Revelation Series #1
Fred R. Coulter—September 10, 2005

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Before I get into the series in Revelation, I want to do some background with the book of Daniel. However, before we get to the book of Daniel, let's look at some things in the New Testament that are important for us to understand, because there are certain things that God has reserved to Himself and there are certain things that God reveals to His Church.

As we have seen in the past—not only within the Church but within many churches in the world—how many ministers make all kinds of pronouncements as to when Christ is going to return, when the Tribulation is going to begin and all these things have ended up being wrong! When you're dealing with prophecy the things that you don't know you need to admit that you don't know! You cannot be dogmatic about the subject, or about it, because of specifically what Christ told the disciples right here in Acts, the first chapter.

There are certain things that only God the Father knows and Jesus Christ knows and are in the authority of God the Father. That being so, no man is going to tell God what to do! When to do is God's authority and not any authority that He gave to any man. It's just that simple!

How many people have appointed themselves, or others, as the two witnesses? That's God's authority, not man's authority! How many people have proclaimed themselves to be Elijah, both in the Churches of God, churches of the world and within Judaism? There have been problems within the Churches of God, the churches of the world, and the Jews have a great problem, because people come and say, I'm Jeremiah; I'm Isaiah; I'm Elijah and so forth. It just shows how people get so wrapped up in prophecy that they want to fulfill it themselves when it is not their business to fulfill.

Acts 1:4: "And while they were assembled with Him, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem but to 'await the promise of the Father, which,' He said, 'you have heard of Me. For John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit after not many days.' So then, when they were assembled together, they asked Him, saying, 'Lord, will You restore the kingdom to Israel at this time?' And He said to them, 'It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father has placed in His own authority'" (vs 4-7). There are certain things that are reserved to God.
Let's see what else Jesus said concerning this. All of this is going to be important when we get to the book of Daniel, and also as it ties in with the book of Revelation.

Mark 13:28: "But learn the parable of the fig tree: When its branches become tender, and it puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. In the same way also, when you see these things coming to pass, know that it is near, even at the doors. Truly I say to you, this generation shall in no way pass away until all these things have taken place" (vs 28-30). {note sermon: The Two Generations—there was a partial fulfillment of it with the destruction of Jerusalem}

As a matter of fact, , the only way you can understand Matt. 24, Mark 13, Luke 21 is in the last generation before Christ returns. And too many times, because people violate the authority of the Father and try and take it to themselves to make things happen quickly—and we've seen this for purposes of money, merchandizing brethren, the vanity of the ministers involved, etc.—then they violate what God has said. Obviously, they're going to be wrong.

Verse 31: "The heaven and the earth shall pass away, but My words shall never pass away." We can rely on the Word of God; we can rely on Christ. It's going to be fulfilled.

Verse 32: "But concerning that day and the hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only." That's why Christ did not know until after He was resurrected and the Father gave Him the revelation of Revelation (as we find in the first few verses) then it was understood!

Verse 33: "Take heed, be watching and praying…."

  • we need to be alert
  • we need to watch our lives
  • we need to watch the events in the world

Only Christ and the Father know. The angels only know when they're told to do certain things.

The whole point is this: Whatever understanding of prophecy we have must be revealed!

Let's see that from the time of what Jesus said in Mark 13 and Acts 1 God did reveal things to the apostles and prophets of the New Testament Church. Then we will see what Paul wrote to the Thessalonians, showing that we do know some things, but we don't know everything. We need to keep that in mind.

When Paul wrote Ephesians it had to be back in about 61-62A.D., when he was still in prison in Rome under house arrest. At that time, God revealed things to him that He hadn't up to that point.

Ephesians 3:1: "For this cause I, Paul, am the prisoner of Christ Jesus for you Gentiles, if indeed you have heard of the ministry of the grace of God that was given to me for you; how He made known to me, by revelation, the mystery…" (vs 1-3). That's the secret of God. Within the secret of God is also the mystery of understanding prophecy.

"…(even as I wrote briefly before, so that when you read this, you will be able to comprehend my understanding in the mystery of Christ), which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His Holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit" (vs 3-5). So, it has to be revealed!

That ties in with what Jesus said. Christ came to reveal the Father (Matt. 11:25), and to reveal the Father means you reveal the plan of GodHis secret—that He only reveals to those whom He calls; gives us understanding of prophecy—to a certain point. But like Paul wrote: 'we see through a glass darkly!' Seeing through a glass darkly we can see and understand some things.

Today we have an opportunity to understand more things in the future. Not necessarily completely, but because we have an historical perspective, we can look back at the past. What did they say in the past? How is your vision when you look back at something done? 20/20! Looking into the future, you're looking through a glass darkly, which means you probably have 10/500 vision! Meaning you don't understand everything, and only as God reveals it!

  • this applies to doctrine
  • this applies to the knowledge of God
  • this applies to the knowledge of God's plan
  • this applies to prophecy

There's a lot we need to understand!

1-Corinthians 2:7: "Rather, we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery… [to the world] …even the hidden wisdom that God foreordained before the ages unto our glory." That's the whole plan of God. The whole plan of God includes fulfillment of prophecy. The whole plan of God is based upon the framework on which the whole plan of God hangs: the Sabbath, Passover and Holy Days! Those give us some understanding and some discernment of not only the plan of God and the forgiveness of sin, but also of prophecy.

Verse 8: "Which not one of the rulers of this world has known… [and they still don't know] …(for if they had known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory); but according as it is written, 'The eye has not seen, nor the ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for those who love Him'" (vs 8-9). Very important thing! If you don't love God, all bets are off. Remember that! Loving God is more important than anything else!

  • then you will love the brethren
  • then you will love your neighbor as yourself
  • then when it's God's time to reveal prophecies, you will know

When do we need to know? When God wants us to know! Whendid Lot know that he was going to leave Sodom? When the angels came and said, 'We're leaving!' It wasn't revealed to him before. Only when it came time to go.

Now, let's understand something here concerning everything of God. God has revealed them to us by His Spirit. 'Not by might nor by power, by My Spirit' (Zech. 4), and 'the 'Spirit searches all things even the deep things of God.' Some of the deep things of God have to do with understanding the purpose of life, understanding the Scriptures, but also understanding prophecy. We can say understanding prophecy is one of the deepest things of God, because how many failures of interpretations have there been by men down through time?

In writing the book Occult Holidays or God's Holy Days—Which? what is evident is this: Many—especially the prophecies concerning Trumpets, Atonement, Tabernacles and the Last Great Day—could not have been understood without the book of Revelation—period! Which tells us that all commentaries that do not understand portions of the book of Revelation do not understand prophecies. It's that simple! The Truth!

Verse 11: "For who among men understands the things of man except by the spirit of man which is in him? In the same way also, the things of God no one understands except by the Spirit of God." That is a key! God has to show it! God has to reveal it! We'll see that He gave to the apostles great understanding of His plan.

With the understanding that comes, we are given a certain amount of understanding from God. But not the times and the seasons that God has reserved for His own authority until the time comes that God wants to reveal it.

1-Thessalonians 5:1—this shows we have some understanding: "Now then, concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, there is no need that I write to you." They had a certain understanding of the times and seasons. This does not contradict what Jesus said in Acts 1, this just shows that by the time we come to this point of what Paul is writing about, they had a certain understanding of prophecy that was not available to them, because God had not revealed it to them; because the Father had not yet let be revealed.

They have a certain revelation here, v 2: "For you yourselves understand perfectly that the day of the Lord will come exactly as a thief comes by night." This could not happen until all of the understanding that men had conjured up trying to understand the Bible—but have not been able to understand the Bible—failed! What does it say in another place? They mock and say, 'Where is the promise of His coming?' In other words He didn't fulfill it. Why? Because every time down through history, they have said, 'The Lord is going to return'! Guesswhat? He didn't return!

So, this tells us something important: There has to come a time in the history of the world, v 3: "For when they say, 'Peace and security'…"—or peace and prosperity—that happens in the first part of the last seven years.

The last seven years, and in particular the last 3-1/2 years, most of the prophecies are going to take place. But, you will not know when that time-period begins until we get there! That's why when you see the charts on Revelation, you will see this gives us a perspective, but it is not dogma! This is put into visual form what we understand up to this point, but it is not the final thing that is going to be, because we don't know how long time is going to go on—do we? Every time we have thought the end is near, it seems to be pushed out a little further.

This tells us there has to come a time of "…'Peace and security,' then sudden destruction will come upon them…" (v 3). An event is going to happen that is going to trigger these things to lead into the Tribulation. That event is in Dan. 11, when the 'King of the South pushes at the King of the North.' Every interpretation that I have ever seen, written by anyone—not in the Church, in the Church and in commentaries—have been wrong! They have leaned on their own understanding and their own vanity too much, trying to speed up the return of Christ.

I'm always reminded of this when I read in the book of Zephaniah: 'What is the purpose of desiring the Day of the Lord to you?' It's a day of 'darkness and gloominess' and death and destruction! There's going to come a time of peace. God always does that—doesn't He? He let's men, under the guidance of Satan, believe that they have finally achieved it. There has to come this period, which may be 3-1/2 years, of peace and prosperity before the Tribulation is cut loose, where men are going to believe they have made it! They finally have the system of world-government—as we will see with other prophecies—that is going to work. The 'peace and prosperity' is going to be ushered in by a vast, voluntary compliance of the mark of the beast! (That's a whole separate sermon.) Then there's going to come a time when it will be enforced!

I'm getting ahead of myself here, but the point is this:

  • We have certain things that have been revealed that we know.
  • We have other things that we know to a certain degree.
  • We have other things that we can look at and say:
    • What about this?
    • What about that?
    • What about the other thing?

We don't know! We ask questions about it, and we look at it to see what it is to see if it makes any sense or not. We can't be dogmatic on it because God has not revealed it.

Now, with that in mind, let's go to the book of Daniel, and let's understand the book of Daniel. When you go through and you study in the Bible, you will see that there is never ever any direct link to a date, to a time, where future prophecies are hinged beginning at a specific time. There are some small prophecies that have been, but here for the very first time we have been given, in the book of Daniel, prophecies that are going to effect the whole history of the world.

Today, as we look back on those things, we can see how they were fulfilled in various stages up to certain points. But what we're also going to see is that all of these prophecies come to a point where they're not finished. That's why Daniel and Revelation tie together. What Daniel begins Revelation finishes.

Let's come here to Daniel 2:1: "And in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar… [606B.C.] …Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, and his spirit was troubled, and his sleep left him." Does God deal directly with world leaders? Yes, He does! The king wanted to know.

Verse 2 becomes a very important and profound verse: "And the king commanded to call to the magicians and the enchanters, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans…"

  • Who are they? They were the leading religious figures of Babylon!
  • Where has all religion come from? Babylon!
  • What does this tell us? Those religions that come from Babylon do not know the Truth!

So therefore, they cannot understand the prophecies of God. That's why you cannot go to Catholic prophecies and understand the end-time. They may have some things that sound like they fit in the Bible. That's why you can go and read Jamieson, Fausset and Brown and all their commentaries concerning it. They have historical points, that's fine, that's good. Looking back at a fulfilled historical point, you can understand that, but that does not guarantee future understanding, because God must reveal it!

Who's He going to reveal it to? He's not going to reveal it to the magicians, the astrologers, the sorcerers and the Chaldeans. He's going to 'reveal it to His servants' whom He has chosen to reveal it to! In either case, when it comes time for God to reveal it it's not because of the ability of those servants of God at that time, not because of any greatness that they have, as Daniel showed here. What this also tells us is that God—Who is the One Who gave the prophecies—is going to be the One Who's going to make them transpire and be fulfilled. The only way that we will understand it is as God reveals it in His time and has the Providence to do so.

Now, here is the beginning point. This point in Babylon is very important, because beginning with the Babylonian Empire with Nebuchadnezzar, the stability of the times and seasons has been relatively the same from that time to this, and goes back just a little prior to that during the days of Hezekiah when that was the last upheaval of the astronomical events that effected the earth and the revelation of the Calculated Hebrew Calendar as we have it today.

So, if God would not have given this in great detail way back before this particular time, we would not have an accurate anchor in which to sink the historical understanding of it. Virtually all history in all nations—going back to the Babylonian Empire of Nebuchadnezzar—are relatively the same. Before that, we get the Babylonian history of Gilgamesh and they've got people living 5,000 years and they have epochs going back 40,000 years and everything is all mixed up. But starting with Nebuchadnezzar you have an historical point to go forward, and God is the One Who's revealed it. Not to the magicians, astrologers, sorcerers or the Chaldeans.

God worked it out this way to make sure that no man could take credit for this. Nebuchadnezzar said, 'I've gathered you here "…to tell to the king his dreams. So, they came and stood before the king. And the king said to them, 'I have dreamed a dream, and my spirit is troubled to know the dream.' And the Chaldeans spoke…" (vs 2-4). The Chaldeans were noted to be the most intelligent, the most wise. They were into astrology, astronomy, all of the sciences. They were the 'cream of the crust' the 'crème de la crème' of the intellectual.

"…to the king in Aramaic, 'O king, live forever… [whenever you spoke to the king you better lay it on nice and thick because he has absolute power] …Tell your servants the dream, and we will reveal the meaning'" (v 4).

Verse 5: "The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, 'The command from me is certain.… ['I have no memory!' Then he says, 'I'm going to lay it on the line to you]: …If you… [think you're so smart, you know everything] …will not make known to me the dream, with its meaning, you will be cut in pieces, and your houses shall be made a dunghill. But if you make known the dream and its meaning, you shall receive gifts and a present and great honor from me. Therefore reveal to me the dream and its interpretation" (vs 5-6). This gave them great consternation—didn't it?

Verse 7: "They answered again and said, 'Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will reveal its interpretation.' The king answered and said, 'For I know that you surely want to gain time, because you see that the command from me is certain…. [they wanted time] …But if you will not make the dream known to me, there is only one penalty for you, for together you have agreed to speak lying and deceiving words before me until the time has changed. Therefore, tell me the dream, and I shall know that you can reveal to me its interpretation'" (vs 7-9).

Now, what does this also tell you of the magicians, the sorcerers and the Chaldeans? All their prophecies are going to be lies! Here's one prophecy that we're going to watch: Prophecy within the Catholic Church and the popes—they are down to their next to the last pope. Will that turn out to be a lie? What is going to happen to the Catholic Church when there is yet a second pope after this one goes? I just put that out there as a question mark. Because we know that whatever religion there is of the world is based at best on partial lies, but mostly on total lies! You take any religion of the world and compare it with the Bible and you will see that that is true.

Nebuchadnezzar knew it back there; you just want to gain time, v 10: "The Chaldeans answered before the king and said…" Think about this conversation here and you think that maybe this shouldn't be in the Bible, because after all this is not important stuff! Well, it's very important, because this lays the groundwork for what's going to happen. And God is telling us that He must be reveal it!

"…'There is not a man on the earth who can reveal the king's matter because no great and mighty king has ever asked such a thing from any magician, or astrologer or Chaldean. And it is an impossible thing that the king asks, and there is no other man who can reveal it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh'" (vs 10-11). That's an important statement on their part—isn't it? They're saying, 'It's beyond our understanding and comprehension.'

What happened? That insulted the king! The king insulted them, 'If you don't show it, you're dunghills.' And they said, 'Hey, if you don't tell us the dream how can we, it's an impossible task!' All of this was of God!

Verse 12: "For this cause the king became so angry and furious that he commanded all the wise men of Babylon to be destroyed…. [Not too much has changed in Babylon—has it?] …And the decree went out… [Nebuchadnezzar was an absolute dictator!] …that the wise men should be killed. And they sought Daniel and his fellows to kill them aswell" (vs 12-13). If they're going to go down, you're going to take him down.

Verse 14: "Then Daniel answered with prudence and discretion to Arioch, the chief of the king's executioners, who had gone forth to kill the wise men of Babylon. He answered and said to Arioch, the king's captain, 'Why is the decree so hasty from the king?' Then Arioch made the thing known to Daniel. Then Daniel went in and asked of the king that he would give him time, and that he would make known the meaning to the king. Then Daniel went to his house and made the matter known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions, That they might pray for the mercies of God in heaven concerning this secret, that Daniel and his companions should not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon" (vs 14-18).

Here's what's important and why all of this conversation is important in relationship to understanding prophecy, so that we all get our proper perspective.

Verse 19: "Then was the secret [#1]revealed to Daniel…" Who revealed it? God did!

We're going to see that it ends up using the verb or the noun seven times in this chapter. And what this does, as we understand, is when you put it together with the end of Daniel, that at the end of the age it's going to be known.

  • What does this tell us?
  • Is this not also a prophecy of the book of Revelation?
  • Is this not also a tie in to the revelation that God gave John?

We're going to see that Daniel is the first half of the story; Revelation is the second half of the story.

Verse 19: "Then the secret was revealed to Daniel in a night vision. And Daniel blessed the God of heaven. Daniel answered and said, 'Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, for wisdom and might are His. And He changes the times and the seasons…" (vs 19-21).

That's why all these things, as we read in Acts 1, are in the hands of the Father. How many men have said, 'God has given man 6,000 years and when that's over the Millennium begins'? We're well past 6,000 years, whichever chronology you want to take: The chronology that begins at 4025 or 4004—whichever one you want. Why does God change the times and seasons? Let me just give you an understanding here: Here is a beginning of Daniel's exaltation to rule and reign under Nebuchadnezzar in Babylon.

The reason that I want to bring this out is because this helps make a point. When you start counting for a prophecy, how do you know which point to begin with? Jeremiah was giving a prophecy that they would be in captivity for 70-years in Babylon. How do you begin to count this? with the first invasion? the second invasion? the third and final invasion and captivity? You've got a 20-year period.

All this time Daniel had a copy of the book of Jeremiah because it was sent by Jeremiah, by the hand of Seraiah the brother of Baruch the scribe of Jeremiah. He was given a book of Jeremiah to take to Babylon as well as the last chapters of Babylon, which were written for a witness against Babylon. And he was to go stand on a bridge over the River Euphrates in Babylon and read the decree of God's destruction against Babylon and throw it in the river as a witness against them. I wonder how many people were there to hear it. That's because it was a future event also to happen. But, Daniel had the book of Jeremiah.

Daniel 9:1: "In the first year of Darius… [probably about 70-years-old, where he started out about 15-years-old when he was taken captive] …the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, who was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans. In the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, understood by books the number of the years, which came according to the Word of the LORD to Jeremiah the prophet, that the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years" (vs 1-2). Even though God revealed this back in Dan. 2, Daniel did not understand the 70-year captivity that was given by Jeremiah until the time that God wanted him to understand it! So likewise, we can learn a lesson. In the future, if prophecies come down, we'll understand it at the time that God wants us to know—though we may have it in our hands all the time.

Why does God change the times and seasons? And He will change them! He will change His decrees of destruction if there's repentance! All you have to do is look at Ahab, Manasseh, and then, especially, the revival under Josiah. God said it's going to happen, but because He repented, He said, 'All right, it's not going to happen in your day.' So, God can change it. Why? Because the Father has full control over it, and He can do with it as He will! Therefore, any scenario of 6,000 years is worthless! and is not true! and is not in Scripture! There you can draw a nice new pattern of it and say, 'Well, this makes sense.' Just because it makes sense does not necessarily mean it's true.

I've often wondered: How does God calculate it? Does He take out of the times and seasons the 40 years of wandering because it was all sin? I don't know! Does He take out the time of the 70-year captivity in Babylon, which three stages of 70 makes 90-years? I don't know! That's all in God's hands. He will change the times and seasons!

Daniel 2:21: "…He removes kings and sets up kings…." In other words, in order to carry out the prophecies that God Himself gives:

  • He is in control!
  • He's going to put in whom He wants!
  • He takes down whom He wants!
  • He exalts whom He wants!
  • He remembers whom He wants!
  • He rewards whom He wants!
  • He punishes whom He wants!

He's in total control!

Speaking to the apostles: Luke 24:45: "Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures." Think of this for a minute. Christ called the disciples, selected them, they were with Him 3-1/2 years—right? They still didn't understand until after the resurrection and Christ opened their minds to understand it. Think on that! That's a very good example that no one is going to have anything in the way of understanding until God opens the understanding—it's just not going to happen!

But we read in Acts, the second and third chapters, what they did preach. They preached the fulfillment of the propheciesconcerning Christ beginning on Pentecost! Peter said that 'that Prophet'—that Moses wrote of—is Christ. Up to that time they didn't understand it. So likewise, it will be with prophecy!

Daniel 2:21: "…He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding"—which also shows: You're not going to understand unless you apply yourself correctly; and even then, you're not going to understand until it's time for God to reveal it. Just like with the apostles in Luke 24; God had to open their minds. {note 1-Cor. 2:9}

Verse 22: "He [#2]reveals the deep and secret things. He knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with Him. I thank You, and praise You, O God of my fathers… [Abraham, Isaac and Jacob] …who has given me wisdom and might… [not that it came from Daniel] …and have now made known to me what we desired of You, for You have made known to us the king's matter'" (vs 22-23).

Very important! God made known to them the dream. How could God do that? Because He gave the dream to Nebuchadnezzar in the first place! So then, He revealed it to Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.

Verse 24: "Therefore, Daniel went in to Arioch, whom the king had chosen to destroy the wise men of Babylon. He went and said this to him: 'Do not destroy the wise men of Babylon. Bring me in before the king, and I will declare the interpretation to the king.' Then Arioch quickly brought Daniel in before the king, and said this to him, 'I have found a man of the captives of Judah who will make the interpretation known to the king.' The king answered and said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar…" (vs 24-26). That's the Babylonian name of Daniel, which means in whom is the spirit of the gods.

Verse 11: "And it is an impossible thing that the king asks, and there is no other man who can reveal it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh." That's why they gave the name Belteshazzar to Daniel because God revealed this to him by His Spirit. Gave him the same dream and vision that He gave to Nebuchadnezzar.

Verse 26: "The king answered and said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, 'Are you able to make known to me the dream which I have seen and its interpretation?' Daniel answered before the king and said, 'The secret which the king has demanded cannot be shown to the king by the wise men, the enchanters, the astrologers or the magicians. But there is a God in heaven Who [#3]reveals secrets and makes known to King Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Your dream and the visions of your head upon your bed are these: As for you, O king, while upon your bed your thoughts came to you of what should come to pass hereafter. And He Who [#4]reveals secrets makes known to you what shall come to pass. But as for me, this secret is not [#5]revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living man…'" (vs 26-30).

What does this tell us? Who is God going to really reveal prophecy to when the time comes to reveal it? Those who are humble before God! Because the most intelligent of the world, the most religious of the world, the most 'crème de la crème' of the intelligencia of the world at that time God didn't even deal with. He dealt with Daniel! Notice his attitude here:

Verse 30: "…is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living man, but so that the interpretation may be made known to the king, and that you may know the thoughts of your heart. You, O king, looked—and behold, a great image! That great image, whose brightness was surpassing, stood before you. And its form was awesome. This image's head was of fine gold; his breast and his arms were of silver; his belly and his thighs were of bronze; his legs were of iron; his feet were part of iron and part of clay. You watched until a stone was cut out without hands that struck the image upon its feet, which were of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were broken in pieces together. And they became like the chaff of the summer threshing-floors. And the wind carried them away, so that not a trace of them was found. And the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth" (vs 30-35). Quite a dream! But the whole point is, God had to reveal it!

The whole point of all Scripture and prophecy is God has to reveal it! Yes, we better know His Word! Yes, we better understand the things we need to know. But, it was the time for God to reveal not only to Daniel, but to set the stage from the time of the Babylonian Empire until the return of Christ—the latter days. That's what this is all about. So today, looking back on these things, we can have pretty good 20/20 hindsight looking at the fulfilled prophecies which have already taken place—which are given interpretation beginning right here in the second chapter of Daniel. {Note Isa. 2, because that's a fulfillment: 'In that day the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be exalted above the hills.'}

Verse 36: "This is the dream. And we will tell the interpretation before the king. You, O king, are a king of kings, for the God of heaven has given you a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory. And wherever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field, and the birds of the heaven, He has given them into your hand, and has made you ruler over them all. You are this head of gold" (vs 36-38).

Now we have a definite starting point—don't we? Until that time, all the other prophecies you can go through Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and all the other minor prophets and you have no specific beginning date. Now we have a specific beginning date beginning with Nebuchadnezzar. "…You are this head of gold."

Verse 39: "And after you shall arise another kingdom…" This is where we get the equation between the king and the kingdom are synonymous and can mean the same thing. It is talking about Nebuchadnezzar. It's also talking about his kingdom.

"…inferior to you, and another third kingdom of brass…" (v 39). Later on we will see in the book of Daniel these things are redefined to give us a little more understanding of it.

"…which shall rule over all the earth. And the fourth kingdom shall be as strong as iron, forasmuch as iron breaks in pieces and beats down all things, and as the iron that crushes all these, shall it break in pieces and crush. And whereas you saw the feet and toes, part of potters' clay and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided. But there shall be in it the strength of the iron, because you saw the iron mixed with miry clay. And as the toes of the feet were part of iron and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly broken" (vs 39-42).

Here we have: kingdom 1, kingdom 2, kingdom 3, kingdom 4, and now we come down to the last kingdom relating to the toes!

"…so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly broken. And whereas you saw iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mix themselves with the seed of men. But they shall not cling to one another, even as iron does not combine with clay. And in the days of these kings… [the 'ten toes'] …the God of heaven shall set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed. And the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever" (vs 42-44).

The reason we're going through this word for word is because this is important for us to understand as a foundation.

Verse 45: "Because you saw that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold, the great God has made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter. And the dream is certain, and its interpretation is sure." Why? God revealed it!

Even though this gives us a flow of historical things from Nebuchadnezzar on down to the end, it doesn't give us any dates. Notice what King Nebuchadnezzar did. Here's the king, the emperor, the absolute supreme ruler and dictator over Babylon:

Verse 46: "Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face and worshiped Daniel… [Can you imagine that!? I mean, this is something!] …and he commanded to offer an offering and sweet incense to him. The king answered Daniel and said, 'It is true that your God is the God of gods, and the Lord of kings, and a [#6]revealer of secrets, since you could [#7]reveal  this secret'" (vs 46-47).

We'll get to the historical things here in just a minute, but the whole point of it is that no one understands prophecy unless it has been revealed by God—period! That's why we have to be cautious saying, 'in the future.' We have more understanding today, in the time we are living in, than at any other time in the history of the world. But we still have to be cautious with it. Why? God changes the times and the seasons! So, our estimation of things may not necessarily be exactly correct. We can go back and witness all the failures—just beginning in this era—of the things that have failed: 1844, 1918, 1947, 1972, 75, 88, 89, 90, 93, 95, 97, 2000; to say nothing of what happened in 1000A.D. when they figured Christ was going to return then.

What was happening? There were plagues, diseases, wars and everything—just like Jesus said! So, they thought Christ was going to return in 1000A.D., but it never happened! Why? Even though they could read the Scriptures, God had not revealed the exact time!That's why when we get to the charts that we have done on Revelation, you will see that the first thing I said concerning charts is this: This is an approximation based upon what we know. Probably with many things they're accurate. But it is still an approximation based upon what we know from the Word of God. God has to reveal it.

Now then, look what happened here, v 48: "Then the king made Daniel great, and gave him many great gifts, and made him ruler over all the province of Babylon, and chief of the prefects over all the wise men of Babylon." That means they were all the magicians, all the soothsayers, all the Chaldeans, etc. Now then, here's an operation known as 'push/pull'—when you're pushed up into a position, you pull your friends with you. That's what he did with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.

Verse 49: "And Daniel asked the king, and he appointed Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego over the affairs of the province of Babylon. But Daniel sat within the gate of the king."

  • God will exalt whom He will exalt
  • God will humble whom He's going to humble
  • God will use whom He's going to use

and that's just the nitty-gritty of how God has set it. Therefore, it's very important, especially for all of those who are teachers and preachers and elders and bishops and ministers and popes and dalai lamas and all this sort of thing: Do not exalt yourself because God does not honor self-exaltation.

Now then, we do have some understanding historically—looking back—we know this from history: When we look at the head of gold, we are told who that represents: Nebuchadnezzar and his kingdom—correct? Yes! And we know that that kingdom actually began in 625B.C., beginning with Nebuchadnezzar's father Nabopolassar, and it continued down for 113 years to 538B.C. This is when the Medes and the Persians conquered Babylon. And they did it by the miraculous intervention of God, which we won't necessarily get into at this particular point.

Then the Persian Empire lasted from 558B.C.—because it came into existence 20 years before it conquered Babylon—to 330B.C. You can even watch a lot of these things on history concerning the Persian Empire, and especially the wars with Alexander the Great. There have been quite a few things by Alexander the Great. What they can do now with the animation that they have, they can actually reproduce some of the battles that they had. It's really quite amazing when you watch it. You can see that on the History Channel and also on the National Geographic Channel.

But what happened when Alexander came in, he developed such a swift-moving army and tactics that were absolutely unique that they were able to come in with a lesser force and just overcome all of the Persian armies, and also overcome their ships, because they had faster ships. The same tactics that have been used in warfare against the greater enemy still work! That if you come in swift and fast and you catch the enemy off guard BANG! you're going to catch them! You're going to win! And also this: Whatever God has determined He's going to do. God uses the angels and Satan and the demons—who are the powers behind the throne—to accomplish His will.

You can even see that if you have a chance to watch The Fourth Reich and the Occult, I think that would be very enlightening. What was happening with the Nazis in WWII and where they were getting their inspiration for some of the scientific endeavors they were doing was not from God. All the world leaders from these great empires have used the power of Satan to do it. If you think they were dumb, stupid people back then, you've got another thought coming!

I watched a special on the History Channel that showed how the Romans made their ships. They were absolutely fantastic! They had engineers—Caligula the emperor who succeeded Domitian (and he was a real playboy) had the emperor's lake and he liked to take little cruises on the lake, just like we have our cruise ships today, with all the entertainment, all the booze, all the luxury and everything. But they couldn't make the ship traditionally, because if they had too much of a current in the water they wouldn't be able to get around in the shallow places of the lake. So, what the engineers did, they devised a very wide ship with five keels so it would have very little draft. It was three stories. They had statehouses in there just like they do on luxury cruises today. They also had a furnace and tile, which gave radiating heat to the whole ship, so the emperor could walk barefoot on the warm marble floors of the ship. They had kitchens and galleys and they had the finest of everything.

They also showed how their ships made of wood, were so finely crafted that the wood was put together tongue-in-groove and that they had special dowels which would lock the tongue-in-groove boards together so they would have a water-tight ship. They had entertainers there. They had a stage. They had sailors. They had everything on there. It was amazing! I was sitting there thinking: we think we're so smart!

Let's give you the date of the Grecian Empire beginning with Alexander the Great. That was from 330B.C.—with the four divisions—down to 31B.C.; 300 years total, but Alexander himself did not live beyond 33 years, and he died in Babylon. It's interesting because in 31B.C. in what is called the Battle of Actium, that's when the Roman Empire became the world dominating power in the eastern Mediterranean. Those are historical events that document this.

Now, back to what I wanted to show you about angels and fighting. Daniel was fasting, asking God for understanding. He didn't eat any bread or drink any wine (Dan. 10:3) for three whole weeks. Apparently he was drinking a little water and that was it. Finally he got his answer:

Daniel 10:10: "And behold, a hand touched me, which set me trembling upon my knees and the palms of my hands." He was apparently just prostrated on the ground praying, and also weak from fasting.

Verse 11: "And he said to me, 'O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, give heed to the words that I speak to you and stand upright, for to you I am now sent.' And when he had spoken these words to me, I stood up trembling…. [you would because you're really weak and hardly able to stand] …Then he said to me, 'Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard. And I have come because of your words'" (vs 11-12).

This also teaches us another lesson—doesn't it? When you want to understand something, or we have problems and we pray about it, the answer is going to come in the time that God determines it to come. How many times have you gone through trials that you look back later and say, 'Ahha! Now I understand why I went through it.'

We have a very similar thing here, v 13: "But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days…." What is meant: "…the prince of the kingdom of Persia…"? God rules the world with a combination of angels and demons that are the powers that are behind the thrones! This world has been subjected (Heb. 2) under the angels today. When anything major is going to happen, the angels are involved in it. They are called 'the principalities and powers.'

"…Then lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; for I had been there alone with the kings of Persia" (v 13). Whatever the battle was there that they were having, here Michael and Gabriel—because Gabriel is the one who dealt with Daniel—they were in that pitched battle.

Verse 14: "Now, I have come to make you understand what shall happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision is yet for many days"—way out into the future.

The point I want to make here is that the angels are involved. It also tells us, when we put it all together:

  • God knows what's going on!
  • He's involved in everything that there is on the earth!
  • He is going to bring to pass those prophecies
    • the way that He says their going to be fulfilled
    • in the time that He wants them fulfilled
    • in the manner that He wants them fulfilled

Now, when you put yourself back in the time of Daniel, how much did he understand? Really very little! He was given all of these dreams and these visions, and what did he say at the end? 'O Lord, I understand not! When shall I understand?' And God told him,'It's not for you to understand! It's for a later day.'

We need to understand that in our lives in what we are doing. This will help us all keep a better perspective of our lives and how we approach the end-time.

  • be faithful to God
  • trust God
  • love God
  • walk in faith
  • believe in hope

—and you'll understand when the time comes, if it's God's will that we understand. What if God decides to give understanding to other people in a different place, wherever in the future? That's up to God!That's His choice! But what we understand we can understand. So, today we can look back and see the historical fulfillment of these things and certain prophecies that are contained here which are important for us to realize.

We'll finish up by just reviewing a little bit here concerning Dan. 3, and we'll review a couple things in Dan. 4. This is something that was done, and is also a prophecy that we find in the book of Revelation.

We're going to see what is called in prophecy, in just defining things, is type and antitype. 'Type' is the first fulfillment. 'Antitype' is a later end-time fulfillment. Notice that everything that is done in Dan. 2 is to begin with Nebuchadnezzar and go to the setting up of the Kingdom of God and out into eternity. You have a starting point and you're also told what the ending point is, but you don't know when the ending point is going to be.

Daniel 3:1: "Then Nebuchadnezzar the king… [obviously in tribute to the great dream that he had] …made an image of gold, whose height was sixty cubits… [60x18 inches=90 feet high] …and its breadth six cubits. He set it up in the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon." He was going to celebrate all of this, so he said 'we're going to have a big party.' I'm just sort of summarizing it; you can read the rest of it.

In order to celebrate this, 'when you hear the music, you hear the sound and at the appropriate time, everybody bow down and worship this image.' What is the fulfillment of this in the 'antitype'? If they don't worship the image of the beast—they will be killed!Today, we can put the two together and see the type and the antitype. But also we find here that if you don't do what you're told to do then you're going to suffer the consequences!

What did Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego do when they were told: 'you didn't bow down; the emperor said to bow down; if you don't bow down (like he told all the others) I'm going to kill you and make your household a dung heap.'

So they said, 'No, we're not going to do it.' He said, 'I'm going to give you an opportunity. When you hear the music and the orchestra plays, at the appropriate time you bow down and you worship and you'll save your neck.' They were given a chance to think: 'I know that bowing down to an idol is wrong, but God will understand. I really don't want to die.' Well, they didn't think that way!

So, after they were told that, v 16: "Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, 'O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer a word to you on this matter. If that is the case, our God Whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace…'" (vs 16-17).

They probably had natural gas vents in Babylon. Why? Because there's all the petroleum down there! In The Two Babylons by Alexander Hislop they had a fiery dragon issuing out fire—a statue that they worshiped. I think it was one of these gas vents in Babylon. Of course, the people didn't know where it came from. They were able to funnel that in to this image, so it had fiery flames coming out of its mouth. I think this is what it is.

"'…is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods nor worship the golden image which you have set up'" (vs 17-18).

So, again, he got mad. Dictators are known to have temper-tantrums—right? Yes! With any dictator that happens! They said, 'Okay, heat it up seven times hotter. It was so hot that when it came time to throw in Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, the men who threw them in were burned up! (vs 19-22). God was going to demonstrate another point to Nebuchadnezzar, that no man is going to go against the will of God! Very important point! So, they were thrown in there.

Verse 23: "And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace." The king was probably out there on a raised throne so he could look down in there.

Verse 24: "And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was amazed. And he rose up in haste and spoke and said to his advisers, 'Did we not throw three men bound into the middle of the fire?' They answered and said to the king, 'True, O king.'" Here at this point, who wants to contradict the king? I mean, you may end up in there yourself!

Verse 25: "He answered and said, 'Behold! I see four men loose, walking in the middle of the fire, and there is no harm done to them. And the form of the fourth is like a son of the gods.'" Has to be a Divine revelation to him—right? Yes!

Verse 26: "Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the opening of the burning fiery furnace…. [as close as he could get without getting burned, obviously] …He answered and said, 'Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, servants of the Most High God… [look at how he changes his tune!] …come out and come here.' Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego came out of the middle of the fire."

What a witness this is! All the leading dignitaries from all over the empire were there! Can you imagine what they talked about when they got back to their provinces? This is a witness! What is the witness? Don't lay a hand on the Jews! That had to be learned again later in the Persian Empire during the time of Esther.

Verse 27: "And the satraps, the prefects, the governors, and the king's advisers gathered together and saw these men on whose bodies the fire had no power—and the hair of their head was not singed, nor were their cloaks changed, nor had the smell of fire clung to them."

What did God do? He just put them in a spiritual cocoon that no one could see, and protected them from the flames, from the heat, from the smoke and everything! Notice Nebuchadnezzar's reaction. This is why, when we get to Dan. 4, he's on again/off again; he's for God/he's against the representatives of God; he worships God/he worships an image—very unstable because he's carnal.

Verse 28: "Nebuchadnezzar spoke and said, 'Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego Who has sent His angel and has delivered His servants who trusted in Him…'" Please understand this. This is to be an inspiration to us when the time of martyrdom comes.

  • if we are to be killed, God will strengthen us
  • if it's God's will to deliver us, He will

—either way, God gets the glory!

"…and has defiled the king's words, and has given back their bodies from the flame, so that they might not serve nor worship any god except their own God. And a decree is given by me, that every people, nation, and language who speak anything amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego shall be cut in pieces, and his house shall be made a dunghill... [he used that all the time] …because there is no other God Who can deliver in this way.'…. [What do you do? 'We want these guys on our side'] …Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego in the province of Babylon" (vs 28-30).

Then Nebuchadnezzar had another encounter with God; this time a peaceful one. When he got all uplifted he went out there and stood on the porches of Babylon and looked at the Babylonian hanging gardens and all the beauty of it, and I can almost see him there, like a man with red suspenders and he puts his thumbs underneath it and stretches them out and says, 'Look at all that my hand has made.' He was given a vision, and when he did that BANG! he was going to be cut off—and he was! Here's the lesson:

Daniel 4:17: "This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the Holy ones…. [these are the angels that rule and control this world today] …so that the living may know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men… [whether righteous or evil] …and gives it to whomever He will, and sets up over it the basest of men.'"

How's that for humbling Nebuchadnezzar? He was sent out to be insane for seven years; he ate grass like the cattle; his hair and his fingernails weren't cut for seven years (v 25, 32). And when he was restored to his kingdom, he wrote an epistle (v 36), which is contained here in the last part of chapter four. We can get many lessons here:

  • God has to reveal prophecy
  • God deals with the whole world
  • God deals with the world leaders
  • God's will is going to be done

This is why we need to approach prophecy from this point of view!

Scriptures from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order , A Faithful Version by Fred R. Coulter

Scriptural References:

  • Acts 1:4-7
  • Mark 13:28-33
  • Ephesians 3:1-5
  • 1 Corinthians 2:7-9, 11
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:1-3
  • Daniel 2:1-21
  • Daniel 9:1-2
  • Daniel 2:21
  • Luke 24:45
  • Daniel 2:21-26, 11, 26-49
  • Daniel 10:10-14
  • Daniel 3:1, 16-30
  • Daniel 4:17

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Matthew 24
  • Mark 13
  • Luke 21
  • Matthew 11:25
  • Zechariah 4
  • Daniel 11
  • Acts 2 & 3
  • Isaiah 2
  • Daniel 10:3
  • Hebrews 2
  • Daniel 3:19-22; 4:25, 32, 36

Also referenced:

Sermon: Two Generations

  • Occult Holidays and God's Holy Days—Which? by Fred R. Coulter
  • Jamieson, Fausset and BrownCommentary
  • Two Babylons by Alexander Hislop

Transcribed: 1-7-10
Reformatted: 2/2014