Life Lessons from the Unnamed Prophet of 1 Kings 13

Life Lessons from the Unnamed Prophet of 1 Kings 13
We should learn:
Believe God’s Word to you.
Confirm changes along the way through prayer and Bible study.
Do not place trust in anyone that contradicts God’s Word!

In order to understand God’s purpose for this prophet, we need to review the actions of King Jeroboam, ruler of the Northern Tribes. The nation of Israel had been divided due to the sin of King Solomon. The Southern Tribes would continue to be ruled by the house of David according to God’s unconditional promise, while the Northern tribes would be ruled by the house of Jeroboam based on a conditional promise, as long as they obeyed the Lord.
Jeroboam turned from obeying God almost immediately. His desire to establish himself as king, not understanding that God had already accomplished this, overcame any fear of God he may have had. He became afraid of man and what they would do so he set up a system of worship to satisfy the Northern tribes.

Rehoboam was offering sacrifices at this idolatrous altar in Bethel when the Prophet sent by God confronted him for his sin. We will take up the account in chapter 13 from this point. We see first the –

I. Promotion of idolatry by King Rehoboam.

1 Kings 12:27-31 If this people go up to do sacrifice in the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, then shall the heart of this people turn again unto their lord, even unto Rehoboam king of Judah, and they shall kill me, and go again to Rehoboam king of Judah. Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. And he set the one in Beth-el, and the other put he in Dan. And this thing became a sin: for the people went to worship before the one, even unto Dan. And he made an house of high places, and made priests of the lowest of the people, which were not of the sons of Levi.

Rehoboam turned a true story, and it is true that the lie of the golden calf bringing them out of Egypt had been part of their history, into an idolatrous counterfeit religion. He would be described by the Lord from this time in history onward as the man who caused Israel to sin.
The courage of the Lord is seen invested in His man through the –

II. Prophecy against the false Gods.

1 Kings 13:1-3 And, behold, there came a man of God out of Judah by the word of the LORD unto Beth-el: and Jeroboam stood by the altar to burn incense. And he cried against the altar in the word of the LORD, and said, O altar, altar, thus saith the LORD; Behold, a child shall be born unto the house of David, Josiah by name; and upon thee shall he offer the priests of the high places that burn incense upon thee, and men’s bones shall be burnt upon thee. And he gave a sign the same day, saying, This is the sign which the LORD hath spoken; Behold, the altar shall be rent, and the ashes that are upon it shall be poured out.

These words were both prophetic, being perfectly fulfilled through King Josiah three hundred and sixty years later, and in the present with the –

III. Proof of God’s judgment exacted upon the king and the altar –

1 Kings 13:4-6 And it came to pass, when king Jeroboam heard the saying of the man of God, which had cried against the altar in Beth-el, that he put forth his hand from the altar, saying, Lay hold on him. And his hand, which he put forth against him, dried up, so that he could not pull it in again to him. The altar also was rent, and the ashes poured out from the altar, according to the sign which the man of God had given by the word of the LORD.

Note the serious change in attitude –

And the king answered and said unto the man of God, Intreat now the face of the LORD thy God, and pray for me, that my hand may be restored me again. And the man of God besought the LORD, and the king’s hand was restored him again, and became as it was before.
King Jeroboam, because of this public contest, was compelled to show appreciation to the prophet for his willingness to intercede with God in restoring his hand –

IV. Present offered to honour the prophet.

1 Kings 13:7-9 And the king said unto the man of God, Come home with me, and refresh thyself, and I will give thee a reward. And the man of God said unto the king, If thou wilt give me half thine house, I will not go in with thee, neither will I eat bread nor drink water in this place: For so was it charged me by the word of the LORD, saying, Eat no bread, nor drink water, nor turn again by the same way that thou camest.

We must give notice that six times in these verses the prophet of God has been directed by the Word of God. Everything that he has done up to this point has been in obedience to the instruction of God. Now we turn to a most important lesson as we read of the –

V. Prophet’s sin through disobedience.

A. The Conversation.

1 Kings 13:10-17 So he went another way, and returned not by the way that he came to Beth-el. Now there dwelt an old prophet in Beth-el; and his sons came and told him all the works that the man of God had done that day in Beth-el: the words which he had spoken unto the king, them they told also to their father. And their father said unto them, What way went he? For his sons had seen what way the man of God went, which came from Judah. And he said unto his sons, Saddle me the ass. So they saddled him the ass: and he rode thereon, And went after the man of God, and found him sitting under an oak: and he said unto him, Art thou the man of God that camest from Judah? And he said, I am. Then he said unto him, Come home with me, and eat bread. And he said, I may not return with thee, nor go in with thee: neither will I eat bread nor drink water with thee in this place: For it was said to me by the word of the LORD, Thou shalt eat no bread nor drink water there, nor turn again to go by the way that thou camest.

B. The Capitualtion.

1 Kings 13:18,19 He said unto him, I am a prophet also as thou art; and an angel spake unto me by the word of the LORD, saying, Bring him back with thee into thine house, that he may eat bread and drink water. But he lied unto him. So he went back with him, and did eat bread in his house, and drank water.

C. The Confrontation.

1 Kings 13:20-22 And it came to pass, as they sat at the table, that the word of the LORD came unto the prophet that brought him back: And he cried unto the man of God that came from Judah, saying, Thus saith the LORD, Forasmuch as thou hast disobeyed the mouth of the LORD, and hast not kept the commandment which the LORD thy God commanded thee, But camest back, and hast eaten bread and drunk water in the place, of the which the LORD did say to thee, Eat no bread, and drink no water; thy carcase shall not come unto the sepulchre of thy fathers. And it came to pass, after he had eaten bread, and after he had drunk, that he saddled for him the ass, to wit, for the prophet whom he had brought back.

It seems like a great kindness to give this prophet of God the ass to ride back home with. The man, his sons, nor his servants accompanied him to retrieve the ass, so he may have thought that he would not get very far –

D. The Consequences.

I Kings 13:24-26 And when he was gone, a lion met him by the way, and slew him: and his carcase was cast in the way, and the ass stood by it, the lion also stood by the carcase. And, behold, men passed by, and saw the carcase cast in the way, and the lion standing by the carcase: and they came and told it in the city where the old prophet dwelt. And when the prophet that brought him back from the way heard thereof, he said, It is the man of God, who was disobedient unto the word of the LORD: therefore the LORD hath delivered him unto the lion, which hath torn him, and slain him, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake unto him.

And the false prophet ended up getting his donkey back and burying the prophet of God in his own graveyard.

Why did the old man lie to the prophet? Possibly because of his own guilt for not being true to God. He wanted the prophet to be disobedient, as he was. We do not really know why, but we do have lessons to learn –

We should learn:
Believe God’s Word to you.
Confirm changes along the way through prayer and Bible study.
Do not place trust in anyone that contradicts God’s Word!

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Lessons from Haggai

Lessons from Haggai

Introduction

I. Writer – Haggai. ‘Festal’ – he may have been born on an important feast day.

II. Date. The date of this book is accurately fixed in the 520 B.C.

The four messages were presented during a four month period in this year.

III. Recipients. The Jews that returned from the captivity according to the decree of Cyrus. They followed Zerubbabel to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem –

Ezra 1:1-3 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, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying, Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who is there among you of all his people? 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 the God,) which is in Jerusalem.

IV. Purpose. The Jews began the reconstruction soon after their arrival in Jerusalem, building the altar and restoring the sacrifices and offerings.

Not long afterward, the Samaritans began to oppose the work –

Ezra 4:1-5 Now when the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the children of the captivity builded the temple unto the LORD God of Israel; Then they came to Zerubbabel, and to the chief of the fathers, and said unto them, Let us build with you: for we seek your God, as ye do; and we do sacrifice unto him since the days of Esar-haddon king of Assur, which brought us up hither. But Zerubbabel, and Jeshua, and the rest of the chief of the fathers of Israel, said unto them, Ye have nothing to do with us to build an house unto our God; but we ourselves together will build unto the LORD God of Israel, as king Cyrus the king of Persia hath commanded us. Then the people of the land weakened the hands of the people of Judah, and troubled them in building, And hired counsellers against them, to frustrate their purpose, all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even until the reign of Darius king of Persia.

– and the zeal for the work declined. The people turned to building their own houses. Construction on the Temple stopped for 16 years. Consider this – a partially built Temple was a worse testimony than no temple at all. While the Israelites were captive in Babylon, everyone understood that they could not rebuild the Temple of the Lord in Jerusalem. Upon their return to Jerusalem, especially with the intention and finances to rebuild the Temple, their failure to complete the work was a bad testimony to the authority and power of God. They brought shame unto the name of God. Finally, the messages of Haggai and Zechariah encouraged the people to remember their purpose and continue in the work.
Haggai lived among the people and may have been disappointed in himself and the people for their failure to accomplish their purpose – to rebuild the House of God. The Lord often uses those who have a burden to do the will of God and are hungering and thirsting after righteousness.

We begin with –

I. Message One 1:1-12 First day of the sixth month

A. Reproof. 1:1-11

Refer to the ministry as recorded by Ezra –

Ezra 5:1-2 Then the prophets, Haggai the prophet, and Zechariah the son of Iddo, prophesied unto the Jews that were in Judah and Jerusalem in the name of the God of Israel, even unto them. Then rose up Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and began to build the house of God which is at Jerusalem: and with them were the prophets of God helping them.

Ezra 6:14 And the elders of the Jews builded, and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. And they builded, and finished it, according to the commandment of the God of Israel, and according to the commandment of Cyrus, and Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia.

1. Accountability 1:1,2 The Leadership is held responsible, but the people are not excused. We answer for ourselves! –
2. Accusation 1:3,4 The people had time to build nice houses and settle in.
3. Assess their lives. 5-11 They were to examine their situation and should remember the words of Solomon –
2 Chronicles 7:12-14 And the LORD appeared to Solomon by night, and said unto him, I have heard thy prayer, and have chosen this place to myself for an house of sacrifice. If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

B. Repentance and resumption of the work. 1:12-15

1. Repented at His Word 1:12
2. Received encouragement of the Lord. 1:13
3. Resumed working . 1:14,15

II. Message Two 2:1-9 Twenty first day of the seventh month

God does not judge His work based on man’s expectations. They were not to be disappointed in their service unto the Lord because the Temple did not seem that it would be as magnificent as that built by Solomon. The house itself becomes secondary when our eyes are focused upon the Occupant –

Haggai 2:7 And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the LORD of hosts.

Their present disappointment would be swallowed up by the future glory of God in His Temple.

III. Message Three 2:10-19 Twenty fourth of the ninth month

God desires a holy people as well as a holy temple. Haggai preached to the people. He –

A. Reminded them of the results of their disobedience. 2:10-17
B. Revealed to them His future blessing. 2:18,19

Even thought their circumstances remained the same as in the previous years when they had very little harvest, God would bless them with an abundance. They would have to trust Him as they could not see the evidence.

Haggai would have to have great confidence in the Lord and His Word to preach this message which would be able to be verified in the coming months. The preaching was in faith and the proof was coming!

IV. Message Four 2:20-23 Twenty fourth day of the ninth month

Haggai provoked Zerubbabel to finish the work the Lord had for him (Zerubbabel, my servant). God is in control, revealing both His will for the present and the future (the second coming and the establishment of His Kingdom)
Haggai proved to be the man for the time. He was faithful to God and presented the message in faith, trusting that God would be faithful unto Himself, as He always is.
We should learn from Haggai that we should never fear to present the Word of God. The world will mock the truth. Believers may doubt the truth. Preach it anyway. We should listen to the command given to Pastor Timothy –
2 Timothy 4:1-2 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
As we consider lessons that we can learn from Haggai, we ask the following questions –
Do we seek holiness?
Do we hunger and thirst after righteousness?
Are we broken hearted over the condition of our testimony for the Lord (ourselves and others)?
Have we died to self, not being concerned about what the self-righteous will say?
John 12:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.

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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.

We should note –

I. The triumph of Syria. Israel had been in a standoff with Syria.
Armed conflict often occurred due to the long standing tension between the countries.

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?

Be aware and learn the lesson that bitterness will seek conflict and reject the wise counsel of God through His Word –

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. Another proof that pride goeth before destruction –

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.

We turn now to the situation of the captain of the forces that oppressed Israel, Naaman. Notice –

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.

This great, honourable, mighty, valiant man had no close contact, no physical interactions, no comfort, and up to this time, no hope of a cure. We learn then why the Syrians were so excited at the prospect of healing!

III. The troubled King of Israel.

The following account gives us an idea of the expectations of the King of Syria and Naaman.

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. Notice his expectations from his reaction –

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.

Before God and His Prophet, Naaman’s position, power, prestige, and presents meant nothing! God has the highest position, God has all power, God is exalted above all creation, God owns all things. Naaman’s value is found in the grace of God, not in the things of man!

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! God’s blessings are not for sale!

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 involving kings, nations, armies, 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.

Only the Lord knows what events will take place because of your testimony!

Whatever our circumstances, will we be faithful witnesses for the Lord. Will you believe and testify that He is the answer to man’s need – salvation and life everlasting.

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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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