By Bobby Blakey on January 6, 2019
By Bobby Blakey on January 6, 2019
This is a rush transcript.
[00:00:02] Happy New Year. It is great to see you here at church in 2019. And as the New Year begins, we begin our study of ancient prophecy that's going to tell us the future from the book of Daniel, who I invite you to open your Bible and turn there with me. Page seven hundred and thirty seven. If you got one of our books here today, and we are going to begin the revelation of the Old Testament, you could refer to it as here in Daniel in the Hebrew Old Testament. It's actually one of the books towards the end of the Old Testament. And Jesus himself referred to Daniel as a prophet in Matthew 24 fifteen. And so we're gonna get to see the story of this man from when he was a teenager to win. He has been in Babylon or Medo Persia for 70 years. And then we're going to it's twelve chapters. We're gonna take it a chapter at a time and we're gonna study it from now up till Easter. And so I hope you'll really get excited about looking at this book. This is a word from God to us. Daniel, chapter one. I just want to read the first two verses to get us started as we begin to get in the mindset of the ancient Near East here. Daniel, chapter one, verse one and the third year of the reign of Joe Hoya. Kim King of Judah Never Kidneys are king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. And the Lord gave joy Kim King of Judah into his hand with some of the vessels of the House of God. And he brought them to the land of Shiner, to the house of his God, and placed the vessels in the Treasury of his God.
[00:01:48] So if you're taking notes and you want to jot down some facts here, what we're talking about is six hundred and five B.C. That's when this takes place. Six hundred and five B.C. King Nebeker Nasr. Or maybe you've heard of him before in the big old Babylonian army. They come and they besiege they surround a little kingdom here of Judah. What's left of God's people of Israel here, the southern kingdom of Judah, the city of Jerusalem. And they come and besiege them and they actually come and take some of the articles of the temple. So these are the the things that we read about in the first five books, the things that were specifically built to worship God in the temple, to keep his worship holy and pure. They take these vessels and they take them all the way back to Babylon. They and they put it in the temples where they worship their gods. And so we have to get in the mindset of an ancient culture here. We have to understand it. What people were thinking at this time, 605 B.C. and everybody believed in God. In fact, most nations had multiple gods that they believed and they were poorly theistic.
[00:02:59] And the nations thought that this God maybe gave us rain and made the crops grow or this God made us fertile so we could have children like these gods are doing things for us and so we worship them.
[00:03:11] And so when Babylon comes against Judah and there's a clash not just between kings, they would think of it as a clash are God versus your God. And so if Babylon can just come in and wipe these guys out and take the articles of the temple and take it back to their temple, what they're saying is our God is greater than your God. All these Babylonian idols that we worship are better than your way, the God of the people of Israel. And that's why Israel would have stood out among the nations at this time where they had one God your way.
[00:03:46] See, most nations had multiple gods. And so what this would have seemed like if you were reading the ancient Near Eastern newspaper here, you would have thought, well, I guess the Babylonians have stronger gods than Israel. If they're able to come and win a military victory like that, their gods must be greater. Just another example of this kind of thinking where a nation versus nation was God versus God. You remember the Philistines, anybody remember the Philistines, enemy of Israel. And David, we know, killed Goliath, the great giant. But there was one time you can read about in First Samuel five when the Philistines won a military victory over the people of God.
[00:04:25] And so they brought the Ark of the Covenant. Maybe you saw it on Indiana Jones one time. They are the ark of the Covenant. They brought it and they put it in the temple of their God. Day gone. The the God. They're of the Philistines. And so they've got this Idol day gone. And they put the ark of the Covenant before it. And it's what they're basically saying is, our God, they're gone is greater than your way. The God of Israel. And so they have this kind of praise time, this celebration. And then they go to sleep. They come back the next morning. And this is in First Samuel, 5:00. You could check it out. And. A fine day gone, they're gone. They're idle, falling face down, bowing down towards the ark of the Covenant. Have you heard this one before? Like their idol literally falls over and bows down to worship. And they're like, oh, this is slightly awkward that our idol has fallen over in the middle of the night. Seems like he's worshiping there. Their box. They're the Israelite box. This is awkward. So we pick we pick him back up. We set Dagon back up. He's mighty. He's powerful. He's raining. And we come back the next morning. And not only has day gone, fallen over like he's worshiping face down the God of Israel, but his head in his arms this time have been cut off of his idol body there. Right. So it was the thought that when we win a victory, our God defeated your God.
[00:05:44] But notice verse two. This is so important that we all see this Daniel. One verse to the Lord gave Joy Kim King of Judah into the hands of Babylonian King Nebeker Nasr.
[00:05:56] This was actually God's plan to give up his own people to another nation. God is still in control. What Daniel one two is saying is God didn't get defeated. Sometimes it looks like God's not doing too well down here on planet Earth, but do not be deceived. God is the sovereign one. God is on the throne. He reigns supreme. And this was all a part of God's plan. God's plan is always working. That's what Daniel one, two is saying.
[00:06:26] In fact, the main character in Daniel one is not Daniel, although we're going to learn from his example. The main character in Daniel one is God three different times and Daniel one, it says, and God gave or the Lord gave. You could write it down if you're taking notes. Verse two, verse nine and verse 17 are all statements about what God is doing because he's actually the one in control of everything that happens in this chapter.
[00:06:55] In fact, here's what's amazing.
[00:06:56] God had said that the Babylonians specifically, we're going to come in and they were going to carry the Israelites stuff back to Babylon. In fact, God had even prophesied that they would come and take some of the best and brightest of the young men of Israel and take them back to Babylonian brainwashing academy. This was all prophesied a hundred years before it happens here in Sixel, five B.C., Isaiah around 700 B.C. He said this was going to happen. This was God's plan all along.
[00:07:32] Turn one thing to Isaiah 39, just a few pages over to the left here in the Old Testament, Isaiah, chapter 39. It's on page five hundred and ninety nine. If you got one of our books.
[00:07:45] So God is judging his people here in Judah, and he sent prophets like Isaiah and prophets like Jeremiah who have warned the people that they were not obeying God's commands and they needed to repent of their sin so that God would relent of his judgment. But if they continued in their sin, they would be judged by God. And the people didn't listen to Isaiah. They didn't listen to Jeremiah. There were other prophets as well. They did not repent of their sin. They continued in. And now here it comes. The Babylonians are coming to judge. God's handing his own people over to the Babylonians to judge them because they will not repent of their sin before him.
[00:08:27] And he prophesied it. You're read in here with me, Isaiah, 39, and Hezekiah. The king here, he does something so foolish where he shows the Babylonians all their stuff. Look at all the cool stuff we've got here in my palace. You guys want to see all the stuff in the temple. We've got amazing stuff. And Isaiah is like, what are you doing, King? They're gonna come and carry all that stuff away. Isaiah Thirty nine, verse five. Then Isaiah said that Hezekiah hear the word of the Lord of hosts is a prophecy from God himself.
[00:08:58] Behold. The days are coming when all that is in your house. That which your fathers have stored up till this day shall be carried to Babylon. Nothing shall be left, says the Lord. They're gonna come and take it all. And some of your own sons who will come from you, whom you will father shall be taken away. And they shall be Unix in the Palace of the King of Babylon. This is not what you want to hear for your son.
[00:09:27] So I've talked to a lot of people and they tell me, well, when my kids grow up, I hope they do this or that. Nobody has ever said, I hope my boy grows up to be a unique in the king's palace. Nobody's ever said that to me. I mean, this is devastating what he's saying here, like, hey, all of your young sons, the princes, the future kings. You know what they're going to do? They're gonna end up serving some other king as eunuchs in his powers. This is a devastating prophecy. Babylon is going to come in and they're going to carry all your stuff way. They're even going to carry your future, your potential, your young princes. They're gonna carry them away. That's what's going to happen 100 years later. It happens because God can tell us what he's going to do before he does. And there is no one like this. Okay, maybe you've heard that some of the other religious books out there. They have prophecies just like the Bible. That is not true. Specific things like this that happened 100 years after, they say they're going to happen.
[00:10:23] There is no other book that has this level of prophecy that you can read about. And, God, he does it all over. In fact, a lot of the Old Testament is just telling us what's going to happen. So then when it happens, we'll know this was God's plan all along. And he's in control of human history and he's been working for his glory and the good of his people from the beginning all the way to the end. Nothing deviates from the plan of God. And he'll tell us what he's going to do. Even before he does it. So when he does, it will appreciate. That's how it works.
[00:10:56] And in fact, in Isaiah, Chapter 40, that's where we just got the idea of that song, we just sing Behold our God. Can you see who God is? Everybody gather around and let's just look at the awesomeness and worship God for who he really is. Isaiah 40 is where we get that idea, says everybody gather around and behold who got it.
[00:11:16] And then in these Isaiah 40 and following chapters, God speaks in the first person. God tells us who he is and he says There is no one like me.
[00:11:27] You go look at all these idols. You go look at all these other nations and all the gods that they're supposedly worshiping. Let me tell you, there is no other God. I am the holy one. And there is no one like me. In fact, one of the ways that God wants to prove to us that he alone is God is he's the only one who can tell us the future before it happens. Prophecy is the signature of God on his word, proving to us that the Bible is reliable and we should believe it to be the revelation of God himself to us.
[00:12:01] And look what he says in Isaiah 41, verse 21. It's at the bottom of page six hundred and one. Isaiah 41. Verse 21.
[00:12:10] Look at how he trash talks. All the idols, all the false gods here, how he compares them to himself. He says, set forth your case, says the Lord. Bring your proofs, says the King of Jacob. Let them bring them and tell us what is to happen. You want to prove you're a God. OK, bring your idol and tell us what's going to happen before it happens. Tell us the former things. What they are. That we may consider them. That we may know their outcome or declare to us the things to come. Tell us what is to come hereafter that we may know that you are God's do good or do harm. That we may be dismayed and terrified. You want to prove that your God. OK. Tell us what you're going to do and then go ahead. Do it. OK. Show us. Call your own shot and then make it happen. That's what God does. Can you do that? This is God challenging all the idols that people are worship.
[00:13:04] And then he says in verse 24, behold, you are nothing. Your work is less than nothing. And the abomination is he who chooses you.
[00:13:12] God is exposing the falseness of all the idols of all the other nations because they can not tell you what is going to happen, because they are not God. They are not in control.
[00:13:22] They are not sovereign reigning supreme over the affairs of human history. There's only one God who can do that. In fact, you might want to memorize or write down Isaiah 42 eight nine. That's a good summary of why God gives us prophecy. What he's trying to accomplish by telling us the future before it happens. And he says, Here I am the Lord.
[00:13:45] I am your way. That is my name, my glory. I give to no other nor my praise to carved idols. Behold, the former things have come to pass and new things. I now declare before they spring forth. I tell you of them. I told you what was going to happen. Now it has happened. I'll tell you some more new things before they happen. I'll tell you what they are.
[00:14:12] God wants us to believe through his prophetic word that he is in control of history, in fact. Point number one, you can write it down like this. Your history is his story. Your history is his story. He is the one who is controlling all things.
[00:14:30] And you can think of that on a massive global level, that God is actually writing the story of history of nations and rulers of nations. And you can think about it in the story of your life, that God is the author. He is the sovereign one in control of your existence on this planet. It doesn't happen unless God gives his people up to Babylon. They might be the mighty your nation. They might have the bigger army.
[00:14:58] But God is the one who's actually in control, giving his people up in judgment to Babylon, just like he said he was going to through his prophets.
[00:15:09] And as we begin 2019, I don't know where you're at if you're at the Heights, if your circumstances look good. You're at the depths, if your circumstances look bad. But I've got something to tell you that's going to happen all year long is God is in control. He sits on the throne and God is sovereign over your life. Can I get a man from anybody on that? That's the truth, guy. Big old king. Never confessor thinks he's the most powerful man in the world. Well, let me tell you, the powerful man in the world who can do nothing unless God allows him to do.
[00:15:38] That's how it works. Getting a little concerned about what's happening in America, getting a little concerned about our nation, hit an all time moral low.
[00:15:46] You're starting to see what the other nations are doing. You're starting to look at the political climate. You're starting to wonder what's going to happen down here on planet Earth. Let me tell you, sometimes it looks really bad down here. God's still on the throne in heaven.
[00:15:59] He's in control. And the Lord gave joy, a king king of Judah, into the hand of King. Never can hazanut go back to Daniel, chapter one. And you'll see here that we start to meet Daniel and his three friends.
[00:16:14] So our story now is going to go from the nation of Israel being being invaded, besieged stuff being taken, and some of the use here in six or five B.C. had taken back to Babylon. So now we're going to go along with these four teenagers, Daniel and his three friends, these youths, and we're gonna follow them like pilgrims into a foreign land. Look what it says.
[00:16:36] And Daniel, chapter one, verse three, then the King King, Neb. We're gonna get to know him pretty well. King The King commanded Ash Pinette.
[00:16:45] Here's another one of our characters, Ashkenaz, his chief unit. Now, that's a title right there.
[00:16:50] Ash Ponet as chief unit of the King to bring some of the people of Israel, bolt of the royal family and of the nobility. Youth's without blemish of good appearance. So we're looking for the most noble, most royal princes of Israel. And we're taking the handsome ones.
[00:17:07] Some of us would not have been selected for this is what it's what it's saying right here. All right.
[00:17:12] But there they're taken the best. They're taken the brightest. We're going straight for the most likely to succeed. We're going for the the homecoming king. That's who were taken to Babylon.
[00:17:22] In fact, it goes on to say here they've got to have not only a good appearance, they've got to be skillful and all wisdom endowed with knowledge, understanding, learning what we're looking at, their S.A.T. scores, their ACTC scores. How many AP classes have they had? And we're gonna make them competent to stand in the king's palace. We're going to teach them the literature and language of the Chaldeans. We've got Babylon Brainwashing Academy and we're looking for the best and brightest of Israel to enroll in our program. That's what's going on. And what they're really doing here, what King, Neb. Is trying to do is very shrewd. He's trying to destroy. He doesn't want to just come and besiege the people of Israel. He wants to destroy their worship in their God. And he wants to destroy their future. These are the princes. These guys are gonna be the guys leading Israel in the future. These guys are gonna be the king and his advisers. And they're saying, no, we're gonna go make them one of us. In fact, we're gonna make them unique. So these royal and noble lines can't even continue into the future. We're gonna destroy all of your youth, all of your potential, the next generation. We're taking them with us. That's right.
[00:18:29] It's totally trying to debilitate and demoralize God's people and make them think that the Babylonians have won and they have lost their identity. And then these guys, they're gonna go to these young men.
[00:18:42] And a lot of scholars estimate they're somewhere around 15 years old when they get taken into this program.
[00:18:48] I mean, we're talking about a little older than junior high, like freshman or sophomore in our high school ministry. And we're coming in. We're looking for the best and the brightest, and we're taking them to another country, another culture, another language. And we're going to make them one of us.
[00:19:05] It says here you can see it in verse five. The king assigned them a daily portion of the food. They're literally living in the king's palace. They're going to eat the king's food. They're going to drink the king's wine. Says here they were to be educated for three years. And at the end of that time, they were to stand before the king. Want to talk about a final exam.
[00:19:24] Right. You've got a three year program to become one of us. And at the end, the final exam is King Nebeker Nasr, himself the most powerful man in the world, a complete egotistical maniac. We're going to find out. And he's going to ask you whatever question he wants. You have to answer it.
[00:19:40] I mean, this is what these guys are put into. And then this happens. And this is really interesting here in versus six and seven, among these were Daniel Hannan. I am Michail and Azariah of the Tribe of Judah. So out of the young men taken, four of them are going to be the guys we focus on and the chief of the unit.
[00:20:01] So here comes Ashton as here. And he's going to give them names. He's going to change all of their names. Daniel, he's going to call Bell to QAZ are Hannah Niah. It says here he's going to call Shadrack Michail is me Chag and Azariah is Abednego. All of you guys get new names. No more Hebrew names. Now you've got Babylonian names. OK. Now, who's heard of Shadrack Music and Abednego before?
[00:20:26] I want you to only hear that if possible.
[00:20:28] OK, it's tragic that these guys are known more for their Babylonian names when they're trying to brainwash them than they are known for their Hebrew names given by their mom and dad. And these names all really mean something. There's. This is really significant. We didn't just take over your nation. What they're saying to Daniel and his three buddies, Hand and I am Michail and Azariah. Those are the names we should learn. They want to take over their soul. They want to take over their identity. They want to make them Babylonians, for example. Daniel's name means God is my judge. So this is a Hebrew name. And maybe if you know anything about Hebrew, it's a complicated, ancient language. It goes from right to left. But maybe you know that L or L.O. Heem is the Hebrew word for God. Can you see L. there at the end of Daniel? Right. So his name means God is my judge. Well, now we give him the name Bell to QAZ CSAR, which means this false idol of Babylon Bell Protect the King. So of course, if Daniel seems like the best of the bunch, he you know, of course he gets the name that's all about the king because that's what it's all about. In Babylon is King Nebeker Nasr. So this guy you're here now to protect the king. You go from living for God to please him, to living for the king to please him. That's what they're trying to do with Daniel Hanna. Niah is a beautiful Hebrew name. That means the Lord is gracious. I mean, God is good is basically what his name means. Look how look how good God has been to us as his people know. No, Hanna, no, that's not your identity. We don't want you thinking God is good. Now you're under the command of a coup and a coup. He's not very gracious. In fact, he's you're lucky he's even letting you live. And you better do what a coup says. That's that's the tone that we're getting here.
[00:22:10] Maybe you can see it best in Michail Michail, known as the EL at the end of his name, who is like the Lord, who is like God. There is no one like God. That's what we just heard, that God is unique out of everyone. And nobody's worshiping a God like our God actually know who is what a coup is.
[00:22:28] That's what me. That's what your new name is. See how they're trying to get inside the minds of these young men. They're trying to tell him, you don't worship that God anymore. You don't live according to that culture anymore. We've got something better for you now. Come on into the king's palace. Would you like our food? Would you like our wine? Hey, you're gonna be this guy now. This is gonna be the new you. It's gonna be better. That's what they're doing. They're coming for who they are on the inside. Not just the outside invasion. They want to take their identity. Last one here and and I am.
[00:22:58] Then we get to Azariah. Azariah. What is his name mean? The Lord is my helper is what we're gonna see, man, if you come to breakfast on Saturday morning. Real men need help. We need God to be our help. Or what a great strong Hebrew name. What's your new name? A Bendigo that means servant of Nago. Servant of Nebo, one of the false idols there in Babylon.
[00:23:21] So they're trying to take these guys over and then verse eight comes in, verse eight is really the verse that is most famous of Daniel, chapter one. This is the verse that sets the tone for the rest of the 12 chapters that we're gonna study what this 15 year old young man decides in his heart. Here is so important.
[00:23:41] And it really shapes his character. It shapes his future, the whole life of Daniel. We're going to study it his whole life and how God uses him in amazing ways. But it starts with the decision that me he makes in his heart right here in Daniel, chapter one verse. But Daniel resolved that he would not to file himself with the king's food or with the wine that he drank. Therefore, he asked the chief of the units he dares to go up to Ash Parnas and here any allowed him not to defile himself.
[00:24:11] He goes up to Ashkenaz and he says, Hey, I'm not buying into the system. Hey, I'm not going to worship other gods. I will not to file myself before my God. God is still good. You can give me a new name, but God is still going to be my judge. That's what Daniel says.
[00:24:29] You've been invaded. You've been taken from your home. Everything you know and love is gone. And here they are with their army, with their power, with their impressive palace. And they're trying to wine and dine you and tell you who you're going to be. And this young man says, you're not taking me, not my soul.
[00:24:45] You can you can do whatever you want on the outside, but you can't touch me on the inside. That's what Daniel does here. You want to talk about making a resolution. You want to talk about making a decision in your heart that could shape the whole rest of your year, the whole rest of your future. This is the example right here.
[00:25:03] Now, there's a lot of conjecture about why it specifically does it talk about the king's food and the king's one. Why is that where Daniel draws the line? And there's lots of theories out there and you can spend a lot of time reading about it. And people are like, well, here's why it was so important that he didn't eat the food. And so the food really becomes the focus of Daniel. Chapter one, verse eight. One of the reasons they say maybe Daniel and his friends committed to not eating the food is because of the dietary laws of the people of Israel. So the people of Israel, to this very day, if you go to Israel with us this summer, they eat much differently there than we do.
[00:25:46] They have this fundamental belief going back to the law, to the Torah, that there are clean animals and there are unclean animals and there's this whole kosher idea way of eating. So if you go to Israel with us, it's so exciting. It's it's an amazing trip. And you get there and you're like, yes, the what's the food like here? This is going to be great. And there's this beautiful buffet. They're prepared before you. And you're like, yes, though, cuisine of the Mediterranean, this is so exciting. And you start and you eat it. And then the next day you come to to the same meal and it's the same exact food.
[00:26:18] And then the third day you come and it's like the same exact meal and you're like, wait a minute, are we going to eat this every day of this trip? This is not how I normally like like where is the meat and the cheese put together here, please? You know, that's what you start thinking. And then by, like the fifth and sixth night, some of us have found a hotel where they can actually make American cheeseburgers.
[00:26:39] And we're like sneak in over there and having, like, a little worship service in the Holy Land. You know what I'm talking about? So the Israelites, the Jews and the Orthodox, they eat really differently. Is that why Daniel's refusing the king's food? That's what some people speculate. Other people, they're like. Well, I think that perhaps this wine and this food in the king's palace was offered up to these idols to bow to a coup to Nebo here, these these idols that they worship. And so that's something the Bible talks about. Should you eat meat that sacrifice two idols? Maybe that's what's going on here. Maybe they feel like eating this food is a part of worship of these gods. And so they're refusing the food because they won't defile themselves and they won't worship anyone. But the true and living God, your way of the people of Israel. So maybe it's because they're sacrificed to idols that they're not eating the food. One of the big theories maybe you've heard this one, it's become really popular is Daniel is making a conscious resolve here to a healthier standard of living. That's what it's all about.
[00:27:46] He's going to eat vegetables and he's going to drink water because that's a healthier way to live than the way that they're eating there in the king's palace with his food and his drink. So really, what Daniel wants to do along with his friends, is they're making a healthy choice. And we definitely see that's what happens here. And Daniel, chapter one, that they end up healthier, they end up stronger than all the other young men in the program here in the king's palace.
[00:28:10] So that that definitely happens. But there are a lot of people the emphasis they take from this is Daniel's decision to be physically healthy in his body. And I don't think that's the right conclusion to come to in chapter 10, verse two, you might want to write that down. Chapter 10, verse two. Daniel says, Based on the prophecy that he's received and this is many years later. Daniel says in Daniel 10, verse two, that he's going gonna go on a fast for three weeks and over this three week fast. He's not going to eat the king's delicacies or drink the king's wine. So let me ask you this. If you're gonna have a three week fast from eating the king's food and drinking the king's wine before that three weeks, what does it sound like you were doing? You can't fast from something you haven't been doing for years. So I don't even think where I think if we get too far into the food, I think we're actually missing the point of what Daniel is doing. In fact, let's just remember the words of our Lord Jesus Christ. It's not what comes into a man that defiles a man.
[00:29:19] It's what comes out of a man.
[00:29:20] When Daniel says he doesn't wanted to file himself, it's not about what's coming into him. It's about a decision he's making in his own soul not to give in to temptation and not to compromise with sin. This is how I think we should understand. Daniel, making this resolution, we have to get into the Hebrew of the passage. But look at verse seven. Try to try to father with me. Hear how the Hebrew makes this pretty clear.
[00:29:46] It says the chief of the eunuchs gave them names, Daniel. He called Bell to Qasm. Get it down to the Hebrew word here for gave them names. Is this Hebrew word sume? And it can be translated. A lot of different things. Gave. Put. Set. OK, so what it's saying here in the Hebrew is it uses the same word. The chief of the units said names and then specifically about Daniel. It says Daniel. He set Bell to Shaz. So here comes Ashkenaz. He's run in the brainwashing program. He's setting names. He's saying, Daniel, you're gonna be Bell to Qaiser. And then in verse eight, it says. But Daniel set himself not to be defiled. That's what it's saying.
[00:30:28] The names is really where Daniel draws the line. You cannot change who I am. You're gonna set me to live this way while I'm setting myself against you. That's what Daniel said. I'm going to go talk to this guy, Ashkenaz, and I'm going to tell him I will not defile myself. I will not let myself who I really am on the inside. I will not let you corrupt me. I will not compromise with you.
[00:30:54] I am not going to give in to sin. This is what a fifteen year old young man is doing in the King's palace, where they're telling him what to do. He's standing up for what is right in his own heart.
[00:31:09] This is the kind of resolve that we all need if we're going to live for God right here. Let let let's learn an example from a young man. And let's see his heart for God that he would set himself. He's not going to be defiled. He's going to continue to worship his God. And this idea of Daniel and his buddies being in Babylon. This becomes a theme throughout the Bible.
[00:31:33] The name Babylon continues long after King, Neb.
[00:31:36] And the nation is wiped out by the means. And the Persians, Babylon continues. In fact, first, Peter, 513. He says those who are in Babylon greet you and he's referring to the city of Rome. Rome's the big empire at the time of the New Testament. Their main city there. He says that's Babylon. So this idea that there's this evil system, this evil empire that wants to take your soul, that wants to defile you, and you can't give into it. You can't compromise with what's going on around you. This idea continues throughout the Bible.
[00:32:10] In fact, in the Book of Revelation, at the end of all things, when the world actually does form an alliance and the nations of the world and the kings of the world come together and they all get drunk on the sexual immorality of this evil city where the whole world comes together. Guess what?
[00:32:27] The city is referred to Babylon.
[00:32:30] In fact, you can read the song in Revelation Fallen. Fallen is Babylon the Great from Dead from Daniel on forward. If you want to mention the corrupting influence of the world, if you want to talk about a system of evil that is trying to rot our souls and get each and every one of us to compromise, Babylon is a name that's given for it throughout the rest of the scripture.
[00:32:52] And it's supposed to bring us back to a place of remembering how even though he was being wined and dined in the king's palace, even though it would have been so easy for him to conform to what was going on around him. Daniel resolved. He made up his mind. He set himself to worship God without compromise.
[00:33:11] He would not be defying.
[00:33:13] As you have that same commitment as one of the people of God, because the world definitely wants to corrupt you.
[00:33:20] The world definitely wants you to be defiled in your worship. They want you to be compromised. I mean, how many times have you and I hurt someone at church say they had one foot in the church and one foot in. Have you heard that one before? Have you heard it so many times that it's kind of sounds like standard operating procedure in the church in America? Is that really OK to be in to Romans? Chapter 12, verse two. Let's just go clear New Testament teaching and let's just see what it says. Your attitude is supposed to be, if you're a believer in Jesus Christ, how are you supposed to think about this world around him? How are you supposed to think about this system of evil that is trying to brainwash you and get you to conform to the way that everybody else is acting now here in Romans 12. This is the turning point of Paul's excellent letter here on the gospel. And he's been explaining the gospel for chapters. He's been explaining that we have all fallen into sin. But here's the good news that Jesus Christ, the son of God, humbled himself. He came down here and he has righteousness. He has a perfect track record of obedience to God and his righteousness. He's sacrificed himself. He said his cheese shed his righteous blood on the cross when he died to pay the penalty of our sin. So here's the exchange that Paul's been writing about by faith. You can receive as a free gift the righteousness of Jesus Christ as he pays for all of your sin. When he when he died on the cross. Look at what can happen here. Your sin can be forgiven and you can get righteousness in the name of Jesus Christ. And if you understand that that Jesus is the son of God. But he loved you so much to offer up his life as a sacrifice to pay for your sin. What are you gonna do in response to that? And he just didn't even die for you on the third day he rose. And now he's offering you a new kind of life with his power, with his victory over sin and death and Satan. Any this new kind of life will last forever. He wants to bring you into his kingdom where he's going to reign for all of eternity, where you're going to worship him and complete purity and holiness. That's where he wants to take you. And if you really know what Jesus has done, what is the thing that makes sense for you to do? It says here and Romans twelve one. The only logical response, the only spiritual act of worship we could possibly do if Jesus gave his life for us is we need to give our lives away to Jesus Christ. If he offered himself the son of God, a sacrifice for a sinner like me, then surely a sinner like me should give up my life. For Jesus Christ says you got to be an act of worship. And then it says this. Watch out. Verse two, it says there's a command for all of us who believe do not be conformed to this world. That's what it said. If you could translate it. Stop conforming to this world, stop fitting in. Stop blending in. Stop camouflaging with the culture. Stop being a chameleon who looks churchy on Sunday and can laugh at the coarse jokes in the office on Tuesday. You've got to stop conforming.
[00:36:32] Zach grew up as a church kid, actually grew up as a pastor's son. And what I heard, the lie that I was told was that brainwashing is happening here at church and we're using the Bible to brainwash everybody. And what we're trying to do here is we're trying to make cookie cutter Christians where everybody just kind of live in the same kind of life, just going through the same kind of motions. And what it says here is that's actually the opposite. You know what we're doing here with the word of God, we're freeing people from the evil system. That's what's happen. People are being redeemed out of a life where everybody gets pressed into the same mold, where everybody gets conformed to the same image, that we're not the ones out here doing cookie cutter Christians. No, the world is trying to get everybody to conform to being defiled with their own sin.
[00:37:20] And here's how deceitful it is. Here's how smooth the world is. They're going to tell you you just be you and you don't listen to anybody else. You just do you. Whatever it is that you want. Be yourself. Follow your own heart. And everybody thinks, yeah, that's me. I'm an individual. I'm special. I'm unique. And you don't realize that millions of other people are all thinking the same thing and they're all buying into the same line and they're all being defined by their own sin that come there's an evil system getting everybody to corrupt themselves from the inside out. And it says we can't be those people.
[00:37:54] You can't be conformed to the world. You can't fit in here.
[00:37:59] Don't be pressed into its image to stop and be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Here's the truth of the matter. A person who says they're a Christian and they have one foot in the church and one foot in the world, that person is no Christian at all. That's just the facts.
[00:38:23] If you're going to say yes to Jesus Christ and you're going to offer your life to him, what you have to do along was saying yes to Jesus is you have to say no to the world.
[00:38:32] It's one or the other. Take your pick. You want to go to heaven with Jesus.
[00:38:37] Then you can't live it up in the here and now, you can't conform to this if you really want that. Which one are you are. Which side? Are you one? Point number two. Let's get it down like this. Yes to God means no to the world. Yes to God means no to the world. You have to stop conforming to the world. That's the that's the command. It immediately follows those who want to say yes to Jesus. And this is the problem with the youth, with the young people that grow up in the Christian church in America.
[00:39:13] We tell them the gospel story, the good news of Jesus. We tell them all the miracles, the teachings of Jesus. Sometimes we go through the Old Testament if we do a good job with the Old Testament. We point out how the prophecies all lead up to Jesus. And we teach them the Bible stories. Most kids who are going to church, who grow up in Christian families, they believe Jesus is the Christ. They think the Bible might be telling them true stories. They say yes to all that.
[00:39:39] Here's what we don't do as good a job training our young people. If you're saying yes to this, that means you're saying no to this. So they're not making that connection and they start to suddenly believe that. I can say yes to this and I can also say yes to this. And the temptations of the world are coming on our kids younger and younger. Matt was sharing some stats for how many kids in Orange County that are in seventh and eighth grade are being exposed to things like sexual morality and drunkenness. And just a coarse language that is taken over the middle schools around us. The things that kids will say to their teachers and to adults. I mean, we are talking about children using adult inappropriate language.
[00:40:20] It's happening right down the street from where you live. People are being defiled at a younger and younger age.
[00:40:26] And we've got to make sure that everybody knows if you're following Jesus Christ, that means you're not following the way of the world around you. It is one or the other. Pick your side. You want to live in Babylon, then be a Babylonian. You want to be one of God's people. Then you've got a resolve in your heart not to defile yourself. Which one are you?
[00:40:45] There's no compromise. There's no in between.
[00:40:49] Term would mean the tightest chapter two versus 11 and 12. Look what it says here. It's highest to eleven to twelve. I need everybody to turn there and see this page. Nine hundred and ninety eight. It's talking to us as New Testament believers in Jesus, people who've received the good news of the gospel. Do you know the grace of God? Has God been good to you? Has he forgiven you for your sin? Has he given you this new life or you have a relationship with him? Well, you know, the grace of God, his goodness to us. Grace has a face and his name is Jesus. And it says here in Titus 211 that the grace of God has appeared. This is talking about the revelation of Jesus Christ in his first coming when he humbled himself.
[00:41:34] Born as a man lives the perfect life dies for our sin rises from the dead. Yes, the grace of God has appeared. And he's offering he's bringing salvation for all people. Anyone can believe in Jesus and be safe.
[00:41:47] That's how good God is. He'll take the worst of sinners and he'll wash them as white as snow in the blood of Jesus Christ.
[00:41:55] That's the good news. And then look what it says in verse twelve, that this grace of God that has appeared is training us to renounce ungodly ness and worldly passions and to live self controlled, upright and godly lives in the present age.
[00:42:13] If you have salvation through the grace of God in Jesus Christ, then that Grace is a teacher in your life. Grace will train you. Grace will instruct you. Grace is not just forgiving you of your sin. Grace is now the strength and the resolve not to defile yourself in that sin any longer. Here's something that Grace teaches you to say no to sin. That's what it's saying. I mean, renounce is just a fancy pants way to say no is what it it.
[00:42:44] No, that's ungodly. That is not from God. I'm saying no to that. Now that is worldly. That's what everybody else is doing who doesn't worship God. I'm saying no to that. That will not corrupt me.
[00:42:55] That's what Greece is supposed to teach us, self-control. Upright godly lives in this present age. So the question comes to each one of us, as we learned from Daniel's inspiring example, what is it that you need to say no to? And 2090.
[00:43:13] What's tempting you from this world, the lust of the flesh, the lust to the eyes and the pride of life? What is tempting you to defile yourself from a pure and sincere love of Jesus Christ? You've got to say no to it. Your whole year will be corrupted. The whole future of your life could be corrupted if you don't resolve, if you don't set yourself against the world. What are you going to say no to you saying yes to Jesus in twenty nineteen? That begs the question, what are you saying no to? What is the subtle temptation of the world that's trying to get into your house and get into your life?
[00:43:49] Now, when we hear about Bell and Nebo and a coup, we think that's kind of silly, don't we? The Babylonians, that ancient empire, all they thought they were so big, they thought these false idols, these statues. No. You're in Orange County. We've got our idols look a little bit different than statues that we bowed out.
[00:44:06] But we live in a pretty comfortable place. Can I get any men from anybody on that? I mean, especially if the four or five is wide open. It's really nice deliver out here.
[00:44:13] You know what I'm saying?
[00:44:15] I mean, we live in a good spot. I would say we would have been one of most comfortable places, perhaps in all of planet Earth.
[00:44:22] I mean, we we kind of live in the king's palace. We're kind of being wined and dined ourselves. And we think, well, we don't have those silly idols of the Old Testament. Well, how many Orange County people believe the lie that if they had more money, they would be happier? How many people in Orange County just think, if I have a little bit more money, my life's gonna be better in twenty nineteen? You know what money is?
[00:44:41] It's an idol in many people's hearts. It's more important than it should be. And they're worshiping. They're bowing down to. That's what's going on. You know what's very acceptable Idol, in fact, it's applauded here in Orange County is if you make your children the most important thing in your life, your calendar revolves around your kids. If you're trying to live vicariously through your kids in Orange County, you're a good parent.
[00:45:06] And hey, our children are important. They're not as important as our worship of God. Our calendar, our our pocketbook, everything.
[00:45:14] All our daily decisions. They need to be about not being defiled in a pure and sincere worship of God, not in a worship of our children. Our children, if they are the most important thing in our life, that is idolatry.
[00:45:28] That's Orange County for.
[00:45:31] We got people in here who, oh, I love I love Jesus Christ, but I don't have a problem engaging in sexual morality.
[00:45:37] Oh, I love Jesus Christ. But I have from drinking too much and out of control kind of a way. Oh, I love Jesus Christ. Yeah, sure.
[00:45:44] But I'm I'm over eating to make myself feel better.
[00:45:49] Let's compromise. That's defiling yourself. That's what we're supposed to be saying no to, that's us conforming to the world around us.
[00:45:57] We're sitting there. Some of us maybe are sitting there watching inappropriate things, knowing they're inappropriate, paying money to keep it going.
[00:46:07] Has called the filing yourself. That's you from the inside making a decision to participate in the sin. That is all around you. And there was a young man who's 15 years old. And he said, I'm not going to do that. And God used him to take over the nation about. Just give me one person whose heart is pure and completely devoted to God. And let's see what he does.
[00:46:27] Are you that person?
[00:46:30] Are you a clean vessel in the hands of the master? The sovereign one who reigns supreme? Is your life completely devoted to him so he can use you?
[00:46:37] Or are you compromised as you sit here today? Are you already defi hoping God is going to do great things in 2019 while you're already compromising? See, Daniel. And we need to learn from his example, I hope, I hope the spirit of work on your heart. I hope you'll really say. And if there's a resolution, I need to begin the new year of 2019. I need to resolve right now not to defile myself. And how that's going to look is going to be different for different ones of us. The way the world's trying to come and take over our identity, we got to stay true in our heart before God. And as soon as Daniel makes this resolve, go back to Daniel, chapter one and look what happens, the very next verse.
[00:47:19] Look how God has Daniel's back. You make a commitment to be all in for God. You just watch how God shows up.
[00:47:27] You just watch what God does in your life with the person who's completely devoted to.
[00:47:33] Right here. Verse nine. This is the second of the God gave. Here's the second thing that God does in chapter one. God gave Daniel favor and compassion in the side of the chief of the UNIX. God gives him favor. Daniel says, I'm not going to go to file myself. He takes an action step and he goes up to Aspen as the chief of the units and he says, I can't defile myself like this. And somehow, some way, this chief of all the units in the palace of the king of Babylon cares about this little Hebrew boy.
[00:48:07] And he has compassion on. Yes, favor on him and look what Ashkenaz says to Amiry says, I fear my lord, the king. Basically. Hey, Daniel, do you know what you're really getting yourself into?
[00:48:18] He has signed your food and drink if you don't go along with the program. Why should he see that you are in worse condition than the youths who are of your own age? So you would endanger my head with the king. Hey, do you understand what you're saying, Daniel?
[00:48:31] If you don't go with the program and it doesn't work out. Not only could your life be on the line, even my life could be on the line. That's how it rolls around here with King Dabic. And as her heads roll around here, you better watch yourself.
[00:48:43] Now what? Ashkenaz does not say to Daniel is no good. He just tells them, watch out. Be careful. But it actually says that God is giving Daniel favor with this guy. And so look at the wisdom that Daniel has here as a young man. Verse 11, then Daniel said to the steward. So this is now the guy below Ashkenaz. He says to the steward whom the chief of the eunuchs had aside over Daniel Hannan. I am Michail and Azariah. Hey, how about you give us a 10 day trial period to test your servants for 10 days? Let us be given vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then let our appearance and the appearance of the use who eat the King's food be observed by you. And deal with your servants according to what you see. Hey, how about. How about this. Let's do a 10 day detox. That's basically what he's saying here. We're gonna do attend to a cleanse. All right. And at the end of the 10 days, nobody's life has to be on the line. We don't have to make do we got a three year program here? How about you just give me 10 days and you give us 10 days and at the end of ten days, let's see how we're doing, huh? Let's try it out. What do you think? What do you say? Very shrewd move here by Dan.
[00:49:47] And so he listen to them. Why are these eunuchs in the king's palace in Babylon? Who just came in and wiped out these measly Hebrews? Why would they possibly listen to these young Hebrew teenagers coming up with these ideas? It's the favor of God.
[00:50:02] It's God getting their back. It's God working on the hearts of their enemies.
[00:50:08] You might want to write down Proverbs 16, verse seven, Proverbs sixteen, verse seven, when a man's ways pleased the Lord. He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him. So when the good hand of God is upon you, he can make even your enemies have favor with you. See, God is the one who is in control. He can even turns people's hearts the way that he wants.
[00:50:27] When God's got one of his people who is living to please him, when Daniels really live in my God is my judge and he's the one I've got to please. And I don't got to please everybody here in Babylon. God actually has Daniels back. And Daniel actually starts to have favor with the officials here in the foreign land.
[00:50:44] And they given this 10 day trial period, verse 15. And at the end of 10 days, it was seen that they were better in appearance and fatter and flesh.
[00:50:52] I don't know how you get fatter and flesh eating just vegetables. Sounds like God's doing something here to me. Better in appearance and fatter and flesh than all the USA eight, the king's food. So the steward took away their food and wine. They were to drink and gave them vegetables. They're now approved for a three year diet of vegetables and one. And look at verse 17, here's the third thing that God gave. As for these for use, God gave them learning and skill and all literature and wisdom. They picked up the language and literature of the Chaldeans. They they got good grades there in the Babylon Brainwashing Academy. In fact, Daniel, he's got this special ability. Daniel had understanding and all visions and dreams. If you come back for Chapter two next week, you're going to see that. That's just absolutely amazing. What Daniel's able to do by God's help.
[00:51:41] By God giving him.
[00:51:43] Verse 18, at the end of the time, three years are over, when the king had commanded that they should be brought in. The chief of the units, here comes the day Ashkenaz walking in in front of the king. And here comes Daniel Hannan, Niah or Bell to QAZ R and Me Shack. They're probably using their Babylonian names here. Hey, here's these guys. Remember these guys that we took from the from the Hebrews member when we got the King of Judah back then, Joy him. Well, here they are, king.
[00:52:10] And the king spoke with them verse 19, and among all of them, he goes through every single guy in Babylon, you hear. And none was found like Daniel Hannan, I am Michail and Azariah. Therefore, they stood before the king. They're the ones who get the closest positions to the king. They're now the most trusted advisers. They rise to the top. In fact, this is amazing. Verse 20 in every manner of wisdom and understanding about which the king inquired of them. He found them 10 times better than all the magicians and enchanters that were in all his kingdom. They're not just the best of their class. They're ten times better than any of the other King's advisors. I mean, this is amazing.
[00:52:50] You think this was the front page story on the Babylon Bugel or whatever it was on their news, right?
[00:52:57] Hey man for Hebrews have risen to the top and are now at the right hand of the king. They're now his most trusted advisers. Have you heard about these Hebrew Jewish boys? Yeah. They didn't even eat the food in the king's program. They didn't even drink his wine. And they're the best of the class. Can you believe this? Spreading all over.
[00:53:13] And then it says something here that might be hard for us to understand because we don't know the history of the Old Testament. We don't know our ancient Near Eastern kingdoms. But it says Daniel was there until the first year of King Cyrus. Maybe you've heard about Cyrus before. There was prophecies about Cyrus before he was born.
[00:53:30] Cyrus is the one who actually tells God's people that they can go back to Jerusalem, that the exile is over and they can return to the Promised and Holy Land. Cyrus is not a king of Babylon. Cyrus is the king of the means. And the Persians, the next nation that comes in and wipes out Babylon.
[00:53:50] You know what it's telling you, they're just real quick. Matter of fact, that the Universe 21.
[00:53:54] Oh, yeah. Daniel. He rose to the top. In fact, Daniel, he outlasted the entire kingdom of Babylon, King Ned. The mighty army. All the Babylonian culture gods worship. All of that. Yeah, Daniel. He was still stand in after all of that fell down.
[00:54:10] Here's God given up his people who won't obey him to a mighty army named Kingdom because. No. And the Babylonians and then God takes one young man who will obey him. And he rises him to the top of that nation.
[00:54:23] Let's not limit what God can do. Let's believe it.
[00:54:28] He end up becoming one of the most trusted advisers in the kingdom of the Meades and person who does that? You're a leader in one nation. They get invaded by the next nation. You become a leader in that nation, too.
[00:54:38] That's unheard of in all of world history. That's the story of Daniel, who, when he was 15 years old, decided he was going to dot files.
[00:54:46] That's what God did.
[00:54:48] Joining me to solve 27 and let's just see that we should expect God to be good no matter how bad life gets. No matter how strong our enemy is, no matter what comes against us, you can expect to see that God is going to be good if you seek first his kingdom. If you seek first his righteousness, all these things will be added to you. Can I get any men from anybody on this? God is always there for the righteous people, the people who are living without compromise. The people who have made themselves right before the Lord and their own heart. So I'm 27, David. A man after God's own heart. David, a man who won great military victories, wrote great worship songs. A man that God wanted to be king of his people is what David says. Psalm 27. The Lord is my light and my salvation. Whom shall I fear? Even if my enemies are against me, I'm not afraid. God is with me. That's what David said.
[00:55:42] The Lord is the stronghold of my life. Of whom shall I be afraid now here, when evil doers assail me to eat up my flesh. There's people that want to eat me. They want to destroy me. My adversaries. My foes. It is they who stumble and fall. An Army camp against me. My heart show. My fear. The war. Arise against me. Yet I will be confident. This is not just rhetoric here. This is not hyperbole. He's not just exaggerating to make a point. We're talking about a guy who actually had armies tried to chase him down and kill him.
[00:56:15] We're talking about a guy who had his sword and God with him, and here came a whole army against him and every one of those guys on the other side all wanted to kill David, especially.
[00:56:27] And he said, if God is with me, I'm not going to be afraid of any enemy against. Many said this in verse 13, here's a great verse to start twenty nineteen here at our church. Psalm 27, verse 13. Let's end with this. This is I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the live. One thing I'm expecting in 2019 is God will be good. Let's get that down four point number three. Expect God to give good. Expect God to give good.
[00:57:00] I mean, if you're thinking through Daniel one and you're thinking about all the bad things that seem to be happening to Daniel and his buddies and the people of Israel from the moment that Daniel resolves not to defile himself, all these good things that God does.
[00:57:16] Now, you can believe, you can expect. You should have faith that even in the worst case scenario, God is still always working for his glory. And the good of his people, in fact, God causes all the evil things to work together for good to those who love him and are called according to his purpose.
[00:57:36] Another nation comes in and invades. That might feel like the end. That was just the beginning of God's goodness to Daniel and his three friends.
[00:57:45] So I encourage you put Psalm 27, 13 somewhere, you're going to see it this year and believe that you will look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living, wait for the Lord. Trust in the Lord. Be strong. Let your heart take courage. Wait for the Lord. Wait. You will see it.
[00:58:03] You will see the goodness of God. Mark your year in 2019. Let's pray. Father in heaven. We come to you in the name of your son, Jesus Christ and God. We thank you that we could begin this New Year with a new study from the Book of Daniel and God. I pray that you will put it on our hearts that this won't be ancient history that we're studying, but this will be you working in us today. God, I pray for all my brothers and sisters here as we sit here right now. We will examine ourselves. That we will see where that temptation of the world creeps in, where that compromise is trying to get us.
[00:58:39] And I pray that we will resolve right now that we will set ourselves against the way of the world, that we will say no to sin. And we will resolve not to defile ourselves here today.
[00:58:51] Got to pray that we could begin 2019 with a whole heart offered to you. And God, show us that you're with us. Show us that you will own, no matter how many times the righteous man falls. You will always pick him up.
[00:59:05] God, give us that faith to believe that even when it seems like we're in such a bad place and the world's going the wrong way, that you are in control and you will be good.
[00:59:18] God, I pray that whether we're coming from the Heights right now of feeling like it was a great new year or whether we're coming coming from the depths of temptation and trials.
[00:59:29] I pray that we can remember right now that your love never fails, that you are a good God, and that we will worship you, that we will wait for you, that we will be strong and let our hearts take courage because we have a God who is with us and he is good. Remind us of who you are. Show us your goodness.
[00:59:48] In twenty nineteen, we pray this in Jesus name. A man.
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