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Lowell Brueckner

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Four Young Hebrews in Babylon

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The Book of the Prophet Daniel

“… some stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire!” Hebrews 11:33, 34

Chapter 1:1-7  Four Young Hebrews in Babylon

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 vessels of the house of God. And he brought them to the land of Shinar, to the house of his god, and placed the vessels in the treasury of his god. 
3.  Then the king commanded Ashpenaz, his chief eunuch, to bring some of the people of Israel, both of the royal family and of the nobility, 
4.  youths without blemish, of good appearance and skillful in all wisdom, endowed with knowledge, understanding learning, and competent to stand in the king's palace, and to teach them the literature and language of the Chaldeans. 
5.  The king assigned them a daily portion of the food that the king ate, and of the wine that he drank. They were to be educated for three years, and at the end of that time they were to stand before the king. 
6.  Among these were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah of the tribe of Judah. 
7.  And the chief of the eunuchs gave them names: Daniel he called Belteshazzar, Hananiah he called Shadrach, Mishael he called Meshach, and Azariah he called Abednego. 

As we begin reading the first chapter of the book of Daniel, we immediately learn two things: 1) The Bible harmonizes with the actual events of human history. It accurately finds its place there and confirms all the rulers, nations, and movements, which we know to be historically true and gives the dates, in which they played their part. Babylon had an important role in the Bible and its history began in the book of Genesis. In our study, we enter the time, when this empire had reached its glory. In verse one, we read of one of the conquests of Emperor Nebuchadnezzar II, son of Nabopolassar, who destroyed the Assyrian empire and turned Babylon into the world power that it was in the time of Daniel.

2) Israel is always involved in some way with these predominant forces. Almighty God, who spoke the universe into existence, chose to be the divine King over a relatively small nation. However, these people have never been, and are not now, insignificant on the world scene. This is due, in part, to the fact that they always interacted with the highest powers on earth.

Introduction to Daniel

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 For the next few months, or however long it takes, I will focus on the book of Daniel. Again, this will be an expository study, verse by verse. I hope you will join me, because, as you know, there are some exciting, meaningful stories in the first six chapters. 

Then, we will come to some of the most amazing prophecies in the entire Bible, concerning the endtimes. There is also a prophecy in chapter two, a very important one for understanding the entire history of world empires. The greatest key to an outline of prophetic times and unlocking its mysteries is given in chapter nine. For sure, you will not want to miss the study of that chapter.  

I would never attempt a study of the book of Revelation, without first tackling Daniel. I mention in the introduction that it is impossible to comprehend the book of Revelation, without a previous knowledge of this book. Perhaps in the future, we can plunge into John's Revelation, but let's get some help first from this noble prophet with his amazing eye for events that will take us to the Second Coming of Christ. 

In the beginning, I wanted to turn aside a little, in order to mention some real hindrances to the development of spirituality in the individual Christian life, as well as being problems, relative to the church these days. There are just a few paragraphs concerning this, so please bear with me. I feel there must be a change of attitude and mentality, in order to hold the right Christian perspective in the very dangerous times, spiritually speaking, in which we live. 

The Spiritual Person

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My comments on the book of Galatians conclude with this article. I hope they have been of use to you...

Galatians 6:1-18

1.  Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. 
2.  Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
3.  For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.
4.  But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. 
5.  For each will have to bear his own load. 
6.  Let the one who is taught the word share all good things with the one who teaches. 
7.  Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. 
8.  For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. 

9.  And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. 
10.  So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith

God is the God of restoration. Shall we term restoration a second chance? My favorite biblical example of God’s willingness to restore is that of Samson, after he miserably compromised his Nazarite secret with a foreign woman, who immediately betrayed him. As a result, the covenant hair of his head was shaved, he was taken prisoner, his eyes were put out and he was made to grind at a mill. The next verse brings tears to my eyes and hope to my heart: “But the hair of his head began to grow again after it had been shaved” (Jud.16:22). As simple as it is, I love this verse, because it reveals the nature of Samson’s God. The Holy Spirit wants to convey the fact that He is the God of restoration. The duty of the spiritual Christian is to restore a fallen brother and to do so in a spirit of gentleness.

Works and Fruits

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Galatians 5:13-26


13.  For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 

14.  For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." 

15.  But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another. 

16.  But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 

17.  For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. 

18.  But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 

The whole of the letter to the Galatians is a plea to return to freedom, into which they were born and which is characteristic of the true Christian life. God calls a people out of slavery into glorious liberty. The point is not only that spiritual slavery is dreadfully bad, but that life in the Spirit is joyously wonderful. In this section, Paul will show that the walk in the Spirit is synonymous with freedom. The only people on this planet, who are truly free, are those who have been born of the Spirit of God and whose practical, daily life is under the control of the Spirit.

Liberty, Faith, Love and Truth

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Galatians 5:1-12 


V. 1-4  For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. 
2.  Look: I, Paul, say to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you. 
3.  I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law. 
4.  You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace. 

Warren Wiersbe wrote:  "Sad to say, there are some people who feel very insecure with liberty. They would rather be under the tyranny of some leader than to make their own decisions freely. There are some believers who are frightened by the liberty they have in God’s grace; so they seek out a fellowship that is legalistic and dictatorial, where they can let others make their decisions for them. This is comparable to an adult climbing back into the crib. The way of Christian liberty is the way of fulfillment in Christ. No wonder Paul issues that ultimatum: “Do not be entangled again in the yoke of bondage. Take your stand for liberty.”

What is biblical liberty? Once again, we have to be sure to obtain the definition from the Bible. It is something more than what the world would describe as liberty and it is also contrary to the world’s view.

Because the man of the world is basically egocentric, liberty would mean to him a removal of obstacles, so that he can fulfill his desires, ambitions, and bring himself happiness. It might also mean that, if he is bound by vices and bad habits, he would seek freedom from them, in order to enjoy himself on a much higher level. A higher degree of morality and decency would win for him a greater respect and honor from his fellow man. However, all of these goals are against the purposes of God and therefore, the liberty that he seeks, is not that which is found in the Bible.

Human definitions take nothing away from the fact that God is the God of liberty and offers, through the gospel, true freedom. Liberty is the ambiance of the heavenly Jerusalem and it is only in that ambiance that the new spiritual nature can develop. God’s freedom is absolutely priceless and far beyond the highest value that we can put upon it. I appreciate Warren Wiersbe’s comments throughout this epistle. Concerning gospel liberty, he says: “Paul’s doctrine of Christian liberty through grace is not the dangerous doctrine. It is legalism that is the dangerous doctrine, because legalism attempts to do the impossible: change the old nature and make it obey the Laws of God.”