Rather than reading the Bible through the eyes of modern secularism, this provocative six-part course teaches you to read the Bible through its own eyes—as a record of God’s dealing with the human race. When you read it at this level, you will discover reasons to worship God in areas of life you probably never before associated with “religion.”
© Charles A. Clough 1998
Charles A. Clough
Biblical Framework Series 1995–2003
Part 4: Disciplinary Truths of God’s Kingdom
Chapter 4: Kingdom Ended: The Discipline of Exile
Lesson 94 – Separation from Legal Relationship
04 Jun 1998
Fellowship Chapel, Jarrettsville, MD
[Message very hard to hear, transcription may be affected by words or phrases that are nearly unintelligible] The New Testament said we’re salt to the society. Turn in the Old Testament to Jeremiah 29:7 because this was a piece of advice the prophet Jeremiah gave to his generation who would shortly wind up spending the rest of their lives in a Gentile society of Neo-Babylonia. Actually this verse sets up the thinking that is carried over in the New Testament when we talk about the role of the church. Keep in mind Jeremiah is writing during the kingdom in decline period, so he’s preparing the people for the exile. “Seek the welfare [shalom] of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf,” and now an important clause, “for in its welfare you will have welfare.” In its shalom you will have shalom. The idea there is to pray to the Lord, notice, on its behalf. The first thing we notice about verse 7 is there’s an act of seeking of true shalom for the society in which you live. Notice involved in the seeking is praying to the Lord on its behalf. You have a right to pray to the Lord on its behalf, and that’s one of the salt functions going on as believers do this.
We won’t know the effects of these kinds of prayers in this life, but hopefully in eternity we’ll have a chance to kind of have a view graph or something where we see the effect of prayers on the course of history. They had a change of command ceremony at Aberdeen Proving Ground today and I was commenting to one of the fellows as they had to Pass in Review, which is a military formation when everybody’s done their thing and it finishes up, whether it’s the Air Force, Army or Navy they have what’s called Pass in Review and it’s a formal military procedure. You have all the unit flags go by, etc. and if there’s anything else like armored vehicles or something they’ll be parading with the units. While it was going by I said you can sit here and watch this and years ago in the pictures of the Kremlin you’d see the men, the Russian Army going by the reviewing stand and you’d see the rockets all in formation, etc. I said the last time that was done in the Kremlin Square some Christian seminary students got into the parade and they had a big cross of Jesus Christ and Gorbachev was sitting there in the reviewing stand watching all this go on, and as the Pass in Review was done, these guys were in the tail end of that formation and they began to chant as they went by, in Russian, “Christ has risen, Christ has risen.” It’s so interesting in light of the dynamics of the collapse of the Soviet Union that that was the last time it happened, because that was the year that the Soviet Union collapsed. It was the very year that the Christians got into the Pass and Review and yelled out the words “Christ is risen.” We don’t know.
These prayers like Jeremiah is talking about, “… pray to the LORD on its behalf; for in its welfare you will have welfare.” I think one of the things about verse 7 that is sobering is the last clause. Obviously the last clause implies that you’re not going to have welfare if the society in which you are living doesn’t have welfare. There’s no shalom. The idea of the welfare or the shalom or peace in the King James translation it’s a godly peace. [“And seek the peace of the city to which I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the LORD for it; for in its peace shall ye have peace.”] A peace not necessarily where everybody is believers, but where the structure, the divine institutions are functioning, where marriage is functioning, where responsibility is functioning. We had the four divine institutions, the first one is responsible labor, that we’re not victims, we’re responsible people. We have the institution of marriage, the institution of family and the institution of civil authority. When these are functioning in the Old Testament lingo it meant they functioned well in shalom. So verse 7 says a lot, it’s just one little verse but it’s a key verse in the Old Testament that sets up how individual believers were to pray and to live.
When believers can do more than pray, “And seek,” the first verb in that verse, when they can pray and participate as we are involved in a participatory democracy, if you turn to Deuteronomy 4:6 we have a source of insight for our society. It’s our privilege to introduce wisdom principles. We may have to do it as Daniel did it. Remember the tactic of Daniel in Daniel 1 was he didn’t come off saying I say this on the authority of the Word of Jehovah; rather what he did is he suggested a wise course of action and let it prove out pragmatically, what I call the pragmatic [not sure of word, sounds like self], not that he bought into pragmatism, but it was a pragmatic self thing, why don’t you try it this way and see if it works.
In Deuteronomy 4:6 we have another verse in the Old Testament that clearly points out the benefit of the legislative mandates inside the Mosaic Law. It says “…this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes and say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.” Verse 8, “Or what great nation is there that has statutes and judgments as righteous as this whole law which I am setting before you today?’ ” We could spend a year going through the book of Deuteronomy, which I’ve done before. When you do that and go through the details, you begin to see the Word of God spoke to every single area, it spoke to economics, it spoke to things like banking, loan policies, the issue of collateral on loans, it spoke to the use of the land, the sabbatical rest of business assets, all kinds of stuff are in there.
Of course it spoke to how you deal with theft, they didn’t put all the thieves in jail, they made them work and restore. If somebody steals something the foolish way we deal with is that, first of all, the victim never gets it back, usually claims it on insurance, and who pays the premiums on the insurance? All of us. Then the police have to be financed because they have to chase around after all this stuff. Then the guy gets put in a prison somewhere and now we’re paying $40,000–$50,000 a year for that, then he’s not at his home so now we have a family on welfare and we’re paying for that. A brilliant solution to the theft problem! In the Old Testament they didn’t do that. The reason they didn’t do that was because taxes were limited to 10% of income, and they never could afford to do what we’re doing. So they had other ways of coping with it and God gave this.
People are so hesitant to pick up these themes out of the Old Testament Law saying oh well, that’s tentative, that’s way before our time, we’ve evolved higher than that. What does verse 8 say, “what great nation is there that has statutes and judgments as righteous as this whole law which I am setting before you today?” If you really believe verse 8 then you have to argue that the Mosaic legislation is one of the great normative pieces of legislation in the history of man. We need to go back to that. There are a lot of insights. I would suggest that verse 8 is an example of how besides praying for our country, of injecting wise principles, borrowing them out of the Mosaic Law code.
Another example that comes to mind is have you ever noticed the tax structure in the Old Testament? We always talk about taxes in this country. One of the most amazing things about taxes in the Old Testament is that they never taxed anything except income. They never taxed property. That’s a fine little detail but there’s something to that, and here’s what the deal is. Land in the Old Testament was part of the family heritage. It was the security for the old folks because it was where you grew your grain and supplied yourself. What would happen if we taxed property and somebody who is an older person doesn’t have any [can’t understand word]. We all know what happens after you sell the property, so the property is lost and fractured because you’re taxing an asset, not an income. There were no anti-capital taxes in the Bible. The Bible, when God went to tax His people He never taxed assets. He never taxed capital. We call those de-capitalizing taxes. God never did that. He only taxed income. And when it came to taxing He never had variable tax rates. He had a flat tax rate. I know the objection, the rich need to pay more. Well, in my multiplication tables if I get taxed at 10% and I make $1,000, or I make $100,000 is seems to me like if you pay 10% of a $100,000 aren’t you paying more? So a flat tax rate and this is part of the structure of the law code.
Verse 8 applies even to taxes, it says “what great nation is there that has statutes and judgments as righteous as this whole law,” so the Bible is pro flat tax. You think today of all the bureaucracy and the billions of dollars that are consumed in the economy by just trying to keep records with the intricate tax codes that nobody knows, and the wasted energy, time and effort. With a flat tax you could pay it with a post card. This is how God ran things, so don’t demean the Mosaic Law code, there’s lots of good stuff in here on how they operated. The best book to read to pick up these principles is the book of Deuteronomy; deuter—the second time the law was given. Just read through it sometime. Make a list. A neat way of doing this to help your observational powers of the text is to take a piece of scrap paper, go down through it and pick off areas of news that you hear on TV or reading the paper, and say would this apply to this news story if we had this; would this apply to some situation of our time. Just go through it and I guarantee it after you’ve gone through about ten chapters your page is going to be full. There are all kinds of neat insights. We haven’t begun to exhaust the rich treasure in this book.
That’s how we can be salt in life. I know people in the House of Delegates and when one of them was elected to office I bought them a book on the The Institutes of Biblical Law by Rushdoony. It’s very neat because you can look in the back, any social issue, you look it up and it gives you a key as to what the book of Deuteronomy says. Those are ways that we can be shalom, because these laws work. God ordained them, they have to work. So when they’re put into social practice as policies, they work.
That tells us about living in the exile, and living outside the kingdom of the God of Israel, no Shekinah Glory, God is not present, and so we’re left with this separation issue. What we want to do now is see how you sustain a proper mental attitude during these long, centuries long, periods when God isn’t speaking and there are no real prophets, and gee, what do we do now? A bleak environment in which to live. We said that’s why we have to have a long-range faith. This goes back to a technique that I’m going to show through the book of Daniel, but it’s a technique I talked about when we started this class three years ago; I’ve mentioned it from time to time.
If we have some issue, the way Scripture deals with these issues is to strategically envelop them inside a biblical framework. So instead of dealing head on with the issue, if you look at the way Scripture usually handles it, instead of dealing with a head on approach what it does it surrounds the issue with truth, so that all this truth and revelation starts to surround this and cut this problem down to size. That’s why the diagram that we’ve shown so many times, the good-evil diagram, what have we done there? We’ve said the good-evil issue looks like this from the pagan point of view. In that sense if you look at the issue that way it’s uncontrollable, it’s limitless, you can’t do anything about it. But what the Bible does is it brackets evil so that you have a good God, God is good, and creation was originally good, it fell and then it’s going to be redeemed so that evil now is contained, it’s cut down to size by a prior, larger, biblical frame of reference. That’s always the way Scripture works. It envelops, strategic envelopment, of the issue. Of course the unbeliever wants to strategically envelop us, and we’ll have a good answer to that tonight.
The basis of the long-range faith is getting the big picture, what God’s doing in history. Where do we get that? What was the style of literature that God the Holy Spirit deliberately started just prior to the exile? Apocalyptic literature when the inner thoughts of God were revealed in symbolic form all the way to the end of history. He gave us the whole picture in a way that He had not done before. Apocalyptic literature is a new thing. That’s to give us the tools of strategic envelopment so we can handle whatever the problems are. We know the last chapter, therefore since we know the last chapter we can back up and contain problems on the way but we know where the road is. We studied that on page 71, I gave two quotes last week of two examples of people that had long-range faith and it makes a people very tough. You can blow apart, you can have all the weapons you want to on earth, but they cannot destroy a tough soul. Those are examples of tough souls who absorbed a frame of reference, all the way down to the end, they had a total world and life view and nobody could dislodge it. The Puritans are the example I gave of the Christian faith.
We want to look at Daniel, this time not so much the specifics but I want to show you a way of thinking about the books and I picked Daniel because it’s so critical when you go to the university or school and they have a course on the Bible. There’s no book that’s more attacked in the classroom than this book, Daniel, therefore we picked it. Genesis comes close but not as a book, Genesis is hastily dismissed as a nice mythological story. The reason that Daniel comes in for such an atrocious attack is because the book of Daniel and the four kingdoms, there are four kingdoms in Daniel 2, then later on in passages like Daniel 8 he’s talking about very specific historic details. The four kingdoms we had were the Babylonians, the Medo-Persians, Greece, and Rome. The details are so obvious that to an unbeliever they must have been written after the fact, this can’t be prophecy. So you can immediately see why Daniel, with all of its very specific prophecies, has to be attacked. If I’m a non-Christian and I don’t believe in a God who speaks into history, I’ve got to get rid of this evidence, because Daniel is an evidence, it’s an objective evidence that God has spoken because there’s prophecy there that’s fulfilled.
In Daniel 8 there’s prophecy about Antiochus Epiphanies. Antiochus was a Syrian who becomes a picture of the antichrist. The Bible doesn’t speak of Hitler as a picture of antichrist, it’s Antiochus Epiphanies. If you want to do a biography sometime you ought to read the biography of Antiochus Epiphanies because you will learn more about what the antichrist looks like and how he handles himself by studying the life of Antiochus Epiphanies. One of the things that will shock you about Antiochus Epiphanies is the fact that this guy was a reconciler; it’s very interesting. Antiochus Epiphanies’ policies advocated the reconciliation of all phases of society under this envelope of universal values. In particular he objected to the Jews because the Jews held to the Word of God as their standard. So Antiochus Epiphanies tried to make the Jew into the scapegoat. The Jew was always the problem because these are the people with the long-range hope, they were the tough souls and they wouldn’t check in as far as Antiochus’ program of everybody getting together with their relativism.
In other words, to get everybody together what he had to basically say is everybody’s view is great for them and then we’ll all get together and by the way, said in fine print in footnote 42, the standards that we will use to reconcile come from me. Antiochus did that, and he was a very successful politician and he was a great propagandist. He made the Jews look like they were idiots, he spread all kinds of stuff around the world saying that these people are dangerous, they’re obstructionists, they won’t reconcile, they insist on their own standards, they’re bigoted, etc. etc. etc. To listen to him you’d think he was crying about the Jew. He finally got real mad at them one day and he decided to desecrate one of the places they worshiped, this story is in the book of Maccabees, and he had a pig sacrifice on one of their altars, and he deliberately did that because he knew that that was non-Kosher and would irritate them. So he deliberately did that because he was trying to break the back of Jewish resistance. It’s very interesting, so sometime when you want to chase down a biography see if you can find stuff about Antiochus Epiphanies.
We are going to look at a doctrine that we’ve studied prior, because we’ve got to say here’s the book of Daniel, what are we dealing with here. Let’s go back and train ourselves how to think through an issue. We’ve got an issue here, there’s the specific content of the text, now it comes in for attack because people are saying that this can’t be the Word of God, it’s got to be written after the fact. First of all, what do we have to do in our heads? We have to identify the [can’t understand word, may be focus] of the issue. What is Daniel? It’s a book of Scripture, and what is Scripture? It’s revelation, inspired. Where in the framework so far, up to now, over the last 2-3 years have we talked about the doctrine of revelation and the doctrine of inspiration? Remember the event we linked it to? Mount Sinai. So we go back into the framework and we say to ourselves, in order to deal with the Daniel issue let’s go back and get our heads straight.
What is revelation? What is inspiration? We’ve got an inspired book here. If we go back to Mount Sinai and we learned certain things, certain characteristics about revelation. I list those characteristics on page 72. So keep Mount Sinai in hand and look at the first paragraph, here is some of the characteristics we studied way back when we were talking about Mount Sinai. “… Biblical special revelation has unique characteristics shared with no other human knowledge. All biblical revelation is verbal: it has intellectual content that passes” and notice I’m defining what verbal means, it’s very important because people go to sleep with words. “…it has intellectual content that passes from God’s mind to man’s mind rather than being merely uninterpreted raw experience from which the human mind has created meaning.”
Let’s read that again. “…it has intellectual content that passes from God’s mind to man’s mind,” what do we mean? Here’s God, here’s man. We mean that there’s a thought in God’s head and it gets transmitted to man. When God says a sentence, “I am the Lord God who brought you out of Egypt,” that’s what He means, I am the God and I brought you out of Egypt. It wasn’t economics that brought you out of Egypt, it wasn’t Pharaoh’s army that fell apart and brought you out of Egypt, it wasn’t Moses’ scintillating leadership that brought you out of Egypt, it was Me! I brought you out of Egypt. That’s an idea and it’s transmitted from God’s head to man’s head. Revelation is verbal. What’s the opposite of this? Here’s where the grease hits, so watch carefully the rest of that sentence because this is how liberal Christians view Revelation in Scripture. They’re all wrapped up in this one sentence. “… rather than,” here’s where the grease hits, “being merely uninterpreted raw experience from which the human mind has created meaning.”
What do I mean by that? Think of Mount Sinai, picture again back in our framework. Moses goes up on the mountain, there’s fire and there’s smoke, and God speaks. Here’s the liberal view of that. Here’s how a liberal unbelieving person would interpret Mount Sinai. Maybe there was a volcanic eruption or something but Moses went up to Mount Sinai and there was smoke and there was fire, and it was such an emotional experience for Moses that he began to think, and he thought this stuff up. Do you see the difference? In the first case the thought is transferred from God’s mind to man’s mind. In the second case the thought starts with man. There’s no higher thought than just this. That’s the liberal position.
Be careful when we talk revelation; it’s the first picture, not the second one. If we’re talking with somebody or this comes up in a classroom discussion or people in your family believe this way and you have to figure out where these people are coming from, you’ve got to figure out how to communicate through this garbage that’s all over the place. The first thing to think about is to go back, get your head straight on what the Scripture says before you get sucked into an argument and you find out you’re playing by the wrong rules. Because if you start here unconsciously and think of these books as just these guys sat down and wrote it, even though God was behind it, but if you don’t believe there was an actual transmission of thought from God’s mind to man’s mind you’ve already lost the argument. You can’t compromise right at the front end of this thing; you’ve got to see what the Bible means by revelation.
The second characteristic in that paragraph is it is personal. What do we mean by that? It means that when God speaks like this and He booms down, the thought comes into my head, now I’ve got a problem because it’s not like I see that if I drop this coin it falls, that’s gravity. I can be emotionally detached from that. The problem is if God speaks to me I can’t be emotionally detached from it because now I’ve got to listen to Him or not listen to Him. I don’t have a choice, there’s no gray area. That’s what we mean by personal. By personal we mean that real revelation forces a personal response pro or con.
A third characteristic we mention in that paragraph is that it’s public history, not private vision. These are object historical acts. That’s why the last two or three years you keep seeing me put this stuff upon the board, over and over again, because the concepts of truth are anchored to public history. If you say that those events never happened, then the ideas that are associated with those events go down the toilet. The whole thing collapses on the right side if the left side collapses. We fundamentalists have a historic faith, that’s why it’s so objectionable to the rest of society. Particularly are we very objectionable to people who want to synthesize and move Christianity together with Buddhism and New Age and all the rest of it, because we’re the guys with our foot in cement, from their point of view, and we won’t move. Everybody else moves, everybody else is flexible, but you doggone fundamentalist Bible-believing people just won’t move. Because we keep on insisting that you have to have a literal Abraham, you have to have a literal Exodus, you have to have a literal Sinai, etc. etc. etc. The reason we do is because that was the public arena in which God spoke. All of these things tie together.
The fourth characteristic that I mention here is the prophetic characteristic. By prophetic we mean that revelation addresses areas beyond man’s thought, so not only do we have God’s transferring of thought from his mind to ours, but because God is omniscient He has infinite thought and we have finite thought, we have a transmission problem here. God has to accommodate our finitude when He talks to us. That’s where apocalyptic literature and its symbols come in. In other words, when God goes to speak about something future in time, He’s talking by definition about what? Is it something that man has experienced yet or not? Nobody’s experienced it yet. He can talk about something past, I am the God who brought you out of Egypt, but if He says I’m going to bring you back from all the nations on earth, and I’m going to bring you back to the land, nobody’s experienced that. The Jew had a partial restoration but it’s not happened yet. And if it hasn’t happened yet what are the means? Is He going to bring angels, flying saucers or how is He going to do this. We know how He did it in Egypt but we haven’t got a clue how He’s going to do it because it’s all future. And God cloaks the future in His symbols. So that’s why there’s such high symbol density inside apocalyptic literature. We’re actually dealing with the deepest thoughts in the mind of God in apocalyptic literature. That’s what makes it hard. God is sharing His heart as much as He can share His heart with finite creatures who haven’t yet experienced what His plans are, hence this style of revelation.
The problem: we get back to Daniel. In the case of Daniel, drawing a time line, here’s Jesus Christ, the cross, here’s 0 BC, Daniel is back here between 500-400 BC, the book of Daniel, in this time frame. Daniel actually is living right in here, and you count the centuries this way so zero to 100 is the first century, so the year number is the century number finished. When we get back to 600, that’s the 6th century. Daniel lived in the 6th century. If this book is genuine, that’s when it was produced, in the sixth century. Three of the four kingdoms were done by this period, the second century. Now the debate is, because the Medo-Persia Empire, what the liberals do is say this is Babylon, this is Persia, this is Medo and this is Greece, that’s how they get their four kingdoms. They divide them up this way and then say they all happened by the 2nd century. Therefore where do you suppose they put the date of Daniel? After it happened; 2nd century.
They keep arguing for a 2nd century date for the book of Daniel. Why do they do this? Let’s review again—strategic envelopment [can’t understand words]. What are they trying to do to this book? They’re trying to, like a gigantic amoeba, slurp it up into their framework. What’s their framework? Unbelief. God doesn’t speak, there’s not a God in history that talks to man, come on…. That’s unbelief. Given that as the premise they’ve got to deal with this problem. Daniel presents a real problem, so the way you get out of the problem is you maneuver and you teach everybody in the classroom that Daniel was a 2nd century piece of literature.
On the bottom of page 72 follow with me this line of thinking because this will kind of give you an inoculation against this higher criticism that you read about once every two months in the newspaper, there’s usually an article about every six months in Time, Newsweek, some new thought about Exodus, some new thought about Noah, it’s the same story over and over. Let’s train on the hardest problem, which is Daniel, and then we can take the easy ones as they come.
“According to liberal higher critics who inhabit most university and seminary faculty positions, Daniel is a pious forgery written around 200 BC.; its impressive ‘prophecies’ were all written, they claim, after the fact. Its apocalyptic prophecies that applied to the Persian and Greek periods are so stunningly clear that to unbelief they could only have arisen in human minds which already knew the historical details.” Connect that with the statement we just read about verbal. If you don’t believe in verbal revelation, where does truth start? In men’s minds. So if you have a book here and it’s telling you all about history and it came from man’s mind, it has to be written after the fact. Are they consistent? Is this a consistent argument for the liberal? Absolutely. This is a consistent argument. You cannot fault the logic of the argument; it’s the starting point of the argument, that’s where the issue is. The following brief defense of Daniel uses material found in readily-available, conservative works on Daniel” in bookstores. I’m going to take two arguments that they use. Again, pay attention because this is the logic and you’ll understand any other book of the Bible. We’re just using a quick survey of how the attack comes on Daniel, how you defend against the attack and you can generalize it to all the books.
“Higher critical attacks upon the trustworthiness of Daniel have generally focused on” two things, “history and linguistics. Critics have a prior theory of the Old Testament canon development that helps them ‘explain’ Daniel as a late addition.” I brought the Hebrew Bible in and showed you there’s three parts to the Old Testament canon, mentioned in the New Testament, the Law, the Prophets and the Writings. I said there are some strange things going on as to how you get prophets occurring in the book of the Writings. What happens is that the liberals hold that the triune structure of the canon equals chronological development so all those three parts of the Old Testament canon are sequences in time. Therefore they said aha, now we can explain why a prophecy book like Daniel is occurring in the third section. It wasn’t written until late. It was too late to get in the second section, so it got in the third section; it’s a late writing. But is this true? This is the primary idea they’re using, and they’re trying to use it to support a late date for Daniel.
They say why “is a prophetic book like Daniel in the ‘writings’ section of the canon instead of the ‘prophets’ section. Quickly answering their own question the critics claim that Daniel was written too late to attain canonical status along with Ezekiel and Zechariah which were canonized in the 3rd century BC according to this theory.”
“Obviously, this critical attack depends entirely upon the chronological development theory of the Old Testament canon. Such a theory, however, has never been proved. There are other, much more plausible, explanations of the Old Testament canon’s tripartite division. One explanation is that the three parts of the canon are not chronological states at all but a topical classification. The law gives legal instructional material; the prophets give prophetic commentary on past and future history from the covenant perspective; and the writings give wisdom principles for life. Daniel, then, is included within the writings rather than within the prophets, not because it was composed too late for entry, but because it has primarily to do with wisdom principles for living within the totalitarian Kingdom of man.”
Think of what happens here if you think this through. Do you see how this helps avoid a problem that we fundamentalists have. When we mention the book of Daniel, what comes into your head automatically? Prophecy. You’re thinking about premillennialism, amillennialism, pre-tribulational, post-tribulational, mid-tribulationism, three-quarter-tribulationism, and you go through all these different prophetic views, wondering what’s going on. All of a sudden you get wrapped up in the theological technicalities, which are fine, [can’t understand words] you have to do that, but you’ve lost something here.
What was the big idea behind this whole book? It was learning principles of how to live now on the basis of knowing then. That’s the big principle. Then we can argue on the different cases. Then you see people say oh, prophecy, prophecy, prophecy, that’s just unreal, it doesn’t apply to life and it’s not really walking by faith and we demean those things, we don’t bother to study those things, I want a vibrant faith, I don’t want that dry orthodoxy. Well it’s become dry orthodoxy because it never was [can’t understand word] right in the first place. It can’t be dry orthodoxy, the Holy Spirit revealed it. What are you saying, the Holy Spirit is dry? It’s not dry orthodoxy, it’s truth that He thought, evidently not having the advantage of certain PhD degrees, that He thought was necessary for us to learn to live. That’s why it’s there. So there are principles for living in the kingdom of man.
“Besides the historical argument, higher critics of Daniel often employ linguistic arguments.” I’ve seen some college students in our congregation get knocked off their feet by this stuff. And it’s so unnecessary, all you have to do is tear off the mess and look at the logic here. “Instead of dealing piecemeal with each and every such argument,” and you need to learn to do this yourself, no way are ever any of us going to master how to argue with Jehovah’s witnesses, Mormons, the higher critics, this, that, something else, you just can’t control all that material. You have to go back to basic principles of approach here. “…we can save much time by unmasking the chain of logic used in all of them. Each critical linguistic argument begins with a selected linguistic parameter such as vocabulary, syntax, proper names, or orthography, which varies to a large degree in a known way over time.”
What they want is a dating scheme, and the way they can get that if they try to get it, and conservatives are interested in this in some cases. Here’s the time line again from 0 back to 600 BC. Let’s suppose that a word that’s used for musical instruments, that’s the one that always comes up in Daniel, let’s take a word for A, C, and D for musical instruments, and let’s say that we have evidence that in 300 BC those instruments were called A prime, D prime and C prime. At the time of Jesus it was A prime prime, D prime prime, C prime prime. This was vocabulary shifting, same instrument but it’s known by different names down through time. Then it’s a simple matter, if you can prove that this is happening linguistically, you can say aha, what vocabulary word is Daniel using? Is he using A prime prime? Oh, if Daniel calls those instruments A prime prime, then that must mean he’s writing late. [blank spot]
In that same paragraph, I call it “some parameter P,” it “must be one which concerns the actual composition of a book, not its subsequent transmission” of the book after it’s written. In other words, if people began to call this instrument something else, and the scribes are copying manuscripts, and they modernize the text, that doesn’t show authorship, that just shows that the scribes who were transmitting the text modernized the script. So it’s a little tricky, it gets greasy. Now what do I do? How do I tell if this A prime prime is occurring because some scribe updated the text or whether that was in the text all the way from the time of writing. So what do you need to know to apply this thing? It looked cool when we first started talking about it. Do you see the problem of applying it? What do you have to know besides this? You have to know the history of the transmission of the text to check when the changeover occurred. Was it before or after? So I’ve got to say if Daniel wrote it at this time, I’ve got to get manuscript samples all down here to figure out did it come in through the transmission of the script or did it come in when the book was written. All of a sudden we get into a messy business.
“If some parameter, P, for example, varies sharply from century to century” then it can be used. Now we’re on page 74, “The problem with every critical linguistic argument advanced so far is that an adequate P cannot be defined. Items such as syntax vary not only with time but” here’s something else, they vary “with the style of literature.” You can have different style literature, and a good example of this one is the book of Ecclesiastes. The book of Ecclesiastes is thought, because it also occurs in the third section of the Canon, oh, that’s not Solomon talking, it can’t be Solomon, Ecclesiastes has ideas in Greek philosophy in it, you can’t have a guy like Solomon anticipating Greek philosophy, that means he was smart. Therefore the book had to be written late. So when we talk about a late writing we say ooh, look at that, the book of Ecclesiastes uses certain vocabulary that was used popularly in the 2nd and 3rd centuries. The problem is the book of Ecclesiastes is a wisdom piece of literature, and when you look at Egyptian wisdom literature, hundreds of years before Solomon, it uses the same style. See what happens.
Now we’re talking literary genre, so besides a time problem look at the problem we’ve got here. We’ve got to say composition or transmission; that problem has to be answered before you can use your stuff to date anything with. You can’t answer this question until you have the manuscripts in front of you; those manuscripts have to be dated. The second problem we have is what we call the genre; the literary genre uses different stylistic vocabulary. That’s the way it is. People speak different ways, they speak in a different style; they talk different for different works, like poetry today. You’ll see English words in poetry that are archaic; you’d never see some of that vocabulary in prose. Look at some of the hymns we sing in church. In order to make the lyrics work with the notes, the guy had to use a different kind of word in there. We don’t go out in the street and use some of those words that are in that hymn book. They’re artificially constructed because of the hymn. Does that mean this guy wrote 500 years ago? No, it just means that when he wrote it ten years ago that’s how he had to structure it to fit the music. Style controls vocabulary. Needless to say the problem is that it makes a very seductive sounding approach and students by the carload get sucked into this the first time they hear it in a college classroom, they really buy into it, oh, this is tremendous. But you’re not seeing the logic of the whole thing.
On the other side of the issue, what do we have? “Recently, manuscripts for the book of Daniel which were found at Qumran were dated back to at least 120 BC.” That dating occurs because of pottery and so on. Now look what happens on the time scale. This is 150 BC, half of 300 BC to 0, so 120 BC is about here. So now we’ve got a manuscript all the way back to 120 BC. These are the guys in the Qumran caves that are doing this. Here’s the problem, guess where they found the [can’t understand word] manuscripts? They found them in urns, and what else did they find with those pieces of literature? The books of Isaiah, Ezekiel, the book of Moses. What does that suggest? That these guys had Daniel in their Bible, doesn’t it kind of suggest that, I mean, it’s right there in the same urn. So presumably the text of the book of Daniel was considered Scripture by 120 BC. If it had just been written, Scripture takes time for it to be recognized officially. So if we have evidence at 120 BC that the people at Qumran were using Daniel on an equal basis with Ezekiel and the other guys, then that assumes that the date of composition had to be driven back at least a century or so. If that were so, guess what that does to the Antiochus Epiphanies prophecy in Daniel 8? It makes it a prophecy.
You can’t have it both ways here. The liberal now has to argue that the scripts were accidentally placed along with Isaiah, Ezekiel and Jeremiah because you can’t admit that the scripts would be part of the same Bible that the other scripts are, because if he does, now he’s lost the date in Daniel, and he needs a late date on Daniel to keep his unbelief going. The end of the paragraph on page 74, “If it indeed was written prior to 165 BC, then it contains clear-cut specific prophecy of Antiochus Epiphanies, and thus the heart of higher critical anti-supernaturalism is destroyed.”
“Another evidence for the early authorship of Daniel is the fact that it is quoted by Mattathias,” in the apocrypha, I Maccabees 2, this is the apocrypha, I have a copy of it, this is not apocalyptic literature, this is the apocrypha. It’s the story of what went on in between the testaments of the Old and New Testaments; you can buy it in a bookstore. It’s interesting from a vocabulary standpoint it explains a lot of background for the New Testament and why people did the way they did. Let me just read to you a part of this book so you can get a little flavor of it. 1 Maccabees 2:51, this is a very famous chapter in Jewish history. 1 Maccabees 2 is a story of Mattathias who was a leader who rebelled against the Greeks and the Seleucids. The Seleucids were a group of royalty that the Greeks deposited in Palestine and left them there, kind of. Antiochus Epiphanies is part of that. The Jews had had enough of that stuff. When Antiochus Epiphanies decided he was going to sacrifice a pig on the Jewish altar—that did it!
So you have Mattathias and here’s what Mattathias says? [1 Maccabees 1:19] “Even if all nations that live under the rule of the king obey him, and have chosen to do his commandments, departing each one to the religion of his fathers,” see what Antiochus is trying to do, forerunner of the antichrist, what does it say he’s trying to do? He’s trying to get them all to be part of the religions of their fathers, let’s all join in one big happy family; it used to be called the tower of Babel.  “Yet I and my sons and my brothers will live by the covenant of our fathers.  Far be it from us to desert the law and ordinances.  We will not obey the king’s words by turning aside from our religion to the right hand or to the left.” Does it seem like the Jews were always a pain in the neck to people, they were these stubborn people that adhered to the Bible, they didn’t care how many spears you had, go ahead, kill me, I’m still going to believe. And it gives you a sense for the setup for the Lord Jesus Christ. This book is great if you understand. And by the way, when Jesus came and He said the kingdom of God is at hand, He wasn’t talking about some spiritual kingdom. He was talking about a real physical kingdom. Spiritual, yes, in character, but He was talking about physical, that’s the way the kingdom would have been understood.
So Mattathias went out, and [1 Maccabees 1:23] “when he had finished speaking these words, a Jew came forward in the sight of all,” talk about a great theme for a movie, listen to this one. “When he had finished speaking these words, a Jew came forward in the sight of all to offer sacrifice upon the altar of Modein, according to the king’s command.” So here you have a turncoat Jew and he’s going to go ahead and say well, if the authorities said this has to be done, all right, I’ll do it. [1 Maccabees 1:24] “When Mattathias saw it, he burned with zeal and his heart was stirred. He gave vent to righteous anger; he ran and he killed him upon the altar.  At the same time he killed the king’s officer who was forcing them to sacrifice, then he tore down the altar.  Thus he burned with zeal for the law, as Phinehas did against Zimri, the son of Salu.  Then Mattathias cried out in the city with a loud voice, saying: ‘Let everyone who is zealous for the law and supports the covenant come out with me!’  And he and his sons fled to the hills and left all they had in the city.” That’s the story of the Jewish Maccabean revolt; that’s how it got started. It started over a pig that was tried to be sacrificed on an altar and Mattathias said that’s it, you’re not going to do it.
As this goes on, now we come to the passage of interest for us, because he’s trying to rally this army. He’s this rebel leader and he wants to get all these Jews that are discontent, who are taking their lives in their hand by the way, because the Greeks were cruel, just as cruel as the Romans, so he’s got to fortify them. Remember long-range hope. So guess what he does. Listen to the text. [1 Maccabees 1:51] “Remember the deeds of the fathers, which they did in their generations; and receive great honor and an everlasting name.” Listen to this cycle and think of what we’ve done over the last 2-3 years, think back through to the slide I just showed, people say why did you pick these events? Well listen to this, here’s one of the famous speeches. Here he is now rallying his army. Who does he cite and what doctrines do you think about.
[1 Maccabees 1:52] “Was not Abraham found faithful when tested, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness?  Joseph in the time of his distress kept the commandment and became lord of Egypt.  Phinehas our father,” he’s quoting this because of the priesthood, “because he was deeply zealous, received the covenant of everlasting priesthood.” That’s the Levitical Covenant, given to Moses at Mount Sinai.  “Joshua, because he fulfilled the command, became a judge in Israel.” Does it sound like they’re using the framework a little bit? We’ve heard of Abraham, we’ve heard of Exodus, we’ve heard of Sinai, we’ve heard of Joshua, conquest and settlement.
 “Caleb, because he testified in the assembly, received an inheritance in the land.  David,” ooh, now we’re back up to the reign of David, “David, because he was merciful, inherited the throne of the kingdom forever.  Elijah because of the great zeal for the law was taken up into heaven.  Hananiah, Azariah, Mishael, believed and were saved from the flame.” Where did that come from? The book of Daniel. Now isn’t this interesting. The date of this is 167 BC, this guy died in 167 BC. So let’s go back to our time line. Here he is, doing this great biblical speech on the acts of God, he’s quoted Abraham, Joseph, Phinehas, Joshua, Caleb, David, Elijah and Hananiah, Azariah, Mishael. Does that sort of suggest that by 167 BC, now we’ve pushed the time line over here, in 167 BC he died, so it’s got to be closer to 200 BC. Now we’re back to 200 BC. Here’s the objective text in the nearest book store.
Next verse,  “Daniel, because of his innocence was delivered from the mouth of lions.” See the ammunition that he’s using to fortify the mental attitude of his army. He reaches back into Jewish history, a history which in this case identifies Daniel along with David. So that’s one of the evidences we have to show that Daniel was fully accepted in his day as authoritative and part of the canon.
I want to close this section on the exile and the long-range view and the apocalyptic literature and the fact that judgment is coming upon the Gentile nations by turning to a New Testament passage and paying attention to a verb in that New Testament. It’s a passage we all know, because the exile ultimately deals with how to live in the world system, the world, the flesh and the devil. This is the world. 1 John 2:16, “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.” Now look what he says, watch carefully the verb tense. And the world passed away, or the world shall pass away, or is it the world is passing away? It’s not a past tense, it’s not a future tense, it is a present tense. See the implication of the present tense.  “And the world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God abides forever.”
That is the result of thinking apocalyptically. The fact is that the judgment wheels of God are already turning; it is a doomed pagan structure out there. It’s coming apart. We know, whether it was a thousand years ago, or today, or next week, or a hundred years from now, it is passing away, it is not permanent. Only the kingdom of God is permanent. Only the Word of God is permanent, everything else is just water rushing around, going from one thing to the next.
So the conclusion we want to come to out of the exile and how to live is live as though the world system is passing away. That’s what the apocalyptic vision does for us, it gives us the confidence that if we stand on God’s ground we’ll last. Everything that you rush to do this, do that, the whole world wants us to this and all these other things that are so urgent, but the whole thing, that’s what we’re saying, the whole thing is passing away.