Daniel

.. ACY DANIEL FORETOLD 2500 YEARS OF WORLD HISTORY FROM BABYLON TO THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. THE RISE AND FALL OF THESE VARIOUS EMPIRES IS CLEARLY FORETOLD IN THE BIBLE. GOD KNOWS IN ADVANCE WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN AND HE DEFIANTLY IS IN CONTROL OF HUMAN EVENTS. DANIEL MAKES SURE WE UNDERSTAND THE NEED TO BE CONVERTED TO GOD.

GOD WAS PATIENT WITH NEBUCHADREZZAR AND OVER A PERIOD OF THIRTY YEARS HE TRIED TO REACH HIM. IT SEEMED THE KING MADE PROGRESS IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION AND THEN BACKSLID. NEBUCHADREZZAR HAD TO LOOSE HIS MIND (ALL HE KNEW) TO FIND THE GOSPEL TRUTH. HE REALIZED THAT IT WAS GOD WHO SET UP AND REMOVED KINGS AND EVEN KINGS HAD TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT GOD WAS THE RULER OF THEIR LIVES. GOD IS AS PATIENT WITH US AS HE WAS WITH HIM.

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EVEN THOUGH WE STRAY FROM THE PATH AND FALL, GOD LOVES US STILL, AND IS RIGHT THERE TO PICK US UP. HE IS VITALLY INTERESTED IN PEOPLE. HE WANTS THEM TO ACKNOWLEDGE HIM AS THEIR PERSONAL LORD AND DEVELOP A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM. MANY PEOPLE FEEL THAT GOD CANNOT SAVE THEM BECAUSE OF WHAT THEY’VE DONE IN THE PAST. THIS STORY OF NEBUCHADREZZAR SHOULD BE OF ENCOURAGEMENT TO THEM.

GOD DIDN’T SAVE HIM BECAUSE HE WAS GOOD. HE WAS AN UNJUST TYRANT. YET GOD LOVED HIM AND EXTENDED HIS GRACE TO HIM. NOT BECAUSE HE DESERVED IT..PEOPLE NEVER DO; NOT BECAUSE HE EARNED IT..PEOPLE CAN’T; BUT THROUGH FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST, IT’S THE UNMERITED FAVOR OF GOD THAT LIFTS US UP AND REDEEMS US. IT’S SUPREMELY COMFORTING TO KNOW THAT GOD WANTS TO SAVE US MORE THAN WE WANT TO BE SAVED.

BELSHAZZAR SUCCEEDED NEBUCHADREZZAR AS KING OF BABYLON. HE CHOOSE NOT TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE ONE TRUE GOD AND HE DID NOT RESPECT THE CONSECRATED OBJECTS OF WORSHIP WHICH HAD BEEN STOLEN FROM THE TEMPLE IN JERUSALEM. IN A BLATANT ACT OF DEFIANCE HE DEFILED THE CEREMONIAL GOBLETS FROM JERUSALEM BY USING THEM TO WORSHIP PAGAN GODS. THIS BLASPHEMOUS ACT BROUGHT IMMEDIATE WARNING FROM GOD. BELSHAZZAR HAD RESPECT FOR THE WISDOM OF DANIEL WHOM HE CALLED TO INTERRUPT THE WRITTEN WARNING GOD HAD PUT ON THE WALL.

DANIEL DID THIS FOR HIM, BUT THE WRATH OF GOD WAS SWIFT AND FINAL FOR THE SIN OF BLASPHEMY AND BABYLON FELL TO THE PERSIANS THAT NIGHT, THUS, FREEING GOD’S PEOPLE FROM THE OPPRESSION THEY WERE SUFFERING. DANIEL, IN HIS SEVENTIES AT THE TIME OF THE MEDO-PERSION CONQUEST, WAS KNOWN TO BE A PROPHET, SEER AND FAITHFUL ADMINISTRATOR WHO WAS FAVORED WITH WISDOM BY GOD. THE NEW KING, DARIUS, WAS WELL PLEASED WITH DANIEL AND MADE PLANS FOR HIM TO GOVERN THE KINGDOM FOR HIM. THIS INCURRED THE JEALOUSY OF THE OTHER RULERS WHO PLOTTED TO DISCREDIT DANIEL. TRICKING THE KING, THEY MANIPULATED HIM IN TO PROCLAIMING A NEW LAW WHICH THEY NEW WOULD END WITH DANIEL’S DEATH.

THEY HAD NOT CONSIDERED DANIEL’S PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH, AND STEADFASTNESS TO GOD, WHICH HAD PROTECTED SUSTAINED AND PROSPERED HIM THROUGHOUT HIS CAPTIVITY. THE KING WAS IN A NO-WIN SITUATION AND COULD NOT HELP DANIEL. HE WOULD UNDERMINE HIS OWN POWER IF HE PARDONED HIM, AND IF HE DID NOT HE WOULD LOOSE THE ONLY PERSON HE COULD TRUST. DANIEL STOOD HIS GROUND AND DID NOT CHANGE HIS PRAYER HABITS WHICH MEANT HE VIOLATED THE LAW. DANIEL COULD NOT DENY HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD; COULD NOT HID HIS FAITH.

HE KNEW THE SOURCE OF HIS STRENGTH AND WHO HAD BROUGHT HIM THROUGH HIS TRIALS, SO HE CONTINUED TO EXPRESS HIS FAITH IN GOD. DARIUS WHO PRAYED THE GOD DANIEL SERVED WOULD RESCUE HIM, NEVER THE LESS, PUT HIM IN THE LIONS DEN AND SEALED IT OVERNIGHT. HIS JUSTICE WAS SHORT AND SWIFT THE NEXT MORNING WHEN HE FOUND DANIEL HAD BEEN SPARED. THE MEN, WHO HAD TRICKED HIM AND CONDEMNED DANIEL, ALONG WITH THEIR FAMILIES, WERE FED TO THE LIONS. THROUGH DANIEL, GOD WARNS US AGAINST THOSE WHO WOULD ATTEMPT TO TRICK US.

HE DESCRIBES THE ANTICHRIST AS ONE WHO WILL BE WANTED, APPEALING, EXTRAORDINARY AND A GENTILE WHO ACTS NOT BY HIS OWN WILL, BUT BY THE EMPOWERMENT OF SATAN AND WHO LEADS MANY FROM THE TRUE FAITH. DANIEL IS VERY CLEAR THAT THIS POWER WILL END AT THE SECOND COMING OF JESUS CHRIST. IT WOULD SERVE US WELL, THEN, TO HEED THESE WARNINGS AND NOT BE DECEIVE BY THIS POWER. OUR SUCCESS IN THE FACE OF ADVERSITY AND PERSECUTION IS BASED ON DANIEL’S SECRET FOR SUCCESS. DANIEL PRAYED BOLDLY BUT WITH AN ATTITUDE OF HUMILITY. HE EXPRESSED ADORATION, WORTH AND HONOR TO GOD.

HE OPENED HIS HEART AND CONFESSED HIS SIN BEFORE THE LORD. HE ACKNOWLEDGED HIS GRATITUDE TO GOD FOR HIS BLESSINGS AND PROTECTION, AND HE UNSELFISHLY PETITIONED FOR THE NEEDS OF OTHERS IN HIS PRAYERS. WE HAVE TO HAVE A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD, JUST AS DANIEL DID, AND THE WAY WE DEVELOP THIS RELATIONSHIP IS TO SPEND TIME WITH HIM. PRAYER AND BIBLE STUDY ARE THE ESSENTIAL BUILDING BLOCKS OF THIS RELATIONSHIP. THESE HELP US DISCOVER CORRECT DOCTRINE, REBUKE US OF OUR SINS, CORRECT US WHERE WE GO WRONG, LET US KNOW THE WAY WE SHOULD GO, AND ENABLE US TO OBEY THE COMMANDMENTS OF GOD.

GROWING FROM THIS FOUNDATION, THE CHRISTIAN, FOLLOWING THE PRINCIPLES OF THE BIBLE, ENGAGES IN THE SPIRITUAL WARFARE WHICH WILL GIVE THEM ETERNAL LIFE IN THE KNOWING OF JESUS. THIS IS WHAT WILL PROTECT US, AS DANIEL WAS PROTECTED THEN, IN THE END TIMES. EACH OF DANIEL’S PROPHETIC VISIONS GO OVER THE SAME HISTORY, BUT EACH ADDS FURTHER DETAILS. THIS IS THE LONGEST TIME PROPHECY IN THE BIBLE. MUCH HAS ALREADY COME TO PASS AND PROVED EXACTLY AS DANIEL SAID IT WOULD.

WE GAIN CONFIDENCE IN GOD’S WORD WHEN WE SEE THAT GOD KEEPS HIS PROMISES. BUT EVENTUALLY, WE BECOME FEARFUL AS WE REALIZE THAT THE END TIME STILL APPROACHES. PEOPLE TODAY WOULD DO WELL TO BE LOOKING FOR CHRIST, NOT THE ANTICHRIST. WE, WHO TRUST IN CHRIST AS OUR SAVIOR NEED NOT BE AFRAID BECAUSE HE WILL REMOVE US IN THE RAPTURE BEFORE THE ANTICHRIST COMES TO POWER; WHEN FALSE RELIGIONS ARISE AND GOD’S PEOPLE ARE PERSECUTED FOR THEIR REFUSAL TO WORSHIP ANY BUT THE ONE TRUE GOD. AS WE CONCLUDE THE BOOK OF DANIEL, WE FIND HIM INQUIRING OF GOD WHEN THE EVENTS OF HIS VISIONS WOULD OCCUR, AND GOD, REWARDING HIS FAITHFULNESS AND DUTIFULNESS DID NOT DENY HIM A LAST PEEK AT THE FUTURE.

VISITED BY TWO ANGELIC BEINGS, ONE BEING CHRIST HIMSELF, DANIEL WAS TOLD HE HAD FAITHFULLY AND OBEDIENTLY DONE COMPLETED HIS WORK FOR THE LORD; THERE WOULD BE NO MORE VISIONS FOR HIM TO SEE NOR PROPHECIES TO RECORD, DANIEL COULD GO ABOUT HIS OWN BUSINESS UNTIL THE END OF HIS LIFE AT WHICH TIME HE WOULD REST UNTIL HE WAS RESURRECTED BODILY AT THE END OF THE TRIBULATION. THIS, IS DANIEL’S LAST MESSAGE TO US THEN, FROM THE COUNSEL OF THE GREAT ANGEL HIMSELF: TO SEEK TO KEEP A BIBLICAL BALANCE BETWEEN LOOKING TO THE FUTURE AND LIVING IN THE PRESENT; TO STAY PRAYED-UP AND READY FOR CHRIST’S RETURN BUT NOT TO NEGLECT OUR PRESENT RESPONSIBILITIES. OD.

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