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Sabbath School Lessons on The Gospel, 1844, and Judgment
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Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
is the author of these Sabbath School lesson study outlines. He is the Reed Larson Professor of Labor Law at Regent University School of Law. Professor Cameron has devoted his life to promoting the Gospel and defending believers. In addition to teaching at an overtly Christian law school, he continues his 37 year practice of law which is limited to the litigation of constitutional rights and religious freedom cases for employees. He holds an undergraduate degree from Andrews University and a Doctor of Law from Emory University School of Law.
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Lesson 3: Daniel 2 *
Introduction: Last week we discussed the final judgment and how we
need to take it seriously. One reason we don't take it seriously is
that "judgment" gets lost in reality. What is happening all around
us every day is real. We have no doubt about it. The "pleasures of
sin" ( Hebrews 11:25) are real, if short-lived. How can we know the
final judgment is real? What reason do we have to trust that God has
set a time for my judgment and yours? Let's dive into a central
prophetic chapter of the Bible to prove to ourselves that God's word
about judgment is as real as what happened to you this week!
- The Dream
- Read Daniel 2:1-4. How important is this dream to King
- Notice that verse 4 says that they answered "in
Aramaic." Were the magicians, enchanters, sorcerers
and astrologers using a "sophisticated language" to
make themselves sound more intelligent? Wiser? (It
does not appear to be anything like that. At this
point in the book of Daniel, the original language
changes from Hebrew to Aramaic. Daniel is just
signaling us that he is now going to tell the story
in the language of the royal court.)
- Read Daniel 2:5-7. Now we know why they paid the
astrologers the "big bucks" - it is a high risk job! In
your opinion, is the King being fair?
- What logic is there behind the King's requirement to
first tell him the dream? (If you can tell the
future, you should be able to tell the past.)
- What logic is there to the astrologer's position?
(This is beyond our area of expertise - we are
interpreters, not dream re-creators. Much different
- The Interpretation Problem
- Read Daniel 2:8-9. Does the King sound flexible?
- What reason does he give for his requirement? (He
thinks they have been making up stuff in the past,
and this will reveal who truly can tell the future.)
- Read Daniel 2:10-11. What arguments do the astrologers
make? (This is an unprecedented, if not illegal
requirement (no king has ever asked such a thing), and it
is impossible (no human can do this).
- If the astrologers are right about this being
impossible, what will killing them do for the King?
(I think this is part of the point. No human can do
this. Kill us, and where are you in learning about
- Read Daniel 2:12-13. Does this seem fair to you? How would
you like to be Daniel and his buddies? How does this
compare to the problems in your life?
- Read Daniel 2:17-18. What does Daniel do first when he
faces a serious problem? (Turns to God.)
- How about you?
- Read Daniel 2:19-28. Was Daniel tempted to be the only
man alive who could tell the King his dream and interpret
it? (I'll bet it crossed his mind, but Daniel not only
turns to God in time of trouble, he gives God the praise
and the credit.)
- The Image
- Read Daniel 2:31-33. If you were the architect of this
image, would you make it this way? What is wrong about the
image from an engineering point of view? (The heaviest
metals are at the top, not the bottom.)
- Last week we discussed having a rock solid
foundation. How does this image fare in that regard?
(It fails. The "foundation" is a mixture of iron and
clay. It is the weakest part of the entire
- Read Daniel 2:34-35. What are the differences between the
image and the rock? The image is logically man-made, the
rock is not. Humans created the features of the image.
Except for the clay in the feet, the image is made of
metal - a material assembled by humans. Rocks do not need
to be "assembled" and this specific rock was not cut by
- What do you think all of this means?
- What does the rock hitting the feet of the image
mean? (This is obviously another judgment story. The
design and inventions of humans are destroyed by God
who ( Daniel 2:35) becomes a huge mountain and fills
the entire earth.)
- Why does the rock hit the feet of the image? (Like
the house built on the sand, the weak foundation of
the image is the target of the rock. It also gives us
a sense of the timing of the judgment.)
- What significance do you see in the wind (Daniel
2:35) sweeping away the dust of the image
"without leaving a trace?" (Everything humans
have created on earth will be dust. When you
think about the direction and purpose of your
life, consider that.)
- Let's explore what God says about the dream. Read Daniel
2:36-38. What does the head of gold represent?
(Nebuchadnezzar, the King of the Babylonian empire.)
- We decided earlier that the image was a human
creation. Who does this text say created the power of
the King? (God.)
- Read Daniel 2:39-40. What does the rest of the image
represent? (Succeeding world kingdoms.)
- Does this square with our understanding of history?
(Yes. After Babylon lost its world dominion, it was
followed by the Medo-Persian empire, the Grecian
empire and the Roman empire. These essentially
dominated the known world during their time.)
- Read Daniel 2:41-43. After the Roman empire, has any
empire arisen which dominated the world? (Even the
extraordinary power of the United States today does not
dominate the nations of the world. In major part this is
because none of the powerful nations of the world have
- Read Daniel 2:44-45. Do you agree with the conclusion
reached by Daniel in the last part of verse 45? (We are
obviously living in the "feet and toes" part of the image.
We can confirm that God's dream to Nebuchadnezzar
accurately forecast world history from Daniel's day (sixth
century, B.C.) to our day.)
- If we can confirm that all but the very end of the
dream has come true, why should we doubt the future
"rock and mountain" part of the dream?
- A popular view among "Bible scholars" today is that the
book of Daniel was written during the days of Antiochus
Epiphanes (the 160s B.C.). These scholars, according to
the New Bible Commentary, have adopted a view which was
first argued by Porphyry, a third century opponent of the
- Arguing that Daniel was written "after the fact" for
a great deal (but no all) of the history it predicts
(and we can now confirm was correct)is widespread
among "Bible scholars." Why is it appropriate for me
to challenge the term by putting quotation marks
around "Bible scholars?" (Read Matthew 24:15. These
so-called "Bible scholars" obviously do not believe
Jesus. Jesus attributes the prophecies of the book of
Daniel to Daniel, not some pretender who lived 400
years later. Either you believe the Bible or you do
not. If you do not believe the Bible then you suffer
from "Eve complex" - you have decided that you will
be equal to God and you will determine which of God's
statements are true for your life.)
- If Daniel was correct in his prediction of history up to
the present time, what does that logically tell us about
the reliability of his prediction of the judgment?
- Friend, can you trust the Bible? Are you ready for a
- Next week: Daniel 7
* Copr. 2006, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a blackboard or some other visual aid.