Posts Tagged ‘daniel’

“My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt. Then was the king exceeding glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his God.” Daniel 6:22-23

Everyday approximately 250-300 Christians (on average) are caaamurdered simply because they believe and follow Jesus Christ. I have often wondered why Jesus doesn’t *spare His faithful as He spared Daniel or as He protected Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fiery furnace. Despite occasional bewilderment, to this truth I cling: Jesus saves — He always has and He always will. Daniel could have been eaten alive that day, but he would have still been saved. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego could have burned, but yet saved.

The reality is that Daniel did eventually die and Jesus spared him again (and permanently this time) from the lion; Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego all died, and again they were spared from the fiery furnace, but this time for eternity. You see, the lion’s den and the fiery furnace, although quite real to Daniel and the boys, is a picture of hell for us; a visual depiction of God’s promise to protect His children. However, for those unrepentant souls who falsely believe they can destroy a Christian, there is no such sparing. For them the lion waits and the furnace burns.

He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. John 3:36

Rejoice Not

Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth , and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth; Proverbs 24:17

As you pray for the persecuted church, pray also for those who persecute. Remember, the Apostle Paul was once a vile persecutor of the brethren, but he turned away from evil, turned to Jesus, and his life was spared. Everyday there are stories of evil men rejecting the gods and tenets of their false religions and being saved when they turn to Jesus Christ. I’m not certain how our prayers fit into the equation, but nevertheless, the Holy Spirit is coming along side these men and convicting them by their own wicked deeds, and they are repenting!

Remember to also pray for how the Lord wants to use you in your religious freedoms, I should add, ‘while you still have them.’ Christian persecution has arrived on the shores of America and has taken root. I say that, to say this: it will never be more easy to share your Christian faith as it is right now, as tomorrow brings more detractors and new deterrents. Do not fear the mouth of the lion or the heat of the furnace, for from these things we have been spared.

I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish , neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one. John 10:28-30

*Note: Jesus does still occasionally  ‘spare’ his children from earthly atrocities. I remember hearing first hand from a Christian pastor (in India) who himself was tied to a tree to be burned. They piled wood about his feet and doused it with kerosene. When the match was struck and tossed upon the wood, it did not ignite. Match after match, nothing happened. In frustration, they left him tied to the tree with the promise to return in the morning to finish the job. In the middle of the night one of these men, convicted by his evil deeds, returned and cut him loose.

We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints, For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven (Colossians 1:3-5a)

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“But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank” (Daniel 1:8a)
College Daze

Yes, I admit it, I am a college dropout. The worldly freedom that the college experience allowed did me in. Don’t let me mislead you, the decisions that led to this downward spiral were of my own doing.  The carnal indulgences of this  particular institute of higher learning were merely an hors d’oeuvre offering on satan’s plate that I willingly consumed. What I didn’t see then was how woefully ill-equipped I was to handle faithless autonomy.

Freedom in Slavery

In my walk with Jesus I have come to esteem Daniel. Daniel was one of many Jewish kids (perhaps 16 years of age or so), who were enslaved after King Nebuchadnezzar laid siege to Jerusalem. King Nebbie’s plan was to take the best and the brightest of these slaves, provide them the finest wine and delicacies, and prepare them for service in his court. The only problem was that Daniel wasn’t biting and (in time) he would end up being tossed to the lions because he always sided with God.

But God miraculously saved him.

My wonder and admiration for Daniel is rooted in his God-given ability to resist temptation as a slave. I cannot help but imagine how miserably I would have failed this test. In my freedom I gobbled up sin. Imprisoned I suspect I would have leapt greedily at any opportunity afforded me. What I’ve come to understand by faith is that Daniel’s reverent choices, powered through obedience and submission to God, gave him a kind of freedom I never knew existed. This is true freedom.

And in case you missed it, it is God who makes the way of escape:

No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. 1 Corinthians 10:13

Is This You?

In your world-wise independence, do you think you have it all, when in truth you have very little? Do you feel entitled to seize as much as you can get and keep all you have acquired? Does the process (and results) leave you unsatisfied and wanting more? Despite believing you are climbing upwards from a pit, does the evidence demonstrate you are actually being driven downward into it? Has your faithless freedom left you feeling confined, bound, and addicted? Do you get the sense that all or part of what you are doing is sinful?

The ask yourself…

Are You  Really Free?

Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. John 8:34-36

Daniel was only able to do what he did because he loved the Lord. Daniel further understood that achievement and glory belonged solely to God and he obtained his true freedom by means of subjection. In relinquishing his life, he obtained life eternal. As a result he was used mightily by God.

We have access, through Christ Jesus, to this same freedom and it begins by acknowledging that we are all sinners and that sin separates us from God. Read these passages. If they don’t make sense initially, read them again and ask the Lord to speak His truth to your heart.

  • “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23)
  • For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)
  • But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
  •  Confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9)
  • For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13)

Those are five powerful Bible verses that will change a sinner’s life and set him or her free. If you are sick and tired of experiencing a false freedom that produces only temporary and addictive results, then consider a new life in Christ.

If you give Jesus your all, He will give you His all.

  1. What do these Bible passages say about God?
  2. What do they say about you?
  3. What decisions should you seriously consider right now?

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Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying, Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: All the kingdoms of the earth the Lord God of heaven has given me. And He has commanded me to build Him a house at Jerusalem which is in Judah. Who is among you of all His people? May his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem which is in Judah, and build the house of the Lord God of Israel (He is God), which is in Jerusalem. Ezra 1:1-3

Israel has been held in brutal captivity for 70 years and the Lord had raised up a leader to set her free. Miraculously, 150 years earlier, the Lord through the prophet Isaiah foretold of these events. Cyrus, this non-Jewish liberator, had no idea these prophesies existed until Daniel had pointed them out to him

Who says of Cyrus, ‘He is My shepherd, And he shall perform all My pleasure, Saying to Jerusalem, “You shall be built,” And to the temple, “Your foundation shall be laid…Thus says the Lord to His anointed, To Cyrus…I have raised him up in righteousness, And I will direct all his ways; He shall build My city And let My exiles go free, Not for price nor reward,” Says the Lord of hosts.” Isaiah 44:28; 45:1a + 13

Wow. If Cyrus wasn’t mentioned by name in this passage from Isaiah, I would swear it was about Jesus Christ! God’s ‘shepherd’, His ‘anointed,’ His temple re-builder; sure sounds like Jesus to me. Well it isn’t Jesus, but in Cyrus we do have a representation of the One to come, for Cyrus, in the typology is a picture of Jesus. Oh yes, and the rebuilding of the temple is a picture of us!

Who Wants to Go HOME?

The Babylonians were an atrocious people. At this juncture Cyrus no doubt figured that when he asked, “Who wants to go back to Jerusalem,” all of the two million or so Jews would have caused a stampede. The fact is only about forty two thousand; less than four percent of them, responded to the invitation to go home. The others, well they had become comfortable in their situation and decided to stay put. How about you; are you comfortable in your situation; are you ready to go home?

Like these Jews, most of America is comfortable in their circumstances. Sure, we might have uttered a salvation prayer a few years back, but now we see church as a legalistic inconvenience. “After all,” we might say, “it’s not about religion; it’s about a relationship…and I choose to relate to Jesus as I watch the football game.” Second Timothy 3:1-4 provides a stark revelation on the issue:

But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power.

Form of godliness

I suppose the question is, “Are you a born again believer or a reasonable facsimile; are you in fact just a poser?” Look at the 2nd Timothy list—which of those components apply to your situation—in which of those things are you finding comfort? The good news is that the invitation Cyrus gave to Israel is the same invitation Jesus gives to us today, “Do you want to go home?”

Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling,
Calling for you and for me;
See, on the portals He’s waiting and watching,
Watching for you and for me.

Why should we tarry when Jesus is pleading,
Pleading for you and for me?
Why should we linger and heed not His mercies,
Mercies for you and for me?

Time is now fleeting, the moments are passing,
Passing from you and from me;
Shadows are gathering, deathbeds are coming,
Coming for you and for me.

Oh, for the wonderful love He has promised,
Promised for you and for me!
Though we have sinned, He has mercy and pardon,
Pardon for you and for me.

Come home, come home,
You who are weary, come home;
Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling,
Calling, O sinner, come home!

Will L. Thomson

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These ramblings are typically (but not always) a byproduct inspired by God through my personal Bible study at SearchLight with Pastor Jon Courson and with my pastor at Calvary Chapel Coastlands.

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Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals;* and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, “Come and see.” And I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer. Revelation 6:1-2A Few Things to Remember

The things that the Apostle John saw (past tense) in Heaven have not yet taken place, at least as far as we are concerned. What John describes here is more-or-less a prophetic forecast, or a sneak peek of coming attractions. Furthermore, these events (that he is about to describe) take place after the church (Christian believers) have been raptured off the planet. And finally, the opening of these seven seals is not the final judgment, but rather the things that will occur during the seven year tribulation period—essentially it is a time that the unsaved world will pay for their (own) sins.

Have you not brought this on yourself, In that you have forsaken the Lord your God When He led you in the way? …Your own wickedness will correct you, And your backslidings will rebuke you. Know therefore and see that it is an evil and bitter thing That you have forsaken the Lord your God, And the fear of Me is not in you, ” Says the Lord God of hosts. Jeremiah 2:17+19


Because of our ‘conditioning’, the person riding in on a white horse might seem like the good-guy, or hero, but we will soon discover that he is as far from good as one can get. The guy is in fact the Antichrist.

And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people. And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand… Daniel 8 :24-25 (KJV)

The Bow of Antichrist

It may or may not be relevant, but I’ll share it anyway. John records that the Antichrist will possess a bow, but I have a sense that this bow will not be a weapon (initially) like a bow and arrow, but rather a rainbow, or a sign of peace, for the word for bow here is the exact same word for rainbow used in the Book of Genesis (i.e., the ‘bow’ God placed in the heavens after the flood). Daniel’s prophetic account (above) declares that Antichrist will, ‘by peace destroy many’. I suspect it will be beneath this same banner of peace that many unsaved souls will rally.

Additionally, the crown that Antichrist wears is man-made. The Greek word for his crown is ‘Stephanos’, which is more of w wreath-like affair. In contrast, the crown our Lord wears is defined in the Greek language as a ‘Diadem’ and speaks to Christ’s deity and Lordship.

Why All the Gloom and Doom

I confess that I avoided getting into Revelation for the longest time. Partly because I assumed that since I would not be here for it (having been raptured), the events of the tribulation was information that I really did not need to know. I was wrong. As a Christian, I am called to sound the alarm, but to do so in such a manner I am not an alarmist. The Good News, after all, is only good if it contrasts that which is not good. We live in a world that would have us believe that there is no hell and that whatever we choose to do, as long as no one else is hurt, is perfectly acceptable. Sadly, there are many churches that espouse the same nonsense. Do not be deceived.

…And be sure your sin will find you out. Numbers 32:23b

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