Saturday, August 8, 2015

BIBLE STUDY: (DANIEL, EZEKIEL, AND REVELATION) WEEK # 1

Date:          8-8-15


Let's Pray:


Father God, thank You for Your Word. Your Word has guided us throughout the ages, and still leading us through Your Holy Spirit. We are so grateful, Lord. There is fullness of joy when reading and studying Your Word. In this study, we ask for more knowledge, understanding, and wisdom to gain stability in these end times. Most people encounter a spirit of fear when reading or studying Revelation and Daniel; we ask that the Word (II Timothy 1:7) be apply to us as we dig deep into this study. Thank You, Lord. You have given to us a spirit of power, love, and sound mind of Jesus Christ our Lord. Father, when we am afraid, we will put my confidence in You. Yes, we will trust Your promises through Your Word. We are more than conquerors through Your Word. Lord, You are our Light and our Salvation; You protect us from danger-whom shall we fear? When evil men or evil thoughts come to destroy us, they will stumble and fall! Yes, though a mighty army marches against us, our hearts shall know no fear, in Jesus' name. We are confident that You will save us because we believe, because we are saved, and because of Your faithfulness. Thank You, Holy Spirit, for bringing all that we study back to our remembrance when its needed, when we are tempted to be afraid or to give up. We trust in You as our God, the only true God in heaven and on earth. Throughout this study bless our minds in Jesus' name, AMEN.


Part I                   Daniel:  

One of the more fascinating books of the Bible is the book of Daniel...

*          The first six chapters contain accounts of faith that inspire both young and old

*          The last six chapters are filled with apocalyptic visions that challenge even the most advanced Bible students and scholars

 

It is a book that has often been attacked and abused...

*          Attacked by liberals and skeptics who deny its inspirational.

*          Abused by many who have taken its visions out of context to support all kinds of wild theories concerning the second coming of Christ.

 

But when properly read and understood, the book of Daniel can...

*          Inspire us to greater faithfulness in our service to God

*          Strengthen our faith in the inspiration of the Bible

 

DANIEL AND HIS TIME:

 

The name "Daniel" means "God is my judge" which provides a hint of one of the key themes in this book:  God will judge the nations of men.  Daniel was a person of deep and abiding faith...

 

*          As a youth, he purposed not to defile himself –(Daniel 1:8)

*          When old, he persisted in serving God despite threats against his life – (Daniel 6:10)

 

God blessed Daniel because of his faith...

 

*          He rose to great heights in the kingdoms of Babylon and Persia - (Daniel 2:48; 6:1-3)

*          He served as a statesman, a counselor to kings, and a prophet of

            God

 

Daniel was contemporary with two other great prophets:  Jeremiah and

Ezekiel...

 

*         Jeremiah prophesied in Jerusalem before and during the Babylonian exile (626-528 B.C.)

*          Ezekiel prophesied in Babylon among the exiles (592-570 B.C.)

*          Daniel prophesied in the capital of Babylon (605-586 B.C.)

 

 

Nothing is known of his personal life outside of the book.  He descended from one of Judah's prominent families, if not from royal blood (Daniel 1:3). At an early age (likely in his teens) Daniel along with others was taken from his family to be trained in the courts of Babylon (Daniel 1:3-4). Whether he ever married is uncertain.

 

Some key dates and events will help appreciate the times in which Daniel lived...

 

*          612 B.C. - Fall of Nineveh, capital of Assyria  Assyria had ruled the world since the days of Tiglath-Pileser (845 B.C.).  Nabopolassar came to the throne in Babylon and rebelled against the Assyrians in 625 B.C.

Nebuchadnezzar, son of Nabopolassar, was the general who led the Babylonian army against Nineveh, defeating it in 612 B.C.

 

*          605 B.C. - Battle of Carchemish, establishing Babylonian domination

Pharaoh-Necho of Egypt came to fight the Babylonians at Carchemish.  Nebuchadnezzar defeated the Egyptians, chasing them south through Judah.  At Jerusalem, Nebuchadnezzar heard of his father's death; he returned to assume the throne in Babylon.  The first group of Jewish captives were taken, along with Daniel and his friends (Daniel 1:1-4).

 

*          597 B.C. - A second remnant taken to Babylon  Jehoiachin (Jeconiah, Coniah) followed the reign of his father, Jehoiakim.  He lasted just three months, when Nebuchadnezzar took him and 10,000 Jews to Babylon (2 Kings 24:8-16).  This second group of captives included Ezekiel (Ezekiel 1:1-3)

 

*          586 B.C. - Fall of Jerusalem and the temple destroyed  Zedekiah was installed as king in Jerusalem, but was weak and vacillating.  Eleven years later, Jerusalem was totally devastated by Babylonian forces (2 Kings 25:1-10). A third group was (2 Kings 25:11-12, 22; Jeremiah 39:11-14; 40:1-6).

 

*          536 B.C. - Babylon falls, and the first remnant returns to Jerusalem Cyrus, king of Persia, sends the first remnant back under the leadership of Zerubbabel.  (Ezra 1:1-5; 2:1-2).

The foundation of the temple was soon started, but the temple was not completed until 516 B.C. (Ezra 3:8-13; 6:14-16).

 

*          457 B.C. - A second remnant returns to Jerusalem.  Ezra the priest returns with this group (Ezra 7:1-8:36). He leads a much-needed revival (Ezra 9:1-10:44).

 

*          444 B.C. - A third remnant returns to Jerusalem.  This group is led by Nehemiah   (Nehemiah 1:1-2:20). Under his leadership, the walls of Jerusalem are rebuilt (Nehemiah 3:1-7:73). Together with Ezra, they restore much of the religion (Nehemiah 8:1-13:31).

 

Daniel lived through much of these times (605-534 B.C.).  He was among the first group of captives taken to Babylon (Daniel 1:1-4). He continued there over the entire 70 years of captivity; (Daniel 1:21; 10:1) cf. (Daniel 9:1-2; Jeremiah 25:11; 29:10). Daniel was certainly a remarkable man.  His greatness was recognized by his contemporary, Ezekiel (Ezekiel 14:14, 20; 28:3).

 

 THEME:

 

From a number of passages (Daniel 2:21; 4:17, 25, 32, 34-35; 5:21) we can deduce the main theme of the book of Daniel:

 

God Rules in the Kingdoms of Men:

 

In this book, we see the rule of God is...

*          Manifested in the days of Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, Darius, and

            Cyrus, kings of the BabyloniansMedes, and Persians

*          Foretold to occur in the days of the Persians, Greeks, and Romans

 

In this book, we learn that the rule of God would be especially manifested...

 

*          With the establishment of God's kingdom – (Daniel 2:44)

*          With the vindication of the cause of His saints – (Daniel 7:27)  

 

OUTLINE:     There are twelve chapters in the book of Daniel

 

Here is a brief outline of the book of Daniel...

 

1. God's Providence in History – (Daniel 1:1-6:28)

   a.      Daniel and his determination to be pure: 1:1-21

   b.      Nebuchadnezzar's dream and Daniel's promotion:  2:1-49

   c.      Faith in the face of fire by Daniel's friends: 3:1-30

   d.      Nebuchadnezzar's second dream and temporary insanity: 4:1-37

   e.      The writing on the wall and fall of Belshazzar: 5:1-31

   f.       Darius and his den of lions:  6:1-28

 

2. God's Purpose in History – (Daniel 7:1-12:13)

   a.      Daniel's dream of the four beasts : 7:1-28

   b.      Daniel's dream of the ram and the goat: 8:1-27

   c.      Daniel's prayer and the vision of the seventy weeks:  9:1-27

   d.      Daniel's vision of the time of the end: 10:1-12:13

 

CONCLUSION

As with all Scriptures, the book of Daniel is profitable for our study: (2 Timothy 3:16-17). From Daniel and his friends, we will learn the power of faith and commitment.  By studying this book, we can better understand our Lord's references to it cf. (Mark 13:14-15; Matthew 24:15-16). Despite some of its more difficult and challenging passages, we can benefit from them as well, as long as we interpret them...

*          In the context of the book itself

*          Consistent with all else the Bible may say on the subject

*          With the humility and openness that is incumbent upon all who would study and teach God's word (cf.2 Timothy 2:24-25).  

 

DID YOU KNOW?

The Swiss theologian, Oscar Cullman, who lived during World War II, has pointed out that every great-war has had a decisive battle. For the French against the British-led coalition, it was Waterloo.  For the American Civil War, it was Gettysburg. And in World War II, it was the Normandy invasion that began on D-Day, June 6, 1944. The successful invasion that began on D-Day marked the turning point in the War and the ultimate defeat of the Axis forces built around Nazi Germany. Even though World War II did not end until September 1945, its outcome turned on D-Day. Just so, Satan's outcome was sealed over the three days of Christ's death and resurrection. The battles and skirmishes rage on, but the outcome is not in doubt.

 

QUESTIONS:     WEEK # 1

 

1)   What do the last chapters of Daniel is referring too?

2)   When properly read and understood, Daniel inspires, how?

3)   The name of Daniel means what?

4)   What was Daniel's position in the Kingdom of Babylon and Persia?

5)   Daniel was contemporary with two other prophets, who was these prophets?

6)   Daniel, Ezekiel, and Jeremiah prophesied before, during, and after the exile, explain.

7)   In the book of Daniel, we learn that the rule of God would be especially manifested, how?

8)   Explain Daniel's dream in (7:1-28)

9)   Explain Daniel's dream in (8:1-27)

10) Explain Daniel's dream in (9:1-27)

11) Explain Daniel's dream in (10:1-12-12:13)

12) Spiritually, what have you gain from this book (Daniel)?

 

SALVATION PRAYER:

Dear Lord Jesus,

Heavenly Father, I confess that I have sinned against You and need Your salvation. Please forgive me. I believe Jesus died for my sins and rose from the dead.  I receive Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, fully trusting in the work He accomplished on the cross on my behalf.  Thank You for saving me, accepting me, and adopting me into Your family. Guide my life and help me to do your will, and walk in close step with You, amen.

 

In Jesus' name,  Amen:

 

Reading Assignment:  Week # 1     Daniel 1-3  Monday-Wednesday-Friday

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