Daniel 9:1-11:1, 1 John 2:18-3:6, Psalms 121:1-8, Proverbs 28:27-28
Today is the 2nd day of December. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I’m Brian. It’s great to be here with you today as we…well…as we move in and get comfortable with the month that’s gonna go by pretty quickly but the final month of the year. And every time we move into the new month of December, I remember this day, because this would’ve been my father’s birthday. And obviously without my father or my mother, I wouldn’t be here, and I would’ve never had the privilege of spending these moments together each and every day as we continue our journey through the Scriptures. So, remembering my father today. And in terms of the Scriptures we will be moving back into the book of Daniel for our Old Testament portion today and into first John when we reach the New Testament. We’re reading from the English Standard Version this week. Daniel chapter 9 verse 1 through 11 verse 1.
Okay. Let’s talk about Dow’s today. What brings us to doubt? In our faith or in life in general, what leads us into doubt? For me, and I think for most of us, doubt enters the story when we expected something to happen that didn’t, right? An unmet expectation. So, in spiritual terms we think God didn’t do what He promised, or what we asked Him to do is taking longer than expected. And, so, we get anxious and we’re not content, and then we start spiraling and then eventually we’re led into doubt. Doubt is sort of this response we’re throw our…our hands up and go, “I don’t know what I think anymore.” And, so, there’s like roots…little seeds of all kinds of bad things mixed in there, which makes is very, very vulnerable to deception and then our faith weakens and becomes dormant and at that point some…some walk away…completely walk away from their faith. And some are super vocal about it, like they become anti-faith, they become anti-God, they become anti-Christ. And that’s where we begin in this letter from John today. John says, “children, it is the last hour and as you have heard an antichrist is coming. So, now many antichrists have come. Therefore, we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us. In other words, they used to be a part of who we are, but they left because they were not of us, because if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out that it might become plain that they are not of us.” Okay, so we…we’ve been talking about the apocalyptic worldview throughout…throughout our time in the New Testament but we talked about it recently and it plays heavily into what’s going on here, what John is writing about because the obvious question that comes up here is, why didn’t some of these early followers of Jesus become antichrists? Why did they leave the faith when it appeared that the end was so near?” Why did that happen. It happened for the same reasons this kind of stuff happens to us. We were expecting something that went unmet, we were led into doubt, we were then susceptible to deception, then the next thing you know we’re like in a different universe from where we started. The people John’s writing to hear had faith in the imminent arrival of Jesus, like that He was coming back any moment and they, because they were putting their faith in Him, were finding themselves inaugurating the kingdom of God. Instead of all of that happening though, time went on and they started getting ridiculed instead of elevated. They were marginalized instead of becoming the status quo. They were receiving persecution instead of comfort. And even though they were being taught to endure eventually their stamina ran out when the timetable didn’t work out. And, so, they threw their hands up in the air and walked away. And on one hand you can kind of understand because they were signing up to be marginalized, to be ridiculed, to be persecuted. They were signing up to suffer and endure because that’s part of the story, and its part of our story. It’s part of the story, but many were walking away. And as John said, “they didn’t really…like…they didn’t belong with us. If they belonged with us, they would’ve stayed.” Into this little crockpot that we’re stirring around, or this’ll stew that we’re making there were a lot of questions being asked about how this all works theologically, like how do we understand the gospel, the son of God, the sacrifice, the resurrection, faith? How do we understand all this? So, questions were being asked and many people were coming up with many kinds of explanations. Things like the true nature of Jesus, whether He was human or whether he was truly divine, or whether he was both of those things, which eventually brought on confusion. And confusion is an incubator for doubt and conflict. And, so, you have people who are being pressured by their culture, marginalized, and pushed to the sidelines of their culture, and being mistreated by their culture, and being confused by what they’re being told about their faith. So, they’re going through some pretty tough…tough things. And John was trying to communicate to those things the essentials, like the absolute core of the faith, and he was aiming it at their doubt. He said, “anybody who denies the father and the son is an antichrist. And anyone who denies the son doesn’t have the father either.” Because in this context, many people were leaving back into Judaism, leaving Jesus behind but going back to Yahweh, like going back to God. And John’s saying, “like you don’t get one without the other. That’s not how it works.” And he wasn’t trying to keep…keep his readers…keep those who were following the in the faith from asking questions about their faith or trying to understand their faith through asking questions of it. That wasn’t the point. He was reminding them that what they heard from the beginning wasn’t something that was a moving target. The gospel that they learned from the beginning wasn’t changing. It hadn’t changed. No matter what questions were being asked, no matter what conclusions people were coming to, no matter what kind of a confusing stew it was becoming, what they’d been told from the beginning hadn’t changed. It was still the truth. But it went even deeper than that. It was not just, “hey hold onto the things I told you” or “hold onto the things you heard from the beginning.” He was trying to show them, “look…lots of people are going to say lots of things all of the time. This has always been going on. But you have something, and you need to not forget it. You have what you need.” So, quoting John again, “I’m writing these things to warn you about those who want to lead you astray but you have received the Holy Spirit and He lives within you so you don’t need anybody to teach you what’s true. The Spirit teaches you everything you need to know and what he teaches is the truth. It’s not a lie. So, just as he’s taught you, remain in fellowship with Christ.” Okay, so we can understand now the situation and who John was writing to and why he was, and we can even understand and put ourselves in that position. But let’s actually do that. Let’s put ourselves in that position now because there’s no shortage of thoughts and ideas and questions and teachings. There’s no less of a stew then there was then. In fact, there probably is more, and we all face unmet expectations. We cry out to God for certain things thinking…expecting certain other things to happen and when they don’t, then we have the same opportunity to be led into doubt, which will lead us into deception…well…which would ultimately lead us to become anti-Christ. So, there’s nothing that John was writing about to these earlier believers that we can’t relate to here. And what John is ultimately saying is, “you have what you need to be led into the truth. You have the Holy Spirit of the Almighty God within you. This is what you were told from the beginning, that the divine, that God, that the most high loves you, forgives you, wants to collaborate with you, and wants to be in union with you, wants to join with you, will be within you. Through the power of his Holy Spirit you have what you need. You don’t need to run around to every little thing trying to figure out every eventuality. You don’t need to ask all of the questions and then go seek all of these answers outside of God. You don’t need to go looking for endless opinions. The spirit of truth indwells you by the power of the Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit has promised to lead you into all truth.” So, if you’ve been in the process of resetting expectations, if you have suffered long and feel like there’s no progress, if life’s circumstances is leading you to throw your hands up in the air, doubt, and walk away and even become anti-Christ, rethink that. What you are looking for is something you already have.
And, so, Holy Spirit it is You that we are speaking of. And, so, we invite You into that. We become aware that Your presence never departs from us. We become aware that maybe we grow impatient in listening for Your direction and maybe we jump the gun and make a mess, but You are always there. And if we would walk with You at Your pace, we would do ourselves a grand favor. And, so, we become aware of You and we become aware of our doubts and all of the back-and-forth that we’ve been enduring, and we invite You and all of it. Come Holy Spirit and lead us into all truth we pray. In the name of Jesus, we ask. Amen.
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And that is it for today. I’m Brian I love you and I’ll be waiting for you here tomorrow.
Community Prayer and Praise:
Hey Daily Audio Bible this is Ted from East Stroudsburg Pennsylvania. Please bear with me but I just have to brag about the Daily Audio Bible. My daughter Rachel started listening to DAB a few months ago. She’s an audio learner and always struggled to read the Bible. Well, Brian brings it alive for her. She listens in the car with her five-year-old son Benny, the little guy who’s been calling in lately. She’s…she has him listening to Genesis, adult Genesis and he loves it. Then she started…I’m sorry…one day she bought some coffee and she got DAB cards. She started giving these cards to friends and family then she started leaving them in lunchrooms, restrooms, on counters in restrooms…restaurants, you get the idea. And then she started to hand them out to strangers too and Benny wanted to help. Now he hands them out as well. He’s excited and he knows what he’s handing out. Recently they were in a pizzeria and it was packed. He went up to each table and explained, “it’s the Bible” and handed each one a DAB card. He even got the waitstaff. He does this everywhere that they go. They a DAB missionaries in their corner of the world. God bless you all Daily Audio Bible family. Thank you.
Hello DAB family this is Karen from Hemet and its early, early in the morning on Thanksgiving morning. Wish you all a blessed Thanksgiving and it’s a sad one for my family today because my husband of 36 years passed from this life into Jesus arms yesterday morning. He’s been in a battle with Parkinson’s dementia disease for 10 years now. Had to say goodbye. I was so happy to know he is not suffering any longer and I can picture him in Jesus arms, but sadness is pouring over me like ocean waves right now. I appreciate your prayers. I appreciate you. I’m thankful for Daily Audio Bible that saw me through this painful journey. Keep us in your prayers. Have a blessed time with your family. Hold them close. Love you guys. Goodbye.
Hey DAB this is Melody in Ohio, first time caller, I am in about my 11th year of listening and I love listening to the word of God every day. My husband and I have made it a rhythm of our life and it’s just an amazing community and amazing thing. Thank you, Brian for following God’s lead and doing this. And I wanted to pray for Vicki in Arizona who lost her son two years ago. And Father I just pray for my sister in Christ. I pray that You would heal the brokenhearted, that You would let her literally feel her hands being lifted by this community Father. I pray that she would give her joy beyond her circumstances and that You would give her peace in her dreams and sweet sleep at night. And Father thank You that this is not the end, that eternity waits for us and we just thank You for Your peace and Your presence in our lives and just pray for all of the brokenhearted this holiday season Father. I pray Your comfort and we just thank You for the hope of You. Thank you, family. God bless and have a happy Thanksgiving.
Morning guys it’s Michaela from Gloucester in the UK. And two weeks from today the UK is going to the polls again. We’ve got another general election. Today is Thursday the 28th of November. So, I would really value your prayers for us over these next two weeks on election day and then beyond. Just pray that people would use their vote, that their voice would be heard even if they think it wouldn’t make a difference, that they would turn out and they would cast their vote so we can get a true picture of what people think. And whatever happens on election day and whatever happens with the results I pray that whoever is elected in will work together for the good of the people. I also want to thank God for all those people out there who are willing to stand up and perform a difficult role of representing our people because I can imagine how hard that is trying to…trying to do that…I don’t know. Yeah, thank you so much. Father God thank You for this opportunity that we have in the UK to cast our vote on who we think should be representing us in parliament and who You think should be leading us. I pray Lord You’ll be giving us wisdom as we cast our vote and I pray Lord that we would make the most of this opportunity that we have a democratic right I pray that we would be using it and I pray Lord whatever happens that they would be working together for the good of the people and that ultimately that they might come to know You and that Your name will be praised. Thank You for all the Christians who are in politics and I pray Your blessing upon them. May they be ambassadors and lights in Jesus’ name Amen.
Hey DAB family this is Micah in Awe. Vicki from Arizona, I just heard your message. I lost a best friend to suicide in 2006 and it was so hard. I can’t even imagine how much worse it would be to lose your son and also your husband in that same timeframe. Your attitude is pretty astounding to me that you’re setting yourself to worship and that…I mean…it was two years ago but that still has to be so painful and I’m sure it will continue to be painful. But you requested joy and the Lord has that for you. The Lord has joy. I’m praying that He’ll pour out the oil of gladness on you and as you requested, He walks you by that date. He will be there for you. He will be your strength. Your faith already has determined it and you know it. I’m praying for your sister. I’m gonna add you to my daily prayers. I heard the message about Adelaide struggling with cancer, eight-year-old. Praying for you now. I’m praying for the eradication of leukemia and all cancer. I ask all of you to join me in praying for solutions to cancer and the eradication of cancer. Pretty radical prayer but God’s a pretty radical God. Bless you all in this holiday season, all of you that are in pain, let us know, we want to shoulder…shoulder your burden, God wants to shoulder your burden. He can be your strength. You’re not alone out there. We’re all here for you.
Hi, it’s Sherry from Kansas. I am reminded of a Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens where two men are endeavoring to put together a fund to buy meat and drink for the poor and for the homeless because it’s this time of year where they suffer the most. I want to remind people in the hustle and bustle of the holiday to think of those who are homebound, who have no family, who have no money, who cannot even get out to look at Christmas lights and they sit at home alone and they have no one to celebrate the holidays with. If you don’t know where to find some people like that, go to the senior center or the department of aging or go to a housing project where elderly people live and think about doing something for them, maybe offering to take them out or offering to go to the store or bringing them a special holiday treat. I love you all. I know many of you already do that, but I just wanted to remind you that not everyone has family, not everyone participates in holiday, not everyone can. God bless you all. Thank you. Bye-bye.