The Everlasting Gospel in Daniel

 

Daniel Chapter 1

 

1:1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it.

1:2 And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God: which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god.

1:3 And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring [certain] of the children of Israel, and of the king’s seed, and of the princes;

1:4 Children in whom [was] no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as [had] ability in them to stand in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans.

1:5 And the king appointed them a daily provision of the king’s meat, and of the wine which he drank: so nourishing them three years, that at the end thereof they might stand before the king.

1:6 Now among these were of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah:

1:7 Unto whom the prince of the eunuchs gave names: for he

 

 

 

1~ THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL IN DANIEL AND REVELATION

unto Daniel [the name] of Belteshazzar; and to Hananiah, of Shadrach; and to Mishael, of Meshach; and to Azariah, of Abednego.

1:8 But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.

1:9 Now God had brought Daniel into favour and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs.

1:10 And the prince of the eunuchs said unto Daniel, I fear my lord the king, who hath appointed your meat and your drink: for why should he see your faces worse liking than the children which [are] of your sort? then shall ye make [me] endanger my head to the king.

1:11 Then said Daniel to Melzar, whom the prince of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah,

1:12 Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink.

1:13 Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenance of the children that eat of the portion of the king’s meat: and as thou seest, deal with thy servants.

1:14 So he consented to them in this matter, and proved them ten days.

1:15 And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king’s meat.

1:16 Thus Melzar took away the portion of their meat, and the wine that they should drink; and gave them pulse.

1:17 As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.

1:18 Now at the end of the days that the king had said he should bring them in, then the prince of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar.

1:19 And the king communed with them; and among them all was found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: therefore stood they before the king.

1:20 And in all matters of wisdom [and] understanding, that the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all

 

THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL IN DANIEL ~ 17

the magicians [and] astrologers that [were] in all his realm.

1:21 And Daniel continued [even] unto the first year of king Cyrus.

"You remember how it was with Daniel. You know all about how he gave God the glory. He gave him glory for the work that he had done for him. He and his three companions were taken away from their country, from their parents, from their educators, at a very young age. They were so kind, respectful, and polite in all their manners, that the one who had charge of them fell in love with them." {SpM 358.2}

T here are several important points about the first chapter of Daniel. Daniel and his friends were taken captive for no personal wrong-doing. It is written "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." 2 Timothy 3:12. There would be no higher privilege in life than to be accounted worthy to suffer persecution for Jesus sake. In the great controversy the religious people who are rebellious against God persecute the righteous. It is Satan who controls the rebellious, religious people. Satan hates Jesus. This hatred moves Satan to persecute those who love God in spirit and in truth. This is the only way now that Satan can wound and injure Jesus. So you and I, if we are faithful to Jesus, may have the opportunity to suffer persecution for His sake!

The first test Daniel and his friends were subjected to was concerning the matter of lifestyle—specifically diet. What are the issues in diet? One is obedience to the Lord’s expressed will. We are living in the antitypical Day of Atonement. On the typical Day of Atonement, it was a day of fasting. This means that they did not eat anything on that day. This means that believers who are following Jesus by faith into the Most Holy apartment of the Sanctuary in heaven, are entering into the antitypical Day of Atonement. Believers are entering into a fast. This means that they eat simple, plain food for strength and not for drunkenness (Ecclesiastes 10:17). Other aspects of the fast that we are instructed to enter into, are recorded in Isaiah 58. Had Daniel and his friends been lax in the matter of lifestyle, God could not have used them the way that He did. Had these Hebrews not been

 

18 ~ THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL IN DANIEL AND REVELATION

following God’s will in eating before being taken captive, their minds would not have been as keen to discern God’s will and take a stand for truth. An important issue in diet is brain blood flow. The standard American diet (SAD) clogs the blood vessels with atherosclerosis. Fat in the typical diet sludges the blood making it thick and sticky and greatly reduces blood flow to the brain. The need to understand God’s will revealed in His Word is especially important in the closing work of the everlasting gospel.

"Those who search this word should keep the mind clear. Never should they indulge perverted appetite in eating or drinking. If they do this, the brain will be confused; they will be unable to bear the strain of digging deep to find out the meaning of those things which relate to the closing scenes of this earth’s history." {TM 114.1–2}

"When the books of Daniel and Revelation are better understood, believers will have an entirely different religious experience." {TM 114.3}1

Verse 8 is key to the whole book of Daniel. "But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself." Daniel made a decision in his heart. The everlasting gospel calls for us to make a decision in our hearts about God – who He is! God is our glorious King! Everything He asks of us is for our own good – including His will in what to eat! This decision that Daniel purposed in his heart, affected his whole after-life! His decision led him to make a request of the prince of the eunuchs. Daniel decided, first in his own heart and mind, what he was going to do. Then he requested help from God. Only after making his own decision and asking help from God in this decision did Daniel request consideration from man. This is a divine recipe for success!

Daniel requested that they be allowed to eat seeds (beans, legumes, lentils, grains and nuts—"pulse" according to Strong’s Concordance Hebrew word 2235 means "seeds"). This is the original diet given to mankind by God—fruits, grains, and nuts—

 

THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL IN DANIEL ~ 19

in the Garden of Eden. It is still the best "brain food" for mankind today.

Daniel and his friends’ final examination results were "ten times better" than the most intelligent of the royal attendants and advisors. Similar fidelity to God’s instructions in lifestyle and every other instruction from God will reap similar results in superior achievement still today.

Thus the issue of diet is simply trust and obedience to the will of God. The issue is our ability to see Jesus, who He is, and to respond to His ability to change us into His character likeness. Adam’s first temptation involved food. Jesus’ first temptation in the wilderness was on appetite. And in Daniel, we see the first recorded test of these Hebrew captives was on the matter of what they ate. Because we are made of earth, and our brains built on a literal physical foundation, the influence and importance of diet and lifestyle cannot be overlooked.