Hunger for knowledge, especially knowledge of the Truth is very important and a requirement for those following the Lord Jesus Christ. Christians ought to be like
Ac 17:11 the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.
These are the qualities we ought to have when attending a Church Service or a Bible Study.
(1) They received the teaching. The word “received” means to “embrace” or “to make it one’s own”. They were intentional. They listened to make the message their own. They wanted personal application. They did not sit there thinking the message was for another person. They wanted a Word from God for themselves.
(2) They received to the teaching with eagerness. The word “eagerness” means “readiness of mind”. They came to hear with the intention of receiving. That is, their purpose for being under the instruction of the Word of God was right and noble. They prepared themselves to be willing recipients of God’s Word.
(3) They examined the Scriptures. Even though they were aware that Paul was an apostle with a healthy reputation of Bible preaching and exposition … they would not just swallow what he said hook, line and sinker. The word “examine” means to “investigate, scrutinize, sift and question”. They compared what Paul said against the Scriptures they had. They in a spiritual way put it through the spiritual strainer, questioning each statement, doctrine and theology to ensure that it was Biblical. In a way they investigated what was said by applying spiritual forensics.
(4) They examined the Scriptures daily. Each time they heard the Word of God expounded and taught they applied the same criteria, because …
(5) Their purpose was to check whether what they heard was Truth. They understood the importance of their souls. They were aware there were many spiritual mongrels (false teachers, counterfeit prophets) doing the rounds. Under no circumstances would they take a chance on their souls. For them it was a heaven and a hell business. This is where we need to be today. Use an open Bible in Church. Take notes during the Sermon or Bible Study. Think through what it taught. Weigh it up against God’s written Word. Your soul is important. You live in a world where it is either heaven or hell. Don’t take chances.
1) Now it is in this way that Daniel wanted the truth as to the meaning of various matters seen in the dream / vision / words from God.
Da 7:19 “Then I wanted to know the true meaning of the fourth beast, which was different from all the others and most terrifying, with its iron teeth and bronze claws—the beast that crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left.
Compared to verse 7 one additional item is added … “bronze claws”.
(2) He also wanted to know about the ten horns, but more especially the other (little) horn.
Da 7:20 I also wanted to know about the ten horns on its head and about the other horn that came up, before which three of them fell—the horn that looked more imposing than the others and that had eyes and a mouth that spoke boastfully
(3) He watches this little horn war against God’s people.
Da 7:21 As I watched, this horn was waging war against the saints and defeating them.
It appears that this is the Anti-Christ. Look at the persecution brought against the people of God (The Jews) before Jesus came to earth. When He arrived this persecution continued and has never stopped. It is stirred up by satan. Look at Church History … wherever God’s people started a work or sought to expand the Kingdom, satan interfered … and still does today. We have seen from Early Church History up to today how satan inspires governments, institutions and individuals to destroy the Visible Church. Often the Visible Church is defeated, sometimes from within and at other times from the outside. Even in our life time we have seen governments banning Christianity or banning Christianity in Schools, Colleges and Universities. Proselytizing is outlawed. Gossip, jealousy or some other wicked friction prevents Churches from advancing or sees doors closing. As individuals our hands are bound because we may not use the weapons the enemy uses. Do you recall the following discussion?
Mt 16:15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” To this Jesus responded, 17 “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
Here Jesus is talking about a few things.
(a) The Church Jesus refers to the Invisible Church. This Church is made up of all believers from the beginning of time until the end of time.
(b) This Church will come under satanic attack but never be destroyed because it is a Spiritual Church with the souls of the beloved in Christ who have already died, are still alive and yet to be born as the building blocks. There is no power that can penetrate the protection of God.
(c) Entrance into the Invisible Church is through the gospel alone (keys of the Kingdom of Heaven). Those who receive the gospel become Invisible Church members (Children of God) whilst those who do not are lost eternally. They might be in the Visible Church but are excluded from the Invisible Church. Each person has the responsibility of ensuring they have received the Gospel through faith and are part of the Invisible Church.
(d) The true Shepherd / Pastor of the Invisible Church is Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God. Note the words … “I will build my church” … these are Jesus’ words.
“The Church’s one foundation,
Is Jesus Christ her Lord;
She is His new creation,
By water and the Word:
From heav’n He came and sought her,
To be His holy Bride;
With His own blood He bought her,
And for her life He died.
Elect from every nation,
Yet one o’er all the earth,
Her charter of salvation,
One Lord, one faith, one birth;
One holy Name she blesses,
Partakes one holy food,
And to one hope she presses,
With every grace endued.”
We might suffer many loses such as material possessions, loved ones and even our own lives, but the believing soul is secure in Jesus Christ.
Thank You Lord for the security of the soul in Jesus. Amen.