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Lesson # Dan. 7:15-18
Study Material - Dan. 7:15-18
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15 'As for me, Daniel, my spirit was distressed within me, and the visions in my mind kept alarming me. 16 'I approached one of those who were standing by and began asking him the exact meaning of all this. So he told me and made known to me the interpretation of these things: 17 'These great beasts, which are four in number, are four kings who will arise from the earth. 18 'But the saints of the Highest One will receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, for all ages to come.'
Daniel was distressed. His spirit, herein used as the general term for the real Daniel was 'sheathed' in his body. The word for body is 'nidneh' or body or sheath. The soul resides in the body. Our physical bodies are but a sheath or receptacle for housing our soul. And our body is temporary at that. At some point in the future we will receive new bodies, resurrection bodies. For us in this Church Age, that time will be at the moment of the Rapture. Our change will be instantaneous as we are snatched from the earth in a twinkling of an eye. Of course no one knows when that might be. Certainly we have seen, since the Pentecost, which marks the beginning of our Church Age in 30 A.D., and assuming that, that year is correct, then we have seen 1972 years of our Church Age.
We have seen almost 2000 years of history and the development of the rest of the world out of the Rome that was. Now Daniel was distressed. He has been cast into a lions den. One would think that, that would be stressful, even more so than a dream. But here he states that this dream distressed him.
He understood the first three beasts. he understood the Ancient of Days. He understood the return of he Son of Man with clouds to be seated and glorified at the right hand of the Father, but that fourth beast caused him uncertainty. He asks for more information.
We have already noted that these four beasts are kingdoms which will rise up out of the earth. Note that they come up from the sea. From earth they rise, therefore they are of the earth. They are dust. And to the earth they will return. To dust they will return. These empires who would make themselves to be great in their own minds, are no more valuable than the dust of the earth.
All nations are placed here on earth to do the will of God. We have already seen that God appoints leaders and removes them at His will. This from the study of Nebuchadnezzar. But nations, which are but a collection of souls, of peoples, disregard their obligations and responsibilities and pursue various lusts and desires of their own. Man fails horribly throughout history. Look to the Middle East and at the mess that exists over there. Look to Afghanistan and Pakistan, and India. Look to Africa and Southeast Asia and so forth. Millions of peoples live in oppressed conditions. And leaders are hard pressed to figure out just what to do. Peoples suffer, but then peoples reject God and therefore they live by the rules of the jungle, and the repercussions of making that choice.
'But', as Daniel goes on, 'But, the saints will inherit'. Empires will come and go. Criminal leaders will come and go. Righteous leaders will come and go. Sometimes good leaders will come and go. But in the end, those who have given their faith over to God, through Jesus Christ, will receive that kingdom of God and will end up the victors in history. Every knee will bend, every head will bow, to Christ, the Ancient of Days, the everlasting God, Phil. 2:9-10.
All of life is not intended for grief. Certainly that is only for those who reject God. Just as empires struggle for their place in history, so too individual people struggle for whatever little crumbs they can squeeze out of life. In the end they all will fail.
The better side of life comes to those who decide for God and to advance in their spiritual lives. We live within the jungle but are not controlled by it. Our life is short, maybe 40 , or 60, or 80 years. For some less, for others more, but when compared to the trillions upon trillions upon trillions of years in eternity and more, this life is nothing but a blink. A wise person would invest for the long term on a sure winner, rather than gambling on the short term on a sure loser.
And that is really the summary of our world history. Empires will come and go, but in it all, believers in Christ will survive them all.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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