Sunday, March 10, 2013

Discuss the reasons why the Chaldeans reported Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego's refusal to bow down to the Golden Image. 522 - 3-1

Four teenage boys transported to Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar are/ were a powerful witness of grace under fire. By faith, three of them literally came though the fiery furnace and one used a lion's paw as a pillow.
In an attempt to force the four teens to assimilate into Babylon, their names were changed.
Daniel, “God is my Judge” to Belteshazzar, “Prince of Bel"
Hananiah, “Beloved of the Lord” to Shadrach: “Illumined by the Sun God”
Mishel, “Who is as God” to Meshach: “Who is like unto the Moon God”
Azariah, “The Lord is My Help” to Abednego: “Servant of Nego, a shining fire”

As the well-known story goes, King Nebuchadnezzar had a very disturbing dream and ordered his Chaldeans to interpret it. The rather crafty King would not said what the dream was thereby totally confounding his sorcerers. All "wise men" including Daniel and his three friends were to be executed unless the dream was explained. Daniel told the king that he had dreamt of a statue and the explanation of the various metals in its composition as the present and future kingdoms. As a result, Daniel was given much responsibility as were his friends.
The Chaldeans used a possible uprising within the kingdom to convince Nebuchadnezzar to erect a golden statue and require his subjects to bow down to it and confirm their loyalty to his gods. The image was 60 cubits in height and six cubits in width, an impressive 90 foot towering status.

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refused to bow down to any god other than the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The sorcerers had their opportunity and immediately reported this infraction to the King. Daniel was not present at the time, perhaps out of the area attending to the King's business. Daniel’s absence and been likened to the rapture of the Church prior to the tribulation.

I would suspect that there were two primary reasons why the Chaldeans reported Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego's refusal to bow down to the Golden Image; jealousy and concern for their own credibility. Imagine four teenagers taken from a conquered land upstaging the king's sorcerers earning the king’s favor and being elevated to positions of authority. The plot by the Chaldeans failed and resulted in their execution and also the execution of their families.

Why would there be tears in heaven? What opportunities in your daily life will you use to fulfill Christ's purposes? 547-2 - 24-1

To again quote CM there will be “a difference between ‘Entering’ Heaven and having an ‘Inheriting’ when you get there.” CM quips that “An invitation to my home allows you to enter it, but not to rearrange the furniture. You can ‘enter’ a hotel; but that doesn’t mean you ‘inherit’ it. Inheritances (privileges) will be widely variable, as rewards… And many, when they ‘get to heaven,’ will be disappointed! (Glad to be there, of course, but upset because they will realize the opportunities that they have missed…).”

In his briefing CM alluded to tears in Heaven due to lost opportunities during our incarnation. So that in Heaven some may be relegated to an area distance from the presence of Jesus. When we are in heaven how much of the earth will we remember? I would think we will have an awareness of those that we love who are not with us as well as the millions of people who have been left behind to face the tribulation. So yes, I expect that there will be tears in heaven.
I am concerned for the salvation of my children as I “dropped the ball” regarding their Christian development. During my college days my children and I attended weekly church services. After college I drifted away and therefore of allowed my children to drift away from the church. Both of my children are very aware of my status as a born-again Christian and likely find it more entertaining than anything else. Since they're both pretty much set in their ways about all I can do is to pray for them and at least get them materials to study in the event they are left behind.

After the church has been rapture the only thing standing between those left behind in the deception of Satan will be what information we leave for them. I expect that Christian websites such as Rapture Ready will be shut down long before any prepaid web hosting runs out. Bibles will be forbidden as will any Judeo-Christian books. I sent family members flash drives with lots of files including the hundred plus Old Testament prophecies that Jesus fulfilled. It is my prayer that my children will be influenced by and share them. And it's not just my children or family or friends that are left behind, I'm concerned about the millions upon millions of people who are destined to go through the hell on earth of the Tribulation.

Living with and helping to care for my mother keeps me rather isolated so I use the Internet to witness to people. I network on Facebook and Like, Share and Post. I have joined several special interest groups on Facebook including colleges I attended and in my major field. I often post or share articles on Christianity exposing many to them. I have an online blog that not many people wander into but now and then they do.

What was the first act of religion in the Bible? What are some religious acts today? 547-2 - 24-4

Genesis 3: 7 “And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.”

Genesis 3:10 “And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself”

Genesis 3:21 “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them.”

Having a relationship with Jesus is Jesus reaching down to man and religion is man's attempt to reach up to God. The first act of religion in the Bible was the desperate attempt by Adam and Eve to cover their sin of disobedience with fig leaves. In his concern for his creation, God sewed skins of animals for Adam and Eve to wear both to protect their bodies and to demonstrate that a blood sacrifice would be needed to redeem mankind. That blood sacrifice would be the seed of the woman thus starting the scarlet thread that is woven throughout the Bible culminating in the crucifixion of Jesus.

It seems today that many cannot accept the simple gospel of the Bible. “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:” 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 KJV I was reminded of this last Sunday as I attended church and was privileged to partake of Holy Communion.

Even Martin Luther was a victim of the fear that the Roman Catholic Church seems to generate in its members. Martin Luther seemed to be obsessed by the question, "How can a man find favor with God?" Habakkuk 2:4, "The just shall live by faith" started him on a path to the Reformation. Habakkuk 2:4 led Paul to write his trilogy of epistles. The Book of Romans tells us who the Just are; those who live by faith. I completed the book of Galatians some time ago and it was reassuring to know that we live by faith and not the legalism often promoted by churches, most notably the Catholic Church. I'm looking forward to taking Hebrews later this year thereby completing this trilogy. Romans 8:2. “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.”

What are some religious acts today? The Quran teaches that by dying while committing jihad one is immediately transported to Paradise. The Mormons believe that by good works they can become as gods someday rule their own planet.

I've been told that Catholics believe that they have been granted salvation through the death of Christ on the cross; however, it is not a forever thing. One must continue saying masses to keep their salvation and after death be purified in purgatory.

How can “good deeds” favor us before God? 534-1 - 8-1

Martin Luther asked, "How can a man find favor with God?" Habakkuk 2:4, "The just shall live by faith" started him on a path to the Reformation. Habakkuk 2:4 led Paul to write his trilogy of epistles. The Book of Romans tells us who the Just are; those who live by faith. I completed the book of Galatians some time ago and it was reassuring to know that we live by faith and not the legalism often promoted by churches, most notably the Catholic Church. I'm looking forward to taking Hebrews later this year thereby completing this trilogy.

CM talks to the Tenses of Salvation:

“Past Tense: Separation from the Penalty of Sin Justificatio
Present Tense: Separation from the Power of Sin Sanctification
Future Tense: Separation from the Presence of Sin Glorification”

Through our faith in Jesus we have we are assured of salvation. Evil seems to be most attracted to light. I can't speak for anyone but myself, however, I often feel under the attack of Satan and passing moments of doubt. I’ll hang onto the Word of God and the brief trial passes. To me, this is sanctification at work in me. What a wonderful day it will be when we are separated totally from the presence of sin; when the purveyor of evil is finally chained in the lake of fire.

Last week I closed discussion question #4, Why does Paul live his life in a type of “paranoia?” with the following:

“As an aside, Dr. Missler’s briefing “Inheritance and Rewards” opens with:
“Are all believers going to be equal in heaven? Wasn’t it all decided at the Cross?
Is there a difference between overcoming sin and bearing fruit? What’s the difference between “entering” the Kingdom and “inheriting” it? What is a metachoi and how does one become one?”

As I understand it, a metachoi is a sort of partner in a work. 1 Corinthians 3:12-15 pretty much spells this out, “Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.”

We are to share in the work of bringing as many as possible into the Kingdom; gold, silver, precious stone. The college degrees and Atta boys we earn, the money we acquire for the sake of acquisition and wasted years will be burned as wood, hay, stubble.

List at least three places in Scripture where the word "stone" or "rock" is used as an idiom for our Lord, Jesus Christ 522 - 2-8

Numbers 20:11 And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also. And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them."

Moses was to talk was to speak to the rock, an idiom of Christ, instead he struck it. Thus it appeared that the water came forth through the effort of Moses and not as a gift from God.
Daniel 3:34-35, “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.”
Jesus, the cornerstone, is the stone that was cut without hands. When Jesus returns at the second coming as the lion of Judah he will come to rule the world with a rod of iron. The earth dwellers will be cut to pieces.

Matthew 16:17-18, “And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

These verses have been used by the Roman Catholic Church to claim that the Pope is in a direct line from the apostle Peter. However, in the following verses Peter clears up any confusion as to who the cornerstone is.

1 Peter 2:6-7, “Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner.”

Luke 19:40, “And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.” Although the stones that would cry out should the people hold back their praise is not an idiom for Christ, the passage is very revealing. In the movie "The Sobbing Stone" there were a variety of strange sounds emanating from a plain gray stone. The stone was sobbing and because it was lying under the cross at the Crucifixion and it picked up the voices of people surrounding the cross. Early in the movie there was a drip, drip sound coming from the stone; the sound of the blood of Jesus falling on it.

Added Later:

Deuteronomy 32:3-5, "Because I will publish the name of the Lord: ascribe ye greatness unto our God. He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he."
Could be any clearer? Jesus is our Rock, the cornerstone of our faith. Luke 20:17, "And he beheld them, and said, What is this then that is written, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner?"