What is the fundamental prophetic message of the book of Daniel? Dr. David Reagan interviews a panel of Bible prophecy experts on television’s “Christ in Prophecy.”
Last aired on October 20, 2013.
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Dr. Reagan: The book of Daniel is one of the most important prophetic books in the Bible. It contains many great prophecies, like the succession of world empires portrayed in chapter 2 and the incredible prophecy of the 70 weeks of years in chapter 9. What would you say is the fundamental prophetic message of the book? I sat down recently with 16 Bible prophecy experts and asked them that question. Stay tuned for their answers.
Dr. Reagan: Greetings in the name of Jesus, our Blessed Hope, and welcome to Christ in Prophecy. Over the past few weeks we have been taking a look at the book of Daniel through the eyes of 16 Bible prophecy experts whom I had the opportunity to interview. In the process, we have considered a number of fascinating questions about the book.
We started out discussing the integrity of the book, considering whether or not it is a valid book of prophecy written by Daniel or whether it is an historical book, written by some imposter long after the time of Daniel. And all our experts affirmed its validity and pointed to the fact that Jesus Himself quoted the book.
We next considered whether or not there is a time gap in Daniel’s famous prophecy of the 70 Weeks of years, and, again, all our experts agreed there is such a gap and that it is the Church Age in which we are currently living.
The third week we took a look at God’s statement to Daniel that many of his end time prophecies would not be understood until the time came for them to be fulfilled. I asked our experts if they thought we are currently living in that time, and they all agreed we are, and they provided a number of examples to prove their claim.
The fourth week I asked our experts to share with us their favorite passage in the book of Daniel and to explain why. Needless to say, we received some fascinating answers and insights.
And last week I asked our experts to identify what they consider to be the fundamental non-prophetic message of the book. And I asked them that question because the book of Daniel is not just a book of prophecy. It is also a book that tells a fascinating story about a young man taken into captivity to a nation where everything he believed was challenged.
I personally have always believed that the fundamental non-prophetic message of the book is how to live a righteous life in the midst of a pagan society. And most of the experts I interviewed came to the same conclusion.
If you have missed any or all of these past programs, you can find them on our website at lamblion.com. You will also find many of our other TV programs there, together with other videos that you can view online.
This week I am going to share with you the answers that I received when I asked our forum of expert’s one last question: What do you consider to be the most important prophetic message of the book of Daniel? Here now are their answers.
Al Gist: Well I think the fundamental prophetic message is the great master plan of God. That God has an ordained schedule of events that He is carrying out. Many times in our own national life here in the United States, we get very concerned about where our future lies; and what is about to happen with the economy; what is going on with the world scene; and what’s happening in the Middle East. I take great comfort in the book of Daniel that God has a plan that He is working out step-by-step. And to me that’s the fundamental prophetic message is that God is still on His throne and He is taking care of things just like He always said He would.
Andy Woods: The prophetic message to me is the times of the Gentiles. Israel had entered a really unique time where she had no king reigning on David’s throne. And it is a period of time that began with Nebuchadnezzar in 586 when he deposed the last king of Judah who was Zedekiah. And so that started this terrible time period for Israel when the Gentiles would be on top trampling down Israel. And that time period begins in 586 and goes all the way to the Second Coming of Jesus the times of the Gentiles are still going on now. And Israel is being trampled down by various pagan powers. And so the book of Daniel then are prophecies regarding how Israel is to live and what she is prophetically going to experience during that time period. So the specific empires that would trample down Israel are given. And specific prophecies are given about the coming Antichrist, even about the coming of their own Messiah. So it fills in prophetically that gap of time called the Times of the Gentiles. So that to me is the tremendous prophetic message for Israel.
Arnold Fruchtenbaum: I think the prophetic message of the book of Daniel is to outline the cross over of the times of the Gentiles between the end of the Theocratic Kingdom for Israel and the re-establishment of the Theocratic Kingdom through the Messianic Kingdom. And that gives a basic outline of 4 Gentile Empires. If you keep that in mind you won’t be persuaded by things like the Fifth One the Arab Antichrist, the Arab Empire and so on. But whatever happens has to come out of one of these empires. And accordingly the Antichrist will be of the Fourth Empire.
August Rosado: I got to say Daniel 7:13-14 where Daniel says, “The Son of Man is coming to the Ancient of Days.” And like I said the book of Daniel doesn’t paint a pretty picture in some areas, neither does the book of Revelation. But when we get to the end there is light at the tunnel because one day Jesus Christ is going to physically and bodily establish a kingdom right here on this earth, in the city of Jerusalem in the land of Israel. And that is going to be for 1,000 years. Dave, how do we know 1,000 years? Well Revelation 20:2-7 six times tells us, 1,000 years, a 1,000 years, a 1,000 years. That’s not allegorical. That’s not spiritual. That’s not Him coming back in our hearts as some are teaching or we are living in the kingdom right now, because listen if we are living in the kingdom right now, I am sorry I signed up for this deal. And so we know better than that. Daniel 7:14 says that the Lord Jesus Christ will establish a kingdom that will not be destroyed and it is not going to pass away. And Daniel has a lot to say about that Kingdom. And those of us who know Jesus Christ as our Lord and personal Savior we are going to reign with him in that Kingdom. So you see Dave for 1,000 years we are all going to be Israelis praise the Lord.
Brian Thomas: That our God is sovereign, He is in control of all things. Mankind we look around especially at the leaders of the world and they think they are in control and they they’re making things happen. But really God is orchestrating all these things, and He is orchestrating them to point to the triumph of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. When we look at the book of Daniel we see those things taking place in which in the second chapter the vision of the great image, when Daniel was called upon to interpret this he turned to God and God gave him the revelation of this dream and then Daniel wrote a beautiful psalm in the Daniel 2:20-22 in which he stated, “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, for wisdom and might are His and He changes the times and the seasons. He removes kings and raises up kings, He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding. He reveals deep and secret things, He knows what is in darkness and light dwells in Him.” So when we look here at this psalm it shows the sovereignty of God, it shows that God has a plan and all things are working towards our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He is going to return literally and physically and that is going to be the ultimate plan of our God and that is the ultimate I think prophetic fundamental truth of the book of Daniel.
Daymond Duck: Well I would suggest that the fundamental prophetic message of the book of Daniel is the sovereignty of God. That God loves and takes care of His people. And that God is offering encouragement and hope to His people through the First and Second Coming of Jesus Christ. And He wants His people to know that they have a wonderful future regardless of what we go through here on earth. He has a wonderful future planned for us. He has a plan, He’s working out that plan. He wants us to know that evil exists and He wants us to make the right moral choices because ultimately there is going to be an end of the age and Jesus is going to intervene and He is going to deal with that evil, and He is going to establish His Kingdom here on this earth. And so to me that would be the main thing that the book is talking about.
Don McGee: The book of Daniel is very clear on a number of things regarding the future. But as a Bible teacher and preacher regarding Bible prophecy what jumps out at me is that everything that Daniel said regarding the future will be fulfilled, number one, and number two will be fulfilled literally; there is no spiritualization, no allegorizing, all of those things that he talked about. And that gives us a foundation upon which we can interpret New Testament scriptures, prophecies that Paul mentions and John and Peter and all these. I believe without question that Daniel gives us the basis that we can say it is going to happen just like He said it would happen.
Don Perkins: I think the fundamental thing about the book of Daniel is that we can trust God at His word. God He is faithful, God will do exactly what He said, and we can put confidence in His Word. I am excited about what the Scripture says in the book of Daniel in regards to my future. So we can trust Him.
Ed Hindson: I think the ultimate prophetic message is that we can trust God with the future. If we can trust Him to set up and take down kings, over rule Gentiles, protect the Jewish people in spite of everything that goes wrong. We can trust Him with our personal future as well, the challenges that we face in life, every bend in the road, every uncertainty that comes along. The reminder is the God who knows the future is the future, He controls the future and He controls your future and you can trust it.
Dr. Reagan: I hope you are finding the answers of our Bible prophecy experts to be as interesting as I did when I interviewed them. They have been responding to the question, “What is the most important prophetic message of the book of Daniel?”
Thus far, we have interviewed 9 of the 16, four have stated that they believe the most important prophetic message of the book is the sovereignty of God. Two said they thought the most important message is an overview of what the Bible calls “the times of the Gentiles.” Two others felt the most important prophetic message is that God is faithful to His Word and can be trusted.
Let’s now go back to the final 7 members of our forum. And again, our question is, “What do you think is the most important prophetic message of the book of Daniel?”
Gary Fisher: At least a good answer for me is that only God knows the future. As I was looking through the first and second chapters we had all these false prophets and so forth and so on and Nebuchadnezzar had his dream, he was upset he wanted an answer to his dream, none of the prophets of Babylon could satisfy. Daniel goes into his prayer closet, he comes out not only does he tell Nebuchadnezzar the dream but tells him the interpretation of it; and so only God knows the future. Only God can offer a book called the Bible that declares the beginning from the ending. And we are a privileged people to be able to just study it, be students of it. And we don’t have a problem understanding where the world is headed because we have the same God that Daniel had, He knows the beginning and the ending. And the book of Daniel to me demonstrates that very fact.
Gary Frazier: Well I think immediately I would just simply say the thing that is so important about the book of Daniel is that it reveals to us that there is a God in heaven who has a plan. And I love that passage in Isaiah 46 you know, “For I am God there is none other, I am God there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning.” And God sends the angel Gabriel to tell Daniel, “Daniel here is God’s plan. I’m going to give you a panoramic view of what is going to happen to your people and your city.” And in the end just know this, that the wicked will never understand, but the wise will understand. And Daniel is going to go to his fathers, and he was going to await the time when all these things would come to pass. But there is no question that this book reminds us that there is no confusion in Heaven, God is not running around wondering what is going to happen next. The final chapter in the history of the world and in our lives has already been penned by God. And so to me it is a great reminder that God is firmly in control, from start from the moment He spoke the world into Creation until the final reforming of this earth in which we live in and as we are entering into eternity with Him, there are no accidents. There’s no sudden decisions being made, God is not reacting to what happens here; He is proactive He has already written the final word.
Michael Norten: Not only the fact that the prophecies are so explicit, I believe the message is that God is in total control when everything looks like it is just out of control. And that when we are watching the news, when the whole world is in a panic and depressed we can be singing for joy in knowing that our Savior is near.
Nathan Jones: Without a doubt Jesus wins. I mean we look here and see all those empires, all the human empires striving and trying to thrive and Jesus as the Great Rock smashes them, He sets up His Kingdom of righteousness, He defeats the Antichrist like he is nothing. No matter how bad it is, no matter how worried we are about how civilization is getting Jesus wins. And because Jesus wins, we who are His children win as well.
Randall Price: Well it is that God is in control of all the details of history and He has revealed those in a very unique way to Daniel so that we can trust that as we see those details unfold it’s not haphazard, it’s not accidental there is certainly a plan or purpose behind everything and that is why the book was to sealed up until the last time. And yet we know that it was only sealed up for our good, when these things happen the same God who started, is the God who’s going to finish it.
Tom McCall: You have Daniel in Babylon, he is a prince of Judah, I mean he is in the royal family somehow. He’s been dragged from Jerusalem, the temple, and thrown into this terrible home of idolatry and everything that is against God. And yet the Lord gives him in his prophetic role the story that the same God who has allowed Jerusalem to be destroyed and even it was prophesied in the 70 years of exile God is still in control, God is still sovereign. And He is sovereign enough to be able to predict from then to the ends of time and the succession of empires, and the coming of the Messiah; His First Coming and His Second Coming. God is sovereign and still in control, I would suggest that was the main role.
Tim LaHaye: That God is not finished with His planet Earth, that He has plans to fulfill what He dreamed of in the Garden of Eden. He put 2 people in an idealic situation, the Millennial Kingdom will be like that with one exception Satan will be able to tempt people, but there will be still the human nature, and all people even born during the Millennium will have to call on the name of the Lord to be saved because He is the only way of salvation. And Dave I really appreciate your ministry because you have been so faithful. You’ve got scars and bruises on your body and psyche that I never even was tempted by. But you’ve been faithful to God and I’m grateful that you are in the battle and that you haven’t given up, that you are using your talent. I want to tell your audience I read you all the time, when I get your magazine I read it cover to cover and God has given you a gift to write, keep writing. Because the bad news for we preachers is that we can read more people with a pen then we can with our mouth, so keep it up.
Dr. Reagan: Well, there you have it the responses of 16 Bible prophecy experts to my question, “What is the most important prophetic message of the book of Daniel?” I hope you have been blessed by their insights.
Now, I have asked my colleague here, Nathan Jones, to join us because I want him to share with you some exciting one minute videos that he has been preparing over the past couple of years, they are called Bible Prophecy Insights. Tell the folks about them Nathan.
Nathan Jones: Bible Prophecy Insights are one minute videos that give you great insight into God’s prophetic Word. We send them all out over the internet to attract people who have no background in Bible prophecy, get them excited about it and then they come back to our website and learn about it, and they can find that on our website at lamblion.com, YouTube, Vimeo, if they want a copy sermonspice.com, and of course we’ll be offering it on DVD.
Dr. Reagan: Well ok, how about the first one?
Nathan Jones: Well the first episode is called, “The Accuracy of Bible Prophecy,” it sets the foundation that shows mathematically that only Jesus Christ could have fulfilled Bible prophecy.
Bible Prophecy Insights #1 — “The Accuracy of Bible Prophecy”
I’m Nathan Jones with your Bible Prophecy Insight. Can math prove the accuracy of Bible prophecy? Well let’s start with just 8 of the 108 prophecies fulfilled in Jesus’ life. Math mathematician Peter Stoner calculated that the probability of all 8 being fulfilled in the life of one person is 1 in 10 to the 17th power, that’s 17 zeros! That would be like filling the entire state of Texas 2 feet deep in quarters. Mark just 1 throw it in. The odds would be like walking for days and then the very first coin picked up that would be the one with the mark, impossible right? Well not if the Bible is truly God’s Word. To learn more about Bible prophecy visit us at lamblion.com.
Nathan Jones: In episode 2 of Bible Prophecy Insights, “Signs of Jesus’ Return.” We know that Jesus is coming back soon because He has given us some signs that point to the soon return of Jesus. This one minute video tells you what some of those signs are.
Bible Prophecy Insight #2 — “Signs of Jesus’ Return”
I’m Nathan Jones with your Bible prophecy insight. Jesus promised that He would return. While we cannot know the day or hour Jesus did give us some signs to look out for. They come more frequent and intense like birth pains the closer He got. Deadly natural disasters, crumbling morality, spiritual apostasy, world wars, technological breakthroughs, and the greatest sign of all Israel would become a nation again. After almost 1,900 years of the Jews living in exile it happened in 1948. Wow we are truly living in the seasons of Jesus’ return. Are you ready? To learn more about Bible prophecy visit us at lamblion.com.
Nathan Jones: In episode 3 of Bible Prophecy Insights, “The Rapture”, it is the fundamental message of Lamb & Lion Ministries; it is about the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, when the Church will be taken off this world and brought up to Heaven to be with Jesus. Enjoy this animated view of what that might be like.
Bible Prophecy Insights #3 — “The Rapture”
I’m Nathan Jones with your Bible Prophecy Insight. The Bible tells us that Jesus will return one day soon to catch up, to rapture those who have accepted Him as Savior. Two people are together and then in the time that it takes to snap one will be left standing. In the blink of an eye millions will be gone; we will be taken off this earth to meet Jesus up in the clouds to live with the Lord forever. Those left behind will face the worse period in history, the Tribulation. Have you given your life to Jesus today? Will you be part of the Rapture? To learn more about Bible prophecy visit us at lamblion.com.
Nathan Jones: Did you know that 2,500 years ago the Book of Daniel foretold that we would have a great increase of knowledge and travel in the last days? In this episode, episode 4 “Technology Foretold,” we covered the signs of technology.
Bible Prophecy Insights #4 — “Technology Foretold”
I’m Nathan Jones with your Bible Prophecy Insight. Can you believe the technology we have today? I mean jets, cellphones, x—rays, Mars explorers even; we seem to have it all. And yet it all came about in just last few decades. Did you know that many of our technologies today were foretold in the Bible 2,500 years ago? The books of Daniel and Revelation described mass transportation, satellite communications, television, computers, the Internet, nuclear weapons, and a great population explosion. And all of this was to come just as Jesus is about to return. To learn more about Bible prophecy come visit us at lamblion.com.
Nathan Jones: In episode 5, “The End of World Politics,” the Bible tells us that there is a particular configuration of nations in the last days that will point to the soon return of Jesus Christ. This is that configuration.
Bible Prophecy Insights #5 — “The End of World Politics”
I’m Nathan Jones with your Bible Prophecy Insight. The Bible prophesies a very specific configuration of nations in the end times. These national alliances would be a sign of Jesus’ soon return. The Roman Empire returns in the form of the European Union. Russia backs a united Muslim world. The strength of the US wanes. China becomes a mighty power. And Israel rises from the ashes of history to become the focus of the world. What’s the end game? A one world government. To learn more about Bible prophecy visit us at lamblion.com.
Dr. Reagan: Well Nathan those are exciting. I’ll tell you’ve done a great job of writing them and you and Ralph have done a great job of producing them. And I think they are going to have a great impact.
Nathan Jones: Praise the Lord.
Dr. Reagan: And you’ve got another one going, you got one in production right now, and I think that’s the one you are most excited about. Tell me about it.
Nathan Jones: I am excited about it. Well that is episode 6, “Dry Bones,” it is Ezekiel 37 it is about bringing Israel back from a dead nation to life again. We are going to animate that, it is going to be really exciting. But more importantly Israel becoming a nation again is a huge sign that Jesus is coming soon and we wanted to really capture people with that.
Dr. Reagan: So he’s actually going to show dry bones coming alive?
Nathan Jones: Yep, from bones, to sinew, to muscle, to human being.
Dr. Reagan: Well I figure if he can transport you from here to Heaven, and put you through the portal and all he can bring the dry bones alive.
Nathan Jones: Amen.
Dr. Reagan: Well I just hope and pray that these have a tremendous impact upon young people. You know when we hold prophecy conferences I often look out and I can’t find anybody below the age of 50 and that really discourages me because we need to get this message across to young people. I know you have a real desire for that, a real heart for it. And I am hoping that these will as you say be like fishing bait that you throw out and you grab them in and get them more interested into the details of Bible prophecy. Isn’t that what you have in mind really? That is the total purpose of Bible Prophecy Insights to get people excited about God’s Word and bring them back so they can get more information and then give their lives to Christ.
Dr. Reagan: Well, folks, that’s our program for this week. I hope it has been a blessing to you, and I hope you will be back with us again next week. Until then, this is Dave Reagan speaking for Nathan Jones and myself saying, “Look up, be watchful, for our Redemption is drawing near.”
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