Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 2 * PART 4 * BOOK 80
DANIEL – PART II – 4
Daniel 2:1 – 4:25
Okay, good to have everybody back from your break time. We’ll get right back to where we left off in Daniel. But again, I always like to welcome our television audience. My goodness, I don’t want to forget that they are out there, because they are so faithful and the letters are so encouraging. And we just praise the Lord every day.
My, when we were in Florida, we had dinner after church on Sunday with a couple who were “snowbirds”. They had come out of a dead religion. My, how excited. You just can’t image how excited people can get when they finally find the truth of the Word of God. And to think that we’re a part of it is mind-boggling.
So, that’s why we always appreciate everybody’s prayers. Not just for us personally, but for our listening audience—that we’ll get “Lydia’s”. And every once in a while we get a letter—I’m one of your Lydia’s—that’s what we love to hear—“whose heart the Lord opened.” They’ve listened to what we said and choose right. Because it’s still a choice, you know. You can choose to reject it or to believe it.
All right, let’s come back to where we left off in verse 26. Is that right? Chapter 3 verse 26, I don’t know what I’d do without my front row. They’re the ones that kind of keep me up to par. Daniel chapter 3 verse 26, and here we have Nebuchadnezzar, again, aghast that these three young Jewish lads have survived that heated furnace.
Now, I suppose the scoffer says this is just legend. But no, it’s not. The God in the Old Testament did the miraculous and all for our learning. After all, God is the same, but He’s not working in those kinds of miraculous ways. Because you see, we have the Book. This is the miracle in itself. That we have everything we need right here between two covers. So all these things, as Paul said, were written for our learning. And I think I made my point in the last half hour, that this is all a preview of the Nation of Israel going through the horrors of the Tribulation, the fires that are still coming.
And I appreciate when people come up and share things with me. I just had one of our listeners share at break time where he was witness to one of the tests of our nuclear bombs back in 1950, and how horrendous that was. Then imagine what they are now. Because see, they don’t quit. They don’t quit improving, improving, improving. I know. I read a book sometime back that was pretty much the life of these Ph.D.’s—young, sharp scientists out there in our laboratories working on these weapons of mass destruction. And they’re just constantly refining them.
And like he said, where they had detonated, everything, the steel towers, the mock villages, and everything were totally reduced to ash. Well, that was in 1950! Can you imagine what they’re doing today? So, when I speak of the Tribulation days and the earth being reduced to rubble—with over 2,000 of those now in warehouses around the world, why, they could destroy this earth twice over. And we know it’s coming. It’s going to have to happen, because God is yet going to bring in that glorious Kingdom, which will be like the Garden of Eden. All right, but back to Daniel now:
“Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning furnace, and spake, and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, ye servants of the most high God, (Now he’s making a little headway, isn’t he? He’s not there yet, but he’s not referring so much to his pagan gods. But now he’s recognizing that the God of the Jews is the most high God.) come forth, and come hither. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, came forth of the midst of the fire.”
“And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king’s counselors, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, (The fire never touched them.) nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them.” Miraculous? Absolutely! It just shows us, again, what our God is able to do.
You know, I’m constantly aware—because you see, as I mentioned in one of our previous tapings, the most popular books the last twelve months in America, three of them in particular, sold by the millions. And all three of them were authored by atheists ridiculing the concept of God. So, I have to come back with the opposite approach. Our God is still the One who created this universe.
And all you have to do is on a clear night, go out away from a lot of light and look at the sky. And then remind yourself that you’re only seeing just one little particle of the whole, and God’s in control of all of it. He can do whatever He wants with it. And just because we’re not seeing things happen today like happened back here, doesn’t mean that God has lost His power. He just hasn’t seen fit to use it. But the day is coming when, yes, He’s going to intervene again in human history, and we are going to see the results of His power.
All right, so here is just a good evidence of His miraculous power. That these young Jewish lads, in such a heated furnace, came out without even a hair singed. All right, now then, ol’ Nebuchadnezzar’s starting to get the gist, isn’t he? He’s waking up a little bit.
“Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, who hath sent his angel, (Now in this case, I feel it was God the Son Himself.) and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God.” In other words, they stayed true.
Well you see, believers have done that in the last 2,000 years of human history—where they would rather die the martyr’s death as to give in to something false. All right, now ol’ Nebuchadnezzar completely changes his attitude, and now he makes another decree, verse 29.
“Therefore I make a decree, That every people, nation, and language, who speak anything amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, shall be cut in pieces,…(Now he’s going the other extreme. Now he’s going to cut up anybody that opposes it. The foolishness of men is the only way I can put it. And they haven’t changed all that much.)…because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort.” Well, that’s certainly true. At least he got the message. Now verse 30:
“Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, in the province of Babylon.” In other words, they moved even further up the governmental ladder. And remember now, they’re still rather young lads.
Now, we’ll go on into chapter 4. Because we’re going to go through the Book of Daniel chapter and verse, and after that? I don’t know yet.
“Nebuchadnezzar the king, unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth:…” Now here again, I’ve got to remind you. How much of the earth does Nebuchadnezzar know? Just that little sphere of the Middle East. They have no idea of the vastness, I don’t think, of China and the islands of the sea. They certainly know nothing of the Western Hemisphere. They know nothing of Europe, but only of their then-known world, the present area of civilization. Of course he was the ruling monarch, and he makes these decrees.
“…who dwell in all the earth; (That is his known earth.) Peace be multiplied unto you. 2. I thought it good to show the signs and wonders that the high God hath wrought toward me.” Now, I think it behooves us—go back with me to Genesis. Because you know, I love to compare Scripture with Scripture.
So come back to Genesis chapter 14, if I’m not mistaken. I want you to see the difference between God as He revealed Himself to Israel and God as He’s now revealing Himself to this pagan king. Because it’s the same God, but He certainly has various names and titles and so forth.
Now back here in Genesis 14 we have Abram shortly after his call out of Ur of the Chaldees. He comes to the rescue of his nephew Lot and his fellow Sodomites. All right, Genesis chapter 14 and they have defeated those people who overran Sodom, with Lot and fellow citizens, and now verse 17.
“And the king of Sodom went out to meet him after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer, and of the kings that were with him, at the valley of Shaveh, which is the king’s dale. 18. And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.” Now, that’s as far as we can carry it here. This was his title—Melchizedek was the priest of the most high God.
All right, now let’s move up to Exodus chapter 6. Now we come to the name of God that was intrinsic in God’s relationship with Israel. So, we start out with Abram still recognizing the most high God, which, of course, is what Nebuchadnezzar is realizing. But Israel gets to the place where the name of God that is most convenient or well known to them is Jehovah. And we find that in Exodus chapter 6 verse 3.
“And I appeared unto Abraham, (In other words, God is speaking to Moses in verse 2.) unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, (See, the Most High God, but now move on.) but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them.” But now He is.
All right, so the term Jehovah, then, becomes that name of God that Israel was most associated with. And Jehovah is what’s used, usually, in our Old Testament. It’s capital L, capital O, capital R, capital D. That’s Jehovah.
When Saul of Tarsus on the road to Damascus fell to his knees and cried out “Lord, what would you have me to do?” Well, what Lord was he speaking of? Jehovah! That was the name that Israel was associated with and understood. And Jehovah, again, was God the Son. Now that’s just basic biblical understanding. That in the Old Testament, yes, the Gentile Nebuchadnezzar and Abraham, early on, understood the God of Heaven, or the Most High God. But when it came down to a relationship between the believing Jew and that same Most High God, it was Jehovah. It was God the Son. It was LORD. Follow me? All right, see, I just had to give you that free for nothing.
But, here this ol’ Gentile, pagan king as yet understands nothing more than the Most High God. He’s come that far. All right, back to Daniel chapter 4.
“How great are his signs! (Well, I reckon! When you can throw young men into a furnace and have them come out un-singed, I reckon that’s a sign.) and how mighty are his wonders! his kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion is from generation to generation.” Well, that’s exactly, of course, what Daniel saw in his vision back there in chapter 2. That this coming Kingdom ruled by God the Son is an everlasting Kingdom. But it’s going to be a literal, earthly kingdom now, not a spiritual thing, a literal.
“I Nebuchadnezzar was at rest in my house, and flourishing in my palace: 5. I saw a dream (The ol’ boy is constantly dreaming, isn’t he? And he had another one. Now he’s got a dream that’s rather disconcerting, because it’s going to affect him personally.) which made me afraid, and the thoughts upon my bed and the visions of my head troubled me. 6. Therefore made I a decree…”
He liked to use his authority, didn’t he? You know, you’ve got to look at these world leaders. There’s just something about them, and they haven’t changed. When they get to the place that the whole world is looking up to them, it affects them. They get the idea that, you know, they’re something special. They lose sight of the fact that they’re mere flesh. This ol’ Nebuchadnezzar is a good example of world leaders.
“…made I a decree (same thing as he did before) to bring in all the wise men of Babylon before me, that they might make known unto me the interpretation of the dream. 7. Then came in the magicians, the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers: and I (Nebuchadnezzar) told the dream before them; but they did not make known unto me the interpretation thereof.” But here comes Daniel to the rescue, verse 8.
“But at the last Daniel came in before me, whose name was Belteshazzar, according to the name of my god, (In other words, that’s why he renamed him.) and in whom is the spirit of the holy gods:…” See, now there again, ol’ Nebuchadnezzar still hasn’t got it all straight. He recognizes there’s a Most High God, but he’s still going to hang onto his own pagan gods. But, verse 9:
“O Belteshazzar, master of the magicians, because I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in thee, and no secret troubleth thee, tell me the visions of my dream that I have seen, and the interpretation thereof.” Now I’m going to bring you on. No, I guess I’m close enough. I’ll keep going—verse 10. I didn’t want to spend a lot of time just reading, but sometimes you have to.
“Thus were the visions of mine head in my bed; I saw, and behold a tree in the midst of the earth, and the height thereof was great.” Now you know, it’s rather interesting. What’s one of the first things we learn in Genesis? The tree. Which one? The tree of life.
And the tree of life is, of course, intrinsic to all of Scripture. And it will appear again in Revelation chapter 22. So, it’s interesting, when you look at the human race, how they take things that began in Genesis or maybe in the Garden or even shortly after, and, in fact, all the way up to the Flood. They can take those things that were ordained of God, and they have completely adulterated and polluted it.
Now, one thing I’m referring to is the horoscope. Now the horoscope was well-known by the Adamic Race long before the Flood. They understood the movements of the constellations. It was actually the Word of God in the stars. And they were able to interpret it. But, what did mankind, under Satan’s instigation, do? They polluted it. They adulterated it, so that now the study of the stars is usually Satanic and demonic.
All right, now the same way with the image of a tree. We already saw an instance of it back here in chapter 3. What’d they make an image like unto? A tree. So the tree becomes a polluted thing of that which was so holy and so perfect. So, just kind of watch for these things as you study Scripture. All right, now in this dream he sees a tree. Where was I? Verse 11.
“The tree grew, and was strong, and the height thereof reached unto heaven, and the sight thereof to the end of all the earth: 12. The leaves thereof were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was food for all: the beasts of the field had shadow under it, and the fowls of the heaven dwelt in the boughs…” and so on and so forth. What’s he seeing a picture of? Himself. His own sovereignty, and how he was in the place of providing for his, today we’d call them the electorate, I guess, but his subjects. And he was responsible for their welfare. All right, when he was a benevolent king, he could do that. All right, verse 13:
“I saw in the visions of my head upon my bed, and, behold, a watcher (an angel) and an holy one came down from heaven; 14. He cried aloud, and said thus, Hew down the tree, (In the dream, now, he sees this huge beautiful tree with all of its provisions, not only for humans, but also for the animals and the birds and everything, and the angel says–) Cut down the tree, and cut off his branches, shake off his leaves, and scatter his fruit: let the beasts get away from under it, and the fowls from his branches: 15. Nevertheless leave the stump of his roots in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass,…”
Now, what should that immediately send you back to? The first image of gold, silver, brass, iron. In other words, there’s going to be following empires that will still preserve much of what ol’ Nebuchadnezzar began. In fact, I’ve taught it here on the program over the years. Every one of these empires left certain attributes that are in the world today. Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonian Empire were the beginning of what we call the banking system. Not like it is today, but anyway, the banking system had its origin in ol’ Nebuchadnezzar.
All right, now what’s also going to be involved here? He’s going to have certain residue of the Roman Empire, the iron, that’s going to carry on, and the brass which was the Medes and Persians. All these attributes are still going to be evident, starting with the stump that is Nebuchadnezzar. All right, now let’s move on.
“…and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts in the grass of the earth:” In other words, Nebuchadnezzar, like this tree, is going to be cut down to the earth. Now verse 16, now remember, this is still the miraculous God that saved the little Jewish boys in the fiery furnace. This same God is going to bring this about in the life of ol’ king Nebuchadnezzar.
“Let his heart be changed from man’s, and let a beast’s (or an animal’s) heart be given unto him; and let seven times (or seven years) pass over him.” So what happened? He lives like an animal for seven years.
“This matter is by the decree of the watchers, (angels who have intervened) and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High (See, here we come back to that title of God again.) ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will,…” Now we’ve got to always be aware of that. As much as we love our democratic form of government and our liberties and all these things, yet we also have to know that the God of all has His thumb on everything.
All right, this is what we’re to learn from the Old Testament. Five minutes left? All right, verse 18:
“This dream I king Nebuchadnezzar have seen. Now thou, O Belteshazzar, (Remember, that’s the other name for Daniel.) declare the interpretation thereof, forasmuch as all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to make known unto me the interpretation: but thou art able; for the spirit of the holy gods (See, he’s still got that pagan mentality.) is in thee.” All right, I hope we’ve got time to go through this interpretation. Then we’ll be ready to move on in our next taping. Verse 19:
“Then Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, was astonished for one hour, and his thoughts troubled him. The king spake, and said, Belteshazzar, let not the dream, or the interpretation thereof, trouble thee. Belteshazzar (Daniel) answered and said, My lord, the dream be to them that hate thee, and the interpretation thereof to thine enemies. 20. The tree that thou sawest, which grew, and was strong, whose height reached unto the heaven, (In other words, was well up into the air.) and the sight thereof to all the earth; 21. Whose leaves were fair, and the fruit thereof much,…” In other words, it was a beautiful tree, productive in every area.
“…and in it was food for all; under which the beasts of the field dwelt, and upon whose branches the fowls of the heaven had their habitation: (That was the picture of his kingdom.) 22. It is thou, O king, that art grown and become strong: for thy greatness is grown, and reacheth unto heaven, and thy dominion to the end of the earth.” In other words, he controlled the then-known world.
“And whereas the king saw a watcher (an angel) and an holy one coming down from heaven, and saying, Hew (or cut) the tree down, and destroy it; yet leave the stump of the roots thereof in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, (We’ve already explained.) in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts of the field, till seven times (or seven years) pass over him;” Now verse 24:
“This is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree of the most High, which is come upon my lord the king: (In other words, speaking through Daniel.) 25. That they shall drive thee from the men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and they shall wet thee with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over thee, til thou know(Now here it is. Here’s the whole crux of the matter.) til thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.”
In other words, why did Nebuchadnezzar get to the place that he got? Because of God. Why will he become like an animal of the field? Because of God. It’s going to be restored as we go on, but I haven’t got time today. But it’s all in the hands of a Sovereign God. And the world can’t comprehend that. The world thinks they are running it their own way. No they’re not!
You know, I’ve said on this program for all these years (man, I can’t believe it’ll soon be 19 years). I’ve said it over and over, when God sent the whole ball of wax rolling back there in Genesis chapter 1 and instituted time, and here we are 6,000 years later and everything that has happened in 6,000 years was by His design. Everything! Nothing was by accident.
And now here we are approaching the end-time, and everything is coming together so fast. I feel this whole financial thing is no more than setting the stage for a global world system. A global banking system! I wouldn’t be surprised that in another year we’ll probably have a new currency. Wouldn’t surprise me a bit, but I hope not. But, it could very well happen. Why? Because in God’s design, it has to come. By the time the anti-Christ makes his appearance, the world has to be ready for a world government and a world currency and a world religion. And, oh, all the forces are working so frantically to bring their religions of the world into one.
Now, I remember reading about the ecumenical movement when I was a teenager. And it scared the socks off of me, because the writers back then used to make it so stringent that there would be so much pressure from all the big major religious systems of the world to bring everybody under the umbrella, and if not, your head would go. Well, it’s coming. And we can see that it’s coming. And all according to God’s plan. Every bit of it is according to His blueprint. And like I’ve said over and over, is He ever a day late? Not one hour. Everything is right on schedule.
So anyway, we’re going to leave it here. Time is gone. Nebuchadnezzar now is going to go out and live like an animal for seven years, so that he’ll come to his senses and realize that the God of Daniel is the God of Creation!