"A Great Tree"
This Bible Study
is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's transcription is provided
with written permission by http://www.theseason.org
Chapter Four of Daniel was written by Nebuchadnezzar. Before the end of Nebuchadnezzar's life, we can see through his prayers that he was a converted man.
We see here in Daniel that trees are given to represent something, and (see Daniel 4:10) that these trees are not trees, but people.
Daniel 4:1 "Nebuchadnezzar the king , unto all people, nations and languages, that dwell in all the earth; "Peace be multiplied unto you."
Daniel 4:2 "I thought it good to shew the signs and wonders that the High God hath wrought toward me."
Daniel 4:3 "How great are His signs! and how mighty are his wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and His dominion is from generation to generation."
Daniel 4:4 "I Nebuchadnezzar was at rest in mine house and flourishing in my palace:"
Daniel 4:5 "I saw a dream which made me aftaid, and the thoughts upon my bed and the visions of my head troubled me."
Daniel 4:6 "Therefore made I a decree to bring in all the wise men of Babylon before me, that they might make known unto me the interpretation of the dream.
Daniel 4:7 "Then came in the magicians, the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers: and I told the dream before them; but they did not make known unto me the interpretation thereof."
Daniel 4:8 "But at the last Daniel came in before me, whose name was Belteshazzar, according to the name of my god, and in whom is the spirit of the holy gods: and before him I told the dream, saying,"
Daniel 4:9 "O Belteshazzar, master of the magicians, because I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in thee, and no secret troubleth thee, tell me the visions of my dream that I have seen, and the interpretation thereof."
Daniel 4:10 "Thus were the vision of mine head in my bed; I saw and behold a tree in the midst of the earth, and the height thereof was great."
This tree in the vision was Nebuchadnezzar, and his height (power) was great, for he ruled the world. Nebuchadnezzar, was the king, and his power was given from God. (Daniel 4:11, 2:28) Nebuchadnezzar's armies subdued the entire earth, and Babylon was a one world system.
This prophecy has a dual purpose, for this Babylonian kingdom will exist in form to the end of this earth age. This same tree will exist through this seventh dispensation (end times). That same tree was in the "Garden of Eden:, and caused Adam and Eve to fall.
The leaves and fruits were plenty on this tree, and this is an example of how Satan operates. The leaves are protection given, and fruit (food) is what can feed the world. How is the United Nations trying to win support of world nations? Through protection and feeding of the world. There is no difference in Satan's operation today, to that of King Nebuchadnezzar, and what took place in Babylon in Daniel's day.
Satan will promise peace and prosperity to all when he comes as the false Christ. Those looking for a man of iron, and not a lamb, will positively be taken by him. The Antichrist (Satan) will look and act exactly as you have an image of Jesus.
A counterfeit must be a mirror image, or it is a cheap imitation, and will fool no one. We are told by Jesus in Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21 that Satan will be so much the image of Jesus that the entire world will fall for it.
Daniel 4:11 "The tree grew, and was strong, and the height thereof reached unto heaven, and the sight thereof to the end of all the earth:"
However, when you imagine Christ's return, both locally and world-wide, "to the ends of the earth"; my friend, that is how we will see Satan come very shortly. Satan operates very differently then what Christians are taught to believe.
Daniel 4:12 "The leaves thereof were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was meat for all: the beasts of the field had shadow under it, and the fowls of the heaven dwelt in the boughs thereof, and all flesh was fed of it.
Satan will be a true environmentalist. He'll look after all species; birds, animals, plant life, sea life, and all living creatures will be under his protective care. That's why it will be difficult to speak out against the Antichrist (Satan).
There is a witness to this tree in Daniel 4, and that is found in Ezekiel 31:3-9. The "Assyrian" that Ezekiel saw, is with "the cedars in Lebanon", and is mis-translated from the Hebrew Massorah text. Dr. Ginsburg says it should read "TeAshshur" and not as recorded, "Ashshur". This mistranslation changes the meaning from the nation (Assyria) to "a box tree". Just another tree.
As you read Ezekiel 31:3-9, Ezekiel bares out a witness to all points of operation of Satan (the tree). Read Ezekiel 31:12. Satan is subtle and in his reign there will be nothing on earth that is overlooked or that he has not provided for.
When he comes, his growth to greatness comes from the "great waters" (peoples and nations) supporting him. (See Ezekiel 31:7). For his (Satan's) craftiness and powers to do wonders, and his lies will be believable. Just like in the Garden of Eden, Satan (the tree of good and evil) was a thing of great beauty.
Today most people are mixed up in their ideas of what is good and bad, right and wrong, and believable and unbelievable, and the things of visual appearance; Satan's beauty will win the world over to him.
This gets into the "parable of the fig tree", which was the sex act between Eve and both Satan and Adam. The offspring of that act were Cain and Able, And their generations in the last days will be men of the Adamic race (children of Adam) and the race of Kenites (children of Cain). This was the thing Jesus told us to learn and know, or you will be deceived. Here (Ezekiel 31:9) we see then, that all offspring of both Adam and Cain (trees of Eden), will desire after Satan. It will only be the "elect" of God that can see and know what is happening. Nebuchadnezzar had another dream, given by an angel of God, and here is a response to the vision of the great tree found in Daniel 4:10.
Daniel 4:13 "I saw in the visions of my head upon my bed, and, behold, a watcher and an holy one came down from heaven."
Daniel 4:14 "He cried aloud, and said thus, Hew down the tree, and cut off his branches, shake off his leaves, and scatter his fruit: let the beasts get away from under it, and the fowls from his branches:"
This tree, as Daniel will explain later, was Nebuchadnezzar. It also was Satan walking to and fro on the earth. That privilege ended when Christ stated, ". . . Get the behind me, Satan: . . ." (See Mark 8:33, Luke 4:8.). Where is Jesus now? At the right hand of God, with Satan still behind Him; at a place called "across the gulf". This stated in that parable about Lazarus in Luke 16:20-27. Satan, as well as that rich man in the parable, are held and bound in heaven. Though his spirit may come to this earth, his body cannot until the appointed time of release of Satan; when Michael, the archangel, will boot him out, as told in Revelation 12:7-9. That time is yet to come, for it is the time known as "the great tribulation".
Daniel 4:15 "Nevertheless leave the stump of his roots in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts in the grass of the earth:"
Where will he leave the stump of his root? In the earth.
Nebuchadnezzar will be given a disease, called "the wolf's disease", which is still around to this day. How will this take place?
Daniel 4:16 "Let his heart be changed from man's, and let a beast's heart be given unto him; and let seven times pass over him."
Many teach this is seven (7) years, but through history we know this to be about four (4) years; however, the time seven (7) is what we should be aware of. It will be the seventh dispensation (counting the first earth age) that will bring Satan to final destruction and end with the close of the millennium.
This vision is both of record of what would occur to Nebuchadnezzar; and an example of what we will see come upon us very shortly.
Daniel 4:17 "This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the hold ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over the basest of men."
These watchers are angels come straight from God with His message. Why will all this come to pass? So that all men will know that it is God that rules on earth among men.
God is not bound to anyone's control. All of His children, which include angels, men and women, and even Satan, are subject to God's will. God allows all things to happen. He sets up whom He will for His purpose. God even allows the power of darkness (Satan) to operate on this earth to deceive whom he will. He also gives His own the poor to see right through the power of darkness and subdue Satan by His Holy Spirit.
What are dispensations? They are periods of times of various numbers of years set by God. The eighth dispensation is the "new beginnings". The eighth dispensation starts at the close of the millennium.
Seven is "spiritual completeness" and is the 1,000 year period of Jesus Christ's kingdom on earth. We call this the "Millennium".
Keep in mind as you study the Book of Daniel that Nebuchadnezzar is a type of Satan. The dreams that affect Nebuchadnezzar have a two-fold purpose, and represent the type of Satan also. Though history proves the dreams came to pass, those dreams are examples of what will occur in the latter days.
Nebuchadnezzar's kingdom of Babylon is also an example of the end time mystery Babylon to which Satan is given power to rule by God. When trees are given then to represent Nebuchadnezzar's rule and kingdom, it is also an image or example of Satan.
Daniel 4:18 "This dream I king Nebuchadnezzar have seen. Now thou, O Belteshazzar, declare the interpretation thereof, forasmuch as all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to make known unto me the interpretation: but thou art able; for the spirit of the holy gods is in thee."
"Belteshazzar" is Daniel's Chaldean name.
Daniel 4:19 "Then Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, was astonied for one hour, and his thoughts troubles him. The king spake, and said, Belteshazzar, let not the dream, or the interpretation thereof, trouble thee. Belteshazzar answered and said, My lord, the dream be to them that hate thee, and the interpretation thereof to thine enemies."
Daniel hesitated for he knew it was against his king.
Daniel 4:20 "The tree that thou sawest, which grew, and was strong, whose height reached unto the heaven, and the sight thereof to all the earth;"
Can there be any doubt who this tree is symbolic of to these end times? Of course, it's Satan (Antichrist).
Daniel 4:21 "Whose leaves were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and it was meat for all; under which the beasts of the field dwelt, and upon whose branches the fowls of the heaven had their habitation:"
This tree both will feed everyone in Satan's time of deception, as it fed everyone in Nebuchadnezzar's day. Again, I stress, beware how the false messiah will appear. He will bring forth prosperity and plenty for everyone.
Daniel 4:22 "It is thou, O king, that art grown and become strong: for they greatness is grown, and reacheth unto heaven, and thy dominion to the end of the earth."
You have a two-fold meaning to this dream. This "end of the earth" not only referred to Nebuchadnezzar's empire covering the earth in his day, but also refers to stretching to the end of this earth age. That includes that short time at the end of the millennium when Satan would be turned lose for a short season.
Just as Nebuchadnezzar would lose everything he has, so this is in the same method that caused Satan to lose his kingdom. What caused Satan's fall and the loss of his heavenly status? Pride.
Daniel 4:23 "And whereas the king saw a watcher and an holy one coming down from heaven, and saying, Hew the tree down, and destroy it; yet leave the stump of the roots thereof in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts of the field, till seven times pass over him;"
This is a repeat of the dream of emphasis. Repeating this is another way of God saying, "wake up". Pay attention. This is stated, for it will be an example of what is about to happen in our final generation so that we should and will not be deceived as Antichrist comes forth in this final generation.
Daniel 4:24 "This is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree of the most High, which is come upon my lord the king:"
Daniel 4:25 "That they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and they shall wet thee with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whosoever he will."
There it is again, "seven times". This is the length of time Nebuchadnezzar will be as an animal, stricken with his sickness. Using this as an example, Satan also has a problem setting it in his mind that God rules, not Satan. It is God that has all power and Satan's power is only what God allows him to have.
Satan has so much pride he just doesn't know when to quit. When Satan is revived at the end of the millennium, his pride will drives him to seek control of the earth. Satan tries right up to the time when he enters into that lake of fire; and all those men, women, and angels that followed after his pride.
Daniel 4:26 "And whereas they commanded to leave the stump of the tree roots; thy kingdom shall be sure unto thee, after that thou shalt have known that the heavens do rule."
When the tree in the vision is cut down, a stump is left. After Nebuchadnezzar loses his mind and becomes like an animal with his disease, he will be healed, and come back to be converted.
It is true that the king of Babylon (Satan) in the Book of Revelation will come back at the end of the millennium, however, he will not be converted. (See Revelation 20.)
Daniel 4:27 "Wherefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by shewing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquility."
Daniel's advice to the king is that he repent and show mercy to his subjects and the poor. Also that he stop his ways of sinning. Why? That peace of mind and tranquility will not be taken from him.
Did Nebuchadnezzar learn from Daniel's advice? No. He went ahead on his pride trip of an extension of the golden image of chapter two. After the interpretation of the dram, one year went by.
Daniel 4:28 "At the end of twelve months he walked in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon."
Daniel 4:29 "The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty?"
This palace in Babylon was truly one of the wonders of the world, with its majestic walls, wide halls, and beautiful hanging gardens.
Notice that as the king walks through the palace how his pride swells up within him. In his mind he is thinking of the Babylon "I built"; the kingdom of "my power"; and of "my majesty"? Nebuchadnezzar really thinks he's a god. He has lost sight of who set him up (God), and for what purpose [to bring down the kingdom of Judah (Jews) because of their wickedness.]
In Jeremiah 25:9 it is written that, "... Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and will [in the future sense] bring them against this land, [Judah] and against the inhabitants thereof," Nebuchadnezzar forgot who set him up. When his dream of this tree was interpreted to Nebuchadnezzar, he was "a good old boy". But twelve (12) months later, he forgot the dream, and his pride took over again. Ego trips are easy to come about, especially if they subtract all the blessings of God, and prayers for help in reaching their goals.
There is a sure way to fall flat on your face, and that is for you to leave God out and give yourself credit for your success. That's the one way for you to lose all that you have. This is what has happened to Nebuchadnezzar; he changed in that twelve (12) months.
Daniel 4:31 "While the word was in the king's mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee."
Just like that, it's over.
Daniel 4:32 "And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will."
Make a mental note of that. God gives it to whomever He chooses. God chose to give all kingdoms of the earth to the king of Babylon. He will choose again to give world domination to the new king of Babylon (the Antichrist). This dream was written to the enemies of the king of Babylon (Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel's day, and also the Antichrist in that time when Satan arrives to rule shortly). Friend, you are an enemy of the king of Babylon, so this is written to you. In that you will gain wisdom and knowledge as to what is, and will transpire, and befall both the good and the bad in the end generation. We are now living in that generation. Stay alert in our Father's word.
This is the only chapter in the entire Word of God that is authored by a type known as "king of Babylon". Read, learn, and know his method of operation. What do the examples from God's word do for us? They show us there's nothing new under the sun; that what has been shall be again. These are the words of King Solomon in the Book of Ecclesiastes. Types are an example set forth to show that, as it happened in the Old Testament, it can also be applied again in the end times.
The new world order is going to reoccur in the same fashion, and in an image of old Babylon.
Daniel 4:33 "The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, "till his hairs were grown like eagles; feathers, and his nails like birds' claws."
The same hour that pride overtook him, instantly he became as Daniel said he would be. Why? Because during the madman's walk upon the earth as the false messiah, he will be playing the roll of the eagle of Revelation 12. It states in the song of Moses, Deuteronomy 32:11, that God's protection and care over His own is as the eagle stirs and cares for her nest and her young.
This madness was brought upon Nebuchadnezzar in a prophetic sense; whereby we can see and know "seven times" [the seventh dispensation]. This one would come and appear to be an eagle again, but we are to be far from it. Why? This last false eagle will not be a man, but a supernatural entity. See, my friend, that he [Satan as the Antichrist] does not deceive you and feed upon you. As it states, "he will feed on the grass as oxen".
In Revelation 9:4 the "grass of the earth" are God's people on earth. God tells Satan, the Antichrist, "Do not hurt the grass of the earth". People in this flesh body are as temporary as grass. (See I Peter 1:24.) These are all examples of what Daniel is trying to reveal to us in the fourth chapter.
With the close of this verse, Nebuchadnezzar reverts back to Daniel 4:3. Nebuchadnezzar was restored and his kingdom restored. That means he was converted, for he was only playing a roll as an example.
Daniel 4:34 "And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation:"
This explains why Nebuchadnezzar had written this chapter. Where did his understanding come from when it returned to him? From heaven. He knew now in his heart that all things are given by God, and Nebuchadnezzar praised and honored God.
"His dominion" is "God's dominion", which gives everything to him and is under his total control. God's dominion is not as Nebuchadnezzar's was, which could be taken, but God's kingdom is everlasting! As sure today as then, and as will be in the tribulation, millennium, and forever. There is no end ever to God's control. Why? He created it all.
When Nebuchadnezzar had been driven to a state of madness, he looked to the Heavenly Father, and then Babylon was restored to him. His pride was gone.
Daniel 4:35 "And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?"
This is Nebuchadnezzar speaking; where is that pride of verse 30? He includes himself with them (as nothing). By both reality and symbolism we have, and will see how God's army of heaven controls all things. It is this heavenly army that will expel Satan and his hoards of fallen angels (followers), that we read of in Revelation 12.
God not only controls the world, but He holds each person accountable for their knowledgeable actions. "What doest thou?"
Daniel 4:36 "At the same time my reason returned unto me; and for the glory of my kingdom, mine honour and brightness returned unto me; and my counselors and my lords sought unto me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added unto me."
Daniel 4:37 "Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all Whose works are truth, and His ways judgment: and those that walk in pride He is able to abase."
Look at Nebuchadnezzar's heart and see that no matter how deep had has sunk, he could be be converted. This is an example which applies to anyone in any period of time. There is no depth to which a person can sink that God's grace can reach them and change them for His glory.
.~ Vine .~
.~ Rain .~