Seasons of the Christian Life

Seasons of the Christian Life

The Church at Thessaloniki was founded as a consequence of Paul’s Macedonian Call as recorded in The Acts of the Apostles (Acts 16:6-10). Thessaloniki itself was established  in 315 BC and it is situated today in Greece at the north-east part of the country on the Aegean Sea. The old city is still very beautiful and, with the new, is the second biggest city in Greece. The Church was planted somewhere around AD 50 and Paul’s epistle to them was written between AD 51/52. It is a relatively short epistle encouraging the believers in the face of persecution and giving them some general instructions about the glorious Second Coming of Jesus. It is most worthy of our careful and diligent study
                                          The Cycles or Seasons of the Christian life
                                                               Chapter 1:1-12
The Christian life is always changing and going through seasons or cycles as we take hold of Christ and seek to be transformed into His image. We must know this otherwise when difficult times beset us we can become bewildered and discouraged. The spiritual consequences of this can be serious. So, here in chapter one Paul begins with his familiar greeting and then goes on to encourage them as they walk with Christ. He gives thanks to God for them and then launches into a very interesting overview of the Christian life. Christians, he tells us, will have to face:
1. A cycle of growth V3-4a
                        “We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren,
                         as is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and
                         the  love of every one of you all abounds toward
                         each other.”
Christian growth must be in character and in what we do and it must be constant. In other words, love and faith. The faith that Paul talks about here is not the gift of faith but the fruit of faith that grows like a muscle (Romans 12:3). Our lives must impact those around us for Christ and this must be dynamic because Paul uses words like “exceedingly” and “abounds” to describe their embrace of love and faith in Christ. In their case they were well known in the churches for their faithfulness in this regard. What are we well known for?
2. A cycle of judgment V4b-10
                       “….we ourselves boast of you… all your persecutions
                        and tribulations that you endure, which is manifest
                        evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may
                        be counted worthy of the kingdom of God,  for which you
                        also suffer;”
The believers at Thessaloniki were facing persecution from ungodly people. Paul reminds them that this is evidence of God’s judgment over their lives. In the context here this must be understood, not as God’s anger or disapproval but as His correction. We are all subject to this and, believe me, this season will come to all of our lives and, if it doesn’t, then we do not belong to Christ. The writer of the book of Hebrews reminds us of this in his twelfth chapter. For Paul then, this judgement cycle or season is:
(A) External, in that we have embraced the kingdom of God that will always challenge, and be in conflict with, the culture around us. This culture will always then resist us because we “have turned the world upside down.” In short, our troubles prove that we belong to heaven! Thus our trials prepare us for an eternal future in the kingdom of God.
(B) Internal, in that it refines and purifies our characters. Some carnal habits and pursuits do not leave our lives because we pray, read the Bible and attend Church albeit very sincerely. No, sin can be so ingrained in our lives that only troubles and trials will remove it. Sadly, this is the way we all have to walk and it is the way of the cross. We must die to the self life and learn to choose the way that Jesus would take. This is not easy and it is the cross that we must pick up daily.
(C) ironic, in that the people, or troublers, prepared for hell are the people that God uses to prepare us for heaven! Here we are told that the people who persecute the Church will be severely dealt with at Jesus’ second coming. They will be banished to “everlasting destruction” away from the presence of the Lord. Death is not annihilation but eternal separation from God. These are all those who have rejected the good news of Jesus but by troubling the church have better equipped it for heaven.
3. A cycle of glorification V11-12
                         “…..that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified
                         in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God
                         and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Paul prays that they will be worthy of this calling and follow through with it because if they do Jesus will be glorified in them. The tense here is present continuous meaning that they will enter a season wherein the grace and love of Jesus will shine through them and be infectious. Oh what a wonderful season this is!
A final note:
                       “……..since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with
                       tribulation those who trouble you, and to give you who are
                       troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from
                       heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire taking
                       vengeance on those who do not know God…..”
It is clear from this passage that the “troublers” will in the end be dealt with on that “Day” when Jesus comes a second time in flaming fire, and in the presence of many angels, to the Mount of Olives. It is to be noted, as well from the text, that this will also be the first day that the true followers of Christ will see Him and get rest from their earthly trials and troubles. This will not be at a secret rapture but an all glorious, visible and dramatic one when Jesus comes back to the earth in flaming fire with His mighty Angels. It is, according to Paul, on this day, that Christ’s followers will be resurrected and first gaze upon Him. They, we are told, will be overcome by His brilliance and glory. There is precisely nothing secret about the rapture of the Church! See footnote.
May God by Jesus Christ count us worthy of these things. Amen!
Malcolm Hedding
The early church document called the Didache, that nearly made it into the New Testament Canon, and written in the Galilee round about 50 AD, states, as concerning the second coming of Christ:
“Gather frequently together, seeking the things which benefit your souls. For the whole span of your faith will not profit you if you do not persevere until the end. For in the last days the false prophets and corrupters will be multiplied, and the sheep will be turned into wolves, and love will change into hate.
As lawlessness increases they will hate, persecute and betray one another. Then the Deceiver of the world will appear as the Son of God, and he will do signs and wonders and the earth will be given into his hands and he will do terrible abominations surpassing all evil done since the beginning of the world. Then all of humanity will be tried by fire and may succumb and perish. But those who endure in their faith will be saved from the cursed one.
Then will appear the signs of truth with the first sign heaven opens, then the sign of the sounding trumpet, and thirdly the resurrection of the dead. Yet not of all the dead, but as it is said, “The Lord will come and all His saints with Him. Then the world will see the Lord coming on the clouds of heaven.”
The Prophetic Role of The Church

The Prophetic Role of The Church


“For the Lord is our Judge (The Supreme Court), the Lord is our Lawgiver
(The two Houses of Congress); the Lord is our king (The office of the
President).” Isaiah 33:22

“Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.” Proverbs 14:34

In recent years, by virtue of pressure from the secular and political world, it has become popular to claim that the Church of the Living God has no role to play in the political life of a nation. The so-called “Johnson Law” in the USA, was passed to silence the Church and thereby rob the nation of the voice of God in public life. This was in fact a blatant violation of the First Amendment to the Constitution and, thank God, it was reversed by President Donald Trump. That the Church has nothing to say to America today is irrational and not biblical, given the crucial role that political issues play out in the destiny of nations. Has the sovereign God of the earth really got nothing to say to the nation through the mouthpiece of His Church on the earth? I think not.

It must be remembered that Mary Queen of the Scots feared the voice and prayers of John Knox more than any other and said so. He called her out for her sins though always respectful and non-politicized. America would never be where it is today if it were not for the prophetic voice of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. His voice was also non politicized and peaceful and yet it was cruelly silenced. The Wesley brothers, by their powerful preaching and urgent messages of repentance, transformed Britain and the prophetic voice of William Wilberforce abolished slavery. I could go on..

The Bible itself is testimony to the fact that great spiritual leaders are raised up to speak power to those in government. Moses is the great example of this as he fearlessly stood before pharaoh as is Daniel. As usual, their voices were resisted, ignored, and closed down but their prophetic warnings overtook the nations and peoples they addressed, and history has vindicated them. Today Christians in America are ignored and treated with disdain and even freely mocked for their faith, as Judge Amy Barret recently has been. Also, a huge event in and around the Washington Mall just two weeks ago, involving Franklin Graham, Jonathan Khan, near on one hundred thousand Christians, and many other spiritual leaders was generally ignored by the media. This for them was not news but, only if they knew, the God of Heaven was speaking to them through His servants. They are the losers!

As this very contentious election draws near it would be good to be reminded of the fact that:

“Righteousness exalts a nation but sin is a reproach to any people.”

Righteousness is the standard of God’s Holy Word. It was upon this book and its teachings that the United States of America was established. No one can deny it. Even its idea of three houses of government came from the pages of the book of Isaiah and the inscription on Liberty Bell, proclaiming liberty to all, is taken from the book of Leviticus (Leviticus 25:10). Many of the initial thirteen states built their constitutions on the principles of the five Books of Moses and these remain emblazoned on their great halls of governance to this day. In fact, for two centuries and more the Sunday morning sermons, of well-known preachers, were routinely published in the daily newspapers and the children prayed in schools. Our Presidents, not for nothing, took their oath of office with a hand on the Bible. A good people were thereby birthed, righteousness flourished and God, by Jesus Christ, exalted the nation to be the greatest on the planet. Who can deny all of this? Bruce Feiler writes:

“And by rallying so intently around the words of Leviticus 25, Americans
we’re affirming their commitment to the country’s moral foundations and
its roots in the Hebrew Bible.”

With the passing of time the nation has become unthankful, it has abhorred the words of its prophets and delighted more and more in unrighteousness and now listens to the decadent voices that come out of Hollywood for guidance. Today America is in a free fall to possible ruin and it’s doing it while ungodly politicians mock God at every turn and tell you that all is well. If the call to repent and change is not heeded this collapse of the nation will accelerate.

So, the coming election, like that of all elections, is not about political parties but righteousness as declared by the inspirational light of the Bible that gave birth to our great Constitution and nation. The party or group that most serves these dictates should be supported. This is an undeniable biblical truth and a challenge to everyone who loves America. No doubt, as ever, it will be scoffed at and the same dark spiritual forces that snuffed out the life of Dr. King will attempt to do the same again by ridiculing those who like him affirm biblical truth. It was in fact a word from God, six thousand years ago, that declared that all men are created equal and in the image of God. It took America’s great Founding Fathers to affirm it for the world in 1776 and a Christian Prophet to the nation in Dr. King to make it real in 1968.

Remember then, that you, as a Christian, have a prophetic voice and responsibility in this upcoming election and therefore you are required to honor God by voting for those people who best support the founding ideas of our Constitution and the principles of righteousness as reflected in the pages of the Bible. This election, as with all elections, is not about individual personalities but policies that best reflect the pages of scripture. It is these that the nation was built upon and which, if embraced again, will save it from decline. God bless America and may He be pleased to exalt her again!

Malcolm Hedding

Say No to The New World Order

Say No to The New World Order


“Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines; though
the labor of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food; though the
flock may be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls-yet
I will joy in the God of my salvation.”
Habakkuk 3:17-18

Since the beginning of the Corona Virus a pattern has developed whereby leaders and people of influence of one sort or another have begun to talk more openly of the need for the imposition of a New World Order or global government. Many of these people are unelected and speak for no one and yet, because of their great wealth, they have gained a voice and an influence over crucial international organizations by which to pursue their global agenda.

It has become therefore clear that there is more to COVID-19 than a global virus. Doctors, scientists, politicians and commentators of good repute have voiced their serious concerns about what is really going on. This cannot be denied. For sure the virus is very dangerous and particularly so for elderly people and they must be protected, but it is clear by now that those seeking to impose a New World Order upon us are seeking to use this pandemic to regulate the global community in a way that we have never seen before. The virus and its implications have been politicized and this is seen by the fact that Gordon Brown, the erstwhile Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, George Soros, the Pope, the Rockefeller Foundation, Bill Gates and many others have called for global government or a New World Order. It’s almost as if they had prepared for an event like this to give them leverage to attain a prearranged new global alignment.

Also, the ruthless lockdown measures everywhere are totally inconsistent with the data, facts and science surrounding the virus and some leaders, like the Mayor of Nashville, have deliberately lied to their communities in order to keep them in lockdown and thereby ruining the business platform of their cities. Why would they do this? Because the majority of these people are left leaning politicians who seek to impose a new reality on the world around them. This is precisely why in America the radical left, including large parts of the Democratic Party, have actively supported the burning, looting and destruction of property by rioters who are allowed, and in some cases encouraged, to ignore the COVID-19 safety precautions. COVID-19 provides them with an opportunity to move their agenda forward.

That is, they want a Socialist New World Order and to achieve this the idea of national pride, honoring the flag and patriotism is firmly rejected and those who stand up for these are demeaned, demonized and smeared. In the case of America, the very foundational pillars upon which the country has been established have to be shaken, discredited and removed. The idea then of, “Making America Great Again”, is anathema to them and has to be challenged at all costs. The New World Order elites are therefore determined to move forward with their agenda to remove anything that will stand in their way. Can anyone explain why radical Marxist Communist organizations, by their own confession, like Antifa and Black Lives Matter are given the stamp of endorsement everywhere? These are the principles they live by:

“The Communists despise making a secret of their opinions and intentions.
They openly declare that their aim can be reached only through the violent
overthrow of the whole existing social structure.”
Karl Marx

‘We make war against all prevailing ideas of religion, of the state, of country,
of patriotism. The idea of God is the keynote of a perverted civilization. It
must be destroyed.”
Karl Marx

How in the world has America become susceptible to Marxist Communism? Well, because; while the nation was sleeping, radical Marxists got a foothold in her institutions of learning and began to organize and plan by polluting young minds with socialist concepts of society. An avowed American Marxist said this:

“We’ve combined youth, music, sex, drugs and rebellion with treason-and that’s
a combination hard to beat.”
Jerry Rubin

These Marxist storm troopers are now loose on the streets burning, destroying, attacking the police and even killing anyone who gets in their way and there are members of the Congress and Senate aiding and abetting them! The well known and respected British commentator, Melanie Phillips writes, “It’s the Democrats who have endorsed Black Lives Matter, tacitly allowing or openly encouraging the arson, looting and intimidation of the public in various Democrat-run cities in pursuit of the seditious BLM agenda of destroying western society.” Comrade Lenin said this in 1922, “First we shall take Eastern Europe, then the masses of Asia (China). After that, we shall surround and undermine the USA, which will fall into our hands without a struggle-like an overripe fruit.”

To be sure we are witnessing an attempt to curtail the freedoms that people living in democratic countries have enjoyed for hundreds of years. That is, the freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom of religion, freedom of the press, the freedom to own private property and the freedom of the right to own and bear arms. The mainstream media in most countries, has now abandoned its role of accurately reporting the news in favor of agenda driven reporting. This is really called “brainwashing” and its going on night after night at prime time! Real journalism has effectively died.

We need to know that the awful hatred presently levelled at the Trump Administration has much to do with resisting:

(1) A strong America that is a bastion of personal liberty
(2) A strong America that is a bastion of Christianity
(3) A strong American economy that is the envy of the world…and,
(4) A strong America that leads the world

These things are a serious obstacle to the globalists and therefore there can be no New World Order until America is folded into a new world financial system. The American constitution and its capitalist economy, that ignite freedom as the world has never seen it and the accumulation of wealth (The American Dream) must be reorganized. This struggle is now unfolding before our eyes and COVID-19 is the catalyst to achieve this. You must know this!

And speaking of COVID-19, this is precisely why there is talk, not of a normal vaccine that will take care of the problem, but of a more complex vaccine that will have the ability to monitor one and validate one’s membership of the global community. It is for this reason that a medication that has been proved safe for decades and of little cost, and therefore not dangerous in any way, called Hydroxychloroquine has been banned even though it has been proved very effective in healing COVID-19 patients. I have a friend who was at death’s door because of the virus and was healed in two days by taking Hydroxychloroquine. The “Frontline Doctors” who are highly skilled and respected medical practitioners were literally scorned, demonized and closed down for telling the truth. Why? Well because a greater agenda is at play here.

So then, if you think that all of this is just conspiracy theory, consider the following:

1. The head of the World Health Organization, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Gehebreyesus recently said the following, “Covid-19 is not the final goal. No, the ultimate aim is the re-ordering of society.”

2. The Mayor of Chicago was videotaped saying that the people everywhere must be compelled to obey the dictates related to COVID-19 because when it is all over, they will have to give their allegiance to the coming New World Order.

3. President H. W. Bush, making a speech some years ago also clearly stated that there will be, without a doubt, the imposition of a New World Order on the nations of the world.

4. The annual meeting of world leaders and unelected luminaries at Davos in Switzerland, at the beginning of this year, openly stated that the year 2021 must be a “reset year” for the global economy. In fact, George Soros speaking at this event felt so emboldened by the climate there that he declared Donald Trump to be the major threat to world peace and that he would be removed in November of this year. How ironic, in that it was Donald Trump and his administration that has brought a major peace initiative to the Middle East and Eastern Europe…and more peace deals are in the works. He has succeeded where all the stooges of Davos have routinely failed for decades.

5. And then there is the UN Agenda for 2030 that openly asserts that by this date there must be the imposition of an entirely new global financial system. Once again, in keeping with all the globalists, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, recently said when speaking of the impact of COVID-19, “We need to turn the recovery into a real opportunity to do things right for the future.” What he means is that the world must be herded into the so-called “sustainable goals” of the 2030 Agenda. These goals are so huge, complex and global in nature that, though they deny it, to implement them will require the establishment of a new global financial system. This in turn means that in just ten years it is their goal to achieve global government because, whoever controls the financial systems of the world will control the nations of the world. This is the coming New World Order that all these people long for and envisage.

However, the only obstacle standing in the way of achieving this Socialist World Government is Donald Trump and his administration with its emphasis upon national pride and sovereignty, a strong American economy and a strong military capability. The slogan, “Make America Great Again”, is anathema to them! Donald Trump’s administration must at all costs, including violence and anarchy on the streets of America, be dismantled and they are sure going to try. This will only heighten now with the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Already radical Marxists have stated that they, “Will f…. ing burn the place down” if a conservative Judge is elected to the Supreme Court!

My friends it is certainly time to say no to the New World Order as, if it is imposed upon the nation, these globalists will “dethrone” America’s constitution and economy and fold her into a “Globalist Socialist Republic!” It’s time to wake up.

A Biblical Perspective

“It was granted to him to make war against the saints and to
overcome them. And authority was given him over every
tribe, tongue and nation.”
Revelation 13:7

“For God has put it into their hearts to fulfill His purpose, to be
of one mind, and to give their kingdom to the Beast, until the
words of God are fulfilled.”
Revelation 17:17

The Bible clearly predicts the rise of a New World Order and at some point, even the United States of America will succumb to this project. All nations will give their allegiance to a coming world government which essentially will be evil in a way that we have never seen before. God will hand the nations over to this because of their overflowing wickedness and rebellion against Him. This will prepare them for the Great Day of His wrath. Christians and right-minded people everywhere will have to take their stand against it. Undoubtedly this will constitute a test for the Church of the Living God and thereby it will be purified and made ready for Jesus’ return. Even now, amidst the Corona Virus pandemic, we have witnessed the attempt by politicians to unduly clamp down upon the voice of the Church in society by the imposition of draconian measures against people of faith. Pastor John MacArthur has bravely stood up against this and called it out.

However, by the repentance of God’s people and the grace and mercy of God the inevitable capitulation of nations to a New World Order may be delayed and we may have time to preach the Gospel in greater power and prepare our families for what lies ahead. We must know this because, “The night is coming when no man can work.” This is precisely why we must be in in a place of prayer for our nations as never before and take hold of our democratic right to vote for those candidates that resist the New World Order.

It’s time then to wake up, pray and shine for Christ. The message of His Gospel is the only hope of the world and the coming New World Order will definitely seek to close it down. This is why we have to say, “NO!”

Malcolm Hedding

Book of Daniel Bible Studies Series – Part 8

Book of Daniel Bible Studies Series – Part 8

2020 Devotionals Blog

“In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a message was revealed to Daniel.”
Daniel 10:1

“I lifted my eyes and looked, and behold, a certain man clothed in linen,
whose waist was girded with gold of Uphaz! His body was like beryl,
his face like the appearance of lightning, his eyes like torches of fire, his
arms and feet like burnished bronze in color, and the sound of his words
like the voice of a multitude.”
Daniel 10:5-6

“And forces shall be mustered by him, and they shall defile the sanctuary
fortress; then they shall take away the daily sacrifice, and place there the
abomination of desolation.”
Daniel 11:31

“Therefore when you see the “abomination of desolation” spoken of by
Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him
understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.”
Matthew 24:15-16

In our last study we noted that Daniel, inspired by what he saw in the pages of scripture, humbled himself and prayed for the deliverance of his people from exile. He identified himself fully with the sins of his people and in so doing was subsequently heard by the God of Israel and given a remarkable vision of the journey of Israel until the time of the end. Included in this amazing revelation was a precise prophecy concerning the arrival date of Messiah and His death for the sins of the world. This is really quite astonishing.

Chapter ten opens with another record of Daniel’s dedication to a rich devotional life, we should and must learn from this in that it teaches us that, God hears and acts on behalf of those who seek Him with all their hearts (Psalm 119:2). It’s as simple as that! Daniel therefore, almost at the end of his long career in government and, now serving the Persian King Cyrus, was so moved by the plight of his people and the promise of God in Jeremiah’s oracle, to return them to Zion, that he gave Himself to three weeks of fasting and prayer. No wonder God answered his prayers and compelled Cyrus to issue a decree that paved the way for Daniel’s people to return to the land of Israel (Isaiah 45:1-5). Again we note that God fulfills His word through the determined dedication of His servants! But we should further note:

Daniel’s privilege

Daniel’s unswerving commitment to God and His purposes in the earth resulted in God honoring him with a wonderful revelation of Jesus (Daniel 10:5-9). The description here in this passage of the Angel of the Lord is almost exactly like that given to John in the first chapter of the book of Revelation. The Angel of the Lord is always revealed in scripture as having divinity. That is, He is a theophany, God appearing in human form. Daniel is quite overcome by the magnificence of Christ and so should we be! His strength failed and he trembled and yet the pre-incarnate Christ strengthened him and told him that he was greatly beloved in heaven. This is the greatest compliment anyone could ever receive in life. The honor and esteem of men is nothing compared to this. May we strive, by our dedication to Jesus and His kingdom, for this status as well. What do you think that heaven says about you and me?

Daniel’s insights

Daniel’s prayers ignited an immediate response from Heaven meaning that the Angel of the Lord was sent to pave the way for the Jewish people to return to the land of Israel. However, we are told that He was greatly resisted by strong demonic principalities that mirrored in the unseen world what was happening in the seen world. Subsequently, Michael, the Archangel of war, was sent to aid Him in this battle (Daniel 10:12-13). Herein lies great spiritual truth for us to understand:

1. What is seen in our physical world is a picture of a more real spiritual world, and most often demonic world, because scripture tells us that the whole world lies in the grip of the evil one (1 John 5:19). The Angel of the Lord and Michael are up against the demonic princes of Persia and Greece. These hold their place in the heavenlies in order to resist and frustrate the purpose and will of God on earth. In this case the liberation of the Jewish people from exile.

2. As we work with God in prayer, based squarely on God’s Word, we can change the destiny of nations, but we must employ the dedication and commitment that Daniel exemplifies. Believe me, strong principalities of evil have got a grip on our nations. Very often we are not prepared to pay the price for what we say we want in the will of God. We must learn to pray as the early church did. When they prayed heaven shook the building in which they were gathered (Acts 4:31).

3. The detail of the following chapters is the foundational teaching for Jesus’ Olivet Discourse and thus, prophetically speaking, these constitute one of the most important passages in the Bible. This is so because the events spoken of here in verses 20 to the very end of the book are a mirror of future events. We know this because in the immediate context they refer to Antiochus Epiphanies, who committed the Abomination of Desolation in BC 168. Jesus specifically applied these same verses to the events that took place in AD 70 and to the end of the age. He actually referred to these passages in particular when speaking of events related to His second coming ( Matthew 24: 15). We urgently need to take note of these things. Here both Daniel and Jesus are warning us of the soon coming Antichrist, as did Paul and John. How much does scripture have to say before we get the message?

4. After Alexander the Great died his empire was divided up and given to his four generals.The main body of chapter eleven is a long list of the intrigue and wars that erupted between the Grecian rulers of the region, that is, the Seleucids and the Ptolemy’s. It is there to remind us that spiritual victories are not easily won given the demonic resistance that opposes them. We have to persevere and not give up or fall prey to discouragement. Paul acknowledged this in his Ephesians letter when he stated that having done all to oppose wicked and evil principalities in heavenly places we must, having done all to stand, keep standing ( Ephesians 6:10-13).

5. The goal of these events is to bring Israel to physical and spiritual restoration. This is the part purpose of the Great Tribulation as it will also, purify the Church and judge the world. In the context of the passages of scripture before us then, the Great Tribulation will constitute an attempt by demonic powers, working with world leaders, to annihilate Israel, (Daniel 12:7). To stop this we are told in chapter twelve that Michael, the Archangel of war, will again stand up to defend Israel. He will overcome these vast devilish principalities and dislodge them once and for all. The book of Revelation records the same conflict stating that these evil powers are overcome because there is “war in heaven” ( Revelation 12:7-10) and prayer on earth. Here that same conflict brings about war on earth. Thus a conflict will erupt on earth that the nations have never seen before (Daniel 12:1-2) but it will lead to the spiritual recovery of Israel. Again, that which the Devil intends for the destruction of God’s purpose on the earth will in fact advance it. The same saga played itself out at the crucifixion of Jesus. The end time conflict will be a huge one that will surprise the world; so Jesus also quoted this passage from Daniel as a warning in His Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24:21).

6. These end time events are now rapidly approaching us and Daniel is further told that these will begin to unfold when a time arrives upon the earth when knowledge will rapidly increase and people will travel “to and fro” across the globe as never before ( Daniel 12:4). That time is our time and we should, like Daniel, turn to “battle prayer” as never before. This is why Daniel is told that “the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits” (Daniel 11:32). Moreover, those who strengthen themselves in the Lord, and serve Him with all their hearts, have a glorious eternal future in that they will shine “like the brightness of the firmament” and like the “stars forever and ever” ( Daniel 12:3). Their great exploits had to do with the fact that they resisted the coming Beast and “turned many to righteousness”. Jesus, quoting this very passage, made the same promise to His followers (Matthew 13:43).

Daniel is finally told that all these things will be hard to understand until the end time arrives; then the Holy Spirit will shed light on them. He must go his way and rest until the day of resurrection. His work is done and he has faithfully completed the assignment that God gave him in life. He will now one day, at the coming of Messiah, arise from the dead to receive his reward ( Daniel 12:13). Paul testified to the same thing and we must press on as well to complete the call of Jesus over our lives (2 Timothy 3:6-8). David, though greatly flawed, also served the will of God for his generation (Acts 13:36). It is now our time to run! Blessed be Daniel who has left us such a wonderful legacy. Having facilitated the return of his people to Zion, Daniel, the greatly beloved of God, died in exile!

Malcolm Hedding

Book of Daniel Bible Studies Series – Part 7

Book of Daniel Bible Studies Series – Part 7

2020 Devotionals Blog

“In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the lineage of the Medes,
who was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans-in the first year of his
reign I, Daniel, understood by the books the number of the years specified
by the word of the Lord through Jeremiah the prophet, that He would accom-
plish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem. Then I set my face toward
the Lord God to make request by prayer and supplications, with fasting sack-
cloth and ashes.”
Daniel 9:1-3

“And this whole land shall be a desolation and an astonishment, and these
nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years. Then it will come to
pass, when seventy years are completed, that I will punish the king of
Babylon and that nation, the land of the Chaldeans, for their iniquity, says
the Lord; and I will make it a perpetual desolation.”
Jeremiah 25:11-12

Daniel has seen remarkable visions of the present in his day, of events just ahead of him and of events that lie before. He saw our future and warned us then of things to come. We should heed these and strengthen ourselves by following the God of Israel as he did. That is, with resolve, determination and absolute loyalty. Above all, he bore in his heart the welfare of his people now living in exile and he longed for their return to Zion. Daniel never lost sight of the crucial nature of Israel’s calling for the sake of the world. He excelled in his work and became the lead Governor in the Babylonian Empire, the Media-Persian Empire and that of the Persian Empire under Cyrus. He used his unique senior position in all of these Empires to advance the cause of his people. Daniel was in every way a remarkable servant of God infused with the wisdom and power of God.

So, having understood so much of the will of God for his times and beyond he put his mind to studying the Word of God. It is fascinating to note that he had in his possession a scroll containing the book of Jeremiah. Jeremiah was a contemporary of Daniel and obviously he was drawn to his prophetic preaching and believed him. Actually Daniel saw all of Jeremiah’s prophetic warnings come to pass and consequently he held Jeremiah’s oracle to be the inspired Word of God. Daniel poured over this oracle, as he no doubt did the Torah and historical books of the Bible in order to find a key to Israel’s future. This he did when he got to Jeremiah’s scroll that promised, after seventy years had passed, that the exile of the Jews in Babylon/Persia would come to an end (Jeremiah 25:11-12). He realized then that this time of exile was now about to be completed and therefore He could take this before God in prayer and call upon Him to honor His word. So, let’s be clear about how the following: Daniel could be a remarkable “vessel” in the hands of God because:

1. He had a strong and holy relationship with Him that was tested and found to be unbreakable even though greatly challenged.
2. He lived out his life with an attitude of dedication and excellence.
3. He had a reverence and high regard for scripture……and,
4. He had a real concern and love for the household of faith.

Because of these Daniel knew how to pray and recognized that powerful prayer is rooted in the dictates of scripture. He prayed then by holding up what God had promised before Him and thereby beseeching Him to honor what He himself had said and promised. This teaches us:

1. That the Word of God will not be fulfilled just because God said it.
2. That the Word of God will always be fulfilled because God in time will find someone to hold it up before Him. In this context it is important to note that, in order for God to restore Israel, in all respects, He needed Ezekiel to prophesy to the Dry Bones (Ezekiel 37:1-10). The lesson is clear, if God cannot find you or me to work with Him, then He will find someone else!
3. That we are given in a way joint responsibility with God over the affairs of men. David declared this to be honor that all of God’s children have (Psalm 149:5-9).
4. That evil and great wicked principalities are not overcome by railing and ranting against them but by calling upon God our Father to bring them down. The New Testament writers warn of the dangers of railing against great demonic powers but I hear Christians doing it all the time! (2 Peter 2:10-12; Jude 8-9). This is very dangerous as we do not have this authority but we can, covered in the blood of the Lamb, call upon God to bring these demonic entities down as Daniel did, and we should! Daniel’s prayers were God directed and, as we shall see in our next study, by them he brought down the great demonic principality of Persia.

Daniel then, convinced by the writings of Jeremiah of Israel’s soon coming restoration, humbled himself before God and prayed one of the most remarkable prayers recorded in the Bible. He identified himself with the sins of his people, acknowledging that all the warnings of God in the Torah had come upon them, but also reminding God that, by repentance and His promises to Jeremiah, the time had come for Him to act.

“O Lord, to us belongs shame of face, to our kings, our princes, and our
fathers, because we have sinned against You……….O Lord, according to
all your righteousness, I pray, let Your anger and Your fury be turned away
from Your city of Jerusalem. Your holy mountain; because for our sins,
and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and Your people are a
reproach to all those around us.”
Daniel 9:8: 16

We must do the same as we seek God for our nations and the welfare of the Church. There are parts of the world where the people of Jesus are being routinely murdered and persecuted. They need our help by believing prayer, that is rooted in the pages of scripture and by our action on their behalf. In this regard please go to the Shai Fund which acts as a God called guardian for these brethren of ours in distress. As regards Israel, the Bible is filled with amazing promises about her future and we can and must hold them up before God and remind Him of these; just like Daniel did! Here below is just one example of this:

“I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; they shall never hold
their peace day or night. You who make mention of the Lord, do not
keep silent, and give Him no rest till He establishes and till He makes
Jerusalem a praise in the earth.”
Isaiah 62:6-7

Daniel’s amazing prayer is answered swiftly with a remarkable revelation about Israel’s restoration and the actual date of Messiah’s coming! He is told that seventy weeks of prophetic years (490 years) are determined for his people whereby, after 483 years, the Messiah would come and be crucified. These weeks would begin after a decree is given by a Persian King to rebuild and restore Jerusalem. The decree to return to the land of Israel was given by Cyrus but the decree to actually restore Jerusalem and its Temple, was given by Artaxerxes in 445 BC. (Nehemiah 2:1-8). Exactly 483 prophetic years (See footnote) later Jesus was “cut off” or crucified in 32 AD. on the 6th April. This is amazing and serves as a testimony to Daniel’s power with God and the high regard that God had for him. Just a seven year period awaits fulfillment of this remarkable revelation and these years will be designated by a fateful peace pact that the coming Beast will sign with Israel. Of this we have spoken much but the time is surely near. We must dedicate ourselves, as never before, to prayer as Daniel did.

Malcolm Hedding


A prophetic year consists of 360 days and not 365 days.

Book of Daniel Bible Studies Series – Part 6

Book of Daniel Bible Studies Series – Part 6

2020 Devotionals Blog

“He even exalted himself as high as the Prince of the host; and by him the
daily sacrifices were taken away, and the place of His sanctuary was cast
Daniel 8:11

“Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless
the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of
perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or
that is worshipped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing
himself that he is God.”
2 Thessalonians 2:3-4

“Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His
name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven.”
Revelation 13:6

The story so far

The Book of Daniel is the account of four young Jewish men who were taken captive in 604 BC and led into exile in Babylon. They were immediately introduced to a hostile environment that sought to eradicate their belief in the God of Israel and supplant it with the false and demonic gods of Babylon, and those of the Media-Persian Empire. Even the names of Daniel and his three friends were changed to those of the Babylonian gods. These young men realized that if they were to survive they would have to resist and take their stand from the very beginning. This they did even on threat of death. They had a real and living faith and this reality enabled them to stand firm. This constitutes a lesson for all of us, even more so as we now see what is coming!

In the course of their journey they were faced with an Antichrist challenge to their faith. That is, in the Babylonian Empire they were required to worship an image of Nebuchadnezzar and under the reign of the Media-Persian Empire, they were required to worship the King. On both accounts they stood firm and refused to do so and thus they were thrown into a fiery furnace and into a Lions’ Den and, on both occasions were delivered because they were innocent, loyal and loved the God of the Bible. The early Church faced the same trials and by their unswerving faith in Jesus eventually overcame and conquered the Roman Empire with their message of God’s love for the world in Christ. By contrast, much of the modern day Church is hoping to never have to face such trials and has even invented false theological systems to bolster this notion. They are wrong and have not learned anything from the book of Daniel. The signs of a coming “New World Order”, with its Antichrist regulations, are now flashing all around us but they remain in denial. When this New World Order arrives, believe me, there will be a great falling away or apostasy as scripture predicts (2 Thessalonians 2:3). We need to love the truth!

Daniel’s heavenly visions predict the arrival of a global confederacy that will divide the world up into ten regions and be ruled over by ten Governors or Presidents (Daniel 7:24) (Revelation 17:12). This will include a one world religious system that will somewhat be like Christianity but, in every way, denying the truth and power thereof. This coming New World Order will sweep away the present global financial system and replace it with a digital one. Cash money will be outlawed and a global electronic currency will be introduced, but only accessed by those who swear allegiance to the New World Order. The book of Revelation, that is built upon the platform of Daniel’s teaching, clearly warns of this soon coming monetary system (Revelation 13:16-17). Is anybody listening?

Once this ten nation confederacy is in place a power struggle will emerge in three of these regions resulting in the removal of all three Governors and their replacement by one insignificant and largely unknown individual. He will be the final and most challenging Antichrist of history. Daniel eight warns that he will emerge out of the Middle East and Mediterranean region of the world and in essence, will be totally demonic in nature because, that which the Devil did in casting some of the angelic host out of heaven before time began is attributed to this individual (Revelation 12:3-4). This is why he is said by John, in his oracle, to arise out of the Abyss (Revelation 17:8). He will be a Demonoid! Again we have been warned. This final Beast will be destroyed by Jesus at His second coming and therefore the world awaits his arrival and will welcome him when he steps onto the stage of history (2 Thessalonians 2:8).

This Beast will target the Church and the nation of Israel, and will gain international fame by seemingly, and once and for all, solving the Middle East conflict. He will be the man of the moment and honored as the great man of peace. The world will celebrate a new era of human existence, co-operation and peace and consequently the Beast will glorify himself as god (2Thessalonians 2:4). Those who resist him, like Daniel and his three friends did, will be put to death by beheading (Revelation 6:9-11; Revelation 13:15; Revelation 20:4). Many of God’s dear children, washed in the blood of the Lamb, will follow their Savior into heaven in this way.

Daniel Eight

Daniel eight then warns of the coming Antichrists of history but projects this through to the final and terrifying Antichrist of the end. This is called progressive prophetic fulfillment, meaning that one event is repeated again and again. In this case in 168 BC, 70 AD and at the end of the age. Jesus employed this form of exposition and so did Paul. Concerning the rise of Antichrist then, Daniel states the following in his eighth chapter:

  1. He is a “little horn”, meaning initially unknown, unimportant and insignificant (V9).
  2. He will gain fame in all regions of the world, including Israel, here named, “the Glorious Land.” (v9)
  3. He will be greatly enlarged in his pride and arrogance and will have a hidden demonic identity in that he was the one who, before time, led a rebellion against God (V10).
  4. He will even go so far as to exalt himself above the God of the Bible and therefore stop and prohibit all worship of Him (V11).
  5. He will gain military might by which to attempt to subdue Israel and he will “cast truth to the ground” (V12).
  6. He will only reign in this manner at the very end of days (V19). He has yet to arrive on the stage of history.
  7. He can only arise when the antichrist spirit has swept through the earth undermining the great Judaeo/Christian value system, that upholds biblical family and sexual cultural values and which protects the sanctify of life, especially that which begins in the womb at conception (V23).
  8. He will have great demonic power and by this power he will “destroy the mighty and also the holy people (the saints)” (V24) (Revelation 13:7).
  9. He will be overcome by the coming of Christ (v25) after a period of 2300 days, by which he has brought a reign of terror, evil and blasphemy, such as never has been seen before, upon the earth (Revelation 13:5-6). Adolf Hitler was no doubt a dire warning of these things to come.

All of this is reinforced by Paul in his second epistle to the Thessalonians and by the visions that Jesus gave to John recorded in the book of Revelation. We would be wise to draw near to God, live holy lives and to determine now to resist, no matter what the consequences may be, as Daniel and his three friends did.

Malcolm Hedding

Book of Daniel Bible Studies Series – Part 5

Book of Daniel Bible Studies Series – Part 5

2020 Devotionals Blog

“I watched till thrones were put in place, and the Ancient of Days was
seated: His garment was white as snow, and the hair of His head was
like pure wool. His throne was a fiery flame, its wheels a burning fire.”
Daniel 7:9

The 7th chapter of Daniel’s oracle is one of the most amazing and important prophetic passages in all of the Bible. Even the truths of the book of Revelation are built upon this eschatological platform in Daniel. In fact, it is not an exaggeration to state that, if you understand Daniel 7 then you will be able to tie together all end time truth. So, having noted this, let us begin our study together.

The all encompassing vision

Daniel, in the time of Belshazzar, the King of Babylon, receives a vision of the remarkable purpose of God through the centuries, right up until the the consummation of the age. It is important to note that God speaks to His people when they are upon their beds sleeping. This gives Him the opportunity to invade their minds with remarkable dreams and visions foretelling His purpose (Daniel 7:1). So, all of history is embraced in this vision that entered the mind of Daniel, particularly as it refers to Israel and the Middle East region. We are told that, “Four winds of heaven were stirring up the Great Sea”, a reference to the Mediterranean Sea. This chapter then constitutes the saga of evil and its ultimate defeat at the hands of the God of Israel, and those of the human race, who have elected to join Him in this battle by surrendering their lives to the “One who is like unto the Son of Man”(Daniel 7:13).

The setting of the stage

In his vision Daniel sees three animals and one monster beast. This is much the same as the vision that Nebuchadnezzar had that is recorded in Daniel 2 in that the animals and the final beast represent the four great Gentile nations that will arise in the earth and resist Israel and her message of salvation for the world. In both dreams the final global empire or Beast Empire, as we have it Daniel 7, is extraordinarily powerful and wicked. This final entity will embrace every nation and tribe and it will ruthlessly attack Israel and persecute the Church of the Living God (Daniel 7:23-25). Again, it is this evil entity that demands our attention and, as we have already seen, it is spoken of again in the book of Revelation. Jesus also referred to it as recorded by Matthew in his twenty-fourth chapter (Matthew 24: 15). The Holy Spirit thereby is seeking to prepare the people of God for what lies ahead. We must listen carefully to what He is saying.

So, in this chapter three animals being a lion, a bear and a leopard are seen by Daniel. The Lion represents the Babylonian Empire in that, for all its wickedness, it had a majestic element to it that was quite amazing and upon its walls were engraved lions of great beauty. I have seen the original of these in the Berlin Museum of Antiquities. It was followed by the Bear of the Media-Persian Empire, that was ruthless and wicked as it tore nations apart in a most savage manner (Daniel 7:5). Thirdly, Daniel saw the rise of the Grecian Empire under Alexander the Great and it is typified as a Leopard, since with great speed it went forth to conquer and destroy the Media-Persian Empire and then unexpectedly, at a very young age, Alexander died and his Empire was divided up between his four generals (Daniel 7:6). Two of these, Ptolemy and Seleucid, took control of the Middle East region. These generals and their offspring fought with each for control of the coastal highway which was in the land of Israel, these battles are recorded in Daniel 11.

Alexander’s Empire hellenized the regions it conquered and therefore the culture of Greece with its language and gods was imposed upon the people. This struggle is reflected in Zechariah nine and verse 13. The extent of this hellenization process is seen in the fact that the New Testament was actually written in Greek. Antiochus Epiphanies was the prevailing Seleucid that invaded the Temple in Jerusalem and committed the Abomination of Desolation in 168 BC. He is the proto-type of the Antichrist! Meaning that what he did will happen again in AD 70 and at the consumption of the age, when the Son of Man comes again to take up His glorious throne (Daniel 7:11; Revelation 19:20).

The fourth Empire, here represented as a terrible Beast, is Rome. We are told that it holds within it all the strength and wickedness of the three that have gone before it and that it is, “dreadful and terrible and exceedingly strong”(Daniel 7:7). See also Revelation 14:2. In Daniel 2 it is represented as iron which is the strongest of metals. This Beast Empire has longevity as it finally mutates into ten regions covering the whole world, here represented as Ten Horns, (in Daniel 2 it is ten toes), three of which are toppled and a sinister most wicked individual, the last Antichrist, will emerge from them ( Daniel 7:8). It is this Antichrist that is destroyed by Christ at His second coming (2 Thessalonians 2:8).

The Beast kingdom

In Daniel seven we are told then that the coming Beast global Empire will:

1. Be different from all the Empires that have gone before it (V23).
2. Devour the whole earth and break it in pieces (V23).
3. Have ten horns or Governors who will rule the world (V24). That is, the world will be divided up into ten regions. My friends this is just around the corner! Note also Revelation 17:3.
4. Three regions will fall to one seemingly insignificant person (V8) and thus, in the end, there will only be eight governors over the ten regions counting him (V24).
5. Birth the rise of the final Antichrist or Beast. This insignificant individual, who subdues three regional governors, is the person to watch for. It is he who will attack the God of Israel, the Saints and the Church and no doubt do so by, vilifying the Bible and Israel. He will initially dupe Israel into signing a seven year peace agreement that he will break after three years and a half years (V25). It is important to note that while the Beast signs a seven year peace pact with Israel the Great Tribulation is only three and a half years and not seven (Revelation 13:5).

All of this is approaching and the Church, I fear is not prepared. John in his Revelation oracle warns, as does Daniel, that this Beast is coming for the Church (Revelation 13:7,10).

The triumph of Christ and His kingdom

As with John’s revelation, here in Daniel 7, the absolute sovereignty of God is asserted together with the glory of the Son of Man. Nothing will happen on the earth that is outside of the sovereignty of God and He will use the coming troubles of the final Beast kingdom to purify His Church and save Israel (Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14). The Son of Man will bring in the everlasting kingdom on earth and this kingdom, having triumphed over all that is evil and wicked and the Beast himself, will be given to those who have loved Him, stood fast and faithfully served Him. Daniel describes this glorious day this in these terms:

“Then the kingdom and dominion and the greatness of the kingdoms under
the whole heaven, shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High.
His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom and all dominions shall serve and
obey Him.”
Daniel 7:27

The saints of all history are the Jewish believers from Abraham onwards and the Gentiles who have been grafted into Israel’s Olive Tree of salvation. This according to scripture is one body (Ephesians 3:6), one commonwealth (Ephesians 2:12), one flock (John 10:16) and one tree (Romans 11:17). See the note below.

Even so, Lord Jesus come!

Malcolm Hedding

The Bible nowhere teaches that anybody would be saved by keeping the Law. The Law was always the out working of salvation and the Torah affirms this by stating that obedience was based on faith in God’s power in one’s life (Deuteronomy 30:11-14). Paul quotes this same passage when defending faith as being the basis of being saved (Romans 10:6-9). Salvation then has always been based on faith in Christ’s finished work on the cross. Those living before His death were saved by looking forward to His atoning work, mirrored in the sacrificial system of the Temple and those, like us, by looking back at His historical atoning death. (Hebrews 11:13, Hebrews 12:1-2). So, Paul underlines this in his Roman letter where he strongly asserts that Abraham and David were saved by faith alone (Romans 4:5-12). The writer of the book of Hebrews also confirms this when he refers to the many great Old Testament saints, in chapter eleven of his great oracle, who triumphed through faith It is this vast company of saved Jews that we have been made a part of. This why Paul affirms that the mystery that God gave Him was that Gentiles are now part of the same body of those who have already been saved (Ephesians 3:6). That is, there is only one Olive Tree of salvation and Gentiles are grafted into it (Romans 11:17). This is precisely why, when Daniel speaks of the saints being persecuted by the coming Beast, he is talking about all those who by faith are in the Olive Tree through Christ or, as he puts it, the Son of Man. The same is true of the book of Revelation.

Book of Daniel Bible Studies Series – Part 4

Book of Daniel Bible Studies Series – Part 4

2020 Devotionals Blog

“Then this Daniel distinguished himself above the Governors and Satraps,
because an excellent spirit was in him; and the King gave thought to
setting him over the whole realm.”
Daniel 6:3

Daniel survived the Babylonian Empire and found himself promoted to great power and influence in the Media-Persia Empire governed by Darius. Daniel, as ever, and being the man of God that he was, “distinguished himself above the Governors and Satraps.” This greatly angered his governing colleagues and thus they conspired to bring him down. Knowing that he was so conscientious the only way, they concluded, to get rid of him would be to attack his faith in the God of Israel. So, our text from Daniel 6 reads:

“Then these men said, “We shall not find any charge against this Daniel
unless we find it against him concerning the Law of his God.”
Daniel 6:5

We learn from this that:

1. The people of God should excel in places of darkness (Ephesians 5:8-14).
2. The people of God should know that God places them in very difficult places so that a greater purpose can be accomplished. In this case it was to lay the groundwork for a decree to be made that would release Daniel’s people from exile (Daniel 6:28; Isaiah 45:1-7).
3. The people of God should be “salt and light” in the world (Matthew 5:13-16). Salt, to make the ungodly thirsty for God and light, to show them the way…………and,
4. The people of God should always be ready to experience pushback and resistance
(2 Timothy 3:12).

As things happened, Daniel found himself facing an Antichrist trap, as his three friends had before under the rule of Nebuchadnezzar. This phenomenon is emphasized to warn the people of God that time and time again they will have to face and engage Antichrist. John the Apostle states that many Antichrists will step onto the stage of history (1 John 2:18). This certainly applies to our generation and sadly, Christians who think that they will escape this trap are quite frankly deluded. Just eighty years ago the Christians of Germany faced an Antichrist in Adolf Hitler and many of them failed because they were not prepared for it. Paul warned the Thessalonian believers of this challenge and emphasized it by saying, “Do you not remember that when I still was with you I told you these things?” (2Thessalonians 2:5).

By intrigue, and appealing to the pride of the King, a non-retractable decree was made forbidding the worship of any god, save that of the King (Daniel 6:7-9). Those disobeying would be executed in the most savage manner. Darius, by so doing, undermined his most loyal and efficient Governor in the empire and therefore set Daniel up to be thrown into the Lions’ Den. Everyone knew that he would not abandon the God of Israel and thus, as expected then, Daniel, we are told, “as was his custom”, opened his window and facing Jerusalem prayed three times a day (Daniel 6:10). He would not bow down to another god no matter what the cost. My friends, we learn that:

1. Many Antichrists have come and one global Antichrist is about to step onto the stage of history. The signs all around us are now warning us of this; the trap is being set! We will have to endure his test.
2. We have to be like Daniel and openly display our obedience to Jesus Christ…..and,
3. We must count our lives as worth sacrificing for the kingdom of God. Daniel had a personal relationship with the God that he served and therefore, nothing could break this bond. If we are going to navigate our way through the days now before us, we will have to be strongly rooted in Christ (Colossians 2:6-7).

As we know God, “sent an Angel and shut the lions’ mouths” and Daniel was saved and had a good night’s sleep. The King on the other hand, could not sleep and was greatly troubled all night (Daniel 6:18). Those who stand strong in the day of testing will be vindicated by the God of Heaven. Standing strong, means living a holy life, working in all realms as unto the Lord and having a clear conscience ( 2Timothy 1:3; Daniel 6:22). By the way, this passage demonstrates that, these are the attributes that will get us safely through the coming Great Tribulation! The cry should not be, “Are you rapture ready?”, but, “Are you character ready?”

Finally, Daniel’s detractors ended up in the pit they had cleverly planned for Daniel to be destroyed by. As for Darius, like Nebuchadnezzar, he gave honor to the God of Israel. The lesson is clear, Jesus honors those who take great risks for Him and by so doing He will use them to change the world. Darius expressed this when he made a decree that henceforth the God of the Bible was to be honored and exalted in the earth:

“I make a decree that in every dominion of my kingdom men must tremble
and fear before the God of Daniel. For He is the living God and steadfast
forever; His kingdom is the one which shall not be destroyed, and His
dominion shall endure to the end.”
Daniel 6:26

Would it not be cool if the God of Israel, would be made known as the God of your name? This privilege was given to Daniel and will be given to those who stand with Him no matter what the challenge.

This is Malcolm Hedding.

Book of Daniel Bible Studies Series – Part 3

Book of Daniel Bible Studies Series – Part 3


The great impact

“In order that the living may know that the Most High rules in the
kingdom of men, gives it to whomever He will, and sets over it
the lowest of men.”
Daniel 4:17

Chapter four of Daniel opens with a dramatic story that documents the huge impact that Daniel and his three friends had on Nebuchadnezzar and indeed, the whole empire. The world would literally change because of their courageous acts of faith in the face of immense hostility. So then because they were faithful to the God of Israel they were afforded renown and respect in Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom. Therefore, when the king had another strange dream he was encouraged by his advisors to call, once again, on Daniel to unravel its contents.

Essentially Nebuchadnezzar had a dream of a great big beautiful tree that had filled the earth with its branches. It was suddenly chopped down and removed because it became deceased with pride, arrogance and rebellion against God ( Daniel 4:27). Although, the basic root system of the tree was kept intact ( Daniel 4:15). Daniel, having been brought before the king, with great boldness, interpreted the dream and consequently told Nebuchadnezzar that the tree referred to him and that he should repent because God was going to humble him and teach him a very important lesson.

The dream came true in every respect and so King Nebuchadnezzar lost his throne, his mind and his global prestige for a long time. Finally he came to a place where he repented, humbled himself and called on the God of Daniel to help him. He did, in that he was fully restored but now it appears that one of the most powerful and ruthless individuals of the ancient world got wonderfully saved. How wonderful is the grace of God, but also, how wonderful it is to see what God can do through people who will embrace risk in order to be faithful to Him. This is a challenge and important lesson for all of us to learn!

As for Nebuchadnezzar, this is what he learned:

“And at the end of the time I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven,
and my understanding returned to me; and I blessed the Most High and
praised and honored him who lives forever: For His dominion is an
everlasting dominion, and His kingdom is from generation to generation.
All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; He does according
to His will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth.
No one can restrain His hand or say to Him, “What have you done?”
Daniel 4:34-35

Herein is contained a lesson that we should all learn through all the days of our lives. Blessed be the God of heaven and earth!

The writing on the wall

Upon Nebuchadnezzar’s death he was succeeded by his son Belshazzar who did not know, rejected or despised, the God of Israel, who had played such a large part in his father’s life, thanks to Daniel and his three friends. Belshazzar was an arrogant silly man and a day came when he threw a feast for his courtiers. He deliberately thought that he would mock the God of Israel by using the holy temple cups, plates and pots by which to indulge in their debauchery. While mocking God in this way, and at the same time worshipping the false gods of gold, silver, bronze, iron and stone, a hand appeared writing in an unknown language upon the palace wall. This caught Belshazzar’s attention and induced fear, trembling and panic to his heart. Scripture describes this in these words:

“Then the King’s countenance changed, and his thoughts troubled him,
so that the joints of his hips were loosened and his knees knocked
against each other.”
Daniel 5:6

In a state of utter panic then, the king called upon his wise men, soothsayers and magicians to solve the mystery of the writing upon the wall. They could not but his queen, actually the Queen Mother, in the providence of God, remembered the unique gift from God that Daniel possessed in unravelling mysteries of this type and duly encouraged the king to call for him. Upon his arrival Daniel was promised riches and gifts beyond his dreams if he could decipher the message on the wall. But Daniel, ever the true servant of God, refused these by saying:

“…………….Let your gifts be for yourself, and give your rewards to another;
yet I will read the writing to the king, and make known to him the interpre-
tation. “
Daniel 5:17

We note:

  • Daniel was above bribery and corruption. His relationship with God was more important to him than money and other rewards.
  • Daniel was courageous and unafraid of the king. He feared God more that he feared man
  • Daniel was sure of the gift of God in him. He was thus an oracle of God (1 Peter 4:11).
  • Daniel followed through with risk, because he knew that the message he would bring would not make the king happy.

The words on the palace wall were: MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN

These essentially meant: You have been weighed in the heavenly balances and found wanting.

The ungodliness of the king and his fellow courtiers finally overflowed and caught up with them when he took the holy vessels of the Lord’s house and used them in a drunken orgy. His time was up and so, that very night, the Medes and Persians penetrated the city and overthrew Belshazzar and executed him! (Daniel 5:30). We learn that:

1. God is always watching the affairs of men and His apparent in-action does not mean that He will not act (2 Peter 3:9).
2. We have one life to live and we had better live it well. Godliness, according to Paul, has hope for this life and for the life to come (1 Timothy 4:8).
3. We will all stand before the Judgement Seat of Christ one day to be weighed in the heavenly balances (2 Corinthians 5:10-11).

This will be a terrifying day for those who have “played the fool with holy things, or the vessels of the Lord (1 Peter 4:4-5).” For those who know Christ, it may be an embarrassing day because it will unveil the real truth about our commitment to Him in life (1 Corinthians 3:11-15). The writing on the wall has a message for all of us!

Finally, it is worth noting that Daniel’s faithfulness, courage and godliness ultimately opened a door for Cyrus the Media-Persian King to step onto the stage of history and decree the end of the Babylonian exile of the Jews, that had prevailed for seventy years. The lesson is clear; our actions, if godly, will determine future events and change the world.

Malcolm Hedding

The United Arab Emirates and Israel Peace Agreement

The United Arab Emirates and Israel Peace Agreement


“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: ‘May they prosper who love you. Peace be
within your walls, prosperity within your palaces.’ For the sake of my brethren
and companions, I will now say, ‘Peace be within you.’ Because of the house
of the Lord our God I will seek your good.”
Psalm 122:6-9

The spectacular announcement of Israel’s peace agreement with the United Arab Emirates took everyone by surprise. This is a major development, and, in every way, it should be celebrated and commended. This breakthrough, that is certainly part of Donald Trump’s “Deal of the Century”, may even open the door for more Sunni Arab states in the region to normalize relationships with Israel. Events in the Middle East are moving at a fast pace, in all respects, and we should try to understand and keep up with them since Jesus told us to, “watch and pray.”

So, for clarification, this is my take on this latest peace initiative:

A. The meaning of this new alliance

  1. It is first and foremost a military alliance
    This peace agreement sets up a broad defensive shield to counter the regional threat of Shi’ite Iran and her proxies. This shield then incorporates Israel, Egypt, Greece, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and of course the United Arab Emirates. It constitutes a serious setback to Iran.
  2. It is a technological alliance
    The agreement will pave the way for the sharing of vital technology, mainly from Israel, in the fields of agriculture, hi-tech, medicine and defense.
  3. It is a pragmatic alliance
    This agreement is evidence of the fact that the Sunni Arab states are coming to terms with Israel’s existence as a regional super power. They need Israel’s military capability to ward off a very serious threat from Iran. These Arab states know that Israel poses no threat to them and have thus decided to normalize relations with Jerusalem.
  4. It is a breakthrough alliance
    This peace agreement is huge as it constitutes the possible new alignment of nations in the Middle East. It will solidify Israel’s peace agreements with Egypt and Jordan and set her on track to engage other Sunni Arab states in the region. Also, coming after the devastating blast in Beirut, which will put Hezbollah on the backfoot, it is a powerful counter weight to the ambitions of the Shi’ite axis in the region. It will also place a check on the meddling of Erdogan’s Turkey, which is increasingly becoming more belligerent. Moreover, it takes the focus off the Palestinians who have time and time again stood against any peace agreement with Israel. They will now exist in the backwater for a time, but they may try to start another Intifada. The timing of this peace initiative is perfect and is certainly orchestrated from heaven!

B. The downside of this new alliance

Having said all of this; it is also troubling to some degree in that, notwithstanding the bold courage that Israel has demonstrated in pursuing this initiative, she has in so doing surrendered her claim to her biblical heartland and consequently towns and cities like Efrat, Ma’ale Adumim, Modi’in Illit, Har Adar and Ariel will remain designated as “settlements” and thereby continue to be legally outside of Israel’s sovereign territory. In short, annexation has been put on hold and the opportunity to do so has been lost.

The status of the Old Biblical City of Jerusalem will undoubtedly be the next entity on the “chopping block.” The other Sunni Arab states will now recognize that, by affording Israel full recognition and diplomatic relations, they can achieve the goals that were impossible to attain by military means. They will seek to extract further concessions from her and thereby push her back to the pre-1967 borders. About this we must have no illusions because it’s not as if these nations will now fall in love with Israel overnight!

C. The Bible and this alliance
This new peace initiative between the United Arab Emirates and Israel is definitely not that spoken of by the Prophet Daniel in the 9th chapter of his book. This will not be in sight for some time to come and we should be very careful about rushing to make wild prophetic conclusions from it. In fact, this emerging wide arc of defensive capabilities against Iran and her allies, could possibly provoke another war in the Middle East as the Shi’ite axis will now become increasingly desperate to win back the momentum that it thought it had in the region. Last week’s decision by the United Nations, by which the arms ban against Iran was lifted, may also embolden the regime to strike out against Israel and her new found allies.

The next war in the Middle East will be short and brutal and it may then stampede the world toward global government. This is what biblical scholars are to watch for. Already strong voices across the globe, by virtue of the COVID-19 pandemic, are calling for a New World Order brokered through the United Nations. This proposed New World Order will include a new global financial system that is openly touted by the United Nation’s “Global 2030 Agenda.”

The tiny nation of Israel is doing everything possible to exist in a very tough and dangerous region of the world. God, in His grace, is helping her but powerful global interests like that of the United Nations and, sadly, the European Union, have joined the struggle against her. The rise of antisemitism in all parts of the world is also fueling the hatred of Israel.

To be honest, the road block to achieving these global goals is none other than Donald Trump and his administration. Should he fail to regain the White House in November of this year, then the plunge toward a New World Order, of which the Bible has much to say, will accelerate. Thankfully, “He who watches over Israel neither slumbers or sleeps” (Psalm 121:4) and in the end, He will confound the nations and install His Messiah on His holy hill of Zion (Psalm 2:1-6). Israel’s future, which will be bathed in peace, is bright!

“For out of Zion shall go forth the Law, and the word of the
Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations,
and rebuke many people; they shall beat their swords into
plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall
not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war
Isaiah 2:3-4

Malcolm Hedding