Welcome to EBible Fellowship’s Sunday afternoon Bible study in the Book of Daniel. Today is study #4 of Daniel, chapter 2, and we are going to read Daniel 2:19-23:
Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven. Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his: And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding: He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him. I thank thee, and praise thee, O thou God of my fathers, who hast given me wisdom and might, and hast made known unto me now what we desired of thee: for thou hast now made known unto us the king's matter.
I will stop reading there. In our last study we looked at verse 21, where it said, “And he changeth the times and the seasons,” and we saw that this is speaking of God and how God changes Satan’s “times and seasons.” King Nebuchadnezzar is a type of Satan and he set a “time” for the execution of the wise men of Babylon, which would include Daniel and Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, God’s elect. God intervened and changed Satan’s program for destruction or changed Satan’s “times and seasons.”
By setting up a time and season for slaying the wise men, the king was basically trying to show himself to be God because “the times and the seasons” are a synonym for judgment. He was trying to judge and destroy the people of God and will try to do so again in the next chapter after he set up his image of gold and commanded that all would bow down to the image; if any failed to do so, they would be cast the same hour (another time reference) into the burning, fiery furnace. He was continually trying to destroy the people of God with his setting of times, but God changed his “times and seasons” so that His people would not be destroyed. In this case, God delivered His people through opening up information that was impossible for them to know previously, but God revealed it through divine revelation and they were delivered from certain destruction by means of Satan’s plan. It all ties into God’s deliverance of His people through the opening of the Scriptures at the time of the end during the period of the Great Tribulation when God delivered His people out of the churches. Satan had entered in to destroy the churches and to take “peace” from all the churches of the world by removing salvation through his false gospels. His intent was to destroy God’s elect and, yet, God thwarted His attempt and did not permit it and He delivered His people by revealing that Satan was ruling in the churches and they must get out; the Holy Spirit was no longer in the midst and they must flee and go the mountains, spiritually speaking.
I think we covered that pretty well, so let us go on to the next part of the verse. Again, it says in Daniel 2:21:
And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings…
We only touched on this at the end of our last study, but it is an important statement on a couple different levels. First in the physical realm, it applies to earthly rulers such as King Nebuchadnezzar. God is the one that brought him against His own people of Judah. Remember what the Bible says concerning God’s relationship with King Nebuchadnezzar in Jeremiah 25:9:
Behold, I will send and take all the families of the north, saith JEHOVAH, and Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and will bring them against this land, and against the inhabitants thereof, and against all these nations round about, and will utterly destroy them, and make them an astonishment, and an hissing, and perpetual desolations.
This was God’s purpose and King Nebuchadnezzar was established in his position of power and rule in order to accomplish God’s purpose as His servant of destruction. God set up this evil king. God allowed him to rise to power and become the king of Babylon and, yet, he was God’s servant.
This is not surprising because of what it says in Romans, chapter 13 where the Lord tells us something that really impacts all people in the world and it especially impacts the elect people of God as we live in the world. In the nations of the world there are many different types of government and many different political philosophies. There are Communist nations. There are dictatorships. There are socialist nations. There are Republics. We tend to look at the nations and we prefer one system of government and we may think it is a godly system of government. We see other nations that are run by tyrants and we say, “No, I do not think that is a very good system.” No matter what we think about it, here is what God says regarding all governments and their rulers, in Romans 13:1-2:
Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
These statements are God’s statements: “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God; the powers that be are ordained of God.” God set them up, whether it is the President, the King or whatever they call themselves. They rose to power and it could even have been in a ruthless way, but they are still the ones in power and God says not to resist them because you would be resisting the ordinance of God.
The word “ordained” is the same word we find in Acts 13:48:
And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.
We know this has to do with God’s election program. He “ordained” those that were to become saved, so the word indicates an appointment made by God and we understand that when it comes to salvation. God “ordained” or chose certain ones. It is the very same idea when God ordains the powers that be as they lead the governments of the world. God has established them. He has appointed them to rule and to be in that position of power.
Sometimes the earthly rulers are not the best of men and the Lord does not try to hide that fact. Actually, if we go back to our verse, God says in Daniel 2:21:
… he removeth kings, and setteth up kings…
This is the same Hebrew or Aramaic word for “setteth,” and it is Strong’s #6966. It is translated as “appointeth” in Daniel 5:18-21:
O thou king, the most high God gave Nebuchadnezzar thy father a kingdom, and majesty, and glory, and honour: And for the majesty that he gave him, all people, nations, and languages, trembled and feared before him: whom he would he slew; and whom he would he kept alive; and whom he would he set up; and whom he would he put down. But when his heart was lifted up, and his mind hardened in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took his glory from him: And he was driven from the sons of men; and his heart was made like the beasts, and his dwelling was with the wild asses: they fed him with grass like oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven; till he knew that the most high God ruled in the kingdom of men, and that he appointeth over it whomsoever he will.
Notice that the word translated as “setteth up” in our verse is translated here as “appointeth.” Again, it says, “till he knew that the most high God ruled in the kingdom of men, and that he appointeth over it whomsoever he will.” It is unbecoming for someone that claims to be a child of God and was appointed or ordained by God to eternal life to fight against a ruler ordained by God to a position of power. If we ask the question, “Upon whom does God have mercy?” According to Romans, chapter 9, the answer is, “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy.” God has mercy on whomsoever He will have mercy. Who does God set up as a ruler? It is the same answer: “Whomsoever he will,” and fighting against it is fighting against the will of God. It is fighting against His sovereign right, just as some people fight against God in regard to how He saves people. They do not like the fact that God ordains only certain people. They want all men to be able to “choose” salvation. They are fighting against the will of God.
Likewise, if we fight against an earthly ruler established by God, whatever process was used to bring that ruler to power, it is fighting against the divine counsel of the Lord. It says in Daniel 4:17:
This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.
God will give rule to “whomsoever he will.” He will also have mercy on “whomsoever he will.” He is sovereign in all things. He is King of kings and Lord of lords and His decrees are not to be questioned or fought against, whether it be in the spiritual realm or in the earthly realm. We are not to take up that battle. We are to leave the political matters to the men of the earth. Let them argue, fight and dispute over who will rule over them because that is their main concern. Their chief focus is on this world and this life, so it has everything to do with how they live their lives in this world and that is everything to them. But this world is not everything to God’s people.
A second way to look at the statement about God removing kings and setting up kings is in regard to Satan. We are not going to go too far into this, but we do know that when Satan was loosed he took his seat in the temple showing himself that he was God. It tells us in Revelation 13 that when the “beast” (a picture that describes the loosing of Satan) came up out of the sea it was given unto the beast to make war with the saints and to overcome them. God gave Satan rule to overcome the churches and he officially became the ruler within the churches and congregations of the world. He became the king over the churches, as it says in Revelation 17:8-10:
The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is. And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth. And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.
Then it says in Revelation 17:12:
And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.
This passage is describing Satan’s rule over “Babylon,” the kingdom of the darkness of this world. Once he overcame the camp of the saints, he ruled over the congregations, so God’s people could not submit to Satan’s rule within the churches because it would involve matters of faith and doctrine. We could not give in on any point of doctrine, so God commanded His people to come out of the churches into the world. Out in the world Satan was also ruling and it was as though we came under his authority in that respect, just as Daniel and his three friends entered into Babylon (from Judah) and came under the power and authority of King Nebuchadnezzar. There is a similarity there and so we “occupy” in the world and we obey the law of the land insofar as the supreme Law of God. We always submit to all things lawful.
Again, a child of God has no problem with submitting to laws that do not violate the Law of God, the Bible. For instance, if a government wants to establish a low speed limit, we submit. If they establish the speed limit very high, we submit. It is their right to do. If they tax us very low or tax us very high, it is their right. There is nothing that violates the Law of God in taxation. We are to obey in all things lawful. If they tell us to cross the street at the light at the end of the block, that is where we will cross the street.
However, if the government says that a couple cannot have a second child and they must abort the child, we do not obey. We desire to submit to the government in all things lawful according to the Law of God, but God says we are not to take life: “Thou shalt not kill.” He also tells us to be fruitful and multiply, and so forth, so it would be going against the Law of God to abort a child. If the law of the land says that our failure to obey will result in our going to prison, that is their right. They can penalize us if they want to, but we will not submit to that kind of law and we will respectfully resist just as the three young Hebrews will demonstrate in the next chapter when they are commanded to bow down to an idol. They refused and they suffered the consequences. God protected them when they were cast into the burning, fiery oven, but they still suffered the consequences and we have to be willing to do the same thing.
Let us go back and continue in Daniel 2:21:
…he removeth kings, and setteth up kings…
A third way to look at this is that, spiritually, God is the one that establishes salvation for His people. He typifies those He saved as “prophets, priests and kings,” so He sets up spiritual kings. Also, those that profess to be kings are put down or removed by God. For example, King Saul is someone that was a king God set up, but God removed the throne from him and his family and gave it to another better than he. He gave it to David and his line. That would point to salvation, as it says in Psalm 144:10:
It is he that giveth salvation unto kings…
This points to God’s elect.
Let us look at the next part of the verse in Daniel 2:21:
… he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:
This verse is a little surprising to us because we might think that God would give wisdom to the fool and through that giving of wisdom He would make someone wise. Or, we would think God would give knowledge to those that lack understanding. From a fool, you would become wise. But that is not God’s emphasis here. Instead, He is speaking of the process after salvation. It is true that when we were unsaved we lacked wisdom and understanding. All of God’s elect were once “by nature the children of wrath, even as others.” Once God saved us, He gave us the Spirit of Christ. Christ is the essence of wisdom, so we then possess wisdom. Christ would also be the essence of knowledge. But, here, God is speaking of revealing truth. This is what Daniel 2 is concentrating on because they “lacked understanding” concerning the dream and its interpretation and God is giving them understanding concerning the dream and interpretation and that points to giving knowledge of the Bible to the elect of God during the time of the end. It says, “He giveth wisdom unto the wise,” and that fits with verses like Daniel 12:10: “And none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand,” or, it fits with Ecclesiastes 8:5: “And a wise man's heart discerneth both time and judgment.”
God cannot give wisdom to the fool if the fool is not already saved. God cannot impart spiritual truth to someone that is in an unsaved condition – they have no “receptor” for truth. They have no ability to receive it. They have a natural mind, so spiritual things just cannot penetrate the natural mind. They cannot be grasped and held by the unsaved individual. It requires that someone be saved and already “wise” in order to understand both time and judgment and to come to understanding in spiritual things. Here, God is laying down an important principal and I was surprised at how often this principal is repeated in the Bible. It may not be said in the exact manner, but it is said, again, and again. For example, let us go to Mark 4:24-25:
And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given. For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath.
Here, God is saying that if you already have wisdom, you will have more wisdom. Wisdom is given to the wise and they will be wiser. They will possess more understanding and knowledge. This is the Biblical principal that God gives to Him that already has it. Again, this means that God grants understanding or a growing in grace and knowledge of the Word of God to someone that is already saved.
On the other hand, for the person that is not actually saved, it says, “and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath.” This would relate to people in the churches that are professed Christians. They possess knowledge of the Reformers, the commentaries they read and the pastors they hear and they may learn some doctrine, but there comes a time when that which they have is taken from them and they will lack even that which they had. They already did not have it because they were not saved, but they possessed some intellectual knowledge of certain truths, but even that is taken from them.
This applies not only to people in the churches. It says in Matthew 13:10-13:
And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.
Again, God restates the principal. He also adds that the one that “has” will have more abundance. This is an important statement. This word “abundance” is Strong’s #4052 and it is found in John 6:11-13:
And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would. When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost. Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten.
The word translated as “over and above” is our word translated as “abundance.” It is the same Greek word. So we see that Jesus fed the multitude and then they gathered up the fragments and they had much left over. Remember it said in Matthew 14:17-20:
And they say unto him, We have here but five loaves, and two fishes. He said, Bring them hither to me. And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full.
The word “remained” is our word. The bread from the loaves had already fed the multitude of 5,000 people and they all had sufficient bread, but there was bread left over. The same word is also used in Matthew 15 where another multitude is fed. The baskets that were left over or the “remainder” are the “abundance.” So, the multitude is fed, but there is bread to spare and that is the idea when we read that the Word of God will be available to the elect.
Notice that this idea of giving to him that “has” is related to the Bible and to understanding Scripture – this is knowledge and wisdom. That is what is in view in Mark 4:24-25:
…and unto you that hear shall more be given. For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath.
We know that when the Bible speaks of “hearing,” it has to do with the hearing of the Word. Also, it has to do with parables, in Matthew 13 where the disciples asked why He spoke in parables: “Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven.” It was given to them to understand parables and the whole Bible is a parable. So this principal that if you have, more will be given and if you have not, even what you have will be taken from you has to do with Bible knowledge. It has to do with understanding the Word of God and understanding the hidden truths or mysteries of the Bible. That is what is in view in every case. For instance, turn to Luke 8:16-18:
No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed; but setteth it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light. For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad. Take heed therefore how ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have.
Again, God is speaking of things that are secret or hidden but they will become known. Then He says, “Take heed therefore how ye hear.” When Christ would speak a parable, He would add, “Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.” That is a clue phrase to look for a deeper spiritual meaning. Again, the statement is made, “for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have.”
The word “seemeth” in Luke 8, verse 18 is Strong’s #1380. It is translated as “thinketh” in 1Corinthians 10:12:
Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.
You can think you are a Christian and you can believe it in your mind and, yet, you are not. You are not truly born again.
This word is also translated as “supposed” and “of reputation” in Galatians where it says, “to them which were of reputation,” and it means you have a reputation of going to church and you call yourself a Christian. In James, it says, “If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain.” Again, the word “seem” is used.
That is the same idea as stated in Luke 8:18: “from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have.” For example, here is a man that was a Family Radio listener and heavily involved in Family Radio and he seemed to know all kinds of truth and deep, hidden things of God. He understood the nature of the Bible and the spiritual meaning of things and, yet, “take heed how you hear.” That is a warning. Watch out! Watch out because the Bible principal is that there will come a time when those that have will receive more and for those that have not, even what they seemed to have will be taken away. In other words, in the latter case they were never saved and born again. There is no substitute for being born again. You can listen to the Bible studies on one level and you seem to be learning and you seem to be getting it, like you are understanding the deeper spiritual things of God. You can speak with other people about it and you can really appear to have something, but you really only “seemed to have it,” and, as God says, there comes a time when what you seemed to have will be taken from you.
Why do I keep saying, “There comes a time”? When we check out this phrase that God gives more to those that have and takes away from those that have not, it ties into Judgment Day. In the parable of the ten pounds, it says in Luke 19:12-15:
He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come. But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us. And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom…
When would this be? It is when Christ comes in judgment. Just keep in mind that Christ can return spiritually as He did when judgment began on the churches and as He did when judgment began on the world on May 21, 2011.
But, let us continue reading, in Luke 19:15-27:
And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading. Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds. And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities. And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds. And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities. And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin: For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow. And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow: Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury? And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds. (And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.) For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him. But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.
Do you see how that statement fits in with the context of Judgment Day itself? Notice that when the pounds were given, each servant received a pound, but there was multiplication of the pound in the tasks that they were given. The first servant gained 10 and the second gained five. But the statement about giving more to the one that hath and taking from the one that hath not is not referring to the time period in which they were entrusted with the pounds. There was no giving or taking by the king during the period wherein they were to work and labor to occupy. Since the statement related to giving and taking, it has to do with the Word of God the Bible, so does the “occupying” with the pounds. It involves digging into the Word of God, coming to truth and sharing that information with others. It was the task which God gave His people to do during the church age and during the Latter Rain period.
But then God came to judge the world. It was Judgment Day, the time when all those that were given the “pound” as stewards of the mysteries of God are asked, “What did you do with your pound?” It was said that the servant that did well and multiplied the pound is given more. When the king saw that there was a servant that laid up the information and did nothing with his pound, the pound was taken from him and given to the one that had 10 pounds and now the unprofitable servant had none. Judgment Day is a time when an increase of knowledge is given to the elect of God, the one that is already wise because he possesses the Spirit of Christ. Further wisdom is granted. On the other hand, Judgment Day is also the time when some people who (seemed to) possess understanding of the Word of God and had been entrusted with the Word of God lose even what they seemed to have; it is the time when God takes away understanding from those that had given the appearance of possessing understanding and knowledge. Do you see how God is saying that here?
This has been happening since May 21, 2011 and we are seeing people that once seemed to have discernment concerning time, but then they thought everything was all wrong because they did not see anything happen with their physical eyes. And now since they think May 21 was “off,” now they question the Great Tribulation and the end of the church age, and so forth. It is easy to see (and we discussed this years ago) that once you lose sight of the timeline in regard to the completion of the Great Tribulation and the beginning of Judgment Day, you will lose sight of other things, like the duration of the Great Tribulation. And if you lose sight of that, you soon lose sight of the end of the church age doctrine. It becomes a process of unraveling; you pull on a thread and the garment starts to fall apart. It is happening with those that seemed to have knowledge and understanding, but they never really did. The fact that this is happening is in keeping with what we would expect in the Day of Judgment according to the parable of the pound.
Now someone might say, “Well, you cannot base that conclusion on a single parable.” Then let us look at another parable in Matthew 25. It says in Matthew 25:14-15:
For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.
Let us skip down to Matthew 25:19-21:
After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
Then the same thing transpired with the servant with two talents, but then came the one who received one talent and it says in Matthew 25:25-30:
His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Again, it is Judgment Day and verse 30 confirms that with the reference to “outer darkness” and the “weeping and gnashing of teeth.” We have done previous studies where we saw that this language identifies with the time immediately after the Tribulation when the light of the Gospel is gone and the unsaved are living in a dark world. There is “outer darkness” outside of the kingdom of heaven and God has brought the world into the condition of hell. It is Judgment Day.
Let us look at Ecclesiastes, chapter 9. I never noticed this before, but it says in Ecclesiastes 9:10:
Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.
Notice that there is no knowledge or wisdom in the “grave” and the grave is synonymous with “hell.” There is no knowledge or wisdom because when the time of judgment comes God takes away the wisdom and knowledge. He takes understanding away from those under His wrath, so as we go through time of judgment there will be no wisdom or knowledge or understanding of the mysteries of the Bible for those that are unsaved. It will be taken from them. Of course, that is a process. Again, some seemed to have understanding of the mysteries, but finally it will be taken because there is no knowledge or wisdom in the grave.