God Is Love
He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
(1 John 4:8)
And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love;
and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
(1 John 4:16)
To us who are reborn of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus it is such an
exciting privilege to be a son or daughter of God.
Because we believed with all of our heart in the Lord Jesus Christ
and that God raised Him from the dead, we have been saved.
We have experienced God's spiritual presence in our lives as a result of
our faith, but being faith, nothing is visible to the eye and therefore
God's love to us is something that we cannot nearly appreciate.
It is only when we respond to God's love with love that He can do anything
So by faith we:
obey out of love for Him (sometimes).
However, after some months or years of familiarity, the act of getting
on our knees, of opening our Bibles daily or of talking to our Lord on
an hourly basis may become wearisome to our selfish, worldly minds and
we need a wake-up call to remember who the God of Love really is.
Here's a wake-up call; for this writer also.
The following was taken from a book* printed in 1901. Excerpts in italics:
Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, The secret which
the king hath demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the
magicians, the soothsayers, shew unto the king; But there is a God in heaven
that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what
shall be in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon
thy bed, are these; As for thee, O king, thy thoughts came into thy
mind upon thy bed, what should come to pass hereafter: and he that
revealeth secrets maketh known to thee what shall come to pass. But as
for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I
have more than any living, but for their sakes that shall make known
the interpretation to the king, and that thou mightest know the thoughts
of thy heart. Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great
image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the
form thereof was terrible. This image's head was of fine
gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass,
His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. Thou sawest till
that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his
feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. Then
was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to
pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors;
and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the
stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole
earth. This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof
before the king. Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God
of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory. And
wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the
fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler
over them all. Thou art this head of gold. And after thee shall
arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass,
which shall bear rule over all the earth. And the fourth kingdom shall
be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all
things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces
and bruise. And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters'
clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be
in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed
with miry clay. And as the toes of the feet were part of
iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and
partly broken. And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they
shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave
one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay. And in the days of
these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never
be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but
it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand
for ever. Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain
without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay,
the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what
shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the
interpretation thereof sure. Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his
face, and worshipped Daniel, and commanded that they should offer an oblation
and sweet odours unto him. The king answered unto Daniel, and said, Of
a truth it is, that your God is a God of gods, and a Lord
of kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing thou couldest reveal this secret.
The kingdom which Nebuchadnezzar brought to the height of its glory
can be traced in Bible history to its foundation (Genesis 11:1-9). The
history of Babylon is the story of the great controversy between Christ
and Satan, begun in heaven, continued on earth, and which will end only
when the stone cut out from the mountain without hands shall fill the whole
Satan's accusation against God is that the Father is unjust. "But give
me a fair chance," argued Lucifer, and I can establish a kingdom on earth
which will excel in glory the kingdom of God in heaven." He was granted
the privilege of making a trial. The plains of Shinar were chosen; the
people whom God told to fill the whole earth were gathered into a city.
Babylon grew, and its mighty walls, three hundred and fifty feet in height
and eighty-seven feet thick, with the massive gates of brass, were designed
to imitate the strength of the city of God. At the time of the founding
of Babylon, Satan was still meeting with the council of the representatives
of the worlds, which was held at the gates of heaven. It was his design
to counterfeit the plans of God. The earthly city was patterned after the
heavenly. The Euphrates flowed through it as did the river of God through
Paradise. The government was an absolute monarchy; a man occupied the throne,
and as it grew, every knee of earth was caused to bow to its king. No power
was tolerated above that of the monarch. Tyranny took the place of love.
This is always true when man is exalted above God. It was to such a kingdom
that Nebuchadnezzar fell heir, and the beauty and power of the kingdom
were increased by him in every possible way, until it was spoken of by
the Lord as "Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees'
Not only the power, but the wisdom also, of Nebuchadnezzar was exceedingly
great. The king favoured education, and during his reign Babylon was the
educated centre of the world. Every art and science was taught in the schools
of Babylon. The wisdom of the ancients was made known to the students who
sat at the feet of her magicians and wise men. They revelled in the study
of astronomy and the higher mathematics. there were linguists who could
teach the language of every nation.
The king himself was highly educated, for it was he who examined the
students on the completion of their course. Babylon was proud of her educational
system; she trusted to it for salvation, but it was the cause of her ruin.
"thy wisdom and knowledge, it has caused thee to turn away."
God Himself speaks, saying: "Hath not God made foolish the wisdom to this
world?" In the Babylonian court this was exemplified. Nebuchadnezzar and
his councillors, - the wise men, astrologers, and soothsayers, - on one
side, represented the education of the world. Daniel, a youth, not over
twenty-one years of age, a Hebrew and a slave, was chosen by God to confound
the wisdom of the mighty.
How could God talk with Daniel? - Because the Spirit of the Lord is
with them that fear Him. Daniel's education at his mother's feet had aquainted
him with the voice of God. He was in the habit of seeing eternal things
with the eye of faith. God showed Daniel the same things which He had revealed
to Nebuchadnezzar, but which were hidden from him by the glamour of worldliness.
The song of praise which rose from the lips of Daniel when the vision
came, shows how self-forgetful he was, and how close his heart was knit
to the heart of God.
The schools of Babylon developed pride, love of pleasure, haughtiness
and self-esteem. They fostered the aristocracy, and cultivated the spirit
of oppression and slavery. Contrast with this the native simplicity, the
courtesy, gentleness and self-forgetfulness of the child of God as he enters
the court and is introduced by Arioch.
The history of the city of Babylon is put on record because it is God's
object lesson to the world today. The book of Revelation, which is the
complement to the book of Daniel, frequently uses the name Babylon, applying
it to the modern churches. The relation of the Jews to the Babylon of Nebuchadnezzar
is the same as that sustained by the remnant church, the true Israel, to
the churches which, having known the truth, have rejected it.
The sins of ancient Babylon will be repeated today. Her educational
system is the one now generally accepted; her government, with its excessive
taxes, its exaltation of the rich and the oppression of the poor, its pride,
arrogance, love of display, its choice of the artificial in place of the
natural, and the exaltation of the god of science instead of the God of
heaven, is the one toward which the world of today is hastening.
As God called Abraham out of the idolatry of Chaldea, and made him the
father of the Hebrew nation; as he delivered to that people a form of government
that would exalt God; as he gave them commandment so to teach their children
that the Jewish nation might become the teacher of nations and might be
an everlasting kingdom, so today He calls forth a people from modern Babylon.
He has entrusted to them principles of healthful living which will make
them mentally and physically a wonder to the world. He has given them educational
principles, which if followed, will make them the teachers of the world,
and finally bring them into the kingdom of God. And to them He has delivered
the principles of true government, which recognise the equal rights of
all men, and which in the church organisation bind all together - one body
in Christ Jesus.
Only a few - four out of thousands - were true to these principles in
the days of Daniel.
How will it be today?
Nebuchadnezzar recognised who God was but because he was a worldly king,
the most powerful man in the world and because, like king Saul, wasn't
subject to God, Satan, the god of this world was actually his master.
Nevertheless, God used him to punish the Hebrews, His Covenant people because
they had turned aside to Satan's idols:
The burden which Habakkuk the prophet did see. O LORD, how long shall I
cry, and thou wilt not hear! even cry out unto thee of violence,
and thou wilt not save! Why dost thou shew me iniquity, and cause me
to behold grievance? for spoiling and violence are before me: and
there are that raise up strife and contention. Therefore the law
is slacked, and judgment doth never go forth: for the wicked doth compass
about the righteous; therefore wrong judgment proceedeth. Behold ye among
the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvellously: for I will work
a work in your days, which ye will not believe, though it be told
you. For, lo, I raise up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty
nation, which shall march through the breadth of the land, to possess the
dwellingplaces that are not theirs. They are terrible and
dreadful: their judgment and their dignity shall proceed of themselves.
Their horses also are swifter than the leopards, and are more fierce than
the evening wolves: and their horsemen shall spread themselves, and their
horsemen shall come from far; they shall fly as the eagle that hasteth
to eat. They shall come all for violence: their faces shall sup up as
the east wind, and they shall gather the captivity as the sand. And they
shall scoff at the kings, and the princes shall be a scorn unto them: they
shall deride every strong hold; for they shall heap dust, and take it.
Then shall his mind change, and he shall pass over, and offend,
imputing this his power unto his god.
Some twenty three years later, Nebuchadnezzar was once again reminded of
who really reigns:
Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose height was
threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof six cubits: he set it
up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon.
Then an herald cried aloud, To you it is commanded, O people, nations,
and languages, That at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet,
flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall
down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set
up: And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth shall the same hour be cast
into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.
There are certain Jews whom thou hast set over the affairs of the province
of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; these men, O king, have not
regarded thee: they serve not thy gods, nor worship the golden image which
thou hast set up. Then Nebuchadnezzar in his rage and fury commanded
to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Then they brought these men before
the king. Nebuchadnezzar spake and said unto them, Is it true, O
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the
golden image which I have set up? Now if ye be ready that at what time
ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer,
and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the image which I have
made; well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour
into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that
shall deliver you out of my hands? Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered
and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer
thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able
to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us
out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that
we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast
set up. Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage
was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: therefore he
spake, and commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times
more than it was wont to be heated. And he commanded the most mighty men
that were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and
to cast them into the burning fiery furnace. Then these men were
bound in their coats, their hosen, and their hats, and their other
garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. Therefore
because the king's commandment was urgent, and the furnace exceeding hot,
the flame of the fire slew those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach, and
Abednego. And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down
bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. Then Nebuchadnezzar
the king was astonied, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said
unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of
the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king. He answered
and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and
they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God. Then
Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, and
spake, and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, ye servants of the most
high God, come forth, and come hither. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and
Abednego, came forth of the midst of the fire. And the princes, governors,
and captains, and the king's counsellors, being gathered together, saw
these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of
their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire
had passed on them. Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed
be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his
angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed
the king's word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor
worship any god, except their own God. Therefore I make a decree, That
every people, nation, and language, which speak any thing amiss against
the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, shall be cut in pieces, and
their houses shall be made a dunghill: because there is no other God that
can deliver after this sort.
Nebuchadnezzar had been humbled when Daniel interpreted his dream; he
had then worshipped God; but as the years passed, he lost the spirit which
characterised true worship, and while in the mind acknowledging the God
of the Jews, in his heart he was pagan still. He made an image of gold,
patterning it as closely as possible after the image revealed to him in
his dream, at the same time gratifying his own pride, for the figure was
of gold. There was no trace of the other kingdoms which were represented
by the silver, the brass the iron, and the clay in the dream. It stood
on the plain of Dura, rising at least one hundred feet above the surrounding
country, and visible for miles in every direction.
The decree was issued by Nebuchadnezzar, calling to the capitol the
governors and rulers of provinces from all over the world. He, the ruler
of kingdoms, thus showed his authority. It was a great occasion, and subject
kings and governors dared not disobey the mandates of this universal king.
Heaven was watching with intense interest, for this was the occasion
when the highest worldly authority was to meet the government of God.
Babylon was not only the greatest and most powerful government in the
days of Nebuchadnezzar, but it was a symbol of earthly governments of all
time; and for that reason we have the record as given in the third chapter
of Daniel. As a king, he had a perfect right to call his subjects together.
As subjects, it was the duty of those who were called, to obey.
"God is a spirit and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit."
But of spiritual worship, paganism is entirely ignorant. Except there be
some form, some image before which they can bow, there can be, to them,
no worship. It was wholly in accordance with the religion, the education,
and the government of Babylon, for the king to erect an image such as he
did. It was wholly in harmony with the custom - educational, religious,
and civil - for the people in general to respect a command to worship such
While it was in harmony with worldly government, it was not, however,
according to the principles of heavenly government. Hence it is that again,
in the person of the Babylonian king, Satan is challenging the government
of God. When Lucifer and his angels refused to bow before the throne of
God, the Father did not then destroy them. They were permitted to live
until death should come as a result of the course they pursued. The Babylonian
king, however, threatened utter destruction to all who refused to worship
his golden image. The motive power in the heavenly government is love;
human power, when exercised, becomes tyranny. All tyranny is a repetition
of the Babylonian principals. We sometimes call it papal; it is likewise
Babylonian. When the civil power enforces worship of any sort, be that
worship true or false in itself, to obey is idolatry. The command must
be backed by some form of punishment, - a fiery furnace, - and the conscience
of man is no longer free. From a civil standpoint, such legislation is
tyranny; looked at from a religious point of view, it is persecution.
What a test of the fidelity of these three companions of Daniel! They
realised that they were in the presence of not only the richest of earth,
and that disobedience meant death, and before the assembled multitudes
on the plain of Dura, but they were a spectacle to God, to angels, and
to the inhabitants of other worlds. The whole universe was watching with
inexpressible interest to see what these men would do. The controversy
was not between man and Satan, but between Christ and Satan, and eternal
principles were at stake. Men were actors in the contest. They could stand
as witnesses either for Christ or for Satan in this time of decision. Would
they follow an unsanctified emotion to have possession of their lives,
and compromise their faith? What would a religion be worth which admitted
compromise? What can any religion be worth if it does not teach loyalty
to the God of heaven? What is there of any real value in the world, especially
when on the very borders of the eternity, unless it be God's acknowledgement
of us as His children?
These Hebrew youth had learned from the history of God's dealings with
the Israelites in times past, that disobedience brought only dishonour,
disaster, and ruin; and that the fear of the Lord was not only the beginning
of wisdom, but the basis of all true prosperity. They therefore calmly
and respectfully told the king that they would not worship his golden image,
and that they had faith that their God was able to protect them.
God preserved His servants in the midst of the flames, and the attempt
to force them into idolatry resulted in bringing the knowledge of the true
God before the assemblage of princes and rulers of the vast kingdom of
Babylon. "This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith."
All things are possible to those who believe. "What things soever ye desire,
when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them." God
may not always work deliverance in the way that we think best, but He who
sees everything from the beginning, knows what will bring honour and praise
to His name.
Daniel and his companions had ever sought to bring before the king,
the princes, and the wise men of Babylon, a knowledge of the true God.
These Hebrews, holding high positions in the government, had been associated
with the king; and as they were not ashamed of their God, they had honoured
and given glory to the Lord whenever opportunity afforded. The king had
heard from their lips descriptions of the glorious Being whom they served;
and it was from this instruction that he was able to recognise the fourth
person in the fire as the Son of God. The king also understood the ministry
of angels, and now believed that angels had interfered in behalf of these
faithful men who would yield their bodies to punishment rather than consent
with their minds to serve or worship any God but their own. These men were
true missionaries. They held honoured positions in the government, and
at the same time let the light of the gospel shine through their lives.
This miracle was one of the results of their godly lives.
With bitter remorse and feelings of humility, the king approached the
furnace and exclaimed, "Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, ye servants of
the most high God, come forth, and come hither." They did so, and all the
hosts on the plain of Dura were witnesses to the fact that not even the
smell of fire was upon their garments, and not a hair of their heads had
been singed. God had triumphed through the constancy of His faithful servants.
The magnificent image was forgotten by the people in their wonder, and
solemnity pervaded the assembly.
Again the heathen monarch is brought to acknowledge the power of the
King of heaven. When Daniel interpreted the dream, worldly wisdom and the
learning of the Babylonian schools fell before the simple gospel teaching
as carried out by faithful mothers in Israel. When the three Hebrews were
saved from the heat of the furnace, the principles of God's government
- true Protestantism, as it would be called today - were proclaimed before
the nations of the earth.
It was only a partial appreciation of these principles which Nebuchadnezzar
at first gained; nevertheless it led to the decree that throughout the
whole dominion, wherever a Jew might be living, no man should speak against
the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego. This gave freedom to every
believer to worship unmolested. Satan, in attempting to destroy the Hebrews,
had overstepped the bounds, and in place of the death of the three, life
was granted to thousands.
Seldom are we placed in the same circumstances twice. Abraham, Moses,
Elijah, Daniel, and others were sorely tried, even unto death, yet each
test came in a different way. Every individual has an experience peculiar
to his own character and circumstances. God has a work to accomplish in
the life of each individual. Every act, however small, has its place in
our life experience. God is more than willing to guide us in the right
way. He has not closed the windows of heaven to prayer, but has ears that
are ever open to the cries of His children, and His eye watches every movement
of Satan to counteract his work.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego were men of like passions with ourselves.
Their lives are given to show what man might become even in this life,
if he will make God his strength and wisely improve the opportunities within
his reach. Among the captives of the king who had similar advantages, only
Daniel and his three companions bent all their energies to seek wisdom
and knowledge from God as revealed in His word and works. Although they
afterward held high positions of trust, they were neither proud or self-sufficient.
They had a living connection with God, loving, fearing and obeying Him.
They allowed their light to shine in undimmed lustre, while occupying positions
of responsibility. Amid all the temptations and fascinations of the court,
they stood firm as a rock in adherence to principle.
A direct compliance with Bible requirements, and a faith in God, will
bring strength to both the will and the body. The fruit of the spirit is
not only love, joy, and peace, but temperance also. If these youth had
compromised with the heathen officers at first, and yielded to the pressure
of the occasion by eating and drinking according to the custom of the Babylonians,
contrary to God's requirements, that one wrong step would undoubtedly led
to others, until their consciences would have been seared, and they would
have been turned into wrong paths. Faithfulness in this one point prepared
them to withstand greater temptation until finally they stood firm in this
crucial test on the plain of Dura.
The third chapter of Daniel may be studied with profit in connection
with the message referred to in the thirteenth chapter of Revelation. The
principles are the same in both. All the world was called to worship the
image set up in the province of Babylon; refusing, they would suffer death.
In Revelation there is brought to view an image of the beast, - governments
on earth which will frame laws contrary to the requirements of God. Life
and power will be given to this image, and it shall both speak and decree
that as many as will not worship it shall be put to death. All, small and
great, rich and poor, free and bond will be required to receive a mark
in the right hand or in the forehead. Men will be disfranchised for not
worshiping this image; for no-one will be allowed to buy or sell who has
not the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
Who will be able to stand the test when this decree to worship the image
of the beast is enforced? Who will choose rather to "suffer affliction
with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season"?
What children are now being trained and educated in these principles of
integrity to God? From what homes will come the Daniels and Meshachs? This
will be the final test brought upon the servants of God. The scenes portrayed
in the third chapter of Daniel are but a miniature representation of those
trials into which the people of God are coming as the end approaches.
Nebuchadnezzar the king, unto all people, nations, and languages, that
dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you. I thought it good
to shew the signs and wonders that the high God hath wrought toward me.
How great are his signs! and how mighty are his wonders!
his kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion is
from generation to generation. I Nebuchadnezzar was at rest in mine house,
and flourishing in my palace: I saw a dream which made me afraid, and the
thoughts upon my bed and the visions of my head troubled me. Therefore
made I a decree to bring in all the wise men of Babylon before me,
that they might make known unto me the interpretation of the dream. Then
came in the magicians, the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers:
and I told the dream before them; but they did not make known unto me the
interpretation thereof. But at the last Daniel came in before me, whose
name was Belteshazzar, according to the name of my god, and in whom
is the spirit of the holy gods: and before him I told the dream,
saying, O Belteshazzar, master of the magicians, because I know
that the spirit of the holy gods is in thee, and no secret troubleth
thee, tell me the visions of my dream that I have seen, and the interpretation
thereof. Thus were the visions of mine head in my bed; I saw, and
behold a tree in the midst of the earth, and the height thereof was
great. The tree grew, and was strong, and the height thereof reached unto
heaven, and the sight thereof to the end of all the earth: The leaves thereof
were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was meat
for all: the beasts of the field had shadow under it, and the fowls of
the heaven dwelt in the boughs thereof, and all flesh was fed of it. I
saw in the visions of my head upon my bed, and, behold, a watcher and an
holy one came down from heaven; He cried aloud, and said thus, Hew down
the tree, and cut off his branches, shake off his leaves, and scatter his
fruit: let the beasts get away from under it, and the fowls from his branches:
Nevertheless leave the stump of his roots in the earth, even with a band
of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet
with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts
in the grass of the earth: Let his heart be changed from man's, and let
a beast's heart be given unto him; and let seven times pass over him. This
matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word
of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most
High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will,
and setteth up over it the basest of men. This dream I king Nebuchadnezzar
have seen. Now thou, O Belteshazzar, declare the interpretation thereof,
forasmuch as all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to make
known unto me the interpretation: but thou art able; for the spirit
of the holy gods is in thee. Then Daniel, whose name was
Belteshazzar, was astonied for one hour, and his thoughts troubled him.
The king spake, and said, Belteshazzar, let not the dream, or the interpretation
thereof, trouble thee. Belteshazzar answered and said, My lord, the dream
be to them that hate thee, and the interpretation thereof to thine
enemies. The tree that thou sawest, which grew, and was strong, whose height
reached unto the heaven, and the sight thereof to all the earth; Whose
leaves were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was
meat for all; under which the beasts of the field dwelt, and upon whose
branches the fowls of the heaven had their habitation: It is thou,
O king, that art grown and become strong: for thy greatness is grown, and
reacheth unto heaven, and thy dominion to the end of the earth. And whereas
the king saw a watcher and an holy one coming down from heaven, and saying,
Hew the tree down, and destroy it; yet leave the stump of the roots thereof
in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of
the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his
portion be with the beasts of the field, till seven times pass over
him; This is the interpretation, O king, and this is the
decree of the most High, which is come upon my lord the king: That they
shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of
the field, and they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and they shall
wet thee with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over thee,
till thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth
it to whomsoever he will. And whereas they commanded to leave the stump
of the tree roots; thy kingdom shall be sure unto thee, after that thou
shalt have known that the heavens do rule. Wherefore, O king, let my counsel
be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine
iniquities by shewing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of
thy tranquillity. All this came upon the king Nebuchadnezzar. At the end
of twelve months he walked in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon. The
king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for
the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of
my majesty? While the word was in the king's mouth, there fell a
voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is
spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee. And they shall drive thee from
men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they
shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee,
until thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth
it to whomsoever he will. The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar:
and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was
wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles' feathers,
and his nails like birds' claws. And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar
lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me,
and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth
for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom
is from generation to generation: And all the inhabitants of the
earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will
in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and
none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou? At the same time
my reason returned unto me; and for the glory of my kingdom, mine honour
and brightness returned unto me; and my counsellors and my lords sought
unto me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was
added unto me. Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King
of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and
those that walk in pride he is able to abase.
The fourth chapter is, in some respects, the most wonderful chapter
in the Bible. It is a public document written by Nebuchadnezzar, king of
Babylon, after his humiliation by the God of heaven. It was sent "unto
all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth." It therefore
comes to us with as much freshness and vitality as though it were issued
to the generation in which we live. The object was, says Nebuchadnezzar,
"to show the signs and wonders that the high God hath wrought toward me."
Contemplating what had been done, he exclaimed in language similar to that
of the apostle Paul, "how great are His signs! His kingdom is an everlasting
kingdom, and His dominion is from generation to generation."
Nebuchadnezzar's reign had been one long scene of warfare. He was a
man of war. This character was so prominent in the life of the great king
that prophecy calls him "the terrible of the nations," and the "hammer
of the whole earth." He had met foes on every side and had been successful
because God had put His "sword in the hand of the king of Babylon," and
had made use of this monarch to punish other nations which had refused
the light of truth. To illustrate: For thirteen years the city of Tyre
resisted every effort made by Nebuchadnezzar. Finally he was successful,
but gained no spoils, for Tyre, captured on the seacoast, removed to an
island. Although Nebuchadnezzar knew it not, he was fulfilling prophecy
in the destruction of Tyre. The Lord rewarded him for this work by sending
word to him through the prophet Ezekiel that he could have the spoil of
Egypt as wages for his army while destroying Tyre, for Egypt as well as
Tyre had rejected the knowledge of the true God. Then Nebuchadnezzar turned
his arms against Egypt, and that nation, which years before had held Israel
in bondage, now became the slave to the Babylonian power.
The prophet Ezekiel, one of the Hebrew captives, was given a view of
the capture of Egypt by Nebuchadnezzar, and was told to send the testimony
to Pharaoh, king of Egypt. In this prophecy Egypt is represented as a mighty
tree towering above the trees of the earth. Even the trees of Eden envied
the splendour of this tree. All the fowls of heaven nested in its boughs;
the hosts of earth dwelt beneath its branches. But this tree of Egypt was
lifted up because of its greatness, and God sent Babylon to hew it to the
ground. The crash of its fall shook the earth.
This prophecy must have been known to Nebuchadnezzar, if not before,
at least after his victory over Egypt, for it was familiar to the Jews,
and there were Jews in the Babylonian court. This throws light on the fourth
chapter of Daniel.
Having conquered the world, Nebuchadnezzar was at rest in his house,
when one night he dreamed a dream. Success had followed him wherever he
turned. At his feet bowed the representatives of all nations. Into his
coffers flowed the wealth of the east and the west, the north and the south.
About him was clustered the wit and learning of the age. Libraries were
at his command, and art flourished. Why should not king Nebuchadnezzar
flourish in his kingdom? But he had dreamed a dream which troubled him,
and he called upon his wise men for an interpretation. They listened, but
strange to say, could give no explanation. God always permitted the wise
men of the earth to have the first trial. When these wise men failed, Daniel
Daniel's name had been changed when he first entered the Babylonian
court, and to the king and his associates he was known as Belteshazzar,
a son of the heathen god Bel, but Daniel himself always retained his own
Hebrew name. Years before this, however, the God of Daniel had said, "Bel
boweth and Nebo stoopeth; . . . they could not deliver the burden, but
themselves had gone into captivity." Daniel again had an opportunity of
proving the wisdom of his God and the weakness of Babylonian deities.
The dream, as repeated by the king in Daniel's hearing, is wonderful
to contemplate. The tree was a familiar object and a striking symbol. The
most magnificent specimens that the world afforded had been transplanted
into the Babylonian gardens. The story of Eden and its trees had been handed
down by tradition, and the people knew of the tree of life, and also of
the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The tree seen in the dream
was planted in the midst of the earth, and as he watched, the king saw
it grow until the top reached heaven and its boughs stretched to the ends
of the earth. Strange that this tree, which grew towards heaven in spite
of everything, which was watered by the dews of heaven and fed by God's
own sunshine, knew only of the earth and earthly kingdoms!
As it had been with the Egyptian tree, so with this; fowls rested in
the branches and beasts dwelt in its shadow. The king saw in his dream
only the upper part of the tree, the branches, leaves, and fruit, but the
roots of the tree are as numerous and widespread as its branches; hence
this mighty tree, whose top reached heaven and whose branches spread forth
to the ends of the earth, was supported by roots which, though hidden,
ran through all the earth. Deep-rooted, it was drawing nourishment from
hidden springs. In fact, the fair leaves and abundant fruit were dependent
upon the condition of the roots.
As Nebuchadnezzar gazed upon the tree, he saw a "watcher, even a holy
one," - a messenger from heaven, whose appearance was similar to the one
who walked in the midst of the fiery furnace with the Hebrew children.
At the command of this divine messenger, the tree was hewn down, the stump
alone remaining. Hewing down the tree did not kill the stump nor the roots.
The life remained, and it was ready to send forth new shoots more numerous
It is doubtful whether man ever received a message freighted with greater
importance than this one given to Nebuchadnezzar.
In his former dream he was shown the shortness of his kingdom and given
proof of the decline of the empire. Had he lived in harmony with what was
then revealed to him, the experience about to come would have been avoided.
The parting words of the angel as he left Nebuchadnezzar were "This matter
is by the decree of the watchers . . . to the intent that the living may
know that the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men and giveth it to whomsoever
He will." More than that, "He setteth up over it the basest of men." Because
a man holds a position, it does not signify that he is better than others.
When Daniel realised the true significance of the dream, and foresaw
the humiliation of the king of Babylon, "his thoughts troubled him." He
was encouraged by the king not to be troubled, but to give the true interpretation.
He did so, plainly telling the king that the tree seen in the vision was
emblematic of Nebuchadnezzar himself and his dominion. "It is thou O king,
that art grown and become strong; for thy greatness is grown and reacheth
unto heaven, and thy dominion unto the end of the earth." Great as was
Nebuchadnezzar's kingdom, it had grown from a small beginning. Gradually
the principles on which it was founded - principles much older than the
king, for they originated with Lucifer, and were a perversion of heavenly
truths - had taken root. In government it was the most rigid monarchy;
the king held the lives of his subjects in his hands. Slaves bowed before
him in abject subjugation' exorbitant taxes were forced from subject provinces;
crowned heads were laid low and men enslaved that the king of Babylon might
revel in the wealth of the world. The seeds of that form of government
were sown wherever Babylon established her power, and as she sowed, so
she, as well as others have reaped. When Babylon fell, the principles by
which she had controlled others were in turn applied to her. Wherever there
is tyranny in government in any nation on the earth today, it is an offshoot
of that root which filled the earth, the stump of which was allowed to
remain until the end of time.
Wherever Babylon laid her hand in conquest, the principles of her religion
were implanted. The vilest forms of worship were practiced in that kingdom
with all its outward glory. The heart was rotten. The mystery of iniquity
held full sway, hidden by the outward glitter of gold. The mysteries of
Greece in a later day were but a repetition of the Babylonian mysteries.
From the golden cup which she held in her hand, and which was a familiar
symbol in Babylonian secret societies, she made all nations drunk with
the wine of her fornication.
Nations and peoples today, unconscious of their origin, are perpetuating
Babylonian religious customs when they celebrate Christmas with feasting,
lighted candles, holly, and mistletoe. It is in commemoration of Babylonian
heathen gods that they eat eggs on Easter; and even the wild capers of
Halowe'en repeat the mysteries of Babylon. The root was not destroyed;
her religious principles have sprung up afresh in every generation and
borne fruit in every country.
The influence of Babylon in educational lines was no less marked than
in her influence in government and religion, and their educational root
of the tree was as vigorous as the others. We are in the habit of tracing
the educational system of the world to Greece or Egypt; its principles
are older than Greece. They belong to Babylon. The prominence given this
phase of Babylonian life by the spirit of God in the book of Daniel, and
the fact that the leading educators and educational institutions were brought
in direct contact with the more simple principles of true education every
time the Hebrews met the Chaldeans and wise men, shows the place which
education occupies both in the false kingdoms of which Babylon is a type,
and in the true, which the Hebrew government represented. The so-called
"higher education" of today, which exalts the science of the world above
the science of salvation; which sends forth students bearing worldly credentials,
but not recognised in the books of heaven, students who love display, who
are filled with pride, selfishness, and self-esteem - this education is
a plant which has sprung from that broad root which supported the tree
representing the Babylonian dominion.
Seeds of truth had been planted in Babylon. The holy watcher sought
constantly for the growth of a tree which would bring life. All nations
were gathered under the influence of Babylon in the hopes that they might
there be fed with fruit which would prove to be the bread of life; but
instead, it was a mixture of good and evil, which poisoned the consumer.
The leaves of the tree were good to look upon, and might have been for
the healing of the nations; but the very odour that they exhaled, intoxicated
and led to excess. So with the plant which has sprung from those hidden
roots. It may be fair to look upon, its fruit may be so sweet that the
eater cannot be persuaded that it is not truth, but the wisdom of God will
stand long after that of the world has been destroyed. We should watch
and guard against the evils which spring from the Babylonian root.
Aside from the general application to the entire kingdom, a part of
the dream pictures the experience of Nebuchadnezzar personally. Because
of his pride of heart, he would lose his reason, forsake the abodes of
men, find his home with the beasts of the field, and remain in this condition
for seven years - until he had learned "that the Most High ruleth in the
kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever He will." Daniel exhorted the
king, "let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins by
righteousness, and thy iniquities by showing mercy to the poor." There
was yet time for repentance, and had the king heeded this counsel, it would
have saved him from the great humiliation which came upon him.
When men are lifted up in pride and depend on worldly wisdom, God can
no longer sustain them, and they fall. Nations and individuals alike have
this experience. Even the professed church of Christ, when it departs from
the humility of the Master, loses its power, and will certainly be brought
low. The people who glory in wealth, or intellect, or knowledge, or in
anything save Jesus Christ, will be brought to confusion. In Christ alone
"are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." Every brilliant thought,
every intellectual idea, which in any way brings greatness, originates
with our Lord. It is God who is dealing with humanity. He rules.
It should be remembered that in all of his dealings with king Nebuchadnezzar,
God was working for the salvation of the ruler and those affected by his
influence. God allowed him to suffer seven years of deplorable degradation,
and then removed His chastening hand. After passing through this terrible
humiliation, he was brought to see his own weakness; he confessed his guilt,
and acknowledged the God of heaven. He sent to all the world the description
of this experience as recorded in the fourth chapter of Daniel. He had
learned that those who walk in pride, God is able to abase. In comparison
to God and His universe, the inhabitants of earth sink into insignificance,
and are reputed as nothing. "He doeth according to His will in the army
of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay His
hand, or say unto Him, What doest Thou?"
Dear brother and sister, it's hoped that the preceding pages have once
again made you realise the evil of the world that we live in; and especially
that you can perceive the corrupt and depraved government of the country
wherein you now temporarily reside.
Further, that you once again recall that the only government that
is righteous and filled with love is that one where God and the Lamb rule;
the one which you would dearly love to part of.
Take up therefore your ambassadorial duties once again.
Here we see what is eventually going to happen to that worldly Babylonian
And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they
worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is
able to make war with him? And there was given unto him a mouth speaking
great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue
forty and two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against
God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in
heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome
them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not
written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the
world. If any man have an ear, let him hear. He that leadeth into captivity
shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed
with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints. And I
beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like
a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the
first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein
to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he doeth
great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth
in the sight of men, And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the
means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the
beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an
image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he
had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the
beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the
image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and
great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand,
or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that
had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here
is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast:
for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore
And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked
with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment
of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: With whom the kings of
the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth
have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. So he carried me
away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet
coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten
horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked
with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand
full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: And upon her forehead
was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS
AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. And I saw the woman drunken with the blood
of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw
her, I wondered with great admiration.
And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having
great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily
with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and
is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit,
and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk
of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth
have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are
waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. And I heard another
voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers
of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have
reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. Reward her
even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works:
in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double. How much she hath
glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give
her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall
see no sorrow. Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and
mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong
is the Lord God who judgeth her. And the kings of the earth, who
have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail
her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning,
Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that
great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.
And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man
buyeth their merchandise any more: The merchandise of gold, and silver,
and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk,
and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and
all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble,
And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and
oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and
chariots, and slaves, and souls of men. And the fruits that thy soul lusted
after are departed from thee, and all things which were dainty and goodly
are departed from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all. The merchants
of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for
the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing, And saying, Alas, alas, that
great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and
decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls! For in one hour so great
riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in
ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off, And cried
when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like
unto this great city! And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping
and wailing, saying, Alas, alas, that great city, wherein were made rich
all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour
is she made desolate. Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye
holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.
And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven,
saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the
Lord our God: For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath
judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication,
and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand. And again they
said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever. And the four and
twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat
on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia. And a voice came out of the throne,
saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both
small and great. And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude,
and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings,
saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad
and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come,
and his wife hath made herself ready.
After reading all of the preceding, you must ask yourself - is Babylon
the great as described in Revelation, a city or a system of government
Also, how will God's kingdom be governed differently? Please read Luke
12:34-48 and Luke 19:11-27.
How many of us have tried to find out more about God's love towards us,
the heirs of life with Christ Jesus?
Here are a few passages of Scripture to spend some time over:
And when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the
name of the LORD, she came to prove him with hard questions. And she came
to Jerusalem with a very great train, with camels that bare spices, and
very much gold, and precious stones: and when she was come to Solomon,
she communed with him of all that was in her heart. And Solomon told her
all her questions: there was not any thing hid from the king, which
he told her not. And when the queen of Sheba had seen all Solomon's wisdom,
and the house that he had built, And the meat of his table, and the sitting
of his servants, and the attendance of his ministers, and their apparel,
and his cupbearers, and his ascent by which he went up unto the house of
the LORD; there was no more spirit in her. And she said to the king, It
was a true report that I heard in mine own land of thy acts and of thy
wisdom. Howbeit I believed not the words, until I came, and mine eyes had
seen it: and, behold, the half was not told me: thy wisdom and prosperity
exceedeth the fame which I heard. Happy are thy men, happy are
these thy servants, which stand continually before thee, and that
hear thy wisdom. Blessed be the LORD thy God, which delighted in thee,
to set thee on the throne of Israel: because the LORD loved Israel for
ever, therefore made he thee king, to do judgment and justice.
(1 Kings 10:1-9)
Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for
them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust
in thee before the sons of men!
That whosoever believeth in him should not perish,
but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only
begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have
everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the
world; but that the world through him might be saved.
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal
life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children
of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with
Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified
together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are
not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed
What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can
be against us?
As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence:
and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful
are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad
tidings of good things!
But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto
a disobedient and gainsaying people.
And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech
or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined
not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And
my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's
wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith
should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. Howbeit
we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this
world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: But we speak
the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which
God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes
of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified
the Lord of glory. But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard,
neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared
for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his
Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which
is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of
God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit
which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to
us of God.
(1 Corinthians 2:1-12)
It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural
body, and there is a spiritual body. And so it is written, The first man
Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening
spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that
which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man
is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from
heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy:
and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.
And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image
of the heavenly. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot
inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all
be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump:
for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible,
and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption,
and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible
shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality,
then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed
up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is
thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin
is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory
through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast,
unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know
that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
(1 Corinthians 15:44-58)
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from
the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a
kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end
for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus
Christ; As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the
former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy,
so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be
ye holy; for I am holy. And if ye call on the Father, who without respect
of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your
sojourning here in fear:
(1 Peter 1:13-17)
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation,
a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath
called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past
were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had
not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. Dearly beloved, I beseech
you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which
war against the soul; Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles:
that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your
good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.
(1 Peter 2:9-12)
Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should
be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because
it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet
appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall
be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this
hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
(1 John 3:1-3)
It's hoped that this writing encourages everyone with a joyful and grateful
heart to give thanks, to praise and to worship our God who loves us so,
just as king David did after the LORD had delivered him out of the hand
of all his enemies:
And David spake unto the LORD the words of this song in the day that
the LORD had delivered him out of the hand of all his enemies, and out
of the hand of Saul: And he said, The LORD is my rock, and my fortress,
and my deliverer; The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is
my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge,
my saviour; thou savest me from violence. I will call on the LORD, who
is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies. When
the waves of death compassed me, the floods of ungodly men made me afraid;
The sorrows of hell compassed me about; the snares of death prevented me;
In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried to my God: and he did
hear my voice out of his temple, and my cry did enter into his ears.
Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations of heaven moved and
shook, because he was wroth. There went up a smoke out of his nostrils,
and fire out of his mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it. He bowed
the heavens also, and came down; and darkness was under his feet.
And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: and he was seen upon the wings
of the wind. And he made darkness pavilions round about him, dark waters,
and thick clouds of the skies. Through the brightness before him
were coals of fire kindled. The LORD thundered from heaven, and the most
High uttered his voice. And he sent out arrows, and scattered them; lightning,
and discomfited them. And the channels of the sea appeared, the foundations
of the world were discovered, at the rebuking of the LORD, at the blast
of the breath of his nostrils. He sent from above, he took me; he drew
me out of many waters; He delivered me from my strong enemy, and
from them that hated me: for they were too strong for me. They prevented
me in the day of my calamity: but the LORD was my stay. He brought me forth
also into a large place: he delivered me, because he delighted in me. The
LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness: according to the cleanness
of my hands hath he recompensed me. For I have kept the ways of the LORD,
and have not wickedly departed from my God. For all his judgments were
before me: and as for his statutes, I did not depart from them.
I was also upright before him, and have kept myself from mine iniquity.
Therefore the LORD hath recompensed me according to my righteousness; according
to my cleanness in his eye sight. With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself
merciful, and with the upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright.
With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt
shew thyself unsavoury. And the afflicted people thou wilt save: but thine
eyes are upon the haughty, that thou mayest bring them
down. For thou art my lamp, O LORD: and the LORD will lighten my
darkness. For by thee I have run through a troop: by my God have I leaped
over a wall. As for God, his way is perfect; the word of
the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all them that trust
in him. For who is God, save the LORD? and who is a rock,
save our God? God is my strength and power: and he maketh
my way perfect. He maketh my feet like hinds' feet: and setteth
me upon my high places. He teacheth my hands to war; so that a bow of steel
is broken by mine arms. Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation:
and thy gentleness hath made me great. Thou hast enlarged my steps under
me; so that my feet did not slip. I have pursued mine enemies, and destroyed
them; and turned not again until I had consumed them. And I have consumed
them, and wounded them, that they could not arise: yea, they are fallen
under my feet. For thou hast girded me with strength to battle: them that
rose up against me hast thou subdued under me. Thou hast also given me
the necks of mine enemies, that I might destroy them that hate me. They
looked, but there was none to save; even unto the LORD, but
he answered them not. Then did I beat them as small as the dust of the
earth, I did stamp them as the mire of the street, and did spread
them abroad. Thou also hast delivered me from the strivings of my people,
thou hast kept me to be head of the heathen: a people which
I knew not shall serve me. Strangers shall submit themselves unto me: as
soon as they hear, they shall be obedient unto me. Strangers shall fade
away, and they shall be afraid out of their close places. The LORD liveth;
and blessed be my rock; and exalted be the God of the rock of my
salvation. It is God that avengeth me, and that bringeth down the
people under me, And that bringeth me forth from mine enemies: thou also
hast lifted me up on high above them that rose up against me: thou hast
delivered me from the violent man. Therefore I will give thanks unto thee,
O LORD, among the heathen, and I will sing praises unto thy name. He
is the tower of salvation for his king: and sheweth mercy to his anointed,
unto David, and to his seed for evermore.
(2 Samuel 22:1-51)
What does the God who rules by love expect of us, His willing subjects:
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present
your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is
your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye
transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is
that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. For I say, through
the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of
himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according
as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. For as we have many
members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being
many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Having
then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether
prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;
Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth,
on teaching; Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let
him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that
sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness. Let love be without dissimulation.
Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly
affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one
another; Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;
Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;
Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. Bless them
which persecute you: bless, and curse not. Rejoice with them that do rejoice,
and weep with them that weep. Be of the same mind one toward another.
Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise
in your own conceits. Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things
honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in
you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves,
but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is
mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed
him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals
of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution
for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem. It hath pleased them verily;
and their debtors they are. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers
of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister unto them in
But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that
both they that have wives be as though they had none; And they that weep,
as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced
not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not; And they that use
this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth
away. But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth
for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord: But
he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he
may please his wife. There is difference also between a wife
and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that
she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth
for the things of the world, how she may please her husband. And
this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you,
but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without
(1 Corinthians 7:29-35)
And we have known and believed the love that God hath to
us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God
(1 John 4:16)
And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom
under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the
most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions
shall serve and obey him.
* The Story of Daniel the Prophet by S.N. Haskell