The Primer

The title for today’s blog is very apt. The word “primer” has several meanings. If you are painting bare wood then one would use a primer before applying the finished or final coat of paint. Another explanation of a primer is a cap or cylinder containing a compound that responds to friction or an electrical impulse and ignites the charge in a cartridge or explosive. A primer can also describe a small introductory book on a subject or, more often, a short informative piece of writing. I purposely chose to use the illustration of a primer before we begin our study of Daniel chapter two. While it fits in more with the third description I would contend that what we are about to learn from Daniel chapter two is explosion of prophecy that is encapsulated in this chapter. More importantly, and pay attention to what I am about to say, – God reveals His plan and purpose for the entire history of what we know of as “The times of the Gentiles”. These words were spoken by Jesus in response to a question after He had said the temple in Jerusalem would be destroyed, which would eventually usher in the signs of the end times. The disciples asked Him when these things would occur (Luke 21:7) and He gave an extensive list of signs, together with several warnings. The second part of Luke 21:24b is where Jesus said, “and Jerusalem will be trampled under foot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.” (NASB)

If you do not already know or realize it, this Scripture is identifying the players who are members of the times of the Gentiles in Daniel chapter two. Before we discuss that, we should also recognize something else that many people, including Christians, ignore, which is the reference to Jerusalem or, more directly, the nation of Israel. The phrase, “be careful what you wish for” should not be lost to any of us. The Jews demanded they wanted a king to rule them “like all other nations”. When you read the account in 1 Samuel 8:1-21 one cannot help but see the wholesale rejection the Jews showed toward God. It’s important for us to read a portion of this chapter in order to recognize how all the pieces of the jigsaw fits together. In 1 Samuel 8:4-8 we read, “Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah; and they said to him, “Behold, you have grown old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint a king for us to judge us like all the nations.” But the thing was displeasing in the sight of Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” And Samuel prayed to the Lord. The Lord said to Samuel, “Listen to the voice of the people in regard to all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being king over them. Like all the deeds which they have done since the day that I brought them up from Egypt even to this day—in that they have forsaken Me and served other gods—so they are doing to you also.” (NASB) After all that God had done for them they rejected Him in preference to having a mere man rule them as king. Even after Samuel told them that God would demand certain conditions for them for them to have a human king, they refused to listen to Samuel and still insisted because they wanted to be like all other nations (1 Samuel 8:19-20). Despite their complete and total rejection of God as their King, God granted their request. This decision by the Jews themselves would usher in the times of the Gentiles. In effect, their own disobedience fulfilled prophecy for what has occurred ever since and up to the present day. In other words, the times of the Gentiles started in 605 BC and it still has not concluded. When we reach the seventh chapter of Daniel we will see a comprehensive picture of world history that has occurred from that date and will continue until the thousand year reign of Jesus Christ. THIS IS WHY DANIEL IS SO IMPORTANT FOR THE BELIEVER TO UNDERSTAND. Nowhere else in Scripture are we given a more comprehensive history of this time of the Gentiles and it ties directly in to the prophecy of Israel’s history.

 

It is important to know that the book of Daniel and, in particular, chapter two are divided into two categories. Now, a word of warning. If you believe that Daniel was not written in the 6th century BC or that Daniel wasn’t a real person then you are in danger of directly challenging not only prophecy but God Himself. Alternatively, if you do believe Daniel was a real person used by God beginning in 605 BC (where he is first introduced to us) then you are following the inspired word of Scripture. This latter course is the ONLY sensible explanation of the prophecies that are contained in Daniel.

 

Now here comes a secondary warning. If you believe the genuineness of Daniel you may be aware that belief is subdivided into two distinct classes.

The first class are those who interpret the vision in Daniel chapter two in the amillennial or post-millennial view. The second class are those (including this author) who hold to a pre-millennial perspective. While many Christians argue that it doesn’t really matter which of the two classes a person belongs to, I would strongly disagree. These people also say that whatever view is held does not affect a person’s theology. This, in my belief and others, is also incorrect. These statements and claims cannot be answered quickly nor in a blog of a few pages. For both the purpose of time and also because it is what I believe to be correct, everything you will read in this blog will be from the perspective of a pre-millennial view. It is my intention in the future to produce a book that will answer questions regarding the millennial classes. For it is my belief that too many Christians believe, not in a false hope of Christ’s return and establishment of His millennial rule, but the timing of such events. That, in itself, can potentially have a significant impact on a person. Much of the explanations of the two classes are intense and there are many publications that answer these points in a more academic format. It is my hope, God willing, that he will guide me to producing a future book that is able to simplify the understanding of the two classes. Ultimately, you must be like a Berean and through prayer and study ask God for His guidance in what must be an absolute proper understanding of eschatology.

 

For all the above reasons Daniel chapter two is crucial for us to understand and interpret correctly