Daniel | Refusing Defilement

Dr. Stephen Phinney



Daniel #03 | Refusing Defilement


Now God granted Daniel favor and compassion in the sight of the commander of the officials, and the commander of the officials said to Daniel, ‘I am afraid of my lord the king, who has appointed your food and your drink; for why should he see your faces looking more haggard than the youths who are your own age? Then you would make me forfeit my head to the king.’” (Daniel 1:9-10).

OVERVIEW


Daniel’s captivity was not a shock to God. It was part of the Lord’s mission to discipline the Hebrew people and redirect them back to the individualized and collective worship of God Himself. God knew He needed an extraordinary man to accomplish this. The Lord also knew that it would require a man of absolute integrity who would deny defilement at all costs. Finally, the chosen man had to embrace the mandate of NOT fellowshipping with idolatrized nations. This man was Daniel, with the support of his friends. While Daniel was clueless about the future of his calling as a young man, God’s ability to maintain the present by knowing the future cemented Daniel’s upward calling. As a result, prophecies were born.

 

THE INTRODUCTION


I have been teaching and preaching the prophecies of the Old and New Testaments for many years. I’ve come to realize one point: many times it is fruitless to teach people the profound elements of the Lord’s prophecies if they do not have the indwelling life of Christ. Unsaved people only scratch their heads after hearing these not-so-hidden Biblical truths, and they quickly default to: “Well, that’s your opinion.” The fact is, to authentically understand prophecies, one must be in Christ.


Christianity 101 reveals that unless the Holy Spirit resides in the believer, a human cannot connect the dots of prophecy from the Old Testament to the life of Christ in the New and then on to the final act played out in Revelation’s book—it’s impossible. I call this “preaching to a dead man walking.” Well, that spurs on the question of, “why preach, then?” We preach because we do not know who is authentically saved or not. Secondly, many times our preaching leads others to the personal discovery of indwelling salvation. Thus, hearing the prophecies lead the curious to Christ for Salvation unless they are cloaked in bitterness and refuse brokenness.


Also, the purpose of hearing the Lord’s prophecies is meant to spur on the brokenness process that God intends to use for those who hear these “mysteries” of the scriptures. While authentic believers hear the prophecies and are encouraged, it is meant to produce brokenness in the souls of the unsaved. As for those who preach the prophecies, may God warn them to escape a preaching attitude of empty sermons while droves of people pour into hell daily. While preaching prophecies is intended to break people with the hope of leading them to Jesus Christ, we must remember that it is not our job to decide who will respond eternally in Christ.


It is a Biblical fact that the Holy Spirit will not reveal the deep things of God’s prophecies to those defined by the sins of the Adamic nature, in other words, the unsaved. Nor will He open the door to understanding and the precious individual connections to such prophecies. With this in mind, we now understand that for the unsaved, the prophecies are used to form brokenness in their lost human souls.

We need a revival of sorts. After 40 years of studying the Lord’s prophecies, I have come to realize that the Lord has always used prophecies to awaken rebellious souls to provide an opportunity to step into a predestined holy revival. This is our mission with the study of the book of Daniel.

 

EXCUSING SELF


Christians are known for displacing responsibility for their sins. It’s the classic, “We are not responsible for the judgment that came down upon us, and we did not commit the sins God is judging us for regarding our forefathers, and He will not hold us responsible.” Daniel and his friends did not use this ridiculous sentiment. What did they do, then? They faced the lion’s den. They embraced the blazing furnace. They fronted criticism and ridicule fully knowing their father’s sins rested upon their shoulders. If I remember correctly, this is the madness method Jesus embraced. While He didn’t commit these sins, He was willing to have the sins of all placed on His shoulders. This is the model we see being carried out in Daniel’s story.


Daniel was a man who dropped all excuses at the feet of the Lord while embracing the real-time focus of beholding the will of the Father, along with the costs that come with such a decision. However, today we see young theologians compromising Biblical integrity by trying to integrate absolute truths into a culture of blurred lines with the objective of reaching those who do not know God. Many of these theologians will tattoo themselves, drink strong drinks (alcohol), and wear revealing clothing along with a host of other line-blurring modalities; all under the banner of reaching the lost. What are the results? Today, we cannot see the difference between a male and female, the corrupt from the non-corrupt, and the authentic believers from those who pretend to be Christians. Is this evangelism? I think not!


The main “drawing card” of evangelism is rooted in “be ye separate, oh my people.” If lost souls cannot see the benefits of conversion in and through Christ, what’s the point? I believe that this misnomer is what formed the Social Gospel.

 

THE REAL ISSUE


Did you know that there was legalism in the Old Testament? Yes, Old, and New Covenants are based on hearing the voice of the Father, not on obeying the jots and tittles of the Words He spoke. Both Covenants created a dependence on God’s voice, not His written Words. As soon as a person focuses on the words of the Law, legalism moves in to dominate obedience, which propagates failure. However, when someone, like Daniel and his friends, focuses on the voice that announces the guidelines of proper living, each one gains the attention, protection, and blessing of a personal relationship with God the Father. In the New Testament, hearing the voice of Jesus Christ from within does the same thing.


When others ask me who exactly from the Old Testament is in Heaven with Jesus today, I keep it simple. It’s not about who kept the law perfectly, which we know is impossible, it is about those who honored the Law for the sake of having a relationship with the One who established the Law. These are the ones we will see and enjoy relationships with when greeted by them as we are ushered into