Daniel 11 and Daniel 12

Is everyone we talk to about Jesus going to listen?  No.  But everyone still needs to hear about Him.

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Daniel 11 and Daniel 12

Today, after a few days rest, we finally come to the concluding chapters of Daniel.  I do this as a double entry because everything within is part of a singular vision of the end times.

As a point of information, we may very well be jumping around a lot today between both chapters, so bear with me.  Looking at the final verse of these last two chapters, it can be speculated this was the time of Daniel’s death by the syntax and language used there.  However, God imparts a vision of not only the near future, but the far off future as well.

Refer to Daniel 11:2 – 12:3

As you read through, you can look at history and pinpoint the references in history that many scholars believe Daniel may have been speaking about.

  • 11:2 – Fourth Persian king — possibly refers to Ahasuerus I who rebelled against Greece.
  • 11:3 – refers to Alexander the Great
  • 11:4 – 11 – refers to the division of the empire of Alexander the Great between Egypt, Babylon/Syria, Asia Minor and Macedon/Greece; it is also a reference to the Seleucid Wars between Egypt and Syria.

The point of this history lesson is this…all these events that are referenced really happened.  Thes are historical facts that cannot be disputed.  So how does this apply to the rest of us in our contemporary times?  If you look at the concluding parts of today’s reading, it tells us that these are also referring to the end times.  You see, history repeats itself if people don’t learn from it. Think about how you often feel like you are in a hamster wheel because you keep going against God and His will.  It’s the same with the world.  But there is a hope for us and we see that hope, despite everything that is going to happen, in the form of Jesus.

Daniel 12:1-2

1“At that time Michael shall stand up, The great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people;  And there shall be a time of trouble, Such as never was since there was a nation, Even to that time.  And at that time your people shall be delivered,  Every one who is found written in the book.  And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, Some to everlasting life, Some to shame and everlasting contempt.
See when we gave our lives to Jesus, we gave ourselves a guarantee that we would not be burning in the lake of fire.  However, we may still very well die because Jesus may not come in our lifetime.  However if you look at world events…things are slowly heading in that direction.  Just remember, these are only birth pangs of what is supposed to be happening in the end times.  It’s supposed to get worse, much worse.
So how do we prepare and deal with what’s coming?
As Christians, we need to be doing two things, studying His word and leading others to Him.  This will get us to the single spot we need to be in, His will.  His will is for us to know Him better and understand where He wants us to serve and secondly, to bring others to Him.  Is everyone we talk to about Jesus going to listen?  No.  But everyone still needs to hear about Him.
Until tomorrow, be blessed.

Daniel 10

When you follow the Lord, you will lose people because they will not understand what is going on in you or what He is doing through you.

Daniel 10

When God works in our lives and people see it, you may just lose them.  People who don’t know the Lord or know Jesus can never seem to understand how He works in us, through us and for us.  You need proof of this?  Look at what happened with Daniel.  As we examine today’s chapter, note three things.

  1.     The others with him could not see the Glorious Man who was present.
  2.      What did the Glorious Man note with regard to Daniel.
  3.      What does the Glorious Man encourage Daniel to do.

Daniel 10:7

And I, Daniel, alone saw the vision, for the men who were with me did not see the vision; but a great terror fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves.

Now, so we have a time frame here, this is actually Daniel’s final vision, given during the reign of Cyrus.  If you remember correctly, Cyrus is the one who allowed the Israelites to return to their homeland.  And this vision came subsequent to that decree, but Daniel remained behind.

There are times in our lives, as we walk with Christ, where the people around us are going nuts, freaking out and panicking because of some problem or issue that is going on.  Yet we remains as calm as a summer lake with no breeze.  That’s what happens when we are utilizing the Lord’s strength.  When we look beyond our problems and issues to Him, we can always be calm “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7.

Now, looking at today’s reading, we can kind of ascertain Who this Glorious Man is in Daniel’s vision.  But we are never given a clear cut answer on this.  Regardless, the Glorious Man takes a moment, before explaining things, to give Daniel props for the way he has behaved with regard to God.

Daniel 10:12

12 Then he said to me, “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words.

So, if you remember from previous entries as we studied Daniel, I spoke about us, as followers of Christ, behaving in such a way that God’s reputation is is good.  But if you note here, the Glorious Man alludes to the fact that Daniel has a reputation of his own.  Not among men, but as someone who humbled himself before God.  Makes you wonder if your reputation in heaven would be similar.  I wonder that about myself all the time.  When I get to heaven, am I like Daniel, or to go further back in the Old Testament, Job?  Am I someone who in heaven, God or Jesus can speak well of?

Finally, the Glorious Man speaks of helping Daniel understand a vision of the latter days and what is going to happen to the Israelites.  Now we are never clearly told what this vision is, just that this Glorious Man is going to give an explanation of it to Daniel.  But the Glorious encourages Daniel to be strong.  Remember, as noted earlier, chronologically, this Glorious Man appears after Daniel’s vision from the next two chapters.  So my personal estimation, is there is some vision between then and this one that we have not been made privy to.

As I stated earlier, when you follow the Lord, you will lose people because they will not understand what is going on in you or what He is doing through you.  All you can do is the same thing Daniel did in the previous chapter, make intercessory prayer for them to come to know Him.

Until next time, be blessed.

Daniel 9

We all need someone that’s going to go to the Heavenly Father and say, “Yeah, they are screwing up, but I’m asking You to please forgive them and give them a chance.”

Daniel 9

Today we read about Daniel’s third vision, which is a foretelling of the coming of Christ the first time and, also, another end of days prophecy.  But we will not go into depth about that particular end of things.  What we will be examining is what Daniel did prior to having the vision.

Historically, the vision occurs during the reign of King Darius who, if you remember, is the one that shut Daniel in the lion’s den.  So this vision comes during the events of Daniel 6.

If you refer to Daniel 9:4-19, you will see something that is very important for all believers to be doing for each other.  It is what is known as intercessory prayer.  Intercessory prayer is when we ask God to show His kindness, love and mercy on someone we know who is sinning against God.  The word “intercession” is mentioned eight times in the Bible as a means for us to look after our brothers and sisters in the faith.

Let’s be real here, with ourselves if no one else.  We are all dirty, rotten, low down sinners.  I’m no different than you.  My sin is no greater or worse than yours.  So we all need intercessory prayer.  We all need someone that’s going to go to the Heavenly Father and say, “Yeah, they are screwing up, but I’m asking You to please forgive them and give them a chance.”  Oh wait, there is someone doing that…all the time.  He’s our Advocate.  He’s the One we have given our lives to.  If you remember this Scripture from our study through Hebrews.

Hebrews 7:25

25 Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.

Well isn’t that something.  Jesus not only saves us when we accept Him as our Lord and Savior, but He is also continuing to make intercession with the Father for us.  I’m really thankful for that, because honestly, I screw up.  In one of His sermons, Jesus talked about having anger in your heart being the commission of murder of someone.  Well, I can honestly say that I do that on my way to work every morning.  So what is my point in today’s entry?  Simply put, let’s follow Jesus’ example, and make intercessory prayer a priority for each other.

How often do you pray?  Every day, every meal, a couple of times a week?  When you do, are you thanking God for what He is doing just for you, just for the meal?  Do you include protection or requests for your brothers and sisters in the faith in your prayers?  Well you should.  Just like Jesus is doing now, we need to bring our prayers and requests before God ourselves.  We need to see our brothers and our sister the way He sees us and make the same intercession with God for them.

Until tomorrow, be blessed.

Daniel 8

How do I know these events will happen?  Because God doesn’t see things from our perspective.  His perspective is eternal.

Daniel 8

A strange thing about prophecies.  They are always open to interpretation.  People will see in them what they wish to see in them and will then look at the world around them and try to fit what they see, with what is in the prophecy.  With Daniel’s second vision, however, this is not what happened.  God sent a messenger to specifically give the interpretation of the prophecy.

Daniel 8:15-17

15 Then it happened, when I, Daniel, had seen the vision and was seeking the meaning, that suddenly there stood before me one having the appearance of a man. 16 And I heard a man’s voice between the banks of the Ulai, who called, and said, “Gabriel, make this man understand the vision.” 17 So he came near where I stood, and when he came I was afraid and fell on my face; but he said to me, “Understand, son of man, that the vision refers to the time of the end.”

Now, let’s give a chronological reference to this vision and the vision from chapter seven.  Daniel’s chapter seven vision occurred just before the events in Daniel 5.  This vision occurs, roughly around the same time.  Why is this significant?

It bears knowing because unless he was a master military man, there is no way Daniel could have looked at the events that were happening, at the age he was for the two visions, in his 60’s for the first vision and his 70’s for the second, and known what was coming.  If you remember from reading Daniel 5, the Medo-Persian empire deposed of Belshazzar with only one warning.

Daniel 5:25-28

25 “And this is the inscription that was written:
MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN.
26 This is the interpretation of each word. MENE: God has numbered your kingdom, and finished it; 27 TEKELYou have been weighed in the balances, and found wanting; 28 PERES: Your kingdom has been divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.” 
And let’s say, for the sake of argument and debate, that Daniel was a military man and not a bureaucrat, no one foresaw the coming of Alexander the Great, whose army ran rough shod over anyone they encountered, much like the goat did to the ram in Daniel’s vision.  But, not knowing what the vision meant, Daniel sought God about it.  And see here is the deal, God answered in two ways, giving Daniel an understanding contemporarily of what the vision meant, but also referring to events in the far future, namely the end of days.
Please refer to Daniel 8:18-27
So how does all this apply to us.  First and foremost, it has to do with spiritual gifts.  There are people who have the gift of prophecy.  There are also those with other spiritual gifts, but the key to remember here is, unless God has someone to interpret whatever gifts or message God is sending, then the person is doing it to draw attention to themselves and it is not for the edification of the body, which how spiritual gifts are meant to be used.  The second is perspective.  I am cursed with the ability to look at patterns and see them repeating themselves amongst people when I look at things objectively.  I can, with a 90% accuracy rate, predict people’s behavior and actions because of this, and it stinks because I am rarely surprised.  I am not unique, there are lots of people who can do this.  But I can’t predict future time events.  I can’t see when Jesus is coming back nor when the Antichrist will rise.  But both events are going to happen, and this vision of Daniel’s refers to that as well.
How do I know these events will happen?  Because God doesn’t see things from our perspective.  His perspective is eternal.  He will use contemporary events as foreshadowing of what is to come, but He never tells us the time frame.  There are people who will look at the modern time events and say, “Oh the end times are upon us.”  I respond to this by asking them if they are God and when their response is no, I nod and move on.  See only God knows when end time events will start, when they will happen and when He is sending Christ back.  So again, much like yesterday, I say our job, as believers, is to make sure as many people as possible are at that dinner feast.
Until tomorrow, be blessed.

Daniel 7

There’s a time coming where this blog and others like it, will be illegal.

Daniel 7

Today, after time in prayer and seeking the Lord for direction in this, we can begin to look at the visions of Daniel in these last six chapters.  I have sought the Lord on this because visions and prophecies are open to interpretation and perspective.  However, most Biblical scholars can come to a consensus with regard to certain aspects of this first vision of Daniel, and that it’s a prophecy of the end of days.

Probably the biggest clue about this vision being about the end of days is in verses 13-14.

Daniel 7:13-14

13 “I was watching in the night visions, And behold, One like the Son of Man,
Coming with the clouds of heaven!  He came to the Ancient of Days,
And they brought Him near before Him.  14 Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion, Which shall not pass away, And His kingdom the one Which shall not be destroyed.
In looking at these two verses we can clearly see two distinct individuals, the Ancient of Days, God, and “One like the Son of Man,” representing Jesus.  In the New Testament, Jesus is referred to as the “Son of Man” 88 times.  But why is the reference to him as the Son of Man important?  It is a direct acknowledgment of His humanity.
I have heard and had debates and discussions with other Christians and non-believers about Jesus and why He allowed what happened to Him to happen if He was all powerful and God’s Son.  The answer is simpler than most realize.  He was being obedient to His Father.  You see, Jesus was fully God and fully human.  A perfect blending.  A perfect sacrifice and vessel by which the old ways of the law could be done away with and all could come to know the gift of salvation.  So could Jesus have not gone to the cross and dealt with all those who opposed His teachings in one fell swoop?  Yes.  Why didn’t He?  He didn’t because if it had been done then, we, the modern Christians wouldn’t have a chance with what’s coming.
Daniel 7:19-22
19 “Then I wished to know the truth about the fourth beast, which was different from all the others, exceedingly dreadful, with its teeth of iron and its nails of bronze, which devoured, broke in pieces, and trampled the residue with its feet; 20 and the ten horns that were on its head, and the other horn which came up, before which three fell, namely, that horn which had eyes and a mouth which spoke pompous words, whose appearance was greater than his fellows.
21 “I was watching; and the same horn was making war against the saints, and prevailing against them, 22 until the Ancient of Days came, and a judgment was made in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came for the saints to possess the kingdom.
Alright folks, this is pretty cut and dry.  There’s going to be someone coming who is going  to make war against all believers.  There’s a time coming where this blog and others like it, will be illegal.  There’s a time coming where the modern day hidden home churches like in China and other nations, will be hunted down, ransacked and executed.  I will give you three guesses as to who is going to be behind all that, and the first two don’t count.  If you don’t believe me, look at the state of the world currently.  This is all just the beginning.
If you are a believer and reading this, your job is to have faith in Him and reach out to anyone and everyone.  Don’t be a jerk about it though.  Represent the Lord well.  If someone doesn’t want to hear, don’t force the issue.  But if people are truly wishing to hear and know the Lord and He is using you as the mouthpiece, again, represent Him well.  Be humble as He was, but pull no punches and make sure you know the truth and are speaking it.  Remember, His kingdom is going to be an everlasting kingdom and we are saints of the Most High.  We are going to win, but it’s our job while we are here, to make sure as many as possible are sharing in the victory feast with us.
Until tomorrow, be blessed.

Daniel 6

As I have said in other entries, the way we behave, in our workplace, in our lives, in every environment that we are in, should reflect God.

Daniel 6

Submissions to masters.  This is a subject mentioned in three different epistles in the New Testatment.  As Christians, we are to submit to our employers rules and regulations.  But what happens when our faith comes into conflict with our work?  Our vocation can help us pay our bills, but ultimately, we answer to the Lord.  We will examine this further today as we watch what happens with Daniel in the one story every child of God, from young to old, knows, Daniel being thrown into the lion’s den.

At about this time, Daniel is 80 years old and has now served in a high position under two different empires.  Furthermore, Daniel is one of three governors in the kingdom serving under Darius and then later under Cyrus, who ultimately allows the Israelites to return.  Under Daniel and the other two governors are 120 satraps.

Now for those who don’t know what a satrap is, they would be the equivalent of a county or town execcutive.  So, the local satraps, as we read, try to set Daniel up, using his own faith against him, since they could find no wrong doing in him.  The first lesson of this is, let your work be above reproach or questioning amongst your underlings or your peers.  Don’t give anyone a reason to be able to accuse you of doing something wrong, either in your workplace or your life.  The second lesson is this, when you are in a high position or a position of rank, there are those who are going to use every means at their disposal to get at you and make you look bad.

Let’s look at what the local satraps did in Daniel 6:

Daniel 6:4-9

So the governors and satraps sought to find some charge against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find no charge or fault, because he was faithful; nor was there any error or fault found in him. Then these men said, “We shall not find any charge against this Daniel unless we find it against him concerning the law of his God.”  So these governors and satraps thronged before the king, and said thus to him: “King Darius, live forever!  All the governors of the kingdom, the administrators and satraps, the counselors and advisors, have consulted together to establish a royal statute and to make a firm decree, that whoever petitions any god or man for thirty days, except you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions.  Now, O king, establish the decree and sign the writing, so that it cannot be changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which does not alter.”  Therefore King Darius signed the written decree.
Now, I’d like to say King Darius was not a bad guy, just a little gullible.  He bought into the whole line the other governors, Daniel’s peers, and the satraps, Daniel’s underlings, were saying.  It was fully within his power to say no about it, but he didn’t.  And as we see later on, when the satraps and governors snitch on Daniel, he realizes he’s been duped and tries to find a way out for Daniel.  But this is where it gets interesting.
Darius, while not a follower of God, recognized the power of our heavenly Father.  Darius knew who Daniel’s God was and told him blatantly, this is a paraphrase, “Daniel, I know Who has your back.  If it’s in His will to protect you, I’ll see you in the morning.”  But having to pronounce the sentence over his own decree tore Darius up so badly he “spent the night fasting and no musicians were brought before him.  Also his sleep went from him.”  So, as you see here, Daniel’s devotion to the Almighty God not only brought recognition of Him to his superior, but had a profound effect on Darius, just as a person.
But let’s see what happens here.
Daniel 6:19-28
19 Then the king arose very early in the morning and went in haste to the den of lions. 20 And when he came to the den, he cried out with a lamenting voice to Daniel. The king spoke, saying to Daniel, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to deliver you from the lions?”
21 Then Daniel said to the king, “O king, live forever! 22 My God sent His angel and shut the lions’ mouths, so that they have not hurt me, because I was found innocent before Him; and also, O king, I have done no wrong before you.”
23 Now the king was exceedingly 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 injury whatever was found on him, because he believed in his God.
Darius Honors God
24 And the king gave the command, and they brought those men who had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions—them, their children, and their wives; and the lions overpowered them, and broke all their bones in pieces before they ever came to the bottom of the den.
25 Then King Darius wrote:
To all peoples, nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth:
Peace be multiplied to you.
26 I make a decree that in every dominion of my kingdom men must tremble and fear before the God of Daniel. For He is the living God, And steadfast forever;
His kingdom is the one which shall not be destroyed, And His dominion shall endure to the end.
27 He delivers and rescues, And He works signs and wonders In heaven and on earth, Who has delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.
28 So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian.
Well now, isn’t that interesting.  Not only does God save Daniel from the lions, but King Darius issues a decree that Daniel’s God, our God, should be the one feared and trembled before.  He recognizes God’s sovereignity and that His kingdom will have no end.  So here is the final lesson from today’s reading.
As I have said in other entries, the way we behave, in our workplace, in our lives, in every environment that we are in, should reflect God.  We should be showing His love, compassion, patience and integrity in everything we do.  Will we have people come against us.  Absolutely.  But if you trust in Him, are loyal to Him and always seek Him in prayer and worship, then those folks who do come against you won’t matter.  They can’t stand against Him and they will get their comeuppance when He is ready to dish it out.
Until tomorrow, when we begin to examine Daniel’s prophecies, be blessed.

Daniel 5

Whatever we manage to accomplish, He is the One who should get the credit, because we are merely tools through which the world should see Him.

Daniel 5

In chapter five we are fast forwarding sixty-six years after the events in chapter one.  Nebuchadnezzar’s reign is over and the kingdom is now being ruled by one of his descendants.  Two things should be noted with regard to Belshezzar, Nebuchadnezzar’s descendant.

The first is that he existed.  Archaeologists have discovered ancient writings and documents that bear his seal and signature on them, confirming his existence and the concluding events of this chapter, namely the invasion of Babylon by the Medes.  Secondly is that he was arrogant enough to believe he could use the holy things that were meant to be in God’s temple and not face consequences.  But that is not the focus of today.  Today’s focus is on making sure you, as a believer, are making sure God has a good reputation.

Daniel 5:10-12

10 The queen, because of the words of the king and his lords, came to the banquet hall. The queen spoke, saying, “O king, live forever! Do not let your thoughts trouble you, nor let your countenance change. 11 There is a man in your kingdom in whom is the Spirit of the Holy God. And in the days of your father, light and understanding and wisdom, like the wisdom of the gods, were found in him; and King Nebuchadnezzar your father—your father the king—made him chief of the magicians, astrologers, Chaldeans, and soothsayers. 12 Inasmuch as an excellent spirit, knowledge, understanding, interpreting dreams, solving riddles, and explaining enigmas were found in this Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar, now let Daniel be called, and he will give the interpretation.”

While Nebuchadnezzar is long well and dead, Daniel is still alive and serving in the capacity God placed him in.  And the assumption can be made that Daniel was doing well in the position.  But, as I said, this is about making sure God, not Daniel, has a good reputation.

If you note in the verses above, the queen stated Daniel had the “Spirit of the Holy God.”  She didn’t read off Daniel’s resume, but noted that due to Daniel’s actions during the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, God’s Spirit could be seen.  So here’s a question for us to ask ourselves, can people see God through us?  Do we behave in such a way that when people speak of us, they can speak well of God?  Or are we judgmental, harsh, cruel, harbor anger and resentment, behave duplicitously and are willing to do anything to get ahead in life?

You see brothers and sisters, our blessings, whatever they may be, are meant to be used for His glory, not our own.  Whatever we manage to accomplish, He is the One who should get the credit, because we are merely tools through which the world should see Him.

As I have said previously, I will not take credit in my own life for the good things I have helped make happen.  Not for my position at my job, nor for what the Lord has allowed me to do there.  On my first day, I sat in on a conference call meeting and saw where the office standing was, two-hundred thousand dollars in bad debt for the month.  This was at the end of September.  My direct supervisor and I had a brief conversation outside while having a cigarette.  She was nervous, I wasn’t.  I specifically told her, I don’t tell God how big the problem is, I take the problem to God and show the problem how big God is.  As of yesterday, the office for the month of October, is now sixty-four thousand in the good.  That doesn’t fix us for the year, but I am confident.  Not in myself or my abilities, not in my boss or her leadership, not even in the general manager.  I am confident in Him.  But that’s not my point.  I want the office at large to see Him through me.  My desire is through my actions and my work ethic, they see God and recognize Him.  And if they don’t see Him, then I’m doing something wrong.

I never want it to be said of my life:

Daniel 5:25-28

25 “And this is the inscription that was written:
MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN.
26 This is the interpretation of each word. MENE: God has numbered your kingdom, and finished it; 27 TEKELYou have been weighed in the balances, and found wanting; 28 PERES: Your kingdom has been divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.”
Because I did not have my life and actions reflect positively on God.