The Wise Will Understand

The Wise Will Understand
Daniel 12:6-10 KJV “And one said to the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, How long shall it be to the end of these wonders? [7] And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished. [8] And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? [9] And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. [10] Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.”

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The passage above refers to great events and mysteries Daniel was shown would take place during the time of the end. He wanted to know what it all meant but was told this special knowledge was not for him. It is reserved only for those who serve God during the time of the end; “The wise.” Daniel was told these servants of God would understand the prophecy. But none of the wicked would understand.

WHO ARE “THE WISE?”🤔

Daniel 11:32-35 KJV “And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but THE PEOPLE THAT DO KNOW THEIR GOD shall be strong, and DO EXPLOITS. [33] And they that understand among the people shall INSTRUCT MANY: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days. [34] Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries. [35] And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed.”

Daniel 12:3 KJV “And THEY THAT BE WISE shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and THEY THAT TURN MANY TO RIGHTEOUSNESS as the stars for ever and ever.”

“The wise,” “Them of understanding,” are the persecuted church of God. “The wise,” are those who do exploits for the kingdom of God. They collectively and individually instruct many in the ways of the Lord and turn many to righteousness. These are busy in God’s work. (1 Corinthians 15:58) No wonder they understand, they take God seriously. And God enjoys revealing Himself and His will to them. They know why they are here:

Ephesians‬ ‭2:10‬ ‭NLT‬‬ “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.”


God reveals himself and His plans to those who are serious about serving Him and keep His words.

If you are one of these you understand what is going on in the world today as God foretold you would. On the contrary if we are not actively engaged in the work God ordained for us long ago you cannot understand what is truly happening or is about to occur. It is written. You might think you know but you don’t. This is why it is so dangerous to be lukewarm. Lukewarm Christians know things about God but cannot understand all that God wants them to unless they repent:

John‬ ‭14:22-24‬ ‭CSB‬‬ “Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it you’re going to reveal yourself to us and not to the world?” Jesus answered, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. The one who doesn’t love me will not keep my words. The word that you hear is not mine but is from the Father who sent me.”

Amos‬ ‭3:7‬ ‭NLT‬‬ “Indeed, the Sovereign Lord never does anything until he reveals his plans to his servants the prophets.”

God reveals himself and His plans to those who are serious about serving Him and keep His words. God reveals His plans to prophets who in turn reveal them to the church. Lukewarm Christians pick and choose which words of God they deem important. This is not taking God seriously. They are rejecting the gift of the Holy Spirit, the one who leads into all truth:

John 16:13 HCSB “When the Spirit of truth comes, HE WILL GUIDE YOU INTO ALL THE TRUTH. For He will not speak on His own, but He will speak whatever He hears. HE WILL ALSO DECLARE TO YOU WHAT IS TO COME.”

Again, knowing the truth, what’s really going on, and, “What is to come,” is given by the Spirit only to those who seek God diligently. Please do not be nonchalant when it comes to God.

A FEW FINAL WORDS

1 Corinthians‬ ‭15:58‬ ‭CSB‬‬ “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the Lord’s work, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”

Now is not the time to be falling away. It’s now time to be excelling in the work of the Lord. A good runner doesn’t intend to slow down when he/she gets close to the finished line.🏃

1 Corinthians 9:24 HCSB “Don’t you know that the runners in a stadium all race, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way to win the prize.”

One might ask, “How can I know if what I’m doing pleases the Lord?” The next passage says:

Romans 12:1 KJV “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.”

“Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God.”🤔 Whoever does this will be empowered to do what the next verse says also and will know what God’s will is for him or her:😊

Romans 12:2 KJV “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.”

Whoever presents themselves as a living, holy, sacrifice unto God, doesn’t conform or bring themselves into harmony with this world, but instead is being transformed into the image of Jesus, will know and be able to prove to themselves what God’s will is for them. God guarantees it. They will also understand the critical time we are in. Hence they will be able to choose what is best and make the most of every opportunity to serve the Lord.😊

As we observe this world it’s sometimes amazing that so many haven’t a clue as to what’s really going on. And they cannot understand as Daniel the prophet was told by God. (Daniel 12:10) But you true servants of the Lord have ears to hear and eyes to see. God is increasing your understanding as He said He would. Why? God loves you and doesn’t want any to perish. People perish for a lack of knowledge. (Hosea 4:6) Be thankful that God has counted you among those He calls, “The Wise.”😊 And if we feel a nudge from the Spirit saying we need to get more involved in our Father’s business that’s a good thing. Obey the Holy Spirit. Let us also humbly remember what our Master says whenever we do the will of God:

Luke‬ ‭17:10‬ ‭HCSB‬‬ “In the same way, when you have done all that you were commanded, you should say, ‘We are good-for-nothing slaves; we’ve only done our duty.’ ””

Philippians 1:9‭-‬11 HCSB “And I pray this: that your LOVE will keep on growing in knowledge and every kind of discernment, so that you can approve the things that are superior and can be pure and blameless in the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ to the glory and praise of God.”

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You Are God’s Temple

You Are God’s Temple

1 Corinthians‬ ‭3:16-17‬ ‭ESV‬‬ “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.”

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Our bodies do not belong to us like some think. Did we create them? Our bodies belong to God. Believers are God’s Temple, the place God dwells by His Spirit:😊

2 Corinthians 6:16 KJV “And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for YE ARE THE TEMPLE OF THE LIVING GOD; as God hath said, I WILL DWELL IN THEM, and WALK IN THEM; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”

What great intimacy we have with Almighty God!😃 God Himself lives and walks in us!

John 14:22-23 KJV “Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? [23] Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and WE will come unto him, and MAKE OUR ABODE WITH HIM.”

God lives with and makes himself manifest in a special way only to those who love Him and keep His commandments. The world doesn’t keep God’s commandments hence they cannot know Him. They know of Him but not intimately.

The temple of God is Holy and devoted to the worship of God. (Romans 12:1-2) We are that temple. As in the past there will always be rivals to the worship of God and defilers of His temple because the Devil hates the worship of God.

THE IMAGE THE BEASTS AND THE MARK

Revelation 13:15-17 KJV “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. [16] 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: [17] 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.”

God foretold a time would come right before Jesus’ return when a certain beast would have power to give life to the image of another beast. The image would be empowered to speak, and cause as many as would not worship the image to be killed. The beast causes ALL from the least to the greatest, rich and poor, free and slave (that’s everybody) to receive a mark IN their right hand or IN their foreheads.😳 The pressure would be so great to receive this mark that no one can buy or sell unless he/she has this special mark of the beast. As bizarre as this sounds remember it all starts with worship of the image and of the beasts. The beasts and the image want worship. They are rivals to the true worship of God. They require absolute allegiance or suffer the consequences; economic sanctions, and death.

But we are the temple of God. And God’s temple has nothing to do with the worship of other gods. GOD LIVES IN US! If we worship other gods or defile our temples He will leave us. So the real test imposed by the beast is, “Who really is our God? This world? Money? Food? Clothing? Shelter? Or is the God of Heaven and earth our God?🤔

Whoever receives this mark of the beast or worships the beast or his image is in a world of trouble. How do we know this? God’s word says:

Revelation 14:9-11 KJV “And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, [10] The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: [11] And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.”

Whoever worships the beast, his image and receives the mark of the beast is doomed! They are tormented day and night in the lake of fire forever and have no rest. It behooves us to seek our God so that we will never wind up in this predicament.

I’ve heard Christians (or folks I thought was Christians) say things like, “There’s nothing to worry about you can’t be deceived into taking the mark.” Hmmmm🤔, though I agree with them we should not worry (about anything) I believe the nonchalant approach regarding this is a serious mistake. Because as we just read whoever receives the mark of the beast or worships the beast and his image is damned in the lake of fire FOREVER!😳 That should be a cause of great concern.

CAN SOMEONE BE DECEIVED
TO TAKE THE MARK?

Is it true that a person cannot be deceived or tricked into receiving the mark of the beast? God’s word says:

Revelation 19:20 KJV “And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which HE DECEIVED THEM THAT HAD RECEIVED THE MARK OF THE BEAST, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.

God says EVERYONE who receives the mark of the beast and worships his image IS DECEIVED into doing it. For further discussion as to how this could happen and encouragement regarding this topic please check out the article, “Can You Be Deceived To Take The Mark?🤔” Since God’s word says those who receive the mark of the beast are deceived into doing so we must be vigilant and pray earnestly that we are not deceived and fall into temptation:

Matthew‬ ‭26:41‬ ‭HCSB‬‬ “Stay awake and pray, so that you won’t enter into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
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SHADRACH MESHACH AND ABEDNEGO

This all reminds me of something that happened during the days of king Nebuchadnezzar the ruler of the Babylonian empire—the dominant kingdom in the world during that time. One day king Nebuchadnezzar set up an image of gold and held a dedication ceremony for his image. He summoned all of his top officials throughout his vast kingdom to come to this ceremony. When they all were gathered together these instructions were given:

Daniel‬ ‭3:4-6‬ ‭HCSB‬‬ “A herald loudly proclaimed, “PEOPLE OF EVERY NATION AND LANGUAGE, you are commanded: When you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, drum, and every kind of music, you are to fall down and worship the gold statue that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. But whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a furnace of blazing fire.””😳🔥

‘Bow down to the image or die!’ These were the instructions given to all the king’s distinguished guests. Sounds familiar?🤔 There were 3 men in the audience who refused to bow down. Yes, their names were Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. These men worshipped The Most High God, the God of heaven and earth. Bowing down to an image of gold or anything was unthinkable to them. Imagine yourself as one of them as the instructions to bow down were given. The music starts playing and everyone bows except you. Some who have already bowed are looking at you like you’re crazy. Maybe someone tells you, “You fool, you better bow down or else!” Everyone is bowing down and worshipping the golden image and there you are standing out like a sore thumb with nowhere to hide. Sounds familiar?🤔

Of course it was reported to the king that 3 men refused to bow down. Let’s see what happened next:

Daniel‬ ‭3:13-15‬ ‭HCSB‬‬ “Then in a furious rage Nebuchadnezzar gave orders to bring in Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. So these men were brought before the king. Nebuchadnezzar asked them, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, is it true that you don’t serve my gods or worship the gold statue I have set up? Now if you’re ready, when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, drum, and every kind of music, fall down and worship the statue I made. But if you don’t worship it, you will immediately be thrown into a furnace of blazing fire — and who is the god who can rescue you from my power?””

King Nebuchadnezzar offered them a second chance to defile themselves and worship other gods.👎🏽 How will our dear brothers respond to this?

‭‭Daniel‬ ‭3:16-18‬ ‭HCSB‬‬ “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied to the king, “Nebuchadnezzar, we don’t need to give you an answer to this question. If the God we serve exists, then He can rescue us from the furnace of blazing fire, and He can rescue us from the power of you, the king. But even if He does not rescue us, we want you as king to know that we will not serve your gods or worship the gold statue you set up.””

‭‭What a bold answer!😊 While their reply obviously upset the king, can you imagine how glad Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego made the King Of Kings heart feel by their answer?😊👍🏽 Can you imagine how glad we too make God feel when we refuse to bow down and worship other gods?😊👍🏽

Let’s see what happened next:

Daniel‬ ‭3:19-25‬ ‭HCSB‬‬ “Then Nebuchadnezzar was filled with rage, and the expression on his face changed toward Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He gave orders to heat the furnace seven times more than was customary, and he commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and throw them into the furnace of blazing fire. So these men, in their trousers, robes, head coverings, and other clothes, were tied up and thrown into the furnace of blazing fire. Since the king’s command was so urgent and the furnace extremely hot, the raging flames killed those men who carried Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego up. And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego fell, bound, into the furnace of blazing fire. Then King Nebuchadnezzar jumped up in alarm. He said to his advisers, “Didn’t we throw three men, bound, into the fire?” “Yes, of course, Your Majesty,” they replied to the king. He exclaimed, “Look! I see four men, not tied, walking around in the fire unharmed; and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.””
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GOD ALWAYS REWARDS FAITHFULNESS!!! ALWAYS!!!😊

King Nebuchadnezzar never expected this! God rescued his servants from the fire!😃 The 3 of them were in the fire unharmed and with them was a 4th person. God allowed the king to see this 4th person whom he said, “Looks like a son of the gods.” The Lord was with them in the fire.😃

Daniel‬ ‭3:26-30‬ ‭HCSB‬‬ “Nebuchadnezzar then approached the door of the furnace of blazing fire and called: “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, you servants of the Most High God — come out! ” So Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came out of the fire. When the satraps, prefects, governors, and the king’s advisers gathered around, they saw that the fire had no effect on the bodies of these men: not a hair of their heads was singed, their robes were unaffected, and there was no smell of fire on them. Nebuchadnezzar exclaimed, “Praise to the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego! He sent His angel and rescued His servants who trusted in Him. They violated the king’s command and risked their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. Therefore I issue a decree that anyone of any people, nation, or language who says anything offensive against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego will be torn limb from limb and his house made a garbage dump. For there is no other god who is able to deliver like this.” Then the king rewarded Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the province of Babylon.”

All the officials of the kingdoms of the world got to see God’s power that day. You think they spread the news about what they saw when they got home in their own countries? Yeah.😊 What a witness this was for The True God Of Heaven And Earth.😊 What great courage God gave Shadrach Meshach and Abednego. Can you imagine all the questions they were asked about their God that day? You think someone may have come to know the true God after all this? Even king Nebuchadnezzar had a change of heart.
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A FEW FINAL WORDS

Luke 9:24 KJV “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.”

How was Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego able to boldly lay down their lives for God? Because they lived for Him!🤔 A person unwilling to live for God will not have the courage to do what they did. Living for God means loving Him, loving one another, and obeying His commands. (1 John 5:1-3)

Ecclesiastes‬ ‭1:9‬ ‭GNT‬‬ “What has happened before will happen again. What has been done before will be done again. There is nothing new in the whole world.”
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Our loyalty; who we really serve, will be tested just like Shadrach Meshach and Abednego. Now is the time to be building ourselves up in our most Holy Faith. (Jude 1:20-21) Now is not the time to be falling away like many are.😪 (Matthew 24:9-10) Remember, if you truly believe in Jesus Christ your body is His temple. Do not defile yourself and sell out for a few temporary trinkets here on earth.

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The Sacrifice Of God’s Son Wasn’t Enough

The Sacrifice Of God’s Son Wasn’t Enough

John‬ ‭3:16‬ ‭HCSB‬‬ “For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.”‭

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There are people who say, “If God would just show me a miracle I would believe in Him.” And others who say, “If God really cares about us why does he allow so much suffering?” It sounds like the sacrifice of God’s son Jesus Christ wasn’t enough. This reminds me of a parable Jesus told about a poor man named Lazarus who suffered much in this world. After Lazarus died angels took him to heaven where he was comforted FOREVER!😊 

Luke‬ ‭16:19-31‬ ‭NET‬‬ “There was a rich man who dressed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. But at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus whose body was covered with sores, who longed to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. In addition, the dogs came and licked his sores. “Now the poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. And in hell, as he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far off with Lazarus at his side. So he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in anguish in this fire.’ But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things and Lazarus likewise bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in anguish. Besides all this, a great chasm has been fixed between us, so that those who want to cross over from here to you cannot do so, and no one can cross from there to us.’ So the rich man said, ‘Then I beg you, father – send Lazarus to my father’s house (for I have five brothers) to warn them so that they don’t come into this place of torment.’ But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; they must respond to them.’ Then the rich man said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’ He replied to him, ‘If they do not respond to Moses and the prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”‭‭

What Jesus said here confirms that God does love us.😊 Lazarus had a tough life on earth but he knew God. God more than made up for his troubles by allowing Lazarus to be comforted in heaven FOREVER!😊The rich man enjoyed his life of wealth here on earth but he did not know God. He later found himself tormented in hell.😳 There he looked up in heaven and saw the once poor Lazarus with Abraham living comfortably. He begged for help but got no relief. Finally he asked Abraham to send Lazarus to his five brothers thinking they would believe someone who has risen from the dead and repent. Abraham explained to him it doesn’t work that way. If they don’t believe Moses and the prophets Abraham said they won’t believe someone who rises from the dead. If anyone knows how this works it’s Abraham. Abraham is the father of all who have faith.😊 (Romans 4:16-17)

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Jesus’ sacrifice of His sinless life and rising from the dead to pay for our sins (so we won’t have to in hell) isn’t enough to touch the hearts of the masses.

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Jesus paid our sin debt by giving His sinless life as a blood sacrifice for our sins. He died and rose on the third day. He was seen by witnesses afterwards and still reveals Himself today. Some believe He exists or once existed but reject Him. Abraham told that man in hell the truth; if people don’t believe what God says through Moses and the prophets they won’t believe even someone who rises from the dead. 

Have you ever wondered what makes one person accept Jesus and another flat out reject Him? Jesus says:

John‬ ‭3:19-21‬ ‭HCSB‬‬ “This, then, is the judgment: The light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil. For everyone who practices wicked things hates the light and avoids it, so that his deeds may not be exposed. But anyone who lives by the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be shown to be accomplished by God.”

People reject Jesus and His sacrifice for sins because people love sin. People love darkness (Satan) over the light (Jesus Christ), and will not come to the light because they fear their evil deeds will be exposed. People love putting on airs of goodness (hypocrisy) rather than practicing what is good. 

2 Corinthians 11:14-15 KJV “And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. [15] Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.”

Jesus’ sacrifice of His sinless life and rising from the dead to pay for our sins (so we won’t have to in hell) isn’t enough to touch the hearts of the masses. They’re hearts are darkened. (Ephesians 4:18-19) May we never be in that number.

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