Daniel: Part 8 – The Progressive Maturation of a Believer in the End Times from Immaturity to Full Stature and a Redeemed Body
Dan 1:17 As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.
To me this is a very exciting verse. Something I have always wanted is to have dreams and visions and to understand them. I’ve wanted this because I want to hear from God and this is a major way he can communicate to us. When we are sleeping, our flesh is at rest and we are more open to receiving from God.
The more we study the Bible, the more likely it will be that God will give us dreams and visions. I have noticed over a period of many years, that if I get lax about my studies, the dreams and visions become rarer. This is, I believe, because God wants us to rely on the Word more than on supernatural experiences. Supernatural experiences can be deceiving if we are not well grounded in the Word. First and foremost our foundation must be upon the Word of God which deepens our relationship with God.
As we study and obey the Word, as we meditate and allow our mind to dwell on spiritual things, God gradually removes the veils that separate us from the spiritual realm. This is a process. However, we must remember there are two ways to come into the place of abundant supernatural revelation. Not everyone who has abundant dreams and visions is a student of the Word. People who have been deeply involved in occult activity (such as satanically ritually abused people, witches, psychics, etc.) are open to spiritual phenomena because the veils have been stripped away by demons. However, they are subject to deception and harassment by demons. The righteous way to come into revelation is through holiness, death to self (the cross) and a serious pursuit of God. The veils are either removed by demons or by God.
If we are to study the Word in its entirety, we will have to understand types and shadows as well as academic ways of study. The deepest revelations for the end times are hidden in types in the Scriptures. The Scriptures show us word pictures of deep spiritual truths. The story of the four soils in Matthew 13, for example, gives us a picture of someone sowing seed in the ground. Jesus could have taught using only words stating that people have different hearts and are able to receive the Word in different ways. That would have been difficult to remember. The picture of the four types of soil embeds these types into our minds using something with which we are all familiar. The more we get used to thinking in picture (or parable) form, the more our imagination gets exercised. This increases our ability to understand dreams and visions which are pictorial in nature.
Notice that God gives all the knowledge and wisdom to “these four children.” We learned earlier in this study that Daniel’s three friends represent three qualities within the natural mind that are relational with God…the deep knowing that he is loved by God, that God protects him and provides for him, and his knowledge of the character of God.
Revelation in the Word and its application to our lives (knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom) must rest on a foundation of knowing God—a kind of knowing that comes with the experience of having walked with God in obedience over a period of years. If we doubt God, these doubts can block the true revelation in the Word God has for us. Therefore, deep study and knowing God go hand in hand.
As we study, our foundational beliefs in God are deepened…we know him better and better. The more we know him, the deeper he can take us in his Word. This shows that revelation in the Word is not a function of the intellect. It is not dependent on having a high IQ score. It comes out of a relationship with God. Therefore, anyone can have revelation in the Word if they are willing to die to self and make the sacrifices necessary in order to study and receive from God. Study requires setting aside and even literally forsaking some of our favorite pastimes—like watching TV, going to the movies, shopping, hobbies, etc. We only have 24 hours a day and we must decide how we will use those 24 hours. As our economy worsens and energy costs soar, many of us will have less free time because we are going to have to work more. If we will pursue God with the free time we have, we will be opening ourselves up for all the wisdom and gifts from God we will need to survive what is coming upon us in these end times.
Dan 1:18 Now at the end of the days that the king had said he should bring them in, then the prince of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar.
Dan 1:19 And the king communed with them; and among them all was found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: therefore stood they before the king.
The following are some reminders from previous teaching to help us with our spiritual interpretation of these verses:
King Nebuchadnezzar – the natural mind.
The prince of eunuchs – Jesus
Daniel – the spiritual mind
Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah – three foundational understandings of the spiritual mind…the knowledge that God loves him, the knowledge of the character of God and the knowledge that God helps and protects him.
Communed – setting in a row, ranging in order. Also to bring into order, subdue, to follow, to be behind (Gesenius’ Hebrew Chaldea Lexicon to the Old Testament).
Stood – 5975 Ges. To set firmly, to sustain (Gesenius’ Hebrew Chaldea Lexicon to the Old Testament).
Sustain – Webster – “to keep in existence, keep up, maintain or prolong, to provide for the support of, to support from below.”
This passage shows us what happens within us “at the end of days.” This is referring to the time when we come into the fullness of Christ in the end times. When the spiritual mind has come to spiritual completeness (Now at the end of the days that the king had said he should bring them in), Jesus (the prince of the eunuchs) brings the spiritual mind before the natural mind (brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar). The natural mind (and the king) is put in proper order, a place of subjection under the spiritual mind (communed with them). The natural mind admits that it is inferior to the spiritual mind (and among them all was found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah). The spiritual mind is now supported from below by the natural mind (therefore stood they before the king). This is the order our natural mind (soul) and spiritual mind (spirit) should be in when God’s work is completed in us. This verse is showing us where the rest of Daniel will be leading us…into the completeness of Christ formed in us. There are many interesting things to learn along the way.
According to teaching by Watchman Nee in his three volume work, The Spiritual Man, before the fall of man, man’s spirit was in charge over his soul. After the fall, the soul dominated the spirit. Here we see the proper order being restored. This is a process. The spirit does not dominate here, but it is higher in its purity and development than the natural mind. However, the natural mind is still king—it still makes decisions about the person’s life on earth, but it consults the spiritual mind first. Jesus has brought the natural and spiritual minds to the place where there can be communication between them.