The Book of Daniel – Summary and Application for Our Lives Today – Part II

This week we will continue our review of some of the key lessons we can learn from the book of Daniel and how we can apply these to our lives as we review chapters 7-12; God’s prophetic plan for the Gentile nations and His prophetic plan for Israel. An overarching point of Daniel is that our good and loving heavenly Father is in total control of all of human history and thus we know that He works all things together for good for those who love Him and live according to His purpose which is ultimately to become more like His Son.  (Rom. 8:28-29)

 [“God’s purpose in revealing the vision to Daniel was not to enable him to (fully) understand the future before it happened nor is it His purpose for revealing this vision to us. Prophecy has never been fully understood in advance, nor will it ever be so. God revealed this prophecy not so that we might understand completely His plan or be able to recognize every event as it is fulfilled, but to reveal to us some of what lies ahead, and to assure us that His purposes and promises will be fulfilled.”]


The Battle for World Dominion – God’s prophecy regarding the Gentile nations that oppress Israel. In Daniel 2, in Nebuchadnezzar’s vision,  he saw these four kingdoms as beautiful metals, gold, silver, bronze, etc.,  but God sees the same kingdoms as beast devouring each other. Daniel’s prophecy revealed the rise and fall of the four great Gentile worldwide kingdoms (which oppressed Israel as a nation) before they fell and predicts the fall of the Revived Roman Empire ruled by Antichrist at the end of the Tribulation. Past history validates everything God showed Daniel about these four kingdoms and thus assures us that the future prediction regarding the revival of the fourth kingdom (Rome/Revived Roman Empire – seen in the European Union) will happen as God predicts. What does this say to you? Here in Daniel 7 we also see the second coming of Christ prophesied (vv. 9-14; also see Rev. 19-20). How does His second coming affect the way you live your daily life?


The Battle for World Dominion – God’s prophecy for the nation of Israel; Pictures of Antichrist[The little horn mentioned here arises from the 3rd kingdom (Greece) and is therefore not identical to the one in Daniel 7, which rose from the 4th kingdom (and is the Antichrist). This one is generally accepted to symbolize Antiochus IV Epiphanes, of the Seleucid line who took over Asia Minor, Syria, and the western part of Alexander’s empire after his death (Dan. 8:23, 24). This occurred in the 2nd century b. c., a period of much conflict in Palestine (the “Glorious Land,” v. 9) as the Jews resisted the process of Hellenization of their land and society. History records that, in his efforts at various times to subdue the Jews, Antiochus was brutal and ruthless. Calling himself “Epiphanes” (which means “God manifest”), Antiochus stopped the daily sacrifices in the temple in Jerusalem, built an altar there to the Greek god Jupiter, and offered swine on the altar. Reading of the Scripture, observance of the Sabbath, and circumcision were forbidden. In his ruthlessness against the people of God, Antiochus foreshadowed the Antichrist of the end times.” Thomas Nelson, Inc: Woman’s Study Bible . Nashville : Thomas Nelson, 1997, c1995, S. Da 8:9]


[“Key Chapter —Daniel’s prophecy of the Seventy Weeks (9:24–27) provides the chronological frame for messianic prediction from the time of Daniel to the establishment of the kingdom on earth. It is clear that the first sixty-nine weeks were fulfilled at Christ’s first coming. Some scholars affirm that the last week has not yet been fulfilled because Christ relates its main events to His second coming (Matt. 24:6, 15).” Wilkinson, Bruce ; Boa, Kenneth: Talk Thru the Bible. Nashville: T. Nelson, 1983] “Seventy weeks (heptads – years) have been decreed for your people (Israel) and your holy city (Jerusalem)” (V.24) – In chapters 2 and 7 of Daniel we see the prophecy for the history of the Gentile nations that oppress Israel up until the final form of the last Gentile nation (Rome) and the final form of that empire, the Revived Roman Empire ruled by Antichrist (Dan. 2:40-43; 7:19-25). Here in chapter 9 we see the prophecy regarding the history of the nation of Israel up until the end of the Tribulation (9:27 and Revelation 19-20) which ushers in the Millennial Kingdom of Christ. As Daniel studied the prophecy of Jeremiah (chapters 25, 29) he saw the 70 years of captivity in Babylon ending (v. 2) but God showed him that the entire sweep of Israel’s history would be 490 years of being trampled under by Gentile nations as seen in Leviticus: “If you remain hostile toward me and refuse to listen to me, I will multiply your afflictions seven times over, as your sins deserve.” (Lev 26:21) This 490 year period does not include the years of church history which began at Pentecost and will continue until the Rapture of the church prior to the Tribulation at which time the last seven year period of God’s program for Israel will resume (the Tribulation) and conclude with the destruction of Antichrist (“until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one (Antichrist) who makes desolate.” (V. 27) and the establishment of the Millennial Kingdom of Christ. (Dan.11:45-12:3) So this prophecy is not about Gentile nations or the church but about God’s program/plan for the nation of Israel. The church age was/is a gap between the first 483 years (49 + 434) and the last seven years to total up to 490 years. Prophecies would often cover both the first and second coming of Christ, sometimes in the same verse and the prophet would not know the distinction between the two (e.g., Isa. 9:6; also see Isa. 61:1-2). This view is based on Dispensational Premillennialism (a complete distinction between Israel and the church) and is the view I have presented here. When Daniel realized the severe discipline of  God coming on the nation of Israel he immediately went to a powerful prayer (vv.4-19) confessing his sins and the sins of the nation which is a great model for us to pray regarding our nation although it particularly applies to Israel.


Developing a Spiritual Warfare Mindset – “Then he said to me, “Do not be afraid, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart on understanding this and on humbling yourself before your God, your words (prayers) were heard, and I have come in response to your words (prayers). But the prince of the kingdom of Persia was withstanding me for twenty-one days; then behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left there with the kings of Persia.” (vv. 12-13) I have attached Ken Boa’s Morning Affirmations which is a list of prayers to begin each day, including prayers for spiritual warfare against the world, the flesh, and the devil. ( You may want to make a copy of this and pray through it for a season to “train” your mind for warfare. Below we see the battle plan against our three enemies. (Note, I added a definition of the “world” and Romans 12:2 for the battle against the world.) Each battle plan starts with the letter “R” to help us remember what to pray. Renewing our mind through Scripture keeps us from being conformed to the world and transforms us more and more into Christ’s likeness. We Reckon ourselves dead to sin and alive to Jesus to battle against the flesh. We Resist the devil by first of all submitting to God (and His Word). Putting on God’s armor means knowing God’s truth and fighting the devil by quoting God’s Word to him and to ourselves by faith. One of the main strategies of all three of our enemies is to lull us into a false perception of reality so we completely forget we are in a battle, and lose because we never enlist as soldiers of the cross as Paul/Scripture call us to do: “Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs (worldliness), but rather tries to please his commanding officer (the Lord Jesus).” (2 Tim. 2:3-4)

Against the World: Renew

[“There are three New Testament words for world, and each is used in different ways. Notice how the major word, kosmos, is used in these three verses: John 3:16; 15:19; 1 John 2:15. In the first of these verses, “world” refers to people, the objects of God’s love. But in the other two verses, the world is our enemy. In these contexts, it is the organized system of temporal values which are opposed to the life of Christ in the believer. In his book, The Adversary, Mark Bubeck defines the world as “a composite expression of the depravity of man and the intrigues of Satan’s rule, combining in opposition to the sovereign rule of God.” As such, the world promotes an attitude of independence from God.” Ken Boa -Conformed to His Image]

•I will not be conformed to this world, but I will be transformed by the renewing of my mind, so that I may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2)
•I will set my mind on the things of the Spirit. (Romans 8:5)

•Since I have been raised up with Christ, I will keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. I will set my mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. (Colossians 3:1-2; also see 3:3-4 and Hebrews 12:1-2)
•I will be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving I will let my requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard my heart and my mind in Christ Jesus. Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, I will let my mind dwell on these things. (Philippians 4:6-8; also see 4:9)

Against the Flesh: Reckon
•I know that my old self was crucified with Christ, so that I am no longer a slave to sin, for he who has died is freed from sin. I will reckon myself as dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. I will not present the members of my body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness, but I will present myself to God as one alive from the dead, and my members as instruments of righteousness to God. (Romans 6:6-7, 11, 13)

Against the Devil: Resist
•As I submit myself to God and resist the devil, he will flee from me. (James 4:7)
•I will be of sober spirit and on the alert. My adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But I will resist him, firm in my faith. (1 Peter 5:8-9)
•I will take up the full armor of God, that I may be able to resist and stand firm. I put on the belt of truth and the breastplate of righteousness; I put on my feet the preparation of the gospel of peace; and I take up the shield of faith with which I will be able to extinguish all the flaming missiles of the evil one. I take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. With all prayer and petition I will pray at all times in the Spirit and be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints. (Ephesians 6:13-18)


Revelation of the Sixty-Nine Weeks 11:1–35; Revelation of the Seventieth Week 11:36–12:3; More Pictures of Antichrist – Alexander the Great and Antiochus Epiphanes (the little horn) both foreshadow the Antichrist; Alexander for his invincible military power (see Revelation 13:4) and Antiochus for his unmerciful, evil slaughter of the Jews and forbidding their worship of God and desecrating the temple by erecting a statue of Zeus on the altar (see Revelation 13:14-15). “Then the king will do as he pleases, and he will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will speak monstrous things against the God of gods; and he will prosper until the indignation is finished, for that which is decreed will be done.” (v. 36) In verses 36-45 we see the Antichrist and his ultimate defeat. (v. 45; Rev. 19);\ The Antichrist is not only a false Christ but a person in rebellion to Christ. The application for us as believers is to see that the first line of attack is the flesh because our flesh is “hostile to God and will not submit to God.” (Rom. 8:7)  That is why the first point of battle is to submit to God then resist the devil. (James 4:7) If we don’t, then Satan can use our fleshly “evil desires” as seen in James 1:13-15 and amplify them. There is no being in the universe, man or demon, which can prevent God from transforming us into increasing Christ-likeness or usurp God’s loving plan for our lives but ourselves. Self-pity and/or quick and prideful judgment of others (continually pointing the finger at others) keeps us from asking and allowing the Holy Spirit to convict us. Nathan said to David, thou art the man! And David saw his sin and repented deeply. Each of us, as believers, will stand alone at the judgment seat of Christ. Today our thoughts, words and deeds are preparing us for that day. This is certainly true and hopefully a sobering and purifying truth. (Psalm 90:12 and 1 John 3:2-3) If the rapture is prior to the Tribulation and imminent (can happen at any moment) then there is nothing that has to occur before Jesus calls His church to meet Him in the air (1 Thess. 4). This understanding gives us great motivation to live each day in readiness to meet our Lord. (1 Cor. 3:10-15) 


Revelation (God’s Word) → Responsibility (respond to God’s Word for salvation and spiritual growth/fruit) → Resurrection (to heaven or hell) → and Reward (for believers based on our works done in the Spirit for God’s glory).  “Those who lead the many to righteousness, (will shine) like the stars forever and ever (eternal rewards).” (Dan. 12:3) [“Hope is essential to all meaningful life. Unless there is some kind of light at the end of the tunnel, man ends in despair. Unless there is some kind of anticipation for a wonderful reality in the future, man finds himself unable to enjoy the moment in which he lives. Hope especially is important to those who suffer. Arnot wrote many years ago, “Hope is the tenant not of a heart that was never broken but of a heart that has been broken and healed, and healed- again. A pure bright star fixed high in heaven, it reaches with its rays the uplifted eye of the weary pilgrim. But stars shine not in the day, the darkness brings them out, so grief summons hope to the aid of the sufferer.” God knows well that in order for man to endure the present stress he has to have a future hope. And so all throughout the Bible, God presents to man a great hope, an eternal hope, a hope in the future, a hope beyond all other hopes that gives to man a full rich meaning to life. Now as you come to the close of the book of Daniel, this is precisely what Daniel does.”] As seen in the prophecies of Daniel, God continues to chasten His chosen people/nation Israel until, in the end (in the Tribulation), many turn to Him and put their trust in Jesus and He saves, protects and rewards them. As with the Jews who finally turn to Christ in the end due to the severe mercy of God, we need to see the big and even little trials in our lives as God’s severe mercy to wean us away from the wood, hay and straw (sinful and spiritually worthless deeds) that will burn up at the judgment seat of Christ. (1 Cor. 3:10-15)


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