From the Pastor's Desk
There are a couple of things that distinguish the book of Daniel. First, along with Revelation, it is one of the two great End-time prophecy books in the Bible. Secondly, it records some of the greatest stories in all scripture of God preserving His people in the midst of adversity. You see it with the three Hebrew boys in the fiery furnace and Daniel in the lion's den (Dan. 3, 6). In fact, I think those two things go together.
It is the first instance of a death threat being associated with idol worship in the Bible. It will be repeated during the Last Days. Even though the stories are contained in the biographical part of Daniel, all of Daniel has a prophetic sense. There will once again be threats to those who do not bow to the Anti-Christ. Maybe the similarities of this is why the government of the Anti-Christ is called Babylon in Revelation. Perhaps I am reading too much into this, but since Daniel is a book of prophecy, I cannot help but believe that there may be a connection between the two.
The good news is that while there may be persecution, God also promises supernatural protection. It is such a faith builder to know that God will keep His people in the times leading up to the Last Days, as well as how He will preserve Israel during the Tribulation. It reassures me that He will take care of me, too. "Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless" (2 Pet. 3:14). If God kept the three Hebrew boys in the fiery furnace and Daniel in the lions' den, He can take care of me.
Pastors Mark and Jennifer