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SEGMENT 1 DANIEL 2
page 4 of 4

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SEGMENT 1 DANIEL 2
THE ROCK OF AGES
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page 4

Consistent Behavior

In a similar way, the architecture in Daniel is distilled through a careful study of Daniel’s prophecies. Because the visions within Daniel behave in a predictable way, this behavior allows us to decipher things about the meaning of prophecy that we could not otherwise know. For example, here is a consistent behavior that occurs throughout the book of Daniel. Each of Daniel’s prophecies has a beginning point and an ending point in time, and the events in each prophecy occur in the order in which they are given. This behavior may sound simple, but it has profound ramifications. Consider the results of violating this self-evident rule. If the events given within each prophecy of Daniel do not occur in their given order, how, then, is the order of events determined? This question even brings up an even greater question. Does the Bible speak for itself or must it have an interpreter? After many years of study on this question, I find the Bible has to speak for itself and the Bible has to be its own interpreter. The constant and predictable architecture within Daniel’s prophecies is the basis for Rule One. This rule is: Each apocalyptic prophecy has a beginning point and an ending point in time and the events within each prophecy must occur in the order they are given. Keep in mind; I am not inventing this rule.

 

Instead, I am expressing a consistent behavior that occurs without exception throughout the book of Daniel (as well as Revelation).

 

When the fulfilled elements of each prophecy in Daniel are aligned with widely published historical records, the validity of Rule One proves true every time! The prophecies in the book of Daniel cover more than 2,600 years so far. This great span of time contains everything necessary to validate the four rules that spring from the architecture of Daniel. As a bonus, the book of Daniel provides a historical foundation for certain prophecies in Revelation. Because some of the prophecies in Revelation run parallel to the prophecies in Daniel, we can link them together and establish the timing of events mentioned in both books. Therefore, the discovery of Daniel’s architecture, like the discovery of the Rosetta Stone, enables the Bible student to resolve many prophetic mysteries that would otherwise be impossible to solve.

How Can the Bible Tell Us Things We Do Not Want to Believe?

Knowingly or unknowingly, every student of prophecy implements a method of interpretation to support his prophetic conclusions. The problem, of course, is that invalid rules will not produce valid conclusions. For example, some people believe, “A day in Bible prophecy always equals a year.” A rule cannot have an exception, for if it does, who has the authority to determine when the rule should be applied or ignored? Therefore, if we accept the idea that a day for a year is always true, then the 1,000 years of Revelation 20 would have to be 365, 242 years in length. (365.242 in a year x 1,000 years = 365, 242 years) For many reasons, I believe the all-inclusive day-for-a-year rule is invalid. There are several places in Daniel and Revelation where God measures time according to the Jubilee Calendar where a day represents a year (like the seventy weeks of Daniel 9), but there are also places in Scripture where God measures time in literal units (like the 42 months in Revelation 13:5). In fact, Rule Four tells us when God is using a day for a year and when He is using literal time. The point is that rules force the conclusions. If our rules are flawed or inadequate, our prophetic conclusions will be flawed.

 

Popular eschatology today is “a nose of wax” which expositors manipulate for political, religious or personal reasons. Millions of people believe things that have no truth in them. If an idea is reasonable, then it is believable. However, we cannot ignore the other side of the coin – that reasonableness does not ensure validity. For thousands of years, people believed Earth stood still and the Sun traveled in its orbit around Earth, until Copernicus came along and ruined a very reasonable idea. Rules of interpretation are vitally important to this study of prophecy because students of Bible prophecy need a method whereby the Bible tell us things that we do not want to believe. We want a valid process whereby the Bible can tell us things that run contrary to everything we believe so that our understanding of God’s truth can increase. Therefore, we need rules to test our conclusions and beliefs. In short, valid rules of interpretation allow Bible prophecy to say all that it has to say, and they help us listen to God’s truth so that we might learn of His plans.

Private Interpretation

Any interpretation of prophecy that does not conform to a stated set of valid rules is classified as a “private interpretation.” The word “private” in this context does not mean obscure. Millions of people can believe and endorse a private interpretation (and they do). A private interpretation is an interpretation that does not have an external means of validation. In other words, a private interpretation cannot be tested and validated by an impartial jury given a set of stated rules. This emphasizes our need to understand the apocalyptic architecture in Daniel. There is one architecture in Daniel and Revelation and there is one truth. Looking for that truth is a joy of every Bible student. Even if we have the right rules of interpretation, the likelihood of reaching the intended meaning is not guaranteed, but it is greatly improved! (It is one thing to have the right formula, but it is another to correctly solve the problem.)

 

The Four Rules     

 

When the rules of interpretation are valid, the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation will make sense just as they read, because the Bible is its own interpreter. On the other hand, a private interpretation requires an interpreter. An interpreter stands between the Bible and its meaning; whereas, valid rules explain the meaning without a go-between. Consider the difference. A private interpretation prevents people from independently arriving at the same conclusion without the coaxing of an interpreter, but a valid set of rules enables people to arrive at similar conclusions without knowing one another. Many Christians believe their leaders say about prophecy without studying the conclusions for themselves. Lay people usually “go along” because their church endorses a particular view. Because the subject of Bible prophecy is complex and complicated, and the average Christian does not study prophecy, it is easier to follow the leader. Of course, the mysteries of Bible prophecy will vanish during the Great Tribulation because everyone will see the evidence of what is predicted in Bible prophecy. However, until the Great Tribulation begins, we need a set of valid rules to guide our prophetic faith. If the rules of interpretation are valid, the books of Daniel and Revelation will form a unified story. A comprehensive explanation of God’s ways will unfold in a drama that is in perfect harmony with the Scripture!

 

Since the following four rules will be used frequently throughout this study, you may want to bookmark this segment. After several years of study and discovery, I am excited to share with you the combination that unlocks the books of Daniel and Revelation. The four rules are:

 

  1. Each apocalyptic prophecy has a beginning point and ending point in time and the events within each prophecy must occur in the order they are given.

 

  1. A fulfillment of apocalyptic prophecy occurs when all of the specifications within that prophecy are met. This includes the order of events outlined in the prophecy.

 

  1. Apocalyptic language can be literal, symbolic or analogous. To reach the intended meaning of a prophecy, the student must consider: (a) the context, (b) the use of parallel language in the Bible, and (c) relevant statements in the Bible that define that symbol if an element is thought to be symbolic.

 

  1. God reckons apocalyptic time in two ways: (a) a day for a year, and (b) as literal time. The presence or absence of the Jubilee calendar determines how God reckons time.

By the time you finish this complete study on Daniel, I hope you will find my conclusions to be consistent with these four rules. Test the rules to see if they are valid and test my conclusions to see if they align with the rules. Do not forget – God sealed up the book of Daniel until the time of the end because the message in Daniel and Revelation uniquely belongs to the last generation. Ours is the generation that will experience the Great Tribulation, and when it begins, the whole world will be caught up in a drama of unimaginable consequences. Because God’s forthcoming behavior will be shocking and outrageous during the Great Tribulation, God has unsealed the book of Daniel so that the last generation might understand His ways and some of His purposes before the Great Tribulation begins. “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that, ‘though seeing, they may not see; through hearing, they may not understand.’” (Luke 8:10)


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