We are continuing to share with you the opinions of 17 Bible prophecy experts concerning various questions related to the book of Daniel. You should find these interviews fascinating and very informative. The interviews were conducted at a national Bible prophecy conference that was held in the Dallas, Texas area.
The fifth question is based on the fact that people normally think of the book of Daniel as being only a book of prophecy about the First and Second Comings of the Messiah and about the Antichrist and the Tribulation. But, the book also contains some great principles for victorious living. It's also a book that tells a fascinating story about a young man taken into captivity to a foreign nation where everything he believed was challenged.
So the question for our experts is this:
#5. What is the fundamental non-prophetic message of the book of Daniel?
Al Gist, Maranatha Evangelistic Ministries
A fundamental non-prophetic message of Daniel in my mind is seen in the character of Daniel. Here's a man who was taken captive in his teen years and carried away as a slave to a foreign country. His faith was tested severely on numerous occasions. And yet, through all those occasions, God was with him. God saw him through ever situation and ultimately blessed him to become a very powerful man in that foreign empire.
I also think another non-prophetic message we see in the character of Daniel is that he was a man who was committed to prayer. He was a man who was very humble. As far as I know, there's not one negative word anywhere in the Bible concerning the prophet Daniel.
Daniel was a man who loved God, who lived for God, who was obedient to God, and God took care of him. I think that would be the third and main non-prophetic message —God has not forsaken us. God said He would never leave us nor forsake us. If we'll live for Him and serve Him, He'll take care of us, just as He did with Daniel.
Don Perkins, According to Prophecy Ministries
Go to the first few chapter of the book of Daniel and you find the fundamental non-prophetic message is all about character. We look at Daniel and the Hebrew boys and are shown that they were men of integrity. I love the first few chapters when you see Daniel and the Hebrew boys come under great tests, but they are faithful to God. As a result, their character comes through, though that character was already there. They wouldn't comprise with the king even if it meant death. I really love that!
There have been many times in my study of Daniel how that first part of the book always strengthens my own resolve as a Christian. There are times when I'm challenged to make a decision, and so I think about Daniel and the Hebrew boys.
Gary Frazier, Discovery Worldwide Ministries
The thing that I remember about Daniel first and foremost, even before the prophecy contained in the book, is without a doubt in my opinion if you don't understand the book of Daniel, you're never going to understand Bible prophecy.
The message that speaks to my heart concerning the non-prophetic message is this: faithfulness to God and living a holy life will see that God always honors that. He always has and He always will. No matter what may happen in the world in which we live, and no matter how difficult things may get as we have no idea how bad things may get before the Groom comes for His Bride and takes us out of here, but the fact is it has always been in style to live a holy life, to be a person of prayer, and to trust God and walk by faith.
When you look at the book of Daniel, not only does Daniel's life exemplify godly living, but so too Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah when they were being cast into the fiery furnace. Then go and look at Daniel in the lion's den. It all started with Daniel and those three Hebrew youth saying, "We're not going to go the way the rest of the world goes. We are going to eat vegetables. We are going to eat fruit. We are going to drink fresh water. Why? Because that's what we believe will honor God." So, Daniel's a book really about faithfulness and trust and being a holy man of God, and God honors that and always will.
Randall Price, World of the Bible Ministries
Certainly the non-prophetic message I think is probably staying true to what you know is true. Despite all of the peer pressure and being out of Daniel's element and certainly being free to do whatever he wanted to do because his life in Israel as he knew it was over, no one would care if he needed to elevate himself in the power structure of the Babylonians and later the Persians. He could just go with crowd, but he doesn't. Daniel stands alone. He stands committed to what he knows that the God of Israel would have him do.
And, do you know what? Daniel's God's man in God's hour. I think we need to have more people like that.
Nathan Jones, Lamb & Lion Ministries
The non-prophetic message of the book of Daniel is be faithful. You could tack on, "Be faithful like Daniel." Daniel didn't eat the special foods. Daniel stuck to the Law. Whenever he was asked to pray to foreign gods or to the king, he refused to do it, no matter if it even cost him his life. When Daniel was thrown into the lion's den, he remained faithful to God.
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego who where Daniel's three Jewish friends, they refused to bow down to Nebuchadnezzar's image. They remained faithful to God, even to death.
With Nebuchadnezzar it took a lot to get him and his massive ego to be in check, but at the end he proclaimed God and he stayed faithful to God even after God punished him.
Then we get anti-characters such as Belshazzar, who wasn't faithful whatsoever, and he lost an entire empire in one night over a drunken party.
Again and again, I believe Daniel is teaching us to be faithful no matter what the adversity. We can take that as an example today. We face adversity as Christians all the time. In some countries Christians are getting murdered on a daily basis. Other countries like here in the United States, we are losing our freedoms. But, through it all, we need to remember to stay faithful just like Daniel.
In the sixteenth part of this series on the book of Daniel, the remaining members of our panel of Bible prophecy experts will finish answering, "What is the fundamental non-prophetic message of the book of Daniel?"