Old Testament: Daniel 9:1-11:1
Daniel 9:1-27 One Of The Most Remarkable Prophecies In The Bible
“The first year of Darius” was 538 B.C. Darius was the same guy as in chapter 6. Daniel had been in exile 67 years at this point.
Daniel had been reading the prophet Jeremiah. From reading chap. 25 (vv. 11-22) he realized that the seventy year punishment of his people was almost finished. He pleaded with God in prayer to forgive the sins of the nation (vv. 4-16). The amazing thing is that Daniel was one of the most righteous men who ever lived. I don’t see any sin recorded in Scripture that he committed. Yet he so identified with the people that he admitted transgressions against the law of Moses and God (vv. 11, 13). He confessed the righteousness of God in bringing judgment (v. 14). He asks God for mercy since he admits the nation deserves His wrath (v. 18).
Gabriel, a high-level angel, came to answer Daniel’s prayer (v. 21). Verses 24-27 are some astonishing verses. They give the entire remaining timeline for the nation of Israel beginning with the decree of Artaxerxes Longimanus in 445 B.C. (v. 25, “decree to restore,” cf. Neh. 2:5) to rebuild the city of Jerusalem. From that point, there will be 490 years before the coming of Messiah and His 1,000 year kingdom (“everlasting righteousness,” cf. Jer. 23:5-6). Sin will be abolished (“finish transgression”) and Christ will sacrifice Himself for sin (“atonement for iniquity”). Christ would come the first time after 7 + 62 weeks. That calculates out to the day of His triumphal entry (cf. John 12:1-19). There is then a gap for the Church Age expressed as “after the sixty-two weeks” (note that the 62 weeks occur after the 7 weeks so there is a total of 69 weeks from the decree of Artaxerxes, v. 26). “The Messiah will be cut off and have nothing” is exactly what happened at the Crucifixion. The people of the Prince to come are the Romans who will destroy Jerusalem. This they did in 70 A.D. when they also destroyed the Temple. Finally, there will be wars and desolations (cf. Matt. 24:6). The Anti-Christ (“he,” verse 27) will make peace for seven years (“one week,” v. 27). After three and a half years (“in the middle of the week”), the Antichrist will stop the worship in the Temple and desecrate it (“one who makes desolate,” cf. Matt. 24:15). Then he will be destroyed (“until a complete destruction . . . poured out on the one who makes desolate”). Clear as mud? For more details read Alva J. McLain Daniel’s Prophecy of the Seventy Weeks.
To sum up, Gabriel gave Daniel a prophecy that covered the rest of time for the Jewish nation through the coming of Christ, the seven-year Tribulation, and the Millennial Kingdom until eternity.
Daniel 10:1-11:1 High Level Meetings
I used to get anxious reading about Daniel’s prayer in chapter 10. It took three weeks for a powerful angel to reach him with an answer while he was praying and fasting! What if I needed an answer to prayer and the angel got stopped up on the way to come to me? What then? Finally, it dawned on me that God was totally in charge. He knew how long it would take the angel to get through to Daniel and everything was copacetic.
The angel called Daniel a man of “high esteem” (v. 11, 19). How would you liked to be called that? I would! He told Daniel that he had started to come to answer his prayer when he had first started praying but was delayed by “the prince of the kingdom Persia” (vv. 13, 20). From verses like this comes the idea that there are angels, good and bad, in charge of the various nations. A demon had opposed this good angel. The opposition was so strong that Michael, the archangel, had to come and break up the altercation so the angel could get through (vv. 13, 20).
Daniel was scared half to death hearing what the angel had to say (v. 17). The angel had returned to fight both the princes of Persia and Greece (v. 20) but strengthened Daniel before he left (v. 21).
New Testament: 1 John 2:18-3:6
1 John 2:18-29 The Spirit Turns On The Light
As we could see from our Old Testament readings, many antichrist had already come into the world (v. 18). Many had appeared in John’s time but since then there have been those the likes of Stalin, Mussolini, Saddam Hussein and Usama Bin Laden. Theologically, anyone who opposes Christ and his doctrine are antichrist. That includes those who lead or found cults or even aberrant Christian preachers that preach any kind of works or put authority in anything or anyone other than the Bible and Christ. The increase of these type of leaders mark our current time as the end of the end times (v. 18).
Many of these false teachers originated in John’s fellowship but they left to show that they weren’t genuine (v. 19). The Holy Spirit was with them to guide them into the truth so they wouldn’t be fooled by the bad teachers (cf. John 16:13). The biggest liars are the ones who deny that Christ is the Messiah and the Father is God (v. 22). Whoever opposes Jesus opposes the Father because they are one in the same (v. 23). This is what John had been teaching them from the beginning and the only way to truly know God and Christ (v. 24).
John has been trying to save his readers from the false teachers since they had trusted Christ (vv. 25-26). They needed to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit who dwelled inside of them (cf. Rom. 8:9, 11). They are to keep themselves clean so that they can continue to have fellowship with Him (cf. 1 John 2:1-6). Then they won’t have to worry about the bema seat judgment either (cf. Rom. 14:10, 1 Cor. 3:10-15, 2 Cor. 5:10). Every believer is a person who keeps him or herself clean so they can stay close to God (v. 29).
1 John 3:1-6 How To Be Good Kids
God calls us His children (v. 1a). That’s why the world is repelled by us (v. 1b). We don’t know what we’ll be like when Christ returns but one thing we can be sure of: we’ll be a lot like Him (v. 2)! That should give us hope and strength to keep our resolve to strive to as pure as He is (v. 3, cf. Matt. 5:48; 1 Pet. 1:15-16).
All sinners are just flying off doing whatever they want (v. 4). God wants us to be like Him which is why He sent Christ, to take away our sins (v. 5). If we stay close to Christ, continually, we won’t sin (v. 6a). A non-Christian can’t help but sin all the time (v. 6b). That is all they can do since they don’t have God’s help and haven’t been washed of their sins in Christ.
Psalm 121:1-8 A Good Oily Smelly Prayer A Lament By David
Proverbs 28:27-28 Maranatha!
It’s great to know apologetics (defense of the faith), sound doctrine, a great prayer life, expansive Bible knowledge. But all Christians need to look out for those who haven’t been as financially blessed as we are. Most people who live in the United States have more than most people in other countries. There are plenty of the poor right here, though. We don’t have to be rich to help others (cf. Mark 12:42, the widow gave; John 13:29, Jesus gave to poor). In fact, we are commanded to help others, even those who oppose the Lord (cf. Gal. 6:9-10).
For example, are you inviting someone for Thanksgiving dinner who has nowhere to go? It’s good to think about others (v. 27). Until the Lord comes back, we have to do our part (cf. Gal. 2:10).
In the present times, Christians may have a tendency to go underground or be silent (v. 28a). But Christ will return soon and righteousness and holiness will spread over the world (v. 28b).
“He who testifies to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming quickly.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus” (Rev. 22:20).
The Lord is coming!
Maranatha (means the Lord is coming! cf. 1 Cor. 16:22)!
Choose Life: Scripture: 1 John 2:20 NASB “Sensitivity To The Holy Spirit”
“But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know.” 1 John 2:20
The anointing that all believers have is the Holy Spirit. He dwells inside of us (cf. Rom. 8: 9,11; 1 Cor. 6:19). Isn’t that an amazing thing?
One thing the Holy Spirit does for us is guide us into truth (cf. John 16:13). We are also led by the Spirit (cf. Rom. 8:14; Gal. 5:18). The phrase I like best to describe how we should relate to the Holy Spirit is to be “sensitive to the Holy Spirit.” It means to “keep an ear” out for whatever God may be saying for us.
John is saying that God will guard us through His Spirit from false teachers and false teaching. He will give us a sense that something is wrong. If a teacher or a teaching is oppressive and makes us uncomfortable, this might be a hint that God is trying to warn us from something that would harm us.
This verse doesn’t mean that human teachers are unnecessary but it does mean that God will lead us to good teachers through His Spirit. God will also help us to understand the Scriptures through His Spirit. We don’t all need seminary educations (thank God)!
Are you listening to God’s Spirit?
If you are, you will find that you are choosing life (Deut. 30:19)!
Believers in the past talked about things like having a “check” in their Spirit, an “impression,” or a “leading.” I don’t hear believers talking like that anymore. Maybe they are carnal. Maybe they aren’t taught. Maybe they don’t care.
There is a spiritual world out there. There is a supernatural world. Back in the seventies Ray Stevens had a hit song with “Turn Your Radio On.” The lyrics were “turn your radio on and get in touch with God.” Your receiver is in your head. Are you feeding it with Scripture and listening to God?
The purpose of Choose Life is to pick a positive help out of the One Year Bible (OYB) reading plan for the day. There is always something positive in the Word of God to cheer us and give us strength. For more on today’s reading, check out my One Year Bible blog: A Most Remarkable Prophecy