Israel in Prophecy
It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom 120 satraps, to be throughout the whole kingdom; and over them three high officials, of whom Daniel was one, to whom these satraps should give account, so that the king might suffer no loss. Then this Daniel became distinguished above all the other high officials and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him. And the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom. Then the high officials and the satraps sought to find a ground for complaint against Daniel with regard to the kingdom, but they could find no ground for complaint or any fault, because he was faithful, and no error or fault was found in him. Then these men said, "We shall not find any ground for complaint against this Daniel unless we find it in connection with the law of his God." (Dan 6:1–5)
Before returning to Daniel and his visions, a closing word needs to be said about taking the gospel to all peoples and to all nations … in the most often quoted citation about Christian ministry, the author of Matthew’s Gospel has his Jesus say to His disciples,
Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw Him they worshiped Him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age." (Matt 28:16–20 emphasis added)
The author of Matthew’s Gospel buried a time marker in this passage that could not be “read” until after John’s vision was given and until after Daniel’s visions were unsealed and no longer secret—and this marker is His declaration that all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me … all authority isn’t given to the glorified Christ Jesus until dominion over the single kingdom of this world is taken from the Adversary and given to the Son of Man halfway through seven endtime years of tribulation (Dan 7:9–14; Rev 11:15–18; 12:7–12). Thus, today, nearly two millennia after Calvary, all authority on earth remains with the Adversary who continues his attempt to demonstrate the superiority of self-governance and transactional economies; who continues his attempt to justify his rebellion against the Most High God.
The Adversary needs some form (any form) of socialistic capitalism to succeed, albeit American progressive in nature or Chinese communistic. But his governance of equally rebellious demonic kings isn’t harmonious, each of whom have their own ideas about what will work best—each of whom are willing to go to war with the other to “prove” the superiority of what they believe is correct, thereby setting up a spiritual scenario analogous to the earthly scenario that existed within Israel during the days of the judges when every Israelite male did what was right in his own eyes (Judges 17:6; 21:25).
The problem the Adversary faces is one of his own making: if the people [the angels] rule with no king over them—governance by the people, for the people, and of the people—then civil war is the certain outcome of this governance for the opinion of any one person is of equal worth as the opinion of any other person. There is no elite ruling class, no ultimate authority to whom to appeal, especially not in a religiously pluralistic society. Thus, for the Adversary to exercise any form of control over those demonic kings that joined with him in rebellion against the Most High God, he has to transgress the basic premise of his rebellion. He has to take control, becoming the spiritual king of Babylon, the head of gold of the humanoid image Nebuchadnezzar saw in visions. For until he takes absolute control, Death reigns by default over his rebellion, with death reigning over humanity from Adam to Moses who entered into the presence of God.
In type, endtime disciples can “see” what happened and what is happening in the heavenly realm through the received history of Israel, with human sons of God being analogous to the rebelling angelic sons of God they will replace virtually one for one.
Beginning halfway through seven years of tribulation; beginning on doubled day 1260 (1260 days following the Second Passover liberation of a second Israel, and 1260 days before the Second Advent), dominion over the single kingdom of this world is taken from the Adversary and given to the Son of Man; thus all authority in heaven and on earth will then—and not before then—belong to the glorified Christ Jesus, who will have baptized the world (at that time) in spirit, thereby filling every person with the spirit of God, and causing the Law to be written on hearts and placed in minds so that all know the Lord (Jer 31:31–34; Heb 8:8–12).
As the Adversary is the present prince of the power of the air and as all persons are humanly born as sons of disobedience (Eph 2:2–3), when dominion over the single kingdom of this world is taken from the Adversary and given to the Son of Man, all living creatures will be “baptized” in the spirit of God and will have their present natures changed (see Isa 11:6–9). Human nature will be changed through the Law being written on hearts and placed inside of the living person so that all know the Lord (Jer 31:31–34; Heb 8:8–12). And as God consigned all of humanity to disobedience so that He could have mercy on all (Rom 11:32), having mercy on all will come in the form of being filled with the spirit of God and thereby liberated from indwelling sin and death. Therefore, Christian conversion is not dependent on so-called Christian ministry but depends solely upon what God does, the reality Jesus in John’s Gospel expresses when Jesus says,
No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. It is written in the Prophets, 'And they will all be taught by God.' Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me—not that anyone has seen the Father except he who is from God; he has seen the Father. (John 6:44–46)
If no person can come to Christ Jesus unless the Father draws the person, then Christian ministry has no chance of succeeding until “freewill” is given to the person as was the case with the children of Israel on the plains of Moab when Moses declared,
See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil. If you obey the commandments of the LORD your God that I command you today, by loving the LORD your God, by walking in His ways, and by keeping His commandments and His statutes and His rules, then you shall live and multiply, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to take possession of it. But if your heart turns away, and you will not hear, but are drawn away to worship other gods and serve them, I declare to you today, that you shall surely perish. You shall not live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to enter and possess. I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the LORD your God, obeying His voice and holding fast to Him, for He is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them. (Deut 30:15–20)
What endtime disciples see in Moses speaking to the children of Israel on the plains of Moab is the concluding scenario of the physical enantiomer of the seven endtime years of tribulation that follow the Second Passover liberation of a second Israel, a spiritual nation of Israel, with the Passover in the days of Moses and Aaron forming the shadow and copy of the Second Passover in the days of the two witnesses. Thus, as Israel was free to keep the Commandments once they were given in a codified form, greater Christendom [the spiritual nation of Israel] will be free to keep the Commandments when the Law is written on hearts and placed in minds. And as the nation of Israel, except for Joshua and Caleb, rebelled against the Lord, greater Christendom will, with few exceptions, rebel against God on day 220 of the Affliction. Greater Christendom will use the freewill extended to it as justification for rebellion, making itself analogous to the angels who bought into the unbelief of that anointed guardian cherub who was in Eden, the one identified as “king over the Rock [Tyre].” And indeed, the Adversary is presently king over greater Christendom. The Adversary will remain king over greater Christendom until dominion over the single kingdom of this world is taken from him.
In Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus doesn’t meet with the Eleven on the mountain in Galilee in year 31 of the Common Era in the 1st-Century. He might, however, meet with His disciples on the mountain of the Lord in year 2031, if the Second Passover were to occur on the day of the second Passover in year 2024. For in the year of the Second Passover liberation of a second Israel from indwelling sin and death, the 15th day of Iyyar [the second month] will fall on a Thursday, with day 220 of the Affliction then falling on a Sunday … 2011 was such a year, as was 2014, and as will be 2017 and 2028. So the year of the Second Passover cannot be known, but from the Second Passover, the Second Advent can be known within a five day window, with time being shortened for the sake of the Elect.
Luke’s Gospel presents a substantially different post-Calvary scenario than does Matthew’s Gospel, with the author of Luke’s Gospel telling his readers that what he writes is a redaction of the oral gospel and of what others have written (Luke 1:1–4). As such, Luke’s Gospel is uninspired and should be used only to reveal what was being taught within the greater Jesus Movement a half-century after Calvary. It is most useful in showing how far the late 1st-Century Christian Church had drifted apart, forming sects that didn’t understand what or why other sects were teaching what they were.
Even today, pastors within lawless Christendom turn first to Luke’s Gospel to support their messages; whereas pastors within so-called legalist denominations [Sabbatarian fellowships] turn to Matthew’s Gospel while Christian scholars seem to favor Mark’s Gospel … of the synoptic Gospels, Luke’s Gospel doesn’t fit; doesn’t belong; but is useful in revealing how little was collectively known about spiritual birth and the giving of the spirit in the late 1st-Century.
According to Bishop Papias of Hierapolis (ca 70–100+), John Mark in writing “Mark’s Gospel” had to create the narrative time line employed in his Gospel and copied by the author of Matthew’s Gospel and by the author of Luke’s Gospel: John Mark untangled the chreiai of Peter, who taught via anecdotal presentations of what Jesus did or of what Jesus said (the citation from Papias found in Eusebius’ third book). Thus, according to Papias, John the Elder claimed John Mark did nothing wrong in attempting to, from memory, construct a narrative time line of Jesus’ life and ministry.
The Christian teaching that the Bible is the infallible word of God ignores the incompatibility of narratives imbedded in the synoptic Gospels … these Gospels themselves dictate that an endtime disciple favor one Gospel and discount the other two: the Magi do not come to a newly born Jesus in a manger, but to a toddler in a house in Bethlehem (Matt 2:11). Only in bastardized Christmas scenes do three wisemen bring gifts to a stable on December 25th, when there would have been no sheep in the pasture because of the heavy, cold rains of the previous month (Ezra 10:9).
The synoptic Gospels cannot be harmonized: they can only be redacted and a new Gospel created from the narrative fragments. Hence, the 1st-Century CE need for the crafting of John’s Gospel, a differing biography of the man Jesus that has a different focus and a different narrative time line.
The narrative time line employed in Mark’s Gospel differs from the time line employed in John’s Gospel, a reality suggesting that event sequencing isn’t particularly important, and certainly wasn’t important to Peter who taught Gentile converts to live as outwardly uncircumcised Judeans.
Therefore, the time when disciples are to proclaim Christ to the world is when Christ Jesus as the Son of Man is the prince of this world—
It is not difficult to read Luke’s Gospel and to realized that this text is a redaction of everything then in circulation within the Jesus Movement; nor is it difficult (especially with Bishop Papias’ help) to realize that Matthew’s Gospel is written in Hebrew style, as the spiritual presentation of the spiritual Jesus, the right hand enantiomer of the Mark’s Gospel, the natural or physical presentation of the Jesus narrative, the message that Peter taught to Gentile converts (see Gal 2:14, in Greek).
The only required attribute a disciple must have to understand the synoptic Gospels is the indwelling mind of Christ (1 Cor 2:16) that comes via spiritual birth. Without the mind of Christ, the Bible cannot be understood: it can only be read as a human book written by human authors for human reasons—and this is simply not the case.
Now to Daniel: it is not easy to kill an idea; it is not easy to kill worship of a deity. Threats really don’t work. Rather, threats produce the opposite result; for in this present era, the Adversary remains the prince of this world, the prince of the power of the air, broadcasting his “character” to all living creatures—and the central aspect of his character is rebellion against authority, with the nature of the authority not mattering. Thus, when an “authority” or an “authority figure” seeks to suppress an idea or the worship of a deity, the idea or worship flourishes as the Adversary’s broadcast of rebellion is turned against itself, with God using the concept of “rebellion against rebellion” to do to the Adversary here on earth what the Adversary did in heaven before iniquity was found in this anointed cherub, with the ultimate expression of rebellion against the Adversary’s rebellion being the legalism of Christ Jesus and of His genuine disciples. Therefore, those disciples who truly rebel against the Adversary’s broadcast of disobedience will be as culturally and socially invisible in this present world as was that anointed guardian cherub’s expression of his unbelief of God in heaven prior to iniquity being discovered in him, meaning that the work of endtime disciples will be, for practical purposes, invisible in this world prior to the Second Passover liberation of a second Israel.
The humanism of Western Europe and the United States of America doesn’t threaten either Christians or Muslims although this humanism is prevailing in the ideological war being waged for control of the mindscapes of humanity: it is winning the war for control of the hearts and minds of children to whom former Vice President Al Gore panders when he tells assemblies of youthful students that they know things their parents don’t … no, these children do not. And they especially do not know how they are being manipulated by a centralized educational curriculum into forgetting their history and accepting as true a revisionist history that has the actions of ancestors based on economics, the Marxist view of the past.
But who is the person that is truly free to think thoughts that do not sprout from mental landscapes controlled by the Adversary? Who is the person who has turned the rebellion of the Adversary back onto itself, rebelling against the rebellion; rebelling against disobedience; rebelling against murder [anger], against lying [bearing false witness], against coveting, against having any God other than the Lord? Who is the American that doesn’t place family and children ahead of God, worshiping the fruit of the person in any number of ways, from financially supporting their seed to permitting their seed to prevent them from attending Sabbath services? Who is the American Christian that doesn’t want their seed to be “Christian,” or who is the American Muslim who doesn’t want their seed to be Muslim? Who is the American Christian who doesn’t want their seed to be saved from everlasting death? And who is the Christian that will challenge the Christianity received as a youth from well-intentioned parents? Likewise, who is the Jew that will challenge the Judaism received from rabbis as a youth? Who is the Muslim who will challenge Mohammad?
It takes no courage to continue in whatever ideology the person received from his or her parents. It takes courage to risk ideological “death” by not believing the person is humanly born with an immortal soul; by not believing the comfort myths told by pastors, by rabbis, by imams. It takes courage to quietly believe that neither “religion” nor science adequately addresses what you know to be true: you are more than your body, but you have no evidence other than your self-awareness that you have an indwelling “self” [psuche]. Thus, to mentally walk away from the comfort myths told by pastors, rabbis, imams is truly a facing-down of permanent death …
In John’s vision, we find,
I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be His people, and God Himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away." And He who was seated on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new." Also He said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true." And He said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death." (Rev 21:1–8 emphasis added)
There will be no cowards in heavenly Jerusalem, no unbelievers [the faithless], no transgressors of the Law—those who are cowards, afraid to abandon the comfort myths of parents; afraid to distrust scientists and academia will have their portion of the kingdom of the heavens [plural as used throughout Matthew’s Gospel] be in the lake of fire, the second death. And it is here where the example of Daniel stands nearly alone; stands with Noah and Job; stands with Abraham, Moses, David, the early and the latter prophets.
Daniel believed the Lord even though he was a eunuch serving the King of Babylon, whose army had razed Jerusalem and the temple, leaving Jerusalem empty and the people of Israel enslaved in Babylon where the prophet Jeremiah had commanded them to build for themselves houses … the poorest of the people, left by the Babylonians on the land to prevent the land from returning to wilderness, abandoned Judea and went to Egypt when they were told by Jeremiah not to go (Jer chap 42).
None of Israel—neither in Babylon nor in Egypt—would return to Jerusalem during their lives. Daniel wouldn’t return even as a very old man.
Now, the difficulty: endtime scholars do not believe the book of Daniel is from the 6th-Century BCE: they do not believe anyone could have so accurately prophesied the course of empires through the rise of Alexander, then have gotten the remainder of the history as wrong as Daniel seems to have done. Thus, they date composition of the Book of Daniel to when Daniel’s visions deviate from historical texts, and they identify the book of Daniel as apocalyptic commentary from the 2nd-Century BCE.
If scholars believe the Book of Daniel is from the 2nd-Century BCE, then these scholars do not need to read Daniel’s visions as sealed and kept secret texts revealing what will happen to Daniel’s people at the end of the age; they do not need for Daniel’s visions to be more than applied history supporting an apocalyptic liberation of the Jewish peoples from Syrian [Seleucid] domination. But, how would these scholars read Daniel being thrown into the lions’ den? Would they not see the lions as allegorical representations of Assyrian and Babylonian authority as continued by the Persians and the Greeks, even down to the Seleucid Empire?
The question of importance: is there more than one kingdom of this world … spiritually, no, there isn’t. There is only one; there is only one rebellion against the Lord. And this rebellion encompasses all of humanity; for all have been consigned to disobedience so that God can have mercy on all (Rom 11:32). All are humanly born as sons of disobedience, enslaved by the prince of the power of the air (Eph 2:2–3), and effectively spiritually neutered by this spiritual king of Babylon (Isa 14:4).
Human sons of God are spiritual eunuchs; are as angels are, not able to bring forth progeny … a human son of God cannot, by preaching or by good works (by mighty works done in the name of the Lord) produce more sons of God; for no person can come to Christ Jesus unless drawn from this world by the Father and delivered to Christ to call, justify, and glorify. The Christian, with sincere intentions, who preaches Christ to the world acts presumptuously, acting out his or her own ignorance; acting out his or her own unbelief.
There is a Sabbatarian sect, a splinter of Herbert Armstrong’s ministry, that has as it motto [mission statement], Preaching the Gospel, Preparing a People. This sect’s motto reveals how little spiritual understanding the association has … is Christ Jesus, Himself, not able to prepare a people to enter the kingdom of the heavens? Is not Christ able to have angels preach the good news of the Kingdom. Listen to what angels will declare for all living persons to hear:
Then I saw another angel flying directly overhead, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on earth, to every nation and tribe and language and people. And he said with a loud voice, "Fear God and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come, and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water." Another angel, a second, followed, saying, "Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who made all nations drink the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality." And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, "If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink the wine of God's wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name." Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus. (Rev 14:6–12 emphasis added)
Fear God and worship the Son for Babylon the great has fallen; thus anyone who worships the beast [Death] and its image [the Cross] will join the lawless one and the false prophet in the lake of fire … does the Father and the Son need help in proclaiming the good news that those Christians who refuse to keep the Commandments will experience the second death while those persons (regardless of what they were before they were filled with spirit) who keep the Commandments and their belief in Christ Jesus and of Christ Jesus shall live? No! The Father and the Son do not need the help of mere mortals. When They want help, They will “draft” whomever They want to do a specific work for Them.
Now, if that sect derived from Herbert Armstrong’s ministry truly intended to prepare a people for God, the sect should deliver the endtime good news that so far only The Philadelphia Church delivers: “‘The one who endures to the end will be saved’” (Matt 10:22, from the physical portion of Matthew’s Gospel, and Matt 24:13, from the spiritual portion … two deliveries of the same endtime good news that will be proclaimed to all peoples as a witness to all nations, v. 14).
Since that particular splinter of Armstrong’s worldwide ministry wasn’t yet on the scene when Daniel was taken by force to Babylon, separated from parents and siblings, and castrated as if he were a steer, where, now, did Daniel’s belief of the Lord come? Did it come from the priests and the prophets of the temple? Did it come from study of Moses—and how would Daniel as a youth acquire a copy of the scroll, the Law of the Covenant, in Babylon?
Perhaps these questions cannot be answered. What can be known is that Daniel believed the Lord, read the letters [writings] of the prophet Jeremiah, and was greatly loved by the Lord, apparently because of his belief that was counted to him as righteousness of the sort Noah had; of the sort Job had (see Ezek 14:13–23); of the sort Abraham had, none of whom had the Law as given by Moses.
Here is where we begin: when a person [Christian or otherwise] is spiritually dead through not having been born of spirit [the spirit of Christ indwelling in the spirit of the person] even though filled with the spirit of God, the person lacks spiritual understanding even when the Law is written on hearts and placed inside the person. But lacking spiritual understanding doesn’t mean the person is without knowledge: Daniel was without spiritual understanding even though he understood somewhat the visions he received.
In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a word was revealed to Daniel, who was named Belteshazzar. And the word was true, and it was a great conflict. And he understood the word and had understanding of the vision. (Dan 10:1)
It is unlikely that Daniel had perfect understanding of the mysteries of God. It is unlikely that Daniel understood that the Sinai Covenant (Ex chaps 20–24) had been replaced by a second Sinai Covenant (Ex chap 34); that in addition of the second Sinai Covenant (Deut 29:1), Moses mediated a second covenant made with the children of Israel on the plains of Moab before these children of Israel crossed the Jordan to enter the Promised Land.
Daniel didn’t need to have a copy of the Book of the Covenant to know that idolatry was forbidden; that murder, adultery, lying, thieving, coveting were forbidden. Daniel wouldn’t have been free to keep the Sabbath for he was the servant of the kings of Babylon, subject to their call at anytime. Nevertheless, Daniel prayed to the Lord three times a day, knowing intuitively that the Lord was just; that Israel deserved the punishment that had come upon the nation.
Pause and consider: what Christian doesn’t know that Jesus kept the seventh day Sabbath? What Christian doesn’t know that the Sabbath is the seventh day of a seven day weekly cycle dating back to Moses and the giving of manna, promised on the 15th day of the second month? Is there any Christian so ignorant of what it means to be “Christian” that the person doesn’t know Paul said to imitate him as he imitated Christ Jesus (1 Cor 11:1 et al)? Or that John wrote,
My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. And by this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. Whoever says "I know Him" but does not keep His commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps His word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in Him: whoever says he abides in Him ought to walk in the same way in which He walked. (1 John 2:1–6)
If we—endtime disciples—say that we are in Christ (or that Christ is in us), we are to walk as Jesus walked in this world, meaning that we should strive to keep the Commandments, coming as close to perfection as we can all the while knowing that we will come short of perfection. But why jettison perfection in the church parking lot by attempting to enter into God’s presence on the day after the Sabbath. That makes no sense. Simply put, to abandon perfection on the first day of the week sets the Christian up for spiritual failure for the entirety of the week.
It is reasonable to conclude that Daniel did not have a copy of Moses’ writings available to him: he would have had far less opportunity to read Moses than an endtime Christian has, and few endtime Christians truly “read” Moses. Yet, Daniel was greatly loved by the Lord; for while a captive in a far land (the essential condition for implementing the Moab Covenant), Daniel chose to believe God—and by believing God, he would have placed himself in a position to be circumcised of heart …
Yes, normally a qualifier would be added to the preceding sentence: when born of spirit. But context gives meaning to any symbol. And the context in which Daniel found himself is that of being a palace eunuch (at one time, chief administrator) in Nebuchadnezzar’s service. Thus, Daniel served in type as the endtime Elect (all born of spirit sons of God) serve in reality, and as the Elect are circumcised of heart when they reach the spiritual age equivalent to an eight-day-old human infant, Daniel would also have been physically circumcised of heart, meaning that Daniel was no longer stubborn, resisting belief of God:
And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways, to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments and statutes of the LORD, which I am commanding you today for your good? Behold, to the LORD your God belong heaven and the heaven of heavens, the earth with all that is in it. Yet the LORD set His heart in love on your fathers and chose their offspring after them, you above all peoples, as you are this day. Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no longer stubborn. For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who is not partial and takes no bribe. He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing. Love the sojourner, therefore, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt. You shall fear the LORD your God. You shall serve Him and hold fast to Him, and by His name you shall swear. He is your praise. He is your God, who has done for you these great and terrifying things that your eyes have seen. Your fathers went down to Egypt seventy persons, and now the LORD your God has made you as numerous as the stars of heaven. You shall therefore love the LORD your God and keep His charge, His statutes, His rules, and His commandments always. And consider today (since I am not speaking to your children who have not known or seen it), consider the discipline of the LORD your God, His greatness, His mighty hand and His outstretched arm, His signs and His deeds that He did in Egypt to Pharaoh the king of Egypt and to all his land, and what He did to the army of Egypt, to their horses and to their chariots, how He made the water of the Red Sea flow over them as they pursued after you, and how the LORD has destroyed them to this day, and what He did to you in the wilderness, until you came to this place, and what He did to Dathan and Abiram the sons of Eliab, son of Reuben, how the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, with their households, their tents, and every living thing that followed them, in the midst of all Israel. For your eyes have seen all the great work of the LORD that He did. You shall therefore keep the whole commandment that I command you today, that you may be strong, and go in and take possession of the land that you are going over to possess, and that you may live long in the land that the LORD swore to your fathers to give to them and to their offspring, a land flowing with milk and honey. For the land that you are entering to take possession of it is not like the land of Egypt, from which you have come, where you sowed your seed and irrigated it, like a garden of vegetables. But the land that you are going over to possess is a land of hills and valleys, which drinks water by the rain from heaven, a land that the LORD your God cares for. The eyes of the LORD your God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year to the end of the year. And if you will indeed obey my commandments that I [Moses] command you today, to love the LORD your God, and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul, He will give the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the later rain, that you may gather in your grain and your wine and your oil. And He will give grass in your fields for your livestock, and you shall eat and be full. (Deu 10:12–11:15)
Apparently without a scroll, Daniel did what Noah did, what Job did, what Abraham did, what Moses did, in that Daniel feared the Lord and walked in His ways, loved the Lord, and served Him, the reasonable expectation of every Christian regardless of whether the Christian is or isn’t truly born of spirit. Therefore, no Christian has the excuse of ignorance when it comes to doing what is right.
Every Christian will be filled with spirit at the Second Passover liberation of a second Israel, and every Christian will be as Israel was in the wilderness, with the chance to enter into the Promised Land of heaven but due to Christendom’s unbelief, with few Christians actually entering heaven … in the physical, only Joshua and Caleb of the nation of Israel that left Egypt entered into the Promised Land. In the spiritual, the seven named churches represent the Elect that are already “one” with the Lord; the seven named churches represent “Joshua” [’Iesou in Greek], typified by the seven pair of clean animals that boarded the Ark in the days of Noah. The single pair of unclean animals that also boarded the Ark represent a single unit of every Christian denomination, sect, or fellowship; represent “Caleb,” who had about him a different spirit and who had followed the Lord fully (Num 14:24).
The importance of following the Lord fully cannot be over emphasized; for the Lord told Cain, “‘Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it’” (Gen 4:6–7).
In the Affliction, if Christians within the greater Church do well in that they fully follow the Lord, they will be accepted although it is likely they will be martyred, their martyrdom representing their journey of faith analogous to Abraham’s journey from Ur of the Chaldeans [Babylon] to Haran [representing death of the “old man”], then down to the Promised land after a detour into Egypt, the geographical representation of Sin.
For Christians in greater Christendom, death awaits them because they have been cowards, afraid to mentally journey far from the comfort myths that promise them heaven for just showing up to be counted as “Christians” a couple of times a year.
Perhaps the preceding sentence is overly harsh … it really isn’t.
In a world where few Christians truly face the choice of dying for what they believe or living by compromising what they know to be true, these few choose rightly and are killed for their beliefs. However, when no real threat of death exists, most Christians have compromised the truth. And when filled with spirit following the Second Passover, most will again compromise what they know is correct. That is their habit, the habit developed over their lifetime.
Martyrdom isn’t something to be feared. Living as a compromised Christian is to be feared.
(to be continued)
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"Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved."