Rexella: That is so beautiful to think that God is always with us. Whatever your trial, God is there with you and he'll see you through. We are going to go on now to chapter 4. Twenty three years had passed between chapters 3 and 4 and this chapter could probably be called Nebuchadnezzar's spiritual biography and you'll certainly realize why as we continue on.
Dr. Van Impe: And Rexella, he is going to pay the price now for creating this image, making people bow to it under the sentence of death. God's going to even the score.
Rexella: All right. Proud man. He was a proud man. "Nebuchadnezzar the King, unto all the people, nations, languages, that dwell in all the Earth; peace be multiplied unto you. I thought it good to shew the signs and wonders that the high God hath wrought toward me. How great are his signs! And how mighty are his wonders! His Kingdom is an everlasting Kingdom, and his dominion is from generation to generation. I Nebuchadnezzar was at rest in mine house, and flourishing in my palace: I saw a dream..." Here's another dream that he had. "...which made me afraid, and the thoughts upon my bed and the visions of my head troubled me. Therefore made I a decree to bring in all the wise men of Babylon before me, that they might make known unto me the interpretation of the dream. Then came in the magicians, the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers: and I told the dream before them; but they did not make known unto me the interpretation thereof." Now this is a little bit different. At least Nebuchadnezzar did tell the dream. They still couldn't give him the interpretation. Verse 8, "but at the last Daniel came in before me, whose name was Belteshazzar, according to the name of my God, and in whom is the spirit of the holy Gods: and before him I told the dream, saying, o Belteshazzar, master of the magicians, because I know that the spirit of the holy Gods is in thee, and no secret troubleth thee, tell me the visions of my dream that I have seen, and the interpretation thereof. Thus were the visions of mine head in my bed; I saw, and behold a tree in the midst of the earth, and the height thereof was great. The tree grew, and was strong, and the height thereof reached unto the heaven, and the sight thereof to the end of all the earth: the leaves thereof were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and it was meat for all: the beasts of the field had shadow under it, and the fowls of the heaven dwelt in the boughs thereof, and all the flesh was fed of it. I saw in the visions of my head upon my bed, and, behold, a watcher and an holy one came down from heaven; he cried aloud, and said thus, hew down the tree, and cut off his branches, shake off his leaves, and scatter his fruit: let the beasts get away from under it, and the fowls from his branches: nevertheless leave the stump of his roots in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts in the grass of the earth: let his heart be changed from man's, and let a beast's heart be given unto him; and let seven times pass over him." Oh. Now that's quite a dream Jack and you said this was a spiritual biography of him. Can you sort of help us out with what this dream means? What's this tree and everything?
Dr. Van Impe: Trees in the word of God represent Kingdoms, powers. For instance the cedar tree usually speaks of the nation of Lebanon, I Kings 4:33.
4:33 And he spake of trees, from the cedar tree that is in Lebanon even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall: he spake also of beasts, and of fowl, and of creeping things, and of fishes.The fig tree speaks about Israel according to Matthew 24:32
24:32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:and for proof of that, one need look at Joel 1, verse 7, Hosea 9, verse 10.
1:7 He hath laid my vine waste, and barked my fig tree: he hath made it clean bare, and cast it away; the branches thereof are made white.In Hosea 9:10, God, identifying the fig tree says to the Jews of that time, I saw your fathers as the first ripened in my fig tree. So this represents nations. This great tree that reached to heaven typifies Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonian empire which had control of the world. It was powerful. But this man, filled with pride, mocked God by putting up this golden image, making people bow to his god Marduk, and if they couldn't do it, put them to death. So the judgment of God must come upon him and he says this tree will be hewn down to the ground but the stump remains meaning that this man still is alive and that he will revive as far as power is concerned but is going to go through a seven year period of testing, a picture of the tribulation hour. And so for that seven years he is stricken and he begins crawling around on his hands and knees as an insane monarch eating grass. His hair was probably down his back. His fingernails were like birds claws. Now, is that a possibility? Again the skeptics would say oh come on, wait a minute.
9:10 I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers as the firstripe in the fig tree at her first time: but they went to Baalpeor, and separated themselves unto that shame; and their abominations were according as they loved.
Dr. Horace of the British Institute, 1946, discovered such a case in England where the man was totally irrational at times and he had claws like a bird, disheveled hair almost to his feet and he would crawl around eating grass. That disease became known as Boanthropy or Zoanthropy. Medical records prove it does exist and it happened to this King to bring him down. When you get to verse 30 later he shows them his great palace and you know the palace of the King was six square miles in greatness and largeness and he says look what Iíve built. But the main thing is the mocking of the God of heaven. And the mockery of these young men who had served him so faithfully in forcing them to bow to Marduk or Jupiter. This I said is a picture because he went through it for seven years of the tribulation hour. And oh it's going to be terrible. He went through it, all those who honored his false God went through the seven year period and during the tribulation hour millions upon millions, well even into the billions, will be here to go through the judgments that will inundate the world. And the judgments, 21 of them, are found in Revelations chapter 6 to 18. Let me give you just a couple. In chapter 6, verse 2
Rev 6:2 And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.the antichrist appears on a white horse. In verse 4
6:4 And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.some say that these are four different riders or one rider who changes horses, so the red horse depicts peace being taken from the earth and the cataclysmic judgments of war almost annihilating the world will then be a potential. In verse 5
6:5 And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.a rider on a black horse causes mass starvation. Verse 8,
6:8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.a rider on a pale, chlorous-like horse causes all kinds of diseases, probably aids as one of them. In verse 9,
6:9 And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:the fifth judgment, we find that millions are slaughtered for the name of God and the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Verse 12,
6:12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;judgments in the heavens, I beheld when he opened the sixth seal and there was a great shaking, and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood and then the seventh one in Revelation 8:1
8:1 And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.is so terrible as it unleashes the other 14 and it says there was silence in heaven for the space of half an hour. The angels, knowing what was coming, were so startled and stunned as they contemplated the future that there was a holy hush in the presence of God. It's coming. Iíll tell you why. In chapter 2 we showed you all these Kingdoms. Five-sixths of the prophecy has happened. There is only one part of the prophecy yet to come. The stone smashing the feet of the image, Christ's return. It's going to happen soon. But before it does that seven year period, typified by the King crawling around eating grass for 7 years portrays the fact.
Rexella: Ok we'll go on with verse 17."this matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most high ruleth in the Kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men. This dream I King Nebuchadnezzar have seen. Now thou, o Belteshazzar, declare the interpretation thereof, forasmuch as all the wise men of my Kingdom are not able to make known unto me the interpretation: but thou art able; for the spirit of the holy Gods is in thee. Then Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, was astonished for one hour, and his thoughts troubled him. The King spake, and said, Belteshazzar, let not the dream, or the interpretation thereof, trouble thee. Belteshazzar answered and said, my lord, the dream be to them that hate thee, and the interpretation thereof to thine enemies." In other words, Iím sorry. Iíve got bad news for you. You know Jack it took a lot of courage to tell the King the truth.
Dr. Van Impe: That's right. And you know Daniel still loved and respected the King so he said this message, which is terrible confirmation of what God is going to do, is really loved by your enemies, not me. I have great love and respect for you, but nevertheless you said that the spirits of the gods are upon me, well it's the spirit of my God that's upon me and he gives me power, Acts 1:8,
1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.but I have to obey his word and tell you the truth. In fact, Iíll speak the truth in love. Now we are to warn people, Rexella, and Ezekiel 3:17 to 19 says, Son of man I have made you a watchman unto the house of Israel. Therefore hear the word at my mouth and give them warning from me. When I say unto the wicked thou shalt surely die and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way to save his life. The same wicked man shall die in his iniquity. But his blood will I require at your hands. Yet if thou warn the wicked and he turn not from his wickedness nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity, but thou hast delivered thy soul. God says we are to warn people and if we don't their blood will be on our hands. If we do warn them and they reject it, our hands are clean and the consequences are with them. Again in II Timothy 4:2,
4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.we are told in the Christian dispensation to preach the word. Be instant in season; out of season. When they like it, when they don't like it and then the spirit says reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. And Daniel was not Mr. Milk Toast. He had a message, he stood for his convictions and even to the King he said thus saith the lord.
Rexella: What a man. All right this is the interpretation now that he gave to the King. "The tree that thou sawest, which grew, and was strong, whose height reached unto the heaven, and the sight thereof to all the Earth; whose leaves were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was fruit for all; under which the beasts of the field dwelt, and upon whose branches the fowls of the heaven had their habitation: it is thou, o King, that art grown and become strong: for thy greatness is grown, and reacheth unto heaven, and thy dominion to the end of the earth. And whereas the King saw a watcher and an holy one coming down from heaven, and saying, hew the tree down, and destroy it; yet leave the stump of the roots thereof in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts of the field, til seven times pass over him;" in other words until seven years are finished. "This is the interpretation, o King, and this is the decree of the most high, which is come upon my lord the King:" well, there are two words I would like for us to consider in verse 23: the watcher and the holy one. Now Jack is this the same person or are those two different beings?
Dr. Van Impe: No they are two different beings and they have to do with two different angels, but let me first of all get to this topic of the tree. He said you are that tree and you've reached to the heavens. You've become powerful, controlling the world. But the tree is going to be hewn down and the stump remains. You'll revive, you'll come back after the terrible sickness that comes upon you but you know God uses a lot of irony. When this King set up that golden image he said Iím going to make it all gold because no one is going to defeat me. I don't care what you said Daniel, about the brass and the iron and all the different parts, no it is going to be totally gold. So God says, and the spirit showed me this the other night, Iíve read it nowhere, he said at the bottom of that tree put a band of brass and iron. He said you think they're not going to, Iím going to show you that my secret I revealed to Daniel which you accepted at that time is going to happen and whether you like it or not it's going to be there. God doesn't let people forget, but the watcher the holy one, angels. Angels do the bidding of the Father. When Jesus was here he said in Matthew 26:53,
26:53 Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?thinkest thou that I could not now pray to my Father and he would send twelve legions of angels. A legion in the Roman military was a group of 7,000 soldiers so 12 times 7,000 or 84,000 angels would be there at the word of Jesus Christ in an instant of time. Now these angels come from the third heaven of II Corinthians 12. That's so far into space I can't begin to tell you what it means, but they come and angels fill the heavenlies. The Bible says that we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, other human beings, but against principalities, powers, the rulers of the darkness of this world and spirit wickedness in high places. It's called spirit wickedness because the fallen angels became the demons. And Colossians 1:16
1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:talks about Christ even creating these things before he came to earth because he was there right from the inception in Genesis 1:1. So these are angels who bring messages like Gabriel brought so many messages in both Old and New Testaments to various individuals.
Rexella: All right. Verse 25, "They shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen," oh how sad, "and they shall wet thee with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the most high ruleth in the Kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will. And whereas they commanded to leave the stump of the tree roots; thy Kingdom shall be sure unto thee, after that thou shalt have known that the heavens do rule. Wherefore, o King, let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by shewing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquillity. All this came upon the King Nebuchadnezzar. At the end of twelve months he walked in the palace of the Kingdom of Babylon." Now a year has gone by now and he does not listen to what Daniel had to say. Listen to this. "The King spake, 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? While the word was in the King's mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, o King Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; the Kingdom is departed from thee. And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the most high ruleth in the Kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will. The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and he did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles' feathers, and his nails like birds' claws." Now this apparently is what Jack was speaking about just a few moments ago. The terrible disease that you researched Jack and it certainly was possible that it happened.
Dr. Van Impe: The mills of God grind slowly, but surely and soon judgment falls. And this monarch was so filled with pride that he looked at that which he thought he had created and said look what Iíve done. Do you know his palace covered a six mile area. That he created these beautiful hanging gardens, one of the wonders of the world. But he wouldn't glorify God. He took all the credit to himself and so while he was speaking, immediately judgment hit and this disease called Boanthropy or Zoanthropy came upon him, we've already proven that there is such a disease where men act like animals, and start eating grass and it was to last seven times, seven years, a picture of the tribulation period but why the sin of pride. Listen to me. Some of you have the problem. God hates that sin. Proverbs 6:16
6:16 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:these six things doeth the lord hate, yea seven are an abomination unto him. One a proud look. Proverbs 16:18
6:17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
16:18 Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.says, pride goeth before destruction and an haughty spirit before a fall. Rexella Iím reminded of a little frog sitting on the ground and he watched the birds flying in the air and he said, oh if I could only fly like the eagles. One day two of the eagles were on the ground and he said I wonder if you two fellas would do me a favor. He said look Iíve got this long stick. Would you put part of it in your beak and you put part of it in your beak and then Iíll put my mouth around the center and then we will fly through the air together? And they said of course. Well the eagles started to soar through space and the frog was floating along happily and people started to say look at that, look at that. That's amazing. I wonder who thought of that? Who was such a genius? And the frog says me. That's a picture of what happened to this King and the picture of what can happen to us. And that's what happened to Satan. That was his sin. Isaiah 14, verses 12 to 14,
14:12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!how art thou fallen from heaven o Lucifer, son of the morning, how art thou cut down to the ground which didst weaken the nations, for thou hast said in thy heart I will ascend unto heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God, I will sit upon the mount of the congregation, God's throne, in the sides of the north, I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the most high God. Whew! It happened. I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven Jesus said in Luke 10:18.
14:13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
14:14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
10:18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.Don't play with sin. Even the sin of pride.
Rexella: The next time you are tempted to say I did, remember the frog. Ha! That's a good story Jack. But you know I do have a question I think is very relevant. Some of you are experiencing illness right now and not all illness is because of something we've done wrong, correct?
Dr. Van Impe: Oh absolutely not. Some sickness is for the glory of God. Paul said tribulation worketh patience, and when we go through trials and bear them saying thank you Lord it's for my up-building, and edification in the faith. There will be a special reward. Blessed is the man that endures testing, trials, heartache, for when he is tried he shall receive a crown of life, James 1:12.
1:12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.And then he will lay that crown at Jesus feet, Revelation 4, verses 10 and 11.
4:10 The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,Rexella: All right. We want to see how the King was converted. Now we'll go to verse 34 and right on through the end of that chapter. "and at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mines eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most high, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever..." He learned his lesson. At last he knew which direction to look and not at himself, but looked up. "...whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his Kingdom is from generation to generation: and all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, what doest thou?" We don't have a reason to question God. "at the same time my reason returned unto me; and for the glory of my Kingdom, mine honour and brightness returned unto me; and my counsellors and my lords sought unto me; and I was established in my Kingdom, and excellent majesty was added unto me. Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase." He learned his lesson. What a wonderful conversion he had Jack.
4:11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.