COMMITTED to train men and women
to have minds for the Lord Jesus,
hearts for the truth, and
hands that are skilled to the task.

Sermons on Daniel

DO YOU REALLY WANT TO KNOW?

www.Christianheadlines.com titled:
“U.S. is Facing a worldview Crisis, George Barna says: 94 Percent reject a Biblical Worldview”
Michael Foust is the journalist that authored the article. You can go and read it for yourself. Or you can go on
www.prayvotestand.org and watch the entire presentation George Barna gave during that Summit.
Here is a small summary from the article:
“What America is struggling with the most is a worldview crisis” Barna said.
“It’s the thing that drives all of these other difficulties that we have in America today.”
The worldview crisis, Barna said, has infiltrated the church, where only 21 percent of those who attend an evangelical church have a biblical worldview.
“Part of that relates to the fact that evangelical churches in America do not teach the Bible as often or as deeply as used to be the case,” Barna said.”
“We are a superficial nation. We’re more interested in DOING than IN THINKING,” he said. “And so consequently, we’re always LOOKING FOR THE NEXT THING THAT WE NEED TO BE ACCOMPLISHING, THE NEXT PLACE WE NEED TO GO, THE NEXT PERSON WE NEED TO MEET – without sitting down and reflecting on what really matters: WHAT DO I REALLY BELIEVE?”
“America’s worldview crisis, Barna said, must be solved if other problems are to be solved. If we don’t solve that crisis, trust me, we are not going to solve any of those other issues,” he said.

Daniel believed just as Barna believed. The issue is never the issue. What we are experiencing as a nation is directly linked to how we as a nation believe. We live our lives based upon what we believe.

Ron Rhodes in his commentary on Daniel makes this observation:
“The book of Jeremiah had not been written for very long, but Daniel already considered it to be Scripture. This goes against the modern liberal allegation that the books of Scripture were not determined until much later by various councils.”

John Lennox in his book “Against the Flow” is telling a personal story:
“All Scripture is breathed out by God, claims the New Testament (2 Timothy 3:16). We should therefore expect corroborative external evidence from history, archaeology, and related disciplines, but in the end the Word of God will authenticate itself by being perceived to be the Word of God by what it says, by its inner coherence and ring of truth. Without indulging in sentimentality or over-imagination, when we engage with the Word of God we can sense in our spirit and heart at times the very presence of God, and know that he is speaking to us.
If the Bible really was the Word of God, why did I not find it more interesting? Surely, if God was behind it, I should be getting more out of it? I noticed too that many of my Christian friends also paid lip service to the doctrine of inspiration, but spent very little time reading and thinking about the book they claimed to be inspired. There seemed to be a deep inconsistency here that affected them as well as me.
my early days as a student in Cambridge I can recall my own questions concerning biblical inspiration. It was not that I did not believe that God had inspired the Scriptures. I did believe it – and that was the source of my problem.
John Lennox goes on to say:
“This began to concern me, and I sought advice from a much older friend and mentor whose grasp of Scripture was profound. He invited me to an evening’s Bible study that was sufficient to transform my entire attitude. For what I saw modelled in him was the attitude of Daniel – a willingness to seek God in his Word and spend time doing so.
The Lord Jesus warned some religious people in his day: You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life (John 5:39-40). My friend did not make that mistake. He sought God THROUGH his Word and showed me how to do the same.
I realized that I have been far too superficial in my approach.”

Let me quickly insert George Barna here:
“We are a superficial nation. We’re more interested in DOING than IN THINKING,” he said. “And so consequently, we’re always LOOKING FOR THE NEXT THING THAT WE NEED TO BE ACCOMPLISHING, THE NEXT PLACE WE NEED TO GO, THE NEXT PERSON WE NEED TO MEET – without sitting down and reflecting on what really matters: WHAT DO I REALLY BELIEVE?”

Let’s continue with John Lennox
“After all, I was prepared to spend hours trying to understand a few lines of mathematics, and yet only a few minutes on a passage from the Bible. What I learned was the need to be patient, to spend time motivated by the desire to hear from God through His Word. God is a person, not a mere set of propositions; and there is therefore A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SEEKING KNOWLEDGE ABOUT GOD AND SEEKING GOD HIMSELF.”
“In more recent years, I found myself having to speak at the funeral of a lifelong friend from my Cambridge days. He was younger than me, and I had certainly not expected him to die before me. Some weeks before he died, I asked him what he would like me to say at his funeral. Without hesitation he replied: “Encourage them to do what we did when we were students. Tell them to read the Word of God together, discuss it, think about it, pray about it, and wait on God until his face appears.” He paused, and then added: “AND THEN THEY WILL HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY.”

THE CULTURE THAT PRODUCED THE ANTICHRIST

John Lennox makes the connection when he writes:
“Since Antiochus IV plays a central role as a thought model of the future, it is important for us now to get a flavor of the times in which he lived. They hold much to interest us, but we shall have to be content with a thumbnail sketch.
One of the legacies of Alexander’s conquest was the spread of the Greek culture over a vast area, and this led to a ‘NEW TYPE OF CIVILISATION OF MULTIPLE NATIONS UNITED CULTURALLY BY THE GREEK LANGUAGE.’
Alexander ushered in what is known as the Hellenistic Age (from 323-30 BC).
It was a time of high and heady culture. In particular, the period from about 280 to 160 BC produced a long list of intellectual luminaries who laid the foundations of those disciplines that would eventually become science as we now know it.”

Democracy
According to Merriam-Webster, a democracy is a government by the people “in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections.”

The Alphabet
Derived from the earlier Phoenician alphabet, the
Greek alphabet was the first alphabet in the western sense of the word, featuring distinct letters for vowels and consonants. It was developed after the Dark Ages and consisted of 24 letters, ordered from alpha to omega.
Believe it or not, the word “alphabet” originates from the first 2 letters of the Greek alphabet: alpha and beta. Today many letters of our modern alphabet originate from the Greek alphabet, including letters such as A, B, E, and O. The Greek originally had a single form of each letter but created upper case and lower case versions of the letters later.

The Library
The first library in the world, the library of Alexandria, was actually built in Egypt. During this time Egypt was under Greek control after submitting to Alexander’s rule. The Macedonians started spreading the Greek way of life to all of the conquered lands, including Egypt. After Alexander’s death, there was a power struggle and the Kingdom of Egypt came under the rule of Alexander’s general, Ptolemy.
Ptolemy ordered the construction of a library which would contain over 700,000 scrolls of work. There was also a rule that all ships passing through the Alexandrian harbor had to declare if they had any works of science or philosophy. If they did, the work was copied and placed in the library, and the original copy would be returned to the captain. Because of this accumulation of knowledge, many great discoveries took place in the library.

The Olympics
The Olympic Games started in ancient Greece, specifically in the city of Olympia. The participants were the city-states of Ancient Greece and its colonies. The Olympic Games were held every four years in honor of Zeus, the king god. The prizes for winning were fame and glory. Statues of the winners were erected and sometimes the winners’ faces were even put on coins. Today we still celebrate the Olympic Games and continue some of the old traditions, such as the olive leaf crowns, the lighting of the flame, and the opening and closing celebrations.
What Does the Olympic Flame Symbolize?
Another common symbol of the Olympic Games is the flame. The tradition of the torch relay and lighting of the Olympic flame to start the games began with the Berlin Games in 1936. The flame symbolizes beginning of the Olympic Games. The idea came from ancient Greece, where a sacred fire was kept burning throughout the celebration of the ancient Olympics on the altar of the sanctuary of Hestia.
Who is Hestia?
Hestia was one of the 12 gods and goddesses from Mt Olympus. She was the first born of Cronus and Rhea and was the sister to many famous gods and goddesses, including Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades.

Science and Mathematics
Along with being the birthplace of many great mathematicians, Greece was also the mother country of many famous scientists.
What Greek Thinkers Influenced Science and Mathematics?
Eratosthenes
This mathematician was the first to calculate the circumference of the Earth. He did this by comparing the altitudes of the mid-day sun at two different locations. Eratosthenes also calculated the tilt of the Earth’s axis, and eventually became the chief librarian of the Library of Alexandria.

Aristarchus
This astronomer and mathematician was the first to create a model with a sun at the center of the known universe with the Earth revolving around it. He also placed the planets of the solar system around the sun in the right order and thought stars to be other bodies like the sun. Nicolaus Copernicus attributed the heliocentric theory to Aristarchus.

Archimedes
Archimedes is generally considered the greatest mathematician of antiquity and of all time. He anticipated modern calculus, geometrical theorems, and learned to calculate the area geometric shapes, including the circle and sphere. Some of Archimedes other achievements include coming up with an accurate approximation of pi and designing effective levers and pulleys. One of his famous quotes was, “Give me a lever long enough and I will move the Earth!”

Mythology
Greek mythology has pervaded nearly every form of popular culture imaginable. Many Greek myths have been adapted into modern novels, movies, TV shows, video games and even brands. Some well-known instances of Greek mythology in pop culture are:

Disney’s Hercules
The bestselling novel Percy Jackson and the Olympians
The God of War video game franchise
The TV show Battlestar Galactica
Mary Shelley’s Gothic novel Frankenstein;
The brand Nike (Nike was the Greek goddess of victory)

The Lighthouse
Like the first library, the first lighthouse in the world was located in the Greek-controlled Egyptian kingdom of Alexandria. The structure was called the Lighthouse of Alexandria, or the Pharos of Alexandria. Taller than the Statue of Liberty, it was the second tallest structure of its day (only the Great Pyramid of Giza was taller than it).
The lighthouse had three layers:
A square-shaped base
An octagonal mid section
A round beacon on top
The lighthouse could be seen by fire at night, and by the smoke of the fire by day. Sadly, the lighthouse was destroyed by earthquakes, but it set the model for all future lighthouses.

Standardized Medicine
While medicine had been practiced in Babylon, China, India and Egypt, the Greeks were the first to create a standardized system of medicine including medical diagnosis, prognosis, and medical ethics. The manner in which the medical practice is carried out today, in terms of diagnosis and sometimes of treatment, is very similar to that of the ancient Greeks. These ancient advancements in medicine were largely instituted by Hippocrates, who is often called the “father of medicine.”

What Did Hippocrates Invent?
Aside from theories and ethics about how physicians should practice medicine, Hippocrates also made direct contributions to the application of medicine. He taught that all ailments had natural causes in a time when people believed that illnesses were punishments from the gods. Some of Hippocrates’ contributions include:

Hippocratic Oath
A Hippocratic Oath is a historical sworn statement by physicians in which they swear by the names of a number of healing gods to uphold specific ethical standards. These include principles such as medical confidentiality and non-maleficence. Below is an excerpt from the full text of the Hippocratic Oath, which remains a rite of passage for some medical graduates.
The Oat starts with these words: “I swear by APOLLO, the physician…….
Apollo is one of the Olympian deities in classical Greek and Roman religion and Greek and Roman mythology. His father is Zeus in Greek religion. In Biblical Theology, Apollo is one of the Fallen Elohim, a Nephilim.

“There is little doubt a link between Apollyon and Apollo. Let me elaborate:
The name Apollyon is a Greek play on words for “Apollo”.
The Hebrew word Abaddon means “destruction” and in Greek the word “Apollyon” means “Destroyer”.
The fact that Apollyon is used to intentionally call to mind the god Apollo is hinted at throughout Revelation 9. The Anchor Bible Dictionary says the following concerning the link between Apollyon and Apollo:
“In one manuscript, instead of Apollyon the text reads APOLLO, the Greek God of death and pestilence (or plague like the plague of locusts mentioned in Revelation 9).
Apollyon is no doubt the correct reading. The LOCUST was an emblem of this god.”

THE LONG SHADOWS OF HISTORY

John Lennox “Against the Flow”
“A pattern beings to emerge in these first three sections of the second half of the book. First, Daniel records his own experience of the Medo-Persian law that was enacted in an attempt to force him into disobeying the law of his God. Next, he records an earlier vision which he had, of a fierce king in the fourth empire that things to change the times and the law.
Then he sees a further vision; another powerful king from the third empire stops the people of God obeying the law by banning their public ceremony of burnt offering. It is a pattern of deteriorating attitudes to God and his law on the part of pagan kings.”

John Lennox makes this comment:
“In order to consolidate his power in his vast multi-cultural empire Antiochus drove forward the process of Hellenization. Part of that process was to try to create one religion for all – by force if necessary.
He could not tolerate what to him was the narrow-minded exclusivism of Judaism’s devotion to one God, to the rejection of all others. In doing so, he was unconsciously following the path of many emperors before him, including Nebuchadnezzar when he constructed his golden image, and Darius when he proclaimed his edict. As we soon shall see, Antiochus was to go much further.
He shocked the Jews when he encouraged the people of the Mediterranean region to worship him as the Canaanite god, Baal – a nature god that had been decisively rejected by Israel as the idolatrous epitome of all that he stood against.
There were some Jews who accepted the compromise – indeed, welcome it.
They found Greek culture and lifestyle very attractive. It made far fewer moral demands than the law of Moses, for instance, and allowed them to give free rein to their impulses and desires. It also opened up a whole new world of entertainment and sport that had been foreign to them, to say nothing of the intellectual stimulation of the free exchange of ideas, without having to be committed to any particular world view. It was not only some of the ordinary people that welcomed the wave of Hellenization, but a group of leaders led by no less than Jason the high priest, who had abandoned any sense that their Bible (our Old Testament) was a definitive revelation from God.”
“It was a heady taste of freedom. And Antiochus was giving it to them. That concept of freedom is shared by many people today and given as their reason for abandoning God. They say that God is out to stifle them – their self-expression, their creativity, and their flourishing. They want freedom from any authority above that of man, and they think that secular society can deliver it to them. As it is from any today, the Greek ideal in life was the pursuit of the good (happiness); and they laid great emphasis on human reason as the vehicle for achieving it. For them, man was the measure of all things. And, just as there were many Jews who bought into it, today we have a Christianized version.
“A conscience soothing Jesus, with an unscandalous cross,
An otherworldly kingdom, a private, inwardly limited
Spirit, a pocket God, a spiritualized Bible, and an escapist
Church. Its goal is a happy, comfortable, and successful life,
Obtainable through the forgiveness of an abstract sinfulness
By faith in an unhistorical Christ. (Orlando Costas)
In traditional Jewish eyes Greek religion was a complete inversion of all they stood for. Its gods were only mythological (Freudian, we might say)
Projection of human desire, fear, greed, envy and anger. Orthodox Jews believed in revelation – a notion beyond the comprehension of the Greeks – as it is of many moderns.

Daniel was troubled, but he was not fearful. He was disturbed by what he just saw in the vision, but he was not willing to water down the truth revealed to him but wrote it down just as he saw and heard the details of the vision.
We do well to read the word as it speaks to us, not to water down the Revelation given to us by God Almighty. Everything will come to pass just as he said. The shadows of the past are growing stronger by the day.
May during these days God will strengthen your confidence in the Sovereign God who has everything in his hands. God has revealed his plan for the future to us long ago. It will all come to pass no matter what people say, thing, or do. His kingdom will arrive with Jesus Christ in the fullness of time just as the Father said it will. Hallelujah.

THE TIMES OF THE GENTILES

On the eve of his forced exile, Solzhenitsyn published a final message to the Russian people, titled: LIVE NOT BE LIES!
In the essay, Solzhenitsyn CHALLENGED THE CLAIM THAT THE TOTALITARIAN SYSTEM WAS SO POWERFUL THAT THE ORDINARY MAN AND WOMEN CANNOT CHANGE IT.
Nonsense, he said; “The foundation of totalitarianism is an ideology made of lies. The system depends for its existence on a people’s fear of challenging the lies. Our way must be; NEVER KNOWINGLY SUPPORT LIES! You may not have the strength to stand up in public and say what you really believe. You may not be able to overthrow totalitarianism, but you can find within yourself and your community the means to live in the dignity of truth. If we must live under the dictatorship of lies, then our response must be: “LET THEIR RULE HOLD NOT THROUGH ME!” Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Rod Dreher in his book also titled “LIVE NOT BY LIES” writes: “A Soviet émigré who teaches in a university deep in the US heartland stresses the urgency of Americans taking people like here seriously.
“You will not be able to predict what will be held against you tomorrow” she warns. “You have no idea what completely normal thing you do today, or say today, will be used against you to destroy you. This is what the people in the Soviet Union saw. We know how this works.”
On the other hand, my Czech émigré friend advised me not to waste time writing this book.
“People will have to live through it first to understand,” he says cynically. “Any time I try to explain current events and their meaning to my friends or acquaintances, I am met with blank stares or downright nonsense.” Rod Dreher

John Lennox comments:
“According to 2 Thessalonians, the power of the state will be vested in a man who sets himself up against God. Playing God has always been a temptation for powerful leaders.
Thus the fourth beast can be seen as the final manifestation of human rebellion against God. Both 2 Thessalonians and Revelation point out that the man-beast is energized by the dark power of Satan and is a master of deception.

Arnold Fruchtenbaum in his book “THE FOOTSTEPS of the MESSIAH” Writes about the fourth Empire, which he calls “Imperialism”
“Rome fulfilled only the first stage, and it would be wrong to assume that the fourth empire ended when the Roman Empire fell. Hence, one must ask what made the fourth empire, beginning with Rome, different from all the previous empires?
The key difference was in the TYPE OF GOVERNMENT initiated by Rome. When the Babylonians conquered an area, they did not set up Babylonian rulers, but allowed nationals to govern their owned countries. In its conquest of Judah, Babylon first appointed Zedekiah and later Gedaliah as rulers. The Medo-Persians proceeded in the same manner and allowed Jewish governors, such as Zerubbabel, and Nehemiah, to rule the land. The Hellenists worked in the same way. Instead of appointing Greek leaders, they allowed the Jewish high priests to govern the people. Rome, however, began a new system of government called ‘IMPERIALISM’ and this system is what made the fourth empire diverse from all the others. When Rome conquered a nation, Roman consuls were sent in to rule the area (Pontius Pilate, Felix, Festus).
While the Roman Empire initiated this policy of imperialism, it was merely the first of five stages of the fourth empire. Hence, a better name for the fourth empire would be “IMPERIALISM” or, even better, “THE IMPERIALISTIC EMPIRE.”
Both Daniel passages make it clear that the fourth Gentile empire begins with the end of the third and continues until Messiah comes to set up His kingdom. The imperialistic empire is to go through five successive stages and it is now necessary to study the five stages individually to see where history fits in this development.

WAIT UNTIL THE KING ARRIVES

John Lennox makes this observation regarding Daniel’s vision in chapter 7:13-14:
“The imagery conveys a powerful message. The beasts of power politics, however invincible they may sometimes think they are, will not reign forever. A perfect human, the Son of Man, will come with all authority finally to take over from the beasts and rule in perfect justice. The law of the jungle will cease for good. This is really good news. It holds out real and glorious hope to a despairing society.”

James Montgomery Boice in his commentary on Daniel writes:
“The important questions are: How did Jesus interpret this title? What meaning did he give to the figure of the Son of Man in Daniel?
There are several teachings.
He used it to teach his pre-existence.
In John 3:13, just a few verses before John 3:36, Jesus said of himself. “No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven – The Son of Man.”
I am sure that even the disciples, who were often slow to understand the Lord’s teachings, would have recognized this statement as a reference to Daniel. They would have perceived Jesus to be teaching that he was the same figure seen by the prophet so many years before.
In John 6:62 there is a similar passage. There Jesus asks: “What if you see the son of Man ascend to where he was before!” That is, before he came to earth Jesus was seated at the right hand of God the Father in heaven. What if he should abandon his work on earth because of human unbelief and return there?
The existence of Jesus is not determined from the date of his incarnation. Our existence is determined from the date of our birth. That is why we celebrate birthdays. Before that we were not; now we are. This is not the case with Jesus Christ. There was a date at which he was born of the Virgin Mary, but this is not the point at which the existence of Jesus started. He existed before that, even before the point at which the prophet Daniel saw him. Being God, he existed from eternity.”

John Lennox
“The only thing that can steady the mind and steel the heart of believers to face all the forces that anti-God brutality can muster, is a steady vision of the One to whom is given all power on earth and in heaven and who will one day return to the planet that rejected him.”

Until the King Arrives, we will proclaim his virgin birth, his life, his death and his resurrection to everyone who is willing to listen. And everyone who believes and follows the Son of Man will one day watch HOW OUR LORD will judge the world in righteousness before he accepts the kingdoms of this earth given as an inheritance to him by His heaven father. What a day that will be.

GOD IS THE ZOOKEEPER

Sinclair Ferguson in his commentary on Daniel writes:
“What we seem to be given in the latter half of Daniel is divine insight into the ultimate significance and implications of the events of history. Here we learn that the events of history are not isolated from events beyond history.
The conflict with the people of God is an expression of an older, deeper, more sinister conflict between the powers of darkness, the spiritual hosts of wickedness (Ephesians 6:12), and the throne of God and His kingdom.”
A little bit later in his commentary Ferguson asked this question:
“If the Lord had simply wanted Daniel to know the facts of history ahead of time, why did He give him such a complex, curious, multi-colored, sense-appealing revelation?
To ask the question is to answer it. God not only revealed facts about history in advance; He revealed Himself to Daniel, impressing on him something of His own awesome and glorious purposes. Miss this and we miss almost everything.”

Let’s see how the visual dominates Daniel’s record:
• “I saw” (verses 2 and 7)
• “I watched” (verses 4, 9 and 11)
• “I looked” (verse 6)
• “I was considering” (verse 8)
• “I was watching” (verses 13 and 21)
• “I was grieved in my spirit within my body, and the visions troubled me….my thoughts greatly troubled me, and my countenance changed” (verses 15-18)
The dreams and visions found in the Bible are intended to give an overwhelming impression of the mysteries of God’s PURPOSES and the awful conflict that lies behind and beneath HISTORY.

John Lennox in his book “Against the Flow” writes:
“The beginning of the vision echoes the creation narrative of Genesis, where we read that the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters (Genesis 1:2). The Hebrew word for Spirit can be used of breath or wind. But in Daniels vision the wind and the sea are prelude not to making the earth into a home fit for human beings, but to the rise of a sequence of animals representing world empires bent increasingly on destruction.
The animal imagery here is clearly designed to convey a message very different from that projected by the metallic sections of the colossal man…
Just as the variety of metals in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream indicates the differing values of the successive empires, the various animals in Daniel’s dream denote what is probably best described as the relative “animal ferocity” of those empires. The first animal, for instance, is given a human heart. The subsequent animals become increasingly brutal, the fourth being rapacious in the extreme. It has the eyes of human intelligence but shows no trace of human compassion.
The perspective is clear; from one point of view, empires resemble wild animals. But, unlike humans, animals are not inhibited by moral considerations, since animals are not moral beings. Empires tend to behave like that – as amoral power blocs.
The overall impression of the vision is of the dark underbelly of politics; the jockeying for power, with less and less moral qualm, until a sense of humanity and compassion disappears under the ruthless lust for domination.”

John Lennox
“The symbol of a horn is used in the Bible to denote power. The fourth beast’s horn has eyes, symbolizing human insight and intelligence, coupled with brutal animal strength. Notably, it lacks a human heart; it is dreadful, evil, ruthless genius. Many of the worst atrocities that the world has known were and are still committed by highly intelligent people in whose hands are the levers of political power – witness Nazi Germany. It should not escape our attention that one of their main targets was the nation that gave birth to Daniel. Nor should we ignore the fact that the 20th century was the bloodiest in history, with millions perishing to satisfy the animal lust for power in dictatorships of both right and left.
What shall we think, then, when we consider the many faithful believers who have been and are being subjected to every kind of hideous torture and method of killing that powerful, heartless human beasts can devise – and yet God appears to do nothing?” What is the answer to it?

Daniel 7:9-14 (open your own Bible and highlight this passage)
Three scenes followed in rapid succession:
• The first contrasts strongly with the confusion and noise of the opening scene (verse 2). Here, all is calm and orderly in the presence of God. Just like in Revelation 4:6, the sea is as calm as glass in God’s presence and the four creatures are devoted to worship. The heavenly court was assembled, and God sat in judgment of the earthly kingdom.
• The second contrasts strongly with the human kingdoms that are being established with raw beastly power and lawless behavior. God wears a garment white as snow. He never compromises His righteous dealings in establishing his kingdom. The prophet Isaiah said: You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for He brings down those who dwell on high. (Isaiah 26:3-4)
• The third contrasts strongly with the lawless and unrighteous justice system of earthly, beastly kingdoms.
In Daniel’s vision the judgment of the divine court will go IN FAVOR OF THE SAINTS OF GOD. Truth will eventually prevail. Righteous judgment will be executed by the righteous judge, God himself.
This final judgment is a cause of joy, and the reason is obvious.

God is the zookeeper and none of the beasts will ESCAPE.

BE STRONG AND COURAGEOUS!

John Lennox in “Against the Flow” writes:
“The first chapter of the first half of Daniel parallels the first chapter of the second half. They both describe court scenes in the city of Babylon, involving different regimes; chapter 1, the Babylonian; chapter 6, the Medo-Persian. They both involve protest;
Chapter 1 tells us how Daniel and his friends refused to partake of the food and wine in the palace, presumably because of their association with idolatry (as witnessed in Daniel 5);
In chapter 6, Daniel refuses to obey the emperor’s edict banning prayer to all but himself. The protests are not quite the same, for if I understand it correctly chapter 1 involves refusal to compromise with idolatry by getting involved in any pagan ceremony.
The same issue also dominates Daniel 3; refusal to bow down to Nebuchadnezzars idolatrous image. However, at no state do we read that Nebuchadnezzar tries to stop Daniel and his friends practicing their own religion according to their conscience.
That step is taken by Darius in chapter 6. Here we have the first (but not the last) occasion recorded by Daniel where A PAGAN MONARCH BANS THE WORSHIP OF GOD.
The instrument that the jealous civil servants used to attack Daniel was the LAW OF THE MEDES AND PERSIANS.
This phrase occurs three times here, indication that the central topic of this chapter is the imposition of law to deny Daniel the right to practice his own faith and worship God ACCORDING TO THE LAW OF MOSES.”

Once again John Lennox comments on this section:
“The plan itself was calculated to appeal to Darius’s self-esteem, as a way of consolidating his power. After all, he was the king and the official representative of the gods. Surely it was but a small step to focus the worship of the people on himself as a god. If it were only FOR A MAN, it would not lead to a religious backlash from the priests or the people. It was all for the good of the state and the unity of the nation. And so on and so forth… We should not fail to notice a progression here. Belshazzar, in his blasphemous act, had worshipped his gods of metal and wood. He had not quite set himself up as a god to be worshipped. Darius did. Although he did not insult God in the way Belshazzar had done, it represents a deterioration. It was part of a trend that has continued through history, and will be sustained in the future – the move towards the deification of man (see 2 Thessalonians 2:4).”

John Lennox once again comments:
“Undoubtedly there are many intriguing questions connected with these periods of time, and various answers have been given to them. Whatever those answers are, it is surely fair to say that when there is discrimination, oppression, and persecution, the uppermost question in the minds of those immediately affected is “How long will this last?” The very fact that the conspirators suggested a time limit of thirty days may indicate that they suspected it would not be long before Daniel disobeyed the edict, and then they would have got him. The lions would make a meal of Daniel long before the thirty days had run out.”
“Take for instance, this statement of Judge Samuel B. Kent of the US District Court for the Southern District of Texas on his 1995 ruling that any student mentioning the name of Jesus in a graduation prayer would be given a jail sentence: “And make no mistake, the court is going to have a United States Marshal in attendance at the graduation. If any student offends this court, that student will be summarily arrested and will face up to six months incarceration in the Galveston County Jail for contempt of court……Anyone who violates these orders…….is going to wish that he or she had died as a child when this court gets through with it.”

THE RUDEST OF AWAKENINGS

Wikepedia
“Sin was the god of the moon and planet in the Mesopotamian religions of Sumer, Akkad, Assyria, Babylonian and Aram, and was worshipped into the Islamic period in Harran, still represented as crescent in many Islamic flags of states.
The two chief seats of worship were Ur in the south of Mesopotamia and Harran in the north. A moon god by the same name was later worshipped in Saudi Arabia.”

The 19th century philosopher G.W.F. Hegel once said: “The only thing we learn from history is that we have learned nothing from history.”

Sinclair Ferguson in his commentary on Daniel makes this observation:
“With dramatic artistry, this record of Belshazzar’s last hours reserves to the very end of the chapter the information that his city must already have been under siege when he threw a great feast for a thousand of his lords, and drank wine in the presence of the thousands.” The ancient author Xenophon, who records the taking of Babylon, suggests that the city was magnificently well protected against a siege and had stores of food that would last for years. Belshazzar felt he could take pride in his security.”
Ferguson goes on to ask the question:
“What was the nature of Belshazzar’s sin that evoked this shift and final judgment of God?
It was a blatant transgression of his responsibilities as monarch whom God had privileged with high rank in life. This emerges not so much in the size of the feast as in the motive for it and in the manner of his behavior. It was a display of Belshazzar’s own inflated ego.
Belshazzar expressed his transgression in specific blasphemy. As he drank, the alcohol began to depress the restraining element in his mental powers. The cared monster of his heart was released. We can almost hear his boastful spirit calling out to some of the servants, doubtless to the horror of some present at the table, “GET THOSE JEWISH HOLY CUPS HERE, AND WE’LL DRINK A TOAST TO THOSE PARASITES TOO.”
What explanation is there for his action? After all, the Jews posed no threat to him or his empire. There is only one proper explanation. The Jews and their sacred vessels symbolized the presence and power of God. Belshazzar’s heart was a factory of rebellion against God. He knew exactly what these vessels were and from where they had come. He did not sin in IGNORANCE but WITH KNOWLEDGE.
Belshazzar sought to mock God, but the lesson of this chapter is “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to the flesh will of the flesh reap corruption (Galatians 6:7-8). Belshazzar’s sinful heart caused spiritual blindness, spiritual deafness, and a pervasive sense of unreality.”

Pastor Richard Wurmbrand in his book; IN GOD’S UNDERGROUND’ wrote:
“There were two kinds of Christians; ‘those who sincerely believe in God and those who, just as sincerely, believe that they believe. You can tell them apart by their actions in decisive moments.’

MAN HAS DESCENDED TO THE ANIMAL

W.M. Christie published the book “THE BARREN FIGTREE”
“Now, the facts connected with the fig tree are these. Toward the end of March the leaves begin to appear, and in about a week the foliage coating is complete. Coincide with, and sometimes even before, there appears quite a crop of small knobs, not the real figs, but a kind of early forerunner. They grow to the size of green almonds in which condition they are eaten by peasants and others when hungry. When they come to their own indefinite maturity they drop off.
These precursors of the true fig are called TAQSH in Palestinian Arabic. Their appearance is a harbinger of the fully formed appearance of the true fig, some six weeks later. So, as Mark says, the time for figs had not yet come. But if the leaves appear without any TAQSH – HE KNEW THAT “it was an absolutely hopeless, fruitless fig tree’ and said as much. You don’t criticize a gardener, much less a farmer, for cutting down a tree like that.”

John Lennox in his book “Against the Flow” comments:
“Paul claims that rejection of God has a detrimental effect on reason.
Many atheists, who think that their position is an oasis of reason and clear-headedness, would loudly protest. It is important for me to say that I am not suggesting that atheist cannot think. Some, however, particularly those of the “New Atheist” brand, make a great fuss of what they think is the damage that belief in God does to the mind. Their descriptions of religious belief (like “virus of the mind”) are not uncommon. It does not seem to occur to them that the shoe could be on the other foot.
When it comes to thinking about God, why do some otherwise rational, intelligent people seem unaware that they become irrational?”

John Lennox
“There are gradations in that descent. When human beings reject God they die spiritually, and that death touches, spoils, distorts, twists and eventually destroys all that makes human life what it is – from the moral to the aesthetic, from family relationship to work.
We have only to think of some examples of what is accepted as art or entertainment nowadays to understand that rejection of God leads to the death of civilized culture. It leads to the inversion of values; where a pile of excrement is hailed as AVANT GUARDE ART, and blatant immorality is hailed as marvelous theatre.
The darkness is such that there is little or no understanding or appreciation of what has happened – man has descended to the animal.”

John Lennox
“Nebuchadnezzar’s system of values was flawed. Ours may be flawed too. I am sure we have noticed that when we give in to pride our behavior may rapidly descend into the kind of raw jousting for position that is evident in the animal kingdom. It is then that we risk being cut down.”

Francis Schaeffer published the book ‘THE GOD WHO IS THERE’
“The importance of understanding the chasm to which man’s thinking has brought him is not of intellectual value alone, but of spiritual value as well. The Christian is to resist the spirit of the world. But when we say this, we must understand that the world-spirit does not always take the same form. So the Christian must resist the spirit of the world IN THE FORM IT TAKES IN HIS OWN GENERATION. If he does not do this, he is not resisting the spirit of the world at all. This is especially so for our generation, as the forces at work against us are of such a total nature. It is our generation of Christians more than any other who need to heed these words attributed to Martin Luther;
‘If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved, and to be steady on all the battlefield besides, is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.’

WATCHERS AND INTERLOPERS

What’s the definition of an Interloper?
“An interloper is a person who becomes involved in a place or situation where they are not wanted or are considered not to belong.” “Definitions from Oxford Languages”

Dr. Michael Heiser “Angels”
(What the Bible really says about God’s Heavenly Host)
“Watchers” is the overwhelming choice of term for the fallen sons of God in Genesis 6:1-4 in this later literature; the connection to the Akkadian MASSARE provides a secure basis for understanding the meaning of IR to be “vigilant watchfulness.” This of course, is consistent with being wakeful and a guardian role.

John Lennox in his book quotes Peter Singer, a Princeton bio-ethicist.
“Whatever the future holds, it is likely to prove impossible to restore in full the sanctity-of-life view. The philosophical foundations of this view have been knocked asunder. We can no longer base out ethics on the idea that human beings are a special form of creation made in the image of God, singled out from all other animals, and alone possessing an immortal soul. Our better understanding of our own nature has bridged the gulf that was once thought to lie between ourselves and other species, so why should we believe that the mere fact that a being is a member of the species
“Homo Sapiens” endows its life with some unique, almost infinite value?”
“There is no reason to think that a fish suffers less when dying in a net than a fetus suffers during an abortion, hence the argument for not eating fish is much stronger than the argument against abortion. Peter Singer “Rethinking Life and Death”
“The life of a newborn baby is of less value than the life of a pig, a dog or a chimpanzee.” Peter Singer “The Life You Can Save”

UAP’s stands for Unidentified Aerial Phenomena. The fact that they are now labeled “phenomena” makes them mor of a reality in the public discourse. But a phenomenon also begs for an explanation, and that’s the story.

Gary Stearman who published the book “Time Travelers” writes:
“Prophecy tells us that men who should know better have welcomed false gods as superior beings. Wall carvings and paintings of the Egyptians, Assyrians, Babylonians and Persians graphically illustrate the interactions of their “gods” with mankind. Even the Israelites began to worship them, and may do so again. Israel is the model for this for bidden practice, clearly documented in Moses’ concluding work in the Torah:
“They stirred him to jealousy with strange gods; with abominations they provoked him to anger. They sacrificed to demons that were no gods, to gods they had never known, to new gods that had come recently, whom your fathers had never dreaded.” (Deuteronomy 32:16-17)
“God’s indictment of Israel is that in the past, they welcomed into their lives beings whom they regarded as superior. The prophet Daniel says that this will happen again, when Israel welcomes the man whom they believe to be their messiah. He will be backed by alien powers that give him credibility. In all likelihood, these powerful beings will masquerade as ambassadors from other planets. But they will be devils.”
Gary Stearman in his article titled: Alien Technology? (July 2021) writes:
“It is well known that the Roman Catholic Church seems to regard aliens as real corporeal beings from other star systems. It has even gone to the extent of theorizing about whether these aliens would fall under the rule of necessity for redemption through Christ.
In 2010, the director of the Vatical Observatory, the Reverend Jose Gabriel Funes, made the blatant assumption that UFO reports should now be assumed to indicate that our planet is most probably being explored by aliens from elsewhere in the universe! He wonders aloud whether these creatures should be considered as our brothers and sisters in Christ. In 2008 Funes was quoted in the Vatican newspaper, Osservatore Romano, as saying: “Just like there is an abundance of creatures on earth, there should also be other being seven intelligent ones, that were created by God. That doesn’t contradict our faith, because we cannot put boundaries to God’s creative freedom. As Saint Francis would say, when we consider the earthly creatures to be our ‘brothers and sisters’, why couldn’t we also talk about an ‘extraterrestrial brother?’ He would still be a part of creation.”
“The subject of space aliens has exploded from myth, to speculations, to startling reality. Policy institutes and philosophical groups around the world are now preoccupied with the subject of how to successfully integrate humanity with superior creatures from outer space. They reason that since ufonauts are already here, they would certainly be superior in their knowledge of science and technology. Their real question then becomes, are they “good guys”, or “bad guys?” Would they come here as spiritual guides, or would they look at humans as a good meal?”
“It is universally assumed that they will be superior to humans, for the simple reason that they had the technology to come here. We didn’t have the technology to go there. And of course, in the contemporary mind, technology is everything.”

WHEN GOD OPENS BLINDED EYES

Ron Rhodes in his commentary on Daniel writes:
“The word “sign” often carries the idea of a miracle with a message, whereas “wonder” refers to a miracle that evokes amazement. God’s humbling of Nebuchadnezzar would be a miracle with a message. The message being that God is awesomely powerful and great, and the whole episode, including Nebuchadnezzar’s restoration would be amazing.
When Nebuchadnezzar said: “great are his signs,” it was with the recognition that signs always signal something. In this case, God performed miracles (signs) that signaled His identity as the only true God.
God’s miracles are “wonders” because they are amazing, astonishing, and unparalleled.”

Dr. Michael Heiser “Angels”
(What the Bible really says about God’s Heavenly Host)
“Watchers” is the overwhelming choice of term for the fallen sons of God in Genesis 6:1-4 in this later literature; the connection to the Akkadian MASSACRE provides a secure basis for understanding the meaning of IR to be “vigilant watchfulness.” This of course, is consistent with being wakeful and a guardian role.

John Lennox in his book quotes Peter Singer, a Princeton bio-ethicist.
“Whatever the future holds, it is likely to prove impossible to restore in full the sanctity-of-life view. The philosophical foundations of this view have been knocked asunder. We can no longer base out ethics on the idea that human beings are a special form of creation made in the image of God, singled out from all other animals, and alone possessing an immortal soul. Our better understanding of our own nature has bridged the gulf that was once thought to lie between ourselves and other species, so why should we believe that the mere fact that a being is a member of the species
“Homo Sapiens” endows its life with some unique, almost infinite value?”
“There is no reason to think that a fish suffers less when dying in a net than a fetus suffers during an abortion, hence the argument for not eating fish is much stronger than the argument against abortion. Peter Singer “Rethinking Life and Death”
“The life of a newborn baby is of less value than the life of a pig, a dog or a chimpanzee.” Peter Singer “The Life You Can Save”

John Lennox comments:
“There have been much speculation about the nature of what afflicted Nebuchadnezzar’s mind. Some have suggested a mental affliction where a person imagines himself to be an ox and behaves like it. Others have suggested a similar mental illness, where the afflicted person believes that he or she is a wolf (a disease that has no doubt fueled stories about werewolves).
Whatever it was, the text of Daniel attributes its onset to the direct intervention of God and emphasizes its behavioral aspect: Nebuchadnezzar began to live like an animal and was eventually driven out from human company.”

IT’S TESTING TIME

John Lennox “Against the Flow”
“In chapter 1 and 3 Daniel draws our attention to two parallel yet opposite trends that he had come to observe during his long life at the pinnacle of power. Even though there is a drive to relativize absolutes, men and women cannot live without them. So they eventually take something of relative value and absolutize it. That is, they regard it as the core value that determines their attitude to everything else. From time immemorial the obvious candidates have been the state, power, wealth, and sex. Daniel chooses here to record an incident regarding the first two of these issues that involves not himself but his three friends.”

John Lennox asks the question:
“Imagine being one of these men and having to explain the situation to your family and friends? It is easy to see how they might try to talk you out of opposing Nebuchadnezzar.”
“We all know that this idolatry is bogus – there is nothing real in it except the emperor wishing us to acknowledge his authority? What does it matter if we outwardly bow down to him? It doesn’t mean that he controls our heads and our hearts. And if good men like you three – men of proven ability and integrity – refuse to bow down and get killed, that will make the situation even worse. You are top people; if you are not there to continue your powerful influence for good at the very highest levels of the state, what hope is there for the rest of us? And think of your wife and your children. What are they going to do if you throw your life away like this – needlessly? No, you must take part in the ceremony like everyone else for our sakes. We need you there in the corridors of power.”

In 1995, Erwin Lutzer published the book “Hitler’s Cross”
“Dein Reich komme”, Hitler prayed publicly – “Thy Kingdom Come”. But to whose kingdom was he referring?
When Germany truly needed a savior, Adolf Hitler falsely stepped in. He directed his countrymen to a cross, but he bent and hammered the true cross into a horrific substitute; a swastika.
Where was the church through all of this? With a few exceptions, the German church looked away while Hitler inflicted his final solution upon the Jews.
It is a chilling historical account of what happens when evil meets a silent, shrinking church, and an intriguing and convicting expose of modern America’s own hidden crosses.”

Chuck Swindoll
“God is sovereign, whether the result is triumph or tragedy. Unfortunately, we have the idea that when we are protected or divinely delivered, then the sovereignty of God is upheld, but when we suffer incredible defeat or loss, then we have to hide our faces and hope nobody asks us what kind of God we serve. Well, the answer is that He is a sovereign God – even when we suffer.
Believing in a sovereign God does not mean that things always turn out our way, and though He tells us that He causes everything to work together for good (Romans 8:28), He doesn’t say that everything IS good. Yet He is sovereign, whether in triumph or tragedy, and we are called to remain His faithful people.

John Lennox comments on this text:
“In a statement of breathtaking courage and confidence in God, they told the emperor that they had taken into consideration the possibility that God might not deliver them. They were not prepared to prescribe what God would do. That was for God to decide. But, no matter whether God delivered them or not, they were not going to bow to the statue. THE ISSUE WAS ONE OF PRINCIPLED MORALTY.
Nebuchadnezzar had never in his life before encountered such studied defiance. As it began to dawn upon him that there was a very real sense in which he was powerless against these men, his anger knew no bounds. Of course he could kill them, but that was not the point. What he could not do was to force them to bow.
Up to now he had thought that human beings would do anything to save their lives. His whole scheme of getting his nobles to bow depended on the assumption that, for each person, life was of absolute value.
To his utter amazement he discovered that this was not always the case.
Even in his own very administration there were men, men of proven ability and high office, who regarded their lives as a relative value compared with the absolute value of God. Nebuchadnezzar’s reaction was a fury of impotent frustration.

Arthur Cochrane in his book “The Church’s Confession Under Hitler” quotes Albert Einstein:
“Being a lover of freedom, when the Nazi revolution came I looked to the devotion to the cause of truth; but no, the universities were immediately silenced. Then I looked to the great editors of the newspapers, whose flaming editorials in days gone by had proclaimed their love of freedom; but they, like the universities, were silenced in a few short weeks.
Only the Church stood squarely across the path of Hitler’s campaign for suppressing the truth. I never had any special interest in the Church before, but now I feel a great affection and admiration for it because the Church alone has had the courage and persistence to stand for intellectual and moral freedom. I am forced to confess that what I once despised I now praise unreservedly.”

Are you willing to disobey the command to worship anyone or anything BUT GOD ALMIGHTY AND HIM ALONE?

IN THE DAYS OF THESE KINGS

Professor and Biblical scholar Leon J. Wood published in 1979 the book titled” THE PROPHETS OF ISRAEL”.
“Prophets did not come to office by inheritance, having been born into a prophetic tribe or family; nor was a son of a former prophet automatically made a prophet because he was the son of such a person. Each prophet was selected by God and called to a work God had for him to do.
In this, prophets differed markedly from priests in Israel. Priests did receive their office by inheritance.
One reason why an inheritance relationship was not suitable for the prophets was that each had to be a special kind of person. Not just anyone would do. The priestly office did not find this nearly so true. A weak son could still carry on rather well, for the work was quite routine. And one may expect that there were some mediocre priests, who functioned simply because they had become priests by inheritance.
The prophet, however, did not act by pattern. Even when God gave him instructions as to his work and the course he was to take, that course often carried with it a great challenge.
He had to be prepared for suffering and injustice as well as ease and plaudits. He had always to be an individualist in courage and ingenuity. There was no room for mediocrity.”

John Lennox in his book “Against the Flow” makes this observation:
“The metals are not simple code. They are symbols embodying metaphors that help us to understand some important aspect of the empire they represent.
The metals, with their different relative strengths and values, highlight the fact that empires differ in both relative value and relative strength.
It could not have been easy to get that message across to an emperor like Nebuchadnezzar.
One reason is that the vast majority, if not all, of these rulers regarded themselves as chosen by the gods (in extreme cases, they regarded themselves as gods), so that their rule was by definition the best there could be.
In more recent times many of the power brokers of this world, whether they claimed to believe in the divine or not, have been all too convinced of the absolute nature of their rule, often with horrific consequences for their citizens.”

Historian Herbert Butterfield published in 1957 the book titled:
“Christianity and History”
“There seems to be one fundamental law of a very solemn kind which touches this question of judgment; and when I turn to the ancient prophets and recall the limited area of history they had at their disposal for making inductions, I am always surprised at the curious aptness with which they seem to have found the formula in this connection – a formula which they put in a special position of priority. Judgment in history falls heaviest on those who come to think themselves gods, who fly in the face of Providence and history, who put their trust in man-made systems and worship the work of their own hands, and who say that the strength of their own right arm gave them the victory.”

“Sir, we will always humbly reverence your majesty in public; but since we have this occasion to be with your Majesty in private…we must discharge our duty, or else be traitors both of Christ and you.
Therefore, Sir, at diverse times I have told you, so now again I must tell you. There are two kings and two kingdoms in Scotland. There is King James, the Lord of the Commonwealth, and there is Christ Jesus, the King of the Church, whose subject James the Sixth is, and of whose kingdom he is not a king, nor a lord, nor a head.
We will yield to you your place, and give you all due obedience, but again
I say; You are not the head of the church; you cannot give us that eternal life that we seek for even in this world, and you cannot deprive us of it.” Andrew Melville

GOD’S PURPOSE FOR THE NATIONS

Henry Morris published the book “God and the Nations” in 2003
“That God has an eternal purpose in mind for nations as such, and not only for individuals, seems evident from such Scriptures as
Revelation 21:24
‘By it’s light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it’
The context here is the situation in the New Earth, and the Holy City,
New Jerusalem, in particular, in the eternal ages to come.
There will be nations in the New Earth, each with its king, and they will live outside the Holy City, yet apparently have free access into it, with their “glory and honor” to contribute to the service of the King of all kings there in New Jerusalem. These nations will be “Gentile” nations, for the word “nations” (Greek ETHNOS) is actually translated “Gentiles” more often than “nations”.
The nation of Israel, on the other hand, as God’s chosen nation, will occupy a separate position, presumably dwelling only in New Jerusalem. This seems implied by Revelation 21:12, which notes that “the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel’ are inscribed on the 12 gates of New Jerusalem. Israel’s king, of course, will be the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ, who “shall reign over the house of Jacob forever” and “the throne of God and the Lamb shall be in it, and his servants shall serve him” (Revelation 22:3).
The church is also a “nation”, in a sense, for Christian believers are actually called “a royal priesthood, a holy nation” In 1 Peter 2:9 and are considered as different in a sense from both Jews and Gentiles (1 Corinthians 10:32, which refers to “the Jews…the Gentiles and “the church of God).
At this point, we just want to get a glimpse of God’s future purpose for the nations, because that will help us to understand His past and present dealings with them. When they were first established, and all through history, God was really preparing them for eternity. “Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world” (Acts 15:18).

John Lennox (Against the Flow) 2015
Now, according to the world-views of Babylon’s wise men and the naturalist thinkers of today, there is no God that can reveal the future course of history. By definition, therefore, Daniel could have no special knowledge. He could not know the contents of the dream; all he could do was to guess. The wise men had not dared to guess because they knew that the probability of them getting the answer right was vanishingly small.
They would have stalled forever, if possible, rather than risk getting it wrong. Chance was not on their side. On that view, Daniel was taking a colossal gamble with his life.
If he guessed wrongly, the rage of the emperor would know no bounds,
and death would be swift and terrible.
But Daniel was not guessing. He was not calculating probabilities.
He knew what Nebuchadnezzar had dreamed, and within a few seconds Nebuchadnezzar knew that Daniel knew.”

John Lennox makes this observation:
“Perhaps the most important way of understanding this aspect of the image is to be found in the well-known phrase “feet of clay”. That phrase is used of individuals, particularly those of high status, to describe character flaws – particularly hidden faults that could eventually bring about their downfall.
The colossal man that Nebuchadnezzar saw had feet of clay, which alerts us at once to the problem that all system of government have. To varying degrees, all their citizens have feet of clay. That is to say, the fundamental weakness indicated by the image is a weakness in humanity that makes people difficult to govern. It is a weakness to which much thought has been given in politics, and much has been written about in literature. We are all aware of it. The novelist G.K. Chesterton got it exactly right when he reportedly responded to a request in THE TIMES newspaper for answers to the question WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE WORLD? Chesterton is believed to have written:
Dear Sir,
I am.
G.K. Chesterton
The problem with humanity is humanity itself.

NOT HUMAN BUT DIVINE REVELATION

Examples of Human Revelation:
• The Fourth Turning (William Strauss and Neil Howe)
• 1984 (George Orwell) a Novel published in 1949
I’ve quoted this author numerous times during the last two years.
You may remember some of the quotes:
“Who controls the past controls the future.”
“War is peace. Freedom is slavery, Ignorance is strength.”

• Brave New World (Aldous Huxley wrote this novel in the shadow of the rise of fascism during the 1930s.) “Brave New World is a searching vision of an unequal, technologically-advanced future where humans are genetically bred, socially indoctrinated, and pharmaceutically anesthetized to passively uphold an authoritarian ruling order – all at the cost of our freedom, full humanity, and perhaps also our souls.”

Francis Schaeffer nailed it when he wrote the book titled:
“He is There and He is not Silent”

John Lennox in his book “Against the Flow” makes this observation:
“Daniel knew that Nebuchadnezzar was not prepared to reveal the content of the dream. But Daniel believed that there was a God who knew not only the content of the dream but its meaning. He also believed that, if he so desired, God could reveal that information to him. So now the story advances the concept of revelation one level deeper.
It is not Human Revelation now, BUT DIVINE.”
“When Daniel related the content of the dream to Nebuchadnezzar in all of its detail, Nebuchadnezzar had all the evidence he needed to believe in revelation. That belief was warranted, since there was no way, apart from divine revelation, that Daniel could have known what thoughts had gone through the king’s mind while he dreamed. Nebuchadnezzar now had strong reason to take seriously the claim that God had given Daniel the interpretation. But that did not mean that Nebuchadnezzar would be uncritical – he would also use his reason to see if the proffered interpretation made sense. And so can we, since the whole account lies before us.”

CAUGHT BETWEEN CULTURES

I will use primarily four major sources for our study.
• The Bible (ESV)
• “Against The Flow” by John Lennox (2015)
• “The Church in Babylon by Erwin Lutzer (2018)
• “Faith For Exiles” by David Kinnaman & Mark Matlock (2019)

David Kinnaman makes this observation:
“Empires subjugate weaker nations of the earth using a variety of tactics, not all of which are military. Yes, empires use violence and power to achieve dominance. But military means often go hand in hand with colonial strategies deployed to transform the language, economics, and cultural imagination of conquered peoples. The Jewish elite were captured after Babylonian’s military conquest of Judah, forcibly taken to the empires’ capital, and subjugated to a cultural conquest nearly as devastating as their martial defeat. (The Book of Daniel is a vivid account of Babylon’s culture-eradication campaign and how some exiles successfully resisted.)
If a literal Babylon were around today, the internet would certainly be in the imperial toolbox – and insofar as we thoughtlessly consume whatever content comes our way, we’d be cheerful participants in our own colonization. Even without a literal empire knocking on our door, many of us are willingly held captive. The idea of digital colonization may seem extreme, but here is the point: screens inform and connect, but they also distract and entertain. Through screen’s everywhere presence, Babylon’s pride, power, prestige, and pleasure colonize our hearts and minds.
Pop culture is a reality filter. Websites, apps, movies, TV, video games, music, social media, YouTube channels, and so on increasingly provide the grid against which we test what is true and what is real.
Screens demand our attention. Screens disciple.”

Tim Keller in his book “Exiles in a Foreign Land” (2006) writes:
“Christians should be humbled before the new pagan pluralistic situation. Just as with the exiles, the situation is due in large part to our own failings. The church did not lose its position of privilege simply because of evil enemies of the faith. We lost our position as part of God’s judgment on our pride, our hypocrisy, our love of power, our prejudice, our bigotry and failure to hold onto the truth. This is the way in which God get’s people’s attention.”

Erwin Lutzer makes this comment:
“Daniel’s conviction was rock solid. He had made compromises he could live with, but some matters were non-negotiable. “I can help the king, I can advise the king, but I will not compromise my faith in Jehovah. It is all a matter of resolve. I certainly don’t want to give the impression that I think we can imitate Daniel and his friends in being indoctrinated with an occult education.
My point is that we should never underestimate God’s commitment to keep us where He plants us.
There is much in pagan society that you can conscientiously be associated with; but there is much that we must stay away from. That line might not be drawn in the same place for everyone. May God give us the wisdom to know where it should be drawn for us.”

BABYLONIAN SOCIAL ENGINEERING

Orwell called that technique NEWSPEAK.
In his novel he describes three slogans of the Party:
• War is Peace
• Freedom is Slavery
• Ignorance is Strength
“The Ministry of Truth contained, it was said, thousand rooms above ground level, and corresponding ramifications below. Scattered about London there were just three other buildings of similar appearance and size. So completely did they dwarf the surrounding architecture that from the roof of Victory Mansions you could see all four of them simultaneously.
They were the homes of the four Ministries between which the entire apparatus of government was divided:
the Ministry of Truth, which concerned itself with news, entertainment, education, and the fine arts;
the Ministry of Peace, which concerned itself with war,
the Ministry of Love, which maintained law and order,
the Ministry of Plenty, which was responsible for economic affairs.
Their names. Newspeak: Minitrue, Minipax, Miniluv, and Miniplenty.”
George Orwell, “1984”

Daniel means: “My God is My Judge”
Hananiah means: “The Lord Shows Grace”
Mishael means: “Who Is like God?”
Azariah means: “The Lord Helps”

Daniel’s new name will be “Belteshazzar” meaning: “May Bel (Marduk) protect his life”
Hananiah’s new name will be “Shadrach” meaning: “Command of Aku” (the moon god)
Azariah’s new name will be “Abednego, meaning: “Servant of Nabu” (the son of Marduk)
Mishael’s new name will be ”Meshack, meaning: “Who is like Aku” (the moon god)

Lord Sacks, the Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom, published in 2011 the book titled: “The Great Partnership; God, Science and the Search for Meaning.”
“All other civilizations rise and fall. The faith of Abraham survives…What made Abrahamic monotheism unique is that it endowed life with meaning. That is a point rarely and barely understood…
We make a great mistake if we think of monotheism as a linear development from polytheism, as if people first worshipped many gods and then reduced them to one. Monotheism is something else entirely. The meaning of a system lies outside the system. Therefore, the meaning of the universe lies outside the universe. Monotheism, by discovering the transcendental God, the God who stands outside the universe and creates it, made it possible for the first time to believe that life has a meaning, not just a mythic or scientific explanation.”

POINTS OF LIGHT IN ENEMY TERRITORY

In 2005, Dr. David Jeremiah published A New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Best Seller book, titled:
“What in the World is Going On?”
“Never before have we read such jarring headlines, distressing news analyses, or dire predictions for our world. There are food shortages, record-high fuel prices, and natural disasters from volcanoes to cyclones. Longtime antagonists China and Japan announce a pledge of peace and friendship while a newly belligerent Russia makes pacts in the Middle East. The president of Iran claims Israel must be wiped off the map while world leaders sit by and say nothing.
When these kinds of stories continue to appear, we can’t help but wonder…what in the world is going on?”

Canadian Professor Lee Beach, published the book titled: “The Church in Exile – Living in Hope After Christendom” (2015)
“Exile implies much more than simple geographical dislocation; it can be a cultural and spiritual condition as well. It is the experience of knowing that one is an alien, and perhaps even in a hostile environment where the dominant values run counter to one’s own.
In other words, one can experience exile even when one returns to or remains in one’s homeland. Well beyond the sphere of religious identity, this observation is confirmed by the experience of artists, poets, political dissidents, philosophers, and religious leaders in countries throughout the world.”

THEY WERE VESSELS SET APART FOR THE GLORY OF GOD. These temple vessels had been made by craftsmen who loved God, as Daniel and his friend did. THEY WERE SACRED.

Dr. John Lennox in his book “Against the Flow” writes:
“The awe of the holiness of God, which the glory of Jerusalem’s temple was designed to convey, is easily lost. And when it is lost, the danger is that symbols that once pointed the way to deeper spiritual and moral realities tend to become ends in themselves. An admiration for church architecture, or an appreciation of religious art and ritual, is not the same as the worship of a glorious God. After all, one does not even have to believe in God to admire the towering spires and the lofty vaulted roof of a cathedral, or to enjoy the singing of a well-trained church choir.”
“By taking symbols that were designed to point to one true God, Creator of heaven and earth, and placing them at the same level as cultic symbols of other gods, Nebuchadnezzar, whether he realized it or not, was demoting God from his absoluteness and making him just one of any number of other possible deities.
Such relativization of the absolute is endemic in the +pick-and-mix” postmodern society of our own century, particularly in the West. Whether you believe in Jesus, Buddha, the Beatles, crystals, mother earth, or perhaps anything else that takes your interest, all are held to be on the same footing; all have equal validity for the relativist. Indeed, many people are convinced that this is by far the safest position to adopt. ABSOLUTES ARE DANGEROUS, they say, especially religious absolutes.”

Dr. Erwin Lutzer “The Church in Babylon” writes:
“We are called to witness within this larger culture that adheres to the values of trash television, hedonism, ever expanding homosexual power and influence, religious antagonism, racial hatred, political wrangling, and the exaltation of individual rights.
Too often, we as evangelicals find ourselves as a minority, out of step with the cultural currents that have been widely accepted by an ever-changing America. The future is easy to predict because many of the children raised in evangelical homes and churches are opting for a more inclusive theology, along with more liberal political agendas. Some will disagree, but I believe researcher John Dickerson is right when he says the church is declining in members, in dollars, and in influence.”

The question before us is this: How do we share our faith in a culture that often despises our values and Christian commitment?

LIVING IN A LAND OF IDOLS

OBSTACLES DO NOT BLOCK THE PATH – THEY ARE THE PATH (old proverb)

Dr. Michael Heiser in Unseen Realm writes:
“The famous story of the building of the Tower of Babel is about much more than an ill-fated construction project and language confusion. The episode is at the heart of the Old Testament worldview. It was at Babylon where people sought to “make a new (shem) for themselves” by building a tower that reached to the heavens, the realm of the gods. The city is once again cast as the source of sinister activity and knowledge.”

Dr. Michael Heiser (page 113 in Unseen Realm)
Deuteronomy 32:8-9 describes how Yahweh’s dispersal of the nations at Babel resulted in his disinheriting the nations as his people. This is the Old Testament equivalent of Romans 1:18-19, a familiar passage wherein God “gave humankind over” to their persistent rebellion. The statement in Deuteronomy 32:9 that “the Lord’s portion is his people, Jacob his allotted heritage” tips us off that a contrast in affection and ownership is intended. Yahweh in effect decided that the people of the world’s nations were no longer going to be in relationship to him. He would begin anew. He would enter into covenant relationship with a new people that did not yet exist: Israel. The implications of this decision and this passage are crucial to understanding much of what’s in the Old Testament.”

According to Dr. John Lennox
“The Ishtar gate was one of eight fortified gates set in an invincible-looking broad wall that surrounded the city. According to Herodotus the walls were 80 feet thick, 320 feet high and 56 miles long. The vast tower in which the gate was set was covered with brilliantly sparkling ceramic tiles of deep blue, adorned with the alternating motif of white and yellow lions, dragons and yellow bulls. It was very striking; built with a view to impressing all who entered with the power, wealth architectural brilliance and permanence of the Babylonian Empire and above all, the glorious majesty of Emperor
Nebuchadnezzar himself.”
Reconstruction of the Ishtar gate in the Pergamon Museum, Berlin. The first part of Nebuchadnezzar’s dedicatory Inscription on the Ishtar Gate reads:
“I let the temple of Esiskursiskur (the highest festival house of Marduk, the Lord of the Gods – a place of joy and celebration for the major and minor gods) be built firm like a mountain in the precinct of Babylon of asphalt and fired bricks.”
The Babylonians were brilliant architects and engineers. Dominating the city skyline was a spectacular tower or ziggurat, called Etemenanki. This name in Sumerian means the House of the Foundations of Heaven and Earth, which immediately reminds us of Babel, the original city that stood on the same site.

John Lennox writes:
“Their Hebrew prophets would have told them that the gods of the Babylonians were idolatrous deifications of the basic powers of nature – sex, aggression, greed, power, wealth, and so on.
But if that were so, how could such a high culture (far superior in many ways to the culture Daniel had left behind) have emerged from such inadequate, unsophisticated and, in their opinion, completely false religious and philosophical ideas? Was it really possible for such commerce, culture, and education to be built on a false philosophy? Or was this yet more evidence that their God was a delusion? There was much to be pondered in their first days of Babylon.”

Dr. Erwin Lutzer in his book “The Church in Babylon” writes:
“The rebellion of Babylon has carried on throughout history. The people of those days sacrificed their children to pagan gods; we sacrifice our unborn children on the altar of convenience. We do not bow down before stone idols; we give wholehearted allegiance to the gods of money, power, and sex. Too often our devotion to God is an “add on”, something done in church once a week.”

Daniel and his friends, no matter what circumstances we may face, we ought to heed the call to be a light IN THE DARKNESS. We want to be strong, courageous, and gracious, but also uncompromising as witnesses to the gospel of Jesus Christ in a culture that is becoming increasingly hostile to the Christian faith. Like Israel in Babylon,
our challenge is to impact the culture without being spiritually destroyed by it. We should never forget, whatever men build, men will destroy. Whatever God builds will last forever because the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
Remember, what seems impossible with men is possible with God.

HISTORY AND MORALITY

You may be surprised to find out that in this book you will find
• The Lord Jesus Christ as the rock that will crush the earth’s kingdoms. (Daniel 2:34-35, 44-45)
• The Son of Man (Daniel 7:13-14)
• The coming Messiah who will be crucified (Daniel 9:25-26)

Professor of Mathematics and Philosophy at the University of Oxford, John Lennox in his book: Against the Flow! makes the statement:
“The story of Daniel and his friends is a clarion call to our generation to be courageous; not to lose our nerve and allow the expression of our faith to be diluted and squeezed out of the public space and thus rendered spineless and ineffective. Their story will also tell us that this objective is not likely to be achieved without cost.
As political correctness stifles Christian witness, atheism seems to become more and more vocal in the public arena. Richard Dawkins in the GOD DELUSION, Sam Harris in his LETTER TO A CHRISTIAN NATION, Christopher Hitchens in GOD IS NOT GREAT, and Michael Onfray in ATHEIST MANIFESTO have been rallying the troops behind them by heralding the dangers of religion and the desirability of eliminating it. In order to do this, these so-called New Atheists harness the immense cultural power of science. At a conference at the Salk Institute of Biological Science in La Jolla, California, in November 1994, Nobel Laureate Steven Weinberg suggested ominously that the best contribution that scientists could make in this generation was to complete elimination of religion.”

Lennox goes on to say:
“If Daniel and his three friends were with us today, I have no doubt that they would be in the vanguard of the public debate, leading the counter-charge against the self-styled “four horsemen of the New Atheism” as Dawkins and his allies Dennett, Harris and Hitches call themselves.”

Os Guiness in his book titled: “A Free People’s Suicide” published 2012, writes:
“Nothing is more daring in the American experiment than the founders’ belief that the American republic could remain free forever. But how was this to be done, and are Americans doing it today?
The ultimate threat to the American republic will be Americans. The problem is not wolves at the door but termites in the floor.”

On page 29 under the sub-title: TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING he writes:
“Another criticism from abroad is that American freedom is in danger of becoming too much of a good thing and that, as always, too much of a good thing is a bad thing.
Claims to rights and entitlements without duty are destroying the cultural soil in which all rights and freedom itself have to be nourished; unregulated free markets are destroying Americas social bonds; an excess of democracy is undermining the carefully crafted republic of the American founders; and an increasingly corrupt form of American freedom is causing a shift from constitutional liberalism to democratic illiberalism, and in the process damaging America itself.
In short, contrary to the founders – and in ways they do not realize themselves – Americans today are heedlessly pursuing a vision of freedom that is short-lived and suicidal.
Once again, freedom without virtue, leadership without character, business without trust, law without customs, education without meaning and medicine, science and technology without human considerations can end only in disaster.
When exported abroad, the same rampant American freedom often undermines the traditional ways of life in other countries through its licentiousness, permissiveness and passion to transgress.”

WE WILL NEVER BOW

Erwin Lutzer in his book “We Will Not Be Silent”; sub-titled:
“Responding Courageously to Our Culture’s Assault on Christianity”, writes:
“In one of George Orwell’s essays we are given a graphic image of human lostness. He describes a wasp that was “sucking jam on my plate, and I cut him in half. He paid no attention, merely went on with his meal, while a tiny stream of jam trickled out of his severed esophagus. Only when he tried to fly away did he grasp the dreadful thing that had happened to him. It is the same with modern man.”
“Everything might seem normal among us. We have our homes, our vocations, and our salaries. Like the wasp, we are content because we still have elections, we still have courts. We still have a congress and a president. We are still able to preach the gospel in our churches. But recently we have faced a health pandemic, an economic crisis, and heightened racial conflict amid political wrangling and increased polarization. The underbelly of our nation is being eaten away and, like Orwell’s wasp, we might not recognize our true condition until we wake up and realize our wings have been severed. The America we thought we knew is no more. And our churches have accepted these changes with little more than a whimper.”
We are in a firestorm for the future of America. But more importantly, we are in a firestorm within our churches, some of which have already substituted culture in the place of the gospel. I want to inspire us to have the courage to walk toward the fire and not run away from the flames. God has brought us to this cultural moment, and our future cannot be taken for granted.
As has been said, “In a time of universal deception, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

In 2010, Erwin Lutzer published the book “When a Nation Forgets God”
“Martin Niemoller and Dietrich Bonhoeffer gathered opposition to Hitler’s intrusion into the affairs of the church. When Hitler heard that there might be a church split because some pastors objected to his agenda, he summoned the leaders of the churches to a personal conference on January 25, 1934.
Niemoller and other members of the clergy walked past the SS guard to the Reich Chancellery in Berlin and soon were ushered into Hitler’s study:
Hitler began by reproaching his guests, treating them to a tirade about how he was misunderstood. “Peace” he said, is all that he wanted. “Peace between Church and state.” He blamed them for obstructing him, sabotaging his efforts to achieve it. Niemoller was waiting for a chance to speak, and when he had the opportunity, explained that his only object was the welfare of the church, the state, and the German people. Hitler listened in silence and then said, “You confine yourself to the Church. I’ll take care of the German people.”
The conversation then drifted to other themes. When it was over, Hitler shook hands with the clergy and Niemoller realized this would be his last opportunity to speak his mind. Carefully choosing his words, he said: “You said that ‘I will take care of the German people.’ But we too, as Christians and churchmen, have a responsibility toward the German people. That responsibility was entrusted to us by God, and neither you nor anyone in this world has the power to take it from us.” Hitler turned away without a word.
That same evening, eight Gestapo men ransacked Niemoller’s rectory for incriminating material. A few days later a homemade bomb exploded in the hall.”
“These threats were easier for Niemoller to bear than some of the criticism he received from his colleagues for his strong words to Hitler. Clearly the majority of the clergy had adopted an attitude OF SAFETY FIRST. More than two thousand pastors who had stood with Niemoller and Bonhoeffer withdrew their support. They believed that appeasement was the best strategy; they thought that if they remained silent, they could live with Hitler’s intrusion into church affairs and his political policies.”

One of Bonhoeffer ‘s famous quote is:
“The test of the morality of a society is what it does for its children.”

IT’S FOR THE COMMON GOOD, IT’S A MATTER OF RIGHTS, IT’S A MATTER OF JUSTICE.

George Orwell in his novel ‘1984’ the world is ruled by three superstates.
Oceania covers the entire continents of America and the British Isles. They are the main locations of the novel. George Orwell describes a chilling totalitarian state where the so-called MINISTRY OF TRUTH uses sinister language called NEWSPEAK, to brainwash the people. The slogan of Oceania is “WAR IS PEACE; FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH.”
In other words, the elimination of individual freedom was sold to the population as a plus. Slavery to the state was presented as the gateway to freedom and prosperity. Conquest was sold as liberation. And everything done was always for “the good of the people”.

His name is Edward Bernays. He is the one who pioneered the scientific technique of what he called “engineering of consent”. During World War I, he was an integral part – along with Walter Lippman – of the U.S. Committee on Public Information (CPI), a powerful propaganda machine that advertised and sold the war to the American people as one that would “MAKE THE WORLD SAFER FOR DEMOCRACY”. The marketing strategies for all future wars would be based on the CPI model.
In this book Edward Bernays writers: “we are governed, our minds molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of…..It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind, who harness old social forces and contrive new ways to bind and guide the world.”

You have heard it say that THE ONE WHO CONTROLS THE LANGUAGE WILL CONTROL THE DEBATE.

It’s another way of propaganda. The Bible calls it deception. Let’s just take one issue: Abortion!!!
• Those who oppose abortion are described as being “at war with women”.
• Pro-abortion advocates are “protecting women’s health”
• Pro-abortion advocates sponsor the “REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH ACT”
These are all propaganda slogans.
REALTY IS WE ARE KILLING PREBORN INFANTS.
Let me tell you, Hitler would have put it more delicately: “We will just put the baby on a low-calorie diet.”

STAND FIRM

Pamela Popper and Shane Prier published a book under the title:
“COVID OPERATION; what happened, why it happened and what’s next”
“The most consequential thing to happen in the world since World War II, this event has been perpetrated by a wide network of enemies of the people who have managed to disguise themselves as public servants,
health professionals, and founders and heads of global non-profits. They are everywhere, they are incredibly rich, they are powerful, and they are intent on getting their way.”
“Scenarios for the Future of Technology and International Development”
The First Scenario is titled: “LOCK STEP” a world of tighter top-down government control and more authoritarian leadership with innovation and growing citizen pushback.”
“The pandemic also had a deadly effect on economies: international mobility of both people and goods screeched to a halt, debilitating industries like tourism and breaking global supply chains. Even locally, normally bustling shops and office buildings sat empty for months, devoid of both employees and customers.
The United States initial policy of strongly discouraging citizens from flying proved deadly in its leniency, accelerating the spread of the virus not just within the U.S. but across borders. However, a few countries did fare better – China in particular. The Chinese government’s quick imposition and enforcement of mandatory quarantine for all citizens, as well as its instant and near-hermetic sealing off of all borders, saved millions of lives, stopping the spread of the virus far earlier in other countries and enabling a swifter post-pandemic recovery.
During the pandemic, national leaders around the world flexed their authority and imposed airtight rules and restrictions, from the mandatory wearing of face masks to body-temperature checks at the entries to communal spaces like train stations and supermarkets. Even after the pandemic faded, this more authoritarian control and oversight of citizens and their activities stuck and even intensified.
In order to protect themselves from the spread of increasingly global problems – from pandemics and transnational terrorism to environmental crisis and rising poverty – leaders around the world took a firm grip on power.”
“At first, the notion of a more controlled world gained wide acceptance and approval. Citizens willingly gave up some of their sovereignty – and their privacy – to more paternalistic state in exchange for greater safety and stability.
In developed countries, this heightened oversight took many forms: biometric ID’s for all citizens, for example, and tighter regulation of key industries whose stability was deemed vital to national interests.”
“Technology in Lockstep is largely driven by government and is focused on issues of national security, health and safety:
Scanners using advanced functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) technology become the norm at airports and other public areas to detect abnormal behavior that may indicate “antisocial intent.”
“Many people might conclude that either the authors of this document had incredible psychic powers or that the document is being used worldwide today as a handbook for decision-making.” “COVID OPERATION by Popper & Prier”

We hear a lot about CCP, the Chinese Communist Party Virus. The Chinese Communist Party is built upon THE COMMUNIST MANIFESTO, written and published by Karl Marx and Fredrick Engel in February 1848.
In this manifesto Marx and Engel advocated the violent destruction of private enterprise, social classes, nations, religions, and the family.

Chuck Swindoll wrote an article with the title: “Don’t Quit”
“There is not an achievement worth remembering that isn’t stained with the blood of diligence and checkered with the scars of disappointment. To quit may feel good now, but it’s a bummer when life’s bills come due. Giving thought to giving up? Considering the possibility of quitting? Looking for an easy way out? Entertaining the idea of running away…stopping before it’s finished…escaping from reality? Admittedly, the holiday season only encourages such feelings of despair. Don’t! Instead, I urge you to draw near to God and to His people. Don’t retreat, but rather surround yourself with loving, supportive friends. And let God be gracious to you. It’s always harder to quit when a few friends stand with you.”

THE RISE OF SECULAR POWER

In 1933 a group of 34 liberal humanists in the United States defined the philosophical and religious principles that seemed to them FUNDAMENTAL. They drafted humanist manifesto I which for its time was a radical document. It was concerned with expressing a general religious and philosophical outlook that REJECTED ORTHODOX AND DOGMATIC POSITIONS and provided meaning and direction, unity and purpose to HUMAN LIFE. It was committed to REASON, SCIENCE, AND DEMOCRACY.
HUMANIST MANIFESTO I
“The time has come for widespread recognition of the radical changes in religious beliefs throughout the modern world. The time is past for mere revision of traditional attitudes. Science and economic change have disrupted the old beliefs. Religions around the world labor with the task of coming to terms with new conditions created by a vastly increased knowledge and experience. In every field of human activity, the vital movement is now in the direction of a candid and explicit humanism. In order that religious humanism may be better understood we, the undersigned, desire to make certain affirmations which we believe the facts of our contemporary life demonstrate.”
“Today, man’s larger understanding of the universe, his scientific achievements, and his deeper appreciation of brotherhood, have created a situation which requires a new statement of the means and purposes of religion. Such a vital, fearless, and frank religion capable of furnishing adequate social goals and personal satisfaction my appear to many people as a complete break with the past. While this age does owe a vast debt to traditional religions, it is none the less obvious that any religion that can hope to be a synthesizing and dynamic force for today MUST BE SHAPED FOR THE NEEDS OF THIS AGE. To establish such a religion is a major necessity of the present. It is a responsibility which rests upon this generation. We therefore affirm the following:”
“The humanists are firmly convinced that existing acquisitive and profit-motivated society has shown itself to be inadequate and that a radical change in methods, controls, and motives must be instituted. A socialized and cooperative economic order must be established to the end that the equitable distribution of the means of life be possible. The goal of humanism is a free and universal society in which people voluntarily and intelligently cooperate for the common good. Humanists demand a shared life in a shared world.”

Paul Kurtz and Edwin H. Wilson wrote the preface to the manifesto II:
“As we approach the twenty first century an affirmative and hopeful vision is needed. Faith, commensurate with advancing knowledge, is also necessary. In the choice between despair and hope, humanists respond in this Humanist Manifesto II with a positive declaration for times of uncertainty.
As in 1933, humanists still believe that traditional theism, especially faith in the prayer-hearing God, assumed to love and care for persons, to hear and understand their prayers, and to be able to do something about them, is an UNPROVEN AND OUTMODED FAITH. Salvationism, based on mere affirmation, still appears as harmful, diverting people with false hopes of heaven hereafter; REASONABLE MINDS LOOK TO OTHER MEANS FOR SURVIVAL.”
Among the revised principles of Humanist Manifesto II, you find statements like this:
• “We find insufficient evidence for belief in the existence of the supernatural.”
• “Promises of immortal salvation or fear of eternal damnation are both illusory and harmful.
• “Modern science discredits such historic concepts as the ‘ghost in the machine’ and the ‘separable soul’.”
• Humane societies should evaluate economic systems not by rhetoric or ideology, but by whether or not they increase economic wellbeing for all individuals and groups, minimize poverty and hardship, increase the sum of human satisfaction, and enhance the quality of life.”

It even gets better: Principles 12-17 illustrate humanism’s missionary zeal. It is bent upon the creation of a global society.
“We deplore the division of humankind on nationalist grounds. We have reached a turning point in human history where the best option is to transcend the limits of national sovereignty and to move toward the building of a world community in which all sectors of the human family can participate.
The problems with economic growth and development can no longer be resolved by one nation alone; they are worldwide in scope. It is the moral obligation of the developed nations to provide – through an international authority that safeguards human rights – massive technical, agricultural, medical, and economic assistance, including birth control techniques, to the developing portions of the globe.
World poverty must cease. Hence extreme disproportions in wealth, income, and economic growth should be reduced on a worldwide basis.”

Overwhelmed by God’s Glory

Daniel is also an incredible example of true worship. In other words, prophecy and worship must go together. The book of Revelation is also a book of worship. Jesus being revealed to the world as the only one worthy to receive worship and praise.
We might study Daniel and his visions and revelations for the purpose of knowing future events, but such would miss the whole point. The ultimate theme of the book of Daniel is GOD’S SOVEREIGNTY AND GOD’S GLORY. God had touched Daniel, he was a man of purpose, prayer, power and worship. This man put his trust and confidence in God alone.
Daniel saw God, not a prophetic chart. Daniel was not pursuing the knowledge of future events. He was pursuing God and he saw God’s glory.