Archive for the ‘Daniel’ Category

“Prayer doesn’t change things. God does in response to proper prayers.”

     Crises.  When people find themselves in trouble they often cry out to God for help. They make all kinds of promises to Him if only He will rescue them in their crisis. Have you ever done this?  How many vows have you failed to keep?

     Captives.  Because of their disobedience to God, the Jews had been taken from their homeland into Babylon as captives.  Seventy years later the Medo-Persians defeated the Babylonians and allowed the Jews to return to rebuild the Temple and the city of Jerusalem.  Things were going to change dramatically.  So Daniel went to God in prayer.  Let’s consider it.

     Worship/Adoration. The first thing that Daniel did was to earnestly focus his attention on the Lord (Daniel 9:3). When one worships God and sees Him as He really is (John 4:24), it will have a very humbling affect on him.  This was true with Isaiah the prophet (Isaiah 6:5) and with the Apostle John (Revelation 1:9-18). Remember, God cannot and will not be deposed from His throne. God laughs at those who try (Psalm 2).

     Sackcloth And Ashes. To express the true condition of his heart, Daniel fasted, and covered himself with sackcloth and ashes. He was made aware of how awesome God truly is. The prophecy concerning the 70 years of Jewish captivity in Babylon had been fulfilled (Jeremiah 25:11-14). But he wanted to know more about the Jew’s future. How and when would the Messiah come? How would the other world empires treat the Jews in the days to come?  When would the “times of the Gentiles” (Luke 21:24) come to an end?

     Daniel’s Prayer. It was urgent. He wanted and expected some clear answers to his questions (Psalm 91:15; 143:1). He had full confidence in God’s ability to keep His covenants (promises) concerning the land that the Jews will inherit in the future (Genesis 15:18) and to give him additional information.  By the way, do you know the boundaries that God set for them to inherit?    

     Honest Confession. As one who was in a covenant relationship with God, Daniel acknowledged that he and the Jews had broken God’s conditional covenant (The Ten Commandments) and they were suffering for it (Daniel 9:5, 15; Exodus 20:1-17; Deuteronomy 28:15ff). But the Lord God was eager to forgive and restore them if they would repent and confess their sins (Isaiah 55:7; Proverbs 28:13).  But pride dies hard.

     God’s Glory. God wants all His creatures to know that He is who He says He is (Daniel 9:17; Ezekiel 6:7, 10; 7:4; John 17:4). God’s own reputation was involved (Numbers 14:15, 16; Jeremiah 14:7, 21). Although He is immutable (Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8), He is also mobile (i.e. He doesn’t have to keep doing what He chose to do just once – Examples: creation, Christ’s once and for all death for our sins). Man’s sinful purpose is to glorify himself (humanism) and to serve the creature rather than the Creator (Romans 1:25). The devil wants us to believe the lie that man can become a god (Genesis 3:5; 2 Thessalonians 2:11). Man can’t overthrow God no matter how hard he tires (Isaiah 9:7; Philippians 2:10; Revelation 19:16). He’d be wise to submit to Christ’s authority before it’s too late (Psalm 2:10-12).

     United States. While we don’t have the same promises to claim that the Jews do concerning the land of Israel (Genesis 15:8; Matthew 5:5), Christians can/should be good citizens and pray for and submit to those who are in authority over us (1 Timothy 2:1-4; Romans 13:1-7). Keep in mind that God sets up and brings down leaders in His time. He uses them to accomplish His purposes (Daniel 4:17, 25; Romans 9:17). He also wants to use ordinary people like you and me. Stop fretting (John 14:1-3). God is sovereign and He is in complete control of everything (Revelation 1:8). Christians can/should intercede for or against people (1 Timothy 2:1; Romans 11:2). Jesus, in heaven, does this for His own people (Hebrews 7:25).

     Christian Responsibilities. But most importantly, we should be filled with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18) and carry out the Great Commission and the New Commandment (Matthew 28:19, 20; Acts 1:8; John 13:34, 35). Do you know what this involves?

     Help?  Would you like to learn more truth from God’s Word? Visit our web site: www.kelseypeach.com. You are invited to listen to our corresponding messages on the Internet.

 

    That night, as he got ready to go to bed to sleep, he probably had no idea that he was about to have another horrible nightmare.  Two years before he had had a bad one that made his countenance change.  But on this particular night he was going to have another one that would make him sick for days and keep him from doing the king’s business.

    In this nightmare he saw a ram, and a goat with one huge horn in the middle of its head.  But what was most disturbing to the prophet Daniel was another little horn that came out later from the same goat (Daniel chapter 8).  If someone were to have a dream like this today, we’d probably think he’d drunk too much the night before or was on drugs.  Otherwise he might end up on the psychiatrist’s couch and be put in an insane asylum. 

    In his earlier years Daniel, a captive from Israel, had been used by God to interpret the dreams of King Nebuchadnezzar and King Belshazzar (Daniel chapters 2, 5).  Both dreams had to do with their future and the world empires to come.  But this time Daniel himself needed someone else to interpret this nightmare to him.

    Gabriel.  This angel, who would later announce the birth of Jesus to Mary (Luke 1:26), came to Daniel’s assistance and interpreted the dream for him.  Although unseen to us, spirit beings are very real and powerful as they do God’s bidding (Hebrews 1:14).  They also watch and listen to us (1 Corinthians 4:9; Ephesians 3:10).  So behave yourself.

    The Ram.  This represented the Medo-Persian Empire (Daniel 8:20).  It conquered the Babylonian Empire during the days of King Belshazzar (Daniel 5) and ruled the world for a period of time.  It was King Cyrus, of Persia (modern day Iran), who liberated the Jews and let them return to Israel to rebuild their Temple (Ezra 1:1ff; Isaiah 45:1).  Nehemiah, the Persian King’s cup bearer and a Jew, was allowed to go back to Israel to rebuild the walls around the city of Jerusalem.  Amazingly he and the Jews who had returned to Israel did the job in 52 days (Nehemiah 6:15).

    The Goat.  This goat had a huge horn in the middle of its head.  It represented the Grecian Empire headed up by Alexander the Great (Daniel 8:21).  He was about 20 years old when his father Philip was murdered.  Alexander was a military genius and went out to take vengeance on the Persians who had harassed the Greeks in earlier years.  His swift moving army of about 35,000 soldiers was able to crush the enormous army of Persia and the rest of the world.  When he returned to Babylon he wept because there were no more lands to conquer.  He is reported to have died at the age of 33 while in a drunken stupor. 

    The Little Horn.  After his death, Alexander’s four generals divided up the Greek Empire and ruled over it for awhile.  Later a “little horn” known as Antiochus Epiphanes came out of Syria and oppressed the Jews in Jerusalem and desecrated their temple.  He ordered a swine to be offered on the altar and murdered thousands of Jews.  This happened exactly as it had been predicted in the nightmare that Daniel had.

    Maccabees.  Although we don’t consider them to be a part of the inspired Scriptures, there is some historical information in these books about the struggle that the Jews had with this wicked king and how they finally regained control over Jerusalem and the Temple.

    Critics.  Because these prophecies in Daniel were fulfilled so accurately, the critics denounce this book in the Bible and say that there is no way for anyone to have predicted all this before it actually happened.

    Omniscient.  The God in whom you trust may not be the God of the Bible.  The true and living God is all powerful (Revelation 1:8) and all knowing (Isaiah 46:10; John 2:24, 25).  Nothing takes Him by surprise and He isn’t threatened by the devil or any man who might shake his fist at God (Psalm 2).  His other attributes include: holiness, righteousness, truth, goodness, and love.

    Prophecy.  One of the main reasons why we should place our faith exclusively in the Lord Jesus Christ (the God-man), and in the Bible is because of fulfilled Bible prophecy.  The Roman Empire will be revived (Daniel 2:41-43).  Out of it another “little horn” will come.  He will rule over the whole world (Daniel 7:23-27).  He will be empowered by the devil and assisted by a Jewish false prophet (Revelation 13).  As an aside, we believe that the “Antichrist” could come from the United States or Canada (Ezekiel 38:13).

    Victory.  After this wicked ruler of the whole world has brought havoc on earth for 7 years, he will be brought to his knees by the One who returns from heaven to rule and reign over this earth as the King of kings and Lord of lords for a 1,000 years (Daniel 2:44, 45, Acts 1:11; Revelation 19:16).  Without Christ’s millennial reign over this present earth, the devil could declare victory in the conflict of the ages.

    Personal.  Knowing accurately the facts of Bible prophecy isn’t enough to save you from hell and enable you to enter heaven.  You must acknowledge that you are a sinner who deserves death (Romans 3:10-23; 6:23).  This includes physical death and spiritual separation from God.  You also need to know that the God-man, the Lord Jesus Christ died for your sins…and rose again bodily from the grave on the third day (1 Corinthians 15:3-8).

    Believe.  This is the only condition that God has placed on us if we want to be saved (Acts 16:31).  Is your faith resting in Him alone, or in your good works?  Good works are an exhibition of our faith to other human beings after we’ve been saved, but they are not a part of our salvation (Ephesians 2:8-10; James 2:14-20).  My friend, don’t get the order mixed up or you could end up in the lake of fire forever (Matthew 7:21-23; 25:41, 46).

    Help?  If you need additional help and/or assurance of your salvation, we invite you to call us at 805-238-3549 or go to our web site: www.kelseypeach.com.  We have “God’s Simple Plan Of Salvation” in 24 languages and other information to help Christians grow in Christ.

    These weekly articles usually correspond to our talks on Sundays.  If you’re interested, you can listen to some of our messages on the Internet.  If you are a Christian will you help us get the Word out to others?  Someone is depending on you to be faithful.

Before the Lord Jesus Christ comes back to this earth to rule as the King of kings, and the Lord of lords (Revelation 19:16), we believe that God will allow the devil to put his man (Antichrist) on the stage of life (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12). He will deceive many of those who are left behind at the Rapture. It’s true, the word “Rapture” isn’t in our English translations, but the words “shall be caught up” (1 Thessalonians 4:17) accurately describe what will happen when Jesus comes back for His bride, the true Church (John 14:1-3).

     Timing. We believe that there is compelling evidence in the Bible that true Christians will not enter the seven years of tribulation that are coming to this earth (Daniel 9:27; Jeremiah 30:7). God will deliver them from the wrath to come (1 Thessalonians 1:10; 5:9; Revelation 3:10; 6:16). This doesn’t mean that all Christians will be carried to the skies on flowery beds of ease. Instead they should expect to be persecuted by religious people and the devil’s crowd if they live godly lives (John 16:2; 2 Timothy 3:12). In fact, sometimes carnal Christians oppress other Christians (James 4:1; 5:1; 3 John 1:9).

     The Rapture.  Key passages that deal with the Rapture can be found in John 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:51-53; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. This event was a mystery in the Old Testament times (1 Corinthians 15:51ff). The Biblical definition of a mystery is found in Romans 16:25, 26.  It’s important.  At the time of its writing, over one fourth of the Bible was prophetic.  Much of it has already been fulfilled.

    Interpretation.  The normal (literal), historical, and grammatical interpretation of the Bible is the way God wants us to interpret His Word. The prophecies concerning Christ’s first coming were fulfilled literally, and we believe that the prophecies concerning His second coming should also be interpreted the same way. The allegorical method of interpretation leads to all kinds of confusion and problems.

    Contrasts.  If you would like to receive a chart that shows the difference between the Rapture and Second Coming of Christ, contact us. The Rapture of the Church is sure, sudden, silent, selective, and satisfying (1 Corinthians 15:51ff; 1 Thessalonians 4:13ff).

    The Antichrist.  Key passages that deal with this man can be found in Daniel chapter 7; 2 Thessalonians chapter 2; Revelation chapters 13, 19. This man will be welcomed by the people of the world. He will have charisma. He will promise to fill in the vacuum that will be left when the true Church departs to meet the Lord in the air (2 Thessalonians 2:3). He will be pushed into the forefront by the ten kings (rulers) of the Revived Roman Empire and the Apostate Church (Revelation 13:1; 17; 18) that will combine many religions into one.

    Characteristics.  One Bible commentator* wrote that this man will have the oratorical skills of John Kennedy, be able to inspire people as Winston Churchill did, have the determination of Joseph Stalin, the vision of Karl Marx, the respectability of Gandhi, the military prowess of General Douglas MacArthur, the charm of Will Rogers, and the genius of King Solomon. He will appear to many as an angel of light just as the devil does today through his false teachers (2 Corinthians 11:13-15).

    Mark Of The Beast.  Who in his right mind wouldn’t follow such a man and take his mark on their hand or forehead so they can buy, sell, and stay alive (Revelation 13:16-18)? Believers won’t. But those who take it will be doomed forever (Revelation 14:9-11).

     Power.  In Christ’s day the devil took over the body of Judas after he betrayed Jesus.  He did this so that Judas would do exactly what the devil wanted him to do (Luke 22:3). Likewise, we believe that the devil (dragon) will give the Antichrist his power, his throne, and great authority. After the Antichrist is killed in the middle of the Tribulation, when he fights against Russia and her allies, who will come down on Israel to take a spoil (Ezekiel 38), he (Antichrist) will be brought back to life to counterfeit Christ‘s resurrection. At this time he will dominate the whole world and be assisted by a Jewish false prophet (Revelation 13).

     Stage.  It certainly seems like the stage is being set for the arrival of the Antichrist, the one world government, and the one world church. Many people around the world realize that we need a one world government. We agree.  But the question is, Who will be the supreme leader of the world?  Will it be Satan’s man-the Antichrist, or the God-man, the Lord Jesus Christ? Whom do you want to rule over this world?

    Deceived?  Don’t be misled by the false teachers who are promoting a “Social Gospel” rather than the “True Gospel” (1 Corinthians 15:3-8).  Those who believe in “Dominion Theology” have been trying in vain to take over the world system that belongs to the devil (John 12:31; Matthew 4:8, 9).  It includes: business, government, media, arts and entertainment, education, family, and religion.  Folks, Jesus Christ is the only One who can and will do this when He returns to this earth as He said He would (Acts 1:10, 11.  See Daniel 2:44, 45). He will take it by force from the devil, the Antichrist, and the false prophet and cast them into the lake of fire forever (Revelation 19:11-20:15; Psalm 2).  Yes, hell is forever just as heaven is.

    Destiny?  Where will you spend eternity? Will it be with God in heaven or in the lake of fire that was prepared for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:30, 41, 46)? You don’t have to go to that awful place if you’ll place your faith in Christ alone to save you. Don’t rely on your good works (Ephesians 2:8, 9). You can have assurance of salvation before you die (1 John 5:13).

    Help?  If you have Bible questions, we invite you to contact us at 805-238-3549 or visit our web site for more information. These articles usually correspond to our Sunday talks which can also be heard on the Internet at www.kelseypeach.com.

*Adapted from C. R. Swindoll, “Daniel, God’s Pattern For The Future

In 1945, under his pen name, George Orwell wrote “Animal Farm” to express his condemnation of totalitarianism and the evils of communism which he saw as he was growing up in Burma.  It’s a story about some animals who took over the farm in an effort to create a perfect society in which all would have an equal voice. Unfortunately the inner nature of the animals (especially the pigs) won out and the whole project ended up in chaos.

But Orwell wasn’t the first one to write or talk about animals taking over the farm or the world. The Prophet Daniel received from God a dream and visions about an “Animal Farm” where beast like men would rule over other people and nations with a heavy hand (Daniel 7).

   The Times. While Jesus was here on earth He talked about “the times of the Gentiles” (Luke 21:24).  They began in 605 B.C. when the Jews were taken as captives by King Nebuchadnezzar to Babylon (2 Chronicles 36:1-21).  Since that time and even to the present time Jerusalem has been trampled under foot by the Gentiles (non-Jews).  This will continue until their Messiah returns for them in the nick of time when their enemies try to annihilate them during the “Great Tribulation.” It is also known as “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7; Zechariah 12, 14).

  Land. The Jews do not possess all the land that God promised to give to them yet (Genesis 15:18).  We believe that their southern boundary will extend from the river of Egypt (Nile) all the way over to present day Kuwait where the Euphrates River runs into the Persian Gulf.  The northern boundary will extend from the northern part of Syria over to the head waters of the Euphrates River.  The Jews will get all this land and live there during Christ’s 1,000 year reign on earth (Daniel 2:44, 45; Revelation 20:1-7).  At that time the earth will blossom like a rose (Isaiah 35:1) and once again be like the Garden of Eden.

  Dream.  In Daniel’s dream he saw the rulers of the four world empires portrayed as voracious animals.  He saw a lion with eagle’s wings (Babylon), a bear with three ribs in its mouth (Medo-Persia), a leopard with four wings (Greece), and a dreadful and terrible beast (Rome).  This corresponds with the dream that King Nebuchadnezzar had in Daniel 2.

   The Little Horn.  Of particular interest to Daniel was a “little horn” that came up from among the ten horns (ten kings of the revived Roman Empire).  He will rule over the whole world in the future (Daniel 7:8, 24, 25). Being grieved in his spirit, Daniel approached one of those who stood by (perhaps an angel) and asked for further clarification and understanding.

  Compilation.  By correlating Daniel’s visions with information from other Biblical writers, we can come up with a fairly good picture of this “little horn.” He (The Antichrist) will confirm a seven year peace agreement with the Jewish people. (This might happen in the very near future as we see the middle east about to explode before our eyes.) But he will break it after 3 ½ years (Daniel 9:27) and he will become the dominant ruler of the whole world. He will speak pompous words against the Most High God and oppress the saints and prevail against them (Revelation 6:9-11; 13:5-7). He will try to change the set times and laws (Daniel 7:24, 25).

  Security.  During the first half of the seven years of tribulation the Jews will enjoy peace and prosperity while the rest of the world will languish under the “Seven Seal Judgments” (Revelation 6:1ff; Ezekiel 38:10ff). But when the “Anti-Christ” has his image set up in the rebuilt temple in Jerusalem, and demands that he be worshipped, the “Great Tribulation” of the Jews will commence because they will refuse to bow down and worship him and his image (Matthew 24:15; See Daniel 3:18). They will flee to Petra in Jordan (Sela) and be protected by God for the last 3 ½ years (Isaiah 16:1; Revelation 12:13-17). Unless God graciously shortens those days from 24 hour days and reduces them down to 16 hour days, no flesh will survive this awful period of human history (Matthew 24:22; Revelation 8:12).  It will be far worse than any pogroms or the holocaust of the past and men will suffer as women do in childbirth (Jeremiah 30:7).

   Replaced?  “Has God cast away His people (the Jews)? Certainly not!” says the Apostle Paul (Romans 11:1). There will be a believing Jewish remnant who will survive this time in spite of what Israel’s enemies try to do to them (Matthew 24:34). God has to keep all His promises to the Jews or He is a liar. He cannot and will not break any of His promises to them or to us Christians (Romans 15:4).

  Blessing.  God said to Abraham, “I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse those who curse you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 12:3).  Our politicians and people need to take these words seriously.

  America.  What is the future of the United States? It’s hard to find it mentioned in the pages of the Scriptures. (Perhaps Ezekiel 38:13).  Does this mean that we will be reduced to an insignificant nation among others? We do know that eventually all the nations of the world will come against the Jews at a place called Armageddon, located in northern Israel, and they will try to annihilate them once and for all (Revelation 16:16).

  Devil.  If somehow the devil and his agents can exterminate the Jews, then God will have failed and perhaps the devil will think that his doom can also be averted (John 12:31; 16:11). Since God is all powerful (Revelation 1:8), it cannot and will not happen. Jesus Christ’s 1,000 year reign over the refurbished earth is absolutely essential to prove to God’s creatures that the devil cannot and will not win the conflict of the ages (Isaiah 9:6, 7; Revelation 19:16; 20:10).

  Sovereignty.  Christian, never forget that God is still on His throne and He will never forsake His own (Daniel 4:17, 25; Hebrews 13:5). Nothing and no one can separate us from God’s love (Romans 8:35-39). We couldn’t be in safer hands than God’s hands (John 10:28, 29). Are you sure you’re hidden there? If not, let us help you get in there.

  Contact.  If you have Bible questions or need additional help, call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our web site at www.kelseypeach.com. These articles usually correspond to our talks on Sundays.  If you’re interested, you can read our web logs (Blogs) or listen to our messages on the Internet to learn more about Bible prophecy and other topics.

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”  What is beautiful to one person may not be to another person.  Man tends to think of himself as evolving upward.  But God’s view of man is quite different.  He paints a picture that doesn’t make man look good.  In fact, it is outright ugly (Romans 3:10-23; Isaiah 64:6; Jeremiah 17:9).

The metallic image that King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon saw in his dream made man look good.  But the voracious animals that Daniel saw in his dream/vision were a view of man from God’s perspective.

  Symbols.  We think in pictures.  So God used some of them to convey to us truths that we couldn’t otherwise know.  Daniel had this vision about 550 B.C.  God was letting him know what would happen in the future.  Of course the skeptics don’t believe He knows or can know the future.  Beware of the heresy known as “Open Theism.”  It diminishes the true and living God and His omniscience.

  Four Winds.  This, we believe, was used to describe God’s use of angels (spirits, winds) to accomplish His purposes (Hebrews 1:14).  One angel decimated a 185,000 man army overnight (Isaiah 37:36).  Jesus had at His disposal twelve legions (144,000 angels) to rescue Him from the hands of His enemies had He chosen to call on them (Matthew 26:53).

  Great Sea.  Mankind is figuratively said to be like the waves in a troubled sea.  They are under Satan’s control (John 13:31; 14:30; Ephesians 2:2; 1 John 5:19).  It is out of this diabolical world system that some voracious animal like men and kingdoms emerge.

  Lion.  This king of the beasts with eagle’s wings represented King Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonian Empire (Daniel 2:37, 38; 7:4).  He had his “wings clipped” when God humbled him for seven years, perhaps with zoanthropy, and then restored his kingdom back to him (Daniel 4:10-14).  God used the Babylonians to deport the Jews from their homeland for 70 years to fulfill the requirements of the Sabbatical rest for the land (Jeremiah 25:11; 29:10).

   Bear.  This massive animal represented the Medo-Persian Empire under King Darius and King Cyrus (Daniel 2:38; 7:5; Isaiah 45:1).  The three ribs in the bear’s mouth are believed to represent three large nations they overcame.  Believe it or not, God used the Persians (Iranians) to allow the Jews to return to their land and rebuild it and their temple (Ezra 1:1-4).

  Leopard.  This animal was pictured with four wings and represented the Grecian Empire under Alexander the Great (Daniel 2:39; 7:6).  With an army of about 35,000 men he moved rapidly eastward perhaps as far as modern day Afghanistan.  With no more worlds to conquer, he is said to have died in a drunken stupor at the age of 33.  His four generals divided up the conquered lands and ruled over them until the Romans came on the scene.  God used the Greek language and culture to prepare the way for the coming Messiah.

   Dreadful Beast.  So terrible looking was this beast that it was difficult to describe. It was terrifying, powerful, vicious, cruel, strong, and merciless.  It represented well the Roman Empire (Daniel 2:40-43; 7:7, 23, 24).  God used the “Pax Romana” (Roman peace) and Roman roads to prepare the way for the arrival of the promised Messiah’s first coming.

  Revived.  Although Rome has faded from the picture for awhile, it will be revived in the last days of man’s rule over the earth.  The ten kings (leaders) of the Revived Roman Empire will promote a “little horn” (a horn speaks of power) and allow him to lead the confederacy.  When three of them oppose this arrogant “little horn,” he will crush them and eventually dominate the whole world for 3 ½ years (Daniel 7:25; Revelation 13:5-7).  God will use the Revived Roman Empire to bring a Jewish remnant to a realization that the One whom they had crucified by the Romans was/is their promised Messiah (Zechariah 12:10; Matthew 23:37-39).  When Israel finally repents, their Messiah will come to rescue them from total annihilation (Zechariah 14).  God may use man’s weapons of mass destruction against those who set out to wipe the Jews off the face of the map.

  Son Of Man.  The Ancient of Days (God the Father) will send back to this earth the “Son of Man” (God the Son – The Lord Jesus Christ) to rescue the believing Jewish remnant and establish His millennial kingdom (Daniel 2:44, 45; 7:9-14; Revelation 20:1-7).  Unless Jesus Christ returns to earth and rules over the “refurbished earth” for 1,000 years, Satan will have won the conflict of the ages.  The pre-millennial return of Jesus Christ to rule over the earth was the hope of believing Jews and it is also the hope of New Testament Christians (Isaiah 2:4; 9:6, 7; 11:1-10; 35:1ff).

  Perhaps Today!  We don’t know exactly when Jesus Christ will return for His bride, the true Church (John 14:1-3).  But we want to be ready at all times for that momentous day.  Are you eagerly waiting for His any moment return?  Those who love His appearing are promised a crown of righteousness (2 Timothy 4:8).  Will your receive one?

  Gospel.  Christ died for our sins…and rose again bodily from the grave on the third day.  Any and all who place their faith in Him alone (and not their own good works) will be saved (Acts 16:31; Ephesians 2:8, 9).  Have you done that yet?  If not, why not do so right now?

  Contact.  If you need further help, call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our web site at: http://www.kelseypeach.com.  These articles usually correspond to one of our talks on Sundays.

 Who in his right mind would choose rather to be thrown into a lions’ den than skip prayer meeting for a month?  Daniel did.  But you might ask, Why?  It was a matter of priorities and confidence in His God.  Since his early years he had trusted in the God of the Jews and knew many things about Him.  He was/is all powerful, omniscient, righteous, good, truthful, holy, and loving.  His attributes don’t change (Hebrews 13:8) but His activities do.  Who wouldn’t want a God like this?  Most people wouldn’t.  They don’t want a God like this because they wouldn’t be able to manipulate Him like a Genie or their puppy.  What about you?  How would you describe your God?

  New Regime.  After the Medo-Persians brought down the Babylonian Empire it was discovered that Daniel (who was then in his 80s) had been a faithful administrator for many years.  King Darius needed such men with integrity to help him govern the new, enlarged kingdom.  So he appointed Daniel (a Jewish captive –Daniel 6:1-13) and two other men (probably Persians-Iranians) as governors to rule over 120 other lesser officials to see that no graft was taking place.  Because Daniel distinguished himself above the other two governors, King Darius wanted to set him over the whole realm.  Imagine what might happen if such a thing were to happen in Iran today.

  Conspiracy.  Rather than going on a “fact finding” mission, the two other governors went on a “fault finding” mission to see what they could dig up on Daniel.  But they found him to be faithful and loyal to the king,  honest in his work ethic, and one who maintained high moral standards.  (If you have been persecuted for doing your job like this, read 1 Peter 4:12-19.)  So these wicked men decided that if they were to find fault with him it would have to be related to his personal faith in Jehovah God. 

  Dirty Tricks.  Using flattery and lies, these officials manipulated King Darius into signing a royal statute and firm decree that would get Daniel thrown into the lions’ den.  Not realizing that his trusted friend Daniel wasn’t in on this plan, the king succumbed to their flattery and signed the document that couldn’t be changed by anyone including the king himself.  (We get the term “the law of the Medes and Persians” from Daniel 6:8).  Being placed in a position of a god was quite an honor for the king.  After all, forbidding others to make requests to their favorite gods for 30 days might help to unify the newly enlarged empire.

  Trapped.  But in signing the decree, the king put the death sentence on Daniel.  But he chose to face the lions rather than avoid his daily prayer time with God.  What would you have done?  He could have made excuses for not praying three times a day.  After all, a month wasn’t that long.  He could have closed his window as he prayed or prayed silently without bending his knees.  But that would have been cowardly of him.

  Habits.  We all have habits – good ones and bad ones.  When we get saved we don’t get rid of all of them or our sin nature (2 Corinthians 5:17; 1 John 1:8).  Since early in life Daniel spent much time with God in prayer (Daniel 2:17, 18).  He had confidence in God’s ability to deliver him from the lions just as God had delivered his three friends from the fiery furnace earlier in life (Daniel 3:27; Ephesians 3:20; Revelation 1:8).  How much confidence do you have in your God?  (By the way, not all believers received such deliverance. – Hebrews 11:35-38)

  Ignorant.  These vicious men who tricked the king and trapped Daniel didn’t know how powerful Daniel’s God was.  But they were about to find out very soon.  Likewise, someday everyone will face the One whom God the Father has appointed as the Judge – the Lord Jesus Christ (John 5:22; 2 Timothy 4:8).  “…it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).  You can’t escape judgment day.  Every person who dies will be raised from the dead in his own order (1 Corinthians 15:22-24).  Your degree of pleasure in heaven or your degree of suffering in the lake of fire will be determined by Him (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; Revelation 20:11-15; 21:8).  In which group will you be found?  Are you sure?

  Deliverance.  God the Father loved the world (i.e. the people like you and me who were/are caught up in the devil’s system) that He gave His only begotten Son [the God-man], that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life…He who believes on Him is not condemned, but he who does not believe is condemned already…” (John 3:16, 18). 

  Gospel.  The Good News is that Christ died for our sins…and rose again bodily from the grave on the third day.  He can/will save any and all who trust in Him exclusively for salvation.  We aren’t saved by good works lest anyone should boast (Ephesians 2:8, 9).

  Curtain.  Someday the curtain will come down and we’ll all die unless the Lord comes back for us first (John 14:1-3; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).  Are you ready to meet God?  Don’t assume that you’ll be alive tomorrow (James 4:14).  Make the most important decision of your life while you can.

  Assurance.  If you would like to have assurance of your salvation, call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our web site designed for people just like you:  www.kelseypeach.com.  These articles usually correspond to our talks on Sundays.

  If you’d like to receive these articles as they come out, fill out the information under Follow.

  We in the United States sometimes think that we are invincible. Think again. While there are plenty of people on the outside who hate us with a passion and would love to see us grovel in the dust, there is a “Trojan Horse” inside our walls filled with traitors who want to change our constitutional republic into socialistic state or something even worse.  Are you prepared for a diabolical dictatorship?  One is coming (Revelation 13; 2 Thessalonians 2:7-12).  He may arrive much sooner than most folks think (1 Thessalonians 5:3).

  Time And Boundaries. Did you know that God is the One who determines the length of a nation’s existence and the boundaries it will have (Acts 17:26)? What started out as 13 colonies grew into 50 United States. Our influence and power has extended beyond our borders.  Is it waning?  If so, why do you think it’s happening?  What can/should we do?

  World Empires. By means of a dream (nightmare) God conveyed to King Nebuchadnezzar His plan for the future. Four world empires would rise and fall: Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome.  After the revived Roman Empire has failed to bring lasting world peace to this earth, God would destroy it and establish His everlasting kingdom on earth (Daniel 2:36-45; Isaiah 9:6, 7).  The Jews will become the dominant head nation (Deuteronomy 28:12) and resurrected King David will be a sub-ruler under Christ and His bride, the true church (Jeremiah 30:9; Romans 8:17).  Regardless of what puny men determine to do, God is sovereign.  He raises nations for His purposes and then brings them down.  One whose side are you?

  Defiant.  Many people within our nation have turned their backs on God and are living lawlessly (2 Timothy 3:1-5).  We are amazed at the long suffering of God (2 Peter 3:8, 9).  Yes, we desperately need a one world government.  But we are opposed to the godless United Nations and the “New World Order” that defiant rebels want to establish without Jesus Christ as the Leader of it.  They hate Him and cry out against Him saying, “We will not have this man [Jesus] reign over us” (Luke19:14).  Reading Psalm 2 will help you see things from God’s perspective and could calm your soul (emotions).

  Arrogance. Second and third generation children usually begin to lose their appreciation for the sacrifice that their forefathers made to secure their freedoms. Someone has well said, “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.” Tyrants and bullies delight in enslaving their enemies and sometimes even their own countrymen (James 5:1-6). They love things and use people (1 John 2:15-17).  King Belshazzar of Babylon failed to learn from his forefather King Nebuchadnezzar that the Most High God rules in the kingdoms of men and gives it to the lowest of men (Daniel 4:37).  No one can successfully resist and overthrow God. He is omnipotent (Revelation 1:8).  He can/will keep His promises to the Jews (Genesis 15:18) and to Christians whether we believe them or not.  This gives us hope and a reason to live (Romans 15:4).

  Facades.  They are used to cover up inferior elements. Expensive looking furniture may not be solid oak underneath the surface. Pretending to be something you’re not is deceptive and will be exposed eventually by God (Jesus Christ the righteous Judge) who knows all things (John 2:24; 5:22; 2 Timothy 4:8).  Religious hypocrites and false teachers will suffer the most in the lake of fire forever (Jude 1:13; Matthew 10:15; Revelation 19:20; 20:10).  There is no annihilation of the wicked (Matthew 25:30, 41, 46) or reincarnation mentioned in the Scriptures.  “Red Letter Christians” should read Matthew 23:13-39 carefully.  Don’t be deceived by them.  Test everything by the reliable, infallible, and authoritative Word of God (Acts 17:11; 1 John 4:1).  It is the standard by which all men will be judged someday (Revelation 20:12; Hebrews 9:27).  All motives will be exposed too (1 Corinthians 4:5).

  Handwriting.  The mysterious handwriting on the wall caused King Belshazzar and all his guests to tremble and quake (Daniel 5:6). Since the words didn’t have vowels, the meaning was obscured. Likewise, most of the Bible seems to be foolish to the natural (unsaved) man and the carnal Christian (1 Corinthians 2:14-3:4).  Holy Spirit filled teachers can help Christians understand the meaning of God’s Word (Ephesians 4:11; 5:18; 1 John 2:27).  But they must be teachable (2 Timothy 2:2) and willing to change (Romans 12:1, 2) if shown the truth from God’s Word?  Otherwise they could become Satanically ensnared and very miserable themselves and infect those around them (2 Timothy 2:24-26).  Is this a problem that you have?

  Interpretation. When the wise men of Babylon failed to interpret the writing on the wall, the aged prophet Daniel was summoned before the king only to be told of his imminent demise. That same night the Medo-Persian army entered the city of Babylon by going under the wall where the river ran into the city.

  Chinks.  All nations have cracks that make them vulnerable. The “Doomsday Preppers” have their own ideas about the end of the world as we now know it.  Ask your friends what they think.  Unless the Lord builds a house or the nation, the people work in vain (Psalm 127:1). Upon what are you building your life – sand (worthless works) or on the Solid Rock – the Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 7:24-27; 16:18; 1 Corinthians 3:11-15)?

  Prophecy.  It’s interesting to note that the United States is not specifically mentioned in Bible prophecy?  Do you where you can find veiled references to it?  How are you preparing yourself for the future?  Where will you go when you die?  Are you certain?  Upon what are you basing your confidence? 

  Help.  If you would like some answers from the Bible, we invite you to call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our web site: www.kelseypeach.com.  We have “God’s Simple Plan Of Salvation” in 24 languages.  Our “Dispensational Chart” provides a panoramic view from eternity past to eternity future.  Our web logs (Blogs) usually correspond to our talks on Sundays.  Our “Beliefs” and “Bible Basics” sections summarize major themes in the Bible.

  If this article has helped you, will you tell someone else about it?  Sign up to receive these articles as they come out by filling in the information under “Follow.”

“Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin.”  These were the words written on the plaster of the wall of King Belshazzar’s palace in Babylon by the fingers of a man’s hand.  They appeared very suddenly, mysteriously, and were seen by all who were at the banquet that night.  They struck terror into the inebriated monarch and his guests.  He was so frightened that his knees knocked together (Daniel 5:6).  He desperately wanted to know what the words meant.

Meaning.  After his wise men failed to reveal it to him, the old prophet Daniel was called to the banquet hall to explain to this drunken king the interpretation of each word.   He said, “God has numbered your kingdom, and finished it.  You have been weighed in the balances, and found wanting.  Your kingdom has been divided, and given to the Medes and Persians” (Daniel 5:26-28).  By the way, the Persians were those who live in Iran today.  Do they pose a threat to the United States, Israel, and the rest of the world?  Will Islam dominate the whole world in the future?  (Read the “blogs” on our web site for more information.)

  Cause.  Why did all this happen?  God was at work behind the scenes.  He had used the cruel Babylonians to punish His rebellious and idolatrous people the Jews by having them taken into captivity for seventy years (Daniel 1:2; 9:2).  It was now time for them to be released from their bondage.  Isaiah the prophet had accurately predicted that a king by the name of Cyrus from Persia (Iran) would let the Jews return to their homeland (Isaiah 45:1; Ezra 1:1).  Fulfilled Bible prophecy is one of the reasons you should believe the Bible and interpret it normally (literally).  Sadly, many Christians don’t do this and end up confused.

Defiance.  Perhaps the impudent King Belshazzar knew about the prophecies of Jeremiah that predicted the return of the Jews to the land that God had promsed to give to them (Genesis 15:18) and the demise of the kingdom of Babylon (Jeremiah 29:10-14; Daniel 2:39).  He may have thought that there was no way for this to happen even though the city of Babylon was the only one left that hadn’t been conquered by King Cyrus.  After all, it had walls that were supposed to be impenetrable and there was a food supply that could sustain them for 20 years.  The Euphrates River that ran under the city wall provided them with plenty of water.

Achilles’ Heal.  With great ingenuity and much hard work King Cyrus had this river diverted so that the water level was lowered enough so his soldiers could crawl under the wall where the water ran into Babylon.  This happened on the very night that King Belshazzar was hosting an elaborate banquet for his lords, their wives, and concubines.  It was a night of drunken debauchery and defiance of the true God (Jehovah).

Contempt.  To show his utter disregard and contempt for the God of the Jews, he had their sacred vessels of gold and silver, which had been taken from the Temple in Jerusalem, brought in to be used for his drunken party.  Such sacrilege would not go unpunished.  Just as those who defy the laws of nature get hurt, so those who defy God will eventually be crushed by God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ (Psalm 2; Revelation 19:11-16).

Question.  Is our nation shaking its fist at God and saying, “We will not have You ruling over us (Luke 19:14)?  We don’t want You telling us how to live our lives.  We will live any way we want to live.  We’ll even defy the laws of nature that relate to men and women (Romans 1:26).”  How long do you think that God will put up with our murdering babies in the womb, our drunkenness, immorality, and lawless living?  Do you know what will happen to such people (1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Revelation 21:8)?

Personalize.  Are you defying God by living lawlessly (1 John 3:4)?  Today is the only day you have to change your mind (repent) and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior (Acts 16:31).  He died for all of our sins…and rose again bodily from the grave on the third day (1 Corinthians 15:3-8).  He can/will save any and all who believe on Him (John 3:16, 18).  If you’ve never done so before, will you place your faith in Him alone right now?  You cannot be saved by your good works (Ephesians 2:8, 9).  Where you spend eternity will depend on the decision you make in this life.

Help.  If you have questions or comments, call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our web site at www.kelseypeach.com.  It was designed with people like you in mind.  If you have been helped by reading this article, will you pass it on to someone else (2 Corinthians 1:3, 4)?

If you’d like to receive these articles as they come out, please fill in the information under “Follow.”

  His entire life was characterized by pillaging, looting, murdering, punishing, kidnapping, and pride. He had trouble with disturbing nightmares.  One night he had a dream about an enormous tree that extended into the heavens. It provided shade and food for all who came under it. But some “watchers” called for this tree to be chopped down and a band of iron put around the stump that was left.  Now, if you had a dream like this, wouldn’t you want to know its significance?  Well, you can read the rest of the story about Saddam Hussein’s role model in Daniel chapter 4.

  Proclamation. After several previous encounters with the God of the Jews, who demonstrated His omniscience and omnipotence in some unusual ways (Daniel 2, 3), King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon became insane and suffered from boanthropy. It is a form of madness in which the victim imagines himself to be an ox.  Surprisingly, after seven humiliating years his reason and his kingdom were returned to him (Daniel 4:36). This may have been due in part to Daniel’s position of authority in the Babylonian empire (Daniel 2:48).

  Peace. Even though the subjects in his kingdom enjoyed relative peace like the Pax Romana, his new concern was for all the people of the earth over whom he ruled. He wanted them to know that the God of the Jews was the only true and living God in whom he (Nebuchadnezzar) had finally come to trust. He himself enjoyed peace with God and the peace of God.  Do you know the difference between these two?

  Grace. Yes, God does choose to save some wise, mighty, and noble people to be the special recipients of His grace (1 Corinthians 1:26-32). But most of the people who get saved come from the lower classes of society.  God will use them to confound those who think too highly of themselves.

  Unbelief. There is no hope for you if you spurn the grace of God and choose to reject the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior (Romans 1:20; John 3:16, 18, 36). Unbelief is the only unforgivable sin today (John 16:9). Faith is the only requirement for your salvation. But it must be in the right person.  Don’t be deceived by the imposters (Matthew 24:5).  Salvation is not of works lest anyone should boast (Ephesians 2:8, 9).

  Love. God the Father loved the people of this world who were/are caught in the devil’s trap. Realizing our predicament, He sent another member in the Godhead (the Lord Jesus Christ) to this earth to be born of the virgin, Mary and to live a sinless life for 33 years. Jesus then allowed Himself to be taken by sinful men who crucified Him on a cross. Then God the Father placed all our sins on Him. After spending three days in the tomb, Jesus rose again bodily and made appearances for over 500 witnesses over a 40 day period of time. Then He ascended back to heaven in the presence of His disciples with a promise to return.  Are you ready for this dramatic event?  Perhaps today!

  Our God. Unlike the gods of the heathen, the only true God is loving, gracious, and kind. But He is also holy and righteous and must punish sin (lawlessness). He answers our prayers when they are in keeping with His purposes. He alone is worthy of all honor, worship, and praise. Does He get these things from you?  How often?

  Future. Sometime in the future every knee shall bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:10, 11). This doesn’t mean that everyone will eventually be saved and go to heaven. But they will admit that the Jesus who came 2,000 years ago was/is the God man (John 1:1-18).

  Now! Only those who place their faith and trust in Him during this life will spend eternity with Him in heaven. All others will be cast into the Lake of Fire to suffer forever (Matthew 25:41, 46; Revelation 21:8). There are no second chances to be saved after you die.

  Cowards. The devil tempts Christians to play the role of a coward. When he does, we must put on the “Gospel shoes” and go forward with boldness and in the power of the Lord (Ephesians 6:15; Acts 4:29). A “Crown of Rejoicing” awaits those who lead others to Christ (1 Thessalonians 2:19, 20). Will you get one?

  Help. If you have questions and/or comments, call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our web site at www.kelseypeach.com and read our “Blogs.”

  If people only knew the truth about hell they would never joke about it or tell people to go there. But sadly, the false teachers of this world are being used by the devil and demons to disseminate heresies about this awful place (1 Timothy 4:1). The “Lake of Fire” was prepared for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41, 46) but many people will end up there with these wicked spirit beings and suffer forever (Revelation 21:8). We don’t want you to be one of them.

  Rescue Mission. The Lord Jesus Christ, the God-man came to rescue sinful people (not the devil or demons) from this place of eternal torment (John 3:16; Luke 19:10). However, if hell is not real or eternal, then there is no need for salvation (deliverance) from it and Jesus came to earth in vain and should be considered a deceptive liar or a lunatic.

  Unpleasant. Although it’s not a pleasant subject to talk about in “polite company” and causes some people to be uncomfortable when discussing it, we’d ask you to give your attention to what Jesus and the Apostles had to say about it.

  Real. “Jesus taught that hell is a place (Matthew 24:51; Luke16:28; cf.Revelation 21:8; Acts 1:25b) to be avoided at all costs (Matthew 5:22, 29, 30). He taught that it will be a place of enforced separation from His presence (Matthew 7:23;  cf. 2 Thessalonians 1:8, 9). As a place of darkness, its only sounds will be of weeping and the gnashing of teeth (Matthew 8:12). Hell is a fate far worse than one’s physical death (Matthew 10:28) and will contain punishments varying in severity (Matthew 11:22-24).” – Larry Dixon

  Heresies. Universalism (I.e. Everyone will be saved and eventually go to heaven), Annihilationism (I.e. The wicked will just be wiped out of existence like a bug), Reincarnation (I.e. We will come back to this life in another form) are all deceptive lies that the devil wants you to believe so you will end up with him in hell. Neither can Purgatory be found in the 66 Books of the Scriptures. This false teaching was added in A.D. 1439 to the Bible after it was completed.  Read what the Scriptures have to say concerning those who add to or subtract from the Bible (Revelation 22:18, 19).  It’s serious.

  Denial. You are free to deny what you’ve just read and/or dismiss it from your mind. But denying what Jesus and the Apostles said won’t change what they taught and held to be the truth. What if they are right about it and you are wrong? “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul” (Mark 8:36)?

  Escape. Just as the two angels warned Lot and his family to flee from Sodom and Gomorrah before they were to be destroyed (Genesis 19:15), so we would ask you to flee from the heresy that is leading countless people to an eternal hell because of their refusal to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ exclusively for their salvation (John 3:16, 18, 36). 

  Goodness. It is the goodness of God that leads people to repentance (Romans 2:4). We need to change our minds, when necessary, and agree with God and His Word.  Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).  The Apostle Peter said, “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

  Decision. If you’ve never done so before, will you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ right now as the One who died for your sins…and rose again bodily from the grave? Doing this will result in your being saved and spending eternity with God in heaven. Your good works can’t save you (Ephesians 2:8, 9). Rejecting Him as your persoanl Savior will result in eternal condemnation (John 3:36; 5:24). If you’ve already trusted Jesus, are you telling others about Him (Acts 1:8). If not, why?

  Help. If you have questions/comments, call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our web site at www.kelseypeach.com.  We designed it with you in mind.