Anyone who has read through the Books of Revelation, Daniel, Isaiah, Matthew, Ezekiel, or any of the prophecies that pertain to the end times has probably wondered why they are so confusing. Many of them spark intense debate amongst Bible scholars, pastors, and those of us who turn to the Bible for answers. Why wouldn’t God just come out and tell us how things are going to go down?
First and foremost, He has, but He’s done it in a way that we aren’t able to fully comprehend with our human minds. This is done for a few reasons that we can discern from the text and then there are several other reasons that we can’t necessarily discern at this point but that we can assume based upon the situation. This is a topic I’ve long wanted to cover but it’s important to be extremely careful when trying to understand God’s reasons for doing what He does. There are so many people out there today in blogs and on YouTube who declare that “God did something for this reason” or “God intended that to happen because of this.” Be very cautious when reading analyses or listening to videos that claim to know what’s going to happen in the coming days.
Isaiah 55:8-9 (KJV)
8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
For this study, we’re going down a dangerous path because we’re going to try to understand the confusion that surrounds Bible prophecy, which means we’re going to try to look at God’s motives. That’s why it’s taken me so long to do this study. The last thing I would ever want to do is to wrongly declare anything that I nor any human on the planet can truly understand, but I believe that the Scriptures do point to compelling reasons for confusion in Bible prophecy. At the end of the day, any exegesis of scripture is at best a strongly-felt opinion. We are not capable of understanding these things completely yet and we may never fully understand them even after we die.
Anyone who declares definitively that something is going to happen on this date or that date is doing the Bible a disservice. The Bible is clear that date-setting is not possible but that we’re supposed to stay cognizant of the signs. But we do have the capabilities to recognize the seasons. To me, it’s clear that the signs we’re seeing point to us being in the final season, but that’s simply an interpretation that I believe many of us can see based upon the events that are happening around the world. They seem to match up nicely with the teachings of the prophets. However, we’ve seen many times in the past when events seemed to match up and the end didn’t come. The rise of the European Union, the hurricanes and tsunamis, 9/11, the unorthodox resignation of the last Pope… there is no shortage of events that could be correlated to some Bible prophecy. We have to understand that these things and everything we’re seeing today might very well be a sign of the end, but our comprehension of the prophecies and discernment of the events do not always mesh together the way we imagine.
Perhaps the hardest thing to understand about Bible prophecy is the scale of God’s time. Most of the events pertaining to the end times can be interpreted to last for long or short periods. It’s hard to tell which is which. Many of the early disciples from congregations built by the apostles were anticipating the 2nd coming of Yeshua in their lifetimes. In fact, Paul had to tell the Thessalonians that Christ had not come back already as someone had reported to them. This demonstrates that the spirit of antichrist has been at work for at least 2,000 years to deceive the people into following a false doctrine and we’re seeing those deceptions rise in full force today. In the future I will discuss the “falling away” that we’re seeing play out so dramatically in the world today as well as other signs that point to us being in the end times, but for now we simply want to cover the topic of confusion.
With that in mind, let’s dive in and put together a working theory about the confusion that permeates through Bible prophecy.
What we know
Let’s start by looking at a sampling of Scriptures that reflect God’s desire to keep the prophecies unclear until the end.
But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased. – Daniel 12:4 (KJV)
Daniel was given prophecies of many things such as the first coming of the Messiah, the rise of the great ancient empires, and the ways through which these empires would fall. The prophecies he was given were so accurate that liberal Bible scholars and secular opponents to the Word have declared that they must have been written after the fact. There’s no way, in their opinion, that Daniel could have written these particular parts of the Book of Daniel because that would impact their worldview that doesn’t believe the Bible is the inerrant Word of God.
In this verse it is clear that God wanted the words revealed at the end. It’s the reason that I’m exploring a theory that Daniel may be one of the two witnesses spoken of in Revelation, but at this point it’s only a theory and one to which I do not hold strongly. That’s for a different study. Let’s continue on to the seven thunders.
And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not. – Revelation 10:4 (KJV)
Again, we see a direct command for a prophet to keep something secret. It’s not explicitly declared that the utterances of the thunders are to be revealed at the end. However, later in the chapter we know that John was given a little book to eat. Then, he is given an instruction:
And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings. – Revelation 10:11 (KJV)
Could this mean that John is also one of the two witnesses? That would be a little confusing considering that John is the one who tells us of the two witnesses and one would assume that he would recognize himself, but then again we don’t know. It could be Moses, Elijah, Enoch – there’s not shortage of theories about the identity of the two witnesses. I certainly don’t know, but that’s not really important. Let’s continue on to verses that have become the foundation of a belief in the pre-tribulation rapture.
But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. – Matthew 24:36 (KJV)
The coming of the Son of Man is being described here in a way that tells us we will not know when our Lord is to return. We don’t know and neither do the angels. Mark takes it a step further to include the Son on the list of those who don’t know, reiterating that only the Father knows the day and the hour.
But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. – Mark 13:32 (KJV)
Why is it so important for the end to be shrouded in secrecy? Why has God chosen to keep it all hidden until it actually happens, but He gives us prophecy that tells of those days and what to expect? To understand this, we have to try to do something that is dangerous. We’re going to try to look into the motives of our Creator and His actions. These are only conclusions that my feeble mind has come to and I would never presume to claim that these are certain, but based upon the Word we can come up with a pair of hypotheses. We may never know for sure if these hypotheses are correct, but it can hopefully get you thinking about it when you start to wonder why there is so much confusion pertaining to the end times and Bible prophecy.
Recognition rather than prediction
Let’s start with the most common reasoning for confusion, something that Bible scholars have discussed for centuries. When Daniel prophesied about the 1st coming of Yeshua, he gave us a confirmation. Keep in mind that any of the pharisees and sadducees were well aware of Daniel’s pronouncement and could have determined when Yeshua would walk through the gates of Jerusalem, but they did not. It wasn’t out of ignorance. They simply didn’t know to look, to isolate the date of the decree to rebuild Jerusalem by Artaxerxes and to count forward 69 weeks of years or 173,880 days to the entry of Yeshua.
Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. – Daniel 9:25 (KJV)
If the word was not spread so that the people would have known He was coming, why was Daniel given the prophecy? This is an example of confirmation and recognition over prediction. As scholars over the centuries realized what had happened, that news started to spread. Today, it is being spread to more people every day than in long periods of time in the past. This is an extremely compelling argument for Yeshua being the true Messiah.
In particular, this revelation has helped to convert many Jews to believe in Yeshua as their Messiah who came and who will come again because it’s pulled directly from their own Scriptures. We’ve seen a tremendous movement in the Body of Christ over the Jewish people as a result of this particular Book of the Bible in recent years and that will continue until the end.
For end times prophecy, we know that we must be watching. Most of the world will be deceived by the son of perdition because he will come in the name of peace. He will unify the world. He will bring something to the table that will appear to be wonderful. His deception will be so good that had it not been for the prophecies, he may have been able to deceive almost everyone.
This is one of the biggest reasons that end times Bible prophecies are obscure. They give us everything we need to know in order to recognize as the events take place. This is why I get so annoyed with all of the videos setting dates and declaring what events are coming. We don’t know what they’ll look like but we’ll be able to recognize them when they happen thanks to these scriptures. Most of the world will turn away from the Bible. We’re already seeing it today with so many of the most popular pastors in the world declaring that prophecy is a waste of time and that we need to be focused on the bits of scripture that, when taken out of context, try to convince us that God wants us to be rich and prosperous in this life. Again, that’s a topic for a future teaching, but needless to say having a very clear understanding of the signs that we’re supposed to watch out for is the exact opposite of a waste of time. It’s crucial.
To prevent the most compelling deceptions
Now that we understand the easy hypothesis about the confusion in end times prophecy, let’s warp our brains a little bit to understand the second hypothesis. Now is not the time to go into a deep study of destiny, pre-ordination, free will, or the dimensional effects of past and current events on future events, but we’ll instead try to simplify this hypothesis outside of the realm of science.
We’re all very aware that throughout history but in particular today there are false prophets and false messiahs popping up everywhere misleading people. They do this based upon a spirit of antichrist that has deceived some and appealed to greed of power for others. Some of the most popular spiritual leaders in the world have deceived the masses into following false doctrines and into believing in future events that simply do not come.
To understand how this is happening, we have to remember that the adversary has been plotting the downfall of man since the Garden of Eden. Satan has placed stumbling blocks in the hearts and minds of people to compel them to pull away from the Word of God. He has laid traps and prepared for our demise in ways that we cannot comprehend. As Jude points out, Satan is formidable for even the most powerful of angels.
Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee. – Jude verse 9 (KJV)
If Satan is powerful enough to contend with his fellow angels, he is clever enough to deceive us by contorting events pertaining to the Word of God. How easy would it have been for Satan to take clear prophecies of the Bible and recreate the events ahead of their appointed time to deceive everyone. As it stands, so many in the world will be deceived by the antichrist, the false prophet, and the dragon. The remnant who will see through the lies will only be able to do so because of the faith we have in the Word of God. Through discernment and understanding given to those who wear the full Armor of God, we will not be deceived thanks to the way Bible prophecies are written.
Revelation chapter 12 tells us the story of a woman and her child that would rule the world. It tells of a wrath of the dragon coming out to persecute the woman when he wasn’t able to stop the child from being born. This is an extremely important thing to understand when it comes to the obscurity of the Bible because at one point the adversary went from hope of being exalted and of ruling above God to realizing that he could no longer do that. The point that this became a reality for him was the Resurrection of Christ.
From that point forward, he knew that he had already lost. He went forth to persecute the woman even though doing so would not be able to bring him what he had wanted. His motives changed when he was not able to prevent the ascension of Christ. Now, he has nothing to lose. His goal from that point on was to take down as many humans as possible, to deceive the masses, to promote the falling away from the Word of God, and to make as many people as he could suffer the fate that awaits him.
This hypothesis depends upon that stipulation. It assumes that he knows he has lost the war. It assumes that he has nothing left to lose and that his mind is set towards vengeance. He’s going down and he’ll take as many souls with him as he can. That’s why it’s so important for the prophecies to be obscure if this hypothesis is correct. It isn’t the people who God is hiding information from with the sealed book of Daniel or the utterances of the seven thunders. It is hidden from the adversary and his minions so as to limit the deception.
Those of us who truly follow Yeshua as our Lord and Savior need not worry about these deceptions. We are given the signs and the prophecies to recognize the deception as it happens and to steel our souls so as to not to suffer the fate of the deceived and the deceiver.
Study prophecy and be aware of what’s happening in the world. There’s no need to try to predict what’s going to happen because we are incapable of doing so. There is currently a flood of warnings out there on the internet telling us what to expect. These can make us fearful of them before they come and they can make us question our worldview if the things do not happen the way we believe. For example, if you believed as so many were teaching a few tears ago that the rapture would happen in September, 2015, what happened when it didn’t come? Every time a date is set and people start preparing their lives for the sake of the predictions, souls are lost when those events do not take place. I would contend that Harold Camping cursed a great many people who were convinced that the world would end in May, 2012. The same thing is happening today with date-setters and people posting warnings. These are done in the spirit of antichrist whether the people proclaiming the warnings know so or not.
Let’s close with what Yeshua told his disciples in the Book of Matthew.
Matthew 24:3-13 (KJV)
3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?
4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.
10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
Bible prophecy is not clear to us today for a reason. Remain firm in your convictions and do not let false prophets deceive you. Know the scriptures and keep a watchful eye for events as they unfold. Most importantly, wear the full Armor of God at all times so that your faith will not be shaken by the most powerful adversary the world has even known. You don’t have to outsmart him. You simply have to have faith that God’s plan is perfect and will unfold before us in due time.
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Top 5 ‘assault weapon’ technologies that existed BEFORE the Constitution was written
Just a sample of some of the repeating firepower that existed long before the 2nd amendment.
Leftist lore has it that the only guns in existence at the time of the writing of the 2nd amendment were muskets that took 5 minutes to reload. This being exemplified by the New York Times in using an image of a musket contrasted with an assault rifle in an article on their usual obsession with gun confiscation. Or from a commercial from a liberty grabber group depicting the long, drawn out reloading of a musket. As is usually the case with leftist lore, this is a complete fabrication.
The fact is that multishot or repeating firearms existed long before the affirmation of the common sense human right of self-preservation in the US Constitution. We’ve already highlighted some of these technologies that predate the Constitution. However, for the sake of completeness, we shall fill out the list with the other fine examples.
Since there is no set definition of the term ‘assault weapon’ or ‘weapons of war’ or what ever farcical term the liberty grabber left has come up with to demonize ordinary firearms, we bestowed this term to these technology as some of the first ‘Assault Weapons’.
Repeating rifles of the early 1600s, predating the Constitution by 160 years
The Encyclopedia Britannica has a very informative article on this subject with this excerpt detailing the most important point:
The first effective breech-loading and repeating flintlock firearms were developed in the early 1600s. One early magazine repeater has been attributed to Michele Lorenzoni, a Florentine gunmaker. In the same period, the faster and safer Kalthoff system—designed by a family of German gunmakers—introduced a ball magazine located under the barrel and a powder magazine in the butt. By the 18th century the Cookson repeating rifle was in use in North America, having separate tubular magazines in the stock for balls and powder and a lever-activated breech mechanism that selected and loaded a ball and a charge, also priming the flash pan and setting the gun on half cock.
Please note that these multishot or repeating firearms existed almost 2 centuries before the writing of the Constitution, eviscerating the ‘Muskets only’ lie of the national socialist Left. For those who are numerically as well a factually challenged, this was also 370 years before the 21st Century.
The Lorenzoni repeating flintlock: Portable firepower that predated the Constitution by over 100 years
Our first video from the venerable website Forgotten weapons is of two London-Made Lorenzonis Repeating Flintlocks. This was a repeating flintlock developed in the early 1600’s that was able to fire multiple shots 160 years before the writing of the Constitution.
Early development of revolving cylinder firearms, predating the Constitution by over 109 years
Next on the Pre-constitutional timeline, we have One of the Earliest Six-shot Revolvers from the collection of the Royal Armory that we profiled in a previous article. The Curator of Firearms, Jonathan Ferguson notes that this wasn’t one of the earliest revolvers along with pointing out how the technology has ‘evolved’ over time.
This also brings up an important point, that arms and other weapons of self-defense were vitally important, a matter of life or death. Every living being is in a battle for survival, in the case of human society, these technologies determined its survivability. Thus it is a constant competition with these technologies constantly changing and evolving over time. Something that would have been known by the learned men that wrote the founding documents.
The Puckle or Defense Gun from 1718, was predating the Constitution by over 70 years
We have previously detailed the Puckle or Defense Gun invented in 1718 and demonstrated early ‘automatic weapon’ fire in 1721:
The Puckle Gun, or Defense Gun as it was also known, was invented and patented in 1718 by the London lawyer James Puckle.
This was an early ‘automatic weapon’ was capable of firing 63 shots in 7 minutes in 1721.
For those following along this missed the mark of being a 21st Century weapon by almost 300 years.
The multishot Girardoni Air Gun that predated the Constitution by 9 years.
This is another multishot weapon of war that existed before the Constitution.
Jover and Belton Flintlock Repeating Musket – 1786, this also predates the Constitution
Our last video of multishot or repeating firearms that predated the Constitution is the Jover and Belton Flintlock Repeating Musket from 1786. We’re trying to keep this as short as possible, thus we have left off other examples such as the Ribauldequin, Duckfoot or Nock gun.
Very much like the previous example, the Belton Flintlock Repeating Musket was known to the founding fathers because he corresponded with Congress on this weapon in 1777 [Again, before the drafting of the Constitution]. For those keeping score at home, 1786 is still is not of the 21st Century.
Leftist lies on this subject depends on a number of improbable fallacies and assumptions. The founding fathers would have known the history of technological developments and they would have expected those developments to continue. Thus rendering the fallacy that they could not have foreseen that weapons technologies wouldn’t of continued on to the point of absurdity.
Unfortunately for the Liberty Grabber Left, firearms tend to be valuable historical artifacts, these videos show that multishot or repeating firearms existed well before the Constitution. Thus we have eviscerated the ‘musket myth’. It should also be evident that the violence problem hasn’t been caused by the ‘easy’ availability of guns or repeating firearms.
As is the case with most Leftist lies and prevarication’s, they depend on a lack knowledge of the subject to succeed. This is why is extremely important that everyone of the Pro-Liberty Right be apprised of these facts in engaging those of the Left who have little care for logic, science or truth. The fact that multishot or repeating firearms existed centuries ago should make it clear that the Left is lying about the subject of self-defense from beginning to end.
Naeem Fazal: Is Allah the same as Yahweh?
One of the biggest reasons for the rise of the various movements attempting to unite the various religions of the world is the desire to end conflict. This isn’t just on the battlefield. Many want to prevent any one religion from spreading its doctrines as superior, opting instead for the push to say all religions are just variations on the same theme. This is, of course, very far from the truth.
The push to claim Allah, the god of Islam, is the same as Yahweh, the God of Jews and Christians, has been making its rounds across churches and public discourse for a while. It’s heretical and can be clearly debunked with a basic reading of scripture as well as readings of Quran. At the heart of the matter is the relationship with Jesus Christ.
Christians believe Jesus is the Son of God. Muslims believe Jesus was a prophet and the right-hand-man who will return to chastise all non-Muslims into believing in Islam or falling to the sword. There’s no connection between the two beliefs that can reconcile these fundamental differences.
Former Muslim Naeem Fazal visited with the folks at The One Minute Apologist to clear things up about Allah and Yahweh. His book, Ex-Muslim, is a great read for those who want to explore a wonderful transformation to the faith.
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7 life lessons we can learn from Daniel’s example
The Book of Daniel is one of the most profound and even entertaining books of the Bible. Within its amazing pages are some incredible lessons that we can apply to our lives today.
Chapter 2 in particular is often hurried through for a couple of reasons. First, it’s considered by most Bible scholars to be prophecy that’s already been fulfilled, so those who look to Daniel for its prophetic reasons may skip it as a history lesson. Second, the story focuses on Nebuchadnezzar‘s dream, but there are little nuances that highlight the character of Daniel in ways that are truly amazing.
Let’s take a look at 7 important lessons from the book. There are many others, of course, but these seven are all great places to start as we apply them to our lives today.
1. Be Reasonable with Your Faith
In the first chapter, Daniel and his companions are supposed to eat of the king’s meat and drink the wine of the kingdom. This had two purposes – to keep these special children who would become the wise men of the land as healthy as possible and to indoctrinate them into the customs of their new masters. Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself in this manner, knowing that doing so would go against the Torah.
Rather than fight, refuse, or hold a hunger strike, he asked to eat pulse and drink water. His request was denied because the master of the eunuchs did not want them to get weak and feeble in fear of what the king would do to him. Daniel took one more shot, this time with Melzar who was their caretaker.
Daniel 1:11-13 (KJV)
11 Then said Daniel to Melzar, whom the prince of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah,
12 Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink.
13 Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenance of the children that eat of the portion of the king’s meat: and as thou seest, deal with thy servants.
God allowed this to happen. Daniel and his companions were “fairer and fatter in flesh” than those who were eating the king’s meat.
There is no compromise for our faith. Had Melzar not allowed Daniel and his companions to eat the food that God required of them, then it’s very likely that Daniel would have handled the matter more firmly, even risking his own life to remain true to his faith. He would probably have become militant, but he first tried to be reasonable and it worked.
As Christians in such a perverse age, we are often called to take a stand against injustices that go against our faith. Many of us (myself included) often start off militant rather than giving the Holy Spirit a chance to move on our behalf. There are times when we must stand firm, but that should not always be the first option. Daniel accomplished his goal without offending anyone or hurting his own objectives.
2. Pray with Friends
Daniel prayed by himself all the time. However, when faced with death by decree of the king in Chapter 2, Daniel requested time to answer the king’s challenge. The first thing he did with his time was to go to his three companions so they could pray together for help.
There are times to pray alone, but when the need is great, it’s important to pray with others. The verses themselves, listed below, reveal two more important lessons; so many things we can learn are right there in a couple of short verses in Chapter 2.
3. Pray for Ends, not the Means
The prayer of the Jewish boys was done with more wisdom than most Christians and Jews have today. It’s a shame that we don’t get to read the actual prayer, but its short description within two verses in Chapter 2 tell us what we need to know about them:
Daniel 2:17-18 (KJV)
17 Then Daniel went to his house, and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions:
18 That they would desire mercies of the God of heaven concerning this secret; that Daniel and his fellows should not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.
Most people, given the impossible challenge of knowing what a king dreamed and interpreting it for him in order to save their lives, would pray to know the dream and the interpretation so they would not perish. It seems straight forward, right? However, Daniel and his companions did not pray for this because this would be a presumptuous prayer. Instead, they prayed for mercies concerning this secret so they would not perish like the other wise men of the land.
Do you see the subtle difference? As it turned out, God gave Daniel the dream and its interpretation, but God could have easily answered the prayer any way He chose. His “mercies concerning the secret” could have been to change the king’s heart, to open a way for the Daniel and his companions to escape, to send a fireball down to devour the king… you get the point. They prayed with the goal in mind, that they would not be killed like the others. They left the methodology to God.
4. Be Humble, Thankful, and Full of Praise to the Father
It’s amazing that there are so many lessons in a few verses in Chapter 2. Another lesson was taught immediately after they prayed to God to not let them die. The lesson is one that we all need to hear more: Praise God as the wonderful Father that He is.
Daniel 2:19-23 (KJV)
19 Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.
20 Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his:
21 And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:
22 He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him.
23 I thank thee, and praise thee, O thou God of my fathers, who hast given me wisdom and might, and hast made known unto me now what we desired of thee: for thou hast now made known unto us the king’s matter.
Obviously, Daniel was extremely happy that he was not going to die thanks to the blessing he received from his Father and was quick to return that blessing in the best way he had available to him at that moment: praise. Then, once he was presenting to the king what the Lord had shown him, he gave us another important lesson…
5. Take No Credit for the Lord’s Works
Daniel could have very easily told the king that he was given a vision by God because he was special. He could have told the king that he was the smartest man in the world and the king would have believed him once he revealed the dream. He could have said that he was holy and blessed and that’s why God gave him the vision. He could have taken credit in any way that he chose. Instead, he chose to take no credit at all.
Daniel 2:21-28 (KJV)
27 Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, The secret which the king hath demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, shew unto the king;
28 But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these;
Human ego is a hard thing to put down. When good things happen to us, when we’re able to accomplish things that others cannot, or when we build things that are great, we often take credit. Sure, we might thank God for the blessing, the talent, the knowledge, the luck, the opportunity, or anything else, but we often do not realize or acknowledge that all things happen by the Grace of God. King Nebuchadnezzar learned this lesson the hard way in Chapter 4.
6. Have Courage to Tell the Hard Truths
In three different instances, courage was required to deliver a harsh message to a king. First, the three companions spoke boldly in the face of death.
Daniel 3:16-18 (KJV)
16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.
17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.
18 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.
They knew that what they were saying was going to get them thrown into a fiery furnace, but they said it anyway. This is an important lesson, one that every believer must prepare themselves for if they are ever faced with death over their faith.
As a mini-lesson, notice that they did not declare that God would save them. They would not presume to declare what God was going to do. They simply declared that God was able to deliver them from the furnace and that he would certainly deliver them from the king’s hand. Either way – had they been saved by a Son of God or had they burned – they would have been delivered from the king’s hand.
In Chapter 4, the king had a dream that he told to his wise men. In Chapter 2, they could not deliver an interpretation because they did not know the dream. This time, the king told them the dream, and as it says in verse 7, “they did not make known unto me the interpretation thereof.”
The meaning of the dream itself was actually pretty obvious, but the wise men did not make it known to him. Notice that it did not say that they could not make it known. Chances are, they knew exactly what it meant but because it spoke of bad tidings for the king, they didn’t want to be the ones delivering the bad news. They were afraid.
Daniel was afraid as well.
19 Then Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, was astonied for one hour, and his thoughts troubled him. The king spake, and said, Belteshazzar, let not the dream, or the interpretation thereof, trouble thee. Belteshazzar answered and said, My lord, the dream be to them that hate thee, and the interpretation thereof to thine enemies.
He overcame his fear and revealed a terrible fate for the king. It wasn’t easy. he hesitated for a long time, perhaps building up the courage. After all, it isn’t easy to tell someone that they’re going to be eating grass and living with animals because of their evil doings.
More ill tidings were put to Daniel to deliver to a king in Chapter 5. This time, Daniel didn’t hesitate at all. In fact, he used the opportunity to deliver the message of the king’s death that night to chastise him for defiling the ornaments of God’s people.
7. Ask Forgiveness for Your People
This is arguably the most controversial of the lessons taught through the Book of Daniel. In Chapter 9:3-19, Daniel asks for forgiveness for his people. He does not make excuses. He acknowledges their shortcomings, their sins, and their betrayals. He does not ask for anything that they deserve but rather forgiveness for the Lord’s sake as they are His children and Jerusalem is His city.
I won’t put in the whole prayer, but please take the time to read it. Instead, I’ll focus on the final verse of the prayer:
Daniel 9:19 (KJV)
19 O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name.
As Moses once did, here Daniel asks the Lord to forgive His people for His sake, not theirs.
We are viewed as individuals, of course, but we are also viewed as nations. It is important that we do pray for a turning away from sin. We are in a time when just about every country is faced with challenges with faith. In America, we contend with a turning away from our foundation of belief. Abortion, gay marriage, and the silencing of Biblical doctrines for the sake of diversity and tolerance are just some of our country’s sins.
In other places such as parts of Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, being a Christian can bring persecution and even death. There are challenges that the enemy has placed before all of is in one form or another. It is too much for anyone to fight alone. We must pray for our Lord to forgive us and help us fight the good fight.
The entire book is wonderful on so many levels. Yes, there are incredible lessons for everyone to hear, but there are also prophecies and messages that God wanted us to know. If you’ve never done a thorough reading of Daniel, now is the time to do it.
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