Shadrack, Meshack and Abednego were thrown into the fire because they would not bow to an Idol (a fictitious entity). Everyone else who bowed did so under threat and duress of being thrown into that same fire. The children of Israel, the Hebrew people constantly fell into idol worship — the contemporary Christian might wonder how they could have been so stupid as to bow to fictitious entities made of wood, stone or metal! Peter and the other Apostles were thrown into prison for preaching in Messiah’s name, they did not ask the authorities what they were legally permitted to say, rather Peter proclaimed, “We must Obey God rather than men.” Likewise the early Church suffered great persecution because they would simply not bow to the lordship of Caesar. Continue reading Government Takeover of the Church
A friend of mine relates the story when encountering a critic of the Faith; You ask him, “Do you know everything there is to know?’ He may think he’s pretty smart, but he aint no fool, he says “NO.” So you ask him, “Do you know half of everything there is to know?” So he pauses a little longer but finally admits that he does not know half of everything there is to know. Now the clincher; “Is it possible that the knowledge of GOD is outside the half of everything that you do know?
Sixty-nine weeks had past from the seventy weeks prophecy of Daniel. John the Baptist was baptizing in the River Jordan. Another prophet had arrived on the scene, one Yahushua, Jesus of Nazareth, who many came to believe is The Messiah. Not because he fulfilled the popular prophecy of a Messiah that would conquer Israels enemies propelling Israel to its rightful status of world dominion, but because the miracles and signs caused the faithful to re-examine the popular eschatology and see the truth of Israel’s coming demise. He came to save them from their sins and foretold the desolation of the Temple, the City and the Nation.
Jeremiah was thrown into prison because his prophecies did not line up with popular eschatology, but he and few others told the truth. The Popular Prophecy Teachers of Jesus day could show you a hundred scriptures to support their fallacy, ‘‘the ruling and reigning messiah conquering the entire earth”, but that did not negate the fact that they held to a false pre-supposition. So it was in Jeremiah”s time as in Jesus” – so it is today. If it is popular it is probably wrong. What first century Israelite wanted to hear that the seventy weeks determined for Israel as a special set apart nation to God was nearing its end, with certain desolation of the Temple, City, and Nation to follow? This Prophet told them that He would be delivered up and killed, that not one stone of the Temple would be left upon another, that they would be persecuted and have to flee the land or get swallowed up by the flood to come. Even His own disciples could not shake the prophetic delusion, bewildered at his death, only understanding and accepting the truth with His resurrection having their eyes opened by His Holy Spirit.
And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. (Luke 21:20-22)
For those in Israel Seventy Weeks of Years had passed, Jesus was risen from the dead and then ascended to sit at the right hand of The Father. The disciples where witnessing in Israel and the Gospel was now going to the Nations via Paul and those who followed. The New Testament was being written and distributed one letter at a time. In Judea the followers of Yahushua the Messiah were preparing to flee as they had been warned by Him of the …wrath upon this people. And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. (Luke 21:24) This was the unpopular prophecy which only the faithful remnant would accept, and some only with much convincing by the Word and their present reality. How merciful our God was to continue work in Israel forty years to allow as many to escape the wrath to come.
Now there were two camps in Israel, The Obedient who would heed the words of the Messiah and sell their lands and make preparations to flee and take as many with them as would be saved, and they would take the Gospel to the world. …all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods… And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. (Act 2:44-47) If, by the word of the Messiah, they did not flee, there were only two alternatives for those that stayed behind, they would …fall by the edge of the sword… or …be led away captive into all nations… This was the fate of The Disobedient. One camp followed the Messiah, one camp rejected Him. Which camp were God”s Chosen People? As Ruth was grafted into Israel, and Rahab even making it into the linage of the Messiah so our God has always made provision for those of other nations to be grafted into His Holy Nation. When I say His Holy Nation I am not talking about a Nation of flesh and blood, for it is written, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God. But this was something new, this faithful remnant was being dispersed into all nations taking the gospel with them to call upon as many as would be saved. All of the promises and covenants that God made with Abraham and Israel are fulfilled in Christ.
Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. (Gal 3:16) Has God forgotten who are His people? Is the seed of Abraham by faith any less Yahudi (the people of God) than those who may or may not be the actual descendants of Israel simply because they are called Jews? If today the posterity of the disobedient and other proselytes who practice the religion of Judaism and accept not the Messiah are called His Chosen People, how much more those who practice the Faith of the Great Patriarchs having been washed and purchased by the blood of the Lamb of God, Yahushua Jesus the Messiah?
And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. (Gen 12:3) If God Himself spoke this to Abraham before there was even an Israel or a “Jew”, how is this less applicable to me than one who rejects His Messiah but labels himself a Jew? For he is not a Jew (Yahudi – the people of God), which is one outwardly; neither [is that] circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he [is] a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision [is that] of the heart, in the spirit, [and] not in the letter; whose praise [is] not of men, but of God. (Rom 2:28-29) This not only applies to those who merely call themselves Jews, it applies as well to those who are only Christians outwardly and have not the circumcision that is of the heart, in the spirit.
Matthew 21:43 Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits.