There is audio from Grace Assembly Church services.
Wednesday, April 14, 2021
There is audio from Grace Assembly Church services.
Part 1Jack Davis
“The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD. All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits. Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established” – Proverbs 16:1-3
Divine preparations in believers are for the fulfillment of God’s purposes. He works all things after the counsel of His own will, that we may be to the praise of His glory. The word translated preparations here is speaking of arrangement, to set in a row, put in order, and also of mental disposition. We may misread people, and we do. We feel that we are often misunderstood, but not by our God and Father, nor our Lord, or His Word. God’s scales are so sensitive and accurate beyond compare, by Him actions are weighed (I Sam. 2:3). Jesus can be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, and His Word is the discerner of the thoughts and intents of our heart. Therefore who is better qualified to make the needed preparations in our heart? Why should we commit our works to less then Him for His approval?
“Lord, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear.” Ps. 10:17. It is interesting to consider the ways He uses to prepare human hearts, to receive that which He desires to impart. Oh, the wonder of it all. The experiences on our sojourn are to bring us hungering and thirsting to His table. There we are nourished and refreshed, and strengthened to go on our way rejoicing.
“PROVISIONS:” Elaborate provisions have been made for the prepared Person, Place, and People made ready by His preparation power. We read in the parable of the wedding feast, of the great gospel invitation that has gone out repeatedly to generation after generation. Each gets more urgent with each rejection. The king that made a marriage for His son sent forth servants, saying “Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatling are killed, and all things are ready: come to the marriage” – Mt. 22:4. After their neglect and rejection we read, “Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy” - Mt. 22:8.
Reading here of the slain animals for the feast, we get the picture of Jesus Christ, God’s Lamb as the whole bill of fair for us. He is the prepared person, and in Him, God makes all things available to us (Rom. 8:31-32). “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: …Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God…the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” – Heb. 10:4-6,9-10.
“Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies” Ps. 23:5. I have read that the shepherd, before bringing his sheep up to a plateau for grazing would clear the table land of all dangerous conditions as much as possible. He would take out many of the stones, and harmful weeds, and prepare for the approach of preeditors. The gardener would prepare his garden for planting. The bridegroom would make ready a dwelling for His bride before going after her for the wedding. Jesus said to those that would believe on him, “I go to prepare a place for you” – John. 14:2.
John the Baptist was sent to prepare Israel for Jesus’ first advent. The prophecy of John’s birth said, “And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins” – Lk. 1:16-17,76-77.
We know of two that were ready for Jesus first coming, Simeon and Anna. Simeon being led of the Spirit came to the temple and took the baby Jesus up in his arms and blessed God and said, “Lord thou hast prepared before the face of all people” – Lk. 2:29-31. Later we read of John fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah saying, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth, And all flesh shall see the salvation of God” – Lk. 3:4-6.
With all the extensive detail that God gave in foretelling the birth of His Son, we find the sad note that most of Israel was ignorant of His coming. He found no room in the Inn. He is certainally denied place in many a heart and home today, and even in many so-called houses of God. Oh, let us give him the uppermost room in our hearts and lives today. As Jesus Christ dwells in our hearts by faith, He will fill whatever capacity we allow to be prepared for Him.
“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God” – I Cor. 2:9-10.
What things? Who knows? Who cares to know? It is certainly not the dull hearted, that close their eyes to revelation, and reality, stop their ears from heeding the rightly divided Word of truth. To hear and not heed tends to dull ones hearing, and thus deaden their hearts. This is willful ignorance.
It is so very important to our Father that we know the things he has freely given. He would have them recognized, and realized. These which were before a mystery, and now spoken by Paul to be understood, acknowledged, and experienced. That which God has prepared for us is not perceived by the natural man, nor the natural senses. These marvelous provisions are discernable only by the revelation of the Spirit. As the Holy Spirit searches out for us the depths of God, He is making us partakers of the mind of Christ.
To be continued in the next issue
BE NOT OVERCOME WITH FEAR
Anita Clark – Pastor, Carbondale, Kansas
“The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked, even my enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell. Though a host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this I am confident. One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD and to enquire in His temple. For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion: in the secret of His tabernacle shall He hide me; He shall set me up upon a Rock.” Psalms 27:1- 5.
The word “salvation” in the Hebrew means, “liberty, safety, and deliverance.” This is exactly what the Lord does for us, when we call upon Him for help. The word, “fear” found here means, “dread, and to frighten.” This is exactly what Satan, our enemy who is on the prowl, trying to do to every child of God. We are living in “perilous times,” of stress and disease. Many churches have been closed, and upon gathering together again, find that some sheep have wandered astray, not interested in assembling together in meetings as before. Isaiah 59:19 says, “...when the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard (high place) against him.” The “enemy” is Satan and his imps. Satan - the discourager, and the destroyer. We have victory over him through our Lord Jesus Christ.
In Psalms 23:4, David the shepherd, speaks, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death. I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me.” Note: not our rod and staff, but His. He is the one Who fights our battles for us. Right now, we hear almost everyday about the Covid virus and the numbers who have died. It can put fear in our hearts. But, whose in charge of our lives? Not Satan not Covid, not the government. Romans 8:28 stands out very strongly, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are called according to His purpose.”
Our heavenly Father is watching over us continually. “Nothing happens to me today, nothing good, nothing bad without passing through the Father’s hands.” I am not saying we should go against the laws of the land, but I am saying that God is faithful and will not let anything harm us outside His perfect will for us. So, we need not fear. Fear is not faith! David says, “I will fear no evil.” This word means “frightened, and dread.” Why is this possible? Because, “Thou art with me.”
Isaiah 41:10 is so empowering, “Fear thou not for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God; I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” The word, “strengthen” in the Hebrew means, “to physically or mentally establish, fortify or increase and make strong.” In Isaiah 41:13, It says, “For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand saying, unto thee, Fear not, I will help thee.” Psalms 98: 1 says, “O sing unto the LORD a new song, for He has done marvelous things; His right hand and His holy arm has gotten Him the victory.”
In II Timothy 1:7, Apostle Paul says, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and love, and of a sound mind.” This word used here as “fear’ particularly means “timidity.”
Paul was admonishing Timothy to not be ashamed of the testimony of the Lord, but be a “partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God.” Remember, in this book, Paul tells that he is now ready to be offered, and he was. (II Tim. 4:6-8). He wants Timothy to be strong and continue to preach after he is gone. However, as we think of the days we live in, we realize there is much to be afraid of. But, Faith is the opposite of fear. If we truly have faith, we will rest and not be afraid. Faith comes by the hearing and the reading of the Word of God. If we are walking around scared all the time, we are not manifesting “faith” which God wants in our lives. Experiences of life which are tough builds our faith, as we trust and see that all things do work together for our good. In Romans 10:17, It says, “So then, faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.”
I John 4:16-18, “And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us, God is love and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” The word used here “fear” means in the Greek, “alarm, fright, terror.” The word perfect in the Greek means, “complete, of full age, maturity in love, or to bring to the utmost point or degree.” This speaks of maturity in our love for Christ and God the Father. Learning to love the Lord in this way takes time, growth, obedience. It comes by dedication to God and His Word. Worrying and having fear shows a lack of spiritual maturity. Remember, when we were children and we were afraid, and our mother or father would console us and tell us things were alright. Now, that we are grown, where do we find our solace, and comfort when fears arise? I hope that you know.
Revelation 2:10 is speaking of the church of Smyrna, who represent those overcomers who die, and are waiting for the resurrection, when Christ comes to claim His bride. It says, “Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold , the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; ... be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee the crown of life.” Apostle Paul is in this group as well as many, many others. We are admonished not to FEAR. How is that possible? Only with the Lord’s help. Think of the martyrs who gave up their lives, with such faith, not even fighting back.
In Revelation 3:21, it tells of the overcomer’s reward, “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in His throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”
By - Virgil CrookPart 1 of 2
“Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. For ye have NEED OF PATIENCE, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.” Hebrews 10:35-36.
Speaking briefly on the subject on which everybody is an expert. And that is PATIENCE. Nearly everybody is an expert on patience. Isn’t that right? I heard a young person say one time that he had learned patience. Look at what he said. “I have learned patience.” What do you think? Can we really truthfully say that we have learned patience? Or is it perhaps a little wiser to say “I am learning patience,” whether you are ten years old or 110. I believe when we analyze it that we really have to say, “I am learning patience.”
I believe that as long as we are in this life we are still learning patience. I know there comes a time when we learn a lot of things and perhaps we know HOW to learn patience. What happens is that we learn patience in one area of our life. That may be true. Perhaps we can say that as far as one area of our life is concerned or even perhaps several areas of our life. Perhaps we can say I have learned it in ‘this particular thing.’ What about other areas of our lives?
Notice how the Apostle Paul states it here, “For ye have need of Patience...” Now in the natural there are some people who are really naturally patient. This is part of their makeup: they are patient. But that is only a natural patience. And that patience, one day, will come to an end. Sooner or later, even a patient person loses their patience. You know, by your own experience, there comes a time when that patience just seems to end. But what God wants to work in our lives is divine patience, real patience, true patience; and we all have NEED of patience. Of course, as we know, that is the reason God allows difficulties in our lives.
ATTITUDE OF FAITH
Really, patience is an attitude of faith. Real patience expresses this attitude. “Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.” Ecclesiastes 7:8. Here we see the importance of patience. Perhaps the proud in spirit can do many things, but it is better to be patient in spirit. Look at two exam-ales in Psalms that David gives us. “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.” Psalm 37:7. You see we are so tempted to follow other examples and look at other people and see the seeming success they have, without really considering what God’s ways are.
The Psalmist exhorts us to “Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for him.” Let Him do the work and that takes patience. In the natural it takes a lot of patience to raise children, for instance. Especially when they are just beginning to learn to do things, such as putting on their shoes, dressing themselves. You know you can do it a lot faster, couldn’t you? Well, that is the way it is also in the spiritual sense. We think that we can do it faster, do it better, but the Word exhorts us, from cover to cover, I believe: to ‘wait patiently’ for Him. You might think you can do better but in the Final analysis that is not true.
DO IT RIGHT
God is the One who can really do things right. We cannot do anything right; as human beings in a spiritual sense, we cannot do anything right. We may feel like that a lot of times. We have all had days like that when nothing went right. That is the way it is every day, really, in the spiritual realm. We need to learn to rest in the Lord. Wait for Him patiently. “Fret not thyself because of him who prospers in the way.”
How often is that the case in our lives. We see how somebody else, by some unscrupulous means or some other source, prospers and we are not prospering. Well, wait patiently on the Lord and He will do it. He will do it His way and there won’t be any sorrow. When God does it His way there is no sorrow, but when we do it our way we may seemingly succeed, but then later there is a sorrow.
HE’S PATIENT WITH US
“I waited patiently for the Lord, and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry” - Psalm 40:1. This is David’s experience. I waited for the Lord! The Lord is so patient with us. Have you ever thought about that, how patient the Lord is with us? Then why can’t we be patient with Him? But we are not too patient sometimes. We want God to hurry up, to do it our way, do it quickly. God has patience with us and we should have patience with Him. David said, “I waited patiently on the Lord.” Instead of taking things into his own hands he waited patiently for the Lord. That way the Lord works it out right.
As we said, patience is really an attitude of faith. Nothing is happening on the outside. At least nothing appears to be happening, and yet you know that God is going to do it. That is FAITH! And that Is PATIENCE! Impatience is simply the works of our own flesh, strength. How many things do we do in our own strength?
I think of the time that the disciples of Christ were out on the water and they were trying to row hard to get to where they wanted to go. They were sweating and toiling. They were doing it in their own strength. Jesus was watching, then, walking on the water, came into the boat and all was calm. Many other experiences we could relate of the disciples: the time they were trying to catch fish. They fished all night: they put the net to the left, to the right, trying all kinds of different ways and nothing was happening. In the morning when Jesus came, He said, just put your net over here on the RIGHT side and you can catch all the fish you want. And how simple it was, and how often is that an example of our experience? We toil and we sweat and we try but it is just our own effort and nothing comes of it. We realize that there is only one way for patience to come.
Part 2 in May issue – The Way To Obtain.
Earlene DavisDANIEL 7 – Part 3
V. 11, “I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame.” Daniel hears the voice of the little horn (the Antichrist) that had plucked up 3 or the 10 horns (V. 8). There are 2 phases of the Antichrist’s coming. Verse 8 speaks of the first phase, he will not come at first as a world dictator, but as a man. But in this verse (V. 11) he has become a beast. Reference is made again to the great words he speaks. No doubt he will be a great orator and this is how he will come to prominence instead of skill in battle or strength. He will speak great words of peace and bring nations together (Rev. 13:5). Then he will change wanting to rule the world and so he will for a short period, but then will come his end (Rev. 19:20). His body will be destroyed, and his soul shall be in torment in the lake of fire for ever.
V. 12, “As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time.” They no longer ruled.
Vs. 13-14, “I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.” This agrees with Revelation chapters 4 & 5. Christ as the Creator, crowned with glory and honor (Rev. 4:11); and as the Redeemer (Rev. 5:9-10). The Ancient of days is Christ viewed as God Almighty. It was as the Son of man that He became our Redeemer. In Rev. 5:6 He is seen as a little lamb as it had been slain yet standing. It is because of His redemptive work that dominion will be given to Him of all people, nations and languages. His kingdom shall not pass away nor be destroyed. This shall come to pass, it is God’s word.
Vs. 15-16, “I Daniel was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me. I came near unto one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things.” Daniel knew what to do when he was grieved, he sought to know God’s word. God gave him the revelation and so will He open up our understanding when we seek Him. A ministering angel made Daniel to know.
Vs. 17-18, “These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth. But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.” Earthly dominion of the Gentiles will be over and the remnant of Israel are the saints that will come into a place of supremacy and the Lord Himself on the throne as their King.
The interpretation of the new-comer among the horns, is the Antichrist; who will speak cunningly until he gets his prey under him and then he will pounce on them as a beast on his prey.
Vs. 19-27, “Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet; 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 speak 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.”
We learn more about this in the book of Revelation, which we will get to in time. The Antichrist will turn on Israel after he gets them to sign a peace treaty. He will be allowed to prevail against them, but this war on the saints is limited. It only continues until the Ancient of days makes His appearance. Then the remnant of Israel will prevail and judgment given to the saints of the Most High.
V. 28, “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.” It is clear to Daniel that God only recognizes 4 Gentile world empires, because the one that appears to be the fifth world empire is a counterfeit empire of Christ’s Kingdom. When Christ comes He will bring the remnant of Israel into the Kingdom promised to them in Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He will place them forever in power on the earth and He will reign over all the kingdoms of the world, as the only Potentate, King of kings and Lord of lords (I Tim. 6:15).
Closing comments: When the hour of God’s clock shall strike, Gentile times will be fulfilled and He will place His Son, the seed of Abraham and David upon His throne in the heavens, but the nations will rebel (Ps. 2). God will laugh at their puny efforts to prevent His plans and purposes. They may launch their counterfeit empire in rebellion against God’s decree and His Son’s right to reign. But God shall have them in derision. He shall crown His King, His Son, Christ.
Dan. 7:25 gives a brief description of the second stage of Antichrist’s career. This terrible man of destiny is in control of the world, the devil giving him his place as God of this world (II Thess. 2:9). His great words are defiance especially against Christ as the Most High. He will vent his ire upon Israel and wear them out and attempt to change their times, feasts and laws. He desires tyrant authority over all men, even their consciences, religions and otherwise. He will rule a short time (31/2 years). God will allow him this time as judgment upon men for their rebellion against Him and His King. This will be a very heavy burden on all the world, but especially the Jewish people who will suffer unparalleled tribulation as their chastisement known as Jacob’s trouble (Jer. 30:7). But out of Israel a remnant will be saved to suffer no more forever. Jesus said, it must be shortened or no flesh should be saved (Mt. 24:22). The “destroyer” of Israel would wipe them off the face of the earth, but God wont allow that. They will cry out to the living God for help and their Messiah, Jesus will arrive for their deliverance and the Antichrist’s destruction (Vs. 26-27). After the remnant receive their Messiah, He will bring them into the Promised Kingdom. They will be forever in power and Jesus Christ will reign over all the whole universe.
Debra Isenbletter, PastorSpringfield, Missouri
Jonah Chapter 2 Introduction: Chapter 2 is unique, it is very personal. Jonah is the subject. In chapter 1 Jonah says very little and only when called upon to speak. In chapter 2 Jonah pours out his heart to God. We see his suffering, his submission and his salvation. The key verse is: “Salvation is of the Lord.” (v9). Jonah is not just seeing his own salvation but his cry also points to Nineveh’s salvation and our salvation. Salvation that is open to all who call upon the name of the Lord.
Jonah’s experience and prayer is a type of Jesus and of Israel. He is a type of Jesus in death and resurrection, and Jesus points this out in the New Testament. In contrast to Jonah, Jesus was an obedient servant and he suffered judgment not for his disobedience but because he took the place of disobedient man. The prayer of Jonah concerns his suffering and it is also a personal picture of the suffering of our Savior. Jonah is also a type of Israel, especially the remnant, in their suffering. The waters and the fish picture death and the grave in connection to Jesus. The waters can also picture the Gentiles nations and the fish God’s provision in preserving and protecting them in the midst of the nations. The cry for deliverance by Jonah will be the cry for deliverance by the remnant.
1. Jonah’s Prayer (2:1-9)
2. The Lord’s Answer (2:10)
Debra Isenbletter (Outline):
1. Jonah’s Submission (v1-9)
2. Jonah’s Salvation (v10)
John Phillips: (Outline)—The Word with God (1:17-2:10)
Jonah’s Desperate Prayer (2:1-8)
1. What Jonah Reaped (2:1-6)
2. What Jonah Remembered (2:7)
3. What Jonah Realized (2:8)
Jonah’s Dying Promise (2:9-10)
1. His Surrender (2:9)
2. His Salvation (2:10)
Warren Wiersbe: (Outline)—God’s Mercy toward Jonah (2:1-10)
1. He hears his prayer (2:1-2)
2. He disciplines him (2:3)
3. He honors his faith (2:4-7)
4. He accepts his confession (2:8-9)
5. He restores his ministry (2:10)
Jonah 2:1: “Then Jonah prayed unto the Lord his God out of the fish’s belly,”
Matthew Henry makes four observations concerning chapter 2 of Jonah. They are: 1. When he prayed; 2. Where he prayed; 3. To Whom he prayed; and 4. What he prayed. This reminds me of the 5 W’s of Journalism: Who, What, When, Where and Why. In this chapter all of these questions are answered. Who Jonah prayed to: The Lord. When Jonah prayed: After he was swallowed by the great fish. Where Jonah prayed: In the belly of the great fish. Why Jonah prayed: To be delivered. The Lord would have us learn from Jonah and to see deeper truths in his experience. There is the literal answer and there is the spiritual answer. There is the present answer and there is the future answer. We see Jonah. We see Jesus. We see ourselves. We see Israel. All the Word of God is profitable and instructive to us.
We see When Jonah prayed. “Then Jonah prayed…” When is “Then,” and it is not immediately, it is not right away. Jonah did not pray immediately but when he did pray, his answer was immediate because as soon as he finished, he was delivered. He did not pray when he was thrown overboard or when the fish swallowed him. He did not pray until after “3 days and 3 nights,” that means he was silent the first day, the second and the third day. But when he prayed, he really prayed and what a prayer! It does not matter that he waited and we find no criticism of Jonah for waiting. The Lord just waited patiently for him to pray and he waits just as patiently for us to pray.
We do not know why Jonah waited so long to pray. He certainly expected death and he obviously accepted death. He may have thought that he deserved to die. He may not have realized how much time went by. He may have thought that death would free him from his responsibility as a prophet. We do not know. The important thing is that he did pray. The Lord brought Jonah to the brink of death. He would see the reality of death and in the face of death would see the reality of grace. Though there was a delay, the Lord used that delay. He used it to teach Jonah and He used it to reach Jonah. He used it to fulfill a prophesy concerning His Son. This is one of those instances where we see prophecy with a present fulfillment and a future fulfillment. Just as it took “3 days and 3 nights” for Jonah to be delivered, it would take the same for Jesus to be delivered. Jesus spoke of this. (Matthew 12:40).
Jonah “prayed” and this word means “to entreat, to make supplication.” This is why I believe this prayer can be divided into Supplication and Salvation. It is so simple. We ask and the Lord delivers us. Jonah may have hesitated or may have doubted but when the time came he knew how to pray, he knew when to pray and he knew what to pray. He just had to be brought to a place of utter need and that need magnified the Lord’s power and glorified Him. That is what the resurrection of Jesus did, it magnified and glorified our Heavenly Father, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He used unbelievable power to deliver His Son and His Son exercised unbelievable faith. That same power is available to us today and we can exercise the same faith. I want to emphasize that though it took a while for Jonah to pray, God accepted his prayer. We all come to a place where we cry out in our need. For some, it takes a lot to bring this cry from their hearts. For others, it takes little, they cry out immediately. Both cries are based on faith and the Lord hears each cry.
We see Who Jonah prayed to: “unto the Lord his God.” Jonah knew, despite his disobedience, he still had a relationship with his Lord and his God. “Lord” is (Jehovah) who was “the self-existent, eternal one, who reveals himself;” Who had revealed Himself to Jonah though judgment and Who would reveal Himself through mercy and grace. “God” (Elohim) is the “strong, mighty one”; there He will reveal His strength and might to Jonah. The “Lord his God” would not let him go or let him die.
We see Where Jonah was when he prayed: “out of the fish’s belly.” This was a place he could not escape from. It was a place of darkness, a place of death, a place of confinement, a place of suffering and yet it was a place of preservation. Jonah prayed from that place a prayer of faith because that place had also become a place of reflection, a place of examination and a place of truth. A truth about himself. A truth about his faith. A truth about his calling. Jonah prayed “out of” the fish’s belly and faith brought him “out of” that terrible place. Faith brings us “out of” and “into” a glorious place and it is the bitter experiences, the suffering that helps us to see that place. Out of darkness, into light. Out of death into life. Out of disobedience into obedience. Out of weakness into strength. Out of sin into righteousness. Out of law into grace. Jonah came “out of” that place a different man, though he still had much to learn.
To be continued
Part 3By Vicky Moots
“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou are with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.” Psalm 23
Psalm 23:3a: “He restoreth my soul.” “Restore” means “to give back something taken away or lost; to make restitution of; to bring back to a former condition, or position, place or rank; to return to original or better condition; to bring back health or strength.” In the medical field we use physical therapy to try and improve function. Maintenance therapy means to maintain your current function without losing ground, or strength. Restorative therapy, however, is the ultimate goal for someone who has lost function due to illness, injury or a surgery. Ideally, we would like to see patients improve to the point that they are better than they were prior to the incident that caused them to lose function.
God is able to restore us completely. He doesn’t just patch up our old life; we become a new creation in Christ. II Cor. 5:17: “Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature [creation]: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” We are fully and completely restored by the blood of Jesus; not made just as good as new, but new!
But what happened to our soul in the first place that would cause us to need restoring? The first definition of “restore” says “to give back something taken away or lost.” Who took it away or how did we lose it? Jesus gives us the answer in John 10:10 in His discourse on the Good Shepherd: “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy...” The thief was Satan who tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden to eat of the tree which they had been forbidden to eat. She believed his lie and ate the fruit and gave it to Adam, who also partook. Prior to that time, they were innocent and lived in a perfect environment. They were naked and not ashamed. They could walk and talk with God without fear. After they sinned, they lost their innocence and their relationship with God, and hid from His presence.
At that point they died spiritually and death entered into the world. Then they were driven out of the Garden. But God did not leave them hopeless. He clothed them with coats of skin to cover their nakedness and promised a Redeemer, represented by the animal that was slain and shed its blood to provide their clothing. That Redeemer was Jesus, who said in the rest of v. 10, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”
The thief, Satan, came to steal, kill and destroy and brought sin and death into this world, but Jesus brought life. He was the Good Shepherd who gave His life for the sheep, v. 11. This was prophesied in Psalm 69:4: “…I restored that which I took not away,” and was fulfilled when He died on the cross. Jesus restored what Satan took away, because of God’s grace we receive much more through salvation, through that restoration, than was lost in the fall. Jesus exchanged death to us for life, His abundant life, eternal life. He provided for us complete restoration: body, soul and spirit through His death on the cross.
Our fellowship with God has also been restored so that we can now come into His presence without fear. We are invited to do that in Heb. 4:16: “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” In addition, He continues to restore our strength daily through spiritual physical therapy as we exercise our faith by trusting Him to lead us, and as we feed upon His Word and commune with Him.
To be continued
Wednesday, March 3, 2021
Where Will The Prisoners Sing?
Ps. 137:1-4, “By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof. For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion. How shall we sing the LORD’S song in a strange land?”
Acts 16:23-26, “And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely: Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks. And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed.”
Where are we dwelling? Where do we make ourselves at home? Are we setting down by the rivers of Babylon? They will be dried up. Are we weeping there? Thank God we have been called to the river of the water of life – Rev. 22:1.
Are we dwelling in a strange land? Roaming around Rome, babbling down in Babylon? Where are our harps? Does Babylon have weeping willows for it’s captives? Do our instruments of mirth belong on the willows? Who put them there and why? Why are our harps just hanging? When they should be accompanying and enhancing our singing.
Babylon means confusion, I guess that is a proper place for groaning and moaning the blues. Are we so far out of the will of God, or out of fellowship with Him, that we cannot sing the Lord’s song? Is He more than a prayer away? It is true, the willows of Babylon are no place for the harps of Zion. We seem to be often in a strange land or a far country. But whatever our situation, with faith’s focus on our deliverer we certainly can tune our harps and sing the Lord’s song.
Now just being mindful of where we have come from and where we might have been, is only part of the story. Our song soars up to celestial realms as we consider our destiny. Thank God this world is not our home. Glory to Go, our prison songs may also be the song of the soul set free. Oh, when we get into cramped quarters, or in dire straights, what song will the surrounding prisoners hear? Some songs precede the shaking open of prisons, even to the liberating of prison keepers.
THE TRIBULATION IS COMING
Anita Clark – Pastor, Carbondale, Kansas
“Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken” Matthew 24:29.
Jesus is speaking in the above verse of “the Tribulation.” A period of time, seven years allotted by God for the judgment of Christ, of rejecting mankind on the earth. The book of Revelation tells of this terrible time which shall soon come upon the earth.
Matthew 24:7 says, “... and there shall be famines, and pestilences (diseases) and earthquakes in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows” leading up to the
The Scripture tells of great calamities that will happen on the earth during this horrendous time. “The sun will be darkened and the moon shall not give light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken.”
Jesus Christ will take His throne in heaven (Rev. 4) immediately before the seven years begins. Then the tribulation period will begin. The counterfeit of Christ will make a covenant with Israel, no doubt for a guarantee of their safety for seven years (Daniel 9;27). He will appear to be a very wonderful gifted man, who will charm many into believing that he has the answers for the world’s problems. The beast out of the sea (known as the Antichrist) of Revelation 13:1-10, will become the ruler of the world, and with his partner, the beast out of the earth (Revelation 13:11-18), known as the False Prophet, a religious figure, will bring the world into bondage to Satan and to themselves. Those who do not take the “mark of the beast,” if caught by the evil forces will suffer beheading (Revelation 20:4), but those who take the mark will suffer from the wrath of Almighty God. Terrible sores will come upon all those who take the mark (Revelation 16:2). In Revelation 9:4 it says that the locust that come up out of the bottomless pit will hurt and torment those who are unbelievers, who do not have the “seal of God in their foreheads.” The suffering of those who take the mark will be terrible, i.e. the trees and other vegetation being burned up, great hail falling, the waters turned to blood, plagues and destruction and etc.
The believers of this age will be with the Lord in heaven. The Overcomers of this age will be helping, calling forth the judgments, in agreement with Christ who will be ruling from heaven. There will be believers on the earth, and also a believing remnant of Israelites who will be protected from all the danger and wrath, but some will suffer death at the hand of the Antichirst and his forces. Their spirits will be instantly with the Lord. They will be rewarded for their faithfulness to stand against the evil manifested during that time.
Matthew 24:21-22 tells us, “For then shall be great tribulation such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.” The last three years of the tribulation are known as “the great tribulation.” The Antichrist’s rule will be in full swing, and his wicked persecution of the believers will be in effect. The Antichrist will break the covenant he made with Israel and begin persecuting the Jews. God will miraculously protect a “remnant” or small portion of believing Jews by hiding them in the wilderness (Rev. 12:13-16). Daniel 12:1 “...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 everyone that shall be found written in the book.” Also, Jeremiah 30:7 states, “Alas! For that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.”
This message may seem terribly gloomy, but it is what the Word of God declares. The wrath of God will surely come upon this world which has turned away from the truth of God’s Word and is running headlong after Satanic things, those things of disobedience of God. However, the world’s sin is not what will cause them to experience the wrath of God, only one thing, their rejection of the salvation provided through Jesus Christ’s death upon the cross.
Apostle Paul commended the Thessalonians in saying, “...ye turned to God from idols to serve the living God; and to wait for His Son from heaven, Whom God raised from the dead even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.” Through Jesus Christ and our trust in Him as our Savior, we are, “DELIVERED FROM THE WRATH TO COME.” We can claim the promise to be “kept from the hour of tribulation.” Very soon the trumpet will sound and the overcomers of this age will be taken up to be with the Lord (I Thess. 4:13-18). Let us be watching and waiting for the trumpet to sound as Jesus gives a triumphant shout, “Come up here!” The Holy Spirit will give us power to rise up to meet the Lord in the air, and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Praise God! Praise God!
At my place work, when we have meetings, we have to let everyone know where the shelter is before we start the meeting. This is especially important in Kansas as we have potential for tornadoes, and everyone needs to know where to go in the event of such an emergency. Many people in this country have a place of refuge in or near their house.
Some are a place of refuge from weather events, and some have shelters for the event of something even more serious. Many schools and other locations where people might be gathering even have bomb shelters from a time when war seemed very likely. Now days, we have locations around our city that are considered “safe places or zones.” A child that is lost or being pursued could go there for refuge.
I think all of these can bring some spiritual thoughts for us. In our spiritual life, we need to know where to go for refuge in case of any occurrence that might bring harm to us, or anything that will overwhelm us. Scripture makes it clear that we have a spiritual refuge. A place we can go for shelter.
Webster’s dictionary gives this definition for “refuge” – Shelter or protection from danger or distress. The psalmist understands exactly. “To the chief Musician for the sons of Korah, A Song upon Alamoth. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1. The Psalmist always knows where to turn for refuge.
God is our refuge in several ways. There are issues of safety, and issues of distress and despair that come upon us as part of life.
The first refuge we must come to is salvation, which is a refuge from God’s wrath. As sinners, we were deserving of God’s wrath, and nothing we could do ourselves would prevent that. “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;” Romans 1:18. Revelation 6:16-17.
However, God had a solution for this, and in Jesus Christ, He provided a refuge for us from that wrath. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.” Romans 5:8-9. “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,” 1 Thessalonians 5:9. Read Hebrews 6:18 and 1 Thessalonians 1:10.
What a marvelous refuge. What a shame that so many refuse to run in to this refuge. Imagine if there was a tornado coming, and you had a shelter right near you, but you refuse to use it. Seems kind of silly doesn’t it? And yet, this is the attitude of much of humanity today. God offers a free shelter in Jesus, and they refuse to enter.
The second refuge is a refuge for the soul. Where do we go when our soul is troubled? Again, the Psalmist always knew where to go for refuge. When the troubles of the world around him were overwhelming, he went to the Lord. “To the chief Musician, Altaschith, Michtam of David, when he fled from Saul in the cave. Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast.” Psalm 57:1.
We are often tempted to go to the world when our soul is troubled, and maybe find refuge in something there. Drugs, alcohol, psychology, and many other things. Or even just someone to make us feel better. How much better to go to our Lord who knows our soul, and cares for us more than anyone else.
I am not suggesting that we cannot enjoy the comfort of friends and family at times of distress, simply that our first place to go should be our Lord. He may very well use someone to help us, but the true refuge for us is under His wings.
“I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul. I cried unto thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living.” Psalm 142:4-5. “Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.” Psalm 62:8.
Thirdly, God is a refuge for our mind. When the enemy comes against us, he most usually starts with our mind. He begins to work on how we think about things in our life, and how we view the circumstances. As we are assaulted in this way, we can easily give in to the despair that can follow, but God knows how to give us a refuge for our mind.
Satan will also work on our minds to draw us away from the truth of God’s Word. He would have us turn aside, and leave off running the race to rob us of our reward, and rob God of His deserved praise. Paul was concerned about this. “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” 2 Corinthians 11:3
Satan would also rob us of our peace of mind by getting us focused on the things in this world, and how bad things are around us. Our situation in life might be less than we desired, but we need not despair about that. “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7.
DANIEL 7 – Part 2
We read about the monstrous Roman Empire last time in verse 7. It was the most powerful world empire that this world has known. It broke in pieces and devoured everything in its path to greatness. What it did not own, it crushed with it feet, spoiling it. It was dreadful, terrible and strong exceedingly. It acted beastly especially to the Jews.
As terrible as it was, the worst is yet to come in the last phase of the Roman Empire. In the latter stage of this empire, it had 10 horns, which it did not have when Daniel first saw it come up out of the sea (the Gentile nations V. 3). It was not divided in power at the first for it was strong and fierce and diverse from all others. It never could be said that it had 10 horns before it deteriorated from within. Then it resulted in the part iron and part clay phase. The strong Roman Empire had ceased to exist. It must rise again, so we see the same beast with 10 horns, a divided kingdom develops.
The 10 horns are not to be confused with the 10 toes of Nebuchadnezzar’s image. Because 3 of these horns are plucked up and we don’t have 3 toes plucked off. These horns are an earlier stage than the toes are. The toes are at the very end, when the rock cut out without hands falls on the toes and crushes them. So the toes are at a latter time than these horns are. These horns represent kings (horns always speak of power in prophetic language). So these are nations that are in harmony with the revived Roman Empire or we could say, what is left of that Empire; a confederacy of united European nations. In the last several years there has been changes and it is till changing. It is for God’s purposes in the end time. We don’t know all that will take place, but we do know He lifts nations up and tares nations down. He does His will among them. They think they are so smart and are doing this and that, making treaties and working out things, but it is all going to fall in a hole.
V. 8 – “I (Daniel) considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.” This is the Antichrist before whom 3 horns are pluck up by the roots never to come back again. So 7 horns are left. They no doubt are the 7 kings that John saw in vision in Rev. 17:10 which will rule over the 7 heads of mountains that is kingdoms at the beginning of the 7 years of tribulation. John saw this 7 headed empire arising out of the troubled sea.
Rev. 13:1, “And I (John) stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea (the unstable Gentile nations), having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.” V. 2, “And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.” It is a conglomeration, a little bit of all these world systems, all in one. V. 3, “And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.” This is not the same beast of V. 1. This beast of V. 3 is the Antichrist that they will run after.
So out of the 7 horns left of the 10 horns, one of the heads not one of the horns will be wounded unto death, the Antichrist.
Rev. 17:9, “And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth. And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.” Out of the 7 heads he will come and be killed and raise from the dead. V. 11, “And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.” V. 12, “And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.” A lesser body of nations.
Back to Daniel 7:8, the little horn came up in the place of the plucked up 3 horns. This horn will “have eyes” of discernment and ability to deal with people. Chapter 13 of Revelation tell of his special discernment and special mouth. He is different from other people because he is empowered by Satan. He had eyes like the eyes of man and a mouth speaking great things.
Dan. 7:9, “I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.” Here Daniel sees a heavenly scene, the throne of Christ. It is set in place in Rev. 4:2-3.
Out of His throne comes lightening, thunders and voices, the judgments of God – Rev. 4:5. A new name is given Him, “the Ancient of days,” it is 3 times in this chapter – Vs. 9,13,22. Fulfilling the prophecy of Isa. 9:6. “The everlasting Father.” Today Jesus sits at His Father’s right hand interceding. But there in coming a day when he will get up from His Father’s throne and be seated on His own throne. Gentile times end when Jesus the Jew sits down on His throne. The Gentile nations are not going to want to give up their place of ruling the world,” so He will take it by force. Tribulation will begin, the world is judged. A description of tribulation time is covered from Revelation chapter 5 to 19.
“Whose garment was white as show” speaks of His holiness and righteousness in every way. “The hair of his head like the pure wool,” wool in taken from sheep; a wonderful picture of the honor the overcoming sheep will give to the Lord Jesus Christ. Honoring Him as their head, giving Him the headship that is rightfully due unto Him. “Hair” in scripture also speaks of weakness. We see Calvary is this. II Cor. 13:4, He was crucified through weakness, yet He liveth by the power of God. “His throne was like the fiery flame” He can pour out judgment because He is ruling as God, almighty, the Everlasting Father, The Ancient of days. “His wheels as burning fire” speaks of a cycle of time in Ezek. 1, and here we have the cycle of God’s judgment. II Thess. 1:8, “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Heb. 12:29, “For our God is a consuming fire.”
Dan. 7:10, “A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.” It only takes His divine presence to defeat all the forces of the devil. He defeated the Devil through His word. He was victorious in every way. The overcomers will be ministers calling forth His judgments in the book of Revelation. “Thousands thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand” speaks of an astronomical amount. And agrees with Rev. 5:11 (an innumerable amount) “Stood before Him” they have a standing before Him, “Judgment was set” in other words it is unchangeable. Jn. 5:27, all judgment has been given unto Him, because He is the Son of man. He will reign as God Almighty, yet He will judge as Man. He has the authority to judge because He the Lamb of God was slain. “The books were opened” it is the book of judgments sealed with 7 seals (Rev. 6) the opening of each seal releases judgment upon the world. He keep accurate books and His judgments are just because He is just.
Daniel 7 to be continued in the next issue
Debra Isenbletter, PastorSpringfield, Missouri
Vs 17: “Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.”
In this verse we see two additional miracles. First, the preparing of the fish and second, the preservation of Jonah.
The Lord Prepares the Fish: “Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah.” When did the Lord do this? He did it “Now,” He did it when the time was right, He did it and there was no delay. The “great fish” was where it needed to be at the right time, in the right place. The moment Jonah was thrown overboard, the fish was waiting. Who did this? It was “the Lord,” the God of Jonah, the One Jonah said was the Creator. Genesis says, “And God created great whales [lit. sea monsters] and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind.” (Gen.1:21). The Psalmist says that God “made the sea and all that therein is [all that is in them].” (Psa.146:6). There were many different kinds of creatures in the sea, this “great fish” was one of those creatures. It had already been created, and now the Creator gave this “great fish” a great Purpose, it was to Preserve Jonah.
The Lord “had prepared” this “great fish.” That is past tense. This was done before Jonah fled because the Lord knew Jonah would flee; knew where he would flee to; knew there would be a great storm; knew how the sailors would react; knew what Jonah would suggest they do; knew they would throw Jonah overboard. The Lord knew all this before it even happened, so He “had prepared” this “great fish.” The word “prepared” does not mean created here, it means “ordered” or “ordained.” The Lord gave His creation a purpose, He gave His creation instructions and His creation obeyed Him. The Septuagint says: “God ordered the fish to swallow Jonah at the appointed time.” In Jonah there are four things God prepared for Jonah. This is the first of those four things that God “prepared” or “appointed.” God prepared a great fish (1:17). God prepared a gourd (4:6). God prepared a worm (4:7). God prepared a vehement east wind (4:8). God is in control, He sees everything and He uses everything.
People try to figure out what type of “fish” this was so they can find a natural explanation as to how Jonah could be swallowed. Though the word “fish” here is translated “whale” in Mat.12:40 another translation is “sea monster.” It was a “great fish,” we are not told what kind of fish and it does not matter. It does not matter if it was a whale, or a whale shark or any other type of fish man tries to name that could swallow a man. What matters is that it is a creature God created and that God controls. “No other miracle of Scripture has called forth so much unbelief. The real miracle is not the swallowing but the fact that Jonah was alive when he was cast out of the great fish on to the dry land.” (Scofield Study Bible Notes)
That great fish “swallowed up Jonah.” The word “swallow” is used 50 times in the Old Testament. It means to “devour, to destroy” (Gen.41:7) or it means “to engulf, to swallow down.” (Jonah 1:17) Jonah was swallowed up in two way. First by the sea after he was cast into the sea, second, by the great fish. He was swallowed up but he was not destroyed. That is a miracle; that was for his protection and his preservation.
The second miracle is Jonah’s preservation: “And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.” Jonah was kept alive! The belly of the fish is like the grave. It is a place of confinement, a place of judgment but also a place of preservation. The “three days and nights” speak of an ordained time. Jonah may not have known this but Jesus knew this. Jesus has prophesied that the “three days and nights” was a sign (Mat.12:39-41). It was a sign for Jonah; a sign for Nineveh; a sign for Israel. It is a sign for us. It is the sign of death and resurrection. It is a sign of our Savior.
The “three days and nights” was a time of testing, the testing of a disobedient prophet (Jonah) and an obedient prophet (Jesus). The “three days and nights” was a time of training and a time of waiting. Both Jonah and Jesus had to wait for deliverance. Both Jonah and Jesus have been swallowed up. Jonah was swallowed up by the sea and Jesus by death. Jonah was swallowed up by the fish and Jesus the grave. Both Jonah and Jesus have their faith put to the test and both cry out in faith. Both Jonah and Jesus trust in the Lord for their deliverance. Jonah did not know if or when he would be delivered but, in the end, he cried out in faith: “Salvation is of the Lord.” Jesus knew that “Salvation is of the Lord” from the very beginning. He knew He would be delivered, and when He would be delivered. He knew even more, He knew that He would deliver us. He knew the full potential of that cry “Salvation is of the Lord.” It is now our cry. When Jesus was raised from the dead, something else was swallowed up. It was death. “death is swallowed up in victory” (1Co.15:54). That is the Apostle Paul’s cry. Praise the Lord!
To be continued
Part 2Vicky Moots
“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou are with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.”
Psalm 23:2a: “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures.” Sheep don’t lie down until they are full and satisfied, and then they lie down to chew the cud. So how does the shepherd cause them to lie down? Ezek. 34:15 states, “I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down…”. That means He brings them into a rich, green pasture so that they eat their fill and have to lie down. Have you ever eaten so much at a good dinner that you just wanted to go lie back in a recliner and rest and let the food digest while you savored the meal? Our Shepherd satisfies our hunger with even more than we need, not just the bare necessities. The more we hunger, the more He provides. Jesus said in Matt. 5:6, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” He leads us to green pastures where we can eat our fill. Green speaks of resurrection, such as we see every spring when the brown grass and the barren trees turn green. Spiritually it represents the resurrection life of Christ who is the Living Word. We feed upon the Word and then lie down and rest in Him and meditate on His goodness as we slowly chew and digest what we have read. We rest in the resurrected life of Christ who gave His life for us. His life satisfies the hunger in our soul and it is the only thing that can. Many people today are trying to satisfy their hunger with the things of the world, but they are only temporary. The more they get, the more they want, and they are never satisfied enough to lie down and rest. Only by knowing the Lord as their Savior will they experience that kind of satisfaction.
Another thing that is important to sheep before they will lie down to rest is that they must feel safe from predators. If they are afraid or feel insecure, they will not lie down. The shepherd’s voice is calming to them if they are restless. Our Shepherd’s voice, His Word, also assures us, as His sheep, that we are safe and secure in Him. He speaks calm words of assurance to us in John 10:27-28: “My sheep hear my voice [the Word], and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” How much more secure can we get than that?
If you are feeling insecure and unable to rest, then you need to open your Bible and read God’s Word. Read it out loud so you can hear the Shepherd’s voice speaking to you to let it calm your fears. The preceding verse should give you blessed assurance that you are safe in the Shepherd’s hand, no matter what or who may come against you. Are you listening to His voice? Or are you listening to your own feelings? Or what others tell you? Take time to stop and hear the Shepherd’s voice and then enter into His rest and lie down. His calming voice also speaks to us in Luke 12:32: “Fear not little flock…;” and also, in Matt. 14:27: “…Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.”
Hebrews 4:9-10 speaks to us farther about resting in the Lord: “There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.” What does that mean? God created the world in 6 days and on the 7th day He rested, because the work was finished. When Jesus died on the cross, He cried out, “It is finished.” The work of salvation was completed. There was no work left for us to do to earn salvation. Nothing that we do could ever add to a work that was already perfect and complete. He makes us to lie down to rest in the finished work of Calvary, to cease from our own works. Paul declared in Gal. 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” If this is true, then it means that I can rest from my own works, because it is no longer I, but Christ my resurrected, living Shepherd, who lives in me and has done the work for me. Therefore, I choose to believe it and to lie down in His green pastures and be content and secure.
Psalm 23:2b: “he leadeth me beside the still waters.” He led us into green pastures to satisfy our hunger and to cause us to lie down. Now He leads us by still waters to quench our thirst. “Still waters” means “waters of quietness,” cool and refreshing. Sheep will not drink out of rushing, turbulent water that splashes up on their face. Likewise, we need our quiet times to drink in the Word of God to be refreshed. Today it seems like we are always in a rush to get things done. Sometimes God allows circumstances in our lives that cause us to have to slow down in order that we have time for His Word. We may even find ourselves experiencing some things that are like what Job went through, such as loss of health, loss of a loved one, loss of possessions or of a good paying job before we are willing to slow down and take the time to rehydrate ourselves with Living Water and to listen to His still, small voice.
The still waters of quietness are not stagnant but quietly flowing. He does not lead us by a waterfall to show us His majesty, but by quiet waters to provide us His peace. These waters are not muddy or murky because they are not troubled waters. They are pure, clean and refreshing, and we are invited to drink of them in Isa. 55:1: “Ho, everyone that thirsteth, come ye to the waters…”.
Our Shepherd leads us to the waters, but we must be willing to drink. Jesus offered a drink of the Living Water to the Samaritan woman at the well to quench the thirst in her life that she had been unable to satisfy. When He revealed to her that He, Himself, was that Water of Life, she accepted His offer and left her waterpot and went to tell others that she had found the Christ, the Messiah.
Jesus offers Living Water to us today, to all who are thirsty: “…If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink” (John 7:37). These are the waters of salvation and of the Holy Spirit, as well as the water of the Word, through which He provides us His peace that passes understanding. It is during these times, as we drink in the waters of quietness, that He is able to restore our soul.
To be continued
Friday, February 5, 2021
PART 2Jack Davis
“O my dove, that art in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the stairs, let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice; for sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely.” Song of Solomon 2:14
“Let me see thy countenance.” Shall we not always be facing Him? Faith in His promises will bring us face to face with Him. Glory to God, forever. What a sweet privilege is our’s to look upon Him with dove’s eyes, by heart revelation from His Word. With the eyes of understanding focused by faith on Jesus, our affections are set on Him. Looking unto Him as the author and finisher of our faith, we are divinely strengthened to go on and run with patience the race set before us.
He also invites us to “Look with Him” and greatly enjoy His point of view. In S.O.S. 4:8 the lover representing the Lord not only says “come with me,” but also “…look from the top…”. So many distractions vie for our attention today. Many problems arise that seem insurmountable. But they all grow strangely dim and pale into insignificance in the light of His glory and grace. As we look unto the Lord He seems to always be giving us visual adjustments setting our sites on the eternal, spiritual and heavenly.
The light that shown from heaven transformed Paul’s life, for it not only got into His hands and feet but penetrated his heart first. “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” II Cor. 4:6.
But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory even as by the spirit of the Lord” II Cor. 3:18. Is there any wonder that He says, “Let me see thy Face?” His delight is to transform us as we look on Him. Seeing Jesus by heart revelation gives us a comely countenance in His sight.
“Let me hear thy voice.” Why pray? Love requires it. In the book of Job we read that the wicked spend their days in wealth and say to God, “Depart from us; for we desire no knowledge of thy ways. What is the almighty, that we should serve Him? And what profit should we have, if we pray unto Him?” Job 21:7,13-15. In other words, what’s the use? The wicked are deceived by material wealth, and come to this sad condition of thinking they are independent of God, Many righteous are also being deceived today by materialism. If a problem arises the thinking seems to be, oh well, we’ve got what it takes to handle this one.
“The eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers” I Pet. 3:12. “The effectual fervent prayer off a righteous man availeth much” James. 5:16b. Therefore we believe that according to God’s Word that prayer is still beneficial. We know by experience that God will answer prayer.
Paul admonished Timothy, “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life…” I Tim. 6:12a. The saints at Philippi were encouraged in standing fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel – Phil. 1:27. How is faith’s fight fought? In the mind, from the mouth, from the head or from the heart? The Scripture makes it very clear that it is not done by human might, nor against human foes. It is evident that the saints of God do their best fighting on their knees or faces before the Lord.
Jesus said, “Watch and pray lest you enter into temptation,” and “Men ought always to gray and not faint.” Can we scripturally refuse to pray, and at the same time obey God’s Word? Can we reject and neglect our prayer life, and at the same time truly follow Paul as he followed Christ?” Why is so much recorded of our Lord’s and our apostle’s prayers? Who is able to afford to disregard Phil. 4:6,7 and still be a winner? Are we not taught to be careful nor nothing, prayerful about everything, and thankful in all things?
That victorious company of saints, made kings and priests unto God are not only to be leaders in worship, but also have been powerful faithful prayer warriors.
Who can and who should pray? Shall we count on human intermediary to do our praying? What relationship, how intimate is our fellowship to be enjoyed with our dear Lord when we neglect this high privilege? The channels of communication must be kept open, “In the secret inner chamber, thou wilt whisper what thou art.”
On whom do we call when our soul is overwhelmed, when trouble arises, catastrophe comes. Where do we look? Who is the first person we want to talk to? Certainly we are prone to want the one we are most familiar with, that is best able to help, the one we trust the most.
Oh, how can we earnestly contend for the faith unless we are in current and constant communion with the rightful object of our faith, the author and finisher. The greatest faith is often exercised in the most simple prayer. It has been wisely said that the prayer of faith is not overcoming our Father’s reluctance to undertake for us, but rather a laying hold of His willingness.
Paul puts emphasis on prayer in the Spirit. The Holy Spirit has the responsibility of keeping us in a prayerful attitude. We by faith must expect this and yield to Him that allowed it. Grieve not, quench not the Spirit. He is the one to keep our prayer life in continual exercise of fellowship with our Father. The whole armour of God is put on and held in place by faith. This wonderful protection is all utilized, activated, exercised by the prayer of faith. “Let me hear thy voice.”
THE PREPARATION TIME
Anita Clark – Pastor, Carbondale, Kansas
Jesus said, “Watch therefore for ye know not what hour your Lord may come... Therefore be ye also ready for in such an hour that ye think not the Son of man cometh.” Matthew 24:42, 44.
The word “watch” in the Gk. language means “prepared, adjusted” (which means: “to bring to a better state or position).” These are the words of the Lord Jesus Christ to His disciples before He went away to heaven. These words must be very important to us, and we need to heed them especially right now. We are living at the end of this Age, and more and more we feel the nearness of Christ’s return.
The preparation for the coming of the Lord is the Lord’s work in us. Psalms 10:17 says, “Lord, Thou hast heard the desire of the humble heart, thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear.” In order for God to work in our lives, we must first have a “desire “ toward Him. We must want the preparation to be done in our lives. It seems that the first step in this preparation is for us to realize we can never be an overcomer in our own strength. We must have the Lord’s help.
Philippians 1:6 says, “Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good wok in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Who started this work in us? The Lord Jesus Christ. The word “perform” means in the Gk. “To fulfil completely.” Who will perform this work? Our Lord. I like the word “you.” This speaks of the individual person. And, it is definitely “a good work,” which God is doing “until the day of Christ.”
Philippians 2:13 says, “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” God is doing the work, preparing us, strengthening, energizing, and creating the longing and ability to fulfill His purpose for His good pleasure. Jesus said in John 14:2, I go to prepare a place for you, and I will come again and receive you unto myself.” Some people envision Jesus up there in heaven doing a lot of work trying to get the mansions ready for us to live in in heaven, but truly, when He went to the death of the cross, and gave up His life for our sins, it prepared a way for all who believe to live in heaven with Him.
Every day, we should walk with God, believing, trusting Him to do His work in us, giving up trying to be good and let God do that work in us. Surrender your will, and give it all to Jesus, and He will prepare you for the courts of heaven and the beauty of reigning with Him. This work goes on until the Father calls us home to be with Him.
Apostle Paul is such an example of this teaching. II Timothy 4:6-7. Paul was “ready.” The work of the Lord in his life had prepared him for what was ahead. He was ready for whatever God allowed. He wanted God’s work in him to be fulfilled in completion. Note, he “...was ready to be offered.” He was poured out as a sacrifice.
Remember the old song, “Is Your All On the Altar of Sacrifice Laid?” Verse 7 gives us three illustrations of an overcoming life - “fight,” “finished,” and “kept the faith.” These three things are very important to be happening in our lives, if we are to be totally prepared for our destination in heaven. I Timothy 6:12, says “Fight the good fight of faith.” Be a VICTOR! “Finishing my course” is very important also. God has laid out a course for each of us to fulfil. It may seem we will not be able to go on and finish it, but as we yield to God, He will strengthen us to be a winner in the race. Keeping the Faith is so important. The Lord equips us to be a guardian against error, which is very important in this later time we live in.
How can we be prepared? By taking in more of God’s Word, yielding to the Holy Spirit, being obedient to God’s will, and continuing to study the Word, and stand steadfastly for it.
A “Christian” “Godly” Nation
A preface to this article. I want it to be clear that I do not hate this country. I am very grateful that God privileged me to be able to live in this country where we have freedoms that many in the world do not. However, I think it is very important that our patriotism for our earthly country be under subjection to God. God has shown grace and favor to our country for a long time, but that does not mean that we can claim some special place because of something we have done.
I believe that the idea of “A Christian nation” or “Godly Nation” is a deceiving distraction of Satan on the Church of Jesus Christ in America. On the surface, it might appear to be a “good” thing, but when Satan offers us something that appears to be “good,” we are at our most vulnerable, because the only way to discern the true nature of what is being presented is to turn to God’s Word. Satan offered Jesus all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. You can read in Matthew 4 how Jesus responded. The idea seemed “good.” Jesus could just take over the rule of all the kingdoms of this world and bring in justice and peace. That was not God’s way, and it would require giving glory to Satan. If Satan were to just attack directly by bringing persecution, the church would turn to God in true worship and looking to God for deliverance.
This idea of America being a “Christian” or “Godly” nation has no basis in God’s Word. What we find in this dispensation is a church which is made up of individuals that are redeemed by the blood of Jesus, from every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation. Everything in the NT, especially the letters of the Apostle Paul, written specifically as instruction to The Church (every born again person), is written as to individuals and assemblies. As Jesus walks among the candlesticks (Rev 1:13), He is judging The Church, not the nations. There is certainly judgment coming for the nations, but the candlesticks do not represent any nation, they represent the Church (people from every nation).
We find ourselves in danger of becoming self sufficient and believing that we must make sure that this remains a “Godly” nation. If we just vote for the right person, or if we just get the right judges, or just write the right laws, we will maintain a “Godly” nation, and we can then boast in that. Our attention is distracted from our heavenly citizenship towards a kingdom here. God is working today in the lives of individuals that make up the church. There is no imperative in the Bible for us to create a “Godly” nation, and there is no promise of a “Godly” nation. That was God’s working with Israel. There will be no truly righteous nation until Christ is reigning over this world as He will in the end.
Notice that I place “Godly” in quotation marks, because we are also equating a nation that does things in a certain way to being “Godly.” What is the measure for this? Is it getting rid of abortion? Is it getting rid of same sex marriage? Is it having the ten commandments in all of our government buildings? What other things? God’s Word speaks of individuals as being righteous, because of the righteousness of Jesus, not because we managed to keep the Law. When we think we can alter our own behavior to be righteous, that is called self righteousness and stinks in God’s opinion.
God’s Word makes it very clear that we cannot measure up to God’s righteous standard on our own. Romans 3:19-20. The Law given by God was not able to be obeyed by His chosen people Israel, and not by the Gentiles. Only the life of Christ makes it possible for us to be considered righteous. Romans 3:21-22. Why do we think that those that are unbelievers will be able to live godly and righteously? They cannot.
There is a real desire to want to live in a society that is structured according to God’s Word, and that can be considered “righteous.” We want to live in a place where we have freedom to worship as we see fit, and proclaim God’s Word without retribution. This desire is not bad in itself, and that actually has been somewhat the situation in our country for many years, as we have had an unbelievable amount of religious freedom. However, there is nothing in God’s Word that would lead us to believe that we should be trying to create this kind of society. In fact, quite the opposite. 2 Timothy 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. If everything is easy, and there is nothing against us, we will become complacent and fail to grow spiritually; which is exactly what is happening in our country.
Paul lived in a perverse nation that was definitely not Christian. Not one time does he mention anything about changing that nation to a “Christian” nation. Not once does he write about our role in making sure society is structured according to God’s Word. Why do we think we are smarter than Paul or the Holy Spirit that inspired what he wrote.
Many take OT scriptures and misapply them to our current situation, believing that God promised us something that He did not. 2 Chronicles 7:14 “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” This is often used to refer to our nation, and yet it has nothing to do with our nation. God did promise a land and a nation to Israel, and He will fulfill that promise one day. He did not make a similar promise to us, because our promise is of a heavenly kingdom. This is why Paul reminded Timothy that he needed to be “rightly dividing the word of truth.” Jesus tells us clearly where our kingdom is. John 18:36. Philippians 3:20 tells us our citizenship is in heaven. It certainly is good to humble ourselves and pray, but not for the reason listed in 2 Chronicles.
Satan is a master of misdirection. He puts something up for us to see, and makes it look like something that really is good (a Christian Nation). “Look over here,” while keeping us from paying attention to what really matters. It is not possible to work on creating a “righteous” “Christian” nation while also building an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ and bringing the lost to Jesus. The fight that ensues only turns people away from Jesus. The leadership of our nation is God’s business, and He will arrange it as necessary to accomplish His sovereign will. Daniel 2:20-21, Daniel 4:17.
So, what do we do? What has God called us to do? Philippians 2:14-16. Our lives are to reflect the life of Christ that is in us. It is to bring a light that points others to Jesus. Trying to prove ourselves more righteous than others is not doing that. Showing love to others (Christians and non-Christians) is how we do that. John 13:35. 1 Thessalonians 3:12. Praying for our nation and for it’s leaders (whoever they are) 1 Timothy 2:1-4. Submitting to God’s will even when that means leaders that we don’t like.
THE FOUR BEASTS OF DANIEL 7
God gave Daniel this prophetic vision when he was an old man. He wrote every word and told the sum of the matter. The kingdom of Babylon was still in existence, except Belshazzar was now king (V. 1).
Vs. 2 & 3: the vision appropriately came to Daniel at night, for it is of Gentile times which are the darkest time for the Jews. He saw four winds of heaven, they strove upon the great sea. Winds in scripture speak of spirits (sometimes good and sometimes bad). Four is the number of the world, so it is world spirits. They stove upon the great sea, speaking of unstable conditions. Sea in scripture speaks of the Gentiles where as land speaks of Jews in prophetic language. God sees Gentiles as unstable, being toss to and fro. The spirits stir up these Gentile world powers. Four great beasts (beasts speak of unredeemed humanity) come up out of the sea, moving one after the other. So beastly people come up out of the Gentile world system, different one from another and they differ in deterioration and operation, but all are beasts.
V. 4, “The first was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man’s heart was given to it.” This is the Babylonish Empire, (that head of gold in Negbuchadnezzr’s dream image). To begin with Nebuchadnezzar was very much like a lion, greedy, vicious and sinful (a beast spiritually) before he experienced becoming a beast literally. This empire had eagle wings, the ability to soar over other nations and capture them. Daniel beheld until the wings were plucked, this was the time of Nebuchadnezzar’s insanity when he was living in the field like a beast and eating grass like an ox. God certainly plucked his wings. Then he was lifted up and stood on his feet as a man, God restored him out of that condition. Daniel had to know what God was talking about up to this point. But all the rest would be future to Daniel.
V. 5, “And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh.” The bear represents the Medo-Persia Empire. One side is raised up higher then the other. Persia was stronger than the Medes in this duel Empire. A bear is slow and methodical and strong. The three ribs in its mouth represent three nations they devoured (Babylon, Lydia and Egypt).
V. 6, “After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it.” A leopard relies upon its craftiness and its speed, it is a very fast animal, its speed is greater than the lion and the bear. This represents Alexander the Great as his army overcame the nations by swiftness. It had four wings as a fowl, which is a deterioration, not the wings of an eagle, which is much stronger then birds wings. Birds flutter but do not soar as eagles. Alexander did not soar like Nebuchadnezzar, relying on speed instead of strength. Have you ever watch sparrows flutter over here and the over there. That is how Alexander defeated these armies. He would divide his army in divisions to be in a lot of places at the same time. That is how he conquered. The beast had four heads. After Alexander the Great’s death, the kingdom was divided among his four generals. These four kingdoms were “Syria, Egypt, Greece, Asia Minor (or Rome). “Dominion was given unto it,” God gives dominion to whom he wills. Rom. 13:1, “the powers that be are ordained of God.” God was in all this, He uses the unregenerated people to discipline his people, the Jews. Everything God does, is for a purpose. When He tares down a nation or lifts up a nation, its for a purpose, the providences of God. They are not haphazard, unplanned situations.
V. 7, “After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.” Rome began to gain power and defeated all the other generals. They were one time friends, but one general Augustus Caesar began bring them down and defeating them. He was still in power when Jesus was born. About 395 AD the government split into two divisions (Eastern and Western) Rome the western and Constantinople the eastern. This forth beast, the Roman Empire was never conquered. It deteriorated from within by sin and loose living. We see this happening in America today. People can cry for revivals, but unless God changes the way government feels about corruption there can be no change. We might help a few people, but there is NOT going to be a world wide revival, for the Word of God tells us that things will get worse instead of better.
There are eight descriptive statements concerning the fourth beast: (1) dreadful & terrible, (2) strong exceedingly, (3) had great iron teeth, (4) devoured, (5) break in pieces, (6) stamped the residue or people with its feet, (7) was diverse from all the beasts before it, (8) had 10 horns. It was diverse especially as it deteriorated which is represented by the legs and feet of the image of Daniel 2. Rome was great and terrible and broke nations in pieces and stamped the residue with its feet.
Rome certainly threaded upon the Jewish people and stamp the remnant of the people of God with its feet. Notice the semi-colon after the word “it.” Even though it was put there by the translators, it is in a good place, because the rest of this is at a later time. The first portion of the Roman Empire comes right down to the semicolon. All of this is history as far as we are concerned, but the remainder of V. 7 is future. Which we will consider in the next issue.
One last comment on the difference between Nebuchadnezzar’s dream image of Ch. 2 and this vision of Ch. 7; both were God-given and God-explained, yet the view is so different. The stately impressive image of Ch. 2 depicts world rule from the human view, while world dominion as seen in Daniel’s vision of wild beasts is the divine view. Man sees the kingdoms of this world as great exhibitions of human’s extraordinary ability. God look upon them as being bestial in character, brutal and terrible. It is the true picture. In both visions we see the final overthrow of all earthly kingdoms by the second coming of Christ to earth and setting up His everlasting universal kingdom.
To be Continued