The Backbone of Biblical Prophecy

In his book The Handwriting on the Wall, Dr. David Jeremiah tells the story of Leopold Cohn. He was a Jewish man born in Berezna, Hungary, in 1862. Cohn became a rabbi. The focus of his studies centered on the Messiah’s identity and  coming. He wanted to know when the scattered people of Israel would be regathered to the Promised Land under the Messiah’s rule. His search led him to the prophecy of the seventy weeks from Daniel 9:24-27.
 
On the basis of verses twenty-five and twenty-six specifically, Cohn concluded that the Messiah has already come. This new conviction confounded Cohn and created conflict with other rabbis. Eventually, Cohn took his family and left Hungary for the United States. Maybe that was because he wanted to immigrate to land of religious freedom, or because one fellow rabbi had told him that while he didn’t know where the Messiah was, he thought Cohn should look in New York City! Maybe both of those reasons are right. At any rate, once in NYC, on one Sabbath morning Cohn walked past the open door of a building that was adorned with the cross as well as a sign, written in Hebrew, that said “Meeting for Jews.” He entered. Found a seat. Heard the preacher proclaim that Jesus Christ is the Messiah. He was given a New Testament in Hebrew. Back home around eleven that morning, Cohn opened the book and began reading at the beginning. “The book of the generation of Jesus Christ [Yeshua the Messiah], the son of David, the son of Abraham” Matthew 1:1. He read until one-o’clock the following morning, at which time Rabbi Leopold Cohn committed himself to Jesus of Nazareth as the Jewish Messiah. In due time, Cohn bought a stable, cleaned it out, set up some chairs, and began to hold his own gospel meetings. That was the first outreach of what was to become Chosen People Ministries. All started because a rabbi read Daniel nine.

 Daniel’s 70 Weeks

Tonight at 7pm we will prayerfully study the backbone of all Biblical prophecy – Daniel’s 70 Weeks from Daniel 9:20-27. Don’t miss out, and don’t forget that SHinE Kids’ and G.O.E. Teens will also be meeting at 7pm in our Family Life Center.
Come with the entire family, just as you are, tonight at 7pm.

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One Praying Prophet

There is no doubt. We live in peculiar times. Between concerns for physical health, political agitation, and social deterioration, many are tempted to run and hide or stand swing a club. Neither option is optimal. Ask any pilot, like Bob Randolph for example, and he will tell you that when visibility is bad, you must fly by the instruments.
 
We must be confident in God’s Word and continue in the same. Armed with a biblical perceptive we will remember God’s past blessings which should stabilize us in present troubles and encourage us for future deliverance. In our Wednesday night study of Daniel we are learning from the prophet’s pattern of prayer. Join us tonight at 7pm for this study, and for a time of praying together.
 
Also at 7pm, our SHinE Kids (grades K-5) and G.O.E. Teens (6-12 grades) will meet in the Family Life Center.

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One Praying Prophet

As Daniel eight ended we saw one sick prophet. He had seen the future, and it was not pleasant for his people. There was the little horn, the Old Testament antichrist Antiochus Epiphanes. Followed by the Antichrist of the end times. These men would seek to utterly stamp out the Jews. They would not be successful, but witnessing the havoc they would wreak caused Daniel to faint and become ill.
 
This sick prophet looks to his Lord in prayer. That’s how chapter nine begins. When this chapter is preached or referenced, the focus is typically limited to the prophecy of verses 24-27. But Daniel’s prayer precedes the prophecy that he records, and that prayer occupies verses 4-19 of the chapter! Verses 20-23 are snippets of a conversation between Daniel and Gabriel concerning the prayer.

Prophecy is no Substitute for Prayer

The prayer covers more than twice the amount of inspired ink as the prophecy. That’s a big deal, and that will be our focus this evening, as well as next Wednesday for certain. Daniel was a praying man. We have already learned that, and not just from chapter six and the lion’s den. Prayer has been his consistent pattern from the beginning of the book. He is an example for us to follow, and his prayer in chapter nine is a model of intercessory prayer. 
 
This one praying prophet demonstrates seven principles of intercessory prayer for us to imitate. We will not work through all seven in one sermon, but here they all are in one sentence:
Intercessory prayer seeks to know God’s plan, desiring its fulfillment no matter the personal cost, and is for the sake of others, strengthened by confession of sin, dependent on God’s character and all for God’s glory!

Together Again!

Please join us tonight in person at 7pm. Our SHinE Kids (K-5) and G.O.E Teens (6th-12th) will also meet at 7pm in the Family Life Center. The adult prayer time and Bible study may also be viewed at Facebook.com/BBCMountVernon.

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One Sick Prophet

Except for Jesus Himself, there are no better examples of commitment despite difficult circumstances that Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. Their story of  faithfulness in a faithless age is told in Daniel one through six. That is where we find those famous passages of the fiery furnace, the writing on the wall, and the lion’s den.

Daniel 7-12 is mostly prophecy, and nearly all of it was future prophecy when Daniel first received his visions. While much of what he saw has been fulfilled, some is still on front of us. God gave Daniel a glimpse of where history is headed. All things are headed to an appointed end, and everything is on schedule. The history that unfolded before Daniel’s eyes while in the spirit, on the banks of the Ulai River in the city of Shushan, made him physically ill. By the end of chapter eight, Daniel is one sick prophet.

That’s because he saw three men, represented by three horns: a large horn, followed by a little horn, and then the last horn. The first two dictators were historical previews of the final false messiah, a man whose evil behavior is greater even than any before him. Now this is a good spot to be reminded that many prophecies in Scripture have dual characteristics to them. That is an immediate and an ultimate fulfillment. That is the case in Daniel eight. While all three of these men were in the future when Daniel received his vision. As far as we are concerned, the first two have come and gone long ago. The last one is yet to be revealed.

One Sick Prophet

Why would God give Daniel a vision so terrible that it made him physically sick? I think there are at least three reasons:

  1. Prepare them for persecution. Things will get worse before they get better.
  2. Warning not to panic. Don’t be confused by historical trends. History is happening according to God’s design.
  3. The Kingdom is coming! The Ancient of Days will deliver the Kingdom to the real Messiah, and all false messiahs will be finally and utterly put down and out forever.

Tonight we finish our study of Daniel 8. There is much to learn from the vision that made Daniel sick. Be tuned in tonight at 7pm on Facebook Live to follow along. Remember, a Facebook account is not required to view a live-streamed video on the church’s Facebook page. Click this link to be directed there.


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Horned and Horns

In our walk through Daniel we have noted that the first six chapters are mostly history with a little prophecy, while the second six chapters are mostly prophecy with a little bit of history. God has revealed to us through the dreams and visions of Nebuchadnezzar and Daniel, truth about the temporary kingdoms of men and the coming eternal kingdom of Christ. In Daniel two and seven we were given a sweeping look of four mighty and culture shaping kingdoms: Babylon, Media-Persia, Greece, and Rome. In Daniel 8, the focus is tightened on the kingdoms which would play a crucial role in the history of Israel and the life of the Jews, the empires of Media-Persia and Greece. Unfolding within this drama are three notable characters. We will describe them as the large horn, the little horn, and the last horn. In Daniel’s day, all three of these men were future figures. In our day, only the last one is.
 
We will be in Daniel eight for at least two weeks. Please be tuned in at 7pm.

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When does the Kingdom come?

It seems that every New Testament author and believer lived expecting to personally see the bodily return of Christ. Just one example from Paul’s inspired pen is Titus 2:11-13, “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ;”
 
So, when will that be? Scripture does not supply an exact date and time, but there are certain things that will come to pass as that day draws near. Tonight at 7pm we will run them down from Daniel seven. After a time of prayer, we will open our Bibles together. There will not be G.O.E. Teens this evening since they are at church camp in Dayton, TN. Continue to pray for them. Our SHinE Kids’ ministry (K-5) will be meeting in the Family Life Center at 7 pm.

Watch. Pray. Proclaim.

While we expect the Lord’s return at any moment, no one knows exactly when that moment will be (Mark 13:32-37). That is no cause for idleness or foolishness. While we watch for our Lord’s return, we are to continue with the work He commissioned and equipped us to accomplish. The stakes are high. His First Coming was cause for singing “Peace on earth and good will to men” because the Savior had come.
 
At His Second Coming there will be judgment on sin and sinners who refused to repent and receive the grace He freely offered.
 
So, while we wait and watch for His return, let’s work by praying and proclaiming the Good News, calling on all men and women everywhere, from every ethnicity, to repent and believe the gospel, because the time is fulfilled and the Kingdom of God is at hand.

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The King is Coming!

Daniel 7:13-14, “I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.”
 
On Wednesday evenings we have steadily walked through the book of Daniel. The first six chapters of that Old Testament prophecy have either taught or reminded us to cooperate with the culture without compromising on God’s Word. Daniel and his friends demonstrate the need to stand
  • out from the world.
  • up for God.
  • still for the solution He will provide.

A Prophetic Voice

In chapter seven the prophetic visions of Daniel begin, and they continue through the end of the book. Like last week, we will be in chapter seven again tonight. This chapter is pure prophecy. We learn that history will culminate with Christ receiving His kingdom. The Ancient of Days will grant to the Son of Man the Kingdom.
 
Daniel seven presents the history of man from Daniel’s time (in our past) to the time when Christ Jesus the Lord will receive and establish His Kingdom (in our future). This is a monumental sweep of prophetic history from Daniel’s day forward. So, we’ve been taking our time. Here is our outline for this evening.
  • The King is Crowned
  • The Kingdom’s Character
  • When is the Kingdom?

Join Us!

We hope that you will be with us at 7pm this evening. Our G.O.E. Teens (6th-12th) and SHinE Kids (K-5th) will be meeting in our Family Life Center at 7pm also. There is plenty of room for them to be responsibly distanced. We will meet in our sanctuary. If you have not felt comfortable returning to our in-person Sunday morning services, Wednesday night is a great option for you. There will be enough space to spread out. We hope you will be with us tonight as we sing, pray, and open God’s Word together.

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History is Happening

Daniel 7:1-3, “In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream, and told the sum of the matters. Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea. And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.”
 
The first of Daniel’s visions correspond with the dream that Nebuchadnezzar had in Daniel 2. When Daniel recorded his dream the events were future, but as we read them in 2020, much of it has been explicitly fulfilled in history. The “first future” in Daniel’s prophecy is of four world empires that have risen and fallen exactly as Daniel predicted. The “second future” is one yet to come. We call this the end times. Events which will transpire before Christ’s glory fills the world forever. The explicit accuracy of the prophecies that have been fulfilled provide us with absolute confidence in those that are yet to be fulfilled.
 
Daniel’s prophecy has an immense present and practical value. Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah demonstrate why and how we must live in the present, as well as being prepared for the future. Courageous conviction, cooperation without compromise, devotion to God and His Word portrayed by Daniel are just as critical today as they were as in Daniel’s day.

Tonight at 7pm!

Join us this evening at 7pm as we gather for prayer and then time in Daniel 7. Our teens will also be meeting in the Family Life Center at the same time. On Sunday, July 5 our Sunday school and SHinE ministries will resume. The evening services on Sunday will return sooner rather than later, and that means our choir will resume also. Praise the Lord!
 

 


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Thrown to the Lions

Micah 6:8 says, “O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” 
 
Daniel certainly epitomized this passage. There is a great need in this world for justice, mercy, and humility before God and for His purposes. Seems that is always the case. Those characteristics marked Daniel. Not due to an innate superiority uniquely his. Daniel had “an excellent spirit in him” as Daniel 6:3 says because Daniel was committed to trusting the Word of God and following the God of the Word with all his heart, mind, soul, and strength. He had made that commitment when he was a young man, and now as he was nearing the end of his race he still ran hard.  Daniel determined to finish as well as he started.

Age is No Protection

There is never a time when it is easy to do the right thing. Peer pressure is not restricted to young people. Hard decisions must be made regardless of age. Daniel was in his eighties when this cockamamie conspiracy was hatched. He refused to rest on his laurels. As he had done before he would do now. He would obey the Lord and trust Him with the consequences.
 
This means that Daniel had a target on his back. Nothing new there. In fact, all who want to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. Expect the attack. Some will be obvious. Others covert. No need to counter-scheme. Keep calm and carry-on with confidence in the Truth. Sounds like a broken record, but it’s true all the same.

Pride ALWAYS Costs

Many times the charge must be paid by those near the prideful, not just the proud. Darius was caught up in the plot because it played on his pride. “Make a firm decree that no one may pray to anyone but you for thirty days. All of your top men think this will unify the land and honor you, O King. Live forever!”
 
Had he not allowed his head to swell to a gargantuan size, he may have noticed that Daniel wasn’t in the room or part of this delegation. Since Daniel was the top man of the top men, this should have signaled a problem. Darius didn’t notice because all he could see was himself.
 
Reminds me of the story I’ve heard about Sir. Robert Watson-Watt. The man who invented radar. Late in life, while driving in Canada, Watson-Watt was reportedly snagged for speeding in a radar trap. He would write an ironic poem about the incident:

Rough Justice

Pity Sir Robert Watson-Watt, strange target of this radar plot,
And thus, with others I can mention, the victim of his own invention.
His magical all-seeing eye enabled cloud-bound planes to fly,
but now by some ironic twist, it spots the speeding motorist and bites,
no doubt with legal wit, the hand that once created it!
Darius was a victim of his own invention. His pride cost him, and caused Daniel to be thrown to the lions. Thankfully, that’s not the end of the story. 
 
Tonight at 7pm we will be in Daniel 6. Join us as we study the scriptures and spend time, like Daniel, in prayer for our land and the cause of our Lord.

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Grace is Greater

God’s grace is greater than your sin. That’s what the Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 5:20, “Moreover the law entered, that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.”
 
All those who have experienced this great news are eager to share it with as many people possible. This is true whether you’re an ordinary person or royalty. Nebuchadnezzar ruled an empire renowned for its military, cultural, and artistic superiority. What could possibly be greater than building and ruling such a kingdom?
 
Nebuchadnezzar discovered that answer. When he did, he enthusiastically shared the news with the entire empire. This evening at 7pm we will read and learn from Nebuchadnezzar’s testimony. We also learn, once again, from Daniel’s example. You see, the truth about God’s amazing grace will only be truly appreciated by the one who recognizes his utter sinfulness. In other words, the Good News is so good because the bad news is so bad. Daniel did not shrink back from communicating the TIMELESS TRUTH of God’s grace to his king. That required him to also be willing to describe why his king – like all of us – required grace.
 
Our text tonight will be Daniel 4. The Bible study will be live-streamed. While we have not officially relaunched the Wednesday night service, you are free to join us and welcomed.

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