Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 3 * PART 3 * BOOK 80
DANIEL – PART III – 3
Daniel 4:26 – 7:8
Okay, looks like everyone is back from the coffee break once again. We’re ready to start program number three this afternoon. So again, we like to welcome our television audience. I have to keep reminding you that we’ll never cease to thank the Lord enough for all your prayers, your kind letters, and, my—I always have to look at Iris—how we enjoy your letters.
You know, I’m blessed. I know I mentioned it on a program years ago. One of the things that made me really not want to jump on this when they called and asked if I would come on television was because I thought I would just get abused, and I would get verbally taken to the woodshed, you know. But it hasn’t happened. We’ve probably had two or three letters that were less than kind, but those kinds are not hard to put in the trash can. So, we do thank you for your letters of encouragement. We praise the Lord that He’s seen fit to protect us from all the attacks of the evil one, so like poor Daniel.
Okay, here we are in Daniel. And because of his faith and his trust in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, God had blessed him with all of his wisdom and understanding—his integrity. Yet the world can’t stand it, can they? They just can’t handle a man of integrity. And I could make comments even in our own political system. Let someone make a stand on their faith, and they will be attacked like you will not believe. Well, the same thing happened to Daniel. Just as soon as that decree was signed, instead of putting his tail between his legs and running, what does Daniel do? He just flaunts it all the more.
And here we’ve got it, now, as we pick it up in Daniel chapter 6 and verse 10. Reading verse 9, again—that’s where we just left off.
“Wherefore King Darius signed the writing and the decree. (That he had been kind of hoodwinked into signing.) 10. Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, (And don’t think he didn’t know every word that it said.) he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.” The decree didn’t change one iota of Daniel’s respect and love for his God. All right, verse 11:
“Then these men assembled, (Now remember who we’re talking about. We’re talking about the 120 back there in verse 1 and the other two of the three presidents. Daniel was one, and there were two others. So the two presidents and the 120 are the conspiracy against him.) and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God. 12. Then they came near, and spoke before the king concerning the king’s decree;…” And this is what they tell the king.
“…Hast thou not signed a decree, that every man that shall ask a petition of any God or man within thirty days, save of thee, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions? The king answered and said, The thing is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not.” In other words, they could never change something that had been signed and decreed.
“Then answered they and said before the king, That Daniel, (See how they’re pointing the finger at him.) which is of the children of the captivity of Judah, (that Jew) regardeth not thee, O king, nor the decree that thou hast signed, but maketh his petition three times a day. 14. Then the king, when he heard these words, was sore displeased with (Daniel? No.) with himself,…”
He got tricked, because he had a lot respect for Daniel. Now Darius, too, like Nebuchadnezzar, is going to be making progress to the place where he finally has to admit that the God of Israel is the God of everything. But so far, he’s still sort of halfway between. All right, so he was utterly disgusted with himself.
“…and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him: and he labored till the going down of the sun to deliver him.” Now what he did, we don’t know. But he was evidently trying everything that the law would allow to reverse the decree, but these adversaries give him no room. Verse 15:
“Then these men (the 122) assembled unto the king, and said unto the king, Know, O king, that the law of the Medes and Persians is, That no decree nor statute which the king establisheth (or signed) may be changed. 16. Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, (I suppose on his way to the lions’ den.) Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will (What?) deliver thee. ”
What do we have? I think an inkling now of Darius’ faith in the God of Daniel. Now just watch for it—as these men come ever so slowly to a final recognition of the God of Glory. All right, he says, I am sure your God will deliver thee.
“And a stone was brought, and laid upon the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet, (So that there was no possible way of somebody slipping in and rescuing him.) and with the signet of his lords; that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel. (Now we’ll just move on.) 18. Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting:…” See, he’s not just forgetting about Daniel. He’s doing everything he can to make sure that the God of Daniel will rescue him. He begins with fasting.
“…neither were instruments of music brought before him: and his sleep went from him. (I think he paced the floor most of the night.) 19. Then the king arose very early in the morning, and went in haste unto the den of lions. 20. And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel:…”
I imagine the old fellow thought he was spitting into the wind, as we say, that Daniel was long down the throats of the lions. I don’t think he really expected an answer. But on the other hand, I think his faith is increasing so that he felt it was possible.
“…he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel: and the king spake and said to Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, (See, he’s not talking about his pagan gods now. He said, Daniel, is your God–) whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions?”
And verse 21. Now listen, don’t ever take this as just a story. This is the Word of God to prove His power. And like I said at the beginning of the first half hour, we have to understand that all the way up through Israel’s history, the supernatural was not that unusual. Even in the life of some of the prophets and David and Solomon, the supernatural was evident. Not like we are today. Well, you know, I always like to refer to Sir Robert Anderson’s book The Silence of God. If you haven’t got it, for goodness sakes buy it. One of the best books you can have in your library—The Silence of God. What’s he showing? That during this Age of Grace, God’s not doing things like this. We’re not to expect it. We’re not to look for it. But it’ll pick up again as soon as the Tribulation starts when He starts dealing with Israel. All right, back to Daniel.
“Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live for ever.” He’s as well as he was twenty-four hours ago.
“My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt.” I haven’t done any scandalized “cooking the books.” Are you with me? Daniel says—I’m not guilty of that. He said—I haven’t embezzled. I haven’t done anything contrary to your will. So there was no spiritual reason for God to punish him. He said, “I’ve done no hurt.”
“Then was the king exceeding glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he (What’s the word?) believed in his God.” See? His faith! It’s always been the faith! Starting with Adam—when he was restored to fellowship, it was Adam’s faith. Likewise, Daniel’s faith—because he believed in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. All right, now verse 24:
“And the king commanded, and they brought those men who had accused Daniel, (See, now the worm turns, doesn’t it? And those 122 men who had accused Daniel–) and they cast them into the den of lions,…” But as the Orientals did all through history, it wasn’t just the husband. They would kill the whole family. Even as late as the Romans—if one of their politicians was found guilty, it wasn’t he alone, but his wife and children as well. So this is all typical of the Oriental mindset. So they cast these 122 men into the den of lions.
“…them, their children, and their wives; and the lions had the mastery of them, and broke all their bones in pieces or ever they came at the bottom of the den. 25. Then king Darius wrote unto all people, nations, and languages; that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you. 26. I make a decree, That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: (Why?) for He (The God of Daniel. He’s not just some piece of some rock or gold or silver. He–) is the living God, and steadfast for ever, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion shall be even unto the end.”
All right, now I’m thinking of a time way back during Moses serving Israel—Exodus chapter 18. Let’s turn back, because I want you to see that even though God was primarily dealing with Israel from the call of Abraham—whenever I put it on the board, I always say Jew only with what? Exceptions! And I want you to realize that. God did make exceptions. There were times when Gentiles came to a faith and trust in Israel’s God. And I suppose I can just about use the rest of this half hour on this situation in the life of Moses. It’s his father-in-law. Who remembers the name of his father-in-law? Jethro! Hey, that’s good. I’ve got some Bible students out there.
Jethro—he was a Midian prince. And you remember that when Moses was first driven out of Egypt because he had killed the Egyptian, he took up with the gals that were watering the sheep. Remember the story? And he ended up marrying one of them. So his father-in-law was this Jethro, a Midianite and a Gentile.
All right, now here’s the account. I can’t help but come back and show how Jethro expressed much of the same things as Nebuchadnezzar and Darius and, I think, Cyrus. I think all these Gentile kings came to a knowledge of salvation by faith in the God of Abraham. All right, Exodus chapter 18 starting at verse 1, Honey.
“When Jethro, the priest of Midian, Moses’ father-in-law, heard of all that God had done for Moses, and for Israel his people, and that the LORD had brought Israel out of Egypt; (You remember, when he was leading the children of Israel.) 2. Then Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, took Zipporah, Moses’ wife, after he had sent her back. 3. And her two sons;…Gershom;… 4. …and Eliezer;…”
“And Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, came with his sons and his wife unto Moses into the wilderness, where he encamped at the mount of God: (down there at Mount Sinai) 6. And Jethro said unto Moses, I thy father-in-law Jethro am come unto thee, and thy wife, and her two sons with her. 7. And Moses went out to meet his father-in-law, and did obeisance, and kissed him; (You know the Oriental way.) and they asked each other of their welfare; (Well, that’s typical, isn’t it?) and they came into the tent.”
“And Moses told his father-in-law all that the LORD had done unto Pharaoh and to all the Egyptians for Israel’s sake, and all the travail that had come upon them by the way, and how the LORD delivered them. 9. And Jethro (What’s the next word?) rejoiced…” Now the average Arab wouldn’t feel that way. They didn’t think anything good should happen to Israel. But Jethro did.
“And Jethro rejoiced for all the goodness which the LORD had done to Israel, whom he had delivered out of the hand of the Egyptians. 10. And Jethro said, Blessed be the LORD, who hath delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of Pharaoh,…” Verse 11:
“Now I know that the LORD is greater than all gods: (Small ‘g’—see how far he’s come?) for in the thing wherein they dealt proudly he was above them. (In other words, the God of Abraham is the God above everything.) 12. And Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, took a burnt-offering and sacrifices for God: and Aaron came, and all the elders of Israel, to eat bread with Moses’ father-in-law before God. 13. And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses sat to judge the people: and the people stood by Moses from the morning unto the evening.”
And then, of course, we see that Jethro comes up with a method of helping Moses deal with all the responsibility. But what I wanted you to see was that even way back here the father-in-law of Moses comes to a faith in the God of Abraham. All right, now then, with that, let’s come back to Daniel, once again. So Darius is following in the footsteps of Jethro and a few others throughout the Old Testament; who were Gentiles, but they came to embrace the God of Israel. And now we have Darius. All right, let’s drop down to where we left off. So now Darius writes a new decree speaking of the God of Daniel.
“He delivereth and rescueth, and he worketh signs and wonders in heaven and in earth, who delivered Daniel from the power of the lions. 28. So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of (the next big emperor) Cyrus the Persian.”
All right, now then, I guess we’ve got a few minutes left. We’ll go on into chapter 7, and once again we have a prophetic view of the future empires. But instead of metals of gold, silver, and so forth, Daniel is going to see these Gentile empires as voracious beasts. And that, of course, is what the Gentile empires have been. They’ve been bestial in their overall behavior.
“In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon…” Now this, of course, backs up again. This is a chronological unfolding. But now we are at its period of time when Daniel is probably in his mid-80’s.
“In the first year of Belshazzar the king of Babylon, Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream, and told the sum of the matters. 2. Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea.” Now that’s not the Mediterranean or the Atlantic. It’s the great sea of Humanity. Even in that period of time, the then-known world was already teaming with millions of folks. And out of that great sea of Humanity–
“And four great beasts (wild animals) came up from the sea, diverse one from another (each one different from another).” All right, now here we begin the unfolding of these same four empires spoken of as beasts of prey. Verse 4:
“The first was like a lion, and had eagles wings: I beheld (in his vision) till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man’s heart was given to it.” Now that’s Daniel’s picture of Babylon and Nebuchadnezzar. And we have already seen how Nebuchadnezzar was removed and then his grandson had the empire taken from him. All right, now then, following the Babylonian Empire of Nebuchadnezzar, Nabonidus, and Belshazzar–
“And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh.”
All right, now we have the Mede Empire coming all the way from present day Iran, across present day Iraq, present day Persia, down across the land of Israel or Palestine, and all the way down to Egypt. That all became part of the Mede and Persian Empire. That’s why it spoke of devouring much flesh. Now this is all history in advance. Now verse 6:
“After this (Here comes the next empire.) I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it.” Now of course, what that is depicting, I think—you know the story of Alexander the Great. How he went swiftly across the Middle East and conquered more territory than even the Medes and the Persians had conquered, but he did it in such speed for that day and time.
You’ve got to remember that they were on foot. They were on horseback and so forth. But he would take chances. In other words, he would cross maybe a bay at low tide, and he could do it quickly enough, that instead of going miles around, he could just cut across. That was Alexander the Great. He took tremendous chances. But by it, he moved so swiftly.
All right, now the vision depicts four. Well, we also know from history, that when Alexander the Great died at the age of 33, his empire was divided between his four major generals. So the empire was divided. And the part that affected Israel is that with which we concern ourselves the most. That, of course, was Persia and Egypt, with Israel in the middle. All right, so that was the prophecy, then, of the third empire, the Greek.
Now we come to the fourth, which follows the Greek, and that is the Roman. And now we find an empire that, just like the feet of iron and clay was indescribable, so also was Daniel’s vision. He just can’t describe this fourth and final Gentile Empire.
“After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was (different or) diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.”
Now we know that the vision of the Medes and the Persians was a two-horned creature. Greece was a one-horned creature. But this fourth beast has ten horns; and, of course, it jumps all the way over to the end time when the anti-Christ will come out of a ten nation consortium. All right, so the Roman Empire follows all these three previous ones. And it was by far more powerful, more fearsome, and more heartless than any of the rest of them put together. All right, now verse 8. We’ve got to keep moving. Daniel says:
“I considered the horns, and behold, there came upon them another little horn,…” Now this is leaping to the Tribulation period. That’s what Scripture does. He’s leaping all the way from 500 B.C. to wherever time is in front of us as yet—when the Tribulation will begin with the appearance of this man of sin, the son of perdition, and all the various terms of Scripture. I think there are twelve of them, if you search through it.
“…there came upon them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns (out of the ten) plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn (This anti-Christ, this prince of Daniel chapter 9, the son of perdition in II Thessalonians chapter 2, the man of sin. All those various terms are dealing with this anti-Christ that is yet future. He’s still out in front of us. And here’s his description.)in this horn (in this coming prince) were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.”
All right, let’s just skip ahead to chapter 11. We pick up a further description of this one little horn who is the coming anti-Christ in Daniel chapter 11. Drop down to verse 21. Now all these descriptions of the anti-Christ, whether it’s in the Old Testament, or whether it’s in Christ’s earthly ministry, or if it’s in the Book of Revelation. They all depict this coming world ruler, which we feel the whole global system is being prepared for.
“And in his estate shall stand up a vile person,…” Now, he’s going to be charismatic. In other words, he’s going to be the kind of a person that the masses will flow to. They’re going to worship him. But yet he is wicked to the ‘nth’ degree.
“And in his estate shall stand up a vile person, to whom they shall not give the honor of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom (And I think it’s basically the European Union. He will obtain–) the kingdom by flatteries.” What does that tell you? He’s a smooth talker if ever there was one.
He’s going to be an orator. He’s going to be someone that’s going to be glib with his answers. Nobody’s going to be able to embarrass him. He is going to just simply bamboozle, if I can use that word, he’s going to bamboozle the world. They’re literally going to fall at his feet and acclaim him as the world’s messiah and Israel’s Messiah all wrapped up in one.
So, never lose sight of the fact that this little horn of Daniel chapter 7 is the anti-Christ of the coming Tribulation period. We’ll pick it up in our next half hour.