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Snapshots of the Kingdom: Daniel

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Issue #386September 2020

Snapshots of the Kingdom: Daniel

Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel were contemporaries who lived about the time of the fall of Jerusalem in 604 B.C.

Ezekiel was a prophet to the house of Israel in Assyria, Jeremiah was a prophet in Judah, while Daniel was taken to Babylon in the first wave of exiles to become the prophet of those Judahites in Babylon.

Perhaps the most important “snapshot” of Daniel is his role as the prophetic type of the overcomers living in the captivity to the beast system. He is our example as to how to live in a godly way while under captivity. Though Daniel was not part of the problem, nor was God judging him for any sin of his own, he was part of a sinful nation that God was judging.

Jeremiah’s Instructions

Daniel followed Jeremiah’s instructions, viewing him as the elder prophet. It is possible that the letter Jeremiah sent to the exiles in Babylon was specifically given to Daniel, who was the liaison between the Babylonian government and the captives of Judah.

Jeremiah 29:1 says,

1 Now these are the words of the letter which Jeremiah the prophet sent from Jerusalem to the rest of the elders of the exile, the priests, the prophets and all the people whom Nebuchadnezzar had taken into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon.

Daniel was established as the chief prophet of the exile, and his position in the government of Babylon would have required him to be in close communication with the elders and priests of the Judahite community.

As for the letter itself, we read in Jer. 29:4-9,

4 Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon, 5 ‘Build houses and live in them; and plant gardens and eat their produce. 6 Take wives and become the father of sons and daughters, and take wives for your sons and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; and multiply there and do not decrease. 7 Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf; for in its welfare you will have welfare.’ 8 “For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, ‘Do not let your prophets who are in your midst and your diviners deceive you, and do not listen to the dreams which they dream. 9 For they prophesy falsely to you in My name; I have not sent them,’ declares the Lord.”

Prophets such as Hananiah had prophesied that God would never allow His holy city to be taken by a godless king, nor would he allow His holy temple to be desecrated and destroyed. He prophesied further that the people ought to rise up and fight the godless Babylonians, insisting that this was the will of God.

Jeremiah’s response was given in Jer. 28:15,

15 Then Jeremiah the prophet said to Hananiah the prophet, “Listen now, Hananiah, the Lord has not sent you, and you have made this people trust in a lie.”

Hananiah died in the same year (Jer. 28:17), but there were other prophets like him in Babylon (Shemaiah, Jer. 28:24) who would be influential in the Judahite community. Jeremiah was like a voice from afar, making it difficult to make an impact upon them. Yet his letter was enough to instruct those who had ears to hear the word of the Lord.

In Jer. 29:10-23 the prophet continues with his letter, telling them that God had decreed a sentence of 70 years in captivity, after which time God would set them free. Meanwhile, the people were not to rebel or revolt.

In other words, they were to believe the sovereignty of God in all things. They were to know that Babylon could not have taken Jerusalem unless God Himself had sentenced the city and the people on account of their sin. Babylon was only acting as God’s agent to carry out His judgment.

The same could be said of every beast nation since Babylon all the way to the present day. Judah saw many false messiahs who deviated from Jeremiah’s instructions. They claimed, “God wants us to be free,” not knowing that this was only a half-truth. Yes, God wants us to be free, but not until their sentence has been completed.

For this reason, Daniel led no revolutions, nor did he plot against the king in any way. He was faithful and loyal to the king as long as the king did not command him to violate the law of God. Daniel recognized that God was sovereign and that they ruled under God’s authority. The kings had the right to oppress people who were under divine judgment.

In other words, if the people thought they were being unduly oppressed, they should repent and appeal to God, rather than organize a revolt. Many Judahites understood this and obeyed Jeremiah’s instructions, especially during the rule of Babylon and Persia.

God allowed them to revolt against the rule of the Grecian king Antiochus Epiphanes when he stepped out of bounds. Judah was thus independent for a century until the fourth beast (Rome) took over in 63 B.C. By then many of the people had forgotten Jeremiah’s instructions, or perhaps they thought that the rule of the fourth beast empire had been cancelled.

Many Judahites grumbled and some followed the false deliverers, whose actions only put stronger bands of iron on their hands and feet. Greater oppression only served to make more of them chafe under the yoke of Rome until finally the nation revolted from 66-73 A.D., causing the destruction of the city and the temple. Another revolt from 132-135 brought a ban on any Jew setting foot within what was left of the city of Jerusalem.

At that point, the remnant of Judah entered fully into its iron yoke captivity (Deut. 28:48), and the people were again scattered and exiled to foreign lands for the remaining time of the fourth beast’s rule. This time included the time of the “little horn” (extension of Rome’s rule under the guise of religion).

Hence, for the past 2,600 years Jeremiah’s instructions have been paramount for all who have ears to hear. A great many people, however, have been ignorant of the prophet’s letter or were blinded as to its significance. Overcomers, however, are obedient to God and have ears to hear. These follow Daniel’s example and even prosper under Babylon.

The book of Daniel should be viewed not only as a book of prophecy about things to come but also as an instruction manual showing us how to live righteously during our long captivity.

Jeremiah’s instructions to submit to the rule of Babylon needed answers to some practical questions about what to do when kings commanded believers to sin. Jeremiah did not answer such questions in his letter, but the book of Daniel confronts these issues as they arose in his lifetime.

The First Crisis

Daniel’s first crisis came during his time of training in the ways and laws of Babylon. The king had a dream, which the wise men (magi) could not interpret. In fact, the king claimed that he could not remember his own dream—a condition that afflicts many of us—and so the magi had no opportunity to think up a good interpretation.

The king then threatened to kill them all, and when Daniel heard about it, he requested time to pray about it. His request was granted, and that night God revealed both the dream and its interpretation to him (Dan. 2:19). Daniel and all of the magi were spared, but Daniel was then made the head of the Order of Magi, “chief prefect over all the wise men of Babylon” (Dan. 2:48).

Thus, Daniel rose overnight from an obscurity to the highest office in the land under the king. The sovereignty of God is thus established in God’s ability to prosper us under the rule of Babylonian kings.

It also shows that it is not a sin to work for an ungodly beast government. In fact, God calls certain ones to work in government in order to improve the administration and make it less oppressive. The more godly men and women are given responsibility, the less bribery there is and the more true justice is dispensed. It is not perfect, but it is much improved.

The Second Crisis

The third chapter of Daniel provides us with the second crisis instructing us how to fulfill Jeremiah’s mandate. The question is what to do when the king passes a law that commands believers to sin. Shall we submit to the king’s law of sin? Shall we organize a revolt? Shall we bear witness to the truth?

In Daniel 3:1, 2 we read,

1 Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, the height of which was sixty cubits and its width six cubits; he set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. 2 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king sent word to assemble the satraps, the prefects and the governors, the magistrates and all the rulers of the provinces to come to the dedication of the image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.

It appears that this was a column with some sort of gold image on the top. The dimensions of a man are 6:1, while this “image of gold” was 10:1. If this were an actual statue of a man, the man would be very slim indeed.

The point, however, is that the magistrates were told to fall on their knees and worship this image. Daniel himself was not present, but his three godly friends were among the magistrates. When the signal was given, everyone except those three Judahites fell on their knees to worship the image. The king was visibly upset at their open protest.

The three were called in for questioning (Dan. 3:13). Being a just king on some level, he made sure that they fully understood the command and that they knew the full consequence of disobedience. They were threatened with the well-known form of justice in Babylon—the fiery furnace. Their response in Dan. 3:17, 18 was this:

17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. 18 But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.

The king “was filled with wrath” at their insolence. He gave orders to heat up the fire seven times hotter. The three were then tied up and “cast into the midst of the furnace of blazing fire” (Dan. 3:20).

Shortly thereafter, the guards reported seeing four men walking around in the fiery furnace. Dan. 3:25 says,

25 He said, “Look! I see four men loosed and walking about in the midst of the fire without harm, and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods!”

The king called them out of the furnace, where they had remained at the king’s earlier command. The king then acknowledged the sovereignty of God. Dan. 3:28-30 says,

28 Nebuchadnezzar responded and said, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, who has sent His angel and delivered His servants who put their trust in Him, violating the king’s command, and yielded up their bodies so as not to serve or worship any god except their own God. 29 Therefore I make a decree that any people, nation or tongue that speaks anything offensive against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego shall be torn limb from limb and their houses reduced to a rubbish heap, inasmuch as there is no other god who is able to deliver in this way.” 30 Then the king caused Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego to prosper in the province of Babylon.

These three godly men did not defend themselves from the king’s death sentence. They were willing to suffer the consequences of their civil disobedience. Their “rebellion” was done within the boundaries of Jeremiah’s letter. At the same time, we learn from this the same principle that the apostles knew when commanded not to bear witness of Christ in Acts 5:27-29,

27 When they had brought them, they stood them before the Council. The high priest questioned them, 28 saying, “We gave you strict orders not to continue teaching in this name, and yet, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.” 29 But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.”

When Jesus commanded His disciples to preach the gospel, they were to bear witness of the truth that they had seen and heard. They were eyewitnesses (Luke 1:2) and were essentially adjured by their great High Priest to testify of what they had seen and heard, according to Lev. 5:1,

1 Now if a person sins after he hears a public adjuration to testify when he is a witness, whether he has seen or otherwise known, if he does not tell it, then he will bear his guilt.

Hence, the disciples were under obligation to bear witness of Christ. When the Council commanded them to violate this law, the disciples refused to do so and were willing to suffer the consequences of their disobedience.

Daniel’s three friends provided the precedent for the civil disobedience of the apostles and for us as well. Their actions were based on their belief in the sovereignty of God. They knew that nothing could happen to them apart from God’s knowledge and direction. Their lives were in God’s hands, not in the hands of earthly authorities. They also understood that no law of man has the right to force anyone to sin.

Nebuchadnezzar’s decree also declared that no one in the Babylonian empire was allowed to speak against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. The king later made a similar decree after spending “seven times” eating grass like a beast when God humbled him (Dan. 4:34, 35).

Unfortunately, Babylon had an absolute monarchy, where the king was law. The king could decree laws or repeal them as he wished. So his decrees recognizing the sovereignty of God were disregarded by later monarchs.

But after Babylon was overthrown by the Persians, we are given one final example during the three-year reign of Darius the Mede (Dan. 5:31) before he handed the kingdom over to his son-in-law, Cyrus the Persian.

Daniel 6 tells how certain officials were jealous of Daniel’s position and influence (Dan. 6:4). Finally, they decided to trick the king into signing a decree forbidding men to petition any man or god except the king himself for a period of a month. Darius was flattered. Not knowing the intent of these men, he signed the decree (Dan. 6:9).

Daniel, of course, continued to pray as usual and made no attempt to hide the fact (Dan. 6:10). It was important to him to let everyone know that he was not complying to a man-made law that directly contradicted God’s command.

Daniel’s adversaries then filed a complaint with the king, and only then did the king realize that he had been tricked. The problem was that the Medes and Persians had a constitutional monarchy. The king was bound by his own law once it was signed into law. Hence, Darius affirmed that “the statement is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which may not be revoked” (Dan. 6:12).

The king was distressed, because he did not want to execute Daniel, knowing that he was righteous. So we read in Dan. 6:14, 15,

14 Then, as soon as the king heard this statement, he was deeply distressed and set his mind on delivering Daniel; and even until sunset he kept exerting himself to rescue him. 15 Then these men came by agreement to the king and said to the king, “Recognize, O king, that it is a law of the Medes and Persians that no injunction or statute which the king establishes may be changed.”

The king was then forced to cast Daniel into a den of lions overnight. We know, of course, that God delivered Daniel and that the king came at the break of dawn to see if Daniel’s God had saved him (Dan. 6:19). Daniel was alive and well. But the lions were quite hungry, and Darius decided to feed them Daniel’s accusers.

Then Darius wrote another decree, which still stands today by the law of the Medes and Persians. Dan. 6:25-27 says,

25 Then Darius the king wrote to all the peoples, nations and men of every language who were living in all the land: “May your peace abound! 26 I make a decree that in all the dominion of my kingdom men are to fear and tremble before the God of Daniel; For He is the living God and enduring forever, and His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed, and His dominion will be forever. 27 He delivers and rescues and performs signs and wonders in heaven and on earth, who has also delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.”

This decree is just as binding as Darius’ earlier decree forbidding men to petition any man or any god for thirty days. In fact, the earlier decree proved that the later decree could not be altered either. The earlier decree was only temporary; the later decree still stands today, for Media-Persia was one part of the beast that still lives today.

This decree establishes the principle that the God of Daniel (that is, Yahweh, the God of Israel) is sovereign over modern Persia (that is, Iran) as well as the entire succession of beast empires (that is, the entire world). Long ago, Darius established Iran as a Christian nation and, by extension, he also made this decree binding upon everyone who was in the dominion of his kingdom.

None of these beast empires actually ruled over the entire world in a practical way, but nonetheless, God had given them authority over the whole world (Jer. 27:5-8). They were given the Dominion Mandate that had been given first to Adam himself (Gen. 1:26). Adam had been the first king of the earth.

For this reason, we can say that the decree of Darius was applicable to the entire earth, if not in practice then certainly in a prophetic way. His decree prophesied of the universal Kingdom that Christ has been given.

So we read in 1 Cor. 15:27, 28,

27 For He has put all things in subjection under His feet. But when He says, “All things are put in subjection,” it is evident that He is excepted who put all things in subjection to Him. 28 When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all.

These are some of the lessons in Daniel’s writings. We see that these lessons are all based on the sovereignty of God and His right to establish the rules by which we are to live. Jeremiah told us to submit to the just verdict of God on account of the sins of our forefathers, but at the same time He has promised to protect us and to make us prosper during our long captivity. If we have faith in His ability to do this, we will know how to obey God and men as He directs.

Cover Letter for September 2020 FFI

Dear friends,

The Tabernacles conference in Knoxville, TN has been cancelled, because the mayors and city councils in Tennessee are debating a proposed mandate to arrest people for first-degree murder if they are caught without a mask in public. The inmates are running the asylum, and the uncertainty alone means that we cannot risk subjecting attendees to such insane legislation.

Instead, we will be holding an online conference on the same dates (October 9-11).

Please call the Clarion Inn at 865-687-5800 to cancel your reservation at the hotel, or to adjust it if you have other plans to vacation in the area.

Watch September

September is shaping up to be a very important prophetic month. There are too many watch dates to list here. We will not know which are significant until we see what happens, but September 11-12 is always important. September 17 is the published date for the start of an Antifa “revolution,” where they have stated their intent to lay siege to the White House. Thankfully, a Democrat is not living there, as he/she would certainly recognize Antifa’s so-called right to burn down the White House. They do not believe the Declaration of Independence that all rights come from God alone.

September 18-19 is the feast of Trumpets, always a watch date. Watch September 20-21 for a “shaking” of some sort. The Day of Atonement is on September 27-28 this year.

The month of September lays the groundwork for events in October. Tabernacles is from October 3-10, and our conference is falls on October 9-11. Then watch October 17-18, where (I am hearing) we may see another event designed to disrupt the November elections.

Dr. Charlie Ward is informing us that on August 2, 2020 the new Quantum Financial System went online. It is designed to replace the old SWIFT system of international payments. The QFS uses blockchain technology, same as cryptocurrencies have been doing since 2009 when Bitcoin was first introduced.

The SWIFT system continued to be used throughout August alongside the QFS system, giving the QFS time to be tested properly. Then the SWIFT system was turned off August 31 and the QFS should now be running alone as of September 1, 2020.

The Babylonian globalists developed the QFS system with the intent of subjecting everyone to their complete and total control of all financial transactions. But Trump hijacked the system and is using it to set us free and to cancel all debts and mortgages in a Jubilee. This has caused George Soros, Jacob Rothschild, Rockefeller, Prince Charles, and many others a lot of grief, and they have expressed their anger at Trump many times in the past few years. Regardless, God wins.

Stephen and Darla