Saturday 23 July 2016

Daniel 8 Commentary : What Everyone Ought To Know

After studying Daniel chapter 7 we have now come to another exciting vision in the prophetic book of Daniel. God gave Daniel this vision a few years before the fall the Babylon, twelve years to be exact.

Because Babylon is about to fall, this vision starts with Medo-Persia instead of Babylon is previous visions and prophecies. Another point to note that this vision also repeats chapter 7 but the emphasis is on the judgment.

How do we know for sure that that the vision starts with Medo Persia? The answer to that is found in the identification of the ram as Medo Persia in verse 20. The ram is said to have two horns and even a casual look on history will show us that represents the two parts of the empire with the Persians being the dominant power over the Medes.

The goat that comes to prominence after defeating the ram is said to represent Greece(see verses 21 and 22). The bible says the goat had a prominent horn between his eyes. This is definitely Alexander the Great who led the Greek empire and was the one who galvanised the Greeks for world domination and led them to defeat the Persians.

Unfortunately Alexander the Great later passed away without leaving an heir to take over his empire. This led to a civil war in his empire, with his generals fighting for control. Eventually only four were left and these are represented by the "four horns."

Before we go on there is another point that we need to emphasise here. The two animals used to represent Medo-Persia an Greece are some wild beasts but rather clean animals. You will also notice that the animals mentioned here are animals that were used for the sanctuary services. The Israelites used goats and rams in making sacrifices.

The sanctuary message is clear when you also consider that the next power, the horn power, does something against God's sanctuary, His people and His working of salvation.

While many scholars view the horn represents Antiochus Epiphanes, the truth of the matter is he was significant enough to meet the requirements found in this vision. In any case we know fronm the prophecies found in Daniel 2 and 7 that the Kingdom of Greece was followed by the Roman Empire.

As shown in Daniel 2 and 7 the Roman empire was in two phases, ie Pagan Rome followed by Divided Rome. We also saw in previous visions that eventually Papal Rome rose to fill the void.

The Cleansing of the Sanctuary.

Just as a real house needs cleansing after desecration the same applies to God's sanctuary. After the desecration by the horn power the temple is to be cleansed. THe bible in Daniel 8:13-14 says "unto two thousand three hundred years then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.

Since we are dealing with a symbolic prophecy here there is no reason not to see the 2300 days mentioned in this chapter as anything rather than symbolic. Luckily there is a key found in the bible for this.
In Ezekiel 4:6 and Numbers 14:34 says a day is equal to a  year. Therefore the 2300 days should be interpreted as 2300 years
I is also clear from the fact that this prophecy encompasses four world powers from the Persians, Grecian, Roman and Papal Powers, that this time period is not literal days. Another important fact is that this vision extends to the very end of time. (see verses 17 and 19.

Even though the angel does not provide the actual starting point, it definitely starts during the reign of Medo-Persia (539 -331 BC) as it is the first kingdom in this vision. When we come to chapter 9 we will be told of the exact startind date of this prophecy.

The starting point is not given in Daniel chapter 8 because when the angel Gabriel who has been given divine command to make Daniel understand the vision comes Daniel faints. He faints before he is given the starting point of the 2300 days prophecy.

There a few pointers within this vision that reminds us of the previous prophecies and therefore the relationship of this prophecy with the prophecies of Daniel 2 and 7.

Is the fourth Beast with its little in Daniel chapter 7 the same as the little horn of chapter 8?

The answer is definitely yes. The following verses will provide the strong evidence supporting my answer.

Daniel 7:
In verse 21 th little horn makes war with the saints.
In verse 8 we find the little horn speaking great things.

In verse 19 the beast is said to be exceedingly dreadful.
In verse 11, the beast is slain...given to the burning.

Daniel 8:
In verse 24 the little horn destroys the mighty and the holy people.
In verse 11 it magnifies itself.
In verse 23 it is refered to as king of fierce countenance
And in verse 25 it is broken without hands.

Tuesday 19 April 2016

Daniel 7 Commentary : Vision of The Four Beasts

Every builder knows the importance of a foundation when constructing a house. A firm foundation will go a long way in ensuring the durability of a house. 

When it comes to bible prophecy there is no better foundation for understanding prophecy than Daniel chapter 7. In it you will find what God has in store for the nations. He still rules and and is in control of the destiny of nations.

In Daniel chapter 7, Daniel is given a vision that helps us understand the course of nations leading to the everlasting kingdom of God. 

Before we go on we need to understand that the prophecies of Daniel are not arranged in a way that fits our modern understanding of presenting things.

With this in mind it is important to know that chronologically Daniel chapter 7 takes place between chapters 4 and 5. If you remember what we have discussed previously, Daniel chapter 5 Belshazzar marks the final year of Belshazzar's rule and the kingdom of Babylon gave way to the Persian kingdom.To be precise Belshazzar's final year is 539 B.C. The vision of Daniel chapter 7 in fact takes place in the first year of Belshazzar's rule, 553 B.C. 

In this chapter we see one of the most dramatic scenes in bible prophecy. Four beasts are seen rising out of the turbulent waters of the great sea.

However as you read this prophecy you will notice that Daniel's attention is focused on the fourth beast which was different from the rest and its meaning.

In the vision Daniel also sees  events taking place in heaven. He sees the "Ancient of Days" and alsos the son of man who has been tasked with taking over the earthly kingdoms symbolised by the four beasts.

It is important to note that the prophecies of Daniel complement each other in that the succeeding visions shed more light on the preceding prophecies. For instance in Daniel 2 we have Nebuchadnezzar's dream where he dreams of a huge image made up of a head of gold, arms and chest of silver, thighs of bronze, legs of iron and feet of clay and iron. Then at the end of this prophecy we see a stone made without hands smashing the image at its feet. The stone then grows and covers the whole earth.

Daniel's interpretation is that each of the segments of the image are representing earthly kingdoms that succeed each other starting with the head of head representing Nebuchadnezzar. The stone is said to represent the kingdom of God that will crush men's kingdoms and establish God's kingdom on earth.

Daniel 2 is then complemented by Daniel 7 in which instead of an image we have earthly kingdoms represented by 4 beasts: a lion, bear, leopard and a horrific beast with iron teeth and bronze claws.At the very end of this prophecy we see the son of man destroying the final kingdom of the fourth beast. This fourth beast therefore corresponds with the iron feet

Here in seven, we see the division of kingdoms represented by 4 beasts; a lion, bear, leopard and a horrific beast with iron teeth and bronze claws.  The culmination of history ends when a son of man destroys this final kingdom pictured as the fourth beast.  This fourth beast corresponds with the Iron and clay feet “Kingdom"in Daniel chapter 2.

Below is a video bible study on Daniel 7.

Sunday 6 March 2016

Daniel 6 Commentary: God Delivered Daniel From The Lions' Den

We continue our study on the book of Daniel. Last time we studied Daniel 5 (Handwriting on the Wall) but now we are moving to Daniel chapter 6.

Whenever I think of religious liberty and freedom of conscience my mind is drawn to the Christian and other religious minorities in the Middle East who are under threat from Islamic extremists. 

It is sad to see that there are some people who think they have a right to force others to believe like they do.

It breaks my heart to see people being persecuted for their religious beliefs whether Christian or otherwise.

No one has a right to force others to believe as they do.

In Daniel 6 we face another religious liberty issue during the time of the Medes and Persians. 

This is a continuation of the historical part of the book of Daniel before the book goes back to prophecies from Daniel 7 to the end.

Background to Daniel Chapter 6

In Daniel 6:1-3 we see that Daniel has quickly risen in the ranks to be one of the top most officials in the Medo-Persian Empire administration. 

The bible says that he was promoted "because an excellent spirit was in him."

We can only assume that this meant that he was wise, knowledgeable, faithful and wise in  carrying out official business. 

Unfortunately his success invited jealous from his fellow top civil servants i.e. the governors and satraps. 

Ancient kingdoms are no different from modern governments in that intrigues happened then and still happen now.

The governors and satraps spied on Daniel to discover something that they could use to bring him down. 

Unfortunately for them they found out that Daniel was innocent and righteous in every aspect.

The only vulnerability they could find was in his religion. 

How does the book of Daniel 6:4-8 describe the Governors and Satraps on one hand and the king on the other?

The governors and satraps are depicted as full of envy and ambition. 

It is because of this they wanted to get rid of Daniel who was hindering their progression in the affairs of the empire. 

We also find that the governors and satraps had murderous intentions especially against anyone interfering with their business. 

I guess Daniel being pure and incorruptible was an obstacle to them and they wanted to get rid of such an individual.

The satraps and governors decided to use Daniel's religion against him in order to further their own interests

On the other hand we find that the king was someone who was easily flattered. 

He was quite naive in not seeing that the proposed decree to forbid anyone from praying to any God was done to further their own interests.

Daniels Reaction To The Decree (Daniel 6:10)

Daniel regarded prayer as very important in his life and he was constantly in prayer to his heavenly father. 

No matter the circumstances he turned to God for help as seen in previous chapters of Daniel. 

There was no way he could be stopped from praying. To him prayer was like breathing. He simply could not do without it.

It is inspiring to all of us to see this man of God arranging time for prayer in spite of his many duties and the stresses that that responsibility definitely brought on him. 

Through prayer God's blessings were on him. It was because of prayer that he managed to accomplish all that he did.

Daniel had a special place that he retreated to at specific times to talk to his father in heaven. 

In spite of the decree Daniel continued his prayer at the same place that he frequented.

It would have been a denial of his faith if he had changed the format and timing of his prayer life. 

He continued as if nothing had happened, as if there was no decree. He had nothing to hide. 

Everybody had to know that he acknowledged the God of heaven as the supreme authority over and above any earthly authority.

Daniel in The Lions' Den

The trap is now set and the governors and satraps spy on Daniel knowing that he would still continue praying at the exact place and time like before. 

They then report their finding that Daniel was praying to God contrary to the king's decree.

The king finally realises that he is now been set up and tries to save his faithful servant Daniel. 

Unfortunately the laws of the Medes and Persians were unchangeable. Even the king could not change laws and decrees that he himself had enacted.

The governors pressured the king to follow through and have Daniel executed since their laws and decrees were indissoluble.

The king being both judge and king reluctantly carries out the sentence and Daniel is thrown into the lions's den. 

The door is sealed with the kings seal as the governors did not want the King to later save Daniel. 

The king could only hope that God would save His servant and is stricken with sorrow on losing his friend and faithful servant.

Fortunately God intervenes and shuts the mouths of the lions and the king releases him as the law did not demand death but rather to be thrown into the lions' den.

Daniel's liberation from the lion's den unfortunately also meant the death of his enemies as they are thrown in the lions den.

Because of Daniels faithfulness and liberation from the lions' den the God of heaven was made known in the empire. Even the king acknowledged Him.

This story teaches us that even though we go through our own "lions' den" God is still with us no matter what happens.

I end with EGW comment on this chapter: "The experience of Daniel reveals that a person in business is not necessarily designing and self-serving. God may instruct such a person at every step. Daniel had like passions as ourselves, yet the Bible describes him as without fault. His business transactions, even under the closest scrutiny of his enemies, were found to be without flaw. He was an example of what every businessperson may become with a converted heart." 

Below is a video bible study on Daniel chapter 6 as presented by Ty Gibson and James Rafferty as seen on 3ABN

Click here to for the next study: Daniel chapter 7

Saturday 5 March 2016

Daniel 5 Commentary : Belshazzar's Banquet and Handwriting on The Wall

We continue with our study of the book of Daniel by focusing our attention on Daniel 5. I would urge our readers to first go back to previous lessons before they tackle this one. Click here if you want to go to Daniel 4 bible study.


There was a time critics disputed the existence of Belshazzar in history. At that time the only available mention of Belshazzar was in the book of Daniel. 

The critics considered the book of Daniel as unreliable in its historical facts and cited its mention of Belshazzar as king of Babylon as an example. There was at that time on corroboration for the existence of Belshazzar.

That time no materials had been unearthed that mentioned Belshazzar. It was only until the cylinder of Cyrus and a number of clay tablets appeared that historians for the first time had confirmation that Belshazzar indeed had lived.

According to these tablets Belshazzar was co-regent with his father Nabonidus. His father Nabonidus ruled in Arabia while Belshazzar was responsible for the city of Babylon. 

We can therefore rely on the facts presented in the book of Daniel.

The Banquet in Daniel 5:1-4

It beyond belief to note that while the Medes and Persians were laying siege to the city of Babylon, Belshazzar decides to hold a banquet at the Babylonian court. One would have expected him and his officials to concentrate on securing the city.

Maybe he trusted the walls of the city very much that he could not see how the Medes and Persians would find a way into the city. 

But even if that was the case one would expect the king to focus all his attention on this attack no matter how safe they felt.

As a result of this banquet all the officials at the Babylonian court become drunk at a critical time in their history. Drunk officials cannot be trusted in a crisis and could have lost sense of the reality of the dangers confronting them.

To make matters worse Belshazzar decides to use the holy vessels from the Jerusalem temple something his predecessor had never dared to do. 

I guess it was because of their inebriated brains that they decided to blaspheme the God of the Hebrews.

Belshazzar is treating the God of the Hebrews like any other false god, like the idols worshiped in Babylon.

There is something to be said about the effects of alcohol on the brain here. Alcohol decreases inhibition and self control as seen in the attitude of Belshazzar who lost all sense of holy things. 

Alcohol also affects someone's health and reduces the capacity to react. We are however still responsible for our actions even if we are under the influence of alcohol.

Handwriting on the Wall.

As Belshazzar and his buddies were busy drinking from the holy vessels and praising his gods, God decided that enough was enough. Immediately a hand appeared and wrote on the wall.

The lesson here is we may do as we please but there is always a judgment day. It can either immediate or the final judgment.

Belshazzar's Reaction To The Handwriting on The Wall

The bible says he was so terrified that his legs trembled. In vv 7-8 he turns to his astrologers and wise men for an explanation. 

He promises to promote the one able to explain this writing to the third highest post in the kingdom. As co regent he could only offer the third highest post.

But as it has happened before the wise men and magicians of Babylon are incapable of sorting out this phenomenon.

This even made the Belshazzar even more terrified and so were the other dignitaries and guests.

Daniel Is Invited to Explain This Writing

In verses 10-12 the queen mother intervenes and asks Belshazzar to call for Daniel. Daniel had solved mysteries before but for some reason he is only invited as a last resort.

It looks like Daniel had stopped serving at the royal court. Maybe Nebuchadnezzar's successors felt that they did not need his services. 

I am saying this because Daniel was chief of the wise men during Nebuchadnezzar time and should have been among the wise men called in to explain the handwriting.

When Daniel appears the king praised his wisdom and promises a reward if he is able to interpret this phenomenon. Daniel however rejects the reward. 

Why did the prophet refuse the reward? Maybe it is because he was following bible counsel that a prophet of God does not work for pay (Micah 3:11-12). 

Most probably I thinks that since Daniel knew about the fall of Babylon, the reward would be of no use at all. In any case holding a position of authority in the kingdom about to fall could be dangerous.

Daniel's Interpretation Daniel 5:18-23

As always Daniel speaks out fearlessly and tells the king that what he has done in using holy vessels from the Jerusalem temple during the banquet is wrong. 

He chastised him for not learning from the experience of Nebuchadnezzar who was proud but later repented and recognised the true God of heaven.

The writing on the wall was in the KJV translation, "weighed and found wanting". Modern English version could translate it as " weighed and found deficient.

It is surprising that while the writing was in Aramaic the language of Babylon, the king and the wise men could not understand it. Maybe some words were not very clear to them or maybe it was the alcohol that affected their understanding. Or maybe the writing was only readable by someone divinely inspired.

After Daniel explained the phenomenon, the king honored his promise and promoted Daniel. However that very night Babylon fell to the Medes and Persians and Belshazzar was killed.

I end with this EGW quote: In dealing with men God always uses a language which appeals forcibly to their understanding. This is illustrated in the handwriting on the wall. It is a common belief among idolaters that the gods weigh deeds in balances, and that if the good deeds outweigh the evil, the individual enters into his reward; if the opposite result is obtained, punishment follows. The language, therefore, was familiar to King Belshazzar. “God hath numbered thy kingdom; ...thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.”

Below is a video bible study on Daniel chapter 5  by James Rafferty and Ty Gibson as seen on 3ABN. 

Click here for the study on Daniel chapter 6.

Daniel 4 Commentary : Nebuchadnezzar Goes Mad and Eats Grass

Mental and psychological diseases have confronted mankind since the fall of man in the garden of Eden. I somehow also think that mental and psychological diseases have worsened in our fast paced societies.

King Nebuchadnezzar appears in Daniel chapter 4 for the last time and he is suffers from a mental disease.

As one reads the opening verses of Daniel chapter you are given the impression that Nebuchadnezzar respected the God of Israel. He also acknowledges the Most High God's universal and eternal rule.

Nebuchadnezzar's Second Dream Daniel 4:4,5

The kingdom of Babylon has reached its pinnacle and Nebuchadnezzar receives a second dream from the Lord. He is terrified by the dream.

Fortunately unlike in Daniel chapter 2 where he forgot the dream this time around he remembers it. He now seeks its interpretation.

It is interesting that instead of consulting Daniel first he consults his wise men who have failed him before. Unfortunately his wise men cannot interpret the dream.

As a result the kings calls for Daniel to come and solve this mystery. It reminds me of myself and many people who first try to solve our problems on our own instead of seeking the Lord's help immediately.

Another interesting point in this chapter is found in verse 8 where the statement "according to the name of my god" shows that while Nebuchadnezzar acknowledged the true God he still adhered to his own gods. It looks like he regarded the God of heaven as one of many gods.

What Was The Dream That Nebuchadnezzar Dreamt?

Nebuchadnezzar dreams about a tree that is about to be cut down. Someone from heaven announces the judgment on the tree.

It is also clear that the tree is really a symbol for the chapter talks about a human heart that will be replaced by the heart of a beast. The heavenly messages also announces a time span for this "beastly" condition.

Further as we have seen before in Daniel 2 and other chapters the Lord is the ultimate authority. He controls history and the affairs of humankind.

The Interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar Second Dream About the Cut Tree

One thing is clear from even a casual reading of this chapter; Daniel loves Nebuchadnezzar and wishes him well. He feels sorry about what is going to happen to him as a result of the judgment of God as expressed in this dream.

In Daniel 2 Nebuchadnezzar and his empire are the golden head. However in Daniel 4 he is the tree and he provides shelter in the form of protection and well being for the nations. 

But there is a God in heaven who is more supreme than the any king including King Nebuchadnezzar. Everyone is accountable to him whether they know it or not. 

He, the God of heaven has delivered his verdict and Nebuchadnezzar has been found wanting and will be cast out of society for seven years.

There is however a purpose to this judgment. It is mingled with grace in that it has been passed to teach Nebuchadnezzar about the king of heaven and to help him return to him.

In verse 27 Daniel pleads with Nebuchadnezzar to repent as the disaster can be averted if he commits his life to God. Like the story of Jonah in the judgment of Nineveh the judgment is not automatic as it is linked to conditions. 

The dream in essence is a warning to King Nebuchadnezzar.

The Fulfillment of the Dream

In spite of the warning King Nebuchadnezzar has not humbled himself before God and continues to be arrogant and proud. In verses 28-30 he glorifies himself and his accomplishments without acknowledging the God of heaven who made it all possible.

As a result the verdict is executed and Nebuchadnezzar becomes mad, insane. He is driven out of society.

Nebuchadnezzar's Conversion

The story however has a happy ending as Nebuchadnezzar finally recognises the God of heaven and praises and prays to him. He recognises the God of heaven as the only true God and does not blame him for his sickness.

The healing from his insanity took place because he looked up to God and repented from his sins. As a result of his relationship with the God of heaven he was healed and returned to his throne. 

We too need to look up and "fix our eye on Jesus" (Heb 12:2). God used Daniel to help him go back to the Lord. God can use you too to lead others to Christ.

New Testament Connections To The Tree

In Matt 13:32 Jesus uses a parable of great tree with animals seeking shelter under it to describe the kingdom of God which surpasses any earthly kingdom including Babylonian empire.                         

The fall of Nebuchadnezzar resulting from his pride points to the fall of symbolic, end-time Babylon (See Rev 14:8; also chapters 17 and 18). The term "Babylon The Great" is found in both books.

Please find below a video discussion on Daniel 4 as seen on 3ABN.    

Click here for the next study: Daniel chapter 5.

Friday 4 March 2016

Daniel 3 Commentary : Nebuchadnezzar Image and Daniel's Friends in The Fiery Furnace

It is interesting how man tries to copy things or objects that God reveals to them or has created. In most cases this often leads him to idolatry when those man made images are seen as items of worship.

This appears to the case with King Nebuchadnezzar who decides to erect his own image after God gives him a dream of a statue in Daniel 2. The statue made up of various metals was God's way of telling him the rise and fall of successive world empires in history to the very end of time. 

According to the interpretation of the dream, Nebuchadnezzar was represented by the head of gold. However, Nebuchadnezzar decides to erect an image different from the statue that he saw in his dream in that it is all made of one metal, gold.

What is the difference between the image in Daniel 2 and Daniel 3?

  • The image in Daniel 2 is shown in a dream while the image in Daniel 3 is a real image.
  • In Daniel 2, it is a revelation from God while in Daniel 3 is the initiative of King Nebuchadnezzar.
  • In Daniel 2 the image is a prediction about the future of the world while in Daniel 3 it is the king's wishful thinking about the future.
  • In Daniel 2 the image is made of different metals but in Daniel 3 it is all of pure gold.
  • In Daniel 2 God is the highest authority while in Daniel 3 the king is the highest authority.
  • In Daniel 2 the image is not related to worship while in Daniel 3 the image is an object of worship

In Daniel 2 the interpretation says that Nebuchadnezzar is the head of gold. However in Daniel 3 Nebuchadnezzar decides that the whole image should be made of gold. In other words he is trying to suggest that contrary to God's word his kingdom would be perpetual and not followed by any other kingdom. This is rebellion against God.

Who Were Summoned to The Dedication of This Image?

In Daniel 3:2,3 the dignitaries of the Babylonian kingdom are summoned to the plain of Dura to worship this image. While Daniel himself was not present his three friends Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego are present.

All the top officials of the kingdom from all over the Babylonian kingdom are called upon to this dedication. It was a who is who meeting.

What Would Worship of the Image Express? Daniel 3:4-6.

It is clear from reading this chapter that worshiping this image was a recognition of King Nebuchadnezzar as supreme lord and submission to him.

I also think that King Nebuchadnezzar was trying to force his people to see him as a kind of god.

It is also a denial of the true God. It is was a rejection of the first and second commandment of the Decalogue.

Nebuchadnezzar was also trying to show that his gods are superior to other gods and the true God.

Why Did King Nebuchadnezzar order right away the death penalty for the case of disobedience to his command to worship the image?

In a totalitarian regime to disobey the leader's commands is seen as rebellion and suppressed immediately. This is still true today in totalitarian regimes such as North Korea.

Dictators do not tolerate disobedience as they see it as a danger to their absolute authority. It also affects the unity of their empires or countries. 

How Did Daniel's Three Friends React to A Call To Worship the Image?

As one writer has pointed out crowds don't make good decisions, crowds are used, manipulated and thus abused by influential people. Truth is not found in a majority. 

There is a danger in following a crowd. It was a crowd that called for Christ's crucifixion.  

Men like Hitler have manipulated crowds through various ways e.g. oratory.

This was the case here as well where everyone, except the three friends of Daniel, decided to worship the image. It takes a lot of courage to stand for the truth when everyone around us is not. It was even worse here as their lives were in danger as well.

When these three friends are brought before the king and given a second chance they still insist that they will not change their stance no matter what. This makes the king even more furious.

While they believe that God is capable of saving them they also know that He does not always intervene. Daniel's three friends are determined to be faithful to God no matter the consequences.

Daniel's friends understanding is that God does not say that believers are somehow exempt from evil and challenges. They believe that God is not under obligation to save them from all danger. 

They however believe that they cannot let go of God in case He does not intervene. They have a personal relationship of trust and love with the Lord.

Daniel's Friends in The Fiery Furnace.

In his wrath the King orders that the three Hebrew friends should be thrown in the fiery furnace which has been heat seven times hotter. The heat of the furnace kills the warriors throwing the three Hebrew men into the furnace. 

Babylon is renowned for the various kilns in the land and this furnace may have been one of these kilns. These kilns were used to bake bricks.

Though the soldiers throwing them into the furnace are killed, the three Hebrew men do not die but walk freely around in the fire and a fourth man joins them. His appearance is described as a son of the gods or the Son of God (vs. 28, 29 suggest the second option). 

God has intervened to save His faithful servants.

Nebuchadnezzar's Reaction: Consequences of God's Miracle

The bible says that Nebuchadnezzar calls the three Hebrew men to come out of the furnace. His anger against them is turned to appreciation of their faithfulness and unwillingness to compromise.

Nebuchadnezzar recognizes the true God of heaven and issues a command in favor of God. The king also promotes the three Hebrew men.

Let's all dare to be like Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego.

Below is a video discussion of this bible study on Daniel 3 as seen on 3ABN.

Click here for the next study: Daniel chapter 4.

Daniel 2 Commentary : The Future of The World Foretold

We have now come to the amazing prophecy of Daniel chapter 2. I would urge those that haven't read our discussion on Daniel chapter 1 to click here and read that before proceeding with this Daniel 2 commentary.

The prophecy about the statue that King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon dreamt is perhaps the simplest prophecy to understand in the bible. More than 2500 years ago God revealed to Nebuchadnezzar the history of the world from that time to the coming of Christ.

The dream presented successive world powers that were to dominate world affairs down to the coming of Christ. It is really a very powerful prophecy that has enhanced my belief in God and I know it will strengthen your faith too.

God revealed this to the pagan king Nebuchadnezzar through a dream. Unfortunately the king forgot the dream and this troubled his soul.

King Nebuchadnezzar called his wise men and asked them to tell him of the dream that he had dreamt and its interpretation. The wise men of Babylon told him that they could only tell him the interpretation of the dream if he told them the dream.

The king could not buy their argument and told him that unless they reminded him of the dream he had dreamt and its interpretation they would all be killed. The stakes were really that high.

The lives of the wise men of Babylon were only saved by the intervention of Daniel who even though was one of the wise men of Babylon had not been present at that meeting. He asked the one charged with executing the kings orders to be given time.

Daniel goes home and together with his friends plead with the God of heaven to reveal to them the dream that Nebuchadnezzar had dreamt. In answer to their prayer God reveals to Daniel the dream in a night vision.

Daniel goes before the king and reveals the dream and its interpretation. This dream interpretation by Daniel 500 years before the birth of Christ unfolds the history of the world from his time to today.

This prophecy has been fulfilled accurately to this very day. All the kingdoms presented in the image have come and gone as foretold by the prophecy that was interpreted by Daniel.

How could Daniel without supernatural intervention present the history of the world spanning hundreds of years? This must definitely be something that is supernatural. 

We cannot explain it any other way. No one has so clearly foretold the history of the world in such a manner.

Clifford Goldstein presents it better in his article in Adventist Review titled Revisiting Daniel 2

"This is not some flighty ethereal phenomenon—the supposed appearances of the virgin Mary—to suggestible adolescents, or the magic spectacles reported to have enabled the translation of the Book of Mormon. We’re talking, instead, about reality as firm, as public, and as unchanging as world history. What firmer, broader, and more immutable foundation—the history of the world itself—could God have used to build for us an edifice of faith?"

The following illustration presents the statute that King Nebuchadnezzar dreamt and also the interpretation based on Daniel explanation of this dream and vision. 

I conclude this discussion with the words of Clifford Goldstein.

"Yes, I still remember my first Bible study ever—Daniel 2. That was nearly 30 years ago, which seems so far in the past, but is a single breath in contrast to the long, windswept span of history depicted in the prophecy. And yet, what are all these millennia compared to what God has for us? His kingdom “shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever” (Dan. 2:44).

That’s the promise, the reassuring promise of this final kingdom. And because Daniel was so right about the first four, how reasonable—how rational—to trust him on this, the last kingdom, the fifth one, which lasts forever." 

Please find below two videos as seen on 3ABN that go through this prophecy of Daniel chapter 2.

Click here for the next study which is a study on Daniel chapter 3

Daniel 1 Commentary : Bible Study And Lessons

Introduction to Daniel Chapter 1

In an age of compromise, it is always refreshing to go back to the bible and read of characters like Daniel who stood up for God when everybody else around them was in compromise mode. It is amazing that these guys could stand up for the truth in an age when life was cheap and the powers that be literally controlled lives.

The book of Daniel was written by Daniel a Jew who was taken into Babylonian exile with his fellow Jews around 600BC. This was after the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar had laid siege to Jerusalem.

Daniel lived during the times of Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar as kings of Babylon and Cyrus and Darius as Medo-Persian kings. Judah was defeated by the Babylonians during the reign of Jehoiakim, king of Judah.

Daniel 1 start out with the exile of the Jews to Babylon which took place during the reign of Johoiakim, king of Judah.

Why did God Allow the Jews To Be Taken To Babylon?

God allowed the exile to happen because his people had abandoned him and started worshipping idols, and had abandoned the ideals of mercy and justice to their fellow men. They started practising all sorts of evil things until God had had enough.

We also need to remember that God had sent prophets to warn the people and to call them to repentance in order to avoid the the disaster. God had sent prophets such as Jeremiah to warn them but His people ignored these warnings.

Why did Nebuchadnezzar Choose Daniel and His Friends?

Daniel was part of the first three deportations from Judah to Babylon. Daniel and his three friends were children of the elite of Judah i.e. the leading families that time and therefore seen as valuable by the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar.

While in Babylon there given new names signifying that they were welcome at the Babylonian kingly court where they were taken. 

Apparently Nebuchadnezzar chose young people because he believed that they could easily be influenced and were full of energy and drive. The bible is full of stories where God calls young people such as Samuel, David and Timothy but he also called older people such as Moses Noah and Nicodemus.

Daniel and His Friends Reaction In Exile.

While others compromised Daniel exhibited courage and faithfulness. He remained steadfast in his obedience to God. He valued obedience above his own life.

While everyone else partook of the kings unclean foods Daniel decided that he could not defile his body with unclean foods forbidden by God in the bible such as in Leviticus 11.

He is an example to all who want to follow God no matter the consequences.

It is also refreshing that God showed that he doesn't abandon those who decide to be obedient to him. We however need to dare to be obedient to see His faithfulness. Whoever is not faithful does not give God an opportunity to intervene.

Another point worth remembering is that God's way is still the best and this showed in the way Daniel and his friends looked after following God's diet. We too need to be obedient to God and we will experience amazing results in our health and well being. God's rules are for our own good.

Please find below a video bible study on Daniel chapter as seen on 3ABN. Please leave your comments below.

Click here for the next study and discussion which is on Daniel chapter 2.

Thursday 3 March 2016

Christian Discussion: An Introduction.

I have created this blog for the purpose of using it as a discussion forum for various hot potato Christian issues. I hope we can engage in a mature discussion of various issues and their impact on our lives as Christians.

I am thinking of addressing issues such as gay marriage, ordination of women, doctrinal issues and contemporary versus traditional music and many more. I would urge you guys to assist me in suggesting topics that we can discuss on this blog.

I am aware that even mature sincere Christians see things differently based on their life experiences. We view life through the prism of our upbringing, traditions and cultural practices.

This by itself is not always a bad thing as I believe that God respects our individuality. It is only when we try to impose our views on the others that things go wrong. We all need to respect each other and not judge the sincerity of others based on our view of the world.

I should however add that our traditions should be judged by the word of God. If our traditions conflict with the expressly stated word of God then we ought to consider what God says as above our traditions.

Having said that I must admit that they are times when truth has to be told. If we really believe from the bottom of our heart that certain things are wrong and may lead others away from Christ, we ought to warn others about it.

To help in the discussion I intend to draw on the expertise of many theologians and pastors from all over the world. I intend to post some videos addressing various issues. 

I urge you all to openly discuss any issues addressed on this site, I promise to be as independent as I can be as I moderate our discussions.

I will post any comment that is expressed as long as it is doesn't use any offensive words or vulgar language.

Welcome to you all.

Please click here for the first discussion which is on Daniel chapter 1.