Six and Seven


Author: Dale Small Date: Sunday, March 15, 2015 Campus:
This week Dale focused in on Daniel chapters 6 & 7. If you want to listen again to the talk click here, otherwise the questions and transcript are below. Let us know how you were impacted by this one.

This week Dale focused in on Daniel chapters 6 & 7. If you want to listen again to the talk click here, otherwise the questions and transcript are below. Let us know how you were impacted by this one.

1. What do you feel God was saying to you through this talk?

2. What surprised you about this subject?

3. What practical action do you feel you need to make as a result of what God has been saying to you?

The book of Daniel!
Specifically Daniel, chapters 7-12

My bible commentary has this to say about this section

“Even some of the most experienced biblical scholars struggle with the book of Daniel. Although there are clear interpretations from Daniel of his visions and dream in several of the chapters. The visions deeper meanings are still cause for much fall out  and controversy amongst Christians today”

That’s a great start.

We’ve had some wonderful teaching from Gareth and Andy over the last month. Dealing with the subjects of listening to God and trusting God.

They mainly dealt with chapters 1-5/6

I’m not going to lie to you all. I’ve been struggling to pull together the material for this mornings teaching. I’ve been asked to look at one of the visions in the 2nd half of the book of Daniel. Chapters 7-12

Not struggling in the sense of I don’t have a tonne of stuff that I’d happily go over. Or the lessons I’ve learned and walked with the help of the book of Daniel.

My notes here have evolved extensively from my first draft several weeks ago.

I’ve been struggling to understand why it is that I should talk about Daniel. Why is it that I’m the one up here. I’ve been a Christian for just over 6 years now…

I’ve read Daniel a handful of times in that period… I’ve purposely studied the book only once…  And that was the start of this year.

The fact that roughly 80% of all Christians come to Christ before the age of 18 means that minus the 10 teenagers at the back 80-90 of you have been a Christian a lot longer then me.

So if you are a Christian of many years…

I don’t need to tell you about Daniels dream of four beasts.

His vision of the coming of the end times. Where Jesus will come again!

I don’t need to tell you that the first beast is a metaphor for Babylonia. The place where Daniel resides.

I don’t need to tell you that ultimately we have seen the first half of the vision come to fruition. The fall of the Babylonians, the rise of the Medo-persian or Persian empire. The rise and fall of the Greek and romans empires.

I don’t need to tell you the second half of the vision hasn’t happened yet. In the New testament (written several hundred years later) In the books of John he says “it hasn’t happened yet”.

Dan 7:27

Daniel refers to the fact that there will be a “king” (antichrist) who arises and opposes Jesus but he’ll be removed and then…

Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of all the kingdoms under heaven will be handed over to the holy people of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him.”

I hope you agree with me and say that as much a Milton Keynes is the land of milk and honey, it is not heaven. It is not his everlasting kingdom.

Whether you’re a Christian or not yet a Christian we can all agree MK is not heaven!

If you’re one of those 80% I don’t need to tell you these things do I?

Or do I? This week I’ve felt challenged by God to address not just the book of Daniel(Chapters 7-12) but the bible at large.

Gareth has in the past used the story where someone in the church comes up to him and says “Pastor Gareth. I’m not comfortable with ministry and prayer. I’m not really a praying kind of person” Gareth Responds “we’ll we’re a praying kind of church and that’s not going to change So you’re going to need to start.

I may be embellishing there…. But you get the point….

The amount of times I have heard. “I’m not really a bible kind of person.
Well I have to tell you we’re a bible kind of church.

The vineyard is incredibly liberal… Socially.

It is orthodox, biblically!

The only way we can come close to understanding God

is by basing ourselves in the truths of the bible. Our experiences are based on biblical truths.

Anything outside of that is not God.

How do I know that God loves me? Because the bible tells me so.

How do I know that he cares for me? Because the bible tells me so.

How do I know this is all true? That the bible is his word manifest in written format? Because the things we read in the bible still happen today. The experiences, the healings, the lessons, everything.

How do I know this is true? Because I experience it through God’s people. The love kindness, care, healing.

And I’ve even purposely missed out the ministering’s of the Holy spirit in this understanding to make a point.

The kingdom of Babylon Where Daniel is exiled as a teenager is not so different from our own society.

It is idolatrous, we no longer worship the sun god Marduk or our earthly kings.

But I can guarantee if you let me look at you bank account I find an idol or two.

We no enforce the death penalty for those who do not follow the demands of the king.

But we will silence those who speak against injustice and stand up for God. The media will ridicule them and they will be effectively ostracized from normal society.

We no longer build 20metre tall statues to our God. That when some music is played we will all bow to it

But we build temples to money and gold and possessions. We laud musicians on stage and worship them in their own right.

Not much has changed.

To understand the importance of the book of Daniel and bible I want to set the scene. I know that Gareth and Andy have eluded to some of what is happening with the people of Judah at this time but I wanted to dig a little deeper here.

Lets go back 50 years before the book of Daniel. The Assyrians had conquered both the Tribes of Israel and Judah. Their kingdom spans the from Babylonia (Iraq/ Tigris) to the Nile Delta. (Egypt) At the height of their power it all goes pear shaped and is thrown away and Babylonia with the alliance of the Medes sacks the Assyrian’s capitol Ninebar and then take most the their lands and moves the capitol to Babylon.

This kingdom of Babylon would only last for around 100 years before also being sacked by The Achaemenid Empire, also known as the First Persian empire (Side note they’d later be destroyed by Alexander the great in 344BC)

Anyway

The first half of Daniel deals with the stories of Daniel in the Babylonian empire. His directly deals with Nebuchadnezzar for the fist 4 chapters. Then chapter 5 skips to King Belshazzar. Prince or King Belshazzar comes to power around 50 years after Daniel is taken into captivity.

Between chapter 4 and 5,  4 or 5 decades take place. There’s been 4 kings who’ve been an gone in that time that arnt even mentioned.

Chapter 6 Darius The mede Ruler of Babylonia for only around for a year at best he was killed by another power hungry ruler. Then finally Cyrus invades and the Persians are in charge.

We know when David was taken away. 605BC… It is mentioned in Daniel 1:1-2

1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. 2 And the Lord delivered Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, along with some of the articles from the temple of God. These he carried off to the temple of his god in Babylonia[a] and put in the treasure-house of his god.

He’s probably in his mid teens.

He died a year after Cyrus comes to power Dan 1:21

And Daniel remained there until the first year of King Cyrus.

Cyrus doesn’t conquer Babylon until 539bc.

66years… 66 years in exile. To put that into context. If I had taken you away from your home in your mid teens and taken you to Baghdad… This would have taken place in 1949

Almost 70 years. He outlives 3 empires. We said between Nebuchanezzar and Belshazzar there are 4 over kings

Amel-Marduk

Neriglissar

Labashi-Marduk

Nabonidus

If you read Daniel you wont get all of that information.

There is a wealth of information out there around this book. They are much smarter people then me who have researched and collated historical and archeological data. I got all of that information from 4 separate sources.

I didn’t know any of this until two months ago. I’ve read Daniel a maybe a handful of times over the last 6 years of my Christian life. I knew none of this.

I knew Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Daniel being called Beltesshazzar The lions den, the interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. Even one of the bits in the later half of the book that Jesus mentions in Matthew. Part of one of the prophesies.

But I knew none of the surrounding information.

By spending an hour looking into this background I have deepened my knowledge not only of the book of Daniel but the surround books.

One of the profound acknowledgements Is that Daniel is wise a Godly man….

To be trusted for over 60 years by 3 different empires, over 10 kings…..

We live in an age where so much information is available so many formats, so many different ways of experiencing things.

This is true of our church.

If this is your first time at GUV welcome! there are many different flavours of church in MK…

Next Thursday we are having an elective entitled “How to study the bible for all it’s worth”

I’m studying with the Vineyard institute. Conveniently, this term, I am studying the later prophets of the Old Testament (the books of Isaiah through to Malichi)

Sadly the biblical scholars among you will know even though the book of Daniel is five books into this section of the bible… it isn’t considered to be part of the later prophets…. 

If you want to know more about the VI please ask me.

Do you know what’s more important then all of that. Even though it was really easy to look it up.

That I just pick up my bible and I read. And I pray. And I worship.

At times I will see things that weird me out

Daniel says in 8:27

I, Daniel, was worn out. I lay exhausted for several days. Then I got up and went about the king’s business. I was appalled by the vision; it was beyond understanding.

There are things that I struggle to agree with. If you’ve not read your bible before I’d recommend you save Deuteronomy, Leviticus and numbers for latter.

There are bits I adore. In Daniel The wonderful use of the phrase Ancient of Days.

Daniel 7:9

 ‘As I looked,

‘thrones were set in place,

    and the Ancient of Days took his seat.

His clothing was as white as snow;

    the hair of his head was white like wool.

His throne was flaming with fire,

    and its wheels were all ablaze.

Ancient of Days. Which simply means God. 

In arameik. Atik Yomin

Greek – Palaios Hemeron.

In vulgate (Latin) Antiquus Dierum

I’m dancing around the point I want to make here.

Pick up your bible! Find information around the sections you are reading.

You, me everyone is empowered to take up his word and run with it. You don’t need me to tell you it. If you do want to listen I will tell you about it and the stuff I’ve found… and experienced…. And learnt…

Open up the soul survivor bible in a year app and watch the 3 minute video. Spend time listening to different preachers and most of all read the bible yourself!

So I’ve kind gone about teaching Daniel 7-12 by not really hitting on Daniel 7-12.

This week rather then print outs of the chapters, I encourage you to go away and read Daniel. It’ll take you half an hour…

And If you don’t have a bible to take with you. I will give you one.

If the version you have is hard to read or you struggle with the translation… I will give you a better one that helps. I will point you to commentaries and resources that a written by wonderful Godly people.

If you struggle with reading. I will give you an audio copy and failing that I will spend time with you and read with you and we can together learn and grow.

If you find your life is to cluttered. That you cant make time for it. I will help you make time.

If you just plain cannot be bothered, you’ve given up, you don’t care what it says, I will meet with you and we’ll spit ball it out.

I’ve heard it several times. I’m not a bible kind of person? I love church, I love Jesus I love the feeling when I worship, When I serve when I feel the spirit move.

There are a lot of people in here who will tell you that the most intense moments of their lives have been when the spirit has met with them whilst their reading their bible.

Half of the worship songs we sing are biblical verses

The church you love is founded on biblical truths and principles.

The culture that we share is biblical.

The love of Jesus is laid out for us in the bible.

I’m not a bible kind of person…

Well if you’re coming here and involved in GUV

The bible is already entrenched in you. You just need to pick it up.

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