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Discerning The Times / Brian Thomas
The Truth Network Radio
November 18, 2023 12:00 pm


Discerning The Times / Brian Thomas

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November 18, 2023 12:00 pm

We welcome guest Todd Hampson to discuss his most recent book. In The Non-Prophet’s Guide® to the Book of Daniel, readers will find a helpful guide in Hampson as he leads them with warmth and expertise through the intricate details of Daniel's prophecies and stories. Whether you are embarking on your first exploration of the Bible or seeking a deeper understanding of its messages, this resource promises to be a valuable companion.

Key features of The Non-Prophet’s Guide® to the Book of Daniel include:

  • Comprehensive Insights: Understand the background, cultures, and prophecies embedded within the book of Daniel.
  • Illustrative Graphics: Hampson’s signature style, with visually appealing illustrations, infographics, and charts, make the learning experience memorable.
  • Practical Applications: Take away real-world applications from these ancient biblical texts, allowing the reader to find personal meaning and growth for today.

So What?
Lon Solomon
So What?
Lon Solomon
So What?
Lon Solomon

Blessings to Israel presents Discerning the Times, a program committed to encouraging you to view current events through the lens of the Bible. Now, in honor of the one and only true God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, please join us for today's program.

Welcome to Discerning the Times. My name is Brian Thomas, alongside co-host Dr. Bruce Logan. And we're joined today by special guest Todd Hampson, who is here to talk with us about his latest book on the Book of Daniel. So I will pull them in shortly. But before I do, I want to remind you, as we always do, that your eternal state is far more important than your current state. If you have never received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, I urge you to do so today.

Otherwise, you will be in eternity separated from God in the lake of fire. So will you please give your heart to Jesus Christ on today? All right. So we're going to pull in now my co-host, Dr. Bruce Logan and Todd Hampson. We are just delighted to have Todd, who is a great friend and a frequent guest of ours. He is a speaker, illustrator, animation producer, best selling author of the Non-Prophet's Guide book series. He's also co-host of the Prophecy Prose podcast alongside Jeff Kinley and his award winning animation company, Timbuktoons, has produced content for many well-known ministry organizations.

He and his wife are the proud parents of three grown children and make their home in the state of Georgia. So we're delighted to have Todd on today to talk again about his latest book, The Non-Prophet's Guide to the Book of Daniel. So, Todd, thank you so much for joining us. Oh, Brian, Bruce, it's always a pleasure to join you. We always have a blast. Yes.

Yes. Can't wait to get into this interview because I just love the Book of Daniel. I have a copy of the book sitting here right in front of me.

And that's quite a skip. The Book of Daniel is my favorite book in the Bible. Many different reasons, but it's actually the Book of Daniel that got me the really spearheaded my walking in and studying Bible prophecy. You know, when I first got saved and I'm just all like, I'm going to get goosebumpy whenever I get to talk about the Book of Daniel. So especially with Todd, one of my favorite authors.

So I'm ready to get right into this. And the Book of Daniel is very fitting. I mean, it's fitting for all times, but especially what is happening now, because we know this conflict is taking place in Israel. And although Daniel prophesies about Gentile nations.

So the book, the Bible, of course, the entire Bible applies to all of us. But Daniel was a prophet for the Jewish people and he was giving things that God had given to him that surrounds the nation of Israel. So, Todd, to get us started, you were scheduled to fly to Israel the day before the Hamas attack.

So speak to us about that, if you will. Yeah, we sure were. I mean, you know, well, our cancellation of the trip pales in comparison to what the people of Israel have gone going through.

Even today, watching some of the kind of some speakers who have relatives that are being held hostage right now. But we but all that to say we planned this trip for a year and a half. We were going to have 50 people there with us that were that kind of all signed up and had their tickets and were ready to go. And we were going to teach Bible prophecy at each location we went to and had been studying and preparing and meeting. And then we were supposed to leave Sunday morning and we woke up Saturday morning with with the news that everyone saw. And at first, you know, nobody knew what to expect, thought it might be kind of typical few rockets, you know, sent out. And then things are returned to normal. But as the day went on, it became really clear that it was what it was. And so 12 hours before our flights were to leave, we had to cancel the trip, man.

So that was that was that was a tough one to swallow. But again, pales in comparison with what the people are going through there. And we need to be praying for Israel. Absolutely.

Absolutely. Yeah, we continue to pray for Israel because as we speak, there's still over 240, I think, 243, I think is the last number I saw of hostages that are still there. And we just see the anti-Semitism that is going on throughout the world right now. And it's things that just happening that really, folks, if you haven't been paying attention to Bible prophecy, you should be paying attention now because we are seeing things take place. And to your book, Todd, that I mean, it directly relates to what we are seeing happening. So so, yeah, it's very timely in which God has has placed it upon your heart to to roll this book out to the people.

So we're going to look again, the nonprofit's guide to the Book of Daniel, which has key features of comprehensive insights, illustrative graphics and practical applications. Now, Todd, I've shared this numerous times on this podcast, but I think back to a time in which I was to have a part in leading a funeral with a group of other ministers and the pastor. And we were sitting in the pastor's office prior to the funeral. So it was he, the pastor and three other ministers and just having conversation in the pastor told us how he had told his son, who is also a pastor, to stay away from the Book of Revelation.

And one of the other ministers in the office said, and Daniel, and I was just flabbergasted of what I was hearing. But you, on the other hand, have written first about the nonprofit's guide to the Book of Revelation, which was a huge success. So talk to us about why you are motivated to write on these books in which some are actually saying to stay away from. Yeah, I think that's the reason, you know, some of the reasons they steer away from it, I understand, but especially as ministers, as pastors, they're called to teach the whole counsel of God. So we're supposed to teach the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. And I really I just wanted to put the handles beginning with the Book of Revelation. It was one that nobody wanted to touch.

So I wanted to put handles on it so that it was easier to understand that it kind of demystified it and also took the fear factor out of it. Yes, there's some crazy things that happened during the 21 Judgments. But the book itself is about the revelation of our Savior. It's all about Jesus Christ. And nobody goes to their favorite movie and then walks out before the ending.

But that's exactly what a lot of evangelical Christians do these days. They ignore the book that closes the canon. So I just wanted to make it accessible to everybody and let people know that there's there's not a keep off the grass sign on the Book of Revelation. We're supposed to study it and understand it. And it's a it tells us our amazing future. That's the thing. It tells us all the things that God has promised that are in our future. So why would we not want to know more about that?

Yeah. And I will say to our audience, the Book of Revelation that Todd has written in this series, The Non-Prophet's Guide is excellent as well as we encourage you to pick up a copy of it if you never have, along with this one on Daniel. Both excellent pieces, which Todd, you always do a great job in your writing.

So we are very grateful for it. So, Doc, what do you have next for for Todd? Yeah, first of all, I just want to follow up on what Brian was saying, because I had a similar experience at the beginning of my Christian walk. I had a minister tell me at the church that I joined, whatever you do, stay away from Revelation or stay away from Daniel. And I'll never forget going home immediately that night because, you know, with my curious self, I'm wondering, well, why is he telling me to stay away from Revelation and Daniel?

So I open up Revelation and I get three verses in and it says that I'm going to be blessed for reading and understanding. And just to make this real short testimony that I grew up a lover of history. That was my passion as a kid. And I never understood back then where that came from. I was kind of an anomaly. I was in the seventh grade. I remember the very first book report that I ever wrote was on the epic by Homer of the Iliad and Odyssey.

Oh, wow. As a seventh grader, that's how intrigued I was to study history. Now, fast forwarding, when I got saved, when I got to start understanding and realizing that some of that ancient Greek and Roman history that I used to love to study was actually in the Bible.

I was like, OK, now I'm hooked. So I just developed a love for prophecy just, you know, from that point on. But I noticed that now, you know, because of what Brian was talking about and what your encounter, what happened in your preparation to want to go to the trip to Israel and everything that's going on. And there seems to be a growing hunger from people. But what would be your perspective as to why there is such a growing hunger for people to delve deeper into the Book of Daniel specifically, especially in light of everything that's going on?

Yeah, I think that's key. I think because of the instability around us, more and more people are asking questions. And I think the first place they go to if they dare to crack it open is Revelation. But then they hear about, oh, this prophecy is in Daniel as well. So and actually, if you go to seminary, most seminaries that still teach eschatology teach, if you take a book on a class on Revelation, they're going to teach Daniel right alongside with it, because Daniel really is the revelation of the Old Testament, so to speak. It's the framework that Revelation sets into.

And as you guys have both alluded to, both books are extremely Jewish in nature, but also with some undertones and some specific prophecies about the times of the Gentiles and the Gentile nations. And in the Book of Daniel, there's even a little hidden gaps where the church era fits in. You know, we're grafted in as the church, but often we feel like we're what it's all about. You know, we're just a small piece of what God has been doing throughout history. And in the end, it all culminates together where God's plan for the Jewish people and God's plan for the church all through salvation, through the Messiah.

But it just ties it up in such a beautiful way. So that's a long answer to your short question, but I think people are getting more and more interested in Daniel and Revelation and the other books of the prophets because of what we're seeing happen in the world. Even non-Christians are realizing that there's something biblical going on, you know. Amen. Amen.

Yeah. And Todd, I do think, as you said, I agree with you totally that people are, because of things that are happening now in the world, they're getting more and more of a hunger and an interest in Daniel. Also, for those of us who have been studying prophecy for a number of years, even prior to current events, though, there still has been a great fascination with the Book of Daniel. Would you agree that people have been fascinated by it even in times past?

Oh, yeah, absolutely. You know, it's it's just funny how many churches and by and large and evangelical Christianity, I would say, I mean, I'm just throwing an estimate out there, but 70 or 80 percent probably have never fully read the Book of Daniel or any of the Old Testament prophets. So but the 20 or 30 percent that have realized how timely it is on two levels, one because of the prophecies, but also how Daniel and his three friends lived and how they stood for the Lord in a pagan culture. So the more our culture begins to mirror the culture that Daniel was in, he was in a pagan country, taken captive in Babylon, but he stood for the Lord powerfully. He spoke the truth with love and God used him in a powerful way. So I believe God can do the same thing today.

He can use us in our culture. It's no accident that we're here at this time and that he's given us this passion to understand the Book of Daniel. But I'm hoping that's what this book does, ignite a fire under more people to study the book. For one, because of an apologetic aspect, we can see in the Book of Daniel there are sweeping prophecies that have been fulfilled in history from Daniel's time until our time. I mean, there's no other way to explain it except that it's a divine book of God and God told history in advance. So the more we get people to look at Daniel, the more they realize they can trust the Bible and they can trust the prophecies about the end times. Yeah, and I've heard accounts of agnostics and how they said it had to be a fraud, the Book of Daniel, because it was written with such accuracy. Even prior to things happening, they said there's no way that this could have been written ahead of time. And that's just how accurate because, of course, Daniel was writing from God. He was inspired by the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Yeah. Prior to 1947, the earliest copy of the Book of Daniel we had was from 200 A.D. It was a Masoretic text. So that's what the critics would say is, oh, obviously it wasn't written in Daniel's time. It had to be written after the fact in the first or second century. But then we discovered the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947, which proved the Book of Daniel was already well in use by 150 to 200 B.C. So now the critics just leave it alone.

They say it's still fake and it's not true, but they don't know how to explain it away. Amen. Amen.

I want to also just touch on something that you were just speaking on, because you mentioned something that I've always been really encouraged by. And it's another reason why I've always say that Daniel, in addition to the prophecies, is one of my favorite books in the Bible. Because, you know, how it depicts how Daniel and his three friends stood in a pagan culture. And I don't I don't think that gets played up enough how they were able to do that, because, you know, that can be mirrored in our culture today, because our culture is exceptionally pagan.

And even more so because I live in a state that a week ago today, we passed in my state legalized marijuana and legalized abortion virtually at the same time, you know, within minutes apart. I mean, that just kind of tells you, you know, kind of where we are as a culture. But for those who might be unfamiliar, can you explain how Daniel sets the stage? And you touched on this before, but how does Daniel set the stage and its importance in our understanding of the end times of prophecy? Yeah, there are several chapters in Daniel. The first six chapters are narrative that kind of tell the story, the narrative of Daniel's life in captivity. And then the second set, chapters seven through 12, are all prophecy. And there are several chapters that are specifically end time prophecy.

So those give an initial insight. And also it's the first place where the person of the Antichrist is mentioned. He's not he's not called the Antichrist in Daniel. He's called the man of sin and and other names. But he's this end time figure.

But probably the biggest one, if we have some listeners that are maybe, you know, kind of overwhelmed with our where do I start? Go to Daniel chapter nine. Daniel chapter nine unpacks what's known as the 70 weeks of Daniel nine. And that lays out all of Jewish history from Daniel's time until the time of the end. And just to just to break down how amazing that is from an apologetic standpoint and also kind of unpack the theology a little bit.

Read the whole chapter, but specifically read verses 24 through 27. 24 kind of lays out the whole 70 weeks. And it's 70 weeks of years or 490 years. Using sevens was common in the Old Testament Jewish culture. It's kind of like how we use the term decade.

They use sevens for a lot of things. But long story short, when you unpack it, verse 25 talks about the first 69 weeks or 483 years. Then there's this mysterious gap which is not explained in verse 26. And that's what we now know is the church age.

It's where the church age fits in. And then verse 27 is the 70th week, the last seven years of history. And that's where we get the time frame for the future tribulation period. And it's even broken up in Daniel and Revelation and also in the Olivet Discourse when Jesus talked about the end times that it's split in three and a half year segments. The first half is kind of like a faux piece where this end time roller kind of steps on the stage and brings peace to Israel. But then in the midpoint, he turns on Israel.

And then the last three and a half, three and a half years are they're going, they're trying to destroy Israel. And we discover, so that's where we get the seven years from. Then when you fast forward to Revelation, those 21 judgments fit into that seven years. And one more really fascinating thing from the apologetic standpoint that I want to share is when it talks about the first 69 weeks, it says there'll be basically, I'm paraphrasing, but it says there will be 483 years from the time a command is sent to rebuild Jerusalem to the time of the coming of the Messiah. So 483 years.

There's a gentleman by the name of Harold Honer, who was a professor at Dallas Theological Seminary years ago. And his life's work was on detailing the events of Jesus' life and the dates. And before him, there was another book by a British guy who was kind of the authoritative book on the chronology of Jesus' life. But Honer showed there were a couple of errors because you got the 360 Jewish days.

Anyway, a long story short, he showed that when Artaxerxes gave the command in the Book of Nehemiah to go back and rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, March 5th, 444 BC to March 30th, 33 AD, when Jesus walked, came in on the donkey and was hailed as king on Palm Sunday, it's exactly 483 years. So the Jewish people at that time knew around the time when the Messiah was coming. That's why they were ready for it.

That's why we're so built up for it. But that prophecy, many people believe, was fulfilled to the very day. Well, amazing.

It is amazing. And that should build your faith. Oh yeah, absolutely. And Ty, real quick, there's a passage in Scripture in Luke, I'm sorry, in Mark 3.17 or 3.16, I believe. I'm sorry, 3.15 that says that people were in great expectation and they thought that John the Baptist may have been the Messiah. And they came to John and the scripture says in expectation thinking he might have been the Messiah. And he wasn't the one, but because of that level of expectation, could that explain what you were talking about in terms of the Jewish people at the time really understood the chronology of Daniel chapter 9?

Yes, absolutely. And also you have in Luke 2, the older elderly people, Anna and Simeon at the temple waiting for the Messiah to come there. So they knew the timeframe as well. They didn't know the exact day, but they knew the general timeframe, kind of similar to us.

We're told we don't know the day or the hour, but we can see the day approaching. So it's kind of interesting how that happened. Yeah. Amen.

Yeah. And Todd, you touched on the 70 weeks prophecy of Daniel, and I'm glad you did because it is a complex prophecy. You do an excellent job with all of your writings of laying out illustrations, as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.

And when you can see it in illustrated form, it really helps a lot. One of the things I wanted to mention, though, is I confess that up until my probably mid 20s, my view of the rapture of the church was actually post tribulation. Now, the three of us, we all hold to the pre tribulation rapture view and people debate it and go around in circles all the time.

And we stress to people that is not a salvific issue and is not something that we divide over. But we all believe that the Bible makes the strongest case that the rapture of the church is prior to the tribulation. The thing that sealed the deal for me is when I really started reading and understanding the 70 weeks prophecy of Daniel. Because when we look at it, as you said, it is a Jewish centric book and the prophecies are surrounding the nation of Israel. And as you stated, you know, there's a gap in there which Daniel in the Old Testament prophets didn't know about.

It was not revealed to them. We know now it is the church age, as you said. But as I looked at that, I really started to to see that, well, if 69 weeks or 483 years revolve around the nation of Israel, then why all of a sudden with the last week, the last seven years, then start to apply to the church. So so that really, for me, sealed the deal on on the idea that, yes, the church is taken out. And once the church is taken out, then that last seven years, that last week, that last week, which is the last seven years, is when the tribulation will play out and the church is gone. Amen.

Well put. And, you know, I think that's an important issue for people to understand. And that really does confuse a lot of believers. I remember first, you know, trying to figure out, well, how does how does the whole thing work with Israel and with the church and all that?

Another area I would encourage people to check out is Romans, specifically chapters nine through 12 or nine through 11. And you can see Paul pretty clearly lays out that that God is not done with the Jewish people, not done with Israel. And like you said, the 70th week is all about Israel. It has nothing to do with the church. So why would we be there? And like you said, and I want to reiterate that, that it's not a salvation issue at all.

I've got friends that hold other views. But, man, when you let Scripture clearly speak, like, for example, and I could probably give seven or eight off the top of my head reasons for the pre-trib, but the fact that everywhere the Lord's return is spoken of in the New Testament. And I think there's about twenty five or thirty specific passages where it's it's an imminent event. The Lord could return literally at any second with no no signs and nothing happening happening before that. That's only possible with a pre-trib rapture. You can, you know, because otherwise we have seven years of history yet before us, before he returns, if it's at the end or three and a half, if it's at the middle. So either, you know, 14 judgments or 21 judgments, we can kind of do the countdown and know when the Lord's coming. But everywhere it's spoken of in the New Testament, it's taught that it's an imminent event that could happen at any moment. I just want to share that with somebody because I've been getting pushed back lately.

Not a lot. But every once in a while, an email, somebody just really coming hard against a pre-trib rapture and saying, we're just making it up and pulling it out of thin air. And we're not.

It is thoroughly biblical. But one more thing along with that, I think it's very healthy for believers as they study and learn more. We should be changing positions on things.

I've switched positions on certain things, big things and little things over the years. You know, it's just like a child who's first learning the ABCs. Of course, they're not going to read, you know, big thick books until they're in middle school and high school. So it takes time to learn and get a good grasp on scripture. And that's OK. The main thing is we need to submit to God's word and let it speak regardless of what we want it to say. We need to let it speak for itself. Absolutely. Well said. Well said.

All right. Well, we're going to wrap things up with one final question for this week, but you'll be back with us next week to continue our discussion on your nonprofit's guide to the Book of Daniel. One of the standout themes that you touch on is God's sovereignty throughout history, as seen through the Bible. How does the Book of Daniel illuminate this theme for readers? I'm glad you brought that up, Brian, because if you could encapsulate the Book of Daniel in one word, it's sovereignty, the sovereignty of God. The fact that I mean, God is ultimately in control. He's in control of everything that happens. He doesn't cause the evil, but he allows it for his purposes. But the whole Book of Daniel is all about God's sovereignty over the kingdoms of men.

And it's really the narrative of how God is going to bring his kingdom in ultimately for eternity. So God's sovereignty is the key thing. And that helps us as believers, because that means he's in control of our lives as well.

He's got us. He's protecting us. No matter what comes our way, we know that he's in control.

He's still on the throne in heaven. And that's something we can put our faith and confidence in. Wow. Praise God. Praise God. Yeah.

Having that security. Yeah, that's just says a lot. All right. I will.

That's going to do it for this week. Share with our listeners how they can get a copy of this book, The Nonprofit's Guide to the Book of Daniel. Yeah, sure thing. It's sold everywhere online.

If you want to go to Todd Hampson dot com and just click on the book section there, it'll give you a bunch of outlets where it's available, but it's pretty much available anywhere online that you'd like to buy it. All right. Well, Todd, thank you for being with us. And we are looking forward to having you back again with us next week to continue our discussion on the Book of Daniel.

To our listeners, thank you for tuning in. Please come back and join us next time as we continue to discern the times by viewing life through the lens of the Bible. Until then, remember to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Bless God's great nation of Israel to the only wise God. Be glory to Jesus Christ forever. Thank you for tuning in to Discerning the Times. Please come back and join us next week as we continue to encourage you to view current events through the lens of the Bible. Until next time, remember to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Bless God's great nation of Israel and seek first the kingdom of God. Discerning the Times is presented by Blessings to Israel.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-18 12:11:58 / 2023-11-18 12:23:03 / 11

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