Unsealing the Secrets of Daniel | Mark Finley


Now when we look at the Book of Daniel
it’s divided into two parts. How many parts everybody? Two parts, okay I got to put on
my teaching mode and not a preaching mode here two parts
now the Book of Daniel has 12 chapters the first six chapters are largely
stories with the exception of chapter 2 which is a prophecy the last six
chapters are prophecies the stories tell us how the prophecies tell us when now
the prophecies of Daniel do not tell us when our Lord is going to return any
time you hear somebody telling you those dates you know they’re fanciful
interpretations of the Bible so the Bible doesn’t tell us that at all but it
does give us broad strokes it gives us the rise and fall of nations throughout
history and we will look at those and it’s not guesswork you can actually read
the names of the nations in fact the Bible named a hundred fifty years before
he was born Cyrus by name as the ruler that would
attack Babylon overthrow it and let the Jews go free it’s an incredibly amazing
prophecy that I’ll look with you at next week but so the stories tell us how the
stories tell us how to get through crisis the stories tell us how to thrive
in tough times the stories tell us that when everything around you is collapsing
how to hang on so the stories of the Book of Daniel are not simply pre-
primmer, they’re not simply stories to tell us the good bedtime stories not at
all they’re stories that build faith stories that build courage stories that
build hope so when you look for example at Daniel chapter one that we’ll look at
tonight we see that story as a reflection of an end time crisis and we
discover the character qualities to get through that crisis we look at the
prayer life of Daniel the courage of Daniel we look at Daniel and the Lions
Den I almost got myself off because well I’ll tell you the story
have you ever hugged a lion have you ever hugged a lion I hugged a lion a
real lion oh I did I did I hugged a lion and I’ve got a picture to prove it
teeny that picture is down in the study I think it’s still down there go get the
picture of a send my wife running down she needs exercise because she’s
getting ready for another marathon okay here’s the story I was with it it’s
written television for many many years and my mentor on it is written
television was passed to George vandeman Pasteur vandeman had done a series on
marriage called how to live with a tiger that was the title now I’m not saying
whether the woman was the tiger or the man was a tie I’m not staying with a
male or a female tiger you with me now so he did a series on how to live with
the tiger he was an incredibly in creative mind so he brought a a baby
tiger to the TV studio and they put it on the desk as he was giving the lecture
oh the tiger got a little frisky and jumped on him and ripped up his suit so
when I joined the staff it is written television pasture vanaman said to me
look we’re gonna go do a series with Daniel and the Lions Den but I’m not
taping with the lion you tape with the lion so I thought to myself oh brother
taping with a lion so I said okay I’ll tape with the lion so what happened was
they brought the lion into the TV studio this is a preview of what you’re gonna
get is we study Daniel no they bring the line into the TV studio everybody leaves
now when they have you ever seen the Cadbury candy commercials how many of
you see or MGM have you ever seen MGM with the lion with that Lions name is
Joseph and that’s the lion I taped with there are two working Lions in Hollywood
and so the one I did was with Joseph so they bring Joseph into the the TV studio
and when they did this at CBS they put all the camera people in cages but they
took everybody out of my studio everybody was out and as they did they
bring this lion in and he’s on a chain and he’s pulling the the true lion
trainer so the lion trainer had a large pouch on his side full of this bloody
meat and he takes it out and he says well thank you dear I was a little
younger in this picture but we can still use so here I am hugging this lion in
our TV studio I mean that thing was huge I’m telling you that thing is huge so
anyway you see you see this lion with past few hugs how’d you like a hug a
lion huh when you’re at heaven you could hug a lion so you know so what happened
was he that the trainer had this large thing of meat on his side and he took
the lion off the chain and he said to me now doctor Finley don’t worry because
if the lion gets frisky I’ll do this and he took this hunk of bloody meat out of
his hand he threw it across the studio and the lion leaped on it just he said
now that’s what’s gonna happen if that lion gets frisky with you I’ll just take
this meat out and throw it across and he’ll jump on it well that didn’t give
me much reassurance oh I’ll tell you but I will tell you the rest of the story
taping with the line that’s why I have to keep coming because if I told you
everything now why do you gonna come back but I’d say about taping with the
lion when he opened his mouth and in my head was there no I’m not gonna tell you
that tonight all right so Daniel what does Daniel say first six
chapters are stories but the stories tell us about faith the stories tell us
about courage last six chapters of prophecies they tell us about the rise
and fall of Nations they tell us about endtime events now what is the purpose
of prophecy in the Bible twofold number one to prepare for the future Amos
chapter three verse seven surely certainly the Lord God will do nothing
but he reveals his secrets to his servants the prophets so the great
events in history got outlines in advance so his people will be prepared
but there’s another reason for prophecy and if you have a Bible and if you don’t
have one you can probably find one in the pew I want you to look at a Bible
text it’s found in John chapter fourteen verse 29 John chapter 14 verse 29
Jesus himself gives us the reason for Bible prophecy and Jesus talks about
prophecy and Jesus says this in John 14 verse 29 now you’re if you’re not
familiar with the Bible don’t worry about that because I’ll help you I’ll
work you through it never be embarrassed about what you do
No does anybody need a Bible miss Finley has some Bibles if you need one just
raise your hand if you’re not familiar with the Bible the Bible is divided into
two Testaments the Old Testament in the New Testament the Old Testament books of
the Bible are the books written before Jesus the New Testament starts with the
Gospels Matthew Mark Luke and John each of the Gospels look at Jesus life from a
different perspective Matthew was a tax collector you want to read about the
sermons of Christ you read Matthew Mark you read about the humanity of Christ
that he came he dwelt among us the son of man Luke there was a doctor he talks
about the parables of Christ the stories of Christ and John is on the divinity of
Christ John was written to a Jewish mindset to
want to stay in the divinity of Christ so you’re looking at John chapter 14
verse 29 what is the purpose of Bible prophecy jesus said this now I have told
you before it comes that when it does come to pass you may believe so Jesus
says the purpose of Bible prophecy is that when you look back at prophecy and
you see that this prediction has come to pass you can do what what does it do you
can believe so an understanding a prophecy builds your faith it you look
back on it you say the Bible is not a book of myths and fables I know when I
was 17 years old I was looking for meaning and purpose in my life looking
for something that I could hold on to something that would be solid and I
began to look at the I was always interested in history and so I began to
look at the historicity of the Bible and it really changed my life once I began
to understand that you can have confidence in the Word of God so why do
we study prophecy why do we spend eight weeks coming here reviewing the 12
chapters in the Book of Daniel first that prophetic word helps us to prepare
our own lives of the future helps us to develop a character that stands through
the crisis that this world is going to face most thinkers in our world
tonight recognize that this world’s on the verge of stupendous crisis that
we’re almost the breaking point that you can’t be 20 trillion dollars in debt in
America and not be at the breaking point you can’t have European economies that
are so far in debt and not being the breaking point
you can’t have nuclear weaponry in the hands of Iran Iraq and North Korea etc
and not be at the breaking point you there is never a weapon made that hasn’t
been used and so when you look around the world tonight you ask me are you
optimistic or pessimistic I’m very optimistic because I look at it through
the eyes of the Bible because I know what the end chapter is all about I know
that the kingdom of God is gonna triumph and Christ’s plan is gonna triumph but
if I didn’t look at the Bible through the land if I didn’t look at the world
through the lens of the Bible when you look at the poverty in our world you
look at the haves and have-nots in our world if you come with me to India and
you walk their streets and have young people grabbing your feet and asking you
for another morsel of food you come with me to China you go to Russia you travel
to Africa you you look at the world and if you look at it objectively this world
is in very very serious trouble but knowing that the world is in the hands
of God you know I remember that old song he’s got the whole world in his hands so
why is it that we study prophecy first to prepare for the future second to
build confidence in the Bible now why study the Book of Daniel why do we
choose that why don’t we choose another one of the books well we will be
studying other books as time goes on but why don’t we study another book in
matthew chapter 24 verse 15 and what i’m going to do is this i’m going to put the
text on the screen for some of you that may not be conversant but if you have
your Bible you’re conversant with Scripture you can look at them in the
Bible to get the most out of the class you can be looking either at the screen
or the Bible but Matthew chapter 24 is a chapter that Jesus gives on endtime
events and in Matthew chapter 24 Jesus talks about the final events of this
Earth’s history and Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives so look at Matthew
chapter 24 verse 1 so Jesus is sitting on the Mount of Olives as he’s sitting
there he looks out over the Jewish temple the
temple had been destroyed in the days of Solomon but it was rebuilt by sri Babel
and enlarged by Herod and Herod spent years decades rebuilding this temple
so Jesus looks down at the Jewish temple and he says to his disciples Matthew 24
verse 2 that’s chapter 24 of Matthew the second verse and Jesus said to them
don’t you see all the things assuredly I say to you not one stone will be left
upon another so Jesus speaks about the destruction of
the Jewish temple the disciples don’t recognize that he’s talking about ad 70
when Titus will come down and destroy the temple so the disciples think he
must be talking about the end of the world because any event that would be as
cataclysmic as the destruction of the temple must be the end of the world
so Jesus plans two events events that would lead up to the end of the world
and also events that would lead up in the first century to the destruction of
the temple so Jesus begins to say talks about verse 6 if you have your Bible
you’ll hear of wars and rumors of wars don’t be troubled the end is not yet
verse 7 he talks about nation rise against nation he talks about famines
natural disasters like earthquakes he talks about rising crime and violence
false religion he talks about the gospel going to the ends of the earth then
Jesus makes this amazing statement in verse 15 so the question is why study
the Book of Daniel Jesus makes this amazing statement
Matthew 24 verse 15 therefore when you see the abomination of desolation spoken
of by Daniel the prophet standing in the Holy Place whoever reads let him
understand so in the context of Matthew chapter 24 in the context of the end
events in the context of the last days of human history
Jesus says Daniel is a prophet understand what daniel says if you want
to get through the crisis of the close of this Earth’s history understand the
Book of Daniel so if Jesus says to read and understand Daniel it must be
important right if Jesus says to you and to me look understand the Book of Daniel
it’ll provide character quality clues to you to
understand this book you’ll have more courage you’ll have more faith you’ll
know how to thrive in the tough times ahead your prayer life will be deeper if
you will come each week to these classes by the time we get done you will feel a
deeper faith you’ll feel closer to God you’ll have a more vibrant experience
with God you’ll have a deeper Bible study experience and you will face the
future not afraid but you’ll face the future with a heart filled with hope now
have you ever begun to read a book by looking at the last chapter first now
come on now be honest with me be honest with me
how many of you I’ve ever looked at the last chapter of a book a few people like
me you know if I look at the last chapter and I don’t like the conclusion
why am I gonna spend all my time reading that book right now so tonight we’re
gonna start with the last chapter of the book of Daniel just a few verses then
we’re gonna go to chapter 1 so you start with the last chapter Daniel 12 verse 4
now how do I find the Book of Daniel Daniel is one of the Old Testament
prophets so here’s a simple way to find Daniel if you have your Bible and you
cut it in and you and you open halfway through you’re gonna come to the Book of
Psalms normally then you go Psalms then you go Isaiah Jeremiah is good Khaleesi
as he’s in there – I say Jeremiah Ezekiel Daniel so Daniel is a little bit
beyond halfway through the book a little bit beyond halfway through the Book of
Daniel Daniel has 12 chapters now what are the two divisions of Daniel we have
in Daniel what do we have stories and what else prophecies I was a good class
I knew it was alright we’re going to the last chapter of the Book of Daniel
Daniel 12 verse 4 Daniel is given instruction but you
Daniel shut up the words and seal the book until the time of the end many
shall run to and fro and knowledge shall increase
I’ve heard this text interpreted in a variety of ways some people have said
you know ninety-five percent of all the scientists that live in the world live
in in the world today so knowledge is increasing in the world we must be in
the time of the end that might be an application of the prophecy but it’s
really not as clear in the text itself you see God says to Daniel you shut up
the words of this prophecy and you seal this book until the time of the end then
many are gonna run to and fro you know the Old Testament is written dan has
written in two languages Aramaic in Hebrew but the Hebrew says many are
going to leaf back and forth and knowledge that is knowledge about the
prophecies of Daniel are going to increase so this is a fulfillment of
what Jesus said Jesus said at the end of time or last days of verse history if
you want to be filled with faith hope and courage when everything seems to be
falling apart around you when the ground beneath your feet is shaking when you’re
nervous about that if you want to be filled with hope you want to be filled
with courage look at the Book of Daniel Jesus says now you come to the Book of
Daniel and it says Daniel shut up the words so the angel Gabriel gave the
prophecy to Daniel says shut up the words seal the book till the time of the
end then then many will rediscover Daniel
they’ll leave to-and-fro they’ll they’ll read the pages they’ll they’ll go
through the pages of Daniel and the knowledge of Daniels prophecies are
going to increase that’s the whole intent here that run to and fro in
Hebrew is leaf back and forth through the through the pages you don’t see it
as clearly in English now if you continue to go through Daniel 12 you
look at Daniel 12 verse 6 one said to the man clothed in linen who is above
the waters of the river this is the angel that spoke to Daniel how long
shall the fulfillment of these wonders be so the question is asked when of
these prophecies of Daniel going to be fulfilled Daniel 12 Earth’s 8 although I
heard Daniel said I did not understand then I said my lord what shall be the
end of these things in other words this prophecy is going to speak to us down to
the last days of human history look Daniel 12 verse 9 he said go your way
Daniel for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end do you
find that throughout Daniel chapter 12 Daniel 12 verse 13
it’s this glorious refrain these two words the end the end but but you go
your way till the end for you shall rest and arise to your inheritance at the end
of the days so what is Daniel chapter 12 trying to tell us what’s Daniel chapter
12 trying to say basically it’s saying this that the prophecies of the Book of
Daniel will find meaning and purpose at a period of time when this earth is in a
major crisis and that we can find hope and courage through that crisis as we go
through the Book of Daniel we can find strength for that crisis as we go
through the Book of Daniel now let me hasten to add in our class we’re going
to look at three things about every chapter Daniel number one what does this
chapter say about the character of God every chapter what does chapter 1 say
about the character of God what does chapter 2 say about the character of God
what does chapter 3 say about the character of God then we’re gonna look
at secondly what is this chapter say about my life today what does this
chapter say about my life today let me raise some questions how can a woman
who’s been diagnosed with breast cancer and she’s been in chemotherapy for four
months how can she sit in this class tonight when we get done with chapter
one of Daniel and you will see it be helped
how can a person going through the trauma of divorce go through a class
Daniel chapter 7 and really come away with strength and help how can somebody
that’s struggling with their kids strung out in drugs go through the chapter of
Daniel 3 and be helped how can somebody be out of work and be held how can
somebody looking for purpose meaning and direction in their life be helped as we
study Daniel so every chapter I’m going to look at three things what is this
chapter say about the character of God what does this chapter say about my life
today and what does this chapter say about the overall picture the large
picture of the crisis of the close of this Earth’s history now let me tell you
what we’re not going to do if you’re expecting fanciful dates to be given you
will not find them in this class we’re not going to give you a fanciful dates
we’re not going to give you a speculation I want to provide for you
solid biblical study that is life transformational that just gets into our
hearts and changes our lives ooh material that for you I’ll give you
the history in the background but every chapter we’re gonna look at spiritual
lessons so Daniel is a book for the end time it’s a book that helps us to know
what God is like it’s a book that helps us to know how to get through personal
crisis and it’s a book that helps us to get through in time crisis now the name
of the book that we’re studying is the book of what everybody Daniel now I want
you to look here at the name of Daniel if you take the name of Danny if you see
a Bible name and it has e L at the end that comes from Aloia him the name of
God so like Michael al the name of God at the end so always Dan was the tribe
of judges el is God so if you look at Dan yell it literally means his name
means the god of judgment and justice in other words the God who sets all things
right in the Hebrew culture a judge was not somebody that was against you he was
somebody that was for you a judge was one that stood for you
so the Book of Daniel is about the final judgment it’s about the God that will
set all things right in the rise and fall of the destiny of Nations God is
gonna set all things right in the injustice of the world God is
gonna set all things right in the oppression of the world God is gonna set
all things right in all the challenges of the world God is gonna set all things
right in the crisis of the clothes when it looks like evil is triumphing over
righteousness God is gonna set all things right that’s incredibly good news
isn’t it so when I look at the name of the book
and it’s true in your life as well it may be at times that you feel
oppressed it may be at times that the forces of hell seem to be oppressing you
it may be at times you’re afflicted with sickness there may be difficulty in your
home in your marriage but the Book of Daniel speaks to you tonight
it speaks of a God that’s greater than any difficulty you ever faced it speaks
with a God that’s greater than any problem you’ll ever ever go through it
speaks of a God that will set all things right he’s the god of justice
and judgment has anybody ever asked you this question if God’s so good why is
the world so bad if there is a God you know as I lecture in university campuses
that’s one of the biggest questions the question is if there is a God why are
our children starving to death in India if there is a God how could God be fair
and let a baby be born hiv-positive and the answer to that question is threefold
number one what we see in our world is the outplay of a world that’s in
rebellion against God what we see in our world is the the suffering in our world
is the corporate result nots than the individual result but the corporate
result of a sinful world that we live in that’s the first dance the second
question is this when you get through suffering and you’re treated unfairly
and unjustly God is always there by your side he is there to give you strength
and courage he has not left you alone but the third answer to that question is
this we may suffer for a little while in this life but gods can sit all things
right he is gonna set all things right and that at the end of time there’ll be
no sickness suffering heartache or death so the name Daniel god of the Justice in
judgment now we begin with the first chapter the Book of Daniel we need to go
back to Daniel chapter 1 verse 1 because in the first chapter of the book of
Daniel chapter 1 verse 1 you have the introduction of the great controversy
theme now unless you understand the great controversy theme you will not
understand the Bible that one theme is the mystery that unlocks the entire
Bible once you understand that things begin all kind of lights we get it on
your mind do you know that in the Treasury Building in Washington DC there
are 1800 doors that’s a little trivia question 1800 doors in a Treasury
Building you know how many keys there’s one master key that one person has that
can open 1,800 doors in the Treasury Building I’m gonna give you one key that
unlocks the mystery of understanding the Bible and here it is if you understand
this that the teaching of the Bible is that God created a perfect world he’s
not in no way responsible for evil but he gave to every one of his creatures
the ability to choose and Lucifer rebelled against God a rebel angel
rebelled against God and that this world is in the middle of a
ah merci between good and evil that when our first parents fell they opened a
door God wanted forever shut and so you look at the Bible through the eyes of
the great Conover see you look at the Bible through the eyes of a conflict
between good and evil between Christ and Satan so when you look at the Bible
through those eyes you begin to understand it now Daniel 1 verse 1 can
you read it from the screen with me please in the third year of the reign of
Jehoiakim king of Judah Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and
besieged it now let’s look at that text you have 2 Kings Joachim and
Nebuchadnezzar you have two cities Jerusalem and Babylon Jerusalem
represented all that was right all that was true it represented
goodness and greatness it represented the people of God represented the truth
of God so Jerusalem is the city of righteousness the city in which men and
women worship the true God Babylon is a city against the principles of God it
was filled with idolatry so in the third year of Jehoiakim what year was that 605
BC 605 BC at this time Daniel was 22 it was about 17 years old Daniel was born
about in 622 BC and I’ll show you how we know that a little later so this is 605
BC Nebuchadnezzar attacks Jerusalem he besieges it now Nebuchadnezzar attacked
Jerusalem three times here your dates 605 BC he attacked Jerusalem 596 he
attacks Jerusalem 587 he attacks Jerusalem the first time he attacks
Jerusalem in 605 what he does is this he takes Daniel captive with some
captives and young men brilliant back to Babylon and I’ll give you a little
geography and history lesson shortly second time he attacks Jerusalem in 596
he takes ten thousand captives with it the third time he attacks in 587 he
totally destroys the city why does Nebuchadnezzar attack Jerusalem
here’s why Babylon was one of the leading empires in the world
so here you have this is Egypt down here this the Africa here this is the
Mediterranean over here my finger represents Israel this is Jerusalem here
Babylon is over here this area is known as the Fertile Crescent here so
Nebuchadnezzar comes north he doesn’t want to go across the desert here he
comes north Dakar commish he battles at car commission wins the problem is that
joe hoya came here signs a treaty with Egypt and so that really makes
nebuchadnezzar mad he’s really mad now because what happens is joachim signs
his treaty with Egypt and they form an alliance and Nebuchadnezzar says wait a
minute if you have Egypt and Israel together that’s going to go a threat so
he comes down flexes his muscles and he says I’ll show how strong I am
invades the temple at Jerusalem takes the holy emblems out of that temple the
candlestick and so forth takes them out of the temple takes Daniel captive takes
a lot of young men captive and as he does that he hears on August 15 605 he
hear some group he hears his father has died NABBA pilaster is his father and so
his dad has died he knows that if his father has died back in Babylon what’s
gonna happen somebody else going to take the throne Nebuchadnezzar I got to get
back there he does something amazing he takes a small army of bodyguards and
they go straight across the desert and they make it back home by September 15
they make it back home just in a very few weeks Daniel with the other group
grows the larger route around it takes him two months to get back in the first
chapter of the first verse of Daniel what spiritual lessons do you and I see
there’s a controversy between good and evil evil triumphs over righteousness in
the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim the king of Israel king of Judah
Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon comes to Jerusalem besieges it in that third year
Nebuchadnezzar a Babylon the city of idolatry the city of immorality the city
of why and the city of lawlessness over Jerusalem there are times that
apparently write triumphs over wrong but notice the next verse it’s an amazing
verse it says and the Lord now the word for Lord there is Adonai it’s a key word
if you want to spell it in English you can spit out a do an AI of you’re taking
notes Adonai it means that God is still in control
so Nebuchadnezzar overthrows Jerusalem but the Lord gave Jehovah came king of
Judah into his hand so God is still in control God allows this to happen there
are times that God allows events to happen that we may not see clearly the
Lord gave juliek and king of Judah into his hand with the articles of the house
of God now this serious stuff because Nebuchadnezzar invades the temple at
Jerusalem he takes the golden candlestick that used to light the
Shekinah glory of God he takes out things like the bronze altar he takes
out the table where the showbread was on and he takes them he carries them to the
land of Shinar Shinar is another name for Babylon – the house of his God the
god of Nebuchadnezzar is Belmar do there are thirteen Godspell mardukas the chief
god so what does nebuchadnezzar do he takes these holy implements that were in
Israel’s temple reflecting the Shekinah glory of the presence of God and he puts
them in a temple of a pagan god now the Bible goes on and he brought the
articles into the treasure house of his God now verse 3 you’ll see it there in
your Bible if you’re open to Daniel 1 then the king instructed Aspen as the
master of the eunuchs to bring some of the children of Israel now if you are
taking notes or you’re marking in your Bible circle the word children and I’m
going to tell you why shortly of Israel in some of the Kings descendants and
some of the nobles young men again circle young men in whom there was no
blemish you can see this here verse 4 on the screen but before we do that look at
James Russell Lowell poet truth forever on the scaffold wrong forever on the
throne yet that scaffold sways the future but beyond the dim unknown stands
above his own don’t you like that truth forever
the scaffold wrong forever on the throne yet that scaffold sways the future and
beyond the dim unknown stands Nebuchadnezzar attacks Babylon and
overthrows it rather Nebuchadnezzar – of Babel and attacks Jerusalem it
overthrows it but yet God is still in control and truth will one day triumph
as we’ll see by the time we end tonight okay
so Daniel takes captive young men in whom there was no blemish that is no
physical deformity they had to be good-looking
they were the handsomest young men of all Israel they were gifted in wisdom
now if they’re gifted in wisdom they cannot be children possessing knowledge
can be children quick to understand but I say the the impression here is that
they have they’ve learned something that they’re bright they are they’re not and
you see where it says young man the Hebrew language there is adolescence
that’s a special Hebrew phrase that describes people between 15 and 18 years
old as clear as we can tell Daniel was about 17 years old in 605 they were
quick to understand who had ability to serve the king’s palace the royal court
of the King and whom they might teach the language in literature the Chaldeans
so here’s the King’s idea I’ll take the brightest and the best I’ll bring these
teenagers over I will educate them in the University of Babylon now I’ll
educate them in the language of the Chaldeans Chaldeans another name for
Babel what were the languages they were Akkadian they were Sumerian and they
were Aramaic so our Akkadian was the language of the
court Sumerian was more of a common language and the Aramaic was a language
of the scholarly community so he would teach them all three languages
what do we know about the University of Babylon what do we know about the
courses that were taught we know quite a bit from the ancient Babylonian records
we know that they knew math very well they they were they knew algebraic
equations they knew quantum physics they were
extremely bright we knew from their building skills they knew architecture
they were the excellent builders we knew that they
explored the medical science and so these were very brilliant scholars in
ancient Babylon they understood philosophy they knew astronomy
there were many Babylonian astronomers they also were educated in the occult
arts of Babel and Daniel of course refused that as we’ll see later so that
he chose Daniel why one of the reasons he chose Daniel was this because they
wanted to educate Daniel change his mind set and send him back as a puppet King
to rule over Jerusalem in behalf of the Babylonian Empire when the Russians
invaded Afghanistan one of the things that they did was they brought scores of
Afghani young people back to Russia and they educated them to send them back as
puppet rulers I’ve been in countries recently that I don’t care to name
because this is a public broadcast where I’ve noticed scores thousands of
foreigners to that country being brought to that country educated in their
universities and I asked why and that’s a way that they can shape the mind of
those students to send them back to their countries to rule in their behalf
it’s a very interesting approach but it’s not a new approach it happened in
the days of Babylon so Daniel is brought now imagine you’re Daniel you’re 17
years old you’re marched from your homeland never
to see your father again never to see your mother again you’re alone you’re
marched into the splendor the opulence the wealth of Babylon now from among
those the sons of Judah where Daniel Hananiah Mishael and Azariah I can
almost imagine Daniel being marched into Babylon he marches through the Ishtar
Gate he sees the temple of Belmar Duke with the sun shining often he sees the
luxury the Splendora Babylon he also hears the ridicule if your God is so
strong why is Jerusalem in ruins if your God is so strong why do we
have the vessels in the house of Belmar dude and notice the names of Daniel
Hananiah Mishael and Azariah in the Bible a name means something
you remember saw was the persecutor but Saul’s name was changed from Saul to
what Paul remember Jacob – what does the name Jacob mean to say B now supplanter
or deceiver but when Jacob wrestled with God his
name was changed from Jacob to what Israel these are good Bible students
sure so names in the Bible meant something when you look at the four
names mentioned in Daniel 1 it says in Daniel 1 verse 7 to them the chief of
the unit gave names he gave Daniel the name belt of Shazzer
to Hananiah Shadrach to Michel me Shack unto Azariah Abednego why is it that he
would change their names the changing of names represents the changing of your
identity so for example the name Daniel means God is my judge in other words God
is gonna set all things right I’m a captive in Babylon but God’s gonna set
all things right God rules on the throne God triumphs over all so his name has
changed from Daniel to Belshazzar the keeper of the hid treasures of Bell Bell
Marduk was the chief God remember what happened remember we read in Daniel 1
verse 2 and 3 that the treasures were taken from the sacred temple at
Jerusalem and they were brought into the treasure house of the god of Babel in
Belmar Dook so you can imagine the ridicule Daniel you’re 17 Daniel you got
a future Daniel forget about your past Daniel forget about your Jewishness
Daniel you’re in Babylon now forget about all that business Daniel look you
are going to be the keeper the hid treasures Abell you’re going to serve in
the pagan temples 17 years old he faces that enormous test now the name
Hananiah means the lord is gracious unto me so can you imagine that
Ananias in captivity in Babylon the Lord’s gracious unto me the Lord’s
gracious unto me the Lord’s good unto me that will never do in Babylon so his
name is changed to Shadrach now Shadrach is very hard to translate in the in the
Aramaic language in the Hebrew language it either means inspiration of the Sun
or worship of the Sun Moon and stars it could also mean moon or Sun either one
in most scholars will tell you that but the point is it’s not the Lord is
gracious unto me the point is that that he now has his name changed that you get
your inspiration from one of the big in God’s name changes Michel the word
Michel has the name Michael it means God like if a mother named her child that
you want to have the patience the goodness the graciousness of God to me
Shack that means servant of the goddess of sheba another one of the Babylonian
gods then you look at name changes Azariah the hebrew name the lord’s my
helper that’s never going to do so its change is changed to a been ago which
means the servant of Nebo so they changed the names of each of these
Israelites into Babylonian names why because they wanted them to be shaped
they wanted their brains to be shaped they wanted them to be totally immersed
in the culture of Babylon young people were brainwashed to be sent back as
puppet rulers let me pause for a moment here the whole philosophy of
Nebuchadnezzar was to shape the minds of these young people so that they would
not have their minds on the true God and I will be very open with you today this
brainwashing process is taking place in our culture it’s taking place in our
culture if you immerse your mind in the violence of television you will not have
the character to stand in the crisis at the end if you immerse your mind in
risque movies and immorality you know there’s a prince
in the Bible that says by beholding we become changed and the whole goal of the
kingdom of Satan is to shape the minds of men and women so that the spiritual
longings of the human heart are repressed and so that the carnal nature
of human beings becomes the strongest nature that governs and guides their
behavior and so here you know that the principle 2nd Corinthians 3 verse 18 by
beholding we become changed there’s an eternal principle that says our human
minds become like that which we think about the most if you lose the battle
for your mind you’ve lost the battle for your soul if you lose the battle for
your mind you’ve lost the battle for your soul what shapes our thinking
processes what shapes the way we think what shapes what’s deep down and what
side of us it’s what we put in our minds if you feed your mind with immorality
you feed your mind with violence you feed your mind with with certain things
of this world you let the media feed your mind it’s going to shape your
behavior it’s gonna guide your behavior these young people were to be shaped by
their education in Babylon now the pressure to conform to Daniel was
incredibly enormous and we come to the key verse in Daniel chapter 1 and we
find it there in Daniel 1 verse 8 let’s read it together but Daniel purposed in
his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the Kings
delicacies nor the wine which he drank we go on and it says therefore he
requested the chief of the eunuchs they might not defile himself I’m interested
in this expression Daniel purposed in his heart
in other words Daniel decided he made a decision deep within the Citadel of his
being he made a decision deep inside that he was going to serve God every
single one of us are faced from time to time with that decision you go to a
party and the wine is flowing like water you have to purpose in your heart of
what you’re going to do you know you you go to a Christmas party and you’re with
a gun in a bunch guys and they’re telling off-color jokes
you got to decide what you’re gonna do you are tempted to cheat on your taxes
and you got to make a decision what am I going to do what am I going to do every
single one of us every single day are confronted with decisions in life and
it’s the choices we make that determine our eternal destiny that shape our minds
that shape our hearts Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile
himself in the by bone the heart is another word for the mind he another
word for purposed as Daniel decided he he he made a decision in the deepest
recesses of his heart you know proverbs 4 verse 23 read it
with me please keep your heart with all diligence for out of it spring the
issues of life no there’s keep your mind keep your mind
for out of its spring the issues of life you remember that wonderful hymn writer
Isaac Newton and Isaac Watts rather you remember Isaac Watts you know Isaac rod
Watts run wrote a number of the major hymns of the Christian Church Isaac
Watts was just a small man and I think he wrote 800 hymns or something and
Isaac Watts one day there was a parade in London for his in his honor and Isaac
Watts is sitting in this carriage and a horse-drawn carriages driving him along
and he’s sitting in the carriage and all the wrote the streets in London
regencies Regent Street and so forth are lined with thousands of people and
there’s a lady sitting up in the balcony and she looks down and she’s amazed I
mean Isaac Watts now is this old shriveled up old man you know and he’s
just so humble in his hands or crossed like this and she had sung those great
hymns of the church those majestic hymns and she looks down and she kind of takes
a deep breath I says what you’re Isaac Watts and he heard her so he stands up
to his five-foot-one frame he stretches and you know his mind just thought in
poetry and he said madam could I in fancy grasp the poles or hold creation
in my span I’d still be measured by my mind for the mind is the measure of a
man and it is isn’t it and it’s it’s what happens
here this is who we are you are not your physical being necessarily because what
if you were in a car accident and you went through the windshield your face
was all scarred up and you’re all crippled would you lose your personhood
would you lose your identity not at all who are we we are that which we are
inside we are that what we are the some process of our thoughts we are we are
that which we choose to be in our actions and that’s why scripture says
keep your mind with all diligence or out of it are the very issues of life that’s
why proverbs 23 verse 7 says for as he thinks in his heart or mind so what is
he as he thinks in his mind how do we change our thought processes we change
our thought processes by putting in our mind that which is righteous and just
and holy we thought we change our thought processes by filling our mind
with the positive things in Scripture and the positive things in the Word of
God there was a amazing experiment done by one of the Harvard not by Harvard but
one of the Ivy League universities on the east coast of America it was an
experiment done with monkeys and they wanted to find out what is the strongest
drive in a monkey so this is what they did they took an electrode and they
hooked it up to the monkey’s brain and then they went out of they put that
electrode out of and they went out of the pan to observe the monkey they
taught the monkey how to push a button inside the pen and when the monkey
pushed the button it would send an electrical impulse through this
electrode and it would give the monkey the sensation of pleasure so they found
the pleasure center of the monkey’s brain and every time the monkey would
push this button the monkey gets this sensation of pleasure they took the most
beautiful what do you call a female monkey monkey ass monkey rest I don’t
know they took a female monkey whatever you call a female monkey and they put
the most beautiful female monkey they perfumed her all up you know and they
they put beautiful lipstick on this female monkey you know whatever they do
to make these female monkey looked beautiful I’m not a
specialist in female monkey cosmetology but anyway they put this female monkey
out there and this guy for us it’s the pleasure button and it gives him a
sensation of pleasure he doesn’t even look at this attractive female monkey
all he does is keep pressing this pleasure but pleasure button pleasure
but and he’s going crazy in there he’s got this big smile on his face and he’s
doing all these cartwheels then they said we know if we put his young out
there he will at least go to his young he doesn’t care about going to his young
he just does these pleasure cartwheels they take food in there and they put the
food in he won’t eat he just keeps pushing this pleasure button the desire
in the monkey for pleasure was greater than any other desire that the monkey
had now the interesting thing about a monkey’s brain in a human beings brain
is there’s a major difference in the monkey’s brain there is the pleasure
center but there is no forebrain where there’s conscience reason and judgment
in human beings we’re not monkeys we have conscience reason and judgment
conscience tells us this is right and this is wrong reason says these that
this is unreliable to go down that pathway judgement says this is not your
best interest so human beings are not guided at least they shouldn’t be guided
you and I are not monkeys so we’ve created an image of God and there in
Daniel chapter 1 the great lesson is Daniel purposes in his heart to serve
God Daniel places in his life this great desire that all he wants to do is serve
God he purposes in his heart that he’s not going to defile himself have you
personally in your own life made a decision a very fundamental decision
that the goal of your life is to please God and then he anything not in harmony
with the will of God you consciously choose not to do that if you are
personally convicted that this is not in harmony with God’s will
you said God I’m not going to go down that pathway the lesson of Daniel
chapter 1 is that success in life the blessings of God come for those that
make a decision in life to please him now why
wouldn’t annual eat the food Daniel purposed in his heart not to eat the
food why did he just go eat it for three reasons one the meat had been offered to
idols Daniel eats that meat he is worshipping
the idols that are there in Nebuchadnezzar’s judgement hall so he’s
not going to eat meat offered to idols that’s one secondly it was unclean made
based on Leviticus chapter 11 Deuteronomy chapter 14 based on his
heritage his understanding of health Daniels not going to eat the Babylonians
very often would offer pork and Daniel from his Jewish backrow even think about
that so it was unclean meat and thirdly he
knew that it was improperly slaughtered that they didn’t care about draining the
blood which was part of the health principles there in the ancient time of
Daniel and which apply of course all down through the centuries so Daniel
makes an appeal and he makes an appeal that he could eat a plant-based diet now
it’s very interesting when you look at the appeal that Daniel made see Daniel
wanted to have his brain as sharp as possible I’ve been looking at studies
recently in the area of part Alzheimer’s disease particularly and there’s some
amazing new studies they’re out on Alzheimer’s and for those of us who are
getting a little older you know that want to keep our brains sharp there’s
some interesting studies neurophysiologists used to believe this
they used to believe that the older you get the more brain cells you lose and
there’s not much way to keep them that’s they used to believe now we know that
that’s not necessarily true look you have over a hundred billion
brain cells one time I was lecturing on neurophysiology I’m not a
neurophysiologist but I was talking about it in one of my
lectures and I said we got about 14 billion brain cells a neurophysiologist
was in the audience he said I got to talk to you dr. Phil oh yeah I said okay
what are you gonna say he said we now know there’s a hundred billion brain
cells I said wow that’s a lot I said next lecture I said we had about a
hundred billion brain cells a neurophysiologist neurophysiologist was
in the audience a specialist he came up to me he said
you know now we know we got about we had a billion brain cells you know
what I said did you count them yes sir anyway but here’s the point here’s what
we know we know today that the diet you eat not only affects your physical
health and reduces kearney heart disease but it helps to build brain cells and we
also know from the research that’s being done cutting-edge new research that a
plant-based diet helps to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s a plant-based diet
the higher your diet is in fat the higher your diet is in sugar the more
likely you’ll have dementia or the Mitel more likely you’ll have Alzheimer’s no
I’m not suggesting to you if you eat three cabbage leaves and four spinach
leaves in five asparagus that you’ll never get dementia oh you’ll never get
Alzheimer’s that’s not the point at all what we want to do in life is reduce the
risk that’s the word reduce the risk we want to think as sharply and as clearly
as we can for as long as possible what are the reasons that Daniel would not
eat that food is this he knew that the rich diet of sugar and fat would keep
him from being as sharp as he could in the classroom from time to time I’m
invited to Northern Virginia Community College to lecture and I lectured his
students I teach a seminar on how to get the best grades possible how to have
your sharpest mind possible one of the things I teach our students is that if
you’re going to have a high fat diet and you can have a high sugar diet and if
you can have a high alcohol diet we have a hunt studied 150 universities in
America and we can predict based on the number of drinks that a student takes
what their grades are going to be we know that we know that the the Pioneer
researcher in this was dr. Melvin Knisley
this is why Daniel C Daniel did chose a plant-based diet one and Daniel wouldn’t
take the wine number two why not dr. Melvin nicely know Daniel didn’t know
about net belt Melvin nicely studies back
you know 2530 years ago but God impressed him dr. Melvin nicely
developed an electronic microscope he’s at the University of South Carolina that
he could look at the agglutination of the blood vessels carrying blood to the
brain and so you know your your white blood cells are your immunity blood
cells your red blood cells are the oxygen carrying cells to the brain so
nicely dr. nicely wanted to study the oxygen carrying cells this is what he
did he he began to note that the higher consumptions of alcohol made the red
blood cells clump together and have less oxygen he
believed that he could predict how much drinking a student was doing so this
what he did he got students to volunteer to drink a certain amount of alcohol and
then he took them and nobody knew how much they drank so the students he’d put
one and say a hotel room 101 one in hotel room 106 one in hotel room 105 and
he took the students and it was a blind study so nobody knew how much they were
drinking so one student came in and he would drink two cans of beer another
student would drink four cans of beer another student would drink eight cans
of beer over a period of time dr. nicely then had those students
brought to his class the next morning he had no idea how much they drank he put
them on a table and I’ve seen film of this it’s amazing stuff he looked into
their eyes with his electronic microscope and he said okay you drank
six you drank two based on the oxygen deprivation to the brain and based on
the agglutination or the sticking together of the red blood cells going to
the brain see so Daniel knew that if he would eat that meat that was offered to
idols he’d be committing I doubt he didn’t want to do that he knew was in
clean improperly slaughtered he didn’t want to do that and he knew as well that
the plant-based diet would increase his thinking processes if he could eat a
more simple diet he also knew that the wine would keep him from being the very
sharpest so the Bible says thus the steward took away
their portion of delic is in the wine which they drank and gave them
vegetables now that word for vegetables is an interesting word I need to teach
you a Hebrew word you’re ready to say Hebrew word we ready all right the word
is zareen can you say it with me sorry cor – not – but a kind of a little
– I am again sorry Eve now sorry means this it means vegetables but the word
also means grains it means cereals it means fruits it
means dates it has to do with the plant kingdom it is a similar word to used in
Genesis 1 verse 29 where the Bible says God gave them you know fruits nuts
grains vegetables to eat so Daniel says no I want to I want to eat this
vegetable diet it’s interesting it says the steward took away took away
you only can move forward when that which is negative is taken away you only
receive the full blessing of God when something that you’ve been doing in your
life you say God take it away okay so Daniel what’s the Bible say as for these
four men we get a look at it in the scripture Daniel 1 verse 17 let’s go
back to the Bible he takes it away we’re gonna look at verse 14 as well
Daniel 1 verse 14 so he consents them and he tests them 10 days have any of
you ever heard of the Daniel plan the Daniel plan very popular in America
today many physicians are discussing it where for 10 days you get on a real good
exercise program for 10 days you get on the best possible plant-based diet for
10 days you try to get away from as much sugar as your kids and you try to sleep
eight hours drink adequate amounts of water like we were talking about and
imagine a healthy hundred some of you came how many of you came to the
imagined healthy hundred class ah look at that
that’s wonderful I thought you were looking better my I knew your eyes are
are sharper you you yeah you you you you you bounded up those stairs see the
reason I had class up here is because I wanted to see how the healthy hundred
class climbed the steps you can see you’ve been exercising I mean I’ve seen
some of you in the community you’re exercising you’re drinking water
you’re coming and I know many of you’ll be coming tomorrow night to natural
lifestyle cooking to get on that Daniel diet you see there’s no accident we have
these two things right now you see so yeah many of you’ll be here tomorrow
night with us and you know tomorrow night’s different because you know
you’re gonna be getting recipes you’re gonna be seeing vegetarian plant-based
foods made and the best thing is you’re gonna be eating them you’re gonna have
about I don’t know how many food samples tomorrow night many food samples how
many mrs. Findlay ten food samples tomorrow night you can be serving these
folk you’re gonna be eating all kind of whole wheat breads and rolls and oh it’s
gonna be great but anyway I got to go back to Daniel I’m thinking about that
food cuz it needs supper tonight okay as for these four young men God gave them
now notice this interesting when we in our lives do what we can do God does
what we can’t you with me we do what we can do and God does what we can you know
you said you’d say look I want to change in my life
I want to change in my life you make a decision I’m not going to view this
x-rated thing any longer you make that decision you do what you can but the
Holy Spirit does in your mind what you can never do you say hey I’m gonna get
more exercise you make that decision we do what we can God does what we can’t we
make a decision how do you make change every good impulse that we have is
prompted by the Holy Spirit whether a person is a Christian or not every
desire for right every desire for kindness is prompted by the Holy Spirit
but when we yield to that inner conviction of the Spirit I mean I
remember I was 17 years old I was just becoming a Christian just becoming a
Christian and a friend of mine said hey let’s go tonight and sneak into the
movie theater so this is what we did in those days young man would buy one
ticket to go into the movie theater and he would go into the theater and then
when he got in the front row with his ticket he would find over here the exit
door he would crawl on his hands and knees open the exit door and put a stick
in the exit door we boys would come down the street
crawl into that little lobby of the theater which you could get out the
stick would be in the door would crawl on our hands and knees when we do we’d
hope we could pick up a stick a ticket stub you get to the front row and the
usher comes down you snuck in honest sneak any is my ticket stub what are you
talking about I didn’t sneak in here yeah I said I’d sit down so I remember
like it was yesterday I was just becoming a Christian I was on my hands
and knees now can you see pastor Finley dr. Finley on his hands and he’s
sneaking into some theater I mean that was another life I mean that was another
life so I’m on my hands and knees I’m out there and all of a sudden this
conviction comes over me this is wrong I mean you’re just becoming a Christian
what in the world are you doing sneaking in this theater now my first friend goes
in my second friend goes in I’m shaking it’s like the whole it’s like I’m before
the judgment bar of God it’s like every light is shining upon me it’s like my
father is saying son fancy to meet you here what are you doing you know I mean
I’m shaky I got up ran around the theater paid my ticket and said I wasn’t
convicted yet about movies am now but anyway I was teaching class one time on
movies and a young kids eight years old raise their hand he was in the class of
teaching group of young people he said there’s nothing wrong with with with the
the theater it’s what’s in it that’s bad no it was interesting he had a lot of
insight nothing wrong with movies nothing wrong with television but you
got to watch what’s on it sometimes here’s the point had I made a decision
that day or many other days to compromise my conscience I wouldn’t be
talking to you today the further you go down in compromising your conscience the
further you fail to purpose in your heart like Daniel did to serve God once
you begin to surrender your individual integrity of who you are inside as a
person and you allow yourself to be shaped by the principles around you and
the Babylonian principles around you that’s when you lose the blessing of God
you have to be true to yourself you have to be true to yourself and you have to
be true to the God that created you and the more you learn from his word the
more he informs you of the destiny that he has for you and the purpose he wants
you to be now what you make a decision to serve God it’s
amazing what happens look as for these four men God gave them skill knowledge
and skill in all literature and wisdom and Daniel had understanding in all
visions and in all dreams unless you let God take away the hindrances you cannot
receive his blessing so how do you receive God’s blessing first you
determine to please God you determine that nothing in your life
will allow you to be kept from pleasing God secondly you allow God to take away
any obstacle in your life anything that you see is not in harmony with his will
third you let God bless your life so you want to receive God’s blessings you
determine to do everything you can to please God you allow God to take away
the obstacles and you let God bless your life the last verse in the Book of
Daniel chapter 1 is one of the most incredible verses in all the Bible and I
want you to look at it and I want to meditate on it with you for a moment
tonight here it is Daniel chapter 1 it says we’re gonna
look at verse 19 20 and 21 King Nebuchadnezzar himself in verse 19
interviews these three young men for young men then the King interviews them
and among all none was found like Daniel Hananiah Mishael and Azariah therefore
they served before the king god blessed Daniel with incredible wisdom he blessed
these young men I believe that the blessing of God is waiting to be on any
young life any middle-aged life or any old life God wants to bless your life in
ways beyond what you could ever imagine God wants to do something for you that
you cannot possibly imagine the blessings of God are for those that
purpose in their heart to serve God his blessings will come in ways that you can
never dream God wants to do something for your life however old you are
however about young you are he wants to warm your heart with hope and faith and
courage and blessings when we determine in our hearts to serve Him but notice
the next verse verse 20 in all matters of wisdom and understanding about which
the King examined them he found them ten times better than all the magicians
astrologers are in Israel the wisdom that God will give you
as his child the blessing that God will put on your life is ten times greater
than those around you now this verse is great verse 21
thus Daniel continued until the first year of Darius nations rise and fall but
Daniel continues Nebuchadnezzar is on his throne and he dies then arises evil
Murdock next King he dies then comes nabonidus he goes then comes Belshazzar
he goes the kings of Babylon rise in fall but Daniel goes into that empire at
seventeen he lives in the Babylonian Empire for over seventy years he dies in
his late 80s when the Medes and Persians rule but through all those empires Kings
come and go but Daniel continues nation rises and falls but Daniel continues
Daniel chapter one begins with a great defeat for the true God it begins with
Babylon being overthrowing Jerusalem and Jerusalem going into captivity but it
ends with a great victory for the true God a glorious victory for the true God
because Daniel for over seventy years is a shining light in Babylon who rules
Babylon when King Nebuchadnezzar is eating grass like a toxin for seven
years I believe Daniel did who is put as one of the leading rulers of Darius
Kingdom Daniel 6 Daniel is Daniel is a man of sterling integrity who cannot be
bought or sold there’s a wonderful passage it goes like this the greatest
want of the world is a lot of men or women who cannot be bought or sold whose
consciences is true to duty as the needle is to the pole who will stand for
the right though the heavens fall don’t you think we need some people like that
today even some of our politicians I will not go there that have real
integrity that really can be trusted don’t you think that we need a society
today of people whose word means something
who are honest and who have integrity who purpose in their heart to serve God
whatever we study about the the prophecies of Daniel and next week we
study a prophecy of Daniel unless those prophecies are more than simply to fill
our heads with knowledge if prophecy is merely idle speculation
to argue about to see who’s right or see who’s wrong we’ve missed the boat
totally the function of the Book of Daniel is to help you and to help me
develop a character a character of honesty and integrity a character in
which we are led to our knees in prayer a character in which we in our heart
want more than anything else to please God I know I want that in my life don’t
you want that in your life hey everybody Matt Gray here, media director for HopeLives365 don’t go yet make sure that you subscribe and click the bell so you
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