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August 19, 2020 6:00 am
Pastor author and Bible teacher Alan writing. They not only were protected through the fire of adversity, but they came out on the other side, and they didn't smell like smoke. That's Pastor Alan Wright welcome to another message of good news that will help you see your life for no hold. I'm Daniel Britton excited for you to hear the teaching today. In the series called Daniel is presented in an older church in North Carolina. If you're not able to stay with us throughout the entire program. I will make sure you know how to get our special resource right now you can be yours for your donation this month.
Alan Wright Ministry as you listen to today's message go deeper as we send you today's special offer. Contact us at pastoralan.org or call 877-544-4860 that's 877-544-4860. More on that later in the program but now let's get started with today's teaching here is Alan Wright Daniel chapter 3 where we return today. Having seen this incredible story and how it applied to the wonderful notion that while these men were thrown into a fiery furnace that the fire been turned up and angered by Nebuchadnezzar backfired on the strong man the henchmen of Nebuchadnezzar and burn them up, but our three heroes, Shadrach me shack and Abednego come through it unscathed. This is all about 600 years before Christ, Daniel and his three good friends are exiled to to Babylon, and they are given favor in the royal court that they are taught in schools in the in the Babylonian ways and everything seems be going fine until Nebuchadnezzar makes this huge 90 foot golden statue. An idol that he says everybody's got to bow down and worship every time you hear music and Daniel's friends.
They refuse this and when they refuse. We pick up the story at verse 19 Nebuchadnezzar of Daniel 319. Nebuchadnezzar was filled with fury and the expression on his face was changed again, Shadrach me shack and Abednego you ordered the furnace heated seven times more than it was usually heated and he ordered some of the mighty men of his army to bind Shadrach me shack in Abednego and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace. Then these men were bound to their cloaks, their tunics are hats and their other garments and they were thrown into the burning fiery furnace because the king's order was urgent in the furnace overheated the flame of the fire killed those men who took up Shadrach me shack in Abednego, and these three men, Shadrach me shack in Abednego fell bound into the burning fiery furnace, thinking Nebuchadnezzar was astonished. He rose up in haste he declared to his counselors did we not cast three men into the fire. They answered and said to the king true. Okay, the answer said, but I see four men unbound walking in the midst of the fire and they're not hurt in the appearance of the fourth is like a son of God's the Nebuchadnezzar king near to the door.
The burning fiery furnace. He declared Shadrach me shack in Abednego servants of the most high God come out and come here and Shadrach me shack in Abednego came out from the fire and the satraps the prefects, governors and the kings counselors gather together and solve the fire and not any power over the bodies.
Those men that hair of their heads was not send their cloaks were not harmed and no smell of fire had come upon them.
Nebuchadnezzar answered and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach me shack in Abednego, who is sent his angel and delivered his servants who trusted in him, and set aside the king's command yielded up their bodies rather than serve and worship any god, except their own God. I once had an emerald colored car. I dubbed it the Green hornet. I think I was only one ever got stung by that Green hornet though had various mechanical problems, and eventually the seals all the games were degraded and water would leak in through a variety of crevices and the Green hornet had a number of problems with the worst problem.
The Green hornet was it smelled of smoke. I never should've bought the car because it smelled of smoke when a test drove it but I told the salesman I said I don't like the smell of smoke in my car and he said no so we can get that out as it are you sure I thought was hard to get this to know we have new ways of getting the smell of smoke out of cars guaranteed and so sure enough the day I picked it up after purchase. It was a bright sunshiny day and that the windows were down the car and it smelled pretty good on that day, but for all those years.
I hadn't no matter what if you got one of those gray February the cold, damp days is still the Green hornet is still smelled of smoke all involve muscles little bit too much like that is like their feeling that I fight one on a good clear day. My thought life is clean and pure and good self image is good and who I am in Christ is good and and and all that's good on it.
But then, as those damp cold seasons of life. You know what things are going so well in the and it is just the spiritual battle is a little more intense than those times where man that old shame little way of thinking is just you know in my soul is like on the cold days. It still smells of smoke and I just wonder says that the way is going to be now.
And sometimes you just have this may be you start resigning yourself to the fact that well. I've been through some really hard things in my life and I guess I'm always is going to have to live without them up to live with the tyranny of those thoughts of my failures or disappointments are the rejections that I've experienced promise to have to live with this kind of low-grade bitterness and anger in my life and in if you feel like that you've ever felt like that or feel like that today that I have good news for you today and it comes from an unusual little verse that's tucked away in the middle of this great story. One of those verses.
You just you just wonder why in the middle of such a fantastic story does God make sure that we get this one verse that comes in here and says they hear the heads was not send to cloaks were not harmed. But in this one half of one verse in verse 77.
This is my subject matter for today and no smell of fire had come upon them. They not only were protected through the fire of adversity, but they came out on the other side, and they didn't smell like smoke.
The mischievous part of me has wanted to dare to entitle the message walking through the fire without smelling like hell but I really think that some of you would misunderstand that and think I was trying to be too cute so I'm going with.
I'm going with the title that a friend suggested smoking or non-smoking. That's today's message smoking or non-smoking because it gives kind of idea that sort of like saying suffering and trouble may be inevitable but smelling bad on the other side. That's optional well is an incredible story we referred to this in previous message about how that anger in king Nebuchadnezzar makes them turn of the fire hotter and hotter turned up the heat and the fact that he was so mad and he had to keep turn up the heat that was the very thing that backfired on him because then his own henchmen got killed because the flames leapt out and killed them because the king's anger had backfired on him and just looked at how incredible it is that God is able to not only because the weapons that are formed against you cannot prosper but he is also able to turn the very weapon that was formed against you back against the accuser who so wants to destroy NUC it over and over Joseph who is hated by his brothers in the brothers wicked conspiracy to sell Joseph into slavery actually is the very thing that God uses to turn around the situation and saved many lives. The very hatred that Pharaoh has of Moses, the more he turned up the heat, the more God, Lord Pharaoh, and the entire Egyptian army into the Red Sea to be swallowed up there.
David used Goliath's own sword to decapitate the Philistine giant and all of it is just like shadows pointing to the ultimate irony. The ultimate moment where God turned the enemies weapons back on the enemy because all of the conspiracy of hell had been working towards the moment in which Jesus the Nazarene would be nailed to a Roman cross.
The moment that it looked as though hell had its greatest victory and weave from the gospel perspective realize that because God was using this event in a sovereign way. He was actually backfiring at all upon the powers of hell for the cross was God's set purpose and plan, and through the cross and resurrection.
We have been saved is a great story and then tucked into the middle of it is this notion that not only did God want them to be saved while the enemy was being destroyed but when I got on the other side. He wanted him to still smell good.
They didn't want him to smell that talent right will have more teaching in a moment. Today's important series.
It's shocking how quickly American values have changed. Suddenly, most people go to church or have a biblical worldview. Everything has changed so much that maybe you feel like a foreigner in your own culture. I was a Christian supposed to live in a post-Christian world we fight against it. We decide our light in the midst of it. We pull away from it. These are the same questions that faced a young exile named Daniel in Babylon 600 years before Christ. Though he was an alien God showed the young man in favor when you make your gift to Alan Wright ministry today will send you Pastor Alan's eight messages on Daniel of favorite foreigner and an attractive CD album on a USB thumb drive or through digital download is our way of saying thanks for your partnership. You may feel like a stranger in this world, but as God should favor to gain his foreign land. God's grace is upon you today.
Your gift today would only help you walk in the grace of God during these troubling times. It will also help someone else. This ministry is only possible and prayerful support listeners like you when you give today will send you today's special offer call 877-544-4860 877-544-4860 or come visit Pastor Alan.org today's teaching now continues here once again is Alan Wright.
Here's the most important thing to to begin to frame today's message.
I begin with this assumption based on not only this beautiful picture but all of the Scripture, God doesn't want you left in your shame he doesn't want you left in your self-condemnation. It doesn't want you play for the rest your life by your regrets doesn't want you inwardly eaten by bitterness that is not his intention for you, for there is a double blessing when you come to Christ. Not only do you receive in him payment for your sin so that you are saved, but you receive healing with the transformational process by the renewing of your mind.
In other words, God not only gives you new life in Christ, he transforms you into the very picture of Jesus himself and we want to pray today want to pray with you as we believe that we have seen, and we know our guy heals and therefore we have infinite hope.
I want to just frame our discussion around sort of unnatural picture that points to a spiritual reality.
God often does this hill have some natural picture of something that you could experience with your senses and is actually pointing to something this important spiritual like telling Hosea the prophet to Mary adulterous wife Gomer. He actually marries her. But the point of this was not that was and Gomer needed to be married.
The point was, God was painting a portrait of the nature of his love and his relationship with the bride of God. The people of God and so this this evokes the whole image of of smell their clothes.
It didn't even smell of smoke. It's interesting when no one survived the great flood he worshiped the Lord with the first recorded sacrifice in Scripture Genesis 20 verse 20 says that Noah built an altar to the Lord and took some every clean animal and some of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar and when the Lord smelled the pleasing aroma, the Lord said in his heart. I will never again curse the ground because of man for the intentions of Manhart, a man's heart is evil from his youth.
Neither will I ever again strike down every living creatures I've done while the earth remains seed time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night shall not cease. And the interesting. The board makes a unilateral covenant of remarkable grace in response to smelling the pleasing aroma. In fact, that phrase pleasing aroma stands out because it becomes a refrain in Scripture that describes the offerings that God's people make to the Lord. Like Leviticus chapter 2 he shall take from it.
A handful of the fine flour and oil, with all its frankincense, and the priest shall burn this is a memorial portion on the altar of food offering with a pleasing aroma to the Lord. Part number 29 on the first day of the seventh month you shall have a holy convocation is not do any ordinary work as a day for you to blow the trumpet and you shall offer a burnt offering for pleasing aroma to the Lord. In fact, the Lord specify the should always be a fragrant aroma rising up in his presence there.
Even at the ark of the covenant in the holiest place the tabernacle was described in Exodus chapter 30 that you shall make an altar on which to burn incense and is described all that it should be made of and said Aaron shall burn fragrant incense on it every morning when he dresses the lamps, he shall burn it and when Aaron sets up the lancets while he shall burn it a regular incense offering before the Lord throughout your generations. Ezekiel was one of the prophets who actually prophesied to the exiles in Babylon and in Ezekiel 20 we hear this word of the Lord is a pleasing aroma.
I will accept you when I bring you out from the peoples, and gather you out of the countries where you have been scattered and I will manifest my holiness among you in the sight of the nations there is in the Old Testament there are shadows, hence little pictures of a reality that is coming in Jesus Christ and it only makes sense if you see them as shadows is if you don't.
If you never read the Bible and you didn't understand our whole big story of redemption. You'd read something like this and say that that is God really a deity that likes to smell burnt offerings as you have nostrils as he really is visibly no of course not God's spirit.
But what this is unveiling to us is something figuratively about the heart of God and about the nature of the people of God to this want to keep in mind it is the heart of God, to breathe in the pleasing aroma that is associated with sacrifice every culture, every tribe and every form of religion has discovered at least in some hints that if there's going to be real relationship where there has been sent there must be sacrifice. You can't just gloss over sin. You can't just you can't just pour it. You can't just say it doesn't matter. And so every culture in one way or another, and all the crazy and wrong ways that cultures have done this but nonetheless have pointed to this fact that Hebrews says without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.
So all of this is a shadow and it's a hint it's pointing to the magnificence of the gospel that there would be a sacrifice that would be made. That was so complete and so wonderful that it is the ultimate pleasing aroma to the father and that the promise of Ezekiel stands true not just to these Babylonian exiles but to all who have been exiled and cut off from God because of the problem of sin in the world.
He has prophesied that you will be gathered back to me and you will be a pleasing aroma. The sense of smell is just interesting because really it's unique amongst the senses and I've been reading a bit about smell this week. Scholars proposed is the oldest human means of knowing whether to draw near a run away from something. It is like that in the sense of smell let you know yes or no, I mean egg might look like an egg and it might look just fine, but they didn't pass the smell test, then you're not going to touch it is a the census smell is kind of like a natural picture of the spiritual reality of discernment is interesting that that that people that have very keen spiritual insight and very keen spiritual discernment sometimes have reported to me that they can actually smell things as if in the spirit or in the wonderful presence of the Lord. There are some people who will actually have a sensory perception of some fragrance, or even in the presence of evil smell is is is that thing that lets you know whether something is good or bad weather is okay are not. It's a very interesting sense it it it receives the message is slower because it smells don't come to you at the speed of light, and they don't come at the speed of sound.
They come by little breezes in the air molecules that float around and you and you you catch you catch the scent of something. But what's interesting is that even though it may be slow to arrive for what I have read it actually sends the message to the brain faster than sight or sound.
The New York Times article I read said the olfactory cortex is embedded within the brain's limbic system and amygdala where emotions are born in emotional memories stored that's why according to the article, smells, feelings and memories become so easily and intimately entangled.
What is saying is it just in the natural.
The sense of smell just it just sends a message straight to the deed, the emotional memories center of of your brain and and and sometimes a smell can just sweep you away into into emotion its memory, but it is not just a memory like I can envision what happened. It is memory like an air again writing in today's teen smoking or non-smoking. It's shocking how quickly American values have changed. Suddenly, most people go to church or have a biblical worldview. Everything has changed so much that maybe you feel like a foreigner in your own culture.
I was a Christian supposed to live in a post-Christian world we fight against it. We decide our light in the midst of it. We pull away from it. These are the same questions that faced a young exile named Daniel in Babylon 600 years before Christ.
Though he was an alien God showed the young man favor when you make your gift to Alan Wright ministry today will send you Pastor Alan's eight messages on Daniel of favorite foreigner in an attractive CD album on a USB thumb drive or through digital download is our way of saying thanks for your partnership.
You may feel like a stranger in this world, but as God should favor to gain his foreign land. God's grace is upon you today. Your gift today would only help you walk in the grace of God during these troubling times will also help someone else. This ministry is only possible and prayerful support listeners like you when you give today will send you today's special offer call 877-544-4860 877-544-4860 or come visit Pastor Alan.org in today's message were talking a lot about aroma, not the typical topic for church, not the typical theme from the fiery furnace story either from Daniel but how impactful today's message really really is. I just couldn't get away from that one line of Scripture that says and they they not only were spared in the fiery furnace, Shadrach me shack and Abednego their clothes didn't even smell of smoke and just in a prayer time had this idea with some other believers we pray about this and one lady said you know in that is a beautiful picture how we can go through so many difficult things in life. And yet, by the grace of Christ, we come out on the other side and we don't smell like that negative experience. We went through will have to smell like bitterness and so it's a beautiful thing to to to think together about what it means that we are the aroma of Christ.
Thanks for listening today. Visit us firstname.lastname@example.org or call 877-544-4860 that's 877-544-4860 if you only caught part of today's teaching. Not only can you listen again online but also get a daily email devotional that matches today's teaching delivered right to your email inbox free. Find out more about these and other email@example.com that's Pastor Alan.org.
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