Wednesday, September 30, 2015


The Image of Gold and the Blazing Furnace

Daniel 3: 1 – 7

King James Version (KJV)

Nebuchadnezzar’s Image is Erected

3 Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose height was threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof six cubits: he set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon.

2 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king sent to gather together the princes, the governors, and the captains, the judges, the treasurers, the counsellors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, to come to the dedication of the image which Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.

3 Then the princes, the governors, and captains, the judges, the treasurers, the counsellors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, were gathered together unto the dedication of the image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up; and they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up.

4 Then an herald cried aloud, To you it is commanded, O people, nations, and languages,

5 That at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up:

6 And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.

7 Therefore at that time, when all the people heard the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and all kinds of musick, all the people, the nations, and the languages, fell down and worshipped the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.

3:1-7 Although God’s providence had established Nebuchadnezzar as the leading ruler at the time, honoring him with great privileges (2:37, 38), God did not intend for the Hebrews to worship either him or his god.

The image of gold may have been a statue of Neuchadnezzar or of Bel, his chief idol or demon-god. At any rate, the four Hebrews were presented with the first major challenge of their allegiance to God alone since their promotion (2:49). 

Playwright Janet Irene Thomas
Bible Stories Theatre of
Fine & Performing Arts

Tuesday, September 29, 2015


Daniel Interprets the Dream

Daniel 2: 24 – 49         

KingJames Version (KJV)

24 Therefore Daniel went in unto Arioch, whom the king had ordained to destroy the wise men of Babylon: he went and said thus unto him; Destroy not the wise men of Babylon: bring me in before the king, and I will shew unto the king the interpretation.

25 Then Arioch brought in Daniel before the king in haste, and said thus unto him, I have found a man of the captives of Judah, that will make known unto the king the interpretation.

 26 The king answered and said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, Art thou able to make known unto me the dream which I have seen, and the interpretation thereof?

 27 Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, The secret which the king hath demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, shew unto the king;

 28 But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these;

29 As for thee, O king, thy thoughts came into thy mind upon thy bed, what should come to pass hereafter: and he that revealeth secrets maketh known to thee what shall come to pass.

 30 But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living, but for their sakes that shall make known the interpretation to the king, and that thou mightest know the thoughts of thy heart.

 31 Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible.

 32 This image's head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass,

 33 His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay.

 34 Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces.

 35 Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.

 36 This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king.

 37 Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory.

 38 And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold.

 39 And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth.

 40 And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise.

 41 And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters' clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay.

 42 And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken.

 43 And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.

 44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.

45 Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.

 46 Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face, and worshipped Daniel, and commanded that they should offer an oblation and sweet odours unto him.

 47 The king answered unto Daniel, and said, Of a truth it is, that your God is a God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing thou couldest reveal this secret.

 48 Then the king made Daniel a great man, and gave him many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief of the governors over all the wise men of Babylon.

49 Then Daniel requested of the king, and he set Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, over the affairs of the province of Babylon: but Daniel sat in the gate of the king.

The Holy Spirit at Work.  The Holy Spirit never announces His presence in Daniel, but He is clearly at work.  The ability of Daniel and the other Hebrew to interpret dreams was through the power of the Holy Spirit. The predictive prophecies, both with local and future applications, indicate the supernatural insights given to Daniel by the Holy Spirit.


The Book of Daniel unveils a march of events in God’s relationship, not only with His people, but with the world political system. Basic facts distilled from this book seem to illuminate other difficult passages, presenting these apparent forthcoming events:   

2:27, 28, Bear testimony that God enables us to overcome otherwise impossible circumstances. Believe that God is still in the miracle-working business.

2:28 In the latter days refers to the future, from Nebuchadnezzar throughout the remainder of human history.

2:31-45 The matter of understanding the various kingdoms of the great image has led to many diverse opinions.  The two most common understandings are that it represents either four successive kingdoms (the Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Grecian and Roman) or four successive reigns (Kings) over one kingdom (Babylon: the reigns of Nebuchadnezzar through Nabonidus). The differences lie in the fact that Hebrew word for "kingdom" can also be translated "reign."

Clearly, however, the image represents governments over whom God has ultimate sovereignty. Whatever their identity, before God’s power they are frail; they have "feet of clay."  God alone is the ultimate Sovereign of history, both in Daniel’s day and throughout this age.

Playwright Janet Irene Thomas
Bible Stories Theatre of
Fine & Performing Arts

Monday, September 28, 2015




Daniel Chapters 2:1-23

King James Version (NIV)


2 In the second year of his reign, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams; his mind was troubled and he could not sleep. 2 So the king summoned the magicians, enchanters, sorcerers and astrologers [a] to tell him what he had dreamed. When they came in and stood before the king, 3 he said to them, “I have had a dream that troubles me and I want to know what it means. [b]”

4 Then the astrologers answered the king,[c] “May the king live forever! Tell your servants the dream, and we will interpret it.”

5 The king replied to the astrologers, “This is what I have firmly decided: If you do not tell me what my dream was and interpret it, I will have you cut into pieces and your houses turned into piles of rubble. 6 But if you tell me the dream and explain it, you will receive from me gifts and rewards and great honor. So tell me the dream and interpret it for me.”

7 Once more they replied, “Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will interpret it.”

8 Then the king answered, “I am certain that you are trying to gain time, because you realize that this is what I have firmly decided: 9 If you do not tell me the dream, there is only one penalty for you. You have conspired to tell me misleading and wicked things, hoping the situation will change. So then, tell me the dream, and I will know that you can interpret it for me.”

10 The astrologers answered the king, “There is no one on earth who can do what the king asks! No king, however great and mighty, has ever asked such a thing of any magician or enchanter or astrologer. 11 What the king asks is too difficult. No one can reveal it to the king except the gods, and they do not live among humans.”

12 This made the king so angry and furious that he ordered the execution of all the wise men of Babylon. 13 So the decree was issued to put the wise men to death, and men were sent to look for Daniel and his friends to put them to death.

God Reveals the Dream

14 When Arioch, the commander of the king’s guard, had gone out to put to death the wise men of Babylon, Daniel spoke to him with wisdom and tact. 15 He asked the king’s officer, “Why did the king issue such a harsh decree?” Arioch then explained the matter to Daniel. 16 At this, Daniel went in to the king and asked for time, so that he might interpret the dream for him.

17 Then Daniel returned to his house and explained the matter to his friends Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. 18 He urged them to plead for mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that he and his friends might not be executed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. 19 During the night the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision. Then Daniel praised the God of heaven 20 and said:

“Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever;
    wisdom and power are his.
21 He changes times and seasons;
    he deposes kings and raises up others.
He gives wisdom to the wise
    and knowledge to the discerning.
22 He reveals deep and hidden things;
    he knows what lies in darkness,
    and light dwells with him.
23 I thank and praise you, God of my ancestors:
    You have given me wisdom and power,
you have made known to me what we asked of you,
    you have made known to us the dream of the king.”

Author: Daniel

Date: Late Sixth Century B.C.

Theme: God Controls the Destiny of All Nations

Key Words: Kings, Kingdoms, Visions, Dreams

Content Daniel has two more main sections: Daniel’s key test of character and the development of his prophetic interpretation skills (chs. 2-7), and his series of visions about future kingdoms and events (chs. 8-12). In this final section, Daniel emerges as a key prophetic book for understanding much of the Bible. Many insights into end-times prophecies are dependent upon an understanding of this book.  Jesus’ comments in the Olivet Discourse (Matt. 24:25) and many of the revelations given to the apostle Paul find harmony and cohesion in Daniel (see Romans 11; 2 Thess. 2). Likewise, it becomes a necessary study companion to the Book of Revelation.

Although the interpretation of Daniel, like Revelation, is subject to great diversity, for many the dispensational approach has become quite popular.  It is an interpretive approach that sees in Daniel keys to help unlock the mysteries of such subjects as the Antichrist, the Great Tribulation, the Second Coming of Christ, and the Times of the Gentiles, future resurrections, and judgments.  This approach also sees most unfulfilled prophecy as revolving around two major focal points:

1.      The future destiny of the city of Jerusalem

2.      The future destiny of Daniel’s people, national Jews (9:24).

Daniel’s writings covers the reign of two kingdoms, Babylon and Medo-Persia, and four kings: Nebuchadnezzar (2:11-4:37; Belshazzar (5:1-31); Darius (6:1-28); and Cyrus (10:1-11:1).


Trust God to give you wise and tactful words.  When speaking to antagonists, seek to speak words that are entreating and not full of threats.
2.17,18 When facing threatening circumstances, turn quickly to the Lord for help.

2:20-23 Recognize and speak open praise to God for His sovereignty over all circumstances, even those strongly adverse to you. Believe that He will equip you to prevail in adversity.


Playwright Janet Irene Thomas
Bible Stories Theatre of
Fine & Performing Arts

Saturday, September 26, 2015






Daniel Chapters 1:-1-21

King James Version (NIV)


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

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.

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;

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.

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.

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

7 Unto whom the prince of the eunuchs gave names: for he gave unto Daniel the name of Belteshazzar; and to Hananiah, of Shadrach; and to Mishael, of Meshach; and to Azariah, of Abednego.

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.

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

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.

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

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

20 And in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king enquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm.

21 And Daniel continued even unto the first year of king Cyrus.

Author: Daniel

Date: Late Sixth Century B.C.

Theme: God Controls the Destiny of All Nations

Key Words: Kings, Kingdoms, Visions, Dreams

Author  Daniel was deported as a teenager in 605 B.C. to Babylon where he lived over sixty years. He was likely from an upper-class family in Jerusalem. The deportation of the descendants into Babylon had been prophesied by Isaiah to Hezekiah (Is. 39:7). Daniel initially served as a trainee in Nebuchadnezzar’s court; he was later an advisor to foreign kings.


His importance as a prophet was confirmed by Jesus in Matthew 24:15.

            Daniel means "God Is My Judge." His unshakable consecration to Yahweh and his loyalty to God’s people strongly affirmed that truth in his life.

Date    Although the siege and carrying away of captives into Babylon lasted several years, the mighty men of valor, the skilled, and the educated were taken from Jerusalem early in the war (2Kings 24:14). The date usually given for Daniel’s captivity is 605 B.C.  His prophecy covers the time span of his life.

Background    Along with thousands of captives from Judah who were taken into Babylonian exile between 605 B.C.  and  582 B.C ., the treasures of Solomon’s palace and the temple were also transported. The Babylonians had subdued all the provinces ruled by Assyria and had consolidated their empire into an area that covered much of the Middle East.
To govern such a diversified kingdom over such an expanse of space required a skillful administrative bureaucracy. Slaves who were educated or possessed needed skills became the manpower for the government. Because of their wisdom, knowledge, and handsome appearance, four young Hebrews sere selected for the training program (1:4).  The outstanding character of Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah secured positions for them in the king’s palace; and it was Daniel who rose to excel all the wise men of that vast empire (6:1-3).

Personal Application    One of the beautiful themes of this book is the emphasis on separation to God, with Daniel as the ultimate example.  From their decision not to eat the king’s food to the refusal to bow to the image of the king. Daniel and his three friends (now called Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego) displayed such an uncompromising spirit that spectacular opportunities were opened for God to display His power on their behalf. Their courageous commitment presents a timeless challenge to believers not to compromise their testimony of Jesus Christ. Even though it may mean a fiery-furnace testing, the Lord’s protection and deliverance will be there.

Another theme of Daniel is the absolute superiority of God over occult attempts to reveal or interpret spiritual mysteries. Try as they did, all the magicians, soothsayers, wise men, and astrologers of the king’s court could not arrive at the truth (5:8).  This is an enduring encouragement to believers. Spiritual counterfeiters can never stand before the wisdom 
and power of the Holy Spirit (2 Cor. 10:3-6).

The prophetic section not only gives future understanding to a believer’s future, but serves to reassure us that God has history under His sovereign control.


Guidelines for Growing in Godliness.  Godly living requires that we exhibit faith during times of adversity and want, as well as during times of prosperity and peace. Compromising our faith when threatened with persecution forfeits the most powerful opportunities for God to manifest His glory.
1:2 Shinar is another term for Babylon, modern southeastern Iraq.
1:8-16 Stand fast for our righteous standards, despite pressure to sin. Believe that God will give us a means of escape. Trust that He will show us favor and give us wisdom through "creative alternatives"
1:8 Daniel purposed not to eat the king’s food which was forbidden to Jews. Such separation is twofold: it is toward the Lord, and away from things  that defile.
1:20 The occult forces were no match for the Spirit of God. Modern cultic movements are merging many of these spiritual counterfeits into a contemporary revival of occultism. Their influence will continue to rise as a final showdown between Jesus Christ and Satan nears. In all matters of wisdom and understanding believers who seek to walk in the full life of the Holy Spirit will find, as did the Hebrews, that they are ten times better than those who pursue such practices.
 1:21 This verse summarizes more than 60 years, the first year of king Cyrus being 539 B.C. , the year the captured Babylon.

Playwright Janet Irene Thomas
Bible Stories Theatre of
Fine & Performing Arts