Daniel: Revealer of Secrets (Part 2)

Daniel: Revealer of Secrets (Part 2)

In the last installment, I introduced you to my friend from ancient Babylon, the prophet Daniel.

I commented on some of the overarching themes of his book in the attempt to demonstrate its significance, and further provide some structure that might aid additional study. But I also tried to remind us of Daniel’s real, human experiences as a captive in Babylon—and the impression they should make on each one of us.

And that is where I want to pick up in this concluding installment—sharing specifically how the book has impacted my life and ministry.

In His infinite grace, the Lord has given me a wealth of opportunities to study and teach the book of Daniel. Surely the high point for me was in the fall of 1995, at Faith Baptist Theological Seminary in Ankeny, Iowa, where I was blessed to be part of a modular course on Daniel taught by Dr. John Whitcomb.1

That was only my second class with Dr. Whitcomb. He had written a commentary2 on Daniel which I had read when I preached through Daniel in the first small church I pastored. I took notes in that textbook, then had him autograph it.

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Daniel: Revealer of Secrets (Part 1)

Close up of part of the Ishtar Gate to the city of Babylon

I have a friend and counselor in ancient Babylon.

I have turned to him countless times for wisdom, strength and direction. In fact, he has foreseen the future, and has instructed me carefully regarding “days yet to come” (Dan. 10:14).

I am always amazed at his dedication, courage, faithfulness and prayerfulness. What an example he offers of trusting God during incredible difficulties!

His Hebrew name means “God is my judge,” and it is a name that has become common in our own culture. His name is Daniel.

Many faithful Bible teachers believe that Daniel did not compose his book until the ninth decade of his life. But what a treasure he gave us when he did! It contains the revelation “of secrets” (Dan. 2:47)—some of which are found nowhere else in all of God’s Holy Word.

We could not understand the prophetic Scriptures—even the book of Revelation itself—without essential passages in Daniel such as Daniel 2:31-45 and Daniel 9:24-27. Yet, these treasures were “revealed to” (Dan. 2:19, 30; 10:1) him alone.

But these are not the only “secrets” (Dan. 2:28, 29, 47) that Daniel had the privilege of announcing to the world for the first time. He also declared the following by means of predictive prophecy:

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‘Rise Up, O Men of God!’

It has often been noted that—tempted as we as preachers might be—we can never preach to the crowd that is not present. This column might be a bit unusual, then, as one might say that it is presented for the person who will never read it. At least in the case of the written word, however, it can be posted for all to see—and share.

Let me also preface my remarks by stating up front that many of the best responses we have seen in our service with The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry have been in small churches—sometimes to such an extent that it is almost beyond comprehension.

I will say it again—small churches (speaking of churches in the broadest sense) remain the backbone of this nation. Many of them are located in small towns, or even out in the country—but they are, in a very real sense, still holding the whole country together. Speaking more narrowly, in terms of the true body of Christ, I believe that many of her members attend smaller local churches.

The worldly mind might describe these churches as old-fashioned. When we get to spend a day with them, however, we often find that such a depiction is undeserved.

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Charismatic Leaders Release “Prophetic Standards”: Unfulfilled Prophecy Requires Public Apology

"In an effort to affirm the prophetic movement while correcting abuses occurring within it, dozens of Christian leaders recently released a “Prophetic Standards” document..... 'there are many questions in the Body concerning the gift of prophecy and the ministry of the prophet.' Many of those questions were sparked by false prophecies about President Trump’s re-election" - C.Leaders

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Get Ready for the Great Reset (Part 6)

Read the series.

How are we as Bible-believing Christians—especially those who love Biblical prophecy and interpret it literally from the premillennial, dispensational perspective—to evaluate the boastful claims and outrageous proposals of the promoters of the Great Reset?

We have been examining that question during these days that have included the Davos Agenda—a rather ominous sounding name for an online conference held at the end of January.

For those who may be unfamiliar, I should remind us that these titles do not come from a dystopian novel, nor from a Christian B movie destined to be shown in church basements. Instead, both the Agenda and the Reset are campaigns offered by the World Economic Forum. They are backed by many of the world’s richest and most powerful people—who are deadly serious about implementing them.

Does such talk of a Great Reset mean that end-time events are near? It is natural for us to consider such a question. The answers that we provide, however, must be crafted carefully.

We have previously established that the Bible strictly prohibits date-setting. No person alive during this church age can predict “that day and hour” (Matt. 24:36)1 of Christ’s return.

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Polish psychic, polarizing televangelist: 7 people who predicted a Trump victory in 2020

"Here are seven individuals, some of whom have high public profiles, who predicted that Donald Trump would win reelection. They include a Polish psychic, a controversial televangelist, and a self-described prophet." - CPost

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Tongues, Prophecy and 1 Corinthians 14

This is a short exposition of 1 Corinthians 14. It’s based on notes I prepared for our adult bible study class. It doesn’t interact with the scholarly commentaries, and nobody will mistake it for a crushing blow that will lay Wayne Grudem low. Still, I believe it’s a faithful and accurate way to understand this difficult chapter. Perhaps some people will find it useful.

Tongues are useless without an interpreter (1 Cor 14:1-5)

Paul wants Christians to cultivate love in their congregation (1 Cor 13), and to especially desire the ability to prophecy. I understand this to refer to direct revelation from God, in the Old Testament sense. Some believe it refers to general teaching or preaching. This view is possible, but I disagree.

I understand “tongues” to refer to intelligible, human language. I think this agrees with the evidence from Acts 2 and makes the best sense in this chapter. Paul doesn’t exactly denigrate tongues, but he remarks over and over that this gift has limited use in a church setting. Tongues is a gift for evangelism.

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Four Common Objections to Cessationism

Reposted from It Is Written. Read the series.

We have argued that Scripture-quality revelation has ceased with the completion of the New Testament canon.1 Moreover, we’ve attempted to demonstrate that New Testament prophecy and tongues are forms of Scripture-quality special revelation.2 Consequently, Christians should not expect the revelatory gifts of tongues and prophecy today. This is the essence of the cessationist argument. Before we conclude our study, however, I’d like to respond to four objections that are commonly raised against the cessationist position (see below). Then will examine two or three passages to which those who advocate for the continuation of revelatory gifts frequently appeal. 

Objection #1: The Bible Doesn’t Forbid Prophecy

The Bible commands the church neither to despise the prophetic utterance nor to forbid speaking in tongues, which is a form of prophecy (1 Thess. 5:20; 1 Cor. 14:39). Does not the abiding validity of these commands assume that tongues and prophecy will be an ongoing practice in the church?

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