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History by the Ounce

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice
The Truth Network Radio
July 16, 2020 8:00 am

History by the Ounce

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice

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July 16, 2020 8:00 am

Taken captive and marched off to another country, Daniel and his friends have some amazing adventures in Babylonia. But through it all, they are faithful to God. As you enter into their story, you'll learn more about: the sovereignty of God, and why we must be holy and Christian living in a secular culture. In the latter half of this book, Daniel's own visions are recorded, and--in them--we catch glimpses of the future. How are these visions relevant to our lives?

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Welcome to the Bible study reviewing ministry of confessing Evangelicals featuring the Bible teaching of Dr. James Boyce for more information please contact us by calling toll-free one 804 88 18 and now the alliance is pleased to present the Bible study our repairing you to think and act biblically. Barbara talked about this story on Pro has made great success writing about generally neglected periods of history or secret as she explains it is writing history by the ounce means by that. That instead of filling our history texts with long lists of names and dates as some historians are inclined to do, in which interest most of us very little shape the pages of her history with anecdotes which capture: a very short space. The spirit and movement of the times about which she writes history by apps very interesting way of referring to what Daniel Dawes in his prophecy as he talks about many centuries of history. In his case history.

Yet, seventh chapter of Daniel contains vision of four beasts which portray for great kingdoms. The common human history so long.

For many centuries before Christ up to the time of the Lord Jesus Christ and even beyond.

And by doing it in this encapsulated form of the visions, Daniel condenses into a few pages slack, which, if it were written out in traditional historical form would take much longer. It's interesting to say important notes that with the seventh chapter of Daniel we begin a new section of the book should be evident from the first verse along because up now. Daniel's history has been given in chronological sequence lengths to say the story begins with Daniel as a young man and it traces his career through a succession of kings through Nebuchadnezzar rate king and founder of the Babylonian dynasty through Belcher as her and eventually through dalliance when chapter 7 begins the story goes back one thing that is back to Welsh answer and therefore the historical sequence is broken.

Moreover, is evident as we begin to study these chapters that is chapter 7 through 12.

The second half of the book were dealing with different time frame entirely as a matter of fact we are dealing with that which is trans-historical up to this point. Even though the earlier chapters of contained visions. Certainly the greats vision of Nebuchadnezzar statue was made of various kinds of metal all that has been in the context of Daniel's own history and the story was told there chiefly from the perspective of Daniel being able to interpret it. When the other court astrologers, wise men couldn't when we come to the seventh chapter. This changes now these things are not particularly tied any historical events though they are dated but rather we have visions which look out and Broadway.

Over all of history and predict what is to happen in years to come. These visions overlap, they have significant details of their own, but they make chiefly the same points, namely, that God is in control of history.

That's Lord Jesus Christ, God's anointed will reign on earth and set up his own kingdom that will endure forever and that the saints of the Lord Jesus Christ saints of God will reign with him.

And so that's what we need to see as we begin to study this now. The first vision on the way find in chapter 7 is a pattern for all of the others. So it's worth taking a little bit of time to review it carefully concerns for beasts that Daniel said he saw the first was like a lion wasn't exactly a lie because it had wings wings like those of an eagle. And as Daniel describes it says the wings were torn off and that it was lifted up from the ground so it stood on 2 feet like a man in the heart of a man was given to it.

That was the first beast was a second annual says it was like a bear.

The distinguishing feature of this animal is that it had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth and it was told to get up and eat its fill of flesh was the third beast. This would look like a leopard fast animal. It also had wings like those of a bird also had four hands and it was given authority to rule. Then there was 1/4 beast beast unlike any known animal, least unknown to Daniel. You never seen anything like it was particularly terrifying, frightening, that large iron teeth and it crushed and devoured everything in its way. It had 10 horns. This introduces an interesting feature. After this beast. There was a another horn horns generally symbolized by our rulers. This horn replaced three of the 10 horns of the fourth beast and in that vision was completed all this gave way to a vision of judgment in heaven which drones were set up Crohn's of judgments ancient of days, which quite clearly is Almighty God came and took his seat upon the throne and the beasts were Johnston, particularly this last horn, which is described as having said boastful and blasphemous Dixie was destroyed and was thrown in the blazing fire, and then one it says like a son of man appeared and he stood before the ancient of days and he was given authority, glory and sovereign power all people, nations and men of every language worshiped vision concludes by saying his dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away. His kingdom is one that will never be destroyed when you first read that, because where unfamiliar with such things.

It's not our way of normally thinking or talking all that sounds quite confusing will confuse rock confusing elements that some commentators disagree is not all that difficult to interpret. At least not in all its parts. The first and most obvious thing that can be said about this vision is that it is clearly a parallel. The vision that Nebuchadnezzar had of the great golden statue a golden statue was divided into four parts. The head was a bold, then the upper portions of the body including the arms and chest were silver was a middle portion made of bronze and finally the with the legs splayed of iron, which were standing up one for each made of mixture of iron and clay close for parts of the statue corresponded to four world kingdom since Daniel explained Nebuchadnezzar was the head of gold. After that there would come a kingdom that was less glorious than his stronger after that, a kingdom that was still less glorious but still stronger and then finally the kingdom that was the strongest of all eventually would deteriorate, which is what is symbolized by the division of the portion of the statue into two legs and into those all about being weakened as iron would be weakened if it's mixed with clay.

This vision of the beast corresponds to that first part of the vision. The vision of beast, which was like a lion at the wings of an eagle clearly corresponds to the kingdom of Babylon, which was focused and Nebuchadnezzar himself. The matter fact as we read this, it's hard not to recognize a reference to Nebuchadnezzar in the fact that the wings of this beast were torn off as it was humbled in its glory was taken from its I would think that would correspond to the seven years of Nebuchadnezzar's insanity when it was lifted from the ground so that it stood on 2 feet like a man of the heart of a man was given to it. It's hard not to see that as a reference to the restoration of Nebuchadnezzar's reason. After the years of this insanity. Perhaps any rate, if that's the way this vision is to be taken then it gives a pattern for seeing the rest in each of the three beast of Palos bus necessity correspond with the other portions of Nebuchadnezzar's vision of the statue second beast was like that of a bear now by that comparison. This would refer to the kingdom of the Medes and the Persians. Some of the liberal scholarship. As I've indicated in an earlier study tried to divide that kingdom of the Medes and the Persians so that the third of the kingdoms would be that of the Persians. The second would be that of the Medes and the fourth one with which these visions would conclude would be the kingdom of the Greeks under Alexander the great scholars have a vested interest in that particular interpretation because they try to date, the writing of Daniel in the time of the Maccabees about 165 BC, and the advantage of this particular dividing up of the kingdom is that each of these kingdoms would've come up on the stage of world history by the time the book was written that's the case, this would not be prophecy, but it would be a reflection in the guise of prophecy of things and already happened. Only difficulty is that these particular details did not fit the kingdom of the Medes and Persians. Nothing in the history of the median Empire corresponds to the detail that's given here.

Of the three ribs in the mouth of this beast held between its teeth.

But at the kingdom is that of the Medes and the Persians, which is the way I interpreted, then the history fits quite well because Cyrus median Persian king and his son come biases Concord first Lydian kingdom in Asia minor, which fell to Cyrus in 546 BC the child in Empire, which she overthrew in 539 BC and the kingdom of Egypt which fell to come biases in 525 BC so the details are given this particular vision fit. If you have that vision also fits in terms of the deferred of these beasts. This beast which is described as being like a leopard having four wings and four heads. This would correspond quite naturally to the Empire of the Greeks established by Alexander the great leopard is a very fast animal and the thing that was most characteristic of the Empire of the Greeks under Alexander was first the speed at which it was achieved and secondly the speed with which it disintegrated after Alexander's death in the four parts of this corresponds as I say to priests and not the Persian. Nothing in the Persian Empire would fit this particular pattern within a few years of the death of Alexander 323 BC is kingdom fractured into these four parts. First region of Greece and Macedonia under Antipater.

Seconds, the region of Thrace and Asia minor under loose Amicus bird agent with the exception of Asia minor policy number solicitors and forth. The region of Egypt and Palestine under Ptolemy. There's no way this fourfold division can be projected onto the person kingdom, it remains intact until it suddenly collapsed to Alexander in the years 334 to 332 BC then finally there's this fourth vision. This fourth piece, the one that is so ferocious and precious everything before morning to this pattern of interpretation, it would correspond of the Roman Empire, which certainly had not, nor had these others. Most of them come by the time at which Daniel wrote this prophecy. This has particular details that are not given in terms of revision of the statute which Nebuchadnezzar had. There are parallels the 10 horns of this vision correspond to the 10 toes of the earlier one.

The iron teeth in this vision correspond to the iron legs. The mixture of iron and clay of the earlier vision, but there are new details. Chief of these new details as this matter of the little horn that rises up to overthrow three of the horns of the beast, replacing moments to be understood. No doubt of the ruler displaces three kings in the confederated empire of the details of applying that are perhaps unknown to us, generally in interpretation of this vision, this little horn is understood to be the first mentioned in Scripture of figure who was later called the antichrist now in John's letters there is a reference to many antichrist are certainly many types of antichrist in the world. That is, people who set themselves up against the authority of Jesus Christ.

Try to become a substitute for him is also a special figure which is associated with the end time's first Thessalonian refers to them as a man of lawlessness that will arrive in the last days and will speak blasphemous words against God and his anointed, and seems to be what Daniel is talking about here. This would be the first instance of it that's the case more than the final details of the destruction of this empire are no doubt to be held for some future date for fulfillment that any rate, as I said this vision is followed by this wonderful vision in the habit of judgment. Judgment presided over by God in the figure of the ancient of days and it's in that context that this figure, one like the Son of Man, we understand to be the Lord Jesus Christ comes and to whom all authority and glory and sovereign power are given really very remarkable revelation, one that is to give us not only an understanding of the pattern of the outworking of the kingdoms of this world, but a way of understanding how it is that God rules history. I said a moment ago that the most obvious thing to be said about these visions is that they are parallel to Nebuchadnezzar's vision of the statue recorded in Daniel two. That is correct. But while they are parallel. They are also different in that they give a different perspective upon this world's kingdoms and the perspective is the difference between the way a man would look on the great kingdoms of the world and the way in which God looks upon the world's kingdoms. How is it that human beings look upon the great powers the great empires nations of this world well for the most part we look upon them, the way Nebuchadnezzar did, which is symbolized in his vision of the statue was stacking something impressive, especially the statue that's made out of all these precious metals. We looked upon the kingdoms of the world.

In this way, we say all the kingdoms of this world, glorious are they important. Sometimes the secular political power seduces even God's people. So we think that somehow God's kingdom is going to come through secular political me say all only we can get the right people in positions of power. Only we could get Christians elected to government well then the kingdom of God will come, I'm not trying to say that that's not good to have Christians in positions of power. I would rather have Christians there the non-Christians assuming that they have the ability to execute the role which their elected itself does not bring in the kingdom.

We just tend to look at things that way and when we do, were closer seeing things is Nebuchadnezzar saw them very secular man that we are as God sees the house of the God looks at the kingdoms of this world all here were struck by a certain ambiguity in Scripture.

That's because although God looks on kingdoms and sees them for all their weaknesses and corruption is nevertheless also the case that God is created, the kingdoms God is established, the this is what we have in the 13th chapter of Revelation were told that God has established. The authorities that exist because God is established. The authorities we are to be obedient to the authorities so the kingdoms of this world. In my perspective upon his good things, it is good to have political secular authorities always better to have order and chaos in the world but at same time God also looks at the kingdoms of this world as the corrupt instruments of power they have so often become. In other words, God looks at the kingdoms of this world in terms of the vision. Daniel received in Daniel seven far more than he does in terms of the vision, Nebuchadnezzar receiving Daniel to the case that, as you look over the many centuries of world history that the kingdoms of this world are far more often to be judged as ferocious beasts devouring that which is in their way than they are to be looked at his glorious statutes marvels of human achievement. I say this is the way God chiefly regardless world's kingdoms beast like we are closer to God's way of thinking when we see them in those terms ourselves.

Having established all about. Let me ask in brief terms.

What are the chief messages of this vision is much more to it than some of it were going to see our next study that is particularly this insight into heaven. In this vision of Jesus Christ is one like the Son of Man going to come back to them. What are the chief messages of this vision. First is the one that we've seen all along.

In Daniel indeed, it's the central message of the book that is God rules history say when you're talking about prophecy prophecy of things that are to come. The only way in which you can have such a thing. Prophecy of events yet to come. As if God rules history and determines the outcome. This is the way we think we think that we determine the outcome.

And certainly that's what Nebuchadnezzar tried to demonstrate what he set up that statue in the plain of Doral, which did not have nearly the head of gold. That was all a bowl. Nebuchadnezzar said well God has told me that my kingdom will be succeeded by a kingdom that is less glorious than mine, but stronger and just not going to be that way. I'm going to write history, not God.

And I'm going to set up the statue is a symbol of the fact that my kingdom is going to live forever. It was as if he were saying. To quote the words of this chapter that he was given authority, glory and sovereign power, and that all people's nations and men of every language worshiped him.

Of course they did God controls history and God controlled the history of Nebuchadnezzar.

His kingdom was torn down and another ruled in his stead. Same thing was true about Chancellor Bill Sizer said when he desecrated the vessels of God, taken from the temple in Jerusalem. I got some stronger when this God is God's were not stronger. As a matter fact is God's didn't even exist in God through God judged the chancery was weighed in the balances and found wanting. He was numbered and found to be inadequate in his kingdom was divided and given the beads in the Persians, we can apply that in a very personal way. You see, whenever we achieve anything in this life. It is very common for us to take the glory of our achievement to ourselves. If we are smarter than other people and succeed by virtue of our intellectual aptitude we say well we are better than other people and we take the glory to ourselves. If we make more money than other people, we say well we must have more on the ball in order to make more money than they are, therefore we are better if we have a talent that others don't have. We say we're better because we have a talent so we take a glory to ourselves, what we have to learn is that those gifts come from God.

If you're given a position of power that's given to you from God of your given wealth that's given to you from God. You have a talent that's given to you from God. The only wise not to say the honest thing to do is to acknowledge that in turn to God and say, God, if you have given me the gift and how may I properly use its in your service you see when we talk about God ruling history, God establishing history. The first thing that doesn't humble us, cause us to turn from our own arrogance to seek God's will and blessing on our lives under something else to be said of this point God rules history and that is it.

It's also comfort and care. The way the Lord Jesus Christ talk about that in his great sermon on the Mount of olives. Shortly before his arrest and crucifixion disciples wanted to know what was to come in the future and the Lord began to unfold the things that were to come in the future and it was all quite grim sometimes.

You know, we think would like to know what's in the future. It's generally better not to know that because there are often bad things in the future and that was the Casas Lord began to unfold. What would happen in history before his return he said there will be antichrist of the world that is false prophets those that go about scalding disciples themselves say I am the Christ, but actually were not the Christ said that will happen. Secondly, he said there will be wars and rumors of wars pieces not going to combine a political means are always going to be wars.

He said wickedness will increase the love of many will wax cold.

People will betray one another, all of this is going to happen and finally he said in clear reference to the book of Daniel. There is going to appear what he called the abomination of desolation that he said that's going to be so bad that whenever you see it will even stick around leave the country because terrible terrible times are coming. All that said Jesus will come upon the world before I return might say to yourself. At that point will then what was the conclusion all of those terrible times are coming, what did Jesus advised his followers to do the answer quite unexpected. My way of thinking rest in God and not be troubled. See that you be not troubled that Jesus even though all these dreadful things are coming up on their I cannot really say how can it be that were not to be troubled as long as we have parts to feel and minds degree with those were suffering. The answer you see is that God rules history, terrible times, but God is nevertheless in control even of those terrible times in his will and his purposes will be accomplished in the end, as the vision of Daniel seven shows the wicked will be judged.

The saints will rule on earth with the Lord Jesus second point of this vision is that the kingdom of God, which is the kingdom of Jesus Christ will triumph going to talk about that next time. As I indicated, yet it's worth noting that here, perhaps for the first time in the Old Testament there is a specific reference to these things, one like the Son of Man is not mentioned by that term before, one like the Son of Man appears before the ancient of days that it's to this figure, even the Lord Jesus Christ. All authority, glory and sovereign power given I'm sure you know that this term Son of Man characteristic phrase that Jesus picked up from the Old Testament to use as a reference to himself. You might well said I am the Messiah.

Generally, he didn't do that. He was asked if he was the Messiah didn't deny acknowledge that it was the case, but that wasn't the term generally used of himself. He said rather I am the Son of Man, and that breach discourse in the amount of olives, which I referred to earlier, shortly after he has told about all the horrible things to come upon this world and shortly after the verse in which he told his disciples not to be frightened. Jesus said, and in that day, even as the lightning appears suddenly flashing from the East, the West, so the Son of Man will appear to gather his elect from the four corners of the art, so use this phrase from Daniel of himself and finally this point, but only is God in control of history. And not only will the kingdom of God presided over by Jesus Christ be established and endure forever. Saints of God will also rule Jesus. That's an astonishing thing is so astonishing that Daniel himself seems to been astonished by it.

In fact, he mentions it twice, which I assume means that he takes it as being of unusual importance verse 18 but the saints of the most high will receive the kingdom and will possess it forever. Yes, forever and ever.

Then again in verse 27 then the sovereignty, power and greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be handed over to the saints, the people of the most high goes back to talk of Jesus's kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him.

That's an astonishing teaching, but it is a practical one as well. I referred her to wasted which the apostle Paul uses it practically in the New Testament.

First Corinthians chapter 6, verse 11 versus Paul is dealing with the situation of the church of Corinth in which the Christians in Corinth seems to have been going to court against one another.

Unable to resolve their differences, they appealed the secular authorities and Paul replies that this is unfortunate slander upon the name of Christ because he says don't you know that you are going to reign with Christ and eventually even to judge angels. He says if you're going to rain with Christ over the kingdoms of this world.

How was your unable to judge even trivial matters now see Paul uses this great fact that one day we will reign with Jesus in a practical way to say look you want to be able to settle differences among yourselves. As a matter of fact in this life, you should be models of everything that you would look forward to in the greatest of all human judges should be models of integrity, love, honesty, compassion and hard work. And secondly, in second Timothy second chapter verse 12 he says we endure with him.

We will also reign with him. That seems to be a promise. We endure within now, we will reign with him and it is also a warning because it seems to link the two together, says this is not if you would reign with him.

You must suffer ends endure for him. Even now the same thing the Lord Jesus Christ said in the chapter that I referred to three times already. Matthew 24 he who endures to the end be saved. Say we get saved by enduring but I gotta save us if we are joined the price then we demonstrate that that has happened.

By the way we endure through trials and temptations of this life for us apartments. You may say to yourself, as many do, but it's hard to do that. It's hard to live for the Lord Jesus Christ. Now that is true, it is hard but it was hard for Daniel. Daniel lived in the age of political and social decline was hard for Paul who made the application he lived in the days of the Roman Empire in which morality had been corrupted and political power was on its way to becoming absolute, therefore corrupting your see those men knew, as we also must know that in the power of Christ. Those who are Christ can live for him and must live for him. Even now, these vision sometimes as we look at them seem to be remote seem to refer either to kingdoms far in the past are two events which perhaps Russ Lapin far in the future. Yet, while that may well be true.

They are also visions that speak quite practically the way in which we live now and the things that we do day by day and we live for Christ.

Now, may we be found faithful servants of the Lord Jesus Christ watching for him when he doesn't last appear to spray her father. We ask for your blessing on our study granted these matters of prophecy which so often intrigue are interested in the technical secret way, I nevertheless also at the same time be quite practical for us and have a strong influence on what we do and how we think, day by day as we try to live for the Lord Jesus Christ in this world.

We pray in his name.

Amen.

You have been listening to the Bible study our production of the alliance of confessing Evangelicals lines of confessing Evangelicals exist to promote a biblical understanding and worldview. Drawing upon the insight and wisdom of Reformation theologians from decades, even centuries gone by. We seek to provide contemporary Christian teaching that will equip believers to understand and meet the challenges and opportunities of our time and place. The alliance ministry includes the Bible study are featuring Dr. James voice every last word with Bible teacher, Dr. Philip Rieke and Dr. Barnhouse in the Bible featuring Donald Gray Barnhouse.

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