Summary: Part 1 in a series on the prophecies found in the book of Daniel. Discussing Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of a giant statue.
The Prophecies of Daniel
Part 1: The Colossus
Today we are going to begin a series of teachings on the prophecies given to the Old Testament figure, Daniel. The book of Daniel is a fascinating portion of Scripture, which we can learn so much from. Daniel, himself is an extraordinary child of God who serves as a wonderful example of what God can do through those who surrender their will to Him.
There is so much in the book of Daniel that we could cover that we could be studying this book for the entire year if we wanted to. So, while I don’t wish to ignore or play down the significance of certain sections I chose to concentrate on just the prophecies that were given to Daniel for this series.
Like before, this will be more of a Bible Study than a sermon series. We are going to be looking at the prophecies given to Daniel and their interpretations. I will leave the application and personal meaningfulness of the prophecies, up to you. Just like with other studies I will also provide copies of the teachings for you and you can expect handouts as we go along as well.
I hope you had the opportunity to read the second chapter of the book of Daniel in preparation for today. Last week we talked about rightly dividing or handling God’s Word. I wanted to show you how important it is when studying prophecy to know who God is speaking to or about and what time period or dispensation is being discussed. Because if we don’t then we can make prophetic passages say anything we want them to and completely miss the truths that God has laid out for our benefit.
I. Times of the Gentiles
Now having said that, the book of Daniel, which we are about to study, is unique from other prophetic works in the Old Testament. The other prophets like Isaiah, Zechariah, and Jeremiah, were given prophecies about the Jews and were told to proclaim them as warnings to their own people. Daniel, however, was given prophecies concerning a different class of people, the Gentiles.
Now just so there is no confusion, I want to make it clear that no where does Daniel talk about the Church of Christ. He does not see the Church in any of his visions. It is hidden from him. In fact, none of the Old Testament prophets ever saw the Church. So no where in the Old Testament will you find prophecies concerning the Church.
Daniel is experiencing his visions and writing his book 600 years before Christ. From his viewpoint he knows of only two classes of people, the Jews and the Gentiles, (which encompasses anyone who is not a Jew). So keep in mind as we study Daniel that he can only see the Gentiles and their relation to the Jews; he cannot see or even comprehend the existence of the Church. Therefore, NONE of the prophecies found in the book of Daniel can be interpreted as referring to the Church in any manner.
All of Daniel’s visions were of the Gentile nations of the world and their last great ruler, the Antichrist. More specifically Daniel’s prophecies cover the period of time known as the Times of the Gentiles.
While the phrase “Time of the Gentiles” is not found in the Book of Daniel, it is a New Testament phrase used by Christ to refer to the period which Daniel is prophesying about. The words of Jesus in Luke 21:24 help us define exactly what the Times of the Gentiles is. “… Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.”
The Times of the Gentiles is a set period of time in which God allows the Gentile nations of the world to come to power and hold sway over the earth. A time in which the Jewish nation shall be without a king. It is foretold by Hosea.
Hosea 3:4-5, “For the Israelites will live many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred stones, without ephod or idol.  Afterward the Israelites will return and seek the Lord their God and David their king. They will come trembling to the Lord and to his blessings in the last days.”
It was God’s purpose to make the descendants of Abraham, the Jewish Nation, the leading nation of the world, but their disobedience prevented this. Therefore, God allowed the Jews to be taken into captivity by the Gentile nations of the world, starting with Babylon in 606 BC. When Babylon took over the Jewish nation, the Times of the Gentiles began.
So the Times of the Gentiles began when God transferred earthly rule from the Kings of Israel to the Gentile king, Nebuchadnezzar, of Babylon in 606 BC. They will continue until Israel again becomes the head of the nations when Christ returns to earth to set up His Millennial Kingdom at the end of the Tribulation period. This is the period of time which Daniel’s visions cover.