Friday, November 6, 2009

Daniel: A Hated Book

Dr. David R. ReaganPDFBy Dr. David R. Reagan

When I think of the book of Daniel, I am always reminded of a remarkable experience I had in 1983, during the third year of Lamb & Lion Ministries.

It started with a telephone call from a person in the mid-cities area between Ft. Worth and Dallas. He said he was a regular listener to the radio program I had at the time. He wanted to know if I would come to his church on a Sunday evening and speak on Bible prophecy. I told him I would be happy to do so if his pastor would invite me.

"That's the problem," he responded. "You see, my pastor doesn't like Bible studies, and He prefers entertainment on Sunday evenings — like pop singers and dancers. It's not going to be easy to talk him into inviting you, so please give me a jazzy title."

A "jazzy title" instantly popped into my mind. "Let's call it 'The Future of the Late Great Planet Earth.'"

"Hey! That's really jazzy," he replied. "Please pray I will be successful in persuading him."

The next afternoon the man called me back, and he was so excited you could have heard him without a phone. "Praise the Lord!" he shouted. "My pastor agreed to invite you without us even having to argue about it. All I did was tell him your topic, and he said, 'Invite him!'"

What the man did not know, and what both of us were to discover later, after my appearance, is that when the request was made, the pastor was sitting at his desk reading a book entitled, "The Future of the Late Great Planet Earth." It was a vehement attack on Hal Lindsey, and it was a denial of Bible prophecy. The pastor thought that because I had selected the book's title as the title of my presentation, I was going to agree with the viewpoint of the book's author! (God has a great sense of humor!)

When the time came for me to speak, it didn't take long for me to discover that I was in trouble. The pastor introduced me as "an expert on Bible prophecy who will explain to you that there is no such thing as prophecy in the Bible and will illustrate to you why Hal Lindsey is a fool." Needless to say, I was stunned by the introduction.

I stepped up to the podium, tapped the pastor on the shoulder, and whispered, "I'm afraid there has been a terrible mistake. You see, I believe in Bible prophecy, and I believe Hal Lindsey is right on target. Should I forget about speaking and go home?"

The pastor thought a moment and then said, "No, you go ahead and speak, but keep it short."

With sweaty palms and a dry mouth, I stepped up to the microphone and said, "Please open your Bibles and turn to Acts chapter 2." I wanted to show them how the first Gospel sermon ever preached — the sermon by the Apostle Peter on Pentecost — was a survey of Bible prophecy from start to finish, showing how Jesus had fulfilled a variety of Messianic prophecies.

Before I started reading Acts 2, I looked out at the audience and noticed that no one had a Bible! I asked them to open the pew Bibles. A person blurted out, "We don't have pew Bibles in this church." I then requested some men to go through the education wing of the building and collect Bibles from the classrooms. I led three songs while we waited for them to gather the Bibles. When they returned, one of them reported, "We can't find any Bibles in this church!"

At that point the pastor announced that he would get some Bibles out of his office. He came back with about six, and he distributed them among the 200 people who were present.

Once again, I asked them to turn to Acts 2. The pages started rustling — and they continued to do so, because no one could find the book of Acts! So, I took the opportunity to introduce them to the Bible. I explained the division between the Old and New Testaments. I pointed out the types of books in both testaments, and then I led them to the discovery of the book of Acts.

After I made my point with Peter's sermon in Acts 2, I asked them to turn to the book of Daniel in the Old Testament. Suddenly, the pastor stood up and said, "I'm sorry, but I do not allow the book of Daniel to be read in this church."

When I asked why, he responded, "You obviously are not a seminary graduate, because if you were, you would be aware of the fact that Daniel is a fraudulent book. It was written like prophecy, but in fact it was written long after the events it claims to prophesy."

I was stunned. And I decided I was not going to allow the rebuke to pass without a response. I began to present one argument after another in behalf of the validity of Daniel, and each time the pastor just scoffed at me in disdain. Finally, I asked, "Do you want me to go home?"

"No," he replied, "just don't quote the book of Daniel."

I stood there for a moment, still in a state of shock. Then, I resumed by asking the congregation to turn to Genesis 3:15. "I want to show you the very first Messianic prophecy in the Bible." But before I could read it, the pastor interrupted me again.

He jumped to his feet and said, "I'm sorry, but I can't allow you to read that verse because I know you are going to claim that it is a prophecy about the virgin birth, and we don't believe in the virgin birth at this church!"

All this happened at a mainline Protestant denomination.

The pastor's attitude I experienced that evening is commonplace in Christendom today. Daniel is the most controversial book in the Bible. Liberals hate it because they do not believe in the divine inspiration of the Scriptures, and Daniel's book is a great testimony to divine inspiration. That's because it contains some of the most remarkable prophecies in the Bible, prophecies that are detailed in content and broad in scope, stretching from Daniel's time to the day of the Messiah's Second Coming. As one person has put it, "Daniel wrote history more accurately before it happened than anyone has ever done after it happened."

To discredit the book, liberals have tried to argue that it was written long after the time of Daniel by someone who assumed his identity. They usually place the time of its authorship around 100 years before Christ. They are determined to date it after the time of the Greek tyrant, Antiochus Epiphanes, who reigned from 175 to 164 BC. The reason they are so determined to do this is because the book of Daniel prophesies the reign of Antiochus in detail, including the atrocities that he would commit against the Jews.

But the efforts of the liberals to trash the book have all been in vain. One of the strongest rebuttals is the fact that Daniel was included in the Septuagint translation of the Hebrew Scriptures. This is the translation of what we call the Old Testament from Hebrew into Greek. It was done by a group of 70 Hebrew scholars in Alexandria, Egypt, in about 280 BC — long before the time of Antiochus Epiphanes.

Also, Josephus, the First Century Jewish historian, reports that when Alexander the Great came to Jerusalem in 333 BC, the High Priest showed him where he and his empire were prophesied in the book of Daniel, and he was so impressed that he spared the city from destruction (Jewish Antiquities, vol. 11, p. 311).

But the most important evidence of the book's authenticity is to be found in the New Testament in Matthew 24:15 where Jesus Himself quoted the prophecies of Daniel and thus personally attested to the validity of the book.

22 comments:

glen walling said...

i've been reading daniel and studying it these last few days along with the maccabees, and other historical stuff and no doubt the little horn was fulfilled by antiochus but i also believe the 2300 sacrifices was also fulfilled and nothing to do with the future
it isn't known exactly which calender was used at the time but it is very possible that if the greek calender was used then going by the dates in maccabees, 2300 evening and morning sacrfices were stopped (1150 days), but according to jewish calender it would only come to 2200
what is really suspicious about this is that most of the copies in the dead sea scrolls had the number torn out
some have 2300, one copy had 2400 and apparently one had 2200
whatecver happened i believe it is totally fulfilled
to apply daniel 8 to a future king is silly to me, and just does not fit

hartdawg said...

as i stated a million times (me and many others) liberals attack the beginning (creation) the middle (the resurrection) and the end (prophecy) daniel and revelation. alongside Daniel i heard it taught that the author of revelation was "john the presbytor" whatever that means. he supposidly lived around 225 A.D. I also heard Job was a ficticous character. a parable. WHAT NONSENSE!

hartdawg said...

glenn i agree. dan ch8 is only a TYPE of antichrist ans was already fulfilled by antiochus

glen walling said...

i also believe the fourth beast prophecy has had a historical fulfillment in rome
after rome fell (a prefigure of the future rome - 1st beast), 10 germanic tribes took over western roman empire, then later the papacy took power over western europe (litle horn, and i believe is a prefigure of the 2nd beast - the false prophet). 3 tribes were overthrown
this was a divided kingdom, but under rome
this is what i believe could be happening now, the vatican is looking to control east jerusalem
if the land represents israel, what would that make a future pope if the RCC was there?
the false prophet with 2 horns like a lamb?!!!

hartdawg said...

i`d have to disagree with you on the 4th beast, slightly. the 4th beast has had partial fulfillment but is to be revived. the 4 beast in Daniel 7 parrellel (bad spelling) the 4 metals in dan 2. the 4th kingdom in dan ch2 had 10 toes which paralel the 10 horns and it says IN THE DAYS OF THOSE KINGS the god of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed

hartdawg said...

so the 4th beast is both past and is yet to be revived.

glen walling said...

i agree hartdawg, it is being revived the western european union are 10 full member nations
do you know about recomendation 666? (google it if you don't)
it's a vacant seat and tony blair looks to become first apparently permanent EU president (mouth of a lion? england)
but i believe the vatican and a pope could very well be the 2nd beast, the false prophet that rises from the earth (israel) afterwards
here again we have 666 - vicarius filei dei
the roman church rose AFTER the fourth beast received a deadly wound
tony blair recently converted to catholicism which i find very odd indeed because there is no way he is a practicing catholic
there is a definite strong link between the vatican and the EU

hartdawg said...

i donno man, as suspicous as it may be (and geographically he`s from the right area too!) i tend to be very leary about speculating on individuals.when a covenant with isreal is confirmed then we`ll know for certain tho he is a good candidate. but still...

son of thunder said...

I've never understood those people that late-date Daniel. There is too much evidence to do that.

And since Daniel also predicted when the Messiah would be cut off (483 years after the rebuilding of the Temple after the Babylonian exile), doesn't that also mean these people don't believe that Jesus is the Messiah?

son of thunder said...

Also, I've heard Dr. Reagan tell that story before, and it never ceases to amaze me that a church would have almost zero bibles in it.

hartdawg said...

well thunder, Bible just aint hip enough and dont bring in the big bugs. even if Daniel was written in the 2nd century B.C.(which it wasnt) it STILL gives the 483 years proving Jesus was the messiah

hartdawg said...

sorry, thats big bucks. the Bible dont bring in the big bucks

son of thunder said...

As well as giving us (in detail) Alexander the Great and how his empire was split four ways among his generals.

I'd just like to know when exactly Christianity became a business. Anybody know?

hartdawg said...

as early as Simeon the sorcerer and annanias an saphiara people attempted to buy the Holy Spirit and furthermore in the time of the judges in the old testement priest would sell their services to the highest bidder so apparently the answer to your question is almost from the begginning

David said...

As always great points Dr. Reagan.....but the pastor's attitude and beliefs.....wow, just wow.

Armageddon Thru To You said...

I wonder how many of these types of Christians will find their faith unworthy to escape the things that are coming. At some point, a so-called Christian's faith in Christ without faith in what Christ said and did himself and/or through the prophets, has to put one's salvation at risk on at least some levels, I would think.

Billy said...

Actually, EVERYONE is unworthy to escape the things to come. It is our belief in Christ via His death and resurrection alone that allows us to escape, not a test of faith or anything else.

Armageddon Thru To You said...

Hi Billy, I was making a reference to Luk 21:36 "Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man."

When people say they believe in Christ, but deny things he said and did himself and/or through the prophets, it makes me wonder if they will fall into the group mentioned in Mat 7:22 "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?"

Because in the following verse Christ says "I never knew you: depart from me".

I know it's not through our works that we obtain salvation because we're sinful beings, but if faith is all we have as a ticket to salvation and eternal life with Christ, I'm just saying we'd all better be sure we at least have that part correct. I don't have the answers either and I pray about it.

Billy said...

Armageddon,

If you saying to the effect that if you believe in Jesus but deny He raised the dead, walked on water, etc. then yes, I don't see how you can be a Christian and not have the faith to believe in (or spiritualize) the obvious truths of the Bible.

I suppose I was saying I'm not sure you can judge the strength of one's faith on more speculative subjects that even true believers may have honest differences of opinion on.

Billy said...

I meant faith to believe in (and NOT spiritualize)...

hartdawg said...

armeggeddon
i think i know what you`re saying. i`ve talked to many "christians" who profess christ but dont posses christ then when you mentioned (hopefully i aint misrepresenting what you said)something happening that put someones faith at risk, well, its when that happens that you know when they truly been born again

hartdawg said...

to question whether one is truly in the faith is a tool of the enemy. the bible does say to test yourself but to worry about it is something Satan uses to immobilize us. so, armeggeddon, if you`re actually worried about it (not sure if you are) then you dont need to be. as far as being worthy to escape... God looks at us thru the blood of Jesus (otherwise i`d be a crispy critter)