Daniel

You are currently browsing articles tagged Daniel.

 

…–my people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law of your God, I also will ignore your children. (Hosea 4:6 NIV)

The above has something to say to the “Pan-Millennialists”. I used to think it was clever to remain uncommitted in the Pre-, Mid- or Post-Millennial debate. I used to jokingly say, “I’m Pan-Millennial, since it’ll all ‘pan out’ in the end.” Though I had been through seminary, I thought the “Pan-Millennial” term was witty. Really I was displaying my ignorance. When it comes to matters of great importance, stupidity is never laudable nor laughable. It’s a severe liability. The Word of God to Hosea describes the high price of ignorance“…my people are destroyed for lack of knowledge”. The Lord was not warning his enemies or a people belonging to someone else. He was speaking of the destruction of His own people (“my people”). Pastors who act dumb or uninformed priests are especially culpable. Children (PK’s) will pay the price for daddy’s ignorance (cf. Hos. 4:6b). The pastors/priests are no better off than those who prophesy falsely. At least false prophets are not lukewarm. Within the past year I heard a renowned evangelical, a man I highly respect, address a large Bible conference. In the midst of his message he discouraged what the Bible encourages. He told Christians they were not supposed to have certainty about the details of Jesus’ coming. Did he really mean to say that the Lord authors confusion? Amos 3:7, Isaiah 42:9, 43:19 and John 15:15 flies in the face of the “We aren’t supposed to know what’s coming” theory. How useful to God are those who should possess some knowledge about the end times, but, instead, plead ignorance? Perhaps someone ought to read them the prophets. Maybe they need frightened into a different attitude. Daniel was highly esteemed by heaven (Dan. 10:10, 19). What did Daniel do to merit this great honor? The answer is simple: He read the prophets, specifically, Jeremiah, for clearer understanding (Dan. 9:2-3). Those in God’s throne room will take note of a man who pursues knowledge. Daniel is an example. Heaven’s messenger said to him,

“Do not be afraid Daniel. Since the first day you set your mind to gain understanding, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them.” (Dan. 9:12 NIV)

The heavenly messenger had a few last words to God’s esteemed servant, Daniel, that we need to hear. At the end of the book that bears his name, we read:

He replied, “Go your way Daniel, because the words are closed up and sealed until the time of the end. Many will be purified, made spotless and refined, but the wicked will continue to be wicked. None of the wicked will understand, but those who are wise will understand.” (Dan. 12:9-10 NIV)

Regardless what anyone says, for God’s people who possess the Law and the Prophets, ignorance is punishable. The Lord has spoken in Genesis to Revelation. There is honor for the wise who understand and a high price for those who lack of knowledge.

Tags: , , , ,

” He shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall make sacrifice and offering cease; and in their place shall be an abomination that desolates, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.” (Daniel 9:27 NRSV).

In the last post, it was noted that Jesus spoke with authority during the Festival of Lights (Hanukkah). He declared the Father and Son were one and it angered the Jewish authorities. Why would Jesus make such a declaration during this festive occasion? Hanukkah is not one of the Holy days that God ordained in the Torah so why should Christians care about it?

The Feast of the Dedication is documented in the historically accurate apochrypha book 1 Maccabees. It describes an evil ruler (Antiochus Epiphanes IV) who perpetuated much violence against God-fearing Jewish people. This sinful root (1 Maccabees 1:10) made a covenant with renegades from Israel to mislead many. The king authorized the rebellious of Israel to observe ordinances of the Gentiles (Greek culture). On the 15th day of the month of Kislev, a desolating sacrilege (statue of Zeus) was set up on the altar of burnt offering. Then on the 25th day an unclean(swine) sacrifice was offered and Antiochus Epiphanes claimed to be the incarnation of Zeus. Antiochus had Jewish families put to death for observing the covenant of circumcision (Genesis 17:10-11). The infants were hung on the neck of their mothers. (cf: 1 Maccabees 1:41-64).

A priestly family arose, and rebelled against this wayward king. God provided the victory and the Maccabee family cleansed and purified the temple. Early in the morning on the 25th day of the 9th month in 167 BC sacrifices according to the law were offered on the new altar. “At the very season on the very day that the Gentiles had profaned it, it was dedicated with songs and harps…..all the people fell on their faces and blessed the God of Heaven who prospered them. (1 Maccabees 1:54-55 NRSV).

Thus, Hanukkah (the Feast of the Dedication) was born. It was the near fulfillment of the prophecy in Daniel 9. In Matthew 24:15-28, Jesus tells of the end time fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy. With that, our Lord links the events that led to Hanukkah with the final desolation caused by the antichrist. In the next post, we will explore why Satan attacked on 25 Kislev and how it connects to an ancient prophecy in Haggai. EJ

Tags: , ,

Withitness

While taking education courses in the late 1980s, I was introduced to the term “withitness”. I learned it meant what it implied, “an aptitude for being with it”. A teacher needs to be aware of his/her environment. Educators should know the strengths and weaknesses of their students. Nothing surprises them because of vigilance and the continual pursuit of “withitness”. This concept is relevant in understanding Biblical prophecy.

An effective prophecy instructor understands Scripture as a whole, not separate parts. The mantra of a prophet is “The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” (Revelation 19:10). The Amplified Bible explains this by stating that the spirit of prophecy is “ the vital breath, the inspiration of Biblical preaching regarding God’s divine will and purpose for the last days. The Greek/English Lexicon defines forgiveness as not only accepting the repentance of another but remembering it no more (throw it away.) The Holy Spirit reveals truth, so different interpretations mean that someone is restraining The Advocate from making God’s Word plain. As stated in the previous post, some Bible teachers say we are not to know God’s plan for the future salvation of his people. However, Amos 3:7 proclaims the opposite. “Surely, the Sovereign Lord does NOTHING without revealing His plan to His servants, the prophets.”

When we realize the Lord wants us to know what he’s doing, then we are “with it”. We then possess the foundation to accurately handling prophecy. 

Matthew 18:21-22 gives us a great example that contrasts application with Scripture’s proper interpretation. In this account, the Apostle Peter asks Jesus a question: “ Lord, how many times should I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”  Jesus responded, Not 7 times but seventy times seven.” The Greek/English Lexicon defines “forgiveness” as “accepting the repentance and letting the transgression go”. Notice that Jesus gave Peter a specific number. Does 70 times 7 mean we must forgive as many times as we are asked? Does it mean we forgive an infinite number of times? I heard these explanations from pulpits. Jesus desires that we always forgive out of a loving heart, but what I was taught was an application not the correct interpretation.

To understand what our Lord meant, we must look elsewhere for the term 70 times 7. We find it in Daniel 9:24. Interestingly, Jesus, the Messiah, refers to Daniel in Matthew 24:15 in the context of the sign of His coming and of the end of the age. There Jesus exhorted us, “Let the reader understand.” The disciples with him on the Mount of Olives were “hearers.” We are the readers. (This is awareness or withitness). So to grasp the full meaning of 70 times 7, then Daniel 9:24 must be studied in depth.

Daniel is pouring over the Book of Jeremiah. He seeks an answer from God on how long Judah will remain in captivity. He found that 70 years was prophesied and the time was almost up. God’s message was intended for Daniel to pass on to us, we who will be in Christ at the end of this age.

“Seventy sevens (weeks) are decreed for your people and your holy city, to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint THE MOST HOLY PLACE.”

This is quite a revelation.  Leviticus 25:8 refers to “weeks” as seven years. Four hundred ninety years are decreed for Daniel’s people, the Israelites, all twelve tribes. At the end of the 70 weeks, the transgressions and sins of Israel will be atoned for and remembered no more.

Yahweh, the Lord, introduced Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, to yearly cleanse his people.  Four hundred and ninety prophetic years will be how long it takes for all Israel to recognize Jesus as Savior and receive cleansing by His Blood. Then their sin will be gone forever and everlasting righteousness, JESUS HIMSELF, will be ushered in.

Yom Kippur is the ultimate fulfillment of the 70 weeks. It also indicates what day this age will end on (sp. The Day of Atonement.)

God answered Daniel in a way that informed him the captivity would soon end. On the issue of forgiveness, Jesus enlightened Peter like the angel did Daniel. Four hundred and ninety prophetic years will be necessary to forgive Peter’s people. He, too, was an Israelite and a possessor of the spirit of prophecy. In time, this disciple would know what his Lord meant by the numbers 70 times 7. So prophecy teachers must yield to the Advocate as their guide. They are duty bound to harmonize Scripture; then ultimate truth will be realized and withitness will be manifest.-EJ

Tags: , , , , ,