..."and a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the way of holiness; evil minded people shall not travel on it, but it shall be for those wayfarers who are traveling toward God. (Isaiah 35:8, adapted)

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Daniel 10 Bible Study: Who Is Visiting Us?

Daniel was a man of God who sought
God: sought Him high and low, in
weakness and in strength, in good
times and in bad, in Jerusalem and
in Babylon. God chose to visit Him.

In these days we often hear "God has
spoken to me" or "God has visited me."
But we must ask ourselves in all
seriousness, "Who is visiting us?"
for we need to know that it is God
and not man, beast, devil or or own
nature that is informing us.

Now that the elections are past there
is quite a pile of wreckage of failed
prophecies and incorrect "words"
attributed to "God" of what was
supposed to happen in our recent
elections. Even words that have been
spoken and may have seemed to come to
pass may still be not words from the
heart of God and not the end of the
the story.

We need not shame others, but WE CANNOT
IGNORE that in so many situations so
many words and prophecies have proved to
be dust in the wind! We are flesh, we
get it wrong but we need to take a careful,
even dreadful look at why we are getting it
wrong. If it was an isolated or occasional
case, it would be one thing but it is not.

Isaiah was told, "Cry out" and when he
asked what he should cry out, he
was told "All flesh is as grass,... but
the word of the Lord endureth forever"
(Isaiah 40:6-8).

Let me say that I believe that God does
speaks to men and women. I believe that
He leads us and guides us. I believe that
that leading is ALWAYS in accord
and proceeding from His Word.

Yet, some or much that we presume to be
God speaking to us turns out not to be God.
Prophets of God could not get it wrong
in the Old Testament. They had to speak
for God correctly. They had to know Him.
They had to be accountable
to Him. Do we believe this has changed?
No, it has not changed! Are we held to a lesser
standard? we who have the Spirit actually
indwelling us?
I think not.

What is the difference in spirit between
a prophet like Daniel and those who speak
"visions of peace when there is none" and
"prophecy out of their own heart"?
(Ezekiel 13: 16,17)

Daniel is found continually seeking the
Lord in adverse circumstances. He has
an awesome encounter with God: "Who is
this one whose face had the appearance
of lightning, and whose eyes are as
lamps of fire?" (vs 6) (Compare John's
vision of Christ in Revelation 1:12-16).

Whether it be Christ Himself, or an
angelic representative sent by God it
does not say for certain, but the
encounter, no doubt, was from the Living
and True God and not a wild imagination.
What are some safeguards we can put into
place as we seek to hear and know God?

1) We must continually seek God and
dwell in His Word, putting Him first.

There are no safeguards for those whose
hearts are not turned toward the Lord!
God comes to Daniel while Daniel is
fasting and interceding on behalf of
His people. He identified with the
sins of His people. This was not a whim
for Daniel but a lifestyle. The encounter
with God floored and devastated Daniel.
It raised God up and lowered Daniel.

Unless we allow ourselves to be emptied
of spiritual ambition and spiritual
thrill-seeking then we are open to deception.

2) We cannot allow other people to hear
God for us though we should be teachable
and part of a community of accountability,
we must still hear God for ourselves.

Daniel ALONE saw the vision (10:7). No one
else was permitted to, but the others
fled in terror because they knew that whatever
was happening, it was a terrible event, in the
deepest sense of that word. .

We must have the moral courage to meet God
ourselves.. With that comes opportunity for
great blessing or great de ception. We need
to know that it is, indeed, God that is visiting
us, and not a figment of our own imagination or
an idol of our own making.

P.T. Forsyth said, "The non-theological Christ
is popular; he wins votes but he is not mighty;
he does not win souls: he does not break men
into small pieces and create them anew

--(The Taste of Death and The Life of Grace)

Jesus tells us that those who fall on the Rock
will be broken into pieces, but those on whom
the Rock falls will be ground into powder
(Matt 21:44). Either way, no one is left intact.
God has no casual armchair prophets, He only has
those who have chosen to fall on the Rock so that
He might be Everything in them. The one who has
let God deal with his motivations, his desires,
his innermost being is the one who is most
safe from error.

The God revealed in Scripture, the Living God,
is a God to be encountered. When Daniel
encountered Him, "there remained no strength
in me: for my vigour was turned in me into
corruption, and I retained no strength" (vs. 8).

3) When we meet God, we know and see that He
must increase and we must decrease.

Our own human agenda's must be done away
with. Encounter with God drains our natural
posturing and our natural strength. It shows
us who we are and who God is. In that encounter
we should be, indeed will be, slow to speak.
After that encounter we should speak only out
of our inevitable brokenness at the sight of a
Holy God.

When we receive a word it must be with
fear of God and trembling. We must know that
that word is for God's purposes and we must
handle it ever so carefully. We must let
the Word examine our motivations. Are our
prophecies for God or for ourselves? Why
are we giving them? Are we in align with
God's purposes or looking to appear spiritual
or to market "the word" with books,
tapes, cd's and guest ap pearances?

We have become too familiar with God and
yet we do not know Him at all. Who is
visiting us? A god of our own minds,
conjured up by our own lusts? a fairy
tale, a fantasy, a virtual
but man-made "reality"?

When you have encountered God, you will
know it, even it He comes to you in a
still, small Voice. There is really no
mistaking the Living and True One, and
yet our hearts are deceitfully wicked and we
are easily led astray.

Who is the man or woman God comes to? And
Who is this God who comes to him? This is
no time for us to be deceived. Jesus warns
us that in the last days false christs will
come. Need they be all external ones? Cannot
false Christ's present themselves to the
mind or be created by our minds? Can another
Jesus be visiting me, even one I have
made myself?

God never changes. He is always and eternally
the God of Holiness, full of Truth, crowned
with righteousness. In His Presence all
darkness must flee away. If you think you
are in God's presence and do not see that
you are naked and blind and hopelessly lost
without Him, then you are not in God's
presence but in a blinding fog.

Encounter with God demands change, creates
change, IS change. And the change is one
of godly, spiritual fruit issuing forth from
a root of holiness. If we want change we
should start here. We cannot meet God and
be the same. If we are, we have to ask, "Who
is visiting us?" or "Who are we visiting?"

The one who spoke to Daniel revealed some of
the reasons that God was coming to Daniel. It
was because Daniel had sought God, had chastened
himself, had sought to understand. "The eyes
of the Lord roam to and fro upon the earth
looking" for such people. But why does it seem
that the Lord's eyes have to look far and wide
for such ones? It appears that there are not so
many of them that they can be found everywhere
that the eye, even the eye of God, looks.

God looks for those who are in line with His
purpose and are about what He is about. Any
other agenda but the eternal purpose of God
has within it the DNA of error and will bear
the deformed child of corrupted human flesh.

We will make mistakes as we walk along and
try to hear God, but there are real reasons
why we make mistakes, and real reasons why
those mistakes then can harden into recalcitrant,
continuous error, and then into godlessness,
and then we are given over completely to deception.

Do not despise prophecy but bear in mind
this balancing thought: "Be not rash with
your mouth, and let not your heart be hasty
to utter any thing before God: for God is in
heaven, and you on earth: therefore let
your words be few." (Eccl 5:2). If you have
a word, weigh it, and let God weigh you.

Many spirits have gone out in the world and
there is much deception. Let us not
be deceived, nor contribute to another's
deception. Test the spirits (I John 4:1).
We must ask ourselves, "Who is visiting us?"


Anonymous said...

Good Morning! It is July 4, 2010 and I'm reading through some of your articles. I love the ones you write yourself. I do appreciate your quotes because I sometimes look up the person you mention, and especially love the 1800's writers. I'm going to read up on PT Forsyth.

For a couple of years I have been reading and meditating on Daniel. Last night after going to bed and even in the middle of the night I kept thinking that there were two things about Daniel that from the beginning to the end he never compromised. He sacrificed food and comfort to seek the LORD God, and He sought the LORD's WORD and answer in deep sincere prayer. When Daniel was first taken to Babylon, he did not object to their 'schooling', but to the food of the king because he knew it would 'compromise' his walk with God. Isn't that interesting~

Christians love to go protesting or get up-in-arms about things that would compromise their 'Christianity', but FOOD is never one of those protests! LOL Food! How simple is that?!

I haven't read your article on Daniel 1 yet, but I'm sure you cover this about food. I am a gout sufferer. Not because I eat lots of meat like people think, but because it is an arthritic condition and is heretitary and is also affected by some medications I have to take. I have to eat a'low purine diet' to help me with the symptoms. Now, if we can change our diet for health reasons, why is it so amazing to watch what we eat out of obedience and respect for our LORD Almighty?! It is also interesting because even Jesus said "it is not what goes into the body that defiles you, but what comes out of your mouth"...my paraphrasing. But, Daniel also understood by the Spirit I BELIEVE that sacrifice of natural foods and pleasures was a offering unto the Living MANNA! He knew that to eat as the king and his court was to be a partaker with the pleasures and social morals of the palace. That would be a down-fall for the man of God and his companions. We are to be a separated people.

I realize I'm chatting on here, but I really enjoyed this article on the warnings against prophecies that come from a source other than God! I also agree that today there has been set up a "religious" community of popular prophets!!! Why? I have asked a person I know that follows all the popular prophets and prophetesses of the day why she thinks that God is continually giving them prophesies...almost on a routine or schedule! In the Bible, the prophets SUFFERED for their prophesies that came from the Mouth of God! They were tormented, starved, captures and imprisoned, on the run from evil men, and also usually had frightening warnings against what would come and the sin of the people! Where is the SIN that God hates so much warned against.

I'll continue to read on....
God bless you my Sister in Jesus Name by His Spirit!

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Hi! I just re-read this post, and I appreciate what you wrote...esp this:
We have become too familiar with God and
yet we do not know Him at all. Who is
visiting us? A god of our own minds,
conjured up by our own lusts? a fairy
tale, a fantasy, a virtual
but man-made "reality"?

This says so much about what I sense in so many 'modern' prophets.

I've enjoyed your Daniel study.