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.
There is no other way to say it but directly: those of you who have been and are being taught by whomever Jesus Christ is only lowly, meek and mild are being deceived! Truly, by His own testimony the Lord Jesus does invite persons weary and heavily weighted down from the “labor” of life in sin and religion to “Come to” Him, “take” His “yoke upon” themselves “and learn from” Him because He is “gentle and lowly in heart.” In doing as He says, these persons “will find rest for” their “souls,” (Matthew 11:28-30, NKJV). To the humble, He presents Himself gentle and humble. But the proud in their sins should beware; this same Jesus holy and strong is King and Judge of all mankind!1
Even His Personal advance man, John the Baptist, was concerned if in fact Jesus of Nazareth was Israel’s long awaited Anointed of God--her promised King and Deliverer. After sending back word to John, the Lord essentially gave his eulogy and followed this sharply rebuking three cities of the Galilee that had been privileged to see many of His mighty works of power including Capernaum where His ministry was headquartered (Matthew 11:1-24). Then, the Lord Jesus prayed to His Father in the hearing of all present and on the basis of Their mutual knowledge and relationship, immediately pivoted to His hearers to issue the invitation cited in the opening of this post (Matthew 11:25-30).
Their King stood in their midst loving on them, but they did not receive Him because He did not fit their preconceived profile nor subscribe to their practice of external religion that blinded them as evidenced by what happens in Matthew 12:1-45. He invited faith in Him by the same kind of humble persons He had previously called “Blessed” in a sermon proclaimed to those assembled to Him on a mountain (Mathew 5:1-6, NKJV). Gentle and humble as “The Lamb of God” is part of the character and demeanor of Christ He still presents to those at this very hour that come to Him humble and broken in their sins (Psalm 51:16-17; John 1:29; Philippians 2:5-8; 1 Peter 1:18-19, NKJV).
Unfortunately, either through genuine or willful ignorance or purposeful deception, many have portrayed the Lord Jesus as only “The Lamb” or worse, still the cute, harmless “Babe” in the manger. This has led to many false teachings such as Christ being not just tolerant, but accepting of biblically defined sin, His endorsement of other gospels including that built on covetousness for prosperity at all times and syncretism that seats Him at the table with religious figures and idol worshippers antithetical to His Word. And as if these were not enough as examples, many professed Christians deny God's Word denying Christ is now, “the Judge of all the earth,” (Genesis 18:25, NKJV)!2
Blinded by flawed presuppositions, reading into Scripture, purposeful corruption of the same and personal desires for what they want Christ to be, the false teachers also fail to see who He is in fullness not only as “The Lamb of God,” but “the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David,” (2 Samuel 7:12-17; Jeremiah 23:5-6; Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:30-33; Revelation 5:5-6, NKJV). Validated by His resurrection, in strength and manner of a warrior He commenced issuing commands out of His delegated royal authority and continued reigning from the throne He shares with His Father upon being seated after His ascension (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:4-11; Ephesians 1:15-23)!3
To this hour the risen Christ reigns and as Judge is directly responsible for giving authorization for every judgment that has been and will be carried out on earth just as His Father assigned Him (John 5:24-30; 1 Corinthians 15:20-28; 2 Corinthians 5:9-11; 2 Timothy 4:1, 8; Revelation 20:11-15). He judges with the ready mercy He displayed at Sodom, as foretold of and taught by Him (Genesis 18:23-33; Isaiah 11:1-5; John 7:24).4 Thus, not the righteous or the unsaved humble He foreknows will come to Him need fear. It is the proud wicked to include religionists who resist the Gospel and insult His Person and cross by inventing other ways for folk to come to God besides Him that have much to fear at His soon coming in wrath (John 14:6; Acts 4:8-12; 1 John 2:18-23).5
A proud, overzealous religionist and Pharisee named Saul of Tarsus came to understand something of the terror involved encountering the risen Christ in His glory. In persecution of Christ’s followers, he was on his way to Damascus, Syria to round up and bring any back to Jerusalem in chains. A light “suddenly” engulfed him “from heaven.” “He fell to the ground and heard a voice” not gentle in tone, but resolute and full of authority. The Speaker identified Himself as “Jesus” and Saul “trembling” addressed Him “Lord,” (Acts 9:1-8, 22:6-11, 26:12-15, NKJV). Jesus in royal posture and fearful roar will be gloriously revealed from Heaven for all to see with the foretold results (Jeremiah 25:30-31; Matthew 24:29-31; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; Revelation 1:7-18, 6:12-17, 19:11-16)!
When He comes, He as King and Judge will reign as He has from His resurrection; doing so in His whole eternal character and demeanor as foretold in prophetic Scriptures.6 For example, Psalm 99 declares His universal worship alone as “the LORD our God” and repeatedly emphasizes His holiness (vss. 1-3, 5, 9, NKJV). In His strength He loves justice and sees that it is administered with equity and righteousness; giving His laws as He once did with the saints of old (vss. 4, 6-8). Indeed, He will not be defeated in bringing forth justice for all (Isaiah 42:1-4)! This reality precludes the resumption of abominable idolatry, sorcery, sexual immorality, lying, exploiting and oppressions of any kind during His reign for He “will be a swift witness against” the guilty as Judge (Malachi 3:5-6, NKJV).
1 Read the three-part post beginning January 29, 2017, Jesus, Son Of Man, under the category, The Cause.
2 The Lord did not lose touch with any of His eternal designations or former experiences as deity in His permanent incarnation as the Man, Jesus of Nazareth. In fact, in
Genesis 18:25 Abraham spoke truthfully in that moment of His eternal standing as God the Judge and also prophetically, as the Man his future Descendant since He
stood before him in Human form (John 8:56-59)!
3 As the second Adam, Christ gloriously reigns fully God and fully immortal Man! See the August 11, 2019 post, The Man From Heaven, under the category, Glory To God!
4 Read the two-part post beginning July 18, 2021, God: No Repentance, No Peace, under the category, Call To Repent.
5 See the March 28, 2021 post, The Righteous Wrath Of God, under the categories, Bible Prophecy and The Cause.
6 I present Christ’s blended character and demeanor of Lamb and Lion as that of the Strong Man of God and what the Father wills to conform His adopted sons to as His
image in my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics. The book and companion Strong Man Of Men’s Group Study are available at your favorite internet book
seller and in the Strong Man Store.
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