From Reading to Understanding

From Reading to Understanding

Scripture: Acts 8:30
Date: 01/04/2020  Lesson: 1
'Amid struggles, trials, or even times of great happiness and prosperity, how can we learn to keep Christ at the center of our lives? Why is it so important that we do so?'

The Ultimate Resource - Paper or Digital Download

The Ultimate Resource - Paper or Digital Download
When you post, you agree to the terms and conditions of our comments policy.
If you have a Bible question for Pastor Doug Batchelor or the Amazing Facts Bible answer team, please submit it by clicking here. Due to staff size, we are unable to answer Bible questions posted in the comments.
To help maintain a Christian environment, we closely moderate all comments.

  1. Please be patient. We strive to approve comments the day they are made, but please allow at least 24 hours for your comment to appear. Comments made on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday may not be approved until the following Monday.

  2. Comments that include name-calling, profanity, harassment, ridicule, etc. will be automatically deleted and the invitation to participate revoked.

  3. Comments containing URLs outside the family of Amazing Facts websites will not be approved.

  4. Comments containing telephone numbers or email addresses will not be approved.

  5. Comments off topic may be deleted.

  6. Please do not comment in languages other than English.

Please note: Approved comments do not constitute an endorsement by the ministry of Amazing Facts or by Pastor Doug Batchelor. This website allows dissenting comments and beliefs, but our comment sections are not a forum for ongoing debate.

Jean Ross: Good morning friends and welcome once again to "Sabbath School Study Hour" here at the Granite Bay Seventh Day Adventist Church in Sacramento, California. I'd like to welcome those who are joining us across the country and around the world. I know we have a number of our church members that tune in every week. There are online members and they participate in our Sabbath School right here. And also like to welcome our regular Sabbath School members that are here as well as those who are visiting with us today. Very warm welcome to you. We're glad you have chosen to come and study with us. And we are so excited about our new lesson quarterly. We're starting a brand new lesson today and it's one of my favorite Old Testament books. It's on the book of Daniel. So, we're going to be having an in depth study on the book of Daniel over the next 13 weeks. So, for our friends who are joining us if you don't have a copy of the lesson quarterly on the book of Daniel. You'll be able to download the lesson for today by simply going to lesson.aftv.org and again, that's lesson.aftv.org. Download lesson number one in our Sabbath School series on the book of Daniel. It's entitled, "From Reading to Understanding." That is the title of our study, "Reading to Understanding." We'd also like to let you know about a free offer that we have that we think we you'd really enjoy and will help you in your study of the book of Daniel. It is a book entitled, "The Ultimate Resource" and it's all about the Bible. Where did the Bible come from? How did the Bible get collect the way it is? And we'll be happy to share that with you. Just call the number 866-788-3966 and ask for offer #728 and we'll send it out to anyone who calls and asks. You can also receive a digital copy of the book by texting the code SH091 to the number 40544, and you'll get a link is the way you can download and read the book called, "The Ultimate Resource" and it's all about the Bible. Well, before we get to our study this morning we're delighted to have Fountain View Academy Quartet that they are with us this morning. And they're going to be bringing us a special musical item at this time.

♪ Oh holy night, the stars are brightly shining ♪

♪ It is the night of our dear Savior's birth ♪

♪ Long lay the world In sin and error pining ♪

♪ Till He appeared And the soul felt its worth ♪

♪ A thrill of hope The weary world rejoices ♪

♪ For yonder breaks A new and glorious morn ♪

♪ Fall on your knees O hear the angels' voices ♪

♪ O night divine, O night when Christ was born ♪

♪ O night Divine, O night, O night divine ♪

♪ Truly He taught us to love one another ♪

♪ His law is love and His Gospel is peace ♪

♪ Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother ♪

♪ And in His name, all oppression shall cease ♪

♪ Sweet hymns of joy In grateful chorus raise we ♪

♪ Let all within us praise His holy name ♪

♪ Christ is the Lord ♪

♪ O praise His name forever ♪

♪ His power And glory evermore proclaim ♪

♪ His power And glory evermore proclaim ♪

♪ Fall on your knees O hear the angels' voices ♪

♪ O night divine, O night when Christ was born ♪

♪ O night Divine, O night O night divine ♪

♪ O night, O night divine ♪♪

Jean: Let us pray. Dear Father in heaven, we thank you once again to be gathered together, and open up your Word, and as we delve into a new study on the book of Daniel, we do pray for your Holy Spirit to come and guide our hearts and our minds. It's an important book, Lord. One that's especially timely for this time of-- history. So, bless our study together in Jesus's name, amen. Our lesson today is going to be brought to us by Pastor Doug.

Doug Batchelor: I'm glad, I'm glad that I'm back in town now to teach Daniel. I knew this was coming and I looked at the calendar and thought, "Oh, I'm going to miss the first study on Daniel." And I was glad I was wrong because this is going to be-- I think this is going to be a rich time together for this next quarter delving into this wonderful book. Want to welcome our friends who are joining us via social media or maybe a satellite broadcast for our Sabbath School Study Hour and as we travel we encounter people all over the world who are studying with us each week. Some live, some are watching the rebroadcast. I just returned from Martinique, which is in the French Antilles not too far from South America. And our last Sabbath, we had 5,000 people that came out to study with us, to worship and met people there. Even though French is the primary language many of them also speak English. And they say, "Yeah, we get online. We do Sabbath School with you there at the Granite Bay Church." And so, I want to welcome our friends there in Martinique.

This is really holy ground. Of course, when you study the Word it all is but in a special sense I'd like to begin by going not to the book of Daniel but to the book of Matthew. You'll see why. Go to Matthew, chapter 24. Matthew, chapter 24. Jesus is giving the signs of his return. And he says in verse 15, "Therefore, when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place and then it interjects. Whoever reads, let him understand. Then, let those who are in Judea flee into the mountains."

So, here you have our Lord the Christ, the Savior, referring to Daniel as a prophet. And he said, "If you want to know what's coming then you need to read and you need to understand Daniel the prophet." And so, I think we've got pretty high authority here that this is a book that we can understand. It says let him who reads understand, and a book we need to understand, and a book that is relevant for us in our day. What do you think? So, we're excited that we can delve into the book of Daniel. I also want to share with the young men who just sang. That was beautiful. Sure appreciated the special music that they brought to us, our Fountain View Group.

Now, if you go to Daniel chapter 1 we're not going to get very far because a lot of this is introduction. We're sort of laying the groundwork for Bible study today. But if you'll go in your Bibles to Daniel chapter 1, I'm going to read the first verse or two. "In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand with some of the articles of the house of God."

Notice it says some of the articles and you're thinking well didn't Nebuchadnezzar destroy the temple and carry everything off? Not this time. He actually came twice. The first time he came, they agreed to serve, and to pay taxes, and to be a vessel kingdom. He even set up another king, another relative of King Josiah to serve as king. They carried off young King Jehoiakim to Babylon where he stayed in prison for 37 years. You'll read that at the end of the book of Jeremiah. But it was during this time a prophecy was fulfilled that God had made through Isaiah to King Hezekiah. Isaiah lived before Daniel.

You remember when King Hezekiah was sick and he cried and he wept. Isaiah said, "Set your house in order. You're going to die." This is in Isaiah 39. And he said-- he prayed and he cried and God said to Isaiah, "Go back tell Hezekiah, captain of my people, I've seen your tears. I've heard your prayer. I'm going to give you 15 more years. And what sign would you like? Do you want the sun to go down 10 degrees or do you want it to go backwards?" And Hezekiah said, "Well, the Sun goes down all the time. If the sun would go backwards that would really be something." And so, Isaiah prays and the sun goes backwards.

Well, stargazers and the wise men, there's a group of people in Babylon called the magi. That sound familiar? They were-- they weren't here you know just astrologers. Your wise men, but they did also study the heavens and astronomy and they saw-- they couldn't help but notice that all of a sudden the sundial went backwards. That just doesn't happen. For that to happen everything has to change. And they were inquiring what in the world did this mean? What caused this sign? And word dribbled back to them. There was some trade there in the Middle East and some caravans said, "Yes, this king of Israel, his prophet Isaiah prayed. He was sick. And as a sign that he would be healed, which he was, sun went backwards." And the king of Babylon is thinking, "Well, what kind of God is this? I want to know about that God." And he sends emissaries to King Hezekiah. And they come to inquire about the wonder that was done.

Now, I'm quoting the Bible. But when Hezekiah sees him he's much pleased and he thinks Babylon? Babylon was like the center of architecture, and technology, and the studies in the universities, and that ambassadors would come from Babylon to him. It was one of the most ancient kingdoms. I mean after all Nimrod first built Babylon. And he said, "They've come to see me." And he felt maybe a little insecure. He thought, "Well, I'll impress them." So, Hezekiah takes them on a tour and he shows them the beautiful temple, and he shows them his treasuries, and he shows them his perfume, and he shows them his jewels, and

he shows him all his stuff. And then they go they're taking careful notes of all that they have.

And Isaiah comes to Hezekiah and he says, "Who are these men? Where'd they come from?" "Oh, they are emissaries from Babylon." "And what did they see in your house?" "I showed them everything in my house," and it's like he still clueless that he missed that great opportunity. "And there is nothing among all my treasures I did not show them." He never showed them God and that was the travesty.

You know the Queen of Sheba came to find out about the God of Solomon and he told her about his God. Here are these messengers came from Babylon. How different the history of the world might have been if Hezekiah told them about God. So, now the judgment comes. Isaiah says, "Hear the word of the Lord," he said, "these people that have come and they've seen everything in your house you didn't show them me," says, "they're going to come back and take everything you showed them and of your sons they will take to be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon."

So, when Nebuchadnezzar comes the first time and he subjugates Babylon. Carries off their king, he appoints sort of a vassal king from among Josiah's sons. He carries away some of the articles. He carries away some of the best and the brightest in the kingdom, including a small cadre of young men, who were of the house of Judah of the royal seed, Daniel and his friends were very likely related to David. And because it said the prophecy said they will carry off of your sons and make them eunuchs. Daniel and Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, of course their names were Hananiah, Mishael, Azariah. They were made eunuchs in the palace of Babylon. This was an exact fulfillment of what Isaiah had foretold.

So, Nebuchadnezzar comes twice. Daniel's carried off in the first captivity. The temple is not destroyed at this point. The city is not burned. That happens when the rebellion pops up again about 12 years later. And so, and actually at the end of the besiegement following that rebellion. The time of Daniel that we're reading about is in particular the book of Daniel is taking place at about 600 B.C. and the book-- the writing of the book happens over a period of 50 years and probably finishes sometime around 550 BC. The book is written in both Hebrew and Aramaic. Aramaic is the style of Hebrew that was spoken by Jesus. And then you've got the more classical Hebrew.

It is possible. There's one segment, something unique about the book of Daniel, there's one segment in the middle of the book that is actually written by the Babylonian king. You read chapter 4, Nebuchadnezzar is the first person author of his vision. And so, it's a fascinating book.

Now, we're going to delve into of course, like the title of our study today is lesson number one. The title is "From Reading to Understanding" and we have a memory verse. I was so anxious to get into it I forgot that. Memory verse is Acts 8:30 and you can see it in the front of your lesson there. Always like if you want to just say it with me. Acts 8, verse 30, are you ready? "So Philip ran to him and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah and said, 'Do you understand what you are reading?'" It's one thing to read and you know what the eunuch said to Phillip? "How can I except some man helped me understand?"

People need people to understand the Scriptures. It's good for us to study together. I've noticed that Christians that isolate themselves and study by themselves there's a risk they can become eccentric in their conclusion. The Bible tells us in the mouth of two or three witnesses, let everything be established. It's good for us to balance things off each other. Helps us to stay balanced and make sure our interpretations are meshing with other Scripture. So, first section we want to talk about is Christ and this is one of my favorite parts of the whole book. Christ is the center of the book of Daniel.

People think when you study the book of Daniel that, you know, you're talking about the kingdoms, and the prophecies, and the lion's den, and Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, but really the central message of the book of Daniel it's all about Jesus. If you'll look in Luke chapter 24, verse 25. Luke 24, verse 25. This is when Christ rises from the dead. And he's talking to the two apostles on the way to the little town of Emmaus, you remember that? They don't know who he is and they're complaining about-- they're so devastated that Jesus has died and we thought he was the Messiah. "Finally, Jesus interrupts them and he says, 'Oh foolish ones and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken. Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and entered into his glory,' and beginning at Moses and all the prophets. He expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself."

How much of the Scripture is talking about Jesus? He expounds unto them, and when Jesus makes this statement, is there a New Testament? No. We just read where Jesus calls Daniel a prophet. So, among the things that Jesus covered with the two disciples on the road to Emmaus it says out of all the Scriptures, he expounded unto them about himself. He probably touched on the book of Daniel. I wonder what Jesus said showing that he was the Christ through the book of Daniel. Well, I can think of several things that are possibilities, but before I get to that let me give you another verse. 2 Corinthians 1:19 and 20. "For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, by me, Silvanus and Timothy, was not yes and no but in him was yes. For all the promises of God in him are yes and in him amen to the glory of God through us." Everything was all pointing to Jesus. Christ said, "You search the scriptures for in them you think you have eternal life. These are they that testify of me."

So, all of the Bible is really telling us about Jesus in some respect. You can find-- there's a great quote by Spurgeon. It's in his, you know, his devotional called, "Morning and Evening," which has got some great material. And he talks about how all of the Scriptures are summed up in Christ. And he said, "If you unroll the Scriptures, they are the swaddling band in which rides Jesus. They're the chariot of our King." And then he says, "The quintessence of the Scriptures is Christ." Meaning the sum total of the Bible is Jesus. So, when you delve into the book of Daniel, do we see Jesus?

Well, you know, one thing even in the story Daniel is the son of David who comes from Jerusalem to his people in captivity to be their intercessor among the pagans. To plead in their behalf. And this is really what Jesus is. The Son of David who comes from the New Jerusalem to our world, to his people that are in captivity down here, to be our intercessor, and he gives divine messages. And so, was Jesus ever married to a human girl? He's married to the church you could say. He's the bridegroom and church is the bride. Was Daniel ever married? To his people he saw himself principally as an advocate, an intercessor for his people. You read Daniel 9 he's praying and interceding for his people. So, like Christ, he's the great intercessor. Go to Daniel chapter 3. "Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished." You know, when Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were thrown in the furnace. "And he spoke saying to his counselors, 'Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?' They answered and said to the king, 'True, O king.' 'Look,' he 'answered, I see four men loose walking in the midst of the fire and they are not hurt. And the form of the fourth is like,'" what? "'The Son of God.'" In fact, before you even get to chapter 3, so that's pretty clear. It says the fourth is like the son of God.

You see Jesus in Daniel. Who is the stone that strikes the image in chapter 2 two of Daniel that grows into a great mountain and fills the whole earth? It's Christ, the Rock of ages, the Word of God. That brings down all the idolatry of the world. Do we see Jesus in Daniel? Go to-- now, I'm not doing every passage because you know we still have stuff that we need to cover. Don't want to steal all the thunder from our other lessons. Daniel chapter 6. I can't wait till we get there. Daniel in the lion's den. We think this is a cute little story for the kids. Look what happens in this story. Enemies are following Daniel around spying on him because the king is thinking to set him over the whole realm. They're threatened by the position of Daniel with the king.

You know the religious leaders were threatened by the position of Christ with the Father. And they were afraid of his authority. So they spied on him. And finally, they turn Daniel over to this pagan king to get a death decree. Jesus is turned over to Pilate to get a death decree. The king doesn't want to kill Daniel. He labors to deliver him. Pilate laborers to deliver Christ. Now, the law is finally regarding his God. You know, they accuse Jesus. They say he makes himself out to be a king. And he's breaking our laws. And then, he doesn't want to do it but the king sends Daniel into the lion's den.

So a stone is removed. Daniel is placed inside. The stone is replaced. A seal is put on the door. When Jesus is in the tomb. Stone is rolled away. The stone is put in place. Seal and government seal is put upon the door. He spends one night there. It says the king passed the night in fasting. And it says very early in the morning, what time did Jesus rise? Very early in the morning. Daniel is going through a special time of prayer when he's finally carried off. Jesus is in the garden of Gethsemane praying. When he's then captured and carried off. And Daniel comes out alive. Hope it didn't ruin the story for you. Did you know that? The stone is rolled away and Jesus comes out alive. Daniel is exalted to the right hand of the king. Jesus exalted to the right hand of the Father. I mean you look at the story of Daniel and you see so many parallels for the Gospel of Jesus.

So, Daniel's not just a book of prophecy. The whole book is an allegory of Christ in many ways. Go to Daniel 7. "I was watching in the night visions and behold, one like the Son of man coming with the clouds of heaven. He came to the Ancient of Days and brought him near before him." This is an amazing verse for one reason because it's one of the few places in the Bible you see the Father and the Son prior to the incarnation together. The Ancient of Days is God the Father, one like the Son of man, that'd be Christ. Same one that appears in Daniel chapter 3. Daniel 9, you see the sufferings of Christ. And that 490 year prophecy or the 70 week prophecy. It says, "After the 62 weeks Messiah shall be cut off but not for himself." So, who is Jesus cut off for? He's cut off for us.

You see the gospel in the story of Daniel. And then I'm just taking some high points here. There's a lot more like I said, but we want to wait until those lessons come. Daniel 12 at that time, Michael will stand up, the great prince that stands for the children of thy people," and who is Michael? And I just I even heard a sermon this morning. I was listening to something in the car on my way here and they said, "Yeah, some of these cults believe that Michael is Jesus." Guilty, but, you know, that's not a cultish teaching. If you look at the commentaries of the Protestant reformers like Adam Clark and Matthew Henry, they said Michael can be none other than Christ, our Lord because Joshua gets on his knees before him, and he takes off his shoes to worship him.

Message later today, we're talking about angels. So, I'll go into that more later. More evidence that Michael is Christ though quickly. Says, "The Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout and the voice of the archangel. The Lord has the voice of the archangel." Says, "Michael when disputing over the body of Moses," Jude verse 9, "Michael brings the resurrection of Moses." The Bible tells us that Michael and his angels fought with the dragon. Who's the Dragon? Satan is the pinnacle of the leaders of evil. Michael is the pinnacle of the leader of good. It's Christ Michael is simply an Old Testament name. The word "Michael" means who is as God. That's what the name means. Who is as God. It's an Old Testament name of Christ prior to his incarnation. And so, yes, Michael is not-- we don't believe Jesus is a created angel. We believe Jesus is eternal God, but one of the ways he is pictured is as the greatest messenger from God. He has not a cherub or a seraphim.

So, you do see Jesus, the great Prince that stands for the children of thy people, even in the very last chapter of Daniel. All right, let's talk about the structure of Daniel. It's a fascinating book. I heard a really good talk on this that if I could find it I probably would have plagiarized it from Mark Finley. And where he goes through the structure of Daniel from the first chapter to the twelfth chapter. The book of Daniel is written in a chiastic structure. And the chiastic structure it basically has parallels like bookends that reach the pinnacle that's repeated in the middle. And so, things are said, they're repeated, and then they go down again. And it's like you have a series of bookends with the tallest books, the central theme, in the middle. And you find this in the book of Daniel.

For example, Daniel chapter 2. Nebuchadnezzar has a vision of four kingdoms. Daniel chapter 1 is sorta like an introduction. You've got the four kingdoms. Then judgment falls upon this great idol when the stone falls. Daniel 3, God delivers Daniel's companions from a fiery furnace. Then judgment falls on the soldiers that throw them in. And they're exalted. At the end of Daniel 2, God's kingdom is exalted. You go to Daniel 4, judgment comes upon Nebuchadnezzar. And it tells us then that, you know, the tree is cut down. There's a judgment there. He glorifies God then at the end. In Daniel 5, Belshazzar exalts himself against God. Judgment comes upon him and God is glorified and Daniel is exalted in the end. Daniel 6, again, they tried to destroy Daniel. And his enemies are judged and he is exalted. Daniel 7, you've got the four kingdoms. The great judgment day. Judgment you see. These

multiple dreams that happen and where the central theme in the end it talks about how God's kingdom is again exalted. Now, in prophecy that is given.

Well, let me just read something to you from Psalm 9, verse 7 and 8. It says there, "But the Lord shall endure forever. He's prepared his throne for judgment. He shall judge the world in righteousness. He will administer judgment for the peoples in uprightness." This is like a theme through the book of Daniel. By the way, Daniel read the Psalms. Why did Daniel pray three times a day? He read, who knows what verse it is? Psalm 55:17. "Morning, evening, and at noon will I pray," Daniel read Solomon. Where Solomon at the dedication of the temple says, "If your people are carried away, if they pray towards this place."

Why did Daniel pray with his windows open towards Jerusalem? Because he read the Bible. If you get to Daniel chapter 9, it says Daniel was reading the prophecies. Daniel the Prophet was reading Jeremiah the prophet. Isn't that interesting? And he said, "As I was reading the prophecies of Jeremiah realized the 70 years should be fulfilled, I set my heart to pray." And so, you can see that a lot that said about God's kingdom enduring forever. Daniel read this is a theme all through the Psalms as I just read to you.

Now, talking about prophecy and this is a very, very important point. It'll help you in understanding and revelation. Helps you in understanding Daniel. How many of you remember in the story of Joseph, Joseph is in a prison in Egypt, and while he's there, you know, he had talked to a butler and interpreted the dreams of the butler and the baker. And well, the baker died, but the butler made it back to the palace. Joseph said remember me but he forgot Joseph. Then the Pharaoh has a dream. And he has a dream of what? Seven fat cows and seven skinny ones. Skinny ones eat the fat ones. Wakes up. Pagan king goes back to sleep. Has another dream. What's that one? Seven fat ears of corn from Iowa. And did you ever see the size you know the Indian corn that the settlers used to eat? That pilgrims and like that big. Little things are what you're seeing now is like super hybrid. When you get one of those big corns on the cob now. And so they--he sees seven fat ears of corn, but then seven skinny ones appear and the skinny ones eat the fat ones and they're no fatter.

Now, why does that dream come twice? Is at two different visions or is God telling one truth with different pictures? In the story of Joseph there, God establishes a principle for understanding some of these prophetic visions. So, when you get to Revelation. Revelation gives the same history many different ways through many different visions. You have the history of the first coming of Jesus to the second coming of Jesus. It is given in the seven churches. It's like a religious overview. It's given in the seven trumpets. Military overview. It's given in the seven seals. A political overview. They're covering the same kingdoms during the same time. They have a lot of the same time periods, three and a half, 12, 60, so forth, 42 months. Daniel does the same thing. The prophecies of Daniel are in varying detail covering these four kingdoms that are then overcome by the fifth being the kingdom of Christ.

Now, that fourth kingdom goes through a change. It goes from iron to iron and clay. So, people have argued is it really five kingdoms are four kingdoms? But so you've got these four principle powers. You've got Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome, and then you get to Rome, pagan Rome, and their own papal Rome. And then, you know, after those divisions of pagan Rome, then God comes and sets up his kingdom.

We're living in that time now. That message is given several different ways. It's like when you look at a diamond and you got one diamond and because of the way it's cut you have several different facets of the diamond. In the book of Daniel, you've got this diamond of truth and what you're doing is you are walking around it and you're looking at the truth, same truth, but the facets reflect differently as you walk around it. So, don't try to make the prophecies of Daniel, you know, all tell wildly different stories. They're really covering a history which brings me to important point. You've got Daniel 2. You've got Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome, are covered there and God establishes his kingdom. Daniel 7, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome, and the heavenly judgment. Daniel 8, well, at this point, it's already talking about the fall of Babylon. So, it's talking about Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome, purification of the sanctuary. Then you've got Daniel and it's Daniel 8 and 9. Daniel 10 through the end of the book, you've got Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome again. Final judgment, Michael stands up. So, they're covering the history of God's people.

In the visions of Daniel a lot of the early part of the vision is dealing specifically with God's people Israel. But once Christ comes, what happens to Israel? The Jews were dispersed and the gospel is dispersed. And so, it's not just talking about a geographic country. It's talking about God's spiritual nation now that's all around the world.

Alright, so going into the section now talking about apocalyptic prophecies in Daniel. You know, in the Bible, you've got a couple of different kinds of prophecy, there's actually several different but let's talk for a minute about classical prophecy and apocalyptic prophecy. People open the book Revelation and they often-- I've heard pastors say, "Don't read Revelation. Nobody can understand it." I mean, you know, it's talking about this street that's got a crossing sign says warning. There's a woman riding on a beast with seven heads. You know and they say how can that be literal? It's obviously a symbol. And you get this woman standing on the moon. And she's clothed with the sun and 12 stars above her head. The dragon's trying to eat her baby. Sounds like a fairytale. You get these creatures around the throne of God and one's got a head like a lion, and another was like a calf, another like a man, another like an eagle. And you go to Ezekiel and they're all full of eyes. You know, you get a lamb with seven eyes, you ever see that? It would be a freak.

And so, you look at these really strange symbols that you see in Revelation and people go what? In the very beginning in Revelation it says, "God sent his angel and signify--" that that word "signify" it's very much in the original as it is in English. It means to signify. The message of Revelation is-- it's an apocalyptic prophecy. God gives spiritual truths through symbols. Sometimes they're wild symbols, and illustrations, and allegories. Daniel is one of the apocalyptic prophecies. You've got these goats with four horns, and you've got beasts that, you know, got iron claws, and you see a lot of really strange pictures in there. And have you ever seen a leopard with four wings?

So, when you get into the apocalyptic prophecies. Now there are a few other prophecy books that you would call apocalyptic. You know what they are? I forget sometimes this is a Sabbath School class and I just start preaching, but what are some of the others. So if you've got Daniel, if you have a revelation and they're apocalyptic they're like your wild visions, Ezekiel, correct. Zechariah. Now you got the you know four horses in Zechariah and you get the two olive trees, which you also see in Revelation. And they're given a lot of visions.

Now, there are places that some of the other prophets had brief dreams, but so your main apocalyptic prophets are going to be Daniel, Ezekiel, Zechariah, and Revelation. And Jonah's a prophet and-- but when Jonah marches up the street and says, "Forty days and Nineveh will be destroyed." That is not apocalyptic prophecy. May seem apocalyptic for them but it's given in plain language. And Jesus, when he explains Matthew 24, it's not apocalyptic. He's talking about the history of his people in that section. So, you've got those prophecies.

In the classical prophecies the big emphasis is on the Word of the Lord says this, the Word of the Lord says that. Some of the classical prophecies will illustrate things. God will say to Hosea, "I want you to go take a wife of the harlotry and the point being my people have been committing harlotry against me." Well, it's actually something happening. It's an allegory but it's not an apocalyptic prophecy. God will tell Jeremiah, "I want you to take a vase and I want you to bury it and I want you to dig it up again." And he's going through symbolizing something but it's not an apocalyptic vision. He's trying to illustrate something happening with God's people.

All right, and I got so much to say. So, in just, you know, you look in Ezekiel, the faces-- where the faces of a lion, an ox, an eagle, and a man. So, you see that in Revelation. You see that Ezekiel very similar vision. When Amos says, "The days are coming that there'll be a famine on the land not for eating bread or drinking water, but hearing the Word of the Lord." Is that a classical prophecy or an apocalyptic prophecy? That's a classical prophecy.

Alright, now something that this-- just want you to understand you're going to hear about this. There are very rarely prophecies in the Bible that might have what you call a dual application. They're very rare. Do not throw those terms around freely. Let me give you an example. King David has finally conquered all of his nemesis around him. He's really subjugated all the other empires. And now, he's thinking about the temple of God. That's the ark is still in the tent. Hiram has built David a very nice palace, but the ark is in a tent. And he's thinking about building a temple. Nathan the prophet comes. They're friends and they're talking together. And Nathan says, "Go for it, David, build the temple." But after Nathan leaves, the Word of the Lord came to Nathan said, "Nathan, that was not my word that was just your opinion. Go back and tell David you will not build me a house." And this is what the prophecy says and I want you to tell me what this means. 1 Chronicles 17:11. 1 Chronicles 17:11, Nathan says to "David, and it shall be when your days are fulfilled and you must go to be with your fathers that I will set up your seed after you who will be of your sons and I will establish his kingdom. He will build me a house and I will establish his throne forever."

Who is that son of David that was going to build a house and have his throne established forever? Okay, some said Jesus, some said Solomon. You're both right. Did David have a son who literally built a physical house and that his name was what? Solomon. And we know even later in the Bible. It says David talked to Solomon said build the house it must be glorious. Here's material. Here's the plans. That was a fulfillment of that. But did Jesus say destroy this temple made with hands and in three days I'll make one without hands? Was Jesus the son of David? Did He build a house that was to last forever? Solomon's Temple is gone.

So this is an example of a dual prophecy. When Moses said to the children of Israel, Deuteronomy 28. He says, "If you're unfaithful your enemies will besiege you at your gates until your high fortified walls in which you trust will come down and they'll carry you off and you'll be captives." When was that fulfilled? Destruction of Jerusalem under Nebuchadnezzar. And destruction of Jerusalem under the Romans.

That one prophecy was fulfilled at least twice and very vivid sense. And it happened to the Northern Kingdom when the Assyrians destroyed them. So, you can say it was three times that that was fulfilled. In Matthew 24, when Jesus talks about the abomination of desolation. What was he talking about? He said, "You'll see Jerusalem surrounded with armies those that be in Judea flee into the mountains." And then in Matthew it says when you see the abomination of desolation, let those that be in Judea flee into the mountains. What Christ had just had the apostles ask him three questions. "When will these things be?" "Not one stone left on another in Jerusalem, the destruction of the temple." "And what will be the sign of your coming and the end of the world." They thought all that would happen together. Actually has 2,000 years between the destruction of the temple and the end of the world. Jesus answers it together because these things sometimes repeat themselves. Desire of Ages, 628.

This entire discourse was given not for the disciples only but for those who should live in the last scenes of the earth's history. It's got a couple of applications. Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing. The prophecies that receive partial fulfillment in the overthrow of Jerusalem have a more direct application to the last days. And you can also see this principle in Joel chapter 2, verse 28. Now, when it says, "In the last days I'll pour out my spirit on all flesh and your sons and daughters will prophesy," is that past or future? And you are catching on, it's both.

What does Peter say in Acts chapter 2? He says this is-- when the Holy Spirit's poured out of Pentecost. Peter says, "This is that that was spoken of Joel the prophet." So, he says. But is that the last interpretation? Don't we hope for a latter reign of Joel 2? So, it's a dual prophecy. And so, you see a number of examples of this happening in the Bible. When we read about, "Behold, I send you Elijah the prophet before the great dreadful day of the Lord." Has that happened in the past? Did Elijah-- John the Baptist come in the spirit and the power of Elijah? Yes, but you know what Jesus said. Elijah will come and Elijah has come. Christ himself said, "Yes, it was fulfilled in John but Elijah will come." So, there is we believe some future fulfillment of that before the great and terrible day of the Lord.

So, some of the prophecies have a dual application and I think that most of what you're going to see in Daniel does not fall in that category, but just wanted to give you an idea that when you read these things, well, there may be one place. You know when Daniel had-- Nebuchadnezzar had his dream of the tree. I'm assuming you all know these, haven't read it, don't have time to read it all. This great tree-- well, the Jewish nation, not only saw that was fulfilled in Nebuchadnezzar. They felt something like the tree that was to be a tree of life for the world. They hadn't fulfilled what they were supposed to do. They were cut down when they were carried into captivity, but a band of iron, a band of brass, meaning the Romans and the Greeks. They came back again and they go back into a nation. So they've always saw themself that way.

The Jews also saw the story of Jonah not just something that happened to Jonah. They said we-- we're captive and went through great trials and because of our trials we then got scattered among the pagans like Jonah went to Nineveh to reach the pagans. So, they saw that some of these prophecies were allegories, it's not quite the same as a dual prophecy, of the Jewish nation. So, anyway, that's sort of a lengthy understand-- covering of that. Oh, God's time scale, preterism.

There's four principal ways that people look at prophecy. You get the preterists. They believe like when a preterist reads Revelation, they think the Antichrist was Nero, but it's all happened in the past, it's pre. Then you've got the futurists. That's your left behind people. They believe that everything from Revelation 4 on is still in the future. You know, when God speaks to John and he hears a trumpet and says, "Come up hither." They see that's the trumpet of the resurrection and the rapture. And they think everything from Revelation 4 on is also a future. Well, we know a lot of stuff that is in the past beyond Revelation 4.

Then you got idealism that it basically holds of these apocalyptic prophecies are symbols just to teach kind of moral lessons. And we fall in the category of the historicist and that's pretty much where most of the Protestant reformers fell. And that means that these apocalyptic prophecies are giving a panorama of history dealing with the last days.

Now when we get a time prophecy in Daniel, how do you interpret those time prophecies? We believe you're supposed to use the day for the year prophecy principle. And where do you get that? Well, if you look in Numbers 14:34, it says, "According to the days that you spied the land." They spied the land for 40 days, "For each day, you will bear your guilt, namely for one year for 40 years." It was going to be a year for every day. Ezekiel 4:6. "And when you have completed them lie again on your right side, you will bear the iniquity of the house of Judah, 40 days I've laid on you a day for a year."

And here's a great one from the New Testament. Look in Luke 13:32. The Jews came to Jesus and they said, "King Herod killed John the Baptist and he's probably going to come arrest you. You need to run for cover." Here's what Jesus said. Now, John died about six months into Christ's ministry. Jesus taught three and a half years. Jesus answered and said to them, "Go tell that fox, namely Herod, behold I cast out demons. I perform cures today, tomorrow, and the third day I'll be perfected."

Now, did Jesus preach three more days or three more years? So, even Christ here uses the day for the year principle, right? And so, and the only way the other proof is in the pudding. If you study these 70 week prophecy in Daniel chapter 9, it doesn't make any sense at all unless you apply the day for the year principle. Jesus said, speaking to the Jewish nation, "This generation will not pass away until these things are fulfilled." There not being one stone left upon another in Jerusalem.

What is a Bible generation? It's 40 years. Wasn't 40 days later, was 40 years later. Jesus said, "No sign will be given but the sign of Jonah." What did Jonah say? Forty days and Nineveh will be destroyed. Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days journey. He enters the city, a day's journey, meaning 12 hours. You got three and a half, and then Jonah says, "In 40 days it'll be destroyed." Jesus said, “I am the sign of Jonah. I'm preaching three and a half years and in 40 years, the city will be destroyed." Isn't that what happened? And so, He said, "If you want to find out what's going to happen to Israel." He told them, He says, "A greater than Jonah is here. The Ninevites repented. Those pagans repented at the preaching of Jonah. A greater than Jonah is here. No sign will be given but the sign of Jonah." And Jesus used the day for the year principle to help them understand what was coming.

Well, and then you've got of course, the contemporary relevance of Daniel and you know when you read the prophecies of Daniel 2:7, 8 through 12, we realize we are now living in the end of time and if I want to teach personal devotions I read Daniel chapter 6. If I want to teach about boldness and courage you can study Daniel chapter 5. I want to talk about the mark of the beast you can do Daniel chapter 3 where there was an image they would not bow to. And so, when we studied Daniel I think we're going to agree it's a very relevant and current book for us today. Amen.

Well, thank you very much friends. Thank you those who have been joining us. We've run out of time. We're looking forward to our study of Daniel together. Don't forget we've got the free offer called, "The Ultimate Resource" if you'd like a copy of this you simply call 866-788-3966. Ask for offer #728. We'll send that to you for free or you can text it. Download it right now. Just text to the number SH091 and you text that number to 40544. You should see it on your screen. You can read that book right now and then pass it on to a friend. God Bless. We'll study His word together again next week.

Announcer: Don't forget to request today's life changing free resource. Not only can you receive this free gift in the mail you can download a digital copy straight to your computer or mobile device. To get your digital copy of today's free get simply text the keyword on your screen to 40544 or visit the web address shown on your screen. And be sure to select a digital download option on the request page. It's now easier than ever for you to study God's Word with Amazing Facts wherever and whenever you want and most important to share it with others.

Announcer: Amazing Facts changed lives.

Jason: We were going to church every other week. About 19 years old things really start to make sense for me. I started going to church for myself. And the pastor wanted to study with me. We came to this study on baptism. I kind of just shrugged, put my head down, and I said, "I'm not ready." He looked me in the eye and said, "Jason, you'll never make yourself ready. It's just something you have to do." Put a lot of things behind me, drinking and smoking, and all that stuff stopped. All throughout the time learning about God. It was just me and God.

Comes around up to about August and I meet this girl. Well, about two years into the relationship we're talking about marriage and everything. We didn't pray. We didn't study together. We were arguing a lot but we were engaged. I started drinking again. And it was a slow downward spiral into different things and my devotional life started really weaseling away. When we broke up in 2008 it was heavy for me because, again, being with somebody for that long, it's almost like a divorce. I started to fall back away even more.

I remember looking in the mirror, just looking at myself and saying, "What are you doing? How can you do this to God? He's brought you so far." And you, know God really heard my cry. There was a testimony telling at my church and there was a call and kids started getting up. Bunch of high school kids are getting up for calls of baptism. I'm back doing the PA system at this time and I feel just like this urge my heart just like ripping out of my chest. And I just had this feeling just to go up. And I get up to the front and I meet the pastor in open arms. I realize that there is so much more to life than just living life for myself and you know falling away, it's not a necessity, but God can work through anything in the bad to make it the good. That's a promise He makes.

Announcer: Together we have spread the gospel much farther than ever before. Thank you for your support.

Doug: Among the people living in the tropics for thousands of years the coconut has been a virtual tree of life. The people use it for food, for clothing, for water, for tools. So, it does just about everything. The coconut has also saved a lot of lives. During World War II, pilots that were shot down or sailors that were stranded on Pacific Islands. They lived for many months on nothing other than the coconut trees that were on their islands.

Yes sir, the coconut is a tree of life. One of the amazing things about the coconut is their designed so they're actually able to float across oceans. Coconuts can go thousands of miles after many months, be washed up on some deserted sandy beach, then they take root, sprout, come to life, and they'll develop a whole new ecosystem, holding islands in place through a hurricane. When the ancient Polynesian travelers crossing oceans saw an island with coconut trees. They knew there was hope. It's amazing how in virtually no time at all those living on Pacific Islands know how to make baskets and all kinds of tools from the leaves of the coconut tree.

The coconuts even serve different purposes at different times in their development. The younger green coconut, they're full of water that'll keep you alive. Hmm. You can even make your utensils from the coconut. My spoon is part of the green shell. And here, this is a coconut jelly. Makes good for breakfast. The more mature coconuts, that's where you get the meat. You want to make sure that they're not bad. The way you test this is you can hear the water inside. And bring that mic over here. Can you hear it? That's a good one. How 'bout we take a bite? And that makes meal that will really fill you up and it cleans your teeth at the same time.

Throughout the Bible Jesus uses a number of metaphors to remind us that everything we need to survive comes from him. He says that He's the Living Water. Jesus tells us He is the bread of life. His robe covers us with righteousness. He is our Good Shepherd that protects us. Jesus is the Living Vine through which we get our life and our nourishment. You might say Jesus is like the coconut tree, a tree of life.

You know, the first few verses in the Bible tell that God provided a tree of life for man so he could live forever, but because of sin, man was separated from that tree and from the garden. But through trusting in Jesus and trusting in His sacrifice on the cross we once again will have access to the tree of life and have eternal life with Him in the kingdom. But this is all made possible because we trust in Jesus who is the real tree of life. Jesus said, "Unless you eat My flesh and drink My blood you have no life in you." But when we accept Christ as our sacrifice and we allow him to cleanse us and fill us with His spirit, we become new creatures. And we can be with Him and sharing the gift of everlasting life with others. Matter of fact, we can do that right now by tossing a coconut out and praying that it lands on a deserted beach.

Name:

Email:

Prayer Request:


Share a Prayer Request
Name:

Email:

Bible Question:


Ask a Bible Question

Back To Top