God made an UNCONDITIONAL covenant with Abraham which included the gift of land with specified boundaries that would belong to the Jews. God's promises cannot and will not fail.
Why then was King Nebuchadnezzar able to take Jerusalem and deport the people from the land God had given them? Secular historians would say it was simply the might
of the dominant Babylonian Empire swallowing up a little nation but is that really the biblical explanation?
God had also made a CONDITIONAL covenant (Mosaic) and the people were given laws to live by but they transgressed despite there being God's prophets amongst them - who they persecuted and killed.
Daniel and his friends were carried off because it was Israel as a nation that was taken by pagans. The Jews were allowed to return and rebuild 70 years later but without self governance. They were ruled over by pagan gentiles. The land was governed by the Islamic Ottoman Empire, then the British, then the U.N.
Israel is a nation again but Jerusalem is still trampled by gentiles to this day and is a burdensome stone to other nations.
Ian explains the transgressions of the people. They were given what they thought they wanted which convinced some of what good things of God they had lost. Many would have adopted the attitude of when in Rome do as the Romans do but what of Daniel and friends? They would prefer to die rather than join pagan worship and bow to idols.
We are heading for Babylon. If we face a challenge to our faith then God has a reason for it being so. Ian explains.
|Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 23rd June 2016|
(1) In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it.
(2) And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with some of the articles of the house of God, which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the articles into the treasure house of his god.
(3) Then the king instructed Ashpenaz, the master of his eunuchs, to bring some of the children of Israel and some of the king's descendants and some of the nobles,
God is and has always been patient. The Jews as a nation chose to ignore God's word and continued with their own ideas and ways contrary to God's way with the result
that they were 'given up' to their own vile passions and of course the consequences.
Our nation and 'the church' today has gone astray.
This nation has had some of the greatest preachers and missionaries ever but now there is a rising tide of rebellion against God. People don't want to hear about sin and repentance. They only want to hear that they should be happy in acceptance and forgiveness of anything they choose to do and the way they choose to live.
The general church embraces the same mentality, the same ideas and the same opinions as the world even though contrary to God's word.
So - What will God do?
Ian talks about how the young Daniel may have felt when taken from all that he loved, his parents, away from the temple of his God and all outward signs of his belief. He found himself in a strange land full of influences and temptations with all delights provided at the king's expense. Ian likens this to how perhaps a young person going away to university may feel today when in a situation where 'nobody is watching'.
Why were Daniel and his friends given new names?
What was the benefit of being taken to Babylon? Did it serve a purpose?
Ian explains and concludes with a warning as to the vulnerability of our young people today.
|Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 30th June 2016|
(4) young men in whom there was no blemish, but good-looking, gifted in all wisdom, possessing knowledge and quick to understand, who had ability to serve in
the king's palace, and whom they might teach the language and literature of the Chaldeans.
(5) And the king appointed for them a daily provision of the king's delicacies and of the wine which he drank, and three years of training for them, so that at the end of that time they might serve before the king.
(6) Now from among those of the sons of Judah were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah.
(7) To them the chief of the eunuchs gave names: he gave Daniel the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abed-Nego.
Many would have thought Daniel crazy to refuse to eat the same food as the king and to drink what must have been best wine. Why did he ask for a diet of vegetables and water instead?
There are foods that scripture tells us we can and cannot eat. Ian gives biblical explanations of specific instructions and of the circumstanes surrounding Daniel.
What of wine? The drinking of wine is not forbidden but Daniel understood the associated problems.
How does this apply to us today?
Daniel made up his mind to make a determined stand. Our 'food' is not only what we eat but everything we 'take in'. We too should 'purpose in our heart' and be aware of what is happening in our nation as to the food we eat, how it is prepared, and everything we are being persuaded to take in.
|Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 7th July 2016|
(8) But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank;
therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.
. . .
(16) Thus the steward took away their portion of delicacies and the wine that they were to drink, and gave them vegetables.
Daniel made a decision and he stood by it. Do we do the same?
In your heart you want to walk with the Lord and be a good witness but your 'rational' mind will find many reasons why you should not make rash decisions. It suggests that you will miss out on enjoyment, lose friends, ruin job prospects, have no social life, become dull and be seen by others as self-righteous.
The rational mind may tell you that if you want to reach people you must go where the world goes and do as the world does.
Daniel was more concerned with what God thought of him than what other people thought of him. Both Daniel and Joseph were exceptional young men and are wonderful role models for people today. They put God first and ultimately received an abundance of spiritual gifts.
|Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 14th July 2016|
(17) As for these four young men, God gave them knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.
. . .
(20) And in all matters of wisdom and understanding about which the king examined them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers who were in all his realm.
Nebuchadnezzar was greatly troubled by his dream. He didn't know what it meant and he wanted answers.
Why did he look to sorcerers, astrologers, magicians and so on for an answer? Nebuchadnezzar knew no better. He was acting according to Babylonian religion.
How is it that today the same counterfeit religion exists all around us?
Why do people want their horoscopes? Why do they listen to 'mediums' and fortune tellers?
People today still seek answers to many why's and what's about life and death and they look for answers anywhere that excludes God.
But wait. Amongst all the rogues are there people who really have some knowledge of you that they could not know by natural means? If so then how do they acquire such information?
|Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 21st July 2016|
(27) Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, "The secret which the king has demanded, the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, and the soothsayers cannot declare to the king.
(28) But there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days.
The interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar's dream serves two purposes. It told the king what it meant and it was to the benefit of ALL God's people.
It gives us understanding of world political structures and power bases. It helps us to understand our times so that we know what to do. Through spiritual eyes we have insight into moral trends and of course we know how it is going to end.
By use of a diagram Ian explains the statue of gold, silver, bronze, iron and clay of Nebuchadnezzar's dream and their order and symbolism in representing distinct empires.
|Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 11th August 2016|
(31) "You, O king, were watching; and behold, a great image! This great image, whose splendor was excellent, stood before you; and its form was awesome.
(32) This image's head was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze,
(33) its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay.
Why are only four empires represented by the statue in Nebuchadnezzar's dream? Scripture is always correct in detail so what of other empires such as the Ottoman,
British, Russian, Chinese, etc?
Ian explains how because of thier sin God gave His people into the hands of others. The 'time of the Gentiles' is about how these empires impact upon God's people.
Historians give dates as to when the Roman empire supposedly ended but in truth it is with us today.
|Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 18th August 2016|
(39) But after you shall arise another kingdom inferior to yours; then another, a third kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over all the earth.
(40) And the fourth kingdom shall be as strong as iron, inasmuch as iron breaks in pieces and shatters everything; and like iron that crushes, that kingdom will break in pieces and crush all the others.
There is greater mention of the feet and toes of iron and clay than the other portions of the statue in Nebuchadnezzar's dream. In offering reasons for this Ian
looks at the revived Roman Empire and today's democratic nations in their acceptance and tolerance of different religions, lifestyles, languages, modes of dress, etc
PROVIDING such things do not step beyond the boundaries set by those in charge.
For Christians this means that we can attend church meetings, read the bible, sing songs of worship and so on but we are seen to go too far in saying ours is the only right way, that the God of the bible is the one true God and the only way to salvation is through Christ.
There are portions of the bible that we are free to read in private but not allowed to say in public as these are seen as devisive in a multi-cultural multi-religion nation.
This is just as it was in ancient Rome.
The time of the Gentiles will finish when Jesus returns and puts an end to all the empires of man. In Nebuchadnezzar's dream Jesus is represented by the rock that will strike the feet and toes.
This evening Ian also gives us insight into the meanings of beasts with heads and horns, the nature of the antichrist and where he will come from.
|Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 25th August 2016|
(41) Whereas you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; yet the strength of the iron shall be in it, just
as you saw the iron mixed with ceramic clay.
(42) And as the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly fragile.
(43) As you saw iron mixed with ceramic clay, they will mingle with the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, just as iron does not mix with clay.
Great empires have come and gone. We should learn why such empires fell by asking the historians but those in power never learn from history.
When an empire falls it is absorbed and when all current 'empires' fall they will be absorbed into one new world order with a charismatic leader who will be seen to unite the peoples of the world and have all the answers. This leader is the antichrist.
Ian draws attention to current world crises and asks us how we feel when we hear news of disasters, wars, disease, etc. In recent times attitudes to everything have changed. There has not yet been a crisis of sufficient magnitude to bring all nations together but it WILL come - at the time of the Rapture.
|Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 1st September 2016|
(34) You watched while a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces.
(35) Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were crushed together, and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; the wind carried them away so that no trace of them was found. And the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.
Daniel was given opportunity to witness to the king about God. Christians often have such opportunities but sometimes they feel that the time isn't right or are concerned as
to how a person may react and so back off from saying what they could.
Daniel didn't back off.
Many people in the world today worship idols be they pop stars, footballers, whatever. All worshipping man.
Nebuchadnezzar erected a great statue and demanded that people must bow down and worship it. The penalty for failing to do so was death in a fiery furnace but three men refused.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego did not back off.
These men were great examples to people under pressure.
|Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 8th September 2016|
(1) Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose height was sixty cubits . . .
(4 Then a herald cried aloud: "To you it is commanded, O peoples, nations, and languages,
(5) that at the time you hear the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, you shall fall down and worship the gold image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up;
(6) and whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.”
We do not have the audio of this evening's Bible Study due to equipment failure but the message concerns the refusal of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego to bow down in worship
to the great statue erected by King Nebuchadnezzar.
We know, "certain Chaldeans came forward and accused the Jews". Why would they do that? That same hatred of believers is still seen throughout the world and in our own country there are groups of people who hate and will readily accuse those who uphold the word of God in such as they have,"exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural" (Rom 1 v 26).
Natural man has his main concern with how things affect himself and his family in this life and so will simply take the easy path and comply with what 'society' has deemed ok but spiritual man sees things from an eternal perspective.
We are asked to consider how all music has a purpose. It invokes something. With all the instruments mentioned in scripture the music played to signify that the people must bow down to Nebuchadnezzar's statue was probably beautiful to Babylonian ears but we should be discerning in the music we listen to, no matter whether rock, pop, classical, whatever, and what it evokes in us.
Nebuchadnezzar appears to make an attempt to be lenient (verse 15) in that he is willing to overlook the previous behaviour of the three men if the next time they hear the music they will abide by his command but he warns them of the consequences and challenges their belief that God could deliver them from HIS hands.
When a situation arises where society condemns Christians (and God's word) what will YOU do? Will you use that situation to the glory of God as did Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego or will you be like the masses who comply with orders and accept man's word before God's. Will you (do you) bow to an idol? Will you accept the mark of the beast?
(15) Now if you are ready at the time you hear the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, and you fall down and worship the
image which I have made, good! But if you do not worship, you shall be cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver
you from my hands?”
(16) Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter.
(17) If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king.
(18) But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”
. . .
(21) Then these men were bound in their coats, their trousers, their turbans, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.
Nebuchadnezzar's second dream
Those today who are not saved but believe they have 'everything' important to them like wealth, power, popularity, etc see no reason as to why they should want God. If they want anything in life it is more of what they have.
What does it take to get through to such people that God is in control?
Nebuchadnezzar had everything a man could want and he was a king of great fame and accomplishment. What would it take for him to acknowledge the power of the one true God when he revelled in himself with such as, "... that I have built ... by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty?" (verse 30)
Some say that it would need a miracle to reach such people but Nebuchadnezzar had seen miracles. Daniel had interpreted the first dream in a way no man or Babylonian god could do. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego had been unharmed by the fiery furnace and the king himself saw a fourth person in the flames who he described as like a son of the gods.
Despite all this Nebuchadnezzar still did not acknowledge the power and glory of God.
Chapter 40 shows what it took for Nebuchadnezzar to understand. He was to suffer the humiliation of losing everything including his sanity. This is Nebuchadnezzar's own testimony which he wants everyone to hear.
Ian reads the whole chapter and explains why Daniel's "thoughts troubled him" (verse 19)
|Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 29th September 2016|
(2) I thought it good to declare the signs and wonders that the Most High God has worked for me.
. . .
(10) "These were the visions of my head while on my bed: I was looking, and behold, A tree in the midst of the earth, And its height was great.
(11) The tree grew and became strong; Its height reached to the heavens, And it could be seen to the ends of all the earth.
. . .
(23) "And inasmuch as the king saw a watcher, a holy one, coming down from heaven and saying, 'Chop down the tree and destroy it, but leave its stump and roots in the earth, . . . and let him graze with the beasts of the field, till seven times pass over him';
. . .
(32) . . . your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. They shall make you eat grass like oxen; and seven times shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses."
In this introduction to Chapter 5 Ian gives us the historical background of what happened in the twenty-three years period between the rule of Nebuchadnezzar and that of Belshazzar.
The people had had a king who was converted and proclaimed the one true God to them. They had the scriptures. They had people like Daniel who could explain everything to them but the people and Belshazzar ignored it all.
It is the same today. People ignore God, His word and those who are true believers. They have no need of Him. They have their own gods and will look anywhere except scripture for answers to their questions.
World churches look to have 'dialogue' to determine authority and fail to acknowledge the only authority is God and His word.
|Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 6th October 2016|
(1) Belshazzar the king made a great feast for a thousand of his lords, and drank wine in the presence of the thousand.
(2) While he tasted the wine, Belshazzar gave the command to bring the gold and silver vessels which his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken from the temple which had been in Jerusalem, that the king and his lords, his wives, and his concubines might drink from them.
. . .
(5) In the same hour the fingers of a man's hand appeared and wrote opposite the lampstand on the plaster of the wall of the king's palace; and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote.
Daniel interprets the writing on the wall.
Belshazzar knew that Nebuchadnezzar had been humbled and had come to recognise the one true God and proclaimed it to all his kingdom. All the people were aware yet in such a short time they had put God and Daniel, a man of God, to one side.
Why can't Belshazzar and the people read the writing on the wall?
How is it that in the UK we have had Christians in the monarchy and other high places as great role models but now their belief has been put aside?
We should rejoice that the word of God is available to everyone but it makes no sense to many people. In this country man is moving further away from God and behaviour and lifestyles are insulting to Him just as was Belshazzar's.
Within 'the church' there are still bible-believing, bible-preaching people but few want to hear biblical truths. With all that is going on around them why can't people today read the writing on the wall?
Few know when their last day has come and for most it will be too late just as it was for Belshazzar. NOW is the time to repent and get to know God before facing judgement.
|Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 13th October 2016|
(18) O king, the Most High God gave Nebuchadnezzar your father a kingdom and majesty, glory and honor.
. . .
(21) Then he was driven from the sons of men, . . . till he knew that the Most High God rules in the kingdom of men, and appoints over it whomever He chooses.
(22) "But you his son, Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart, although you knew all this.
(23) And you have lifted yourself up against the Lord of heaven . . . and the God who holds your breath in His hand and owns all your ways, you have not glorified.
(30) That very night Belshazzar, king of the Chaldeans, was slain.
Daniel is plotted against.
Daniel in the lion's den - biblical history that most people have heard at some time. What good role models Daniel and his friends are. Like Joseph their faith causes them to be model citizens and nobody can find fault in them.
We are reminded that at the time of this event Daniel is now more than eighty years old. No matter how old you are or your circumstances you have much to contribute and Darius had seen Daniel's exceptional qualities and valued him highly.
Daniel demonstrates to us how we should approach our work and how we should behave in society. We should do all things as if to the Lord.
Jesus said, "Let your light so shine before men"
Like Daniel believers today face increasing pressures because of their faith. It would be easy to alleviate such by conforming. What are we to do?
|Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 20th October 2016|
(3) Then this Daniel distinguished himself above the governors and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king gave thought to setting him over the whole realm.
(4) So the governors and satraps sought to find some charge against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find no charge or fault, because he was faithful; nor was there any error or fault found in him.
(5) Then these men said, "We shall not find any charge against this Daniel unless we find it against him concerning the law of his God."
Conspirators manipulate the situation.
The way they attacked Daniel was through his faith. They knew that Daniel would not deviate from his worship of God and they engineered a situation in which the legal system was bound to find him guilty.
Obtaining evidence to show that Daniel put God first was easy.
Ask yourself - if Christianity were made illegal in your country would the authorities find enough evidence of your faith to convict you?
Not many years ago Christianity was the backbone of Britain. As in the time of Daniel there are those who want God's word silenced and the influence of His people stopped. They choose to forget that British laws were based on biblical principles and the best of what we are - our freedoms - are due to our Christian heritage.
Successive governments have been influenced so that previously illegal religions and illegal moral practices are now presented as being good as an acceptance of diversity.
Ian gives recent examples of Christians being deliberately targeted and prosecuted for standing fast to the word of God.
|Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 27th October 2016|
(8) Now, O king, establish the decree and sign the writing, so that it cannot be changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which does not alter."
. . .
(12) And they went before the king, and spoke concerning the king's decree: “Have you not signed a decree that every man who petitions any god or man within thirty days, except you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions?" The king answered and said, "The thing is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which does not alter."
Is this of any concern to believers?
Leaving the historical chapters of 1 - 6 we move on to the prophetic chapters of the book of Daniel. In this introduction Ian mentions several of Daniel's visions which we will look at in detail in future weeks.
Many verses are given to prophecy concerning just a seven years period yet to come. A relatively short period of time and believers will not be on Earth when prophecies are fulfilled during the Tribulation so why should they be of any concern to us?
Details are given to us in scripture - God's word - He wants us to know these things and although some can be difficult he wants us to understand them and their relevance to us.
Daniel had to ask God for understanding of his visions and although the events were for him in the distant future he felt the sadness and concerned himself with it.
We too should have concern for all our brothers and sisters both now and in the future. Daniel wrote this so that we could know and we are now living in the time of pre-tribulation 'rumblings'. It won't be long.
|Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 3rd November 2016|
(1) In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel had a dream and visions of his head while on his bed. Then he wrote down the dream, telling the main facts.
(2) Daniel spoke, saying, "I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of heaven were stirring up the Great Sea.
History shows that biblical prophecy is always fulfilled with 100% accuracy. Some prophecy is difficult to understand until we see it fulfilled but then it is obvious to us. The prophecies of Daniel are so detailed that there are those who would say that they could not have been written some 550 years BC but why then would the writer include prophecies which we do not yet always have a clear understanding?
Through Daniel God has told us what will happen. Much has already taken place in precise detail and He tells us of what WILL happen - also in precise detail.
This evening Ian clarifies the meaning of the four great beasts coming up from the sea.
|Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 10th November 2016|
(3) And four great beasts came up from the sea, each different from the other.
(4) The first was like a lion, and had eagle's wings. I watched till its wings were plucked off; and it was lifted up from the earth and made to stand on two feet like a man, and a man’s heart was given to it.
Why the beasts are described as they are.
The four beasts represent four distinct empires but what is the significance of the animals depicted? The lion, eagle, leopard and bear all denote perceived attributes of particular empires just as today an eagle may be associated with America, a bear with Russia and a lion or bulldog with Britain.
Ian explains this and more - who are the three ribs of verse five and the four heads of verse six?
This is not only a history lesson but we are reminded that it is God who raises up empires and leaders such as Alexander the Great and it is God who puts them down when their purpose has been served.
|Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 17th November 2016|
(5) "And suddenly another beast, a second, like a bear. It was raised up on one side, and had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. And they said thus to it: 'Arise,
devour much flesh!'
(6) "After this I looked, and there was another, like a leopard, which had on its back four wings of a bird. The beast also had four heads, and dominion was given to it.
(7) "After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, exceedingly strong. It had huge iron teeth; it was devouring, breaking in pieces, and trampling the residue with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns.
The fourth beast is here.
Why has God given us His word in a way that necessitates us finding the pieces that fit together - like a jigsaw puzzle? The fourth beast isn't described by referring to known animals. Who / what is this fourth beast? In what way is it different from the other three?
Ian answers these questions.
|Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 24th November 2016|
(8) I was considering the horns, and there was another horn, a little one, coming up among them, before whom three of the first horns were plucked out by the roots. And there, in this horn, were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking pompous words.
The Revived Roman Empire.
Last week Ian asked that we consider whether the fourth beast is a person or a kingdom. We hear the answer and this evening he explains the 'little horn' (v.8) and how the world including much of the 'church' will willingly and worshipfully accept the antichrist as Messiah but rebellion will come - Armageddon.
How can all this come to be? Why will one world leader be accepted? What will make people WANT the mark of the beast?
We are being conditioned for what is to come.
|Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 1st December 2016|
(23) "Thus he said:
‘The fourth beast shall be
A fourth kingdom on earth,
Which shall be different from all other kingdoms,
And shall devour the whole earth,
Trample it and break it in pieces.
. . .
(25) He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, Shall persecute the saints of the Most High, And shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand For a time and times and half a time.
Who is The Ancient Of Days?
Is this God the Father? In v.9 we read a description that matches the one in Rev. 1 v.12-14 which tells us it is the 'Son of Man'. Many bible passages make it clear that the 'Son of Man' is Jesus.
So - is the 'Ancient of Days' Christ?
What then do we make of v.13 where we are told, 'One like the Son of Man' comes to 'the Ancient of Days'? Does the Son come to the Father?
Are we then confused by v.22 clearly referring to Christ's second coming but telling us, 'the Ancient of Days came'?
Ian explains how some people fail to understand the biblical truth of who the 'Ancient of Days' is.
|Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 8th December 2016|
(9) "I watched till thrones were put in place, And the Ancient of Days was seated;. . .
(13) "I was watching in the night visions, And behold, One like the Son of Man, Coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, And they brought Him near before Him.
(22) until the Ancient of Days came, and a judgment was made in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came for the saints to possess the kingdom.
Power and greed and corruptible seed.
In recent months this Bible Study has looked at great empires. Men and nations have achieved marvellous things but there is always a dark side because of sin.
Today we appreciate the creative genius we see in science and technology, medical research, music, computers, etc but along with the benefits each is also used for evil.
People are being conditioned - preparing them so that they will be ready to embrace the antichrist. Ian reminds us that the antichrist will be readily accepted as messiah not only because he appears to bring the benefits of world peace but people of today form judgements based on good looks, fluent speech and charisma. The antichrist will have them all.
BUT - Christ will return and bring true peace. Weapons of war will be abolished along with all other anti-Christ products of mans achievements.
|Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 15th December 2016|
(14) Then 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 the one Which shall not be destroyed.
(27) Then the kingdom and dominion, And the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, Shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, And all dominions shall serve and obey Him.’
Daniel's vision of a Ram and a Goat.
In his vision Daniel is shown what to him are future events. We look back on the same events as history and see that what Daniel wrote was accurate in every detail.
Daniel relates the fall of Babylon to the Medes and Persians (the ram) and then the rise of the Greek empire (the goat) due to the exploits of Alexander the Great. Alexander achieved greatness by his deeds as seen by man. What does God see when He looks at a man?
What does He see when He looks at you?
|Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 5th January 2017|
(6) Then he came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing beside the river, and ran at him with furious power.
(7) And I saw him confronting the ram; he was moved with rage against him, attacked the ram, and broke his two horns. There was no power in the ram to withstand him, but he cast him down to the ground and trampled him; and there was no one that could deliver the ram from his hand.
The identity of the prophesied horn.
History has shown to us the incredible accuracy of Daniel's prophecies of what to him were future events. Hundreds of years later the 'little horn which grew exceedingly great' can be seen to refer to Antiochus IV but he was a 'type' of what is to yet to come - the antichrist.
With reference to the apocryphal book of Macabbees Ian gives some history of how Antiochus persecuted the Jews and all who would not acknowledge him as 'Epiphanes' (God Manifest) and what may be expected from the antichrist.
|Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 12th January 2017|
(9) And out of one of them came a little horn which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the Glorious Land.
(10) And it grew up to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and some of the stars to the ground, and trampled them.
What of the 2,300 days?
Some of these verses have brought about many interpretations and opinions, some of which have caused people to lose their faith. Ian explains three viewpoints.
1) There are scholars who say that this 'prophecy' was written after the events and not by Daniel. They say that everything described refers to the reign of Antiochus IV.
2) Others say the writings ARE Daniel's but that all the prophecy has been fulfilled.
3) The third group say that Daniel wrote them, the prophecy was fulfilled by Antiochus but as a foreshadow of the future - the prophecy will be fulfilled in completeness when the antichrist comes.
Ian takes us through historical dates so that we can understand his suggestion as to explaining the 2,300 days. There have always been men wanting the position of High Priest, motivated by greed for power, prestige and wealth. The Godless Antiochus gave the position of High Priest to the greatest bribe. He had control over him.
So it is today. Leaders in the church are not always there because of their commitment to God. When the antichrist comes the false prophet will be 'in his pocket'.
|Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 19th January 2017|
(11) He even exalted himself as high as the Prince of the host; and by him the daily sacrifices were taken away, and the place of His sanctuary was cast down.
(12) Because of transgression, an army was given over to the horn to oppose the daily sacrifices; and he cast truth down to the ground. He did all this and prospered.
(13) Then I heard a holy one speaking; and another holy one said to that certain one who was speaking, "How long will the vision be, concerning the daily sacrifices and the transgression of desolation, the giving of both the sanctuary and the host to be trampled underfoot?"
(14} And he said to me, "For two thousand three hundred days; then the sanctuary shall be cleansed."
A king shall arise - the Antichrist.
Who are 'the transgressors' and have they 'reached their fullness' yet? The answer is seen in the Middle East.
The time is ever nearer when the antichrist will take the world stage. What 'sinister schemes' will he understand and where will his mighty power come from?
Ian speaks about the New World Order and occult symbolism that is all around us.
|Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 26th January 2017|
(23) "And in the latter time of their kingdom, When the transgressors have reached their fullness, A king shall arise, Having fierce features, Who understands sinister schemes.
(24) His power shall be mighty, but not by his own power; He shall destroy fearfully, And shall prosper and thrive; He shall destroy the mighty, and also the holy people.
Fake news - cunning and deceit.
Ian looks at verse 25. In the last 150 years people in western societies have chosen to believe in things of science, philosophy and spirituality without any evidence whatsoever. They don't even look. They allow themselves to be deceived during education and by things around them.
Today man has the tools for global manipulation of minds. Satan's plan is to keep minds away from God and he uses skill and cunning to that end.
|Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 2nd February 2017|
(25) "Through his cunning He shall cause deceit to prosper under his rule; And he shall exalt himself in his heart. He shall destroy many in their prosperity. He shall even rise against the Prince of princes; But he shall be broken without human means.
Fulfilment of prophecy is imminent.
Daniel tells us he 'understood by the books'. Which books and what is significant about seventy years?
Ian gives us two alternative start dates for the seventy years but in either case the end date was known by Daniel to be very soon. He would have been excited by the significant fulfilment of prophecy about to occur. What did he do?
How wonderful it is that we can read the same books and although we don't have the 'day and hour' we too can anticipate the fulfilment of prophecy very soon.
What should we do?
|Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 9th February 2017|
(1) In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the lineage of the Medes, who was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans—
(2) in the first year of his reign I, Daniel, understood by the books the number of the years specified by the word of the Lord through Jeremiah the prophet, that He would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.
Why pray when it is predetermined?
When God has said something will happen then we could adopt the attitude that we have no need to do anything as we know with certainty that all biblical prophecy is fulfilled.
Daniel prayed. We should pray. Why and for what?
|Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 23rd February 2017|
(3) Then I set my face toward the Lord God to make request by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes.
(4) And I prayed to the Lord my God, and made confession, and said, "O Lord, great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and mercy with those who love Him, and with those who keep His commandments,
The Seventy Weeks Prophecy
Some translations use the word 'weeks' but correctly it is 'seventy sevens'. Gabriel is giving Daniel the answer to his prayers (v 3 - 19).
Ian explains how scripture clarifies as to whether these 'sevens' are weeks or years and why Daniel would understand this.
|Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 2nd March 2017|
(24) "Seventy weeks are determined For your people and for your holy city, To finish the transgression, To make an end of sins, To make reconciliation for iniquity, To bring in everlasting righteousness, To seal up vision and prophecy, And to anoint the Most Holy.
The absolute accuracy of prophecy.
The seventy week prophecy has three periods comprising seven weeks, sixtytwo weeks and one week. This evening Ian looks at what happened at the end of sixtynine weeks.
Daniel was given details enabling him to make and then write about the calculations of a specific future event based on his calendar, not the Gregorian calendar that we use.
He knew the start date and knew what would happen 173,880 days later. Luke 19 v 37 - 44 tells us.
|Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 9th March 2017|
(25) "Know therefore and understand, That from the going forth of the command To restore and build Jerusalem Until Messiah the Prince, There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; The street shall be built again, and the wall, Even in troublesome times.
The Final Seven Years.
There are differing opinions among bible-believing Christians about this period and Ian gives us three examples before explaining why they should be discounted.
|Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 16th March 2017|
(26) "And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; And the people of the prince who is to come Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, And till the end of the war desolations are determined.
The Desolation of Israel.
Why have the Jews been so persecuted for such a long time? They don't have all the land they were promised by God and there are obvious problems regarding their prophesied new temple in Jerusalem where a mosque currently stands.
A temple WILL be built but it will be occupied by the antichrist. Why will this happen?
|Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 23rd March 2017|
(27) Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, Even until the consummation, which is determined, Is poured out on the desolate."
Knowing the future.
If you knew the outcome of a future event would it make you approach that event differently in your behaviour? Daniel knew what would happen but he didn't know when. We know that victory is assured in the spiritual war but we don't know when and we don't know of all the battles along the way.
In this introduction to Chapter 10 Ian asks what caused Daniel to mourn and pray and why hadn't he gone to help rebuild Jerusalem?
Daniel can be seen to have grown spiritually throughout his life. Have you?
|Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 30th March 2017|
(1) In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a message was revealed to Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar. The message was true, but the appointed time was long; and he understood the message, and had understanding of the vision.
(2) In those days I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeks.
Events impacting on God's people.
This is an introduction to an undisputed detailed account of history from approximately 530BC - 160BC.
Any reader is forced to make a decision. Was this written by an unknown person after the events who then lied about who wrote it and when, or was it written prior to the events by Daniel as revealed to him by God?
|Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 13th April 2017|
(14) Now I have come to make you understand what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision refers to many days yet to come."
Spiritual influences and God's intervention.
Ian explains why the bible gives details of certain periods and nations while the 'rest of the world' appears to be ignored.
The next three Medo-Persian kings mentioned after Cyrus were: (1) his son, Cambyses II (530-522 BC); (2) Gaumata (also known as the pseudo-Smerdis – 522 BC); and (3) the Persian Darius I (the Great – 522-486 BC). The fourth king was Xerxes (486-465 BC).
Should changes going on around us hinder God's people today?
|Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 20th April 2017|
(2) And now I will tell you the truth: Behold, three more kings will arise in Persia, and the fourth shall be far richer than them all; by his strength, through his riches, he shall stir up all against the realm of Greece.
History - What is it all about?
This evening we are given an introduction to verses 2 - 35. Do we know the kings and rulers this passage tells us about?
Everything in God's word is there for us to understand so what gain is there in knowing such history? Ian explains what 'Master plans' are seen at work and how they apply to us today.
|Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 27th April 2017|
(3) Then a mighty king shall arise, who shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will.
(4) And when he has arisen, his kingdom shall be broken up and divided toward the four winds of heaven, but not among his posterity nor according to his dominion with which he ruled; for his kingdom shall be uprooted, even for others besides these.
Lessons from history.
Ian gives us a 'potted history' of the events prophesied in these verses and relates them to what we see today with regard to people loving their idols, forming alliances for reasons of self interest and how leaders 'stir up strife'.
Bible-believing Christians need to be careful who they align themselves with who may call themselves Christian or claim to be worshipping the same God.
We are to keep in mind that although we see nations and people apparently doing as they please God rules in the affairs of man and is working His purpose out.
|Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 4th May 2017|
(5) "Also the king of the South shall become strong, as well as one of his princes; and he shall gain power over him and have dominion. His dominion shall be a great dominion.
(6) And at the end of some years they shall join forces, for the daughter of the king of the South shall go to the king of the North to make an agreement; but she shall not retain the power of her authority, and neither he nor his authority shall stand; but she shall be given up, with those who brought her, and with him who begot her, and with him who strengthened her in those times.
Foreshadowing the antichrist - Antiochus IV.
This evening we begin to look at Antiochus IV who called himself Epiphanes. He is described by God as a 'vile person'. This man is a type of the antichrist of the end times.
Ian explains what he was like in his lust for power, how he saw himself as a god, how he desecrated the temple and persecuted the Jews. He began peaceably and used intrigue to achieve his goal. Can we see similarities in the world today? We are forewarned of what is coming.
|Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 11th May 2017|
(21) And in his place shall arise a vile person, to whom they will not give the honor of royalty; but he shall come in peaceably, and seize the kingdom by intrigue.
. . .
(32) Those who do wickedly against the covenant he shall corrupt with flattery; but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits.
The coming antichrist.
The prophecy we have been reading in previous weeks was all to occur in the future when Daniel wrote it. We know it has all been fulfilled in absolute detail. Now we look at verses telling us of what is to come in OUR future - at the end of the time of the Gentiles.
What we see today are interfaith initiatives and moves to make a one world religion supposedly to bring everyone together in peace but all such things are preparatory to the coming of the antichrist.
|Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 18th May 2017|
(36) "Then the king shall do according to his own will: he shall exalt and magnify himself above every god, shall speak blasphemies against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the wrath has been accomplished; for what has been determined shall be done.
The coming war - Armageddon.
Ian recaps what the bible tells us of the seven-years Tribulation and the rise of the Antichrist and goes on to talk about the coming final war - where it will occur, the area affected and who the 'king of the South' and 'king of the North' are.
|Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 25th May 2017|
(40) "At the time of the end the king of the South shall attack him; and the king of the North shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, horsemen, and with many
ships; and he shall enter the countries, overwhelm them, and pass through.
The Great Tribulation - Why?.
A period when there will be persecution of believers more intense than ever before in history and many will die for their faith. This is the time of the 'mark of the beast' and the 'abomination of desolation'.
God is in control of everything so why does this terrible period occur?
Who is the 'Michael' (of verse 1) who stands up for God's people? Some would say it is Christ but what does the bible say?
|Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 1st June 2017|
(1) "At that time Michael shall stand up, The great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; And there shall be a time of trouble, Such as never was since there was a nation, Even to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, Every one who is found written in the book.
Resurrections, Judgements and Rewards.
We are living in the Church Age which will end with the Rapture. Ian recaps what the bible tells us of what is to come. Then he looks at the separate resurrections that have occurred and that will occur, the separate judgements and the rewards God has given and we are yet to receive.
Which of the resurrectons will be yours?
|Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 8th June 2017|
(2) And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, Some to everlasting life, Some to shame and everlasting contempt.
(3) Those who are wise shall shine Like the brightness of the firmament, And those who turn many to righteousness Like the stars forever and ever.
The sealed book.
The book is 'sealed' until the time of the end. Looking at the world we see in politics, religion, technology and the military that the time is close when this prophecy is fully understood.
Daniel asked for understanding. In the answer he is given two periods of time neither corresponding to the one thousand two hundred and sixty days of the tribulation. Ian gives his belief of what these plus 30 days and then a further 45 days signify.
In conclusion this evening - We have all been given 'talents' that we should use to the glory of God.
|Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 15th June 2017|
(4) "But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase."
(11) "And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days.
(12) Blessed is he who waits, and comes to the one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days.
Conclusion of this series.
Those who want answers about life or who want to know about the future find the bible interesting but it was given by God so that we may be changed and be overcomers.
Ian concludes this series by explaining why it is titled 'Living in Babylon' and reminding us what a good role model Daniel is for us all. In comparing Babylon with our society of today we should look at politics, the proud and selfish mindset that prevails, the worship of false gods, the mocking and blaspheming of the one true God and corruption within 'the church'.
If we read Daniel just because it is interesting revelation we have missed the point. God wants us to understand He is in control and His plan is being implemented.
|Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 22nd June 2017|