The Way Up is Down. A Study from the Book of Daniel By Reuven ben Gershom
We will commence this study by reading Yechehel - Ezekiel 36:19 & Vs 31 to 36:
“I dispersed them (Israel) among the nations, and they were scattered through the countries; I judged them according to their conduct and their actions … Then you will remember your evil ways and wicked deeds, and you will loathe yourselves for your sins and detestable practices. I want you to know that I am not doing this for your sake, declares the Sovereign YHVH (LORD). Be ashamed and disgraced for your conduct, O house of Israel!
This is what the Sovereign YHVH says: On the day I cleanse you from all your sins, I will resettle your towns, and the ruins will be rebuilt. The desolate land will be cultivated instead of lying desolate in the sight of all who pass through it. They will say, ‘This land that was laid waste has become like the Garden of Eden; the cities that were lying in ruins, desolate and destroyed, are now fortified and inhabited.’ Then the nations around you that remain will know that I YHVH have rebuilt what was destroyed and have replanted what was desolate. I YHVH have spoken, and I will do it.”
The Word of YaHVaH Elohim, blessed be His Sanctified Name, is a document of instruction and a love letter to those lost in the world. The message is, “Return unto Me, and I shall return unto you.” Yirmyahu - Jeremiah 3:1.
This is the proclamation of peace from the YHVH unto all that will believe in Him and follow Him. The prophets have delivered this message unto the children of Israel, and during the past two thousand years, it has been delivered to the Gentiles through the Gospel of peace and love, although as a side note, not necessarily through the church of Rome and its harlot daughter’s who has a lot to answer for! However, YHVH Elohim (the LORD God), desires sinners to repent and return to Him in and through the shed blood of the Lamb Yahushua the Messiah. In spite of their sins He loves them, but always remember that the Almighty hates “sin”!
In the Tanach, being Hebrew word for the books of the Old Covenant, the Almighty addressed Himself to the children of Israel with many promises, but He also gave many warnings. There are the do’s and the don’ts. The do’s came complete with loving promises of good things to come, and the don’ts with severe warnings of powerful punishments. The Almighty, having told Israel how He would punish them for their sins, then reassures them with a promise, and this was the one related to the covenant He had made with Abraham, that He would never destroy Israel. The simple fact is beloved, YHVH Elohim will ALWAYS keep His promises and He does this to the letter! In addition when He states that something to be “Olam” meaning to be “forever”, this Hebrew word also means “eternal” and the vastness of the “universe” Therefore YaHVaH Elohim, blessed be His Sanctified Name, does not suddenly change His mind as for some reason the church tends to believe in certain situations, well at least when it suits their theology, even though it goes against the teaching of our beloved Saviour! But it is just like mankind, who tend to think that they are great and undisputable.
Beloved be weary, for even those who think they are great will fall, as this study will prove, for the Almighty will make those who will not listen to His Word and keep it fall mightily, unless they look up and return to Him in truth!
This is an extensive, but a most interesting and, I believe an enlightening study!
Part One - The Invasion Judah and Jerusalem!
Let me first set the scene as the Children of Israel, Judah and Israel were taken by Babylon into captivity, which will bring us to an amazing study, but this section will bring you unto a piece of reality!
“At that time the servants of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up against Jerusalem, and the city was besieged. And Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came against the city, and his servants did besiege it. And Jehoiachin the king of Judah went out to the king of Babylon, he, and his mother, and his servants, and his princes, and his officers: and the king of Babylon took him in the eighth year of his reign. And he carried out thence all the treasures of the house of YHVH, and the treasures of the king's house, and cut in pieces all the vessels of gold which Solomon king of Israel had made in the temple of YHVH, as YHVH had said. And he carried away all Jerusalem, and all the princes, and all the mighty men of valour, even ten thousand captives, and all the craftsmen and smiths: none remained, save the poorest sort of the people of the land. And he carried away Jehoiachin to Babylon, and the king's mother, and the king's wives, and his officers, and the mighty of the land, those carried he into captivity from Jerusalem to Babylon. And all the men of might, even seven thousand, and craftsmen and smiths a thousand, all that were strong and apt for war, even them the king of Babylon brought captive to Babylon. And the king of Babylon made Mattaniah his father's brother king in his stead, and changed his name to Zedekiah.” 2 Melachim – 2 Kings 24:10-17.
This ancient brick summarised the main events of each year from 605 to 594 BC
It is located in the British Museum
The brick contains the Babylonian account of the fall of Jerusalem in 597 BC. Each annual entry is separated by a horizontal line and begins with a reference to the year of the king's reign. Which was also spoken of by the prophet Yirmyahu – Jeremiah;
“This is the message against the army of Pharaoh Neco king of Egypt, which was defeated at Carchemish on the Euphrates River by Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon in the fourth year of Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah.” Yirmyahu - Jeremiah 46:2.
Battle of Carchemish (605 BC) when Judah came under Babylonian control - The front side of this stone reads:
“The king of Akkad (Nabopolassar, father of Nebuchadnezzar) stayed in his own land. Nebuchadnezzar, the crown prince, mustered the army and took command of his troops. He marched to Carchemish on the banks of the river Euphrates and crossed the river to go against the Egyptian armies which lay in Carchemish. They fought with each other, and the Egyptian army fled before him. He accomplished their defeat, beat them into nonexistence. As for the rest of the Egyptian army which had escaped so quickly, that no weapon had reached them, in the district of Hamath. The Babylonian troops overtook and defeated them so not a single man escaped to his own country. At that time, Nebuchadnezzar conquered the whole area of the Hamath. For twenty-one years Nebopalasser had been king of Babylon, and in the eighth day of the month of Abe, he died. Nebuchadnezzar returned to Babylon, and on the first day of the month of Elue, he sat on his throne (605 BC).”
The point of showing you this stone, and I will show another down the page, is to bring a reality to the precious Word of YaHVaH Elohim, that His Word is TRUE! We must take heed to what He is saying to us, for IF we divert in any way from His Word, or do not listen to His servants, than we will suffer the consequences, as Israel did, and as we will learn, Nebuchadnezzar eventually did as well, for he, like so many had to discover that …
“The Way UP is DOWN”
In this study, we are going to look at a powerful story in the Book of Daniel chapter 4.
Many do not realise that this chapter is completly different to any other chapter or book in the entire Word of blessed Scriptures!
This chapter is remarkable for two reasons.
1. It is a State document.
2. Not a document of war, but one of peace and a living testimony.
The amazing thing is that this is the only State document or Proclamation in written Scriptural history of a Sovereign who claims, “Elohim (God) has conquered me.” It proves that YHVH, blessed be His Sanctified Name, not only touched the lives of Israel, but also of many Gentiles as well, and even a great and powerful conqueror of Israel. We learn in this chapter that the great Nebuchadnezzar had the kind of experience that all who live in the flesh, and those who live in sin, must go through in order for them to be able to “Return to YHVH Elohim!” In this study we will learn that “the only way UP is the way DOWN.” And this will happen in two very different way’s …
2. By the power of Elohim.
The following is the historical basis for this study. Obviously we are aware that Judah is this time in captivity in Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar had chosen four young princes to be in his service out of the house of Israel. However, he gave each of them a new pagan Babylonian name, names that reflected an attribute of a Babylonian god as each was one of the Babylonian god’s. These are as follows:
Dani’el ... = “Elohim is Judge.”
Belteshazzar ... = “Ba’al protect his life.”
Hanan’yah ... = “YHVH is Gracious.”
Shadrach ... = “By commandment of Achu.”
Mi’sha’el ... = “Who is like Elohim (Elohim).”
Meshach ... = “Who is like Achu.”
Azar’yah ... = “YHVH is my Helper.”
Abed-Nego ... = “Servant of Nego.”
YHVH Elohim of Avraham - Abraham, Yitzchak - Isaac and Ya’akov - Jacob, spoke to Nebuchadnezzar on three occasions. Each time He spoke with increased power and more fiercely than before. This being the lesson; it is better to listen to the Almighty the first time round, or you may have to take the brunt of what comes with disobedience.
In Chapter 2, Elohim speaks to Nebuchadnezzar in a dream and this caused him a great disturbance, for in this dream he was clearly told that his power and reign was not going to last and that his empire would be replaced.
Praise YHVH Elohim, for one day all the earth will be part of a new and everlasting Kingdom and this will be the glorious “The Kingdom of Elohim”!
The question we should ask, “Did Nebuchadnezzar listen to what the Elohim of Israel was saying to him?” The answer emphatically, is NO. In verse 7 it says that he brought in before him all his magicians, astrologers, the Chaldean and soothsayers and he told them the dream, but they did not interpret the dream.
Finally Nebuchadnezzar called for Daniel and consulted with him regarding the meaning of his dream. Having received a clear and decisive answer, being the obvious one, he rewarded Daniel for the interpretation and then bowed himself before Daniel instead to the great YaHVaH Elohim of Israel, who had so clearly spoken to him.
In chapter three, verses 4 to 6, it was a good twenty years later when we read that Nebuchadnezzar declares a new state religion and he sets up a golden image. Nebuchadnezzar had now come to think of himself as a god and whosoever does not bow down to it was to be cast into the furnace.
Again, YHVH Elohim being very patient speaks to Nebuchadnezzar, but this time He did this through a mighty miracle and not just through a dream.
“‘You, O king, have made a decree that everyone who hears the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, shall fall down and worship the gold image; and whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. There are certain Hebrews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego; these men, O king, have not paid due regard to you. They do not serve your god’s or worship the gold image which you have set up.’ then Nebuchadnezzar, in rage and fury, gave the command to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. So they brought these men before the king. Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying to them, ‘Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, that you do not serve my god’s or worship the gold image which I have set up? Now if you are ready at the time you hear the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, and you fall down and worship the image which I have made good! But if you do not worship, you shall be cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. And who is the Elohim (God) who will deliver you from my hands?’ Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, ‘O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If that is the case, our Elohim whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your god’s, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.’ Then Nebuchadnezzar was full of fury, and the expression on his face changed toward Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. He spoke and commanded that they heat the furnace seven times more than it was usually heated” Daniel 3:10-19.
These faithful servants of the Elohim of Israel, Sha’drach, Me’shach, and Abed’ne’go (although we need to remember that Daniel was not present at that time) refused to worship the golden image and Nebuchadnezzar was furious after they belittled the golden image by saying “Our Elohim whom we serve will deliver us from the burning furnace.” Thus here we can see that these three men had a great and a mighty faith!
Because they had declared this, Nebuchadnezzar had the furnace heated seven times hotter than its usual heat, and it must have been ferocious! The loving Elohim, blessed be He, showered His love and protection on these three faithful servants, and thus we see what faith can do.
Let us read about the actual event:
“And he commanded certain mighty men of valour who were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, and cast them into the burning fiery furnace. Then these men were bound in their coats, their trousers, their turbans, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. Therefore, because the king’s command was urgent, and the furnace exceedingly hot, the flame of the fire killed those men who took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished; and he rose in haste and spoke, saying to his counsellors, ‘Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?’ They answered and said to the king, ‘True, O king.’ ‘Look!’ he answered, ‘I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.’ then Nebuchadnezzar went near the mouth of the burning fiery furnace and spoke, saying, ‘Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, servants of the Most High Elohim, come out, and come here.’ then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego came from the midst of the fire” Daniel 3:20-26.
Amazingly Nebuchadnezzar was elated to see that they were safe and then proclaimed a new law. The decree was that the Elohim of Sha’drach, Me’shach, and Abed’ne’go must not be ridiculed anywhere in the empire. In spite of having seen the power of the Elohim of Israel, once again Nebuchadnezzar would not submit himself to the true Elohim of Israel!
It is simply amazing that to this day people who have heard the Word of truth, and may even have been touched by Elohim in a special way, although, this may have come through His servants, yet those who have still do not come back to the Truth of the Word of Elohim and as spoken by His precious son Yahushua our Saviour, or be it through miracles or prophesies that are being fulfilled in our very day, and I am not speaking about the ones performed by TV evangelists, but those that are happening throughout the world, such as the promised miracle of the reestablishment of the State of Israel as Elohim said would happen, and this is just the beginning of the prophecies that will have the globe heading into a cashless society as a monetary collapse is in sight, anarchy on the rise with the youth of the earth being out of control, increasing number of earthquakes, storms, famine, floods wars and terrorists. Need I go on?
The truth is that the time is nearing that our Master and Saviour will come again very soon and we need to heed to the Word of truth, but are we listening, or will you be just like Nebuchadnezzar?
But sadly history proves that people do not heed to warnings and this may be judged from re-action of the scribes even after our beloved Yahushua the Messiah raised the dead and healed the blind. After all these signs and wonders were performed all over the land, the Pharisees and Sadducees still stood there watching it happen and still asked;
“Pharisees and Sadducees came, and testing Him asked that He would show them a sign from heaven.” Mattityahu - Matthew 16:1.
The question is this, were these men of authority blind? Obviously not, but they certainly were spiritually blind to the prophetic Word of YaHVaH Elohim, blessed be His Sanctified Name! These men were blind because of self-righteousness and pride, therefore due to the presence of our Messiah, they simply could not, or rather refused to see the power of Almighty at work, Just as many christians today refuse to accept the TRUTH of YaHVaH’s Word on certain subjects, for they have been infiltrated by pagan ideologies for far too long! We have seen how Nebuchadnezzar was so blind although he has had so many encounters with the Elohim of Israel! Yet once again, having seen a great miracle of in the furnace, Nebuchadnezzar once again refused to see what Elohim was trying to tell him, “Come before Me!”
In chapter 4 Elohim spoke to Nebuchadnezzar in two separate ways, a dream and a miracle, and this time it was going to have a devastating effect upon the life of he who had been a mighty ruler and king, Nebuchadnezzar, and he would wish he had listened earlier. I pray that those reading this message will not need to go through the next stage, but sadly far too many will. I call this part the Tribulation!
There is no doubt that YaHVaH Elohim, blessed be His Sanctified Name, spoke to Israel in many ways, through His prophets, through signs and wonders and of course through His Word. The call is always simple, “listen, and heed to Elohim and cast away all evil in your lives.” Elohim, blessed be He, speaks to us through His Word, as well as I have already stated earlier through the fulfilment of prophecy, including in these very days!
I pray that we are alert and will listen for it is simply amazing how many in the churches are simply not doing what our beloved Elohim is asking of them, fast, pray and seek Me for discernment and then read My Word in order to gain an understanding of what I am saying to you, and not of what man has been telling you through age old fables, which has been mixed with paganism! Sadly far too many, just like Moshe – Moses had when he was called to do a mighty task, had far too many excuses why he was not able to do it! Well, beloved, believe me, we may not be capable, but our Elohim, through the power of the Ruach HaKodesh, the Sanctified Spirit can do anything for we may not think that we have the capability of understanding the word, but Elohim will be your guide, if you are only willing to allow Him to be your motivation and your strength!
YHVH Elohim, blessed be His Sanctified Name, delivered Israel out of Egypt with great signs and wonders, and they danced and praised their Elohim on the other side of the Red Sea. But sadly, all too soon this joyfulness wore off and they commenced to grumble. Again, the all-Merciful Elohim showered His love upon Israel and gave them “manna” from heaven. Thus once gain they praised Him, but all too soon this joy also turned unto sadness and unhappiness, as they became bored with the food that loving Almighty had provided them. And they cried …
“We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlic: But now our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, beside this manna, before our eyes.” Bamidbar - Numbers 11:5-6.
For interest, the author was once an ultra orthodox Hebrew/Jew who through an amazing miracle, one night back in December 1977, during my evening prayer time in my study after dinner, I was reading the Book of Daniel, chapter 9, when a voice within very clearly spoke to me. Considering, that nothing of the kind had ever occurred to me before, this was something of a shock at first, but being a person who had always loved my Heavenly Father with all my heart and being, what was said, I knew was from above and from Him!
“Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince, there shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; The street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublesome times. And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself.” Daniel 9:25-26a. NKJV.
These words, as well as what was given unto me, including the understanding of the Feasts of Elohim, which I had been celebrating for all those years, which had been a prophetic picture of Mashiach Yahushua. That night I believed, repented, and became a completed Hebrew in Messiah! However, my beloved wife, who knew that I had been a very long time in my study, being a young leader of the Jewish community, when I returned, she asked what was the matter, I said, “Beloved, you know my love for the Almighty, however, tonight, He has revealed that Yahushua is our Messiah.” Upon hearing this, she tore her dress, which is the normal Jewish sign for death, and that night I died to her, the Jewish community, the vast majority of my friends, business, being connected, and I was without a home and having left all with my lovely lady, I was penniless, but rich in Elohim and Messiah! There is so much more to this story, but, I must continue with Israel as I had mentioned a little earlier, the Father kept giving them blessing after blessing, and they praised Him, and then they were unhappy and grumbled.
Thus being from a Jewish background, at least I can make the following statement without too many reprisals. I believe that we who are called in the Word the “Israelites” at times really should have been called the “Grizzel’ites” for sadly Israel continually grumbled and complained, even after our Heavenly Father by His mighty hand delivered Israel out of bondage from Egypt and provided Israel with all their needs as well as safety!
When Israel was living in the land of promise they saw their land and their lives flourish, under the rule of King David and Solomon. However, that declined rapidly as Israel had been divided into two Kingdoms and was ruled by some very wicked Kings and Queens. Elohim warned the Royal households to “repent and return unto Him,” through His chosen prophets. These prophets reminded the people of Elohim’s Word, especially of His warning in Vayikra - Leviticus chapter 26 and Davarim - Deuteronomy chapter 28.
“If you will not hearken unto Me, and will not do all these commandments … I will set My face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you; and ye shall flee when none pursues you … I will bring a sword upon you … I will send the pestilence among you; and ye shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy … You will become a thing of horror and an object of scorn and ridicule to all the nations where YHVH will drive you” Vayikra - Leviticus 26:14-25 & Davarim - Deuteronomy 28:37.
Sadly, Israel and Judah did not heed the Word of Elohim and was sent into dispersion, just as YHVH had told them back in Sinai. However, Elohim did make an everlasting covenant with Avraham - Abraham, Yitzchak - Isaac and Ya’akov - Jacob. The good news being that the very same chapter which contains the prophecy of dispersion, also gave Israel the following assurance,
“Yet for all that, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not cast them away, nor shall I abhor them, to utterly destroy them and break My covenant with them; for I am YHVH their Elohim. But for their sake I will remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the nations, that I might be their Elohim: I am YHVH.” Vayikra - Leviticus 26:44-45. Read also Davarim - Deuteronomy chapter 28,
We need to understand that our heavenly Father always speaks first, then, if those He addresses do not heed He must act!
But whatever happened to Nebuchadnezzar?
Now as we have seen in this study, YaHVaH Elohim, blessed be His Sanctified Name, clearly spoke to Nebuchadnezzar in a number of dreams as well as through a miracle, but would this proud and stubborn man heed, sadly no, he did not! Thus Nebuchadnezzar, just like Israel, would have to learn the hard way and that would be that … “the only way up, so often means having to go down.”
Elohim had to resort to drastic measures to humble His children, for that journey through the wilderness that could have been done in just 11 days, took a long and arduous 40 long years in that miserable hot and freezing cold wilderness, and now it was time for Nebuchadnezzar to find out what was going to befall him for his wilderness journey was about to begin!
Nebuchadnezzar, according to chapter 4 was living at a time of restfulness, a time of peace and great prosperity. He had conquered everything he had ever desired.
The Scriptures describes that Nebuchadnezzar had built a great city full of magnificent buildings with grand decorative gates and rows of pillars, and all this was just for grandeur and his personal pleasure. The palace walls alone were over 6 miles long. His master builders had also built a man-made mountain built for his wife’s pleasure. This mountain was known as the “hanging gardens.” People from all over the region would come as sightseers to see his great city. It was obvious that Nebuchadnezzar was a vain man for he even had every brick stamped that included the following words “I Nebuchadnezzar built this.” Each brick had six lines of script in Cuneiform. To date, well over a thousand bricks have been discovered with the inscription as well as many others, and these are placed in various museums, including in the British Museum. The author in his role as a “Biblical Archaeologist” visited the museum in London in 1992 and was fortunate to be able to hold and study one of these “bricks of Nebuchadnezzar, which was a great honour!
(Picture of the brick of Nebuchadnezzer not shown here)
This is simply amazing to behold, a scene that makes this study come to life!
Nebuchadnezzar was so much in love with his city and himself, that he was totally blind to the message YHVH had given him in his first dream. Here he was strolling around the city as proud as a peacock, saying to himself, “look what I have achieved,” much the same as men do to this day, giving themselves the glory and forgetting that Elohim (God) is the Creator of heaven and earth and all that is therein.
Nebuchadnezzar felt that he was in complete control of his empire and his life. Well that is what he thought, but there was a great big shock awaiting him and what lay ahead of him was well deserved considering the many chances he was given!
In spite of Nebuchadnezzar’s shortcomings, Elohim loved him enough to take away all that peace and rest that filled his life in order to teach him a huge lesson and give him real peace that can only come from knowing the One True YaHVaH Elohim!
Read Daniel 4:4-27.
“I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at rest in my house, and flourishing in my palace. I saw a dream, which made me afraid, and the thoughts on my bed and the visions of my head troubled me. Therefore, I issued a decree to bring in all the wise men of Babylon before me, that they might make known to me the interpretation of the dream. Then the magicians, the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers came in, and I told them the dream; but they did not make known to me its interpretation. But at last Daniel came before me (his name is Belteshazzar, according to the name of my god; in him is the spirit of the Sanctified gods), and I told the dream before him, saying: ‘Belteshazzar, chief of the magicians, because I know that the spirit of the Sanctified god is in you, and no secret troubles you, explain to me the visions of my dream that I have seen, and its interpretation. These were the visions of my head while on my bed: I was looking, and behold, a tree in the midst of the earth, and its height was great. The tree grew and became strong; its height reached to the heavens and it could be seen to the ends of all the earth. Its leaves were lovely, its fruit abundant, and in it was food for all. The beasts of the field found shade under it, the birds of the heavens dwelt in its branches, and all flesh was fed from it. I saw in the visions of my head while on my bed, and there was a watcher, a Sanctified one, coming down from heaven. He cried aloud and said thus: 'Chop down the tree and cut off its branches, strip off its leaves and scatter its fruit. Let the beasts get out from under it and the birds from its branches. Nevertheless leave the stump and roots in the earth, bound with a band of iron and bronze, in the tender grass of the field. Let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let him graze with the beasts on the grass of the earth. Let his heart be changed from that of a man, let him be given the heart of a beast, and let seven times pass over him. This decision is by the decree of the watchers, and the sentence by the word of the Sanctified ones, in order that the living may know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, gives it to whomever He will, and sets over it the lowest of men.' This dream I, King Nebuchadnezzar, have seen. Now you, Belteshazzar, declare its interpretation, since all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to make known to me the interpretation; but you are able, for the spirit of the Sanctified god is in you.’ then Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, was astonished for a time, and his thoughts troubled him. So the king spoke, and said, ‘Belteshazzar, do not let the dream or its interpretation trouble you.’ Belteshazzar answered and said, ‘My lord may the dream concern those who hate you, and its interpretation concern your enemies! The tree that you saw, which grew and became strong, whose height reached to the heavens and which could be seen by all the earth, whose leaves were lovely and its fruit abundant, in which was food for all, under which the beasts of the field dwelt, and in whose branches the birds of the heaven had their home, it is you, O king, who have grown and become strong; for your greatness has grown and reaches to the heavens, and your dominion to the end of the earth. And inasmuch as the king saw a watcher, a Sanctified one, coming down from heaven and saying, ‘Chop down the tree and destroy it, but leave its stump and roots in the earth, bound with a band of iron and bronze in the tender grass of the field; let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let him graze with the beasts of the field, till seven times pass over him’; this is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree of the Most High, which has come upon my lord the king: they shall drive you from men, your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make you eat grass like oxen. They shall wet you with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over you, till you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses. And inasmuch as they gave the command to leave the stump and roots of the tree, your kingdom shall be assured to you, after you come to know that Heaven rules. Therefore, O king, let my advice be acceptable to you; break off your sins by being righteous, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor. Perhaps there may be a lengthening of your prosperity.’”
This was the third time Elohim had spoken to Nebuchadnezzar, this time being through a dream as well as a vision. Nebuchadnezzar had seen a great tree, which was mighty and great. The leaves were beautiful and birds and animals all came to it. It was a true picture of his life to date! But suddenly the tree was cut down and it fell to the ground, yet a stump remained from which would grow a shoot some seven years later.
Having consulted with all of his wise men, obviously not one of whom had a suitable answer, thus Nebuchadnezzar called for his trusty servant Daniel. We might ask, “Why did Nebuchadnezzar’s wise men not translate the events described?” They could have done so without any difficulty whatsoever, but the truth is they were too afraid to do so. The simple reason is that the vision was so plain; I feel that if anyone but Daniel had explained it Nebuchadnezzar would have had them executed for challenging his authority. You see, what you may not realise is that the tree in the vision was completely clear to everyone!
It was Nebuchadnezzar himself, who had earlier given a speech, and this speech is recorded on tablets of clay, these bricks are also on display in the British Museum and again I have personally examined these in 1992. On the tablet Nebuchadnezzar simply said … “My Empire is like a spreading tree.” Obviously, the many birds and the beasts in and around the tree represented the many nations that had come to visit Babylon over the many years all because of its grandeur and many wonders.
Thus having received no satisfaction from his soothsayers, priests and prophets, etc, Nebuchadnezzar called once more for Daniel to explain the dream and vision, and as we have read, Daniel gave it to him like a true man of Elohim.
He told the king that he would be cut down and that he would grovel in the dust like an animal. Yet that a stump would be left and that it would be bound with iron and brass, so it would not completely disintegrate. And that at the appointed time it would bring forth a new shoot and that it would grow again.
After this powerful message, did Nebuchadnezzar heed to the warning? No of course he did not for great kings never want to hear the truth, for they are just too great and powerful, but he is not powerful enough for YHVH Elohim, and the king was about to find this out!
Did the king not hear or heed to these words “break off your sins by being righteous, and … showing mercy to the poor?” You would think that this was a very simple instruction, and if the king had heeded to this message from the Creator of Heaven and Earth, Daniel said, “Perhaps there may be a lengthening of your prosperity.” Yes perhaps Elohim will spare you.
The wicked Nebuchadnezzar simply refused to hear them, like he did all the other times. Twelve months later he was still strutting around his palace gloating at all of his mighty achievements and most likely forgotten the warning he had been given, but Elohim had not.
Then suddenly came the time that YaHVaH Elohim, blessed be His Sanctified Name, had spoken about, and He utterly removed Nebuchadnezzar from his great and powerful empire that he had built, and Nebuchadnezzar was cast into a far away lonely field, where he would live like an animal and he was left there for seven long arduous years
Finally after seven long years in exile, there came that time when Nebuchadnezzar’s heart must have softened, for now he finally looked in the right direction, and as he was as low as he could be, laying flat on the ground and totally humbled, he “looked up” and acknowledged and commenced to praise the living YaHVaH the Elohim of Israel!
Read Daniel 4:34-37.
“And at the end of the time I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me; and I blessed the Most High and praised and honoured Him who lives forever: for His dominion is an everlasting dominion and His Kingdom is from generation to generation. All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; He does according to His will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’ At the same time my reason returned to me, and for the glory of my kingdom, my honour and splendour returned to me. My counsellors and nobles resorted to me, I was restored to my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added to me. Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice. And those who walk in pride He is able to put down.”
Nebuchadnezzar was restored to his kingdom and here comes a great truth; all things were BETTER for Nebuchadnezzar than it had been before.
Beloved, it is the same for all who came to Messiah Yahushua, when we first believed. For, we came to believe in the Elohim of Israel and His promised Messiah! Once we had proclaimed Messiah Yahushua our Master and Saviour, we also had to go down on our knees and humble ourselves before our Saviour and ask Him for forgiveness. It can only be when we BELIEVE and REPENT when we receive forgiveness and life everlasting in the “Kingdom of Elohim.” Beloved “eternal life” is available to all those who believe, repent and uphold the blessed teachings of YaHVaH Elohim! But sadly, today most have erroneous teachings, which have come from an evil source in Rome, by the hand of a man called Simon the sorcerer who is spoken of in the Book of Acts and he was also the first “Bishop of Rome” and not our Saviour’s Apostle Shime’on called Peter, who never set a foot in the city of Rome, but he did go to Babylon, and Rome is called the other Babylon, thus the confusion!
But, we are to follow Messiah’s commandments, for did He not say;
“If you love Me (said Yahushua), you will obey what I command.” John 14:15
The other good news is that for the “Little Flock” in Messiah Yahushua, life will be better in the end than it was in the beginning! Once we were also living in sin, but when we finally lifted up our eyes to heaven and believed in YaHVaH Elohim in and though Yahushua, our beloved Saviour, who washed us clean from our sins!
“Yahushua … said, ‘Arise, and be not afraid.’ And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Yahushua only” Mattityahu - Matthew 17:7-8.
Because Israel as a Nation did not “lift up their eyes” and did not believe in their Messiah, they were scattered throughout the world. Like Nebuchadnezzar, Israel was thrown into exile, scattered into the lands of their enemies. However, Elohim, blessed be He, left a stump for Israel to hold on to, the Covenant He had made with Israel.
“He is YHVH our Elohim; His judgments are in all the earth. He remembers His covenant forever (Le’olam - Eternally) … the covenant which He made with Abraham and His oath to Isaac” Tehillim - Psalms 105:7-9.
The Way Up was Down for Nebuchadnezzar, as it was for all of us. Israel has been downtrodden, persecuted, even murdered whilst in dispersion. The faithful in Messiah can hold onto the Word and should pray for Hebrew (Jewish) lives to be restored to Messiah, as well of our own loved ones and our neighbours, and those, who Elohim will appoint as a divine appointment on any given day, thus be ready to share His Word!
As we have read in Yechehel - Ezekiel chapter 36, Elohim has an everlasting love for Israel, thus the restoration of the nation of Israel is now partially a reality, with the secular Nation of Israel restored, but it is also time for Jewish individuals to be restored to their Elohim and remove that heart of stone and replace it with a heart of faith, a heart of flesh and allow those scales to fall from their eyes, in order that soon we may see a “Spiritual Israel” restored! (NOTE: I am not speaking of christians, who call them selves by that name, for there is no such a group Scripturally!)
“I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh” Yechehel - Ezekiel 36: 25-26.
The faithful have been charged by Yahushua, to “go and preach repentance and call for the remission of sins.” We, like Daniel, are called to share the Word of YHVH Elohim to the Gentiles as well as Israel. For they, just like Nebuchadnezzar will have to learn this simple truth; The only way Up and gain life eternal, You must first Go Down and in faith and accept Messiah as Saviour in full repentance!
However, this message also applies to so many when it comes to accepting the truth of His Word! Sadly, they just will not let their traditions go, and I should know, considering having been one who was an orthodox Jew, who was filled with so many traditions of men, as well as countless teaching from the rabbis! However, that very night in 1977, when the Father called me, I was very clearly told to separate myself for seven years and not to read any books of men, only to wait on Him and only read His Word in the Original Hebrew (Ivrit), for He did not wish me to be defiled by the false teachings that is so prevalent, but also to cleanse me from certain Hebraic ones, thus I also had to be completely cleansed.
Thus, during this time I was being led by YaHVaH Elohim His Name be Praised and Exalted and the Ruach HaKodesh! This has led to a wonderful understanding of His Word, as it comes directly from Him, His original Word in the Hebrew and as the Father sent me a wonderful Greek brother in Him, thus we also have the Greek in our ministry! Therefore beloved, we must be ready to accept what the Father has to say, regardless some of the consequences, and yes, sadly my life changed greatly as my wife rejected me and I was left alone without a home. Although I did not wish to be divorced, and neither did she, but many years later, we came in contact again and myself and my Greek brother and another servant in Messiah were able to look after her during her illness, until she sadly passed away. Although having ministered to her she was blessed in many ways by having us with her, but sadly she never accepted Messiah, which was obviously a great sadness to me!
Beloved, as we go down in prayer and intercede for others, YaHVaH Elohim, blessed be His Sanctified Name, this will not only lift you up, but also those you pray for!
The Way Up is Down A Study from the Book of Daniel
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Love your neighbour as yourself.
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Love your neighbour as yourself.
If there is a disagreement please have it respectfully.
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