label the Pre-Abrahamic period of Old Testament History; prehistoric per secularists.

In the Pre-Abrahamic period, the book of Genesis describes:

  1. From where man, woman, and marriage come.
  2. It explains from where sin and death come.
  3. It details the first murder.
  4. It describes a time when God destroyed the earth by a great flood.
  5. It outlines from where the nations and the diversity of races and languages that we have on the earth came. (It is not our goal at the present time to go into detail on any of these events. This study sheet is an overview of the Old Testament and what it is about to be better understood where and how the book of Daniel fits into the Old and New Testament.)

The Patriarchal period. Abraham is a man to whom three great religions trace their origins: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Both Jews and Arabs genetically come from Abraham. Abraham left his country, Ur in Babylon (modern day Iraq), and followed God to a new country, Canaan, where modern day Israel and Palestine are located.

Abraham had two sons, Ishmael, from whom the Arabs trace their lineage, and Isaac, from whom Israel and the Jews trace their lineage. Isaac had two sons, Jacob and Esau. Jacob, who later changed his name to Israel, had twelve sons – the twelve tribes of Israel are descendants of these twelve sons. The book of Genesis (which covers a longer period of time than the rest of the Bible combined) ends up with Jacob and his twelve sons and one daughter, their wives, and their kids all moving down to Egypt to avoid starving in a famine. (By the way, the book of Job is about another man who probably lived during Abraham’s time.)

The offspring of Israel (Jacob) spent more than 400 years in Egypt, and became slaves to the Egyptians probably toward the end of this period of time. The book of Exodus takes up Israel’s history near the end of this 400 year period in Egypt. Thus begins the third period of Old Testament history, Egypt and the Exodus. Four books of the Bible – Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy – cover this period of time lasting about 40 years; mostly the wilderness wandering of the Israelites.

10During this period of time, God used Moses to liberate the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. Also during this time, God gives Moses the Ten Commandments and other laws for the Nation of Israel. After God gives the Ten Commandments and the other laws,

Moses sends twelve spies into Canaan. When they return, ten of the spies give a bad report which scares the Israelites. They complain to Moses and to God refusing to enter the Promised Land. God punishes Israel by making the continue living in the desert for about 40 years. The Egypt and the Exodus period begin about 1446 BC.

After the 40 years of living and wandering in the desert, the next period begins. This period, Conquering the Land, covers about 10 years. Israel conquers some of the land of Canaan in the area of the world now known as Israel and Palestine. The people of

Canaan were evil but their origin comes is based in the time of Abraham through Ishmael and Esau.

They sacrificed their own kids to a god named Molech by burning them alive. This gruesome act is one of the reasons that God ordered Israel to conquer the land of Canaan. The book of Joshua covers this period of Old Testament history. Israel conquered Canaan beginning around 1406 BC, but they never followed through per God’s instructions.

Dr. jStark

April 2019

 

The Book of Daniel – According to Wikipedia

attentionThe following is some of what the Book of Daniel and other canonized biblical books prophecy will happen as we close in on end time. This is despicable verbiage designed to do one thing…discredit Daniel and the Bible as the reliable and infallible Word of God. This is what high school and college students are exposed to today and we as true believers do nothing to stop it. This makes us as weak in our stand for God and Christ as Wikipedia is now violating Christianity, the Bible, and God himself.

caution[Wikipedia]: “The Book of Daniel is not regarded by scholars as a reliable guide to history. The broad consensus is that Daniel never existed, and that the author appears to have taken the name from a legendary hero of the distant past mentioned in the Book of Ezekiel. The book that bears his name is an apocalypse, not a book of prophecy, and its contents form a cryptic allusion to the persecution of the Jews by the Syrian king Antiochus IV Epiphanes (reigned 175–164 BCE). There is broad agreement that the stories making up chapters 1–6 are legendary in character, and that the visions of chapters 7–12 were added during the persecution of Antiochus, the book itself being completed soon after 164 BCE.

Daniel 5 and Daniel 6 belong to the folktales making up the first half of the book. The language of Daniel 5 (“Belshazzar’s Feast”), for example, follows ancient Near Eastern conventions which are in some cases precisely those used in Daniel. Daniel 6 (“Daniel in the Lions’ Den”) is based on a classic Babylonian folk-tale called “Ludlul-bel-nemeqi”, telling of a courtier who suffers disgrace at the hands of evil enemies but is eventually restored due to the intervention of a kindly god (in the story in Daniel, this is the God of Israel): in the Babylonian original the “pit of lions” is a metaphor for human adversaries at court, but the biblical tale has turned the metaphorical lions into real animals.”

cropped-minijim1Dr. Jstark
September 2018

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darius_the_Mede

 

Britannica and Wikipedia

fake news

BEWARE!

Encyclopedia Britannica joins Wikipedia is deceiving (history revisionists)

Not only has Wikipedia gone sour on Christianity in their online encyclopedia of histories, *Britannica online has now joined them dispersing false or revised historical facts. The unlearned is being greatly deceived today. It appears the “church” is simply sitting back and accepting these false histories to disseminate. Here is another example how the unlearned may not recognize something stated but is fake history. This is what the people in the churches and students in secular colleges accept as fact without even a whimper of challenge.

* https://www.britannica.com/topic/The-Book-of-Daniel-Old-Testament

The language of the book—part of which is Aramaic (2:4–7:28; [a truth]—probably indicates a date of composition later [a deception/lie] than the Babylonian Exile (6th century BC). Numerous inaccuracies connected with the exilic period (no deportation occurred in 605 BC; Darius was a successor of Cyrus, not a predecessor; etc.) tend to confirm this judgment. Because its religious ideas do not belong to the 6th century BC, numerous scholars date Daniel in the first half of the 2nd century BC and relate the visions to the persecution of the Jews under Antiochus IV Epiphanes (175–164/163 BC).”

Let’s look at this above information as copied and pasted from Britannica’s online encyclopedia concerning the Book of Daniel. My goal is not to refute or add actual secular history supporting what the bible states. It is to caution believers in Christ and the bible to the fact we are already in End Times when false doctrines will fill the pages of written news, broadcasts, and deception prevails (Matthew 24:4-5).

  1. “…probably indicates a date of composition later than the Babylonian Exile (6th century BC).”
    PROBABLY?” This word alone makes it purely a supposition or guess. Caution: many readers will see it as from the reputable encyclopedia Britannica so this word “probably” is dismissed from mind. They also state that it is written later than the Babylonian Exile of the 6th century BC. Such a statement becomes a false fact for two reasons. First, it means Daniel did not prophecy but simply recorded history after the fact…almost 300 years after the fact. In this case, written by Daniel hundreds of years after he has already died and been buried in Susa, Persia. Second, it means Daniel either did not exist or was not who the bible tells us he was because he is fiction making the bible itself a story book; i.e. a fiction story book one might say.

We must add, how does “The Language of the book – part of which is Aramaic (2:4-7:28)” translates into this “document being written at a later date?” Aramaic was like the English of today; spoken almost universally; a business language common to this world just as Aramaic was common to the then known world of nations.

  1. Numerous inaccuracies connected with the exilic period (no deportation occurred in 605 BC” Inaccuracies???? Stone reliefs and archeological evidence exist telling of King Nebuchadnezzar’s rule, conquests, overrunning and destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, his three exports of Judeans from Judah to Babylon, and evidence of Daniel’s burial tomb in Susa. Susa is Persian: Šuš[ʃuʃ]Hebrewשׁוּשָׁן ŠušānGreek: Σοῦσα [ˈsuːsa]Syriacܫܘܫ‎ Šuš; was an ancient city of the Proto-ElamiteElamiteFirst Persian EmpireSeleucidParthian, and Sasanian empires of Iran, and one of the most important cities of the Ancient Near East.Here is a quote from archeological records as recorded in:

    https://www.haaretz.com/archaeology/.premium-exiles-life-in-babylonia-revealed-1.5367088 A little known collection of more than 100 clay tablets in Cuneiform script, dating back to the Babylon Exile some 2,500 years ago, was unveiled this week [February 2015], allowing a glimpse into the everyday life of one of the most ancient exile communities in the world. 2500 years ago? Do the math. 2019 minus 2500 years puts us back to the Daniel record, not the one recorded as “probable” fact by the encyclopedia Britannica.

  2. Darius was a successor to Cyrus, not the predecessor.” This is deception at its best. Tell the truth but not the whole truth. Ancient records of history tell us that there were three named or titled Darius who ruled in Babylon. Example: There was Darius the Mede who was appointed the first king of Babylon but only ruled two years; Darius the Great *4th Persian ruler of the Achaemenid Empire of Medo-Persian Babylon) (Bīsitūn inscription); Darius III (c. 380 – July 330 BC), originally named Artashata and called Codomannus by the Greeks, was the last king of the Achaemenid Empire of Persia. Deception once again in 2019…there were three Kings of Persia named or title Darius. This in no way proves King Cyrus was followed by or came before Darius. There was a short time ruler (for two years as he was 62 when he took charge) named or titled Darius before and after King Cyrus. Two other kings of this area who were called or titled Darius who were successors to Cyrus.
  3. Because its religious ideas do not belong to the 6th century BC, numerous scholars date Daniel to the first half of the 2nd century BC. Its religious ideas? What does this mean? Perhaps its intended negative challenge to canonized scripture, evangelicals, bible believers? What numerous scholars? Were or are they scholars in languages; English; geology; lab sciences? One might suggest this information in Britannica is once again deceptive and deliberately misleading of the ignorant of facts and the under-studied, just as prophesied in the very bible this section of Britannica Encyclopedia is trying to undermine as “the word of God.”
  4. “…and relate the visions to the persecution of the Jews under Antiochus IV Epiphanes (175–164/163 BC).” “Relate the visions…” can only mean Daniels recorded vision are records of fact but only AFTER THE FACT. This totally discredits the bible recordings as inaccurate or altogether false. Why limit this to Antiochus IV since there are hundreds of records of Jewish suppressions, exiles, holocausts such as Nazi Germany or the oft misreported 1492 – 1503 A.D. Spanish inquisitions. This is taught in history books but does not mention it focused upon the execution or dispersing of Jews in Spain by the Catholics. Their third choice was to change their Jewish names to ‘christian’ (Pope acceptable) names. We only know it as the inquisitions. Do history books in public schools also mention 1492 (Columbus) to 1503 AD as a time when Ferdinand and Isabella consolidated their rule tried to rid the Iber Peninsula (Spain) of all Jews?

Is our education and depth of knowledge per the WHOLE TRUTH of histories controlled by secular liberals? We can call them by their real identities: History revisionists!

Rev. Dr. Jstark
March 2019

http://users.adam.com.au/bstett/BBabylonianExile586BCE.html

https://www.haaretz.com/archaeology/.premium-biblical-city-of-libnah-identified-1.5303117

Decoding Daniel – Part 2

research

RESEARCH

When doing research I am always personally open to the possibility of what I set out to discover and validate ends up changing my mind or position in some way, major ways, or affirm my position. It is called UNDERSTANDING. I leave my doors of new knowledge open to these possibilities. This position is also steeped into reasoning out why Daniel is written in Syriac/Aramaic (non-Israelis) and in Hebrew (to the Tribes of Jacob and the Old Testament Covenant).

Much of Daniel’s chapter 8-12 prophecies are exclusive to the Israelites (12 Tribes) with particular attention given to the Tribe and Kingdom of Judah then dispersed by the Babylonians in 586 B.C. to a 70 year captivity; i.e. better said not allowed to return to Judah/Jerusalem. The Kingdom of Israel meaning the Northern Ten Tribes were dispersed by Assyrians in 732 B.C. and again in 720 B.C. In 605 B.C. and again in 586 B.C. the Kingdom of Judah went into their 70 year exile. Gentiles (the church) can safely consider that we are not in the same river or current of future events as those promised to God’s chosen People. Christians; i.e. The Church of believers may NOT be the primary target in some of Daniel’s prophecies, but could be caught up in the vacuum of events in Israel as Christians if the Church is not a pre-tribulation rapture event. If the Tribulation is targeted to Israel alone, the church body of believers will already be missing due to the Rapture (the pre-tribulation, pre-millennial view).

My sources represent a mix of liberal and conservative scholarly theologians who hold diverse views. These will be listed separately at the end of this work-in-progress study of Daniel. In no-way can I conclude or offer possible insights to all of the meaningful sources until they have been added to this work-in-progress. I will attempt to weed out that which is purely speculation, one-sided denomination planks, tickling ear syndrome not supported by scripture.

In this initial commentary, it is my goal to begin the awareness and some loose understanding of the prophetic blend and practical teachings of the Book of Daniel. God the Father ultimately controls every nation, having determined the times set for them and the exact places where these events will unfold. For that reason, I have structured Decoding Daniel upon God’s Sovereignty in the Rise [and fall] of *Four Hebrew, Five World Empires, and their Princes. These men and nations are but a methodology used of God to fulfill his covenants with Old Testament Israel (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) and the Church established in the early pages of the New Testament. *Four Hebrew powers: 1) the Judges; 2) the Nation of Israel; 3) the divided Kingdoms of Israel and Judah; 4) the Covenant with His people to bring them back to a Promised Land but yet to be fulfilled; i.e. a work still in progress.important-

IMPORTANT JIV NOTE: We should conclude by the end of this Bible study that politics is nothing more than an earthly tool of Satan to distract, derail, confuse and hide the fact that the real issues is between Lucifer’s fall from Heaven and God’s creation giving mankind, made in HIS own image, the opportunity to share in Satan’s destiny or God’s preferred destiny.

The importance of the Book of Daniel

  1. It is an indispensable introduction to New Testament prophecy.
  2. It bridges the gap between Israel’s historical books and the New
    Testament.
  3. It reveals details about the *comings of the Anointed One, the Antichrist and other princes.
      1. The coming of Christ, anointed Son of God
      2. The Rapture of the Church
      3. Jesus on the Throne during the Millennial reign from Jerusalem
  1. It tells of the Tribulation, followed by the Lord’s return to rule from the Throne of David in Jerusalem for 1,000 years.
  2. It speaks about the resurrections and the judgments of God.
  3. It covers “the Times of the Gentiles.”
  4. It shows that God is sovereign in the affairs of man.
  5. It provides compelling evidence that there is a God in heaven who rules history.
  6. It uncovers a great spiritual warfare among the angelic and demonic forces.
  7. It illustrates what true dedication to God means, and what God is willing to do through and for those who are committed to Him.
  8. It provides a solid basis for comfort in the midst of adversity.
  9. It discloses Godly principles for politicians and officials.
  10. It offers hope for God’s people so they will not fall away.
  11. It challenges God’s people to faithfulness and perseverance.
  12. It contains an unusual amount of practical truth that is applicable to Christians today.
  13. It predicts an everlasting kingdom ruled by the Son of Man.

During the Olivet Discourse Jesus directed our attention to the prophet Daniel (Matthew 24:15). By referring to Daniel, Jesus was drawing our attention to some of the most amazing last day prophecies of the Bible. Daniel’s prophecies were written during the sixth century BC, after the Babylonians had conquered Israel and taken them into captivity. Secular theologians state it was written in the first century BC due to its accuracy. Daniel received several visions and prophecies during this time, beginning when he was a youth under king Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. The Olivet Discourse didn’t happen until several hundred years later; about 30 A.C.

The Apocrypha adds three additional moments to Daniels’ life in Babylon. These events are found in Bel and the Dragon found in the Vulgate as Daniel 14; Susanna found in the Vulgate as Daniel 13; *The Song of the Three Children; Vulgate, Daniel 3:24-90. The standard Evangelical Bible typically stops after chapter 12 in the Book of Daniel.

* This passage includes the sorrowful prayer of Azariah (Abednego) in Babylonian while the three youths were in the fiery furnace. It is a brief account of a figure who met them in the furnace and was unburned (an angel, or interpreted by fundamental Christians as a pre-figurement of Jesus Christ, in the same vein as Melchizedek); and the hymn of praise they sang (with the refrain, “Praise and exalt Him above all forever…”, repeated many times, each naming a feature of the world) when they realized they were delivered.

AHAMOMENT: The history of Hanania, Misheal, and Azariah (Shadrach, Meshach and Abendego) was under Nebuchadnezzar, a Babylonian King. The historical reference to Danial in the Lion’s Den was over 70 years later under the new Medo-Persian Ruler, Cyrus. These are NOT stories. They are history that ss to some degree mentioned on the *Black Oblisk and other written tablets of ancient Babylon and Persia.

* Black Obelisk of the Assyrian King Shalmaneser III

 

Rev. Dr. James Stark
original copy 3/20/2013
Revised March 2, 2019

 

Decoding Daniel – Part 1

               An In Depth Classroom and Home Bible Study

DEEP


The Book of Daniel reveals God’s sovereign control of history from 605 B.C. to the Second Advent of Christ. This prophetic writing contains hundreds of predictions that revolve around five basic themes.

1. The Rise and Fall of Four Empires
2. The Coming of the Everlasting Millennial Kingdom
3. The Coming Princes
4. The Time of Israel’s Distress
5. The End Times

My objective in Decoding Daniel is to show history revealing prophecy and prophecy revealing history. Yahweh is the Lord of time and history. They are one and the same; not one a story and the other facts of history. They are both part of the same historical facts.

He is sovereign over the world, though considerable power and freedom of will have been given to human and angelic beings. Because of this freedom, a great conflict within the physical and spiritual realms is revealed in the Book of Daniel as humans, angels, Satan and God strive to control the future. Today they are cloaked in what man calls politics. Do not be swayed, That is a farce of Satan in his attempt to confuse facts. (Recommended reading: Satan’s Confusing Counterfeits by Joe Crews)

God elects to relate to humanity in such a way that humans become a factor in His life and He becomes part of our lives. Paul is strong on this point in his Philippians letter. Because of this interaction, prayers, dreams and visions play a significant role in the events of this book (Daniel) as God reveals the rise and fall of future empires and princes.

Although biblical history shows that God changes in the way He feels, plans, and acts in response to our response to Him, there are boundaries to His change. The LORD responds to human actions without compromising His revealed, unconditional plans and purposes. In addition, He never violates His legitimacy, righteousness and holiness. The future God has mapped out in the Book of Daniel will occur. His prophecies we find in history textbooks of the secular world proving many of these prophecies have already happened.target

Interesting side note… The fact that Daniels accuracy is so on-target, secularists and even some religious sophisticates claim the Book of Daniel had to be written after the fact of history itself. In other words, it was and remains too accurate to be true. Hmmmmm?

From the beginning, man’s history has been the story of rebellion against God. Instead of developing morally, humanity continues to head down the slippery slope of decadence, declension and destruction. For this reason alone, God is able to foretell the future with absolute accuracy as He overrules evil for His plans and purposes. Although in some of Daniel’s prophecies evil may appear to be victorious, God is working behind the scenes for good [Romans 8:28]. Joseph characterized God’s sovereign rule over evil for good in this same way in Genesis 50:20: “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”

Prophetically, the Book of Daniel is the key that unlocks eschatology; the study of the last days. It is indispensable for understanding Christ’s predictions and the Book of Revelation. Many of its symbols are employed in diverse ways in the Apocalypse of Jesus Christ. [Recommended web site: http://www.biblestudyhour.net/Apocalypse.html] Below is an extract from its pages.

God’s plan for the world is unfolded in amazing detail in Daniel. *Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream of the Great Image, Daniel’s dream and visions of the Four Beasts, and the Ram and Goat, along with Gabriel’s unveiling of the Seventy ‘Sevens’ provide the framework for prophetic history from 605 B.C. to the second coming [Advent] of Christ.

Daniel is written in prose and it differs from other prophetic books of the Bible which often have their oracles written in poetry. Consequently, it appears in the Hebrew Scriptures among “the writings” and not “the prophets.” Nevertheless, Daniel cannot be read like a narrative or novel since it contains images and symbols that need to be understood before God’s plan for the future can be understood. One cannot grasp its prophecies without first knowing a great deal about the rest of the Bible and the secular histories in which it is founded.

The kinds of predictions in the Book of Daniel are twofold:

  1. There are “types” or “foreshadowing’s” concealed within the narratives themselves;
  2. There are revealed dreams and visions of future events, people and places.

 

The prophet has deciphered the dreams and visions with the help of the Spirit of God. Herein a significant part of the outline of God’s plan for “the times of the Gentiles” has been decoded by the prophet. However, translating the details of this period is often left to the readers. My hope is to aid in this task by:

1. Connecting the symbolism decoded by Daniel to historical events, people and places.

2. Interpreting and connecting the symbolism that belongs to yet future events, people and places based on other prophecies contained in the Scriptures.

3. Discovering and interpreting the “types” in the narrative sections.

4. Explaining the words that have been closed up and sealed until the time of the end. In no way is it within my knowledge and study to open what has been sealed by God but we can possibly determine WHAT has been sealed. Someday the hidden will be revealed to all creation.

Practically, the Book of Daniel abounds with personal applications. Daniel himself models a godly life, blessed by God from teenage years through old age. A question section appears at the end of each chapter and will be discussed in our Bible Study containing a few applications gleaned from Daniel and others mentioned within that chapter. These questions can and will be an active ingredient for gaining knowledge and understanding. What we desire to do with gained understanding is an individual’s call. We will add secular historical evidence supporting Daniel’s incredible incites of wisdom and understanding of the times.

Chronological dating of Old Testament events varies slightly among church and secular scholars. Many variations arise from the Biblical writers themselves. Some count the ascension year as the first year of a king’s reign, others do not. Earlier scholars date the fall of Jerusalem in 587 B.C. and Artaxerxes’ decree to rebuild Jerusalem in 445 B.C. I have opted (JIV) to follow the scholars who date these events as 586 B.C. and 444 B.C. Not a biggie considering it is only a give or take of one year. None the less, it is my hopes to self-explain as we progress through this great study and grasp understanding while offering convincing evidence this is the true Word of God and true history all in one.

Somewhere during our study will be a chronology of Daniel with supporting facts. We can divide Daniel three ways: 1) Take it as it is presented in most evangelical Bibles; look at it through its chronological order; 2) divide it between the two languages that it is written in: 1-2:4a (Hebrew), 2:4b – 7 (depending on how one looks at tense, voice and whether Daniel is being quoted or is his own quote) is written in Syriac/Aramaic. 3) Chapter 8 – 12 is written in Hebrew.

The Book of Daniel has been a battleground of “higher criticism.” For instance, liberals view this book as Pseudepigrapha, written to inspire the hopes of the Jewish victims during the Seleucid persecution of 170-165 B.C. I (JIV) believe it was written by a prophetic Daniel at the time of the 70 years Jewish (not Israeli) Babylonian exile, perhaps into the rule of Cyrus of Persia. One’s beliefs and interpretation of Daniel can be a litmus test of conservative or liberal orthodoxy. The interpretations of Daniel’s prophecies sharply divide pre-millennial views from a-millennial views. The reader should find that the explanation in this commentary is conservative and (JIV) pre-millennial Tribulation. Enough evidence and scripture will be provided to validate this position. My basis is that the covenant made between God (pre-Jesus’s N.T. times) is not yet fulfilled and the covenant with the Church (body of Christ) is under a New covenant… the church.

Next Week- Decoding Daniel Part 2


Rev. Dr. James Stark
original copy 3/20/2013
Revised March 2, 2019