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

Revelation 13:1-10 (­­­­Part One)

The name or word antichrist can mean either the opposite of Christ OR instead of miniJimChrist. In our study it is probably both; the “opposite” as in opposing AND “instead of” such as a Satanic substitute. This would include the ancient worship of idols or a future “false christ” performing miracles as a form of persuasion that HE is the Christ; not the one from the New Testament. Jesus specifically warns about this. When Jesus Christ  returns to earth it is not to demonstrate anything, but to take possession of his earth and out of the hands and influence of Satan. He will appear in the eastern skies, put foot on the Mount of Olives and claim his kingship as King of kings. He will NOT be some political figure. His appearance is at the very end of the 7 year Tribulation and after the last 7 plagues.mountofolives

The rider on the white horse in the apocalypse comes to make peace; a false sense of security for Israel AND the rest of the turbulent waters or nations of this world. The word antichrist never appears in Revelation. It only appears in 1 John (3 times; twice in one verse) and once in 2 John. Of course this is the same John who writes Revelation but never uses the word anti-Christ in this final book in the bible.

The bible gives the antichrist many titles:

– The little horn of Daniel 7:8

– The king of fierce countenance of Daniel 8:23

The Prince that shall come of Daniel 9:26

– The willful king of Daniel 11:36-45

– *The one who comes in his own name of John 5:43, whom Israel will receive as a messiah

The son of perdition, the man of sin, the lawless one of 2 Thessalonians 2:3

*This in and of itself suggests it could be of the Tribe of Judah or Levi who is the real antichrist. This may also suggest that this is why the nation of Israel accepts the peace treaty offered by this leader. He is a Jew!?

In Revelation 12 John presents this beast as the extension of the fourth beast of Daniel 7, connecting his empire with the characteristics of the great empires of the past. This final world empire will have the catlike vigilance of a leopard, the lumbering but crushing power of a bear, the authority and ferociousness and stalking power of a lion. In chapter 13 he describes the “beast” as a combined creature of Daniel’s dream; resembling a leopard; feet of a bear; mouth like a lion but a singular beast. In the Book of Daniel these world powers had yet to come. In Revelation, it is the combined power represented by these animals that force the world into a singular governed economy. These animals are popularly recognized as Babylon, Mede-Persian, Greek, then, Rome.

It is a fascinating discussion per 13:2b:

The dragon will give this critter His power; His throne; great authority. Certainly Satan has in the past and continues to make earth HIS DOMAIN and possession. He gives it all to this critter from the Sea. This is very similar to Matthew 28:18. Christ makes this claim of power and authority as from God his biological the Father.

Verse 3 tells of the deadly wound at which the whole world must be aware. However, there is no indication as to who is the one striking this deadly blow to him; It SEEMED (hōs) to have a deadly blow to one of its heads.  This same Greek word is translated as something that appears to be so, but is not definitive. “…and all the world wondered after the beast.” This [first] beast is not an institution, nationality, or organization as many denominations and theological theorists suggest, but a person. This is Satan’s effort to once again parallel anything and everything God created or did, including the sacrifice and resurrection of one of his own if not a direct bodily possession of a man who is dead but possessed of Satan and then appears to be alive. Scary thought!

What we have so far in Revelation 13:1-10:

  1. Satan
  2. Dragon
  3. Beast from the Sea
  4. A dragon who gives this beast from the sea his powers, throne, and authority.
  5. A wounded head among the multi-headed beast that “appears” to be fatal.
  6. A step back, but Daniel 7 is the parallel scripture to Revelation 13

NOTE: It is good to recall or learn that the 4th beast of Daniel 7 is NOT IDENTIFIED as a creature he recognizes. Daniel 7:19… “the fourth best is diverse from all the others.” This is probably so as the other three beasts can be identified to kingdoms in the past. The fourth beast is described but of unknown quantities, symbolisms, and prophetic clarity. This is also true of Revelation 13:1 & 11.

Another fascinating note is the language used in Daniel 7:26; i.e. the word “THEY.” “…and THEY shall take away his dominion to consume and to destroy it unto the end.” It is the court according to scripture, but who is the court? This is worth researching on one’s own in order to take ownership of the results.

At verse 4 of chapter 13 we see that mankind will be deceived but accepting to the worship of this 1st beast AND the Dragon father. The warning comes in chapter 14 that if anyone who worships this beast and/or its image, they have committed the eternal sin for which there is no longer any forgiveness.

There are some, however, who believe this to fit the passage that reads, “he was, then is not, but then is again” [Revelation 17:11]. This might be the rise, death then resurrection of the old Roman Empire through the Vatican; i.e. the Pope’s:

1 global power until the 1700’s when Napoleon stripped him of it,

2 noninvolvement in secular world affairs for several hundred years after Napoleon,

3 revived involvement in politics and environmental discussions as we see it today.

Verses 4 & 5 suggest the same thing that God did for his son Jesus while he was on earth and right after his resurrection; he gave all power/authority in heaven and earth to Jesus his son – Matthew 28:18.  This was right after his resurrection (read Ephesians 1:20-23). This again is a parallel to and a false deception propagated by Satan himself when he simulates this with his false trinity. There is often discussion of the meaning or purpose or function of the “little horn” in Daniel 7:8. One might suggest this is the “Son of Satan” just as Jesus is the Son of God. Martin Luther and John Calvin believed this little horn to be Islam. He is the one who rises up as the little horn and plucks three rebelling horns out of his circle or power.

Stay tuned while considering the following:

Question: Do these passages suggest that predestination is established for certain pre-identified individuals or for those who use his/her free will to follow Christ? [Blue Letter Bible]

– The work of Jesus was ordained before the foundation of the world (1 Peter 1:20)

– God chose His redeemed before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4)

– *Names are written in the Book of Life before the foundation of the world (Revelation 17:8)

– The kingdom of heaven was prepared for the redeemed before the foundation of the world (Matthew 25:34)

Answer: No! These passages mean that God preordained his chosen people Israel to be a light unto the rest of the world even though they have failed so to do, and, FROM the point of creation of the earth, man, and its inhabitants. *This passage is misquoted from Revelation 17:8. 17:8 does not say the names are written before the creation of the world, but since or from the point of creation forward “names are written into the book of life.”  The Ephesian passage is written out of context. God has chosen us (to be) in him before the foundation of the world. This is what he hoped for Adam and Eve. They failed him.

GODsoloveMankind has a free will of choice. Once we accept Christ as Lord and Savior, we fall into the predestination of becoming a child of God; brother to Jesus. It is predestined that those who accept Jesus and follow him will have salvation. Those who chose to follow and worship him are predestined to be called children of God. It is discussing the who but the process of HOW it happens.