First Baptist Church of Minneola
Study Super Powers
Special ServiceNovember 8, 2020 - 10:50 AM - 12:00 PMExpect a very special time during this service. Jesus said, "Do this in remembrance of me." Interactive Lord's Supper, sharing from some of your friends, and media sure to make an impact.
- INTRO - Last week we discussed Daniel in the lions’ den.Daniel is simply one more regular person that puts his faith in God forefront in all he does.Like Daniel, our faith gives us the ability to face fears and serve God even when we are the only Christian among many.Most people are good with the first 6 chapters of Daniel, but afraid to really tackle the last half of the book.Daniel and the lions, the handwriting on the wall, along with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the furnace are among the Bible’s favorite stories.While most Christians know theses stories, I wonder how many know about the second half of the book of Daniel?Perhaps its fear of not understanding the prophecies? Even scholars don’t agree on the interpertation.Maybe its because the stories themselves are frightening. After all, this is apocalyptic text. Many a scary movies employee the apocalypse for that very reason.Consider Daniel’s own face turned pale at the thought:“This is the end of the account. As for me, Daniel, my thoughts terrified me greatly, and my face turned pale, but I kept the matter to myself.”Sound’s like some pretty scary stuff?Yet, as a preachers I know I can’t turn from preaching all what the Bible says.I must open this text and do my best to find it’s true meaning.I must do my best to help you understand this book.Before we begin, like Daniel, we must inquire of the meaning.As Paul charged Timothy:Consider what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.Let’s expect God to guide our study.Let’s begin by expecting to discover the true meaning of the text.Are you ready to put your “Study Super Powers” to work?Wait to you see how God helps us understand the last half because we studied the first half of Daniel the right way.We’ll study the text, consider the context, and bring it together with the NT.This is the right approach to study the Bible.When you study prophecy this way, the haze clears way to reveal the once hidden mysteries.What is dark becomes light as day and God excites the spirit as we learn what God says will happen.Peter explains it like this:We also have the prophetic word strongly confirmed, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.God gives us these seven chapters for a reason.If God thinks we need to know, it is our task to learn what it is He is communicating to us.Put on your think cap, here we go.Study the TextUp to now our Daniel text was telling a story; narrative text.Now the book changes to apocalyptic text.God gives it to us this way for reasons you will begin to understand today.I just love the Bible; the very text itself helps us to understand its meaning.For example, we know the political rulers & their ruling years, the geographical setting, and much about their culture and values.This information helps us understand symbolism, know where to look to gain deep understanding, and discover the real meaning of the text.READ vv.1-3Our text says Daniel had the vision in the first year of Belshazzar.From our study we know he was co-regent with his father in 553BC just two years before his dad, Nabonidus (Neb II), thought he was livestock.But, come to v.3 we need more, deeper, information in order to know its meaning.v.17 gives us more:‘These huge beasts, four in number, are four kings who will rise from the earth.Our sovereign God raises up four kingdoms from among the people of the world.Who are they and why are they important?We need more.TRANS - The text teaches, and the context gives understanding.Study the ContextContext includes things like:textual contexthistoric contextcultural contextThe context helps us “paint” a clearer picture so we can better “see,” that is “understand,” what God is communicating.Starting with the Bible, or textual context we know Daniel 2 spoke about four nations:Babylon (Lion v.4)Medes/Persians (Bear v.5)Greece (Leopard v.6)Rome (vv.7-28)READ vv.4-7There are a number of similarities, but its the differences that we must consider in order to dig deep into the meaning of our text.For example, and you may not get this anyplace else, recall Daniel’s position is serving as head of the men charged to explain dreams.Diviners used all sorts of things, oil drops on water and the study of animal organs for example, to explain things.However, while the Bible does use dreams, it does not use other, pagan, means to tell the future.Here is another bit that you might not get unless you study deeper.The “four winds (of heaven)v.2” is common in Akkadian literature.The only other OT references to this are found in Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Zachariah.All of these prophets have a Babylonian connection.Therefore, there must be a reason for the shared imagery and we know it comes from the Babylonian creation epic Enuma Elish.The people related to the description of the “Sea Creatures.”Daniel’s symbolism has a cultural connection.READ vv.7-8The description was familiar to Daniel’s audience.Likewise, most scholars link the statue from earlier to these creatures as kingdoms.However, the last one is unlike the others.ILL - The people had a deeper than intellectual understanding because of the symbolism.For example, seeing our flag is a political act or wearing sporting team attire shows team allegiance.Symbolism influences emotion, congers ideas, & conveys more than just words.Therefore, familiarity with the symbolism in the vision has additional meaning to those familiar with their usage.Knowing the story to which Daniel pointed tells us the sea producing creatures are each more frightening than the previous.The last of the four is unlike the rest, ver important and will get to that (the beast of Rev. 13).TRANS - Our study of the first 6 chapters helps us understand how why Daniel communicates God’s Word the way he does.In addition, knowing that other OT writers who use similar language were all connected with the same groups of people tells us they, like Daniel, used symbolic language of the day to help explain the meaning.Knowing these same stories helps to understand more deeply.TRANS - Let’s move onto our next super power.That is, we have the NT.Study the New TextThe new text, that is the NT.Daniel tells much about the Antichrist kingdom.Yet, OT study is like walking downtown with a blindfold in a place you’ve never been before.You might feel your way around, but you really can’t see.Take off the blindfold, and see; that’s what the NT does to when comes to our study of Daniel.Let’s look at a few examples.FYI - Just as our study of chapters 1-6 help us understand this work, the NT helps us understand more.READ vv.9-16Thats the good part!We can agree knowing how things work out well helps.Isn’t it wonderful how God lets us know the scary, but assures us it will be okay?Now, while we plan to look at the last half of ch.7 next week, I want us to touch on it today so we see how this Super Power works.READ vv.19-20 & 23-25We need to talk about this one who is different from the others.This one is boastful, speaks against God, has 10 horns, and saints “holy ones (v.25)” will be handed over to him for 3 1/2 years; during the Tribulation.Now look to Revelation:So the dragon was furious with the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring—those who keep the commands of God and hold firmly to the testimony about Jesus.The devil’s move is to come to the world in the person of the Antichrist.And I saw a beast coming up out of the sea. It had ten horns and seven heads. On its horns were ten crowns, and on its heads were blasphemous names.Recall Daniel said the 4 kingdoms come from the sea which represents the people of the world?BTW that’s emphasized here:He also said to me, “The waters you saw, where the prostitute was seated, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and languages.The 10 horns insure that our text and Rev.13 are the sameREAD Rev. 13:1-6It appears the kingdom of the Antichrist is the combined three kingdoms of Daniel.The animals are not coincidental.Like Jesus, the Antichrist will die and come back to life.Only, it will be a counterfeit as he only “seemed to have a fatal wound.”We can go on, but you get the idea.Your Super Power is reading the OT with the NT and noting how God connects the two.This is important because Christins will be on the earth during the reign of the Antichrist.That reign is the Great Tribulation.Jesus says it here:For at that time there will be great distress, the kind that hasn’t taken place from the beginning of the world until now and never will again. Unless those days were cut short, no one would be saved. But those days will be cut short because of the elect. “If anyone tells you then, ‘See, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘Over here!’ do not believe it. For false messiahs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. Take note: I have told you in advance.I don’t want you to be confused. Some say the church is not on earth during the tribulation, but that is not so.The word for church might not be included in Revelation Ch.4-21, but the word for saints does appear.Be prepared.(end)
2 Timothy 2:7CSB
2 Peter 1:19CSB
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