By Pastor Hal Mayer
Warm Christian greetings from your friends at Keep the Faith Ministry. We believe that we are at the end of time and that it is vitally important for us to consider the things that lie before us. Jesus has been so good to us that He has given us a clear picture of the coming crisis in scripture. At the same time He has offered to us the power to resist all the pressure that Satan can bring to bear upon us. As you listen to this month’s sermon, I hope you will look more deeply into the story of Daniel in Babylon than ever before.
Remember that many of the stories in the book of Daniel give us illustrations of what is going to happen to God’s faithful people in the future final crisis just before Jesus comes again. Sometimes they only apply to a part of it, and sometimes they are more broad and sweeping. What is told to us in the sacred writings of the prophets is meant for us on whom the ends of the world are come. And God has faithfully preserved them for us to read so that we can learn the important lessons for our own lives and our own times directly from them. Some people think that the stories in the Bible are merely good stories that have no real bearing on their lives. They think that they are good children’s stories perhaps, with a good moral to them, but they are not really more than that. Even those of us that would see them as a bit more meaningful often pass off these stories as of not much depth and consequence. Yet it is the depth and power of these stories that can mean so much to us if we will understand them and heed them. But before we begin, let us bow our heads in prayer and ask for God to send His Holy Spirit to inspire us with His personal presence.
Our heavenly Father, thank you for your sustaining love and power to keep us faithful. Teach us today, through your Holy Spirit how to stay faithful when threatened with death. As we study the scriptures today, may the Holy Spirit’s personal presence inspire us and show us how close we are to the repetition of the things that happened in days when Babylon ruled the world. May we learn the lessons for our times. In Jesus’ holy and sacred name, amen.
You may remember that Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah were four of many Jewish young men who had been taken captive by Nebuchadnezzar’s army and taken to Babylon. There they faced the test of temperance while their fellow Hebrews were dining with delight from the king’s table. Their experience was a mini-crisis that would prepare them to face larger and more powerful crises. It is important to note that God uses the smaller crises in our lives to prepare us for larger crises and for larger responsibilities. With each step He takes us deeper, all with the purpose to unite us to Himself and teach us the character of God, and make an example of our faithfulness to the world around us. He wants us to reveal Himself in our own characters as we pass through the trial. There is no use complaining. There is no use arguing with God. He knows what is best and the best thing that you can do is to yield to His decisions and determine not to defile yourself with worldliness or dishonor Him in any way. And while you are at it, make the assumption that God has a purpose in it for you. Assume that He will use you in a powerful way to reveal His character and Glory to the world that is watching your stress.
Again the key is the story behind the story. How God delivered Daniel and his friends is truly amazing. No novel could read better than this. It is simply miraculous. Daniel’s faith in God and his prayer life are brought into full view and full power in this turbo-charged, tension-filled story of deliverance from a life-threatening emergency. Wouldn’t you like to have been through such an experience? Maybe, when we look back on it, but would we shrink from it when facing it head on? Not Daniel. He calmly met the emergency with prayer and faith. In every trial in life, this is the solution. Confidence in God is strengthened by prayer and faith. And God works behind the scenes to deliver marvelously.
Let us begin the story by reading from Daniel chapter two, verse one. “And in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, wherewith his spirit was troubled, and his sleep brake from him.”
Nebuchadnezzar had only recently installed Daniel and his three friends and the other Hebrews into positions of responsibility after their three years of training, and after they had demonstrated that they were ten times more knowledgeable than all the diviners in the realm. But the scripture says that it was the second year of Nebuchadnezzar when he dreamed a dream. There is only one explanation of this and it lies in the inclusiveness of the ancient calendar reckoning. Daniel and his fellow Hebrews were brought into Babylon and started their training in the accession year of Nebuchadnezzar, the year in which he took the throne. That was their first year of training. Their second year of training began after the new year in which Nebuchadnezzar began his first full year as ruler, according to Babylonian reckoning. And their third year, ended during the second year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign. There could not have been much time then from the time they were installed in government until Nebuchadnezzar had his dream.
God’s timing was in this. Things were going along quite well. But then Nebuchadnezzar had the dream. Nebuchadnezzar was troubled. He believed that dreams were means by which the gods communicate with man. The God of heaven, the God above all gods was using the dream to communicate with Nebuchadnezzar about important events in the future, though his pagan mind was not clear on who the God of heaven was. But God used this dream to reveal Himself to Nebuchadnezzar through His servant Daniel who was one of the very few who were actually cooperating with Him. He could not use the other compromising Hebrews. But Daniel and his three friends were men of faith and prayer, and God was about to honor that. Here is an important lesson. You will never be used by God in the time of the latter rain, if you are compromising. You have time now, to learn not to compromise but to purpose in your heart to live by principle. Then when the test comes, you will be ready to live faithfully.
Nebuchadnezzar couldn’t even remember the dream. He knew it was a portend of the future, but it had escaped from him. He couldn’t understand why. But God knew why, and perhaps when Daniel and his three friends found out about it, they might have guessed why.
But Nebuchadnezzar was frustrated. The Bible says his spirit was troubled and his sleep brake from him. He was wide awake. Here he was the head of the Babylonian religion and he knew that the dream was for him. He had been trained in all the Babylonian wisdom and understanding in preparation for his rulership, but none of that would help him now. He understood Babylonian astrology. He understood Babylonian mythology. He was well versed in interpretation of signs in the heavens, and mystical theories, and was the chief of soothsayers. He could read the sorcerer’s cards and dice better than the magicians and soothsayers of the realm. Yet this mysterious dream seemed to him to be the most impossible. If the gods wanted him to understand it, why was it gone? But God had a purpose in preventing Nebuchadnezzar from remembering the dream. He wanted to bring attention to His servant Daniel. He wanted to elevate Daniel in the eyes of the Babylonians. Had Nebuchadnezzar been able to remember it, no doubt the magicians and other sorcerers of the realm, or even Nebuchadnezzar himself would have certainly placed their own spin on the interpretation and would probably have gotten the interpretation wrong. Daniel would have been ignored, and God’s purpose to raise him in the notice of Nebuchadnezzar and his court, and to the rest of the world for all time, would have been thwarted. God was also planning to firmly establish the confidence of the king in Daniel.
That is exactly what God wants to do to His people at the end of time. Those who are faithful to God during the run up to the image of the beast and its full power, and during the run up to the time when spiritual Babylon will rule again, they will be brought to the forefront to show the glory of God and His power. Daniel is a representative of God’s loyal servants at the end of time. God intends to place His faithful servants at the head and not the tail. They may be ridiculed by their fellow church members as Daniel and his friends probably were, but God will silence them when His faithful servants are exalted.
Finally, the king could stand it no longer. We read about it in verse 2. He crawled out of bed and called his magicians, astrologers, sorcerers and all the diviners of the realm.
Verse 3-4. And the king said unto them, I have dreamed a dream, and my spirit was troubled to know the dream (or its interpretation). Then spake the Chaldeans to the king in Syriack, O king, live for ever: tell thy servants the dream, and we will shew the interpretation.” I’m sure they would have been more than happy to put their foolish spin on the dream to exalt Nebuchadnezzar and flatter him and perhaps gain their own advantage. These kinds of people are always around. Whenever there is an opportunity, they jump at it, in order to advance themselves.
Verse 5-6. “The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, the thing is gone from me: if ye will not make known unto me the dream, with the interpretation thereof, ye shall be cut in pieces, and your houses shall be made a dunghill.” This unreasonable demand and its unreasonable penalty changed the situation immediately. Suddenly these high ranking men were faced with a perilous problem. They would be killed and there was not one of them who had any way of complying with the king’s demand.
Verse 7. “They answered again and said, let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will shew the interpretation of it.” It was as if they were saying that they had not been trained to reveal such things.
Verse 8. “The king answered and said, I know of certainty that ye would gain the time (or buy time), because ye see the thing is gone from me.” Nebuchadnezzar was suspicious that they would try to take advantage of him, so he accused them of playing games with him.
The king continued in verse 9, “But if ye will not make known unto me the dream, there is but one decree (or penalty) for you: for ye have prepared lying and corrupt words to speak before me, till the time be changed (or until he forgets about the whole affair, or until they can invent some acceptable reply): therefore tell me the dream, and I shall know that ye can shew me the interpretation.” Of course, Nebuchadnezzar didn’t want some invented explanation. He wanted the truth. If the gods were trying to tell him something, he wanted to be sure that he would get it right. His confidence in the Chaldeans was shaken. He could not trust any interpretation that was not rooted in knowing the dream too.
My friends, great movements were about to take place in the days of Nebuchadnezzar, and God wanted Nebuchadnezzar to understand them. He also wanted His church to understand them too, from the time of Daniel and his faithful friends right down to our own time. And this is the link between the story and prophecies of Daniel and our time. The dream of Nebuchadnezzar and its interpretation have given God’s people enormous confidence in the prophecies of the Bible. And it is important for us to be able to see that the prophecies that applied to past ages actually came to pass as they were revealed, so that we will have confidence that the prophecies that apply to our time will also certainly come to pass. We cannot do without them. They are vital for us to understand.
Then in verse 10, the Chaldeans anxiously protested the king’s demand. But in the process, they fully reveal their complete and utter inadequacy. They even plainly say that no one has that ability. Listen. “The Chaldeans answered before the king, and said, There is not a man upon the earth that can shew the king’s matter: therefore there is no king, lord, nor ruler, that asked such things at any magician, or astrologer, or Chaldean. And it is a rare thing that the king requireth, and there is none other that can shew it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with men.” In other words, they were helpless. I love this. They actually admit that only the gods can reveal these things. Little did they know that there is only one God who can reveal these things, and that God does dwell with men. He dwells with men and women who love Him and serve Him faithfully with all their hearts, men and women who give themselves unreservedly to Him, men and women who purpose in their hearts to do nothing that will dishonor Him in word or deed. My friend, are you one of those? Do you have that kind of relationship with the God of Daniel? You can you know. He offers it to YOU! That is why the story is there in Chapter two of Daniel.
A request such as Nebuchadnezzar’s had never before been asked of any category of diviner. This was completely new. Do you remember the rebellion of Korah, Dathan and Abirim? Moses stood before the people and said, “Hereby ye shall know that the Lord hath sent me to do all these works; for I have not done them of mine own mind. If these men die the common death of all men, or if they be visited after the visitation of all men, then the Lord hath not sent me. But if the Lord make a new thing, and the earth open her mouth, and swallow them up, with all that appertain unto them, and they go down quick into the pit, then ye shall understand that these men have provoked the Lord.” Numbers 16:28-30. The influence of Korah, Dathan and Abirim on Israel was completely destroyed when the Lord did a new thing and the earth swallowed them up.
When God does a new thing, He is about to do something to those that oppose him. He is about to destroy their influence. The fire on the alter of Elijah was another example of a new thing that God did to destroy His enemies in Israel. It completely exposed the deceitful prophets of Baal, and set them up to be killed by Elijah himself. Their influence was destroyed and God was honored. Then there was the time when God did a new thing to the armies of Syria. He blinded them and through Elisha exposed them and made them completely vulnerable to the king of Israel. It brought glory to God and completely defeated the enemies of Israel. God has a pattern of doing new things in defeating His enemies and exalting His Holy Name.
Apply this principle in the time of Daniel. These Chaldeans were pagans, they knew not the God of heaven and had no interest in Him. Nor were they very enamored with the Jews, as you will see when we study chapter three. They were jealous and envious of them. But right now, they unwittingly admit that what they were being asked to do was a new thing. Yet that is exactly what God intended to do with Daniel. He was going to do a new thing and use Daniel to do the very thing that the king demanded, much to the embarrassment of all the diviners of Babylon. The earth was about to open its mouth, so to speak, and swallow up their influence. Their credibility was about to decline precipitously. You can understand why they were so jealous of Daniel in Chapter six that they conspired to kill him. They were utterly discredited in the eyes of the king, while Daniel and his friends, and especially the God of heaven were exalted.
Now think about this as it relates to the end of time. When Babylon rules again, God intends to display His truth through His last generation of faithful followers and they will see a new thing. The latter rain will be a new thing indeed. The power of the message will be enormous. It will be much more powerful than the early rain and will match the magnitude of the sheer rebellion of the whole world against our God. God will expose the arrogant enemies of His truth and His people just like he exposed the deceitful and conspiring Chaldeans. Their influence will fall helpless in the dust. Just before He comes again, when Babylon oppresses God’s people one last time, He will expose their conspiracy and their lies. He will expose their efforts to destroy God’s people and their influence will be cut off. But it will be too late for them and for those that followed them.
Nebuchadnezzar became very angry and determined to destroy those conspiring and dishonest Chaldeans. Their proud wisdom was not very useful now. Verse 12, “For this cause the king was angry and very furious, and commanded to destroy all the wise men of Babylon. And the decree went forth that the wise men should be slain; and they sought Daniel and his fellows to be slain.”
Daniel had not been at the meeting of the wise men with the king. He had been overlooked because perhaps, he was still so new in his position as one of the supposedly wise men of the kingdom, that they did not bother to call them. They considered he and his friends to be novices in important matters, even though the record states that Daniel and his three friends were ten times more wise than all the magicians and astrologers in all the realm. This was a very important early morning meeting with the king. Those Chaldeans in charge must have thought that Daniel was too young and too inexperienced for this high level divining. This problem needed the most experienced diviners in the kingdom. Besides, these were Hebrews. After all, what could they really offer to the king at this time of crisis? The Chaldeans may even have had some jealousy over their appointment to important positions in the realm. They might have hoped that here was a way they could protest quietly without arousing the suspicions of the king. But God was going to overthrow all that.
When Daniel and his friends were confronted with the demand of the king to kill all the supposedly “wise men” of the kingdom because they could not tell him the dream, he realized that it was time for action. When the search party arrived at his door, we are told in verse 14 and 15 that “Daniel answered with counsel and wisdom to Arioch the captain of the king’s guard, which was gone forth to slay the wise men of Babylon: He answered and said to Arioch the king’s captain, Why is the decree so hasty from the king? Then Arioch made the thing known to Daniel.
Daniel saw the urgency of the matter and requested a personal audience with the king. You can see why Daniel was granted the audience. After all, the matter was so intense and the king was so frustrated that he could not get the dream back, and angry at the Chaldeans, that the prospect of a revelation certainly opened his mind to what Daniel had to say. Perhaps he was already beginning to think about the rashness of his decision.
Verse 16. “Then Daniel went in, and desired of the king that he would give him time, and that he would shew the king the interpretation.”
Daniel respectfully stated his case, perhaps telling the king that he had not been invited to the meeting and that he needed a little time. We don’t know what Daniel said exactly, but we do know that he promised that he would tell the king his dream and the interpretation. No doubt the king, having had a little time himself to cool off, felt that Daniel’s request was reasonable. So he granted it.
Now it was time for prayer, earnest, intense, soul agonizing prayer. Verse 17: “Then Daniel went to his house, and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions: That they would desire mercies of the God of heaven concerning this secret; that Daniel and his fellows should not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.”
They were concerned about their lives, yes, but they were more concerned about the work of God in Babylon. They may have even sensed that they were the real target in the unseen controversy going on, and recognized that their death would not advance God’s cause. Satan no doubt knew that the blessing of God was on these men. He no doubt knew that in sweeping up and killing all the wise men of Babylon, Daniel and his friends would also be destroyed. This is classic satanic conspiracy. If Daniel and his friends would have been killed, we would not have some of the most important prophecies in the Bible. Nor would we have the further stories to encourage our faith during the final crisis in the last days. So Satan would have had quite an interest in destroying Daniel, and probably that was his real purpose in prompting Nebuchadnezzar to order the death of all his wise men.
Often Satan tries to destroy or hurt God’s true people by indirect means, so that he can prevent their influence later. But angels that excel in strength gather around them and protect them don’t they? But it requires prayer and supplication. It requires a walk with God that is steady and purposeful. It requires self-discipline and carefulness in the things we do, the things we eat and the places we go. The angel of God encamps around about those who love Him and fear Him. Remember God has a purpose to fulfill with those who are faithful. He proposes to greatly increase their influence even through conflict and trial so that they may reveal His character and glory to the ungodly world around them.
I can imagine Daniel and his friends talking about the dangerous situation. They would be dead now had it not been for the intervention of God in giving them time. Now they discussed the need for God to come through and give them mercy and show them what Nebuchadnezzar saw in his dream. But they must have encouraged each other not to be anxious, for God would answer their prayers. Then they got on their knees no doubt and had an earnest prayer meeting to plead with God to provide them with divine answers to the problem.
This we must learn to do likewise. Problems and threats to our lives and ministry are designed to cause us to get on our knees and pray for a solution. God always provides. God is honored when His faithful praying servants plead their case. He longs to deliver them from every difficulty and from every problem. But so often we don’t pray. We fall on our own resources and our own ingenuity to solve the problem and we don’t pray. Often God mercifully allows us to get out of difficulty, but then brings us around again so that we can learn to trust Him more fully and more completely.
In trust and confidence Daniel and his friends went to bed that night in peace. During the night the Spirit of Prophecy went to work. The Holy Spirit gave Daniel the same dream that Nebuchadnezzar had. Verse 19 and 20 tells us; “Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven. Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his: And he changeth the times and seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding: He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him. I thank thee, and praise thee, O thou God of my fathers, who hast given me wisdom and might, and hast made known unto me now what we desired of thee: for thou has now made known unto us the king’s matter.”
You can imagine the rejoicing among the four of them when Daniel told his friends what he had seen in vision! What an experience of faith. Their lives were in danger, and God came through as He had with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses and a whole host of their fathers. And he gives God the credit. He knows that it is not in him that this supernatural power resides. It is in God and he only wants to give God the praise. I love Daniel’s prayer. It reflects his confidence in God. His heart is overflowing with love. You can imagine his excitement. Yet he is humbled by it all.
Let me ask you, my friend. Do you have experience with God as did Daniel? Has God delivered you from danger or from great difficulty? Do you praise Him as much as Daniel did? If you are a child of God, you have the same “spiritual fathers” that Daniel had. You have Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses and a whole host of others who are your fathers. And Christ was their God and He is your God too. When you pray, you are praying to the God of your fathers as verily as Daniel was. He is the same today as He was then. He will deliver you and sustain you just as He did to Daniel and his faithful friends.
The last generation of faithful souls on earth will have a powerful experience just as did Daniel. They will have the Spirit of Prophecy rest on them. Joel chapter two, verse 28-29 makes that clear. “and it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour our my spirit.”
God plans to demonstrate His truth and magnify it for all to see. He will pour out His spirit on all flesh so that they can comprehend. Most will be startled by the power of the message under the latter rain. It is God’s purpose to expose the falsehood of Satan so that everyone can make a clear distinction between the truth and the error if they want to. Many will see and understand and believe. Others will blind themselves and refuse the light and turn from it. But the Holy Spirit will make it so manifest that it compels attention.
Listen to these words about the latter rain from the book Great Controversy, page 606 and 607. “As the time comes for [the message of the third angel] to be given with greatest power, the Lord will work through humble instruments, leading the minds of those who consecrate themselves to His service. The laborers will be qualified rather by the unction of His Spirit than by the training of literary institutions. Men of faith and prayer will be constrained to go forth with holy zeal, declaring the words which God gives them. The sins of Babylon will be laid open. The fearful results of enforcing the observances of the church by civil authority, the inroads of spiritualism, the stealthy but rapid progress of the papal power—all will be unmasked. By these solemn warnings the people will be stirred. Thousands upon thousands will listen who have never heard words like these. In amazement they hear the testimony that Babylon is the church, fallen because of her errors and sins, because of her rejection of the truth sent to her from heaven.”
What a powerful time that will be. All will be exposed. And it will happen by the unction of the Holy Spirit, not by the human training in literary institutions. Think about it for a minute. You don’t have to have a doctoral degree to qualify to receive the latter rain and give the final message of God to the world. You need to know Jesus and have His power giving you victory in your life. In fact, all the training of literary institutions will be worthless if it is not training you to serve God and Him only. Many who have advanced degrees, even in theology, will have their minds so steeled against the Holy Spirit, that they will not accept the call to come out of Babylon and join God’s true people. Many, even in God’s church who have pursued degree after degree will laugh at those that yearn to overcome their sins, and who plead with God to do it in their lives today. They will ridicule and abuse those who teach others that they must overcome their sins by the life of Christ living in them. They will call them legalists and fanatics, just as the compromising Hebrews may have said of Daniel and his three friends.
And many common people think that it is the leaders who have their PHDs and THDs and other literary degrees that will tell them when the Holy Spirit is going to be poured out. They think that if something has the approval of some learned theologian or leader, then it must be of God. This is a serious mistake. You must know the truth for yourself. You must have your own relationship with Jesus. You must know the Bible and have it imbedded in your heart. You cannot expect that some great theologian or academic is going to tell you when it is time to get ready? You cannot expect that some respected church leader is going to warn you of the coming Sunday laws and the crisis coming upon God’s remnant church. In fact, it is often the opposite. When God sends a warning to His people, it is often these very ones who stand in the way and try to calm the people’s anxious fears, telling them that they do not need to worry, God loves them just the way they are and that they don’t need to change. They don’t need to put away their sins. They tell them the lie that God will change their characters at the second coming, and that it isn’t necessary now for them to seek earnestly for Christ’s victory in their lives now.
You see my friends, it is impossible for you to receive the latter rain or the Spirit of Prophecy in the final message, if you have the stain of sin on your character. You must deal with it now. You must invite Jesus to change your life now and cooperate with Him by turning from sin and indulgence. That is how you can prepare to receive the latter rain. You can’t keep eating the same fattening things. You can’t watch the same damning TV shows. You can’t continue to play in time-honored sports programs. You can’t keep going after lustful pictures or thoughts. You must turn from all evil. Let your mind dwell only on the truth for this time, in every spare moment you may have. Memorize scripture. Keep God’s word ever before you.
The Holy Spirit will work around all the subtle defenses against the truth that worldly institutions of learning have been putting into the minds of their students to keep them from receiving the truth. The Holy Spirit in the latter rain will work in such a way as to expose the secret training of all the Jesuit institutions in the world. He will expose them so that everyone can see them and understand them for what they are, just as God exposed the Chaldean’s falsehood and conniving. He will also reveal their hidden agendas and deceptive power.
The latter rain will expose the Roman Church, it will expose the secret societies of the world. It will expose the new world order and the globalist agendas who are presently working to set up a world-wide system to oppose God and His truth and His faithful people.
All this is comprehended in the story of Daniel and his experience when Babylon ruled in his day. God is trying to tell us in the story of Daniel chapter two that God sets up kings and lets them rule for a while, then He brings them down and others take their places. But finally, there is one last kingdom that will overthrow all others. The dreams of Nebuchadnezzar and Daniel, comprehend the whole history from their own time right down to our own and in the near future, when Babylon will rule again. Daniel represents those that have a pure heart before God, and who will be the recipients of the latter rain.
And you can be part of it. Are you preparing your soul to be the recipient of the Holy Spirit in latter rain power? Here is an important statement form Testimonies to Ministers, page 507. “Only those who are living up to the light they have will receive greater light. Unless we are daily advancing in the exemplification of the active Christian virtues, we shall not recognize the manifestations of the Holy Spirit in the latter rain. It may be falling on hearts all around us, but we shall not discern or receive it.”
Do you think that the whole church is getting ready? Listen to this statement from Selected Messages, Book 1, page 122. “Are we hoping to see the whole church revived? That time will never come. There are persons in the church who are not converted, and who will not unite in earnest, prevailing prayer. We must enter upon the work individually. We must pray more, and talk less.”
Oh my friends, get ready, get ready. Are you praying more and talking less? This is the time to prepare for when Babylon rules again. There will be many Daniels and many Shadrachs, Meshachs and Abednegos. Don’t you want to be one of them? I do. I pray that you will prepare year heart. Why don’t you give your heart to Jesus right now, and ask Him to purify you so that you can receive His Holy Spirit in latter rain power. It will take some time for Him to get you ready, so it is best to start right away. Don’t delay. Pause this recording right now, bow your head, if you aren’t driving, and pray that God will do it for you. If you can’t bow your head, just pray in your mind to Jesus. He will hear you.
As soon as possible, Daniel went to Arioch, and with confidence said, “Destroy not the wise men of Babylon: bring me in before the king, and I will shew unto the king the interpretation.” That’s verse 24. Arioch then hurried Daniel in before the king and told him, “I have found a man of the captives of Judah, that will make known unto the king the interpretation.” That’s verse 25. Notice that Arioch takes the credit. He doesn’t give glory to God. He did not say that God had found a man who could give Nebuchadnezzar the interpretation. This is the difference between those that know God and those that don’t. They give God the credit.
Verse 26, “The king answered and said unto Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, Art thou able to make known unto me the dream which I have seen and the interpretation thereof? Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, The secret which the king had demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, shew unto the king; But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visions of they head upon they bed, are these; As for thee, O king, thy thoughts came into thy mind upon thy bed, what should come to pass hereafter: and he that revealeth secrets maketh known to thee what shall come to pass. But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living, but for their sakes that shall make known the interpretation to the king, and that thou mightiest know the thoughts of thy heart.”
Again Daniel gives credit to the God of heaven before the most prestigious king on earth. He stands there in full manhood and confidence in God. He stands there as an agent of heaven. He knows that he speaks for God. Yet he humbly and solemnly declares that God was gracious to reveal to Nebuchadnezzar and all his realm what would come to pass in the future. Did you know that you will also speak for God if you are faithful? Did you know that you may well stand before prestigious individuals who have great power and give your testimony of God’s mercy and love? If you love Jesus with all your heart, and have filled your soul with His word, and with His power, you will likely be placed in positions of enormous influence, and God will arrange things so that your influence will be felt far and wide. But you must be humble and you must live for Jesus around the clock.
What a scene! Here was Daniel before the king and the court. All eyes were focused on him as he was about to tell the great mystery that had filled the court with fear and piqued their interest to an intensity of a prairie brush fire. Every ear was bent, anxious to hear the words that Daniel had to say.
That is the way God will work with His people in the time when Babylon rules again. During the latter rain, God’s people will be the center of attention. They will have every eye and every ear of the whole world trained on them. Some will be anxious to receive what they have to say, and some will be angry and determined to destroy them. But God will not let it happen until they give their testimony of the message of God to the world that Babylon has fallen. It may seem to be strong, but Babylon has fallen. It may oppress but Babylon has fallen. It may rule, but Babylon is fallen, and is about to be destroyed. The message will go like fire in the stubble. Listen to this important thought from the pen of inspiration. It’s found in Isaiah 5:22-24 “Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink: Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him! Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: Because they have cast away the law of the Lord of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.”
Those who reject the law of God are like those who are mighty to drink wine and have strength to mix strong drink. They have become drunken with the wine of Babylon and they cannot reason spiritually. They will be overwhelmed by the power of God’s Holy Spirit manifested in His true people. They will not be able to stand against the power of the truth. They will fight it the best they can, with the tools and instruments of worldly power, but this is the power of God and they cannot overcome it. Thousands upon thousands will yield and accept the message in spite of their efforts. But their arguments will be as chaff, and their efforts will be as stubble.
Daniel tells the king what he saw. Verse 31 and onward. “Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible. This image’s head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, his legs of iron, his feet of part of iron and part of clay. Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors.; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became great mountain, and filled the whole earth.”
Imagine Nebuchadnezzar listening, as the dream now comes back to him in vivid detail. Imagine the feelings that must have passed through Nebuchadnezzar’s heart and mind. He knows now beyond a shadow of a doubt that the God of heaven had overruled the God’s of the Chaldeans. Imagine the Chaldeans and others of the court as they listened to Daniel’s revelation of the king’s dream. And to hear Nebuchadnezzar’s affirmation that this indeed was the dream. Now their lives were spared. They no longer had to face death – thanks to God’s servant. How often have God’s faithful people been the instruments of protection to the wicked! How little they appreciate the benefits that the righteous bring to them.
Verse 36 and onward; “This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king.” Notice that he uses the pleural “we.” He acknowledges the part that his three friends have played in prayer and supplication to God for revelation. Reading on, “Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory.” Daniel tells the king that the God of heaven set him up, not the god’s of Babylon as he thought. Continuing, “And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold.”
Pompous, arrogant Nebuchadnezzar listened to this declaration of inspiration with pride no doubt. Here was a fit representation of himself. Yet, there was to be an end to his rule and to his kingdom. Babylon rules, but its rule has an end.
Babylon will rule again, but it too will have an end. Spiritual Babylon will be permitted by God to rule for one last short time, in order for God to reveal His glory in the hearts and characters of His faithful people. Spiritual Babylon is arrogant, and like Nebuchadnezzar will attempt to prevent God’s word from being fulfilled. But God’s word cannot change. His decisions cannot be thwarted. You might as well recognize that it is your place to exalt the God of heaven, and not join the ranks of spiritual Babylon. He needs you. He wants you. He yearns that you will be saved, but more than that, He longs for you to be in a position to glorify Him mightily before the spiritually drunken mobs of the world.
Reading on from verse 39, “And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth. And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise. And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men; but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay. And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.”
Nebuchadnezzar must have sat there stunned at the sweeping depiction of the future. He was both awed and humbled that God gave him such a vision of the future. This had never happened before. Most divining was guesswork at best. Sometimes the predictions worked out, sometimes not. But this had the certainty of obvious divine intervention and power. Nebuchadnezzar the ruling monarch was humbled. He bowed low before Daniel. Verse 46 tells us that “king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face, and worshipped Daniel, and commanded that they should offer an oblation and sweet odours unto him.” He actually tried to worship Daniel as a deity. Of course Daniel refused all this nonsense. He wasn’t interested in worship. He had already told the king that it was the God of heaven who reveals secrets.
So the king acknowledged Daniel’s God. “The king answered unto Daniel, and said, Of a truth it is, that your God is a God of gods, and the Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing thou couldest reveal this secret. Then the king made Daniel a great man, and gave him many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief of the governors over all the wise men of Babylon.”
This is interesting. Daniel is promoted to a position of supervisor over all the other Chaldeans whose lives he has just saved by the power of God. They would never seek to do anything to Daniel would they? But as you know, they conspired later to throw him to the lions. The Bible says that the king made Daniel a great man. Can an earthly potentate really make any man great? Greatness is in our fidelity and loyalty to God, particularly in a crisis. Daniel was already a great man long before Nebuchadnezzar promoted him to greatness in the kingdom.
Daniel accepted the great promotion and great position because he wanted to use his influence to glorify the God of heaven. He saw that God had placed him there. He had not connived to come to that position. He had not politically maneuvered himself into alignment so that he would be a natural choice for the job of ruling Babylon? He was God’s humble servant. He let God work it all out. Then he faithfully fulfilled his responsibilities.
So in the end of time. God will use His faithful people, though oppressed when Babylon rules again. Rome has visions of raising an image once again; an image to the beast. When that is in place, Babylon will rule again. But God will raise up his people and exalt them as they exalt His holy name. They will expose the wicked purposes of those who demand that they worship a false god. They will expose the false Sabbath, and reveal who is really keeping God’s law. When it is all over, God’s faithful people will be elevated to positions of prominence in the kingdom of God and will rule in righteousness with Christ on His throne. When spiritual Babylon has been destroyed, when all the wisdom of the world has come to nothing; only the truth will remain, and those who have been loyal to the truth and to God’s law.
I want to be part of that, don’t you? I pray that as was faithful Daniel, you will be loyal to God and His law so that nothing can overcome you. I pray that you will be one of those who will rule with Christ on His throne when all is overcome.
Let us pray. Our father in heaven, what a wonderful story we read in Daniel two. We pray that we may have the Holy Spirit to bring us into harmony with heaven so that we will be able to develop the character of Jesus Christ. May we be able to stand faithful when Babylon rules again, so that we may overcome the forces of evil until Jesus delivers us from the hand of the oppressor. Let us, through Jesus overcome our sins and live for Jesus today we pray, in Jesus name, Amen.
It is important to note that God uses the smaller crises in our lives to prepare us for larger crises and for larger responsibilities just like he did with Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, & Azariah.