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End of an Era

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice
The Truth Network Radio
July 20, 2020 8:00 am

End of an Era

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice

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July 20, 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 our radio and Internet Ministry of the alliance 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 bearing you to think and act biblically number of years ago when I began to preach through the book of Daniel. For the first time. One of the elders of 10th Presbyterian Church asked me after the beginning of the series are you going to do the second half of the book. Normally that would be very strange question because a book study presumably involves the second half of the book as well as the first laugh and because it's my normal pattern to preach through entire books of the Bible systematically in this case it wasn't a strange question all first half of Daniel is quite different from the second half and there are many people who because of this difference and because of the nature of the second half of Daniel question whether there is any value in studying it carefully. If at all. Reason for this is that the first half is narrative in the second half is prophetic how it's true that there's some overlap first half, which is narrative also involves prophecy, the chief example of that is the great dream of the statue of the Nebuchadnezzar habits recorded in chapter 2 that is dream which was intended to forecast the history of four successive world Gentile empires yet it's nevertheless the case that that first half of the book is chiefly narrative and that the vision itself is set in the context of the narrative to show how Daniel and his three friends cope with it.

Message of the first half of the book has to do with the way three or four godly men lived and triumphed in the midst of a hostile pagan environment. Most of us live in a hostile pagan environment. So when we turn to the first half of Daniel is not at all difficult to understand it and to see how the lessons of portion of the book apply to ourselves when we come to the second half.

It's not quite like that. This is prophetic. As I sat now true there are historical elements that still Daniel Lewis having the visions and he tells when he had limited bits within the history that has already been elaborated in the first chapters but starlets chiefly prophecy and the difficulty here is that first, we have difficulty even understanding the prophecy.

Second, even when we understand that we sometimes also have difficulty in knowing how to apply it to ourselves what bearing after all. Does succession of visions involving strange animals have to do with us and we really get excited about a little horn replaces three other horns or rocks grow up to be mountains and such things well. There are portions of this that are difficult to understand that I acknowledge that what I would like to show as we enter into the second half of this book is that not all of the symbolism is all that difficult. Much of it. We can understand quite readily and there are many important practical lessons that we can take to ourselves. I wear dealing with the eighth chapter in the eighth chapter.

Daniel has a vision of two more animals as a vision of RAM, which for a time dominates the near East, and then he has a vision of a goat comes along from the West flying so fast that it's feet barely touched the ground in this goat destroys RAM and takes over the Rams territory. This is explained second half of the chapter tells us that this heavenly being in need an angel's name is given, the angel Gabriel comes and explains what this is about RAM represents the kingdom of the Medes and the Persians goat represents Greece and its kingdom and as soon as we have that interpretation given.

We recognize at once that this vision of chapter 8 is an elaboration of a portion of the visions that were given earlier that is the vision of the statue was given the Nebuchadnezzar and the vision of the four animals was given to Daniel himself, which he records in chapter 7 Nebuchadnezzar statue had for parts. It was the golden had represented the kingdom of Babel and self was embodied in Nebuchadnezzar. And then there was the upper portion of the body. The arms of the chest of silver represented the kingdom of the Medes and the Persians.

It would be established by Darius and there was a lower middle portions of the statue made abroad existed for Greece. Finally, there was the legs and feet that were made of iron ladder portions of that made of iron mixed with plan that stood from well as soon as we have the interpretation of the vision of chapter 8, we realize the RAM correspondence to the portion of the statue made of silver go corresponds to the portion of the statue made of bronze. Indeed, there are some clear similarities. When we begin to match them up, we see that the same individuals of the same kingdom characteristics are embodied in the details in the same way the beasts of chapter 7 corresponds in two instances.

To these two new animals that are given and chapter 7 Daniel had a vision of animals. The first of which was like a lion second was like a bear. The third was like a leopard, and then the fourth was like no known lease, then these four animals represent the same four kingdoms are represented earlier by the portions of the statue. So if we begin to match up the vision of chapter 8 with the vision of chapter 7 we see that the RAM correspondence to the bear go corresponds to leopard silently, look at chapter 7 that the characteristic of the leopard is that it was fast. That's exactly the characteristic that is emphasized in this vision in chapter 8 goat sped along so quickly that it's feet barely touched the ground and easy to understand. This has to do with Alexander the great who was remarkable for the speed of his conquests usually in these days that kingdom would be established by degrees, as one nation gradually grew powerful enough to subdue a neighbor then after a time of consolidation strong enough to subdue another neighbor, and so on. Alexander's conquest were not like that three years Alexander spread from having consolidated the kingdoms of Greece with total conquest of the Persian Empire. This was so striking in the near East that it's natural that these various aspects of visions for talent. What we have in chapter 8 is as I said earlier. Further elaboration of these things. One thing when the vision begins to talk about the goat.

Emphasis is made upon one large horn of the goat which stands for Alexander that's broken off, replaced by four other horns and those for other horns clearly represent the division of the Greek empire after the death of Alexander the great, Babel, and when he was only 33 years of age entire Greek empire divided up into four parts, and the subsequent history of that portion of the world is determined by those who became the rulers of those for portions of the Empire out. So far so good. When I ask, however, it's a natural question why Daniel is already given a foretaste of all these many hundreds of years of Gentile world history.

In chapter 2 in chapter 70 should now focus in a particular way of on the details of the second and third of these four world kingdoms. Why the emphasis one partial answer to that and I think a very significant answer would come immediately to anyone who was attempting to read this book of Daniel in the original languages as a languages because as I pointed out near the beginning of this study the book of Daniel is unlike any other biblical book that I know of, and that it written into different languages.

The first chapter the second chapter. As far as first three are written in Hebrew. After that, beginning with the fourth verse of chapter 2. Language used is Aramaic that continues through the seventh chapter, but here the eighth chapter of the beginning of the list and description of the vision that were now studying the book turns back to Hebrew in Hebrew is used on through the remainder of the book to the very end of chapter 12.

Why is that I say that's unlike any other biblical book certainly calls for some explanation. The only exclamation I know the only explanation so far as I know that has occurred to scholars and commentators on the book is that Daniel wrote portions of the book in different languages to correspond the language of the people to whom that portion of the book is principally directed towards the wrote chapters 2 through seven in Aramaic because Aramaic was the chief Gentile language of the day. This is a portion of the book deals with the Gentiles. It gives why overview of Gentile world history leading up to the establishment of the kingdom of God through Jesus Christ the Messiah to come. When he gets to chapter 8 begins to write thereof these two special kingdoms which he gives significant detail rights in Hebrew because he's concerned there chiefly with the Jews. In other words, this is a way of saying that this eighth chapter deals with a special era of Jewish history and era of Jewish history that began in the time of Daniel and continued as we would say up through the time of the Maccabees and which ended in some significant ways. With the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ you have your description of an era and end of an era and anticipation of that new era of Gentile and Jewish blessing, which we know as the church age. Now there's one additional significant detail in this chapter that has occurred earlier and this is the amount of information given about another little horn information is given, beginning with verse nine the end of the initial prophecy and then it's explained later by Gabriel as he interprets the entire vision to Daniel who says doesn't understand these things I say another little horn, because in the seventh chapter. There is also a little horn, and in my judgment, it would be a mistake to confuse or identify the two. Some scholars have done this, but I think that's wrong. Soon as you study the details of these two chapters you see all of the same images you little horn horn representing a ruler. The two come from different settings and have two entirely different careers. The seventh chapter. The little horn expansion is identified as coming up out of the divided Roman Empire. If the last of the animals it's represented there is the Roman Empire than the 10 horns represent a divided Roman Empire.

Just as the 10 toes of the statue represent a divided Roman Empire and but were told in that context is that there came up after those 10 horns another little horn, who replaced three of the other horns that would seem to be that this ruler destroys three of the kings of this divided Roman Empire and takes over their territory to some difficulty with understanding some of the details of that, but there's no doubt that it relates to the Empire of Rome is not the case when we come to Daniel H, here's another little horn, this little horn doesn't have anything to do with Roman Empire. Instead, it has to do with the Greek empire. Moreover, when we begin to study the campaign or work of this particular ruler, we see that he has nothing to do with other rulers is very treacherous, wicked ruler, but he doesn't exercise his treachery against other kings or other states. Instead, he exercises it against the Jewish people, which is manifest in the desecration of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. The repression of the worship and persecution of the people of God, who is this individual long as we "identify apps with the Greek empire don't make a mistake of identifying it with a Roman Empire there's really very little doubt this little horn refers to a Greek king. The eighth and the Seleucid dynasty's name was Annie Arcus the fourth was given the surname epiphanies. This is a particularly evil character and history. This man was out to conquer all the land he could and do so by conquest. He began by usurping the throne from his nephew, son of his older brother solutions. The fourth, immediately after that he launch widespread military campaigns.

He invaded Egypt successfully for a time in the year 1781 69 BC. At one point he was repulsed by a Roman commander in Egypt came back to Palestine. Frustrated and took out his anger and frustration against the Jews of Jerusalem took the city by intrigue set his own general and the office of the city with 20,000 men set up statute to Zeus in the courtyard of the Jewish temple he sacrifice swine flash upon the great altar which was the greatest possible affront that could be given to Judaism and then he instituted a program of persecution in which Jewish worship was forbidden. The Jews were forbidden the circumcision of their male children and in which it became a crime even to possess a copy of the Jewish Scriptures. This was the greatest. A persecution the Jews had ever known. So Annie Arcus epiphanies became a symbol of a particularly wicked ruler is desecration of the temple was known as the abomination of desolation and that in itself became a term for something particularly evil to be done of that or any other time.

It's a phrase that Lord Jesus Christ himself picked up. It was sort of a common phrase Hebrew speech was picked up by Jesus said was used to refer to something similar and additional abomination of desolation that would come in at the very end of history before our Lord's second coming for his return. I say this is a very significant thing soon as we begin to understand who this little horn was we understand why these chapters, and indeed the chapters to follow focus particularly on the Jews. This is a period of history that is to culminate in a time of great persecution when we get to the end of the chapter we find Daniel writing about his own experience in reaction to the vision we find him saying that he was exhausted lady. Ellie was appalled at all of this was because the vision was beyond his understanding running when Daniel says that the vision was beyond his understanding. He doesn't mean to say that he didn't understand the identification of the various symbols of the vision involved. After all, Gabriel was there to explain it to him. He couldn't event that what he meant was he couldn't understand why this teacher of such terrible persecution should be given why this time should come.

Daniel says he was appalled. I understand them to mean that he was appalled and exactly the same way you and I would be appalled if God for some reason should lift the veil on future history and show us a time of horrible tribulation that would come about our people, or upon the earth. Generally, how what I said about the interpretation of this chapter corresponds to the first problem I raised at the beginning the beginning I said how can we hope to enjoy this portion of Daniel. If we can even understand it and I said well, not all parts of the symbolism are that difficult and I believe it least that these portions are fairly plain second question I asked was how can we related to ourselves. Even assuming that we can understand this. What does it have to do with us. We can read about Daniel being appalled by the vision we can understand why after all concerned his people at time of great persecution was coming. That's all past our interpretation of this particular chapter is correct. If it's past well and how can it possibly have any bearing upon us. What is it have to do with the way we live the way we think. Now, whether number of ways, which has bearing upon us, some of those were going to see as we go on with the remainder of our studies. Let me suggest to two areas of application first predictive prophecy when it comes true as the predictive prophecy of the Bible does teach is that the God of the Bible is the true God see the reason why the predictive prophecy of the Bible. Like the details of this chapter come true is that the God who stands behind it also stands behind history of the sovereign over the movements of history is in truth.

Human beings sometimes we have human beings and try to guess what's going to happen.

I would wager that most of the alleged prophecies of soothsayers, whether of the past of the present fall under this category. Just a question of people making true gases. I know people who make no claim to prophetic insight to our very shrewd guessing about things that are going to carbon.

Sometimes I'm quite amazed. I say well I think so-and-so is going to happen. Sure enough, it does. But human gases are always gases because history is complex, and human beings are exceedingly complex here. Gases never work out 100% control of the Bible. These details are given concerning prophecy and in the kingdoms of the world and Daniel and other places of the Scripture work out elaborate detail. The only reason that happens, the only basis upon which it is possible is that the God understands behind the prophecies and gives them is the God controls history. History works out that way because God sees the dots interesting. You know the God himself makes that argument in reference to the alleged pagan gods in the book of Isaiah 41st chapter of Isaiah versus 21 to 24 God speaks to the false gods and challenges them to do something worthy of their claim to be God's.

And here's the way God speaks present your case set forth your arguments bringing your idols to tell us what's going to happen. Tell us what the former things were so that we may consider them another final outcome or declare to us the things to come, tell us what the future holds so that we may know that you are God's do something God says whether good or bad, so that we will be dismayed and filled with fear, you are less than nothing in your works are utterly worthless. Eat who chooses you is detestable. The argument of course is playing the heathen gods are unable to predict the future because in reality they are not God's. God can and does predict the future because he is the one true sovereign God and Lord of history and secondly there's this application. Predictive prophecy proves that the Bible is the true and trustworthy revelation of this true God. To say when God speaks through his prophets as he does speak through his prophets and when these prophecies come true. We have evidence that the true God stands behind the prophecies that the prophecies indeed, in all their parts of all the writings are true because that true God is trustworthy is a great illustration of this in the book of first Kings.

Toward the end which involves a little-known prophet by the name of Michalak Kyle was a prophet in Israel. The days of the divided kingdom and he was decidedly a minority Ahab was king at the time Ahab was a wicked king and Ahab had a large number of court prophets who, whenever prophecy was needed came and said precisely what the king needed read at the beginning of the chapter that tells the story first Kings 20 2 AM to get in the mind to go out in battle against the king of Aram and try to annex the border territory of Raymond Gilead he needed help, so he called up Josip at who was the king of Judah in the south, two of them combined forces decided to go out against this pagan king. Now Ahab was ready to do it without any questions Josip that had a little more spiritual sensitivity. So he said now before we go to be a good idea if we would inquire of the Lord Ahab said all right. I'm glad to do that. I have a number of court prophets fiercely call them all out for hundred of them and when they came, he asked him the question should I go out to war against Raymond Gilead, or should I reframe how they were paid by the king and with her paycheck came from and with the King wanted, so they gave the answer.

The king wanted to hear.

They said go ahead attack God will give Raymond Gilead to the king, so I have said all right there you are now Josip that I guess I have to paraphrase at this point, Josip. That said, one I don't want to be sticky here but I noticed that those 400 prophets are not particularly devout and I doubt whether they are really prophets of Jehovah.

Traditional historical God of our people.

I wonder now I don't want to be sticky and if you think but it's not necessary I'll go with you but just to satisfy me. Wouldn't it be possible to find a prophet of the Lord somewhere so we could inquire of him to have any of those in the northern kingdom and Ahab had a funny answer.

He said yes as a matter of fact, even after all these years, there is still one man through whom we can inquire of the Lord then explain why he hadn't invited him. He said, but I hate him because he never prophesies anything good about me always bad piece Michalak, the son of Emma and the Josip that said well if you don't mind I would like to hear him. So Ahab said all right, all right. So he called the messenger he said go get Michalak now in order to understand what happens at this point, you have to understand something of the geography of Samaria, Samaria is a city situated on a ridge of the mountain high above the plaintiff, surrounded by a great wall of the one road that leads out into with through a massive gate at road leads into the city square and outside it makes its way down the side of the ridge mountain in a way that anybody in the city could observe so anybody coming into the city could be seen in anybody going out to be seen all the armies were in the city so you have all the armies.

The 400 false prophets of the two kings watching as this one messenger went down the road through the gate along the ridge of the hill and down to find Michalak told the story that we got to Michalak. He said to Michalak.

Now what this is a loaded situation there all ready decided to go out to battle you, I suggest you know what's good for you but you tell the king what he needs to hear Michalak's response was I going to say what the Lord tells me to say it was a true prophet when he got there, it was really dramatic. It's a scene right out of Sus will be the Mills Bible epics. All these vast posts are there and they're waiting on this messenger goes down the hill and gets Michalak and then they're waiting on Michalak comes back up Michalak rose along the ridge through the gate into the court near the Army's and the false prophets.

The two kings and Ahab says all right let's have you would expect Michalak to be somewhat calm by the situation instead of that I really like him. At this point he has enough gumption to make fun of the king said he doesn't by quoting the words of the false prophets exactly. He says all why word is this go out against Raymond Gilead because you will surely forbear and Ahab knows better than that. He said too much of Michalak in the past and so he rebukes them. He said to him, didn't I say to tell exactly what the Lord has told you and so Michalak answers. I saw all Israel scattered on the hills like sheep without a shepherd. And the Lord said, these people have no master, but each one go home in peace know they have been at that point Ahab turned the Josip that it was sitting next to him and said, didn't I tell you that he never prophesies anything good about me, but only bad Michalak had spoken word of the Lord. Michalak elaborated Sally armies were going to be defeated. How Ahab was going to be killed, and how the people would be scattered everyone to his own town, Ahab did what kings do with unpopular profits. He lock them up room in prison without the battle anyway with Josip that the armies of Israel were defeated.

Ahab was killed and the people of Israel were scattered so that's how you know whether prophecy is a true prophecy or not you know it by whether or not it comes true. Prophecies of the Bible do come true and they show not only that the God of the Bible is true God show that the Bible is the true and trustworthy revelation that true God. I wish every Christian would really know that and live by it. We tend to take the Bible likely we want to say well I know it says that or we say well maybe it applies to someone else, but not to me but we have to learn is that this is God's word is abiding as God is abiding and it speaks to us. We are wise if we obey it and seek in love to serve that one true God who was thus given us a revelation. Let us pray father was these truths to our hearts and grandpa we might grow as we continue in these days and throughout our lives to study the word that you have given Jesus. You have been listening to the Bible study our production of the alliance of confessing Evangelicals the alliance 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 our featuring Dr. James voice every last word with Bible teacher, Dr. Philip Rieke and Dr. Barnhouse in the Bible featuring Donald Gray Barnhouse. For more information on the alliance including a full list of radio stations carrying our programs or to make a contribution. Please contact us by calling toll-free 1-800-488-1888.

Again, that's 1-800-488-1888. You can also write the alliance at Box 2000, Philadelphia, PA 19103 four you can visit us online at www.alliancenets.org ask for your free resource catalog featuring books, audio teachings, commentaries, booklets, videos, and a wealth of other materials from outstanding reformed teachers and theologians, including Donald Barnhouse, James voice and Philip Rieke. Thank you again for your continued support and


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