From Pride to Humility

Scripture: Daniel 4:3, Philippians 2:1-11
Date: 02/01/2020 
Lesson: 5
'God continues to change lives today. No matter how proud or sinful people may be, in God there is mercy and power to turn rebellious sinners into children of the God of Heaven.'

The Armor of God - Paper or Digital Download

The Armor of God - 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.

Jëan Ross: Good morning, friends, and welcome again to "Sabbath School Study Hour" here at the Granite Bay Seventh Adventist Church in Sacramento, California. I'd like to welcome our online members and those who are joining us across the country and around the world, part of our extended Sabbath school class. We also want to welcome our regular Sabbath school members and those that might be visiting with us today. We're looking forward to our study time today.

As many of you know, we've been studying through the book of Daniel, that is our theme for the entire quarter. Today, we find ourselves on lesson number five, which is entitled "From Pride to Humility." We're going to be looking at a particular chapter that has to do with an ancient king, King Nebuchadnezzar. Well, you'll learn more about that here as we get into our study.

We do have a free offer we'd like to let our friends know about, those who are joining us, a book entitled "The Armor of God," and this is our free offer for today. If you'd like to receive this, all you need to do is call the number 866-788-3966, and you can ask for Offer 173, that is "The Armor of God," or you can text the code "SH101" to the number 40544. And you'll be able to download a copy of the book and read it online. Again, it's called "The Armor of God." But before we get to our study this morning, as we always do, I'd like to invite our song leaders to come forward and now lead us in our Sabbath School song.

Male: Good morning, we're going to sing number 286,

"Wonderful Words of Life." We'll sing all three verses.

♪ Sing them over again to me, ♪

♪ wonderful words of life. ♪

♪ Let me more of their beauty see, ♪

♪ wonderful words of life. ♪

♪ Words of life and beauty ♪

♪ teach me faith and duty. ♪

♪ Beautiful words, wonderful words, ♪

♪ wonderful words of life. ♪

♪ Beautiful words, wonderful words, ♪

♪ wonderful words of life. ♪

♪ Christ, the blessed One, gives to all ♪

♪ wonderful words of life. ♪

♪ Sinner, list to the loving call, ♪

♪ wonderful words of life. ♪

♪ All so freely given, ♪

♪ wooing us to heaven. ♪

♪ Beautiful words, wonderful words, ♪

♪ wonderful words of life. ♪

♪ Beautiful words, wonderful words, ♪

♪ wonderful words of life. ♪

♪ Sweetly echo the Gospel call, ♪

♪ wonderful words of life. ♪

♪ Offer pardon and peace to all, ♪

♪ wonderful words of life. ♪

♪ Jesus, only Savior, ♪

♪ sanctify forever. ♪

♪ Beautiful words, wonderful words, ♪

♪ wonderful words of life. ♪

♪ Beautiful words, wonderful words, ♪

♪ wonderful words of life. ♪♪

Jean: Let us have a word of prayer. Dear Father in heaven, we thank You once again that we're able to gather together in Your house to open up Your Word and study. Today we have an important subject and we do pray that You'd guide us as we look back at the lessons that we find in the Old Testament in particular an experience that have happened to King Nebuchadnezzar that we would learn those lessons that You'd have for us. So, bless our time together, for we ask this in Jesus's name, amen. Our lesson today is going to be brought to us by Pastor Doug.

Doug Batchelor: Good morning, everybody. We have a really good lesson today, and I'm praying that I can do it justice. It's based on Daniel chapter 4. I think folks maybe have been a little confused as we go through our study guide because we're on lesson five, studying Daniel 4. And that's happened a few times along the way. I want to welcome our friends who are watching online. We have a lot who watch this program and study with us live on Facebook, and we have folks who are watching the satellite feed from around the world, and some who are watching are some of our online members are Granite Bay.

And I should just mention at this point, if you have been tuning in and if you do not have a local church where you can attend, if you'd like to know how you could be one of our online members, simply go to our website and you can inquire there. There's a place where you can contact us, say, "What's involved in that? And what do I need to do?" And Cathy and/or Karen will get back to you and talk to you about that.

So, welcome. Daniel chapter 4 is our study today, and you pray for me because I'm going to be preaching, teaching, speeching, and I have a lot of, what I think is great material to cover. This is one of the central chapters in Daniel. The whole book sort of comes together in this experience of King Nebuchadnezzar. And so, if you get your lesson, go to the memory verse. Let's start with that.

The lesson is called "From Pride to Humility." Just right there from pride to humility covers a great controversy, starts with the devil's pride and it is redeemed through the humiliation of Christ. So, you've got the crux of the whole gospel in this lesson. Memory verse is Daniel 4, verse 3, and that's from the New King James Version. Daniel 4:3, if you'd say that with me, that'd be great. You ready? "How great are His signs, And how mighty His wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and His dominion is from generation to generation."

Now, as we go through our study, go ahead, just take your Bibles now and you want to turn to Daniel chapter 4. I've been studying this and there's a key message. This is the last chapter where Nebuchadnezzar appears. Nebuchadnezzar's in chapter 1, he's in chapter 2, he's in chapter 3, he's in chapter 4. This takes place probably about ten years before his death because from the time of the dream, seven years go by and he gets his mind back again, he only lives two or three years beyond that. And so, you've got several years ago from Daniel captivity chapter 1 until Daniel chapter 2, and the king has that dream nobody can interpret except Daniel. And then in chapter 3, oh, probably another eight, ten years go by, he builds the golden image. And now this is taking place about 20 years later.

Nebuchadnezzar reigned for about 40 years. He's sort of like a parallel of Solomon in some ways, who also reigned for 40 years. And this is a unique chapter in the Bible if for no other reason, it's one of the few places you're going to open your Bible, you're going to read an address that's coming to you. It's a testimony from a pagan. It is not written by a Jew. It's written by a Gentile, but he's giving glory to God. And I'm going to just point out some high points.

Notice what one of the central messages of this chapter is. It's one of the longer chapters in Daniel. He had about 37 verses, about 1,290 words that are in here. Go to verse 3. His dominion is from generation to generation. You can look in verse 2, "Most High God." And you go to verse 17, "The Most High rules." Stay with me now, I'm just going to jump down to verse 24, "The Most High." You look now in in verse 25, "The Most High rules." Go to verse 26, "Come to know the Most High that heaven rules." You go to verse 32, "The Most High rules." Go to verse 34, "I bless the Most High, his dominion is an everlasting dominion." And then you go to his final testimony in verse 36, "Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, whose works are works of truth."

Now, I'm going to just tell you the chapter quick overview, then we're going to go back and we're going to break it apart. I want to make sure I give you the story. Nebuchadnezzar relates this experience says, "I'm at ease in my palace, things are going well." Takes place after he had conquered Egypt. Nebuchadnezzar had conquered Assyria, conquered Israel, conquered several kingdoms. One of the big, difficult battles for him was when he fought against the Egyptian empire, and he conquered them. At that point, he controlled the crux of three continents. That's why he calls it a worldwide empire. The trade that went through Asia from India, and Europe, and Africa, all through the Middle East, he got the revenue from that. It was a golden kingdom. Count up how much gold was in Solomon's temple. David talks about all that he gave to the building of the temple, Nebuchadnezzar carried all that to Babylon. That's just a small piece of all that he had. It was the Golden Empire.

Now, he's finally conquered these kingdoms, he's got a little bit of rest and ease. By the way, what happens when kings get a little bit of rest? David was walking on the roof after a nice rest, he got into trouble with Bathsheba. So, you always have to brace yourself when a king says everything was going great, then he has this dream that terrifies him. This king had been through wars. He was a hardened soldier, little terrified him, but this dream terrifies him. And he has his dream, and the dream in a nutshell, and the dream is rehearsed two or three times in the chapter, so I won't read it every time.

Basically, he dreams about this great tree that reaches under the heavens, great branches full of fruit, all the birds find shade, the beasts are comforted in the shade. The birds in the air and the beasts are fed by the fruit that comes from this tree. This is a tree that gives a life. It is a tree of life, and it's above all the other trees, it's exalted. And then there's a voice comes from heaven, the Holy One, The Watcher it says, "Cut down the tree, chop off its branches, scatter its fruit, and surround it with a band of bronze and iron until seven times Pass over it." And the everyone knows that the Most High rules in the children of men.

Nebuchadnezzar thought that he had done it all, and he's wondering what this means, calls in the wise men. Wise men can't understand what it is. Now, you know, it's interesting that in Daniel chapter 2, the wise men of Nebuchadnezzar say, "Just tell us the dream, and we will certainly give you the interpretation." This time Nebuchadnezzar tells them the dream, they still can't interpret it like a wise men of Pharaoh. And then it says, finally Daniel comes in. Daniel's a little older now. Maybe Daniel waited until they exhausted their resources so that God would get the glory. He comes in and then he interprets the dream. And he basically says, "King, you are the tree."

Now, I want to show you something. This is not the first time in the Bible this has happened. Go to the book of Ezekiel. Go to Ezekiel chapter 31. I told you Ezekiel first so you'd find the neighborhood, now I want you to go to chapter 31, and then I want you to start with verse 3. See if you see some similarities between the vision of Ezekiel, which happens not long after Nebuchadnezzar's experience. And it tells us, "Indeed Assyria was a cedar in Lebanon," he's talking about the Assyrian empire, it's compared to a tree. "With fine branches that shaded the forest, And of high stature," a tall tree. "Its top was among the thick boughs. The waters made it grow; Underground waters gave it height," again a tall tree, "With their rivers running around the place where it was planted, and sent out rivulets to all the trees of the field. Therefore its height was exalted above all the trees of the field," a very tall tree, higher than any tree. "Its boughs were multiplied; its branches became long because of the abundance of water, and it sent them out. All the birds of the heavens made their nests in its boughs."

Does that sound familiar? "Under its branches the beasts," this is almost identical to Nebuchadnezzar's dream. "Of the field brought forth their young," they gave birth under its shadow. "Thus it was beautiful in greatness and in the length of its branches, because its roots reached to abundant waters." It's well nourished like Psalm 1:3, planted by the rivers of waters. "The cedars in the garden of God could not hide it." No other tree could eclipse it. "The fir trees were not like its boughs, and the chestnut trees were not like its branches; no tree in the garden of God was like it in beauty." Of course, it's a prophecy. "I made it beautiful with a multitude of branches, so that all the trees of Eden envied it," she's talking about the kingdom of Assyria, "that we're in the garden of God."

But look what happens verse 10, "Therefore thus says the Lord God: 'Because you have increased in height, and it set its top among the thick boughs, and its heart was lifted up in its height, therefore I will deliver it into the hand of the mighty one of the nations, and he shall surely deal with it.'" Assyria was delivered to Nebuchadnezzar. "And I have driven it out for its wickedness." Because of its pride. "And aliens, the most terrible of the nations, have cut it down and left it; its branches have fallen on the mountains and in all the valleys; it is broken by the rivers in the land; and all the peoples of the earth have gone from under its shadow." And then go to, you go to verse 16. "I made the nations shake at the sound of its fall," timber is a picture, you know, this big tree falls and crashes. "When I cast it down into the pit." And it's basically it says this because it was lifted up because of pride.

This is what happens to Nebuchadnezzar's dream. By the way, at the end of this chapter, if you go to Ezekiel 31, verse 18, very last and says, "This is Pharaoh, all his multitude, says the Lord God." So, this is a prophecy given to the Pharaoh of Egypt saying, look what happened to Assyria because of its pride it was big, tall, thought it would last forever, and it fell. And God is telling through a Ezekiel, "Pharaoh, you will fall just like that tree fell." So, trees are often symbols of nations. Does Jesus say, "Behold, the fig tree and all the trees when its branch is yet tender and it puts forth shoots, you know that summer is nigh." So, likewise, when you see all these things come to pass, know that is even near the door, right?

He compares Israel to a tree. When he cursed the fig tree, what was that a type of? It had leaves and no fruit, a fruitless tree. They had all the forms of religion, but they didn't have the fruits of the Spirit and Jesus cursed that tree. And we, you know, read that as a type of Israel. So, back to the dream in Daniel chapter 4. So, you got this great tree.

You know, the Bible begins with a tree, tree of Life. This tree is a tree of life. It's like the tree of Assyria, everything's fed by it. And this great tree that is dreamed about is like a tree of life. Let me get in and let Nebuchadnezzar speak for himself. He doesn't say much in the Bible, so I shouldn't rob his time.

Go to verse 1, "Nebuchadnezzar the king, to all peoples, nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth." He's sending out this testimony to everybody. "Peace be multiplied to you," pronounces a benediction. "I thought it good to declare the signs and wonders that the Most High God has worked for me. How great are His signs, How mighty His wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, His dominion is from generation to generation. I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at rest in my house, and flourishing in my palace. I saw a dream which made me afraid, and the thoughts on my bed and the visions of my head troubled me. Therefore I issued a decree to bring in all the wise men of Babylon before me, that they might make known to me the interpretation of the dream. Then the magicians, the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers came in, and I told them the dream."

And they went through their incantations, and they cut open an animal and tried to read its entrails, and they put up the tea leaves, and they read his palm, and they went through all their goofy things that they go through. They said, "Let us look at the stars tonight, and we'll tell you what the dream means." And either they couldn't agree or they had no answer at all, but they couldn't tell him what it meant.

Sometimes God waits until we exhaust all the earthly means before we turn to heaven. "They couldn't make known to me the dream, but at last Daniel came in before me." It's interesting, the king mentions his Hebrew name. He doesn't, usually they skip right past that. King mentions his Hebrew name. And this, by the way, this chapter is written in Aramaic, not in Hebrew. Daniel (his name is Belteshazzar, according to the name of my god)," Nebuchadnezzar's confessing, "I gave him a name according to my God when we first hired him." And it says, "The Spirit of the Holy God is in him. And I told the dream before him, saying: 'Belteshazzar, chief of the magicians, because I know that the Spirit of the Holy God is in you, and no secret troubles you, explain to me the visions of my dream that I have seen, and its interpretation.'"

By the way, as some of you in your Bibles, it'll say, "I know the spirit of the holy God is in you," is that right? Some of you it says, "God," some is singular. That word can be either singular or plural, depending on the context. So, he may have said, "The spirit of the holy gods, or God is in you," but I think that because everywhere else in the chapter he says, 'His dominion the Most High rules," whenever Nebuchadnezzar talks about God, the other places he uses the singular. We think he has been converted from polytheism to monotheism in this chapter. And he has come to realize the gods of Babylon are powerless and it's the Holy God. He says, "I've had this dream. These were the visions of my head while on my bed," and then he describes a dream.

I'll read it to you once again. I'm in chapter 4, verse 10 of Daniel. "I was looking, and behold, a tree in the midst of the earth, and its height was great. The tree grew and became strong; Its height reached to the heavens, and it could be seen to the ends of all the earth. Its leaves were lovely, its fruit abundant, and in it was food for all. The beasts of the field found shade under it, the birds of the heavens dwelt in its branches, and all flesh was fed from it.

While I saw in the visions of my head while on my bed, there was a watcher, a holy one, coming down from heaven. And he cried aloud and said thus: 'Chop down the tree and cut off its branches, strip off its leaves and scatter its fruit. Let the beasts get out from under it, and the birds from its branches. Nevertheless leave the stump and roots in the earth, bound with a band of iron and bronze, in the tender grass of the field. Let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let him graze with the beasts and on the grass of the earth.

Let his heart be changed from that of a man, let him be given the heart of a beast, and let seven times pass over him. This decision is by the decree of the watchers, and the sentence by the word of the holy ones, in order," this is all happening, "that the living may know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men," sometimes we think we rule, "and gives it to whomever He will, and sets over it the lowest of men." Just because God gives us a position of authority doesn't mean we should be proud because God sets over the lowest of men.

Now, notice something, the decree is that he's going to go from the heart of a man to the heart of a beast. When you get to Daniel chapter 7, you've got these seven animals. You remember what they are? I know I'm jumping ahead, but this ties together here. What's the first animal? Lion, and the bear, leopard, and this nondescript monster beast. So, who is the lion? Babylon starts out as a beast. But what happens to that lion? It says a man's heart is given to it and it stands on its feet like a man. Nebuchadnezzar is babbling. In this parable here, he goes from man to beast. In Daniel, it says he was converted, he went from beast to man. Have you noticed that? And so, the end of the story he is glorifying God.

Man was made originally, how? In the image of God, but with the fall, what happened? Started to act like beasts. The purpose of the devil is to erase the image of God from men. The most lost men in the Bible, have you read it in chapter 5 of Mark about the demoniac? He is the most hopeless case in the Bible, surrounded by pigs, living in a tomb, covered with chains, naked, cutting himself, crying aloud, running around like an animal because this is what the devil wants to do is turn men into beasts.

You know, you can find examples of this in several places in the Bible. You look 1 Corinthians 15, verse 32, Paul says, "If in the manner of men, I have fought with beasts at Ephesus." What Paul is saying that I went into a pit, and I fought with wild lions, and beasts, and bears and--no, saying the people that he worked with were beasts that he fought with in Ephesus. Look at 2 Peter 2, verse 12, "But these, like natural brute beasts made to be caught and destroyed, speak evil of the things they do not understand, and will utterly perish in their own corruption." Romans 8:13 ties it all for us. "If you live according to the flesh, a beast, you will die; but by the Spirit like the Son of Man," says you will put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

And so, what you have here is you get this transition of someone who is supposed to be a king, made in the image of God, but because of pride, he becomes a beast. This is what you see happening all through the Bible. People like Esau say, "I'm going to sell my birthright because I'm controlled by the flesh instead of the Spirit." Am I making sense? That beast-like man that was filled with devils came to Jesus, He set him free. And his mind, his reason returned to him.

And so, everybody, we all feel we're part animal and we're part Spirit. The question is what has control? Are we led by the Spirit or the flesh. Nebuchadnezzar, because of pride, ends up becoming like a beast. Now, I know I'm not going through the exact sections of the lesson, but you'll see what we'll be covering them all. I'm just mixing them up a little bit. And he says here, "Until he knows, you're going to go through this seven times will pass over you until you know the Most High rules in the kingdom of men and gives it to whoever He will." Verse 18, Daniel 4, "This dream I, Nebuchadnezzar, have seen. Now you, Belteshazzar, declare its interpretation, since all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to make known to me the interpretation; but you are able, for the Spirit of the Holy God is in you. Then Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar," it says it several times, "was astonished for a time."

It doesn't mean he was flummoxed that he didn't know. He is quiet and he's thinking, "Wow, this is going to be heavy. How do I tell the king this?" He knows what it says. It's like when the baker says to Joseph, "I've had this dream and the ravens pluck the food off my head," Joseph's thinking, "How do I tell this guy you're going to lose your head in three days?" It's not easy. He does tell him. Remember, Samuel got a dream. The little boy, he's told to go tell Eli that, "Your sons are going to die in one day, and your house is going to be cursed because you did not follow Me and your sons live like beasts." That's pretty much what it says. Samuel didn't want to give that message, and Daniel doesn't want to tell the king. It's not happy.

I mean, sometimes prophets have to give a tough message. It cost John the Baptist his head. "Daniel was astonished for a time, his thoughts troubled him. So the King said, "Belteshazzar, don't be troubled. I can tell from your expression," I'm paraphrasing, "You know what it means." What is the interpretation? He said, 'My Lord, the dream concerns those who hates you. Its interpretation concerns your enemies. This is going to make your enemies happy. The tree that you saw that grew and became strong, whose height reached to the heavens and which could be seen by all the earth, whose leaves were lovely and its fruit abundant, in which was food for all, under which the beasts of the field dwelt, and in whose branches the birds of the heaven had their home, it is you, O king."

Now, doesn't that sound like chapter 2 where he says, "Nebuchadnezzar, you are the head of gold"? That made Nebuchadnezzar feel pretty good, and this makes Nebuchadnezzar feel apprehensive because he knows it's nice, I'm a big tree, but I know what happens to that tree. And the same way Daniel said another kingdom will follow you, now Daniel says you're going to get chopped down. But there's also a good part. It says the stump is left in the earth. "It is you, O king, who have grown and become strong; for your greatness has grown and reaches to the heavens, and your dominion to the end of the earth. And in that you saw a holy one coming down saying, 'Chop down the tree.'" And that angel's name was Paul Bunyan. "But leave its stump and its roots in the earth, bound with a band of iron and bronze. In the tender grass of the field, let it be wet with the dew of heaven."

Now, I want to pause here and tell you, I speak to you as one who has cut down many trees and I know something about trees. There are some trees you cut them down and they are dead. You cut down a fir tree, it ain't coming back. But if you cut down a madrone tree and some trees, if the ground is still moist and the roots stay alive, a whole other tree can come out of the roots of that tree in the same spot. If the roots are dry and dead then you know it says root and branch that means it's gone. So, this is some kind of tree that has the the ability to spring up from the roots.

I've cut down oak trees before, and those things, they're just, they drive you crazy because instead of one tree coming up, ten come up where you cut down that one. I can take you to places in the woods where I logged some oaks years ago, and I cut down one tree and now there's just like, all these trees came out. You've probably seen them before. They all get big. They all branch out. And this is what he's saying is going to happen.

The reason that it's bound with a band of iron and bronze, and I'm not sure exactly why iron and bronze, but the bands are there because when you're working and when you're farming and there's a stump, you keep knocking down and beaten it down, eventually it'll die. It's almost like it's protecting it. It's being banded so that it'll stay in one place and it'll come back again. And again, it doesn't say exactly the species of tree, but it's one of those trees that will come back if its moist with the dew of heaven.

And it says, "This is the interpretation, O king, verse 24, "the decree of the Most High." Again, that's the central theme. "which has come upon my lord the king: They shall drive you from men, your dwelling will be with the beasts of the field, and they'll make you eat grass like oxen. You will be wet with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over you."

Now, a time was a complete cycle of the seasons, it meant a year. Other places in Daniel and Revelation, it talks about a time, a times, and the dividing of time, that meant one complete year, a pair, or a couple of years, which is two more, and be three, and the dividing of one. So, it's three and a half years because you're using the day for a year, but you don't use a day for a year in this prophecy because it tells you what the fulfillment is.

Matter of fact, I should probably pause at this point and let you know these seven times, this chapter, friends, I'll tell you, it is talked about a lot, especially among those that like prophecy. Many people take the seven times and they apply a day for a year. Now, if three-and-a-half years is how many days? Every Adventist ought to go, "1,260." You ought to know that, 42 months, three-and-a-half years, it's just 1,260, 1,260, 1,260; so that's a big number. How long did Elijah preach? Twelve-sixty. How long did Jesus teach? Three-and-a-half years: 1,260; 42 months. How long does that woman flee in Revelation? Forty-two months, three, three-and-a-half years, 1,260. It's half of seven.

How long from the time of the cross until Stephen is stoned? Twelve-sixty. How long till Vashti is deposed? Have you ever read Esther? In the third year of the reign of Ahasuerus, he has a feast that is 180 days. By the end of that feast, they call forth Vashti and she doesn't come, and the process begins and they get a Jewish queen. It's after three-and-a-half years. Three plus one-eighty is how much? Twelve-sixty. All right, now what if you say seven times, not three-and-a-half, but three-and-a-half, and three-and-a-half is seven. So, what's that? Two-thousand five-hundred and twenty.

Now, a lot of people have taken that time period and said, "What if we apply a day for a year? What does this mean?" And I'll just tell you some of the different theories. For those who are watching, people have sometimes taken things I say, they cut it and they put it online and they say, "Here's what Pastor Doug believes," and they don't have my preliminary marks that says, "This isn't what I believe, these are beliefs that are out there." So, I hope nobody does that.

The Jehovah Witnesses apply a day for a year, they take this time period, and this is what they use to predict the Second Coming of the Lord 1914. They said that in 607 with the destruction of Jerusalem, that's the starting point, if you go 2,520 years, that takes you to 1914. When Jesus did not come in 1914, I think they may have tried to reset the date. And then they said, "Well, he did come, but it was a spiritual coming."

Then you've got evangelicals that apply the day for a year, Adventists are not the only ones that know about a day for a year. That's a pretty solid biblical principle. A lot of evangelicals say that this is a prophecy that is talking about when Nebuchadnezzar's dream takes place, which is about 572 B.C., do you know if you go from the dream of Nebuchadnezzar in 572 and you go 2,520 years, it comes to 1948? What happened then? Israel's formed as a nation.

They say Israel was a type of the tree that was cut down because Israel is that tree of life that fed all the world. And you can understand why they got excited about that. And so they look at it as they say, "This is about Israel." And then there are others that say it reaches to 1844. And it's like everyone picks their starting point. William Miller, he had this reaching to 1844. And so, everyone picks their kind of, their favorite starting point. And let me see, yeah, the Miller and there's still some people out now that do the 2,520. You've probably heard of that. They start 677 when King Manasseh was taken to Babylon, and they say it starts then, that's an odd place to start it. And then it goes to 1844.

So, there's a lot of people that apply the day for the year to this prophecy. But should we do that, or do we already know what the fulfillment is? Does Daniel tell us what the fulfillment is? It's King Nebuchadnezzar because these are literal years that are in this prophecy and you see the fulfillment of the time in here. So, when Daniel explains this to Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar is, he's a little worried. Daniel is telling the king, "Therefore my advice," this is verse 27. "My advice to you, O King, break off your sins," one of the most important parts of the chapter. "Break off your sins by being righteous, doing righteousness, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor."

Now, you might want to underline that. It says, "Perhaps this might be a lengthening to your prosperity." Let's presume that Daniel is a doctor and he's going to tell you now how to lengthen your prosperity. How many of you want to lengthen your tranquility? Break off your sins by doing righteousness, show mercy to the poor. The Bible says, "Blessed are the merciful, they will obtain mercy." It will be a lengthening. Humble yourself. It will be a lengthening of your tranquility, of your prosperities, is a similar word. Nebuchadnezzar probably sat up and paid attention to Daniel's advice. You don't give a king a lot of advice if it's not asked for. But Nebuchadnezzar said, "Okay." He behaved himself, and he humbled himself, and the dream shook him up. Remember, he was scared.

But after a while, he couldn't help it. He's walking after 12 months, I'm in verse 28. "All this came upon the King Nebuchadnezzar," and he's speaking of himself in like the second person here. "At the end of the twelve months he was walking about the royal palace of Babylon. He's walking about the royal palace, and the king spoke." Now, let me just tell you about Babylon before I tell you what he said. It's called the golden kingdom. It's the lion, it's the king of the beasts. When you get to the beast, it's the gold when you get to the metals.

One of the seven wonders of the world, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon was there of the ancient world. By the way, the only surviving memorial in, I think, Herodotus had the seven wonders of the ancient world is the great pyramids, everything else is gone. It's like the Colossus of Rhodes and there was a number of Temple of Jupiter and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. His wife, Nebuchadnezzar's wife he acquired was from the mountains. And when she came to the plains of Babylon, she just used to get homesick. She says, "There's no mountains here. It's all flat." It's kind of like when you go to the plains of Texas, all the mountains are upside down. They got these valleys but there's no-- everything else is flat. And remember some--one of my friends that lived in Texas went to California. She said, "I couldn't wait to get out of California. You can't see anything, there's mountains in the way."

So, she went and she said, "There's no mountains," and she was homesick. He said, "I will build you a mountain." So, he made this great multi-step pyramid. He terraced it with wonderful gardens from the most exotic, beautiful plants around the world. And it was the climate in Babylon back then wasn't as much of the desert as it is today. It was a little more mild. And he had devised these very ingenious mechanical pumps that could be driven that would bring the water from the river up to the top, and there were fountains that were flowing down. And it was described as one of the most beautiful places. You walked, and then you could spiral down through the gardens on this manmade mountain. And so, this is just a small thing.

Gold was everywhere. They said the walls were so high that you could ride five chariots abreast, on top of the walls and you could turn a chariot around. I mean, and there were towers everywhere. Many believe Herodotus the historian exaggerated, but he said it was 60 miles around the city. You know, it says the Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days' journey and the book of Jonah. So, there may have been things a little bigger than we can even imagine right now, and he's got gold everywhere. It's all gold, blended with gold. Remember, he had that big statue of gold. And so, he wakes up one morning and he's walking around the palace, and he sees everything gilded, and sparkling. It's wonder, it's inspiring. His musicians are playing. He takes a deep breath, he goes, "Ha, ha, ha, ha, I built all this. Is not this the great Babylon that I have made?"

Let me give it to you in his own words. It tells us here--said verse--yeah, thank you, verse 30: "The king spoke, saying, 'Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty?'" Who does that sound like? "I will exalt my throne above the stars of God," it's like the devil. He is full of himself. He's full of pride.

What goes before a fall? Pride. And no sooner had he said that, "The word was still in the king's mouth, a voice fell from heaven: 'King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: the kingdom has departed from you!'" That fast. "And they shall drive you from men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. They shall make you eat grass like oxen; and seven times shall pass over you, until you know," you're going to be punished seven times, "Until you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses. That very hour the word was fulfilled concerning Nebuchadnezzar; he was driven from men and ate grass like oxen." He went mad. "His body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hair had grown like eagles' feathers and his nails like birds' claws."

There's been a few documents that were written and some of them are dubious, but one says that one of his servants basically was able take charge and hide what had happened to the king, and he ruled Babylon for seven years, that he didn't want anyone to know the king had lost his mind. They pretty much hid it from the people and that's why his kingdom was preserved. He said, Lord puts over the basis to people and when they finally discovered that a servant was saying, "Yeah, the king says this, the king says that," and sealing documents, there was a little conspiracy of servants that hid the king's deranged condition for years.

And when it says his hair became like eagle feathers, it doesn't mean that that was a figure of speech when someone's out of their mind and they don't trim themselves or hair gets matted, and it starts to look like eagle feathers. Actually, the Aramaic version of the Bible in this story, it says his hair became like a lion's mane. It's actually a different phrase, and his fingernails became long and untrimmed, that's all it means. It's little claws like eagles. He became like an animal, a beast, and people get hungry enough, he may not have been eating just alfalfa hay, but they start eating weeds and plants in the field. And it's amazing that he survived.

Now, I don't know if you've read the story, 1738 to 1820 was King George III. Have you heard about King George III? That's during the time of the American Revolution. He was a pretty brilliant guy and he was king. But later in his life, they're not sure exactly what it was so it could have been some disease. It could have been some kind of bipolar disorder. But he went crazy, just stark-raving mad. And this court was trying to hide it from the people because they were going to lose their positions and their power.

And part of the reason I think this all happened was, it was in the midst of all this madness, and bad orders that he gave, America was able to obtain its freedom. The king went crazy. How many of you have heard this in history? King George III, yeah, he would start talking and he would give 400 words in one sentence. And he'd keep talking and talking until he wouldn't take a breath. He was foaming at the mouth. And he'd go around naked. And it just, they don't-- Everyone's tried to theorize it was a medical--they said that his urine was blue or purple. And they say, "Oh, that's typical of this, and that can make you crazy." And had all these ideas of what happened, but he would have these bouts of insanity that would last for months. And then all sudden, he'd wake up and he'd start seeming coherent and lucid again, and then he died pretty much crazy. That's a nice way to put it, but yeah. And some of it was dementia at that point.

But anyway, they hid it from the people so that he could stay on the throne, and this is not the first time this has happened. It happened with Nebuchadnezzar, of course. Now, what was the main reason for his fall? "I, I," pride goes before destruction, the haughty spirit before a fall. What was it that brought down King Herod? You know, the Herod--I'm sorry, in Acts chapter 12. The people said it's the voice of a God and not a man, and he did not give God the glory. The angel of the Lord struck him that very moment and he died and was eaten of worms.

Be careful about pride. Someone said, "Never are you more like the devil than when you're proud." And I remember hearing John Knox, the great reformed preacher, he was preaching in this church one day and after church, folks were greeting him at the door. And this lady met him at the door and she said, "Pastor Knox, you are the greatest preacher in all of Scotland." He said, "I know, madam, the devil tells me that all the time."

And so, what was it that brought down King Uzziah? King Uzziah walked into the temple of the Lord, he said, "All these other kings, they can go into their temples, how come I can't go into the holy place?" Not even the most holy place. King wasn't supposed to go into the holy place, and he got a censer, and he started walking, and the priest stopped him and said, "It's not for you, Uzziah, it's only for the sons of Aaron." He got mad and his pride was offended. Leprosy broke out in his forehead, pride. What brought down King Saul? He was more worried about what the people thought of him than what God thought of him, pride.

Pride is really a form of selfishness, isn't it? It's just like selfishness to the extreme. It's like these folks in Hollywood, their lives are all built around making them idols, and they sit around at their cocktail parties, and they talk to each other and one person says, "Oh, I'm so sorry, I've been talking about nothing but me. Let's talk about you. What do you think of me?" And pride is an arrow that always points to self.

Listen to this, Christ's object lessons page 154. "The evil that led to Peter's fall and shut out the Pharisee from communion with God is proving the ruin of thousands today. There is nothing so offensive to God, so dangerous to the human soul, as pride and self-sufficiency. Of all sins, it is the most hopeless and the most incurable." Well, the good news is that after seven times of Nebuchadnezzar living like this, when the time was up, his reason was restored. He suddenly realized that the dream had come true. He looks at himself, he's on all four. His fingernails are grown, his hair is dirty, he stinks. But his mind is come back. And he said, "I guess I wasn't so great." You know, the last thing he remembered, "Isn't this the great Babylon I've created?" He finally wakes up and says, "Now look at me." And he came to his senses.

Martin Luther said, God creates from nothing and until we become nothing, he can do nothing with us. It's when we humble ourselves he will lift us up. As long as we are selfish and proud, it is so hard for God to work with us. What was the first thing Jesus said to the religious leaders? You pray to be seen, you fast to be seen of man, you give to be seen of man. You're only worried about what people think of you, and you don't care what God thinks of you. It is the most hopeless thing. Until we come to the place where we can humble ourselves, there's not much God can do with us. Finally, he lifts his eyes to heaven.

You know, definition of love, 1 Corinthians 13, "Love is patient, love is kind, love does not envy, it does not boast. It is not proud." Jesus, God is love. He is humble. Christ said, "He that his greatest among you will be your servant. He who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted." If you look in 2 Chronicles 7:14, "If My people who are called by My name will," do what? "Humble themselves and pray." Then what will God do? It starts if you want to have a revival in your life, or in the church, or among your people, we’ve got to humble ourselves.

It wasn't until the disciples put aside their differences and humbled themselves. Micah 6:8, "He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?" You know, this to me is such a powerful truth. Even King Ahab, after he killed Naboth, and did all these terrible things, and persecuted the prophets, he tore his clothes after Elijah pronounced judgment on him. He wore sackcloth. And listen to what God says to Elijah, 1 Kings 21, verse 29. "See how Ahab has humbled himself before Me. Because he has humbled himself, I will not bring calamity in his days." When Rehoboam humbled himself, God lengthened his tranquility.

The Bible says the humble He guides in justice. You can read 2 Chronicles 12, verse 6, "So the leaders of Israel, the kings, they humble themselves. They said, 'The Lord is righteous.' When the Lord saw that they humbled themselves, the Word of the Lord came to Shemaiah saying, 'They've humbled themselves, therefore I will not destroy them, but I will give them some deliverance."

Do you want a lengthening of your tranquility? It's a very consistent Bible teaching, humble yourself. You know what's stops evangelism? Pride. Ellen White says if we would humble ourselves before the Lord, if we would humble ourselves before the Lord, be kind, and courteous, and tenderhearted, and pitiful, there would be 100 conversions to the truth where now there is only one. So, let us humble ourselves before the Lord. Nebuchadnezzar's last words, "The heart of the beast is taken away and he's given back the heart of a man." And he says, "My reason returned to me," in verse 36, "and the glory of my kingdom, my honor, my splendor returned to me. My counselors and nobles came to me." He's counseling others. "I was restored to my kingdom and excellent majesty was added to me. But now I don't take the credit, now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise, and extol, and honor the king of heaven. Doesn't say, "Is this my great Babylon?" "All of whose works are truth, and his ways justice. And those who walk in pride, he's able to put down." And he's saying, "I'm Exhibit A. God has given me a position of glory, but I don't glory in it."

Nothing's more majestic than a great king who is humble. Now, who is the greatest king that was the most humble? I'll close with this verse, Philippians 2, verse five, "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus, who being in the form of God did not consider it robbery to be equal with God. He's in God's form, he's in equality with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Because he did this, therefore God also has highly exalted Him."

He who humbles himself will be exalted. "God has highly exalted Him and given Him a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, those in the branches and those under the tree, that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Can you say amen? And is Christ now proud of His glory in heaven, or is He still humble? He's humble still. That was a great study and a great story, amen?

Now, we're out of time, but I want to remind our friends that are watching before we go off the air, we have a free offer called "The Armor of God." We'll send it to you for free. You can do call, ask for it, 866-788-3966. Or if you want to now you can download it by texting, just fill in the information, text SH101, text that to 40544, ask for Offer 173 when you write. That's a gift from us to you.

Let's close with prayer. Father in heaven, we thank You for this magnificent story in the Bible that it just tells us about the battle between pride and humility, what the consequences are, and ultimately, only You deserve the glory and the honor as the High God. Lord, I pray that we can learn the lesson of Nebuchadnezzar without having to go through that experience. And I pray that You'll bless us with the mind of Christ. Be with us in our service that follows, please bless the offering we're about to receive. And we thank you for all of Your goodness. In Jesus's name we pray, amen.

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 gift, simply text the keyword on your screen to 40544 or visit the web address shown on your screen. And be sure to select that 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."

Steve Johnson: I was heading south on Interstate 5. This commercial come on KFBK radio about a revelation seminar by Amazing Facts. I began--my chest began to tighten up. I began sweating profusely. I had difficulty in breathing. There was this big rest area and at this time, I pulled into there I thought, well, maybe I'm having a heart attack. I got out of my truck, walked into the men's restroom there, and put cold water on my face. And then finally things subsided.

A week later, again, I heard this Amazing Facts commercial come on the radio. In fact, the meetings were going to start that very night. And again, immediately I had these same symptoms. I thought, you know, this isn't my heart. I have to go to that meeting. And as I was going down to Sacramento, I decided to park and go inside. Well, I got in and walked into the furthermost rear seat they had in the pew there. And this particular evangelist, his name was Kim Kjaer. It was like taking one layer off at a time of an onion. He laid it out so perfectly that we could all understand it. And I was really motivated. I couldn't believe it.

Well, I finished, I didn't miss a meeting. In fact, on the fifth night they had an altar call and my knees stood right up, and I walked forward and I gave my heart to Jesus Christ. I've learned throughout this whole thing that when you leave the devil's territory, he gets pretty active and causing a lot of problems. Well, I had the evangelists come out, and they had prayer with me about my business, I would find a sick business and make it well, and then market it. I finally ended up with a business that I really enjoyed. It was one that was building equestrian centers. And they said to me, "Steve," he said, "You know, if you're going to really keep the Sabbath, you've got to shut your doors on the Sabbath."

Well, I did. And so, I sold the business to my brother, took me 22 years to build that business, and he lost it in 33 months. My son, who was my business partner, I've been giving him 10% of the business here every year. He thought I just fallen off the bridge. My son didn't talk to me for five-and-a-half years. And then a few other things happened. So, I had an ex-employee living in my guest house, he kind of watched after our place. And he said, "Steve," he said, "There's an Allied moving van backed up to your front door in your home." I said, "You're kidding." I said, "What do you mean?" He said, "They're moving everything out of your house into this truck, and your wife is out there supervising them."

And when I went home and opened the front door, my voice echoed in that house. There wasn't any furniture left anywhere. There was one bed left in the house. I knew my wife was upset because of my coming to this church, but I had no idea that she would move out like this. That was a total shock to me.

It was some time there I locked myself in the bedroom, and I began reading the Bible. I spent about a half a year just every night getting home, and I would study. It allowed me to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Well, to make a long story short, I met Crystal, and she was a godly woman. That was the Lord's doing, not mine. And He was just there to let me know that, "I'm with you all the way. Even though you're going to have some trials, you're going to have some hardships, I want you to know that I'll be with you." Because no matter what I do know, he is my leader. He's the leader of my marriage. He's the leader of everything in my life today. That one meeting with the Amazing Facts seminar changed my entire life. And to this day, I'm still on fire for God. I'm still witnessing to my neighbors. My name is Steve Johnson, and it's because of you that Amazing Facts has changed my life.

Share a Prayer Request
Ask a Bible Question



Prayer Request:

Share a Prayer Request


Bible Question:

Ask a Bible Question