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Notes for

Daniel Chapter Three


1. Daniel 4:30

The king spoke, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty?

The original statue in the king's dream had only a head of gold and plainly showed that the kingdom of Babylon would come to an end. Nebuchadnezzar's statue was designed to combat that idea by being all of gold from head to toe.

"You are this head of gold," said Daniel. How did the king treat that? In place of letting that dream teach him what was to be the end of the kingdoms, he studied on the dream to find an alternative and the devil took possession of his mind, leading him to build that great image of gold and to set it up.

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2. This was about 580BC, 22 years after the events of the previous chapter.

The people of Jerusalem had rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar in 601BC under king Jehoiakim who was very friendly with the Egyptians. 2 Kings 24:1-4. He died in December 598BC and his son Jehoiachin ruled for three months, then Zedekiah, Jehoiakim's uncle, was made king by Nebuchadnezzar in 597BC and Jeremiah began to tell of the forthcoming total destruction of the city. 2 Kings 24:8.

2 Kings 24:17

And the king of Babylon made Mattaniah his father's brother king in his stead, and changed his name to Zedekiah.

Zedekiah made a special trip to Babylon in the fourth year of his reign. During his visit a book which Jeremiah had written about the end of Babylon was read aloud and then cast into the river Euphrates.

Jeremiah 51:59-63

The word which Jeremiah the prophet commanded Seraiah the son of Neriah, the son of Maaseiah, when he went with Zedekiah the king of Judah into Babylon in the fourth year of his reign. And this Seraiah was a quiet prince. So Jeremiah wrote in a book all the evil that should come upon Babylon, even all these words that are written against Babylon....

And it shall be [he told Seraiah], when you have made an end of reading this book, that you shall bind a stone to it, and cast it into the midst of Euphrates:

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Sackbut = a four stringed instrument

psaltery = some kind of a harp? or, chanting?

dulcimer = either a type of bagpipes or, group singing!

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3. Revelation 13:7-15 There will be another death decree in the future

And it was given to him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

If any man have an ear, let him hear.

He that leads into captivity shall go into captivity: he that kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints....

And he does great wonders, so that he makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, and deceives them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.

And he had power to give life to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.

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4. Romans 1:18-23 They know what they are doing!

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; because that which may be known of God is manifest in [or to] them; for God has showed it to them.

For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: because that, when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

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5. Matthew 10:34-36 Lucifer rebelled and accused the Son of God, his spiritual brother.

Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword [the sword of truth, Hebrews 4:12]. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.

Micah 7:5-7

Trust you not in a friend, put you not confidence in a guide: keep the doors of your mouth from her that lies in your bosom. For the son dishonours the father, the daughter rises up against her mother, the daughter in law against her mother in law; a man's enemies are the men of his own house. Therefore I will look to the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me.

Mark 13:8-13

For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers [different] places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are [just] the beginnings of sorrows.

But take heed to yourselves: for they shall deliver you up to councils; and in the synagogues [churches] you shall be beaten: and you shall be brought before rulers and kings for My sake, for a testimony against them.

And the gospel must first be published among all nations. But not necessarily accepted.

But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what you shall speak, neither do you premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak you: for it is not you that speak, but the Holy Ghost.

Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son; and children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death. And you shall be hated of all men for My name's sake: but he that shall endure to the end, the same shall be saved [it will take time].

Ezra 4:11-16 The kind of accusations that will be made.

This is the copy of the letter that they sent to him, even to Artaxerxes the king [of Persia]; [This is from] your servants the men on this side the river [Euphrates], and at such a time. Be it known to the king, that the Jews which came up from you to us are come to Jerusalem, building the rebellious and the bad city, and have set up the walls thereof, and joined the foundations.

Be it known now to the king, that, if this city be built, and the walls set up again, then will they not pay toll, tribute, and custom, and so you shall damage the revenue of the kings.

Now because we have maintenance from the king's palace, and it was not meet [or right] for us to see the king's dishonour, therefore have we sent and certified the king; that search may be made in the book of the records of your fathers: so shall you find in the book of the records, and know that this city is a rebellious city, and hurtful to kings and provinces, and that they have moved sedition within the same of old time: for which cause was this city destroyed.

We certify the king that, if this city be built again, and the walls thereof set up, by this means you shall have no portion [or taxes] on this side the river.

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6. This was an unlawful request. As we have seen, civil governments have the right, under God, to control our bodies but they have no rights in the areas of conscience (what we believe). Apart from the impossibility of enforcing such a law, it is morally wrong for them to try.

Exodus 20:3-7 Part of the Ten Commandments.

You shall have no other gods before Me.

You shall not make to you any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: you shall not bow down yourself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generation of them that hate Me; and showing mercy to thousands of them that love Me, and keep My commandments.

You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that takes His name in vain.

Esther 3:1-11 Compare this story with the one you are reading. It occurred about 100 years later.

After these things did king Ahasuerus [of Persia] promote Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him, and set his seat above all the princes that were with him. And all the king's servants, that were in the king's gate, bowed, and reverenced Haman: for the king had so commanded concerning him. But Mordecai [the Jew] bowed not, nor did him reverence.

Then the king's servants, which were in the king's gate, said to Mordecai, Why transgress [break] you the king's commandment? He could do this as a follower of God's Law and still be righteous because a religious law made by the state has no real existence.

Now it came to pass, when they spoke daily to him, and he hearkened not to them, that they told Haman, to see whether Mordecai's matters would stand: for he had told them that he was a Jew. And when Haman saw that Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence, then was Haman full of wrath. And he thought scorn to lay hands on Mordecai alone; for they had showed him the people of Mordecai: wherefore Haman sought to destroy all the Jews that were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus, even the people of Mordecai.

In the first month, that is, the month Nisan, in the twelfth year of king Ahasuerus, they cast Pur, that is, the lot, before Haman from day to day, and from month to month, to the twelfth month, that is, the month Adar [to decide on a certain day for a death decree].

And Haman said to king Ahasuerus, There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of your kingdom; and their laws are diverse [different] from all people; neither keep they the king's laws: therefore it is not for the king's profit to suffer them.

If it please the king, let it be written that they may be destroyed: and I will pay ten thousand talents of silver to the hands of those that have the charge of the business, to bring it into the king's treasuries. He was so anxious to kill those who refused to worship him!

And the king took his ring from his hand, and gave it to Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the Jews' enemy. And the king said to Haman, The silver is given to you [keep your money], the people also, to do with them as it seems good to you. He was ignoring the first rule of a good governor - protect ALL your people.

Luke 21:16-19

And you shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death. And you shall be hated of all men for My name's sake. But there shall not an hair of your head perish. In your patience possess you your souls [let Me be your Protector].

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7. Exodus 32:3-5 The image represented Baal, the god of force which had been worshipped in the exodus in the form of a golden "calf" or young ox.

And all the people broke off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them to Aaron. And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf [or young bull]: and they said, These be your gods, O Israel, which brought you up out of the land of Egypt. And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, To morrow is a feast to the LORD.

1 Kings 18:21 There are as many worshippers of Baal in the church as there are outside of it.

And Elijah came to all the people, and said, How long halt you between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow Him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word. Mainly because, like Aaron, they could not tell the difference!

Judges 2:13-14 He who lives by the sword shall perish by the sword.

And they forsook the LORD, and served Baal [the male god of force] and Ashtaroth [the female god of force]. And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and He delivered them into the hands of spoilers that spoiled them, and He sold them into the hands of their enemies round about, so that they could not any longer stand before their enemies.

1 Kings 19:18 There were a few followers of the meek and lowly One.

Yet I have left Me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth which has not kissed him.

Jeremiah 7:9-10 The attributes of Baal worship.

Will you steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense [pray] to Baal, and walk after other gods whom you know not; and [then] come and stand before Me in this house, which is called by My name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations?

Jeremiah 11:13 The use of force in religion was very well established in Jerusalem.

For according to the number of your cities were your gods, O Judah; and according to the number of the streets of Jerusalem have you set up altars to that shameful thing, even altars to burn incense [to pray] to Baal. Each person had their own version of the god!

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8. Exodus 5:1 Baal worshippers long to be independent.

And afterward Moses and Aaron went in, and told Pharaoh, Thus says the LORD God of Israel, Let My people go, that they may hold a feast to Me in the wilderness. And Pharaoh said, Who is the LORD, that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I know not the LORD, neither will I let Israel go.

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9. Matthew 10:16-20 This is what God is looking for in His followers

Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be you therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues [churches]; and you shall be brought before governors and kings for My sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.

But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what you shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what you shall speak.

For it is not you that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaks in you.

Acts 5:25-33 The action of some church leaders.

Then came one and told them, saying, Behold, the men whom you put in prison are standing in the temple, and teaching the people.

Then went the captain with the officers, and brought them without violence: for they feared the people, lest they should have been stoned.

And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them, saying, Did not we straitly [with force] command you that you should not teach in this name? And, behold, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this Man's blood upon us.

Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you slew and hanged on a tree. Him has God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. And we are His witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God has given to them that obey Him.

When they heard that, they were cut to the heart, and took counsel to slay them. This is a common action of Baal worshippers.

Acts 12:1-11 The action of a worldly man.

Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church. And he killed James the brother of John with the sword. And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.) And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions [squads of four] of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people.

Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church to God for him. And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison. And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands. And the angel said to him, Gird yourself, and bind on your sandals. And so he did. And he said to him, Cast your garment about you, and follow me.

And he went out, and followed him; and wist [understood] not that it was true which was done by the angel; but thought he saw a vision. When they were past the first and the second ward, they came to the iron gate that leads to the city; which opened to them of his own accord: and they went out, and passed on through one street; and forthwith the angel departed from him.

And when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a surety, that the Lord has sent his angel, and has delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews.

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10. Matthew 10:32 "Confess" can also mean protect.

Whoever therefore shall confess Me before men, him will I confess also before My Father which is in heaven.

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11. Religious anger always wants to hurt its opponents dreadfully. He used his "most mighty men" because he was impressed that something unusual was about to happen.

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12. Mark 16:16-18 There is power present with a believer.

He that believes and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believes not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; in My name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

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13. Psalm 33:18-19 God is our Protector, but only through obedience

Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear Him, upon them that hope in His mercy; to deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine.

Psalm 91:1-12

He that dwells in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in Him will I trust.

Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings shall you trust: His truth shall be your shield and buckler.

You shall not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flies by day; nor for the pestilence that walks in darkness; nor for the destruction that wastes at noonday. A thousand shall fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near you. Only with your eyes shall you behold and see the reward of the wicked.

Because you have made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, your habitation; There shall no evil befall you, neither shall any plague come nigh your dwelling. For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. They shall bear you up in their hands, lest you dash your foot against a stone.

Zephaniah 2:1-3

Gather yourselves together, yes, gather together, O nation not desired; Before the [death] decree bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of the LORD come upon you, before the day of the LORD'S anger come upon you. Seek you the LORD, all you meek of the earth, which have wrought His judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness [obedience]: it may be you shall be hid in the day of the LORD'S anger.

1 Peter 4:12-14

Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you: but rejoice, inasmuch as you are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when His glory shall be revealed, you may be glad also with exceeding joy. If you be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are you; for the spirit of glory and of God rests upon you: on their part He is evil spoken of, but on your part He is glorified.

 

From his royal seat the king looked on, expecting to see the men who had defied him utterly destroyed. But his feelings of triumph suddenly changed. The nobles standing near saw his face grow pale as he started from the throne and looked intently into the glowing flames. In alarm the king, turning to his lords, asked, "Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? . . . Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God."

How did that heathen king know what the Son of God was like? The Hebrew captives filling positions of trust in Babylon had in life and character represented before him the truth. When asked for a reason of their faith, they had given it without hesitation. Plainly and simply they had presented the principles of righteousness, thus teaching those around them of the God whom they worshiped. They had told of Christ, the Redeemer to come; and in the form of the fourth in the midst of the fire the king recognized the Son of God for they knew what He looked like too!.

Matthew 28:19-20 We are to teach by example as much as by word

Go you therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the world. Amen.

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14. Romans 13:1-2 Obedience in all civil matters is expected of Christians

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. Whoever therefore resists the power, resists the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.

Titus 3:1

Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work,

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15. Psalm 47:7-9 Sing you praises with understanding.

For God is the King of all the earth: sing you praises with understanding. God reigns over the heathen: God sits upon the throne of His holiness. The princes of the people are gathered together, even the people of the God of Abraham: for the shields of the earth belong to God: He is greatly exalted.

God does not stop the wicked in their angry behaviour. He saves those who allow Him to protect them.

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16. Job 1:9-12 God's protective hedge

Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Does Job fear [respect] God for nothing? Have not You made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.

But put forth Your hand now [let me at him!], and touch all that he has, and he will curse You to Your face.

And the LORD said to Satan, Behold, all that he has is in your power; only upon himself put not forth your hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD [to do just that].

Ezekiel 33:11-20 Righteousness or wickedness - you choose!

Say to them, As I live, says the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn you, turn you from your evil ways; for why will you die, O house of Israel?

Therefore, you son of man, say to the children of your people, The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression. As for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall thereby in the day that he turns from his wickedness; neither shall the righteous be able to live for his righteousness in the day that he sins.

When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousnesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he has committed, he shall die for it.

Again, when I say to the wicked, You shall surely die; if he turn from his sin, and do that which is lawful and right; if the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die. None of his sins that he has committed shall be mentioned to him: he has done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely live.

Yet the children of your people say, The way of the Lord is not equal: but as for them, their way is not equal. When the righteous turns from his righteousness, and commits iniquity, he shall even die thereby. But if the wicked turn from his wickedness, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall live thereby. Yet you say, The way of the Lord is not equal. O you house of Israel, I will judge you every one after his ways.

Psalm 9:16

The LORD is known by the judgment which He executes: the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. Higgaion. Selah.


 

The judgments of God

The judgments of God do not come directly from the Lord upon sinners,

but in this way:

They place themselves beyond His legal protection.

He warns, corrects, reproves, and points out the only path of safety.

 

Then,

if those who have been the objects of His special care will still deliberately

follow their own course,

independent of the Spirit of God,

after repeated warnings, if they still choose their own way,

then He must not continue to commission His angels

to prevent Satan's decided attacks upon them, for this is now their choice.

 

It is Satan's power that is at work on sea, land and in the air,

bringing calamity and distress and sweeping off multitudes to make sure of his prey.

It is he who "has the power of death!" (Hebrews 2:14).

 

Exodus 23:20-22 In obedience is our protection

Behold, I send an Angel before you, to keep you in the way, and to bring you into the place which I have prepared. Beware of Him, and obey His voice, provoke Him not; for He will not pardon your transgressions: for My name [character] is in Him. But if you shall indeed obey His voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy to your enemies, and an adversary to your adversaries.

These faithful Hebrews possessed great natural ability and intellect. They occupied high positions of authority. But all these advantages did not lead them to forget or neglect their Saviour.

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17. Mark 15:20-21 Only false religion compels.

And when they had mocked Him, they took off the purple [robe] from Him, and put His own clothes on Him, and led Him out to crucify Him. And they compel one Simon a Cyrenian, who passed by, coming out of the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to bear His cross.

Matthew 5:41 God's way is the opposite

And whoever shall compel you to go a mile, go with him two.

Luke 14:23 How God compels

And the lord said to the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel [love] them to come in, that My house may be filled.

O, that thousands more people had a realization of the time in which we are living, and of the work to be done in field service, in house to house labor. There are many who know not the truth. They need to hear the call to come to Jesus. The sorrowing are to be cheered, the mourners comforted. The poor are to have the gospel preached to them. You are God's spokesman or woman. You are to speak the truth in love to perishing souls. Christ says, "Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled," Luke 14:23. Do not these words plainly outline the work of the canvasser? With Christ in his heart, he is to go forth into the highways and byways of life, giving the invitation to the marriage supper. Men and women will come if they are invited. Some will refuse, but, thank God, not all.

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