Are You Ready?

TODAY’S DAILY READING: Daniel 7-8 & Revelation 22

Old Testament: Daniel 7- Are You Ready?

Daniel 7:1
“In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel had a dream and visions of his head while on his bed. Then he wrote down the dream, telling the main facts.”

In Chapters 7 & 8, Daniel sees two visions that reveal the future. The events recorded will explain the rise and fall of earthly kingdoms, and will take him all the way to the time when Christ returns to defeat the enemy, and set up His kingdom. Among other things, it strikes me that these events were recorded during the reign of king Belshazzar, who reigned when the nation was defeated. God not only wrote… Read More

Daniel 8- History And Prophecy

Daniel 8:1
“In the third year of the reign of King Belshazzar a vision appeared to me—to me, Daniel—after the one that appeared to me the first time.”

Daniel is one of the most interesting books in scripture, it is filled with both history and prophecy. It records the encounters of Daniel in the palace of the king, and gives a prophetic picture of things to come. Chapter 7 focuses on two kingdoms that will arise after the fall of Babylon. The first was Persia, which is… Read More

New Testament: Revelation 22- I’ll Be Back

Revelation 22:20-21
“He who testifies to these things says, ‘ Surely I am coming quickly.’ Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus! The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.”

If you are anything like me, you have echoed the cry of John, from time to time in your walk with God. It seems whenever things become difficult, confusing or frightening, my heart cries out, “Come, Lord Jesus.” I realize, the only reason for His delay is His desire to see others come to faith in Christ. Peter wrote,

“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9

There is a day coming… Read More

New And Improved

TODAY’S DAILY READING: Daniel 5-6 & Revelation 21

Old Testament: Daniel 5- Sky Writing

Daniel 5:27
“You have been weighed in the balances, and found wanting”

Have you ever wished God would write a message specifically for you? Perhaps hoping His finger would suddenly appear writing upon the clouds. Belshazzar had that experience. On the night before his death, the silence of heaven was broken when a warning was written on the walls of his palace. Sadly, Belshazzar ignored the warnings, did nothing in response to the message, and died that night not prepared to face eternity.

While I do not expect God will write upon the walls of my home… Read More

Daniel 6- Exonerated 

Daniel 6:5
“Then these men said, ‘We shall not find any charge against this Daniel unless we find it against him concerning the law of his God.’”

Daniel is one of the greatest heroes in all of Scripture. His personal commitment and public ministry impacted the lives of his companions, co-workers, and even kings. We know he had opportunity to witness to the most powerful and influential men in the world, and it seems some of them were converted. One of the reasons for his success in ministry was his faithfulness. Daniel set himself apart to the Lord and sought to live a godly life. His commitment to the Lord affected every area of his life. Privately, we know he was a man of … Read More

New Testament: Revelation 21- New And Improved

Revelation 21:1
“Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea.”

Revelation 21 begins the final section of the book. Pastor, preacher, theologian, and early radio pioneer Donald Barnhouse put it like this, “In this chapter we see that the history of time is finished; the history of eternity is about to begin.” Just as Jesus promised, the heavens and earth have passed away, and in its place a new heaven and earth have been created. The word ‘new’ carries the idea of what we might call “new and improved.” Just as our heavenly bodies will be superior to our earthly ones, so will the new heaven and earth be far beyond anything… Read More

 

The End Of The Road

TODAY’S DAILY READING: Daniel 3-4 & Revelation 20

Old Testament: Daniel 3- What Would You Do?

Daniel 3:5
“At the time you hear the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, you shall fall down and worship the gold image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up”

Every believer faces the temptation to conform to the ways of the world. Sometimes these temptations are a force so strong it seems impossible to resist. Often, these temptations are magnified by the sheer fact that so many are caught up in them, and the Christian feels isolated when he chooses to stand firm in the Lord and resist. Perhaps no other story in the Bible illustrates this point more clearly than the temptation faced by Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego… Read More

Daniel 4- He Reigns

Daniel 4:32
“…until you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses.”

This lesson is so important that it is set in an unforgettable backdrop. God allowed the most powerful ruler in the world to lose his mind, and behave like a wild beast, for a period of seven seasons, that he might learn that it is God who rules the affairs of men. While very few will go through Nebuchadnezzar’s experience, all of us need to come to the realization that the Most High rules the kingdom of men.

Scripture goes into great detail to teach this lesson to us. We read… Read More

New Testament: Revelation 20- End Of The Road

Revelation 20:12
“And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.”

Have you ever heard someone say, “All roads lead to God”?  While it is not true, according to Jesus Himself, that all roads lead to heaven, it is true, all roads lead to God. Whatever road you choose to travel in this life, it ultimately ends at the throne of God. John explains that he saw every person who had ever lived, the good, the bad, and the ugly, all standing before the throne of God and awaiting judgment for sin. There is no road you can travel that will not ultimately lead to the throne of God. Even those who stubbornly resist the Spirit of God and refuse to accept Him, will stand before this… Read More

Rise And Fall

TODAY’S DAILY READING: Daniel 1-2 & Revelation 19

Old Testament: Daniel 1- Start To Finish

Daniel 1:21
“Thus Daniel continued until the first year of King Cyrus.”

I remember the first time I heard someone teaching the parable of the ‘Sower and the Soils.’They referred to the person represented by the shallow ground as a “Firecracker Christian.” That is, someone who starts out with a bang, but burns out before too long. Sadly, the landscape is filled with believers just like that. It is refreshing to read that Daniel continued in his commitment to… Read More

Daniel 2- Kingdoms Will Rise And Fall

Daniel 2:31-35
“You, O king, were watching; and behold, a great image! This great image, whose splendor was excellent, stood before you; and its form was awesome. 
This image’s head was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. You watched while a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were crushed together, and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; the wind carried them away so that no trace of them was found. And the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.”

King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream serves as a timeline of world kingdoms, from the time of Daniel until the return of Christ. The image refers to six kingdoms, five that are temporary, and one that will last forever. Four of the six have already come and gone, while the final two are still in our future. The fulfillment of the first four gives us assurance of the fulfillment of the final two.

The first kingdom, represented by the gold head, was Babylon. It was a splendid kingdom with great power… Read More

New Testament: Revelation 19- Wedding Day

Revelation 19:1
“After these things I heard a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, ‘Alleluia!’”

Revelation 19:3
“Again they said, ‘Alleluia!’”

Revelation 19:4
“And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sat on the throne, saying, ‘Amen! Alleluia!’”

Revelation 19:5
“Then a voice came from the throne, saying, ‘Praise our God,’

Revelation 19:6
“Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns!”

Revelation 19:7
“Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come,. . .”

 

In Revelation 19, the scene in heaven is one of exuberant praise. We read of a great multitude joining in worship, and giving glory to the Lord. While there are many reasons to worship God, their praise stems from the fact that the marriage supper of the Lamb has come. To help us understand the relationship we have with God, the Bible uses a number of illustrations. We are referred to as the ‘children of God’, the ‘body of Christ’, the ‘church’, or ‘assembly of those who have been called out of the world’. Perhaps the most intimate of all is when the Bible refers to the Christian as… Read More

 

Your Land

TODAY’S DAILY READING: Ezekiel 47-48 & Revelation 18

Old Testament: Ezekiel 47- River Of Life

Ezekiel 47:8,9
“When it reaches the sea, its waters are healed. And it shall be that every living thing that moves, wherever the rivers go, will live.”

Jerusalem sits atop the mountain range known as mount Moriah. The city is surrounded by valleys, and is supplied with water through various springs, because there are no rivers that flow through the city or surrounding hillsides. Ezekiel is seeing into the future, to the time of the millennial reign of Christ. As Jesus sits upon the throne of David to rule the nations, the topography of Jerusalem is changed. A stream flows from the temple of God into… Read More

Ezekiel 48- Your Land

Ezekiel 48:29
“‘This is the land which you shall divide by lot as an inheritance among the tribes of Israel, and these are their portions,’ says the Lord God.”

As the prophecies of Ezekiel come to a close, he describes the allotments of land that will be given to each of the tribes of Israel. It is striking to me that seven times in the chapter theses districts are called “holy.” The inheritance the Lord gives to His people is always holy, and the life we live should be lived in holiness… Read More

New Testament: Revelation 18- Get Out

Revelation 18:4
“And I heard another voice from heaven saying, ‘Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.'”

As John begins to describe the fall of Babylon the Great, he hears a cry from heaven calling the people of God to come out, and no longer share in its sins. Babylon here is referring to more than a city in modern Iraq, it refers to the world system that is opposed to the ways of God. The call then is for the people of God to leave the ways of the world, to live in step with the… Read More

Changes

TODAY’S DAILY READING: Ezekiel 45-46 & Revelation 17

Old Testament: Ezekiel 45- Government

Ezekiel 45:17
“Then it shall be the prince’s part to give burnt offerings, grain offerings, and drink offerings, at the feasts, the New Moons, the Sabbaths, and at all the appointed seasons of the house of Israel. He shall prepare the sin offering, the grain offering, the burnt offering, and the peace offerings to make atonement for the house of Israel.”

Recently, I was captivated by the different titles given to political leaders. In one news segment, I saw references to presidents, kings, prime ministers and even a supreme ruler. It is interesting the view men have of rulers. In some settings, they are seen as gods, while in other settings, servants of the people. Here, in Ezekiel… Read More

Ezekiel 46- Changes

Ezekiel 46:9
“But when the people of the land come before the Lord on the appointed feast days, whoever enters by way of the north gate to worship shall go out by way of the south gate; and whoever enters by way of the south gate shall go out by way of the north gate. He shall not return by way of the gate through which he came, but shall go out through the opposite gate.”

Ezekiel is establishing some rules that will guide the people as they worship at the Temple. Some of these guidelines were clearly spelled out by Moses hundreds of years earlier, while others seem to be brand new. One such regulation required the people to leave the city from the opposite gate from which they had entered. If they came in from the south, they had to leave from the north, and vice-versa. No clear explanation is… Read More

New Testament: Revelation 17- Book Of Life

Revelation 17:8
“…And those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world…”

As the angel explains the images John sees, he makes reference to the Book of Life. This book is mentioned again, in Revelation 20:15, as the guest list of heaven. All, whose names are written in this Book, will have access to heaven; those who do not, will be cast out to eternal judgment. If there is one thing you want to be certain of in this life, it is that your name is in the Lamb’s Book of Life. The question is, how do we get our names … Read More

Looking To The Future

TODAY’S DAILY READING: Ezekiel 43-44 & Revelation 16

Old Testament: Ezekiel 43- Dedication Day

Ezekiel 43:5
“The Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court; and behold, the glory of the Lord filled the temple.”

What a glorious sight this must have been, as Ezekiel watched the glory or radiance of God descend upon and fill the Temple. What had been a building made with men’s hands, now became the temple of the living God. The presence of the Lord within its walls transformed this building and set it apart from … Read More

 

Ezekiel 44- Service

Ezekiel 44:21
“No priest shall drink wine when he enters the inner court.”

Ezekiel is given instructions concerning those who will serve the Lord in His Holy Temple. Three of the rules seemed to jump off the page as I read through them this morning.

First, the priests were required to wear linen as they served the Lord. The more common material for garments in Ezekiel’s day was wool, which was much heavier and would cause a person to perspire when working hard. The ministry is something that should never become burdensome. Jesus explained, His yoke was easy and His burden light (Matthew 11:30). When serving the Lord seems like a heavy task, we may be doing something wrong.

Second, they were not to drink wine in the service of God. Paul later wrote… Read More

 

New Testament: Revelation 16- Armageddon

Revelation 16:16
“And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon.”

Recently, I had the privilege of standing on Tel Megiddo, the ruins of the ancient city of Megiddo. It overlooks, what is often referred to as, the valley of Armageddon. The experience was almost surreal. As I stood there, contemplating the events described in Revelation 16, I could see smoke rising in the distance, from tires being burned in protest to the fighting in Gaza… Read More