The Ministry of Elisha to Naaman the Syrian. A timely testimony

The ministry of Elisha to Naaman the Syrian. 2 Kings 5:1-19

Discovering the key event in the account of Naaman’s meeting with Elisha, the prophet of God.

The character of Elisha was testified to through his ministry unto the Lord in directing Naaman in simple belief in the power of God. We also learn through this account about the power of God over the unbelievers as well as believers. God gave the victory to Syria over the armies of Israel and he exalted Naaman as the commander of the Syrians in the victory.

I. The triumph of Syria. Israel had been in a standoff with Syria.

A. King Ahab’s desire

1 Kings 22:1,2 And they continued three years without war between Syria and Israel. …And the king of Israel said unto his servants, Know ye that Ramoth in Gilead is ours, and we be still, and take it not out of the hand of the king of Syria?

B. King Ahab’s determination, even though warned of God.

1 Kings 22:17 And he said, I saw all Israel scattered upon the hills, as sheep that have not a shepherd: and the LORD said, These have no master: let them return every man to his house in peace.

C. King Ahab’s death.

1 Kings 22:34-38 And a certain man drew a bow at a venture, and smote the king of Israel between the joints of the harness: wherefore he said unto the driver of his chariot, Turn thine hand, and carry me out of the host; for I am wounded. And the battle increased that day: and the king was stayed up in his chariot against the Syrians, and died at even: and the blood ran out of the wound into the midst of the chariot. And there went a proclamation throughout the host about the going down of the sun, saying, Every man to his city, and every man to his own country. So the king died, and was brought to Samaria; and they buried the king in Samaria. And one washed the chariot in the pool of Samaria; and the dogs licked up his blood; and they washed his armour; according unto the word of the LORD which he spake.

II. The Trial of Naaman, captain of the host of Syria.

2 Kings 5:1 Now Naaman, captain of the host of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master, and honourable, because by him the LORD had given deliverance unto Syria: he was also a mighty man in valour, but he was a leper.

III. The troubled King of Israel.

2 Kings 5:4-8 …And the king of Syria said, Go to, go, and I will send a letter unto the king of Israel. And he departed, and took with him ten talents of silver, and six thousand pieces of gold, and ten changes of raiment. And he brought the letter to the king of Israel, saying, Now when this letter is come unto thee, behold, I have therewith sent Naaman my servant to thee, that thou mayest recover him of his leprosy. And it came to pass, when the king of Israel had read the letter, that he rent his clothes, and said, Am I God, to kill and to make alive, that this man doth send unto me to recover a man of his leprosy? wherefore consider, I pray you, and see how he seeketh a quarrel against me. And it was so, when Elisha the man of God had heard that the king of Israel had rent his clothes, that he sent to the king, saying, Wherefore hast thou rent thy clothes? let him come now to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel.

The northern tribes had rejected the Lord. They were apostate, worshipping the gods of other nations and had turned their backs on Jehovah. At this time the Lord was judging the nation through His prophets and those nations surrounding them. God’s plan led to one purpose, “…and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel.” There is only one God and He has a prophet in Israel! He was reminding Israel and the nations that He is in control.

IV. The trial of Naaman. 2 Kings 5:9-19

A. His supplication.

2 Kings 5:9-10 So Naaman came with his horses and with his chariot, and stood at the door of the house of Elisha. And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean.

B. His surprise

2 Kings 5:11-12 But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the LORD his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper. Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them, and be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage.

C. His submission 2 Kings 5:13-16

2 Kings 5:13-16 And his servants came near, and spake unto him, and said, My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean? Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God: and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean. And he returned to the man of God, he and all his company, and came, and stood before him: and he said, Behold, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel:

In all of this the character of Elisha is revealed. He serves the Lord in simplicity determining that all glory is directed to the Lord who alone deserves it. He also teaches us that the world holds no reward for the service of the man of God.

…..now therefore, I pray thee, take a blessing of thy servant. But he said, As the LORD liveth, before whom I stand, I will receive none. And he urged him to take it; but he refused.

The King of Syria could not purchase the blessings of God!

2 Kings 5:5 And the king of Syria said, Go to, go, and I will send a letter unto the king of Israel. And he departed, and took with him ten talents of silver, and six thousand pieces of gold, and ten changes of raiment.

We must notice a most important lesson comes from the testimony given, that without which, none of these events would have happened.

V The Testimony of the Maid of Israel. 2 Kings 5:1-4

2 Kings 5:1-4 Now Naaman, captain of the host of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master, and honourable, because by him the LORD had given deliverance unto Syria: he was also a mighty man in valour, but he was a leper. And the Syrians had gone out by companies, and had brought away captive out of the land of Israel a little maid; and she waited on Naaman’s wife. And she said unto her mistress, Would God my lord were with the prophet that is in Samaria! for he would recover him of his leprosy. And one went in, and told his lord, saying, Thus and thus said the maid that is of the land of Israel.
This young captive servant trusted the Lord and remained –

A. Faithful in her service.
B. Faithful in her witness.
C. Faithful to her God despite her circumstances.

Whatever our circumstances, will we be faithful witnesses for the Lord.

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Wednesday message Lessons from Onesimus in Philemon

The Epistle to Philemon
Lessons from Onesimus

I. Writer

The writer acknowledges himself to be Paul the Apostle. 1,9,19

II. Date and Place of writing

Paul wrote this letter about 60 A.D. from prison in Rome. The letter was written at the same time that he wrote to the church in Colosse.

III. Recipient

Philemon was a believer in Colosse who opened his house for the meeting of the church. Verse 2. It is possible that Archippus was his son and also was the pastor of this church, Colossians 4:17. Philemon had come to know Jesus Christ as his Saviour through the ministry of Paul, verse 19. Paul noted that he was writing not only as an Apostle, but a friend, “I Paul have written it with mine own hand…”.

IV. Occasion and circumstances

Onesimus, Philemon’s slave, had run away to Rome with, possibly, some stolen items. In Rome, Onesimus came into contact with Paul in the prison. No details are given about the circumstances of the meeting, but Paul did lead Onesimus to the Lord for salvation, verse 10.
Paul convinced Onesimus that he must return and reconcile with his master. Philemon is requested to receive him as a brother in Christ and forgive him.
Paul also expected to be released from prison and requested lodging for his anticipated visit.
The outline –

I. Salutation. 1-3
II. Appreciation for Philemon’s faithful service unto the Lord 4-7
III. Application for mercy toward Onesimus 8-21

Paul was older, he is in prison, and yet he is witnessing and seeing people saved! A challenge to all of us.

A. Introduction, possibly in prison because of Onesimus’ criminal character
B. Instruction in the truth of the Gospel. “…whom I have begotten in my bonds.”

Onesimus had become a servant of the Lord and was a blessing in the ministry in Rome –

Philemon 13 Whom I would have retained with me, that in thy stead he might have ministered unto me in the bonds of the gospel:

But he needed to get things right before moving on –

Matthew 5:23-24 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

Ephesians 4:28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.

He needed to lay the foundation of truth and confidence in his life. Paul made –

C. Intercession for a changed man.

Onesimus had someone intercede for him in prayer to the Lord, now he had that same one to intercede for him to the men. Remember that Paul had someone to speak on his behalf – that others would give him a chance to live out his salvation and prove his new life in Christ.

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Philemon 16 Not now as a servant, but above a servant, a brother beloved, specially to me, but how much more unto thee, both in the flesh, and in the Lord?

D. Invested in his future.

Onesimus became a trusted brother in Christ and Paul invested himself in his life. He gave of his own personal property to help Onesimus accomplish God’s will for his life –

Philemon 17-18 If thou count me therefore a partner, receive him as myself. If he hath wronged thee, or oweth thee ought, put that on mine account;

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Daniel Chapters 10 -12 Message 10

Daniel chapters 10, 11, 12 Message 10

The Wonderful Grace of God: He answered prayer and revealed His plan.

I. The Earnest prayer. Daniel 10:2,3,12

Daniel 10:2-3 In those days I Daniel was mourning three full weeks. I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.

Daniel 10:12 Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.

II. The evidence submitted that God will restore Israel.

Daniel 10:14 Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days.

III. The explanation of future events. Daniel 11, 12

Another preview of the rise of nations and their relationships with Israel is given in these chapters. Again the Persians, the Greeks, the four nations breaking forth from the Grecian empire, the wars between them and the kings of the South, the kings of the North, the overtaking of Israel (Daniel 12:41 “He shall enter into the glorious land…”.

As we read this prophecy, we are reminded of the words of Jesus –

Matthew 24:5-8 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.

The Lord gave Israel another opportunity to repent and submit to Him, but they again refused. God knew they would refuse, but they were allowed to exercise their choice in the matter. They are without excuse! They will remember –

IV. The exhortation to repent.

Luke 13:34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!

Their refusal to obey God left them confused about –

V. The establishment of the Kingdom of God.

Acts 1:7 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.

Note the confusion of the nation when God did not follow their expectation. Compare Luke 4 with Isaiah 61.

Luke 4:18-21 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.

The men in the synagogue would notice that Jesus did not read the complete passage, He did not finish the prophecy –

Isaiah 61:1-2 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;

Also remember John’s confusion that the judgment did not immediately follow the preaching of the Lord.

Luke 3:16-17 John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable.
Israel rejected God by rejecting His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Acts 2:36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.

Even so, through the realization of the plan of God revealed to Daniel, we know

VI. The eternal purpose will be accomplished.

Romans 11:26-27 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.

The everlasting covenant to Abraham and to Israel is in effect today. It is ‘Everlasting’! While this covenant is in effect, it is running in the background while God’s command to His church is carried out. We may not understand it all, even as Daniel did not understand –

Daniel 12:8-9 And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.

– but we know that God knows what He is doing!

We need to act upon that which we do understand –
When Israel rejected the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour, He set them aside. This was no surprise to Him as we noted when He read them the Scripture in Nazareth. Because of their rejection, we have a space in the time between Daniel’s prophesied 69th and 70th week. The 69th week was completed at the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth, the Lord of Glory. The 70th week will begin when the Lord has completed His will concerning –

VII. The evangelization of the world. God’s command to the church.

Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Just as sure as God’s plan for His nation Israel will be fulfilled, His plan for His church will be completed. We have presented God’s plan being carried out. He will continue to work. Will we? The question is – Are we as members of His church doing His will?

James 4:17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

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Daniel chapter 9 Message 9

Daniel Chapter 9 Message 9
As we come to this portion of Scripture, Daniel 9, we should remember that we presented the prayer of Daniel in 9:3-19, as the introduction to preaching through the book. Before we continue with God’s plan for the future, we should take a few moments and review the prayer that led to message from God revealing the time of the coming of the Messiah and the plan for Israel.
1. The setting.

A. God brought judgement on Judah.

1. The time was 605 BC (2,024 years ago) we begin with Daniel’s description of how he and others were captured and taken to Babylon. This is known as the first carrying away –
…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; 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.
Nebuchadnezzar was going to use the best of the youngest in Israel and use them for his own benefit – training them early to be loyal to him.
2. The time that they would be held captive was 70 years.

a. The purpose –

2 Chronicles 36:15-21 …And them that had escaped from the sword carried he away to Babylon; where they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia: To fulfil the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her sabbaths: for as long as she lay desolate she kept sabbath, to fulfil threescore and ten years.

b. The punishment

Jeremiah had preached the word of God to the people for 23 years, warning them day and night –

Jeremiah 25:1-11 … Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Because ye have not heard my words, Behold, I will send and take all the families of the north, saith the LORD, and Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon, my servant,. ….and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.

B. God’s mercy offered in judgement.

The Lord sent the Chaldeans against them and took the best of the people and the treasures to Babylon as recorded in Daniel 1:1-4

1. The city was captured, but not destroyed during the first and second attacks
2. Many people, including the king and prophets, were left.

C. God’s message for His captive people. Jeremiah 27

1. It was God’s will for them to be captives of Babylon.

Jeremiah 27:11-17 …Bring your necks under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him and his people, and live. Why will ye die, thou and thy people, by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence, as the LORD hath spoken against the nation that will not serve the king of Babylon?

2. It was God’s will that they submit to Him by submitting to them!

Jeremiah 27:22 They shall be carried to Babylon, and there shall they be until the day that I visit them, saith the LORD; then will I bring them up, and restore them to this place.

II. The stubborn rebellion of the people.

Jeremiah 28:14 For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; I have put a yoke of iron upon the neck of all these nations, that they may serve
Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; and they shall serve him: and I have given him the beasts of the field also.

Nebuchadnezzar attacked the city two more times because of the refusal of the people to submit to him. Finally, during the third attack, the city was completely destroyed, the walls of the city, the houses in the city, and finally the Temple were broken down to the ground. God had given the people the opportunity to have some freedom and keep their city and towns. All they had to do was submit to God and be servants of Nebuchadnezzar.

III. The Supplication. Return now to Daniel 9
A. His Concern. Daniel 9:2 As a very old man, in captivity for most of his life, he knew the Israelites still had hard hearts.

B. His Confession –

Daniel 9:5,6 We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments: Neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, which spake in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land. O Lord, righteousness belongeth unto thee, but unto us confusion of faces, as at this day; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and unto all Israel…

1. God’s judgment is righteous. (the people deserved punishment)
2. These people are un-righteous. (would not submit to righteous judgment)

C. His Cry – for mercy and restoration.

Daniel 9:16-19 …O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies. O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name.

Today we learn of God’s answer to Daniel. God, in His mercy, would allow Israel to return to the land. As they were conquered and carried away in three phases, they returned in three phases. The first return was at the order of King Cyrus as prophesied by Isaiah in chapter 44, verse 28 one hundred and fifty years before he was born. The Jews were allowed to return with the intention of rebuilding the Temple. The next return was led by Ezra whose purpose was to complete the Temple and restore the worship service. The third return was led by Nehemiah and involved rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, all of this preparing to fulfil the promise of the Messiah. Daniel would learn that God will rebuild His city and send the Messiah. God was not through with His nation and His plans for future blessings are sure. The return led by Nehemiah is that which is referred to in the plan given to Daniel in these verses.

IV. The Sympathetic care of God for Daniel in answer to his prayer.
Daniel 9:23-27

Daniel 9:23 At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision.

A. The Plan of events.

1. Finish the transgressions – the rebellion of Israel against God.
2. Make an end of sin
3 . Make reconcilliation for iniquity – the death, burial, and resurrection of the Messiah, Jesus Christ.
4. Bring in everlasting righteousness.
5. Seal up the vision and the prophecy – completion of God’s written revelation.
6. Anoint the Most Holy – Jesus Christ anointed King over the earth.

B. The Presentation of the timetable.
70 sevens (translated weeks) are designated for Israel. The sevens are sevens of years. 490 years total.

1. The division of the ages. 7 sevens and 62 sevens.

Total of 69 sevens or 483 years will pass beginning at the decree to rebuild Jerusalem to the time of the Messiah’s crucifixion.

2. The decree to rebuild the walls was given in 445 BC. Nehemiah 2:1-8

There are at least four decrees concerning the rebuilding of Jerusalem recorded in Scripture: (1) the decree of Cyrus to rebuild the temple (2 Ch 36:22–23; Ezra 1:1–4; 6:1–5); (2) the, decree of Darius confirming the decree of Cyrus (Ezra 6:6–12); (3) the decree of Artaxerxes (Ezra 7:11–26); (4) the decree of Artaxerxes given to Nehemiah authorizing the rebuilding of the city (Neh 2:1–8).
All agree that there was a decree to rebuild the temple, given by Cyrus approximately 538 B.C. The question is whether this decree also authorized the rebuilding’ of the city. The precise wording of the three decrees as recorded in 2 Chronicles 36 and in Ezra seems to deal only with the temple, and the rebuilding of the city was not fulfilled until the time of Nehemiah where the decree recorded in Nehemiah 2:1–8 clearly refers to the city as a whole.

A conclusion as to the accuracy of this declaration is determined through the simple calculation of days: 483 x 360 (the number of days in the Jewish lunar calendar year) = 173880 days. Convert into years according to current calendar years (365 days) = 476 years. 445 BC – 476 = 30 AD. This is the approximate date of the crucifixion.

This covers the 69 weeks revealed to Daniel, but the message stated that 70 weeks are determined on God’s working with the nation of Israel. What are we to understand by this 7 year period still to come. This is what is known in God’s Word as the Great Tribulation which begins at the coming of Jesus for His saints. It is thought that the wise men from the East that sought to find the King born in Israel knew of this prophecy and understood the timing of His coming. God’s Word is true. God’s Word is accurate in every way.

God blessed Daniel in by comforting him in answer to his prayer – the Lord will restore His nation Israel and He will establish His Kingdom. It is God who rules, not man!
Trust Him.

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Daniel chapters 7 and 8 Message 8

Daniel Chapters 7 and 8 Message 8

Today we will compare the revelations of God given to King Nebuchadnezzar as recorded in Daniel, chapter two, and that given to the Prophet Daniel recorded in chapters eight and nine. God revealed His plan involving four major world empires through the ages and their relationship with His nation Israel.

I. Daniel’s interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream – Daniel 2:1-45.

A. The dream revealed was of a statue in the image of a man. The image had a head of gold, the breast of silver, the stomach and thighs were brass, and the legs were of iron. Daniel interpreted the dream and explained the meaning to King Nebuchadnezzar –

Daniel 2:38-44 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. And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.

We should notice that the fourth kingdom is of less value per unit of weight, but stronger and more durable than the others. The fourth kingdom introduced a form of government known as the republican system, a form of democracy where the people have a voice through representatives. The empire ended in 454 A.D. yet continues until today through the divisions and form of government (the toes of iron mixed with clay). It will again become powerful in the last days.

The Final Kingdom. The end of the Times of the Gentiles and the introduction of the Kingdom of God of Heaven. Daniel 2:44
The fourth kingdom will be destroyed and will be replaced with the Kingdom of God. The actual time of this is at the end of the Tribulation and indicates the Battle of Armageddon Revelation 19:llf.

B. The dream revealed God’s plan for the world and His work with Israel. These are known in the Bible as “The Times of the Gentiles”

We turn from the world view given to King Nebuchadnezzar of the empires of the ages to God’s view given to His servant Daniel.

II. Daniel’s Visions of the Gentile Kingdoms.

A. He had described the image seen by Nebuchadnezzar as man’s view of the Gentile power over the world. Recorded in Daniel 2:31

He saw it through the eyes of Nebuchadnezzar as a great image whose brightness was excellent and its form was terrible or awesome.

God revealed the truth of man’s sinful viewpoint, that the world offers all that is great, brilliant, and awesome, and man believes he will control the world and his own destiny. God then revealed the truth of His view of the world – divisiveness, destruction, and death.

B. He, Daniel, described the Gentile’s power.

They were revealed as beasts which come out of the Sea. (The Gentile Powers) and were seen as God sees them – “brutal beasts.”

C. He described the beasts presence.

1. The first was seen as a lion with the wings of an eagle.

Daniel 7:4 The first was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man’s heart was given to it.

Reference here is to Daniel 4 and King Nebuchadnezzar recognizing the God of Heaven.

2. The Second beast is as a bear with three ribs in its teeth.

Daniel 7:5 And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh.

3. The Third beast – Grecian Empire like a leopard with four wing and four heads.

Daniel 7:6 After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it.

4. The fourth beasts was beyond description. Daniel knew of nothing to compare it with. “…dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly…”

Daniel 7:7-8 After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns. I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.

We thank the Lord that we are not left to simply wonder and try to identify which empires these were. He gave Daniel this information –

D. He then revealed the beast’s identities. Daniel 8:1-27

1. The Medes and Persians 8:3,4 (8:20)

Daniel 8:3-4 Then I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and, behold, there stood before the river a ram which had two horns: and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher came up last. I saw the ram pushing westward, and northward, and southward; so that no beasts might stand before him, neither was there any that could deliver out of his hand; but he did according to his will, and became great.

2. The Grecians led by Alexander 8:5-8a (8:21)

Daniel 8:5-8 (KJV) And as I was considering, behold, an he goat came from the west on the face of the whole earth, and touched not the ground: and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes. And he came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing before the river, and ran unto him in the fury of his power. And I saw him come close unto the ram, and he was moved with choler against him, and smote the ram, and brake his two horns: and there was no power in the ram to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground, and stamped upon him: and there was none that could deliver the ram out of his hand. Therefore the he goat waxed very great….

3. The Greek empire divided. 8:8b (8:22)

“…and when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and for it came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven.”

Daniel 8:21-22 (KJV) And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king. Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power.

“…the Macedonian Empire split into four main kingdoms – the one of Seleucus (Asia), Ptolemy (Egypt), Lysimachus (Thrace), and Antipater’s son Cassander (Macedonia, including Greece).”

E. He described the fourth empire. Daniel 7:7 Roman Empire.

The Fourth empire is noted as being – Dreadful and terrible; Strong exceeding. The Romans conquered the Greeks and established an empire which we can follow in history even unto this present day. This empire is revealed in Scripture in two parts: one is historical (even though at the time of Daniel was still prophesied to come) and the second is future to be completed in the last days. This empire will be destroyed by the Lord at His coming.

Revelation 13:1-2 And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.

Satan has used these powers for his own purposes trying to destroy the work of God. God will have victory over them in the last days –

Revelation 19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
Daniel 2:44 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.

God will complete His plan in His time. He is working it out now and because of His love, He is giving people time to come to Him for salvation. He could come now, this afternoon, tonight, or in years to come. No one knows His timetable, but we do know that what He has promised His is doing!
If you are not saved, be saved today!

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Daniel chapter 6, Message 7

Daniel chapter 6, Message 7

At his advanced age, we would have understood if Daniel had sought to decline Darius’ placing him over the rulers of the kingdom. He was an old man, a “stranger” in the land (even though dwelling in the kingdom all of his adult life), a respected leader over the conquered nation, now being placed in this position of leadership over the princes of the victorious nation. We do not know if was looking forward to a quiet and peaceable retirement, but it is certain that he did not have one.
Daniel never retired from an opportunity to bring glory to God. He is an example of that which Paul wrote to the church in Ephesus – Ephesians 1:12 That we should be to the praise of his glory…..
We must never forget – 1 Corinthians 6:20 (KJV) For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

We will see this morning that because of Daniel’s testimony –

I. He was Promoted.

A. He was honoured.

Daniel 6:1-3 It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom an hundred and twenty princes, which should be over the whole kingdom; And over these three presidents; of whom Daniel was first:…

Why was he so honoured? Because –

B. He was honest.

…that the princes might give accounts unto them, and the king should have no damage. Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm.

Daniel could be trusted in all things and he would allow no corruption in the government. He knew God’s standard for kings –

Proverbs 16:10-12 A divine sentence is in the lips of the king: his mouth transgresseth not in judgment. A just weight and balance are the LORD’S: all the weights of the bag are his work. It is an abomination to kings to commit wickedness: for the throne is established by righteousness.

Because of his faithful stand for God and the king –

II. He was Provoked.

Daniel 6:4 Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him.

The princes were –

A. Confronted by his testimony for the Lord.
B. Confounded by his faith.

1. He was constantly watched.
2. He was carefully investigated.
3. He was consistently loyal to God and to King Darius.

C. Convinced by his consistency, they determined to prepare a trap using the pride of the king.

Daniel 6:7,9 All the presidents of the kingdom, the governors, and the princes, the counsellers, and the captains, have consulted together to establish a royal statute, and to make a firm decree, that whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions.…. Wherefore king Darius signed the writing and the decree.

The king would have been wise to have known the Word of God –

Proverbs 29:5 A man that flattereth his neighbour spreadeth a net for his feet.
Although Darius promoted Daniel over these men to protect himself from their dishonest practices, his pride blinded him to the purpose of these men. Daniel, though, was aware of their plan and he placed his trust in God –

Psalm 140:5-6 The proud have hid a snare for me, and cords; they have spread a net by the wayside; they have set gins for me…. I said unto the LORD, Thou art my God: hear the voice of my supplications, O LORD.

III. He was Persistent.

His faith remained strong in the Lord –

Daniel 6:10 Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.

Daniel did not allow the fear of death to turn his heart from the Lord. His testimony for the Lord had been open before all and he would not hide now!

Luke 11:33 No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light.

We are to be testimonies in this world which takes courage that must come from the Lord. We see here that God blessed Daniel and –

IV. He was Protected. God testified of His own greatness through this event.

A. The King’s appeasement of his conscience.

Daniel 6:16 Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee.

A thing that the king could not do. He had given up that power through his own pride!

B. The King’s anxious cry unto Daniel.

Daniel 6:20-22 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? Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live for ever. 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.

He’s able, He’s able,
I know He’s able,
I know my Lord is able
To carry me through

C. The King’s anger against the conspirators.

Daniel 6:24 And the king commanded, and they brought those men which had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions, them, their children, and their wives; and the lions had the mastery of them, and brake all their bones in pieces or ever they came at the bottom of the den.

D. The King’s acclamation of praise unto God.

Daniel 6:25-27 Then king Darius wrote unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you. 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. He delivereth and rescueth, and he worketh signs and wonders in heaven and in earth, who hath delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.

We need to remember the proclamation of praise from powerful empires of this world brought forth through God’s working in the life of one man, this man Daniel. What can I do, I am only one person?

It is not about your power, it is about your position – a child of the most High God, the Creator of the universe, the Lord of Lord and King of Kings. It is about Him and your trust in giving Him your life for His glory.

Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Remember: “That we should be to the praise of his glory…”

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Daniel chapter 5 Message The Perfect Word of God – Truth

Daniel Chapter 5 Message 6

The Perfect Word of God –

Proverbs 16:18 Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.

– proved again in the fulfilment of the prophecy given to King Nebuchadnezzar

Daniel 2:38-39 “…thou are this head of God. And after thee shall arise another kingdom…”
Nebuchadnezzar had done everything in his power to insure that his kingdom would not end, but he finally humbled himself before the Lord and proclaimed that God’s will surely would be done. Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom passed to Nabonidus, who married Nitocris, Nebuchadnezzar’s daughter. Their son, Belshazzar became regent in charge of Babylon while his father, Nabonidus, was away.

I. He had no respect for authority. His father, King Nabonidus, was out of the city and

Belshazzar was sitting in the place of the king. He would led the festival without any respect for God or man!

His co-regency explains why Belshazzar promised that the man who successfully interpreted the writing would be rewarded with being “… clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about his neck, and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom.”

His careless attitude is seen in that –

II. He had no regard for the danger facing the empire.

As we look at what was taking place on this night, God’s Word was being fulfilled – the kingdom described in Daniel 2:32 “…his breast and arms are of silver…”, the Medes and Persian, had surrounded Babylon. They would capture the city on the same night that Belshazzar rebelled in pride and arrogance against God. He had no idea that this would be his last day on earth.
Jeremiah 50:9-11 For, lo, I will raise and cause to come up against Babylon an assembly of great nations from the north country: and they shall set themselves in array against her; from thence she shall be taken: their arrows shall be as of a mighty expert man; none shall return in vain. And Chaldea shall be a spoil: all that spoil her shall be satisfied, saith the LORD. Because ye were glad, because ye rejoiced, O ye destroyers of mine heritage, because ye are grown fat as the heifer at grass, and bellow as bulls;

Jeremiah 50:24 I have laid a snare for thee, and thou art also taken, O Babylon, and thou wast not aware: thou art found, and also caught, because thou hast striven against the LORD.
The city of Babylon was divided into the new and the old by the Euphrates River. The river actually flowed under the walls of the city. Cyrus, the king of Persia determined that the river should be diverted and his army could simply march into the city under the wall instead of trying to break through it or climb over it. Belshazzar completely ignored the plan of Cyrus and thought himself perfectly safe inside the mighty walls of ‘Great Babylon’.

III. He rejoiced in his power.

A. He used his power to persuade the people to ignore the danger and celebrate the power of their empire. (Blind following the blind)

Psalm 10:3 For the wicked boasteth of his heart’s desire, and blesseth the covetous, whom the LORD abhorreth.

They celebrated each other, using their positions and power to praise one another. Then when they had tired of praising one another –

B. He used his power to mock the God of the universe.

Daniel 5:2-4 Belshazzar, whiles he tasted the wine, commanded to bring the golden and silver vessels which his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the temple which was in Jerusalem; that the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, might drink therein. Then they brought the golden vessels that were taken out of the temple of the house of God which was at Jerusalem; and the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, drank in them. They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone.

Belshazzar was going to find the warning of God to be true –

Galatians 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

IV. He was rebuked by God for his rebellion.

Daniel 5:5-6 In the same hour came forth fingers of a man’s hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaister of the wall of the king’s palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote. Then the king’s countenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against another.

V. He was reminded of his open rejection of God.

A. He rejected the lesson learned by Nebuchadnezzar.

Daniel 5:18-23 O thou king, the most high God gave Nebuchadnezzar thy father a kingdom, and majesty, and glory, and honour…. But when his heart was lifted up, and his mind hardened in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took his glory from him: And he was driven from the sons of men; and his heart was made like the beasts, and his dwelling was with the wild asses: they fed him with grass like oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven; till he knew that the most high God ruled in the kingdom of men, and that he appointeth over it whomsoever he will. And thou his son, O Belshazzar, hast not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest all this;

B. He reviled the God of the Universe.

But hast lifted up thyself against the Lord of heaven; and they have brought the vessels of his house before thee, and thou, and thy lords, thy wives, and thy concubines, have drunk wine in them; and thou hast praised the gods of silver, and gold, of brass, iron, wood, and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know: and the God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified:

VI. He was removed from power.

A. He was examined.

Daniel 5:24-28 Then was the part of the hand sent from him; and this writing was written. And this is the writing that was written, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN. This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it. TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting. PERES; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.

B. He was executed.

Daniel 5:30-31 In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain. And Darius the Median took the kingdom, being about threescore and two years old.
Proverbs 8:36 But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.

Again we see that what God has said He has done! Look at Genesis chapter 1 –

God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

God made the firmament – it was so –
God said – it was so
God said – it was so
God said – it was so…..

What God has said is true and will happen! Do you believe Him today or are you like King Belshazzar – you have heard the truth but have rejected it?

Revelation 20:12-15 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

But –

Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Where is your name written – the book of works or the book of life?

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