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Even the most powerful and wicked of earthly kingdoms remain under the sovereign control of the supreme God who is faithfully working out His kingdom agenda to eventually save and bless His elect nation Israel. For Daniel and those returning from the Babylonian Captivity to attempt to rebuild Jerusalem, the times could have been very disheartening. As the seventy year period of prophecied judgment reaches its conclusion, where are the fulfillment of all of God’s covenant promises regarding a kingdom of righteousness and peace? Daniel was blessed with insight into coming historical events. In fact the level of detail regarding the prophecies down through Alexander the Great and then Antiochus IV Epiphanes is so specific that liberal critics can only conclude that the book of Daniel was written after the fact. But the God who controls all of history, the God who graciously provides insight into the future is also the God of miracles who sustains and delivers His faithful servants who live in the midst of pagan secular society. Here we have some of the most famous stories of the bible – the fiery furnace, Daniel in the lion’s den, the handwriting on the wall, etc. But there yet remains the most troubling time of suffering for the nation Israel – the Great Tribulation period under the wicked attacks of the Antichrist and satanic forces. God promises that this last day event will be limited to three and one half years and will ultimately purge and refine the nation in preparation for their ultimate salvation and future reward. So the exhortation is not to be anxious but to stay the course and pursue faithful living in anticipation of a glorious future.


The Supreme God Reigns Over All and Is Working Out His Kingdom Program for Israel Down Through History

Daniel 3:17 “Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us.

Daniel 4:17 “In order that the living may know that the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind, and bestows it on whom He wishes…”





A. (1:3-21) The Test — Dependency on God vs Dependency on Man —

Men Fit for Serving the King — Qualifications for Spiritual Leadership –

The Sovereign God Raises Up Loyal Leaders and Equips Them to Accomplish His Purposes

1. (:3) Young Men of Potential

2. (:4a) Young Men of Proven Worth

3. (:4b-5) Young Men of Preparation

4. (:6-7) Young Men of Providential Purpose

5. (:8-16) Young Men of Purity

6. (:17-21) Young Men of Prosperity

B. (2:1-49) The Vision of a Great Statue — Man’s Inability Requires God’s Sufficiency –

True Wisdom and Power Come From the Sovereign God

1. (:1-18) Man’s Inability

2. (:19-30) The Sufficiency of the Sovereign God — Our Source for True Wisdom and Power

3. (:31-45) Dream of the Great Statue and Its Interpretation Delivered by Daniel

(:46-49) Epilogue – Response of King Nebuchadnezzar

C. (3:1-30) The Fiery Furnace — The Supremacy of God vs Pagan Idolatry –

The God Who Is Supreme in Saving Power Deserves Our Unswerving Loyalty Despite the Pressure of Intense Persecution

1. (:1-12) Idolatry Challenges the Supremacy of God and Creates Intense Persecution

2. (:13-23) The Supremacy of God Deserves Unswerving Loyalty Regardless of the Cost

3. (:24-30) The Supreme God is Able to Save His Loyal Servants

D. (4:1-37) The Vision of a Great Tree — The Authority of God – Who’s in Charge?

The Most High is Ruler over the Realm of Mankind and Bestows Authority on Whomever He Wishes

(:1-3) Prologue: Royal Decree = Praise for God’s Everlasting Dominion

1. (4-18) The Dream

2. (19-27) The Interpretation

3. (28-33) The Historical Fulfillment

4. (:34-37) The Lesson Learned

E. (5:1-31) The Handwriting on the Wall – Numbered, Weighted and Rejected —

Some Day the Party Will Be Over Abruptly For Any World System That Rejects God

1. (:1-4) Party Atmosphere of the World Oblivious to Impending Doom

2. (:5-9) Panic Attack over the Handwriting on the Wall

3. (:10-16) Personal Appeal to Daniel and His God for Insight

4. (:17-28) Prophetic Application of the Divine Inscription

(:29-31) Postscript

F. (6:1-28) Daniel in the Lions’ Den – The God Who Delivers –

God Can Rescue His Faithful Servants from Treacherous Enemies – Even From the Mouths of Lions

1. (:1-9) Conspiring against Daniel –

God’s Faithful Servants Come under Attack

2. (:10-15) Catching Daniel in Violation of the Decree –

God’s Faithful Servants Must Remain Loyal in the Face of Danger

3. (:16-18) Confining Daniel in the Lions’ Den –

God’s Faithful Servants Can Find Themselves in the Lions’ Den

4. (:19-24) Celebrating Daniel’s Deliverance –

God’s Faithful Servants Testify to God’s Deliverance

5. (:25-28) Catechizing Daniel’s God –

God’s Faithful Servants Impact Others for God While Enjoying Unprecedented Favor


A. (7:1-28) Vision of the Four Great Beasts, the Ancient of Days, the Son of Man and the Antichrist

(:1) Prologue – Daniel Records His Dream

1. (:2-8) Dream of the Four Great Beasts and the Little Horn

2. (:9-14) Dream of the Ancient of Days and His Millennial Dominion Delegated to the Son of Man

3. (:15-27) Interpretation of the Dreams of Daniel

(:28) Epilogue – End of the Vision

B. (:8:1-27) Vision of the Ram, Male Goat and Little Horn –

Evil World Empires Magnify Their Power and Influence but Ultimately Will All Be Broken By the Sovereign Power of God

1. (:1-14) Vision of the Ram, Male Goat and Little Horn

2. (:15-26) Interpretation of the Vision by the Angel Gabriel

(:27) Epilogue – Reaction of Daniel

C. (:9:1-27) Prophecy of Seventy-Sevens Unfolds Israel’s Future –

Daniel’s Prayer of Confession and Petition for Deliverance Prompt Revelation of God’s Future Program for Israel

(:1-2) Prologue – Background for the Seventy-Sevens Prophecy

1. (:3-19) Daniel’s Prayer of Confession and Petition for Deliverance

2. (:20-27) Gabriel Explains Prophecy of Seventy-Sevens

D. (10:1 – 12:3) Vision of Events During the Maccabean Era and the Latter Days

1. (10:1 – 11:1) Staging the Final Vision –

Glorious Christophany and Strong Encouragement Prepare Daniel for the Concluding Vision that Reinforces God’s Control over World Kingdoms

(10:1-3) Prologue – Background for the Concluding Vision

a. (10:4-9) Glorious Christophany Leaves Daniel Trembling

b. (10:10-14) Contested Mission of Divine Encouragement

c. (10:15 – 11:1) Goal of Strengthening Daniel to Understand the Revelation of God’s Truth

2. (11:2-45) Prophecy Concerning World History as It Impacts Israel –

World Events Causing Israel Turmoil are Predicted from Daniel’s Time to Despicable Antiochus Epiphanes –

Before Jumping Ahead to the Ultimate Antichrist in End Times

(:2A) Prologue – Authenticating This Amazing Prophecy

a. (:2b) Concerning Persia

b. (:3-4) Concerning Greece – A Mighty Warrior King

c. (:5-20) Concerning Egypt and Syria (The Kings of the South = KS and the Kings of the North = KN)

d. (:21-35) Concerning Antiochus IV Epiphanes (Climactic King of the North) –

Foreshadowing Future Antichrist – God’s People Will Suffer Persecution in This Life

e. (:36-45) Concerning One Greater than Antiochus = Ultimate Antichrist (The King Who Will Do As He Pleases)

3. (12:1-3) Final Deliverance and Reward of God’s People Israel –

The Climax of God’s Program for Israel Involves

a. (:1) Rescue from Severe Tribulation – Certainty of Deliverance

b. (:2) Resurrection to Eternal Life – Contrast in Resurrection Destiny

c. (:3) Reward for Faithful Service – Capacity to Shine as Stars – Radiating the Glory of God


A. (:4) Instructions to Preserve the Valuable Message of the Book

B. (:5-7) Instructions Regarding the Duration of the “Time of Distress”

C. (:8-13) Instructions Regarding the Eventual Outcome – Reward for the Righteous


• We need heroic examples of uncompromising faith and courage in standing up for God against the pressures of a Satanic dominated culture. How can we be holy and yet still have an impact on the world around us?

• We need insights into spiritual leadership. How does God prepare a man for leadership? How does leadership manifest itself?

• We need to be reminded of God’s sovereign control over all the nations, over history and over our individual lives so that we come to rest in His Providential care.

• We need to be warned against pride so that our confidence is not in our own adequacy but in the God who enables and delivers us.

• We need the prophetic sections and the Messianic sections to give us confidence in God’s faithfulness to His promises and hope for the coming future manifestation of the kingdom of God.


David Malick: Even though Israel is experiencing judgment at the hands of the Gentile nations, the Lord encourages her, through numerous circumstances and visions, that He is sovereignly in control of her present situation, He will deliver those who faithfully trust in Him, and in the end of time He will ultimately deliver her from the Gentiles by judging the Prince to come and resurrecting all saints.

John Walvoord: In the dark hour of Israel’s captivity, with the tragic destruction of Jerusalem and its temple, there was need for a new testimony to the mighty and providential power of God. Such is afforded by the book of Daniel… The book of Daniel, like Esther, reveals God continuing to work in His people Israel even in the time of their chastening. In this framework the tremendous revelation concerning the times of the Gentiles and the program of God for Israel was unfolded.

Steve Zeisler: Dare to Be a Daniel is a revivalist hymn written in the mid-nineteenth century. These are the lyrics of the chorus:

“Dare to be a Daniel, Dare to stand alone! Dare to have a purpose firm! Dare to make it known!”

This chorus is a good start for this series of studies in the book of Daniel. It takes some boldness to enter the places we are going to go. Some texts of Scripture speak with subtlety, and in some God whispers words of tenderness and encouragement. But not in the book of Daniel! There is nothing subtle or tender about the accounts and visions that are recorded here. This book consists of big considerations: emperors, war, fires, beasts, angelic visits, the end of the age.

Ray Stedman: God doesn’t introduce the prophetic section first, but brings us through six chapters into an understanding of the moral character he requires of the reader before the prophetic program can begin to make sense. In other words, you can’t understand the last section of Daniel unless you have lived through and understood what is involved in the first six chapters. There is no way to understand what the prophetic program means unless you first grasp the moral lessons of the first part of the book. There is no way to cheat on this. You can’t just read it through, and then turn to the prophetic program and hope to understand. You will find that you get nothing out of it. You really have to carefully analyze these initial chapters, think them through, begin to walk accordingly, and experience them, before the prophetic program comes to life. That is the glory of God’s book. You can’t understand it with just the intellect.