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The writing on the wall, the lions den and the end of the age

The writing on the wall, the lions den and the end of the age

There is always a season that we need to recognise in our lives. For Babylon it was the writing on the wall and judgement by the Persians. For Daniel it was a time of trial in the lions' den. For us it is acknowledging that Jesus fulfils the purposes of the Ancient of Days even until the end of the age.

Daniel 5: The Handwriting on the Wall

1 King Belshazzar made a great feast for a thousand of his lords and drank wine in front of the thousand.

2 Belshazzar, when he tasted the wine, commanded that the vessels of gold and of silver that Nebuchadnezzar his father had taken out of the temple in Jerusalem be brought, that the king and his lords, his wives, and his concubines might drink from them.

3 Then they brought in the golden vessels that had been taken out of the temple, the house of God in Jerusalem, and the king and his lords, his wives, and his concubines drank from them.

4 They drank wine and praised the gods of gold and silver, bronze, iron, wood, and stone.

5 Immediately the fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the wall of the king's palace, opposite the lampstand. And the king saw the hand as it wrote.

6 Then the king's colour changed, and his thoughts alarmed him; his limbs gave way, and his knees knocked together.

7 The king called loudly to bring in the enchanters, the Chaldeans, and the astrologers. The king declared to the wise men of Babylon, "Whoever reads this writing, and shows me its interpretation, shall be clothed with purple and have a chain of gold around his neck and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom."

8 Then all the king's wise men came in, but they could not read the writing or make known to the king the interpretation.

9 Then King Belshazzar was greatly alarmed, and his colour changed, and his lords were perplexed.

10 The queen, because of the words of the king and his lords, came into the banqueting hall, and the queen declared, "O king, live forever! Let not your thoughts alarm you or your colour change.

11 There is a man in your kingdom in whom is the spirit of the holy gods. In the days of your father, light and understanding and wisdom like the wisdom of the gods were found in him, and King Nebuchadnezzar, your father---your father the king---made him chief of the magicians, enchanters, Chaldeans, and astrologers,

12 because an excellent spirit, knowledge, and understanding to interpret dreams, explain riddles, and solve problems were found in this Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar. Now let Daniel be called, and he will show the interpretation."

Daniel Interprets the Handwriting

13 Then Daniel was brought in before the king. The king answered and said to Daniel, "You are that Daniel, one of the exiles of Judah, whom the king my father brought from Judah.

14 I have heard of you that the spirit of the gods is in you, and that light and understanding and excellent wisdom are found in you.

15 Now the wise men, the enchanters, have been brought in before me to read this writing and make known to me its interpretation, but they could not show the interpretation of the matter.

16 But I have heard that you can give interpretations and solve problems. Now if you can read the writing and make known to me its interpretation, you shall be clothed with purple and have a chain of gold around your neck and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom."

17 Then Daniel answered and said before the king, "Let your gifts be for yourself, and give your rewards to another. Nevertheless, I will read the writing to the king and make known to him the interpretation.

18 O king, the Most High God gave Nebuchadnezzar your father kingship and greatness and glory and majesty.

19 And because of the greatness that he gave him, all peoples, nations, and languages trembled and feared before him. Whom he would, he killed, and whom he would, he kept alive; whom he would, he raised up, and whom he would, he humbled.

20 But when his heart was lifted up and his spirit was hardened so that he dealt proudly, he was brought down from his kingly throne, and his glory was taken from him.

21 He was driven from among the children of mankind, and his mind was made like that of a beast, and his dwelling was with the wild donkeys. He was fed grass like an ox, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, until he knew that the Most High God rules the kingdom of mankind and sets over it whom he will.

22 And you his son, Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart, though you knew all this,

23 but you have lifted up yourself against the Lord of heaven. And the vessels of his house have been brought in before you, and you and your lords, your wives, and your concubines have drunk wine from them. And you have praised the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood, and stone, which do not see or hear or know, but the God in whose hand is your breath, and whose are all your ways, you have not honored.

24 "Then from his presence the hand was sent, and this writing was inscribed.

25 And this is the writing that was inscribed: MENE, MENE, TEKEL, and PARSIN.

26 This is the interpretation of the matter: MENE, God has numbered the days of your kingdom and brought it to an end;

27 TEKEL, you have been weighed in the balances and found wanting;

28 PERES, your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians."

29 Then Belshazzar gave the command, and Daniel was clothed with purple, a chain of gold was put around his neck, and a proclamation was made about him, that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom.

30 That very night Belshazzar the Chaldean king was killed.

31 And Darius the Mede received the kingdom, being about sixty-two years old.

Daniel 6: Daniel and the Lions' Den

1 It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom 120 satraps, to be throughout the whole kingdom;

2 and over them three presidents, of whom Daniel was one, to whom these satraps should give account, so that the king might suffer no loss.

3 Then this Daniel became distinguished above all the other presidents and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him. And the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom.

4 Then the presidents and the satraps sought to find a ground for complaint against Daniel with regard to the kingdom, but they could find no ground for complaint or any fault, because he was faithful, and no error or fault was found in him.

5 Then these men said, "We shall not find any ground for complaint against this Daniel unless we find it in connection with the law of his God."

6 Then these presidents and satraps came by agreement to the king and said to him, "O King Darius, live forever!

7 All the presidents of the kingdom, the prefects and the satraps, the counsellors and the governors are agreed that the king should establish an ordinance and enforce an injunction, that whoever makes petition to any god or man for thirty days, except to you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions.

8 Now, O king, establish the injunction and sign the document, so that it cannot be changed, according to the law of the Medes and the Persians, which cannot be revoked."

9 Therefore King Darius signed the document and injunction.

10 When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously.

11 Then these men came by agreement and found Daniel making petition and plea before his God.

12 Then they came near and said before the king, concerning the injunction, "O king! Did you not sign an injunction, that anyone who makes petition to any god or man within thirty days except to you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions?" The king answered and said, "The thing stands fast, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be revoked."

13 Then they answered and said before the king, "Daniel, who is one of the exiles from Judah, pays no attention to you, O king, or the injunction you have signed, but makes his petition three times a day."

14 Then the king, when he heard these words, was much distressed and set his mind to deliver Daniel. And he laboured till the sun went down to rescue him.

15 Then these men came by agreement to the king and said to the king, "Know, O king, that it is a law of the Medes and Persians that no injunction or ordinance that the king establishes can be changed."

16 Then the king commanded, and Daniel was brought and cast into the den of lions. The king declared to Daniel, "May your God, whom you serve continually, deliver you!"

17 And a stone was brought and laid on the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet and with the signet of his lords, that nothing might be changed concerning Daniel.

18 Then the king went to his palace and spent the night fasting; no diversions were brought to him, and sleep fled from him.

19 Then, at break of day, the king arose and went in haste to the den of lions.

20 As he came near to the den where Daniel was, he cried out in a tone of anguish. The king declared to Daniel, "O Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to deliver you from the lions?"

21 Then Daniel said to the king, "O king, live forever!

22 My God sent his angel and shut the lions' mouths, and they have not harmed me, because I was found blameless before him; and also before you, O king, I have done no harm."

23 Then the king was exceedingly glad, and commanded that Daniel be taken up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no kind of harm was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.

24 And the king commanded, and those men who had maliciously accused Daniel were brought and cast into the den of lions---they, their children, and their wives. And before they reached the bottom of the den, the lions overpowered them and broke all their bones in pieces.

25 Then King Darius wrote to all the peoples, nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth: "Peace be multiplied to you.

26 I make a decree, that in all my royal dominion people are to tremble and fear before the God of Daniel, for he is the living God, enduring forever; his kingdom shall never be destroyed, and his dominion shall be to the end.

27 He delivers and rescues; he works signs and wonders in heaven and on earth, he who has saved Daniel from the power of the lions."

28 So this Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian.

Daniel 7: Daniel's Vision of the Four Beasts

1 In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel saw a dream and visions of his head as he lay in his bed. Then he wrote down the dream and told the sum of the matter.

2 Daniel declared, "I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of heaven were stirring up the great sea.

3 And four great beasts came up out of the sea, different from one another.

4 The first was like a lion and had eagles' wings. Then as I looked its wings were plucked off, and it was lifted up from the ground and made to stand on two feet like a man, and the mind of a man was given to it.

5 And behold, another beast, a second one, like a bear. It was raised up on one side. It had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth; and it was told, 'Arise, devour much flesh.'

6 After this I looked, and behold, another, like a leopard, with four wings of a bird on its back. And the beast had four heads, and dominion was given to it.

7 After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, terrifying and dreadful and exceedingly strong. It had great iron teeth; it devoured and broke in pieces and stamped what was left with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns.

8 I considered the horns, and behold, there came up among them another horn, a little one, before which three of the first horns were plucked up by the roots. And behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things.

The Ancient of Days Reigns

9 "As I looked, thrones were placed, and the Ancient of Days took his seat; his clothing was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was fiery flames; its wheels were burning fire.

10 A stream of fire issued and came out from before him; a thousand thousands served him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him; the court sat in judgment, and the books were opened.

11 "I looked then because of the sound of the great words that the horn was speaking. And as I looked, the beast was killed, and its body destroyed and given over to be burned with fire.

12 As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away, but their lives were prolonged for a season and a time.

The Son of Man Is Given Dominion

13 "I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him.

14 And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.

Daniel's Vision Interpreted

15 "As for me, Daniel, my spirit within me was anxious, and the visions of my head alarmed me.

16 I approached one of those who stood there and asked him the truth concerning all this. So he told me and made known to me the interpretation of the things.

17 'These four great beasts are four kings who shall arise out of the earth.

18 But the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, forever and ever.'

19 "Then I desired to know the truth about the fourth beast, which was different from all the rest, exceedingly terrifying, with its teeth of iron and claws of bronze, and which devoured and broke in pieces and stamped what was left with its feet,

20 and about the ten horns that were on its head, and the other horn that came up and before which three of them fell, the horn that had eyes and a mouth that spoke great things, and that seemed greater than its companions.

21 As I looked, this horn made war with the saints and prevailed over them,

22 until the Ancient of Days came, and judgment was given for the saints of the Most High, and the time came when the saints possessed the kingdom.

23 "Thus he said: 'As for the fourth beast, there shall be a fourth kingdom on earth, which shall be different from all the kingdoms, and it shall devour the whole earth, and trample it down, and break it to pieces.

24 As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom ten kings shall arise, and another shall arise after them; he shall be different from the former ones, and shall put down three kings.

25 He shall speak words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and shall think to change the times and the law; and they shall be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time.

26 But the court shall sit in judgment, and his dominion shall be taken away, to be consumed and destroyed to the end.

27 And the kingdom and the dominion and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High; their kingdom shall be an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey them.'

28 "Here is the end of the matter. As for me, Daniel, my thoughts greatly alarmed me, and my colour changed, but I kept the matter in my heart."

Things to think about…

1.In Dan 5 we see the writing and Daniel's interpretation. This king had been weighed in the balances and found wanting. Judgement had come. Daniel would have been around 85yo at this point. The Lord still had work for him. Our days of ministry are not finished until the Lord calls us away. Right up to the last Daniel was called to be faithful in a land that was not his own. What work and words has the Lord called you to do and give? Make sure you are faithful with the Lord's message, remember it is his message for this generation and not your own. Be faithful in your delivery.

2.Wouldn't it be nice if the only thing the world had against Christians was that we were following the law of God. Daniel's accusers knew that the only thing they could pin on him would be something he did that related to his faith and practise, Dan 6:5. Are our lives so open and transparent before others that we could be accused in a similar way? The book of Samuel says "I will honour those who honour Me", 2Sam 2:30, but Jesus also says "If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him", John 12:26. Do others observe that your words or actions are a true reflection of your faith in Christ?

3.Daniel and the lion's den would have to be one of the most famous stories in the scriptures, Dan 6:16, 17. What has been the most fearful time you have experienced as a result of standing up for your faith? If you can't recall a time, may the Lord give you an opportunity to build your faith and testimony. Look at the blessing that comes upon the world even through one act of faithfulness Dan 6:25-28. This passage also sees a king praying and fasting all night for his prisoner, Dan 6:18. This is what Jesus did for us in John 17, only His life was taken instead of ours.

4.Daniel 7 has been interpreted and mis-interpreted for millennia. Is there anywhere in scripture that refers to ten heads, which are ten kings, three re broken/cut off, one rules for a season who speaks out against the most high God – rules for time, times and half a time (3 ½ years) 1260 days? Yes, in Revelation 12, 13 & 17. Let scripture interpret scripture. I believe this shows that believers at the end of the age will indeed go through the tribulation period. Either way it will be a time of turmoil on the earth. The Son of Man has made a way to the Ancient of Days through the cross. This is our message of hope that we take into the world.

Vision Point

CBC's Vision :- To be a growing biblical church community, significantly influencing our city and beyond, through intentional outreach, fulfilling our mission.

The reading was from Rev 7. The sermon was called "Every tribe, nation and language"

1.How do you understand the tribulation period? Do you think Christians will be raptured before, during or after the tribulation?

2.Andrew Otte mentioned 7 "P's" in his sermon. Can you remember some of them?

3.Andrew also mentioned the "until's". Do you remember what they refer to?

4.What is the evidence of someone who is saved in Christ.


Prayer Points

1.Pray for continued follow up rain

2.Pray for those who have recently come to CBC that they settle into the fellowship.

3.Pray for our help and response to Stanthorpe community.

4.Ministries this term 4 – PlayPatch, Kids@Church, Recharge youth.

5.Pastor Andrew Otte as he preaches this Sunday night on Rev 16-18.

6.More Sunday school and RI teachers

7.Our outreach initiatives as well as the Axiom podcast.

8.Sunday's messages. "The making of a King – Daniel 4"– "The bowls, the beast and Babylon" Rev 16-18 Andrew Otte – Sunday night.

9.Finish "Bean Redeemed" coffee shop and podcast area.

10.Church finances to meet our expenses.

11.Our City and Country – Pray for revival over our city and the leadership of our country.

12.Ray of Hope Trivia night – this Saturday 6pm and Members meeting 3rd Nov. Please RSVP – link in announcements section.


Praise Points.

1.Praise the Lord for more rain last night.

2.Andrew Otte's preaching ministry on Sunday.

3.Praise the Lord for rain that has fallen already in Qld and NSW.

4.More new people on Sunday – Praise the Lord.

5.Those who serve on our worship teams and ministry teams.

6.Unity, peace and Christ's love over our church.

7.A number considering baptism.


Announcements

1.Willey group - Hosting morning tea on Sunday morning.

2.Playpatch – Returns this Friday morning.

3.Recharge Youth – Friday night 7pm – High Schoolers.

4.Kids at Church – Primary school aged children Sunday mornings.

5.Andrew Otte preaching 13th Oct AM and 20th Oct PM.

6.Ray of Hope orphanage trivia night dinner to raise money for the orphanage, this Saturday 19th Oct 6pm. Please RSVP on facebook - https://www.facebook.com/events/2197393253897185/

7.Members Meeting 3rd November after morning service.


This month's catechism question...

Q. 5. How many petitions are there in The Lord's Prayer?
A. Six.


"Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known" Jer 33:3

Pastor Jay

The goat, the ram and the anti-Christ
A fire that didn't burn and a king who would kneel