Tuesday, August 18, 2015

BIBLE STUDY: (DANIEL, EZEKIEL, and REVELATION)

Date:          8-18-15

Week # 2

 

Part I          Continue:                      Daniel Chapters 1-6

 

"THE BOOK OF DANIEL"

 

Chapter One

 

The book opens with the first deportation of Jews to Babylonian captivity (605 B.C.), and the selection of Daniel and his three friends for special training (1-7).  Daniel is commitment to remain undefiled is blessed by God, and he along with his friends are given wisdom that is acknowledged and rewarded by the king of Babylon (8-21).

 

POINTS TO PONDER:

 

*          Young Daniel's commitment to God in pagan environment

*          How Daniel was able to keep both his faith to God and service to the king

 

Chapter Two       

 

Nebuchadnezzar has a dream, challenging his would-be interpreters to first tell him the contents of the dream (1-13).  God reveals the dream to Daniel (14-23) who then interprets it for the king (24-45).  Impressed, the king promotes Daniel, and in turn, his three friends

(46-49).

 

POINTS TO PONDER:

*          The kingdoms represented by the image in Nebuchadnezzar's dream

*          The kingdom which shall never be destroyed:  its identity and establishment

 

Chapter Three

 

Nebuchadnezzar builds a large image of gold, demanding all to worship it (1-7).  Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego refuse, and are thrown into a fiery furnace.  Yet they are saved by God (8-25), prompting King Nebuchadnezzar to praise their God as the Most High (26-30).

 

POINTS TO PONDER:

*          Faith in the face of fire

*          The fourth person in the fiery furnace (angel or Christ?)

 

Chapter Four

 

Nebuchadnezzar has another dream, this one of a great tree that fills the earth and then is cut down but its trunk left intact, followed by a man whose heart is changed and becomes like an animal (1-18).  Daniel interprets the dream as applying to the king, that he might know that God rules in the kingdoms of men (19-27).  A year later the dream is fulfilled, and Nebuchadnezzar praises, blesses and honors the Most High God, King of heaven (28-37).

 

POINTS TO PONDER:

*          The Most High rules in the kingdoms of men

*          He sets over the kingdoms of men the lowest of men, or whomever He

            chooses.

 

Chapter Five

 

This chapter fast forwards to 539 B.C. and the last night of Babylonian rule.  King Belshazzar (grandson of Nebuchadnezzar) throws a drunken, idolatrous feast that is interrupted by a hand writing on the wall (1-12).  Daniel is brought in, and explains that it proclaims the judgment of Belshazzar and the fall of Babylon into the hands of the Medes and Persians (13-29) which occurs that very night (30-31).

 

POINTS TO PONDER:

*          The character of King Belshazzar contrasted with that of Daniel

*          The meaning of the writing on the wall as explained by Daniel

 

Chapter Six

 

Daniel's character, conviction and courage are seen once more in this well known account of "Daniel in the lion's den".  Despite his age (nearing ninety), Daniel serves his king with an excellent spirit and his God with unwavering faith.  A plot by enemies is set to destroy him (1-9) and he is cast into a den of lions (10-17).  God sends an angel to deliver him (18-23), prompting King Darius of the Medes to praise the living God of Daniel (24-28).

 

POINTS TO PONDER:

*          The excellent character and faith of Daniel, the man of God

*          Daniel as a role model for young and old, statesmen and administrators

 

 Daniel Chapter 7-12

 

Chapter Seven

 

In the first year of Belshazzar (552 B.C.), Daniel receives two visions.  The first is of four beasts from the sea (1-8).  The second involves a judgment by the Ancient of Days, and the coronation of the Son of Man (9-14).  The interpretation describes persecution by elements of the fourth beast (kingdom), with ultimate victory by the saints of the Most High (15-28).

 

POINTS TO PONDER:

*          The identity of the four kingdoms represented by the four beasts

*          The identity of the Son of Man and the timing of His coronation

*          The conflict between the fourth kingdom and the saints of the Most

            High

 

Chapter Eight

 

In the third year of King Belshazzar (550 B.C.) Daniel has another vision:  a swift goat defeating a mighty ram.  The goat's large horn is then broken into four horns, followed by a little horn that brings desolation to the sanctuary and the host of heaven (1-14).   The angel Gabriel interprets the vision which foretells the rise of a fierce and mighty king (Antiochus IV Epiphanes, 175-164 B.C.) that would bring desolation against the holy people (15-27).

 

POINTS TO PONDER:

*          The interpretation of Daniel's vision in this chapter

*          The meaning of the expression, "the time of the end"

 

Chapter Nine

 

In the first year of Darius (539 B.C.), understanding that Jeremiah's prophecy of 70 years of captivity has been fulfilled (Jeremiah 25:11), Daniel confesses his nation's sins and prays that God will restore them (1-19).  In response, Gabriel is sent to give Daniel understanding of key events that will take place in a time period of 70 "weeks" (lit., "sevens"), one of the most challenging prophecies in the Bible (20-27).

 

POINTS TO PONDER:

*          Daniel's prayer, confessing the sins of his people Israel

*          The difficulty in interpreting the vision of seventy weeks

 

Chapter Ten

 

In the third year of Darius (ca. 535 B.C.) Daniel receives a vision that will affect his people (Israel) "in the latter days" (Daniel 10:14), its words to be closed and sealed "till the time of the end" (Daniel 12:9). "The Vision Of The Time Of The End" begins with an appearance of a "glorious man" to Daniel beside the Tigris River (1-9), with an explanation for his delay in coming (10-21).  The prophecy of the vision continues in chapters eleven and twelve.

 

POINTS TO PONDER:

*          The meaning of the phrase "in the latter days" as used in the vision

*          The angelic conflict behind the scenes briefly described by the "glorious man"

 

Chapter Eleven

 

After introductory comments in chapter ten, "The Vision Of The Time Of The End" begins in earnest.  A brief prophecy of a Persian-Greek conflict (2-4) is followed by the description of a lengthy Egyptian-Syrian conflict (5-19), with focus on a vile king from the North who will bring blasphemies against Daniel's people, but who will ultimately be defeated (20-45).

 

POINTS TO PONDER:

*          The prophetic detail of the Persian-Greek and Egyptian-Syrian conflicts

*          The identity of the vile king from the North

 

 

Chapter Twelve

 

"The Vision of The Time of The End" concludes with assurance of ultimate victory for Daniel's people (Israel), in words suggestive of the final resurrection (1-3).  Daniel is given instructions to seal the book because it concern things in the future.  Asking when these things will be accomplished, he is given cryptic answers, but is reassured that he himself shall rest and rise to his inheritance at the end of the days (4-13).

 

POINTS TO PONDER:

*          Identifying the "time of trouble" and "time of the end" in this chapter

*          The instructions for Daniel to "shut up the words, and seal the book"

 

 

DID YOU KNOW?

The prophet Daniel spoke of the coming Antichrist changing "times and law" as the ruler of the world (Daniel 7:25). Such a radical transformation of societies and commerce would be an attempt to break any and all connections with religious, commercial, and legal precedents, all to be replaced by the Antichrist's rule. This was tried during the French Revolution when, from 1793 to 1805, the French Republican (or Revolution) Calendar was instituted. There were still 12 months, but weeks were changed from seven days to 10 days. Days were 10 hours of 144 minutes each. These and many other societal and economic changes were a revolutionary attempt to cut all ties to the previous government and way of life. WOW!!!

 

QUESTIONS:      WEEK # 2


1).  How many deportations is mention of the Jews to Babylon in captivity?

2).  What was Nebuchadnezzar's first dream?

3).  What did Nebuchadnezzar build that is compared to what the Beast built in Revelation?

4).  What was Nebuchadnezzar's second dream?

5).  How did Nebuchadnezzar respond to Daniel's interpretation?

6).  Who was Nebuchadnezzar's grandson?

7).  Explain why Daniel was thrown in the lion's den.

8).  Explain why Daniel companion was thrown in the fiery furnace.

9).  How many visions did Daniel receive during Belshazzar reign in (552 B.C.)?

10) Who are the four Beasts  Daniel speaks of in (1-8).

11) Explain what Gabriel told Daniel in (9:20-27).

12) What chapters give us the details of "The Vision of the Time of the End"?

13) What agent is the vile king of the north?

14) After reading chapter 8:22 what do the horns represent?

 

 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 your name, Amen:

 

Reading Assignment:            Week # 2        Daniel 4-6       Monday-Wednesday-Friday

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