Daniel - Lesson 22

Daniel and Revelation

Daniel informs the imagery and message of the book of Revelation. They are the two books of the Bible with primarily apocalyptic themes. Daniel’s encounter with God and angels is similar to what John records in Revelation. Daniel is commanded to seal his prophecy and in Revelation, the seals are opened. The references Revelation to the beasts and three and a half years is also similar to Daniel.

Lesson 22
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Daniel and Revelation

I. Both Daniel and Revelation are Apocalyptic Books

A. Message and audience

B. Daniel's impact on the book of Revelation

II. Passages in Revelation

A. Revelation 1

B. Revelation 4 and 5

C. Revelation 11

D. Two witnesses

E. Revelation 13

  • Join distinguished scholar and professor emeritus Dr. Tremper Longman for a study of the book of Daniel, a fascinating and inspiring part of the Bible. In this class, you'll explore six stories and four apocalyptic visions that all demonstrate God's control and ultimate victory, even in the face of evil and difficulty. Don't miss this opportunity to be encouraged and strengthened in your faith as you study the powerful messages of the book of Daniel with Dr. Longman.

  • Daniel is written in two parts. The first six chapters is history written in the form of a story. Chapters seven through twelve are apocalyptic literature. In the English Bible, it’s with the major prophets. In the Hebrew Bible it’s in the Writings. The Apocalyptic section has similarities to the book of Revelation. One of the main messages in the book of Daniel is that even if you are living in a culture that is toxic to your faith, living by faith can help you not only survive, but thrive.

  • By the time Daniel was written, the nation of the Jewish people was divided into the tribes of Israel in the north and Judah in the south. Assyria conquered Israel in 722 BC. Babylon overthrew Assyria in 612 BC then Judah in 605 BC. Daniel. Daniel and others were taken to Babylon and chosen to be trained as royal advisors.   

  • Daniel and his friends were willing to learn the language, literature and divination practices of the Babylonians even though it was potentially toxic to their faith. They temporarily chose to eat vegetables and water rather than the food and wine that the other officials in training were eating. The performed at the top of their class.

  • Nebuchadnezzar summoned the royal magicians and sorcerers and required them to tell him what his dream was and give him an interpretation of the dream. Daniel is able to do this because of the wisdom God gives him.

  • Daniel reveals the dream and the interpretation because God revealed it to him. The parts of the statue represent different worldly kingdoms. The stone that crushes the statue represents God’s rule over the kingdoms. Nebuchadnezzar recognizes Yahweh as being powerful.

  • Daniel and his friends were thrown into a fiery furnace as punishment for not worshipping an image of Nebuchadnezzar. God miraculously saved them and Nebuchadnezzar promoted them to positions in the royal court.

  • This is a story of a contest between Daniel and his friends and the Babylonian wise men. A major theme is the pride of Nebuchadnezzar and how that affects the outcome. Some of the story is narrated in by Nebuchadnezzar in the first person. Nebuchadnezzar has a dream. The Babylonian wise men don’t give him an interpretation, but Daniel does. Nebuchadnezzar experienced judgment but God restores him.

  • As we read and study the Old Testament, we can gain insights into redemptive history and see examples of how we should live. It can sometimes be a challenge to determine the continuity or discontinuity of a passage. A major theme in Daniel 4 and throughout the Bible is how pride can hinder your relationship with God. 

  • Belshazzar was a ruler in Babylon after Nebuchadnezzar died. During a banquet he hosted, he used the goblets from the temple in Jerusalem for his guests to drink out of. In the middle of a banquet, a hand appeared and wrote a message on the wall. Belshazzar called Daniel to interpret the message.

  • When Darius gave Daniel a position of authority in his government, the administrators underneath him were jealous. They devised a plan to trap Daniel and force Darius to execute him. God rescued Daniel and the administrators suffered the fate that they had planned for Daniel. The story shows that in spite of present difficulties, God is in control and it’s important to live a life that is faithful to him.

  • Daniel had a vision of four beasts that were frightening in appearance. An angel explained the significance of the beasts in terms of historical kingdoms but didn’t say specifically which ones.

  • Daniel and Jeremiah both had messages from God but the way God communicated to each of them was different. The word “apocalypse” comes from the first word in Greek in the book of Revelation which means to reveal or uncover something. Some characteristics of apocalyptic literature are visions, dreams, a binary point of view, highly figurative language and the theme of hope based in confidence in God’s control over people and events that seem chaotic and overwhelming.

  • In this lesson, you gain a deeper understanding of the book of Daniel, focusing on its themes, historical context, and preparation for spiritual battles in a challenging cultural environment.
  • You gain a deeper understanding of the Book of Daniel, its historical context, literary features, key themes, and significance within the Old Testament, while focusing on God's warfare against evil.
  • John the Baptist described Jesus coming as a warrior but the ministry of Jesus was different than what he expected. Since we live in phase 4, God gives us the power to fight spiritual battles. The God who led the people of Israel into battle in the Old Testament is the same God described in the New Testament who came as God in human form as Jesus.

  • The vision in Daniel 8 describes animals that represent kingdoms and individuals. While Daniel was seeing the vision, Gabriel came and explained its meaning. Antiochus Epiphanes fits the description of one of the horns in the vision. His persecution of the people of Israel and his desecration of the temple is similar to the way the anti-Christ is described in Revelation.

  • As Daniel is reading Scripture, he comes to the realization that what he is reading in the book of Jeremiah may actually be taking place at the time. His response is to begin by praying. He includes himself in confessing the sins of the people of Israel and appeals for God to rescue them from exile.

  • As Daniel is reading Jeremiah and praying, the angel Gabriel appears to Daniel to explain the vision to him. The numbers in the vision are symbolic but demonstrate that God has a plan and a time frame to accomplish it.

  • The final of Daniel’s four visions described in chapters 10-12. There is an introduction to the vision, description of the vision and instructions to Daniel. The answer to Daniel’s prayer was delayed because of spiritual warfare.

  • This vision covers the events surrounding the Persian and Greek rulers in the 3rd and 4th century BC. They are described in such detail that some people think it was written after they took place, not as a prophecy.

  • The righteous and the wicked have different fates in the after-life. Throughout Scripture there is progress of revelation. God is in control and he will be victorious. The prophecy that God gave Daniel describes events that will happen in the future. Celestial sources give final words to Daniel that are also addressed to readers of the book of Daniel. A theme that is emphasized throughout the book of Daniel is, in spite of present difficulties, God is in control and he will have the final victory.  This is illustrated both in the stories of Daniel and his friends and in the visions of future events that Daniel has.

  • Daniel informs the imagery and message of the book of Revelation. They are the two books of the Bible with primarily apocalyptic themes. Daniel’s encounter with God and angels is similar to what John records in Revelation. Daniel is commanded to seal his prophecy and in Revelation, the seals are opened. The references Revelation to the beasts and three and a half years is also similar to Daniel.

Living in a toxic culture can be dangerous and risky, but when you live by faith, God can give you opportunities to thrive, succeed and be a testimony to God's power and love for people. A primary message of the prophecies of Daniel is that in spite of present difficulties, God is in control and he will have the final victory. God has not provided us with a precise date on the calendar for when that will happen, but he will accomplish his plan on his timetable.

Dr. Tremper Longman III

Daniel ot666-22

Daniel and Revelation

Lesson Transcript

[00:00:00] And in this section, we're going to take a look to see how Daniel informs the writing of the Book of Revelation. It's not surprising to see that Daniel might have a big influence on the imagery and message of Revelation, since they are the two apocalyptic books in the Bible. Though there are other sections of Scripture which can be described as apocalyptic, Daniel 712 and Revelation are the largest sections of apocalyptic in Scripture, and as such they have the same intention, which is to speak to people who are living in marginalized and perhaps oppressive situations, who are struggling with their faith in the in the light of what appears to be the control of evil people. And both Daniel and Revelation central message can be described as telling these people that even though it looks like evil and control, God is really in control and he will have the final victory. Now, of course, one of the big differences between Revelation and Daniel is that with Revelation, we're much closer to that ultimate victory. We don't know exactly where. And even here, a couple thousand years after the writing of Revelation, how close we are. But Revelation does give the sense that with the first coming of Christ and his resurrection, things are moving forward to that great final victory. So what I'm going to do is to highlight a few places to illustrate Daniel's impact on the Book of Revelation. I just finished a commentary that's coming out April 20, 22 on Revelation in a series called The New Testament through Old Testament II. So in other words, the emphasis is on on how Old Testament texts resonate through New Testament books. And I got one of the first choices, and I grabbed the Book of Revelation because it is so replete, so full of Old Testament references. 

[00:02:48] And of course, it's not just Daniel, I mean, Ezekiel, Psalms, Exodus, some of the minor prophets, all of these have shape helped shape the way John tells his message to his audience. But I think of all those books, Daniel has the biggest impact. So I'm going to look at just a couple chapters to illustrate. What I'm talking about, beginning with Revelation Chapter one. Says the revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servant sweat, must soon take place again. Notice the emphasis on and soon. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant, John. Remember how we talked about how in apocalyptic and with Daniel, God speaks to his servant, John, through the agency of an angel who testifies to everything he saw. That is the Word of God in the testimony of Jesus Christ. Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy. And blessed are those who read it and take it to heart. Take to heart what is written in it. Because the time is near again, emphasizing immediacy. John to the seven churches in the province of Asia. Grace and peace to you from him. Who is and who was and who is to come from the seven spirits before his throne and from Jesus Christ, Who is the faithful witness, the first born from the dead and the ruler of the kings of the Earth to him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and has made us to be a king and priest, to serve his God and Father to him, be glory and power forever and ever. Amen. Look, He is coming with the clouds, of course. Daniel 713 and 14 And every I will see him. 

[00:05:02] Even those who pierced him and all peoples on earth will mourn because of him. I am the Alpha and the Omega, says the Lord God who is and who was and who is the calm? The Almighty I, John, your brother and companion and the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours. And Jesus was on the island of Patmos because of the Word of God, the testimony of Jesus on the Lord's Day. I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet, which said, right on a scroll, what you see, and send it to the seven churches to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamon, Fira, Tier, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Leo to see. I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. Now, as I read this description, remember how God was described in Daniel chapter ten? And there's also going to be a similarity to the description of the ancient of Days on the Throne in Daniel Chapter seven. Now, like with Daniel, they're also back. It also takes us back to the book of Hezekiah as well, the vision that Ezekiel has of it. But it says, and when I turned I saw seven golden lamb stamps, and among them the lamb Psalms was someone like a son, a man dressed in a robe, reaching down to his feet, and with the golden sash around his chest, the hair on his head was white, like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters in his right hand. He held seven stars and coming out of his mouth was a sharp double edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance. 

[00:06:57] So this these descriptions from the Old Testament that are applied to Yahweh are now being applied to the glorified Christ. Then I saw him. I fell at his feet as though Dad remember all those times when Daniel had a vision of God that he too fell on his face? Then he placed his right hand on me and said, Do not be afraid. Remember to how I and Daniel, ten Gabriel, administered what I'd called Celestial First aid and told Daniel not to be afraid. I am the first and the last. I am the living one. I was dead. And now look, I am alive forever and ever. I hold the keys of death and Hades right there for what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later. The mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand of the seven golden lamp stands stanzas. This The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches and the seven lamb stands are the seven churches. This reference to the mystery, which is now going to be explained revealed, reminds us what Nebuchadnezzar himself says that God is the revealer of mysteries. So in this first chapter of Revelation, we have a number of echoes from the Book of Daniel with an emphasis now. On immediacy or things are going to soon happen as opposed to what we saw, particularly at the end of the Book of Daniel. The command to roll up and seal the vision because things are not going to happen soon as we move on and Revelation will pass too quickly over Revelation four and five. But I'll draw your attention to the fact that just having mentioned the role that the seal that God on his throne, which should remind us also of Daniel Chapter seven, is cause for one who is worthy to unseal the scroll. 

[00:09:15] And of course that's the glorified Christ. And as those chapters, Revelation four and five describe the unsealing, it describes the judgments that are going to come on the record that will also save the righteous. But I'm going to move now to Revelation Chapter 11, which is another chapter that is heavy with references to the Book of Daniel. This is an interesting interlude. In the Book of Daniel that speaks about two witnesses. I was given a read like a measuring rod, John speaking and was told Go and measure the Temple of God and the altar with its worshipers. That reference to take a rod and measure the temple might remind you appropriately of the end of the book of Ezekiel. But first to goes on to say but exclude the outer core. Do not measure it because it has been given to the Gentiles. They will trample on the holy city for 42 months. So this idea of trampling on holy things is something that we've seen in both Daniel seven and Daniel eight and Daniel seven, verse seven. If we go back and. We see the fourth piece, terrifying and frightening and very powerful. It had large iron teeth that crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left. It was different from all the farmer beasts, and it had ten horns or a seven. I saw it attack the ram, furiously striking the ram and shattering its two horns. The ram was powerless to stand against it. The goat knocked it to the ground and trampled on it. This idea of trampling, especially in chapter seven Holy Things, is being picked up in this in this vision in Revelation chapter 11. And then, of course, we can't miss the reference to 42 months, right? 42 months are, what, three and a half years time, times and half of time understood as a year, two years and half a year. 

[00:11:55] And it's interesting to think that these numbers are also associated. I don't think I brought this out strongly enough with periods. It's describing the period when it looks like evil is in control. Right. Time times and half the time. And then in the very next verse. We read and I will appoint my two witnesses and they will prophesy for 1260 days. Again, way of referring to three and a half years clothed in sackcloth. So during this period of trampling, there are two witnesses out there. And these witnesses, I think, are best understood as standing for the church who bear testimony to Jesus in the midst of evil. Why? To. You might ask? Well, I think perhaps behind the fact that there are two is the idea that according to the Old Testament, you need to have two witnesses. They are the two olive trees. This is a reference back to Zachary and the two lamb stands and they stand before the Lord of the Earth. If anyone tries to harm them, fire comes from their mouths and devours their enemies. This is how anyone who wants to harm them must die. And that might be an allusion back to episode in the life of Elijah when they tried to arrest him and fire comes down and burns those who are who are trying to arrest him. They have the power to shut up the heavens. Just like Elijah, the Prophet had the power through prayer to shut up the heavens on Mount Carmel so that it will not rain during the time they are prophesying. They have the power to turn the waters into blood, sort of exodus, power from God and to strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they want. 

[00:14:07] Now, when they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up from the best. Okay, so you have a beast who's going to be described a little bit later in ways that will make it even more compelling that this is imagery being drawn from the Daniel Chapter seven, The beast that comes up from the abyss will attack them and overpower and kill them. Their bodies will lie in the public square of the great city, which is figuratively, figuratively called Sodom and Gomorrah, where also their Lord was crucified for three and a half days, and a surprising reference for getting three and a half at this time, days rather than years. Some from every people, language, tribe and nation will gaze on their bodies and refuse them burial. So during this, again, three and a half. Day time period. It looks like evil is in control, but they won't have the final victory. The inhabitants of the earth will glowed over them and we'll celebrate by sending each other gifts. Because these two prophets have tormented those who live on the earth. But after the three and a half days, the breath of life from God entered them and they stood on their feet and terror struck those who saw them. Then they heard a loud voice from heaven, saying that to them come up here and they went up to heaven in the cloud for their enemies looked on. So I think this this picture of the two witnesses that represent the church who bear witness to the church, in spite of the evil represented by the beast that arises out of the abyss. Is drawn from the Book of Daniel. Let's go to Revelation 13, because the Beast is now going to be described as the dragon stood on the shore of the sea. 

[00:16:07] So, of course, that will remind us of Daniel Chapter seven and the beast arising out of the sea. And then I saw a beast. This is the second piece coming out of the sea. It had ten horns and seven heads with ten crowns on its horns and on each had a blasphemous name. The beast I saw resembled a leopard, but it had feet like those of a bear and a mouth like that of a lion, obviously drawn from Daniel. Chapter seven. This idea of having ten horns and seven heads. The resemblance of the resemblance to a leopard, a bear and a lion, interestingly enough, connects this beast with the first three animals that rise out of the sea. And Daniel, Chapter seven. There's a really good study of this passage in a book called Cosmos Chaos and the Kosher Mentality, written by David Brian. And he says this That's also relevant to our understanding of Daniel seven He says unclean animals such as the lion, the bear and the leopard embody the power of chaos in the world. The McStays and you may remember I use that term the German term, which means mixed essences, are best seen as an intensified, unclean creature. That is an increase the presence of chaos in the world. But the comparison with Daniel seven doesn't. And even here. Well, see that in verse five, The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemy and exercised its authority for 42 months. It opened its mouth to blaspheme God and to slander his name and its dwelling place. And those who live in heaven was given power to wage war against God's holy people and to conquer them. And it was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. 

[00:18:22] So this too connects it specifically with the little boastful horn who's described at the end of the vision of the Four Beasts and Daniel seven, as well as in Daniel Chapter 11. All inhabitants of Earth will worship the Beast, all whose names have not been written in the Lamb's Book of Life. Now we read at the end of chapter, at the beginning of Chapter 12 that there is a book in which our written the names of those who will be raised. And here that book is being described as the Lamb's Book of Life. Those are the ones who will experience God's rescue. And it goes on to describe the lamb who was slain from the creation of the world. Well, I maybe just summarize summarized that the the echoes of Daniel, whether they're sort of taking the imagery and applying it to imagery that points to the ultimate and is so extensive and pervasive that it's hard to summarize at all. But I think I've given you a taste of how the Book of Revelation is now echoing the language of Daniel in a way to communicate that indeed, Daniel, all the mentally is talking about the end time, even while it's also talking about the near term future, but also saying the time is coming sooner rather than later. So first of all, thank you for studying the Book of Daniel with me over this period of time and in this course. And Daniel is a fascinating book. And it's it's got a clear message and it's a clear message that speaks to us today. As much as it spoke to the people at the time it was written, all of us are dealing with personal issues. And of course, no matter where you live around the world, you're in the midst of a toxic, difficult culture for your faith. 

[00:20:59] And we need to you know, we really need to hear this message time and time and time again. Because it is very easy to kind of despair or give up on faith, on life or whatever. But. But Daniel and the Book of Revelation are there to encourage us and to remind us of that glorious day that's coming in the future, which is when Jesus will come again and will save us and will live forever with him. Now, just Revelation 21 and 22 and gives the fullest picture of that day to come. Described as the New Jerusalem, the new Heavens and the Earth, a new Eden going back to Eden, but even better than Eden, because the picture that we read in Revelation 22 describes a river flowing through Eden with a tree of life, not just in one place, but on both sides of the river. And that is an exciting thought to keep in mind as we deal with everyday reality. So again, thanks for joining me in this study and I hope it's been helpful.