The aim of this study is to see the father’s heart toward all who are lost, our responsibility and our...Read More
Welcome to My Weekly Milk where one can be fed with the milk of the word of God, be stirred up in the spirit and filled with spiritual strength to face the challenges we might encounter during the week and come out victorious.
We should forward this “My weekly milk” to as many people as we think it might bless.
Remember the Bible has the final authority, therefore brethren, whatever you read in this letter, be like the Christians of Berea who went back and checked in the scriptures if it was so.
These Bible studies are written and recorded for everyone who wants to learn the true Word of God in order to build themselves up in faith, enabling them to stand and not fall when the storms of life come their way. You will be taught what you receive when you become born again by Jesus’ death burial and resurrection and the authority you have been given to fulfil the will of God on earth. And as you learn this, you will realise what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power. You will be a true disciple by the time you have finished them.
We all read and hear the same promises of God contained in the Bible. But the manifestations or fulfilment of them in our life is based on our obedience to the conditions attached to each one of those promises. Unfortunately, some Christians are disobedient and only think they can “claim it and grab it” and they end up frustrated.
Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. Since therefore it remains that some must enter it, and those to whom it was first preached did not enter because of disobedience.
Hebrews 4:1- 2, 6
Truth be told, God can veto your unbelief, provided you obey the conditions attached to the manifestation or fulfilment of that particular promise.
For what if some did not believe (including myself, yet I obey God’s commands in spite of my unbelief)? Will their unbelief make the faithfulness of God without effect? Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar. Romans 3:3-4.
If we are faithless or unbelieving, (provided we obey what God commanded us to do) He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself. 2 Timothy 2:13
Some Christians think they can twist God’s arm with their sacrifices: long fasts, long prayers on their knees, generous and sacrificial giving of money. All those we ought to do, yet as long as we are disobedient concerning the conditions attached to the fulfilment of that particular promise, our sacrifices are in vain.
So Samuel said: “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams – For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He also has rejected you from being king.” I Samuel 15:22-23
In the entire Old Testament, the word FAITH is only mentioned TWICE.
–The first time is in Deuteronomy 32:20
And He said: ‘I will hide My face from them, I will see what their end will be, For they are a perverse generation, Children in whom is No FAITH.
Here God was referring to the fact that He gave them commands to follow through Moses, and the moment Moses went up onto the mountain, to them it seemed like God had hidden His face, for they could not see Moses physically, so they made a golden calf, thus breaking God’s commands. And the moment they had hardship in their wilderness life, they sinned sexually against God, and raised other leaders instead of Moses. God had to send those leaders Dathan, Korah and Abiram to hell in Numbers 16 and 18.
According to Moses, a Child of God has NO FAITH in a particular promise of God, whenever they disobey the commands or instructions of God attached to the fulfilment of that particular promise.
— The second time is in Habakkuk:
I will stand my watch and set myself on the rampart, and watch to see what He will say to me, and what I will answer when I am CORRECTED. Then the Lord answered me and said: “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. “Behold the proud, His soul is not upright in him; but the JUST shall live by his FAITH. Habakkuk 2:1-4
Habakkuk was expecting God to give him instructions or commands, and to correct him in his ways and thoughts, as written in Isaiah 55:9-11, so that as he blindly followed those instructions or commands written down, he would see the manifestation or fulfilment of the God given vision.
Therefore according to Habakkuk the just or the righteous has FAITH, or lives by FAITH, whenever they simply obey the commanded instructions and corrections the Lord prescribed, in order to see the fulfilment of that particular promise contained in that vision.
Apart from those two times, no mention of faith is made again in the Old Testament, for they understood that it is simply to do God’s word obediently.
That is why Moses told us the secret of having all those blessed promises in our life, saying: – “Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the Lord your God will set you high above all nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the Lord your God: Deuteronomy 28:1-2
Your confession of the word of God is worth nothing, until you deliberately decide to act on what you have been confessing. You can show God and men that you have faith by what you are doing, not merely by what you are saying.
But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. James 2:18
We show God and people our faith by our works or obedience to the word of God.
Faith is not a feeling or an emotion. In fact you can be crying, trembling and fearful as you are obeying that particular command or instruction from God that conditioned the manifestation of that promise. That’s why throughout the Bible God says 366 times – fear not, do not be afraid: for each day of the year God says to you – trust Me, I am not a liar, fear not – only obey and I the Lord will be faithful to watch over My word and perform it Jeremiah 1:12.
FAITH is simple, it has to do with obeying God’s word concerning a particular promise. As you read the Bible and the thousands of promises contained in it, you will start noticing a small word: IF- Either before the promise or just after the promise that is the condition to fulfil. Go and obey it and God will do the same thing in your life, stop deceiving yourself, claiming the promise when you do not obey the conditions, nor intend to obey them at any time.
You will also start noticing a second small word : WHEN. You will discover that as far as God is concerned those blessings are already yours, all His promises in Christ Jesus He has already said yes and so be it in your life.
God is not trying to make up His mind to give them to you, He already gave them to you. They will be manifested or fulfilled on earth in your life, when you start obeying God’s word, to meet the requirements attached to each one of those promises.
That is the purpose of the My Weekly Milk Bible studies, we tell you your part to play to see the manifestation of the promises of God in your life, so that you stop living a frustrated Christian life, thinking that God has some favourite children. No, He has no favourite according to Acts 10:34-35.
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Read or listen to a collection of bible studies centred on God’s word,
where one can be fed with the milk of the word of God, be stirred up in the spirit and endued with spiritual strength to face the challenges one might encounter during the week and come out victorious.
Many times believers go through fire in their life, marriage, work place, family, studies, health, wealth, etc. The questions that are in all the minds are: why me? Will I ever come out of that fire alive? Will God show up? And if He does show up, will it be too late? The fire is real, and no one can describe the temperature of the flames better than you, because you can feel them. We will see the example of believers who went through fire in their days, and how God helped them.
Daniel 3: The Image of Gold
1 Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose height was sixty cubits and its width six cubits. He set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon.
6 and whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.”
7 So at that time, when all the people heard the sound of the horn, flute, harp, and lyre, in symphony with all kinds of music, all the people, nations, and languages fell down and worshiped the gold image which King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.
The king Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, whose height was sixty cubits and its width six cubits. The number six is the number of mankind. On the sixth day God created mankind. God gave His people the Ten Commandments through the hands of Moses, His servant whereby man ought to live and abide. The number sixty is ten times six; it is the commandments of the man and not of God, man trying to establish his own set of rules outside of God’s law. Man trying to live without God, man shelving God and His law.
The world and its system or man-made system, will never agree with God and His law. As believers, we are in the world, but we are not of the world. We are of God and not of the world and its system (1 John 4:4-6). Idol worship is of the world and not of God (Exodus 20:4). Many times because we abide by the word of God, we will encounter tribulations, rejection and hatred, because Satan, who is in the unsaved people of the world, hates the God in us. It has never been about us from the very beginning.
Satan, from the very beginning wanted to take the worship, that was due to God alone. He wanted the other angels and mankind to worship him, but God cast him out of heaven and demoted him. He is jealous because God created you and me, a new class of beings, after God’s own likeness and image. No other created beings, including angels, have been created in the God class, like the redeemed believer. Satan is jealous of you, because you rank higher than he ever did, as a redeemed person. He wants you to be unsaved and rank lower than him, so that you can be his slave.
Satan is behind those idols, and if he can have kings and queens bowing before him (for you as a redeemed person are royalties) it will boost his ego. He wants people to lick his feet, while the bible tells us to bruise Satan’s head (Genesis 3:15). He is the one who is supposed to be licking the dust, not us. We are supposed to trample Satan and all his cohorts under foot. For Jesus told us: I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you (Luke 10:18-19).
The enemy is always trying to have us bow before him, he attacks our finances and expects us to just stand by and do nothing. He attacks our family and marriage, and expects us to keep quiet and watch him destroy what is ours. He puts our loved ones on drugs, or a lifestyle that does not agree with the word of God, and he expects us to give up on them. Now it is high time to awake out of our sleep; for now our deliverance is nearer than when we first believed (Romans 13:11).
The enemy may threaten to throw you into the burning fiery furnace if you do not comply with his system. But brethren I want you to rest on this promise of God: No temptation has overtaken you, except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation, will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it (1 Corinthians 10:13).
Daniel 3:8. Therefore at that time certain Chaldeans came forward and accused the Jews
Daniel 3:12. There are certain Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego; these men, O king, have not paid due regard to you. They do not serve your gods or worship the gold image which you have set up.”
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego were in a position of power in the Babylonian kingdom. Believers must be in positions of influence within the society and in the government, it is the plan of God, that His people should represent Him in every sphere of influence in the society: in hospitals, in business, in media, in education, in the armed-forces, in politics, engineering, etc. Here were three Jews in positions of great influence in a foreign country; many believers think, because they are or have a prophetic, a pastoral, an apostolic, a teaching or an evangelical calling, that they must be behind a pulpit in church. That is a lie of Satan and we have bought into it.
Shadrach, Meshach, Abed-Nego and Daniel were praying people, and God would give them the interpretation of dreams and visions. God would give them divine guidance on how to rule the affairs of the provinces, which were under their authority. God would give them guidance in their studies, and they became ten times better than the Chaldeans (Daniel 1:20). Whatever they laid their hands upon, it prospered. The enemy was not happy. When you are in a position of power, many people are looking up to you, you become a role model for society, and people will ask how did you get there? Whom do you serve? That is why Satan has deceived many believers to stay behind the four walls of the church. The truth is, it is when we shine in the world, that people want to follow our God. If we are prospering in our finances and business, people around us will ask us, what is your secret? And we will answer back; Jesus is the one giving us favour.
When the Jews were in captivity in Babylon, they were ten times better in sciences, and it is still true today; the Jews are people who have more Nobel Prizes, than any other people in the world. God is advertising Himself through His people, that if you serve YAHWEH you will excel in your academics. The only God and Jesus people will see is, you and me. When we shine in our sphere of influence, we attract people to our God.
Just imagine for a moment, an evangelist as a seller or a realtor; they will boost the profit of that company, because they know how to gather people with a simple message. They know how to get people to sign up for something. Many evangelists in the USA were first salesmen, before going into ministry. Imagine a prophetic person working in the City of London, or any other market place, he will have visions of what the market will be like ahead of time, for God will show him things to come. Imagine a prophetic person working with the police, God will tell him who the murderer or the rapist is. He will know what the next plan of the terrorists is and where their hideout is.
Satan does not want God’s people to shine in their sphere of influence, lest people be converted. That is why his people have been conniving against you, to have you removed from your position of influence. They are not really against you, but the God who is in you, the one promoting you, and causing you to shine brighter and brighter every day. Do not marvel if the world hates you (1 John 3:13). The world hated Jesus first and now, because you are in Christ, it also hates you (John 15:18). So people will say, if I leave Jesus, then Satan will not bother me! Wrong! Satan has no loyalty, he comes to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10). He is already going to burn in hell fire, and he wants to take more people with him. But Jesus has come that you may have life and have it more abundantly, to the full until it overflows (John 10:10).
Many times we do not realise the role we play in other people’s lives. Satan always targets prominent people, the role models in society, and examples for all believers. It is not about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego; all the Jews looked up to them because they were in positions of influence in the kingdom, so if these three bow, then the other believers hearts will melt within them. They will say to one another, if these three, who were so zealous about the Lord, praying three times a day, fasting all the time; if they can bow to Satan, then there is no hope for us. We would rather bow as well.
Satan is targeting some marriages, because it has become an example to many people, and if he can destroy it, other people will say, that there is no hope for their marriage if so and so divorced. He wants to put fear into the hearts of all believers who are looking up to you. But he will never succeed; Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego understood the bigger picture of Satan, that they were like the gate of a city, and if they were conquered, the enemy would have access to the entire city. They stood not just for themselves, but also for all the people behind that gate.
You have been placed by God in that marriage, to help believers know that marriage is for today, and God gives people an nth chance in life. You are in that profession or business because God wants to show other believers, that they can aspire to greatness in life. You have been given those three Nobel Prizes, because God wants to show the entire world, that His people, not only have spiritual knowledge, but are also ten times better than the people of the world, in worldly knowledge. You have those wonderful children, because God wants to show the entire world how Godly children can be. You have been healed from that incurable sickness, because God wants to tell the world that healing is for today, in Christ Jesus.
Daniel 3:13. Then Nebuchadnezzar, in rage and fury, gave the command to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. So they brought these men before the king.
Daniel 3:14 Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the gold image which I have set up?
One of the reasons the people hated the Jews is that they did not worship other gods. They only worshipped YAHWEH. This is one thing that we must learn from the Jews. When Satan has failed to make you renounce YAHWEH and Jesus, He tries another trick. He tells you: you do not have to renounce YAHWEH and Jesus, but I am asking you to add my gods also. Even today many believers fall into that trap of the enemy.
The Chaldeans or the Romans did not care if you worshipped YAHWEH and Jesus, but as long as you also worshipped their gods you had peace from them. It is the plan of Satan, our God is a jealous God, and does not share His glory with anyone. For the Lord our God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God (Deuteronomy 4:24).
Hosea 7:8 ” Ephraim has mixed himself among the peoples; Ephraim is a cake unturned.
Hosea 7:9 Aliens have devoured his strength, but he does not know it; yes, grey hairs are here and there on him, yet he does not know it.
The kingdom of Israel under the leadership of the tribe of Ephraim, has mixed themselves with the gentiles. They took the ways of the gentiles, they started to worship two calves of gold at Bethel (1 Kings 12:28-32). Later they would worship Baal and other idols of the gentiles. What they did not know, was that it was harmful to them. The enemy was weakening them spiritually. On the outside they looked strong like crust, but on the inside they were spongy. That is why God likened then to a cake unturned. Before they realised it, the aliens had devoured their strength.
Hosea 5:11 Ephraim is oppressed and broken in judgment, because he willingly walked by human precept (a command or mandate in writing).
The kingdom of Israel under the leadership of the tribe of Ephraim was the first to go into captivity in Syria and then in Assyria long before the kingdom of Israel under the leadership of the tribe of Judah. The enemy knows we serve a jealous God, as soon as we worship idols it is our own God who disciplines us. Balaam knew that it was impossible to curse the people of Israel or to defeat them, as long as they followed God’s precepts. The only way to destroy Israel is to have them sin against their God; so that their God Himself, will discipline them, even send them into captivity. Therefore Balaam counselled Balak to cause the people of God to worship the idol of Baal, and to live the ways the gentiles were living (Revelation 2:14).
Since the kingdom of Israel decided to do the same thing their fathers did in the wilderness, by worshiping idols and walking in the precepts of man or human precepts, therefore they were oppressed by their enemies, and were broken in the Judgment of God. The gold image of Nebuchadnezzar was sixty cubits in height, which tells us that the enemy wants us to walk in human precepts, or man-made set of rules. But God wants us to abide by His precept: His written Word.
Hosea 6:6 For I desire faithfulness or loyalty to my precepts (written Word) and not sacrifice, and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.
Israel thought that they could bribe God with their sacrifices. That God would look the other way when they were disobeying His precepts or written Word. They soon found out that God would scatter them to the end of the world. No one can touch us, and nothing can happen to us, if our God has not given His approval. If we abide by His precept, and not human precepts, everything will be well with us. God expects us to know His written word so we avoid destruction.
Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.
That is what happened to Israel, they cast the word of God and God, behind their backs and thus suffered destruction. The Lord told them: you have done more evil than all who were before you, for you have gone and made for yourself other gods and molded images to provoke Me to anger, and have cast Me behind your back (1 Kings 14:9).
People will say: maybe if I take the gods of the gentiles and worship them along with God, I will have double protection. That is a wrong belief. First of all, Our God is a jealous God, if a believer starts to worship idols, he is at enmity with God. There is no communion between light and darkness, or fellowship between righteousness and unrighteousness, there is no concord between Christ and Belial (an epithet of Satan) and there is no part or share between believers and infidels (2 Corinthians 6:14-15). Not only will God not be on that believer’s side, but Satan will not welcome him, but destroy him, lest he goes back to his God.
There was one king of Judah by the name of Amaziah. From the very beginning, he did what was right in the sight of God, but his heart was not loyal to God (2 Chronicles 25:2). He was just looking for an opportunity to serve other gods along with God. Now it was so, after Amaziah came from the slaughter of the Edomites, that he brought the gods of the people of Seir, set them up to be his gods, and bowed down before them and burned incense to them (2 Chronicles 25:14). God sent His prophet to Amaziah who said to him: why have you sought the gods of the people which could not rescue their own people from your hand (2 Chronicles 25:15)? Those gods of the Edomites could not save Amaziah from Israel, and Amaziah was defeated by Israel.
Satan wants to destroy the life of a believer who worships idols, he has no loyalty, his plan is to get him away from God and his precepts, so that he now walks in human precepts and worships little gods who are but demons; for Paul will tell us that those so called gods of the gentiles are but demons. There is only one God the one we serve (1 Corinthians 8:4-6). People ask themselves, how can God move on my behalf. The answer is what Jesus, the Commander of the army of YAHWEH, gave Joshua.
Joshua 5:13 And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, a Man stood opposite him with His sword drawn in His hand. And Joshua went to Him and said to Him, “Are You for us or for our adversaries?” Joshua 5:14. So He said, “No, but as Commander of the army of the LORD, I have now come.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped, and said to Him, “What does my Lord say to His servant?”
Jesus’ answer was clear, many Christians believe that just because they are saved, they can do anything, and God will bless it. No, it is not true. Though God said to Joshua see I have given Jericho into your hand, its king, and its mighty men of valour (Joshua 6:2); Jesus told Joshua I am neither for you nor for your adversaries, but as the Commander of the LORD, I have now come. Jesus had His sword drawn, which is the Rhema word of God. In other words Jesus is on the LORD’s side, if you are on the LORD’s side He will fight your battle. If you are loyal to God, He will be loyal to you and fight your battle. If you follow his precepts or written Word, Jesus who is the Word of God, (John 1:1), will fight for you; out of the mouth of Jesus proceeds a double edged sword to smite your adversaries (Revelation 19:15).
Amaziah was not loyal to God, he did not observe the written word of God, therefore Jesus the Commander of the army of the LORD, did not fight his battle when his adversaries came against him. Likewise Joshua, after they had defeated Jericho, Achan took the accursed things, thus making Israel not loyal to God. The result was their defeat at AI (Joshua 7). Jesus, the Commander of the Army of the LORD was still on the ground, but did not fight the battle of AI. He told them: if you are on the LORD’s side I will fight for you. But later when Israel repented, Jesus gave them the victory over AI (Joshua 8); for if we confess our sins He is faithful and Just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).
People will ask themselves what about the mercy of God, yes God is merciful, He is longsuffering. But He would rather we have the knowledge of God and the understanding, than come to us when we have been destroyed by our adversary. It is difficult to advance the kingdom of God if we keep losing the battle over the small city of AI. Why can we not take the resolution to be loyal to God’s precepts and have the knowledge of Him? God promised us that the people who know the LORD their God, will be strong and carry out mighty or great exploits; and those of the people who understand shall instruct many (Daniel 11:32-33).
The enemy will test your faithfulness or loyalty to God. As Born again believers, faithfulness is an aspect of the fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22). Our yes is Yes and our no is No, lest we fall into judgment or hypocrisy (James 5:12). When we say something we mean it, we are not just saying it for the sake of the listener, but we will abide by the words that have gone out of our mouth. This is the nature of our God, His name is faithful (Revelation 19:11). And all His promises to us are not yes and no, but Yes and Amen or so be it (2 Corinthians 1:18-19).
The enemy will try to find out whether we have the nature of God whom we serve, and if we are faithful. So He asked this question to the three Hebrews: “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego that you do not serve my gods or worship the gold image which I have set up (Daniel 3:14)? Many times the enemy is asking us that question: is it true…? Any quality decision we have made to obey God, the enemy will question it. If we have decided to follow God’s precepts (written word) he will tell us, human precepts have some wisdom too.
The enemy will also try to question the word of God in us, the promises of God in your life. By so doing he is questioning the character of God, insinuating that our God is not faithful. That He is not a Man of His Words. The serpent came to Eve in the Garden of Eden and asked her: has God indeed said… (Genesis 3:1)? Did God really say…? Did God actually say…? I want you to know: “God is not a man, that He should lie; nor a son of man, that He should repent or change His mind. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good? When he says something, he does it. When he makes a promise, he keeps it (Numbers 23:19).
People of the world, and their leaders including Pilate ask themselves this question: what is truth (John 18:38)? The answer is: the Word of God is truth (John 17:17), and Jesus is the truth (John 14:6). Whatever God said to us is true, the enemy will try to put doubt in our heart, but we must resist him and he will flee from us. God specifically told us: submit to God and His Word, resist the devil and he will flee from you (James 4:7).
15 Now if you are ready, at the time you hear the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, and you fall down and worship the image which I have made, good! But if you do not worship, you shall be cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you from my hands?”
19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was full of fury, and the expression on his face changed toward Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. He spoke and commanded that they heat the furnace seven times more than it was usually heated.
The enemy is always trying to intimidate us; he will describe to us what he intends to do if we do not comply with his ways. He threatens our life and the lives of our loved ones. The enemy will always magnify the problem beyond measure. By heating the furnace seven times more than it is usually heated, he is telling us that the fire will not just burn a person, and then that person will die, because of his burns; but it will incinerate his entire body. That person will not even have a tomb.
Whenever your problems are getting bigger than God, know that it is the attack and intimidation of the enemy. We must see God high and lifted up, far above our problems. Our God holds the whole word in His hands. All the nations of the world are as a drop in a bucket to Him (Isaiah 40:15). It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them out like a tent to dwell in (Isaiah 40:22). So, how big is your problem that God cannot handle and solve? Do not give in to the enemy’s intimidation, and escalation of intimidation.
16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter.
17 If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king.
18 but if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”
The three Hebrews did not have time to be listening to the threats of the enemy. They have made up their mind to follow the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and they will not turn back; for “No one, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God (Luke 9:62).” Their yes was Yes and their no was No. they were not double-minded people. They had their trust in God; for those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides forever. Deep inside them they have this assurance that as the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds His people, from this time forth and forever (Psalm 125:1-2). Their faith in the Lord their God was unshakable.
The three Hebrews knew their God; they knew that they had to go through that fire because the enemy was against the God whom they serve; they were not ashamed of what they were going through, for they knew whom they have believed, and were persuaded that He is able to keep what they have committed to Him until that Day (2 Timothy 1:12). They knew that it was only a matter of time before Jesus would show up in their situation, only a matter of time before Jesus intervenes in their situation. They committed their life and all that pertained to them in His hands.
Jesus the Redeemer of Israel made this promise to each one of us:
1 But now, thus says the LORD, who created you, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel: ” Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine.
2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you.
3 For I am the LORD your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Saviour; I gave Egypt for your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba in your place.
The Three Hebrews knew this scripture, that is why they were daring before the king. It is the truth that we know that will make us free, free even from the burning fiery furnace of the enemy (John 8:32). A truth can be written in the bible, but if we do not know it, it cannot help us. That is why God said my people are destroyed for lack of Knowledge of my word, for my word is truth. Heaven and earth will pass away but God’s words will by no means pass away (Matthew 24:35). The grass withers, the flower fades but the word of our God stands forever (Isaiah 40:8).
20 And he commanded certain mighty men of valour who were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, and cast them into the burning fiery furnace.
21 Then these men were bound in their coats, their trousers, their turbans, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.
22 Therefore, because the king’s command was urgent, and the furnace exceedingly hot, the flame of the fire killed those men who took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego.
23 And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.
24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished; and he rose in haste and spoke, saying to his counsellors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?” They answered and said to the king, “True, O king.”
25 “Look!” he answered, “I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.”
Often times we think God will appear at the beginning of our trouble. Yes, many times He does so, we have a sickness or illness and He heals us. Praise the Lord! But that illness or sickness could also have been managed by the physicians of the world. So God only gets a small glory. Sometimes we have a big problem and it would take more time if it were to be solved by means of men, and God intervenes. But there are times when God waits until the last minute, and as humans we think that God is too late, the situation is far gone, and it is irreversible.
God has more glory and honour when a situation is far gone and irreversible. Because then men cannot boast in their abilities or knowledge. Sometimes the wine in a marriage has run out and we do not know where to get that new wine of joy in the marriage. That is when Jesus shows up and whatever He tells us to do we do, and we will experience the miracle of water being turned into wine (John 2). Sometimes it is when we have spent our entire livelihood with the physicians of the world, but they have not been able to cure our issue of blood for twelve years. That is when Jesus shows up, and as we touch the hem of His garment, our fountain of blood dries up (Mark 5:21-34).
Sometimes Jesus does not come until Lazarus is stinky dead for four days, and there is no hope, he has been buried and the body is decomposing. In our carnal mind we will say to Jesus: you are too late, if you had been here four days ago, when Lazarus was still sick, you could have done something. But Jesus intentionally waited until Lazarus was dead for four days, to let the world know that He is the resurrection and the life (John 11). Jesus did not come late; God had more glory and honour in when Lazarus was raised from the dead than if he had only been healed.
My brother and my sister, I have come to tell you that what you are going through right now, God will have the glory out of it, when He has restored your captivity. The world will know that you serve a living God. In that day, ten unsaved people from every language of the nations, shall grab your sleeves, saying, let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you (Zechariah 8:23).
The hot flames of the burning fiery furnace will cause your enemies, who were instructed to throw you into that furnace, to drop dead. But as for you: a thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near you. Only with your eyes shall you look, and see the reward of the wicked (Psalm 91:7-8). God promised them: When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you. That is exactly what happened to them, for the king testified: I see four men loose, walking in the middle of the fire; and they are not hurt. God will not lie to any of us; His word is truth, what He said, is exactly what He will do.
The king thought he threw Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego into the burning fiery furnace. He was wrong! He actually threw Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah for these were their real names (Daniel 1:6). Hananiah means God had favoured, Mishael means who is what God is, and Azariah means YAHWEH has helped. They were who God said they were; for whom the Son has made free is free indeed (John 8:36), no human ropes, shackles, or fetters, was able to bind them. As soon as they landed in the furnace, their bonds were loosed. God had already favoured them, they did not need the favour of the earthly king, the approval they wanted was the approval of God, and they already had it. Furthermore God said He had helped them even before they were put into the furnace, for God is the very present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1). They had the character of their God: faithfulness; for God said they are what God is. Therefore God was faithful to His words to them too.
The fourth Person showed up in the midst of the fire, the Son of God, Jesus. He was not late. Brethren I want to let you know that the Son of God, Jesus, will not come late to your rescue; He will be on time. Man may say it is too late, science may say it is far gone or irreversible. The carnal mind may say it has never been done before in the history of mankind, but God is telling you. Look among the nations and watch — Be utterly astounded! For I will work a work in your days, which you would not believe, though it were told you (Habakkuk 1:5).But as it is written: ” Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him (1 Corinthians 2:9).”
26 Then Nebuchadnezzar went near the mouth of the burning fiery furnace and spoke, saying, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, servants of the Most High God, come out, and come here.” Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego came from the midst of the fire.
No one needed to tell the king that the three Jews were servants of the Most High God. When your God, who is a consuming fire has delivered you from the fire of the enemy, they will know that you serve the Most High God, not a dungy idol. No one will be able to touch you, they will be the ones to ask you to come out of that fire, because they cannot come where you are; they have seen how the fire has killed the people, who threw us into the furnace.
27 And the satraps, administrators, governors, and the king’s counsellors gathered together, and they saw these men on whose bodies the fire had no power; the hair of their head was not singed nor were their garments affected, and the smell of fire was not on them.
The world will come and see the phenomenon that you are. For fire has no power on you, neither your hairs nor your garments had been affected by the fire, and furthermore the smell of the fire is not on you. What the enemy meant for evil against you, God meant it for good (Genesis 50:20). Many are the afflictions of the righteous but the Lord delivers him out of them all (Psalm 34:19). YAHWEH the Man of war, the Lord is His name; will fight your battles and give you the victory (Exodus 15:3). He promised to give us the victory through our Lord Jesus (1 Corinthians 15:57). Moreover He promised to always lead us or cause us to triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place (2 Corinthians 2:14).
28 Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, who sent His Angel and delivered His servants who trusted in Him, and they have frustrated the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they should not serve nor worship any god except their own God!
The unsaved people do not know who God is; they cannot associate Him with anybody. But now they can associate God with your name; because they have seen God perform signs and wonders in your life. Just like we, believers say the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, because we have read what God has done in their respective lives. Nebuchadnezzar could associate God with what he had seen in the life of these three men, so the king said: “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. What we so easily forget is, that the world out there knows nothing about God, or what is written in the bible. Our life is the living epistle that they read and make up their mind if they want to have the same God we are serving (2 Corinthians 3:2). The only bible the king could read, was the life of these three Jews.
We have been grieved for a little while by various trials, that the genuineness of our faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is by fire, may be found, to praise, honour and glory at the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:6-7). Our faith is very precious in the sight of God, and as we go through those trials it purifies it. Even the gentiles will know that we are genuine believers. The king testifies of the genuineness of the faith of the three Jews: they were servants of God who trusted in God, and they had frustrated the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they should not serve nor worship any god except their own God. May the world testify of the genuineness of your faith and mine!
29 Therefore I make a decree that any people, nation, or language which speaks anything amiss (wrong or improper) against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made an ash heap; because there is no other God who can deliver like this.”
The king is the one who promotes the God of the Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego in his entire kingdom. He is the one who is now protecting all the followers of YAHWEH. Truly when a man’s ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him (Proverbs 16:7). Had Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego not gone through the experience of the burning fiery furnace, all the believers of YAHWEH would still be in their hideout and fearful. But now they were all invigorated by the salvation the Lord brought to all the Jews through these three. Brethren it is not only about us. God wants to deliver many other believers through our victory, and He wants to bring in more converts into his kingdom. For that is what happened after the Lord gave the Jews victory in the days of Esther, many gentiles were converted (Esther 8:17).
30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego in the province of Babylon.
One may ask himself what will happen to me after that trial or that burning fiery furnace: will I go back to where I used to be, or what I used to do? The answer is no, you will be promoted both in the physical realm and in the spiritual realm. The king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego in the province of Babylon. The Lord will open new doors for you, that no one can shut, and shut doors that no one can open (Revelation 3:7). God has favoured you; though your beginning was small, yet your latter end would increase abundantly (Job 8:7). The end of a thing is better than its beginning; the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit (Ecclesiastes 7:8).
God will bring you from faith to faith and from glory to glory (Romans 1:17, 2 Corinthians 3:18). God will promote you, for exaltation or promotion comes neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge; He puts down one and establishes another (Psalm 75:6-7). Your God will promote you; He will set you on High because you have known His name (Psalm 91:14).
May God help us and strengthen us; we know that it is not easy when we go through the trials and the burning fiery furnaces of our life. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13). Jesus, the Son of God will show up in our predicament, in our plight; He will never be late. He will never leave us nor forsake us that we may boldly say: the Lord is our helper; we will not fear what can man do to us (Hebrews 13:5-6). In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him (God) who loved us (Romans 8:37). And Jesus is telling each one of us who is going through fire: Surely I am coming quickly. Our answer should be: amen, even so, come, Lord Jesus! The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen (Revelation 22:20-21).
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Jesus said to him,
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“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
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