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History 101

readings from Deuteronomy 1-5; Moses is talking to a New Generation of Israelites; the previous generation died in the wilderness because of their disobedience. These then are the children of those who failed to go into The Promised Land.  Think about for a minute – everyone above the age of 20 years old died in the Wilderness when they could have enjoyed forty years in the Promised Land! Needless to say, the children would “get in” where the parents refused to go. Moses plays the role of educator in these chapters. Moses begins with the journey to Mount Sinai not the deliverance from Egypt. Interesting since the focus of their parents was always to return to Egypt. Moses doesn’t spend a lot of time with the rebellious events of their parents, but quickly tells them [and repeatedly] about the statutes, commands,  judgments and ordinances. The Law is repeated, hence the name Deuteronomy = Second Law. While 40 years has passed, the desires and Laws of the Promised Land did not change. The Laws Moses stipulated were for the necessary conquest and success in the Promised Land. The New Israel were to be a people who observed the Law of God and served Him only. Moses even recounts to them why he is not going with them – his own disobedience for striking the rock.

Moses begins telling them of the conquests on the East side of Jordan. There are three tribes that decided to live on the wrong side of the river – Reubenites, Gadites and 1/2 tribe of Manasseh. This is interesting because we are reminded of the Gadarenes story of the Lunatic man with demons. The district of Decapolis  – sometimes called Gersanes. Anyway the area is on the Est side of the Sea of Galilee; when the demons were cast out of the man, they went into the herd of pigs – now how far had the tribe of Gad fallen, wrong side of the river, not in the Promise Land and herding pigs!

The victories over King of Sihon and King of Bashan are recalled, the need was for the nation of Israel to get into position for crossing over Jordan and occupying the Land. Moses reiterates the necessity to obey God and His Law – reminder of the statutes and Law are culminated in recounting the 10 Commandments. Moses was there, got the Law, and was passing on first hand that which Yahweh had written. I found it interesting that the Commands contain four verses about the keeping of the Sabbath. Great emphasis on Rest for all things, man, animals, slaves, fields etc.

Why the history lesson? As people we forget what happened in the past – and so we often times repeat the same errors. Here I think Moses was “charging up” the people to follow Joshua. He was giving them a pep rally of sorts. Being reminded of how their parents refused to go into the Land, should spur them on to take the Land God had already said was theirs.

I think of today with so many churches declining, dying or plateaued; could it be that they are a generation that will not move into the Promised Land of milk and honey that God had said was theirs for the taking? Do churches get comfortable? Yes, after a period of time, the urgency to evangelize and impact the community decreases because, the church has a building, people and money so the church becomes an end unto itself. While The Parents were anything but comfortable in the Wilderness, they tolerated the conditions of daily manna and quail over going and doing the Will of God.  Does a church have to lose a generation of people before they will finally do what the Lord told them to do in the first place? How many church stare “looking over Jordan” when they could be wading through the waters to the other side?

History – we all have one, most of them are not very favorable. I find that we can ether relive history or make a New Story; which do you want to do?

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Kingdoms come and Kingdoms go

For the readers, I hadn’t thought about it until recently, some of you do not have the 16 in 2016 reading plan, you will now find that under the icon of this blog’s main page.

As we continue looking at Daniel, specifically chapters 7-11; there will be a great struggle for some of you. These chapters have been overly “prophetically interpreted with a Pre-millenial, Pre-tribulation rapture and American dispensation view. In other words the dreams, visions and beasts have been view more about the End Times at the close of earthly existence. This being the case, what has happened is the message for the THEN times. The dreams and visions were specifically for Daniel to understand and convey to the Kings of the known kingdoms. While I have said this, there is application for our times and the End of Time times. Daniel continues to live is the favor of God and the four Kings he served. There are no less than three different times in these eleven chapters that God gives a history of the kingdoms to come. There are four kingdoms in the dreams and visions, Babylon, Persia-Medes, Greek and then the Roman. In these dreams, there is an end to the earthly kingdoms, but a fifth kingdom, the divine, heavenly eternal Kingdom of God reigns forever.  the four beasts in chapter seven relate as follows: Lion = Babylon, Bear = Persia-Medes, Leopard =Greek and the 10 Horns = Roman. In the Greek kingdom, there is the four heads, this shows the division of Alexander the Greats kingdom being divided. All the dreams and visions are historically accurate, the kingdoms identified came and went just as it was THEN prophesied.

The Ancient of Days does bring into account the Kingdom of God and the picture of final Great White Throne judgment [Rev. 20:11-15] In the last half of chapter 7, we find the description of Jesus and the reign He will have. [Paul – Phil 2:8-11]. The tendency to re-interpret the visions of Daniel via the daily newspaper is tragic; especially when we are given the God-interpretation in the scripture. One of the problems that resulted from the Great Earthly kingdoms was the propensity to establish Imperial Idol Worship. This will  become glaring with the Caesars of Rome. The earthly kingdoms are described as overpowering the saints until the Ancient of Days judgment is passed. Herein we must understand that persecution and martyrdom will be on-going until the Bowl Judgments are poured out.  This in itself is a struggle for American believers, yet we know that Christians around the world are giving their lives because of their faith. Any interpretation of the End Times that does not take into account the persecution and death of believers by the kingdoms of the world is a false interpretation. I have heard so many interpretations on End Times that emphasize the “escape” from persecution and tribulation times. There is a warning here, for Israel felt they were exempt from the turmoil and persecution because they were the “people of God.” Remember Daniel is writing from an exiled position. In chapter 8 we find that the vision and interpretation of those dreams continuing; however, rather than trying to ascribe a present day application, we need to see that the interpretation provided gives us the story of how the Persians and Media empires fell to Alexander the Great. Chapter 9 is a wonderful chapter; the prayer uttered by Daniel is gloriously stated. The prayer is in line with what Nehemiah prayed in Neh. 1:4-11. These prayers of confession and supplication go right to the heart of the situation Judah found itself. A soon answer is given to Daniel, Gabriel, the Messenger angel gives reply. In the reply, Daniel is given further future pictures, namely the 70 weeks of Daniel as it has been called. If Daniel was “sick” over the earthly kingdoms, how would he respond hearing the End of all Earthly kingdoms, and the ushering in of the Holy Kingdom. The 70 Weeks, are broken down for us to understand – 69 week will lapse before the Messiah comes – it was 490 years from rebuilding to Jesus’ birth – historically accurate! The last week, which has been over prophesied is the culmination of the Age. The Week is 7 years, countless scripture passages, indicate the tribulation times lasting 7 years, but I hold that this is the LAST seven Bowls/vials poured out of God wrath. Identified is the conflict with saints and the Anti-Christ. Much has been written about the 3 1/2 years to get Pre-Trib, Mid-Trib and Post Trib rapture scenarios. Reflecting back on Revelation and the point time of “resurrection” in Chapter 15, I see the church gone before the 7 years tribulation. But I need to say this I hold that we are now going through the Seals and Trumpets times currently. When they culminate [Father’s time], then history will enter into the Anti-Christ days and wrath of God on the world. Daniel was given historically accurate dreams and visions for his time. We are given a view of our time as it was related in 9:24-27. Chapter 11, is historical again, this time it relates to Antiocus IV, the time frame of the Hanukkah, or Festival of Lights. 1 & 2 Maccabees gives the details of how the times of trouble and Abomination of Desolation occurred. Again so much has been made of “reading” into chapter 10 to make it appear that it was a End Times Futuristic event, future, but in the near future [175-168 BC, Maccabeans Revolt]

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