Daniel and the End-Time

Scripture: Daniel 2:47, Luke 16:10, Daniel 3:13-18
Date: 04/14/2018 
Lesson: 2
"If we are not faithful now in what is “least,” what makes us think we will be faithful in something as big as the final crisis?"

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Good morning, friends, and welcome to Sabbath School Study Hour coming to you from Granite Bay Seventh-day Adventist Church in Sacramento, California. Very warm welcome to those joining us online, from the various television networks, and also to our members and visitors right here in person at the church, welcome, we're delighted that you all here early to study the word together. We saw at a brand new lesson quarterly that we're very excited about. It's entitled preparations for the end times. And this is actually the second lesson in this quarter that we're studying today, it's entitled Daniel and the end times.

So that's going to be the theme for our study this morning. We have a free offer for those in North America. And we'll be happy to send this to anybody for free who calls and ask. If you'd like to receive a copy of this dvd, the number to call is 866-788-3966. Ask for offer number 840.

We'll be happy to send that to anybody who calls and ask, just a great study of islam-Christianity in prophecy. Well, before we get to our study this morning, we always like to begin by lifting our voices in praise, and our song leaders will lead us in music at this time. Thank you so much for singing along with us. And at this time Pastor Ross will have our opening prayer. Dear Father in Heaven, we thank you once again that we're able to gather together and open up Your Word and study this important subject dealing with the end times.

As you look at the old testament book of Daniel as indeed reveal things that would be taking place in our time. We pray that the Holy Spirit to come and guard our hearts and our minds, for we ask this in Jesus' Name, amen. Our lesson study this morning is going to be brought to us by Pastor Doug. I want to welcome our friends who are joining us. And we're preparing to launch into a very good study.

I think it's very appropriate and relevant for our times right now, preparation for the end time. And this is going to be in the context of a number of different books in the Bible and individuals. Today's study is lesson two, Daniel and the end of time. And we're going to be looking at what we can learn from the character and the personality of Daniel that would help prepare us for the last days. And we have a memory verse, and the memory verse is from Daniel 2:47.

If you have your Bibles handy, you can say this out loud with me, Daniel 2:47, this is the new king James version. Are you ready? "And the King answered and said, 'truly your God is the God of Gods, and the Lord of Kings, and a revealer of secrets, since you could reveal this secret." Through the witness of Daniel and others like him over history, God was accomplishing his purpose in revealing to the world who he was and what the plan of salvation was. And a lot of things that Daniel went through when he was a captive there in Babylon, those things are going to be repeated for us in the last days. Now why did God call the children of Israel? Why did he call them out of Egypt? Sometimes I hear people say, "well, that's because he saved them because they were better than other people." Does the Bible teach that? Or did God say, "I didn't save you because you're better than anyone else. In fact you're a stubborn and a stiff neck people.

" Why did he pick them? What was the purpose in calling Israel? Well, the Messiah would come through the sea of Israel. But he wanted the nation of Israel really to be a light to the world. For one thing, look at where they were situated geographically. What if God had called his promised people the aborigines in australia? Well, that would have been fine, but it would have been hard for them isolated on that great continent down there to really be a light to the world. But instead look geographically at what he did.

He picked a nation, not a big nation, but a strategically important nation in that it is a land bridge over which most of the civilized nations would cross to go between europe, africa, asia, and parts of the middle east, the only place to go was through the land of Israel. And even though it's smaller than California, it is in the news virtually every week today. It's a very important piece of real estate. And he wanted them to be and you can read about this in Exodus 19:6, he said, "you will be to me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation." Revelation says a nation of Kings and priests. Now, if they're all a nation of Kings, who are the Kings over, if they're all a nation of priests.

Now, what does a priest do? Doesn't a priest like make atonement and intercede for others. And so in order for them to be a nation of Kings and priests who are they priesting, who are they kinging, so to speak. He wanted them to be leaders. Now someone is going to read for me in just a moment Luke 16:10, you'll have that hoftis. You know, probably the best time, the most ideal demonstration of what God's plan was for Israel came after the reign of king David.

He had sort of set the stage for the time of Solomon, that was the golden era. It was golden era in more ways than one. It was a golden era because they were at the zenith of their influence and it was a golden in that, they had a lot of gold back then. In fact, I always thought it was interesting, Solomon was doing great, they're building the temple, everything's going great. The queen of sheba comes to learn of the wisdom of Solomon.

And then like hezekiah when messengers came, he just showed them his stuff, Solomon shows the queen of sheba God. And she's looking for wisdom. She just begins to hammer him with questions and he answers all of her questions. And it says there was no more spirit left in her, that's where you get the word breathtaking, the word spirit there is breath. And there was no more spirit left in her when she saw the glory, and everything was going great.

And then it says, in 1 year, 666 talents of gold came to Solomon. And then in the next passage it says, his wives drew away his heart and then it goes down. That was the zenith of the Kingdom. The other nations were coming to Israel to find out about God. They had become a light to the world.

That was what he wanted them to do in being a nation of Kings and priests. He wanted them to show the other nations God. But they didn't seem to do it very well in prosperity. So God ultimately had to do it in adversity. And now they became witnesses most effectively when they were being captives or occupied by some other kingdom.

You can look in Mark 11:16. It says, "Jesus said he wouldn't allow anyone to carry wears through the temple. And he taught them saying, "is it not written: my house shall be called a house of prayer for all jews.'" Is that what it said? It says for all nations. What was God's plan when he built the temple for the time of Solomon, that just jew should pray there, or it was to be a house of prayer for everybody? He wanted everyone to come there and to worship there. And so he wanted them to be a nation of missionaries to the world.

All right, now we're gonna go into the first section here, faithful in what is a least. And this is based on a verse you're going to read them for us please. Luke 16:10, "he who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much: and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much." Now did the little things matter in our witnessing in the last days? One of the great stories in the Bible, matter of fact I think more chapters are dedicated to Joseph in Genesis than any other individual. Joseph wasn't even in Israel when he's being the greatest witness. Joseph is a captive in another land.

And so he is in a country that is occupied by a different force and yet he is witnessing for God and God is using him to save many in those circumstances. What is the status of the church in the world today? Do we run things? Or are we an occupied country? The world sort of been hijacked by the enemy. Can we be witnesses in spite of that? How was Joseph a faithful witness? Did Joseph ride into Egypt when he first arrived in a golden chariot? How did he show up in Egypt? Probably tied up, saddled on a camel or dragged behind a camel, and he came, and he was auctioned as a slave, right? He decided, "well, if I'm going to be a slave, I'm going to be a faithful slave. I'm not going to sweep that dirt under the carpet, I'm going to sweep it up in the dust pan and put it where it goes. I am going to do things faithfully.

" And he was so faithful, what did his master notice? Everything he did prospered. And he just kept exalting them until pretty soon Joseph was in charge of everything. Well, then you know, potiphar's wife falsely accused him, he's thrown in jail. He said, "I give up. I tried and look what happened.

" Is that what he did in jail? Said, "well, I don't know why I'm in prison but if I'm going to be in jail, I'm going to be faithful." And he was so faithful even in those circumstances as a prisoner that soon he ran the prison. Now what happened to Joseph happens to the Jewish people through their history. They get carried away captive and next thing, you know, they're running things. Did that happen to Daniel? Did it happen to mordecai and Esther? Has it happened in the world today? You know some of the chief writers and financiers in the world are Jewish people. Is anyone going to contest that? Wherever they seem to go, it seems like they find… the Lord somehow brings them into positions of leadership.

It's just very interesting. So what does that say to the church? If we are faithful in the little things, God will expand our influence. And so, how are we to be witnesses to the world? Look in Deuteronomy 4:4-8. It's a great passage that many of us have memorized. Deuteronomy 4:4-8, "but you who held fast to the Lord your God are alive today, every one of you…" that's a good promise, hold fast to the Lord your life.

"Surely I have taught you statutes and judgments just as the Lord my God commanded me, and you should act according to them in the land you go to possess. Therefore be careful to observe them, this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes." The other nations are going to hear about it. Even if you were to conquer all the canaanites, the other nations that come from afar that trade with you, they're going to hear about your laws and they're going to say, "surely this is a great nation and a wise and an understanding people. For what great nation is there that has God so near to it as the Lord our God is to us. And for whatever reason we might call upon him and what great nation is there that has such statutes and righteous judgments as are in this law that I sit before you this day.

" You know, the wonderful thing about the laws of Moses is they are not superstition. Many of the government laws in the world are based on the mosaic law. They're not based on the laws of hammurabi, they're not based on the magna carta. Well, I guess there are some that are based on the magna carta. They're not based on some of the superstitious laws of the world.

But the law of Moses, most kingdoms have realized, those are just and righteous laws and so many world laws are patterned after them. And so others will notice even little things like that. So did God call them just to save them or why did he established them? Look in Isaiah 56:6. Isaiah 56:6. "And also The Sons of the foreigner, who join themselves to the Lord to serve him, and to love the name of the Lord, to be his servants, every one who keeps from defiling the Sabbath, and holds fast my covenant.

" I want to pause right there. And some people might say, "well, the Sabbath, that's for the jews." But what does God say to The Sons of the foreigner? It's for everybody who takes hold of my covenant. "Even them I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on my altar, for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations." See God wanted the other nations to flow to Israel. In this last verse in this section is one of my favorite. Zachariah 8:23, "thus says the Lord of hosts: 'in those days ten men from every language of the nations shall grab the sleeve of a Jewish man, saying, 'let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.

'" It's I think, they grab hold of them, they said, "look I'm sticking with you. You're lucky." It's kind of like when I heard when pastor cd brooks was flying one time, he used to tell the story about how they got into some terrible turbulence, plane was shaking and rocking, and they put on the seatbelt sign, and then they made the announcement for the flight attendants to sit down and buckle up because it's really serious when the flight attendants buckle up. And then it was bouncing and then they saw the lightning flash outside the window, and the lady sitting next to pastor brooks put her hand on his hand, he said, I've never talked to her yet. And, but I guess he had mentioned he was a pastor. And she said, "I'm so glad I'm sitting next to a pastor.

" It's like they think there's some kind of good luck there. But you know, many of the nations have seen how God preserve the Jewish people and there was a blessing there. And what is the church today? Spiritual Israel, right? And so people are going to say, "you know, God is with you." Sometimes when you witness your neighbors, they might think you're a little odd and peculiar. But if you're faithful, when they go through a trial and they're looking for some advice, you'll be surprised how all of a sudden they knock on your door and they call on the phone and they say, "can I talk to you a little bit." And when they're going through some crisis, if we're faithful in those little things, they will look to us. Now one example of this, if you go to Daniel 1, the book starts out with a test of faithfulness on little things.

What was that test about? Food. What was the first test for adam and eve about? Food. Oh, that's a little thing. You Seventh-day Adventists, you make such a big stink over little things, like food. So was it a little thing for adam and eve? All the misery in the trouble you see in the world around you today can be traced back to eating something you're not supposed to eat, isn't that right? And then look in the book of Daniel, it starts out that way.

The story of Samson, how does it begin? The angel comes to the wife of maNoah... I always wish we knew her name, just calls her the wife of maNoah. And says, "you're going to have a baby, be careful what you eat." Isn't that interesting? Let me just refer to this real quick, so here in Daniel 1 it says that, you know, they're carried away captive, they're thankful that they're not just, you know, working as slaves, cutting stone in a quarry somewhere. They get to work in the palace, be part of the university, and they've got, you know, nice environment and, you know, it's always nice when you're in a hot country if you get a job where there's air conditioning, right? And so they've got it pretty good. Then king says, "not only that, but we're going to provide your food," but there is a problem there.

On three different levels the Babylonian, regular Babylonian food that they had assigned to the students of the captives, it has things in it that God said are unclean. There's alcohol, they're not supposed to drink. And then some of the food, the meat in particular sacrificed to idols probably before it's butchered. Daniel says to the guardian, the chief of the eunuch, he says, "look can you do me a favor?" He said, "I am determined I cannot defile myself with the regular food." He could have said, "who in the world do you think you are?" You ought to be thankful, you're working where there's air conditioning. I could send you out there with a stone cutters how dare you complain? And Daniel knew that was a risk.

But he said, you know, I need to be faithful in the little things and this is a command from God, and I'm going to obey the command from God. A lot of jews would say, "well, when in rome eat what the Romans eat?" Or they would have quoted that verse, "eat what things are set before you asking no questions, right? Just be thankful and pray that God will bless it. Couldn't Daniel have quoted those ideas? He said, "no." If God says, don't eat it, they're not gonna eat it. And what was the result of that? You get to the end of Daniel 1. Then finally it says at the end of the days, they tested, the prince of the eunuch says, "okay, I'll take away your regular Babylonian cafeteria food and I'm going to give you basically like vegetables stew, pulse it's called, and water to drink.

" And then it says, he said, "give us 10 days, see if we don't look healthy." At the end of ten days he said he'd found them fairer and fatter of flesh than all the young men that ate from the King's table. And then the King tested them and in all matters, this is Daniel 1:20, "and in all matters of wisdom and understanding about which the King examined them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all of his realm." And then the last verses in Daniel continued until the reign of king cyrus, it closes off by saying, not only was he smarter when Nebuchadnezzar tested him, but he lived a long time. So we were in india last week. And while there I was visiting with a pastor from another denomination and he was telling me about, you know, some health challenges, and he asked me about my health, I said, "I don't have those problems, I'm a Seventh-day Adventist." He's looking at me like what? I said, "yeah, we live longer than you guys." He said, "what?" I said, "no, it's a fact." I said, "you've heard of national geographic?" Yeah. I said, "yeah, national geographic did a study to find out what groups of people live long.

" They found the three groups of people that live the longest are the japanese people in okinawa, the people that live in sardinia there in the mediterranean, and Seventh-day Adventists in southern California. He said, "what?" I said, "yes, we follow the Bible health laws." And, boy, it got his attention. I said, "yeah, well, that's okay. I'm sorry, I feel sorry for you. So I'm going to live longer than you.

" I don't want to boast, I mean, but you know statistically, generally speaking that's the way it works. And so you're able to witness to people by being faithful in those little things. And so not only are we to be witnesses in the last days and we stand for the Sabbath commandment, and we don't fall for the Spiritualism. But we're to be witnesses in the last days by knowing our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. There should be a difference that is evident.

All right, the next section. Now I don't know if we ever announce during our opening statements that if people have any questions on this study, they can send them into Facebook, I'm going to play it by ear if our studio puts up on the screen that questions have come in, we'll stop and do questions. If I don't see it, I'll just keep going. Fair enough? I'm nodding at the camera to see if they are nodding back, they wave the camera up and down, that means yes. If it's not working, the camera goes side to side.

All right, so we're going to go on to humility of Daniel. So it's not just what you eat, it's your attitude. I want you to notice in Daniel 2, now we just looked at Daniel 1. In Daniel 2, there is a vision, king Nebuchadnezzar calls in all his wise men. They can't understand the vision.

And so they're all going to be executed because they can't deliver. But when the captain of the guards going out to execute, Daniel says, "look, give me time and I will show the King what he desires." So Daniel prays and they go to sleep that night, and Daniel has a dream, and he knows it's the same dream that the King has had. And he says in Daniel 2:23, "I thank and praise you, oh God of my fathers that you have given me wisdom and might, and have made known to me what we asked of you, for you have made known to us the King's demand." First thing Daniel does, he didn't say, "wow, I've got special powers. Look at that. I now know what the King knows.

" No, he gives the glory to God right away. You know, if God ever blesses you with wisdom, make sure and give the glory to the right place. Now someone's going to read for me Daniel 2:25 in just a moment. I want to show you another story in the old testament that's similar to this. You remember when the pharaoh calls in his wise men 'cause he's had a dream and he doesn't understand what it means, and they can't explain it, but Joseph can.

Now Joseph has the ability to interpret dreams, but he doesn't say I've got these special powers, he gives the glory to God. In fact even when Joseph is in prison and the two fellow prisoners have dreams, and he says, "well, tell me your dream." You can read in Genesis 40:8, "they said, we have each had a dream, and there is no interpreter of it." And Joseph says to them, "do not interpretations belong to God, tell them to me." He didn't say, "I know dreams." He said, "his God knows these interpretations." He gives God the glory. Genesis 41:15. "And pharaoh said to Joseph, "I have had a dream, and there is no one who can interpret it. But I have heard it said of you that you can understand a dream, to interpret it.

'" So Joseph answered pharaoh saying, "it is not in me, God will give pharaoh an answer of peace." You know, that's a sign of a true servant of God. Is that you give God glory for any gifts that you have. And if you give God glory and you thank him, he's inclined to give you more. But as soon as you start acting like this is a special power that I've got, you're going to lose it. All right, go ahead please read for us Daniel 2:25.

"Then arioch quickly brought Daniel before the King and said thus to him: 'I have found a man of the captives of judah who will make known to the King the interpretation.'" Isn't that interesting? Daniel goes to the guard after he has the King's dream, and he says, "take me to the King, I know how to answer the King." And arioch when he brings Daniel in, he didn't say Daniel found me, he said, "I found him." You know, they're all looking for rewards and they're all looking for credit. Somebody said, there's no limit to what an organization can do if nobody cares who gets the credit. But so often you want to know who will get the credit? Who is going to be praised for this? And who is going to be getting the promotion or the raise because of this and who gets the reward? But the guard said, you know, "I found a man." He didn't find Daniel, Daniel found him. And you go to Daniel 2:27 now. "Daniel answered in the presence of the King and said, 'the secret which the King demanded the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, and the soothsayers cannot declare to the King," but I can.

That's not what he said. He says, "but there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and he has made known to Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days." You notice Daniel doesn't even use the word i. He's giving all the glory to God in this story. Now how many times in the Bible you find it in Daniel several times and other places in the Bible. Do you find these spiritual showdowns where you've got first typically the pharaoh, he'll call in his wise men, and there's, they can't do it, but God can.

Yeah, you have it for even with the pharaoh, and Moses, and the magicians, you know, a plague comes and they try to duplicate the plague. So if the magicians of pharaoh are able to duplicate the plagues of the blood and they're able to duplicate the plagues of the frogs or something, they couldn't do the lice is where they finally they couldn't do that. But they tried to counterfeit the plagues when Moses threw down his staff and it turned into a serpent, they were able to duplicate that. And so they're able to counterfeit a number of these things. But when it came to the dreams they were always befuddled, they couldn't do that.

You can see that happening with Joseph and the pharaoh's magicians. Pharaoh's magicians and wise men didn't know what the dream meant, but Joseph did. Elijah and the prophets of baal, you get this showdown and they could not make the fire come down from heaven, but Elijah could. You got micaiah in the prophets of baal. You remember that story when jehoshaphat and ahab are seated and they're saying, "do we go to battle or not.

" And all the prophets of baal said, "you're going to go and win." Micaiah says, "no, you're going to go and die." And so you've got these showdowns in the Bible, there are spiritual showdowns. But in Daniel you've got three times, you got Daniel 2, Daniel 4, and Daniel 5, where they call in the wise men and the astrologers, and they don't know the answer and then they call Daniel and he does. And so, we see this happen and so even see it in the new testament, in the book of acts. You've got Simon, this wizard, who is performing these signs and wonders, but then he sees Philip and Peter and they're performing miracles. He says, "wow, I can't do anything like that.

" And so this is contrast that you find he actually offers the money to see if he can get the same power they have 'cause their miracles are so much better. All right, now we're going to go to the next section talking about the golden image. Now, we're in Daniel 3. And I won't promise we're going to get through every chapter in Daniel today. But do we see some parallels for Daniel 3 in the last days? First of all what's Daniel 3 about? It's the golden image, Nebuchadnezzar makes a golden image and he tells everybody to pray to the golden image.

And those who do not bow down and pray to the image will be killed. Now when you read in Revelation 13, what's it talking about. It's the same thing. Those who do not pray to the image should be killed, first they can't buy or sell and ultimately they will be killed. Do we see some parallels happening here and these two support in these two narratives.

Look for instance in Daniel 3:1, "Nebuchadnezzar the King makes an image of gold, whose height is sixty cubits, and its width is six cubits, and he sets it up in the plain of dura, in the province of Babylon." In just a moment someone's going to read for me Daniel 3:6. But before I get to that, I want to talk to you about those cubits. The Numbers that are given in prophecy, how some very interesting usually real and also spiritual value. Was the image actually sixty cubits by six cubits? In heaven when it says the city is 12,000 furlongs is that's, you know, what the biblical measurement was but the number 12 is there too. It is a big city.

But the number 12, what does the number 12 represent? The 12 foundations and 12 gates, the Numbers mean something. Twelve is good. That new Jerusalem, good city, 12, the church means the church, its leadership, it's a positive number for the church. High priest has got 12 stones on his breastplate talking about the people of God on the heart of God. The number six.

What day was man made? It represents the worship of man. And I think it's interesting, do you find the number six appear in Revelation 13. Now in Revelation 13, you've got 666. Here you've got 60x6. But I'd like to submit to you it's 60x6x6.

I got this from dr. Leslie harding. He was saying that in the ancient world when they gave measurements, if they did not give you the depth, it was because it was the same as the width. Here's an example of that in the Bible. If you go to Exodus 30:1.

"So you make an altar to burn incense," this is the altar of incense. And he said, "you shall make of acacia wood, a cubit shall be its length, a cubit its width or what we would call its depth, it will be square and two cubits its height." This isn't hard to picture, is it? You got a cubit of 18 inches by 18 inches by 2 times 18, well, 36 inches. So the depth and the width are the same, the height is different. And so what dr. Harding was saying is that image was 6x6x60.

And so you know you can't escape that the Numbers even are similar that you find in Daniel 3. And he makes an image. And those who do not pray to the image should be killed. Is there a problem with that for the Jewish person? Is there a commandment that says, "don't make idols and don't pray to idols, and little children keep yourself from idols." And you find that all through the Bible. So what happens in the story? Daniel 3:6, "and whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.

" Are together a death decree, is there a death decree in Revelation? It has to do with worship? You've got true worship and false worship. You know I always thought it was interesting that the Bible begins by adam and eve having two brothers. These are the two... Sorry they had two sons. These are the first two people that are born, adam and eve were created, right? And they're instructed because of sin to sacrifice.

And this is part of their worship of God. God gives them instructions that they are to, there's going to be a sacrifice, there's going to be shedding the blood for sin. Well, abel's willing to do this. Cain, he thinks, well, it's easy for you 'cause you're a shepherd, I'm not, I'm a farmer, so I'm just going to do it my way. And one does it his way, they both claim to worship the same God.

One does it God's way, one is true, one is false. The one who is false persecutes the one who is true, even though they're claiming to worship the same God, even though technically their brethren, they got the same roots in their parents, and one kills the other. Then you get to Revelation, you have the same thing. In the last days both groups are going to claim to worship the same God, they're going to all claim to be Christians. And one is going to persecute the other.

That's really shocks people. People think the beast power is going to, and just tell everybody they got to put on red leotards and have horns. No, that's going to be worship, they're going to call it worshipping God, they're going to say they believe the Bible, and someone who can impersonate Jesus, and it's going to look real. You can read that Revelation 13:15, "he was granted to give power to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And the cause is all, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave to receive a Mark in their right hand, or in their forehead: that no one might buy or sell except the one who has the Mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

And here is wisdom. Let him who was understanding calculate the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man." Number six remember, number, of a man. Number 666. Now so the trumpet blows and the Babylonian music plays and everybody bows down except shadrach, meshach and abednego. And they're ultimately thrown in the furnace because they will not break God's law.

See they've got to make a decision, do I obey the law of God or the law of man. In Daniel 3, "the test is regarding the second commandment. In Daniel 6, the test is regarding the first commandment. Daniel will not have other Gods. He doesn't pray to king darius, right? Daniel 3, it's a second commandment.

When you get to Revelation 13, it's the fourth commandment. It has to do with the commandments that have to do with worship of God. And it's going to be a big test in the last days. Oh, I won't say that right now. So when they stood up, they're thrown in the furnace, and does God deliver them from their fiery trials? You know, you may be persecuted for your faith.

I can guarantee you, if you stand up for truth, you'll be delivered. You might be delivered in the resurrection as many martyrs will. And you might be delivered miraculously like Daniel, shadrach, meshach and abednego. Daniel in the lion's den and his friends in the fiery furnace. But I heard the pastor saying one time, "when they did not bow down and they stood up for God.

What was the result of their witness and faithfulness in little things?" At the end Nebuchadnezzar, he falls down before them. He said, "your God is a real God." He issues a proclamation that nobody is to speak against the God of shadrach, meshach and abednego." And all the nations end up hearing about the true and the living God who can deliver from the fire because you're only supposed to worship the living God, you're not supposed to worship idols because they stood up. God accomplished through those three Hebrews in a foreign country what he had been wanting to accomplish through Israel when they had their own land. He was able to accomplish more through Daniel in the lions' den when he stood up than he was through Israel when they're in their own land. God is going to be witnessing to the world through us during that small time of trouble when we stand up for our faith and even now it still happens today.

So we need to be faithful and be bold about what we believe and don't be apologetic, okay. So we talked about the image a little bit. Then the next section is dealing with… oh, you know, there's one more thing I wanted to show you. We're talking a moment ago about pride and it's not in sequence so I waited to jump ahead. The humility of Daniel, you remember that.

What happens in Daniel 4? I talked about Daniel 1, Daniel 2, Daniel 3 and now Daniel 4. There's another dream in Daniel 4, who remembers what it's about. Tree. Very interesting. It's a tree that feeds the world.

And it's a Tree of Life. It's a tree that gets cut down and it's got a band of bronze and a band of iron. And wise men are brought in, they can't interpret the dream, and finally Daniel's brought in, and he interprets the dream, and he doesn't want to tell the King what it means because it doesn't bode well for the King. And king says, "tell me, tell me don't be afraid." He says, "okay, you're the tree, you're going to be cut down and because of your pride." And king, he's just kind of shakes him up. And Daniel said, "let me give you some advice.

Break off your sins by doing righteousness, and it may be a lengthening of your tranquility." So prophecy is going to happen, but you might have a lengthening of your tranquility, if you break off your sins. Humble yourself." So the King does for a while, but, you know, it's hard to be humble when you're great. You heard that song? And here he had this big kingdom, and everyone's bowing to him, and he looks out of his balcony sees all the glory and the things that he's built and all of his accomplishing, he just cannot stifle those inner voices of the devil that say, "aren't you great?" You ever heard those voices before, "you are so wonderful." Finally, he gives into it. You heard about the pastor I think it was Pastor John knox, the great reformer. And he would stand in the door greeting people after sermon one day and one of the sister says, pastor knox, you're the greatest preacher in all of scotland.

" And he said, "no, ma'am, the devil tells me every week." So Nebuchadnezzar could not resist it and he said, "ha ha ha, is it not the great Babylon that I have created for my majesty, in my glory and me, me." And it says while the word was still in his mouth, a voice came from heaven, it said, "it's being taken away from you." And he turns into an animal. Well, you know, after seven years somehow they managed to keep his throne intact and ran things for him. But after seven years his mind comes back to him again. But if you look in Daniel 5 now, this is the handwriting on the wall. Again proud grandson of Nebuchadnezzar, he's mocking the God of heaven, he's worshipping idols again, he's praising the idols with the vessels from the house of God.

And the handwriting comes on the wall and it says, mene mene tekel upharsin. Daniel tells the King when he finally get, again the wise men are brought, they don't know what the handwriting says, finally Daniel's brought, he knows. Now you notice, I don't want to rush past this point. When the wise men cannot tell what the writing says, king doesn't know what to do. Because Daniel has sort of been semi retired during his whole reign after Nebuchadnezzar.

But the queen comes in now and she says, "oh, I'll tell you who can read that. Says, there is a man in your kingdom that has the Spirit of the living God." Daniel's reputation had gone out. And this is what we should be doing in the last days. We want to live so close to God that people say, "oh, there's a man, there is a man." Isn't that great that the King would say, "there is a man that in your kingdom." Daniel comes and he tells the King. He said, "you should've known better.

" He says, "you knew what happened to your grandfather. Even if you didn't know about me, you knew about his pride, you knew about the golden image and idolatry. You knew what happened with the three Hebrews and when they tried to mock the God of heaven." And he says, speaking of Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 5:20, "but when his heart was lifted up and his spirit was hardened in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took his glory from him." He says, "you should have known." Yeah, you know, if you can't learn your own lesson, learn from the mistakes of others. And then, of course, belshazzar died that night because of his pride too. Now, so you see that they're being witnesses on to the gentiles.

You see this also… what happens at the end of Daniel 4, "at that time, I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up my eyes to heaven, my understanding returned to me, I bless the most high, I praise and honored him who lives forever." Now you know virtually all of the Bible is written by jews with a couple of exceptions. Chapter 4 in Daniel, who writes that? Isn't that interesting you would have a Babylonian writing the chapter in the book of Daniel. Nebuchadnezzar the King to all peoples, nations, languages that dwell on the earth, peace be multiplied to you. I thought it good to declare who is writing chapter 4 of Daniel? How dare you put a pagan king's chapter in the Bible? But you know what the chapter tells about? It's his testimony. You got the testimony of the King's conversion because of the influence of Daniel, shadrach, meschach, and abednego.

Nebuchadnezzar, you had a Babylonian writing a chapter in the Bible. That's something, of course, the Gospel of Luke is written by Luke, we believe was a gentile. The rest of the book is pretty much written by the Jewish people. So he's been a great witness in that foreign land. And he issues a decree.

Now I want to look at the faithfulness of Daniel 6, kind of Marching through Daniel. Now once you start getting into Daniel 7, you get into prophecies. The history of Daniel is the first six chapters, from chapters seven on it's pretty much prophecy. So we're looking at the example of the history and so we're going to go as far as Daniel 6. Again king makes a law, the people have to decide if they're going to obey the law of God or the law of man.

the King is enticed to write a law. That says you're not supposed to pray to any God or man except the King for how long? Thirty days. Why is that law made? Because there is a plot to get rid of Daniel and his friends. Is that going to happen to us in the last days? And there will be people who will try to manipulate laws that will make it difficult. You know it's interesting, I don't know if you've seen in the news lately but something's happened, the social media has become a very powerful means of communication, people through instagram, and twitter, and Facebook, and youtube there's all kinds of communication that happens and newspapers are closing up.

A lot of people don't mail letters anymore. I know we still mail a few but so much communication, I was texting. It's so easy. You're on the other side of the world, you just have to mail a letter and you wait three months and then you get an answer. And now, I know I am in india, I was texting people a few minutes later and getting my text back.

No postage, it's amazing. How much that letter would have cost years ago. I was dating Karen. I was in micronesia. I'd send a postcard.

I got home before she got the postcards. But now you just send a little text. Social media is very powerful and they've got a lot of control. They're beginning to decide what they will and they won't allow you to say. And I'm getting little notes from people and saying, you know, we were just blocked from Facebook, or instagram, or twitter, or one of these things because we said something Christian, but they said they thought it was biased.

Or they don't want that kind of, or we didn't meet the right criteria. And I could just see where this is going to be all kinds of persecution including the ability to freely communicate. And so in the last days there's going to be laws, they're going to hedge our sin. And so we need to make up our minds that we're just going to stand for the right, no matter what happens. So they try to get rid of Daniel.

And they get the King to trick the King, king likes Daniel. They trick him into signing a law that you can't pray to anybody. They follow him around first and they can't find anything wrong with Daniel, he's faithful in everything that he does. And, are people going to be spying on us? Are they going to be like, you know, going through our hard drive and trying to find out if there's anything dishonest. We need to make sure that we're faithful in that which is least.

They couldn't find anything on Daniel. How many people could you say that about? They couldn't find any dirt, and as much as he was faithful, it says an excEllent spirit was in him, he was spirit filled. So finally they get a law. They know Daniel's got a habit of praying three times a day. See they knew that before the King signed his law.

Daniel was known for his personal devotions. Are we known as a people of prayer? Daniel had a reputation, they could count it was like clockwork, in the courtyard near Daniel's house three times a day his windows would open just like a cuckoo clock. Here where it would open up right on schedule, they'd see him in the window, they'd see him kneel down, he'd lift his hands towards Jerusalem, he'd pray, maybe he wasn't praying out loud, they saw his lips moving. And then he'd get up and he closed the windows and go back to work. And so they get the King to sign a law, you're caught praying publicly, you're going to the lions' den.

Daniel knows the law is signed, that's Daniel 6:10. He knows what's going to happen but what does he do? You read this now Daniel when he knew the writing was signed, wouldn't that be a good time to close your window. I mean doesn't Jesus say enter into your closet and shut the door when you pray? Daniel couldn't quote that 'cause Jesus hadn't said it yet. So he left his windows open. In his upper room, I mean, couldn't he have gone to the basement? That be the time to go to the basement and pray.

Can God hear prayers in the basement? Sure. Can God hear prayers when your windows are closed? Yes. Did he have to get on his knees? Doesn't that look like you're praying? He could have stood and just he could have prayed and looked like he's smelling the flowers, you know, fresh air and been praying. But no, he knelt. So he did everything to advertise that he was still praying to God.

He wasn't going to hide his relationship with God. He stood up for the Lord. Why did Daniel pray three times a day? What does it say in psalm 55:17? "Morning, evening, and at noon will I pray." See Daniel read the Bible. David wrote that before long before Daniel lived, David read that. You know another reason I know Daniel read the Bible, why did Daniel pray towards Jerusalem.

Notice it says here toward Jerusalem, I'm in Daniel 6:10. "Cause king Solomon said if your people are carried away captive if they prayed towards this place, you prayed toward Jerusalem." You also read in Daniel 9. Daniel says, "I was reading the prophecies of Jeremiah." So Daniel had a prayer life and Daniel had a study life. Are you known as somebody that has personal devotions? You read your Bible every day. The reason the book of Daniel is in the Bible is 'cause here's a person that had a powerful relationship with God, he walked with God.

And I think the key to it is in the middle of Daniel, he had a strong devotional life. Can you say amen? Amen. Are we going to need that for preparation in the last days? Thy word I've hidden in my heart that I might not sin. So, of course, they catch him praying, he goes to the lions' den. the King tries to change his law, he can't change his law.

Can the law of God be changed? No. But it says, "the law does not alter. It does not alter." You notice it says that in Daniel 6:12, does not alter. You go to verse 15, "no law of the medes and the persians can be changed." You go to, I think it says it three times. Anyway, I think it's on the previous page.

So Daniel goes to the lions' den. Now you noticed the similarities between Daniel and Jesus? Did they have spies following Daniel around? Did they have spies following Jesus around? Did they say they couldn't find any fault with Daniel? Did pilot say I could not find any fault in Jesus? Was Daniel married? He's married to the people. Jesus was married to the church. Do they finally make a law because of the law of his God? That's what happened with the trial of Jesus. They said, "he's broken our law.

" Is he put into the lions' den?" Is there stone put on the mouth? Does it happen near the going down of the sun? Both stories. Is there a government seal placed on the lions den? Yes. Is there a government seal placed on the tomb? Yes. Does Daniel come out alive? the King says, "because he believed in his God Jesus comes out alive." It says they're both declared innocent. It's just a wonderful parallels you find between Jesus and Daniel.

When does Christ rise? Very early in the morning. When does Daniel rise? Very early in the morning. It's telling us a story about Christ in here. And so, I think you can see from the story of Daniel that what Daniel went through and shadrach, and meschach, and they're living in a foreign land that some of the things that we may encounter in helping prepare. Is prophecy a prominent thing in the book of Daniel? Does it talk about last day prophecy? Will last day prophecy be an important issue for us in the time in which we're living? And Daniel was acquainted, he was studying the prophecies of Jeremiah just before the angel came to him.

And we should be studying the prophecies also in the last days. I'm sorry but we're out of time. I never saw any questions pop up. So I guess we're not doing any. I want to remind our friends that we are in the lesson number two.

We do have next week's lesson three, we do have a special offer. The special offer is islam and Christianity and prophecy. Islam Christianity and prophecy. If you like a free copy of this, it's offer number 840, the sort of a premium offer. And just call the number 866-788-3966, we'll send you this.

After you watch it, we hope you'll share it with somebody. And we're offering that for free now. We want to get the word out. Thank you very much for studying with us friends. God willing we'll do it again in next Sabbath.

Friends, we're out here in the pacific ocean, not too far from the island of fiji. And we're getting ready to look at some wonders in the deep. The Bible says, "God made the heaven, the earth, and the sea." And there are things under the sea that are beautiful that many people have never seen. Some folks might just skim along snorkel on the surface. But if you want to see the real majesty of the ocean, you got to go deeper.

Because people don't have gills like fish, we have to do something extraordinary to be able to breathe below the surface. And because you have to breathe all the time, we need this special equipment. In the same way the Bible says, "a Christian needs to pray without ceasing. We need to always be breathing the atmosphere of heaven if we're going to live a Christian life in this world below. Wow.

What a wonderful world. Let's face it, it's not always easy to understand everything you read in the Bible. With over 700,000 words contained in 66 books, the Bible can generate a lot of questions. To get biblical straightforward answers, call into Bible answers live, a live nationwide call-in radio program where you can talk to Pastor Doug Batchelor and ask him your most difficult Bible questions. For times and stations in your area or to listen to answers online, visit bal.amazingfacts.org.

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