Welcome to EBible Fellowship’s Sunday afternoon Bible study in the Book of Daniel. This is study #6 of Daniel, chapter 2, and we are going to read Daniel 2:26-28:
The king answered and said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, Art thou able to make known unto me the dream which I have seen, and the interpretation thereof? Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, The secret which the king hath demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, shew unto the king; But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these;
As we have already seen, Daniel and his friends approached the Lord and besought Him in prayer, requesting wisdom, knowledge and understanding of the king’s dream and the interpretation of it. God did reveal these things to Daniel and his three friends and then Daniel went to the captain of the guard, Arioch, and told him that he could reveal the dream and interpret it.
At this point, the kings is speaking to Daniel and it says in the middle of Daniel 2:26:
… Art thou able to make known unto me the dream which I have seen, and the interpretation thereof?
These words translated as “make known” and “interpretation” keep appearing in this chapter. I mentioned in our last study that the word “interpretation” is found 13 times. By my count, the word “known” is found 12 times. So if it seems to you that we are talking, over and over, about the same thing in these studies, there is good reason for it. God keeps bringing up the same point, again, and again. He is the one that brought up the word “interpretation” and the word “make known,” so if the Lord continually brings these words up we do not skip over it because God will typically say it in another context or in a slightly different way where we can learn additional information.
Historically, King Nebuchadnezzar is asking Daniel if he can tell him the dream and its interpretation and Daniel responded in Daniel 2:27:
The secret which the king hath demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, shew unto the king;
This was the situation because there were none in the kingdom of Babylon among all the wise men that could give the king the information he desired to know. They had told the king, “We do not know. We cannot know. Who can know a man’s dream, except for the gods?” That is what they said to the king and they are correct, to a point. The God in heaven, “El-o-heem,” is a plural God, but they do not have Him in mind with that statement, but the truth is that only God in heaven could know the king’s matter and that is the Person that Daniel and his three friends asked for wisdom, so Daniel tells the king this in Daniel 2:28:
But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days…
In this statement we see a huge difference between Daniel and his three friends and all the other men of renown of Babylon. The difference is that all the astrologers, magicians, sorcerers and soothsayers knew that they could not have any knowledge regarding the king’s dream and, therefore, they could not provide its interpretation, so they told the king that only the gods can know this information. Likewise, Daniel knew that he could not know what the king had dreamed, nor could any man. Only God above could know it. So, what is the difference? They all understood that only God or “the gods” could know, so why did not the other wise men approach their gods and ask them to give them knowledge of the king’s matter? That is what Daniel and the other three Hebrews did, so why did they not do so? It is because they professed a god and gave lip service to the idea of a god, but in reality they had no god because they did not worship or know the true God of the Bible that has eyes to see and ears to hear and who lives. Their gods were idols of stone or wood decked with gold and silver and they were gods that do not communicate and they could not reveal things because there is no life in them and they are no gods. So these wise of Babylon do not waste their time to make their supplication to a god of stone that cannot know anything about the matter and, therefore, cannot reveal the matter.
The big difference is that Daniel knew the true God, so the first thing he said to the king is recorded in Daniel 2:28:
But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets…
I think this really touches on an important distinction between the elect true believers and those that are only professed believers because the professed believers have such absolute conviction that we “cannot know the day or hour.” And, yet, what God has revealed in His Word contradicts that idea and God makes known things that we will look at a little later. God makes these things known to His people and the Bible is full of historical records that demonstrate and show how God gives His people advance information regarding approaching judgments. We can look at the flood in Genesis where God came to Noah 120 years in advance and told him and then seven days before the flood, God came to Noah, again, and gave him the very day the flood would begin. God came to Abraham before destroying Sodom and Gomorrah, saying, “Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do,” and then He let Abraham know His intent to destroy the city of Sodom and the other cities of the plain. Then God went to Lot who was living in Sodom and revealed the secret to him regarding His intent to destroy the city and that is how Lot was able to flee the city with his wife and two daughters. We can find other instances throughout the Bible in which God revealed “secret things” to His people.
When we come to this whole question of knowing the “times and seasons” and knowing dates in reference to the end of the world, the true believers look to the Bible and we understand that it is not in man to know these things. We do not have a “crystal ball” or wisdom in ourselves, but we know that God knows and He is a God who is in heaven; He is living and He is present. He knows everything that is happening on the earth and God has shown us that it is in His character to reveal things to His people before they occur. He opens their understanding and grants them knowledge.
So the true believers look at the Bible and we see that throughout the Bible God gives much information. For example, let us just look at one verse, in 2Thessalonians 5:2-5:
For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
Here it is. Christ comes as a thief, but not for the children of God: But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. God will not come as a thief for His people because He will open the Scriptures to reveal “time and judgment” and they will have foreknowledge, so the child of God will not bow the knee to the pressure applied by the churches and the world and the unsaved all around them that are basically demanding that they “cannot know.” They want us to fall in line and agree with them that we “cannot know.”
The child of God cannot do that. We cannot deny God. We cannot deny that there is a God in heaven and He is not a God that is distant and removed and separated from His people, but He is a God that communicates with His people. Yes, I know that He communicated with Daniel in a special way because the Bible had not been completed so God did break the barrier of the supernatural during the time the Bible was being compiled. And, yet, God does communicate with His people today through His written revelation, the Bible. There is no difference except that it is not active in the sense that God is giving additional revelation because the Bible has been in its completed form for about 2,000 years. And, yet, God has testified that He has hidden information in the Bible that was concealed until the time of the end. So when the elect of God see that there are things sealed to the time of the end, we know it is God’s character to reveal things to His people. He has that ability and He has all knowledge and He can communicate truth through the Holy Spirit through the proper methodology that He has revealed to His people, comparing Scripture with Scripture, and the Holy Ghost teacheth. He reveals things to His people that are alive on the earth. God can (and has) done that and, therefore, the true believers look to Him for guidance and understanding in all matters, including the matters of “time and judgment.” It would be a denial of the character and ability of God, as well as of His Word, for the true believer to say, “We cannot know anything. We cannot receive this type of information.” That would be saying that God is similar to the god of the unsaved or that He is similar to an idol that has no eyes to see or ears to hear and must be carried about because He has no ability to move. Deep down, I think that is the real reason that the corporate church is so absolute in their belief that you cannot know the day or hour – it is because they cannot know. It is beyond them because they have a god that cannot reveal it to them. They have a false god of their own making that they have carved from their own doctrine and their god is not a god that possesses such ability and, therefore, they assume that the God of the Bible (a God they do not know) cannot know. They assume that their ignorant, idle god is the same God the elect speak of and that is the huge difference.
A true child of God will not make such a dishonoring statement of God by saying, “Our God cannot reveal to us the things concerning the end.” The Bible indicates God will reveal it, so we cannot say that our God is like your god because it is not true. The God of the Bible is a “living God,” as it says in Daniel 2, verse 28. He is the ever-existent One, the Great I AM. He is from everlasting to everlasting and He always “is.” There is a God in heaven.
Remember that the Lord’s Prayer includes this statement in Matthew 6:9:
After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
It is a recognition that our God exists. He was and “is” and ever shall be. You and I cannot see Him with our physical eyes on this earth, but that does not mean that He is not alive or that He is not seeing and hearing and watching out for His people as they live at this time on the earth. God is in heaven. It is a different location than the earth. It is a different “realm” because this heaven is not the sky above or outer space, but it is the “third heaven,” a spiritual place in which God dwells. He does dwell there. He is there, if you are wondering where God is located: “There is a God in heaven,” as Daniel said. Of course, rebellious man that lives upon the earth acts as if there is not a God in heaven that watches him and judges him through His Word, but that does not change the fact that there is a God in heaven. It says in Deuteronomy 4:39:
Know therefore this day, and consider it in thine heart, that JEHOVAH he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else.
Of course, God is omnipresent – He is everywhere. God can test us by “leaving us” in a sense, but He is still here. We know that God cannot leave or forsake His people because He is within His children, according to the Bible. We have the Spirit of God indwelling us, mysteriously, so God is in heaven and God is upon the earth beneath. And there is no other God.
Well, there is not only a God that exists in heaven and many acknowledge that, but many men view God like a clockmaker that created the world and the universe. He wound it up like a clock and then He just lets it run; He removes from it and just watches it run, completely detached and uninvolved. No – that is not the God of the Bible. God has been, and currently is, very active in the world as He orchestrates events and brings to pass the fulfillment of His promises and in the sending forth of the Gospel to accomplish the salvation of all His people. And now He is actively judging the world. God is a “hands on” God and He is very much involved and in tune with what is taking place in the world on a daily basis. He is not a remote God who is separated and distant, which also gives the idea of a God that is unfeeling, uncaring and not all that concerned with what is taking place on the earth or with the individual people. Again, these ideas are of the minds of men. God is in heaven, but He operates on the earth and He works on the earth where His Word is found. God is so involved that He very personally moved holy men of old by giving them divine communication. He revealed Himself to them so they could record His very Words in the Book and the Bible could be the record of His communication to mankind. It is an intimate communication that reveals deep and intimate things. The Bible says, “For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.” Likewise, who can know the Word of God, the Bible, except the Spirit of God?
Man reveals himself to others and he shares with others and there is intimacy, depending on the degree to which it is done. God’s Spirit has revealed Himself on the pages of the Bible. God has thereby revealed Himself to all mankind in general, even in a superficial sense for the unsaved of the world. They can read that God created the earth and they can read that He gave His Son as the Saviour, but God reveals true intimacy with those He had predestinated to salvation before the foundation of the world. He reveals Himself to these in a much more personal and intimate way, revealing the deep things of God and the hidden things. It is like people that may have casual friends at work or they may meet a stranger and people are normally reserved with these groups and they talk only about general or topical things, but within the family they know much more about you and you share many more things with them. It works the same way with God’s revealing of spiritual truth. He reveals intimate things in His Word to His people and He does not reveal them to those that are not His people. That is the nature of God.
It says in Matthew 16:15-17:
He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
Here, we see God in heaven revealing the truth to Peter that Jesus is the Christ, the long-promised Messiah. That is a truth and when any spiritual truth is revealed to the people of God, it is God that has done the revealing. He has made it “known” to the elect that this is the case with a truth the Bible teaches. All spiritual truth must be revealed through the Father, coming down from the Father of lights. It says in Matthew 11:25-27:
At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight. All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.
Within this passage we read the phrase, “no man knoweth,” just like we read in another place, “of that of that day and hour knoweth no man.” But, here, God adds a bit of information. Can you imagine if it said, “All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son,” and God ended this sentence right there? What if God ended that verse right there? We would have the statement, “No man knoweth the Son, neither knoweth any man the Father.” No man knows the Son and no man knows the Father. That would be awful because to know God is to know eternal life and if no man knew the Son or the Father, there would be no salvation and no one would receive eternal life. And, yet, God completed the thought and made sure to add, “and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.”
The thing about the statement, “But of that day and hour knoweth no man,” is that God did not complete the thought and He did not add this bit of information because He wanted to hide these things. He wanted to hide the truth that, yes, He could reveal time and judgment to His people just like He reveals other doctrine and He would do it at the proper time, but because the Lord did not want the churches to be looking into these matters for almost 2,000 years, He did not add on that particular part of the statement that would give more insight and a proper understanding. It says in 1Corinthians 2:11:
For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
Here, it is referred to as “the things of God” and that identifies with all the Bible. Again, “the things of God knoweth no man.” It is the same wording. All men cannot know the things of God – no man can know the things of God, but the Spirit of God. The Lord could have left the statement after he said, “even so the things of God knoweth no man,” and people would have concluded that you cannot know anything about God or the things of God because He said so, but notice the next verse, in 1Corinthians 2:12:
Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
God gives His Spirit to His people and He reveals truth so that “we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.” Remember that these are “secret things” as we read in Deuteronomy 29:29:
The secret things belong unto JEHOVAH our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.
God reveals “secret things” to His people. They are things like the correct information regarding the doctrine of “hell” and they are things like opening the understanding of His people to see that Christ was slain from the foundation of the world and payment for sins was made at that point. They are things regarding the loosing of Satan and his identify as the “anti-Christ,” which was unknown until only a few decades ago. They are things like the information that Satan would enter into the congregations as the man of sin at the end of the church age and the command of God for His people to flee out of the churches at the time of the end. All these things related to God’s “times and seasons,” as we could not know when these things would happen, so God also opened up the Biblical timeline of history in which He showed the timeline for Old Testament Israel, the timeline for the lifespan of the Lord Jesus Christ, the timeline for the church age, the timeline for the Great Tribulation and the time when the Day of Judgment began. We expect that God will complete it by revealing His overall timeline for the Day of Judgment. These are all “secret things” that had been concealed, but it is in accord with God’s character to reveal the hidden truths of the Bible to His people and to reveal Himself and the things of God.
I am sure we have looked at this verse before, but let us go to Amos 3:7:
Surely the Lord JEHOVAH will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.
If we look at this verse superficially, we might say, “Oh, yes, in the Old Testament God did reveal His secrets to prophets like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel, and so forth.” That is a fact and they would agree with that because it is something historical and “natural” and those in the corporate churches would agree that this verse shows that in times of old God revealed things to prophets. By that they mean those in the official office of “prophet,” but they lack understanding that the entire Bible is a parable and they do not realize that God identifies all His people as “prophets, priests and kings.” Each child of God is a prophet before God because God reveals truth to all His people and even though the Bible is complete it still requires that God open up the understanding, as we saw in the case of Peter in Matthew, chapter 16 where Jesus said it was God that revealed to Peter that Jesus was the Messiah. This is what God has done with the Bible – He reveals truth to all those He has saved, to varying degrees. As God revealed revelation to prophets of old, it works the same way when He reveals the spiritual meaning of written revelation to His elect and they are in the role of a prophet as they receive divine revelation from God’s written Word, the Bible. After receiving divine information in His Word, they foretell or declare the things God has said. This also is the task of each child of God as we perform the spiritual role of prophet and we share the secret things of the Bible that God has graciously opened up to our understanding. This is our spiritual occupation as a child of God living in this world.
Let us go back to Daniel 2:28:
But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days…
God reveals secrets and what will be “in the latter days.” The word “latter” as it is used with the word “days” is found in Deuteronomy 31:29:
For I know that after my death ye will utterly corrupt yourselves, and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you; and evil will befall you in the latter days; because ye will do evil in the sight of JEHOVAH, to provoke him to anger through the work of your hands.
What Moses said here was true of Israel of old after he died and they did corrupt themselves in turning aside, but it was also true of the New Testament churches and congregations. Remember the “two witnesses” were lying dead in the streets in Revelation, chapter 11 and they were typified by Moses and Elijah. Moses represented the Law of God and Elijah represented the prophets. So when Moses declared, “For I know that after my death ye will utterly corrupt yourselves, and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you.” Moses represented the Law, so it refers to what was “commanded” by God. That is exactly what happened once the “two witnesses” were killed. The corporate body turned aside and no longer followed the commands of God. Again, that happened at the end of the church age and we know the date was May 21, 1988, the 13,000th year of earth’s history and that would fit with the evil that would befall them in the latter days. So the phrase “latter days” has application to the beginning of the Great Tribulation period. This is confirmed in Ezekiel 38:14-16:
Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog, Thus saith the Lord JEHOVAH; In that day when my people of Israel dwelleth safely, shalt thou not know it? And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army: And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes.
We can know that the reference to “Gog and Magog” and the “latter days” ties into the Great Tribulation because it is brought up in Revelation 20:7-9:
And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.
Again, the loosing of Satan was simultaneous with the end of the church age and the beginning of the Great Tribulation and that is tied in with “Gog and Magog” coming against the camp of the saints. Again, the Great Tribulation is tied to the phrase “latter days.” We will just look at one more place, in Daniel 10:14:
Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days.
God is speaking of making known or giving understanding of what will happen in the “latter days,” just as He did in Daniel, chapter 2 where Daniel was granted understanding of the dream and its interpretation. God is indicating that He will bring certain truths to understanding at the time of the end and the time of the end agrees with the “latter days.”
That is one of the reasons I think the word “interpretation” is found 13 times in Daniel, chapter 2 because the time of the end or the “latter days” began in the year 1988, the 13,000th year of earth’s history. It is why it says what it does in Nehemiah, chapter 8 regarding 13 men, in Nehemiah 8:7-8:
Also Jeshua, and Bani, and Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodijah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, and the Levites, caused the people to understand the law: and the people stood in their place. So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.
In Nehemiah 8 God speaks of the “last day” as they were observing the Feast of Tabernacles from the first day to the last day and that phrase identifies with the last day of the world. The Feast of Tabernacles identifies with the end of the world and the number “13” comes into view. The 13 men caused the people to understand and they gave the sense of the reading (of the Bible). Is it coincidental that God mentions “interpretation” 13 times in Daniel, chapter 2? Or, what about when Jacob entered into Egypt and appeared before Pharaoh, when Pharaoh asked him his age, Jacob responded that he was 130 and at that time his son Joseph was 39? Both these numbers are very connected with the number “13,” because the number “130” is “10 x 13” and the number “39” is “3 x 13.” It happened at a time when Joseph made himself “known” to his brethren. He had concealed himself and he was a type of Christ. They did not recognize him, but he made himself “known” to his brethren and he revealed the timeline for the famine. He said there had already been two years of famine and there would be five years more. He let them know the beginning was two years earlier and now it was the dividing point because he told them the end year when the seven-year famine would conclude in the year 1872BC, so dates were given and a timeline was given as Joseph made himself “known” to his brethren at the age of 39. Jacob had heard that Joseph was alive and Jacob packed up his house and his family and they all went down into Egypt. Then Pharaoh asked him his age and he told him he was 130, with the number “10” pointing to completeness and the number “13” pointing to the end of the world, the latter days in which God would reveal things to His people in a similar way that Joseph revealed himself to his brethren.
We can see that the Bible places a strong emphasis upon God revealing Himself to His people. Yes, the whole Bible is a record of His revelation and, yet, the Bible places a special emphasis on God revealing Himself in a greater way at the time of the end. Remember what it said in Daniel 12:4:
But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.
How can knowledge be increased? No man can know anything of the things of God except the Father (the Spirit of God) reveal them. So God announced his attention to make known “secret things,” the things that had been hidden in the Bible for thousands of years, but He would make them known to the prophets: “Surely the Lord JEHOVAH will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.” The prophets are the elect body of believers and they are the recipients of the revelation as God opens their understanding just as Jesus opened the understanding of the disciples on the road to Emmaus that they might understand the Scriptures. He has done the same with His people at this time and the people of God have been blessed with His Word that first saved us from the death of remaining in the churches and congregations and then He has revealed all the other wonderful truths that have been such a blessing to us.