Captivity and Learning
This Bible Study
is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's transcription is provided
with written permission by http://www.theseason.org
Daniel is a controversial book, for many of the higher critics claim it never should have been canonized; however, there is equally strong support for the claim that it holds the key to "end times" Bible prophecy.
I feel Daniel is the most meaningful book concerning the final generation; that generation of the "Parable of the Fig Tree" that started on May 15, 1948, at the birth of the Nation of Israel. (See Mark 13.) This is the final generation.
What does the word "Daniel" mean? Strong's #1841 dictionary reference says, "God is my Judge" or "Judge of God". "Dan" is judge and "El" is Hebrew for "God".
Though most prophets prophesied while out of captivity, all of Daniel's prophecy was given while the Jews and Daniel were in Babylon in captivity. This is a type of what will happen in these end times under the "King of Babylon [confusion]" which we refer to as "Anti Christ" in the Book of Revelation. Daniel sets the course for the way Christians will function, operate, and do our Father's business in this generation.
Because of the importance and high esteem given Daniel by those who seek to know and do God's will, the "higher critics" usually zero in to discredit the book, however, keep in mind, the purpose of the "higher critic" is to cause confusion and make money.
The Book of Daniel is very solid and the only documentation necessary is that given by Ezekiel (see Ezekiel 28.) where Ezekiel is comparing the wisdom and beauty of Satan, who is the "Prince of Tyrus", to that of Daniel (See Daniel 28:3.)
Jesus gave support to Daniel's prophecies in Matthew 24:15 and in Mark 13:14. "When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:" (Matthew 24:15) We know that abomination is Satan claiming to be God, and the desolation is properly translated "desolator", who will be Satan, the Anti Christ.
Our only hope of being wiser than the serpent is to have the mind of Christ in us. That way we can know Him when He appears on Earth as the Christ [Anti Christ].
When Christ quoted [Daniel 9:27], He made the Book of Daniel part of the New Testament; part of the warnings to His elect, that they would not be deceived. Jesus Christ was talking about the seven seals, or things that would happen before the end of this earth age. That time when Jesus would come to set up His Kingdom on Earth for one thousand (1,000) years.
Jesus made Daniel's prophecy part of the seven seals, which are also backed up by others such as Paul in II Thessalonians 2. Daniel's gift was in seeing the future, and recording it for a time far into the future when the people living in that day would read the word, and not be deceived by Anti Christ.
Daniel lived during the same period as Ezra, the prophet. His prophecies were during the reigns of Nebuchadnezzar to Cyrus in the fifth century before the birth of Jesus.
Daniel's prophecies were given for the world rulers, for he and the Jews [the House of Judah] were in captivity. This is exactly as it will be in the end times. The Babylon of old was ruling the world, and the children of God were captive. The new Babylon [which means confusion] will hold and deceive God's people, and lead them right into Satan's [Anti Christ's] camp; except those few who can see past the traditions of men, and deceptions; and have the truth of God's word in their hearts and minds. We call those few "God's Elect".
Just as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were delivered up in a physical sense for their stand against the King of Babylon in Daniel's day; so the "elect" of God will be delivered up to make a stand when Anti Christ, the King of Babylon of the end time, rules the world. (See Revelation 2:9-10, Matthew 24:9-10, and Mark 13:9-10.) There will be a ten (10) day tribulation, or testing, and the elect will hold fast.
"Daniel" again means "God is my Judge", or in a different tense, "God will judge".
Now, to get to the Book of Daniel.
"In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it." (Daniel 1:1)
The starting point of King Nebuchadnezzar's war efforts is dated to the third year of Jehoiakim's reign. By our calendar, it would be 497 B.C., and Daniel would be 16 years old. Daniel was born in the eighteen (18) years of Jesiah's reign, King of Judah; about 513 B.C.
Though Nebuchadnezzar's forces set out to siege the City of Jerusalem, they were delayed by fighting a battle with Pharaoh-Necho (Egypt) at "Carchemish". SO it was the following year he carried out his objective. (See II Kings 24:1-2 and II Chronicles 36:6-7.)
"And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God: which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god." (Daniel 1:2)
This is just one of many places where the "Sopherim" states that translators changed the text from "Jehovah" [Strong's #3688, self-existent, eternal], to "Adonai" [still denoting head-ship, but taking away the deity of Christ-God].
In many places of scripture the translators have simply replaced God's deity "Jehovah" with the word "Lord", thus stripping our Heavenly Father from his eternal, everlasting, and supreme authority to a common ruler on earth.
Are the actions of Nebuchadnezzar in service of satanic forces? What control this world ruler of Babylon?
We see in Jeremiah 27:6 just who controls Nebuchadnezzar, and how Babylon gained its wealth and rule. "And now have I given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant; and the beasts of the field have I given him also to serve him." Nebuchadnezzar was a servant of the Heavenly Father. God has a plan, and it is God who chooses who his servants are.
God did not stand for Judah on that day, but "gave" King Jehoiakim of Judah over to Nebuchadnezzar. God allowed the vessels of his holy temple to be hauled away and placed in the temples of heathen gods. Judah had sinned and God would not allow those sins to go unpunished.
Nebuchadnezzar had come before to take Jerusalem, but because of a covenant with King Jeconiah, Nebuchadnezzar left the city unharmed. Jeconiah did not keep the covenant, and this angered God. (See Jeremiah 24:1-3.) This is why we read in Daniel 1:2, "And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his [Nebuchadnezzar's] hand, . . .".
The treasures that were taken from "the House of God" were the ones returned seventy (70) years later, under the restoration of the temple by Cyrus. This was under Ezra. (See Ezra 1:7.)
This is also an example of what will happen in this generation. God uses whatever and whoever He wants to straighten out his children when they stray and turn their backs on Him.
God allowed Nebuchadnezzar to conquer and in the last days God will allow Satan to rule His kingdom as Anti Christ; and Revelation 17:5 identifies that kingdom of Anti Christ as "Mystery, Babylon the great, the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth." Those "harlots" are any religions, religious forms, or doctrines which lead a Christian to follow Anti Christ.
"And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king's seed, and of the princes;" (Daniel 1:3.)
"Ashpenaz" means "horse face". Why would Nebuchadnezzar want to educate the youth? Babylon was the capital of learning and law for the world. To be able to use the talents of the newly conquered kingdom, it was vital they talked the same language.
"Children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king's palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans." (Daniel 1:4.)
Why was this necessary? These bright kids of Judah were to become the teachers to the Babylonians. Professor Sayce's book, Babylonian Literature, shows the existence of huge literature and famous libraries. The system of checking out books as we do today existed in Nebuchadnezzar's day. The books covered all subjects and were classified accordingly. (Pages 12-14.)
The area of Babylon in the southern region was called Chaldea, and the ancient Babylon town of Ur existed as a Chaldean civilization.
So we see Nebuchadnezzar cared about knowledge and wisdom of all his subjects. To preserve the all valuable assets of understanding, and to transfer that knowledge into Chaldean.
"And the king appointed them a daily provision of the king's meat, and of the wine which he drank: so nourishing them three years, that at the end thereof they might stand before the king." (Daniel 1:5.)
The daily provision that the king wanted to feed these Jewish children was the best. However, it wasn't the food God instructed the "Children of Israel" to eat, nor was it prepared in the manner of preparation instructed by God. The word "wine" is from the Hebrew word "yayin", meaning to ferment. The wine was a fermented drink, not necessarily as we think of it today. This diet of improper and polluted foods was continued for three (3) years (497-495 B.C.).
At the end of the three (3) years of study and special diet, the top of the class were taken to stand before the king.
"Now among these were of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah:" (Daniel 1:6.)
The three (3) children plus Daniel.
"Unto whom the prince of the eunuchs gave names: for he gave unto Daniel the name of Belteshazzar; and to Hananiah, of Shadrach; and to Mishael, of Meshach; and to Azariah, of Abednego." (Daniel 1:7.)
They were set aside from the group with new names.
"But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself." (Daniel 1:8.)
Daniel determined and set in his mind he would not eat any of the king's polluted meat or drink, and he went to the head man over him, and explained why and requested to stay on his own diet, as given by Moses. Those meats of the king were not bled (See Leviticus 3:17, 7:26.), and had been offered to idols (See Exodus 34:15, I Corinthians 10:20.). The intent was not because he was acting on temperance or vegetarian principles.
"Now God had brought Daniel into favour and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs." (Daniel 1:9.)
God softened the heart of the eunuch. To compare this to today's standards, when you go to a cafe that uses a lot of old grease and you're not used to it, it does effect your health for days. Even water from another area can cause sickness. The eunuch understood and loved Daniel, and allowed him his own diet. God can change minds.
"And the prince of the eunuchs said unto Daniel, I fear my lord the king, who hath appointed your meat and your drink: for why should he see your faces worse liking than the children which are of your sort? then shall ye make me endanger my head to the king." (Daniel 1:10.)
The reason the eunuch wanted the four (4) young men to eat was that their condition in three (3) years was how that eunuch would be judged, and rewarded or punished.
"Then said Daniel to Melzar, whom the prince of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah," (Daniel 1:11.)
"Prove they servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink." (Daniel 1:12.)
The pulse is uncontaminated food, vegetables, to avoid idol-contaminated meats. Daniel's asking, try us for ten (10) days. What is ten (10) days out of three (3) years.
"Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenance of the children that eat of the portion of the king's meat: and as thou seest, deal with they servants." (Daniel 1:13.)
The test is a comparison between Daniel and those who ate the king's polluted meats.
"So he consented to them in this matter, and proved them ten days.
"And at the end of the ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king's meat.
"Thus Melzar took away the portion of their meat, and the wine that they should drink; and gave them pulse." (Daniel 14-16.)
It is interesting that the test days given in the end times, where Christians would be given over to Satan [Anti Christ] is going to be ten (10) days. (See Revelation 2:9-10.)
If the verses of Daniel are examples of what will occur int he end times; then we must relate this test to a test which will be upon us shortly. What is the famine of the end times?
The famine is for the void of the teaching and hearing of the Word of God. There will be no "meat" of the word, only milk. How can you stand in battle when the only thing you're fed is milk? You can't! For the battle in the end times is a spiritual battle, fought with words. My friend, Satan [Anti Christ] is the expert, however, you have the power to withstand him. Your only defense is in the preparation of your mind; through the Word of God.
That preparation includes knowing the signs of the end times, the "parable of the fig tree", and the ability to identify the first Christ that comes as the fake, the false one, called Anti Christ. We must know the good meat from the bad meat spiritually. Satan's lies will look like "good meat" or truth, when, in fact, it is bad, false, poisonous meat that will kill not only your body, but your soul. The world will eat it up, including many churches, for they have not been taught the difference. Don't you be one of them.
We'll see later in Daniel how Satan does come in. He won't come in through war, or in fear, or even belittling people; he comes in as "Christ", the redeeming savior, and many are going to be deceived.
What is a real tragedy is that most of the Christian world is illiterate, for their studies of God are so fragmented and picked apart by "one verse" preachers promoting their traditions, their congregations are like scattered sheep. At Anti Christ's return to earth in the near future, we will see these congregations stumble and wallow as they follow their trusted pastor right into Anti Christ's sheep fold.
How can we not fall into this trap? Through a chapter by chapter, verse by verse, study of God's word, using the proper tools. A bible (King James Version) with a good concordance, using and matching by number to the Hebrew-Chaldean, and Greek dictionaries, and a good dictionary. Strong's is the best. Then study under a gifted teacher; gifted through the Holy Spirit, and knowledgeable of the entire Word of God, with common sense and understanding in serving our Living God. So, beware of the polluted spiritual food to be passed out in these final days.
As or these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams." (Daniel 1:17.)
Learning is a process that uses all of your senses. That process uses your eyes, ears, nose and tongue. Understanding is discernment; to know right from wrong, good from bad, and even seeing through those hidden traps that would snare you.
Daniel had a super gift, even to understand all visions and dreams.
"Now at the end of the days that the king had said he should bring them in, then the prince of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar." (Daniel 1:18.)
How long did it take for Daniel to achieve his wisdom? Three (3) years! (See Daniel 1:5.) I've heard people say, "The Holy Spirit hit me and i had instant knowledge of the word." It doesn't work that way, nor does God work that way.
To learn is to study [a time process], and to study is to absorb. All true wisdom comes from one source, our Heavenly Father. He knows everything, however, you and I have to work for it. Daniel not only learned of the ways of the Babylonians, but the ways of God, and the Anti Christ that will come first. To be able to fully understand just takes time.
"And the king communed with them; and among them all was found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: therefore stood they before the king." (Daniel 1:19.)
You can learn or study a topic for three (3) years and still not fully understand the common application of the field of study. As Daniel and his three (3) friends stood before the king, Nebuchadnezzar questioned them to see and test their knowledge "in all matters". When you pray for wisdom and knowledge, His spirit, the Holy Spirit, will open your mind so you can understand and retain knowledge with discernment. Daniel was ready for his final exams.
"And in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king enquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm.
"And Daniel continued even unto the first year of king Cyrus." (Daniel 1:20-21.)
As these four (4) young men stood before the most powerful man in the world, in that day, King Nebuchadnezzar; the knowledge and understanding wasn't just better, but ten (10) times better. Daniel feared and loved the Lord, he was committed to all areas of his life. King David said in Psalm 111:10, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever."
God opened Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah's minds and mouths, and the wisdom of God flowed forth. These young men of their early twenties spent three (3) full years in training; it wasn't a burst of instant wisdom, but a proper attitude (fear of God) and a will to stand by God's principles, when the entire "kingdom of Judah" went whoring after the ways of Babylon.
This is a type of end time prophecy, when the Babylon of the tribulation rules, and the king of this coming Babylon, "Anti Christ", offers you his polluted "spiritual meat"; that of love, brotherhood, one-worldism, and all other forms of peace and tranquility to pamper and soothe your fleshly mind, in order to cause you to worship "him". He will test you, as Jesus was tested in the wilderness in Matthew 4:1-16.
Satan will and can offer you the world, for it is his to give; wealth, fame, love, anything. If you have a weakness he will know it and soothe it, and if you are looking for a rapture, he will even fake that for you. For the world is his for that five (5) month period and he can, and will, do as he pleases with it, and the people, except God's elect. Who are the elect?
The elect are those who have prepared themselves, just as Daniel and his three (3) friends did in the old Babylon. They know what to expect, for they understand what will happen prior to that Seventh (last) trumpet; sounding the return of our Lord Jesus Christ.
It is God who gives us wisdom and protects His own. God will do that in the tribulation Babylon for His elect, just as He did for Daniel in old Babylon.
Daniel's service in Babylon continued for sixty-nine (69) years, until the first year of King Cyrus (426 B.C.). It doesn't say Daniel died then, only that he lived to see that occurrence.
.~ Vine .~
.~ Rain .~