Tag: Bible prophecy

the power of prophetic praises: from a king

Today we look at how a king sang praises to the King of kings. David lived in the times before Christ when the Holy Spirit was not indwelling inside the people of God. But the Spirit of God led him to prophecy even at the time when he was surrounded by his enemies. Anyone familiar with the scourging and crucifixion of Jesus Christ can see the obvious parallels, and the writers of the gospel accounts—especially Matthew—bring them out through direct quotations of this psalm.
Psalm 22
For the choir director: A psalm of David, to be sung to the tune “Doe of the Dawn.”
1
My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
Why are you so far away when I groan for help?
2
Every day I call to you, my God, but you do not answer.
Every night I lift my voice, but I find no relief.

3
Yet you are holy,
enthroned on the praises of Israel.
4
Our ancestors trusted in you,
and you rescued them.
5
They cried out to you and were saved.
They trusted in you and were never disgraced.

6
But I am a worm and not a man.
I am scorned and despised by all!
7
Everyone who sees me mocks me.
They sneer and shake their heads, saying,
8
“Is this the one who relies on the Lord?
Then let the Lord save him!
If the Lord loves him so much,
let the Lord rescue him!”

9
Yet you brought me safely from my mother’s womb
and led me to trust you at my mother’s breast.
10
I was thrust into your arms at my birth.
You have been my God from the moment I was born.

11
Do not stay so far from me,
for trouble is near,
and no one else can help me.
12
My enemies surround me like a herd of bulls;
fierce bulls of Bashan have hemmed me in!
13
Like lions they open their jaws against me,
roaring and tearing into their prey.
14
My life is poured out like water,
and all my bones are out of joint.
My heart is like wax,
melting within me.
15
My strength has dried up like sunbaked clay.
My tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth.
You have laid me in the dust and left me for dead.
16
My enemies surround me like a pack of dogs;
an evil gang closes in on me.
They have pierced[a] my hands and feet.
17
I can count all my bones.
My enemies stare at me and gloat.
18
They divide my garments among themselves
and throw dice[b] for my clothing.

19
O Lord, do not stay far away!
You are my strength; come quickly to my aid!
20
Save me from the sword;
spare my precious life from these dogs.
21
Snatch me from the lion’s jaws
and from the horns of these wild oxen.

22
I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters.[c]
I will praise you among your assembled people.
23
Praise the Lord, all you who fear him!
Honor him, all you descendants of Jacob!
Show him reverence, all you descendants of Israel!
24
For he has not ignored or belittled the suffering of the needy.
He has not turned his back on them,
but has listened to their cries for help.

25
I will praise you in the great assembly.
I will fulfill my vows in the presence of those who worship you.
26
The poor will eat and be satisfied.
All who seek the Lord will praise him.
Their hearts will rejoice with everlasting joy.
27
The whole earth will acknowledge the Lord and return to him.
All the families of the nations will bow down before him.
28
For royal power belongs to the Lord.
He rules all the nations.

29
Let the rich of the earth feast and worship.
Bow before him, all who are mortal,
all whose lives will end as dust.
30
Our children will also serve him.
Future generations will hear about the wonders of the Lord.
31
His righteous acts will be told to those not yet born.
They will hear about everything he has done.

Footnotes:
22:16 As in some Hebrew manuscripts and Greek and Syriac versions; most Hebrew manuscripts read They are like a lion at.
22:18 Hebrew cast lots.
22:22 Hebrew my brothers.

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But I’ll tell you whom to fear. Fear God.

ezekiel-317The voice said to me, “Son of man, eat what I am giving you—eat this scroll! Then go and give its message to the people of Israel.” 2 So I opened my mouth, and he fed me the scroll. 3 “Fill your stomach with this,” he said. And when I ate it, it tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth.

4 Then he said, “Son of man, go to the people of Israel and give them my messages. 5 I am not sending you to a foreign people whose language you cannot understand. 6 No, I am not sending you to people with strange and difficult speech. If I did, they would listen! 7 But the people of Israel won’t listen to you any more than they listen to me! For the whole lot of them are hard-hearted and stubborn. 8 But look, I have made you as obstinate and hard-hearted as they are. 9 I have made your forehead as hard as the hardest rock! So don’t be afraid of them or fear their angry looks, even though they are rebels.”

10 Then he added, “Son of man, let all my words sink deep into your own heart first. Listen to them carefully for yourself. 11 Then go to your people in exile and say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says!’ Do this whether they listen to you or not.”

12 Then the Spirit lifted me up, and I heard a loud rumbling sound behind me. (May the glory of the Lord be praised in his place!)[a] 13 It was the sound of the wings of the living beings as they brushed against each other and the rumbling of their wheels beneath them.

14 The Spirit lifted me up and took me away. I went in bitterness and turmoil, but the Lord’s hold on me was strong. 15 Then I came to the colony of Judean exiles in Tel-abib, beside the Kebar River. I was overwhelmed and sat among them for seven days.

A Watchman for Israel
16 After seven days the Lord gave me a message. He said, 17 “Son of man, I have appointed you as a watchman for Israel. Whenever you receive a message from me, warn people immediately.

Footnotes:
3:12 A possible reading for this verse is Then the Spirit lifted me up, and as the glory of the Lord rose from its place, I heard a loud rumbling sound behind me.
(Above passage is quoted from: Ezekiel 3:1-17 New Living Translation (NLT))

A WARNING RECEIVED IN THIS WATCH
[ The Day of the Lord ] But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness,
(2 Peter 3:10-11 NKJV)
Luke 12:1-5 New Living Translation (NLT)
A Warning against Hypocrisy
Meanwhile, the crowds grew until thousands were milling about and stepping on each other. Jesus turned first to his disciples and warned them, “Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees—their hypocrisy. 2 The time is coming when everything that is covered up will be revealed, and all that is secret will be made known to all. 3 Whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be shouted from the housetops for all to hear!
FEAR GOD
4 “Dear friends, don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot do any more to you after that. 5 But I’ll tell you whom to fear. Fear God, who has the power to kill you and then throw you into hell.[a] Yes, He’s the one to fear.

Footnotes:
12:5 Greek Gehenna.

Believers Should Stand Firm

narrow ridgeNow, dear brothers and sisters,[a] let us clarify some things about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and how we will be gathered to meet him. 2 Don’t be so easily shaken or alarmed by those who say that the day of the Lord has already begun. Don’t believe them, even if they claim to have had a spiritual vision, a revelation, or a letter supposedly from us. 3 Don’t be fooled by what they say. For that day will not come until there is a great rebellion against God and the man of lawlessness[b] is revealed—the one who brings destruction.[c] 4 He will exalt himself and defy everything that people call god and every object of worship. He will even sit in the temple of God, claiming that he himself is God.

5 Don’t you remember that I told you about all this when I was with you? 6 And you know what is holding him back, for he can be revealed only when his time comes. 7 For this lawlessness is already at work secretly, and it will remain secret until the one who is holding it back steps out of the way. 8 Then the man of lawlessness will be revealed, but the Lord Jesus will slay him with the breath of his mouth and destroy him by the splendor of his coming.

9 This man will come to do the work of Satan with counterfeit power and signs and miracles. 10 He will use every kind of evil deception to fool those on their way to destruction, because they refuse to love and accept the truth that would save them. 11 So God will cause them to be greatly deceived, and they will believe these lies. 12 Then they will be condemned for enjoying evil rather than believing the truth.

Believers Should Stand Firm
13 As for us, we can’t help but thank God for you, dear brothers and sisters loved by the Lord. We are always thankful that God chose you to be among the first[d] to experience salvation—a salvation that came through the Spirit who makes you holy and through your belief in the truth. 14 He called you to salvation when we told you the Good News; now you can share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

15 With all these things in mind, dear brothers and sisters, stand firm and keep a strong grip on the teaching we passed on to you both in person and by letter.

16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope, 17 comfort you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say.

Footnotes:

2:1 Greek brothers; also in 2:13, 15.
2:3a Some manuscripts read the man of sin.
2:3b Greek the son of destruction.
2:13 Some manuscripts read chose you from the very beginning.

The above passage is quoted from the Holy Bible 2 Thessalonians 2 NLT

Then the righteous will shine like the sun

righteous shine like stars
the righteous will shine like the sun

Here is another story Jesus told: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a farmer who planted good seed in his field. But that night as the workers slept, his enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat, then slipped away. When the crop began to grow and produce grain, the weeds also grew.
“The farmer’s workers went to him and said, ‘Sir, the field where you planted that good seed is full of weeds! Where did they come from?’
“‘An enemy has done this!’ the farmer exclaimed.
“‘Should we pull out the weeds?’ they asked.
“‘No,’ he replied, ‘you’ll uproot the wheat if you do. Let both grow together until the harvest. Then I will tell the harvesters to sort out the weeds, tie them into bundles, and burn them, and to put the wheat in the barn.’”

Then, leaving the crowds outside, Jesus went into the house. His disciples said, “Please explain to us the story of the weeds in the field.”
Jesus replied, “The Son of Man is the farmer who plants the good seed. The field is the world, and the good seed represents the people of the Kingdom. The weeds are the people who belong to the evil one. The enemy who planted the weeds among the wheat is the devil. The harvest is the end of the world, and the harvesters are the angels.

“Just as the weeds are sorted out and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the world. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will remove from his Kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. And the angels will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in their Father’s Kingdom. Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand!

(Above quoted from the Holy Bible, Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43)

For she cares nothing about the path to life.

Babylon.jpgMy son, pay attention to my wisdom;
listen carefully to my wise counsel.
Then you will show discernment,
and your lips will express what you’ve learned.

For the lips of an immoral woman are as sweet as honey,
and her mouth is smoother than oil.
But in the end she is as bitter as poison,
as dangerous as a double-edged sword.
Her feet go down to death;
her steps lead straight to the grave.[a]
For she cares nothing about the path to life.
She staggers down a crooked trail and doesn’t realize it.

So now, my sons, listen to me.
Never stray from what I am about to say:
Stay away from her!

Don’t go near the door of her house!
If you do, you will lose your honor
and will lose to merciless people all you have achieved.
Strangers will consume your wealth,
and someone else will enjoy the fruit of your labor.

In the end you will groan in anguish
when disease consumes your body.
You will say, “How I hated discipline!
If only I had not ignored all the warnings!
Oh, why didn’t I listen to my teachers?
Why didn’t I pay attention to my instructors?
I have come to the brink of utter ruin,
and now I must face public disgrace.”

Footnotes:
5:5 Hebrew to Sheol.
(above quoted from the Holy Bible, Proverbs 5:1-14 New Living Translation (NLT)
Avoid Immoral Women)

Revelation 17:5 A mysterious name was written on her forehead: “Babylon the Great, Mother of All Prostitutes and Obscenities in the World.”
Revelation 18:2 He gave a mighty shout: “Babylon is fallen—that great city is fallen! She has become a home for demons. She is a hideout for every foul spirit, a hideout for every foul vulture and every foul and dreadful animal..

You will be secure under a government that is just and fair

HFP rose copyO storm-battered city,
troubled and desolate!
I will rebuild you with precious jewels
and make your foundations from lapis lazuli.
I will make your towers of sparkling rubies,
your gates of shining gems,
and your walls of precious stones.
I will teach all your children,
and they will enjoy great peace.
You will be secure under a government that is just and fair.
Your enemies will stay far away.
You will live in peace,
and terror will not come near.
If any nation comes to fight you,
it is not because I sent them.
Whoever attacks you will go down in defeat.
“I have created the blacksmith
who fans the coals beneath the forge
and makes the weapons of destruction.
And I have created the armies that destroy.
But in that coming day
no weapon turned against you will succeed.
You will silence every voice
raised up to accuse you.
These benefits are enjoyed by the servants of the Lord;
their vindication will come from me.
I, the Lord, have spoken!

(Isaiah 54:11-17)

a new spiritual dawn: do not look at surface of event today

blogged and posted at 2am London timeBrexitRead my watchman’s notes at the end of this blog. How to read today’s event by spiritual watchman. Dominos effects.
How lonely sits the city
That was full of people!
How like a widow is she,
Who was great among the nations!
The princess among the provinces
Has become a slave!
2 She weeps bitterly in the night,
Her tears are on her cheeks;
Among all her lovers
She has none to comfort her.
All her friends have dealt treacherously with her;
They have become her enemies.
3 Judah has gone into captivity,
Under affliction and hard servitude;
She dwells among the nations,
She finds no rest;
All her persecutors overtake her in dire straits.
4 The roads to Zion mourn
Because no one comes to the set feasts.
All her gates are desolate;
Her priests sigh,
Her virgins are afflicted,
And she is in bitterness.
5 Her adversaries have become the master,
Her enemies prosper;
For the Lord has afflicted her
Because of the multitude of her transgressions.
Her children have gone into captivity before the enemy.
6 And from the daughter of Zion
All her splendor has departed.
Her princes have become like deer
That find no pasture,
That flee without strength
Before the pursuer.
7 In the days of her affliction and roaming,
Jerusalem remembers all her pleasant things
That she had in the days of old.
When her people fell into the hand of the enemy,
With no one to help her,
The adversaries saw her
And mocked at her downfall.[a]
11 All her people sigh,
They seek bread;
They have given their valuables for food to restore life.
“See, O Lord, and consider,
For I am scorned.”
19 “I called for my lovers,
But they deceived me;
My priests and my elders
Breathed their last in the city,
While they sought food
To restore their life.
(quoted partially from Lamentations 1)

Watchman’s notes: do not look at the surface of events. There are many spiritual implications like a domino set in motion today by one specific nation of the world. The Lament is not for that nation. It’s for the subsequent events of nations who will follow and the spiritual impact on the whole not the part. Another group will emerge. Watchman to read the Bible and ask the Holy Spirit to guide you to see the big picture. Who are the allies and who are rising after this event. The change will take place. Spiritual events will take place. I have no specific words except that the Bible prophecies of the great power struggles and allies should be re-read to understand. Come out of the historical interpretation paradigm. It’s not as what the historical theologians had thought. Read the Book of Daniel and put in the names of the new nations or group of nations.

What do Christians do? watch and pray just as Jesus has told us to do.
Prayer: that the nation/nations that the Lord has raised to become great will become great by aligning with God’s words and His best plans for them.

12th week 2nd day: The Lamb of God

the LambJohn the Baptist has witnessed this of Jesus,“Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” Jesus has fulfilled the Scriptures foretold by the prophets on this Lamb of God: “He has been slaughtered as of a lamb without blemish and without spot for the sins of many.” Jesus has shed His blood: for the remission (forgiveness) of our sins, and the establishment of the New Covenant in His blood. 

Today’s Scriptures are quoted from the Holy Bible New King James Version (NKJV) (boldness and italics added to highlight some verses)

Matthew 26:56 

56 But all this was done that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.”

The following account took place on the first day of the Feast of the Unleavened Bread, also known as the Passover, this greatest and most important of the Jewish feasts, which ever brought a great host of pilgrims to Jerusalem, was kept in the first month of the Jewish year (Nisan), from the 15th of the month, the day of full moon, to the 21st. Roughly, this corresponded to the end of our March.  

Jesus instituted the Holy Communion and told the disciples, “For this is My blood of the new[a] covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” Matthew 26:28

Acts 8:32 

32 The place in the Scripture which he read was this:

He was led as a sheep to the slaughter;
And as a lamb before its shearer is silent,
So He opened not His mouth.

1 Peter 1:18-20

18 knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. 20 He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.

Isaiah 53:4-8

Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He opened not His mouth;
He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,
And as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
So He opened not His mouth.
8 He was taken from prison and from judgment,
And who will declare His generation?
For He was cut off from the land of the living;
For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.

Week 11 Day 5: This child is destined

John 8-12
John 8:12 Jesus the Light of the world

Today’s message: God is light. This child is destined as the Light of the world. He is destined. And His destination has come to pass. Bible reading is taken from Luke 2:25-35 (NLT). 

Note that there are two groups of people in this world: those who are attracted to the light and those who prefer darkness.

25 At that time there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon. He was righteous and devout and was eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come and rescue Israel. The Holy Spirit was upon him 26 and had revealed to him that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 That day the Spirit led him to the Temple. So when Mary and Joseph came to present the baby Jesus to the Lord as the law required, 28 Simeon was there. He took the child in his arms and praised God, saying,

29 “Sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace,
    as you have promised.
30 I have seen your salvation,
31     which you have prepared for all people.
32 He is a light to reveal God to the nations,
    and he is the glory of your people Israel!”

33 Jesus’ parents were amazed at what was being said about him.34 Then Simeon blessed them, and he said to Mary, the baby’s mother, “This child is destined to cause many in Israel to fall, and many others to rise. He has been sent as a sign from God, but many will oppose him. 35 As a result, the deepest thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your very soul.”

Other related verses about Jesus the Light are from : Isaiah 4:6; Acts 10:45; 13:47; 28:28; John 9:1-41 (whole chapter); John 1:5,9; 3:19-21; 8:12; 12:35,46; John 1:4-14.

John 3:19-21 New Living Translation (NLT)

19 And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. 20 All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. 21 But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.[a]

Footnotes:

  1. 3:21 Or can see God at work in what he is doing.

John 8:12 New Living Translation (NLT)


Jesus, the Light of the World

12 Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”

week 11 day 5 Bible reading: Psalms 40:1-5; Numbers 24:1-25:18; Luke 2:1-35; Proverbs 11:14

11 week 4th day: two prophecies from a sorcerer

spiritual seeingThe two prophecies uttered by a sorcerer, Balaam, who was bent on making money with his special spiritual ability (like soothsaying) tell us something today. My notes are in bold letters and italics. (The Scriptures are quoted from the Holy Bible NKJV Numbers 22:41, 23:5-24, 24:1. Boldness of some verses added to highlight certain revelations received.)

Key verse: For from the top of the rocks I see him,
And from the hills I behold him; There! A people dwelling alone,
Not reckoning itself among the nations.” (Numbers 23:9)

The sorcerer can see into the spiritual realm. He cannot do anything to change the destiny for greatness of a people set apart by God Himself as His own chosen elect people. The sorcerer can see part of it but not the whole picture. Why can’t the sorcerer see all? Because he does not have the Holy Spirit. Because he has his own private commercial agenda. He hopes to make a fortune out of his fortune telling and perhaps successful curses. 

But what did he see in these two events recorded? He sees a people set apart by the Holy God for holiness. The key word he sees is: “SEPARATE”. This people is separate from the rest of the inhabitants in the land they have been led by God to conquer and settle. Take note that as long as they remain separate from the rest they will be successful in their conquest. What did the sorcerer see in terms of a military strategy? He struck his spiritual weapon at the word ‘Separate’. He advised the Canaan king to use women to tempt the Israelites. When the Israelite men succumbed to the lust of the flesh and eyes, and had sexual relation with those women (of another spirit), they fell from the spiritually more superior and powerful position of a people of God, and were felled by the people of the land.  A sad revelation which is still true today after thousands of years in mankind’s history and the history of God’s people. 

Balaam’s First Prophecy

22:41 So it was, the next day, that Balak took Balaam and brought him up to the high places of Baal, that from there he might observe the extent of the people…

23:5 Then the Lord put a word in Balaam’s mouth, and said, “Return to Balak, and thus you shall speak.”…And he took up his oracle and said:

“Balak the king of Moab has brought me from Aram,
From the mountains of the east.
‘Come, curse Jacob for me,
And come, denounce Israel!’

How shall I curse whom God has not cursed?
And how shall I denounce whom the Lord has not denounced?
9 For from the top of the rocks I see him,
And from the hills I behold him;
There! A people dwelling alone,
Not reckoning itself among the nations.

10 “Who can count the dust[a] of Jacob,
Or number one-fourth of Israel?
Let me die the death of the righteous,
And let my end be like his!”

11 Then Balak said to Balaam, “What have you done to me? I took you to curse my enemies, and look, you have blessed them bountifully!” 12 So he answered and said, “Must I not take heed to speak what the Lord has put in my mouth?”

Balaam’s Second Prophecy

13 Then Balak said to him, “Please come with me to another place from which you may see them; you shall see only the outer part of them, and shall not see them all; curse them for me from there.” …16 Then the Lord met Balaam, and put a word in his mouth, and said, “Go back to Balak, and thus you shall speak.” 17 So he came to him, ..18 Then he took up his oracle and said:

“Rise up, Balak, and hear!
Listen to me, son of Zippor!

19 God is not a man, that He should lie,
Nor a son of man, that He should repent.
Has He said, and will He not do?
Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?
20 Behold, I have received a command to bless;
He has blessed, and I cannot reverse it.

21 “He has not observed iniquity in Jacob,
Nor has He seen wickedness in Israel.
The Lord his God is with him,
And the shout of a King is among them.
22 God brings them out of Egypt;
He has strength like a wild ox.

23 For there is no sorcery against Jacob,
Nor any divination against Israel.
It now must be said of Jacob
And of Israel, ‘Oh, what God has done!’
24 Look, a people rises like a lioness,
And lifts itself up like a lion;
It shall not lie down until it devours the prey,
And drinks the blood of the slain.”

24:1 Now when Balaam saw that it pleased the Lord to bless Israel, he did not go as at other times, to seek to use sorcery,…

They are like stars for ever

Daniel 12-3b like stars

Let us read Daniel today, my spirit cries out. What makes Daniel different and worthy as an individual to be so well recorded in heaven and written with such great length in the Bible? What does God say of Daniel? Why is he considered so special and highly respected and honored by even the powerful pagan kings? What is the key success factor word if we have only one sentence or one word to describe him? I shall try to summarize the book of Daniel to answer these questions. Lifestyle is the sum total of who we are inside and our attitude toward life.

The physical Daniel: a noble (royal family) young man taken hostage from Jerusalem in 605 BC to the Babylonian court. He qualified for the pagan king’s requirement: an Israelite from the royal family and nobility-young man without any physical defects, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well-informed, quick to understand, and qualified to serve in the king’s palace. The Babylonian king considered Daniel as a person with insight, intelligence and outstanding wisdom, ten times better than his counselors (all the magicians and enchanters) in his whole kingdom. (Daniel was taken hostage probably in his teen, and subsequently lived through the captivity period 605-530 BC in the courts of the Babylonian kings and the Medes and Persian kings respectively.)

The spiritual Daniel: He knew his God. All his actions were persistently and consistently based on this reality of a living God in his personal total life (inside and outside). He described God as “the Lord my God”. He addressed God as: “Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant of love with those who love Him and keep His commandments.” He knew God as absolutely holy. Therefore he resolved not to defile himself with the spiritually ‘unclean’ (including pagan food, drink, idolatry religious practices and rituals). He knew God as awesome and the only God for him. Therefore he remained calm and composed despite threats of his life. He remained faithful and loyal to his God. He knew God’s spiritual reality. Therefore he could understand visions and dreams of all kind. He could even ask God to reveal mysteries (beyond the human realm) to him, about things to come.

For example: He even knew the details of a dream of the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar and correctly interpret them The king heard and fell on his face and prostrate before Daniel and declared that Daniel’s God is “the God of gods, the Lord of kings.” The queen mother described Daniel to her son King Belshazzar that Daniel was a man “in whom is the Spirit of the Holy God. Light and understanding and excellent wisdom were found in him.”

The Daniel as a role model of an overcomer: He knew God. He testified for God. He was not afraid of death because of his testimony and faith in the living God.

What does God say about Daniel? From the conversations and messages the angel (Gabriel) held with Daniel, we know that Daniel was a man greatly beloved of God, and from the first day he set his heart to understand God’s mystery, God heard his words (prayers), replied, granted his requests. God even sent His mighty angel in reply. God also saved and preserved Daniel from harm. Daniel lived to a ripe old age before the living God.

Daniel’s spiritual, godly and prayerful lifestyle was entirely based on his lifelong unwavering belief in the living God and attitude toward God. Indeed, he has the Spirit of the Holy God in him.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.” (Romans 8:14)

The Time of the End

“And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who lead many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever.” (Daniel 12:2-3)

SEE THE BIG PICTURE (4): READING SIGNS

Abraham, father of faith
Abraham, father of faith

Two types of people are looking for signs today. The people of God. The people who do not want God. God is the God Jesus has shown to the people of the world. Jesus has given His followers clear indications of what to look at and where to look at. He even gave a key, a point of focus when we look. But He also differentiates those who can see and those who cannot see. Pray that you can become one who can see and believe in Jesus the Christ, the Messiah as you seek to see.

KEY TO FOCUS: “So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors!”

Whose doors? The Bible has a clear focus on the elect people of God -the heirs of Abraham. The covenant of Abraham has never changed. From the beginning to the end. The descendants of Abraham must remember this. Abraham has two descendants: Israel through his physical seed as promised by God to him personally, and his spiritual heirs by faith as revealed later through the Seed Jesus Himself and in the writing of the Apostles. When Jesus talks about doors He is pointing to Israel (the elect people) and its doors.

Whose doors? The fig tree is Israel. So when we read the signs today we look at who are coming near its doors. (doors: the geographical countries surrounding Israel)

SIGN: The latest world events and development in the power realignment scene has shown in practice legitimization of hitherto distant physical forces moving near to its doors.

LATEST DEVELOPMENT: “For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together.” The ‘eagles’ have gathered around the doors.

HOW TO SEE? Get a world map, go online, search for key words: economy, war, politics, power, commodity prices, Selling War, The World’s Top 10 Economies, and similar terms. Key in the names of the big nations currently involved. Remember the four horses in Revelation chapter six: deception in religions (ideologies and philosophies), wars, economy, and death. Economy is the unseen driving force that shapes the current power of the world in all nations. Jesus has given one important clue: buying and selling.

BIBLE VERSES: New King James Version (NKJV)

THOSE WHO CANNOT SEE SIGNS
John 4:48 Then Jesus said to him, “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will by no means believe.”
John 11:47
Then the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered a council and said, “What shall we do? For this Man works many signs. John 12:37 [ Who Has Believed Our Report? ] But although He had done so many signs before them, they did not believe in Him,
Matthew 16:3 and in the morning, ‘It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times.
Matthew 16:4 A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.” And He left them and departed.

Luke 11:29-30 Seeking a Sign
29 And while the crowds were thickly gathered together, He began to say, “This is an evil generation. It seeks a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah the prophet. 30 For as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so also the Son of Man will be to this generation.
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FOR THOSE WHO SEEK AND REALLY WANT TO SEE JESUS AND BELIEVE IN HIM. THE PURPOSE OF SIGNS IS MEANT FOR ALL TO BELIEVE. JESUS WARNS: “lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life.”

Matthew 24 The Signs of the Times and the End of the Age as given by Jesus to His followers
3 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” 4 And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all[a] these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
9 “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. 10 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. 11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.
The Great Tribulation
15 “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), 16 “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. 18 And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. 19 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 20 And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.
23 “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. 24 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you beforehand.
26 “Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it. 27 For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 28 For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together.
The Coming of the Son of Man
29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
The Parable of the Fig Tree
32 “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors! 34 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.
No One Knows the Day or Hour
36 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. 37 But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 38 For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 40 Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. 42 Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. 44 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

Why must believers watch? Jesus has given the following warning: The Importance of Watching: Luke 21

34 “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. 35 For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”