Letter From God 22
Ezekiel, Daniel and his Three Friends in Captivity
WRITING "LETTER FROM GOD" 22
Book 22 begins with the faith-prophets Ezekiel and Daniel in exile in Babylon. On the first invasion by Nebuchadnezzer in 605 B.C., about 50 teenage Jewish boys were taken to be trained in Babylon. Danieland his three friends were in this group. On the second invasion Ezekiel and his wife were among the Jews taken to Babylon.
Ezekiel’s messages gave warnings and hope to the faith-remnant. In his courtyard, Ezekiel’s study group worshiped the Lord, held the LORD’s Passover feast and offered altar sacrifices. The LORD spoke to Ezekiel in spectacular visions. Ezekiel in turn taught these visions to the people to show God’s plan and the LORD’s awesome Glory.
Daniel and his three friends chose to obey and love the LORD. They were given special ability to learn. Daniel was also given the ability to understand dreams, visions, and prophecy. We felt the shock Ezekiel felt when he saw the Shekinah Glory of the LORD depart from the most Holy Place in the Temple in Jerusalem to the Mount of Olives.
Ezekiel’s group was sad when they heard the LORD’s prophet Jeremiah had been forced to go with the group that fled to Egypt, and later, when they heard the LORD’s Temple and Jerusalem were burned. After this — they listened more carefully to the words of Ezekiel and Daniel. From Jeremiah’s letter they now knew their captivity would be for 70 years.
We watched as Daniels’s three friends were thrown into a fiery furnace. If the three had not stood up to the king, the people and the king would not have seen the greatness of the LORD God. We saw the great Babylonian empire come to an end after the Lord’s handwriting on the white wall. Under the Persian King Darius, Daniel was thrown into a hungry den of lions.
The visions of Ezekiel and Daniel were awesome, a bit scary, and difficult to understand. We need to dig into the Word of God. God in his plan used the powerful Babylonian and the Persian empires to protect his people in captivity. If you study Ezekiel and Daniel you will learn so much, and understand the plan of God for our end times.
Daniel’s visions gave us the amazing time of the future Messiah-Savior’s birth! We need to use rebound (naming our sins to God the Father) to receive help from God the Holy Spirit to help us understand these two books.
God flooded the earth with water at the time of Noah to destroy the evil-people. He also provided an ark to save the faith-remnant. We don’t have an ark today but we do have something to save us from Satan’s master plan of human solutions and distractions. We have God’s Word (his letter), which is alive and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword.
Dedication of Book 22 — to the Bible-based Church that decided to buy the building of a former church and put the cross back up in the Village of Spring Lake in Michigan.
We noted with sadness in Book 17 how in 2010 the Christ Community Church of Spring Lake changed the name of their building to C3Exchange. Shortly after that they announced they were removing the cross from their bell tower. They did not want their church focusing on Christ and the symbolism of the cross. Their leader said they wanted a more progressive spiritual focus.
Dutch immigrants who came seeking freedom to worship God with their Bible beliefs founded this church in 1870. It was known as the first Reformed Church of Spring Lake. One hundred years later the name was changed to the Christ Community Church and a new auditorium was added. The new cross was placed on the bell tower on Easter weekend, 1980.
When they began their false teaching of no hell and all roads lead to heaven, the faith-remnant with discernment, slowly left to find a Bible-believing church. Hoping to change this, the leaders installed a new pastor-teacher from Australia with his ideas that said, “All are welcome. We want to include Muslims, Hindus, Buddhist, atheists and other personal beliefs.”
After some time the remaining group was not able to support the building and put the property up for sale. The Harvest Bible Chapel leaders toured the building in February 2012. The answer was clear. They purchased the property three months later. The new owners replaced all the mechanical systems, redid the foyer and remodeled most of the interior.
Three years after the cross was taken down, it was sanded and repainted. Again it will proudly make a statement to the villagers and the tourists on their way to Lake Michigan. As the sun broke up a blanket of fog, the cross was reinstalled and rose in place on Good Friday 2013 — the day when we remember the death of the LORD Jesus Christ.
Many people were teary-eyed and others were emotionally unable to sing the “Old Rugged Cross ” during the open house ceremony. “That cross has meant a lot to many people,” Pastor Wisen said. There are many people thrilled and excited to see it go back up.”
Today the parking lots are again filled. After many years the Bible-teaching of the Word of God is there, beaming light and direction — a Godly witness-Lamp to the world.