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August 13, 2020 6:00 am
Pastor author and Bible teacher Alan Wright. The greatest news imaginable is the kingdom of which you are ultimately a citizen will never fail falter or subside, or diminish only increase Christ rain and I kingdom forever. 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 this 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 to Alan Reich ministries 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. The setting of Daniel Chapter 2 is this Daniel who has been exiled to Babylon about 600 years before Christ, and so he is a foreigner and Babylon having lost his homeland of Jerusalem have been lost in the temple that he loves the customs's family has friends all that he holds dear me a all that he separate from now and Daniel is very does have three close friends there there nearby which is a blessing, but while he is there. Nebuchadnezzar sees that Daniel and his friends are very gifted, very, very articulate very wise very skilled handsome young men. And so they come to take a mental scholarship program to induct them initiate and teach them everything that Babylon knows man and so it's an odd thing they are in the court of the foreign God who is teaching of the foreign king who worship the foreign God as the wise men of that foreign land are teaching him and yet they are lost and worship false gods and yet they're trying to impart their wisdom to Daniel and yet Dana needs to learn their language and learn their customs.
All of this is a very unusual situation, and while he's there.
Daniel is set up by God to receive favor. Unbelievable favor promotions as he is serving in in the Babylonian court and it's just absolutely remarkable what's happening. So here's the picture of favored foreigner.
Now what this pictures in advance is the ultimate favored foreigner, which was Jesus of Jesus. He came and he is his world. And yet and yet people rejected him and rejected him from religious size or political sides feeling threatened by him, and yet so much favor and anointing on on Jesus, the son of God that everywhere he went. Great crowds pressed in upon him and so you're kinda wondering you know is he favored or or is he just in and then he is crucified but he lives and is resurrected and to unto Lordship forever over an invisible kingdom. That's the gospel that is being sort of foretold through the whole story of Daniel nine. This particular story. What is happened is Nebuchadnezzar, has had a really troubling dream so troubling. In fact, that Nebuchadnezzar insists that some wise man. Tell him about his dream. The wise men of Babylon say okay tell us what your dream is will interpretive 40s is no he says I will so I did.
Tell me what I dreamed and tell me the interpretation they say nobody can do that no kings ever asked anybody do that no one but God could do that. There's the whole point sets up for Daniel because only God and Nebuchadnezzar know what this dream is an Daniel who hears from God, has confidence and faith that he'll be out here from God, and that in giving the king what the dream is an interpretation. The king will will repent of his edict that it said that if no one interpret his dream. He will kill all the wise men, so Daniel's life is at stake all the wise men about a lot of things of God uses Daniel and this story can only save Daniel, but to save other people.
It's is a message of a saving work that comes because he so connected with heaven.
Okay, that's what the story is now working to pick this up after Daniel has received the revelation of what the dream is and the interpretation it comes to Nebuchadnezzar at verse 31 of Daniel chapter 2 Daniel two verse 31 in here here's where we pick up the story Daniel speaking to Nebuchadnezzar you Saul, O King, and behold a great image. This image mighty and of exceeding brightness stood before you.
Its appearance was frightening.
The head of this image was of fine gold, his chest and arms of silver, its middle and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. As you look a stone was cut out by no human hand and it struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces, then iron, the clay, the bronze and silver and the gold altogether were broken in pieces, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floor and the wind carried them away so that not a trace of them could be found, but the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.
This was the dream now. We would tell the king its interpretation. You owe king.
The king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom the power and the might and the glory and into whose hand he is given wherever they dwell, the children. Amanda beats the field, the birds of heaven making you rule over them all.
You are the head of gold, another kingdom inferior to you shall arise after you and yet 1/3 kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over all the earth, and there shall be 1/4 kingdom, strong as iron because iron breaks to pieces and shatters all things like iron that crushes it shall break and crush all these as you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter's clay and partly of iron, it shall be a divided kingdom, but some of the firmness of iron shall be in it, just as you saw iron mixed with the soft clay as the toes, the feet were partly iron and partly clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly brittle as you saw the iron mixed with soft clay, so they will mix with one another in marriage, but they will not hold together, just as iron does not mix with clay and in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people it shall break in pieces.
All these kingdoms and bring them to an end and it shall stand forever, just as you saw that a stone was cut from a mountain by no human hand and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold, a great God has made known to the king what shall be after this.
The dream is certain, and its interpretation sure it's a great story about being feeling like foreigners in the world and sometimes even our own beloved country in America sometimes like to believe how much things have changed and you didn't file what is what is going on around me with this.
This idea of being built like a foreigner and in your world.
It's it's it's okay it's it's okay to feel that way because you we we run on something different than the world where we are different. Hello story of a none.
Bless her heart, she ran out of gas and she was feisty she could take care of herself. She was a nurse and she had she had well, she was fine. She began fish and went to far away and so she just went and and are in her trunk. She was in her. She looked around anything she could get to get some gas with and so she goes in a bedpan and goes against low gas that I guess I should comes back she's pouring the contents of the bedpan into her car and some passerby goes man that's faith. You are a citizen of the kingdom of God.
You might also be a citizen of America or another country you might have your citizenship there but your ultimate citizenship is as a Christian, the kingdom of God. There are two kingdoms there is the kingdom of darkness. And there's a kingdom of light and the kingdom of light to the kingdom of God has one king, the preeminent Lord Jesus Christ, the God of all that exists. Rain supremely over this kingdom, and all of the kingdoms of this world and all the ideologies of this age that stand up against the kingdom of God. In the end shall all crumble and be turned to best the fact of the matter that this story that were good that we are where we were delving into the day just highlights for us the assurance of the of the preeminence of the kingdom of of God and you beloved are a citizen in that kingdom now in this world you may face troubles because you're still in the world but every day, every day, you can remind yourself of your ultimate home in your ultimate citizenship which means that there is an unusual kind of paradox in which you live. It's called you're already in the kingdom you already taste the essence of the kingdom, and all his righteousness, peace and joy. You see the evidence of the kingdom of God, the power of God that does it work we've already we see in the power of God in our midst today and will see even more and yet you also live in a world in drive the same cars and other people drive and you have to use same gasoline to other people use and yet inwardly your heart and your life is is fueled by a completely different source of energy divine energy so you're absolutely different from anything related to the systems of the world, and yet you live in this this world and this goes far to explain some of the tensions of our lives. And yet it is for us Christians. The greatest news imaginable. Is it the kingdom of which you are ultimately a citizen will never fail falter or subside, or diminish, but only increase and you belong to Christ, rain, and that kingdom forever more 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 don't go to church or have a biblical worldview. Everything has changed so much that maybe you feel like a foreigner in your own culture. That was a Christian supposed to live in a post-Christian world we fight against it.
We to sign our light in the midst of it. We pull away from it.
These are the same questions that face the 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 farmland 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 through 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 let's talk about this vision of the meaning of this dream. What what is agreed upon by almost every interpreter is certainly that that the this this great image.
This biggest statute that Nebuchadnezzar sees in his dream that it it is awesome and and and a sense of dreadful, and its appearance, even the Nebuchadnezzar and very troubling to him, head of gold and then and then throughout the chest. It's it's of silver and then bronze around the waist and then as it moves down it's it's iron and iron mixed with clay that is Daniel is describing the empires that will emerge after Babylon that there is almost universal agreement that what Daniel has done here is so hear from God that with amazing symbolic but yet accurate imagery is portraying the actual kingdoms that will emerge. Not only Babylon, but afterward now there is is you is you get down to what were talking about with that fourth kingdom or the 10 kings. There's much dispute about what that what that means and there are of course different interpretations of eschatology which we will not go into today, but that the ultimate answer to when Jesus comes back in relationship to the to the nature of the church and the people of God and all that is is subject to many different interpretations but it seems very clear that, of course, initially when he says this. First, the head of gold. This is you, Nebuchadnezzar, and this refers to Babylon, and this is an empire that is in preeminence from about 605 BC up until 539 and then Cyrus of Persia emerges is the is the great leader of the Medes and the Persians.
What is is often called the Meadow Persian Empire because it really is empire of the Medes and the Persians and Cyrus is the one who in 539 in an and is is empire emerges. He is the one that actually allows the people of God.
The Jewish people to go back to their homeland in Jerusalem so that. Exile ends in 539 there restored. That's the restoration and this happens under Cyrus.
Which, interestingly, the Scripture says that God had anointed Cyrus even though his pagan to be his instrument of restoration to the people is one of those on the sidelines of this the sovereignty of God, as it were, where where he is working is this is what's mind-boggling about that. He is working through the empires of the world to even through that to accomplish his greater sovereign kingdom purposes. That's an extraordinary thought. So Babylon and then Meadow Persian was Cyrus and and leaders that followed that that Meadow Persian Empire runs from 539 to 332 BC and then a man name Alexander the great comes onto the horizon of history and Greece becomes preeminent up until most would say around 146 BC and this then becomes the Roman era and Rome really depend on how you measure it, you could say is from 146 BC to about 395 A.D. and it was into the Roman Empire. That of course Jesus was born, and that the gospel is is presented and Jesus says the kingdom of God is emerged in your midst, and in the midst of that know what you see again with there be in some dispute about some would say will is that really Rome. The fourth one, but I think this is the the prominent view in any of the right view these for absolutely massive and major empires are all symbolically imaged in this big statue that was in the dream. That's what Daniel says is you're gonna beat you got your Empire and then is to be another Empire and another part another Empire and in what you observed about these is that it is is one big, dazzling statue and yet if you were to look in Daniel chapter 7, to be worthy of you reading after this just to see that the parallelism to this these kingdoms. The same kingdom seem to be mirrored in the vision that Daniel has in Daniel seven.
But now, instead of seeing it as a statue.
He sees these four different empires, and in and sort of images of beasts, something like a lion with Eagles wings.
It represents Babylon.
Something like a bear that is representing Persia Meadow Persian Empire. Something like a leopard with four wings of a bird on its back and that is representing Greece and the fourth beast again this mention of iron has iron teeth and so it's like this that the image of this statue is is seems awesome and dazzling in a sense from the world's perspective. But what Daniel sees in his vision is, he sees it really from from the kingdom of God perspective from God's perspective. Really the empires are more like ravenous wild uncontrolled beasts. In other words, externally they look like this big statue internally. They are out of control beasts beloved. This is an accurate picture of the conflict of the kingdom of God in the kingdoms of this world that even those things that it times dazzle the world and makes them awesome and dreadful in their awesomeness. If you were to see behind it. The inspiration of darkness, you would see great wickedness that oftentimes world doesn't see this is what Daniel has has observed Mount what he he he says and at any season this dream and you can notices there's a deterioration and a decline in the substances.
The metals become less valuable as they descend in this statue so the goal becomes silver so become bronze vodka and iron and and Daniel described the next kingdom as being inferior but what we know from history is is not that the Meadow Persian Empire was smaller than the Babylonian Empire. It was at last great in that sense, but the picture is it moves towards the Empire of Rome. It is is a picture of the continuing decline of the moral fiber of of these of these empires even as they decline in their and their sense of value, which may be it may be a picture of the moral depravity of the empires.
They are increasing in their strength, the hardness of the metals increase and this is not by accident.
In this vision that the valuable gold which is relatively soft then becomes that the less valuable iron just so hard that it crushes in his symbol in the Scripture of that is very hard, very strong.
It crushes as always know what you get is a picture of of iron and then iron mixed with clay to picture Rome which is so crushing, so powerful, so pervasive, and seemingly so preeminent in the world and with all of their advances in all of the roads and all that they all the all that happens in the Roman empire yet there's an increasing moral decline in Rome, which becomes famous and is and is attributed to to the collapse of Rome really and so so these two things are going on at the same time in all this is pictured in this in this statue and one of the things that you notice is that the statue itself, while depicting the four different empires. This statue is one statue. It's an image of like one man, which is an important important part of the Revelation that is essentially saying that all of the kingdoms of this world are all connected essentially to the same headship and they may look different and they may have different worldly leaders and they may.
They may have a different emphases and they may have different territorial borders but the kingdoms of this world.
If it they are all still connected. It's really just really in the end it's just too kingdoms a kingdom of darkness in the kingdom of light and and then what happens in this is, is this little rock that is is seen in the dream that was not cut with human hands.
Allen right entities and the good news of the kingdom of God. It's shocking how quickly American values have changed. Suddenly, most people don't go to church or have a biblical worldview. Everything has changed so much that maybe you feel like a foreigner in your own culture. That 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 Allen right 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 is God should favor to gain his farmland God's grace is upon you today.
Your gift today will only help you walk in the grace of God during these troubling times will also help someone else. This ministry is only possible through 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, is it difficult to strike the balance of living as a citizen of two worlds and will most of us always struggle with yes is the short answer to that tag of the first leg as they is that let's at least acknowledge that we are a citizen of two of two different worlds and their many different perspectives about this that go beyond the scope of today's teaching, but the idea of the kingdom of God is so pervasive to everything in the gospel is what is proclaimed from Jesus Lippmann when he told the disciples proclaim is the arrival of so focus on being in the unshakable kingdom is the ultimate hope of a world that's what today's message get a daily email devotional that matches today's teaching delivered right to your email inbox free. Find out more about these and other firstname.lastname@example.org that's Pastor Alan.org. Today's good news message is a listener supported production Allen right ministry