01 Nebuchadnezzar’s Bible Chapter

By John Thiel, Lessons from the Life of Nebuchadnezzar Conference, Audio: mp3

Romans 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.


Patience and comfort will affect us. The things that were written a long time ago in the Bible are for us today as much as for any other time, but the subject matter that we now want to contemplate is especially for us. The comfort and patience that come from the Scriptures which have been written aforetime, are especially beneficial to us.

2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God,

That is all the more reason why we can find comfort in the Scriptures because it has been inspired by God. This of course, applies to Daniel 4, as well as every other scripture. But if you look and examine Daniel chapter 4, you will be interestingly puzzled by the person who wrote that chapter.

Daniel 4:1 Nebuchadnezzar the king, unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you.

This sends tears to my eyes. Nebuchadnezzar is addressing the whole planet. Here is a chapter in the Bible written by Nebuchadnezzar, the greatest king of all the world empires that have ever existed. It is truly remarkable that an idolatrous heathen king over a span of forty-odd years could be so lengthily inspired until he wrote that chapter. Look at the inspired words. How inspired are those words and how majestically expressed.

Daniel 4:2 I thought it good to show the signs and wonders that the high God hath wrought toward me. 3 How great [are] his signs! and how mighty [are] his wonders! his kingdom [is] an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion [is] from generation to generation.

He then ventures forwards to tell his story.

Daniel 4:37 Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works [are] truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.

Inspired words written aforetime for our learning. Ponder. If a heathen king of a world empire can be so inspired, what about believers such as you and me? I often hear it said, yes, the Lord can be with such and such holy people, but not with me, I am too sinful. May those words never be spoken from among us ever again when we contemplate that God could do such a thing for King Nebuchadnezzar, a heathen, idolatrous king. Can we believe that you and I can be redeemed like he?

Our purpose during this convention is to examine the life of this king, to examine something of his background in reference to the beginning of this character in the Bible and then to observe his considerate nature while at the same time he was a cruel, power-hungry heathen. He was a person who demonstrated discernment in the way that he dealt with the people whom he conquered, a man who revealed wisdom even though he was a heathen, a man whom God could use, a man who opened his heart to God every time God came across the scope of his mind. This is the man that we want to study.

Consider a man of heathen background whom God gave visions from Himself. He gave Nebuchadnezzar direct visions from heaven, to a heathen king. Visions of prophecy that are valuable for us today. When you think about this, I think God must have seen something in him. Right from the very beginning, he must have seen in his heart something very special.

2 Timothy 2:19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.

The Lord knoweth them that are His.” Looking down upon this planet, amongst all the multitudes and myriads of human beings, God knows those that He can pick out and say, This is Mine – from among the heathen, from among unbelievers – this is Mine. Why can He say that?

Psalm 44:21 …for he knoweth the secrets of the heart.

He knows what is going on secretly inside of every human being. God knows the activities in the secret chambers of every heart and He says, the way that this person is geared in his thinking: he is mine. If He can see a prospective candidate in a person like the heathen Nebuchadnezzar, what about you?

Job 23:10 But he knoweth the way that I take: [when] he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.

What was the head of the image made of? Gold. That gold that was representing the king of the Babylonian empire, and the Babylonian empire itself, speaks truly here that God knew the way that Nebuchadnezzar would take, and God knows the way that each one of us individually will take. He knows the secrets of our hearts; He looks down and examines, and He says, I can take this man, this woman, and I can take them through the trying times because they will not be consumed by the trial, but will come through as gold. He knows the way we will take when the going’s tough, when the majority of people will say, this is too much, I can’t cope anymore, I am finished because it’s too hard. God knows the way we will take.

Because He knows the way that we will take, He will try us, and He will bring us forth as gold. In the life of Nebuchadnezzar is the illustration of that. We will behold the activity of God upon a person whom He knew would take the path where He would eventually come forth as gold. We will be able to examine the secrets of our own hearts as we proceed through this study.

Daniel chapter 4 is the product of this work of God in the man of our study. God’s appeal to Nebuchadnezzar indicated God’s plan for him. God knew the way that he would take, and He could say, I can take this man through to the end. The words of God through Daniel to Nebuchadnezzar are very meaningful words which we want to take good notice of in our own experience:

Daniel 4:27 Wherefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by showing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquillity.

The appeal that God is here making through Daniel is an indication of what God would do for him to bring him forth as gold. God is actually appealing to him, and this particular appeal was right at the very end of his whole experience with God, when he was told in a dream that he would go insane. The message was, I know which way you are going to take even in your insanity, break off your sins by righteousness. God spoke to him like Jesus spoke to His disciple, Peter, you are going to deny Me, but I have prayed for you. God speaks here to Nebuchadnezzar, You are going to go mad, they are going to take away your kingdom from you, but break away your sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by showing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquility.

Do we like the disruptions of the trying hours? There’s no tranquility in that. But if I will take the right path, there will be tranquility. This is to be illustrated in his life. The path that God knew He could take Nebuchadnezzar through to final gold victory, is expressed here:

God has presented to me the case of Nebuchadnezzar. {Ev 88.1}

God has presented to Sister White the case of Nebuchadnezzar.

The Lord worked with power to bring the mightiest king on the earth to acknowledge Him as King over all kings. He moved upon the mind of the proud king until Nebuchadnezzar acknowledged Him as “the most high God,” “whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His kingdom is from generation to generation.”–Letter 132, 1901. {Ev 88.1}

God moved upon Nebuchadnezzar’s mind until he could, from an honest and totally renewed heart, utter those last words of Daniel chapter four. God worked on his mind until he could say those beautiful words of inspiration and send them out to all kindreds, nations and tongues.

Can we see how valuable our study is, and how important it is that we pay close attention to it? Our study is to understand the philosophy back of history, to study the philosophy behind Nebuchadnezzar’s history, and all the other history of mankind. There is a philosophy back of history. What is it?

And to each the words spoken to Nebuchadnezzar of old are the lesson of life: “Break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by showing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquility.” Daniel 4:27. {Ed 174.2}

To understand these things,–to understand that “righteousness exalteth a nation;” that “the throne is established by righteousness” and “upholden by mercy” (Proverbs 14:34; 16:12; Proverbs 20:28); to recognize the outworking of these principles in the manifestation of His power who “removeth kings, and setteth up kings” (Daniel 2:21),–this is to understand the philosophy of history. {Ed 175.1}

Looking at the life of Nebuchadnezzar, we will receive lessons by which we will “recognise the outworking of” the “principles in the manifestation of His power who “removeth kings, and setteth up kings.”” “This is to understand the philosophy of history.” Behind history there is a philosophy. What is the kernel of that philosophy?

In the word of God only is this [the philosophy of history] clearly set forth. Here it is shown that the strength of nations, as of individuals, is not found in the opportunities or facilities that appear to make them invincible; it is not found in their boasted greatness. It is measured by the fidelity with which they fulfill God’s purpose. {Ed 175.2}

What is the philosophy of history? It is shown in the word of God. The philosophy of history is measured by the fidelity with which men fulfill God’s purpose. We as individuals can be benefitted in that lesson. The strength of individuals, as well as nations, is measured by the fidelity with which they fulfill God’s purposes. What does fidelity mean? Faithfulness, diligence, loyalty. The philosophy of history is to show the strength of individuals as measured by the fidelity, the diligence, with which they fulfill God’s purposes. This is what our study is to gain. We will recognise for our individual self whether I am going to be diligent to fulfill God’s purpose. Not to do what I want to do, not to fulfill my own impulses and desires, but to simply fulfill the purpose of God.

I need to discover that, and you will discover it as we go through this conference. Here we see that we are venturing into a subject that is of unspeakable importance. We must be so prepared that we will not miss a single discovery of that principle, so that we can make the decision through the trials that come our way – and as I have said before, the trials are going to get worse, they’re going to get more intense. Are we going to come forth as gold? Only as we pick up on the philosophy behind history, that the strength of the individual is measured by the fidelity with which they fulfill God’s purpose.

How important is that for us just now, at this time, when the majority of this modern world have totally slipped off the scale of faithfulness and fidelity towards God, when everybody is building their own little opinion and philosophy of life? Everyone feels himself smart, I have a philosophy. I feel very confident about my idea; but my idea and the other person’s idea, and that other person’s idea, they are all different, and the unity that Jesus was praying for is shattered today.

What is God’s purpose for us at this time for you and for me? Where shall our fidelity be focused? What should we be focusing on as we learn the lesson from Nebuchadnezzar? The following scripture shows the purpose of God for such as you and me. With what fidelity am I fulfilling this purpose?

Isaiah 60:1 Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. 2 For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. 3 And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.

Here is God’s revelation for us in the time in which we are living now. Isn’t it true that gross darkness has covered the earth? Jesus spoke of this gross darkness to the Pharisees when He said to them, you say you can see, but what you see is total darkness. If you think you can see and yet you are in darkness, how gross is that darkness! That is the very problem with Christianity today. They all claim they can see. They all stand there teaching and telling other people what they think they know. How gross darkness is it when they have a false concept of what God is trying to say? For you and me today, we are being called upon to consider the philosophy of the Bible so as to fulfill God’s purpose with such fidelity that it will be our strength to stand victorious in these last days no matter how crazy a circumstance we are going through.

These words of Isaiah 60 are directly spoken for the people of the Revelation 18 angel and the little company at the end, the voice from heaven. This whole planet is to see the glory of the Lord risen upon these people.

Revelation 18:1 And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.

Can you see the link with Isaiah 60? “His glory shall be seen upon thee.” Gross darkness shall cover the people, but the glory of God shall be seen upon you. The earth is going to be lightened with God’s glory seen upon His people.

Revelation 18:2 And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. … 4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.

Does that sound like, break your iniquities off you? “Partake not of her sins, break them off you.” This is the purpose that God has for such as you and I.

The prophecies in the eighteenth of Revelation will soon be fulfilled. During the proclamation of the third angel’s message, “another angel” is to “come down from heaven, having great power,” and the earth is to be “lightened with his glory.” The Spirit of the Lord will so graciously bless consecrated human instrumentalities that men, women, and children will open their lips in praise and thanksgiving, filling the earth with the knowledge of God, and with His unsurpassed glory, as the waters cover the sea. {Mar 218.2}

The whole earth is going to be covered with that light. Do you notice what it says? Men, women, and children will open their lips in praise and thanksgiving. In the story of Daniel, these three young men were used for that very purpose. Here we are today; the world is going to receive the glory of God played out in front of them. Our study of Nebuchadnezzar will illuminate us on that. We are to focus on that purpose of God.

Those who have held the beginning of their confidence firm unto the end will be wide-awake during the time that the third angel’s message is proclaimed with great power. During the loud cry, the church, aided by the providential interpositions of her exalted Lord, will diffuse the knowledge of salvation so abundantly that light will be communicated to every city and town. The earth will be filled with the knowledge of salvation. So abundantly will the renewing Spirit of God have crowned with success the intensely active agencies, that the light of present truth will be seen flashing everywhere. {Mar 218.3}

There is to be, at this period, a series of events which will reveal that God is Master of the situation. {Mar 218.4}

Events will show that God is Master of the situation.

The truth will be proclaimed in clear, unmistakable language. {Mar 218.4}

Now comes the most important part. This is the purpose of God:

As a people, we must prepare the way of the Lord, under the overruling guidance of the Holy Spirit. The gospel is to be given in its purity. {Mar 218.4}

How is the gospel to be given? In its purity.

The stream of living water is to deepen and widen in its course. In all fields, nigh and afar off, men will be called from the plow and from the more common commercial business vocations that largely occupy the mind, and will be educated in connection with men of experience. {Mar 218.4}

How will they be learning? In connection with men of experience.

As they learn to labor effectively, they will proclaim the truth with power. Through most wonderful workings of divine providence, mountains of difficulties will be removed, and cast into the sea. The message that means so much to the dwellers upon the earth will be heard and understood. Men will know what is truth. Onward, and still onward the work will advance, until the whole earth shall have been warned. And then shall the end come. {Mar 218.4}

What is God’s purpose? God’s purpose is to cause that the whole planet at this time of earth’s history is going to be illuminated. It’s going to be flashed throughout the earth, to every town and every city. We are told that God’s people need to prepare the way for this. We are clearly seeing God’s purpose in what is written.

In the story of Nebuchadnezzar and his association with God and these faithful men, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, history will show you how the whole empire of this world can be illuminated.

Many people conclude that we must have a big organisation; we must have a lot of people to spread this message around everywhere, to preach, to preach, to preach.

The most solemn truths ever entrusted to mortals have been given us to proclaim to the world. The proclamation of these truths is to be our work. The world is to be warned, and God’s people are to be true to the trust committed to them. {9T 19.2}

We must do this work with fidelity.

It is the purpose of God to glorify Himself in His people before the world. {9T 21.2}

Yes the world is to be illuminated. The glory of the Lord shall be seen upon you. The gospel has to be proclaimed in its purity. But what is the purpose of God that we are to fulfill?

It is the purpose of God to glorify Himself in His people before the world. He expects those who bear the name of Christ to represent Him in thought, word, and deed. {9T 21.2}

The glory of God is to be spread around the world by a people who represent Him in thought, in word, and in deed. Remember the words of Proverbs: As a man thinketh in his heart, in his mind, so he is. If my thoughts are not correct, I cannot represent Him. My words must be correct so that I can represent Him, and my deeds must be correct so that I can represent Him.

Their thoughts are to be pure and their words noble and uplifting, drawing those around them nearer the Saviour. The religion of Christ is to be interwoven with all that they do and say. Their every business transaction is to be fragrant with the presence of God. {9T 21.2}

For the Lord’s glory to be shed abroad on the planet, for God’s people to be used so that His glory can be flashed to every city and every town, it needs to be a people who fulfill the purpose of God in glorifying Him. How? In thought, in word, and in deed. The thoughts must be pure, and theirs words noble and uplifting, drawing those around them nearer the Saviour. The religion of Christ is to be interwoven with all that they do and say.

Are all my words, are all my actions, is everything that I am doing, interwoven with my Saviour? In my business transaction, is what I am doing fragrant with the presence of God? This is the purpose of our study, because we will see what is the true missionary activity that will cause the world to see the glory of God. It is something much different to what is generated in the minds of people. We are not to simply go out there and do our missionary work and then go home and do our own thing. This is not the way it’s going to happen. In every business transaction the presence of God is to be revealed. That is God’s purpose for His people.

May the fidelity which we will learn through the contemplation of the story of Nebuchadnezzar, be strengthened in us as we see the philosophy, and as we see the principles. That is what I want you to do, and it requires close attention. That is why we must be alert as we study these things so that we can pick up the principles, not just the story. Many times stories are repeated to us, but we never partake of the principles. We are called upon to examine closely, because we must learn the philosophy of God’s purpose in our life through what we are studying, and especially now in these last days. May the Holy Spirit pour upon us at this conference, to rally to the calling of God by giving ourselves to God and recognize His workings in our life as we see it typified in Nebuchadnezzar, and then submit to those workings, this is my prayer.

Amen.

Posted on January 23, 2015, in Nebuchadnezzar Life Lessons and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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