Sermon Notes from Song of Solomon 052117

Shiloah Baptist Church

My Beloved… My Friend

Song of Songs 5:1-16

With the positives and negatives of marriage, there must be love, facing life together, and friendship.  The home, marriage is the bedrock of our society.

Some thoughts…

  1.  Enjoy the intimacies of love in marriage, and praise one another (v. 1).
  2.   There will be times of discord, quarrels, and temporary rejections; learn from them and grow together.  Do not let trivial things, the kids, or the job or career get between you and your love for one another (vv. 2-8).
  3.  Be one another’s  friend – always return to praising and admiring each other (vv. 9-16).

Our best friend is our spouse next to Jesus who is the friend who sticks closer than a brother.

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Thoughts from Song of Solomon Seven

Shiloah Baptist Church

Your Love Your Desire

Song of Solomon 7:1-13

Marriage is the bedrock of any strong society; that is a strong, godly marriage.  When it is cheapened by continuous divorce, remarriage, divorce, and remarriage it is no wonder that we are discussing the matters of immoral conduct in same sex, transsexual matters.

Christian keep your marriage strong.  Follow the example given by Solomon as a young man in love with his spouse (the Shulamite), and her love for him.

  1.  Build up her beauty without false flattery; with true love and admiration (vv. 1-5).
  2.   Admire her physical attributes… (vv. 6-9a)
  3.   She needs to let him know his love for her is approved, and that she has an assurance his desire is toward her alone (vv. 9b-13).

A strong Christian marriage is the testimony to the world of Christ love for us, His Church, and His sacrifice for the redemption of…

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At Arab Summit, President boldly urges Muslim leaders to “drive out the terrorists and extremists” from their nations and houses of worship. (My analysis of the historic and well-crafted speech.)

Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog

Saudi-TrumpSpeech2

(Washington, D.C.) — Wow. Readers of this blog know I have never been shy about expressing my concerns about President Trump when necessary. But the President deserves a great deal of credit for the speech he delivered yesterday in Saudi Arabia.

The address was well-crafted and respectful, even nuanced, at times. But it was also clear, honest, and bold. Indeed, it was unlike any speech any American President has ever delivered face to face to the leaders of Saudi Arabia, the Gulf Cooperation Council, Egypt, Jordan and several dozen other Muslim-majority countries. Below, you’ll find key excerpts, a link to the full transcript and a link to the video of the full 34 minute speech. I would encourage you to both watch and read the address in full.

A few first impressions:

  1. The President rightly thanked America’s Sunni Muslim allies for their friendship and hospitality, he honored their historic achievements, rich culture and heritage, and he reached out a hand of friendship…

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Sermon Notes from Song of Songs Chapter Two

Shiloah Baptist Church

Catch the Foxes

Song of Solomon 2:1-17,

“Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.”  Song of Songs 2:15 (KJV) Also see John 10:10

With there being deceptions and lies concerning marriage and love in our society and culture it is needful, even necessary for the Church of Jesus Christ, and every individual Christian to stand firm on God’s definition of Marriage, and His meaning of love.

It is my conviction that the Home and Marriage is the beginning or the end of a Nation or a society of people.  When marriages fail so will society and nations.  “As goes the home/marriage; so goes the nation.”

There are hindrances to a good marriage.  These can be the children, and the job, or career, school activities, failure to build your marriage and home upon the foundation of Christ and His word.

So…

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The Salvation of the LORD

It does me good to read what was said in the past.

Broken Pieces

The pressures of the world are rushing ever near you.  You feel like you should not have made that good move that you did.  Things have changed, and right now it just does not seem like it was the right move to make.  Hold on.  Be strong.  Be strong in the Lord; or as Moses said, “Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD…”

“And Moses said unto the people, ‘Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will show you today: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more for ever.  The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.”  Exodus 14:13-14 (KJV).

The LORD had done many mighty, and marvelous things to bring the children of Israel to the edge of the Red Sea.  There had been a complete destruction of…

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The Conclusion

This is a post I shared on our Church site in July 2015. I thought it to be appropriate for today.

Shiloah Baptist Church

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

In reading the book of Ecclesiastes we find that the life of every individual has an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. The body of our lives includes many  plots and sub-plots, and climaxes.  Those climaxes are not the end, or conclusion of life.  They are just another peak reached, then we do something different, more, or less adventure, etc..

From seeing things as vain in life; “vanity of vanities all is vanity” were Solomon’s words as he writes of his life’s adventure.  He reaches the conclusion of the matter.

That conclusion is that only with God does life even matter.

The sole duty…

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Running To and Fro, and the Increase of Knowledge

“And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever. But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” Daniel 12:1-4 (KJV)

This study covers Daniel 12:1-13

There are those who do not believe that there is a God, or that He can show us a glimpse of the future. All of the last chapter (chapter 11) was history, written before it ever happened, and we know that everything happened just as God told Daniel that it would.

If, indeed, God is God, why is it so hard for people to believe that He can and did reveal the future to men like Daniel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the others? When there is wrath coming on the world He has messengers warning, and exhorting people to turn to God and live. As a matter of fact we have His Word that tells us that He will not act except He first send warning of doing so; Amos 3:7 says…

“Surely the Lord GOD does nothing, Unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets” (NKJV).

Surely Daniel is a book about God’s revealed secrets to His servant Daniel.

In this twelfth and final chapter the secrets of God just keep coming. In this chapter God even goes so far as to tell us how many Hebrews will be saved in that last day.

MICHAEL THE ARCH ANGEL STANDS UP FOR THE CHILDREN OF GOD (v. 1). This verse is a continuation from the latter chapter.

It appears that Michael has a special ministry as an arch angel, and that is as protector of the children of Israel, at least during the end of the time of the Gentiles rule on earth, and the “time of Jacob’s trouble”.

In the midst of the tribulation the Antichrist will break the covenant with Israel which he made with them three and one half years earlier (9:27). He will go into the ‘temple of God, showing himself that he is God” (2 Thessalonians 2:4b). He himself will in fact be the “ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION” spoken of by Daniel and by Jesus (Daniel 11:31, 12:11), “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand)” (Matthew 24:15).

All those who are found written in God’s book will be delivered from this “Evil one”. The MacArthur Study Bible note for this says, “The book is the book of the saved (Mal. 3:16-4:3; Luke10:20; Rev. 13:8; 17:8; 20:12, 15; 21:27)”. It would be the very same book your name and mine is written in because of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

In fact, the Bible does seem to give some idea as to how many Jews will be delivered. In Zachariah 13:8-9, the prophet wrote from the breath of God, “And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. 9 And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God” Zechariah 13:8-9 (KJV). One third of the Jewish nation will be delivered and follow their Messiah. Romans 11:26a says, “And so all Israel shall be saved”. That is right this one third is “all Israel”.

THERE SHALL BE A RESURRECTION OF THE JUST AND A RESURRECTION OF THE UNJUST (vv. 2-3). I have heard for many years of the judgment that is coming for both the just and the unjust. I also know that some people put these judgments at the same point in time. If you look at the statement by itself, then you might certainly come to that conclusion. That is why you must look at what the rest of Scripture says.

In this I will be understanding the “Just” as those who have been justified by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. The “Just” ones have been declared “Just” by our Father Himself, therefore, the only judgment we will see will be what Paul calls the “Judgment Seat of Christ” (2 Cor. 5:10). This judgment will not be for sin, but rather for the determination of reward. We will be rewarded or suffer loss according to those things that we have did in our body.

Also I will be understanding that the “Unjust” are all those who have refused the Lord Jesus as their Lord and Savior, all those who are yet condemned in their sin. These having never received Christ will stand before God at what John called the “Great white throne” judgment. Here they will be judged for all their deeds they have done. None will be found who have glorified the Lord, and will be cast alive into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:11-15).

Sometimes the prophets prophesied of two events without really realizing it. They had trouble understanding what they were foretelling. The same is true with Daniel in our present text.

For example; the prophet Isaiah wrote in Isaiah 61,

“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me; because the LORD hath anointed Me to preach good tidings unto the meek; He has sent Me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and 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…”(Isaiah 61:1-2 KJV)

When this was fulfilled in the person of Jesus Christ He stopped the reading with, “…To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” The simple reason He stopped there is because it was not, then the time to fulfill the rest of it. That time has not yet come; even to this day, but it will be here soon.

In verse two it refers to those who have died, both the believing and unbelieving. Both will one day come out of their graves. Some will come out of their graves at the rapture of the Church; some will arise at the end of the tribulation period, and will be with Jesus in the Millennial reign of Jesus. However, the wicked, unbelieving dead will not rise until after the Millennial reign. That is when they will go before the GREAT WHITE THRONE of God’s judgment and will be cast alive into the LAKE OF FIRE which burns forever and ever.

Verse three seems to allude to the idea of ‘teachers’ teaching during the tribulation. They will be warning their fellow Hebrews of what this time is all about, and telling them of their Messiah. In doing so they will shine like stars in eternity. This would most likely be the 144,000 that is spoken of in the Revelation 7:1-8; 14:1-5.

ENCOURAGEMENT TO KNOW THE WORD OF GOD – PROPHECY IN PARTICULAR – BETTER AS THE TIME APPROACHES (v. 4). According to this angel, Daniel is to “Shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end”. That means there were things then, Daniel did not understand, now he would understand. God gives light as it is needed, to His people. Daniel did not need to know at his time.

We are in the ‘time of the end’, and God has started giving understanding in many of these things. I personally do not believe that the teaching of the rapture of the Church is relatively new. It is quite clear in Paul’s teachings that he was ready to go at any moment in the rapture, or to satisfy those who say the word “rapture” is not in the Bible; the catching away. I will not get into that here.

Many have looked at this passage, “Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased” as a prophecy of automobiles, airplanes, and man’s great ability to travel – as we do today – and our increase in knowledge in medicine, science, etc. It most likely does not really have anything to do with that.

If we look at the context of the verse, Daniel is writing about what he has written. For Daniel the Book is ‘shut up’ – sealed if you will. As the day of God’s judgment draws closer people who love God and His Word will spend time in its study and will increase in knowledge and understanding of prophecy. When you love God and His Word and spend time in it God will teach you what He decides you need to know.

Understanding prophecy is a motivator to do God’s will. It is a motivator to holy living until the time that Jesus comes again. If we really believe that Jesus’s coming is closer than it has ever been, then, we should be studying, living holy, and working – truly WALKING WITH GOD.

DANIEL’S CURIOSITY IS PUT IN CHECK (vv. 5-9). Daniel is still by the Tigris River (Hiddekel KJV). These who stood on each bank of the river were most likely angels. The “Man clothed in linen” is probably the same personage as in chapter 10:5-9 which is probably a preincarnate manifestation of Jesus Christ. The angels are curious also. One asked the One in linen, “How long…?” This question seems to be asking how long will this time of “Great tribulation” last. The answer comes back, “For a time, times and an half”. Time = 1 year; times = 2 years; and an half = ½ year or six months.

Notice, this man in linen lifts His hands toward the Father in heaven and “Sware by Him that liveth for ever”. When God could sware by no greater, He swore to Himself (Heb. 6:13). This is what was taking place between the Father and the Son. We can know and trust by this that the TIME OF JACOB’S TROUBLE (Jeremiah 30:7) will be no longer than 3 and one half years. Remember there are six purposes for this trial for the Jews listed in chapter 9:24. The Jews will flee Jerusalem during the tribulation and some will be saved, ie., trust Jesus as their Messiah.

Daniel is still very curious. The Lord tells him, “Go about doing your business” or “Go on your way”, those things are sealed up until the end.

AS TIME DRAWS TO A CLOSE THE RIGHTEOUS IN CHRIST WILL BECOME MORE CLEAN AND HOLY; WHILE THE WICKED WILL GET MORE AND MORE WICKED (v. 10). NOTE: This could refer to the 3.5 years of the first half of the tribulation.

Where sin abounds grace does much more abound (Romans 5:20). It will also be so at this horrendous time in human history. While believers will be being made righteous, the wicked will get more and more wicked. They will be blinded by the events while the believing remnant will become more and more wise, and more and more clean before the Lord God (2 Timothy 3:13 – “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived”).

THOSE LAST THREE AND ONE HALF YEARS WILL BE THE MOST TRYING FOR THE JEWS BUT THERE IS BLESSING FOR THOSE WHO TRUST IN THE LORD (vv. 11-13). One thousand two hundred and ninety days equals 3.5 years. A Biblical year is measured in 360 days. There is no explanation for the ‘thousand three hundred and thirty five days’. Actually, the 1,290 days carries over about 30 more days. The 1,335 has a total carry over of about 75 days. There is no explanation for either. It could be a time of transition for the setting up of Messiah’s kingdom.

It is said of the 1,335 days that, “Blessed is he that waiteth…” for these days.

Once again the Lord tells Daniel, “Go thou thy way”. This is really instructions to carry on with your business that you do. We as Christians are not to go around with our head in the stars unaware of the world we live in. There are people who are dying, suffering, and headed into an eternity without Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Let us labor for our Lord in our work place, in our play, on vacation, or wherever we may be.

It is certain, at least to me, by the reading and study of Scripture that we are in the final days of the ‘last days’. The ‘last days’ began when Jesus came born of a virgin, was laid in a manger in Bethlehem, was worshipped by shepherds, and wisemen, and the angels. He has died, was buried, carrying our sins away, and He has risen just as He said. He also said that He would come again and receive us unto Himself. Know Jesus. Call on His name as Lord and Savior of your life.

MARANATHA…

God’s Word Fulfilled in the Past, Present, and the Future

“Also I in the first year of Darius the Mede, even I, stood to confirm and to strengthen him. And now will I shew thee the truth. Behold, there shall stand up yet three kings in Persia; and the fourth shall be far richer than they all: and by his strength through his riches he shall stir up all against the realm of Grecia. And a mighty king shall stand up, that shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will. And when he shall stand up, his kingdom shall be broken, and shall be divided toward the four winds of heaven; and not to his posterity, nor according to his dominion which he ruled: for his kingdom shall be plucked up, even for others beside those.” Daniel 11:1-4 (KJV)

The first verse is clearly the angel, whom we believe to be Gabriel, still speaking to Daniel to give Him understanding of all the things he has seen.
Explanations do us good in most things in life. Daniel was God’s man, God’s prophet for that period of time, and he had received one of the most profound prophetic visions of all the history of mankind. He was given wisdom and grace by God to reveal to Nebuchadnezzar what he had dreamed, and to give him its interpretation. Daniel also received the vision of the same prophecy as seen from God’s eyes.

Daniel was a student of Scripture. We are told that he read the prophet Jeremiah concerning the 70 weeks. That is where Daniel Got his faith, and grew to the man that he was. He was a student of God’s Word.

What does the angel explain to Daniel?

THE ANGEL SPEAKS CONCERNING PERSIA AND HER KINGS (vv. 1-2). I have already explained that the first verse is a carry over from the tenth chapter. This angel had stood with Darius/Cyrus as a protecting angel as he was carrying forth the edict of God in making a decree for Hebrews to return to their land. This shows the promise God made to Abraham – “I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse those who curse you”. It is best to stand with the people of God who are the Hebrews as a nation.

For Daniel these were future. King Cambyses (529-522 B.C.). Pseudo Smerdis (522-521 B.C.). Darius I Hystapes (521-486 B.C.). Xerxes or Ahasuerus of the Book of Esther (496-465 B.C.).
These are now history past. We are assured by their fulfillment that God’s Word is true. If these were fulfilled then the yet future prophecies will be fulfilled also.

Remember Daniel has already seen the line-up according to Nebuchacnezzar’s dream. The head of gold was Babylon (Chap. 2; the lion of chap. 7). The arms and chest of silver represent the Medo-Persian empire (Chap. 2; the bear of chap. 7). The belly and thighs of bronze are Greece (Chap. 2; the goat of chap. 8). The legs of iron, feet of iron mixed with clay is Rome (Chap. 2; terrible beast in chap. 7).

CONCERNING GREECE (vv. 3-4). This picture of course refers to Alexander the Great. He is only called “Great” because of the swiftness with which he conquered the then known world. The belly and thighs of bronze [brass]. The speed of a leopard with wings.

When he died his kingdom was divided between four of his generals. The four kingdoms were; Macedonia; Asia Minor; Egypt – referred to in this chapter as the “king of the South”; and Syria – referred to in this chapter as “king of the North”.

This, too, was fulfilled just as the book of Daniel says.

This book was not written after the fact; as many unbelieving professors say; but years before the events took place. The unbelievers do not believe that God has the knowledge/foreknowledge to know what will happen in the future. They really give no allowance for God at all, but that does not matter, they will still see Him one day, whether they believe in Him or not.

CONCERNING EGYPT AND SYRIA (vv. 5-20). Ptolemy I Soter and Seleucus I Nicator (v. 5). Seleucus is the stronger. His alliance allowed him to seize the throne of Syria.
Ptolemy II Philadelphus and Antiochus II Theos (v. 6). Marriage was a political matter for peace and unity between nations. Ptolemy demanded Antiochus divorce his wife Laodice in order to marry Ptolemy’s daughter Berenice. After Ptolemy died, 2 years later, Antiochus took back Laodice and she murdered Antiochus and Berenice. O the pit of politics.

Ptolemy III Euregetes and Seleucus II Callinicus (vv. 7-9). Brother of Bernice – defending his sisters honor and avenging her death; attacked the Northern kingdom and won.

Ptolemy IV Philopater and Antiochus III the Great (vv. 10-19). Antiochus gave his daughter Cleopatra I in marriage to Ptolemy V (7 years of age), hoping to use her to underrmine the Egyptian government. Cleopatra was loyal to her husband.

God is still the God of history, because it is His-story.

CONCERNING ANTIOCHUS EPIPHANES AND SYRIA (vv. 21-35; also see 8:9-14). This man is the picture of the future antichrist – he is in fact an antichrist for his time.

This man obtained his throne by guile.

He was successful in his military endeavors.

In 170 B.C. he turned his attention toward Israel. He plundered and defiled the temple. He abolished daily sacrifices. He killed many of the Jewish people. He left soldiers behind in Jerusalem to maintain control. He invaded Egypt again only to be confronted by Romans (v. 30; “ships of Chittim”.

In 168 B.C. he desecrated the temple. He erected an altar to Zeus, and offered a pig as sacrifice in the Hebrew temple. NOTE: In the future the Antichrist will put his own image in the temple of God when he breaks the covenant with the Hebrews in the middle of the “Seventieth week of Daniel” – the seven year tribulation period.

There was a small group of faithful Jews who opposed this godless leader (vv. 33-35). A Jewish priest named Mattathias and his five sons. His son Judah (Maccabeus meaning, “The hammerer”) was one of the heroes of this revolt. These laid down their lives and finally won. On December 14, 165 B.C., the temple was purified and the altar dedicated. The Jews celebrate this annually as the Feast of Lights (Hanukkah). This is also mentioned back in chapter eight.

CONCERNING THE TRIBULATION AND THE ANTICHRIST (vv. 36- 12:1). The time of the Great Tribulation, also known as the “Time of Jacobs trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7). Just as the above historical things were foretold and came to pass; so too will the things that have yet to happen. They do not have to be spiritualized for fulfillment; they will be literally fulfilled.

This man will appear as a man of peace; a master politician; a man of no specific religious faith. The Tribulation will begin in peace for the Jewish people, but will become war against them in the last three and one half years. God, however, will preserve His people (Matthew 24:22). There will be military invasion (Daniel 11:40-43); a battle will take place at the valley called Armageddon (vv. 44-45); then, Jesus Christ will appear in all His glory, splendor and wrath ridding the world of all evil.

This is not a period of time that Christians look forward to. We are waiting and longing for the appearance of Jesus in the clouds; calling our names; and COME UP HITHER with the sound of the trumpet, and we will go to be with Him for all eternity. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

The Promises and the whole Word of God has been fulfilled, is being fulfilled, or will be fulfilled. If you are not ready for the return of Jesus Christ; call on His name and He will hear you and save you.

MARANATHA.

Are there really ancient prophecies in the Bible that promised the rebirth of Israel in the “last days”? As modern Israel turns 69, it’s an important question to consider.

Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog

israelUPDATED: (Central Israel) — Today marks 69 years since the dramatic rebirth of the modern State of Israel in May of 1948. Israelis are joyfully celebrating independence, security and growing prosperity, but not everyone is happy. Sadly, there are many people in this region and around the world who despise Israel and seek her isolation, demise, and even annihilation.

Rather than address these (very important) geopolitical issues today, however, I’d like to address a question that many people ask me when I travel and speak around the world: Are there really ancient prophecies in the Bible that promised the rebirth of Israel in the last days, despite all the wars and rumors of wars and controversy this would ignite?

Yes, there are — I’ll walk you through a number of the Biblical passages in a moment.

But first some context: according to studies by Pew Research, only 40 percent of American Jews believe…

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The Fight in Spiritual Warfare

 “In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a thing was revealed unto Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar; and the thing was true, but the time appointed was long: and he understood the thing, and had understanding of the vision. 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. And in the four and twentieth day of the first month, as I was by the side of the great river, which is Hiddekel; then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz: His body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in colour to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude. And I Daniel alone saw the vision: for the men that were with me saw not the vision; but a great quaking fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves. Therefore I was left alone, and saw this great vision, and there remained no strength in me: for my comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength. Yet heard I the voice of his words: and when I heard the voice of his words, then was I in a deep sleep on my face, and my face toward the ground.” Daniel 10:1-9 (KJV)

 Daniel 10:1-21

 There are wars in our world today. That is no profound statement I realize that, but it is none the less true. We grieve over the wars that have been fought  in Iraq, what is going on in Syria, and many other places; and the young soldiers who are dying, civilians dying, women and children included in that. No war is pleasant. It is not really pleasant to even speak of. Sometimes, as bad as it is, wars are necessary to stand against what is evil. I do not think any one in their right mind would say that, “The attack of September 11, 2001 was not an attack from evil“.

Ever since the beginning of man; Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden we have come under attack from evil. The world is still under the domain of the chief of all evil and that is the devil. He still has his demons working and influencing the leaders of the world, but all his work and efforts will be to no avail. The devil and his demons are a defeated foe. They were defeated on the cross where Jesus died and conquered evil there. Proof of that is in that He rose from the dead.

There is a warfare which we as Christians are fighting today. Some will say, “You said that Jesus had conquered evil, why are we still fighting a war against it?” Jesus did conquer evil, and that is part of the glory of the matter. We need to remember that we are not fighting for victory, we are fighting from the victory. “Greater is He who is in you, than he who is in the world.”

Paul the apostle told us…

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” Eph. 6:10-12 (KJV).

Paul also tells us that…

“(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)” 2 Cor. 10:4 (KJV).

Daniel was finding out about spiritual warfare.

AS WE LOOK AT THE TIME THAT DANIEL HAD THIS EXPERIENCE (v. 1). It was approximately two years after Cyrus had made the decree that the captives of Jerusalem could return to their homeland. In the book of Ezra we read,

“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” Ezra 1:1-3 (KJV).

This event takes place a few years following the events of chapter 9, because we see at the beginning of chapter nine that it took place during the first year of Darius of the Medes.

It could be that Daniel may have written the document that gave the Israelites permission to return to Jerusalem. Remember Daniel was in the court of the king, so this may have been his responsibility.

THE PROBABLE CAUSE OF DANIEL’S MOURNING (vv. 2-3). It is not told us what it was that caused Daniel to mourn, specifically. We do know that it had been approximately two years since the decree had gone out for the people to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple.

News had most likely came back to Daniel of the trying circumstances of the 50,000 Hebrews who returned to the land. There were other Hebrews who had never left who were mocking those who had returned, and were hindering the work of the temple. There was a spiritual battle raging in Jerusalem.

Daniel’s heart was greatly burdened. He was so burdened – maybe for a couple of reasons; First, he may have been burdened for the people’s circumstances in Jerusalem – the work had been hindered and stopped (Ezra 4:1-6). Secondly, Daniel was probably burdened to better understand the prophecies he had received. It is quite possible the battle in Jerusalem over the building of the temple is the scene of the battle between the angelic being (vv. 13 & 20). It seems to relate to an ongoing battle (v. 13b “…I remained there with the kings of Persia”, said the angel. Daniel, in fact, had spent 21 days in mourning and fasting, because of his sorrow, and desire to get God’s direction and will. The prayer was heard on the first day, but due to the spiritual battle Daniel endured in prayer and fasting until he received answer.

Fasting seems to have been an almost forgotten practice. Private fasting, where there is no self aggrandizement, is a practice that Christians need to begin practicing in order to be overcomers in the life of faith.

Let us never forget to pray for our nation’s leaders. It could very well be that there are evil spirits directing the hearts of evil men and hindering the works of godly men. In fact the Bible is clear about that. Let us always beware to never pray to angels nor worship them – they are servants of God and servants to us as well. We are to worship and pray to God alone.

DANIEL’S PERSONAL ENCOUNTER WITH THE LORD (vv. 4-9). The appearance of this “…Certain man” seems to be almost identical to the description given of Jesus in the Revelation…

“And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;  And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.  His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;  And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.  And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:“ Rev 1:12-17 (KJV).

It is because of this that many, including myself see this ‘certain man’ as a Christ phony – a pre-incarnate manifestation of Jesus Christ. It would be similar to His appearance in the fiery furnace with Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. This revelation took place while Daniel was walking by the river Hiddekel. Sometimes when one becomes burdened a walk in a place of quietness brings the best encounters with God. What an encounter it was. This is the first time Daniel has a personal visit from our Lord, at least that is recorded.

Even though they did not see the One whom Daniel saw, the men with Daniel fled and hid, because they realized something was going on and it was too great for them to stay around (vv. 7-8). The vision was so awe-inspiring Daniel had no strength. He heard His voice. Being so weakened and overcome by His presence Daniel went into a deep sleep. We should in no way consider this “deep sleep” as bad on Daniel’s part. From the excitement he may have blacked out and lost consciousness. Sometimes it is when our minds are resting in the Lord we are renewed, refreshed, and revived. NOTE, Daniel’s position “…My face toward the ground.” Most likely this “deep sleep” was probably the same type “deep sleep” God put on Adam when He created Eve”. So it was a God induced sleep.

DANIEL IS TOUCHED BY AN ANGEL (vv. 10-21). It does not say it clearly but most likely the hand that touched Daniel was the hand of Gabriel the angel who had spoken to him previously (8:16; 9:20-23).

NOTICE: The words this angel speaks to Daniel; “…A man greatly beloved” is spoken twice in this chapter (vv. 11 & 19) and one other time in the previous chapter (9:23). He says, “Fear not” twice (vv. 12, 19). “Peace be unto thee”, and “Be strong, be strong”. A double admonition.

Why Daniel prayed for twenty one days – the Spiritual Warfare. The angel was hindered by the “prince of Persia”. This could not have been a mere man which the angel of God was battling. It had to have been a “demon angel” appointed by satan over the kingdom of Persia. If Daniel had quit praying this ‘prince of Persia’ could have won the battle. Let us never cease praying for God’s will to be accomplished in His people and in the governments of men. Because of Daniel’s unceasing, fervent prayer the angel came with an answer. Delayed prayers are FAITH TESTING and FAITH BUILDING prayers. Daniel was touched three times by the angel (vv. 10, 16, and 18).

There are some who believe that this whole encounter was with the pre-incarnate Christ. It cannot be – because Jesus would not need the help of Michael. Jesus could, but speak the word, “Be gone” and that demon would flee. There is no doubt in my mind that from verses ten through verse 21 the one who touched Daniel was an angel, and most likely Gabriel, who had spoken to him previously.

The angel came to give Daniel understanding of what the “latter days” held for the Hebrews, and Gentile nations.

The angel speaks of returning to battle the ‘prince of Persia’. He tells Daniel that the ‘prince of Greece’ is on the way. It almost seems the angel encourages Daniel to keep praying. PLEASE REREAD EPHESIANS 6:10-18.

The powers of darkness are at work in the world, its governments, plotting, scheming, deceiving, seeking to steal, to kill, and to destroy all that is godly, holy and righteous.  Let us as the Church of Jesus Christ keep praying too. Let’s pray for forgiveness of our own sin, confess them and repent. Let’s pray for those who are lost. Jesus is coming soon.

MARANATHA.

Man of God – A Man of Prayer (2)

 “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.
And whiles I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God for the holy mountain of my God; yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation. And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding. 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.” Daniel 9:19-23 (KJV)  Please read to the end of the chapter.

We continue Daniel’s Prayer with Daniel 9:19-27 –

In the fifth place we see that, DANIEL’S PRAYER WAS A FERVENT PRAYER. Daniel’s heart yearned for the day of deliverance. Even though he probably knew he would never see it – he would die in Babylon – still longed for that day when the people would return to Jerusalem, rebuild its walls, streets, temple and everything that goes with it all.

He fervently prayed – ie., with passion, commitment, and fire. Here are some things which accompany fervent prayer:

Humility – Change of garments – to garments of mourning ;; shaving off the hair on the head;

Crying – almost uncontrollable weeping;

Tearing of clothes – an outward sign of sorrow;

Fasting – committed to seeing God’s will done, even to the place of denying one’s self the physical needs one may have;

Sighing, groaning, even the sweating of blood.

Fervent prayer cares nothing for the negative opinions of others – the things listed above will seem fanatical to others who are less devoted, and unconcerned.

Daniel fasted. Reasons people in the Bible fasted; 1)Private problems; 2) Hannah for a child; 3) Public disasters; 4) The death of a king and his sons (1 Samuel 31); 5) Personal grief; 6) Grief for personal sin; 7) Pity for friends or others; 8) Searching for the will of God. It would do the Church of Jesus Christ wonders, if we would begin doing some fasting. We, today, are more familiar with feasting.

 The sixth thing we see is, that while DANIEL PRAYING, THE ANGEL GABRIEL CAME AND GAVE HIM UNDERSTANDING (vv. 20-23). Daniel prayed; confessing the sins of the people of Israel and his own sins, and lifting up supplications unto the Lord for their land. While he was praying the angel Gabriel appeared to him once again.

Gabriel said he had come to give Daniel “Skill and understanding”. I do not think it is too bold of a statement to say that it was because of Daniel’s devotion to God and His Word that God chose him for “Skill and understanding”. Daniel was fervent in prayer. He was consistent in his prayers. He was devoted to the Word of God. He was an obedient servant to God. He fasted. He wept. He mourned. I find it no surprise that God chose Daniel to give “Skill and understanding”.

Notice, the angel said, “At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to show thee..” Daniel’s prayers were heard from day one. His faith was strong in the Word of God.

The angel also tells him, “Thou are greatly beloved…” What a decree to come from the mouth of one of God’s angels.

 In the seventh thing we see the angel giving DANIEL THE PURPOSE OF THE SEVENTY WEEKS (v. 24). This is the thing Daniel read from Jeremiah concerning Israel. In the prophecy each seven day week represents seven years, thus the seventy weeks would represent a total of 490 years. What was the purpose of these years – one week of which or seven years, has not yet come to pass.

The purpose of the seventy weeks has a six fold purpose; 1) “To finish the transgression” ie., to bring an end to Israel’s transgression – their sin and rebellion against God in worshipping idols; 2) “To make an end of sins”; 3) “To make reconciliation for iniquity”, ie., that is to reconcile the nation to God; 4) To bring in everlasting righteousness; 5) To seal up the vision of the prophecy; and 6) To anoint the most Holy.

 In the eighth place we are told of THE RESTORATION OF JERUSALEM UNTO THE MESSIAH – WHO IS CHRIST JESUS (vv.25-26a). A decree would go forth for the restoration of Jerusalem from a Gentile king. There was such a decree that went forth from a king to Nehemiah to go and rebuild the walls of the city (Nehemiah 2).

The restoration of Jerusalem was done in 49 years. This period of time equals the ‘seven weeks’. There are 7 days in a week times 7 weeks equals 49 days. Each day equals 1 year. After the restoration of Jerusalem it would be 62 weeks until Messiah was ‘cut off’ this would equal 483 years. The Messiah, that is Jesus Chris, would be crucified on a cross in Jerusalem.

NOTICE – Seventy (70) weeks times 7 equals 490 weeks. This means that only 69 weeks have been fulfilled. The first 483 have been fulfilled exactly as God told Daniel. There has been approximately 2000 years since the completion of the 483 years. There remains 7 yet to be fulfilled. That seven years is known by at least two different titles; first, “The time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7); secondly, we know it better by “Tribulation period” – “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matthew 24:21). “Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds” (Rev. 2:22). It is also known as the “Day of the LORD” in many Old Testament passages.

 In the ninth place we see the SEVENTIETH WEEK; THE PRINCE TO COME; AND HIS COVENANT OF PEACE WITH ISRAEL (vv. 26b-27). The ‘prince that shall come’ is speaking of a deceiver. Some time following the disappearance of the saints of God, this man will come on the scene and make a peace covenant with Israel for seven years “One week”.

In the midst of the week – 3.5 years – this prince will break that covenant,a nd set himself up in the temple of God – “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God” 2 Thes. 2:3-4.

He will desolate the temple. Really just his presence in the temple will be worse than the pig which Antiochus Epiphanes placed on the altar. In his desolation he will call for the people of the world to worship him. That is when he begins running into problems. The last 3.5 years will be a time of judgment upon the earth such as no one has ever seen.

Not only will Israel be delivered during this time, but when Jesus comes to put an end to sin, they will look upon Him whom they have pierced (Rev. 1:7). In John 19:37 it says, “And again another scripture saith, ‘They shall look on Him whom they pierced”.

The seven years of ‘tribulation will end with Jesus coming in the clouds with His saints, conquering the rebellious nations of earth, ‘the inhabitants of earth’, cleansing the land; and reigning as King of kings and Lord of lords.

 The Blessed Hope of Titus 2:13.

COME QUICKLY LORD JESUS. MARANATHA.