Decoding Daniel - an in depth Bible study of the book of Daniel

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Daniel 2

Outline and Background

Nebuchadnezzar's Dream - Daniel 2:1-11

Nebuchadnezzar's Folly - Daniel 2:12-13

Daniel's Wisdom - Daniel 2:14-16

Daniel's Request - Daniel 2:17-18

Daniel's Vision and Praise - Daniel 2:19-23

Interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar's Dream - Daniel 2:24-45

The Image is Four Empires

The Everlasting Empire

Eschatology of the Mt Olivet Discourse

Christ's Kingdom

Nebuchadnezzar's Declaration - Daniel 2:46-49

Application and Typical Prophecies

Eschatology of the Mt Olivet Discourse

The following chart, Eschatology of the Mount Olivet Discourse, decodes chronologically Christ’s discourse from a futurist and premillennial perspective.

Eschatology of the Mount Olivet Discourse

24:4-28 The seven years of Tribulation, also known as the Time of Jacob’s Trouble (Jeremiah 30:4-10)
The First Half of the Tribulation, 4-14
The Second Half of the Tribulation, 15-28

24:29-31 The signs accompanying His second coming to the earth 24:32-35 The Parable of the Fig Tree—the rebirth of the nation of Israel

24:36-44 The unexpectedness of His return

24:45-51 The reward for faithfulness and the judgment for unfaithfulness

25:1-13 The Parable of the Ten Virgins, which illustrates 24:36-44

25:14-30 The Parable of the Talents, which illustrates 24:45-51

25:31-46 The separation of the sheep and goats, ending this present age and beginning the millennial kingdom

In His discourse, Christ forecasts the end of man’s rule over the earth and the beginning of His rule. Even the second law of dynamics calls for His rule. This law is apparent in the image’s portrayal of mankind; man left to himself over time will deteriorate. Thus, the image that Nebuchadnezzar saw in his dream is a polemic against evolution—man and his ability to rule is declining, not rising! Such deterioration demands the coming of a radical new rule. Revelation 19:15-16 describes the end of man’s rule with the coming of Christ:

Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his
robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

The exposition of the final three chapters of Revelation is arguably the chief controversy in eschatological studies. The four interpretive approaches (made by the Historicists, Preterists, Idealists, and Futurists) to the first nineteen chapters of the book of Revelation fade into an amillennial, postmillennial or premillennial interpretation at chapter 20.

Amillennialists believe there will be no thousand-year reign of Christ on earth. They hold that the thousand years is a symbolic term for the preaching of the Gospel and the control of Satan's power between the first and second coming of Christ. Satan was bound at the Cross, but not entirely. He cannot stop the advancement of the Gospel (Luke 11:17-23; Colossians 2:15; Hebrews 2:14). Amillennialists hold that Satan will be loosed briefly to wreak havoc and to persecute the Church at the end of this present age. The new heavens and new earth will be created immediately after this present age without the reign of Christ on earth. The reign of the departed saints will take place in heaven prior to their resurrection. The older view of the amillennialists is that of the spiritual reign of believers on earth in the present age (Romans 8:37).

Postmillennialists believe that the thousand years (literal or symbolic) immediately precede the return of Christ. Hence, the Gospel will be triumphant in the last thousand years of Church history. Satan will be bound at some future time when the Gospel reduces the Evil One's influence to nothing. His final attempt to win the world will fail and a general resurrection and judgment will occur at the coming of Christ.

Premillennialists believe Christ will come immediately before His thousand-year reign on the earth. He will sit on the throne of David in Jerusalem. There will be a restoration of the earth. Satan will be bound during this period and his loosing will close the Millennium. A final battle (“Gog and Magog”) is followed by the resurrection of the dead and the judgment of the unrighteous before the Great White Throne. The new heavens and new earth will be created after the Millennium (Revelation 20-22).

Revelation 20 asserts six times that Christ’s rule will last one thousand years. During these thousand years, Satan will be bound in the Abyss and kept from deceiving the nations. How long is a thousand years? The phrase “a thousand years” appears three times outside of the book of Revelation.

For a thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night (Psalm 90:4).

Even if he lives a thousand years twice over but fails to enjoy his prosperity. Do not all go to the same place? (Ecclesiastes 6:6).

But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day (2 Peter 3:8).

Amillennialists and postmillennialists say a "thousand years" is never used elsewhere in Scripture for an actual number of years, but only to suggest the idea of a very long time; hence, the entire Church Age. Premillennialists say a “thousand years” is to be taken as literally as “three and one half years,” “forty-two months,” and “1,260 days.” No number in the book of Revelation is supported by evidence that would cause it to be taken other than literally.

The unmistakable teachings of the NT reveal that the adversary, the Devil, opposes the kingdom of God and His people during this present age (cf. Matthew 13; Ephesians 6:10-18; 1 Peter 5:8). Furthermore, two resurrections separate the thousand years.

They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years (Revelation 20:4-6).

Thus, this writer concludes that the literal thousand-year reign of Christ has not yet begun.

When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—to gather them for battle” (Revelation 20:7).

Then the end will come, when he [Christ] hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power” (1 Corinthians 15:24).

At that time, the new heaven and the new earth will be created (Isaiah 66:17-19; 2 Peter 3:10-13; Revelation 21:1-2) and the earthly kingdom of Christ will merge into the eternal kingdom of God.

The Scriptures describe in some detail what the millennial kingdom will be like. During the thousand-year reign of Christ, the earth returns to conditions prior to the Fall. Animals and nature will have been redeemed as well as man. It will be a time of great joy, rejoicing and deliverance for the people of God, but death and sin will still be present. Christ will “rule all the nations with an iron scepter” (Revelation 12:5), suggesting that all rebellion will be squashed immediately.

Bible Studies by Bob Conway

Unsealing Revelation

Experiencing Exodus

Book of James

Life of Christ

The Holy Spirit

How to Study the Bible

Other studies at Spreading Light Bible Studies

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