Daniel-Wayne Barber/Part 18
By: The John Ankerberg Show
|By: Dr. Wayne Barber; ©2006|
|We’re talking about the fact that many people doubt what God has to say in the book of Daniel. Maybe you’re going through a time right now and God hasn’t really come through like you believe in His Word He’s told you He’s going to come through. Well, friend, hang on. Whatever God says, He is going to do.|
Just for the One Who Doubts – Part 1 (Daniel 8:1-9)
Turn with me to Daniel 8. Well, I’m going to preach about the ram and the goat of Daniel 8. But, you know, I just trust the Word of God that it always affects the human heart and if you’re here this morning I know God has a message right out of this because we’re talking about the fact that many people doubt what God has to say in the book of Daniel. Maybe you’re going through a time right now and God hasn’t really come through like you believe in His Word He’s told you He’s going to come through. Well, friend, hang on. Whatever God says, He is going to do.
The one thing I’m learning about Him is He’s slow as Christmas, but He’s never late. Have you ever noticed that? He’s slow as He can be, but He’s never late. If God says it, He is going to do it. And Daniel 8, my message title is simply, “Just for the One Who Doubts – Part 1.” And I really believe one of the major reasons it’s found where it is in Daniel is because it’s about this time that the doubter begins to service.
The liberals say that this couldn’t possibly be a part of the book of Daniel, it is too historical. It is too literal; it happened too close to history. It had to have been written later on. And in Daniel 11 they say the same thing. Well, my friend, God is the Author of history and what we find in chapter 8 has already taken place. Isn’t it incredible? It’s already happened. I really believe it is there not so much for Daniel—Daniel died long before it took place—I think it’s there for us to be able to look back and see that God said something was going to happen; it happened exactly the way He said it. And then we can say, “Well, if He says it’s going to happen in the future a certain way, we can take it to the bank. God’s going to do it exactly the way He said He would do it.
Well, to get into this and sort of a little review, let’s look at a review of what we’ve studied so far in Daniel. Let’s take the seven chapters, just quickly say a word or two about each chapter and see how it fits together to make the whole of what God is saying in Daniel. In chapter 1 we see a sovereign God and that sort of sets the stage for the rest of the book. It says in verse 2 that it is God who gave Jehoiakim over to Nebuchadnezzar. Nebuchadnezzar thought that he was somebody; he thought that he was really the one who was conquering Judah. God wanted him to know that “you’re doing nothing that I’m not empowering you to do. My people have turned against Me, my people have sinned and you don’t get away with sin and part of the consequence is what’s happening right now, and I’m just simply giving you the power to take over My people.” So we see a sovereign God: He is in control.
But we also see in chapter 1 something else that sets the foundation of the book: that’s four young men, Jewish men, teenagers about 15 years old who make up their mind they’re going to believe God. No matter about what they see, they’re still going to believe what God says. That’s the key. They’re going to honor Him; they’re going to serve Him. That’s chapter 1.
Well, in chapter 2 we see God breaking into a pagan king’s life. You know God knows the hearts of all men. Nebuchadnezzar was one who would listen to what God was saying to him. We see that later on. He turns around and begins to acknowledge that God is the God. And He breaks into his life and gives him a panorama of history and lets him know what’s going to happen to all the gentile powers on this world. What God thinks about our power, friend. And He’s going to show him just a little glimpse of God’s power: how the stone will come and crack all the kingdoms on this earth and that God will set up His own kingdom right here on this earth. He wants Nebuchadnezzar to see that.
Well in chapter 3 we see God delivering three of the four devoted young men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, from the fiery furnace. And we see how God will protect those who honor Him. You may have to go through the fire, but He goes through with you and what a beautiful picture this becomes in the book of Daniel.
In chapter 4 we see God finally humbling Nebuchadnezzar. Old Nebuchadnezzar was a tough nut to crack and he still continued to be proud of what he had done. If you’ve ever studied history or looked in an encyclopedia at the city of Babylon, it’s an incredible place. And he stood up one day, looking down over it all, just thinking “man, look what I’ve done.” And God says, “Okay, enough is enough. Time out, I’ve got something to say to you, Nebuchadnezzar. I told you what would happen if you keep on this way.” And for seven years he caused Nebuchadnezzar to live like an animal. Wake up in the morning with the cows and the dew on his head and he would eat grass for his main meal. After seven years of that kind of lifestyle finally Nebuchadnezzar said, “Alright, I give! God, You’re the one who is in control. I acknowledge that. You are sovereignly in control.” That’s chapter 4.
Then in chapter 5 another fellow comes on the scene in Babylon name Belshazzar, and Belshazzar is a much more defiant person than Nebuchadnezzar. Nebuchadnezzar was proud, but at least he was willing to listen when God finally spoke to him. Belshazzar was not that way. And so Belshazzar took the vessels of the temple that Nebuchadnezzar had brought over from Jerusalem and he took them and they had a drunken orgy. And they drank wine from it and they praised the gods of wood and stone, and so God moved in. And at this particular time in chapter 5, that’s when that hand appeared on the wall and began to write, “Mene, mene, tekel, upharsin. Thou has been weighed in the balances and you have been found wanting.” As a result of that, Belshazzar that night died, and we see the rise of the second kingdom that we’ve studied: the Medo-Persian Empire. It started off with Darius the Mede moving into authority.
In chapter 6 what we see is Daniel being put into the lion’s den because he will not break his consistency of devotion to his God. And we see old Darius, he liked Daniel so much, he tells Daniel, “Don’t worry, Daniel. Your God will deliver you.” I love that he had already figured that out about Daniel. Even tried to deliver him but he couldn’t break his own law because laws of the Medes and the Persians could not be revoked. We see God closing the mouths of the lions and we see Daniel being rescued and delivered through that very difficult time.
And then in chapter 7, the chapter we just previously studied, spent three weeks on it, we saw Daniel’s visions. Now the difference is, Nebuchadnezzar never wrote his down, but Daniel wrote his down and kept up with it. And we see Daniel beginning to have his visions. Each one of Daniel’s visions is chronological. We’re going to see a change in the book now. It’s not chronological in time, it jumps back and forth, but the visions are all in order. And the first vision that Daniel has is of the four beasts. In Daniel’s visions, as opposed to Nebuchadnezzar’s, we see the true nature of the kingdoms on this earth. Like animals, like beasts, they want to devour. And we see those four kingdoms, but we also see again those latter day prophecies of that little horn that rises up out of those ten nations that we’ve already seen, that happened not only in chapter 2 but also in chapter 7. Well, that brings us up to chapter 8.
Quite a lot has happened in the book of Daniel. By now the doubters have already arisen and saying, “Oh, hey, you can’t say that God has predicted future prophecy. You can’t say that He’s going to do these things in the latter days.” And again, that’s why I believe He gives us chapter 8 and also chapter 11, just to show us that what He says is exactly right.
Now, he deals in chapter 8 with only two of the four kingdoms. I wonder if you can remember the four kingdoms. The first kingdom is Babylon. The second kingdom is Medo-Persia. Remember that? Third kingdom, Greece. And then the fourth kingdom is Rome. And it’s not just ancient Rome, but it’s Rome in the latter days that is the most concern to Daniel. When he has ten nations come together, a United States of Europe, in those days there’s going to be a little horn to come up and that little horn will be the Antichrist.
Now we’re going to look at two of those kingdoms in chapter 8. It’s odd: why did he pick out just these two? I still think it’s to cause the doubter to understand: I’m telling you what’s going to happen. This all happened in about 200 years of the time it was prophesied to Daniel. And so God wanted us, I think, to be able to look back and see that God prophesied it and it happened exactly the way He would say it, and that’s why we can believe the latter day history.
Now listen, in 2:4-7:28, the language in this book is written in Chaldean, it is not in Hebrew. It has only to do basically with the Gentile nations. Obviously it gives a little preview somewhat of Israel but not a whole lot. It’s mainly what’s going to happen with the Gentile nations. We’re concerned with the Gentile world. But in 8:1 through chapter 12, we are dealing with Israel and how Israel fits in this. How do God’s people fit into all this history that God has given us in the book of Daniel?
So with that in mind, are you ready? Let’s jump in with both feet. What did Daniel see in chapter 8? Well, let’s begin. Verse 1, “In the third year of the reign of Belshazzar the king, a vision appeared to me, Daniel, subsequent to the one which appeared to me previously.” In other words, right in order, it was the next vision that he had. And it’s interesting here. It says, “And I looked in the vision, and it came about while I was looking, that I was in the citadel of Susa, which is in the province of Elam.” I didn’t know that. “And I looked in the vision, and I myself was beside the Ulai Canal.” What were you doing? Here he is in this vision and he finds himself in another place that he’s not familiar with.
Well, if you look in the book of Esther 1:2, you’ll find that Susa is the capital city of the Medo-Persian Empire at that time, actually of Persia. And so we see it as a very important city at that time. Isn’t it interesting, here he is in Babylon and God just pushes the clutch in and puts it in another gear and shoots him forward and now he finds himself over in the Medo-Persian Empire in the capital city? And he begins to have this vision of what’s going to take place. Well, it’s going to be, first of all, a new look at things that are going to be happening.
Alright, let’s look at the visions that he has. In verse 3, “Then I lifted my gaze and looked, and behold, a ram which had two horns was standing in front of the canal. Now the two horns were long, but one was longer than the other, with the longer one coming up last.” I love to watch you while I’m preaching this. Some of you look at me like a calf at a new gate. Do what? A ram, two horns, the last one comes up longer, what are you talking about? Alright, let’s look at this. What he’s seeing here in the vision, very clearly it explains itself, is the Medo-Persian Empire. The ram is the symbol of the Medo-Persian Empire. Now in chapter 2, the Medo-Persian was the upper portion of the statue, remember the upper torso and the two arms. Why two arms? It’s very important and I’ll tell you in a minute.
Secondly, in chapter 7 what was the Medo-Persian Empire? It was a bear with one side raised up higher than the other side. Now here we have it in chapter 8 as a ram with two horns. Now the significance is just incredible. It just gets me so excited I just want to shout every time we get into it. First of all you see two arms representing the kingdom of Medo-Persia in chapter 2; then the bear with two legs raised up higher; and now the two horns. It ought to be apparent because what he’s dealing with here is the kingdom; two kingdoms have been put together: the kingdom of the Medes, the kingdom of the Persians. Remember that. And when it mentions the two, that’s why it’s so significant: it’s two into one. They’re not as strong as other kingdoms because they’re united together but they are still an empire.
Now, there’s never been a time in the history of the Medo-Persian Empire that one of those kingdoms was not stronger than the other. As a matter of fact when they first are mentioned in chapter 5 it’s Darius the Mede; because when they first made that merger the Medes were the more dominant of the two kingdoms even though they were one power in their self. But then later on the Persians became the stronger of the two. Chapter 1 tells us that when it reverses the name order. In about another hundred years the Persians are the stronger of the two kingdoms.
Now look what he says, this gets so exciting. He said there were two horns. “Now the two horns were long, but one was longer than the other.” There’s never been a time it hasn’t been that way. Now why? “With the longer one coming up,” when? “Last!” Now, what does that tell you in the history of the Medo-Persians? He’s talking about Daniel getting this vision. He’s being projected up into the future. He not only sees the Medo-Persian Empire, he sees the latter days of the Medo-Persian Empire when Persia is in dominant force of the two kingdoms. He’s being thrust way ahead into the future. He sees it and he realizes that something is about to happen. Now look at verse 4, “I saw the ram butting westward, northward, and southward.”
Now isn’t that interesting? I wish I had a map that I could just pull down and just show you where this is located geographically. Do you realize that history documents the fact—it doesn’t document anything in the Word of God, the Word of God, don’t ever base your theology on history, base it on the Word of God. Where history doesn’t document it, history is wrong, because this is right!—but what it shows us is that if you went to the east, it doesn’t even mention the east, but you’d have gone to India. And history shows that they never went to the east. They went to the north, they went to the south, and they went to the west, but they did not go towards the east. How clearly and how accurately this is brought out. Like a ram they butted their way north, they butted their way south, and they butted their way over to the west. Nobody could stop them: two great empires merged together for a world power and they moved in and took over Babylon.
One of the thoughts that hit me that I didn’t even see when I first studied it and a lot of things will hit me as we go through because I’m slow, but one of the things that really hit me was that this is the third year of Belshazzar. Remember this: he jumps back in time. It’s while Belshazzar was on the throne, he’s in Babylon. Babylon is in power. And the interesting thing here is, remember in chapter 5 when the hand started writing on the wall and then Daniel was a nobody in the kingdom. And the queen mother came and said, “You better bring this man Daniel, he can help you out.” And Daniel comes in and he says, “Forget all your gifts, but I’m going to tell you what’s on that wall.”
Do you realize by that time Daniel had already had a vision and understood that the Medo-Persian Empire was going to take over the kingdom of Babylon? Isn’t that incredible? I got to thinking about that and that just fired me up. It doesn’t take a whole lot to get me excited. I can look at a wall and get excited, but it just got me excited. Because I got to thinking he’s God’s man. He wasn’t left unaware of what’s going on. God had already spoken to him and told him what was going on. He wasn’t surprised when he knew that the Medo-Persians were going to take over. God had already told him that. He was just waiting on the time.
My friend, do you realize this morning that God has spoken in His Word to you and to me and He’s told us what’s going to happen in the latter days? There ought not to be a single one of us that’s ever caught by surprise. Somebody says, “Oh, Brother Wayne, He’s going to come like a thief in the night.” Only to the lost! Not to the believer! We know the time, we know the season. We don’t know the day and the hour, but we know what to watch for, folks. We’ve already had a revelation from God to our hearts. Just like Daniel, he didn’t know the exact moment that it was going to happen, but he knew it was coming and he was not caught by surprise. Boy, that really fired me up, and it doesn’t cost you a thing extra.
Okay, let’s see what else he sees. First of all, the ram. Another picture of the Medo-Persian Empire, that old ram butting his way around, having his own way to the north, to the south, and the west, and how he dominates for a long period of time in the latter days of that kingdom because Persia is the stronger of the two. Well, we move on now to the second one. Verse 5, “While I was observing, behold, a male goat was coming from the west over the surface of the whole earth without touching the ground; and the goat had a conspicuous horn between his eyes.”
Now just make sure you know what we’re talking about. Look in verses 20-21. Just to give you, and I didn’t do this a minute ago but it may help you. He’s having an interpretation given him by Gabriel the angel who had come to him to help him understand what he had dreamed. Verse 20 he says, “The ram which you saw with the two horns represents the kings of Media and Persia.” So we know that’s documented, he’s already interpreted it himself. In verse 21 it says, “And the shaggy goat represents the kingdom of Greece.” So we know this is Greece now. This is the goat, this male goat, this shaggy goat, that’s coming from the west. And notice how he’s coming. He’s coming so swiftly it’s like his feet don’t even touch the ground. Oh, man, you begin to study about Alexander the Great, just take some time. He’s the first real king that Greece ever had, the first real ruler that had any kind of authority or any kind of power and he moved across territory so quickly and so swiftly, that’s why it was called the leopard in another place because he moved so swiftly and conquered whatever was in his path.
You say, “Well, how do you know he’s talking about Alexander the Great?” Well, go back to verse 21, “The shaggy goat represents the kingdom of Greece, and the large horn that is between his eyes is the first king.” You go back and study history and you can’t find anybody else before Alexander the Great. He’s the one that he’s talking about. This first king, Alexander the Great, coming with the kingdom of Greece.
Now what happened? It says in verse 6, “And he came up to the ram that had the two horns, which I had seen standing in front of the canal, and rushed at him in his mighty wrath. And I saw him come beside the ram, and he was enraged at him; and he struck the ram and shattered his two horns, and the ram had no strength to withstand him. So he hurled him to the ground and trampled on him, and there was none to rescue the ram from his power.” Now watch verse 8, “Then the male goat magnified himself exceedingly.” Now watch carefully: “But as soon as he was mighty,” you notice that? “The large horn was broken.” In other words, Alexander the Great died, suddenly, right in the pinnacle of his power. History tells us that he was on a drunken orgy one night and he got fever as a result of it and he died as a young man. It says, “and in its place,” that horn’s place, “there came up four conspicuous horns toward the four winds of heaven.” North, south, east, and west. Four people took over his kingdom.
Now it explains that in verse 22, “And the broken horn and the four horns that arose in its place represent four kingdoms which will arise from his nation, although not with his power.” There never is another time that Greece has the power that it had while Alexander was in charge of it. So this is incredible. This is why the liberals say, “No, this couldn’t have been written by Daniel. No way! This was written long after it happened and then interjected into the Scripture because it is too specific, it is too literal!” Folks, they just don’t know our God! God sees it long before it ever happens. God’s already spoken it, friends. He is sovereignly in control and He’s telling us, “You better pay attention to the prophecy in chapter 8, because I’ve told you exactly what would happen and it happened exactly the way I told you.” Take it to the bank, God’s Word is right.
Now four kings took over the kingdom of Alexander the Great. There was infighting for about twenty some odd years before they finally split the kingdom into four parts. Now, two of them are not that important to us. And I think it’s important to us that I bring out the names because we’re going to really see this in chapter 11. The first one was Lysimachus. He took over Thrace and Bithynia. Secondly was Cassander, don’t even worry about writing it down because we’re not going to get back to it. Macedonia and Greece; he took that part. But the next two, folks: that is important. Remember that statue and how Greece was the belly and the thighs? There are two thighs. Why are there only two there? Because there are only two of those four that become powerful or even meaningful to the future and especially to the latter days. Two out of those four. Which two are they?
The kingdom of the north, which is the Seleucus. You know, when I took history I didn’t pay attention and now I’m studying Daniel and I wish I could go back and take it over again. Do any of you feel the same way? I did not pay attention. I just memorized all my notes and did the test but I wish I would have paid attention. You see Seleucus I, he took the kingdom to the north, which is Syria. But in the south is Ptolemy. So the kingdom of the Ptolemies was to the south, Egypt. The kingdom of Seleucus was to the north, Syria. You say, “Wayne, what’s that got to do with the price of eggs in Russia?” Listen, it has a lot to do with it.
We need to understand where Israel fits into this. They warred back and forth consistently for over generations and this is the king of the north warring against the king of the south. Does that ring a bell to you at all of latter day prophecy? And listen, they begin to war back and forth, but guess what’s right in between them? Israel sits right between them! And every time they would war between one another, they would just trample right down through Israel, and trample right back through Israel, and trample right back down through them. And down through history the king of the north and the king of the south, they continued to war together.
You’ll find the verse in chapter 11 just thrill your soul. It says when the king of the north sat down with the king of the south that they would make agreements but that they never meant to keep them because they were deceiving and they lied to each other all the time. You look at the Middle East situation today. You wonder, can’t those people ever get along? NO! It’s been prophesied that they won’t get along, and there’s a lot going on over there that doesn’t meet the eye. The kings of the north, the kings of the south, how they war back and forth over generation to generation.
You say, “Now Wayne, this is tough. I came to church this morning and I wanted to go see Grandma this afternoon and feel better.” Well, you might can if you’ll just pay attention. If you’ll look at verse 9, friend, it will thrill your soul. “And out of one of them”—what’s the “them”? The horns, the four horns, one of those four kingdoms—“a small horn which grew exceedingly great.” Now wait a minute. Haven’t we talked about a little horn before? Oh yes, chapter 7. But now wait a minute. This is not the same one. The one in chapter 7 comes out of Rome, the latter day Rome. Isn’t that correct? Out among the ten; this is not out among the ten. This is out of Greece: a different horn altogether. But what is God trying to show us? Watch this: “a rather small horn which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the Beautiful Land.” What’s the Beautiful Land? That’s Israel, folks.
Now he’s going to show you that there’s someone coming. Now what line did he come out of? It was either the kingdom of the north or the south, because the other two don’t even matter as far as latter day history goes. You know who it comes from? It comes right out of the north, the Seleucid dynasty, and it says “in the latter days of their dynasty” in verse 23. The latter period of it, and history just documents this thing and just slam dunks it. It’s exactly what happened. Way down the line of the Seleucids came a man by the name of Antiochus Epiphanes, and he moved on the scene and this man created more havoc and caused more horror and tragedy to Israel that any one single individual in the whole history of the nation. And God says “Now, Daniel, I told you in chapter 7 there’s going to be a little horn and for the last three and a half years on this earth he’s going to persecute the woman, which is Israel; he’s going to do things to Israel that Israel has never known about.” And I’m sure the doubters said, “Sure, right, tell me more.” And God said, “Alright, I’ll tell you more. In 200 years period of time I’m going to bring another one on. I’m going to give you a preview of coming attractions and his name is going to be Antiochus Epiphanes, and he’s going to come out of the kingdoms of the north. And he’s going to come out and what he’s going to do to Israel is just a little bit of what’s going to take place in those latter three and a half years.”
Why in the world chapter 8? We need chapter 8, folks. If we didn’t have chapter 8 people could be skeptical and they could be doubting everything God has to say. With this so clear, and literal step by step through history, it just blows anybody’s mind. Do you want to know what it’s going to be like in the latter days? Begin to get a picture of it right here in chapter 8. I’m glad, as far as my theology goes anyway—and nobody’s convinced me better yet! And you can disagree with me—but I don’t believe we’re going to be here during the latter three and a half years. I don’t believe we’re going to be here the last seven years.
Some people say, “No, Brother Wayne, we’re going in the mid-trib.” Well, you stay if you want. I’ve got reservations on the first plane. I don’t care; I’m not going to fly with anybody who disagrees with that. Some people say we’ll be here for the whole Tribulation. Now, what sense does that make? I’ve received the Lord, I haven’t rejected Him. The day of wrath is not for those who have received him; the day of wrath is for a nation that has rejected Him. Can’t we understand that? But anyway, something is going to take place in those latter days.
Man, I’ll tell you what. If I was of a Jewish background and I was sitting in this church this morning, if I’d never bowed down and received the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and you’re not about to do that, and you’re living during this last seven year period of time, I’d get hold of this book, I’d memorize it, I’d study it every day. And during that time get on your face, friend, because it’s going to happen just like He said it’s going to happen.
You know what that does to me? It makes me understand that if He can handle nations and if He can handle Israel, and if He can handle all this stuff in history that I can’t even begin to fully understand, I think He can probably handle a little peon’s life like mine. “Oh, Brother Wayne, this isn’t spiritual enough for me this morning. I just wanted to feel good when I left.” Man, you ought to jump up and shout.
What’s going on in your life right now? What are you facing this morning? Friend, listen, God is in control. And the key is not to try and twist His arm and bend His purpose, the key is find out what He’s up to and just cooperate. I did a meeting over in Huntsville, Alabama. And I had a thought that was given to me, man, it just stirs me up. And it came from one of the people in the conference. I’m supposed to go help them; well, they helped me. It’s always that way. Like someone was telling me, the guy who cuts his own wood for his fireplace gets warm twice by that wood. Once while cutting it, once while standing in front of it. Well, that’s exactly the way it is when you teach the Word of God and you go do anything: you get warm twice. I get warm by studying it and sharing it and then the response back.
But what they said was this: they said, “You know, in the Christian life the key word is not “commitment.” The key word is “surrender.” Now to some people commitment means surrender, but to most it doesn’t. To most people it means, “God, I’ll commit this hour on Sunday morning and I’ll commit that hour on Sunday night. That’s it.” The key is not commitment, not what you can give to God; it’s what you’re willing to surrender of your life to Him. If He’s under control, He’s the king, the mighty warrior. I best get down on my knees and give up because I’m not going to win fighting Him. I better give in to whatever He has in mind.
So I hope you can see that there’s a message of hope in here for every believer, there’s a message of thought that God is in control and we don’t have to worry. Just as He had it happen with Antiochus Epiphanes, told us exactly what would take place and next time, by the way, we’ll get into who this guy is and what he’s going to do to Israel. But we’ll find out what he’s going to do and you’re going to get the biggest preview of the Antichrist you’ve ever seen, exactly personified in Antiochus Epiphanes. A man who lived; a man who, just like God said, came right out of the kingdom of the north. And yet, God says there’s one other one to come.
You know, if you ever look through something, the only thing I can picture is a megaphone. Do you know what a megaphone is? I think that’s what it is; one of those big things cheerleaders use. It has a little bitty end right here and great big end right here. And the way I think that he’s doing in chapter 8 is, Daniel’s looking through prophecy, and right in the middle of that megaphone is a man by the name of Antiochus Epiphanes. But as the picture gets bigger, by the end, there’s the Antichrist. And he’s able to look all the way to the end by looking through the medium of what’s going to come on the scene within the next 200 years and get an idea of what the Antichrist will be like.
Isn’t it interesting that in chapter 7 he mentions a little horn; then in chapter 8 he brings up a small horn, just to give you an illustration. But in chapter 11 he mentions the small horn first, and then he reverses the process and tells you about the little horn of chapter 7. He’s saying something to us, folks; remember that. Don’t translate Daniel out of Matthew. Just remember that Daniel has something to say. It doesn’t mean that you can’t fill in the blanks at places. Listen to why He’s saying this to Daniel. Why is He saying it to us this morning?
I don’t believe in the sovereignty of God like some people do. You heard about the fellow that fell down the steps and said, “I’m glad that’s over.” I’m not quite at that point. I believe man has a will in this thing, but I believe the balance is so close, don’t you move it this way and don’t you move it this way. Hang that plumb-bob this morning. The sovereignty of God, the election of God, the choices of God, put that on one side of the plumb-bob. On the other side put man’s responsibility to choose and to obey and let it hang there. Don’t try to understand it, just take your feet off and walk in your own sovereign grounds. You can’t figure out God. And just let it hang there and bow to it and do whatever God tells you in the mean time. And one day we’ll get to heaven and God will help us to understand.