Friday, June 26, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Daniel- Chapter 8

Daniel 8


-Two years down the road from chapter 7, Daniel gets another vision pertaining to the kingdoms of Medo-Persia and Greece with implications towards the end of days in spirit and practice. Daniel was in one of the capital cities of the Babylonian Empire, Susa, located in an area that would later become the winter capital of the Persian Empire during Daniel’s day and is in modern day Iran. It was a mighty fortress city (or citadel). Daniel gets the vision of the ram and the goat. The ram represents the Medo-Persian Empire with two long horns (Daniel 8:3, 21). The longer and stronger horn ends up being the Persian Empire, which exerted a growing dominance in the kingdom during this time period. This power, which was to come (remember because Daniel received the vision during Belshazzar’s reign over Babylon), would extend in the westward, northward, and southward directions with no other “beasts” to stand before them for a period. The Medo-Persian Empire was prophesized to be super powerful doing as it pleased and magnifying itself (Daniel 8:4). The “goat” of Greece would however come “from the west over the surface of the whole earth without touching the ground (emphasizes speed and agility)” with a conspicuous horn between its eyes (Daniel 8:5). It rushes at the ram in his mighty wrath, striking him and shattering his two horns. The goat hurls the ram to the ground and tramples on him for no hope of rescue (Daniel 8:6-7, 21). Then the male goat, Greece, magnifies himself exceedingly, but it is short lived. We know this from our history books as Alexander speedily conquered the known world dominating both parts of the Medo-Persian Empire, but died in his early thirties leaving the Hellenistic kingdom divided between four generals (Ptolemy I of Egypt and Palestine, Seleucus of Babylonia and Syria, Lysimachus of Asia Minor, and Antipater of Macedon and Greece). This is the four conspicuous horns listed in Daniel’s prophecy (Daniel 8:8). Out of the Seleucid Empire of Babylonia and Syria came Antiochus IV Epiphanes, who was the “small horn which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the Beautiful Land (Israel, Daniel 8:9). He Hellenized the Holy Land trying to make God’s people worship abominations that he set up in the restored Temple in an effort to replace the worship of Yahweh with a Greek form of worship. This is why Daniel discerns that this “small horn” would magnify himself “to be equal with the Commander of the host (Daniel 8:10-11).” He destroys the regular sacrifice flinging truth to the ground and performing his own satanic will in trampling the holy place and the host (God’s people, Jews of the Land) in horror for 2,300 evenings and mornings. Then, Daniel predicts that “the holy place will be properly restored,” which occurred under the Jewish revolt of Judas Maccabeus in 165 B.C. (Daniel 8:12-14).

-Daniel gets the proper interpretation of the vision as he sought understanding from the LORD given to Gabriel, an angel that is also associated with the birth of John the Baptist and the Messiah (Luke 1:11-19, 26) as well as a later vision with Daniel (Daniel 9:21). This is where some of the prophecy has implications towards the end of time further into the “age of the Gentiles (Daniel 8:17, 19, Luke 21:24).” Daniel sinks into a deep sleep here with his face to the ground before Gabriel stands him upright to let him know what will happen in the future “at the final period of the indignation, for it pertains to the appointed time of the end (Daniel 8:18-19).” We see some allusion to the Greek maniac Antiochus IV Epiphanes with a broader sense to the coming of the Anti-Christ. Here are some of his characteristics to look for “when the transgressors run their course:”


*He will be insolent (rude, audacious, disrespectful, brazen)

*He will be skilled in intrigue (plotting, scheming, conspiracy, trickery, secrecy)

*His power will be mighty

*His power will not be his own, but demonic

*He will destroy to an extraordinary degree

*He will prosper and perform his own will

*He will destroy mighty men and the holy people

*He will be shrewd (astute, perceptive, clever, smart, sharp)

*He will cause deceit (lies, dishonesty, pretense) to succeed by his influence

*He will magnify himself in his heart

*He will destroy many while they are at ease (the rich and wealthy)

*He will oppose Jesus Christ, the Prince of princes (Daniel 8:23-25)


“But, he will be broken without human agency (Daniel 8:25b).” The vision was true and pertained to many days in the future. The vision was to remain a secret, which I take to mean there where further discussions that did not make the text of Scripture. In fact by the last verse we sense that Daniel, himself, was dumbfounded by the information. He became sickened and astounded by it and found “none to explain it (Daniel 8:26-27).”

-*Application* This is a remarkably detailed and accurate portrayal of future events foretold by the insightful and wise man of God, Daniel. We can see the power of God in these situations culminating in a catastrophic climax to the world system and its tainted glory. While we can be sickened and astounded at the horrors we see going on around us in this corrupted world, remember that the King is coming and will right every wrong. The same power that worked in Daniel’s time is still working in us today through the power of the Holy Spirit.


Verse to Memorize: Daniel 8:19

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Daniel- Chapter 7

Daniel 7


-Chapter seven begins the more prophetic part of the book as the text goes back in time from the previous chapter to relate a dream that Daniel was given during the first year of the reign of Belshazzar, king of Babylon and son of Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel received the vision on his bed, then he wrote it down and related the summary of it as a foretelling of what was to come. He received the interpretation to some degree, but the thoughts of his mind as God was downloading alarmed him greatly in caused him distress (Daniel 7:15, 28). His vision began with the four winds of heaven stirring up the great sea (Mediterranean Sea). Four beasts were coming up from the sea, all different from one another. The first was Babylon. It was like a lion and had the wings of an eagle (see ). Daniel kept looking until its wings were plucked, and it stood on two feet like a man with a human mind. Another beast appeared resembling a bear. This represented the Medio-Persian Empire that ravaged the lion in history. The three ribs in its mouth between its teeth were the three major enemies they defeated in their conquest. As Daniel kept looking, another beast jumped onto the scene like a leopard having four wings of a bird and four heads with dominion given to it. This was fulfilled without a doubt in the Greek Empire with the swift conquering of the known world under Alexander the Great who died young leaving the kingdom divided in four parts. The forth beast was the scariest, dreadful and terrifying, as Daniel described his vision. This was the Roman Empire, which was extremely strong in its ruthless rule over all opponents. The mystery then presented in the prophecy involves the ten horns, supposedly representing future kings, or rulers, associated in some way with this beast of an empire. While Daniel himself was contemplating the horns, another little horn began to arise among them and it pulled out from the root three of the first horns. This “little horn” has been commonly associated with the Anti-Christ possessing eyes like the eyes of man (sinful) and a mouth uttering great boasts (prideful, Daniel 7:1-8).

-As Daniel kept looking on in his vision, thrones were set up and the Ancient of Days (God) took His seat. He is described as having a vesture (covering garment) like white snow and the hair He had was like pure wool. His throne was ablaze with flames with wheels as a burning fire. In fact, a river of fire was flowing and coming out before Him. This represents His judgment facets typically in Scripture (Genesis 19:24, Deuteronomy 32:22, 1 Kings 18:24, 38-39, Isaiah 66:16, Jeremiah 34:2, Zephaniah 1:18, Malachi 3:2, Matthew 3:11-12; 13:40-42, Revelation 20:12-15, and many more). Thousands upon thousands were attending to Him and myriads upon myriads were standing before Him as the books were opened. The “little horn,” still blaspheming with arrogant and boastful words, was then slain with body destroyed and given to the burning fire. The rest of the beasts had their dominion taken away, but an extension of life was granted to them for an appointed period of time (Daniel 7:9-12).

-Then, the Majestic Son of Man, the Messiah, was coming with the clouds of heaven and presented to the Ancient of Days (the Father). “To Him was given dominion, glory and a Kingdom that all the peoples, nations, and men of every language might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which will not pass away; and His Kingdom is one, which will not be destroyed (Daniel 7:13-14).”

-Daniel approached one of those who were standing by (an angel) and inquired what all this meant. The angelic being stated, “These great beasts, which are four in number, are four kings who will arise from the earth. But the saints of the Highest One will receive the Kingdom and possess the Kingdom forever, for all ages to come (Daniel 7:16-18).” Daniel did further investigation into the forth beast because of its diversity and exceeding power along with the ten horns and especially the “little horn” because it boasted against the Holy One becoming larger than his associates. As Daniel kept looking, “that horn was waging war with the saints and overpowering them until the Ancient of Days came and judgment was passed in favor of the saints of the Highest One, and the time arrived when the saints took possession of the Kingdom (Daniel 7:20-22).” The angel further noted the devouring and treading down qualities on this forth worldly empire that wear down the saints. This “little horn,” or Anti-Christ as we know him later, “will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time (Daniel 7:23-25).” This is no doubt the second half of the tribulation discussed in other parts of prophetic Scripture known as the Great Tribulation, which lasts 3 ½ years (Daniel 12:7, Matthew 24:14-22, Revelation 12:14). “But the court will sit for judgment, and his dominion will be taken away, annihilated and destroyed forever. Then the sovereignty, the dominion and the greatness of all the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be given to the people of the saints of the Highest One: His Kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all the dominions will serve and obey Him (Daniel 7:26-27).”

-*Application* After all is said and done in this drama on earth, the saints of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, will reign supreme with Him in complete obedience and worship. What a day it will be when our journey is complete and we can rest in euphoric victory. While we, like Daniel, can get perplexed, alarmed, and worn down at the current world situation, we can always be confident in the fact that our God is sovereign and the ultimate conqueror! And His Kingdom is everlasting!


Verses to Memorize: Daniel 7:17-18

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Daniel- Chapter 6

Daniel 6


-Now in the time of the Medes and Persians, ruled by Darius the Mede, Daniel was made one of the top three commissioners in the empire with plans by the king to appoint him over the entire kingdom. Daniel continued to show the extraordinary character and spirit he had possessed in the Babylonian Kingdom (Daniel 6:1-3). It was at this point that jealous enemies of him plotted together to usurp his authority in an effort to bring him down. It was no doubt a power struggle full of envy and deceit, and they were capable of tricking King Darius into making a foolish decision. The commissioners and satraps (a kind of governor over parts of the realm) looked for grounds to accuse Daniel in regard to government affairs; “but they could find no ground of accusation or evidence of corruption, inasmuch as he was faithful, and no negligence or corruption was to be found in him (Daniel 6:4).” Therefore, they finally realized that if they were to accuse him it would have to be in regard to the Law of his God (Daniel 6:5). It was at this point they came together “by agreement” to the king and presented a potential injunction aimed at deifying the king and exposing Daniel. The injunction would be signed and sealed according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which meant that it could not, under any circumstances, be revoked (Daniel 6:6-8). King Darius thoughtlessly signed the document into law basically sealing Daniel’s fate unbeknownst to him. When Daniel knew fully that the injunction was signed, he continued to enter his house’s roof chamber with opened window toward Jerusalem (which was commanded by the higher law of God, 1 Kings 8:26-54) in order to pray and give thanks to his God on his knees three times a day as he had been doing previously (Daniel 6:9-10). This was not a rebellion to the foreign king’s authority, but an answer to a higher call from the LORD according to His covenant with Israel.

-These enemies of Daniel’s “by agreement” found him making petition and supplication before his God, and then they approached the king to make accusation against the “exile from Judah.” They told him that Daniel paid no attention to the injunction to worship only the king, which was true but extremely underhanded in an act of sabotage. As soon as the king received this news he was “deeply distressed” according to the text, and he began setting his mind on delivering Daniel well into the night. He fasted that evening and refused entertainment in a restless night (Daniel 6:11-14, 18). As Daniel was cast into the lion’s den, the king was encouraging to him with these words, “Your God whom you constantly serve will Himself deliver you (Daniel 6:16).” A stone was brought and put over the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet ring for official procedure according to the law (Daniel 6:17). After his sleepless night, the king rose from his chamber at dawn and went in haste to the lion’s den. He cried out with a troubled voice, “Daniel, servant of the Living God, has your God, whom you constantly serve, been able to deliver you from the lions (Daniel 6:19-20)?” Daniel responded, “O king, live forever! My God sent His angel and shut the lions’ mouths and they have not harmed me, inasmuch as I was found innocent before Him; and also towards you, O king, I have committed no crime (Daniel 6:21-22).” A “very pleased” king had Daniel taken up out of the den, and no injury whatsoever was found on him, “because he had trusted in his God (Daniel 6:23).” Now with the king coming to his full senses in discernment, he had the men who had “maliciously accused Daniel” brought to the lions’ den along with their wives and children and had them thrown in. Before they even reached the bottom of the den, the lions overpowered them and crushed all their bones (Daniel 6:24). This signified a complete abolition of the enemies of God and a new day dawned in the kingdom. Darius proclaimed that peace should abound from this point on. He made a decree as well that in all his dominion men were to fear and tremble before the God of Daniel. “For He is the Living God and enduring forever, and His Kingdom is one which will not be destroyed, and His Dominion will be forever. He delivers and rescues and performs signs and wonders in heaven and on earth, Who has also delivered Daniel from the power of the lions (Daniel 6:25-27).” The final summation is that Daniel enjoyed success not only for the remaining years of Darius’ reign, but also in the reign of Cyrus the Persian (Daniel 6:28).

-*Application* How often do we follow the higher law of God when faced with a conundrum with our own government? Follow your convictions based on the Word of God and trust in Him. Constantly serve your Master and He will take good care of you, even when enemies arise. He is the true Deliver, and He is mighty to save (Psalm 18:2, Isaiah 63:1)!


Verses to Memorize: Daniel 6:16, 23

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Daniel- Chapter 5

Daniel 5


-The power packed book of Daniel moves on to the reign of Belshazzar, Nebuchadezzar’s son, and his great feast with wine for a thousand of his nobles. During the course of this event he sent orders to bring out the gold and silver vessels retrieved from their conquest of the Temple in Jerusalem. They wanted to use the holy vessels in celebrating with pagan worship in the praise of “the gods of gold and silver, bronze, iron, wood, and stone (Daniel 5:1-4).” Suddenly and miraculously the fingers of the hand of God appeared and began writing opposite the lampstand on the plaster of the wall of the king’s palace. Belshazzar saw the back of His hand as It wrote making his face grow pale with alarmed thoughts in his mind, as we could all imagine. Further, the king’s hip joints went slack and his knees began knocking together. In delirium he summoned the conjurers of his kingdom and the diviners offering purple (royal) clothing with a golden necklace along with authority as third ruler in the kingdom if they could read the inscription and interpret its message (Daniel 5:5-7). None could do the job, which alarmed the king all the more and gave greater consternation and perplexity (Daniel 5:8-9). Then the queen entered the narrative with some calming assurances to the king and a recommendation for seeking out Daniel, or in his Babylonian name Belteshazzar. We can tell from the text that He came highly recommended and respected at this point, and with good reason from his reputation under Nebuchadnezzar. He is described by the pagan Babylonians as having the spirit of the holy gods with all illumination, insight, wisdom, knowledge, interpretation of dreams, explanation of enigmas, and solving of difficult problems. He displayed in their eyes “an extraordinary spirit (Daniel 5:10-12).” They were confident in going to him for bringing clarity to the situation.

-Daniel was indeed brought before the king and introductions were made as to his place and rank as a captive of the kingdom from Judah. The sovereign king promised Daniel all the gifts and rewards he previously made to his own conjurers and diviners. Daniel however showed no fondness for material gain or authority. He was only interested in making the proper interpretation from the LORD. After extoling Belshazzar’s father for his acknowledgement of the Most High God after His intense discipline, Daniel informs the king of his knowledge of the self-exultation of himself, the degradation of the Temple vessels, and the idol worship, which was against the Lord of heaven. He then interpreted the inscription: “Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin= God has numbered your kingdom and put an end to it—you have been weighed on the scales and found deficient—your kingdom has been divided and given over to the Medes and Persians (Daniel 5:13-28).” Surprisingly, Belshazzar orders Daniel to be given the purple clothes of royalty, the golden necklace, and authority as the third ruler in the kingdom (Daniel 5:29). This is probably indicative of Daniel respect and submission to the king even in giving bad news. “That same night Belshazzar the Chaldean king was slain. So Darius the Mede received the kingdom (just as prophesized, Daniel 2:39; 5:28) at about the age of sixty-two (Daniel 5:30-31).”

-*Application* Sometimes we humans have a short memory, and find ourselves reverting back to idolatry even after the LORD has shown Himself all-powerful and extremely gracious. Don’t let time fade or even erase your acknowledgement and reliance on the God on this universe. Remember Him, this is a biblical command (Ecclesiastes 12:1). Not for just a little while, but for a lifetime.


Verse to Memorize: Daniel 5:23

Friday, June 19, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Daniel- Chapter 4

Daniel 4


-The “in and out” relationship, or maybe a better word is acknowledgement, between Nebuchadnezzar and the LORD comes full circle in this fourth chapter of Daniel. The chapter begins with the king’s declaring God’s peace in the aftermath of His divine encounter with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. Nebuchadnezzar is also proclaiming “How great are His signs and how mighty are His wonders! His Kingdom is an everlasting Kingdom and His dominion is from generation to generation (Daniel 4:1-3).”

-Then, at what seemed like the peak of his authority and recognition of God as a legitimate force, the LORD sends another dream upon him, which mystifies both him and his enchanters. Finally Daniel is called in before the king to interpret once again by the grace and power of the Almighty. He is cordial to the sovereign king wishing him no trouble, but he is honest in reflecting what is about to come upon the leader of the known world at that time. Nebuchadnezzar’s tree of power had grown large and was visible to the end of the whole earth. It was a fruitful kingdom and provided for creation. God had set up this kingdom, and He deserved the appreciation of it. What the LORD forecasted was that Nebuchadnezzar would take all the credit for his rise and receive the glory unto himself rather than giving credit to the Sovereign King of the universe. The king would be cut down, given the mind of an animal, live outside, and become totally unkempt with his glory absolutely gone for seven periods of time (years). This happened 12 months after Daniel had interpreted the disturbing dream to the king. Walking on the roof of his palace (much like King David before he fell into sin, 2 Samuel 11-12), the king gets conceited in his accomplishments saying, “Is this not Babylon the great, which I myself have built as a royal residence by the might of my power and for the glory of my majesty?” While he was still speaking these prideful words the LORD declared that “sovereignty has been removed from you.” God further stated that Nebuchadnezzar’s abilities would be taken completely away until he recognized “that the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind and bestows it on whomever He wishes (Daniel 4:4-32).”

-But, after seven years of torment and disaster for the former glorious king, he came back to his senses and reason when he raised his eyes toward heaven and blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever (Daniel 4:33-34a). God’s Kingdom is an everlasting Kingdom from generation to generation doing all that He desires according to His will. No one can ward off His Hand or say to Him, “What have You done (Daniel 4:34b-35)?” The king’s glory and splendor were returned to him and he regained his authority with his people. Surpassing greatness was even added to him as he acknowledged the God of Heaven (Daniel 4:36). His final quote in Scripture is apropos, “Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise, exalt and honor the King of Heaven, for all His works are true and His way just, and He is able to humble those who walk in pride (Daniel 4:37).”

-*Application* How many times do we forget to recognize in our own lives that God is in complete control? How would it change our approach to life if we would simply acknowledge the LORD and give Him the complete glory and praise for what He rightly deserves? We are the sheep of His pasture (Psalm 100:3-5). Follow Him and give Him acknowledgement. He raises up those whom He desires and lowers those whom He wishes. The recent NBA finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers was an excellent example of this if one paid close attention to what the players were saying and giving credit to.


Verse to Memorize: Daniel 4:37

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Daniel- Chapter 3

Daniel 3


-Chapter details one of the most commonly told miracles of the Old Testament with the event of the Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego (Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah) survival of the fiery furnace. Nebuchadnezzar’s worship of the Living God from Daniel 2:46-47 was apparently short lived as he had built for himself and his empire a golden statue, which was 90 feet tall and 9 feet wide, on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. All of his leadership as well all the peoples, nations, and men of every language that they had conquered were expected to bow before this statue of gold. This was quite possibly a puffed up and conceited implementation of the head of gold he was given in his dream which Daniel interpreted (see Daniel 2:32, 37-38). When the music played from their diverse instruments, obedience and homage was mandatory (Daniel 3:1-7). This was a common practice in ancient subjugations. The vanquished was expected to take on the conquerors god or gods and worship them since their god was not able to save them from the takeover. The Hebrews were a stark contrast to this system, which denotes the enduring power of Yahweh, their True and Living God. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abedo-nego became the focal point of Jewish resistance to the king’s command when certain Chaldeans came forward and brought charges for their refusal to bow down to the idol. In rage and anger the jilted Nebuchadnezzar gave orders to bring these captives, who had become leaders in his kingdom (Daniel 2:49), before him to explain their position. Nebuchadnezzar gave them another chance to worship his golden image with the threat of them being immediately cast into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire if they refused his command. He taunted the God of the universe overtly in stating, “What god is there who can deliver you out of my hands (Daniel 3:15)?” The three Hebrew amigos replied that they did not need to give the king an answer concerning this matter. They confidently asserted, “If it (the king’s punishment) be so, our God whom we serve is ABLE (emphasis mine) to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up (Daniel 3:17-18). This response filled the pagan king with wrath to the point of his facial expression being altered toward them (Daniel 3:19). He ordered the furnace to be heated up seven times (the number of perfection, so it was perfectly hot) more than it typically was. It was so dangerously hot that the valiant warriors of his forces that threw the Hebrews into fire were consumed by the blaze (Daniel 3:22). The Jewish friends were tied up in their trousers, their coats, their caps, and their other clothes and cast into the fire. Then, an astounding and miraculous thing occurred. Nebuchadnezzar observed the three Hebrews, along with a forth “like a son of the gods” person loosed and walking about in the midst of the fiery furnace (Daniel 3:24-25). This forth person is a mysterious being of conjecture. Apparently it was either an angel of the LORD, or possibly the LORD Himself in a theophany. Nonetheless, Nebuchadnezzar’s heart changed again in an instant. He called out Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego to come out of the fire as servants of the “Most High God (Daniel 3:26).” The government leaders (satraps, prefects, governors, king’s high officials) gathered around to verify that these men had no effects from the fire on their persons. Not a hair of their head was singed, nor their trousers damaged, nor had any smell of fire at all come upon them (Daniel 3:27). Nebuchadnezzar further praised and blessed their God who had sent His angel to deliver them because of their trust and obedience to their LORD despite his command. The king extoled their courage and bravery to yield up their bodies “so as not to serve or worship any god except their own God (Daniel 3:28).” A new decree was made “that any people, nation, or tongue that speaks anything offensive against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, or Abed-nego shall be torn limb from limb and their houses reduced to a rubbish heap, inasmuch as there is no other god who is able to deliver in this way (Daniel 3:29).” The king caused these courageous young men to flourish and prosper from that point on in the province of Babylon (Daniel 3:30). These wise men, along with Daniel, are thought to have influenced the magi from the east who later came to see baby Jesus as the promised Messiah (Matthew 2:1-12).

-*Application* Capitulation to a worldly system or ethic is far easier it seems at first glance than to resist the tide of corruption. We are faced with these issues every day in American culture. While it may not seem as drastic as the sacrifice of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, the results can feel virtually the same. Take for example a real life scenario I recently heard. This man was a manager of a general merchandise store and was a Christian. Often in the morning he would come early and read his Bible in his office before starting the work day. A homosexual individual who came to work with him at the store became offended when he observed the Word of God displayed on his boss’ desk. This individual complained to their corporate superiors, and the Christian was threatened to lose his job if he didn’t put the Bible away. Threatened with a decision like this, what would you do? He needed the job’s income for his family’s survival, but He also felt an obligation to stand up for his beliefs and his Lord. The believer told them that they could fire him if they wanted to for his convictions. He had been very successful and the Lord had blessed his work. The Bible would stay on his desk or he would leave the job. The final result is that they backed down and let him express his faith by having his Bible on his desk. A modern day miracle you could say, right?  The conclusion to this story is that some time later he noticed on the surveillance camera in his office that this homosexual individual was going into his office and actually reading his Bible. Through continuing to work together with mutual respect for each other’s opinions, this gay man eventually ended up accepting Christ as his Savior, and his life was changed forever. A powerful testimony to the courage it takes to make a real difference in our modern world I would say. Now let’s go and do the same!


Verses to Memorize: Daniel 3:17-18, 28

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Daniel- Chapter 2

Daniel 2


-In the second year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign, the king had dreams that were puzzling and terrifying to the point of robbing his majesty of sleep. Apparently, con artists and deception were known to have been common place in the Babylonian realm, which necessitated an opportunity for the genuine article to come front and center with Daniel and the true Living God. Nebuchadnezzar enforced strict rules that his dream must be declared to him along with its proper interpretation, or he would have the imposters “torn limb from limb” and have their houses “be made a rubbish heap (Daniel 2:1-5).” Great gifts, reward, and honor were promised to the one who could tell the king his dream and interpret it though (Daniel 2:6). It got to the point where Arioch, the captain of the king’s bodyguard, was going out to find and kill the wisemen of Babylon before Daniel became aware and begged for more time to seek the LORD on the matter of this mystery (Daniel 2:7-16). Immediately Daniel went to his house and informed his friends (Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah) about the matter that “they might request compassion from the God of Heaven” to avoid being destroyed (Daniel 2:17-18).

-“Then the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of Heaven (Daniel 2:19).” Daniel declared His wisdom and power forever and ever as the One who could change the times and the epochs raising up kings and removing them. The LORD is the One who gives all wisdom to wise men and knowledge to men of understanding. He is the Revealer of the profound and hidden things because He knows what is in the darkness and Light dwells with Him. Daniel further praised the God of his fathers for the wisdom, discernment, and revelation for the king’s matter (Daniel 2:20-23).

-Daniel went in haste to Arioch with the word not to destroy the wise men of Babylon. He wanted to go straight into the king’s presence with the boldness of his interpretation given to him by the LORD. He made it clearly known that it was not him, but God, that had provided this wisdom for interpretation, and then he presented the dream and its meaning unto Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 2:24-30). In the dream, the king saw a single great statue, which was large and extraordinary in splendor with an awesome appearance. The head was of gold, which Daniel interpreted to be Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonian Empire [606-539 B.C.] (Daniel 2:31-32a, 36-38). The statue’s breast and arms were of silver, which was the succeeding kingdom of the Medo-Persian Empire [539-331 B.C.] that was somewhat inferior to the grandeur of the Babylonian time (Daniel 2:32b, 39a). The statue’s belly and thighs were made of bronze reflecting the Greek Empire [331-146 B.C.], which was the third kingdom that ruled the known earth under Alexander the Great (Daniel 2:32c, 39b). The statue had legs of iron with feet partly of iron mixed with clay. This was the Roman Empire [146 B.C.-A.D. 476] that existed during the time of the coming of the Messiah. It was as strong as iron crushing and shattering all who opposed them, but then it crumbled from within with some strong parts and some very weak spots. The empire was dismantled because it did not adhere well to its components, just as Daniel saw and interpreted (Daniel 2:33, 40-43).

-The Divine Kingdom is most worth noting from this dream and its interpretation. The Stone that struck this statue, or these kingdoms, down became a great mountain and filled the whole earth (Daniel 2:35, Matthew 24:14). This Kingdom is not left for another people to conquer. It will eventually crush and put an end to all other kingdoms and endure forever. So, “The dream is true,” Daniel says, “and its interpretation is trustworthy (Daniel 2:44-45).” This is none other than the first incarnation of Jesus Christ and His dominance through this church age filling Heaven with the glory of all the nations coming to the truth of His saving grace for eternal life (Matthew 21:33-44, Mark 12:1-11, Luke 20:9-18).

-When Nebuchadnezzar realized that Daniel had given him the dream as well as a brilliant interpretation that was beneficial to him, he fell on his face and paid homage to the prophet of God and gave him offerings and fragrant incense. He acknowledged the God of the universe as God of gods and Lord of kings, and the Revealer of mysteries (Daniel 2:46-47). Daniel was promoted to the king’s court and given many great gifts. He was the ruler over the whole province of Babylon and chief prefect over all the wise men of the land. Daniel had his faithful friends Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego (Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah) promoted as well over the administration of the province of Babylon at Daniel’s request of the king (Daniel 2:48-49).  

-*Application* There is much we can grab from this narrative that applies directly to our lives in the here and now. God knows the mind, every part of it, and can observe it and explain it to the minutest detail. Only God can interpret dreams and give understanding to the things that puzzle us. Beware of those trying to gain credit and a big name for themselves with so called interpretations of wisdom based on human knowledge that has nothing to do with the LORD. God should always get the glory in your life. Rely on Him and His understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6). Further, we are privileged to be living in the fulfillment of the Divine Kingdom expansion. This church age has a commission to heed (Matthew 28:18-20) and a commandment to follow (Matthew 22:36-40). The Kingdom of Jesus Christ will never be thwarted or undermined. It is established with an Eternal King and will not be overthrown. God has the victory! Finally, grab hold of good and faithful friends and employ them in the ministry God has equipped you for. Kingdom work is never a one person show.


Verses to Memorize: Daniel 2:35, 44

Monday, June 15, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Daniel- Chapter 1

Daniel 1


-Introduction: Daniel’s prophecy is written in approximately 536 B.C. during the reign of Cyrus, King of Persia. It records events and prophecies given during the time of the Judean exile in Babylon between the periods from approximately 605 B.C. until 536 B.C. This was the captivity which Jeremiah predicted as a contemporary, and Ezekiel and Habakkuk wrote during. Daniel was deported as one of the first captives in the third year of Jehoiakim’s reign in Judah. He was carried off with other exiles from the sons of Israel including some of the royal family and their nobles (Daniel 1:1-3). Themes of this book revolve around the sovereignty of God under all situations and circumstances. Daniel rose to prestigious positions in two major world powers, that being Babylon and the Medio-Persian Empire. He lived and served God under Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, Darius, and Cyrus. He proved that man can live for God and be blessed by Him under extreme persecution and the outlawing of worship to the Living LORD. The later portion of the book from chapters 7-12 have been called “the key to all biblical prophecy (New American Standard Bible: Life Application Study Bible, Zondervan: Grand Rapids, MI, 1995, Pg. 1418).” Daniels dreams and visions unlock the coming of the Messiah to the exact date in human history, as well as releasing many “end of days” promises by God. Read this book in prayer and ultimate direction from the Holy Spirit, and you will receive all the wisdom, discernment, and understanding of the Almighty revealed through His servant, Daniel.

-Chapter 1- The partial capturing of Jerusalem and Judea during the reign of Jehoiakim resulted in the deportation of some of the best of the Hebrew youth (2 Kings 24 1-5, 2 Chronicles 36:5-8, Jeremiah 25, Daniel 1:1-4). When Daniel, along with his countrymen-kinsmen from Judah, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah (better known by their Babylonian given names of Shadrach, Meshach, and Aded-nego), were appointed a daily ration from the king of Babylon’s choice food and wine, they politely requested that they be allowed to eat vegetables and water. Verse eight sums up the sentiment, “But Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself with the king’s choice food or with wine which he drank; so he sought permission from the commander of the officials (Ashpenaz, Daniel 1:3) that he might not defile himself (Daniel 1:8).” This indicates that some of the food given by the Babylonians was unclean by the Law of God given through Moses. Now God granted Daniel and his Hebrew companions favor and compassion in the sight of their overseers and a ten day test was given to see how their diet would fair (Daniel 1:9-14). At the end of ten days it could be discerned that their appearance seemed better and their body fat thicker than all the youths who had been eating at the king’s choice food (Daniel 1:15). Therefore, the overseer kept withholding their unclean food and providing them healthy vegetables. These four youths were given knowledge and intelligence in every branch of literature and wisdom during their three year training for the king’s service. Not one was found in all the land like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, and they were pressed into the king’s personal service (Daniel 1:5, 16-19). In fact, for every matter of wisdom and understanding in consulting the king they were found ten times better than all the magicians and conjurers who were in his realm (Daniel 1:20). The last verse of the first chapter shows us that the book was written over a long period of time as Daniel continued to serve through the Persian King Cyrus when the Hebrews were allowed to re-enter their Promised Land to rebuild their Temple (2 Chronicles 36:22-23, Ezra 1).

-*Application* Imagine having to be deported over 500 miles through harsh conditions as a slave to a foreign empire that did not embrace your God or your cultural laws. Imagine the good life gone and an intense struggle to maintain your identity and character under peer pressure and opulent indulgence. In some ways we can imagine it, in others we simply can’t identify. While America has its allures and temptations, to this point we have been free to choose. Daniel and his friends are a shining example of standing out for righteousness and how God can garner favor and compassion upon those who are willing to stand for Him and do the proper thing. Dare to be a Daniel. Resist fear, capitulation, and compromise to incur the favor of the Almighty. Remember that He reigns in every situation no matter what the circumstance feels like.


Verse to Memorize: Daniel 1:8

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Leviticus- Chapter 27

Leviticus 27


-The last chapter of Leviticus deals, strangely enough, with keeping vows and the valuation (def.- the act or process of valuing specific usually to the appraisal of property, the estimated or determined market value of a thing) or redemption in those vows. As we have seen in this book, the Israelites were required to give or dedicate certain items and things to the LORD and His priests. They were to give the firstfruits of their harvest, the firstborn of their animals, their firstborn sons, and a tithe of their increase (Leviticus 23:10; 27:30, Numbers 3:13). A lot of the people went beyond the commanded giving and desired to give more of themselves to their King. In the process of this, some made rash or unrealistic promises and had to go back on what they had committed. There was basically set up a 20% penalty for doing this according to the Law. There were some things that could not be taken back of course (Leviticus 27:9-10). Real estate was covered in this valuation giving in much the same way we see today through wills and donations to charitable organizations (Leviticus 27:14-25). The things set apart, or devoted, to destruction has application to the things that God would ban like captured booty from idol-worshipers or their idols themselves. These types of things were to be destroyed. They could not be redeemed (Leviticus 27:29). The tithe is consummated in the final verses with some principles outlined for cheerful giving (Leviticus 27:30-33, 2 Corinthians 9:7). The final phrase of the book sums it all up, “These are the commandments which the LORD commanded Moses for the sons of Israel at Mount Sinai (Leviticus 27:34).”

-*Application* What we learn here is the fact that God takes our promises seriously, so we should too. Stewardship is costly, and God expects us to fulfill our vows when we make them. So consider the cost before committing anything to the LORD. Further, tithing is one thing the Scripture says that we can test God on (Malachi 3:10). So, if you are not in the habit of giving the commanded 10% of your income to the LORD, and most American Christians are not, resolve to change your priorities. Has God saved your wallet yet?


Verse to Memorize: Leviticus 27:34

Monday, June 8, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Leviticus- Chapter 26

Leviticus 26


-This chapter outlines the blessings of obedience and the penalties of disobedience for the nation of Israel with significance to the Christian walk. God begins with telling His children not to make idols, images, or sacred pillars of false worship (worthiness). He is the LORD their God, and His people are commanded to keep His Sabbaths and reverence His sanctuary. His people are to walk in His statutes and carry out His commands. If this happens, He will give them rain in its season, and the land will produce abundantly for their provision. Peace will also be in the land that follows God’s rules, and along with that, security. They are guaranteed to chase their enemies away and have complete victory over them. They will multiply and be strong in the LORD. God’s dwelling will be among them, and His soul will not reject them. The Deliverer will break the bars of the yoke of every kind of slavery and make them walk erect (Leviticus 26:1-13).

-On the other hand, a severe warning is issued for disobedience in not carrying out all of God’s commands. If they reject His statutes and abhor His ordinances, the LORD will appoint sudden terror, consumption, and fever that will waste away the eyes and cause the soul to pine away. Fruitless will be the result in the field. Their enemies will strike them down, and those they hate will rule over them. They will be afraid and flee even when no one is pursuing them. They will be punished seven times for their sins. The pride of power will be broken down and drought will consume their land. Plagues and disease will result, and the beasts of the field will destroy their cattle and reduce the human population. Their roads will lie desolate. Cannibalism and the constant threat of being conquered will be their plight as their idols are destroyed, their cities are laid waste, and they are scattered to the foreign nations. Then the LORD’s land will enjoy its Sabbaths all the days of Israel’s desolation and exile. The remnants left in the land will have weakness in their hearts, and they will have no power. Many of God’s people will perish among the nations and the enemy will consume their Promised Land due to their iniquity. This actually did happen eventually in Israel as the ten northern tribes were lost to antiquity and the southern kingdom eventually was consumed by Gentile powers even though God’s plan was carried out through Jesus Christ (2 Kings 18:10-12, Daniel 2).  This is the awful promise for transgressing their God (Leviticus 26:14-43).

-Despite their unfaithfulness, God in the end declares, “Yet in spite of this, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not reject them, nor will I so abhor them as to destroy them, breaking My covenant with them; for I am the LORD their God. But I will remember for them the covenant with their ancestors, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the nations, that I might be their God. I am the LORD (Leviticus 26:42, 44-45).” “These are the statutes and ordinances and laws which the LORD established between Himself and the sons of Israel through Moses at Mount Sinai (Leviticus 26:46).”

-*Application* If we want to walk in the fruitfulness of God’s provision, we must obey Him and walk in fellowship with His desires. Setting up our own agenda is tantamount to idol worship and brings His displeasure with our lives. The question for us today is this: do we want God’s way or our own? He clearly presents the blessings and the solemn warnings to both the children of Israel, our own nation, and individually as people. The choice is always ours. So God clearly sets before us the path of life or destruction (Deuteronomy 28). We are without excuse.


Verses to Memorize: Leviticus 1:9, 12, 44

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Leviticus- Chapter 25

Leviticus 25


-The twenty-fifth chapter deals with requirements for the sabbatic year, the year of jubilee, slavery, and the rights of the poor for redemption. God expected His people to comply fully when they entered their Promised Land, but sadly from history we see little, or often no, evidence that they fulfilled the laws presented here for letting the land rest. In fact, this is one of the reasons that God took them temporarily from their land (2 Chronicles 36:19-21, Jeremiah 25:11). When God gives a command, He has every right to judge the breaking of it. He promised to provide plenty (Leviticus 25:18-22). He disdained their lack of faith when they did not trust Him. Further, God’s principle of not wronging one another and living in the fear of Him is the key point of this passage (Leviticus 25:17).

-Moreover, redemption is an important theme as we weave our way through this lengthy chapter. The land was not to be sold as permanent concern, for the land was the LORD’s, and His people were simply sojourning on earth with Him (Leviticus 25:23). The year of jubilee would revert all land back to its original ownership within the tribes of Israel with the exception of the clause of sale within a walled city (Leviticus 25:28-30). Levites were also given permanent rights to redemption in their possession no matter what the situation (Leviticus 25:32-34).

-Issues regarding the poor are covered in detail as the chapter moves on. Usury was outlawed with fellow countrymen, which has served the Jewish people well in their financial convictions (Leviticus 25:35-38). A Jewish countryman was not allowed to be considered a slave, but was to be regarded as a hired man, like a sojourner, until the year of jubilee. Then, he was free to go back to his family and the property of his forefathers (Leviticus 25:39-42). Another key principle is outlined in verse 43, “You shall not rule over him with severity, but are to revere your God.” Kindness was exemplified by the LORD in His abiding commands. Males and females from pagan nations were authorized to become slaves of the nation of Israel. They could even be passed down through the generations to the sons as permanent possessions (Leviticus 25:44-46). Jewish people who became so poor that they sold themselves to strangers, or sojourners, in the land were given special rights to redemption. Any of the blood relatives could purchase them back if they were so able and inclined. They could even redeem themselves if they prospered (Leviticus 25:47-49). Redemption price was to be calculated fairly and consistently with freedom again coming in the year of jubilee. Once again the refraining from severity in ruling over people is stressed along with the fact that the children of God are His servants whom He brought out from the slavery in Egypt (Leviticus 50-55).

-*Application* Not wronging one another and living in the fear of the LORD is what we must meditate on today. Love is the antidote for the restrictions and reasons for the Law. Jesus has overcome the Law and has abolished its condemnation through His overriding grace and mercy. We have an obligation to reverence and give complete awe to this One who made all things right and reconciled the world to Himself (2 Corinthians 5:18-19). Jesus is our redemption!


Verses to Memorize: Leviticus 25:4, 10, 17

Friday, June 5, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Leviticus- Chapter 24

Leviticus 24


-This chapter has two distinct parts beginning with the LORD’s command for the lamp and the bread in His sanctuary of the Tabernacle and later the Temple. Oil beaten from olives would make for a continual light in His presence. This was to be a perpetual statute throughout their generations. They were to be kept in order on the pure gold lampstand before the LORD. Then they were instructed to take fine flour and bake 12 cakes, line them up in two rows of six on the pure gold table before the LORD. They were also required to put pure frankincense on each row as a memorial portion for the bread; it was to be an offering by fire to the LORD (Leviticus 24:1-7). The sons of Aaron were to eat of it weekly as a symbol of God’s everlasting covenant with Israel, His portion forever (Leviticus 24:8-9).

-In the middle of these legal stipulations for the inner court of the LORD, a narrative is introduced of a struggle between a son of an Israelite woman whose father was an Egyptian and an Israelite. In the process of this fight the son of the Israelite woman from the tribe of Dan whose father was an Egyptian cursed the Name of the LORD by blaspheming. This lad was brought to Moses, and he was put in custody so that they might receive a clear command from God on the matter. It was not long before the LORD gave direction to have the one who cursed Him brought outside the camp, have the witnesses place their hands on his head, and then have the guilty one stoned to death with stones from the congregation. God instructs, “If anyone curses God, then he will bear his sin (Leviticus 24:15).” The LORD goes on further to pronounce a death sentence on anyone who blasphemes His Name, alien or native (Leviticus 24:16).

-The well-known section aptly titled “an eye for an eye” constitutes the concluding seven verses of this chapter (Leviticus 24:17-23). Here we see the justification for the death penalty in Israel as well as the principle of retribution. It is a standardized method of dealing with conflicts whether it be the stranger or the native in the land. Because God is just and fair, so should His Law be. Remember however that these laws were meant to restrain evil, they could not impute any righteousness. For that a sacrifice had to be made, which pointed ultimately to Jesus Christ.

-*Application* First, the light and the bread are indicative of the coming Messiah and His eternal presence through His Holy Spirit. The Spirit, like this statute, is to be perpetual and continual in the believer’s life. Jesus Himself said that He was the Light of the world and the Bread of life (John 6:33-35, 48-51; 8:12). Let’s live in His glory continually (Matthew 5:14-16). The frankincense symbolizes the great Name of God in His Divinity and is an emblem of prayer (Malachi 1:11). This is probably the reason for this narrative we have here dealing with the Name of God and the blaspheming of it. In the New Testament we are warned by our Lord not to blaspheme His Holy Spirit (Matthew 12:31-32). This is the unpardonable sin, a rejection of His saving Name. There is much debate, even in the Christian world concerning the statutes on the death penalty and retribution for wrongs done. Most in our culture tend to err on the side of grace, which is not a terrible thing if you’ve ever been caught in your trespasses. The principles of pay backs is important to consider here, and we will be blessed if we have the heart of Zaccheus when we realize we have done people wrong (Luke 19:1-9). It all comes back down to the heart now doesn’t it?

Verses to Memorize: Leviticus 24:19-20

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Leviticus- Chapter 23

Leviticus 23


-This important chapter covers the LORD’s appointed times for festivals and holidays in the Jewish community. He speaks again through Moses to the sons of Israel these “holy convocations” designed to help them remember their past and look forward to the fulfillment of His magnificent promises through the Messiah. He starts with the weekly observance of Shabbat. This day of complete rest in all their dwellings was designed to help the people reflect and repose with the congregation and their families.

-Next, the LORD presents, again (Exodus 12:11-51), Passover as an appointed festival beginning at twilight on the fourteenth day of the first month (Leviticus 23:5). This was accompanied by the Feast of Unleavened Bread on the following day (Leviticus 23:6-8). This observance lasted seven days with no laborious work and no leaven to be eaten in their bread. They were instructed to present an offering by fire to the LORD and then have a holy convocation on the first and last days. Passover reminded the people of God’s deliverance, and the Feast of Unleavened Bread reminded the people that they were leaving the old life of sin behind and entering a new reality with the LORD. It was during this time period thousands of years later when Jesus Christ offered His life on the cross for the redemption of all mankind, which makes this particular holiday ultra-important in many senses (Matthew 26:2, 17, Mark 14:1, 12, Luke 22:1, 7-8, John 13:1).

-The festival of First Fruits is then prescribed by God to Moses for the people of Israel (Leviticus 23:9-14). As they enter the Promised Land they were commanded to reap the harvest that the LORD will give them and bring in the sheaf (omer- newly cut ears of grain) of the first fruits to present them thankfully before the LORD for His acceptance. These were to be given to the priest for a wave offering on the day after the Sabbath. On that day the priest would then offer a male lamb, one year old and without defect, for a burnt offering to the LORD. A grain offering is also instituted of two-tenths of an ephah (approximately a bushel in our English measurement system) of fine flour mixed with oil presented as a soothing aroma by fire unto God. Along with that, a drink offering was to be offered consisting of approximately a forth of a gallon of wine. The people were not allowed to eat any of the new bread nor roasted grain until they had first honored the LORD with His provision. It was to be a perpetual statute throughout their generations in all their dwelling places as a reminder of the goodness of God to endow.

-Further, after seven complete Sabbaths, 50 days to the day after the seventh Sabbath, a new grain offering was to be presented to the LORD (Leviticus 23:15-22). This was the celebration of Pentecost (50), or otherwise known as Weeks. This one day event marked the end of the barley harvest and the beginning of the wheat harvest as summer was ensuing. It once again represented the joy and thanksgiving of God’s bountiful harvest provision. This coincides exactly with when the Holy Spirit came upon the earth in the New Covenant fulfillment of promise to indwell believers after Christ’s ascension (Acts 1:4-5; 2:1-47). The instructions for this feast included the bringing in of two loaves of bread for a wave offering baked with leaven this time as the “first fruits” to present to the LORD. Along with the bread, seven lambs a year old without defect, a bull from the herd, and two rams were to be given as burnt offerings to the Sovereign God. With their grain offering and drink offering they were to present a soothing aroma by fire unto the LORD. Additionally, a male goat was required to be offered as a sin payment and two lambs, both a year old, were to be sacrificed as a peace offering. The priest would wave them with the bread of the first fruits with two lambs before the LORD; “they are to be holy to the LORD for the priest (Leviticus 23:20).” On the very same day a proclamation was to be made to have another “holy convocation.” No laborious work was to be done, and this feast was also to be “a perpetual statute in all your dwelling places throughout your generations (Leviticus 23:21).” A final provision for the needy and the alien was given because they were expected to be courteous and generous since the kind and giving LORD was their God.

-In verse 23 the text picks up with the fall feasts, which starts with the Feast of Trumpets (Leviticus 23:23-25). This one day event at the beginning of the seventh month, or the civil Jewish New Year, was instituted to express joy and thanksgiving once again to their Maker and Sustainer. This is a time of rest for the citizens and another “holy convocation” marked with the sounding of trumpets across the land. An offering by fire to the LORD was the only other requirement here beside the break from laborious work. Many scholars have noted that this ties in with the return of Messiah in the last days because of all the trumpet themes associated with this event (Joel 2:1, Zechariah 9:14-17, Matthew 24:31, I Thessalonians 4:16, 1 Corinthians 15:51-52, Revelation 8:13).

-The Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) is once again delineated with the stress on humbling their souls before the LORD (Leviticus 23:26-32). No work at all was to be done during this most solemn occasion that was for the cleansing of the people and the restoring of fellowship with their God.

-Finally, and aren’t you glad at this point J, the Feast of Booths (or Tabernacles) is covered in this seven day event representing God’s protection and guidance through the wilderness journey with a commitment to further faith in the future (Leviticus 23:33-43). Another “holy convocation” began the ceremony on the fifteenth of the seventh month with no laborious work mandated. Offerings by fire were required each day with a culmination assembly, sacrifice, and rest on the eighth day. They were required to live in booths, or basically shanty huts, to remind them of their wilderness journey on the way to the Promised Land. It was to be a time of celebration using beautiful foliage of the trees as they rejoiced before the LORD their God as a perpetual statute throughout their generations.

-*Application* Recognizing the hermeneutic principle of typology will help us draw some correlations from these commands to the Christian life. The Passover represents our coming to Christ out of darkness and slavery into a new life of freedom and light. The blood applied means that we have redemption (Ephesians 1:7). Unleavened bread represents a new holiness that has been accomplished through Jesus’ righteousness given graciously to us that cleanses and restores a right relationship with the Father (Philippians 1:11). The first fruits reminds us that God expects are best in the areas of priorities and using our gifts, talents, and abilities for His supreme glory. We are new creations in Christ as well being His first fruits (1 Corinthians 15:20-23). Pentecost represents our Spirit-filled life in Christ as we yield to His power working through us to accomplish His Kingdom on this earth. The trumpets remind us of the coming storm in this world and our ultimate victory being on the side of God. His second coming is fundamental to our hope. The Day of Atonement delivers us with confidence in the Day of Judgment (1 John 4:14-19, Revelation 20:11-15). And finally, the Feast of Booths (or Weeks) helps us see the provision of God all throughout our Christian journey with the faith for completion in eschaton (Philippians 1:6, Hebrews 12:1-2).


Verses to Memorize: Leviticus 23:3, 5-6, 10, 16, 24, 27, 44

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Leviticus- Chapter 22

Leviticus 22


-Chapter 22 starts out with some additional sundry laws for the priests given by the LORD to Moses. God tells Aaron and his sons to be “careful with the holy gifts of the sons of Israel, which they dedicate to Me (Leviticus 22:2).” They are NOT to profane His Holy Name for He is their LORD who saves them and sanctifies them (Leviticus 22:2, 3, 8, 9, 16, 31-33). They are warned not to have any “uncleanness” as they accept gifts and eat of them. Otherwise they profane the LORD’s altar and bear sin. The stranger (zuwr- alien, foreigner), or sojourner, with the priest was not allowed to eat of the holy gift. However, slaves and children could. Even a daughter who was widowed or divorced with no children that had come back to live with her father could partake. Men who were not priests that ate of the holy gifts unintentionally could add to their total a fifth of it and return the favor to the priests (Leviticus 22:14).

-The animals that were accepted for sacrifice were then covered by the LORD to Moses. Cattle, sheep, and goats that were male, perfect, and over seven days old could be used for votive (neder- an avowed sacrifice) or any of the free will offerings presented as a burnt offering. No defects were allowed, which included blindness, fractures, being maimed, running sores, eczema, scabs, and any testicles problems (Leviticus 22:17-24). These were practically the same requirements listed in the previous chapter for the priests themselves (see Leviticus 21:17-21). The foreshadowing is obvious as it points to the perfect Savior, Jesus Christ, and His sacrificial atonement with no sin or blemish. No food from a foreigner was allowed to be accepted for the LORD. It was considered corrupted and defected (Leviticus 22:25). Finally, some of the eating requirements of the priests were reiterated with the charge to keep the ways of the LORD.

-*Application* Our Father is Heaven has just and fair requirements for keeping His people pure and undefiled. Though we have transgressed and fall short of His glory, He has given us His own “perfect” sacrifice on the cross through Jesus Christ, His Son (Romans 3:23; 5:1, 8; 6:23, 1 Peter 3:18). Give praise to God today for all of His perfections generously bestowed upon us, His forgiven children, gained through our accepting faith in Him.


Verse to Memorize: Leviticus 22:21

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Leviticus- Chapter 21

Leviticus 21


-In this chapter the LORD gives instructions for the priests, Aaron and his sons, concerning defilement in touching dead people, who they can marry, and who can approach the holy place to offer the food and fire offerings of his God. The nearest relatives are to be the ones who bear the responsibility for touching and removing the bodies of the deceased. Also included here are some grieving requirements. The priests are not allowed to grieve with shaved baldness on their heads or edges of their beards, nor were they permitted to make any cuts in their flesh (Leviticus 21:5). Holiness is again stressed for the priests as the go between of man and God, who is the Most Holy. This extends into the area of their wives. They were not allowed to take a woman who was profaned by harlotry or divorce (Leviticus 21:7). In fact they were only allowed to take a woman from their own people who was a pure virgin (Leviticus 21:13-14). Widows were not even permitted to be the wives of priests (Leviticus 21:14). This may have some foreshadowing aspect to it as for the purity of Christ’s birth from a virgin.

-The last section deals with the command that only priests without defect could approach the most holy place to offer food and fire sacrifices. The blind, the lame, the disfigured in face or limb, any broken hand or foot, the hunchback, the dwarf, the one who had any defect in the eye, the one with skin irritations like eczema or scabs, or “crushed testicles” could not go in to the veiled area or come near the altar. This, God says, will profane His sanctuaries with imperfections (Leviticus 21:17-23). They were all allowed to eat of the food however. The reason for this appears to be the foreshadowing to a perfect Redeemer with no defects or faults.

-*Application* We obviously must weigh this seemingly harsh set of requirements in Scripture here with God’s mercy, grace, and acceptance of all kinds of people throughout the rest of the Bible (Matthew 9:21-22, 36; 12:10-13; 14:14, Mark 3:1-5, Luke 6:6-10; 7:12-15, John 4:3-42, Acts 10:34-35). These perfections were only instituted for the message that only a pure means of atonement was acceptable to God. This of course could only come through His infallible Son, Jesus Christ. So, it was not that God was thinking less of people with deformities; He was simply teaching the people that they needed to look to the LORD’s perfections for cleansing. Unfortunately, the Pharisees, and often us too, miss the heart of God by focusing on the exterior rather than the spiritual.


Verse to Memorize: Leviticus 21:21

Monday, June 1, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Leviticus- Chapter 20

Leviticus 20


-This chapter goes further into detail on the LORD’s expectations for purity against sexual immorality, the occult, and human sacrifice. The pagan practices of the killing children to appease their false gods is attacked by the Sovereign LORD who is kind and calls murdering of innocent lives a sin (Exodus 20:13, Deuteronomy 19:10, Proverbs 6:16-17). In Israel there is to be no giving of children to the false god Molech (The neighboring Ammonites’ national god who required human sacrifices for appeasing anger), plus any aliens sojourning among them are not allowed to do these despicable acts. God says He will set His Face against any man who practices these abominations because it defiles His sanctuary and His Holy Name. In fact, if the nation does not put any man to death for doing these inhumane acts, the LORD promises to set His Face against them (Leviticus 20:1-5). Also, God prohibits people from seeking mediums and spiritists to “play the harlot after them (Leviticus 20:6).” This is occultic divining, or trying to see into the future, as a source of information outside the realm and revelation of God. These are false hopes and tainted visions predicting what will happen since only the LORD has seen the future. His Word is sufficient and any deviation from His direction is to be cut off from among the people. God reiterates His expectations in verses seven and eight that the children of Israel consecrate themselves as to “keep My statutes and practice them; I am the LORD who sanctifies (sets apart) you.” Cursing the father or mother is a capital offense in the land (Leviticus 20:9). So is adultery, incest, homosexuality, and bestiality (Leviticus 20:10-16). Sexual relations with blood relatives is cause for being excommunicated from the camp as well as having relations with a woman during her menstrual period (Leviticus 20:17-21). All this will protect the pureness of the society and keep them together as a people for perpetuity. They were warned not to follow the customs of the nation that they were going to dispossess in Canaan because God abhorred these detestable and unnatural acts (Leviticus 20:22-23). God was giving His people a good land “flowing with milk and honey” and was separating them as a holy example of how to live properly in love, mutual respect, and dependence upon the Him (Leviticus 20:24). Further, they were to make the distinction between clean and unclean animals, which had been outlined before (Leviticus 11; 20:25). Holiness is again reiterated with a final prohibition for a man or a woman to practice being a medium or spiritist. These will be put to death by stoning because their bloodguiltiness is upon them (Leviticus 20:26-27).

-*Application* We still deal with the issues of appeasing God, having a fascination with the occult, and sexual impurity today. Let’s break these down a bit and see if God can’t help us grow in our understanding. To appease God’s wrath, we must accept His Divine human sacrifice of the cross through Jesus. Because of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection, we can see that God is for us and not against us in His grace, mercy, and love. We don’t have to try to earn His favor. It’s already been given on Calvary. Secondly, His Word is all we need to have confidence and assurance (hope) in the future. We don’t need to dabble in the demonic with all its intrigue and manipulation. Seek and cultivate the real thing in the Holy Spirit, who has all knowledge and discerns all things. Finally, be satisfied with how God has created you and seek sexual pureness within the bounds of biblical covenant marriage (One man with one woman for one lifetime, Genesis 2:20-25, Matthew 19:4-6, Mark 10:6-9). Contentment and union can be ultimately found in doing things God’s way. Striving in our own selfish manners and ambitions will lead only to chaos, breakdown, and destruction.


Verses to Memorize: Leviticus 20:8, 24