Commands of the King, Pt. 1

Scripture: Daniel 6:1-28
Date: 10/22/2021 
How does the law of God relate to prophecy? Pt. 1

Written in Stone - Paper or Digital PDF

Written in Stone - Paper or Digital PDF
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Announcer: This presentation is brought to you by the friends of The Amazing Facts Ministry. Doug Batchelor: Did you know it's against the law to doze off under a hairdryer in Florida, to play hopscotch on Sunday in Missouri, to hunt camels in Arizona, to insert a penny in your ear in Hawaii, to tie a giraffe to a telephone pole in Atlanta, to catch mice without a license in Cleveland, to put a skunk in your boss's desk in Michigan, to detonate a nuclear weapon within Chico California city limits, which carries a punishment of $500, to bathe less than once a year in Kentucky, to pawn your dentures in Las Vegas?

Yes, there are about two million laws in the US and if a person could review them at a rate of about two a day, you'd be qualified to act as a law-abiding citizen in about 6,000 years. Yet the Lord was able to summarize the entire duty of man to God in just ten simple precepts that contain about 325 words. Jesus said, God's law boils down to two crucial principles, love for God, and love for our fellow man. Join me now, friends, as we consider the relevance of God's law in our lives today.

We're just so excited about this subject tonight because we're going to be dealing with some very practical things from the Bible that are often neglected. Now, the title for our presentation tonight is The Commands of the King. And as our custom, we're going to begin with a story in the Bible. It's one of the famous stories that you find in your Bible in the Book of Daniel chapter 6.

I'll give you a little background. You remember we talked, when we talked about the empires, that Babylon fell to the Mido-Persians. And when Babylon themselves in the Mido-Persians, the Persians, they wiped out all of the former administrators that had served the Babylonian king, with the exception of Daniel because Daniel was an honest man. He was a very capable administrator. They knew that he had really worshiped Jehovah and his allegiance wasn't to any Babylonian king. They not only preserved him, but the Bible tells us in chapter 6 that the king, Darius, was so impressed with Daniel, he thought to set him over the whole kingdom. He had him as one of his chief administrators, and he was thinking of making him the prime minister.

Well, that really bothered the other politicians in the kingdom. They said, "Oh, that's Daniel. He's from Judah. He's a captive. And how are we going to be, you know, extorting money? And how are we going to be getting our kickbacks? And if he's watching the books all the time, he's too honest. We're not going to get anywhere." And they really began to resent how much the king trusted in Daniel and that relationship. And they said, "We got to get him out of the way." They hired spies to follow Daniel around. The Bible record is that he was Spirit-filled and he was faithful in everything he did. They put, you know, cameras everywhere to try and catch him. They checked his file box to see if he was paying his taxes. And in every detail of his life, Daniel was faithful. You wonder what would happen if people followed us around and spied? Do we have integrity? Are we the same people in private that we are in public? Well, Daniel was.

Finally, they came up with a scheme. They said, "We know how to get rid of him. We're not going to find anything against him concerning, you know, the kingdom or doing anything unlawful. But maybe on religious grounds, we can get rid of him because he's a very religious man, and he doesn't worship our gods." So, they went and they assembled before the king. And they said, "King, we got an idea. Since we've now just conquered all these new nations and Persia has grown, we think that it'll help solidify the kingdom if we make a law that nobody is to pray to anybody but King Darius for 30 days, not forever, just for 30 days." And you might think, "Well, that's pretty arrogant law to make." But it was common in ancient history that when a king wanted to unite people, if he couldn't do it through their language or their culture or their race, they could do it through common religion.

How is the devil going to try to unite the world in the last days? He compels them all to worship, common worship. It wasn't an accident that Julius Caesar and Augustus Caesar and Alexander the Great declared themselves to be deity. They knew they weren't gods. I mean, they got tired and hungry and sore like everybody else. But they thought if the people think this, it'll help preserve the integrity of the kingdom. So, they talked the king into it. And he said, "Okay, yeah, we can do that for 30 days." And he said, "Of course, there's a penalty if they break it, they go to the lions' den." "Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, of course, there's a penalty." And they talk King Darius into signing this law, according to the law of the Medes and the Persians, which does not change.

And then the Bible makes an incredible statement in Daniel chapter 6, and verse 10. We read, "Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed," this law. He knows that he's going to go to the lions' den if he's caught praying. "He went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open towards Jerusalem--" Why were his windows open towards Jerusalem? Because Solomon said, "If you are carried away captive to another land, if they pray towards this place, then hear in heaven and answer their prayer." It says he knelt down on his knees in his upper room where everybody could see him. And he opened his windows there in the courtyard where everyone could see. And he prayed out loud where everybody could hear. He did absolutely nothing to show that he was worshiping Darius. He wanted everyone to know, "My custom is not going to change."

You know, the Bible tells us that this was his custom from his youth. He prayed three times a day, why? Daniel read in Psalm 55, verse 17 where King David said, "Morning, evening, and at noon will I pray and lift up my voice." And Daniel, not only read the Bible, you can read in the Book of Daniel where Daniel says, "I was reading the Book of Jeremiah." Daniel was a Bible student. He read the Bible, and he lived out the Bible. So, when the king makes this law that says you can't pray to anybody but the king for 30 days, Daniel's got to make a choice. "Do I obey the law of the government or the law of God? Do I worship the way the government is telling me to worship or the way God is telling me to worship?"

One of the Ten Commandment says, "You shall not have other gods," right? And so, Daniel said, "I'm not going to disobey. I've spent my whole life serving Jehovah. He's taken good care of me. Whatever the consequences, if I go to the lions' den, I go to the lions' den." And it's amazing to me his courage. It would have been so easy for him to just leave his windows closed for 30 days but he said, "These people all know that I'm like a cuckoo clock, three times a day, I come out and I pray. And if they see me close my windows, they're going to think I'm compromising my love for God, and I'm not going to let them see that."

So, he opens his window. He could have opened his windows and looked like he was just sniffing the flowers and prayed in his heart, but he got on his knees so in his posture, they'd see he was praying. Then he prayed out loud, and they could hear what he was praying. Well, sure enough, the men assembled, and they saw what Daniel was doing. Here's the rest of that verse. "He knelt down on his knees three times that day, and he prayed."

And the other amazing thing is it says he prayed, and he gave thanks. Now, if you were about to become cat food, would you thank God? He was thankful in everything. Give thanks, the Bible says. He prayed and gave things before his God, as was his custom since early days.

Now, this is a very important study because we're going to be dealing with the law of God and how it relates to prophecy in the last days. Well, when the king realized these men who had trapped Daniel, they went in before the king and said, "Didn't us sign a law that said if anyone prays to any god or man for 30 days, he's going to lions' den?" The king said, "Yeah, yeah." "Well, that Daniel from the captivity of Judah, he prays and makes his petition three times a day." And the king went, "Oh, it was a trap. I see what you guys were doing." The king tried to change his law, but he could not. It says three or four times in that chapter, chapter 6 of Daniel, "The law of the Medes and the Persians, which does not change." It does not change, cannot be altered. And the king got his lawyers together and he said, "Is there any loophole? Any way that we can save Daniel?" They said, "Your Highness, there's none. The law cannot be changed. He's got to go to the lions' den, at least for 24 hours."

"So, the king gave the command, and they brought Daniel," this is verse 16, "and they cast him into the den of lions." But the king spoke, and he said to Daniel, "You're God, who you serve from time to time-" How often? "Your God who you serve continually, He will deliver you." Is that still true today? If you have a life of serving God, He will deliver you. And if you stand up for what's right, He will honor you if you honor Him.

Well, Daniel went to the lion's den, but when the king came the next morning, the lions did not bother Daniel, you know why? He had too much backbone. He knew how to stand. Matter of fact, he probably--he was about 80, 85 years old at this point in his life. He got tired, he leaned up against the lion. He pulled his tail. It hummed and purred, and he went to sleep. Wasn't afraid at all. And the Bible tells us in Hebrews chapter 11, through faith, people have stopped the mouths of lions. Next morning, the king brought Daniel out of the lion's den. And the Bible says that there was no harm on him because he believed in God.

Now, we are saved by believing in God. That's called faith. Daniel was saved by faith, but how did he show his faith? He chose to obey the commands of God instead of the commands of the government. We're going to be faced with the same issues in the last days. You might be thinking, "Pastor Doug, in a prophecy seminar like this, why are we talking about the law of God?" Let me give you three quotes from the Book of Revelation, book of prophecy in the Bible, last book in the Bible. Revelation, chapter 12, verse 17, "The dragon was wroth with the woman, and he went to make war with a remnant of his seed--her seed that keeps the commandments of God."

Who does the devil make war with? The ones who keep the commandments of God. You look in Revelation chapter 14, verse 12, "Here is the patience of the saints. Here are those who keep the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus." Go to the last chapter in the Bible. It's real easy to find, last chapter in Revelation. And said, "Blessed are those that keep His commandments, that they might have a right to the tree of life and enter in through the gates of the city." So, here's three times in Revelation it says that the people who are going to be successful and survive are the ones who are obedient. Indeed, when you look at the messages of Jesus to the seven churches in chapters 2 and 3 of Revelation, it says, "To him who overcomes, to him who overcomes, to him who overcomes" seven times. God wants His people to be an obedient people.

Now, I believe, in case there's any question I don't want you to doubt this at all, we are saved by grace through faith. We are saved by faith. But I believe when you are saved by faith, you will obey. Obedience is not legalism. Some pastors are making it sound today like if you believe in or talk about obedience, you are automatically a legalist. The Bible does not teach that. Let me give you a few things to think about in our study this evening that are very important.

First question, we're going to go through some of these important questions. Can God's moral law--now, when I say moral law, the central topic we're talking about now is the Ten Commandments. You've got what they sometimes called the Decalogue because you got the ten words that God spoke there. There are a number of laws in the Bible. You got some health laws and civil laws and ceremonial laws, and we're not talking about that. We're talking about the basic moral law of the Ten Commandments. And there's a lot of people on the street, a lot of people in the churches, and if you interview them and say, "Can you name all Ten Commandments?" I'll bet you 80% can't. It's really amazing. And yet, the Bible tells us that this is the time when God spoke to the whole nation. He wrote with his own finger, and it was a big priority.

So, can God's moral law, the Ten Commandments, be amended or repealed? What does the Bible say? Luke 16:17 Jesus said, "It's easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tittle of the law to fail." A tittle is like what you and I use to cross a T. It's one of the smallest characters in Hebrew. It says, "Nothing will pass from the law." The law is eternal in its nature. Again, he tells us in Psalm 89, verse 34, "My covenant I will not alter, I will not break, or alter the words that have gone out of My lips."

By the way, the Ten Commandments are called a covenant. And you're going to say, "Well, that's the Old Covenant." That's right. We're going to find out more about that tonight too. And you can also read there in Psalm 111, verse 7 and 8, "All of His precepts are sure. They stand forever and ever." They stand fast forever and ever. And then finally in Malachi chapter 3, verse 6, God says, "I am the Lord, I do not change."

Now, if I'm going to write something that is going to be erased, I use a pencil. If I'm going to be--you know, sometimes I'm marking my Bible, and I just use a pencil because I thought I might change that note later, and I want it to be erasable. If I write something in stone, you usually want it to last, right? And so, when God wrote the Ten Commandments in stone, this is something that is of an internal--eternal nature.

Don't go anywhere, friends. In just a few moments, we'll return and complete this presentation. You know, one of the big debates in the Christian world today has to do with, how does a Christian relate to the law of God? Now, clearly, some things were nailed to the cross, and a Christian does not need to keep the Old Covenant. But what about the Ten Commandments? After all, they're not called the ten recommendations or the ten suggestions or God's ten good ideas. We have a special lesson we'd like to share with you and it's called "Written In Stone." Even in the title, you can understand Ten Commandments were written by the finger of God in stone so obviously, this is important.

If you'd like to understand this subject and much more related to it, then make sure and send for this free offer, and you'll be blessed. To get your free copy, call the phone number on your screen and ask for offer number 111. And after you read this incredible resource, make sure and share it with a friend. Let's get back to today's presentation and learn some more amazing facts about the Word of God.

One reason this truth is so very important is for those who are trying to say we don't need the law, they're really trying to get rid of God because the law of God is the perfect expression and reflection of the character of God. Look at these verses. The Bible defines God, it says for one thing, God is good. Well, it says the law is good, Romans 7, verse 12. You read in Isaiah 5:16, "God is holy." Romans 7:12 says, "The law is holy." God is described as just. The Bible says the law is just. It tells us in Matthew 5, "God is perfect." It says, "His law is perfect." God is love. The Bible says, "The law is love." It says, "God is righteous. God is truth. God is pure, spiritual, unchangeable, eternal." And it uses the same definitions for the law.

So, whenever people start saying, "Well, we're saved by grace, we're not under the law anymore. We don't need the law anymore." You be very careful about that because you're like pushing God aside.

Let me explain why the law is so important is this is how you lift up Jesus and our need for Jesus. Sin is the transgression of the law. We're going to get to that. Jesus came to save us from our sin. If you don't have law, you don't have sin. If you don't have sin, you don't need a Savior. The devil hates the law. He is attacking them, read in Revelation chapter 14. The devil, in Revelation chapter 12, verse 17, he is attacking the ones who keep the commandments of God because they recognize their need of the Savior, and they're exalting that.

And in the last days, we know that the beast power is going to make a law that everybody needs to worship a certain way or they cannot buy or sell. That's assuming there's still things in the store to buy and sell, amen. And then ultimately, there's a death decree. You look in Daniel chapter 3, those who do not worship the image, government makes a law says, "You've got to worship the way we say or you'll be killed, you go to the fiery furnace." Daniel chapter 6, you got to break the first commandment, or you go to the fiery furnace. And you can read in the Book of Esther, unless they bowed down and worshiped Haman, he can wipe out the whole nation. And the governments were making laws that conflicted with the law of God.

We are going to be faced with the same issue in the last days, there's no ifs, ands, or buts about it. So, Christians who are interested in Bible prophecy, you need to know you're not saved by just knowing Bible prophecy. Jesus wants to save you from your sin. He wants to transform your life.

You know, there's something I sometimes do when I cover this subject that helps make it clear for people. We seem to learn better by visuals. Make sure I don't turn over the prophecy code. All right now, let's get right on with our lesson here. Would it distract you if I continued like this? Do any of you see anything wrong right now? You see anything? I mean, if I walked out the door like this, would you stop me as a friend and say, "Hey, you got a wardrobe malfunction. You got to do something about this." I would hope you'd say, "Doug, come here. Let me help you a little bit." Have you ever walked up to somebody and it's like, you know, you help fix their attire because they're having a problem?

Quick story. I was going through an airport and rushing to get a flight. you know, you've got to go through security. I'm thinking most of you have been through security at some point. And there this business guy ahead of me. And you got to take off all your clothes and your shoes and your belt and everything. And you got to reassemble yourself, and you're rushing for your plane. And I saw this one guy ahead of me. And sometimes a guy, when he puts on sport coat, if you're not paying attention, you get your collar all, you know, wonky like this and it lowers your perceived IQ. Isn't that right, if someone walks around like this?

And so, I saw this guy. I said, "Here, let me help you," and I grabbed his jacket and I straightened it out. And he gave me the strangest look. I thought, I was just trying to be helpful. He looked at me like that. Then I went into the men's room and I looked, and my collar was like this. And here I was, I was helping him. So, you'd stop me before I went out the door like this, right? You'd say, "Doug, you got something on your face." And I'd say, "I don't have anything on my face. I don't see anything wrong with my face." You'd say, "No, Doug, you got something on your face." I'd say, "Prove it."

What do I have to do? A mirror. I heard it just in unison. Well, it just so happens that the lovely Vanna Batchelor is going to--I felt fine until I looked in the mirror. So, since the mirror showed me the problem, it stands to reason that the mirror should take care of the problem. Is this going to take care of my problem? No. Well, I felt fine until I looked in the mirror, so ignorance is bliss. If I throw the mirror away and just pretend it's not there, does that take care of my problem?

I heard about a man years ago in China that they shipped one of these newfangled microscopes to the country. And he was fascinating with looking at all these things under the microscope and just all the life and the detail he saw. And he got the idea to put his rice under the microscope. And on his rice, he saw all these microscopic things crawling around. So, he destroyed the microscope because he really liked his rice. And some people don't like the law. You know what the problem is?

There's nothing wrong with the law. The law is just and holy and good, but it shows us our sins. We want to get rid of it. That's the bottom line, friends. Is the function of the law to take away the sin. So, what do I do? It shows me the problem. It's not fair it would show me and not help me. What do I need? Well, if it's a mark on my face--I used to do this with marker, and one time I accidentally used a permanent marker and rubbing it off my head, went from black to red. But so, I need a cloth. I need the blood of Jesus. And so, here she is again, conveniently.

So, what does this represent? What does this? What does this? The blood of Christ. This shows me the problem, this takes care of the problem. Let me see if this make it look like it works. So, we are saved by the blood. Now, if you get rid of this, you don't see this and you don't know that there's a problem. And you go through life with sin and all the consequences of sin. All right, I'm going to sit this back over here. So, that just helps us sometimes to understand and realize what the function of the law is.

We're not teaching that we are saved by the law. We are saved by grace. According to the Bible, what is sin? The Bible says sin is lawlessness. And if you got the King James there, it tells us sin is the transgression of the law. Jesus came to save us from our lawlessness. And the Bible tells us that God is holy, and he's calling us to holiness. Again, you can read in Romans chapter 3, verse 20, "For by the law is the knowledge of sin." The law shows us our sin, but it's not supposed to save us from our sin. But we need it because it then drives us to Jesus. It shows us where we are. The Bible says that we should examine ourselves according to God's law. You read in the Book of James, it says, "So do and so live as those that will be judged by the law of liberty." And if you look in Psalm 119, verse 44 and 45, it says, "So I'll keep your commandments forever and ever, and I will walk at liberty because I seek your law."

We're free because of the law. The law does not bind us. The law frees us. There are people who are in jail here in the Sacramento County or Placer County because they've broken the law. I am free because I didn't. See what I'm saying? And so, the law actually protects your freedom. People always think of stoplights as stoplights but, you know, they're not just stoplights, they're go lights. If you make all the stoplights stop working, you'll see how important those stoplights are. They're really go lights.

To what law does John, 1 John 3, verse 4 refer? Well, you can read in Romans 7:7, it's pretty clear he's talking about the Ten Commandments. "I would have not known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, 'You shall not covet.'" And so, it's the law that helps us to recognize our need of Christ. And here he's specifically mentioning one of the Ten Commandments. He says breaking that law is sin. Jesus died to save us from our sin. He died to save us from our lawlessness.

Now, do you know what those laws are? And you go through the Ten Commandments, "Do not worship other gods." I'll just do a brief summary right now. "You shall not have other gods before me. Don't make an image of those gods and bow down to them. Do not take the name of the Lord in vain. Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Honor your father and mother. You shall not kill. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not bear false witness. And you shall not covet." If people in our society were keeping those laws today, if we were teaching them, you'd have a lot less crime. Crime has kind of gone through the roof. The average 18 year old has witnessed 200,000 violent acts, including 400,000 murders on television by the time they're 18, they've witnessed. Now, this is actually an older statistic. Today, with all the screens that people have before them, they've got their TV screen, their iPad, they've got their computer screen, their phone screen, and people are watching YouTubes and stuff all the time. The violence, the adultery, using God's name in vain that people are hearing and watching almost without interruption, it's having an impact on our culture. I'll tell you that.

When I was a kid in public school in California down in Burbank, California, we had the Ten Commandments on the wall in our public school. Does anyone else remember that? Yeah, it's and now it's against the law. They can't even have it in the courthouse. It's amazing. Do you know that every year, $13 billion are stolen in North America from retailers? There are 27 million shoplifters in our nation. That's 10% of all people. And this is from the Department of Consumer Affairs, 47% of high school students have shoplifted, nearly half. According to the US Chamber of Commerce, 75% of employees steal from their employers at least once. Now granted, sometimes they just stole a stapler, sometimes they embezzled thousands or millions of dollars.

But stealing is stealing. Do you know you can go to hell for stealing a pen? It's the spirit of stealing if it's in your heart. Across the US, there were 25% more murders recorded in 2020 than the previous year. You have heard crime is going up. And I can't help but wonder if it's not something that politics--I don't think politicians are going to be able to solve this by putting a BAND-AID on a bullet wound. I think what's happened is the culture has taken the law of God out of our society.

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