Friday, September 14, 2012

September 14, 2012 … Unbelievable? … NO, … Absolutely True!

Chronological Bible Reading Plan - Day 258

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Daniel, Chapters 7-9 To study these chapters, go to this link

Highlight Passage: Daniel 7: 1-3; 9-10; 13-14; 18; 24-27 : [NLT] … 1 Earlier, during the first year of King Belshazzar’s reign in Babylon, Daniel had a dream and saw visions as he lay in his bed. He wrote the dream down, and this is what he saw. … 2 In my vision that night, I, Daniel, saw a great storm churning the surface of a great sea, with strong winds blowing from every direction. 3 Then four huge beasts came up out of the water, each different from the others. … 
9 I watched as thrones were put in place and the Ancient One [i.e., God, the Father] sat down to judge. His clothing was as white as snow, his hair like whitest wool. He sat on a fiery throne with wheels of blazing fire, 10 and a river of fire flowed from his presence. Millions of angels ministered to him, and a hundred million stood to attend him. Then the court began its session, and the books were opened. … 
13 As my vision continued that night, I saw someone who looked like a man [i.e., Jesus, The Messiah] coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient One and was led into his presence. 14 He was given authority, honor, and royal power over all the nations of the world, so that people of every race and nation and language would obey him. His rule is eternal—it will never end. His kingdom will never be destroyed. … 
18 [Daniel’s vision interpreted] “But in the end, the holy people of the Most High [i.e., true Israel] will be given the kingdom, and they will rule forever and ever.” … 
 24 “Its ten horns are ten kings that will rule that empire. Then another king will arise [i.e., anti-Christ], different from the other ten, who will subdue three of them. 25 He will defy the Most High and wear down the holy people of the Most High. He will try to change their sacred festivals and laws, and they will be placed under his control for a time, times, and half a time. 26“But then the court will pass judgment, and all his power will be taken away and completely destroyed. 27Then the sovereignty, power, and greatness of all the kingdoms under heaven will be given to the holy people of the Most High. They will rule forever, and all rulers will serve and obey them.”  
Highlight Passage: Daniel 8: 15-17; 23-25 : [NLT] … 15 As I, Daniel, was trying to understand the meaning of this vision, someone who looked like a man suddenly stood in front of me. 16 And I heard a human voice calling out from the Ulai River, “Gabriel, tell this man the meaning of his vision.” 17 As Gabriel approached the place where I was standing, I became so terrified that I fell to the ground. “Son of man,” he said, “you must understand that the events you have seen in your vision relate to the time of the end. [i.e., the time from Jesus’ ascension until His 2nd coming] ” … 
23 “At the end of their rule, when their sin is at its height, a fierce king, a master of intrigue [i.e., again, the Anti-Christ], will rise to power. 24 He will become very strong, but not by his own power. He will cause a shocking amount of destruction and succeed in everything he does. He will destroy powerful leaders and devastate the holy people [i.e., during the tribulation]. 25 He will be a master of deception, defeating many by catching them off guard. Without warning he will destroy them. He will even take on the Prince of princes [i.e., The Messiah] in battle, but he [the anti-Christ] will be broken, though not by human power.  
Highlight Passage: Daniel 9: 1-3; 4-6; 13-14; 18; 24-25 : [NLT] … 1 It was the first year of the reign of Darius the Mede, the son of Ahasuerus, who became king of the Babylonians. 2 During the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, was studying the writings of the prophets. I learned from the word of the LORD, as recorded by Jeremiah the prophet, that Jerusalem must lie desolate for seventy years. 3 So, I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and fasting. I wore rough sackcloth and sprinkled myself with ashes. …  
4 I prayed to the LORD my God and confessed: “O Lord, you are a great and awesome God! You always fulfill your promises of unfailing love to those who love you and keep your commands. 5But WE have sinned and done wrong. WEhave rebelled against you and scorned your commands and regulations. 6 WE have refused to listen to your servants the prophets, who spoke your messages to our kings and princes and ancestors and to all the people of the land.” … 
 13 Every curse written against us in the law of Moses has come true. All the troubles he predicted have taken place. But we have refused to seek mercy from the LORD our God by turning from our sins and recognizing his truth. 14 The LORD has brought against us the disaster he prepared, for we did not obey him, and the LORD our God is just in everything he does. … 18 “O my God, listen to me and hear my request. Open your eyes and see our wretchedness. See how your city lies in ruins — for everyone knows that it is yours. We do not ask because we deserve help, but because you are so merciful. …
[The Angel, Gabriel’s, explanation of Daniel’s vision] … 24 “A period of seventy sets of seven has been decreed for your people and your holy city to put down rebellion, to bring an end to sin, to atone for guilt, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to confirm the prophetic vision, and to anoint the Most Holy Place. 25 Now listen and understand! Seven sets of seven plus sixty-two sets of seven will pass from the time the command is given to rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One comes. Jerusalem will be rebuilt with streets and strong defenses, despite the perilous times. 

My Journal for Today: I’ve often used the word picture, describing my chronological reading assignments daily, as being like one trying to get a refreshing drink from a fully-outpouring fire hydrant; and nowhere could that be any more the case than this morning. … Volumes of end-times literature, commentaries, and interpretation have been written about these three chapters of the Book of Daniel.

And when it comes to Daniel’s described visions and prophesies, like that of interpreting John’s visions in The Revelation, I’m in WAY OVER MY HEAD!!

Do I sense an “AMEN!” from those who might be reading along with me. … Well, I have a couple of friends on the pastoral staff at our church who really get off on this stuff. They have studied the end-times prophetic biblical passages in great depth; and they teach it with great confidence and clarity. But even with their excellent teaching, my glasses of understanding get fogged up when I study through these and other end-times prophesies.

 So, this morning in my journaling, I want to focus on just one short passage from Daniel 9, verses 4-6, which I’ve highlighted in bold/red above. And you’ll note that this comes from Daniel’s poignant and powerful prayer to God in Chapter 9 – verses 4 – 19, confessing the sins of God’s chosen people and pleading with God for His mercy. It is a beautiful and touching prayer, which, if prayed to God this very day, from a genuinely repentant heart, would be heard by God as very accurately describing the state of God’s world and His chosen peoples in the age in which we live today.

 I hope you go back and read this prayer aloud to God and see if you don’t feel the conviction in your own heart, as I did this morning, praying for God’s mercy to spare the remnant of believers who’re engulfed by the consequences of our own sinfulness and spiritual neglect in today’s world.

Notice how often in verses 4-6 of Chapter 9 Daniel uses the personal pronoun “WE” to confess the sins and disobedience of God’s chosen peoples. I’ve highlighted Daniel’s “WE” references in all caps and underlined for emphasis. Daniel, one of the most Godly of Godly servants in the Bible, felt personally convicted as he pleaded for God’s mercy; and so should we! Passages of biblical truth like Isaiah 53: 6 and Romans 3: 23 document that WE ALL carry the burden of sin in our nature; and we, like Daniel, should be praying and confessing OUR sin before God – everyday – pleading for God’s mercy.

 I’ll leave you to carry out my humble exhortation yourself today; but I stand convicted and in deep remorse this morning, having read Daniel’s prayer in Chapter 9, verses 4-19 aloud to God from a deeply repentant heart. I hope you do the same … and mean it.

My Prayer Today: … Oh, LORD, have mercy on Your children today! Amen

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