Daniel: Part 4 – The Progressive Maturation of a Believer in the End Times from Immaturity to Full Stature and a Redeemed Body
As the world around us plunges ever deeper into insanity and bondage to Satan, we are going to need God’s Word more than ever. To my thinking, we are not far away from our Bibles being banned as “hate speech.” The best thing we can do to prepare for what we are facing is to spend as much time in our Bibles as possible, not just reading but also studying, and then obeying God as fully as possible.
Jesus wants to protect us from the things that are coming upon us, but we need to do our part so that he can. One illustration I like is the account of how God protected the Israelites from the plagues that came upon Egypt that eventually led to their deliverance from bondage. They were in Goshen, separated from the Egyptians. (To me this means being different from the unbelievers around me.) The word Goshen means, “approaching,” and “drawing near.” I believe this indicates that if we will do all we can to draw near to and approach Jesus, then we will be more able to receive his protection in these dangerous times. And one of the best ways of doing this, I have found, is to not only read the Bible but also study it.
As we study the account of Daniel we discover deep biblical truths underneath the surface where we will be learning about the inner working of our natural and spiritual minds and how God works with them to transform us more and more into his image.
In verses 3 and 4 of Daniel 1, we learn about Ashpenaz the master of the king’s eunuchs.
And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king’s seed, and of the princes; Children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans. (KJV)
The meaning of eunuchs in the spiritual sense can be found with just a little research. “Eunuchs were regarded as especially trustworthy in the Ancient Near East and thus were frequently employed in royal service.” (Holman Bible Dictionary). Jesus spoke of those who were a “eunuch for the sake of the kingdom of heaven” as a metaphor for those choosing the single life in order to be more useful in kingdom work.
Ashpenaz had exemplary character in that (1) he was faithful and trustworthy and in royal service (2) God had brought Daniel into favor and compassion with the prince of the eunuchs (as seen in verse 9). The prince of eunuchs would be the one who is highest above all others in exemplary character.
I believe Ashpenaz is a type of Jesus. The name Ashpenaz means “guest.” A guest is someone who has been invited into one’s home. Jesus lives in us by invitation. So putting all these together, along with the fact that he is the one who prepares these young men for service to the king (God), he makes an excellent type of Christ. Please keep in mind that in this kind of study, outward things are actually types of inward realities. Therefore, what we see below are actually qualities in this person representing a believer in the end times:
- For the king, (the natural mind) to speak to Ashpenaz (Jesus) would be prayer.
- The king’s seed would be all the things in the natural mind that were fruitful.
- Princes – all that is noble in the natural mind
- Children – all the spiritual aspects of this person’s mind that are filled with good qualities yet are not mature.
- No blemish – morally pure
- Well favored – actions show the life of a good person
- Skillful in all wisdom – they make wise choices
- Cunning in knowledge – those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil (Heb. 7:14)
- Understanding science – they had knowledge of truth of God as revealed in nature, mathematics and other useful accurate knowledge
- To stand in the king’s palace – they are not weak or wavering in faith
Whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans – to whom they might teach discerning of spirits. Discerning of spirits involves knowing when demons are operating. The Chaldeans are a type of demons as can be seen below:
Chaldeans means “as demons, as robbers” (Interpreting Dictionary of Scripture Proper Names). The character and practices of Chaldeans (demons in type) may be seen in Hab. 1:5-11:
- Bitter, hasty nation
- Terrible and dreadful
- Possess dwelling places not their own (demon possession)
- Fly as the eagle (they are in the spiritual air as though they fly)
- They come for violence and gather captivity as the sand
- They deride strongholds and scoff at kings (no regard for authority)
- They heap dust and take it (we are made of dust…clay)
- God says concerning them, “ye will not believe, though it be told you.” This is absolutely true about demons…people refuse to believe they exist or can affect their life.
The scripture once more is:
Dan 1:3 And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king’s seed, and of the princes; Dan 1:4 Children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans.
The natural mind prayed to Jesus (spoke to Ashpenaz) who ruled over all that was faithful and true in him (master of the eunuchs), and asked him to impart to him discerning of spirits. We need to remember here that the aspect of the natural mind we are dealing with in Nebuchadnezzar is concerned with protecting itself. When we are trying to protect our self from hurt, we try to discern the spirit of the people around us. We try to be what they want us to be so they won’t hurt us. It is with the spirit that we discern. The person in whom this is taking place is a Christian whose spirit is in right relationship with God even though his natural mind is not yet mature. Throughout our Daniel study we will see him mature as the natural mind (Nebuchadnezzar) gradually allows the spiritual mind (Daniel) to take charge. As we will see in ensuing verses, this will involve the natural mind letting go of dissociation…its major practice in its efforts to protect itself from hurt.