I ended my last post of 2021 citing Daniel 9:26c of two prophetic Scriptures supporting the truth “things are not going to get better before the glorious Second Coming of Jesus Christ, but worse.”1 The content of Daniel 9:26c is near the end of four pure prophecy verses out of twenty-seven that make up a powerful chapter as context. The prophecies are delivered to Daniel in answer to his prayers by the angel, Gabriel, and are intended to give him the ability “to understand” further and more deeply from God about what He intended for Israel after their Babylonian captivity (vs. 20-23, NKJV). It was not an easier to read Bible, but God’s help he needed to get that understanding!
As Daniel 9:26c objectively and literally read in the immediate context of the verse asserts, destruction that brings “desolations” to cities such as did happen to Jerusalem and the second Jewish Temple at the hands of the Romans in A.D. 70 “are determined” by God “till the end of the war,” (NKJV). What war? In the larger context of the whole Bible, the war is the one ongoing in the spiritual and breaking into the physical realm; Satan and his angels warring against God after their rebellion, eviction from residence in Heaven, conquest and conscription of man and ultimate eternal sentence to Hell by His decree (Genesis 3:1-15; Ezekiel 28:11-19; Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:10).
The ongoing war of the ages as a spiritual and historical context was important for Daniel (and us) to have to understand what God is doing in the world. In Daniel’s specific case, knowing about the overarching spiritual war would help him understand more deeply the why and what for of future events impacting his people, the Jews. Indeed, as recorded earlier in chapter nine, Daniel’s heart to understand the future of his people beyond Babylon was triggered by his having read and “understood by the books” prophecy God gave Jeremiah the prophet that “He would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem”--a span then, near its end (Daniel 9:1-2, NKJV).2
Clearly, Daniel read the Old Testament scrolls containing Jeremiah’s prophecy from God objectively and literally as God expects all of us to do who know and love Him unless the text itself suggests we do otherwise such as with figurative language, symbols or metaphors often used in parables.3 He understood the plain reading of the text in his Hebrew language. He did not need to consult any number of translations--none were even available until the third century B.C. well after his time--for easier reading and a better understanding.4 Daniel took God’s Word at face value as it was written in the Old Testament books that were copies of the originals!
As I discovered to my horror while researching what extant Bible translations Martin Luther may have used when he uncovered again God’s salvation by grace through faith alone plainly stated throughout the New Testament, there are today, over nine hundred (900) just English language translations of the Bible in whole or in part!5 This is a recipe for destructive confusion in great spiritual desolations as Satan has already wrought among so many in the war as ostensibly under the guise of easier reading and a better understanding, many of these translations corrupt God’s Word. A number of the translators wickedly seek not to offend people and pander after what they want, not God.6
I realize my New King James Version Bible of choice (updating the 17th century King’s English) is a translation as are all Bibles apart from the original manuscripts. I consult a few other modern translations (which is how I know what they say) and teach others--aspiring strong men and great women of God--to do the same for possible greater language clarity.7 However, over nine hundred different English translations each with their unique selling points is overkill. Besides, whether easier to read or not, it is the truth in direct assertion, transcendent eternal principles, morality and ethics along with any deeper meanings in application embodied in the Scripture that we students like Daniel are after. These come only from God in the way He in sovereignty chooses to reveal them.
It may be an angel as Daniel experienced, but most commonly as Christians it is the Holy Spirit with Christ resident inside of us that reveals the truth of God in Scripture and anything deeper related to us (John 14:15-18, 16:12-15; 1 Corinthians 2:6-16)! If you are not understanding what you are reading in the Bible, pray and ask God to help you since it is His will in general that you understand what is written though, some prophecies remain closed for now (Luke 24:44-45; James 1:5-8; Revelation 13:18). As the Lord leads, I will continue working through chapter nine of Daniel in each of the posts this month to the end someone else will be helped as we receive understanding of the times Daniel was told of in advance that we are now, living in and which approach their climatic end!
1 See the December 19, 2021 post, Christmas: Love, Joy And Peace, under the category, Holidays.
2 Dating from the year of Babylon’s first invasion of Judah and taking of captives (such as Daniel) in 605 B.C. to 539 B.C. the first year
of the Medo-Persian conquest of Babylon as Daniel historically notes in vs. 1, would have been nearing the end of the seventy years pro-
3 Daniel’s approach to objectively reading, literally interpreting and applying Scripture is that of every godly person in the Bible to include
the Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 4:1-11)! For help, download the free one page document the Lord led me to create summarizing Seven
Principles of Bible Interpretation in the Strong Man Store.
4 See the Encyclopedia Britannica article on the Septuagint--the earliest Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures.
5 Read the 2017 Christianity Today article, The Most Dangerous Thing Luther Did by Ben Witherington III.
6 Woe to those who seek to deconstruct the Bible to make it more amenable to people! Your actions are instigated by Satan as one of many
stratagems he is using in his war with God. If he could widely corrupt the Book with God’s direct revelation, expressly stated will and mes-
sage of salvation as he has done, the resulting confusion would destroy many souls as it is doing. For this reason, God holds account-
able and destroys the corrupters of Scripture as it is written (2 Peter 3:14-16)! See my August 2, 2020 post, Flavorless Salt Is Worthless,
under the category, Call To Repent along with part two in particular of Daughters Of This Age, posted April 25, 2021 under the category,
7 This approach is especially helpful to all of us that do not normally read, write or speak Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek. Learn about aspiring
strong men and great women of God in Christ’s image in my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics along with companion works
The Strong Man Of God Men’s Group Study and Great Woman Of God Women’s Group Study at your favorite internet book seller and in
the Strong Man Store.
With thanksgiving and praise to God in my heart for the privilege as I begin to write this 400th blog post, at the same time I am concerned for all among the unsaved and any professed Christians that have made “the holidays” their bridge of deliverance over the troubled waters of this world. Some started working the sales, decorating and playing the music of the holidays well in advance seeking relief from what has truly been some very difficult months living through God’s Coronavirus judgment. Many have been spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically spent during the course of this amazing and extended global display of divine displeasure not yet over!
If all you have left as your chief coping mechanism and source of future hope is the largely secular sentimental, warm and fuzzy experience of the holiday season with memories of times past, food, family, friends, parties, trees, obligatory church attendance, helping others, cheery store music (missing from online shopping), gift buying and receiving etc., these (as many no doubt, have already discovered) are not sufficient! Neither are the largely manufactured and forced love, joy and peace of the season produced with teeth gritting effort. As a gracious word of encouragement from the Lord, the surpassingly greater means to cope with hope during the times is found in relationship with Him!
For those who do truly intimately know the Lord, Christmas in particular of the holidays is only the focused high point of daily celebration of the real history making event that has changed our lives forever! That is, the foretold first coming of “the Son of God,” “Immanuel” and “Jesus,” into this world as that virgin born “Child” to save us from our sins (Isaiah 7:10-14, 49:1-6; Micah 5:2; Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-38, 2:1-20, NKJV). This He did after He had grown up when as foretold, He died on the cross for our sins as our Substitute, was buried and on the third day rose again (Isaiah 53; 1 Corinthians 15:1-11). Then, He ascended back to Heaven to await His return (Luke 24:44-53).
In the meantime, as He promised, all who repent of their sins and believe God’s message of grace in the Gospel of His Son, are forgiven, “born again” and receive eternal life (John 3:1-8, NKJV). This eternal life is nothing short of the very life of God! Core to His life is love which is fully displayed in sending His Son into this world to save us from our sins (John 3:16-17; Romans 5:6-8; 1 John 3:4-11). The Lord Jesus also loves us redeemed out of this world by His sacrifice and wills that we experience it with His joy (John 15:9-11, 16:16-24, 17:13). Peace is another core attribute of the divine nature and eternal life of Christ He wills for us to possess too (John 14:27, 16:33).
God’s born again children do not have to wait until any quickly passing holiday to experience His love, joy and peace nor do we have to work them up in ourselves. We bask in His love, joy and peace displayed at and after His Son’s birth we celebrate at Christmas as well as in and through us daily by the Holy Spirit! These are of the “fruit” of His presence in us (Romans 5:5; Galatians 5:22-23; Ephesians 5:8-10, NKJV). What goes on in the world does not undermine the Lord’s love, joy and peace in us unless we permit this through unbelief or other sin. Bible prophecy makes it clear things are not going to get better before the glorious Second Coming of Jesus Christ, but worse (Daniel 9:26c; Luke 21:25-28). Now, is the time to enter relationship with Him (2 Corinthians 5:17-6:2)!
(Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year as you walk by faith in Immanuel! He willing, my next post will appear Sunday evening, January 9, 2022.)
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