I had the honor of being able to share part 2 of my message on The Breath of God at Calvary Chapel in Travelers Rest, South Carolina.
Wednesday, July 21, 2021
Monday, July 12, 2021
Notice that Paul asks a question, do I persuade men, or God? Amazing how the different translations contort this verse. The verse is clearly saying that Paul is trying to persuade men and not God. However, others will translate it that Paul is trying to win the approval God and not men. In the end, I guess that either translation is in the positive and Paul remains a servant of Christ as a result. The point is that Paul did not spend his ministry trying to persuade God, but men. However, in so doing, he says that he will not be a man-pleaser, because to so would make him a servant of man and not of Christ.
Verse 11: But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. The word certify simply means to make known. Notice that he says that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. He said something similar is 1 Corinthians 15:1-6, Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. The very fact that Paul emphasizes that he neither received it nor was he taught it by man, but instead received it by revelation makes it clear that it was something different than what the Twelve were teaching. Either that, or he was confused or simply arrogant. Sadly, most in the church today fail to pick this up. Think about it, why would Paul need to receive a revelation of something that had already been revealed?
I am sure that some would say that his revelation was simply that the Gentiles were now part of the church. However, those who would say that would also say that the church was born in Acts and there were Gentiles there. What would be so new about that? However, Paul went on to say in Romans 16:25 when he said, Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, Paul said this was my gospel.
What was the mystery? The Body of Christ made up of both Jew and Gentile. Of course, later he came to other revelations about the postponement of the kingdom, the rapture, of the church, etc. He refers to this in 2 Corinthians 12:1-7 when he said, It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord. I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities. For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me. And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
Verse 13: For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews' religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it: The Jews' religion was Judaism. The church of God was the kingdom church, because Paul never persecuted the Body of Christ. We see this persecution of the Jewish church in Acts 8:1-4, And Saul approved of his execution. And there arose on that day a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. Devout men buried Stephen and made great lamentation over him. But Saul was ravaging the church, and entering house after house, he dragged off men and women and committed them to prison. Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.. Notice also that as a result of the persecution that Paul wrought on the Jewish kingdom church, the Jews were scattered abroad preaching the word. Who were they teaching this word to? Jews only according to Acts 11:19, Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only.
Understand that the kingdom church was made up of the Twelve and all those in Israel who believed that Jesus was the Christ. They make up what Luke calls the little flock in Luke 12:32 that would, and still will, inherit the kingdom. Only proselytized Gentiles were a part of this group, i.e., Cornelius and his family and those mentioned in Acts 2:10. No unproselytized Gentiles were involved, i.e., the Body of Christ.
Verse 14: And profited in the Jews' religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers. Paul excelled in Judaism. He mentioned this in Philippians 3:4-6 when he said, Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.
Tuesday, June 22, 2021
Notice the word another (allos = the same of a different kind) in this verse as compared to the word another (heteros = another of a different kind) in verse 6 (cf. 2 Corinthians 11:4).
In other words, they are not the same. The trouble that Paul is referring to here is the perverting of the true gospel which is troubling to those who hear it because it is contradicting. I believe that is exactly the problem in the church today in that there are still some that trouble you, by mingling the Kingdom and Grace gospels to the point that there is great confusion and misunderstanding.
On one hand, we tell them they have to repent, be baptized, and keep the Law, and then on the other hand, we tell them that it is not a salvation of works, but faith alone. Seriously? These are the same one that Paul is speaking about in Galatians 2:4; Galatians 5:10, and Galatians 5:12.
Verse 8: But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. Notice, we, or an angel from heaven (1Timothy 4:1; 2 Corinthians 11:14; Ephesians 6:12). The Devil has always been busy corrupting the words of God (Gen_3:2-5).
A state senator from Georgia who calls himself a "Reverend" said the other day, "The meaning of Easter is more transcendent than the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Whether you are Christian or not, through a commitment to helping others we are able to save ourselves." That is flat out heresy!
Yet that is where we find ourselves in the church today, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the minister who stood against Hitler's Germany once said of his students in 1939, "they are completely clueless with respect to what dogmatics is really about. They are not familiar with even the most basic questions. They become intoxicated with liberal and humanistic phrases, are amused at the fundamentalists, and yet basically are not even up to their level.”
The word accursed is the Greek word anathema which means to be cut off (Galatians 5:10-12; 1 Corinthians 16:22). Paul is pronouncing this on anyone who was telling them that they had to keep the Law to be saved.
Notice there be some that trouble you. This is referring to those who were perverting the gospel of Christ. To pervert means to turn or corrupt. These are mentioned in 2:4 and 5:12. They were the same ones that James referred to at the Counsel who were subverting souls (Acts 15:24). To subvert means to overthrow or destroy, undermine, render ineffective. Transitively it means to cause to serve a purpose other than the original or established one.
Monday, June 21, 2021
Notice who gave himself for our sins. The crucifixion of our Lord delivered both Jew and Gentile. It was also required for the offering of the Kingdom and the Grace gospel (Hebrews 9:15-17). Also, take a look at 1 John 2:2; 1John 4:10 and 1 Corinthians 15:3.
Notice that he might deliver us from this present evil world according to his will. This deliverance for the church will be realized in the rapture because we are not appointed to wrath. This can be seen in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 and 1 Thessalonians 5:9. If you are a Bible student, we will recognize that I left out 1 Corinthians 15:51-58. The reason I did that, at least for the moment, is that I am not totally convinced that that text is dealing with the Body of Christ and I need to study it more before I commit to it.
I believe that the Bible clearly teaches the rapture of the Body of Christ. Why? - Because, the Tribulation period is not for the church. We are not in view. It is about the nation of Israel, period.
Verses 6-7: I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. Notice Ye are so soon removed from him that called you. The question is who is the him in this verse? Some say that it is God (cf. NASB) while others say that it is Paul himself. The Greek simply says the one. The context, i.e., verse 9, dictates that it is referring to a man; most likely Paul himself, which means he would have been speaking in the third person.
In verse 7, there is a compare and contrast happening with the grace of Christ and another gospel. The gospel given to Paul was the grace of Christ or what he often referred to as his gospel (Romans 2:16; Romans 16:25; 1 Timothy 1:11; 2Timothy 2:8).
The other gospel was a perversion of that gospel that required works; i.e., no gospel (good news) at all. Paul also warned the Corinthians of this in 2 Corinthians 11:4. Sadly, the other gospel could not save them, and I believe that this other gospel was simply a mixing of the Kingdom and the Grace gospel that formed no gospel at all. They essentially cancel one another out.
Friday, June 18, 2021
Saturday, June 12, 2021
There is no doubt that the Apostle Paul penned the book of Galatians, and many consider it to be his first writing between 47 and 50AD. It had to have been written after the Council in Jerusalem spoken of in Acts 15 which happened in 46AD. That was when the discussion had occurred about if the Gentile grace believers should be required to keep the Law. It would make sense that he wrote this book right after that sometime around the time of Acts 16 when he was in the region of Galatia which was a region that was in Asia Minor (Acts 16:6). Today, it is modern Turkey. Therefore, it had to have been after his first missionary journey and the Jerusalem Council.
The book, just as Acts, must be viewed through the dispensational lens, or it will not make sense and will contradict. I use the word dispensational, because we must see the book for what it is. It is an argument that we are no longer under the dispensation of the law, and to insist so is to pervert the gospel of grace that began with Paul; therefore, he is uniquely our apostle. It is also obvious that conclude that by grace through faith, not of works would be erroneous. Of course, that does not preclude many, quite frankly most, from doing just that today, unwittingly espousing covenant theology.
Friday, June 11, 2021
This verse is condemning the Judaizers who were trying to get the grace believers to submit to only portions and not in all things of the law, e.g., circumcision. His point is that for one to place themselves back under any part of the law is to place themselves back under the entire law which brings the curse of death.
Tuesday, April 20, 2021
Wednesday, March 10, 2021
In today's study, we continue to look at the prophecy of the coming Messiah, his crucifixion, and the foretold destruction of Jerusalem that would result.
Verse 25: "Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times." Notice the last part of verse 25, "the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublesome times." This speaks of the rebuilding of the Jerusalem as requested by Nehemiah in Nehemiah 2.
Verse 26: "And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined." "After threescore and two week" is another way of saying Notice that "after sixty-two weeks" or after the week afore mentioned which were 62 and 7, or 483 years.
Notice, that the "Messiah shall be cut off". This of course was a prophecy the Messiah would be rejected and crucified. This happened just days after Jesus entered the eastern gate on Palm Sunday. It says that in Matthew 21:9, "Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: "Hosanna to the Son of David! 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!' Hosanna in the highest!" And just a few days later the same crowd cried "Let him be crucified" in Matthew 27:23.
Notice that it also says, "And the people of the prince who is to come." There is a difference in "Prince"(Anointed One) in verse 25 and "prince"(ruler) here in this verse. The "prince" (ruler) spoken of here was the Roman General Titus. An interesting note, his was none other than Vespasian who was crowned emperor of Rome just prior to Titus entering into Jerusalem fulfilling the "prince" portion of this prophecy.
Notice also, "And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary." Remember the comment that Jesus made in Luke 19:42 when he said, "If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes." So, this prophecy was first delivered here in Daniel, reiterated by Jesus, and fulfilled in 70AD by Titus!
Jesus even said in Luke 19:41-44 that Jesus said that they would not even leave "one stone upon another" Interestingly, when Titus' troops came into the city, they were told not to touch the temple, yet somehow it caught on fire, and in their greed, they tore the stones apart to get the gold that had melted into them as a result of the heat. Also, historically, they used the proceeds from the looting to pay for the Roman Coliseum that was built with Jewish slave labor.
And then finally, notice that it says that the "end of it shall be with a flood, and the end of the war desolation are determined." As a result, the end of the nation came and the Jews were dispersed, not to be regathered until 1948.
Saturday, February 6, 2021
In today's study we find one of the greatest prophecies in all of the Bible that predicts the coming of the Messiah to the very day, the difference between a Julian and a Babylonian calendar, and the Triumphal Entry.
Verse 24: "Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy."
As we mentioned in our last study, the "seventy weeks" represent seventy sevens. So, here we see seventy weeks of seven, or 70 x 7, which is a total of 490 years. In other words, this entire prophecy will be fulfilled in a total 490 years. During that time, six things will happen, 1. transgression will be finished, 2. an end of sin, 3. reconciliation for iniquity, 4. everlasting righteousness will be brought in, 5. vision and prophecy will be sealed, and 6. the Most Holy will be anointed. The first three were fulfilled in Christ on the cross and the last three will be fulfilled at His second coming.
Verse 25: "Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times." Notice, "that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to rebuild Jerusalem." History, both secular and biblical, tells us that that command came in 445 BC (Nehemiah 2:1-6). As a matter of fact, according to Sir Robert Anderson, in his work "The Coming Prince", he says that we not this happened on March 14, 445 BC! Interestingly, Sir Robert Anderson (1841-1918), a contemporary is E.W. Bullinger also said, "nothing new or 'Christian' happened in Acts 2", i.e., he did not believe in the birth of the church until Paul.
Now notice this, "that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem (we know that that command was given on March 14, 445 BC) until Messiah the Prince, there shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks."
Notice, "seven weeks and sixty-two weeks." That is simply 7 + 62 = 69 and 69 x 7 = 483 years. We are looking at one of the greatest prophecies in all of the Bible. This prophecy literally sets the date when the Messiah will come! It tells us that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of the Messiah will be 483 years.
Now bear in mind, that it wasn't until 71 BC that we began using what is called the Julian Calendar which has 365 ¼ days. Up until that time, the world used the Babylonian calendar which had 360 days. So, when looking at the prophecy we must look at it in the context in which it was written, Babylon. If we were to take 483 years and multiply it times 360 when would get 173,880 days. So, if we add 173, 880 days to March 14, 445 BC we would arrive at April 6, 32 AD!
On April 6, 32 AD, Jesus was sitting with his disciples on the Mount of Olives with his disciples when he said, "And when he had thus spoken, he went before, ascending up to Jerusalem. And it came to pass, when he was come nigh to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount called the mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, Saying, Go ye into the village over against you; in the which at your entering ye shall find a colt tied, whereon yet never man sat: loose him, and bring him hither. And if any man ask you, Why do ye loose him? thus shall ye say unto him, Because the Lord hath need of him" (Luke 19:28-31).
It also says that they took the donkey and "cast their garments upon the colt, and they set Jesus thereon. And as he went, they spread their clothes in the way. And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest. And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples. And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out. And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation" (Luke 19:35-44). The prophet Zechariah spoke of this same event when he said, "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; he is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey" (Zechariah 9:9).
This is an amazing prophecy that was fulfilled to the very day!
Thursday, February 4, 2021
We continue our study today in Daniel, chapter 9, where we see Daniel's prayer being interrupted by the angel, Gabriel, and he is told that 490 years are determined for the nation of Israel.
Verses 15-19: "And now, O Lord our God, that hast brought thy people forth out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and hast gotten thee renown, as at this day; we have sinned, we have done wickedly. O Lord, according to all thy righteousness, I beseech thee, let thine anger and thy fury be turned away from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain: because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and thy people are become a reproach to all that are about us. Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord's sake. 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." Notice that Daniel did not base his request on man's righteousness or goodness, but on God's mercy. Lamentations 3:22 says, "Through the LORD'S mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not."
Verses 20-21: "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." Now Daniel is interrupted by an angel and the angel introduces himself as Gabriel. The Bible mentions three angels by name; Gabriel, Michael and Lucifer.
Verse 22: "And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding." God wants us to understand. Jesus told us that Daniel is the Key to understanding end time Scripture (Matthew 24:15).
Verse 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." Oh, that we would be so set on doing God's will that He would call us "greatly beloved."
Notice, "at the beginning of your supplications the command went out," God always answers our prayers the moment we pray them. The answer is yes, no, or wait! Why? Because we are greatly beloved (cf. John 3:16). None of us should ever doubt that we are not loved. The Bible says that you are loved with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3). God loves you so much this morning that He gave His only Son to die in your place. While those verses are specifically addressed to the nation of Israel, there is no doubt in my mind that they are for us as well.
Verse 24: "Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy." Notice "seventy weeks" or seventy sevens. In our European culture we use as our smallest measure of years Decades. We think in Tens. The Jews, however, think in Sevens; or what they call heptaths.
So, here we see seventy weeks of seven, or 70 x 7, which is a total of 490 years. In other words, this entire prophecy will be fulfilled in a total 490 years. And during this time (490 years) six things will happen: 1. To finish the transgression. (Willful sin); 2. To make an end of sin (Missing the mark); 3. To make reconciliation for iniquity (Combo of both); 4. To bring in everlasting righteousness; 5. To seal up the vision and prophecy; and To anoint the Most Holy (or Holy Place).
The first three were fulfilled in Christ on the cross. The last three will be fulfilled at His second coming in Revelation 19.
In today's study, Daniel knows what God has in store for the future of the Gentile nations, now he intercedes on behalf of Israel to find out what God has in store for them.
Verse 3 "So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes." So, here is the scene. Daniel knows that the 70 years are almost completed. So, he begins to seek God on behalf of Israel. I'm sure that Daniel was thinking about how that God had told him about the future of the gentile nations, so why wouldn't he tell him about Israel.
Something else that can be learned from this is that Daniel was at least 90 years old at this time. And he was still serving the Lord. We never get too old to serve God.
Notice, that it says that he was "fasting with sackcloth, and ashes." This was the Jews' way of showing God that they were sincere.
Verses 4-5: "And I prayed unto the LORD my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments; We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments:" Notice that Daniel identifies with his nation when he says in verse 5 that "we have sinned." It has been said that an honest confession will always go a long way toward deliverance. I believe that Daniel understood that any attempt to justify the nation would get them nowhere. There is no justification for disobeying God, but when we are honest with ourselves and God, I believe that He opens the doors of mercy, grace, and forgiveness. Of course, God knows where He is on the situation, but sometimes I believe that He wants to make sure that we know where we are on the situation.
Verses 6-7: "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, that are near, and that are far off, through all the countries whither thou hast driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against thee." In these verses, Daniel confesses that God had kept his part of the agreement, but that the Jews had not. You see, God's covenants with Israel were conditioned on them keeping their side of the agreement.
Verses 8-11: "O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee. To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him; Neither have we obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets. Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him." Here Daniel is acknowledging that God's judgment of the Jews was righteous.
Verses 12-13: "And he hath confirmed his words, which he spake against us, and against our judges that judged us, by bringing upon us a great evil: for under the whole heaven hath not been done as hath been done upon Jerusalem. As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the LORD our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth." The Jews were and still are God's chosen people. And as such, they were under a greater responsibility to obey Him even more so than those who were not. The Bible says in Luke 12:48, "But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more." The bottom line, God holds those of us who know the truth more accountable than those who do not.
Verse 14: "Therefore hath the LORD watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us: for the LORD our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth: for we obeyed not his voice." Again, Proverbs 28:13 says, "He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy."
Wednesday, January 27, 2021
Today, we get into chapter 9 and discover why the nation had been exiled into captivity and how long that captivity was prophesied to last.
Verse 1: "In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans;" Notice, "in first year of Darius" which would have been the year 538 BC.
Student of Scripture
Verse 2: "In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem." Daniel apparently was a student of Scripture and he had been studying the book of Jeremiah. 2 Timothy 2:15 "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." Apparently, Daniel had looked at Jeremiah 25:11-12 and Jeremiah 29:10-11.
History tells us that Israel had been destroyed by King Nebcuchadnezzar in 605 BC and it was now 538 BC. How many years had they been in captivity? 67 years. And Daniel knew this and understood that their captivity was almost over.
You know, something that amazes me is that Daniel just opened up his Bible…..read Jer_25:11…..and believed it. Can you believe it? He took it literally! Why is it that "Bible Scholars" of our day can't seem to do this? They make every excuse under the sun not to take something at face value from the Bible. "Well, he didn't mean 70 years….God was speaking in a metaphorical sense." Well you know, in the original Greek….."
Why can't we just open up the Bible and take it at face value? Daniel did! John wrote in 1 John, "I write these things that you may know…" We need to stop second guessing God! "WHERE GOD HAS PUT A PERIOD, DON'T CHANGE IT TO A QUESTION MARK!" God has not, and never has been, in the business of confusing people. Paul told the Corinthians, "God is not the author of confusion 1 Corinthians 14:33. Sadly, much of our is the direct result of our arrogance.
Why 70 Years?
The first question that I asked myself when I read this was, Why 70 years?" We are told why in Leviticus 25:1-7 where God told Jeremiah, "And the LORD spake unto Moses in mount Sinai, saying, (2) Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye come into the land which I give you, then shall the land keep a sabbath unto the LORD. (3) Six years thou shalt sow thy field, and six years thou shalt prune thy vineyard, and gather in the fruit thereof; (4) But in the seventh year shall be a sabbath of rest unto the land, a sabbath for the LORD: thou shalt neither sow thy field, nor prune thy vineyard. (5) That which groweth of its own accord of thy harvest thou shalt not reap, neither gather the grapes of thy vine undressed: for it is a year of rest unto the land. (6) And the sabbath of the land shall be meat for you; for thee, and for thy servant, and for thy maid, and for thy hired servant, and for thy stranger that sojourneth with thee, (7) And for thy cattle, and for the beast that are in thy land, shall all the increase thereof be meat."
And he goes on to say in Leviticus 26:33-35, "And I will scatter you among the heathen, and will draw out a sword after you: and your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste. (34) Then shall the land enjoy her sabbaths, as long as it lieth desolate, and ye be in your enemies' land; even then shall the land rest, and enjoy her sabbaths. (35) As long as it lieth desolate it shall rest; because it did not rest in your sabbaths, when ye dwelt upon it."
And of course the Israelites did not trust the Lord by giving the land its rest, and as a result God fulfilled His promise to exile them! 2 Chronicles 36:20-21 speaks to this when God says, "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: (21) 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." So, God brought destruction upon them because of their failure to trust in His promises.
There is a principle here that you and I must come to grips with as well. God's expectation is that we trust Him! When we trust Him, He brings about blessing. When we fail to trust Him, He doesn't bring about his blessing. Deuteronomy 30:19 says, "I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;" From this verse we see, that the blessing or lack thereof is entirely dependent upon how much the nation trusted him.
The same can be said of us today. God promises blessings for obedience! But if we choose not to trust him, the Bible says in Haggai 1, "You have sown much, and bring in little; you eat, but do not have enough; you drink, but you are not filled with drink; you clothe yourselves, but no one is warm; and he who earns wages, earns wages to put into a bag with holes." Thus says the LORD of hosts: "Consider your ways!" We must learn how to trust God! Amen? We can also see an excellent example of this in Deuteronomy 28. In the end, the world says, "Show me and I will believe you", while God says, "Believe me and I will show you!"
In today's study, we see the interpretation of Daniel's vision of the ram and the goat, and how Antiochus Epiphanes was a type of the coming Antichrist.
Verse 19: "And he said, Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for at the time appointed the end shall be." Gabriel is projecting these prophecies all the way down to the time of the end. If we understand the book of Daniel, a great part of it has to do with the Gentile age with very little regard for the Jew.
Daniel's prophecies begin in 600 BC with the birth of Babylon and according to this verse all the way to the end.
"For at the time appointed" means that God already has this thing worked out. God already has the dates set! He is a date-setter.
Kings of Media and Persia
Verse 20: "The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia." The two kings of Media and Persia referred to are Darius and Cyrus. Cf. verse 3 which seems to refer that Cyrus was higher.
King of Greece
Verse 21: "And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king." The rough goat here is Greece. The great horn is Greece's first king, Alexander the Great (verses 4-7). Alexander was the son of Philip II of Macedon and became king upon his death between 359 and 336. His title was Alexander III of Macedon.
Interestingly, a coin was found in Thrace that featured a the head of Alexander on one side with ram's horns on either side of his crown. Historically, the horns were the symbol of the Egyptian god, Amun from whom Alexander claimed to have descended from. In essence, the symbolism implied diety status. Also, interestingly, they were not minted until after his death.
Grecian Kingdom Broken and Divided
Verse 22: "Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power." That being broken is Alexander the Great.
"Four stood up for it" refers to the four generals Alexander had appointed over his kingdom (v.8) because he had no heir. However, historically, one was born after his death. The four generals were Cassander who took Macedonia, Lysimachus who took Thrace and much of Asia Minor, Seleucus who took Syria, and Ptolemy who took Egypt. Cassander would later order the death of Alexander's wife Roxana, son, and mother to consolidate his power, and would asume the title of Antigonus I.
However, none of Alexander's generals "possessed his natural intelligence, understanding, or military genius but, even so, would found dynasties which, with exceptions, ruled their respective regions until the coming of Rome."
Duel Fulfillment in Action
Verses 23-25: "And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up. And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people. And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand." "In the latter time of their kingdom" refers to these four generals mentioned above.
"A king of fierce countenance" was primarily fulfilled with Antiochus Epiphanes. However, the ultimate fulfillment of this is the Antichrist.
Two Fulfillments in View
Antiochus was symbolically what the Antichrist will be literally. In verses 9-12 we see him as coming out of Greece. He rose to power around 175 BC. He plundered the temple in Jerusalem and desecrated it by offering pig's flesh on the altar. This is actually recorded in I Maccabees 1-6 in the Apocrypha.
Here's something interesting, his last name Epiphanes means "God Manifest." He was one of the cruelest rulers of Syria as a descendant of Seleucus, one of Alexander's generals.
The Jewish rebellion which was led by the Maccabees, took place when he made an edict that all in his empire would practice the same religion. Of course, the Jews refused to do this and it led to Antiochus coming to Jerusalem and erecting a statue of the Greek God Zeus in the Temple…the Jews were forced to worship it or be killed. This is referred to by the Jews as the Abomination of Desolation. However, Matthew says that there will be another one (Matthew 24:15). Doesn't all of that sound familiar (Revelation 13:14-15)?
"He shall destroy the mighty and the holy people" is speaking to the destruction and carnage caused by Antiochus, but it also refers to the Antichrist (cf. Rev_6:1-11).
"He shall cause craft to prosper" refers to deceit or witchcraft (Cf. 2Th_2:8-11).
"He shall stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand" cannot be referring to Antiochus (Revelation 19:19-21; Revelation 20:1-3).
Sunday, January 17, 2021
Today in our study, we pick up in 7:18 and work our way down through 8:19 where we find the interpretation of Daniel dream in regards to the four beasts, but also we are introduced to his next vision of the ram and the goat.
Verses 20-28: "And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows. I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom. Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him. Hitherto is the end of the matter. As for me Daniel, my cogitations much troubled me, and my countenance changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart." This is Daniel's interpretation of the dream which we've already covered in detail.
Note: The Seventh Day Adventists believe that verse 25 was fulfilled when the pope, who was merely known as the Bishop of Rome at the time, changed worship from Saturday to Sunday and that worshiping on Sunday is the sign of the Antichrist or the Mark of the Beast. Historically, this did happen after Constantine's edict in 321 AD under Sylvester I (314-335 A.D.) who was then Bishop of Rome. This change from Saturday to Sunday was later confirmed at a council of Bishops at the Council of Laodicea (363 A.D.) said; "Christians must not Judaize by resting on the Sabbath"...meaning Saturday. By the way, the Roman Catholic Church has always been anti-Semitic.
In this chapter verses 1-14 are the dream, verses 15-25 are the interpretation and verses 26-27 are Daniel's response to it.
Verse 1: "In the third year of the reign of king Belshazzar a vision appeared unto me, even unto me Daniel, after that which appeared unto me at the first." Of the course, the one at the first was the vision we studied in chapter 7.
The Palace of Shushan
Verse 2: "And I saw in a vision; and it came to pass, when I saw, that I was at Shushan in the palace, which is in the province of Elam; and I saw in a vision, and I was by the river of Ulai." Shushan was the location of the Babylonian palace.
Verses 3-18: "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. 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: and when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and for it came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven. And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land. And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them. Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down. And an host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practised, and prospered. Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot? And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed. And it came to pass, when I, even I Daniel, had seen the vision, and sought for the meaning, then, behold, there stood before me as the appearance of a man. And I heard a man's voice between the banks of Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision. So he came near where I stood: and when he came, I was afraid, and fell upon my face: but he said unto me, Understand, O son of man: for at the time of the end shall be the vision. Now as he was speaking with me, I was in a deep sleep on my face toward the ground: but he touched me, and set me upright. In these verses the vision is given.
Notice the angel Gabriel in verse 16. Only three angels are mentioned in the Bible by name, Gabriel, Michael, and Lucifer. 1. Gabriel seems to be especially chosen to send messages (cf. Daniel 9:21; Luke 1:19, Luke 1:26). 2. Michael seems to be a warrior (Cf. Daniel 10:10-13; Jude 1:9). 3. And of course, e Lucifer, the music guy (cf. Isaiah 14:10-12).
Time of the End
Verse 19: "And he said, Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for at the time appointed the end shall be." Gabriel is projecting these prophecies all the way down to the time of the end. If we understand the book of Daniel, a great part of it has to do with the Gentile age with very little regard for the Jew. Daniel's prophecies begin in 600 BC with the birth of Babylon and according to this verse all the way to the end.
"For at the time appointed" means that God already has this thing worked out. God already has the dates set! He is a date-setter.
Thursday, January 7, 2021
So, we have seen that there are four baptisms mentioned in the Bible: water, holy spirit, fire, and wrath. Water by John, Holy Spirit and Fire by Jesus, and Wrath by God. The problem with all of these baptisms is that none of them are for the church today.
Even Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, said in 1 Corinthians 1:17, "For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect." How could he say that? After all, Christ did tell the Twelve to baptize in Matthew 28:18-19 when he said, "And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted. (18) And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth."
The conclusion is that the only baptism that is for the Body of Christ is that of the Holy Spirit and it occurs at the moment of salvation. Paul explains this in Romans 6:4 when he says, "Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." Also, in Ephesians 4:4-6 when he said, "There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; (5) One Lord, one faith, one baptism, (6) One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all." Our baptism is not with physical water! To teach that water baptism is required in any way, shape, or form is contrary to the teachings of Paul and the Gospel of Grace.
Another interesting point that E.W. Bullinger points out is that water baptism is only spoken of in Paul's Acts-Period epistles (Corinthians and Romans), but never again afterward. Also when Paul speaks of baptism in his post-Acts epistles, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and the Pastoral letters, he is only speaking of Spirit baptism into the Body of Christ at conversion.
Again, Paul also shows that what was physical under the old program is now spiritual under the new in 1Corinthians 12:12-13; Colossians2:9-13. Again, a move from the physical under the Law to the spiritual under Grace. Our identification in Christ is a spiritual one and not a physical one. Everything for the church is spiritual. We are a heavenly people and not an earthly people. Our promises are spiritual and not physical (Ephesians 1:3).
The only conclusion that I can draw is that to baptize today is trying to make the church Israel, which is exactly what most do whether they want to admit it or not. Paul is our apostle and it is his teachings that we are to follow (1 Corinthians 11:1, 14:37). He was the first in the line of sinners to be a part of the Body of Christ (1 Timothy 1:15-16). And the only way to right divide is to realize the significance of Paul. Also, anyone who feels uncomfortable with us saying that we follow Paul, apparently don't have a problem with Israel following Moses.
E.W. Bullinger once said, "it is the reliance on tradition instead of the study of the Bible that prevents people from understanding and enjoying it." He also said in his work, "The Foundations of Dispensational Truth", that "Christians have all been so long tied to the tether of tradition that difficulties are met with in connection with rightly dividing the Word of Truth." The problem with most Christians is that they are like concrete, thoroughly mixed up, and set.
Friday, January 1, 2021
Jesus' baptism was unique in that it was required just as Moses spoke of for Aaron and his sons in Exodus 29:1-4, "And this is the thing that thou shalt do unto them to hallow them, to minister unto me in the priest's office: Take one young bullock, and two rams without blemish, (2) And unleavened bread, and cakes unleavened tempered with oil, and wafers unleavened anointed with oil: of wheaten flour shalt thou make them. (3) And thou shalt put them into one basket, and bring them in the basket, with the bullock and the two rams. (4) And Aaron and his sons thou shalt bring unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and shalt wash them with water." It was required for him as the high priest of the nation. One only need to read the book of Hebrews to see Christ in this role as high priest according to the order of Melchizedek (Hebrews 2:17, 3:1, 4:14-15, 5:5, 5:10, 6:20, 8:1, 9:7, 9:11).
It was the nation of Israel that was to follow in this example "to fulfill all righteousness" as foretold in Exodus 19:6, "And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel." And then God was to use the nation of Israel to reach the Gentiles. We see this in Isaiah 49:6-7, "And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth. (7) Thus saith the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel, and his Holy One, to him whom man despiseth, to him whom the nation abhorreth, to a servant of rulers, Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of the LORD that is faithful, and the Holy One of Israel, and he shall choose thee." Also, in Isaiah 60:1-3, "Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. (2) For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. (3) And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising." And in Zechariah 8:23, "Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you."
In conclusion, Jesus was baptized as the new high priest of Israel according to the order of Melchizedek and they were to follow his example by accepting him as their new Priest and King, he would have then brought in the Kingdom and they would reach the nations. Unfortunatley, that did not happen.