Some Thoughts from the Witness of Daniel and His Companions.
The first six chapters of Daniel illustrate very beautifully the word of Paul in Phil. 2:15 about being "blameless and harmless, the sons of God... in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation". Daniel and his companions certainly "shone" as "lights in the world" when set in the midst of a devil controlled Babylon, and, as such, they can teach us many vital principles relative to such a witness in our day.
Many such "principles" could be cited, but the OUTSTANDING one is that this witness was being given by what we could call "Resurrection Men". To use the words of Paul, they were continually "delivered unto death", -yet ever manifesting "Another Life"! (See 2 Cor. 4:11). There was the fiery furnace (chapter 3), and the den of lions (chapter 6), -each a virtual "death" in itself, yet leading on to "resurrection". Even before that, we remember how they positively flourished when they were under the eye of Melzar in the king's palace (chapter 1). They had deliberately chosen the way of threatening "death", yet emerged with the glow of Abundant Life. And, even before that, again, when they first survived the destruction of Jerusalem, emerging from the burning city, they were like "resurrection men".
This, we suggest, is the BAS1C and All pervading Principle if we, in OUR day, are to be part of God's true LIGHT in the world's darkness, certainly if we are to be seen as HIS "Testimony" amidst the decadence of today's "Babylon", or, shall we say, "unspiritual religion" of ANY kind. We have to be men of the Cross; -His Cross, and thereby MEN OF RESURRECTION; -and, most of all, in an INWARD sense; -our own strengths crucified, our own wisdom set aside, and CHRIST our ALL in ALL! Resurrection means an "old man" crucified, and Christ discovered as the Great Divine Replacement; -it is blessing through brokenness.
This, we see, is the clear teaching of God's Word regarding the Church; -it is created to be the expression of Christ's own resurrection. Years ago, we heard it said that the ONE WORD which characterizes the true Church is the word "RESURRECTION", and that we have seen is true! But, first of all, it means that individuals must "take up-the cross", in this INWARD way, discovering the blessedness of Romans Six.
"Dying with-Jesus, -by death RECKONED mine; Living with Jesus a New Life Divine" (See Rom.6:11)
Thank God for the Holy Spirit Who works all this progressively into us -as we "believe"! And this is the way for "assemblies" as well as individuals, -and thus God secures His "Light in the Darkness', His way of touching "Babylon"!
And, how encouraging that God got this "Witness" in those who were but YOUNG men; - perhaps little more than teenagers in Danie1's day! O for such a FRESH witness in OUR times! O for young Joshua's who can complete the work of Moses, and young Timothy's who can re-echo, in the Spirit, the messages of Paul! The history of young Daniel and his companions teaches us that "God is able". May the Lord do it in our day!
YE ARE MY FRIENDS--3 Bakht Singh
If you want to climb the mountain top of friendship with God and if you want to enjoy the friendship of God, be prepared to be proved and tried by God's own testing's, as He proved Abraham (Gen. 22:1).
When a watchmaker wants to use a piece of steel for a watch spring, he has to put the steel through many tests before using it. Only the watchmaker knows what kind of spring is required for the watch. In the same way, when any metal is to be used for an airplane, that piece of metal will be first proved by many tests. It is only then that the metal will be fit for use in the airplane. In the same way, God Who alone knows our real ministry on earth and in heaven, has to apply every kind of test in our lives, so that we may be found fit and worthy. We as believers should never question or doubt God, demanding of Him why this or that has happened in our lives. Believe me, every test, however severe, is very necessary to the one who desires to be a friend of God. Some of the tests will be very painful, and the enemy will try to suggest that you are being punished by God for your failure in the past. If however, you have understood God's purpose, then remember, you are forgiven completely. When you have confessed your sins and have put things right with God and man, then your sins are forgiven, covered and washed. His grace will never dig them up again. Your part is to be faithful and sincere in your repentance and confession, and obey God, putting all things right, with your fellowmen. Afterwards let God try and prove you by any test. All the saints of God, down the world's history, have been proved in different ways, and were found faithful.
We read that when God called Abraham, he said, "Behold, here I am!" He could not have said
that so quickly in the beginning, but he had been prepared by God for forty -six years. His ears had
become sensitive to the voice of God. God spoke and he heard and responded immediately. He did
not say, "Lord, give me five or ten minutes!" Many people hear God speaking in a meeting or in their
quiet time or in prayer time, but they answer, "God! Please give me ten minutes; I will consult my
darling wife and give you a definite reply. She is a very good wife and the best woman in the whole
world. Please God, just wait for a few minutes and I will ask her permission and then come:' Abraham
did not say, "Let me consult Sarah and then I will come to you," for he had been truly prepared by God.
In a subtle way the devil has deceived many God's servants, teachers and believers. They allow some
man, some woman, some relation to come between God and themselves. But Abraham's answer was,
"Behold, here am I", which meant: "Oh God! I am fully ready, and prepared. You tell me and I will do it:'
If you are not clear as to God's voice, then wait, because in some cases it takes a month or two, or
more to know God's will. But when God speaks and commands, you must say at once, "Behold, I am
In Gen. 22:3 we read, "Abraham rose up early in the morning:' Isaac was Sarah's son also, and
no doubt his mother must have loved him more dearly than even Abraham did. But without consulting
Sarah, Abraham was ready to take Isaac as God had commanded. Some may say that the customs in
India and in America are different. You may say that American wives are different from Indian wives.
They demand everything! -and to maintain peace, men have to tell everything to their wives! It may be
an American wife, English wife, or an Indian wife; a graduate wife or an illiterate wife, the divine law is
the same for every country. In the work of God, and the things of God, it is the same divine law that is
operative. If you make any alteration in any divine law, you will bring great weakness in your testimony
and loss in your ministry. You could never say that Abraham did not love Sarah, or that Sarah did not
love Abraham. God spoke first to Abraham, and though he loved Sarah, he had already learned a
lesson that he should not listen to his wife before obeying God. It was Sarah who had advised him to
go to Hagar. Without consulting God he had obeyed her, and the mistake of that day is still being seen
and felt in the whole world in the seed of Ishmael.. Divine laws are not to be trifled with. Abraham had
learned that lesson, that when God speaks, He must be obeyed. So without consulting any person, he
obeyed God immediately. We must never try to change divine laws by human wisdom.
At God's command Abraham went to the land of Moriah. "Then on the third day Abraham lifted
up his eyes, and saw the place afar off" (Gen. 22:4). He did not tell even Isaac what he was going to
do with him. We do not find the least anxiety in the heart of Abraham. When Isaac questioned him
about the offering he said, "My son, God will provide" (verse 8). He was not avoiding Isaac's question.
When he said that God would provide, he actually believed that the Lord would provide. Literally the
meaning of Moriah is, "God will provide". Here we see the kind of faith that had been created and
developed in the heart of Abraham. The true friendship that God offers depends upon a strong, living
and simple faith. Alas! for most of us, we have no faith. Even though we talk about faith, and preach
and sing about faith, when we fate the actual test, we have no faith. We know how the devil again and
again brings some doubt into our hearts. Even though we have proved God on many occasions and
many times He has given us victory over the enemy's devices, doubts still come into our hearts. Before
holding a Holy Convocation we have so many questions in our mind. We ask ourselves, What will
happen tomorrow? We have prepared for only a thousand guests for the Holy Convocation". Suddenly
panic comes in. "What about Wednesday? What about Thursday?" And for a short time there will be
panic and doubt. Then we remember that for the past several years we have been having many Holy
Convocations, and every year God has not only met every need but also allowed us never to keep any
bill waiting for payment, nor have we refused anyone. God meets every need without hints of any kind.
Even so at times we have known that for a few minutes a little doubt comes in till the Lord reassures us
with His promise that He will surely provide.
In the same way, we often find that when we are asked to give a message we feel so dry, empty
and weak. The throat gets dry and the brain tired. But when we seek His face He provides His
message. You will find the same in every test. I know it by experience. He is faithful. I have seen some
people very worried as their families increase. They begin to wonder how they will clothe their children,
or educate them, or get them married. If they are girls, the problem is still worse. I am talking about
believing parents and even God's servants. Yet surely if God can provide for one, He can provide for
ten children. Where is your faith? Whenever God blesses, He provides. Whatsoever burden we may
have to bear, He gives abundant grace, yea, extra grace for that burden. Abraham knew these words
were spoken by God and not by man. That is why he was prepared to do as God told him. God said,
"Take your son!" and he took him. He took wood also. Then God told him to build an altar, and he built
it, without any question or doubt in his mind. That is real friendship with this mighty God. When God
says, "Yes!" I say, "Yes", and when God says, "No", I say "No". When God says, "Go!" I go, when He
says, "Stay , I stay and when He says, "Speak", I speak. You find that such friendship will carry you
up every mountain. Your sufferings and trials are all preparation for such a friendship.