Dan 4:1 Nebuchadnezzar the king to all the peoples, nations, and men of every language that live in all the earth: "May your peace abound! Dan 4:2 "It has seemed good to me to declare the signs and wonders which the Most High God has done for me. Dan 4:3 "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. Dan 4:4 "I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at ease in my house and flourishing in my palace. Dan 4:5 "I saw a dream and it made me fearful; and these fantasies as I lay on my bed and the visions in my mind kept alarming me. Dan 4:6 "So I gave orders to bring into my presence all the wise men of Babylon, that they might make known to me the interpretation of the dream. Dan 4:7 "Then the magicians, the conjurers, the Chaldeans and the diviners came in and I related the dream to them, but they could not make its interpretation known to me. Dan 4:8 "But finally Daniel came in before me, whose name is Belteshazzar according to the name of my god, and in whom is a spirit of the holy gods; and I related the dream to him, saying, Dan 4:9 'O Belteshazzar, chief of the magicians, since I know that a spirit of the holy gods is in you and no mystery baffles you, tell me the visions of my dream which I have seen, along with its interpretation. King Nebuchadnezzar has heard Daniel tell him what he has seen in his, personal, dream. He has seen his Mighty Men consumed with the fire of the furnace while not even a hair was singed on Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego. Not only this but as he peered into the fire, four persons were walking around in there. Nebuchadnezzar knows that there is a God of Israel that defies all other gods and that He is the Saviour of all Israel, he has been privileged to see the Son of God before He divested himself of His deity to be born of a woman. From life's experience I know it is difficult to overcome old habits and here goes the king again, first, to the men he knows and has proven to be prone to lies. Only then, when the comfortable liars cannot comfort him, does he approach Daniel for the answer from the only True God. I have noticed in my personal study that to understand Daniel's coming trial it is reasonable and noteworthy to remember these dreams and the resulting actions surrounding them. I spent eight years in the Army and one of the first indoctrinations I was fed is that, “Familiarity breeds contempt,” and in many case that is true and life has taught me that the wise man is always looking for and preparing to deal with it. If you seek to lead men for Christ, the result is a military result because it is the LORD's Army we are serving in and you must be willing to risk familiarity to achieve the end. All the men and women in this Army are your brothers and sisters. And regardless of the perceived wisdom in the Familiarity Rule in the US Army, the men that lead and are followed the most closely are the ones that are known. As Christians we must pray for God to lead us to this balance. Dan 4:10 'Now these were the visions in my mind as I lay on my bed: I was looking, and behold, there was a tree in the midst of the earth and its height was great. Dan 4:11 'The tree grew large and became strong And its height reached to the sky, And it was visible to the end of the whole earth. Dan 4:12 'Its foliage was beautiful and its fruit abundant, And in it was food for all. The beasts of the field found shade under it, And the birds of the sky dwelt in its branches, And all living creatures fed themselves from it. Dan 4:13 'I was looking in the visions in my mind as I lay on my bed, and behold, an angelic watcher, a holy one, descended from heaven. Dan 4:14 'He shouted out and spoke as follows: "Chop down the tree and cut off its branches, Strip off its foliage and scatter its fruit; Let the beasts flee from under it And the birds from its branches. Dan 4:15 "Yet leave the stump with its roots in the ground, But with a band of iron and bronze around it In the new grass of the field; And let him be drenched with the dew of heaven, And let him share with the beasts in the grass of the earth. Dan 4:16 "Let his mind be changed from that of a man And let a beast's mind be given to him, And let seven periods of time pass over him. Dan 4:17 "This sentence is by the decree of the angelic watchers And the decision is a command of the holy ones, In order that the living may know That the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind, And bestows it on whom He wishes And sets over it the lowliest of men." Before we go further I'm going to break a rule and place a Foot Note in the midst of everything here: If we, Christians, will be obedient (2Tim. 2:15) to study and to nourish the Holy Spirit's presence in us we will never be caught short when making a point about God. I have oft been assailed by others, calling on the name of the Christ with the untruth that the Bible does not teach the Triune God. From the day I was saved it has been my position that we serve one God, seen in three persons, the One True God, the Triune God. Dan. 4:17 is not a good verse to begin to establish your point because you must first begin in the beginning, Genesis 1 with let “us” create... and regardless of your chosen path, before you ever think of using Dan. 4:17, I recommend Romans 3:10-23, otherwise you'll be hit with the angelic watchers as being the referenced. As followers of the Christ we must learn to use and to understand the Bible in one context. Now, I'll stop chasing rabitts. Dan 4:18 'This is the dream which I, King Nebuchadnezzar, have seen. Now you, Belteshazzar, tell me its interpretation, inasmuch as none of the wise men of my kingdom is able to make known to me the interpretation; but you are able, for a spirit of the holy gods is in you.' Dan 4:19 "Then Daniel, whose name is Belteshazzar, was appalled for a while as his thoughts alarmed him. The king responded and said, 'Belteshazzar, do not let the dream or its interpretation alarm you.' Belteshazzar replied, 'My lord, if only the dream applied to those who hate you and its interpretation to your adversaries! There is a strong lesson to be learned here, think before putting your mouth in gear. King Nebuchadnezzar can see the alarmed expression on David's face and he is smart enough to realize that the news might not be a thing he will enjoy. Let me try to give you some beginning to understand what is happening to David. The first time I took the pulpit I was in my early fifties and for three weeks I prepared my lesson. I rehearsed it until I'm sure I was blue in the face. That Sunday Morning, as I took the Pulpit, the Holy Spirit overcame me as I prayed and I knew the message I had studied, so intently, was not the message I would deliver that morning and I have tossed the notes and never did teach that sermon. God gave me, in that still small voice that I cannot explain, the address in the Bible and as I read the text the words came out of my mouth and continued straight into what God had for me to deliver that morning. God, speaking through me, preached to me as much as He did to everyone else in that assembly that morning. Perhaps now, you will appreciate what was happening to Daniel. Like myself on that day, Daniel was frightened by what was happening. He also knew there were limits to what one tells the king because the king can cut your head off... right there and then. Dan 4:20 'The tree that you saw, which became large and grew strong, whose height reached to the sky and was visible to all the earth Dan 4:21 and whose foliage was beautiful and its fruit abundant, and in which was food for all, under which the beasts of the field dwelt and in whose branches the birds of the sky lodged-- Dan 4:22 it is you, O king; for you have become great and grown strong, and your majesty has become great and reached to the sky and your dominion to the end of the earth. Dan 4:23 'In that the king saw an angelic watcher, a holy one, descending from heaven and saying, "Chop down the tree and destroy it; yet leave the stump with its roots in the ground, but with a band of iron and bronze around it in the new grass of the field, and let him be drenched with the dew of heaven, and let him share with the beasts of the field until seven periods of time pass over him," Dan 4:24 this is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree of the Most High, which has come upon my lord the king: Dan 4:25 that you be driven away from mankind and your dwelling place be with the beasts of the field, and you be given grass to eat like cattle and be drenched with the dew of heaven; and seven periods of time will pass over you, until you recognize that the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind and bestows it on whomever He wishes. Think for a moment, much of this is written in the first person by Nebuchadnezzar and he keeps saying gods and still is not settled on the fact that there is only one God and it would be wise to melt the gold from the monster gold statue and make money out of it. And it is thought that the reference to periods of time is a reference to years and there is prophetic evidence that supports this thought. Dan 4:26 'And in that it was commanded to leave the stump with the roots of the tree, your kingdom will be assured to you after you recognize that it is Heaven that rules. Dan 4:27 'Therefore, O king, may my advice be pleasing to you: break away now from your sins by doing righteousness and from your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor, in case there may be a prolonging of your prosperity.' When Daniel finishes his (give me a little liberty here) Hell and Damnation message he ends with the Life Application to apply. Many, today, stand in the pulpit and they tickle the ears of their membership and though it is not an exclusive truth, they, thus, build super churches that are, in reality, not part of The Church. David set an example for every member of every Church Family to follow, just as Paul and the other eleven did. Just as men like Billy Sunday and Billy Graham did. We do not need to learn it, no, we need to believe, trust God and proclaim the Whole Truth of the Bible and when we do, it might not all go well with us but God will be there and it is not this world of temporary things tat we need to build for anyway. Like David we must learn to think, work and to live for the Eternal. Dan 4:28 "All this happened to Nebuchadnezzar the king. Dan 4:29 "Twelve months later he was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon. Dan 4:30 "The king reflected and said, 'Is this not Babylon the great, which I myself have built as a royal residence by the might of my power and for the glory of my majesty?' Dan 4:31 "While the word was in the king's mouth, a voice came from heaven, saying, 'King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is declared: sovereignty has been removed from you, Dan 4:32 and you will be driven away from mankind, and your dwelling place will be with the beasts of the field. You will be given grass to eat like cattle, and seven periods of time will pass over you until you recognize that the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind and bestows it on whomever He wishes.' Dan 4:33 "Immediately the word concerning Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled; and he was driven away from mankind and began eating grass like cattle, and his body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair had grown like eagles' feathers and his nails like birds' claws. Dan 4:34 "But at the end of that period, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever; For His dominion is an everlasting dominion, And His kingdom endures from generation to generation. Dan 4:35 "All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, But He does according to His will in the host of heaven And among the inhabitants of earth; And no one can ward off His hand Or say to Him, 'What have You done?' Dan 4:36 "At that time my reason returned to me. And my majesty and splendor were restored to me for the glory of my kingdom, and my counselors and my nobles began seeking me out; so I was reestablished in my sovereignty, and surpassing greatness was added to me. Dan 4:37 "Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise, exalt and honor the King of heaven, for all His works are true and His ways just, and He is able to humble those who walk in pride." Here again we see that King Nebuchadnezzar is writing this narrative to the glory of the one true God. Nebuchadnezzar did not become a Jewish Believer and he, certainly, was not a Christian, so, was he converted? There were no Christians and he was not a Jew. Was he saved at this point? This is a point worthy of a study I, myself, have not done yet but, God is the God of new beginnings and I wonder if I'll be able to ask Nebuchadnezzar what the grass tasted like. The life application? I see this as proof positive that “all” can be saved and that Father God can use everyone of us to work His will. That does not make me a Calvinist and I do not follow the Armenian theology either because they both seem to me to just ignore the thought of the Scriptures being of one, continuous, context. I call myself a Biblicist, a term, I believe, coined by Brother Richard Clark of Mississippi fame and origin. If it's n the Bible, it is the Word of God and I believe it... all!