Continuing: today is a good time to once again look at Daniel 3 and the understanding it imparts to us in telling the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Most know the story: the king of Babylon made a golden image and commanded, through all his officers and officials, that when the news media played the music all were required to bow down and worship the created image. We know Babylon symbolizes a nation confused by a language confounded and thereby void of meaning. (And of course their news media wasn’t as advanced as ours in getting out the word on the latest created image we are expected to bow to.)
So, the story goes on to tell us that when the music played these three God worshipping men refused to bow to the (lying) image that was set up. We know the penalty for not bowing to the image when the news media projected it was to be cast into a fiery furnace.
In recent days we have discussed the fires burning in the earth and their causing the elements to melt away (2 Peter 3). We have also seen these as refining fires that separated the worthless impurities from that of value (Malachi 3). We know the word used in 2 Peter 3, translated “elements,” is stoicheion, meaning the foundational principles upon which reason relies. We know when these are spoken of in 2 Peter 3 they are telling of the ways of the world that melt away in the fire these ways themselves have kindled. Following it is contrasted with the new earth and new heaven we look for, wherein dwells righteousness. The Greek word used there for “righteousness” is dikaiosune, meaning equity, and in context meaning justified and innocent by it becoming self-evidently true.These are the eyes through which we should see Daniel 3.
There is a word used in Daniel 3 to tell of the “command” being given to bind the three men. It is the Chaldean word ‘amar, meaning to bring forth words. It is virtually the same as the word ‘immar, meaning and translated, lamb. It is telling of the way most sacrifices of God’s people occur. They aren’t something we choose. What we choose is to be faithful to God in our response to a corrupted and confused society; the ensuing sacrifice comes from the world in response when we refuse to bow to their creations (non-reality, delusions, and deceptions projected by the news media – every network).
This brings us to what those casting us in their fires see in the fire. It is the same as was seen in Daniel 3. They see a forth man walking in the fire with us. Before this we read of those casting the innocent into the fire being consumed by the flames in doing so. This is the truth that should be seen, and is for all those who have eyes to see and ears to hear.
22 Therefore because the king’s commandment was urgent, and the furnace exceeding hot, the flames of the fire slew those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
23 And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.
24 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonished, and rose up in haste, and spoke, and said unto his counselors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king.
25 He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.
26 Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, and spoke, and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, you servants of the most high God, come forth, and come here. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, came forth of the midst of the fire.
27 And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king’s counselors, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them.
28 Then Nebuchadnezzar spoke, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God.
29 Therefore I make a decree, That every people, nation, and language, which speak any thing amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill: because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort.
Everything is just as it should be.
Our worry shouldn’t be of being cast into the fires of these self-proclaimed, so-called experts and their failed counsel; our choice should be faith and being faithful. The fires have no effect on God’s children except to make us stronger.
What are the images of our time? They are the distortion meant to manipulate people, the words meant to make men cower in fear and not dare to speak contrary to the delusion of the day. The response, to our speaking truth in this world bound in a prison state of confusion, is to fire every evil and slanderous attack at us with the intention to burn us up. This is where the LORD is seen, as in the Bush that burned but was never consumed.
2 Peter 3
1 This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance:
2 That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the LORD and Savior:
3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:
6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:
7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the LORD as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
9 The LORD is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
10 But the day of the LORD will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements [stoicheion] shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the WORKS that are therein shall be burned up.
11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements [stoicheion] shall melt with fervent heat?
13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwells righteousness.
14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that you look for such things, be diligent that you may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.
15 And account that the longsuffering of our LORD is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;
16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest you also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness.
18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our LORD and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.
1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the LORD, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, says the LORD of hosts.
2 But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appears? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap:
3 And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.
4 Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the Lord, as in the days of old, and as in former years.
5 And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers [those manipulating with word], and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, says the LORD of hosts.
6 For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore you sons of Jacob are not consumed.
7 Even from the days of your fathers you are gone away from my ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, says the LORD of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return?
8 Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed you? In tithes and offerings.
9 You are cursed with a curse: for you have robbed me, even this whole nation.
10 Bring you all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in my house [not the house of the calf where the robbery occurs], and prove me now herewith, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
11 And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, says the Lord of hosts.
12 And all nations shall call you blessed: for you shall be a delightsome land, says the LORD of hosts.
13 Your words have been stout against me, says the LORD. Yet ye say, What have we spoken so much against thee?
14 Ye have said, It is vain to serve God: and what profit is it that we have kept his ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the LORD of hosts?
15 And now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered.
16 Then they that feared the LORD spoke often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name.
17 And they shall be mine, says the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spares his own son that serves him.
18 Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serves God and him that serves him not.
What is the sacrifice and offering the LORD desires?
The final verse above tells of separating between those severing God, and those not serving Him – therefor serving themselves. The word in verses 8 & 10 above, translated “tithes,” is from the root word that tells of an accumulation of all the digits of both hands. It is speaking of increase and the idea’s deeper meaning of – with hands full delivering unto God what is His (pure and of greatest value).
Most overlook the fact that the two preceding chapters warn multiple times against offering the corrupted.
6 A son honors his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is my honor? and if I be a master, where is my fear? says the LORD of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised your name?
7 You offer polluted bread upon my altar; and you say, Wherein have we polluted thee? In that you say, The table of the Lord is contemptible.
8 And if you offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? and if you offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? offer it now unto your governor; will he be pleased with you, or accept your person? says the LORD of hosts.
9 And now, I pray you, beseech God that he will be gracious unto us: this hath been by your means: will he regard your persons? says the LORD of hosts.
10 Who is there even among you that would shut the doors for naught? neither do you kindle fire on my altar for naught. I have no pleasure in you, says the LORD of hosts, neither will I accept an offering at your hand.
11 For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, says the LORD of hosts.
12 But you have profaned it, in that you say, The table of the Lord is polluted; and the fruit thereof, even his meat, is contemptible.
13 You said also, Behold, what a weariness is it! and you have snuffed [claimed it to be valuable when it isn’t] at it, says the LORD of hosts; and ye brought that which was torn [stolen], and the lame, and the sick; thus ye brought an offering: should I accept this of your hand? says the LORD.
14 But cursed be the deceiver, which hath in his flock a male, and vows, and sacrifices unto the Lord a corrupt thing: for I am a great King, says the LORD of hosts, and my name is dreadful among the heathen.
Malachi 2 (The intended state of the priest.)
6 The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips: he walked with me in peace and equity, and did turn many away from iniquity.
7 For the priest’s lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts.
8 But you are departed out of the way; you have caused many to stumble at the law; you have corrupted the covenant of Levi, says the LORD of hosts.
9 Therefore have I also made you contemptible and base before all the people, according as you have not kept my ways, but have been partial [unequal] in the law.
10 Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us? why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers?
11 Judah [the leaders] have dealt treacherously, and an abomination is committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah hath profaned the holiness of the LORD which he loved, and hath married the daughter of a strange god.
12 The LORD will cut off the man that doeth this, the master and the scholar, out of the tabernacles of Jacob, and him that offers an offering unto the LORD of hosts.
13 And this have ye done again, covering the altar of the LORD with tears, with weeping, and with crying out, insomuch that he regards not the offering any more, or receives it with good will at your hand.
Hosea 6:6 tells of retuning to the LORD and of the offering He desires from us (our best is what is most valued – the full use of our cognitive ability).
1 Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up.
2 After two days will he revive us: in the third day [today is the day] he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.
3 Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.
4 O Ephraim [God’s children in the latter days – us now], what shall I do unto thee? O Judah [the leaders of God’s people], what shall I do unto thee? for your goodness is as a morning cloud, and as the early dew it goes away.
5 Therefore have I hewed them by the prophets; I have slain them by the words of my mouth: and thy judgments are as the light that goes forth.
6 For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.
7 But they like men have transgressed the covenant: there have they dealt treacherously against me.
8 Gilead [spring of testimony] is a city of them that work iniquity, and is polluted with blood [fouled waters of death].
9 And as troops of robbers wait for a man, so the company of priests murder in the way by consent: for they commit lewdness.
10 I have seen an horrible thing in the house of Israel [God’s people]: there is the wh*redom [worshipping idols instead of God] of Ephraim, Israel is defiled.
11 Also, O Judah [the leaders of God’s people], he hath set an harvest [time of judgment] for thee, when I returned the captivity of my people.
Matthew records the LORD twice quoting Hosea 6:6 above in defining what we should consider, and know. They appear in Matthew 9:13 & 12:7.
In Matthew 9 it is when the religious leaders (the experts of our day – ask them they will tell you they are) question why the LORD is eating with sinners. The response in quoting Hosea 6 sums up the reason by invoking the chapter where the understanding, the LORD tells them they lack, is found. The new wine and new bottles He speaks of is the understanding (squeezed from fruit of the same old vine/source) and the people it is being poured into; the ignorant reprobate leaders and their establishments are the old bottles.
11 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eats your Master with publicans and sinners?12 But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.
13 But go you and learn what that means, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
14 Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy disciples fast not?
15 And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bride-chamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast.
16 No man puts a piece of new cloth unto an old garment, for that which is put in to fill it up takes from the garment, and the rent is made worse.
17 Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runs out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.
Matthew 12:13 adds the fullness to our understanding of the tithe and the storehouse spoken of in Malachi 3:8 – 10. The LORD is telling of the things in the storehouse actually being for the mental nourishment of God’s people, and the things held there are the knowledge of God. This both tells of the fast the LORD speaks of in Matthew 9 above, and of the fast being broken as when David opened the storehouse. This is the new wine now poured into new bottles.
1 At that time Jesus went on the Sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were an hungry, and began to pluck the ears of corn and to eat.
2 But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, your disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the Sabbath day.
3 But he said unto them, Have you not read what David did, when he was hungry, and they that were with him;
4 How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the show-bread [the presence of the LORD who supplies all our needs (even in the fires)], which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests?
5 Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the Sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath, and are blameless?
6 But I say unto you, That in this place is One greater than the temple.
7 But if ye had known what this means, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless [in your fires].
8 For the Son of man is LORD even of the Sabbath day.