!! Course Assignment – Koinonia Institute – Book of Daniel !! Discussion Questions !
The next course I selected as part of my Unschooled Master of Theology program was the KI course, Book of Daniel, and I have just finished the Discussion Questions assignment.
As a reminder, you can read all of my course assignments for the uThM here.
So, let’s get started….
KWL – What I Knew Before Starting This Study?
I didn’t know a whole lot about the Book of Daniel before I started this course. I knew it was linked to end times prophecy, that Jesus had authenticated Daniel as a prophet in Matthew 24:15, and several of the stories from the book (lion’s den, fiery furnace, dream of statue, etc).
I’ve struggled some what with books like this, pertaining to future end-time events, simply because they are difficult to understand (given the wide interpretive opinions) and seem counter productive (people get caught up in prophecy and forsake being watchful and sober).
KWL – What I Want to Find Out in This Study?
My aim in this course is to establish a base understanding of not only the contents of the Book of Daniel, but of end times prophecy in particular. I’m especially interested in the signs of the end, how I can avoid being deceived, and what current events might mean for God’s timetable of the earth. I’m hoping to find that there is not much time left, but I do realize there may still be thousands of years to go before it is all over.
Lecture 1 Discussion Questions
At Koinonia Institute, our whole study of God’s Word is predicated on two critical discoveries: First, we have in our possession an Integrated Message System we call the Bible; and, secondly, it is provable from outside our time domain. Discuss why these two discoveries are so critical to our understanding God’s Word.
The reality that the Bible was written from outside of time, meaning that the author knew and knows the beginning from the end, knows everything we will each individually do and what we each individually would do in every possible scenario. Not only is there a meaning and a purpose to this unified message, but it has originated from an intelligence we as humans simply cannot adequately comprehend. So much of God and his creation (both the physical reality and the supernatural realm) is unknown. What is the physics he used to bring everything out of nothing and then now sustains that everything simply by force of will? There is no capacity that humanity will ever cross our own galaxy, let alone venture out into the deeper edge of the universe. And, yet, all of this was either created for man as the center subject of that creation, or the plan of God is so much more than we are privy to know. It is this message from the Bible that is our hope. For there is nothing else if there is no resurrection from the dead.
What did Daniel “purpose in his heart?” What did that mean to him? What have you “purposed in your heart?”
In Daniel 1:8 we find Daniel having been one of the select procured for Nebuchadnezzar young men from Israel who would serve in his court. Daniel was instructed to eat the king’s food, but he “purposed in his heart” not to defile himself. We can assume, since Daniel’s solution was to eat only vegetables, that the king’s food was some form of meat prohibited by Jewish law. He wanted to remain undefiled before God.
As for myself, before I believed, I was a Zen Buddhist and martial artist and devoted myself to these two activities. After my experience with God at 17, with a new worldview placed within my supernaturally, I could no longer meditate or effectively train in the martial arts. Though tempted many times over the years with a desire to meditate and a desire to train, I have abstained from both, knowing that they are not beneficial or proper given my faith.
Chuck Missler states that he expects to see Nebuchadnezzar in heaven. Why?
The king was often aligned with and a supporter of Daniel and he, on several occassions, made known professions of faith in the God of the Jews or Daniel’s God. I am still unclear on how individuals before the New Testament are saved, so I would not venture to guess. But there are several people in the Old Testament who are examples of being faithful to God, despite their background or own religion. It is quite possible the king will be present. It will certainly make for some interesting conversation around the campfire if he is.
How do you think you may have handled the situation in Chapter One if you had been in Daniel’s shoes? Discuss how he handled the situation — the things he did right and the things he did wrong.
I don’t see in this chapter where Daniel did anything wrong. He stood on his faith, reasoned with those in authority, and his faith was rewarded by God so that the four of them would serve in the king’s court.
As for how I would handle myself in the same situation. I’m not certain I would be able to handle having my country beaten by a foreign power and then being forced into slavery and taken off to a foreign land. I do not want to live now as it is, living in my own country. Then again, I’m surprised by recent events in my own life where my loyalty to Christ has been tested, even if in little ways. Declaring to my employer that I am a Christian. Seeking accommodation just as Daniel did, rather than just toeing the line and following the crowd. I do think it will get much worse before it is all over for me. I think I will either end up having to go into hiding or will be placed in a camp because of my faith. I know I would much rather live a simple, quiet life as a solitary. But I think this is what God has called us to in this generation. I think persecution – real persecution – is not only coming, it is already here.
What was Nebuchadnezzar’s purpose in bringing these teenage boys to Babylon? What “advances” did the Babylonian culture have to offer?
He wanted the best of the Israelites children to raise them and train them for three years so that they could serve the king in his court. It is apparent that the culture there incorporated the best from the cultures it defeated. This obviously allowed them to develop in knowledge and philosophy. It says they advanced in knowledge and wisdom, but I’m not certain this is because of the advances of the Babylonian culture as much as it was the supernatural empowering of God so they could be positioned to do his will. America has a tremendously advanced technology and educational culture, yet it is also extremely secular and God-mocking. I personally see no inherent good or benefit to any culture on earth. They, like their governments, are nothing more than beasts of burden.
Why do you think Daniel decided to eat “produce” rather than the King’s choice meat? Are there things in today’s society we can choose to abstain from and what are their alternatives? List at least three.
Daniel was attempting to keep the Jewish dietary laws. The meat most likely was not kosher. Though I don’t see in the text where it says specifically that the food was meat. Interestingly, in the KJV it says meat for the hebrew word “patbag.” But the definition is actually “delicacies” which is what the NKJV uses. It simply means a portion of food. This word appears only 6 times in the Hebrew OT, and all in Daniel 1. The NKJV translates them all portion 5 times and delicacies 1. In the LXX it uses the Greek word ἔκθεσιν, which means “a share.” I’m not certain why the KJV translators used meat for this word since both in the Hebrew and the Greek it appears to simply mean a portion of the food. They could have inferred it from the context, since Daniel opted to eat vegetables only. But this would not be certain. All that can accurately be deduced is Daniel had issue with whatever they were being served and he chose to eat vegetables instead.
As for things in our modern society we can abstain from, I opt Paul’s freedom in Christ, “All things are permissible, but not all things are beneficial” (1 Corinthians 10:23). There would be nothing to abstain from in modern society in the same manner that Daniel abstained, since Christians are free from dietary laws. But, as an example of what Paul said, over eating may be allowed but it is not ultimately beneficial to me. Smoking pot may be lawful in several states but that does not mean we should partake, since this is a form of sorcery (φαρμακεία) and it is through these “medicines” and “potions” that the whole world is being deceived (Revelation 19:23). Lastly, though lawful for me to marry, I believe as Paul did, due to the current distress it is better for a man not to touch a woman (1 Corinthians 7:1).
K-W-L Self Assessment: L- Describe what you LEARNED from this session.
What is allowed to happen to an individual, whether they are acting in accordance to God’s will or in rebellion to it, is quite broad and sobering. Just the idea that my country, where I was born, grew up, and have now lived in for 45+ years, could be sieged and overthrown, either by an outside force or inside forces corrupt on their own power, is an anathema to me. But, I can only assume this is the downside of peace and stability. For I have never known war, never known harship, never been expelled from my home or region. I’ve never really experienced significant inflation during my lifetime. I do think all these things are about to change. The way we have lived in America is dying, intentionally. I think this is the beginning stages of removing the United States from the world stage so that Europe can rise to power and set in place the conditions for the antichrist to emerge. How far down on the socio-economic ladder we will fall is anyone’s guess. I think there will be a lot of suffering in the coming years here.
Daniel had no choice. His country was conquered. He was taken captive and enslaved by a foreign king. His fortune was that God was watching over him, guiding his steps. It is hard for me to feel as if God is doing the same for me in my life. Though, I do believe I can look back and see his hand in many of the significant events of my life. But, anything could happen now. There is no real stability in the United States anymore. Religious protection is being tested and strained. I never once thought in my youth that I would be under a Religious Exemption at work. Yet, here I am having to declare to my employer, to my State officials my religious convictions (that basically state they are working with the antichrist). I do expect them to come back in the middle of October and say there is no longer religious exemption status and I will have to go into hiding. But, as Daniel trusted in God, I too hope to put my faith in my King in every situation I might find myself in.
Lecture 2 Discussion Questions
Daniel 2:21-22, Daniel enumerates seven things that God does in our daily lives. List these seven things and elaborate on why these were important in the setting of Daniel Chapter Two.
I don’t necessarily agree with this set of things. God is in control of the seasons and the times since he initiated the seasons and change itself in the fundamental laws that appear to govern the physical universe and the systems on earth. In fact, in Colossians 1:16–17 we see that “all things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.” So there appears a present and persistent mechanism in holding together our reality, the material dimension.
More so, God holds in his hand those who are in authority, raising up kings and tearing kings down. Like he did with Pharoah or Daniel or any modern day leadership or government, these are beast of burden, blunt tools by which God chooses to accomplish his purposes and brings about his will.
I find it interesting here that God gives wisdom to those who are already wise, as if being wise is a state and wisdom is an object or thing that God gives to him who already has the preceding state. The same could be said about knowledge, as it is given to the one who is capable of understanding. Why would God give knowledge to an individual who was not capable of grasping it?
More intriguing , though in my mind is that God reveals deep and secret things, and he is the knower of what is in the darkness and light dwells with him. What really is God revealing here? What are these “deep and secret” things? Is it limited only to those he reveals it to? Does he reveal it to those who seek for it? What is actually in the darkness? What is that darkness? What is it about God that motivates the light to dwell with him?
In context this concep of God as revealer, as knower of that which is hidden, of what occurs behind the scenes is elemental to the reality of Daniel’s situation. He is capable (certainly of now ability of his own) of piercing the veil between human and divine. He is privy to that which God has hidden, at least a portion of it. If not for God revealing the meaning of the dream to Daniel, he would not have rose to prominence, he would not have saved lives (which is God’s mercy), and there would not have been a testimony of God on the earth.
In Daniel 2:28, Daniel reveals God’s purpose for Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. Do you think that God always reveals His purpose? Give examples for why or why not.
There are many instances where God does not reveal why he does what he does. One example that I often remember is the account of John when he was transported through time to the end of days and he was recording what he saw, “Now when the seven thunders uttered their voices, I was about to write; but I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, “Seal up the things which the seven thunders uttered, and do not write them.”” (Revelation 10:4). There is no explanation of this. Yet, I can’t imagine God inspiring John to write this if it was inconsequential. What does it mean? What are these seven thunders? What did they say? Why was it hidden? At the same time, even though it was hidden, why did God allow it to be mentioned in the Bible in the first place?
God does not always show his hand. He does not in every instance elaborate on his plans or what he is doing. We only see a part of the will of God. As Paul concludes, “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known” (1 Corinthians 13:12).
Daniel Chapters 2 through 7 were originally written in Aramaic. Discuss the reasons you believe Daniel wrote these specific Chapters in a Gentile language.
They are specifically meant for gentiles or gentiles are the subject of these chapters. It could be an indirect allusion to different dispensations throughout history of how God deals with humanity.
Discuss the “Controversial View” concerning the “Lines of Seth.” Discuss why this view does not stand up to Biblical scrutiny.
I’m not really sure why this question is in this study or chapter. Daniel 2 has nothing to do with angels but about the prophecy given to the king that Daniel interprets correctly, something which the other magicians in the land could not do. But, I will answer the question nontheless.
The Lines of Seth point to an interpretation of Genesis 6 as the “Sons of God” being the righteous lines of Seth rather than angelic beings who left their dwelling place (another dimensionality) and came to earth and bred with human women, producing hybrid offspring. The angelic view was traditional during the first four centuries of the church until Augustine switched to the Sethite View in an attempt to counter criticism of supernaturalism. Since this has been the direction of the Church’s theological slide since, toward humanism and materialism/physicalism, the Sethite view has been adopted by most within denominationalism. Yet, nowhere in the Bible is the term “Sons of God” used for human beings, except for in the NT when referring to the state we will one day take on after the resurrection. Then we will be like the angels in heaven. Not only does the Sethite view pose problems concerning the description of the offspring born to the Sons of God and Daughters of Men, but the angelic view provides a better overall motivation for why the world is as it is.
List at least three places in Scripture where the word “stone” or “rock” is used as an idiom for our Lord, Jesus Christ. Give scriptural references that back up your responses.
In Matthew 21:44 we see Jesus described as the stone that “whoever falls on this stone will be broken,” as well as Isaiah’s prophecy in 28:16 where he says, “Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation, a tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation.” In Acts 4:11 it is said, “this is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone,’” and in 1 Peter 2:4–5 we are told to come “to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious.”
Discuss the meaning of the phrase, “The Times of the Gentiles” and how it fits into the end time scenario.
The Times of the Gentiles is the portion of world history where the Gentiles will not only be in charge of the earth but it will also be the Church Age, when God has cut off the natural olive branches and is at work grafting in wild olive branches (gentiles) into the mystery that is the Church itself, the spiritual bride of Christ. Once the fullness of the Gentiles has come in, meaning that there is apparently a set number of individuals that constitute the Church, then God will shift back to dealing directly with Israel, their veil will be lifted, they will see Jesus as the Christ, the Messiah they had been waiting for all this time, and will repent and accept. He will then return, gather the Church to himself and save Isreal from total devastation and will finally defeat the devil and his angels (and his demons). This will usher in the millennial kingdom, where Christ will reign on earth for 1000 years and during which time Satan is bound in Tartarus.
K-W-L Self Assessment: L- Describe what you LEARNED from this session.
God does truly work in mysterious ways and guides our steps and directs our paths. It is obvious from this account in chapter 2 that Daniel had no control in this situation. He was at the mercy of the King, at the mercy of God. Every one of the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, and the soothsayers would have certainly died if not for Daniel. As in the account of Joseph and the motives of his brothers, “you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive” (Genesis 50:20).
We have no way to know the ramifications of our actions in this life. I think we will all be surprised at the end, when all things are revealed, just how impactful our words and deeds were on those around us. I’ve experienced it first hand in my life, how my independent actions informed and directed the decisions of others, in some instances utterly changing peoples’ lives forever.
Lecture 3 Discussion Questions
Discuss the reasons why the Chaldeans reported Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego’s refusal to bow down to the Golden Image.
Payback for having Daniel put in charge over them was certainly in the forefront of their motivations. The Hebrews were, likewise, a politically foreign element in the Babylonian government and, thus, easy targets. Because they would not worship other gods or compromise themselves, they stood out.
The leaders that reported them drove their accusations personally toward the King. They claimed, by the Hebrews not worshiping the image, it meant they disrespected the King and his decree, but also disrespected his gods, the same gods that has show the King favor in victories.
Some argue the worshiping of the statue was more like saluting the flag in national spirit than having more religious connotations. But, if this were the case, the three most likely would not have refused. To bow and worship, though, is an overt religious act and thus they were forbidden by conscience to do so.
In the Babylonian culture, religious and secular acts were so intertwined that it was nearly impossible to separate the two. To keep the obligations of the state most often mean violating one’s religious conscious (as a believer).
The same is increasingly occurring in American culture as political and culture demands seem to be increasingly overlapping with religious convictions. The demand by poltical authorities to just listen to and follow “the science” is yet another proverbial statue errected for the masses to worship and means nothing other than accept and obey, worship at the altar of whatever we say.
When the three friends did not bow, Nebuchadnezzar did not immediately throw them into the fiery furnace. Why do you think he gave them a second chance?
These three men had been put in high governmental office and had held those positions for 20+ years or more. They were, assumably, well versed at their jobs and served the King well all those years or they would not have lasted. Hence, they had self-earned credibility established over a long stretch of time.
Additionally, and probably more persuasively for the King, these three men were kin and personal friend to Daniel and Daniel was held in very high esteeme by the King. Though Daniel was not recorded as being present during this time (most likely away on official duties for the King in another part of the empire), just by mere association with Daniel they were afforded a second chance.
Though, I do find it interesting that the King asks them, “Do you not worship my gods?” You would think if he were really close to them or to Daniel he would know the answer to this question. Likewise, this could not have been the first time in the history of the King’s reign or of the Hebrews’ position in office that such a decree of this nature has been instituted. Surely he knew they would not or did not participate in the government festivities that involved worship of Babylonian gods. Yet, he does not seem to be aware of it.
Discuss the fiery furnace as a type of tribulation. What was burnt in the furnace? Why weren’t the three injured in any way?
They are a prophetic type for those who go through the tribulation
Daniel is a type for the Church who is absent from the tribulation.
Just like in the tribulation when people will turn Christians over to the authorities and have them killed, this also happened in the daniel account.
The problem with this comparison is the 3 Hebrews really didn’t endure any kind of persecution or tribulation. They were commanded to worship. They refused. They were threatened. They were thrown into the furnace. But they were not burned. In the end, they were resuced. This is not similar to what Christians will face in the tribulation. Then again, if the Christians that go through the tribulation are protected, this would work. And there is evidence they will be given what to say in that very hour. Then again, the three Hebrews said their God would protect them, but even if he didn’t, they would not worship other gods. They were willing to die for their beliefs.
Read Genesis 22, Galatians 3, Romans 4 and Hebrews 11 all in one sitting. Discuss how the Holy Spirit illuminates the different aspects of the “Akedah.”
God asked Abraham to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice, even though Abraham knew full well that Isaac was a promise made by God. Despite this, Abraham was willing to obey, and so his belief in God was “accredited to him as righteousness.” Galatians reiterates this idea that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. Paul again speaks of this in Romans 4, “to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt. But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness, just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works: “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven,
And whose sins are covered; Blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall not impute sin.” ” And, lastly, Hebrews 11 tells us how faith is superior to works in every way and has worked its redemptive power throughout those of the Old Testament and is now working its way through us in the Church Age. Because “without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
There is something fundamental and essential about genuine faith. The law of works simply points out this glaring fact, the reality of our fallen state, it is impossible to bridge the expanse between us and God any other way.
Read Genesis 22 through 24 in one sitting. Lists the “types” you see and their relationships to one another. Don’t forget to show the significance of Sarah’s death in Genesis 23.
In Ge 22 there is the account of Abraham sacrificing his son Isaac by God’s command. This is a type that foreshadows God giving his only son Jesus for all of us.
In Ge 24 there is the account of the servant of Abraham going to another country to find a wife for Abraham’s son, Isaac. In this account, Abraham stands for God, Isaac for Christ, Rebekah for the Church, and the servant is the Holy Spirit.
The only thing I could find on Sarah’s death was the fact that this initiated the first land owned by Israelites in Canaan and it because known as the Cave of the Patriarchs.
In Genesis 22, Abraham tells Isaac God will provide “Himself” as a lamb for the burnt offering. Make a list of at least three other places where God is proclaimed to be a Lamb. The burnt offering was a sin offering. How is that significant to understanding the Bible?
John 1:29; Re 5:6; 7:10, 17; 14:4, 10; 19:9, 21:22-23; 22:1-3; Isa 53:7; 1 Pe 1:19
As to the sin offering, Jesus is our sin offering for he was innocent blood that took on the sins of the world (Isa 53:10). It is clearly determined by God, if there is no shedding of blood there is no remission of sin (He 9:2).
K-W-L Self Assessment: L- Describe what you LEARNED from this session.
God allows us the freedom and free will agency to decide from our hearts the direction we will go, but it is the Lord who guides are steps (Pr 16:9). Much like the three Hebrews in Chapter 3, they had a choice here to obey the king’s command and bow and worship the image or they could resist. By resisting for the sake of a clear conscience before they had to be willing to sacrifice, even lay down their own lives if they needed to. It was clear from their response when questioned by the King, “our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship your gold image” (Da 3:16-18).
They were willing to die in their resistence. We, too, need to be willing to make a stand when we are convicted to. It needs to be done in faith, just like they had complete faith in God to rescue them from the flames. But, even if God somehow wouldn’t, they would rather die than compromise their faith and their convictions.
I think in coming months and years, many of us will be tested much like the three friends of Daniel. Some are already losing their jobs, their families, and I think some will be stripped of their assets and forced into camps, and many may even die. We need to wake up and recognize the times in which we are living and then stand firm against the tidal wave on the horizon.
Lecture 4 Discussion Questions
What sin do you think God hates the most? Why? What is the “fruit” of pride? What is the “fruit” of humility? List some illustrations from Jesus concerning these subjects.
God hates pride the most. It was pride that took Lucifer (Isaiah 14:12-15), and it is pride that is the source of all sin (Proverbs 16:18). The fruit of pride is ignorance, disputes, arguments, envy, strife, reviling, suspicions, useless wranglings, destitute of truth, consider godliness as a means of gain. Of the fruit of humility: meekness, patience, self-denial, contentment, righteousness (pursuit of), godliness, faith, love, and gentleness. Examples from Jesus: the meek shall inherit the earth (Ma 5:5). Self-denial, Jesus said to “pick up your cross and follow me” (Ma 16:24), Paul said where the gifts will cease remains “faith, hope, and love – the greatest of these is love” (1 Co 13:13). Paul also concluded that “godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Ti 6:6).
Explain why Chuck Missler called Daniel Chapter 4 “Nebuchadnezzar’s Affidavit.” What life lessons did Nebuchadnezzar learn? What life lessons did you learn through this study?
It is his statement concerning the events where God subjected him to humility. He learned:
1. to honor the Most High, and to render to him the honor he deserves.
2. that God’s dominion is an everlasting dominion. No one is out of his reach.
3. that the inhabitants of the earth are nothing in relation to God.
4. that God’s will be done in heaven and on earth.
5. that no one can adequately question God.
6. that God’s works are truth and his ways justice.
7. those who walk in pride God is able to put down.
I learned in Daniel 4 that God is truly in control of my life, of my steps. I need to be sure to surrender to his will, to seek his correction and provision for my life. Whatever God has planned for me, it is incaculably better than anything I could ever devise on my own. So, whether he wants me to live as a solitary in the woods or he wants me to be a pastor of a church in Arkasas, or a professor at a seminary, everything is by his design (Ma 10:29-31).
Why was Daniel reluctant to reveal the interpretation of the dream to Nebuchadnezzar? Elaborate concerning the dream’s interpretation and how the dream was fulfilled.
The dream was about the king’s enemies and would negatively impact him. He was either shocked to see the interpretation, that such a thing would befall his friend, or he was concerned that the king would take the news poorly. This event occurred as a witness and testimony to those around the king, that “the Most High rules the kingdom of men.” At the peak of his pride, when he considered his kingdom and all that he had built, he was driven mad in his mind and he went out in the fields and ate grass like an animal. Neither his mind nor his kingdom were established for 7 years.
Discuss the relevance of the “Prayer of Nabonidus” and how it relates to and confirms the text of Daniel Chapter 4.
This prayer is a partially existent story from the Dead Sea Scrolls that depicts in first person how the king (Nabonidus) was struck by inflammation for 7 years and how, after beeseeching his gods to no avail, he turned to a Jewish seer and was told to stop worshipping his false gods and to workship the God of Israel. This is extra-biblical evidence pointing to a Jew that served in the Babylonian government at that time when the Book of Daniel claims to be written.
An interesting side note. Some argue that Nebuchadnezzar held on to his pride for seven years before he finally relented and God released him. But I don’t think so. In verse 34 the king says that after seven years, “my understanding returned to me.” This means he was without his understanding and was not in his right mind. There is no way he can hold on to his pride, he was not in his right mind and had no understanding.
I personably think this is evidence for middle knowledge known by God. God knew with every passing day, from one day to the next, if he granted Nebuchadnezzar’s faculties back to him, what the outcome would be. God knew what it would take for the king to turn from his pride. I’m not certain why theologians (such as James White) argue against middle knowledge. It explains a great deal about God and humans. But, this will require more study.
What was God’s purpose for putting Nebuchadnezzar through the seven years of madness? Has God dealt with you in a similar way? What lesson have you learned from the narrative of Daniel Chapter 4?
God wanted to break the hold pride had on the king. He did it so others would receive the testimony that the God of Israel was God of all nations and no one could escape his will.
As for my life, I do not recall any event or period of time that was used as an example or a testimony for others. Then again, no one has said any part of my life had such meaning for them. People have told me that decisions I made impacted the decisions they would subsequently make. I remember going on a tour at my local community college only to have an acquaintance on the tour I went to high school with. As we talked, he commented that the reason he went into the military was based primarily on me making the decision to go into the military. He said once he saw that I was enlisting, he went down and signed up. It is possible that my entire military experience could have been purposed solely to influence that individual’s decision. But there is no way for me to know this. In fact, there would be no way you or I or Daniel or King Nebuchadnezzar would have known the reasons behind his 7 year calamity if it had not been for the holy spirit informing Daniel of such. I think the lives of humans are more interconnected than we can possibly imagine.
What was the apparent relationship between Daniel and Nebuchadnezzar after the seven-year period? Justify your answer with examples you see in Daniel Chapter 4.
This is unclear. After the 7 year period Nebuchadnezzar lived for only one more year. I could not find any information on how the king died. Apparently while insane his son reigned in his place, but after regaining his reason, Nebuchadnezzar threw his son in prison where he remained until his father’s death.
K-W-L Self Assessment: L- Describe what you LEARNED from this session.
God has his own plans and his own agenda for each of us. It is presumptuous to think I can know what is in store for me around the next bend let alone for my entire life. Yesterday I applied for a job as a pastor, thinking it might be what God wants me to do. By morning I was terrified of the very thought of it, and all the things I would have to do, mixing with people, building relationships. I couldn’t believe I sent that email and hoped all day that my application would get lost. But, then around 5:30pm I got a call from the current pastor and my heart leaped out of my chest. How could I think I wanted to be a pastor? But, when potential opportunities present themselves I immediately leap on them without thinking things through.
Daniel, though, spent his life in situations that seem extraordinary. He was thrust into positions of power that he certainly wasn’t trained for, but God gifted him so he performed. I wonder if I took a leap of faith if God would gift me with the ability to perform. Have I been unsuccessful in life simply because of fear that I would have to do something I don’t want to do or don’t feel comfortable doing? Maybe God wants me to interact with people, despite my natural inclinations not to.
Daniel had enemies. He had problems. But he remained faithful to the end. There is a different job I think I really want but I’m terrified that I won’t get it. I got the degree. I applied for the position. My application has gone from the president of the Seminary to the Dean. There is traction there. There is hope. But, what if I actually get the job and I don’t like it? What if I’m supposed to pursue the pastor job instead?
Either job will require God to move mountains in the minds of other people just to give me a chance. And what if I fail? What if I just don’t have what it takes? I like my current job. It is comfortable. It is easy. It is familiar. I don’t know how long it will last but nothing in life is a guarantee. I could be killed tomorrow by a falling tree.
Like Daniel, all I can do is obey. Like his friends, all I can do is keep a clean conscience before the Lord and hope for his mercy in the end. It is difficult to determine what is of God and what is my own doing. But through prayer maybe discernment will come.
Lecture 5 Discussion Questions
Read Isaiah 13, 14; Jeremiah 50, 51; and Revelation 17, 18 in one sitting. Discuss why it is so important to recognize Babylon has never been destroyed in the manner and to the degree the Bible indicates.
I’m not sure it is. I’m not certain that these passages are talking about an actual, the actual, Babylon, the city. It’s possible. But there are no certain statements made here that point to this being geographical other than the name. Certainly, this city exists, but it is not inhabited. It is a tourist site. But, anything can happen, even in a short amount of time. She will need to first be revived and then become the trading center for the world before she can fulfill prophecy. So I will wait to see what happens rather than speculate.
Read Isaiah 44, 45 and detail the prophecies God made through Isaiah to Cyrus 150 years before Cyrus conquered Babylon. Discuss Cyrus’ response to this prophecy. Use Biblical references.
There are only a few verses in these two chapters that pertain specifically to Cyrus (44:28-45:7). I’m not at all certain why they would put a chapter division right in the middle of this prophecy. Cyrus’ response was to issue a proclamation in Ezra 1:1–8 so the Jews could return to Israel and rebuild. It was his decree that would later provide evidence to justify Darius II to allow them to finish the work. Why is this important? It establishes fulfilled prophecy in the OT and provides strong support for the reliability of the overall biblical message and prophecies yet to be fulfilled.
Belshazzar repeatedly offered the one who would interpret the “Hand Writing on the Wall” the position of “Third Ruler in the Kingdom.” Explain the significance of the “Third Ruler.”
Belshazzar was the son of king Nabonidus. While the king was away, his son ruled in his place. This is why Belshazzar offered Daniel third ruler position since he couldn’t offer his father’s spot, nor was he willing to have Daniel outrank him. Thus, third in line.
According to this study, what was Belshazzar’s fatal mistake as he enjoyed the party the night Cyrus conquered Babylon?
Could have been two things. Either he was doomed by his pride and arrogance because he went to the treasury and got the sacred implements that had previously been in the Jewish temple, or he was throwing a party when his country and father were at war. He should have been more alert and watchful.
What is your position concerning Hidden Codes in the Bible? Explain and defend your point of view.
I’m a little mixed on them. Several years ago I attempted to verify Missler’s claims by getting a DLS program and ran my own searches specifically on the Torah EDLS codes. It did not line up as described. One book had the Torah spelled backward where it shouldn’t have been. I emailed KHouse about it and they confirmed this was the case.
I still find the genealogy macro-code quite interesting as well as the gammatria codes where the trees group together and the different uses of words and word counts in each book.
But, I do not establish doctrine on these or consider them evidence of the Bible’s authenticity. I reserve this for fulfilled prophecy, such as the Cyrus prophecy and Isaiah 53 and the fact that Israel is back in the land.
Explain the relationship between Nabonidus and Belshazzar. Explain why secular historians believe that Nabonidus was in charge and how that view is in error.
Nabonidus was off fighting against Cyrus’ forces and establishing a new colony when Cyrus walked into Babylon. Prior to leaving, Nabonidus placed his son, Belshazar, in charge of the city.
K-W-L Self Assessment: L- Describe what you LEARNED from this session.
I think it’s fascinating that there is a prophecy like this in the OT and scoffers descend, claiming it is proof that Isaiah was written after Cyrus’ overtakes the city. They discount the record found in Josephus of all that occurred as well.
I find it fascinating, whoever this God of the Jews is, who this Christ Jesus actually is (as we will one day know for we will see him as he is), there is something about him that is creative, where he likes to hide things and then reveal them years, even centuries later. He seems to want us to dig through the letters and gospels and prophets and writings and even non-biblical documents to uncover these secrets that he has often hidden in plain sight.
I do find it exciting that the book of Isaiah contains a 150 year old prophecy about a gentile king and he identifies him by name. I wish all prophecies in the Bible with this clear.
Lecture 6 Discussion Questions
Contrast the two women of Revelation 12 & 17 and tie their identities to the End-Times scenario discussed in this Session.
These are certainly two distinct women in these two chapters. In Revelation 12 we have a woman is is clothed with the sun and has the moon under her feet, has a 12 star garland on her head. The Revelation 17 woman is called a harlot and sits on many waters (the populations of the earth) and is dressed in purple and scarlet and is adorned with gold and precious stones. The chapter 12 woman is pregnant and is going to deliver a son, while the chapter 17 woman has in her golden cup to the brim the abominations and filthiness of her fornications. On her forehead is written a name harlot. The chapter 12 woman’s son will rule the nations with a rod of iron, and she is given a place to hide from the dragon who wants to destroy her son. In her wilderness God provides for her. The chapter 17 woman, on the other hand, commits fornication with all the world leaders of the earth and all who live on the earth are drunk on the wine of that fornication. She also sits on the scarlet beast and is drunk from the blood of the saints and martyrs of Jesus Crhsit.
The chapter 12 woman is Isreal and her son is Jesus Christ. The chapter 17 woman is the new Babylon, the harlot, the new system.
Outline the Magog Invasion scenario as discussed in this Session and what role Turkey plays in it.
It appears from Ezekiel 38-39 that the battle between Gog and Magog and against the saints and Jerusalem is entirely incited by God, who will “turn [them] arund, put hooks into [their] jaws, and lead [them] out with all [their] army…Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya are with them…prepare yourself and be ready, you and all your companies that are gathered about you…you will ascend, coming like a storm, covering the land like a cloud, you and all your troops and many peoples with you….[and]…on that day it shall come to pass that thoughts will arise in your mind, and you will make an evil plan [saying] I will go up against a land of unwalled villages; I will go to a peaceful people, who dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates…Thus says the Lord God: “On that day when My people Israel dwell safely, will you not know it? Then you will come from your place out of the far north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great company and a mighty army. You will come up against My people Israel like a cloud, to cover the land. It will be in the latter days that I will bring you against My land, so that the nations may know Me, when I am hallowed in you, O Gog, before their eyes.”
This has to be the same battle as depicted in Revelation 20, unless there are two God and Magog battles with Israel. But, she certainly is not “dwelling safely” at the moment. If this is reference to a single battle, then it does not occur until after the 1000 year millennium (Re 20:7).
I could not find a reference to Turkey in this battle.
Discuss what path the center of world religions has taken and where it may end in the End-Times scenario according to Zechariah 5:5-11.
The theory is that the world religion and financial and political system is returning to its base, shifting away from America and toward the middle east, specifically Bablylon. The claim is in this passage the woman Wickedness in the basket is referring to the harlot of Revelation 17 (I see no explicit or implicit connection other than gender and evil). The two women with wings are considered her to be evil since they have wings of a stork which is an unclean bird. I think this is far fetched.
Chuck Missler put forth a challenge that said we are entering a time about which the Bible has more to say than any other time in history. How would you prove that statement to be true or false? Give some examples.
We would have to look at prophetic passages in the Bible that have not yet been fulfilled. Those would then have to be connected to world events. This is very dangerous and has proven over and over again throughout the history of the church to be wrong and executed poorly. We simply do not know the day nor the hour of Christ’s return. We need to remain watchful, sober, and ready for his return at any moment.
Examples of where the Bible might be speaking about today:
-pestilence (Covid and other diseases)
-the falling away
-the rise of a New World Order (one world government)
-persecution of the end-times saints
-Isreal back in the land
-the rebuilding of the temple will be incredibly important
List seven elements of commonality in Isaiah 13, 14 and Jeremiah 50, 51 that have not yet been fulfilled.
I actually don’t see too many connections between these chapters, other than Babylon will be utterly destroyed at some point. Though, I have to say, it’s pretty desolate at this point. It is complete uninhabited and is used as a tourist site.
Why do you think the US is in Iraq today? What’s the future of the United Nations? What events would seem to be confirming or conflicting that we might watch for in the near future?
I think it’s just politices. I don’t see events setting the stage for a rebuilding of Babylon. As for the UN, they are hell bent on becoming the one world government. I think they will soon take military and financial control of everything. It is inevitable. We need to watch for the rebuilding of the temple. I would argue the falling away has already begun and will increase exponentially as pressure on Christians around the world increases. But, Paul said the falling away must come first as well the revealing of the antichrist. So, etchnically, it’s not the abomination of desolation we are looking out for (sitting in the temple holy of holies and declaring himself God) but just his revealing as the world leader.
K-W-L Self Assessment: L- Describe what you LEARNED from this session.
I struggle with end times prophecy. I don’t know why but I just can’t see a lot of the speculation that occurs, especially when using OT texts. Most of it seem wildly speculative. I just try and focus on the prophecies that seem explicit and remain hopeful and sober and watchful until the end.
Lecture 7 Discussion Questions
What does the Lion’s Den have to do with Christmas? How did the Magi know to look for the star; to bring Gold, Myrrh and Frankincense; to worship Jesus? Give a brief synopsis.
The Magi are seen earlier in the Book of Daniel as a priestly/leadership class in Persia who were highly skilled in magical arts, including astronomy/astrology. I would argue they were likewise influenced by Daniel and other Jews in captivity concerning the Zodiac and the story of the gospel written in the stars.
There were developed in the east (Zoroasterism) many prophecies that included ideas of a king who would rise at the sign of a star in the sky. When they arrived in Jerusalem, their statements were quite disparaging of Herod, since they claimed to be seeking the king born of the Jews.
The connection between Daniel’s experience in the Lion’s Den and Christmas can be seen in the prophecy given in Daniel 2:34-35 of the “stone cut out” referencing Christ and being cut “without hands” referencing his virgin birth.
The three gifts have a spiritual connection to them: gold symbolizes kingship, incense symbolizes deity, and myrrh symbolized death.
Was Darius the Mede the same as Cyrus or a different person? Give your reason why or why not.
They were not the same person, but Darius was the nephew of Cyrus. They are similar in their approach to dealing with those under their control and both had a relationship with Daniel (as did Daniel and Nebuchadnezzar).
Chuck Missler gives six lessons taken from Daniel 6. Elaborate briefly on all six lessons and give a seventh lesson God may have taught you.
1. Safety in persecution.
2. Faithfulness of God.
3. Inspiring faith of one consecrated.
4. Blessing of obeying God rather than men.
5. Reward of separation
6. God is equal to every emergency
7. “Thou shalt prosper, if thou takest heed”
What I took a way from this chapter was that we do not need to be concerned with what is happening around us, or what trouble we might find ourselves in (especially that which is out of our control) and instead we should just focus on Christ, on meditating on the word of God, and on prayer – God is faithful and will protect and guide us, and whatever happens, it is within’s God’s control.
Daniel prayed three times daily with his window open toward Jerusalem. Paul tells us to “Pray without ceasing.” (1 Thess 5:17) Which of these two prayer methods is correct? Give illustrations from your own life.
Both of them, and also Psalm 119:164, “Seven times a day I praise you, because of Your righteous judgments.” We don’t pick one or the other, we incorporate all them. I attempt to pray 3 times a day as described by Daniel, which are petitionary prayers. I also add to this 4 more times of prayer to make the 7 of Psalm 119 and these are prayers of recitation, of speaking Scriptures, listening to them or reading them. In addition, I try to focus my mind throughout the day so that my thoughts are on God, meditating on his Word. When engaged in activities, I often will focus my mind by repeating the Jesus prayer (thus, praying without ceasing).
Summarize the issues concerning Judea as a buffer state at the time of Christ’s birth.
Judea was not important herself, but was important because she lay between Syria and Egypt, the two most valuable possessions in the Roman Empire. Judea was required to be loyal and peaceful so it wouldn’t undermine Rome’s interests. This was done through puppet kinds, such as Herod.
Summarize Daniel 6 including Daniel’s faithfulness, the law of the Medes and the Persians and what happened to those who “tricked” King Darius.
Daniel is promoted over the satraps in the empire. Being envious, they seek to betray Daniel, tricking King Darius to require everyone to worship only Darius as god. Daniel prays in his upper room and is turned in and he is condemned, even against the king’s wishes. Daniel is saved and the lions do not harm him. Those who conspired against Daniel were themselves thrown into the lions den, along with their wives and their children as an example that Daniel’s God is above every other god on earth.
K-W-L Self Assessment: L- Describe what you LEARNED from this session.
Above everything else, I think Daniel 6 illustrates how God is in control of everything that happens in our lives. We simply need to remain faithful and to stand up and be counted for Christ when the need arises, giving our testimony to our faith. Revolution and political maneuvering is not the answer or the task we’ve been given. It is simply obedience to God’s call.
Lecture 8 Discussion Question
Compare and contrast Daniel 2 and 7. If they are speaking about the same things, why are their idioms so different?
Daniel 2 and 7 are thought to be referencing the same milestones in history, or the same nations in the historical narrative. While both use figurative language, Daniel 2 uses different kinds of metal (Gold, Silver, Bronze, Iron, Iron+Clay) while Daniel 7 describes the same thing but using animal-like creatures or beasts (Winged Lion, Bear, Leopard, Terrible Beast, 10 Heads).
Interestingly, the last metal and last beast are much different than the previous. The metal is a mixture of iron and clay while the beast is so terrible looking that it does not resemble any known animal on earth.
Both chapters have a mysterious stone or Son of Man that has all power, all glory and authority. His reign is not only over the entire creation but it lasts forever.
Both chapters are interpreted; the first by Daniel and the second by an angel.
When taken together we can see the four beasts are four kingdoms and the metals are likewise the same kingdoms (if only from a slightly different persepective). These kingdoms are historical, representing the Babylonians, the Medes and Persians, the Greeks and Macedonians, and then the Romans. The last kingdom is not one of earth but is the millennial reign of Christ (it is established on earth by Christ – 1 Corinthians 15:23-27; Revelation 11:15-18 with 19:6-16).
Christians have speculated since at least the early second century about the time and manner of the “end time,” the destruction of this world’s kingdoms, and the coming of Jesus in glory.
Describe the four “beast” idioms used in Daniel 7. How do these “beasts” describe the kingdoms they represent?
Lion with eagle’s wings = Babylon or Nebuchadnezzar. The Bear, with three ribs = Babylon, Egypt, Lydia. The Leopard with four wings, four heads = Lysimachus: North: Thrace, Bithynia (Turkey); Ruled from Pergamos;
Cassandra: West: Greece, Macedonia; ruled from Pella;
Seleucus: East: Syria, Persia, Babylonia, India; Ruled from Antioch; Ptolomey: South: Egypt, Palestine, Arabia; ruled from Alexandria. Lastly, the horrible beast is the Roman Empire and it mixed with clay will be the New World Order (still to come).
NOTE: I was not aware that Daniel in the LXX had 3 additional chapters. An extended version of Chapter 3 and 13 and 14.
The Coming World Leader is described by 33 titles in the O.T. and 13 in the N.T. CM describes him by yet another title. What is Chuck Missler’s “nickname” for the Anti Christ? Give examples.
Missler calls him “big mouth” because he’s always accusing the saints and stirring up trouble. He did so with the garden scene, with the meeting of the sons of God in Job, again at the tempting of Christ.
In Daniel 7:21, the Little Horn “made war with the saints, and prevailed against them.” In Matthew 16:18, Jesus said of the Church, “the gates of Hell (Hades) shall not prevail against it.” Please explain this apparent contradiction.
The issue here is a misunderstanding of what it means 1. to lose and 2. gates of hades. Just because one is persecuted or killed on earth does not mean they are lost. In fact, jesus told us not to worry about those on earth who can destroy the body but not the soul. Our real enemy is death, it is the curse on us, that has power over us. If not for Christ’s sacrifice there would be no hope and humans would all eventually end up in hades and would be held captive there as disembodied souls for all eternity. Because of Christ, though, he has the power to resurrect the dead and the authority to judge everyone. Those who have entered the narrow gate will receive everlasting life, those who have not will be judged by their works against the standard of the Law and will be cast into the Lake of Fire. Hell is a catch-all term to indicate hades or the Lake of Fire. There is no actual hell.
Explain the concept of a “dual” and how it is used in Daniel 7:25. How long is the time frame that is described in Daniel 7:25? Are there other scriptures that back this up? How many different ways does the Holy Spirit describe this amount of time?
It apparently is a time measurement which takes the original set length “time” and doubles it “times” then adds a half of that same original length “half a time.” Why this would be used instead of just counting the days or years I do not know. Maybe to confound date setters or to give doubters enough reason to abandon the faith altogether. It also occurs in Daniel 12:7; Revelation 12:14.
Describe the thrones of Daniel 7:9. Who sits on these thrones and why is this a mystery?
It does not make mention of who the thrones were for. We know the 24 elders have thrones. We know the 12 tribes will have thrones. We know from Paul that we (the saints) will judge angels. I’m not certain we can extrapolate that these are for the divine council since seem to stan when in God’s presence (1 Ki 22:19). If we are not part of the divine council and co-rulers with Christ, they may be for us. But this would require more info than we are given.
K-W-L Self Assessment: L- Describe what you LEARNED from this session.
I still struggle a great deal with prophecy. It’s always framed in such cryptic language, I wonder if it was ever truly meant for us at all. Maybe only certain people will understand it, maybe fewer still have been given insight into it. I honestly don’t see the purpose or utility in trying to pin down what might happen in the future. Jesus tells us to be sober, prayerful, and watchful. I also realize there is a log of anxiety created for Christians who are doing quite well in this life, who have money or great jobs or families. I think these are the reasons most people switch to postmillennialism simply because it paints a rosier picture for their offspring and gives them an excuse to relax and not fret about current events. Even more so, it gives them an excuse to get involved in worldly affairs and politics since, in their mind, it is up to the Church to bring about a theonomy on earth.
I see the moves by modern day elites toward authoritarianism as a good. 1. There is an increased chance Christ will return soon. 2. America and the lies propagated by its government and culture need to be judged.
I recognize there is a timetable from which God is working from. There is a set number of gentiles to be brought in and when he reaches that number, then the end will come and swiftly. Until then, the only prophecy I’m really concerned about is that he assures us he is coming and those who call upon the name of the Lord will be saved.
Lecture 9 Discussion Questions
Discuss the idioms of Daniel 7 & 8. Why would God use different symbols for Babylon and Persia while describing essentially the same sequence of events?
The use of pictures in prophetic Scriptures is common place. The idea of beasts and rams with horns and the infighting between kings, it is all a way, I assume, to provide the information in a timeless way, as the message given to Daniel and subsequently written down by Daniel was destined to go through a great deal of “hostile jamming.” It is possible the duplication was done for those in the future. maybe one of these chapters will subsequently be lost. Maybe one set of idioms will ring truer for a future generation than the other one does. Quite possibly the purpose of writing two about the same thing is a way to get across the importance of the subject matter. We have to keep in mine, the reason it was written is that God gave Daniel a dream, twice. My question is, why Daniel, why at that time in history? And, are there going to be any other people given such dreams in the future, or do we have all the information we’re going to get?
Chuck Missler says that the Little Horn of Daniel 8 is not the same as the Little Horn of Daniel 7, and yet, they both are idioms of the Anti-Christ. How do you reconcile this apparent contradiction?
The Little Horn of ch 7 is about the antichrist coming out of the 10 nation confederacy. The ch 8 Little Horn is the one that comes out of the 4 nations after Alexander the Great’s death, most specifically Antiocus IV. He sets the stage with a precedent of what the antichrist will do in the end times. He desolated the holy of holies.
Discuss the significance of Alexander the Great’s role in history from a Biblical standpoint.
His accomplishments of taking over the known world is referred to in the prophecies of Daniel. He also paved the way for Greek to be the common language which allowed the gospel to spread throughout the empire.
Discuss the role Ptolemy and Seleucus play in Biblical history.
They were the major players after Alexander the Great died and his empire was divided up amongst the four.
Discuss the significance of the idioms of the Ram and the He-Goat as they relate to whom they represent.
The ram is the Medo-Persian Empire because it had two unequaled horns yet were one empire. The guardian spirit of the Persian kingdom was the ram and the king wore the head of a ram instead of a diadem. In the Zodiac Persia is represented by Aries, the Ram.
Alexander the Great was considered a one-horned goat, or the ancient symbol for Macedonians. He defeated the Persian Empire just as described in the prophecy and in the Zodiac Greece is represented by Capricorn, the goat. Also, as predicted, the great horn was broken when Alexander died at age 32. His empire was divided among his four generals.
Discuss the evil deeds of Antiochus IV and how he foreshadows the Coming World Leader.
He struck out against Israel, made it all but illegal to be a practicing Jew. He defiled the temple, the holy of holies, sacrificed on the altar. He did exactly what is predicted the anti-christ will do.
K-W-L Self Assessment: L- Describe what you LEARNED from this session.
Prophecy in Daniel is becoming a little clearer, but not because of actual comprehension but because it’s being spelled out. My question is how do we know when there are four horns that come out of the one horn that it’s talking about Alexander the Greater or his four generals. Why couldn’t it be talking about horns? Or other world leaders that haven’t even come to power yet?
Lecture 10 Discussion Questions
God uses two archangels, Gabriel and Michael, to do His bidding on earth. Using a concordance, list the passages where Gabriel and Michael appear and determine, from Scripture alone, what their jobs seem to be.
Gabriel – It appears as if Gabriel is tasked with bringing news or making humans understand prophecy.
-Dan 8:16 – made known the prophecy of the end times -Dan 9:21 – give understand of the 70weeks prophecy
-Lk 1:19 – brought good news of the conception of John
-Luke1:26 – brought good news of Jesus’ conception
Michael – It appears as if Michael is an angel who is a warrior and an archangel. He appears to be a commander of an army of angels in heaven and is tasked with watching over Israel.
Dan 10:13, 21 – is a warrior fighting supernatural beings
Dan 12:1 – he stands watch over Israel
Jude 9 – fights with the devil over Moses’ body
Rev 12:7 – fights with the dragon in heaven
I do want to point out that god does not use “just” Michael and Gabriel on earth. In Dan 12:1 we see a third being used to bring a message to Daniel and Michael comes to his aid in fighting supernatural beings. There are angels in the New Testament. There are likewise two angels who eat a meal at Abraham’s camp before they destroy Sodom. Michael and Gabriel are just the only two angels mentioned by name in the Bible.
Chuck Missler speaks of two “merit badges” of God. Some in Scripture were called the “Friend of God” and others were called “Beloved of God.” Who were these people? Discuss the difference between these two designations, using Scriptural references.
We see these two terms used for Abraham, the disciples, of Jesus, in general in the OT and of Daniel and specifically John the apostle. Abraham is specifically called a friend of God in James 2:23 and Daniel is called beloved in Dan 10:11, 19. At Jesus’ baptism God himself calls Jesus his “beloved son.” This, I can only conclude, are synonymous descriptions of the preferred state before God, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matt 25:23).
How do we know that Daniel was serious about his prayer in Daniel 9? How can this seriousness be manifested in your life? What should we be praying for with this intensity?
There are specific clues to Daniel’s seriousness in his pray habits. We see it in the fact that he “set his face toward the Lord God to make request by prayer and supplication.” One who determines to do it, who commits to do it, who vows to do it and then does it can be considered serious and sober in his effort. Likewise, Daniel added to his determination to pray the activities of fasting, sackcloth, and ashes. These are outward sacrifices of inward conditions found in the will of the individual. Certainly, if done for all to see, their usefulness and efficacy is limited. Likewise, today such activities may not be fitting culturally. But, there are more fitting activities one could undertake today that are similar sacrificially (fasting, abstaining from forms of entertainment, subjecting oneself to harsh environments, etc).
Daniel’s seriousness can also be seen in the content of his prayer. He confesses the sins of his people (not just himself). He prays for forgiveness for the nation, that God’s anger would be turned away from Jerusalem. He acknowledges that God’s forgiveness is based on his mercy not on their deeds.
Additionally, we can see that Daniel’s prayer was serious because of the response it produced. It was because of Daniel’s prayer that Gabriel was sent to deliver to him a prophecy about the end and the significance of the future rebuilding of Jerusalem and the temple.
But, I would broaden the example to Daniel 6 as it serves as a greater illustration of Daniels’ seriousness to prayer. We find here that after the decree is signed (that makes it illegal for anyone to pray to or worship any gods but the king) Daniel changes nothing about his well established pattern. He does not go out of his way to do something new in way of protest. He simply continues to do what he’s always done. He returns home, goes to the upper room, opens his window toward Jerusalem, and prays 3 times in one day (which was his custom).
He knows they will see him (apparently since they found him praying), yet he did not let man’s law limit his devotion before God.
I have attempted such practices in the past, yet struggle to sustain them. Whether it is out of distraction or laziness, I find it hard to keep a regular devotional time or even a regular prayer time. I find 3 x daily for prayer has me repeating a great deal of content again and again. But, I think it ends up being a matter of genuine thankfulness to God. If you truly are a disciple you will find a way, despite the many failures.
Ultimately, I believe the very best practice is a combination of petitionary prayer, imprecatory prayer, prayers of thanksgiving, and the practice of melete or recitation of Scripture. This would optimally be done spaced out over the day into 7 sessions (Ps 119:164), with 3 of those focused on different types of prayer (Daniel 6:10) and the other 4 focused on melete or recitation. Optimally, the melete would be used to commit large portions of Scripture to memory and the continual recitation would keep it fresh in one’s mind (Ps 119:11). Additionally, throughout the day, and especially when engaged in manual work, the Jesus Prayer or other short passages could be used to keep the mind focused on Christ and to heed Pauls command to prayer continually (1 Th 5:17).
This is, of course, the example I see as the closest model for a biblical church in modern times, with members living communally, and coming together 7 x a day to pray and recite Scripture. I have not found, though, many (if any) Americans willing to devote so much to Christ.
As to what we should be praying for. I know the answer you want is that we should be praying for America, but I think this is short-sighted. I do think we should fervently pray for people to be saved, for God to draw people to him, for people to hear the gospel, for them to believe and be redeemed. But I think it is incorrect to pray for the country as a whole. First I think it is God’s judgment we are experiencing as a nation, and rightly so. I am like Jonah in that I want to see America judged and punished for its many sins and for its claim of being a Christian nation when it is anything but this. Additionally (and more importantly) instead of praying for America to be spared I think we should be continually and fervently be praying for Christ’s return, joining with John, “Come Lord Jesus. Come Quickly!”
What can we learn from Daniel’s reading from Jeremiah? What do we learn about God? What do we learn about interpretation?
God will not be mocked. His laws and his statues, his decrees will be fulfilled. We see that Daniel read Jeremiah literally, in that he interpreted the 70 years in Jeremiah as 70 actual years. He did not spiritualize or allegorize it. It is a simple, plain, straightforward reading of the text, and Daniel took God at his word.
There are four potential decrees by Gentile kings that could have been the “trigger” Gabriel spoke of to Daniel. Only one of these decrees was the correct one. Which decree was correct and why?
There were decrees by Cyrus (Ezra 1), Darius II (Ezra 6), Artaxerxes I (Ezra 7) and then a fourth by Artaxerxes I (Neh 2). The first two reference the rebuilding of the temple and the last two the rebuilding of the city. It is the first decree from Artaxerxes I (Ezra 7) that triggered the prophecy of Dan 9:25.
We know this was the trigger since the prophecy states from the “rebuilding of the city” and not the rebuilding of the temple. After the rebuilding of the temple (the first two decrees) the city of Jerusalem remained in ruin. The two later decrees by Artaxerxes I, with the first marking the beginning, indicated the rebuilding of the city walls.
Jesus held the Jews responsible to know the “time of thy visitation” in Luke 19:44. Are we, as Christians, required to know the time in which we live?
If he held the Jews responsible, if he held the Babylonians responsible, if he held Pharaoh and the Egyptians responsible, then it would stand to reason that he would hold us responsible as well. What we are to know or understand is unclear (which is a problem). Maybe we are the end times church and are to know the signs that point to the second coming of Christ and the rapture. Is it possible that if we are caught unaware, surprised by Christ, that he will like a thief in the night, come and steal away the church without taking some who are entagled by the world? Will there be professing Christians who are not part of the rapture (The converts in Thessalonica thought this was at least a possibility – 2 Thessalonians 2:1ff). Certainly, those who are part of the falling away will be left behind. Will those who are part of the falling away and left later repent? Would it be possible to do so?
This is a great fear of mine, that despite the faith I’ve been given, for whatever reasons I will not merit the rapture before the tribulation begins.
K-W-L Self Assessment: L- Describe what you LEARNED from this session.
I found this chapter quite educational. I discovered some greater clarity in the 70 weeks prophecy as well as the roles of Michael and Gabriel. I also got to read in depth on the how the 70 week’s prophecy is placed at the first decree of Artaxerxes I to rebuild the city of Jerusalem (457 B.C.) which when added to the 69 weeks (483 years) leads to 27 A.D. when Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist.
Lecture 11 Discussion Questions
Discuss the difference between the Rapture of the Church and the Second Coming of Christ. To which of these does the Doctrine of Imminence apply and why?
The rapture described in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 and 1 Corinthians 15:50-54. Many argue that this is separate from the Lord returning for judgment on the earth, but I have yet heard an explanation for 1 Co 15:52 “…the last trumpet” not referring to the last trumpet in Re 10:7, “in the days of the sounding of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, the mystery of God would be finished” and later in Re 11:15-19, “Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!” All I’ve ever heard was simply a flippant dismissal of the last trumpet in 1 Co 15:52 referring to the last trumpet of Revelation 11. If this is not the case, then there are a lot of questions left unanswered. Why are there two last trumpets? Why is the rapture trumpets not discussed (last indicating there were a multiple)?
The second coming is when Jesus returns to defeat the Antichrist and establishes His millennial kingdom. The second coming is described in Revelation 19:11-16. It would be nice to think Christians have by this point been raptured and can avoid all the calamity of the first six trumpets. And, from a plain, straightforward reading of the text it is clear the Church is raptured no later than Re 11 (the last trumpet) and skips the other 3 1/2 years.
Personally I don’t see pre-tribulation rapture in the Bible, but rather a mid-tribulation rapture. The rapture will occur with great speed (a blick of the eye) but it will not be in secret, as if those on the earth will not realize a bunch of people have simply disappeared. I think the new world order government will use some sort of excuse to explain this disappearance that we were taken away by aliens or by the new god because we were not fit for the new system.
Whether one is pre, mid, or post, it is clear that the rapture is the gathering of the saints before the wrath is poured out, since the church is promised an escape (Rom 5:9; 1 Thess 1:10; 5:9; Rev 3:10). The Second Coming is the final judgment of those on the earth, which, to be honest, I’m surprised those in the end get the brunt of God’s wrath when the whole of humanity throughout human history deserve this wrath (but all those who died will not live again until after the second resurrection – Re 20:5).
I previously thought there were preconditions from Paul to the rapture in 2 Th 2:3, but upon closer inspection of the text it is clear he is referencing here the second coming, which has several preconditions (2 Thessalonians 2:4; Matthew 24:15-30; Revelation chapters 6–18). But, if the rapture is mid-trib, then it likewise has no imminence, since there are seven trumpets that need to take place. Passages like Titus 2:13; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Corinthians 15:50-54 do not convince me of a doctrine of imminence, but passages like Matt 24:36-44; 25:13; Mark 13:35; Lu 21:36; 1 Th 5:1-11 do indeed speak of an imminent return.
Explain, using Scripture, why the Rapture of the Church must precede the Great Tribulation.
I would actually argue that the rapture precedes the second half of the 7 year period in Revelation. The rapture will take place at the last trumpet, at which time the “mystery of God” will be finished, what Paul describes as “the fullness of the gentiles has come in” (Ro 11:25). Admittedly, while this incorporates the escape passages to the Church it does not explicitly allow for the imminence passages that describe the Lord coming at any moment, that we should be watchful and sober and ready. Unless the imminence is defined as we don’t know the day nor the hour that the last trumpet will sound or when the last gentile will be saved. This would require a kind of localized imminence – those of us still afar off have no imminence, but as history draws closer to the rapture there would be an increase in unpredictability. Then again, if imminence is only for the rapture church, why would the holy spirit instruct all of Christendom throughout the last 2000 years to be watchful and ready for something that would not come. There must be an element of unknowability as to when the last gentile will be saved. Either there is a specific person in God’s mind, or maybe a specific number (without regard to individual redemption – which I find highly improbable). No one knows the day nor the hour except for the Father. Not even the Sons knows and this fact can be extrapolated to the Spirit as well.
How does your view of eschatology depend on your hermeneutics and what eschatological position will you take if your hermeneutics are literal or allegorical?
If you are willing to allegorize the Bible, then you will slide toward liberalism and postmillennialism, post-trib, simply because they are more optimistic and allow the Christian (so called) to embrace more of the world. The more literal (plain, straightforward) your interpretation is, the more you will align with conservative, fundamental theology. This will lead one to mid-trib or pretrib and premillennialism.
Explain the “Interval” of Daniel 9:26. How has this “interval” affected you and me? What does this “interval” mean for the Jews?
This gap is the period of time from the Messiah being “cut off” to the finishing of the “mystery of God” which is the church, or the gathering of the gentiles. This is the period in which the Jews will be blinded in part until that “fullness” has occurred (Ro 11:2). By this interval in God’s plan to redeem to himself a people (i.e. the Jews) he enables a way for non-Jewish people, through Christ, to be grafted in (Ro 11:19) as a wild branch. The Jewish people have been, as the natural branch, been cut off. They will eventually have the blindness lifted and they will be grafted back in the same way the gentiles were grafted in (Ro 11:17, 23; Acts 15:11).
Why does Chuck Missler say that Daniel 9:24-27 are the “keystone to unlocking end-time prophecy?” What do these four verses explain about eschatology that is not as clearly defined in other Scripture?
It ties together the plan of God for both the Jewish people and for the mystery which is the Church, from the decree to rebuild the city to Christ’s first coming, to the rise of the anti-christ (and ultimately Christ’s return).
Will the Coming World Leader be a Jew or Gentile, Roman or Assyrian, political or religious leader? Using Scripture, explain your answer.
There is supposed a reference to the antichrist coming from Assyria (Isa 10:5,12), but I find no justification for this. The same can be said of claiming he is Jewish from Ezekial 21:25-27; 28:2-10. Dan 11:36,37 seems to indicate that he is athiestic. To be honest, I’m finding some difficulty in some of the passages used in end times prophecy. It seems rather speculative.
K-W-L Self Assessment: L- Describe what you LEARNED from this session.
I think I have a clearer picture of why I am a mid-tribulationalist rather than a pre-trib, which boils down to the last trumpet reference and its Re 11 counterpart in declaring the completion of the mystery of God. It does not perfectly assign with why we are instructed to be watchful since a mid-trib event would require several precursors. From this session I was able to look closer at some key passages that I thought talked about the rapture needing to happen after the falling away and the revealing of the anti-christ, but these are clearly referencing the second coming. This would mean the church will endure the 7 trumpet judgments during the first 3 1/2 years.
Much of me, though, is hopeful I’m in error on this point and that it is actually pre-trib and that Christ will be coming soon to gather his own from the face of the earth. I think, either way, it’s interesting we will be taking nothing with us, just one moment on this earth living our lives (or dead and buried and existing in hades or paradise – or somehow the sea?). I do hope we are at the end, for I grow weary of this world and existence. I have no interest to be a part of the new system and only want to leave immediately. I want answers. I want rest. I want no more suffering. I want this over and done with, come what may.
Lecture 12 Discussion Questions
Chuck Missler uses a “Reveal Codes” analogy when he explains 2 Kings 6. Elaborate on his explanation. Have there been any instances in your life when God revealed to you what was going on behind the scenes?
We have in Missler’s reveal codes analogy a wordprocessor displaying the formatting code of a document when you press the reveal codes key. He equates this to the distinction between the physical dimension and the supernatural one.
This is also seen in Daniel 10 when an angel, who was dispatched when Daniel started praying, took 21 days to arrive because of the supernatural opposition. We, as the reader, also see this in the Book of Job, with Satan and God using Job as an interactive case study, even though Job is not privy to the interference in his life by God or the devil.
As for myself, I can’t say I’ve ever been visited by an angel or seen a mountain full of chariots of fire or a legion of supernatural beings contending for my soul. I have seen, in retrospect, events in my life where I’m convinced God interceded for me. But, I have no first hand experiential evidence to support such a claim. I can say I am convinced the responses to the COVID vaccine and the hostility toward Christians who do not want to participate is clearly the beginning of the New World Order. But, then again, this is not based on anything but the similarities found between current events and the biblical text.
Daniel fasts and prays for a full twenty-one days. Chuck Missler asks the rhetorical question, “What would have happened if Daniel had stopped his fasting and praying on the twentieth day?” Discuss the significance of fasting and praying. How did Daniel know to fast for twenty-one days? Was he finished, or was he interrupted? What insights can we glean from Daniel’s attitude toward prayer and fasting?
I think there may be something to be said for a connection between our prayer life and the visitation of angelic beings. Maybe it is ardent prayer that places us in the supernatural war and, thus, explains the need for our being informed. Maybe prayer somehow changes our mental state in such a way that we are more in line with the supernatural realm, just as some drugs seem to move us into alternate realities.
There is no real way to tell if prayer has a direct effect in other realms, though we can determine from the biblical content that we can participate through prayer (the very fact that Daniel received answer to his prayer is evidence for this). Was he somehow fueling the angel’s battle, as if him stopping his prayer would render the angel powerless? I hardly think so. It could be argued that if Daniel had not started to pray at all then he would not have been incorporated into the heavenly plans and the visitation may not have been initiated at all.
I do think we lack in the west any real supernatural manifestation because we are 1. very non-supernaturalistic and 2. we are not committed to a serious, prayerful lifestyle.
I don’t think Daniel knew what he was doing, that he needed to pray for 21 days. I think his prayer was incorporated into the supernatural agenda, not that the supernatural agenda was somehow altered by Daniels’ prayer. Though, the Bible does say that we can change God’s mind. We see this in Jonah and other places.
From Daniel’s prayer life we can see a seriousness and a single, sober mindedness toward petitioning the Lord and committing to a sacrificial lifestyle. He was consistent, praying 3 x daily. He was ardent. He was steadfast; determined. These are all attributes we can adopt.
List the three Archangels listed in Scripture. What are their apparent job descriptions? Give Scriptural references.
Missler must be getting the idea that Gabriel is an archangel from the Book of Enoch since Michael is the only angel in the Bible to be given this title in the text and this occurs only once (Jude 9). There is one additional instance where an unnamed archangel shouts at the rapture (1 Th 4:16). Michael’s job description is warrior or commander of the armies of heaven. Gabriel is a messenger who typically brings understanding of prophecy.
Chuck Missler explains Daniel 10:17 as Daniel’s “heaviness of his own sin and unrighteousness.” Discuss how Daniel was able to stand under this heavy burden and how we are able to stand in the presence of our Holy God.
I recognize his purpose in saying this, that we are empowered by the holy spirit to stand, but I disagree somewhat. First, I don’t think Daniel’s heaviness has to do with his sin or unrighteousness. I think it has to do with his mortal state. Humans are lower than the angels. We are limited. So much so that one angel can slaughter 185,000 soldiers in one night! These are fundamentally higher dimensional beings being revealed on a subsumptive plane of existence. I think it is the same reason that “alien” encounters are always terrifying (they are not aliens they are angels, either on mission from God or fallen). It is why artificial encounters with beings while under mind altering drugs (φαρμακεία = sorcery) is typically frightening and the beings are often surprised the human is there.
The main reason I think it is not an issue of sin is that Daniel is considered an OT saint. He is beloved by God. Though it is never said in the text, I would assume his faith is credited to him as righteousness just like Abraham. If so, then there is no weight of sin since Christ has redeemed us from sin and death. No, there is something else going on here, where being in the presence of a supernatural being “can” cause physical side effects for mortal humans. Keep in mind, this is not always the case. Paul tells us that many have entertained angels unaware (He 13:2). When God and the two angels came into Abraham’s camp at Mambre, though it was clear Abraham could tell who they were, he did not suffer the same side effects as Daniel did. Then again, the appearance of the angel in Daniel’s account and the description of the three at Mambre are totally different, which may indicate the degree to which the angel revealed his true appearance to Daniel but they did not to Abraham. Additionally, we do not see any physical symptoms for those who were in the presence of the resurrected Jesus. This may be accounted for in that he was not like the angels, having become human then dying, then being resurrected into an immortal body (yet, notice he retained the scars).
Discuss your understanding of Guardian Angels. According to Matthew 18:10, we know that children have guardian Angels. How have Angels manifested themselves in your life?
I try to stay away from such topics that have only one verse to support the claim, such as Paul singular, off-handed comment about baptizing for the dead (1 Co 15:29). There is no way to really discuss this verse since there are no additional verses in view. As to the issue of angels manifesting themselves in my own life, I have seen little to no evidence of such encounters. I have not experience grand visions, have not been visited. I have experienced a few interesting dreams but there is no way to tell if they are legitimately from God. I was in a car accident back in Texas and out of the five of us I was the only one not hurt at all. But, none of these rise to the level of interaction seen in the Bible.
How has this “Glimpse of the Dark Side” affected your understanding of the Supernatural world? Has this study changed the way you think of angels and demons?
No. I’m well versed with the supernatural world, with the sons of God, and with the different dimensionalities of existence. I was surprised to see there is only one archangel mentioned in the Bible by name. I’ve been convinced for some time that demons were the disembodied spirits of the nephilim.
K-W-L Self Assessment: L- Describe what you LEARNED from this session.
I wouldn’t say there was much in the way of new information in this chapter. Mostly it was review.
Lecture 13 Discussion Questions
Explain why Chuck Missler titled this Session “The Silent Years.” What aspects of Daniel 11:1-35 are there which speaks of that inter-testament period where there is no written Word from God?
This is the battles documented beforehand of the Ptolemies and the Seleucids. It is apparently so accurate that many claim it was written after the inter-testamental period. Strangely I could not find any reference in the lecture (rewatched it) or online for this passage referring to no prophecy during the time period.
Which Ptolemy commissioned the Septuagint translation, how many scholars did he commission and what was the purpose of the translation?
There were seventy scholars employed in the making of the LXX and this was made possible by Ptolemy Philadelphus. The purpose was to create a translation of the Hebrew Scriptures in the language of the day, which was Greek.
Diagram Daniel 11:6. Who were the “players” in this verse and what is their reference in this verse: i.e., who was the king’s daughter?
And at the end of some years
(after several years)
they shall join forces,
(political marriage was arranged)
for the daughter of the king of the South
(Berenice, daughter of Ptolemy II Philadelphus)
shall go to the king of the North
(Antiochus II Theos)
to make an agreement;
(the political marraige)
but she shall not retain the power of her authority,
(she could not prevail against her rival, Laodice, her husband’s ex wife)
and neither he nor his authority shall stand;
(Antiochus II was murdered, most likely poisoned by Laodice)
but she shall be given up,
(Berenice and her son were both killed by Laodice)
with those who brought her,
and with him who begot her,
(not sure how Berenice’s father would play into it)
and with him who strengthened her
in those times.
(later, after Berenice’s murder, her brother plotted a revenge and killed Laodice).
Diagram Daniel 11:17. Who were the “players” in this verse and what is their reference in this verse: i.e., who was the daughter of women?
believe Daniel 11:17’s “daughter of women” (literal) is Cleopatra I (she’s not the famous Cleopatra, VII). Another translation is “youthful daughter.” I’m trying to understand the idea behind the Hebrew phrase. She appears to have lived only 28 years, 204 Before-Christ to 176. And having been given by her father Antiochus III, at age 11, to marry Ptolemy V, as part of Antiochus’ plot to ruin (i.e. take over) Ptolemy’s Egyptian kingdom—she’s maybe the finishing touch, of Antiochus’ “peace proposal” (literally: “upright ones or things”) between Antiochus of Syria and Ptolemy. But she turned out to be loyal to her husband and “not able to stand for [her dad], was of no use to him.” She was the sister of Antiochus IV who is a big type of the final Antichrist, for his war on the Jews and desecration of their temple during the time of the Maccabees (cf 11:21-35; 8:8-14, 21-26; 9:24-27; Mt 24:15; 2 Thes 2:3-12; Rv 9:11; 13:1-8; 19:19-20). To follow Daniel 11, one can read the history of the ‘Greek Empire’ (Javan) that came to be after Alexander the Great died, divided among four of his generals, with all the infighting and fighting up until Rome, the fourth empire spoken of in Daniel, takes over in the Mediterranean. It looks like Daniel deals with the four successive empires of Babylon, Persia, Greece, then Rome in regard to Israel’s and Jewish (God-Incarnate’s fleshly tribe and family) destiny. (And probably because of Daniel 11’s level of detail, many unbeliever, even Hebrew, scholars claim laughably that Daniel wasn’t written by Daniel nor in Daniel’s time of around 500 Before-Christ)
He shall also set his face to enter with the strength of his whole kingdom,
(Antiochus III set out with a fleet to attack Cilicia, Lycia, and Caria)
and upright ones with him;
thus shall he do.
And he shall give him the daughter of women
(Cleopatra I (she’s not the famous Cleopatra, VII) – married to Ptolemy in political alliance)
to destroy it;
(Wanted to eventually annex Egypt)
but she shall not stand with him,
(Cleopatra I instead sided with Egypt and Rome)
or be for him.
Discuss the outcome of the Prophecies in Daniel 11:31-32.
The ruler Antiochus IV Epiphanes tried to outlaw Judaism. It was illegal to read the Scriptures, he sacrificed a pig on the altar, and erected a statue of his god in the holy of holies. They eventually revolted, tore down all the violations, rededicated the temple.
What is the difference between an “abomination” and the “abomination that make desolate?”
An abomination is a defilement. An “abomination which makes desolate, or lays waste” is one that renders the item or subject irrestrivable, meaning the abomination is so great there is no possible means of redemption.
This was seen in the defilement of the temple by Antiochus. Many would argue this fulfills the prophecy of Daniel of the abomination of desolation, but others claim it was only a preview of a greater abomination that will occur in the end times by the antichrist.
Antiochus Epiphanes set up an idol in the temple while the antichrist will set himself up as God and demand worship from all who live on the earth. When Antiochus did this everything had to be destroyed and rebuilt and rededicated to the Lord.
K-W-L Self Assessment: L- Describe what you LEARNED from this session.
I was not aware that Daniel 11 was a prophecy outlining the Silent Years period. If these prophecies really track historically, that would be incredible support for biblical prophecy. I can see why higher criticism is so determined to place Daniel as a later work.
Lecture 14 Discussion Questions
This session stated that Daniel 8:23; “…a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up…” indicates an “Occultic understanding.” Proverbs 1:6 states, “ To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings.” Does this mean that Solomon dabbled in the occult? Can these two views be reconciled?
Solomon was, in his old age, turned away from God by his many pagan wives toward other gods and magic. There are many legends about him and the things he did. I’m assuming the two views the question is referring to is how can a man of wisdom be involved in the occult. He was warned not to take wives of pagan people since he would be led astray. In the end, God was right.
Discuss why Chuck Missler suggests that Daniel 8:24 is after the rapture. Provide Scriptural references for your answer.
Missler states in his lecture that the church cannot be on earth at the time of this verse because Jesus promised that the church would not be overcome. The problem is, if he is referring to Matthew 16:18, “on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it,”the “hell” being referenced here is Hades and has nothing to do with the rapture or the end times, but the final outcome of humanity. As Paul states, if Christ had not sacrificed himself and then been resurrected, then , “if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished” (1 Co 15:15-18). The fact that Christ promised that the church would not be defeated by hades means that believers will be resurrected. If there were no resurrection, then eventually everyone who ever lived would end up captive to death’s power and would remain in hades (or paradise) as a disembodied soul forever.
If Daniel 8:24 can track with Revelation 13:2-7, then it still occurs after the rapture in Revelation 11:15-19 (at the last trumpet).
Daniel 11:36, 37 contains many descriptors of “Mr. Big Mouth.” Please enumerate these descriptors and their possible implications. i.e.: “shall speak marvelous things” – He is always shouting his mouth off, hence, “Mr. Big Mouth.”
This individual is rather interesting. He will do according to his own will, so his agenda will be his own. He will not be a puppet like the world leaders of today are. He will be pulling the strings not being pulled by them. He will declare himself god and will speak many blasphemous things against the true living God. during his reign he will prosper and grow in power and influence until “the wrath is complete.” I’m not certain if this is referring to the wrath of God or the tribulation. It cannot be the persecution of the church, since it left (was raptured) at the last trumpet a few verses before. This individual will not adhere to the religious system in which he was brought up in, and will become an atheist (not concerned about any god), for he will consider himself a greater god than any other god in existence.
Interestingly, this man will most likely be a homosexual or a celibate since he will have no desire for women. But more fantastic than this, despite his arrogance, his insistence on being above any other divine creature, his actions have already been predetermined by God and are certain to occur.
Many good, competent scholars believe that Ezekiel 38 and 39 are a part of the Armageddon Scenario. Chuck Missler believes that Ezekiel 38 and 39 actually occurs before the 70th Week of Daniel. What is your view and what has convinced you that your view is correct?
This is actually the first time I’ve heard of the alternate view (or even the specifics on the traditional view). I’ve always wondered how the Arabs and Israelites and their issues fit together. The alternate view really explains it well and also provides some important context for current events and the global elities that seem to be assuming control of the world. Personally I’m not convinced of their view. I will take both views under considerations, keep them both as plausible potentialities and wait to see what unfolds.
One issue I’ve always had with the prediction that a third temple needs to be built is there is no way the Muslims around Israel will allow it. But, if all the neighboring countries are wiped out and Israel expands her borders (and a dry bone resurrection takes place within the Jewish nation) they could then easily build a new temple. They have a history of winning unwinnable battles. It’s a fascinating idea.
All through our study in Daniel, we have been leading up to what Jeremiah describes as, the “time of Jacob’s trouble.” We all know that this will be a catastrophic event that will occur sometime in the near future. What are your thoughts concerning WHY this time is destined to come?
As I understand it, this is God putting Israel to the wall for their hardened hearts. Though, it is a paradox since it is God who has put a blindness on them so as to let the fullness of the gentiles come in. So, they really can’t help but not accept Christ (though some do), yet they are being punished for not accepting Christ.
I’m certainly hoping that pre-trib theology is correct and the church is raptured before all of this happens. I’m also hoping my personal salvation theology is correct in that I cannot merit my way to heaven (or to the rapture) – more importantly, God is not looking for something from me other than faith in Christ.
I really don’t want to be on this earth on a good day, let alone at the end of days.
There are many different “saints” described in Scripture. Please name four of these “saint” categories with Scriptural references.
There are only three categories for saints mentioned by Missler in the lecture, which I think all are best encapsulated in the parable of the workers and their pay (Matthew 20:1-16):
OT saints – Habakkuk 2:4; Romans 4:3; 4:6-8
NT saints – Acts 9:13; Phil 4:21; Eph 4:12
End Time saints – Re 7:9; 13:7; 14:12-13; Dan 7:21
Apparently OT saints are accepted for looking forward to the Messiah in faith, the NT saints are accepted for looking backward to the Messiah in faith, and the End-Time saints are saved if they keep both the commandments and the faith of Christ (Re 14:12).
K-W-L Self Assessment: L- Describe what you LEARNED from this session.
This has been a difficult course for me since it was dealing with both prophetic content and end times content. This kind of material I have avoided most of my Christian life. But, things are clearing up for me. I think I have a much stronger conviction for both a pre-millennial and mid-tribulational eschatology than I did previously (I had assumed I was pre-trib but didn’t know why). The content in Daniel’s dreams are fascinating. The alternate view of the Ezekiel 38 and 39 prophecy is very interesting and makes plausible room for a future temple and for Israel’s prosperity, which not only provides motivation for Magog to invade but would also drive Israel in prosperity away from God even further, making the tribulation all that more necessary (if they have peace and safety what use is there in a Messiah). The history connected to Daniel’s prophecy is a bit of a slog, but then I’ve never liked studying the history of this region anyway. I majored in history in undergrad, but I focused on the history and culture of the local native tribes that used to live in this area.
Overall, I would say this is a very good course with a great deal of required research and really pulls the student into the text. I think in the next course I will try a different approach. I will read the discussion questions first before each session so they are in the front of my mind while watching the lecture. Then I will answer the questions immediately after the lecture while its fresh in my mind rather than watching all the lectures first and then going behind to answer the discussion questions. I found I had to re-watch several lectures to find the correct answers.
Until my next assignment….
Please consider supporting my writing, my unschooled studies, and my hermitic lifestyle by purchasing one or more of my books. I’m not supported by academia or have a lucrative corporate job – I’m just a mystical modern-day hermit trying to live out the life I believe God has called me to. So, any support you choose to provide is GREATLY appreciated.
Excerpt from Our Daughter:
“Okay, mom,” Randy said.
“You behave yourself and be nice. You’re lucky to have company while you wait for the doctors.”
The woman turned and started back the way she came.
“The nurse said it would be twenty or thirty more minutes, so we’ll eat quick and be back up here before they take you in, okay?”
“Sorry for him,” the woman said to Katie as she walked by.
As the woman left, Katie noticed the boy moving around again on the bed. Before she realized what was happening, the tiny lump disappeared and she could hear the faint sound of bare hands and feet on the tile floor.
He was low crawling under the beds toward her.
A moment later, Randy popped his head out from under the nearest hospital bed, craning his neck around to look up at her.
“Hello, there,” Katie said.
Randy disappeared back under the bed, the bed sheet draping down almost to the floor. Katie could still see three little fingers pressed to the tile.
“What are you here for?” Katie asked, readjusting her seat in the chair, trying to get the ache in her chest to lessen.
For whatever reason, the wheelchair was really uncomfortable.
“Why are – ”
Randy’s voice trailed off for a moment as he looked around.
“Why are you here?”
“I’m getting my leg fixed,” Katie said. “See?”
Randy poked his head back out from under the bed and looked at the leg she was pointing to.
“What’s wrong with it?”
“The doctor said it’s broken,” Katie said. “Shattered.”
“Can you feel it?” Randy asked, able to stay out from his hiding place.
“I can feel it, but it’s not too bad,” Katie said, then tapped the IV in her arm. “This thing is giving me medicine of some kind for the pain. At least that’s what the nurses said.”
“Why are you – ”
Randy stopped mid-sentence.
He scooted out from under the bed entirely and slowly crept over to er on all fours.
“What are you, some kind of spider?” Katie asked, giggling a little.
“What are you?” Randy echoed.
He was now only about a foot away from her chair and sat there, his legs folded up under him, gawking up at her.
“What are you staring at me for?”
“I’ve never – ”
Randy put out a hesitant hand and ever so gently touched her arm.
“Are you some kind of ghost?”
He looked around again.
“Are you – ”
He leaned in, talking in a whisper.
“Are you dead?”
A nurse came around the corner and stopped abruptly, spotting the empty bed in the far corner where Randy should have been.
“Randy Andrews,” the nurse said, her hands now on her hips. “You get right back into the bed and you stop playing around, please. They are ready for you in surgery.”
Katie watched as Randy scrambled on all fours under the beds and back up onto his, pulling the sheet back over top of himself again.
She started to ask him about his question, but couldn’t get the words out before his parents appeared at the door.
Katie sat there quietly, watching Randy stare back at her from under his sheet. She glanced over at his parents and the nurse, noticed Randy’s dad had no hair on the top of his head.
Are you dead?
What kind of question was that?
The snap of the wheel locks being disengaged on Randy’s hospital bed jarred Katie out of the confusion she was in.
The doctor she’d first seen was now at the door, waiting for Randy.
He was his surgeon.
They wheeled Randy out of the room, his parents following right behind, disappearing to the left, heading for his operating room.
The pre-op room was empty again.
Are you dead?
What kind of crazy question was that?
The nurse came back through the double doors.
“It won’t be long now,” she said.
Katie tried not to think about the dull ache growing just behind her sternum.
The nurse disappeared around the corner as Katie watched the double doors to the operating rooms slowly shut.
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