Monday, 22 January 2018

Nebuchadnezzar's Pride (BD13)

Dan 4:18 "This dream I, King Nebuchadnezzar, have seen. Now you, Belteshazzar, declare its interpretation, since all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to make known to me the interpretation; but you are able, for the Spirit of the Holy God is in you."
    This statement from King Nebuchadnezzar revealed the respect he had for prophet Daniel, who alone could interprete his dream. With this great respect, Daniel was able to share the bad news of his coming madness, humiliations, sufferings, pains, etc. which were God's chastisements of him (anyone else sharing such bad news with the king will definitely be put to death).
   Pride of King Nebuchadnezzar
Dan 4:22 "it is you, O king, who have grown and become strong; for your greatness has grown and reaches to the heavens, and your dominion to the end of the earth."
    God showed King Nebuchadnezzar that pride was his biggest problem. As promised, by God, He would revealed to him (as God's servant) the method how he could help him deal the sin of pride.
Amos 3:7-8 Surely the Lord GOD does nothing, unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets. A lion has roared! Who will not fear? The Lord GOD has spoken! Who can but prophesy?

   Nebuchadnezzar in great Humility
Dan 4:24-25 "this is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree of the Most High, which has come upon my lord the king: They shall drive you from men, your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make you eat grass like oxen. They shall wet you with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over you, till you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses."
    The interpretation of the dream was that King Nebuchadnezzar would become insane and driven out from men to live among the beasts in the field. Without any roofing, every morning his body would be wet by the dew. And just like an ox his food would eat the grass in the field. For seven he will be living as animal, with his hair like eagles feathers and nails like bird's claws.
The greatest humility - the great Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar was reduced to worse than beggars, but as an animal surviving on grass and living in the open field. (c.f Jesus' birth)
Dan 4:33 That very hour the word was fulfilled concerning Nebuchadnezzar; he was driven from men and ate grass like oxen; his body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hair had grown like eagles' feathers and his nails like birds' claws.

       Our Lord's Birth in Humility
    Our Lord Jesus Christ was the King of kings and the Lord of Lords and above all the heavenly hosts. He humbled Himself to be made flesh, a human being and a servant. He was born in the stable amongst the animals as a sacrificial Lamb of God. He was put in a manger (a trough holding food or water for the animals) revealing that He came as the Bread of life (food) and living Water for His sheep (Christians). Not only was our Lord born in humility, His whole life on earth was in humility:- poor family, baptized by John, ministry supported by women, rode on donkey entering Jerusalem, etc. and finally He submitted Himself to God's will by suffering the lashes and dying on the cross.
    Brethren, unless we humble ourselves and repent of our pride, lusts, covetousness, selfishness, etc. and obey His words, otherwise the coming World War 3, earthquakes, tsunamis, etc. having wipe out everything may reduce us to eat grass to relief our sufferings from the great hunger.

Jesus lying in the manger amongst the animals.

Sunday, 21 January 2018

Nebuchadnezzar's Testimonies (BD12)

Dan 4:1-3 Nebuchadnezzar the king, To all peoples, nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth: Peace be multiplied to you. I thought it good to declare the signs and wonders that the Most High God has worked for me. How great are His signs, And how mighty His wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, And His dominion is from generation to generation.
    In the old days, all kings were treated and worshipped as gods by the heathens. In fact, King Nebuchadnezzar once forced his people to worship his golden image. Failing to kill the 3 Jews for not bowing down to worship his image, he then declared Yahweh the God of the Jews, the Lord God Almighty. Having seen those signs and wonders of Yahweh, he rejoiced witnessing them. Then being filled with faith, he willingly and joyfully, set out to testify of His greatness to all his subjects and also to the rest of the world. Below were some of the signs and wonders:-

1. Jewish youths 10 times better in wisdom and understanding,
Dan 1:19-20 Then the king interviewed them, and among them all none was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; therefore they served before the king. And in all matters of wisdom and understanding about which the king examined them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers who were in all his realm.

2. Daniel revealed the King's dream,
Dan 2:31-35 "You, O king, were watching; and behold, a great image! This great image, whose splendor was excellent, stood before you; and its form was awesome. This image's head was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay..."

3. Daniel also interpreted his dream,
Dan 2:36-38 "This is the dream. Now we will tell the interpretation of it before the king. You, O king, are a king of kings. For the God of heaven has given you a kingdom, power, strength, and glory..."

4. God's deliverance of the 3 Jews.
Dan  3:26, 29 Then Nebuchadnezzar went near the mouth of the burning fiery furnace and spoke, saying, "Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, servants of the Most High God, come out, and come here. " Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego came from the midst of the fire... "Therefore I make a decree that any people, nation, or language which speaks anything amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made an ash heap; because there is no other God who can deliver like this."

    This is an example of how you too can testify and declared God's work in your life:-
1. He introduced himself (king),
2. His greeting of peace to all,
3. He testified God's signs and wonders in his life,
4. He declared the greatness of His eternal Kingdom.

Warning - Unfortunately, many testimonies instead of giving all glories to the Lord God Almighty, also claim some self glories (self righteousness, own wisdom, abilities, etc.) which destroy their supposedly good testimonies.

   Brethren, when you start to testify His faithfulness and greatness in your life, your have publicly humbled yourself as His servant by declaring Him as your Lord and King. God will continue to use you as His servant. No wonder God declared King Nebuchadnezzar, His servant, who constantly testified of His greatness.
Jer 27:6 "And now I have given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, My servant; and the beasts of the field I have also given him to serve him."

Saturday, 20 January 2018

God's Peace with His Faithful (BD11)

Dan 3:24-25 Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished; and he rose in haste and spoke, saying to his counselors, "Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?" They answered and said to the king, "True, O king." "Look!" he answered, "I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God."
    When God told the Israelites to surrender and serve Babylon, He promised them that they would live in peace there. So when King Nebuchadnezzar demanded them to worship the golden idol (causing them to disobey God's commandments and sin), God stepped in to deliver them miraculously and gave them peace.
Jer 29:7 And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray to the LORD for it; for in its peace you will have peace.

Dan 3:26-27 Then Nebuchadnezzar went near the mouth of the burning fiery furnace and spoke, saying, "Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, servants of the Most High God, come out, and come here. "Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego came from the midst of the fire. And the satraps, administrators, governors, and the king's counselors gathered together, and *they saw these men on whose bodies the fire had no power; the hair of their head was not singed nor were their garments affected, and the smell of fire was not on them.
    This miraculous deliverance of the 3 Jews was witnessed by all the top officials from throughout the Babylonian Empire, therefore the whole Empire had heard of the great power of Yahweh, the living God of the Jews.

Dan 3:28-29 Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying, "Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, who sent His Angel and delivered His servants who trusted in Him, and they have frustrated the king's word, and yielded their bodies, that they should not serve nor worship any god except their own God! Therefore I make a decree that any people, nation, or language which speaks anything amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made an ash heap; because there is no other God who can deliver like this."
    The great wisdom of God using this miraculous deliverance and the declaration of King Nebuchadnezzar, to bring the whole Empire to fear Yahweh. This allowed the Jews to live in peace throughout the land during their exile because the people respected and feared the Jews whose Yahweh is the Almighty God.
    Similarly, if we obey and keep His words, our Lord Jesus ensures us that His peace will be with us.
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Friday, 19 January 2018

Faith of the three Jews (BD10)

Dan 3:13-14 Then Nebuchadnezzar, in rage and fury, gave the command to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. So they brought these men before the king. Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying to them, "Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the gold image which I have set up?
   When the 3 Jews refused to bow down to worship the golden image of Nebuchadnezzar, the king was in rage and demanded that they worship his golden image otherwise they will be cast into fiery furnace.

Daniel 3:15 "Now if you are ready at the time you hear the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, and you fall down and worship the image which I have made, good! But if you do not worship, you shall be cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you from my hands?"
    When in rage King Nebuchadnezzar forgot that Yahweh the Almighty God of the Jews is the Creator of the heaven and earth and that He is all powerful and able set up or remove kings. In anger, he even mocked Yahweh saying, `who is the god who will deliver them from his hands.' No wonder, the word of God reminded us that when we are angry be rational and do not sin (be fair and biblical in whatever you do). If not, then you have just fallen into the devil's deceptions.
Eph 4:26-27 "Be angry, and do not sin": do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil."

Dan 3:17-18 "If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up."
    The 3 Jews had witnessed the faithfulness of God, Who had fulfilled His prophecies and promises to all those taken captives and serving Babylon. With such Faith in Yahweh, they committed themselves into Him that He will deliver them from the fiery furnace. If it is God's will for them to be taken back to heaven, they are happy to be martyrs. This reminded the king that Yahweh is the Almighty God, but instead of repentance, his pride made him more furious that he made the fiery furnace extremely hot to ensure their certain death.

Dan 3:19, 23 Then Nebuchadnezzar was full of fury, and the expression on his face changed toward Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. He spoke and commanded that they heat the furnace seven times more than it was usually heated... And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.
    It is a pity that so many of His godly servants have fallen because of pride and covetousness, and have refused to repent.
    Brethren, are you persecuting your poor godly brethren who are helpless against your onslaught (because of your power, riches and positions), by excluding them as false teachers, heretics, etc. and are also smearing their reputations with lies.
Remember - these godly and helpless brethren are the beloved of our Lord - just like Lazarus the beggar, Daniel and 3 friends the captives, etc. They are your blessings if only you obey His words to love one another as Jesus had loved us.

Heb 13:1-3 Let brotherly love continue. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels. Remember the prisoners as if chained with them -- those who are mistreated -- since you yourselves are in the body also.

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Nebuchadnezzar God's servant (BD09)

Jer 43:10 and say to them, 'Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: "Behold, I will send and bring Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, My servant, and will set his throne above these stones that I have hidden. And he will spread his royal pavilion over them.
    King Nebuchadnezzar had been a faithful servant of God so far. Being God's instrument of judging Jerusalem and the Israelites for their abominable practices. Gid also helped him to annihilate the Assyrian and Egyptian armies. He had been fair to Daniel by promoting him to the highest position possible as promised for those who could reveal and explain his dream, which led him to acknowledge Yahweh the God of the Jews as the Almighty God.

Dan 3:4-6 Then a herald cried aloud: "To you it is commanded, O peoples, nations, and languages, that at the time you hear the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, you shall fall down and worship the gold image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up; and whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace."
    Surprisingly, King Nebuchadnezzar who had once acknowledged Yahweh as the Almighty God dared to force everyone including Jews to worship his image, thereby making himself equal to the Almighty God.
PRIDE - the greatest abomination and failure of Satan and man.
Similarly, man unknowingly out of pride, wants to be God one way or another:-
1. In business -
they want to be the most successful or richest,
2. In politics -
they want to be ministers or President,
3. In education -
they want to be the most intelligent,
4. In sport -
they want to be champions,
5. In any profession -
they want to be the best,
6. In Entertainment -
they want to be the favorite,
7. In singing -
they want to be Elvis Priestly.
   Brethren, beware, lest out of pride you may land up like King Nebuchadnezzar to demand appreciations (worship) as the great or greatest in your line or profession.

Dan 3:12-13 There are certain Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego; these men, O king, have not paid due regard to you. They do not serve your gods or worship the gold image which you have set up." Then Nebuchadnezzar, in rage and fury, gave the command to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. So they brought these men before the king.
    Even though the 3 Daniel's friends, (proven to be godly and God fearing), refused to bow down to his image, his pride had blinded him and he was in rage.
    Similarly, today, we find many successful pastors, leaders and televangelists who were once His faithful servants but now with big congregations going into rage when their present distorted doctrines or heresies are accepted. Because of pride, they have become stiff-necked (just like the Jews led by Moses in the wilderness) and refuse to accept truth. These are the ones who will persecute godly and Bible believing Christians for they have already fallen into the snares of the Devil.
2The 2:9-10 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Nebuchadnezzar's Conviction (BD08)

Dan 2:27-29 _Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, "The secret which the king has demanded, the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, and the soothsayers cannot declare to the king. But there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days. Your dream, and the visions of your head upon your bed, were these: As for you, O king, thoughts came to your mind while on your bed, about what would come to pass after this; and He who reveals secrets has made known to you what will be._
    To reveal another person's dream is impossible which is only possible to God alone. So in order to prevent the king from worshipping him as God, Daniel explained to him that in the first place, it was God who gave the king the dream, and it was God who revealed it to Daniel.

Dan 2:31-33 "You, O king, were watching; and behold, a great image! This great image, whose splendor was excellent, stood before you; and its form was awesome. This image's head was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay."
    So when Daniel was able to tell the king his dream, the king was directed to realize the ability of God for all the pagan kings thought that they were gods, because of their great authority and power over their subjects. The great image represents the kingdoms before the Messiah establishes His Millennium Rule.
1. Head of gold - Babylonian Empire,
2. Chest and 2 Arms of silver - Medi-Persian Empire,
3. Belly and Tights of bronze - Grecian Empire,
4. Legs of iron - Roman Empire,
5. Feet of iron and clay - metal (military) and clay (religion) giving a weak combination or a politically weak nation (possibly represents the present day Persian Alliance comprising of Iran, Iraq and Syria, ruled by the Shia Muslims).
Dan 2:41-43 Whereas you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter's clay and partly of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; yet the strength of the iron shall be in it, just as you saw the iron mixed with ceramic clay. And as the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly fragile. As you saw iron mixed with ceramic clay, they will mingle with the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, just as iron does not mix with clay.

Dan 2:46-48 Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell on his face, prostrate before Daniel, and commanded that they should present an offering and incense to him. The king answered Daniel, and said, "Truly your God is the God of gods, the Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, since you could reveal this secret."
    Can you imagine the great king Nebuchadnezzar bowing down to Daniel, a captive? Well, he is convinced that Yahweh the God of the Israelites is the Almighty God, the Creator of the heaven and the earth.
    Similarly because of our sacrifices and love for God, unbelievers and misled Christians will respect us when they see His empowering causing us to do great exploits for Him.
Rev 3:9-10 Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie—indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you. Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

King Nebuchadnezzar's Dream (BD07)

Dan 2:6,10-11 "However, if you tell the dream and its interpretation, you shall receive from me gifts, rewards, and great honor. Therefore tell me the dream and its interpretation." The Chaldeans answered the king, and said, "There is not a man on earth who can tell the king's matter; therefore no king, lord, or ruler has ever asked such things of any magician, astrologer, or Chaldean. It is a difficult thing that the king requests, and there is no other who can tell it to the king except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh."
    When King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream, he demanded the wise men (astrologers, magicians, etc.) to tell and explain the meaning of his dream. This was unacceptable to the wise men for they said that only God alone can reveal dreams.

Dan 2:12-13 For this reason the king was angry and very furious, and gave the command to destroy all the wise men of Babylon. So the decree went out, and they began killing the wise men; and they sought Daniel and his companions, to kill them.
     When Daniel heard this, he managed to get the king to give him time to seek God's help. Then Daniel called the others to pray for God's mercy (and not like those abominable televangelists, false prophets, etc. who order and demand God to deliver, help, heal etc.).
Dan 2:17-18 Then Daniel went to his house, and made the decision known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions, that they might seek mercies from the God of heaven concerning this secret, so that Daniel and his companions might not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.

Dan 2:19 Then the secret was revealed to Daniel in a night vision. So Daniel blessed the God of heaven.
    According to God's plan, He revealed and explained the dream of the king to Daniel and also confirmed that He alone is the Almighty.

Dan 2:20-22 Daniel answered and said: "Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, for wisdom and might are His. And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding. He reveals deep and secret things; He knows what is in the darkness, and light dwells with Him.
    Brethren, God put the government to rule the country and we must at all cost submit to His choice. When the Israelites obeyed God's words, they lived in peace, security, and were prosperous. secured. All the surrounding nations came to pay tributes to King Solomon. But when Israel strayed from His words and was wicked, merciless, selfish, covetous, idolatrous, etc. God allowed them to suffer greatly from warfares, famines, etc.
    Brethren, you can see clearly how God allows Israel and the West to suffer from their abominable practices, such as rejecting God and His words, accepting homosexuality, etc. See also the confusions they are facing at this moment; with Islamisation, children's problems of sex positions, male mother or female father because of same sex marriages, drug addictions, terrorism, etc.

Mat 11:28-29 "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls."
    We thank God that Jesus is the light of the world and He understands our sorrows, suffering, pains, helplessness when in darkness. We only need to humble ourselves and come to His light by keeping His words so that we will be free from all worldly worries.