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Until the End Comes

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice
The Truth Network Radio
July 24, 2020 8:00 am

Until the End Comes

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice

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July 24, 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 parent used to think and act biblically very last section of the book of Daniel might be considered by some to be something of a letdown because it's a postscript to the great final extensive and detailed vision that we find in chapter 11 verse two chapter 12 verse four our great vision was a revelation of the history of the near East from the time of Daniel up to and including the time of Jesus Christ and even beyond.

If some methods of understanding the vision are correct again's with the age of the Persians in which Daniel was living at that time describes the overthrow of the Persian Empire by the Greeks under Alexander the great division of the Greek empire of the persecutions of the Jews in the time of Antioch's epiphanies. Perhaps there's a suggestion also of the revolt of the Jews under the Maccabees and as I say I think it skips.

Of final rate and intense persecution just before the end of the world and the return of Jesus Christ at certainly is a great scope for revision.

It's exciting to deal with such things. Then we come to the last portion of the book of Daniel 12 five through the end and what we find here chiefly is Daniel who is confused by these things in search of understanding even worse than that not only is Daniel confuse the Angels are confused, particular section of the book shows the appearance of two other Angels one on one side of the river, one on the other, and one of these angels ask a question of Michael the Archangel, who has brought the revelation.

The angel asked how long will it be before these astonishing things are fulfilled.

He didn't know the time to which these events apply when Michael answers as he does, it will be for a time, times and half a time.

Daniel, who is listening still doesn't understand what he say when the angel replies to Daniel's question words are not really in the form of a greater or more extensive revelation. He doesn't really answer Daniel's question and to make matters even worse, the very end of the chapter.

The angel says something which so far as I know, no one today has conclusively explained angel speaks of a period of 1290 days, and of another. At 1335 days.

I read all the exclamations that are given for those two particular. Nobody really seems to know what they refer to both course.

Many people think they do. So what is the value of section of a profit from the Old Testament like this.

After all, while it is very practical is practical because it speaks of the characteristics of the end times and allow leaving people. Christian people are to live for God in the midst of evil that will be characteristic of those days I will either characteristics of these times. One theme of these verses is understanding the wicked who have no understanding and the righteous who, like Daniel, are seeking understanding to see that particular theme in perspective. You have to go back to the very end of the verse that immediately precedes this. This is to say, the last verse of the revelation that Michael brought Michael speaks to Daniel, they are saying Daniel close up and seal the words of the scroll and to the time of the end. Many will go here and there to increase knowledge.

Now, in Hebrew idiom that phrase going here and there signifies futile pursuit of something which always is elusive. The same sort of thing that Amos was talking about when he spoke about a famine of hearing the word of the Lord in the last days. He said people will go to the north of the South East of the West will be seeking a word from the Lord. They won't find this is what the angel is saying here in the last days. People will be frantically seeking after knowledge will be frustrated in their attempt because lacking the key to knowledge. They in the final analysis, lack true understanding I can think of anything.

The more characterizes our day than that people frantically seeking after knowledge and yet lacking understanding ours is an age of knowledge there has probably never been. In the entire history of the world. When more people move more about more things in our own time. Knowledge is a great industry in our day, yet at the same time, there has probably never been greater confusion because people were discovering to know a great deal. And yet, can lack understanding of the most fundamental things, along with the pursuit of knowledge goes that kind of confusion in which people are even asking who am I and one of my doing here and what have I been made for. I sometimes spoken of a crisis of knowledge in our day, which comes from a perception of the failure of the two main approaches to knowledge that a been known in the Western world one approaches the idea that knowledge or understanding can be achieved by the exercise of the human reason, along this has its origins in the philosophy of Plato, who said that true knowledge consists not in mere observation of things that is a chronicling of data in a perception of the ideal or essence that stands behind the thing our particular expression of that would be scientific laws to study things in science, not merely to see how they operate with the understanding of how they operate and how they will operate in the future, and the scientific laws.

The basis of your projection of what will come.

This is not a bad approach. It certainly has given us the kind of technological advance that we have known in the developed world since the Industrial Revolution. Just because it has produced certain great gains for Ross doesn't mean that it is, and also at the same time at certain great weaknesses and its increasingly evident that this pursuit of knowledge or understanding by reason alone does have these weaknesses when weakness is that it's impersonal. If reality is essentially an equation in reality is essentially impersonal and everything that exists is impersonal, including persons. That means, of course, that you can treat persons in personally in a quite proper and that kind of universe. Communism is one example of this communism sees the development of history in terms of impersonal economic factors and it has no difficulty at all manipulating people, even killing people in order to achieve the ends of the communist revolution. We have the same thing. Certain forms of behavioral psychology.

BF Skinner of Harvard University is one example. He things we can afford freedom and dignity anymore.

What we have to do is manipulate people scientifically, sociologically, for some imagined greater good of society. In other words, people are just machines.

And that's the way there to be treated. This approach to reality has set great thing to weakness and also as a weakness in regard to ethics as were discovering in our day. The scientific method. Reason is we analyze the world and tell us how things are.

But I can't really tell us how things ought to be sociology. As an example, it can analyze the problems of our society, but it can really say on the basis of the method itself should not, what kind of view or vision society should prevail. So you have a great touch ethical vacuum in a world that we talk about social concerns and we tried to express a kind of ethical concern for society and other people, but we lack the kind of morality within that would make it all possible is another approach to knowledge in our time, which is somewhat of a reaction against first we had generation within recent memory that has revolted against that kind of an approach and has said if it's not possible to get to the heart of things to reality by the exercise of the reason alone will then maybe we can do it through the heart. If we can't get there from the mind or the head. Let's use the heart. Let's try emotional experience so you had a great deal of experimentation along this line. The influx and growth of the Eastern religions which are chiefly experiential is one expression of lack experimentation with sexual freedom is another druggists is 1/3 the drug culture, particularly as spoken of coming in touch with reality through mine expanding drug-induced experiences. I get to see their weaknesses here so it's not to say that emotion is bad because God is made as emotional beings, but their weaknesses.

Nonetheless, our approach to reality is through emotional experience and that is never going to be a lasting or stable thing because emotions come and go, pies, and we have lows and you can't build upon that and in addition I kind of thing doesn't the final analysis, satisfy the mind generation or half a generation ago when people were talking about the mind expanding influence of drugs slows put that forward like Timothy Leary were saying well your mind is expanded to see things and perceive things that you never even dreamed of before. But when you ask that person afterwards. What is it that you received through the drug experience was very hard to give any kind of rational content to it. In fact, it was said to be non-rational. But it just didn't satisfy my so what we have in our day, in my judgment. In spite of this great concern for knowledge that is characterized our time is a crisis in the very area of knowledge people are saying one hand, that the approach to reality through reason alone doesn't work in the approach to reality through emotional experience along doesn't work. Isn't it possible that somewhere there is 1/3 way. That of course is what Christianity offers and offers 1/3 way and I third way is based upon the Christian conviction that reality is God's stands behind all is the author source of reason.

He is the author and source of emotional experience, but he is greater than either of the two. Therefore, real wisdom or understanding consists in the knowledge of him.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge of the holy one is understanding said wise old King Solomon in Proverbs 910. That's what Christianity maintains. Moreover, Christianity says that this approach to knowledge or understanding is strong at precisely the points at which the other approaches are weak.

The approach by reason alone is weak because it's impersonal and because it doesn't give an adequate basis for ethics well. This is exactly what you have in Christianity, the approach to understanding Christianity is personal because it's the knowledge of God was the personal God of God reveals himself to us by name.

He loves and cares for us. He has ultimately come to us in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ to die for our salvation.

We have an ethical basis in Christianity because this one true and personal God is also the holy God and his character is the basis for both personal and social ethics returned to the other approach the approach through emotional experience and its weaknesses. The fact that it's passing and that it doesn't satisfy the mind while the Christian God is the answer varies well because God is the eternal God.

He is the same yesterday today and forever. He says I am the Lord.

I changed my bill not only a lifetime but an eternity upon him, and he satisfies the mind because this God reveals himself not merely by emotional experiences but to our minds propositional in the pages of his written work. This of course is what Daniel and righteous of his time and hours were to know and understand. So as I say the first characteristic of these last days is this frantic pursuit of knowledge without finding second thing that is mentioned here and that is that the final days are days of great wickedness that is already implied in the first part of the chapter in reference to a final judgment, but it's express also clearly in verse 10 there is reference there to the righteous.

Many will be purified, made spotless and refined, but that same verse goes on to say the wicked will continue to be wicked. None of the wicked will understand the words evil is going to continue right up until the time of our words return is very significant. Each of the New Testament writers one way or another, acknowledges that fact.

I think particularly of policy rights.

Perhaps his last book, the young man, Timothy, his successor, and warns about what is coming in the last days third chapter about what does it all says there will be terrible times in the last day people will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, and wholly without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash seated, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God having a form of godliness but denying its power. We read a list like that happened are instant reactions to say Lord's parents were never living in such days yet when I read over that list strikes me that our age is characterized by precisely those things.

I don't believe that were living in that final period of great persecution and wickedness just before the Lord's return.

Though we may be what we are nevertheless living in evil days in these words aptly describe our age as well as many other periods of history we give different names to its people will be lovers of themselves, we we turn that into what we call narcissism, which we think is an entirely bad weave and glorified forms of the cultural heroes of the world, lovers of money is materialism, but we build a whole culture upon that now. Materialism, our businesses wouldn't prosper, boastful, proud, abusive, we call that letting it all hang out were supposed to do it disobedient to parents, we call it the generation gap and salon it. It's true, all those other things given different names and when we give them different names. We put them in categories that make them as we think a bit more acceptable to ourselves but nevertheless this is an expression of the wickedness of the last days. I look at our age. It strikes me that it is a very short stop if indeed we need any staff at all go from the evil of our times to the evil of that final age just before the final judgment of the Bible tells us how we get that way. Now the progression is made in Romans one is all about Romans one says that people nation or culture are blessed and prospered. To the extent that they seek to know God as a source of all good so to know God is to know the good and grown to become like good if we won't have that if will turn from God rejecting his person and his ways is Romans one. As we all do. Apart from his grace toward us in Jesus Christ and we cut ourselves off from the good we cut ourselves off from the good we entered upon a downhill course which Paul describes very accurately in that chapter 3 times over. He says that God gave them up each time he says what God gave them up to God gave them up to sexual sins. God gave them up to sexual perversions, and finally verses 28 to 31 he says God gave them up to disobedient and reprobate mind, according to which they so change things that which is really good. They call Brad and things that are really bad they call good I say II hardly know anything that better describes our own time where that which is virtuous, wholesome and uplifting and edifying and spiritual and good is actually ridiculed, called old-fashioned and bad in something that no one in their right mind certainly no sophisticated modern person. Whatever want to do on the other hand, those things which are evil.

The grading those things we call good though of course we give them other names we call it self-expression, honesty matter of choice or alternate lifestyle or whatever it maybe we we use terms that make it acceptable. What we really are doing is renaming thing. According to the analysis that Paul gives there in Romans one that really is the lowest point in the degradation of the society.

Here is Angel telling Daniel than the last times those of the things that we present one of these final verses, however, is not to describe the end times that has been done already, and Daniel certainly understood the evil of his own day you live through it rather to tell how believing people are to live for God.

In spite of the evil number things are suggested first thing is God's people are to live by the revelation of God. I think this is the meaning of the angel's words to Daniel regarding sealing up the words of the scroll. Sometimes when we read that what we get in our minds is that this sealing up of the scroll to the time of the end means that somehow Daniel was to close it up seal it so nobody could get to it, hide it and then perhaps at the time of the end. The scroll would be brought out the seal broken and the truths that are written in the scroll rent is the mental image we have, but that's obviously not what's involved because that didn't happen to Daniel.

Daniel was known and read and it has been present as part of the canon of Scripture from the time of Daniel tomorrow days and will be until the Lord returns would doesn't mean that Gleason Archer suggests in his commentary is that setting the seal on the scroll and laying it up really involved.

Not the hiding of the scroll, but the authentic dating of the scroll is a divine revelation.

You put your seal on something you're saying that the genuine document and that's an accent says great Old Testament commentator. The Daniel was to seal the scroll he was the lie it up as a true revelation from God, and that means that he was to live by it in his days. Just as we are to live by these truths and hours, but you know, even if it is prohibitive. It might be true.

Daniel was told to lay up the scroll and some kind of hidden sense we can help.

In that case, but contrast what the angel tells Daniel in the last chapter of his book with what the angel of the Lord tells the apostle John in the last chapter of his book the book of Revelation, which is the closest New Testament parallel the book of Daniel in the Old Testament didn't chapter the angel tells the apostle John, do not seal up the words of this prophecy because the time is I we live.

After the time of John.

So, if John was not to seal up the words of prophecy if they were to be open for his and every subsequent age than they are open boxes. Well, it may well be that there are things in Scripture that are hidden from our eyes. Certainly prophecies the concern the future. Our best dimly perceived by those who have not yet lived through those times together doesn't mean that these things are not for us the word of God by the decree of God is opens for our benefit and our learning windings are way if we study this book if we immerse ourselves in it and for my thought pattern decisions of our lives by what we find there. That's the first thing that Daniel was told to do. The second thing is that the people of God are to live righteous lives and reflect his glory even in the wicked age.

Daniel was told by the angel that in those last days, those evil times. Many will be purified, made spotless and refine earlier very end of the revelation that concludes in the first four verses of chapter 12.

Angel says those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens.

Those who lead many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever and ever.

Bible talks about the people of God shining what it means by the images that they are to reflect God's glory there to be like Moses.

As a result of the time he spent with God in the holy mountain. Moses was with the Lord in very close proximity and while he was there something of the glory of God transferred itself in the face of Moses. So when he came down the mountain's face shone with the transferred brilliance to such an extent that the people could barely stand to look upon him, and Moses had the covered his face with a bail in order that he could talk to the people. Apostle Paul picks up on that story from the book of Exodus and second Corinthians, and says yes that's the way it is when we spend time with the Lord our places to our to show forth his glory.

We are to reflect his brilliance to the world. Sometimes we do that well sometimes we do not so well like the moon when the sun goes down at night and the moon is present in the sky. The moon is shining, but it isn't shining by its own light shining because it reflects the light of the sun.

Sometimes the full moon and it's just a splendid thing.

The light is so bright you can see your way, quite clearly, other times, the pneumonia could hardly see it all tiny little sliver and we don't know whether it's a waxing and waning sliver and that's the way it is with Christian people when we have our faces turned fully to the Lord Jesus Christ and we reflect his glory, and a maximum way to RA those around us. When we turn away we turn aside when were glancing at our Lord, out of the corner of RI rather than straight ahead, well then we may reflect a little bit of his glory. But diminished, and people can't tell whether it's growing or whether it fading away. Our call is to shine as the angel said wise and the righteous are to do in those days. One last thing. Last thing the angel tells Daniel is to persevere very last verses is for you, go your way until the end, knowing that the beer again you will rise in the resurrection to receive your allotted inheritance angel and promised Daniel that he would see great success in his day the angel never told Daniel that he would convert the king of Babylon, or when all the nobles to God side and as a matter of fact he didn't and you didn't even tell them that he would be blessed by returning to Jerusalem where his heart was in the direction which he prayed three times a day, that was for Daniel, but Daniel nevertheless was God's man in an ungodly place and he was the bears witness and do it to the very end mowing that the variance after you die, was raised again. He would receive reward. I don't what the Lord has in store for us.

Sometimes God blesses in history and we see great fruit as we try to witness and live for Christ. Other times it's not that way. Sometimes we do what we should do we bear the witness. The best we can. Don't see the fruit but that's all right. Those things are in God's plan. What we are called upon to be as faithful and we are called upon to do is serve him and to serve him. That's our joy is our great opportunity. Our father, we confess that an evil times it's hard to stand so easy to drift with the culture to go in the world's way and to take our lives away from you to think that we're why this because were sophisticated and to forget that wisdom comes from the knowledge of the most time our father, we would pray that you would give us grace to see things properly do what we should do and persevere under the end the sake of Jesus Christ, whom we desire to serve and whom to know his life eternal right in his now a man. 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 are 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 could 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.

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