CONSTRUCTION OF DANIEL

The book of Daniel has five specific stories weeded into four prophecies. The prophecies are from the time of Daniel to the coming of Christ and His Kingdom on earth. We can see this fact in a couple different prophecies: the Seventy Week Prophecy and the Prophecy of the Statue of Nebuchadnezzar. We will take a quick look at these two prophecies before moving on.

SEVENTY WEEK
In Daniel 9:25, we see a prophecy of seventy weeks that will begin at the going forth of the command to restore and rebuild Jerusalem (Dan 9:24-25). There is debate on whether the decree was in 457 or 456 BC; either way, we see the decree in Ezra 7:8. In order to understand prophetic timelines, we need to understand that a prophetic day is equal to an actual year. This can be seen in the prophecy of the children of God who would wander in the wilderness one year for every day the spies were spying out the Promised Land (Numbers 14:33-34). We also see it in the command for the prophet Ezekiel to lay on his side a day for every year the children of Israel were in iniquity (Ezekiel 4:4-6). This prophecy of Daniels, in 9:24-25, is probably one of the most profound in this day for a year principle. First, if we were not to apply the day for a year principle, the ending of the seventy weeks would have been in 456 or 455 BC. If we apply the day for a year principle, we see that the end of the Seventy Week prophecy ends between 33 and 34 AD. This time frame points straight to Christ. This prophecy is intended to point straight to Christ (Dan 9:25). Christ did not come in 456ish BC, He came around the turn of the age (BC and AD established upon His birth), and lived about 33 years.

Popular teaching would have it that the last week of the seventy week prophecy is a “seven year tribulation period”. This is the only evidence for a timeline to a “tribulation period”. Unfortunately, they rip the week from a timeframe that was designed to end 490 years after the decree to rebuild Jerusalem (457-456 BC). They claim that the prophecy was put on hold due to Israel plugging their ears. The problem with this theory is that it makes God NOT omniscient. Since God knows all things then He knew Israel would plug their ears and this prophecy stands just as He presented it to Daniel. Therefore, the prophecy ends with Messiah Yeshua.

NOTE: I’ve studied all the theory’s of the believed years of the decree to rebuild Jerusalem. I don’t need anyone else on here trying to debate this subject. This article is not on the year of the decree but on the construct of the book of Daniel.

STATUE OF NEBUCHADNEZZAR

And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever
(Daniel 2:44 NKJV)


Many people are trying to figure out what the feet of iron and clay are. The interpretation can be found in Scripture. First, we know that the iron is a representation of Rome. We see this by the kingdom that was the iron legs and we see this by the iron teeth of the fourth beast of Daniel 7. Therefore, the feet include Rome in some way. The second clue is the clay. One portion calls the clay “potters clay” (Dan 2:41). What is potters clay according to Scripture?

But now, O Lord,
You are our Father;
We are the clay, and You our potter
(Isaiah 64:8 NKJV)


Also notice that there are no gaps between the head and chest, chest and loins, loins and legs. This is because one kingdom overtook another. There was no gaps in time. There is also no gaps between the legs and the feet. We should then understand that Rome would lead into this religious kingdom with Rome mixed in. Could this really be talking about a kingdom that already came to rise and is still around today? Notice the passage from Daniel 2:44 above where it says, “IN THE DAYS OF THESE KINGS the God of Heaven will set up a kingdom”. God set up His Kingdom in the days of these kings. It started with Christ and grew with His apostles. Remember, “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on EARTH”

NOTE: There’s more teaching on the end and Daniel in the study
End Days Start

CONSTRUCT

When studying Scripture, we need to notice the construct of the book. The book was written to a specific people to show a specific purpose. Daniel lived a number of years but we only have five unrelated stories of his life. These five stories are mingled within these prophecies. Therefore, we need to understand that there was a purpose to include these stories with these parables of prophecy which means the stories tell us something about the prophecies.

THE STORIES

  • Story of the faithfulness of God upon a small group of faithful people who would stand strong to God’s commands and NOT adapt to the surrounding culture; to the point of loosing their lives if necessary.
  • Story of God’s sustaining power to a people being persecuted for His sake because they would not bow to the idols of culture.
  • Story of God’s anger towards pride
  • Story of God’s anger towards desecrating that which He determines to be holy
  • Story of God’s sustaining power to a people being persecuted for His sake in that Daniel would rather be ate by a lion rather than to shut off communication with God.
  • Story of how God’s people, in the midst of persecution, are His missionaries and evangelist
By their proclaiming God and by their faith in God even unto death, God used His “works” of miraculous intervention in saving His servants to lead the kings to acknowledge the sovereignty of God.

THE PARABLES (Prophecies)
The prophecies are four different prophecies that are spoken about in four different ways about the same time-frame. Just like Isaiah, each parable adds new elements to the overall picture. It must be pursued as it evolves.

The prophecies are an answer to the prayers of Daniel to understand WHY Israel is going through all this persecution:

“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
(Daniel 10:12 NKJV)


The prophecies were showing how brutal the future will be to the children of God and that is why Daniel was faint (Dan 10:8, 16)

ONE IDEA IN THE BOOK OF DANIEL IS THAT GOD IS IN CONTROL

For a long time Israel practiced idolatry and were warned by the prophets. Because of their rebellion, God caused them to be led into exile (Dan 9:11). In fact, Daniel 1:2 specifically says that God gave them over to Babylon. Babylon took them militarily. If Israel lived today, they may say God is not in control because of this “sin”.

It was God who caused Daniel to receive favor (Dan 1:8-9). It was God who gave the four Jews knowledge and intelligence.

It was God who gave Daniel understanding of all kinds of visions and dreams (1:17)

We read that God removes kings and establishes kings (Daniel 2:20-22)

Nebuchadnezzar, a pagan king, was only king because God established it (Daniel 2:37)

God made Nebuchadnezzar equal to an animal in Daniel 4; after God warned him that He was going to do it if Nebuchadnezzar did not repent of his pride.

In Daniel 5, God takes the kingdom from Belshazzar because of his arrogance toward God.

In chapters 2 and 7-12, we see prophecies of what will be because it’s been determined before hand. He had a plan to fulfill through these empires and when He is finished with them, they will be crushed “without human agency” (Dan 2:34, 45; 8:25).

The afflictions that were to come over the people of God were decided from God: “even to the end there will be war; desolations ARE DETERMINED” (Dan 9:26). “The on that is DECREED” will bring “complete destruction (Dan 9:27). The same idea is expressed by the following pronouncements: “the end is still to come at the APPOINTED TIME” (Dan 11:27, 35).

God was able to rescue Israel, just as He saved His faithful from the fire and from the lions. But He chose not to rescue them because there was a bigger plan. If Daniel was alive today, would he say God is not in control because of this “sin” and that, while God could save his people from fire and lions He apparently has no control to save them from Babylon or Persia?

GOD’S CONTROL OUTSIDE DANIEL
Habakkuk asks why God allows the wicked to crush the righteous (1:13). Habakkuk is giving the same picture as Daniel, how God will build His Kingdom by persecution; and accomplish His plan by calamities. The only way God’s people will survive is by faith (2:4)

Job had no problems with weather until God allowed it
had no problems with thieve’s until God allowed it
had no problems with sickness until God allowed it

The Assyrians took the northern portion of Israel because God allowed it (Isaiah 37:26-29)

Joseph sold to slavery because God allowed it for a plan

REVELATION

Those who claim God is not in control, by the basis of “look at the world and all the sin”, miss the overall picture of God and the world from the beginning of time until now; and to the end. God sometimes stops sin, sometimes guides sin, and sometimes allows sin. Ultimately, God has an ultimate plan that our pea-brains can not wrap around. The way that the people of the Bible could remain so calm during the persecution and calamities is because they understood the sovereignty of God and how God is in control of it all. When they started to loose that picture, that is when we see distress in those people; and we see God show up with an answer to their question of “why?”; yet the answer was not “why” but “Who”. That’s because He is in complete control.

SECOND IDEA IN THE BOOK OF DANIEL IS THAT GOD WANTS TO SHARE HIS AUTHORITY WITH MAN


When you read Daniel 2:37-38 you see an echoing theme that was presented in Genesis.

You, O king, are a king of kings. For the God of heaven has given you a kingdom, power, strength, and glory; 38 and wherever the children of men dwell, or the beasts of the field and the birds of the heaven, He has given them into your hand, and has made you ruler over them all…
(Daniel 2:37-38 NKJV)


Later, God takeS the authority away because of pride.

God entrust’s authority on a trial basis only. Will the person to whom authority was given continue to submit to the authority of God? To be proud means to believe that your authority springs out of your own self, and no one else rules over you. Nebuchadnezzar found out that God humbles “those who walk in pride (Daniel 4:37); for “pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before stumbling” (Prov 16:18), “before honor comes humility” (Prov 15:33).

This time on earth is a type of test; or training. If we cannot humble ourselves in authority and under authority here, we will not be entrusted the job for eternity. We are given this picture in Daniel 7:13-14.

“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
(Daniel 7:13-14 NKJV)


We see the saints will also be given the function of ruling in verses 18, 21, 22, and 27; where in 27 we see that the authority to rule will be given to all the saints. The saints are the ones who will never usurp the authority of the King. The saints are still submissive as we see verse 27 continue; “all the dominions will serve and obey Him”.

We are told that the kingdom, authority, and dominos will be given to both the Son of Man and the saints of the Most High. This is something that was revealed by Isaiah. The Servant of the Lord, by His sufferings and self-sacrifice, will justify the man; in their turn, the servants of the Lord will take that salvation to all nations of the earth by their sufferings and self-sacrifice.

Daniel gives a parallel to Isaiah 53 in Daniel 9:26 in that the Messiah will be cut off, but not for Himself. He does not give the detail of Isaiah because he’s concentrating on the saints of the Most High; in how they will live under tyrannical and violently hostile empires that will persecute and kill them.

We see in chapter 11:30 that, in the midst of difficulties, dangers, and persecutions, many will give up their faith and will “forsake the holy covenant”. What’s revealed to Daniel in the vision is of great importance.

…but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits. 33 And those of the people who understand shall instruct many; yet for many days they shall fall by sword and flame, by captivity and plundering. 34 Now when they fall, they shall be aided with a little help; but many shall join with them by intrigue. 35 And some of those of understanding shall fall, to refine them, purify them, and make them white, until the time of the end; because it is still for the appointed time
(Daniel 11:32-35 NKJV)


The discussion is about “the people who know their God”; which are also “those who have insight” or those who “understand”. Added with the stories of Daniel, we see that these are those who know God and His plans and methods. They are wise in that they obey God to the end, remaining faithful to Him even at the cost of their lives.

We are told there will be hypocrites in the midst still (“join with them by intrigue” - intrigue being lack of sincerity or hypocrisy). Persecution will sift out the chafe. At the same time, those who have understanding will go through the persecution because it will purify them. This is mentioned in Job 23:10; Psalm 66:10; Isaiah 48:10; and Zechariah 13:9. Daniel repeats it again in chapter 12:10.

It’s shown to us, by the book of Job, that one may know of God by way of theology; learned by parents, teachers, etc; due to their instruction. Job believed in God and even feared Him. Yet, it was by his sufferings that God became visible to him. Only in suffering did God become real. Why do you think that would be?

There is a duel purpose of persecution in Daniel; testing and purifying. This is the subject of Daniel. They were put to the test of obedience to the commands of God (ch 1) and to the test of faithfulness to the unique God of Israel, even at the cost of their lives (ch 3 and 6). Then in chapter 11, we see the people of God being tested through calamities and persecutions. The rewards of the faithful ones are revealed in chapter 12, where we are told they will be entrusted with eternal authority.

In verse 33, of chapter 11, one of the principal offices of the wise, of the people who know their God, is to teach others and to lead other in the way of righteousness (12:3). Isaiah has extensively elaborated this as being the role of the servants of the Lord.

We are told of God’s kingdom being set up while the kings are reining; this is Christ. We are to do the works that He done and better. This also refers back to Daniel. What works are we told in Daniel? faithfulness in the midst of persecution. Also, great signs of God on a people who are faithful to Him; living by faith in this time of persecution. We are told there will be hypocrites in the persecution; imposters that will get purged out by the fiery trials. God’s power only falls on His faithful servants. Could the signs and wonders in Matt 7 be impersonations of satan?

THINK ABOUT THIS:
In Matthew 7:21-22, the claim of casting out devils, prophesying (teaching), and many wonders are a claim by the ones crying Lord Lord. Christ makes no remark to the claim; He just merely says He never knew them. Either we have power in and of ourselves (it was all a scam) or satan was operating. We need to remember that Christ did not have the power - God worked through Him (John 5:19, 30; John 8:28; John 12:49). We will do the same things and better (John 14:12), but it is not us doing it. We will operate just like Messiah Yeshua doing only what the Father, or Son, does through us (John 14:14; Acts 3:11-16)