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BIBLE STUDIES

1.Is your unbelief and murmuring limiting God’s power?
2.Standing in the face of adversity and facing the threat of death.
3. The Mark Of The Beast

4. The Truth About Halloween




1.Is your unbelief and murmuring limiting God’s power? Part 1

This bible study is coming from Numbers 13-14.

So often we limit the power of God. God wants to do much more for us, but we limit Him because of our murmuring and unbelief. We focus on our circumstances and not what God can and will do for us. We look around at what others have and do. We covet and envy people’s blessings, or what seems to look like blessings. We can see throughout the first books of the bible, the problems of the Children of Israel, but we act just like them today. Their murmuring and unbelief caused them much heartache, pain and even death. 

They walked in circles for 40 years because of their constant disobedience, unbelief in God and their never ending murmuring. The trip to Canaan was believed to only take 40 days, but it took them 40 years and only two people from the millions of people who first left Egypt, saw and enjoyed the Promised Land. When you are God’s chosen you are under His government. It’s certain things you can’t do. God requires more than man. When you’re under God’s government the things He asks you to do is for your own good and God ALWAYS knows best. When your under man’s government you can pretty much do whatever you want with no, or limited consequences. The children of Israel couldn't fully grasp that concept as a whole, few did, but many fail. This bible study pulls out a story from the bible that is relevant to us today.

This is a small backdrop to the story. God has freed the Children of Israel from Egypt, out the yoke of Pharaoh’s bondage and they have crossed the Red Sea, so they know God is a God of wonders and miracles (Psalm 40:5). He is a deliverer. Now the children of Israel are about to enter Canaan Land. In Numbers 13:1-20. God tells Moses to choose leaders from the 12 tribes of Judah to search the land of Canaan. Moses obeys. He goes to each tribe and chooses a leader. Keep in mind these leaders were not ordinary men just randomly picked. Moses chose these men under the direction of God. 


Is your unbelief and murmuring limiting God’s power? Part 2

This bible study is coming from Numbers 13-14

God is a God of grace, mercy and love. He has freed the Children of Israel from Egypt, out from the yoke of Pharaoh’s bondage, He has parted the Red Sea for the children of Israel to walk through it; God has fed them bread from Heaven they know God is a God of wonders and miracles (Psalm 40:5). He is a deliverer. He has put up with their, unbelief, complaining and murmuring as well. I thank God for His longsuffering character.

Now the children of Israel are about to enter Canaan Land. In Numbers 13:1-20. God tells Moses to choose leaders from the 12 tribes of Judah to search the land of Canaan. Moses obeys. He goes to each tribe and chooses a leader. Keep in mind these leaders were not ordinary men just randomly picked. Moses chose these men under the direction of God. They were to survey the land, bring back a report, bring back fruit etc. (Numbers 13:17-20). They left and were gone 40 days.

Numbers 13:21-25
21 So they went up, and searched the land from the wilderness of Zin unto Rehob, as men come to Hamath. 

22 And they ascended by the south, and came unto Hebron; where Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai, the children of Anak, were. (Now Hebron was built seven years before Zoan in Egypt.) 

23 And they came unto the brook of Eshcol, and cut down from thence a branch with one cluster of grapes, and they bare it between two upon a staff; and they brought of the pomegranates, and of the figs. 

24 The place was called the brook Eshcol, because of the cluster of grapes which the children of Israel cut down from thence. 

25 And they returned from searching of the land after forty days. 

By reading these verses it seems like everything is good right? They all should have gave a good report, but as we read on down in the chapter the majority of the spies gave an unfavorable report. 

Numbers 13:26-33
26 And they went and came to Moses, and to Aaron, and to all the congregation of the children of Israel, unto the wilderness of Paran, to Kadesh; and brought back word unto them, and unto all the congregation, and shewed them the fruit of the land. 

27 And they told him, and said, We came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it. 

28 Nevertheless the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled, and very great: and moreover we saw the children of Anak there. 

29 The Amalekites dwell in the land of the south: and the Hittites, and the Jebusites, and the Amorites, dwell in the mountains: and the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and by the coast of Jordan. 

The report was mixed, they briefly talked about the prosperity of the land. The grapes were so big two people had to carry them. The land was flowing with milk and honey (the land was rich). Canaan was beautiful. This was the land God promised to give them. 

Unbelief and distrust in God begin to grow in the hearts of 10 of the 12 spies. They gave God a but. Notice in verse 28 the unbelief comes when they say NEVERTHELESS. They begin to give a reason for their unbelief. Don’t we do this to God? God tell us He will never leave us nor forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6), He will supply all our needs (Philippians 4:19) and we know this to be true, BUT our actions and words when we come against the odds and adversity say we don’t trust God and we don’t believe what He said in His Word. When we do these things like the Israelites did, we limit God’s power? Because of unbelief God is not able to do all the things He wants to do for us.


Is your unbelief and murmuring limiting God’s power? Part 3

This bible study is coming from Numbers 13-14

Even though the majority had forgotten God promised them Canaan. 2 believed and it was Joshua and Caleb.

Numbers 13:30
30 And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it. 

As I read that text I’m reminded of many instances in the bible when God’s people conquered cities and overcame what seem to be mighty men and won battles. Looking on the outside they may have seemed impossible to conquer, but with God nothing is impossible. God only had 300 men with Gideon, they only needed to make noise to gain the victory over the Midianites. Joshua at the battle of Jericho only took marching, blowing of trumpets and shouting to take down the wall. Each one of these mighty battles involved faith in God and obedience to His instructions. 

The majority of the 12 spies forgot who they served and begin to waver in their faith. Oh ye of little faith (Matthew 8:26). They became scared and looked at their situation and forgot about the power and might of the God in Heaven. 

Numbers 13:31
31 But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we. 

32 And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature. 

33 And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.

These men (Israel’s spies), having entered upon a wrong course, stubbornly set themselves against Caleb and Joshua, against Moses, and against God. Every advance step rendered them the more determined. They were resolved to discourage all effort to gain possession of Canaan. They distorted the truth in order to sustain their baleful influence. It "is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof," they said. This was not only an evil report, but it was also a lying one. It was inconsistent with itself. The spies had declared the country to be fruitful and prosperous, and the people of giant stature, all of which would be impossible if the climate were so unhealthful that the land could be said to "eat up the inhabitants." But when men yield their hearts to unbelief they place themselves under the control of Satan, and none can tell to what lengths he will lead them. {PP 389.1} 

One of the biggest problems that the children of Israel and us today have, is when we don’t belief and murmur we always have to have a reason why we don’t have faith in God and why we murmur. Just because you give a reason doesn’t mean it’s right.

Some of us have children and we don’t help our children trust in God when we murmur and show our lack of faith in God in front of them, this is one of the reasons our children rebel against God when they go to college or leave from under our care. We have to teach our kids to trust in God. Just because your situation looks impossible and it seems like there is no visible help in sight, trust in God even when you can’t see the outcome of your situation. 



Is your unbelief and murmuring limiting God’s power? Part 4

This bible study is coming from Numbers 13-14

The bad report from 10 of the 12 spies caused the people to doubt God and become afraid, and even murmur. Lack of faith can cause you not to think and often times make bad decisions. Instead of the children of Israel praying and asking God how they can take the land they begin to turn against Moses and Aaron and had the audacity to question God. They murmured amongst themselves and asked themselves, did God bring us this far to die? They thought they were going to take the land of Canaan by their own efforts and strength. The nerve of them. Today we was Christians do the same thing. We get mad at God because we have prayed and prayed, but we still keep sinning. The problem is we haven't accepted the help that God is so willing to give us. We won’t allow God to change us, we never come to the point of total surrender. 

The children of Israel loved to murmur when tough circumstances were before them. They literally had God in the camp, not fully visible in all His glory (they would have died if He was), but they felt and saw His presence. We as Christians see God moving and working and we count our blessings, but we deny His power and murmur so often.

Numbers 14:1-3

1 And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night. 

2 And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness! 

3 And wherefore hath the LORD brought us unto this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should be a prey? were it not better for us to return into Egypt?

In their unbelief they limited the power of God and distrusted the hand that had hitherto safely guided them. And they repeated their former error of murmuring against Moses and Aaron. "This, then, is the end of our high hopes," they said. "This is the land we have traveled all the way from Egypt to possess." They accused their leaders of deceiving the people and bringing trouble upon Israel. {PP 388.2} 

The people were desperate in their disappointment and despair. A wail of agony arose and mingled with the confused murmur of voices. Caleb comprehended the situation, and, bold to stand in defense of the word of God, he did all in his power to counteract the evil influence of his unfaithful associates. For an instant the people were stilled to listen to his words of hope and courage respecting the goodly land. He did not contradict what had already been said; the walls were high and the Canaanites strong. But God had promised the land to Israel. "Let us go up at once and possess it," urged Caleb; "for we are well able to overcome it." {PP 388.3} 

But the ten, interrupting him, pictured the obstacles in darker colors than at first. "We be not able to go up against the people,"they declared; "for they are stronger than we. . . . All the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature. And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight." {PP 388.4}

The people wanted a new leader. Moses wasn't telling them what they wanted to hear. Today people want smooth messages to come from the pulpit. Jesus loves you this I know. This is true, but is that what the Great Controversy is about? Isn't there a battle for our souls, Jesus wants give us a new life, give us eternity, doesn't Satan want to take our lives and have us burn in the lake of Fire with Him? Are we not living in the last days, in the time of final judgment? When Jesus comes back the second time He’s not coming back to save that which is lost, but destroy sin forever and take His people that are called by His name home with Him to live forever. 

The children of Israel wanted things to be easy and when they saw things were hard they begin to blame the leaders. They were ready to kill Moses and Aaron, as if, it was their fault they were in the situation they were in. Murmur and unbelief can cause you to fall under the control of Satan. 

Numbers 14:4-10

4 And they said one to another, Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt. 

5 Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel. 

6 And Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of them that searched the land, rent their clothes: 

7 And they spake unto all the company of the children of Israel, saying, The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land. 

8 If the LORD delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey. 

9 Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not. 

10 But all the congregation bade stone them with stones. And the glory of the LORD appeared in the tabernacle of the congregation before all the children of Israel. 

It is hardly possible for men to offer greater insult to God than to despise and reject the instrumentalities He would use for their salvation. The Israelites had not only done this, but had purposed to put both Moses and Aaron to death. Yet they did not realize the necessity of seeking pardon of God for their grievous sin. That night of probation was not passed in repentance and confession, but in devising some way to resist the evidences which showed them to be the greatest of sinners. They still cherished hatred of the men of God's appointment, and braced themselves to resist their authority. Satan was at hand to pervert their judgment and lead them blindfold to destruction. {PP 402.1} 


Is your unbelief and murmuring limiting God’s power? Part 5

This bible study is coming from Numbers 13-14

Many don’t think God gets fed up with His people and He doesn't have a limit. Here’s a few examples in the bible when He got fed up and reached His limit. The Flood, Sodom & Gomorrah and finally, The Second Coming of Christ (when God finally reaches His limit with sin). Satan would love for us to only focus on the love of God and not God’s judgment, victory over sin and the eradication of sin. God is a Father to us and just like parents we love our children regardless, but we get tired of them messing up and in the teaching and learning process we have to rebuke and chasten them sometimes. God has to rebuke and chasten us often (Revelation 3:19).

Numbers 14:11

11 And the LORD said unto Moses, How long will this people provoke me? and how long will it be ere they believe me, for all the signs which I have shewed among them?

Here we see God is testing Moses, but we have seen in the past when whole cities and even the earth was destroyed, because the hearts of men were evil continually. 

Numbers 14:12-16

12 I will smite them with the pestilence, and disinherit them, and will make of thee a greater nation and mightier than they. 

13 And Moses said unto the LORD, Then the Egyptians shall hear it, (for thou broughtest up this people in thy might from among them;) 

14 And they will tell it to the inhabitants of this land: for they have heard that thou LORD art among this people, that thou LORD art seen face to face, and that thy cloud standeth over them, and that thou goest before them, by day time in a pillar of a cloud, and in a pillar of fire by night. 

15 Now if thou shalt kill all this people as one man, then the nations which have heard the fame of thee will speak, saying, 

16 Because the LORD was not able to bring this people into the land which he sware unto them, therefore he hath slain them in the wilderness.

Thank God He is longsuffering, merciful and a forgiving God. Moses pleaded on the behalf of the people. The people were ready to kill him and Aaron, but Moses showed how a good leader loves the people. He didn’t want to see them perish. Thank God Moses was a great leader to the Children of Israel. 

Numbers 14:17-20

17 And now, I beseech thee, let the power of my LORD be great, according as thou hast spoken, saying, 

18 The LORD is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation. 

19 Pardon, I beseech thee, the iniquity of this people according unto the greatness of thy mercy, and as thou hast forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now. 

20 And the LORD said, I have pardoned according to thy word:

God is merciful and kind, but we can’t forget He is also JUST. The people had to be punished. When you are under God’s government things go a whole lot different. Man’s government can only try to copy God’s government. In our society today they have taken some of the Ten Commandments and have put them into law. God’s government abides by ALL of the Ten Commandments. The Children of Israel were held to a higher standard, they made a covenant with God. We today have made covenants, when we got baptized and when we get married, but like Israel we forget we ever made the covenants. 

Here we see the punishment and the pardon of Caleb and Joshua. It pays to take God at His Word. If He said it, He will do it. I know it had to hurt God for His people to limit His power, murmur, question Him and attempt to kill His chosen leaders Moses and Aaron.

Numbers 14:21-35

21 But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD. 

22 Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice; 

23 Surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it: 

24 But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it. 

25 (Now the Amalekites and the Canaanites dwelt in the valley.) To morrow turn you, and get you into the wilderness by the way of the Red sea. 

26 And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, 

27 How long shall I bear with this evil congregation, which murmur against me? I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel, which they murmur against me. 

28 Say unto them, As truly as I live, saith the LORD, as ye have spoken in mine ears, so will I do to you: 

29 Your carcases shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, which have murmured against me, 

30 Doubtless ye shall not come into the land, concerning which I sware to make you dwell therein, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun. 

31 But your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, them will I bring in, and they shall know the land which ye have despised.

32 But as for you, your carcases, they shall fall in this wilderness. 

33 And your children shall wander in the wilderness forty years, and bear your whoredoms, until your carcases be wasted in the wilderness. 

34 After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise. 

35 I the LORD have said, I will surely do it unto all this evil congregation, that are gathered together against me: in this wilderness they shall be consumed, and there they shall die.



Is your unbelief and murmuring limiting God’s power? Part 6

This bible study is coming from Numbers 13-14

God gives out the punishment for Israel’s murmuring (Numbers 14:27). This shows God does not like complaining. Especially when it’s coming from His people. We might not have what we think we should have, but hasn’t God been good to you thus far? He said in HIS Word I will supply ALL your needs (Philippians 4:19, Matthew 6:25-34). We often look at blessings as being wealthy, having a certain look, being noticed and popular. Many of the people today with all of these things are not happy. Things don’t make you happy, nor does it bring you peace, only having Jesus in your life and having that life surrendered to Him can you have the peace that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7)

Many times people say I’m in God’s favor not knowing what it means to be in God’s favor. An example of favor is shown in (Numbers 14:24, 30). To be in God’s favor you have to be doing His will, which is to obey Him (John 14:15). We should consider this, God has not killed Satan yet; the rapist, murderer and child molester all woke up this morning. There is no favor in waking up in the morning, its mercy. 

According to Webster’s Dictionary favor means
FAVOR, n. [L. favor, faveo.]
Kind regard; kindness; countenance; propitious aspect; friendly disposition.
God gave Joseph favor and wisdom in the sight of Pharaoh. Acts 7:10.
Support; defense; vindication; or disposition to aid, befriend, support, promote or justify. To be in favor of a measure, is to have a disposition or inclination to support it or carry it into effect. To be in favor or a party, is to be disposed or inclined to support it, to justify its proceedings, and to promote its interests.
A kind act or office; kindness done or granted; benevolence shown by word or deed; any act of grace or good will, as distinguished from acts of justice or renumeration. To pardon the guilty is a favor; to punish them is an act of justice.
Leave; good will; a yielding or concession to another; pardon.
But, with your favor, I will treat it here.
The object of kind regard; the person or thing favored.
A gift or present; something bestowed as an evidence of good will; a token of love; a knot of ribbons; something worn as a token of affection.

God’s punishment, which was a result of Israel’s own doing, put them back in the wilderness where they died (Numbers 14:25, 29-32). The children of Israel had made it to the borders of Canaan. It took the children of Israel 40 days to get there, but because of their constant murmuring, disbelief in God, questioning God and finally trying to kill God’s leaders, brought God to His limit and punishment ensued. The trip to Canaan only took 40 Days, now it was going to take 40 years and everyone that was a part of the foolishness at the border of Canaan would not see Canaan again, but they will die wandering in the wilderness (Numbers 14:32-35). God saw the future and knew they were not going to make it to Canaan, because of their hearts, it would be their own issues that kept them out of Canaan (Numbers 14:22-23, 30-35).

God has clearly told us no to some of our prayers, but don’t we still try to see them answered? God has told you no to that man or women by showing you signs they are not the person you should be spending time with and definitely not marry. God has clearly told you that good paying job you want was not for you and He wanted you to take a job helping people making less money. What do we do question and doubt God, and take the good paying job anyway and have the nerve to thank God. 

We shake our heads at what Israel did, but we repeat the same acts that they did (Ecclesiastes 1:9).

The 10 spies that brought back the bad report and when Joshua and Caleb tried to give the good report gave an even more bad report, died from the plague (Numbers 14:36-39). That bad report caused the people to doubt God, want to kill Moses and Aaron and return to EGYPT? Lack of faith can cause people to doubt God. 

So after hearing the words of Moses that came from God, the people NOW believe they can take Canaan, but it’s too late now. God has told them what’s going to happen; they’re going back to the wilderness to wander, they’re going to die there and they won’t see Canaan. They think otherwise they try to take the city anyway (Numbers 14:40) 

Regardless of the divine sentence, the Israelites prepared to undertake the conquest of Canaan. Equipped with armor and weapons of war, they were, in their own estimation, fully prepared for conflict; but they were sadly deficient in the sight of God and His sorrowful servants. When, nearly forty years later, the Lord directed Israel to go up and take Jericho, He promised to go with them. The ark containing His law was borne before their armies. His appointed leaders were to direct their movements, under the divine supervision. With such guidance, no harm could come to them. But now, contrary to the command of God and the solemn prohibition of their leaders, without the ark, and without Moses, they went out to meet the armies of the enemy. {PP 393.2} 

God’s punishment came sooner than the people believed it would. 10 of the 12 spies died immediately (Numbers 14:36-37), some of the people tried to take the city without God, by their own might and strength and perished at the hands of the Amalekites and Canaanites. Moses warned them before they went, but just like us today God says no and like children to parents, think they are smarter or know something we don’t know; the children of Israel disregarded Moses’ counsel and the Words of God (HAVE MERCY) and went to Canaan to fight without God and perished (Numbers 14:40-45).

Let us not murmur and follow the examples of the children of Israel, there is no more hope for the children of Israel, but we have a chance to change the paths we have taken in our lives. It’s time to surrender to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We are on the borders of Heaven. Are you distracted with the things of this world? Does the love of pleasure come before God? We have to choose Jesus or Satan. There is no in-between. For those who don’t believe in God, just because you don’t believe in God doesn't mean He doesn't exist, don’t wait until judgment day and then believe. It will be eternally too late. 

Take up your cross and follow Jesus today (Luke 9:23).



2.Standing in the face of adversity and facing the threat of death. Part 1
 
Can and do you stand in the midst of adversity, maybe not always adversity, but embarrassment, ridicule, being unpopular for your beliefs and your faith? Growing up as a child I never thought I would. I was naïve. I thought I knew what it meant to be a Christian. Now I’m grown and I understand the bible a lot better and I see, to be a true Christian you will not be liked by the masses. When we look at the early church they were persecuted for saying the word Christian and for even having a bible. Saying you were a Christian didn’t make you popular it made you a target. The inquisition and the Dark Ages proved this to be true and was also a type of what’s going to happen when the Time of Jacob’s Trouble or the Time of Trouble comes. It was been recorded that 50 million Christians were persecuted in the Dark Ages. They say more were persecuted, but 50 million have been documented.
 
Jesus said His followers would suffer persecution for His name (Matthew 5:11, 10:22, John 15:18-21). I ask the question again, can you stand in the midst of adversity and face the threat of death. Honestly I can say that question and the part about facing just the threat of death scares me. It’s an indicator that I’m not as ready as I need to be for the Second Coming of Jesus. In the end we will have to stand for Jesus or by default stand on the devil’s side. We can’t all of a sudden stand for Jesus when we haven’t been standing for Him in our daily lives. God presents tests for us. You can call them practice tests. The big test will come, and we must have the endurance or the patience of the saints to stand (Revelation 14:12).
 
When your friends or coworkers are having conversations with foul and vulgar language, do you feel uneasy, but still laugh and converse with them? Are you afraid of being ridicule, looked at as being different or an oddball? Are you afraid to pull out your bible and read it on your lunch break? If you can, do you take out the time to pray during breaks or when you have to go to the bathroom? These are only some examples of standing for Jesus in the little things.
 

The men in this bible study, Elijah, Daniel, Hanniah, Mishael, & Azariah were a part of God’s chosen people. They faced adversity, ridicule, embarrassment and death. Their faith was so strong in the Lord, they had no fear of death, adversity, ridicule or embarrassment. This bible study will go into depth about the life of Elijah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael & Azariah. See how Elijah went to the wicked King Ahab, bypassing his guards and telling King Ahab, because of his sins, the sins of the people and their replacement of the God in Heaven for false gods, God would place a drought of not just rain, but no dew as well for 3 years on the land. See how Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael & Azariah stood up to the most powerful dictator in the world at that time and told him we will not eat your food, and they did not bow down to his statue; the nerve of them right? See how Daniel didn’t stop praying just because there was a law that said He couldn’t pray and if he did he would die; see how Daniel was thrown in the lion’s den and he wasn’t afraid. The faith of these men was POWERFUL, a lesson to be learned by all of those who call themselves a Christian. Be blessed by this bible study


Standing in the face of adversity and facing the threat of death Part 2
Elijah Part 1

1 Kings 16:29-33, 17:1
Elijah walks into King Ahab’s palace, passing the guards and walks right up to King Ahab and give him the message of the Lord. People don’t understand what type of boldness that took. First of all you couldn't approach the King unless you were invited. The Lord was leading Elijah, because he had to get pass the guards before he could reach the King. What message was so important that Elijah put his life at stake?

God’s message to King Ahab was this
1 Kings 17:11 And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.
Why would God tell King Ahab this? We have to look at what happened before God gave Elijah this message.

1 Kings 16:29-33 AHAB’S TERRIBLE APOSTASY
Taking to wife Jezebel, "the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Zidonians" and high priest of Baal, Ahab "served Baal, and worshiped him. And he reared up an altar for Baal in the house of Baal, which he had built in Samaria." Verses 31, 32. {PK 114.2}

Not only did Ahab introduce Baal worship at the capital city, but under the leadership of Jezebel he erected heathen altars in many "high places," where in the shelter of surrounding groves the priests and others connected with this seductive form of idolatry exerted their baleful influence, until well-nigh all Israel were following after Baal. "There was none like unto Ahab," who "did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the Lord, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up. And he did very abominably in following idols, according to all things as did the Amorites, whom the Lord 115cast out before the children of Israel." 1 Kings 21:25, 26. {PK 114.3}

Ahab was weak in moral power. His union by marriage with an idolatrous woman of decided character and positive temperament resulted disastrously both to himself and to the nation. Unprincipled, and with no high standard of rightdoing, his character was easily molded by the determined spirit of Jezebel. His selfish nature was incapable of appreciating the mercies of God to Israel and his own obligations as the guardian and leader of the chosen people. {PK 115.1}

Under the blighting influence of Ahab's rule, Israel wandered far from the living God and corrupted their ways before Him. For many years they had been losing their sense of reverence and godly fear; and now it seemed as if there were none who dared expose their lives by openly standing forth in opposition to the prevailing blasphemy. The dark shadow of apostasy covered the whole land. Images of Baalim and Ashtoreth were everywhere to be seen. Idolatrous temples and consecrated groves, wherein were worshiped the works of men's hands, were multiplied. The air was polluted with the smoke of the sacrifices offered to false gods. Hill and vale resounded with the drunken cries of a heathen priesthood who sacrificed to the sun, moon, and stars. {PK 115.2}


Standing in the face of adversity and facing the threat of death Part 3
Elijah Part 2

1 Kings 16:29-33, 17:1

1 Kings 17
Among the mountains of Gilead, east of the Jordan, there dwelt in the days of Ahab a man of faith and prayer whose fearless ministry was destined to check the rapid spread of apostasy in Israel. Far removed from any city of renown, and occupying no high station in life, Elijah the Tishbite nevertheless entered upon his mission confident in God's purpose to prepare the way before him and to give him abundant success. The word of faith and power was upon his lips, and his whole life was devoted to the work of reform. His was the voice of one crying in the wilderness to rebuke sin and press back the tide of evil. And while he came to the people as a reprover of sin, his message offered the balm of Gilead to the sin-sick souls of all who desired to be healed. {PK 119.1}

As Elijah saw Israel going deeper and deeper into idolatry, his soul was distressed and his indignation aroused. God had done great things for His people. He had delivered them from bondage and given them "the lands of the heathen, . . . that they might observe His statutes, and keep His laws." Psalm 105:44, 45. But the beneficent designs of Jehovah were now well-nigh forgotten. Unbelief was fast separating the chosen nation from the Source of their strength. Viewing this apostasy from his mountain retreat, Elijah was overwhelmed with sorrow. In anguish of soul he besought God to arrest the once-favored people in their wicked course, to visit them with judgments, if need be, that they might be led to see in its true light their departure from Heaven. He longed to see them brought to repentance before they should go to such lengths in evil-doing as to provoke the Lord to destroy them utterly. {PK 119.2}

1 Kings 17:1
To Elijah was entrusted the mission of delivering to Ahab Heaven's message of judgment. He did not seek to be the Lord's messenger; the word of the Lord came to him. And jealous for the honor of God's cause, he did not hesitate to obey the divine summons, though to obey seemed to invite swift destruction at the hand of the wicked king. The prophet set out at once and traveled night and day until he reached Samaria. At the palace he solicited no admission, nor waited to be formally announced. Clad in the coarse garments usually worn by the prophets of that time, he passed the guards, apparently unnoticed, and stood for a moment before the astonished king. {PK 120.2}
In these last days we have to sigh and cry for our fellow brethren that are Christians only by name and are not taking up their cross daily (Luke 9:23).

The true people of God, who have the spirit of the work of the Lord and the salvation of souls at heart, will ever view sin in its real, sinful character. They will always be on the side of faithful and plain dealing with sins which easily beset the people of God. Especially in the closing work for the church, in the sealing time of the one hundred and forty-four thousand, who are to stand without fault before the throne of God, will they feel most deeply the wrongs of God's professed people.
This is forcibly set forth by the prophet's illustration of the last work, under the figure of the men, each having a slaughter weapon in his hand. One man among them was clothed with linen, with a writer's inkhorn by his side. "And the Lord said unto him,
Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for the abominations that be done in the midst thereof." {RH, June 8, 1886 par. 1}

Standing in the face of adversity and facing the threat of death Part 4 Elijah Part 3
1 Kings 17:2-7, 1 Kings 18:1,17-21

The famine had been told to Elijah and he gave the message to King Ahab. God is so faithful to us. Elijah was given food by birds (Ravens). God takes care of his people (1 Kings 17:2-7). God has told us our bread and water will be sure in the last days when we are faced with persecution (Isaiah 33:16). God never forgets His people. 

Elijah’s story is a type of what’s going to happen to God’s people in the last days. 
God has already said in His Word that a time of trouble that this world has never seen will hit this earth (Matthew 24:21, Daniel 12:1).Just like King Ahab, Jezebel and others put the blame on Elijah for the famine, many will look to God’s people as the ones causing all the destruction coming upon the earth. This will be explained in a later bible study.It has been three years of no rain or dew (1 Kings 17:1, 18:1). God tells Elijah to go to King Ahab once again.1 Kings 18:17-18 17 And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel? 18 And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father's house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the LORD, and thou hast followed Baalim.Elijah makes no attempt to excuse himself or to flatter the king. Nor does he seek to evade the king's wrath by the good news that the drought is almost over. He has no apology to offer. Indignant, and jealous for the honor of God, he casts back the imputation of Ahab, fearlessly declaring to the king that it is his sins, and the sins of his fathers, that have brought upon Israel this terrible calamity. "I have not troubled Israel," Elijah boldly asserts, "but thou, and thy father's house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the Lord, and thou hast followed Baalim." {PK 140.1}Elijah once again stood in the midst of adversity and death with no fear, but with faith in God and His protection. Standing in the midst of adversity and death requires OBEDIENCE to God. It is going to take a lot to stand in the last days when God’s people are persecuted. The devil is going to give all that he has to deceive the world one last time and the people that call themselves Christians. Will you stand when they tell you, you cannot eat unless you take the mark of the beast (Revelation 13:17). The mark is forced worship and obedience to the devil and his human agents. This will be discussed more in detail in another bible study.Elijah assembles God’s chosen people and asks them who is on the Lord’s side (1 Kings 18:19-21). In these last days God will ask us the same question, who is on my side? Israel did not have a word to say, they were so thick in apostasy they had chosen a new god; a statue, an idol (Exodus 20:3-6).


Standing in the face of adversity and facing the threat of death Part 5 Elijah Part 4 1 Kings 18:19-21

1 Kings 18:19-21
19 Now therefore send, and gather to me all Israel unto mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the groves four hundred, which eat at Jezebel's table.
20 So Ahab sent unto all the children of Israel, and gathered the prophets together unto mount Carmel.
21 And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.

The people answer him not a word. Not one in that vast assembly dare reveal loyalty to Jehovah. Like a dark cloud, deception and blindness had overspread Israel. Not all at once had this fatal apostasy closed about them, but gradually, as from time to time they had failed to heed the words of warning and reproof that the Lord sent them. Each departure from rightdoing, each refusal to repent, had deepened their guilt and driven them farther from Heaven. And now, in this crisis, they persisted in refusing to take their stand for God. 148{PK 147.3}

The Lord abhors indifference and disloyalty in a time of crisis in His work. The whole universe is watching with inexpressible interest the closing scenes of the great controversy between good and evil. The people of God are nearing the borders of the eternal world; what can be of more importance to them than that they be loyal to the God of heaven? All through the ages, God has had moral heroes, and He has them now--those who, like Joseph and Elijah and Daniel, are not ashamed to acknowledge themselves His peculiar people.
His special blessing accompanies the labors of men of action, men who will not be swerved from the straight line of duty, but who with divine energy will inquire, "Who is on the Lord's side?" (Exodus 32:26), men who will not stop merely with the inquiry, but who will demand that those who choose to identify themselves with the people of God shall step forward and reveal unmistakably their allegiance to the King of kings and Lord of lords. Such men make their wills and plans subordinate to the law of God. For love of Him they count not their lives dear unto themselves. Their work is to catch the light from the Word and let it shine forth to the world in clear, steady rays. Fidelity to God is their motto. {PK 148.1}

Today there is need of the voice of stern rebuke; for grievous sins have separated the people from God. Infidelity is fast becoming fashionable. "We will not have this man to reign over us," is the language of thousands. Luke 19:14. The smooth sermons so often preached make no lasting impression; the trumpet does not give a certain sound. Men are not cut to the heart by the plain, sharp truths of God's word. {PK 140.2}
There are many professed Christians who, if they should express their real feelings, would say, What need is there of speaking so plainly? They might as well ask, Why need John the Baptist have said to the Pharisees, "O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to 141come?" Luke 3:7. Why need he have provoked the anger of Herodias by telling Herod that it was unlawful for him to live with his brother's wife? The forerunner of Christ lost his life by his plain speaking. Why could he not have moved along without incurring the displeasure of those who were living in sin? {PK 140.3}
So men who should be standing as faithful guardians of God's law have argued, till policy has taken the place of faithfulness, and sin is allowed to go unreproved. When will the voice of faithful rebuke be heard once more in the church? {PK 141.1}

"Thou art the man." 2 Samuel 12:7. Words as unmistakably plain as these spoken by Nathan to David are seldom heard in the pulpits of today, seldom seen in the public press. If they were not so rare, we should see more of the power of God revealed among men. The Lord's messengers should not complain that their efforts are without fruit until they repent of their own love of approbation and their desire to please men, which leads them to suppress truth. {PK 141.2}

Those ministers who are men pleasers, who cry, Peace, peace, when God has not spoken peace, might well humble their hearts before God, asking pardon for their insincerity and their lack of moral courage. It is not from love for their neighbor that they smooth down the message entrusted to them, but because they are self-indulgent and ease-loving. True love seeks first the honor of God and the salvation of souls. Those who have this love will not evade the truth to save themselves from the unpleasant results of plain speaking. When souls are in peril, God's ministers will not 142consider self, but will speak the word given them to speak, refusing to excuse or palliate evil. {PK 141.3}
Would that every minister might realize the sacredness of his office and the holiness of his work, and show the courage that Elijah showed! As divinely appointed messengers, ministers are in a position of awful responsibility. They are to "reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering." 2 Timothy 4:2. 

In Christ's stead they are to labor as stewards of the mysteries of heaven, encouraging the obedient and warning the disobedient.
With them worldly policy is to have no weight. Never are they to swerve from the path in which Jesus has bidden them walk. They are to go forward in faith, remembering that they are surrounded by a cloud of witnesses. They are not to speak their own words, but words which One greater than the potentates of earth has bidden them speak. Their message is to be, "Thus saith the Lord." God calls for men like Elijah, Nathan, and John the Baptist--men who will bear His message with faithfulness, regardless of the consequences; men who will speak the truth bravely, though it call for the sacrifice of all they have. {PK 142.1} 
God cannot use men who, in time of peril, when the strength, courage, and influence of all are needed, are afraid to take a firm stand for the right.
It’s going to take faith to stand in the midst of adversity and face the threat of death. Elijah did waver in his faith when the threat of death to himself by the hand of Jezebel (1 Kings 19:1-8). Even though we may waver in our faith we can always confess, ask for forgiveness and repent from our unfaithfulness to God. So often we think we are by ourselves in our faith and obedience to God, but the bible tells us Elijah was not by himself. There were 7,000 who had not bowed their knee to baal (1 Kings 19:18, Romans 11:4). May we stand tall in the midst of adversity and death showing our loyalty to God?


Standing in the face of adversity and facing the threat of death Part 6
Daniel, Hanniah, Mishael, & Azariah Part 1
Daniel 1
 
Health is important and many people are beginning to see its importance. There is a key element that many people don’t consider when it comes to health. Health is only important, because God said it was important (3 John 2). There are many other texts addressing health. They will be discussed later on in this bible study. This bible study begins with Daniel, Hanniah, Mishael, & Azariah . Four young men who were raised to serve God and even in captivity they stood for God in the face of adversity and death.
 
King Nebuchadnezzar has besieged Israel and he’s looking for the best of the best among Israel (Daniel 1:1)
 
Daniel 1:3-4
 
3 And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king's seed, and of the princes;
 
4 Children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king's palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans.
King Nebuchadnezzar plan was to get these men to learn the customs, practices and traditions of Babylon. The king was intelligent and knew he had to make good use of his captives. His plan was to train them and move them into his palace. These men were no ordinary men that he chose.
 
    Among the children of Israel who were carried captive to Babylon at the beginning of the seventy years' captivity were Christian patriots, men who were as true as steel to principle, who would not be corrupted by selfishness, but who would honor God at the loss of all things. In the land of their captivity these men were to carry out God's purpose by giving to heathen nations the blessings that come through a knowledge of Jehovah. They were to be His representatives. {PK 479.1}
 
Among these men were Daniel, Hanniah, Mishael, & Azariah (Daniel 1:6). The king wanted to indoctrinate them in every way, he even gave them pagan god names
Daniel 1:7
7 Unto whom the prince of the eunuchs gave names: for he gave unto Daniel the name of Belteshazzar; and to Hananiah, of Shadrach; and to Mishael, of Meshach; and to Azariah, of Abednego.
 
For that purpose I chose not to use their pagan god names. The king wanted them to eat the same food that he ate. Back then pagan kings would have their food offered to pagan gods before they ate it. Paul gives a good example of this in 1 Corinthians 10:19-21.
 
Many would think living in the king’s palace, where you can eat the same food the king eats and participate in all the things of his kingdom, wasn’t a bad life to live while in bondage. It would be a good life considering the circumstances, if this king was a man of God. King Nebuchadnezzar was not a man of God, he was a heathen king. He ate all the foods God had told His people not to eat in Deuteronomy & Leviticus.
 
We all will have a test to see will we stand for God or follow man.
 

Standing in the face of adversity and facing the threat of death Part 7
Daniel, Hanniah, Mishael, & Azariah Part 2 
Daniel 1

Daniel 1:5

5 And the king appointed them a daily provision of the king's meat, and of the wine which he drank: so nourishing them three years, that at the end thereof they might stand before the king.

Daniel 1:8

8 But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.

This was a bold thing for Daniel, Hanniah, Mishael, & Azariah to do. First of all this was a privilege to be chosen and to be eating the kings food in his palace. How many of us would have taken advantage of this opportunity. I’m sure many of us would have been praising God for a position like this, and would have thought to ourselves, why mess this up this great opportunity? Some might say why offend the king and why cause opposition when I don’t need to? There is going to be tests like these in these last days that we all will have to go through as Christians. Will we stand on the Word of God or will we give in to man’s demands, threats and teachings? 

Today if you tell someone certain foods are bad for their health, they will tell you I’m going to die anyway. That’s not a good reason to continue to eat bad foods when you know they’re not good for you. I think about James 4:17 and it says “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin”. We sin against God when we know something is not good for us and we participate in it anyway. It doesn't have to break the 10 Commandments for it not to be a sin. 


In these last days the majority of the world will be lost. We can look back in the bible and see that only a few people stood for God. Noah and his family, Elijah, Lot and his two daughters (really it was only Lot), Jesus’ disciples, apostles and a few others. So shall it be in the last days, many only proclaim to follow Christ by a one day a week visit to church and a form of godliness they show on the outside for others to see. Christianity should not be popular. Jesus’ followers were not popular, they were being persecuted, because of the message they were preaching. If we are not being persecuted we’re not preaching the gospel of Christ which is true religion. Jesus told us His followers will be hated and persecuted for His name sake (Matthew 5:11, 10:22).

Daniel, Hanniah, Mishael, & Azariah were not the only Hebrew boys in captivity, but it was only these three that chose to stand for God in the midst of what would seem crazy to the majority and why suffer death over some food. Principle and obedience is the key here. The principle with Daniel, Hanniah, Mishael, & Azariah was we will not defile ourselves no matter what will happen to us, and we will obey God no matter what we are up against, even when it comes to food. 

Daniel 1:8-10
Nor dared they risk the enervating effect of luxury and dissipation on physical, mental, and spiritual development. They were acquainted with the history of Nadab and Abihu, the record of whose intemperance and its results had been preserved in the parchments of the Pentateuch; and they knew that their own physical and mental power would be injuriously affected by the use of wine.  {PK 482.1} 
 
     Daniel and his associates had been trained by their parents to habits of strict temperance. They had been taught that God would hold them accountable for their capabilities, and that they must never dwarf or enfeeble their powers. This education was to Daniel and his companions the means of their preservation amidst the demoralizing influences of the court of Babylon. Strong were the temptations surrounding them in that corrupt and luxurious court, but they remained uncontaminated. No power, no influence, could sway them from the principles they had learned in early life by a study of the word and works of God.  {PK 482.2} 
 
     Had Daniel so desired, he might have found in his surroundings a plausible excuse for departing from strictly temperate habits. He might have argued that, dependent as he was on the king's favor and subject to his power, there was no other course for him to pursue than to eat of the king's food and drink of his wine; for should he adhere to the divine teaching, he would offend the king and probably lose his position and his life. Should he disregard the commandment of the Lord he would retain the favor of the king and secure for himself intellectual advantages and flattering worldly prospects. 
                                                                           483
 {PK 482.3}  
     But Daniel did not hesitate. The approval of God was dearer to him than the favor of the most powerful earthly potentate--dearer than life itself. He determined to stand firm in his integrity, let the result be what it might. He "purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank." And in this resolve he was supported by his three companions.  {PK 483.1}
  
     In reaching this decision, the Hebrew youth did not act presumptuously but in firm reliance upon God. They did not choose to be singular, but they would be so rather than dishonor God. Should they compromise with wrong in this instance by yielding to the pressure of circumstances, their departure from principle would weaken their sense of right and their abhorrence of wrong. The first wrong step would lead to others, until, their connection with Heaven severed, they would be swept away by temptation.  {PK 483.2} 
 
     "God had brought Daniel into favor and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs," and the request that he might not defile himself was received with respect. Yet the prince hesitated to grant it. "I fear my lord the king, who hath appointed your meat and your drink," he explained to Daniel; "for why should he see your faces worse liking than the children which are of your sort? then shall ye make me endanger my head to the king."  {PK 483.3}  

Daniel 1:11-16

Daniel then appealed to Melzar, the officer in special charge of the Hebrew youth, requesting that they might be excused from eating the king's meat and drinking his wine. He asked that the matter be tested by a ten days' trial, the 
                                                                           484
Hebrew youth during this time being supplied with simple food, while their companions ate of the king's dainties.  {PK 483.4} 
 
     Melzar, though fearful that by complying with this request he would incur the displeasure of the king, nevertheless consented; and Daniel knew that his case was won. At the end of the ten days' trial the result was found to be the opposite of the prince's fears. "Their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king's meat." In personal appearance the Hebrew youth showed a marked superiority over their companions. As a result, Daniel and his associates were permitted to continue their simple diet during their entire course of training.  {PK 484.1}
  
     For three years the Hebrew youth studied to acquire "the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans." During this time they held fast their allegiance to God and depended constantly upon His power. With their habits of self-denial they united earnestness of purpose, diligence, and steadfastness. It was not pride or ambition that had brought them into the king's court, into companionship with those who neither knew nor feared God; they were captives in a strange land, placed there by Infinite Wisdom. Separated from home influences and sacred associations, they sought to acquit themselves creditably, for the honor of their down-trodden people, and for the glory of Him whose servants they were.  {PK 484.2}
  
     The Lord regarded with approval the firmness and self-denial of the Hebrew youth, and their purity of motive; and His blessing attended them. He "gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding 
                                                                           485
in all visions and dreams." The promise was fulfilled, "Them that honor Me I will honor." 1 Samuel 2:30. As Daniel clung to God with unwavering trust, the spirit of prophetic power came upon him. While receiving instruction from man in the duties of court life, he was being taught by God to read the mysteries of the future and to record for coming generations, through figures and symbols, events covering the history of this world till the close of time.  {PK 484.3}
  
     When the time came for the youth in training to be tested, the Hebrews were examined, with other candidates, for the service of the kingdom. But "among them all was found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah." Their keen comprehension, their wide knowledge, their choice and exact language, testified to the unimpaired strength and vigor of their mental powers. "In all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm;" "therefore stood they before the king."  {PK 485.1}  
     
At the court of Babylon were gathered representatives from all lands, men of the highest talent, men the most richly endowed with natural gifts, and possessed of the broadest culture that the world could bestow; yet among them all, the Hebrew youth were without a peer. In physical strength and beauty, in mental vigor and literary attainment, they stood unrivaled. The erect form, the firm, elastic step, the fair countenance, the undimmed senses, the untainted breath--all were so many certificates of good habits, insignia of the nobility with which nature honors those who are obedient to her laws. 
                                                                           486
 {PK 485.2} 



Standing in the face of adversity and facing the threat of death Part 8
Daniel Hanniah, Mishael, & Azariah Part 3

Everyone desires favor. Many want to find favor with God and some boast about how God has shown them favor. From the last bible study after Daniel, Hanniah, Mishael, & Azariah refused to eat the king’s meat, they put Melzar, the man appointed over the Hebrew youth in danger of not following the king’s orders. 

Daniel 1:11-14
They were not being rebellious to the king they were standing up for the principles of eating the way God had taught them to eat and they knew how important health is to God and if they ate the kings meat they would be breaking God’s Health Laws. They chose to obey God, rather than appease the king. This was a bold move because the man Melzar the man appointed over the Hebrew youth, could have died from just telling the king the request of Daniel, Hanniah, Mishael, & Azariah. They decided not to eat the king’s meat, but to eat only a plant base diet and they would show the results of this diet versus the king’s diet.

So many times we destroy chances to witness and lead others to Christ, because we are afraid to offend, go against what’s popular and mess up what we think is already a good situation. Nothing should keep us from obeying God. Jesus has paid the ultimate price for us and we shouldn't be afraid to stand for Him no matter what the consequence is. Matthew 10:28 tells us not to fear death on this earth, but fear eternal death. Sometimes we’re so afraid of what man can do than what the consequence is of disobeying God is. 

Daniel, Hanniah, Mishael, & Azariah were able to be a witness and show the results of following God’s diet will produce a healthier and stronger you; not just physically, but mentally, emotionally and spiritually. We only get favor from God when we obey and do His will. It doesn’t just come because we are blessed with the things of this world. Daniel, Hanniah, Mishael, & Azariah witness with the help of God, influenced the king to put everybody on God’s diet. Look how God can use us to influence heathens to do the will of God.

True success in any line of work is not the result of chance or accident or destiny. It is the outworking of God's providences, the reward of faith and discretion, of virtue and perseverance. Fine mental qualities and a high moral tone are not the result of accident. God gives opportunities; success depends upon the use made of them. {PK 486.2}

While God was working in Daniel and his companions "to will and to do of His good pleasure," they were working out their own salvation. Philippians 2:13. Herein is revealed 
487
the outworking of the divine principle of co-operation, without which no true success can be attained. Human effort avails nothing without divine power; and without human endeavor, divine effort is with many of no avail. To make God's grace our own, we must act our part. His grace is given to work in us to will and to do, but never as a substitute for our effort. {PK 486.3} 

As the Lord co-operated with Daniel and his fellows, so He will co-operate with all who strive to do His will. And by the impartation of His Spirit He will strengthen every true purpose, every noble resolution. Those who walk in the path of obedience will encounter many hindrances. Strong, subtle influences may bind them to the world; but the Lord is able to render futile every agency that works for the defeat of His chosen ones; in His strength they may overcome every temptation, conquer every difficulty. {PK 487.1} 

Daniel and his associates had been trained by their parents to habits of strict temperance. They had been taught that God would hold them accountable for their capabilities, and that they must never dwarf or enfeeble their powers. This education was to Daniel and his companions the means of their preservation amidst the demoralizing influences of the court of Babylon. Strong were the temptations surrounding them in that corrupt and luxurious court, but they remained uncontaminated. No power, no influence, could sway them from the principles they had learned in early life by a study of the word and works of God. {PK 482.2} 

Had Daniel so desired, he might have found in his surroundings a plausible excuse for departing from strictly temperate habits. He might have argued that, dependent as he was on the king's favor and subject to his power, there was no other course for him to pursue than to eat of the king's food and drink of his wine; for should he adhere to the divine teaching, he would offend the king and probably lose his position and his life. Should he disregard the commandment of the Lord he would retain the favor of the king and secure for himself intellectual advantages and flattering worldly prospects. 
483
{PK 482.3} 
But Daniel did not hesitate. The approval of God was dearer to him than the favor of the most powerful earthly potentate--dearer than life itself. He determined to stand firm in his integrity, let the result be what it might. He "purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank." And in this resolve he was supported by his three companions. {PK 483.1} 

In reaching this decision, the Hebrew youth did not act presumptuously but in firm reliance upon God. They did not choose to be singular, but they would be so rather than dishonor God. Should they compromise with wrong in this instance by yielding to the pressure of circumstances, their departure from principle would weaken their sense of right and their abhorrence of wrong. The first wrong step would lead to others, until, their connection with Heaven severed, they would be swept away by temptation. {PK 483.2}

"God had brought Daniel into favor and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs," and the request that he might not defile himself was received with respect. Yet the prince hesitated to grant it. "I fear my lord the king, who hath appointed your meat and your drink," he explained to Daniel; "for why should he see your faces worse liking than the children which are of your sort? then shall ye make me endanger my head to the king." {PK 483.3} 

Daniel then appealed to Melzar, the officer in special charge of the Hebrew youth, requesting that they might be excused from eating the king's meat and drinking his wine. He asked that the matter be tested by a ten days' trial, the 
484
Hebrew youth during this time being supplied with simple food, while their companions ate of the king's dainties. {PK 483.4} 

Melzar, though fearful that by complying with this request he would incur the displeasure of the king, nevertheless consented; and Daniel knew that his case was won. At the end of the ten days' trial the result was found to be the opposite of the prince's fears. "Their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king's meat." In personal appearance the Hebrew youth showed a marked superiority over their companions


Standing in the face of adversity and facing the threat of death Part 9
Daniel, Hanniah, Mishael, & Azariah Part 4

Daniel 2 

King Nebuchadnezzar has a dream (Daniel 2). No one can interrupt his dream. Daniel was faithful to God and God used Daniel as His vessel. King Nebuchadnezzar went to his trusted magicians, astrologers, sorcerers and the Chaldeans, to interpret his dream. The devil cannot read our minds, thank God He can’t! For those looking to astrology, psychics, sorcerers, etc. they cannot read your mind or determine your future. Satan has a record of us like God does and this is what he uses to make it seem like he can read our minds, there is no SPOKEN secret, aspiration, or goal that Satan doesn’t know about. The difference in Satan’s record of us and God’s record of us, is only God knows our heart, which is your mind (Jeremiah 17:9-10). Those proclaiming to know the future and can read your mind are liars and the truth is not in them. 

These men King Nebuchadnezzar called to read his mind and tell him what he dreamed could not tell him. The king felt betrayed and angry and wanted to kill every wise men in his kingdom (Daniel 2:5-12). When Daniel got word about the decree to kill all the wise men, Daniel requested to speak to the king (Daniel 2:14-16).

Daniel, Hanniah, Mishael, & Azariah went and prayed to God in Heaven to reveal the dream (Daniel 2:17-18). God answered their prayers (Daniel 2:19-20) and revealed the dream to Daniel. The king’s dream was prophetic. Daniel revealed the dream to the king. 

Daniel 2:26-28

26 The king answered and said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, Art thou able to make known unto me the dream which I have seen, and the interpretation thereof? 

27 Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, The secret which the king hath demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, shew unto the king; 

28 But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these;

The dream will be discussed in detailed in the Mark Of The Beast bible study.

The dream was the image of a man with a head of gold, breast and arms of silver, belly and thighs of brass, legs of iron and feet part clay and iron; there was also a stone cut out without hands that hit the image and broke it into pieces (Daniel 2:31-36). What did all of this mean? Daniel explains

Daniel 2:37-45

37 Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory. 

38 And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold. 

[Prophecy has traced the rise and fall of the world's great empires--Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. With each of these, as with nations of less power, history repeated itself. Each had its period of test, each failed, its glory faded, its power departed, and its place was occupied by another.  {Ed 176.4}  
     While the nations rejected God's principles, and in this rejection wrought their own ruin, it was still manifest that the divine, overruling purpose was working through all their movements.  {Ed 177.1} ] 

39 And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth. 

40 And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise. 

41 And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters' clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. 

42 And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. 

43 And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay. 

44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. 

45 Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.


"Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ." 1 Corinthians 3:11. "Upon this rock," said Jesus, "I will build My church." In the presence of God, and all the heavenly intelligences, in the presence of the unseen army of hell, Christ founded His church upon the living Rock. That Rock is Himself,--His own body, for us broken and bruised. Against the church built upon this foundation, the gates of hell shall not prevail.  {DA 413.2}


Standing in the face of adversity and facing the threat of death Part 10
Daniel, Hanniah, Mishael, & Azariah Part 5

Daniel 2 & 3

King Nebuchadnezzar is excited that finally someone has told him his dream and what it means.

Daniel 2:46-49

46 Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face, and worshipped Daniel, and commanded that they should offer an oblation and sweet odours unto him. 

47 The king answered unto Daniel, and said, Of a truth it is, that your God is a God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing thou couldest reveal this secret. 

48 Then the king made Daniel a great man, and gave him many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief of the governors over all the wise men of Babylon. 

49 Then Daniel requested of the king, and he set Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, over the affairs of the province of Babylon: but Daniel sat in the gate of the king.

So often we worship and give people praise instead of God, we have to be careful of doing this (Daniel 2:46). The king promotes Daniel to ruler over the whole province of Babylon (Daniel 2:48). Even in our roughest times, God still continues to bless us. Never look at your situation and circumstances as a curse. What the devil meant for bad, God meant it for good. 

Daniel being a good friend didn’t forgot his friends and asked that they be over the affairs of the province of Babylon (Daniel 2:49). Never forgot your friends when God blesses you. Take that blessing and bless your friends with it. 

This would seem like a happy ending to this story, but it’s not. The king began to think about the interpretation of the dream and begin to think about his future and how there would be rulers that come after him. He decides that the dream doesn’t have to go like Daniel said it will go. Since the gold represented Babylon his kingdom, he could make his own image in pure gold, so his kingdom could last forever. 

Daniel 3:1

1 Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose height was threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof six cubits: he set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon. 

The king gathered everyone in his kingdom to come to the dedication of the image (Daniel 3:2-3.) It didn’t stop there, the king wanted everyone to bow down before the image and worship it 

Daniel 3:4-5

4 Then an herald cried aloud, To you it is commanded, O people, nations, and languages, 

5 That at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of music, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up:


7 Therefore at that time, when all the people heard the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and all kinds of music, all the people, the nations, and the languages, fell down and worshipped the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.

If you didn’t bow down to the image, you would be put into a fiery furnace to die.

Daniel 3:6

6 And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.

We know Daniel and Revelation are connected. They both tell of last day prophecies. Daniel 3:5-7 remind me of the Mark Of The Beast. Let’s look at Revelation.

Revelation 14:9-11

9 And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, 

10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: 

11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

Do you see the correlation? The type is Daniel and the antitype is in Revelation. It shows what God’s people will have to go through in the last days, we will have to choose the Seal of God or the Mark Of The Beast. Remember the king captured God’s people (Israel). Only Daniel, Hanniah, Mishael, & Azariah refused to eat the king’s meat and drink, but over 4,000 Hebrews were captured. The king makes a decree that you must bow down and worship his image and if you don’t you will be killed. Revelation 13:15 says the same thing 
Revelation 13:15


15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. 



3.The Mark Of The Beast Part 1


Symbols
 
All throughout the bible, God uses symbols to describe characteristics. Peter refers to Satan as a lion, Satan is called a serpent and a dragon, Jesus is called the Lamb of God. We know Satan is not a literal serpent, lion or dragon, and we know Jesus was not a feeble little lamb. These animal symbols are used to describe their characteristics.
 
Serpents can’t be trusted, when they attack there victims, the victims don’t see them coming. A dragon is a beast that is destructive and evil. Lions are crafty, vicious and subtle when they attack. Stan has these characteristics. A lamb is humble and meek. Jesus is humble and meek. Lambs were also sacrificed during the Sanctuary service on earth throughout the time of Israel and the Jews when they were chosen as God’s people. Jesus became the ultimate sacrifice shedding His blood for you and me on the cross at Calvary.
 
SYMBOLS
Beast=Kingdom/Government/Political Power (Daniel 7:17, 23)
 
Mark definition-Any note or sign of distinction. The Lord set a mark upon Cain. Genesis 4:15. To draw or make a visible line or character with any substance. To stamp; to impress; to make a visible impression, figure or indenture. To form a name or the initials of a name for distinction. To notice; to take particular observation of. To heed; to regard. To mark out, to notify, as by a mark; to point out; to designate.
Noah Webster’s Dictionary
 
Mark=Sign or Seal of Approval or Disapproval (Ezekiel 9:4, Romans 4:11, Revelation 7:2-3; 13:16-17; 14:9-11)
In this case the Mark is a sign of disapproval to God, but to Satan it is a sign of approval.
 
Image definition= Any copy, representation or likeness. A representation or similitude of any person or thing. Semblance; show; appearance. An idea; a representation of anything to the mind; a conception.
 
Dragon/Serpent=Satan or His Agency (Revelation 12:7-9, 17)
 
Horn=King or Kingdom (Daniel 7:24; 8:21-22; Zechariah 1:18-19; Revelations 17:12). What happens to the horn? (Psalm 75:10)
 
Lamb=Jesus/Sacrifice (Isaiah 53:7; John 1:29).
 
Forehead=Mind (Deuteronomy 6:6-8; Ezekiel 3:4-9; Romans 7:25; Revelation 13:16; 14:1, 9)
 
Hand=Deeds/Works/Actions (Ecclesiastes 9:10; Isaiah 59:6)
 
We must understand the symbols to understand the rest of this bible study. There are more symbols and they will be pointed out. You can reference back to this study to understand the symbolism the bible uses to describe the Beast, its image and its mark.

4.The truth about Halloween 

THE TRUTH ABOUT HALLOWEEN Part 1

October 31st Halloween. The one day out of the year when kids and adults can pig out on free candy. The one time of the year when kids can go to a stranger’s house and accept treats or tricks. What makes this okay on this day? Halloween is a popular pagan holiday among the world, but why are Christians celebrating this day. Dressing up in bible characters is not changing the meaning and history of Halloween. Why do pumpkins have faces, why are people getting enjoyment out of scaring people? Find the answers to these questions and more in this in-depth study about Halloween.

HISTORY OF HALLOWEEN

Celtic New Year

October 31 is the most important day in the satanic year. [It is known as the devil's birthday.] It marks the Celtic new year. It was the end of the growing season. It became a festival of death. On this day, the god of the Celtics was to have called up the spirits of the wicked dead who had died during the past year. At the same time, other evil spirits arose and went about the countryside harassing the people. On October 31, the Celtics expected to be harassed by ghosts, evil spirits and demons; and it was no fun and games to them. They would light bonfires to guide the spirits to their own town and to ward off evil spirits.

DRUIDS

The Celtics had priests called druids. On October 31, the druids went from house to house demanding certain foods, and all those who refused were cursed. The people were tormented by means of magic. As they went, the druids carried large turnips which they had hollowed out and on which they had carved demon faces as charms. Each one was believed to contain the demon spirit that personally led or guided that priest: his little god.

DIVINATION

Those who practiced fortune telling and divination found that this was the night that they had the most success. They called upon satan to bless their efforts. One form of divination was to put apples in a tub and bob for them. The one who first successfully came up with one without putting them in his teeth was to have good luck throughout the year. They would then peel the apples and throw the peeling over their shoulders and then quickly look around. They expected to see a vision or an apparition of the one they were to marry.

SACRIFICES

These things happened several centuries before CHRIST. Sacrifices were made to the gods, especially the god of death - Samhain (pronounced Sah win). Sacrifices all the way from vegetable to human were offered. This went on and on, and, in some parts of the world, still goes on today.

8th CENTURY

In the 8th century, the Pope, in an effort to get the people to quit the festival of Sam hain, invented All Saints Day (Nov. 1). This was an attempt to get the people to turn away from the horrible observance of Sam hain. All Saints Day was intended to honor the martyrs of the Roman persecutions. It did not work! It never works to Christianize a pagan holiday. The holy and the profane do not mix.

THE MIDDLE AGES

In the Middle Ages, there was a great revival of satanic practices and witchcraft and magic - like there is today. During this time the belief developed that witches traveled on broomsticks to the black Sabbaths to worship satan on October 31. They were guided by spirits in the form of black cats. The Druids worshiped cats believing them to be reincarnated evil people.

CHURCH INVOLVEMENT

This festival of death has survived all the efforts of the church to stamp it out. The church is joining the opposition by celebrating this festival.

All Saints Day became All Hallows Day. Hallow means holy or sacred. October 31 is the evening before All Hallows Day and came to be called in the western world all hallows evening and then all hallows een. Een is an abbreviation for evening. Finally, the word was reduced to the way we have it today, Halloween. That's where the name came from, and even if it is called all hallows evening, it has nothing to do with Christian faith, and it never did.

MODERN HALLOWEEN

Now let's look at the present day celebration of Halloween. Isn't the whole theme one of darkness, death, fear, threats, destruction and evil? There are witches, broomsticks, bats, owls, ghosts, skeletons, death, and monsters. You dress up your children as demons and witches and ghouls and monsters and werewolves and send them out into the street in the darkness to reenact the Druids' practice of demanding food from people under threat of tricks (or curses) if they don't comply.

You take, not a turnip, but a pumpkin and carve demon faces in it and decorate with it.

At Halloween there will be apple bobbing, divination, fortune telling, haunted houses, candles lit and spirits called up. There will be seances and ouija boards in the name of fun and excitement. There will be sacrifices of dogs, cats, rats, chickens, goats and even humans!

You say, "Well, we don't take it seriously." But the devil does and so does God. Particularly this is true when the Church which He purchased with His own precious blood builds houses of horror in its fellowship halls so that the little lambs who have been entrusted to its care can be terrified and opened up to invading spirits of fear and torment and confusion.


The Truth about Halloween part 2

How this must Grieve the Lord!

Scriptural References:

Hosea 4:6; Ezekiel 44:23; Deuteronomy 18:9-14; 7:25-26; James 1:27; II Corinthians 6:14; I Corinthians 10:19-23; I Thessalonians 5:21-23; Philippians 4:8.

The following was taken from the PENSACOLA NEWS JOURNAL on October 24, 1994 in the children's section called "Chalk Talk":

Vocabulary - Costume (Kas toom): The style of dress, including accessories, of a certain country, period or profession.

Druid (droo id): A member of a Celtic religious order in ancient Britain, Ireland and France.

Halloween (Halo ween): The evening of Oct. 31, which is followed by All Saints' Day.

Samhain (Sa man): The demonic god of death worshipped by the Druids.

Q. When and where did the customs that eventually evolved into Halloween begin?

A. Three hundred years before JESUS was born; among a group of people called the Celtics who lived throughout the British Isles, Scandinavia and western Europe.

Q. Who started it?

A. A secret society of priests and pagans called the Druids, who served the demonic god of death -- Samhain.

Q. How did the custom begin?

A. Each year on Oct. 31, the Druids celebrated the eve of the Celtic new year with the Festival of Samhain.

Q. What did the Druid priests do during the festival?

A. They would go from house to house demanding all sorts of foods to offer to Samhain. If the village people would not give them the foods, they would speak a curse over the home. History claims then that someone in the family would die within a year. This was the origin of "trick or treat."

Q. Where did the Jack-O-Lantern come from?

A. When the Druids were going house to house seeking food for Samhain, they would carry a large turnip that had been hollowed out. A face was usually carved on one side and a candle was placed inside to provide light as they walked from house to house. The Druids believed a SPIRIT inhabited the turnips and helped the Druids carry out their spells. The name of the SPIRIT eventually became JOCK.

Q. How did pumpkins come to be used and where did the name Jack-O-Lantern come from?

A. When the practice came to America in the 18th and 19th centuries, turnips weren't that prominent, so the pumpkin was substituted. JOCK became Jack, who lives in the lantern or Jack-O-Lantern.

Q. Where did the name Halloween come from?

A. During the ninth century, the pope declared Nov. 1 be called All Saints' Day and would be set aside to honor all the martyred saints of the Catholic church. Oct. 31 became the eve of All Saints' Day. The Mass said on All Saints' Day was the Allhallowmas. Over the years, the evening before All Saints' Day became known as All Hallow's Eve, All Hallowed Eve, All Hallow E'en and finally Halloween.

Q. Where did the tradition of dressing in costumes come from?

A. In Ireland, during the festival of Samhain, children would dress like IMPS and fairies to lead the ghosts and goblins out of town after the Feast of Samhain. In England, after All Saints' Day was created, children would dress in each other's clothes and go door-to-door begging for soul cakes.

"HALLOWEEN, TRICK OR TREAT?

You can call a duck a horse, cow, cat, etc., but it is still a duck. You can call what you do a "fall festival", "alleluia party", etc., but you are still observing halloween, even if you dress up as bible characters. Halloween is the highest satanic holy day of the year.

On October 31st, the high priest of all witch covens are required to make a human sacrifice. God condemns witches and everything to do with them. The head of the first satanic church said, "a witch is a witch", when referring to black and white witchcraft. All their power comes from the devil.

People think it's funny to scare people to "death". II TIMOTHY 1:7 says, "For God has not given to us the spirit of fear...". So guess who is scaring you?

Tell your children the truth about halloween. Revelation 21:8 says liars won't make it to heaven. Then, parents, you will be doing your job as the high priest of the family like you are suppose to be. If you open your doors to pass out tracts, you are still observing halloween. Why don't you pass them out another time?

Stop being worldly, Christians."


The truth about Halloween Part 3

Spirit of Halloween

"For Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft," 1 Sam. 15:23,

WITCHCRAFT - SATANISM

Witches are for Halloween or for superstitious primitives in seventeenth century Salem. That seems to be the "modern" outlook sophisticated skepticism and a knowing smile when it comes to witchcraft.

And yet Time's recent cover story would indicate that witchcraft is not a thing of the past. Satan is not dead. Young people by the thousands are probing seriously the mysteries of "the other side," from seances to Satan worship. Leading universities report over-enrolled courses on witchcraft . . . occult book sales have doubled in three years . . . most American high schools have their campus "witches and warlocks" . . . And occasionally the headlines shatter our complacency with the terror of Manson-style violence.

Halloween is celebrated by children in the United States. This issue is becoming debatable inside of Christian circles because of the rise of the occult in America.

Witchcraft-Satanism revivals and their obvious tie with pagan holiday causes Christians to question if the church should participate in Halloween.

Children are in costumes and masks with Halloween pumpkins of 'Jack O' Lanterns' name for (Will Wisps) an ancient symbol of a damned soul, too long considered harmless fun, and innocent pranks.

Halloween is celebrated masquerading as Church fund-raising bazaars decorated with black cats and witches; skeletons, scarecrows, haunted houses, bats, vampires and dummies in coffins. It should not be integrated with the holiness of the scared house of God. It's wicked and brings curses, (Deut. 11-36, 28.)

Some see it as evil and will have nothing to do with the celebration; others as harmless fun partake fully: costume parties, Halloween decorations and 'trick-or-treat. Still others try to find a "middle" approach, allowing trick-or-treat and masquerades, but as "Bible characters" instead of demonic and occult figures.

Some Churches are now seeing the influence of its fruit. One cannot deny the occult-metaphysical nature of Halloween is not in line with the Christian in character. Despite this clear contrast, Christians defend their complicity in the holiday asserting their "liberty" in Christ from the bondages of "legalism," declaring it is only innocent fun! God never gave us liberty to engage ourselves in evil!

"Learn not the way of the heathen . . . for the customs of the people are vain," (Jeremiah 10:2-3).

"And what concord hath Christ with Belial or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate," (II Corinthians 6:15-17).

THE SPIRIT WORLD

The Bible clearly teaches that there is both a natural, material world as well as an invisible and spiritual world. The domain of physical human beings is the physical world, whereas the "heavenlies" are people or occupied by spirit beings. Among these spirit beings there are two classes, the good and the evil.

In the Scriptures, both holy and unholy spirit beings are designated as angels (Revelation 12:7). Unusually the unholy angels are referred to as demons, translated in the King James Version as devils.

They are called seraphim, cherubim, angels, principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this age, (Ephesians 6:12), thrones, dominions (Colossians 1:16), fallen angels (2 Peter 2:4), spirits in prison (I Peter 3:18-20), demons, seducing spirits (I Timothy 4:1).

There are an "innumerable company of angels", (Hebrews 12:22). They are referred to as "mighty angels" but they are not almighty (2 Thessalonians 1:7). One angel destroyed 185,000 of the Assyrian army in a night (2 Kings 19:35),. One angel rolled away the stone from the tomb of Jesus and one angel will bind Satan and cast him into the "bottomless pit". They are glorious beings according to Luke 9:26 and they seem to posses great knowledge but they are not omniscient -- all know. The angels are "all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister (serve) for them who shall be heirs of salvation" (Hebrews 1:13-14). They are also responsible for 'taking vengeance on them that know not God and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ' (2 Thessalonians 1:7-8).

The chief of the fallen angels is an archangel who has at least forty names given in Scripture. Some are proper names, others are descriptive. For example, in Revelation 12:10 he is called the "accuser of the brethren". He is called "that old Serpent", (Revelation 20:2), indicating his guile, Lucifer, "Son of the Morning", (Isaiah 14:12), his title when he fell. Devil means "accuser or slanderer", and it is of Greek origin (Revelation 12:9). Satan means "adversary or resister", and is of Hebrew origin; "Apollon", means "destroyer", the term " Dragon". speaks of his power. He is also called "Prince of devils." (Matthew 9:34), "Prince of this world", (John 12:31), "Belial", is implied to be his title in II Corinthians 6:15. In II Kings 1: 2, 6, 16, he is referred to as "Beelzebub", implying a prince of demons. As Dr. Lewis S. Chafer says, "In power, prominence and importance, Satan appears in the Bible second only to the Trinity."

Two of his most powerful names are:

" The prince of the power of the air", (Ephesians 2:2) and " the god of this world", (age) (2 Corinthians 4:4).

Satan's origin is shrouded in mystery. There are two passages of Scripture to explain his origin. Ezekiel 28:11-19 and Isaiah 14:12-17.

The Bible warns: "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour," (I Peter 5:8).

He is after you, your family and your children!