Daniel, His Friends, and Separation #2

Saturday, April 29, 2017

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 1:8 KJV).

Every Sunday School child knows about Daniel and his three companions (Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego). Unfortunately, today, few adults practice what these precious children knew!

During the first invasion of the Babylonians into Judaea and Jerusalem, circa 606 B.C., King Nebuchadnezzar ordered one of his servants to gather some of the best, learned Jewish children living in Judah. These kids, probably in their early to mid-teens, were to be trained and fed for three years, before being promoted in Nebuchadnezzar’s court.

Today’s Scripture says: “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.” Notice how Daniel did not pick a fight, throw a tantrum, shout, or make demands. Instead, he “requested” (as in asked politely) that he and his three companions be exempt from following pagan ways. They, good Law-keeping Jews, obey the kosher food rules in Leviticus chapter 11 and Deuteronomy chapter 14. Furthermore, they do not eat or drink things offered to idols. Moreover, in such Gentile lands, blood may not have been drained from animal flesh—the Mosaic Law forbad Israel from consuming blood (Leviticus 19:26; Deuteronomy 12:16).

Daniel chapter 1 continues: “[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.” The prince of the eunuchs is worried. If he allows Daniel and his friends to have a special diet, and it harms them, Nebuchadnezzar will be wroth—probably issuing a death sentence for them all!

Let us see what happens….

Daniel, His Friends, and Separation #1

Friday, April 28, 2017

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 1:8 KJV).

Every Sunday School child knows about Daniel and his three companions (Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego). Unfortunately, today, few adults practice what these precious children knew!

The Book of Daniel begins: “[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.” After centuries of persistent unbelief and pagan idolatry, JEHOVAH God finally judged the Jews as promised (cf. Leviticus 26:14-46; Deuteronomy 28:15-68). He recruited Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, to attack and eventually deport Israelites from Judaea (southern Israel) to Babylon (modern Iraq).

Daniel continues: “[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.” Today’s Scripture says that Daniel, living in heathen surroundings, has already made up his mind to remain separate….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Is the Ephesian church of the Revelation the same group as those in the Book of Ephesians?

The Living God #5

Saturday, March 5, 2016

For who is there of all flesh, that hath heard the voice of the living God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as we have, and lived? (Deuteronomy 5:26 KJV).

Exactly why is the God of the Bible called “the living God?”

When we get to the eleventh time the phrase appears in our King James Bible, it is used to contrast the God of the nation Israel to the idols of the Gentiles. Notice Jeremiah 10:10: “But the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation.”

Jeremiah 23:36 is a rebuke of Israel’s religious leaders for their deceiving the nation in the name of the one true God: “And the burden of the LORD shall ye mention no more: for every man’s word shall be his burden; for ye have perverted the words of the living God, of the LORD of hosts our God.”

We find the term twice in the book of Daniel. After Daniel the Prophet was thrown into the lions’ den for refusing to pray to a pagan king, Darius, King of Media, we read what happened the next morning. Daniel 6:20: “And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel: and the king spake and said to Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions?” During the ordeal, Darius was evidently converted to Israel’s God. Observe what Darius said in verse 26: “I make a decree, That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for he is the living God, and stedfast for ever, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion shall be even unto the end.”

So, we see that, in addition to denoting power and victory, the term “the living God” is used in contradistinction to idols, the gods of the heathen. There is still much to learn about “the living God,” for we are only halfway through our list of references.

Daniel and Dispensationalism #2

Saturday, July 25, 2015

“Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power. And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up. 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 8:22-25 KJV).

What else can the Prophet Daniel teach us about dispensational Bible study?

Today’s Scripture demonstrates how our 2,000-year-long Dispensation of Grace was completely hidden from Old Testament prophets such as Daniel because the mystery was “hid in God” (Ephesians 3:9). We see world history—Alexander the Great’s Greek Empire divided into “four kingdoms.” This occurred when Alexander died in 323 B.C., 200 years after Daniel’s prediction. That Graeco-Roman Empire was operating during Christ’s earthly ministry.

We also see world prophecy—the Antichrist, “a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences,” with “mighty power,” will “destroy wonderfully, prosper, practise,” “destroy the mighty and the holy people [believing Israel],” a prideful man who will use false peace to “destroy many,” exalting himself against Jesus Christ, the “Prince of princes.” Then, Jesus Christ returns to battle and vanquish the Antichrist! (“Without hand” means God, not man, is the cause.)

Daniel foresaw Alexander the Great (history from us), the Antichrist (future from us), and Jesus Christ’s Second Coming to defeat Antichrist (future from us). As a writer of prophecy, Daniel knew nothing about mystery, our Dispensation of Grace, a program that delayed—and still postpones—Antichrist’s arrival. Paul’s epistles, the revelation God gave him, help us understand that interruption of prophecy. As long as our dispensation continues, the Body of Christ will be present on Earth, and that prophetic program will be postponed (2 Thessalonians 2:1-14). Yea, the Bible is the world’s most marvelous Book when handled dispensationally!

Daniel and Dispensationalism #1

Friday, July 24, 2015

“And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate” (Daniel 9:26,27 KJV).

What can the Prophet Daniel teach us about dispensational Bible study?

A half-dozen Old Testament passages combine Jesus Christ’s two comings: these prophets saw one coming. In hindsight, however, we see two prophesied comings. Why were two comings not originally apparent? (There were two secret comings hidden between!)

Today’s Scripture explains Messiah coming twice: first to die for Israel’s sins, and then to kill Israel’s oppressor, Antichrist. These two comings are according to prophecy, “that which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began” (Acts 3:21). The Old Testament prophets were unaware of two additional comings of Jesus Christ to divide the two prophesied comings—one coming to start our Dispensation of Grace (save Saul of Tarsus and start the Body of Christ) and one to end it (save the Body of Christ from enduring the seven-year Tribulation). These are the two comings according to mystery, that “which was kept secret since the world began” but was manifested through Paul’s epistles (Romans 16:25,26).

Today’s Scripture says Messiah would be “cut off” (die physically) 483 years after Nehemiah’s rebuilding of Jerusalem’s wall (First Coming). What has been delayed for 2,000 years is His return to conclude and abolish the evil Antichrist’s seven-year reign (Second Coming). Our Dispensation of Grace and the Body of Christ (and Christ’s two associated comings) were withheld from the Old Testament prophets. The mystery was “hid in God” (Ephesians 3:9) and completely hidden from Israel’s prophets, including Daniel. God kept a secret from Satan—He would use Calvary’s crosswork to form the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:6-8). Fantastic truths!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What does Matthew 18:19-20 really mean?

Cain Came and Brought Shame #10

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

“And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD” (Genesis 4:1 KJV).

Can you identify the very significant phrase our King James Bible contains in today’s Scripture, and why it was said?

The Bible student understands what began in the book of Genesis is brought to its ultimate fulfillment in the book of the Revelation. God’s purpose and plan for creation initiated (and delayed) in Genesis is thus brought to fruition in the Revelation; Satan’s evil world system that began in Genesis is destroyed in the Revelation.

One of the primary ways that God will comfort believing Israel during those most difficult years—the horrors of the seven-year Tribulation—is to teach them using types, previews of their situation, found in the Holy Bible’s historical narratives. All of the Old Testament Scriptures about enduring hardship (especially the Psalms) will be critical to believing Israel’s spiritual edification as Satan tries their faith.

Israel will particularly benefit from the Bible’s accounts of how their ancestors were delivered from Pharaoh (a type of Antichrist), how David was delivered from Saul (a type of Antichrist), how Daniel’s three friends were delivered from Nebuchadnezzar (a type of Antichrist), how Daniel endured the lions’ den (a type of the Tribulation), how Job survived his awful ordeals (a type of the Tribulation), and so on. JEHOVAH was faithful to all of these saints, and He will be faithful to Israel’s believing remnant now facing the Antichrist’s wrath.

Regarding the story of Cain and Abel, Israel will learn how Abel gave his life for the very God they will now be serving to the Antichrist’s hatred. They need not be discouraged; they need not marvel that the world hates them (1 John 3:11-13). Even if they lose their lives (and many Messianic Jews will perish; Matthew 10:39; Revelation 20:4), Abel’s testimony still affirms that God is faithful (Hebrews 11:4). After all, Jesus Christ will return to defeat Satan, the Antichrist, and all of Earth’s wicked, and believing Israel will be resurrected bodily, to enter God’s earthly kingdom (Revelation 19:11–20:6).

Cain brought shame, but the real Messiah, Jesus, what joy and hope He will bring! 🙂