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What is your favorite prophetic passage in Daniel and why? Dr. David Reagan interviews a panel of Bible prophecy experts on television’s “Christ in Prophecy.”
Last aired on October 6, 2013.
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Dr. Reagan: One of the most fascinating books in the Hebrew Scriptures is the book of Daniel. It contains many interesting and informative prophecies about the end times, and in that regard, it is a key to understanding the book of Revelation. The book of Daniel also contains a lot of insights about how to live a righteous life in the midst of a pagan society. In short, the book is full of scriptural nuggets that are precious to Christians today. I recently had the opportunity to ask 16 Bible prophecy experts to identify their favorite passage in Daniel and to explain why. For their responses, stay tuned.
Dr. Reagan: Greetings in the name of Jesus, our Blessed Hope, and welcome to Christ in Prophecy.
This week we’re going to continue the study of the book of Daniel which we began three weeks ago by my presenting a series of questions to 16 Bible prophecy experts.
The first week we considered the attacks that have been made on the book, charging that it was not written by Daniel some 550 years before Jesus, but that it was written instead by an imposter about the time of Jesus.
All our forum members defended the book emphatically, presenting various proofs of its integrity; the most important being the fact that Jesus Himself quoted it.
The second week we focused on Daniel’s famous prophecy of the 70 Weeks of Years. Specifically, I asked our forum members if they believe there is a time gap in the prophecy, separating the first 483 years from the last 7 years. Again, all were agreed that such a gap exists and that it constitutes the current Church Age. They also stated that they believe the Church Age will be followed by the last 7 years of Daniel’s prophecy in the form of the Tribulation.
Last week we focused in on a statement that God made to Daniel in chapter 12. Daniel complained that he did not understand all the end time prophecies that he had been given. And God responded that they were not for Daniel to understand. Rather, God said the prophecies will be understood when the time comes for them to be fulfilled.
I asked our forum members if they believe the time has arrived for the understanding of Daniel’s prophecies, and if so, I asked them to give me some examples. All agreed once again that we are living in the end times when Daniel’s prophecies are being understood for the first time ever, due to historical developments, like the re-establishment of the nation of Israel, and technological developments, like the computer and the Internet.
All three of these past programs can be viewed online at our website at lamblion.com. If you did not see the programs, I hope you will go to our website and view them. I think they will be a blessing to you.
Now in this program, I want to present the responses of our 16 Bible prophecy experts to my question, “What is your favorite prophetic passage in Daniel and why?” I can tell you right up front that five of our experts selected a passage from chapter 2, and five selected one from chapter 9. Two selected passages from both chapters. The remaining four selected passages from other chapters.
Let’s start off with the responses of those who selected chapter 2. It is the chapter that contains Daniel’s great prophecy about the succession of Gentile Empires from the time of Babylon to the time of the Second Coming of the Messiah.
Don McGee: My favorite prophetic passage in the book of Daniel comes from the second chapter, having to do with the vision that Nebuchadnezzar had. Most of us are very familiar with the four empires that are mentioned in the interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. The real thing that grabs me is this kingdom that is the result of a stone that is cut out without human orchestration. And this stone is going to become the dominate kingdom over all the earth. And it’s going to be the kingdom whose head is Jesus Christ. When He fulfills a prophecy that Gabriel made to Mary in Luke 1, that He will inherit, that is her baby will eventually inherit the throne of his forefather David. And that is important to me because it vindicates God. It vindicates Jesus Christ. It vindicates His word, every word of Bible prophecy. And it vindicates us as His people.
Randall Price: Well I like Daniel 2 and the end of that chapter 30, 31 some of those, it talks about the final kingdom; the kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. When it says it will just come and smash all other earthly kings and blow away like dust. And as we live in this world and we see the power that men wheeled and you know elections that don’t go the way we like, and all kind of other factors we long for God taking control, taking His kingdom back, wiping away this whole human era and mistake and replacing it with a righteous kingdom. And that’s what He’s promised to do. And I think the older I grow, the more I long to see Him really get off the throne in Heaven and come to the throne here on earth.
Gary Frazier: Well my personal favorite passage in all of Daniel has to do when Daniel requests some additional time after Nebuchadnezzar has issued this very harsh decree to slay all the wise men of Babylon because they could not tell him, first the dream that he had, and then interpret the dream. And Nebuchadnezzar was so wise because he knew that this was a bunch of snakes and liars and if he told him the dream they could tell him anything. Daniel then requested additional time. He goes and he does what he always did, and that he went and got alone with God. He shared with Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah the problem they had. They got with God, they besieged Heaven with prayers. God spoke to his heart and when he appears before the king with an answer in Chapter 2, I think it is verse 32, I think it is, and he says, “No man on earth can do what you’ve asked. But there is a God in Heaven who is a revealer of dreams.” And that passage goes on to talk about how God raises up kings and He puts them down. Which by the way is a great source of comfort to me right now in light of what has recently taken place in the United States of America. And I love that passage, God only God is revealer of dreams. Only God could do what Daniel was prepared to do in His power, he didn’t take any credit for himself, it was just God doing it.
Tim LaHaye: I think it’s the 26th verse of the second chapter where Daniel hears the vision, he recalls the dream that the king had. And then just before he started to give the interpretation of that dream, which outlines the four world kingdoms. And Dave you’ve shared this many times also it is so thrilling that 2,600 years ago this dream said there would be four world empires. And how many have there been? Exactly four. There have been hundreds of would be world dictators and they all failed including Adolf Hitler, and Genghis Khan, and the whole list of them. I made a list of 13 one time. I can’t find it now. But there are all kinds of people that want to rule the world but they all fail because the man of sin has not been revealed yet, but he’s coming.
Brian Thomas: I would say certainly that my favorite passage comes from Daniel 2 in the vision of the great image. In that vision that Daniel received in that King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream of a great image, and Daniel was asked to interpret this dream and he turned to God. So he spoke of this statue, this image and how it depicted many different empires in history. We come to the last empire which is represented as the feet. Daniel tells us there, in verse 31, that a stone cut out of a mountain without hands struck the feet and destroyed the image. That is a depiction of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and it says the stone grew into a great mountain that filled the entire earth. Well I look forward to that day. And that is my favorite passage because it tells us of the future return of Jesus Christ. He will return literally and physically to the earth. His righteousness will fill the entire earth. And that is a time that we as Christian will also rule and reign with Him. That’s the time that we so much look forward to because there will be no debate on issues like same-sex marriage and abortion because the laws of Christ will reign. And so without a doubt that is my favorite passage in the entire book.
Dr. Reagan: Ok. You have just heard five our prophecy tell why a passage in chapter two of Daniel is their favorite. An equal number a total of five selected a passage from Daniel 9 as their favorite. That chapter contains two great passages; one is the prophecy of the 70 weeks of years, the other is Daniel’s fervent prayers in behalf of the nation of Judah. Three of the five who selected chapter 9 focused on the prophecy of the 70 weeks of years.
Arnold Fruchtenbaum: My favorite prophetic passage is Daniel 9:24-27 of all the Messianic prophecies, meaning prophecies about the First Coming that is the only passage that provides a time table for the First Coming. And it shows clearly not just by dating but also from what he says in that gap period of time the Messiah has to come and die before the temple is destroyed. No matter how you calculate Messiah must have come and died before the year AD 70, there is no other way around the passage.
Andy Woods: My favorite prophetic passage is Daniel 9:25 because it says in between the decree of Artaxerxes, which is in Nehemiah 2, and when the Messiah would show up, which is Palm Sunday there would be exactly 483 years. And scholars like Dr. Harold Hoehner and Sir Robert Anderson have looked into that prophecy very carefully and they’ll argue that that prophecy was fulfilled to the exact day. And the reason that’s my favorite prophecy is because it shows me how prophecy is to be understood. Since the prophecies of Christ’s First Coming were so literally fulfilled, maybe the prophecies about His Second Comings will be literal as well. And it also helps us understand what was going on during the Palm Sunday event. You know Jesus held the Jews accountable, He said, “If you had known this day,” in Luke 19:42. And that statement Christ doesn’t make a lot of sense unless you understand the exact time table that Daniel revealed. And so Daniel 9:25 really helps, it unpacks for us a lot of the statements Christ makes about timing. And it also unpacks for us the hermeneutic regarding how prophecy is to be understood.
August Rosado: I would have to say bar none is Daniel 9. Daniel 9 is one of the most awesome mathematical prophecies in the entire Word of God; because Daniel gives us the timeline for Bible prophecy. He gives us the timeline for the coming of the Messiah. The death of the Messiah in Daniel 9:25. And yet he tells us there is light at the end of the tunnel because one day Yeshua the Lord Jesus Christ is going to physically and bodily reign on this earth one day in the city of Jerusalem, in the land of Israel. So Daniel 9 every time I read it Dave, it just blows my mind because Daniel is just so accurate and precise in giving us the timeline of the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. Which is the reason why the Rabbis tell their people there are 2 passages in the Scriptures you should never read unless us Rabbis interpret it (1) Daniel 9, don’t read it and (2) Isaiah 53. Why would they say that? Because it points to the Lord Jesus Christ. I don’t know of anyone else who could have fulfilled those prophecies other than Jesus Christ Himself.
Dr. Reagan: Those were three of the five who selected their favorite passage from chapter 9. The other two who selected chapter 9 focused on a different part of the chapter. They emphasized Daniel’s great prayer that begins the chapter, one of the longest prayers in the Bible. It is a classic prayer of repentance that was uttered by a man who is identified by Ezekiel as one of the three most righteous men who had ever lived up to that time; together with Job and Noah.
Michael Norten: Obviously Daniel 9 because it is probably the most exciting and the most amazing prophecy in all the Bible. It is showing exactly what God had planned in the whole scheme of things. And if it wasn’t for that passage we wouldn’t have understood the Tribulation as being 7 years. There is just so much we wouldn’t know, and it’s unfolded so much. And when the actual temple was really destroyed when Jesus said the temple would have no stone left on another. And I always thought that strange until I found out from a historian that when the Romans tried to destroy that temple they were trying to melt for the gold. And that was limestone and the temple was so filled with moisture that it heated up so much the temple actually exploded and about 1700 people were killed in the northern part of the temple because of shrapnel. And then I asked the historian, “Well what about the wailing wall?” And he said, “Oh the wailing wall was an extension it wasn’t an actual part of the temple.” So Jesus’ prophecy was fulfilled explicitly. And so Daniel 9 is so exciting to me especially when He prayed to God and gave him 18 reasons why they shouldn’t have any mercy, but he said, “The only reason we can ask for you this is because of your loyal love and grace, and not because of their own effort because we certainly don’t deserve it.” And he proved it 18 different ways, amazing. And that is a prayer we should be praying in the United States. But God gave him those answers because of that faith and prayer.
Al Gist: I guess Daniel 9 to me is the central theme of Daniel. That chapter opens up with one of the most beautiful intercessory prayers that you find anywhere in the Bible. Daniel is pleading with God to restore the people of Israel and their beautiful city in Jerusalem. And one of the great things about that is he never says, “God they have sinned,” talking about the people of Israel, but he said, “We have sinned.” And we see the humility of the great prophet in that. But from that he is given this information about the 70 weeks of Daniel. And an understanding of that 70 weeks of Daniel to me gives us a picture of the overall master plan of God. And so I would say that the prophecy concerning the 70 weeks of Daniel in chapter 9 is central to the book. And it tells me personally that everything is still in God’s control. He’s working everything out according to His plan, and we can rest assured in that. We can find peace in that. That God is still taking care of things the way He intended to do. And that’s one of the great, I guess you could say the prophetic message of Daniel is that God is still taking care of things.
Dr. Reagan: Thus far we have had five of our experts selecting their favorite Daniel passage from chapter 2 and five from chapter 9. Two of our experts selected both chapters 2 and 9. They just couldn’t decide between the two.
Daymond Duck: Well I may disappoint you but I have 2 favorites. My first favorite is Daniel’s timeline, or God’s timeline I guess I should call it of Gentile of world events. And my second is God’s timeline of Jewish world events. Now God’s timeline of Gentile world events is Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of the great statue in Daniel 2. And he started with Babylon and he goes down to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. And he identifies world kingdoms from the time of Babylon to the second coming of Jesus Christ. And he reveals that the time of the Gentiles must run their course before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. And he reveals and I think this is very important, he reveals that the Second Coming of Jesus Christ is premillennial when the stone destroys the statue, and before the kingdom is established here on earth. He also reveals that the kingdom isn’t brought in slowly over a period of time as some in the church teach, the church converting the world, but that it is established instantaneously with the destruction that Jesus does to that statue and when He establishes His kingdom here on earth.
God’s timeline of Jewish events it starts with a command, its Daniel’s 70 weeks of years if you will. And it starts with a command to restore and rebuild Jerusalem, and it ends at the same place as the other timeline ends at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. And it reveals many details of future events, it tells when Babylon would be destroyed for example; 70 years after Judah is concurred by Babylon. It reveals the exact day of the First Coming of Jesus Christ, His triumphal entry into Jerusalem 173,880 after the command to restore and rebuild Jerusalem. It reveals that all 70 weeks of Daniel have to run their course before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. So I love both of these time lines and they are accurate. And they are just my favorites.
Tom McCall: Of course I love the statue dream that Nebuchadnezzar had and Daniel’s interpretation because that gives the framework of all future history from that point on. And we can understand what the Lord is doing throughout all time, and the succession of empires I love that. I love the 70 weeks of Daniel because I believe that gives the schedule for the First Coming of Christ that Jesus was on a very precise schedule. Many times He said, “My hour has not yet come. My hour has not yet come.” Then on the eve as they had the Passover Supper He said, “Now has my hour come.” He was on the schedule of the 69 weeks, I’m persuaded. And He met it to the day. And of course many have studied how all that worked out but I think that is a marvelous thing, and He kept it. And He is going to keep the 70th week as well. It’s all going to come to pass with regard to His Second Coming.
Dr. Reagan: Well folks, that makes a total of 12 of our 16 forum members, evenly divided in selecting a favorite passage from either Daniel 2 or 9. Coming in third place was chapter 12. Three of our experts selected their favorite passage from that chapter.
Ed Hindson: I love them all, but I think especially at the very end when the Lord says to him, “Daniel go your way, you are not going to figure this all out in your lifetime. But in the end you will stand in your allotted inheritance at the end of days.” In other words the promise of the resurrection. The predictions of future events are phenomenal in that book. The succession of Gentile empires who would deal with the Jewish people. What would happen to the Jews in the future? What would go on during the Intertestamental period? But beyond all of those things the real reminder was it’s not just what’s going to happen in the future. It’s who going to come in the future. The Messiah is going to come. Christ will come to reign and rule, and you’ll be there with him Daniel. You’ll be literally raised back to life again. It’s not a spiritual resurrection only, you don’t just ooze out of the grave, you literally get up, walk out, stand up and you’ll stand in your allotted place in the Millennial Kingdom in the distant future. I think that is one of the greatest prophecies in all of the book.
Don Perkins: I got a very unusual one, it is found in Daniel 12:2 and it deals with the resurrection. I do like that because the description actual talks about the resurrection. Daniel says, “Those that sleep in the dust shall awake some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.” The reason I like that is because it actually shows the resurrection of the redeemed. But it also shows the resurrection of the unredeemed, and is all way through the Scriptures. It’s a very unusual passage but I do like that passage because it shows that for the redeemed even though we may die, there is coming a day when we will be resurrected. And then for the unredeemed they will resurrected as well but unto judgment or contempt.
Nathan Jones: I love Daniel 12:3 it reads this, “Those who are wise, will shine like the brightness of the heavens. And those who lead many to righteousness like the stars forever, and ever.” Well who are the wise? The wise are the people who take the message of Daniel to heart. The wise are people who accept Jesus as their Savior. And what do they do? Those who lead many to righteousness, they tell people about Jesus. They bring him to Jesus and bring him to righteousness and salvation. And what does it say the rewards for that? That we will shine like the stars forever and ever. Well does that mean we will glow in the dark? No, I don’t think it means that. But it means that our works will shine forever as a testament to what the Lord has done through us. So Daniel 12:3 is definitely my favorite verse.
Dr. Reagan: Well folks, you have now heard the opinions of 15 of our 16 forum members. The only one remaining is Gary Fisher. He enthusiastically selected a passage from Daniel chapter 7.
Gary Fisher: It’s in Daniel 7 and it is 13 and 14 I absolutely love this, it makes tingles go up and down me. “I kept looking in the night visions and behold the clouds of heaven, one like the son of man coming. And He came to the ancient of days, and was presented before Him. And to Him was given dominion, glory, and a kingdom that all the peoples, nations and men of every language might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion which will not pass away. His kingdom is one which will never be destroyed.” We are talking about Jesus, the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, bring Him on. I’ve teased our theological brothers, I will dispense of the Rapture and the Tribulation, just give me the King, get Him in here. What does the world need today? A king. And we got One coming, He’s on the way.
Dr. Reagan: I love Gary’s enthusiasm for the Lord’s soon return and the establishment of His worldwide reign that will bring peace, righteousness and justice to this sin-sick planet.
It is for that reason that I must also select chapter 7 for my favorite passage. It is related to the one Gary selected which describes a night vision that was given to Daniel in which he saw God the Father presenting His Son, the Messiah, with dominion over all the earth.
My favorite passage follows that vision. It is the passage that declares that you and I the saints will share in the reign of Jesus. We find this promise in two verses, 18 & 27 which read as follows: “The saints of the Highest One will receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, for all ages to come. Then the sovereignty, the dominion and the greatness of all the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be given to the people of the saints of the Highest One; His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all the dominions will serve and obey Him.” That means that we, the Redeemed, are going to share in the reign of Jesus. We, in our glorified bodies, will be scattered around this planet to reign over those in natural bodies.
Jesus will reign from Jerusalem as King of kings and Lord of lords. David in his resurrected, glorified body will serve as the King of Israel. And you and I in our glorified bodies will reign under the authority of Jesus. Some of us will be kings. Others will be serving as governors and mayors and judges and teachers.
This wonderful promise is confirmed in the New Testament in several places. For example, in 2 Timothy 2:12 we are told: If we endure, we shall also reign with Him. Likewise, in Revelation 2:26-27 we are told: “He who overcomes, and he who keeps My deeds until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations; and he shall rule them with a rod of iron as I also have received authority from My Father.” I want to conclude by repeating the passage that Gary Frazier selected as his favorite. It is found in Daniel 2:28: “There is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and He has made known what will take place in the latter days.”
Well folks, that’s our program for this week. I hope it’s been a blessing to you, and I hope you will be back with us again next week when we continue presenting questions about the book of Daniel to our 16 Bible prophecy experts. Until then, this is Dave Reagan speaking for Lamb & Lion Ministries, saying, “Look up, be watchful, for our Redemption is drawing near.”
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