Dare to be a Daniel

By Dr. Ken Matto

1 Kings 19:14 (KJV) And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: because the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.

Standing by a purpose true,
Heeding God’s command,
Honor them, the faithful few!
All hail to Daniel’s band!

Refrain:
Dare to be a Daniel,
Dare to stand alone!
Dare to have a purpose firm!
Dare to make it known.

Many mighty men are lost,
Daring not to stand,
Who for God had been a host
By joining Daniel’s band.

Many giants, great and tall,
Stalking through the land,
Headlong to the earth would fall,
If met by Daniel’s band.

Hold the Gospel banner high!
On to vict’ry grand!
Satan and his hosts defy,
And shout for Daniel’s band.

The above hymn was written by Philip Bliss in 1873. It speaks about holding high the Gospel even if you as a believer are the only one who does. However, in this article I do not want to look at believers who are standing up in the world and staying steadfast on the word bringing the gospel to people. This article will be dealing about Christians who remain stedfast in the midst of other Christians who have followed false teachings and compromising preachers. In other words, it would be like focusing on those who hold to the King James Bible in the midst of a congregation of ESVs and NIVs. We live in a day when Christians are falling away from the true gospel and adopting the compromises of seminaries, cults, new age teachings, alcoholic drinking, and basically the party atmosphere. Do you tend to feel that you are alone in a church where people are compromising and they make you feel as if you are the one who is wrong while they walk around with all these happy smiles on their faces as they drink, marry after divorce, have rock and roll bands in their church, and basically hold hands with the world? Take comfort, you who refuse to compromise and who are holding on to the true Gospel. You are not alone. Elijah felt that way, that he was the only one left who was obedient to the Lord God because not only was Israel compromising at that time but Jezebel was out to physically kill him

God had assured Elijah that he was not alone and that there were seven thousand in Israel who had not bowed the knees to Baal. 1 Kings 19:18 (KJV) Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him. What God was also showing us here that there was only a remnant who was true to Him in a nation of probably a couple million. This needs to be an example for the true Christian that even among the body of believers there is going to be only a remnant who will remain strong in the Lord and live according to the Scriptures. They can be considered the elect among the elect. There are many Christians who look for loopholes in the Bible so they can justify their continuance of their pet sin. Two examples are below:

John 2:9 (KJV) When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom,

Jesus showing His ability as a Creator, made wine out of plain water. While Christians focus on the wine, they miss the fact that Jesus is showing that He is the Creator and can create anything out of nothing. To the compromising Christian, the miracle at the wedding at Cana translates into this: Since Jesus made wine that means I can drink; I can have a keg at a Super Bowl party; No prohibition on drinking; Christian Liberty means we can drink.

Matthew 19:9 (KJV) And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.

Since Jesus spoke an exception clause in Matthew 19:9, the compromising Christian looks no further than “except it be” and then goes on to divorce, for any inane reason and then remarry with the help of the biblically ignorant clergy. This especially applies to singles pastors who are nothing but religious match makers and will bring together people who are divorced in violation of the Scriptures. The problem is that the majority of Christians interpret the Bible with their eyes instead of through their eyes. They seek out the advice of the most liberal, compromising Christians in the congregation and then tend to start their downward spiral. Well let them, I now want to focus on bringing encouragement to those who are standing strong in their Christian testimony. They are the ones who are daring to be Daniels in the midst of Ahabs and Jezebels.

The key to remaining faithful among unfaithful Christians is the vertical relationship. In the first four of the Ten Commandments, it reveals a vertical relationship, that is, it is our relationship to God. The other six commandments speak of a horizontal relationship. This is where most Christians limit their lifestyle. They are concerned more with their relationship to others than their relationship to God. Eventually, that perspective will deteriorate and will lead into a life of apathy and unbiblical living. Here are three men in the Bible who showed that they had a great vertical relationship and understood their situation as coming from the Lord.

Joseph
Genesis 50:19-20 (KJV) And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God? {20} But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.

After Jacob had died, the brothers of Joseph were still fearing that he would take retribution on them for having sold him into slavery which caused him also to be put in prison for a crime he did not commit. Joseph assured his brethren that there would be no retribution coming because he now understood that it was God who orchestrated the entire scenario for the purpose of saving many lives and also extending the famine to Canaan causing Joseph’s brethren to come to Egypt and buy grain, thus causing interaction with Joseph and also allowing Joseph to test them until Judah finally admitted that God was now dealing with them because of the way they treated Joseph. It was Judah who told his brothers not to kill Joseph but to sell him into slavery so they could make a few shekels on the deal.

Genesis 37:26-27 (KJV) And Judah said unto his brethren, What profit is it if we slay our brother, and conceal his blood? {27} Come, and let us sell him to the Ishmeelites, and let not our hand be upon him; for he is our brother and our flesh. And his brethren were content.

Then as Joseph was testing them, Judah made a confession concerning the iniquity of them in referring to the treatment of Joseph.

Genesis 44:16 (KJV) And Judah said, What shall we say unto my lord? what shall we speak? or how shall we clear ourselves? God hath found out the iniquity of thy servants: behold, we are my lord's servants, both we, and he also with whom the cup is found.

God had used the famine to cause Joseph’s brethren to confess their treatment of Joseph about 25 years prior to this visit. Joseph knew that God was behind the whole situation and therefore Joseph would not take any type of retribution simply because Joseph had been obedient to God for all those years and was able to call upon the Lord in every situation. Joseph had his vertical relationship with God in order.

David
1 Samuel 17:36 (KJV) Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God.

1 Samuel 17:25 (KJV) And the men of Israel said, Have ye seen this man that is come up? surely to defy Israel is he come up: and it shall be, that the man who killeth him, the king will enrich him with great riches, and will give him his daughter, and make his father's house free in Israel.

Here David shows that he also has his vertical relationship to God in order. If you notice in verse 25, the men of the army of Israel calls them Israel. They are looking at their army as one of the armies of the earth and not beyond that scope. Here comes David and speaks to King Saul and volunteers to go out and fight Goliath. However, David’s perspective is much different than that of the other men. Notice David calls the army of Israel, “the armies of the living God.” David equated his country as one who is a representative of the kingdom of God on earth and as a result he saw the army of Israel as more than just an earthly army. He saw it as God’s army and it was now facing the army of the kingdom of Satan at that time represented by the Philistines and of course Goliath. Since David had such a spiritual outlook and saw the army of Israel as a divine representative, he faced Goliath with that perspective and was the overall victor.

Daniel
Daniel 6:10-11 (KJV) Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime. {11} Then these men assembled, and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God.

Daniel knew that the other leaders were jealous of him and that is why they made such a foolish proclamation in which the king signed it because it fed his ego. Daniel knew the writing was signed by the king and now was the law of the land for 30 days. Daniel did not concern himself with the horizontal relationship with either the king or the other rulers. Daniel had his vertical relationship right with God and no matter what the consequences would be, he was not going to forsake his walk with God. Daniel stood against the law of the land because it would have disallowed him from praying to God and he would not tolerate such a thing so he prayed as he always did. Of course, we know what happened. Daniel was arrested and then thrown into the lion’s den as punishment for his violation of the law. However, God stood by Daniel’s faithfulness and shut the mouths of the lions and Daniel suffered no hurt. Daniel’s vertical relationship with God was strong and it caused him to be victorious over the plans of the evil rulers.

As we look at the individual situations that each of these men faced, they were all life threatening. We can also learn that they were kept from death and were all victorious because they had their relationship with God correct. They put him first and assessed their situations from a spiritual perspective and not from a fleshly, worldly perspective. It is this very reason why they were victorious. That same perspective will keep a Christian biblically stable and solid even in an apostate church. When we keep ourselves on the Word of God, it will not matter what others think or believe because it will not harm us.

Mark 16:18 (KJV) They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

In Mark 16:18, we read about the believer drinking any deadly thing and it will not harm them. This is not speaking about physically drinking poison but is speaking about the true believer being fed a false gospel but because they are strong in the Scriptures and able to see a false gospel for what it is, the teaching will not hurt them. It is akin to sitting in church and then the pastor comes out with something which is unbiblical but socially acceptable. The believer who is strong in the Scriptures will immediately know that the teaching was false. The Bible teaches that the word of God is settled in Heaven. Psalm 119:89 (KJV) LAMED. For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. This means that when you keep strong on the Scriptures, you are also settled. The word “settled” in the Hebrew means “established, to be governed, to take a stand.” So when you are standing on the Scriptures in opposition of false teachings in your church or your friends, you are taking a stand with the word of God. When you take a stand on the word of God and those around you are just living by feelings, they may make you feel like you are the one who is wrong but have courage. Joseph had spent 13 years in slavery and prison before he became the Governor of Egypt. You will be vindicated because the truth of Scripture cannot be violated without consequence. Unfortunately today’s Christian reads all kinds of modern versions and listens to all kinds of ungodly teaching and then they adopt it because it sounds good. Woe unto them because they are not ordering their life according to the Scriptures.

If you are taking a stand on Scripture and rejecting the false and misleading teachings which are prevalent in most churches you will face persecution and you will be persecuted more by fellow Christians than unbelievers. However, those who have attempted to bring the truth have taken their stand on the Scriptures. If you have taken your stand on the Scriptures, then you are in good company. You must keep one principle in mind that the immediate reaction to your stand on Scripture does not necessarily express the ultimate outcome. What I mean by that is that people’s immediate reaction to your stand on Scripture and your rejection of their unbiblical teachings which may result in being ostracized or even being thrown out of your church, does not mean that is the final outcome. When standing on the Scriptures, you may face immediate persecution but in the long term, your stand on Scripture and your obedience to them will be vindicated by God. You can never stand on the Scriptures and be wrong, even if it takes years to vindicate you. Let’s look at some of the people who understood their vertical relationship to God was more important and substantive than their horizontal relationship to others.

Micaiah
1 Kings 22:14 (KJV) And Micaiah said, As the LORD liveth, what the LORD saith unto me, that will I speak.

Micaiah was a prophet who lived in Israel, the northern Kingdom, under King Ahab. Ahab and Jehoshaphat were about to go into battle together against the Syrians. Jehoshaphat wanted to know if there was a prophet in Israel whereby they could seek the Lord for the outcome of the battle. Ahab told Jehoshaphat that there was a prophet but he hated him. 1 Kings 22:8 (KJV) And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, There is yet one man, Micaiah the son of Imlah, by whom we may inquire of the LORD: but I hate him; for he doth not prophesy good concerning me, but evil. And Jehoshaphat said, Let not the king say so.

Ahab hated him because he told the truth and did not lie to him. 1 Kings 22:27-28 (KJV) And say, Thus saith the king, Put this fellow in the prison, and feed him with bread of affliction and with water of affliction, until I come in peace. {28} And Micaiah said, If thou return at all in peace, the LORD hath not spoken by me. And he said, Hearken, O people, every one of you. Micaiah prophesied to the king that he would not return from the battle alive and that caused Ahab to become angry and ordered that Micaiah be placed in prison and be fed bread and water of affliction. 1 Kings 22:37 (KJV) So the king died, and was brought to Samaria; and they buried the king in Samaria. So during the battle a soldier shot an arrow and it hit Ahab in an opening in his armor and as a result he died which was according to the word of Micaiah. Micaiah stood on the word of the Lord and he was vindicated yet he suffered prison because of his truth bearing.

Apostle Paul
Galatians 2:11 (KJV) But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.

Here we have a scene where the Apostle Paul chides Peter for being a hypocrite. When Peter was with the Gentiles he acted and ate like a Gentile but when he was with the Jews, he separated himself from the Gentiles. Paul had confronted Peter for his hypocrisy. Have you ever approached anyone in your church when they have played the hypocrite? Confrontation is a necessary part of Christian growth. Many times a person will hear warnings but reject them and that is when a time of confrontation is needed.

Peter
Acts 4:18 (KJV) And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.

Once the day of Pentecost had come and the Apostles were filled with the Holy Spirit, they began to bring the true word of God to those in Jerusalem. The religious leaders were worried because of the preaching and the miracles which were taking place. So they brought in the apostles and warned them not to speak again in the name of Jesus. What was their response? Acts 5:29 (KJV) Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. Here is the crux of the matter. If you are bringing truth into a church with erroneous teachings and the leadership tells you that you can stay but you are not to bring certain biblical truths, then what is your response? The apostles chose to obey God by bringing the word to those in Jerusalem. Now we must ask the question. Whose words and actions were vindicated by God, the Jews or the apostles? The answer is simple. God vindicated the obedience of the apostles because they brought the true word of God. The immediate reaction of the leaders was to put them to death as they did Jesus but their immediate opposition did not represent the ultimate outcome of the confrontation. The outcome was the gospel went worldwide and the leaders could not stop it, no matter what they did! If you bring a truth in your church, you may be asked to leave but if you brought truth, you will be vindicated yet it may take a little time but it will happen.

These three biblical examples will give enough insight that when we hold to the truth of Scripture and stay upon it, then we will eventually be vindicated for standing strong on the word of God. Now I would like to give three examples from church history after the completion of the Bible. This is just to show that standing on the words of God was not just for people in bible times but also for any time in history for the true believer. The same Holy Spirit which gave spiritual strength to those in the bible, will give the same strength to those believers after the Bible was completed.

Martin Luther 1483-1546
“I cannot and will not recant, here I stand, I can do no other, God Help me, Amen”

Martin Luther read Romans 1:17 which was the foundational verse of the Reformation. Romans 1:17 (KJV) For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. When he read that, the Holy Spirit opened up his understanding and caused him to reject the majority of teachings of the Roman Catholic Institution. He began to grow mightily in the Scriptures and as a result, he confronted the leaders of Catholicism and showed them the errors of their teachings. He was pursued by them till he died but his stand on Scripture was vindicated as the Reformation spread throughout all of Europe thus weakening the power of Rome. It shows the power of the word of God. Just one short verse and the power of Rome was broken. This is why we stand on the word of God because its power cannot be overcome.

John Huss 1380-1415
As soon as the chain was put about him at the stake, he said, with a smiling countenance, "My Lord Jesus Christ was bound with a harder chain than this for my sake why, then, should I be ashamed of this old rusty one?"

John Huss was the pastor of the Bethlehem Church in Prague, Czechoslovakia. The principal cause which aroused the indignation of Huss was a bull published by Pope John XXIII, promising remission of sins to all who would join his forces against Ladislaus, King of Naples, who had now invaded the States of the Church. When this bull was published in Prague, Huss could not refrain from preaching against it as repugnant to the spirit of the Christian religion. John Huss held to the teachings of John Wycliffe and this resulted in Huss going to the stake for his faith. He brought the truth not only to Prague but to the Roman Catholic hierarchy. "You are now going to burn a goose (the name of Huss signifying goose in the Bohemian language), but in a century you will have a swan whom you can neither roast nor boil." If this were spoken in prophecy, he must have alluded to Martin Luther, who came about a hundred years after, and had a swan on his coat of arms.

William Tyndale 1494-1536
“No more doth it hurt to say that the body and blood are not in the sacrament.”

William Tyndale was the first to publish the Bible in English. He translated them from the Byzantine text which was the earliest copy from 450 A.D. Wycliffe’s Bible was made out of the Latin Bible of Jerome and contained all the errors of the false manuscripts. It is believed that he was with Luther in Wittenburg. A clergyman hopelessly entrenched in Roman Catholic dogma once taunted Tyndale with the statement, “We are better to be without God’s laws than the Pope’s”. Tyndale was infuriated by such Roman Catholic heresies, and he replied, “I defy the Pope and all his laws. If God spare my life ere many years, I will cause the boy that drives the plow to know more of the scriptures than you!” This was told to Roman Catholics who were now enemies of Tyndale. Tyndale’s Bible became a major source for the King James Bible. Tyndale not only translated the Scriptures but also had many theological writings which went against Roman Catholicism. He was finally betrayed by a “friend” and was burned at the stake after being strangled. He confronted Roman Catholicism with the most powerful weapon and that was the word of God in the language of the people.

As we saw in both the people of the Bible and those who came after the Bible was completed that nothing has changed. The church is hostile to the truth of Scripture today as well as in the times of the apostles. Anyone who takes up the mantle of truth will be ostracized in some manner. The very institution that should be preaching the Bible in its fullest actually rejects the pure teachings of Scripture. In the New Testament, try and find where God said that He was going to re-birth the nation of Israel. There is not a thing about that yet almost every church preaches as much about the modern nation of Israel as they do about Christ, if not more. The modern nation of Israel seems to be the center of prophecy when there is not a thing written about it in Revelation. Ancient Israel is only mentioned 3 times in Revelation but nothing about modern Israel and yet it takes up an inordinate amount of pulpit time. Where do the Scriptures exist that equate the miracle at the wedding at Cana with a keg of beer or going to a bar and having a few drinks? It is just Christians wanting to walk with the world. Bring this up in a church and if your pastor is a drinker, you will be escorted out. How many times is Timothy’s stomach problem turned into a license to drink alcohol? Bring this up and you will be escorted out.

Leviticus 19:30 (KJV) Ye shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the LORD. We are to reverence the sanctuary of God but when a church has a rock and roll band leading the singing, try getting them to equate 85 decibels as reverence for the sanctuary. You will be escorted out. When a church teaches the escapist pre-trib rapture and even their own people like Thomas Ice and John Walvoord had stated that there are no verses specifically stating such an event and you try to show them that the rapture is on the last day, simultaneous with Judgment Day, you will be escorted out. The pre-trib rapture appeases Christians because instead of looking for places to get involved in bringing the gospel, the Christians are looking for the rapture so they can get out of here and because of this escapist theory, the number of Christians involved in the Great Commission is lowered while they sit on their couch waiting for the rapture.

Summary
I think by now you get the message that anytime you bring biblical truth, whether inside or outside the church you will receive the same response. Those in the church will relegate all their thinking to the pastor and walk around like airheads with no biblical opinions other than “my pastor said.” If you take a stand on Scripture, you can expect negative consequences from other Christians as I myself and others have faced over the years. The church has gone from being a bastion of truth to a social drinking club. This has happened because the word of God has been removed and counterfeit Bibles have replaced it. Have you ever noticed that we have all kinds of Bible translations and nothing but confusion and weakness exists in the church? Coincidence? No a well planned deception by Satan. It seems no matter what Satan plans for the church, they will accept it without reservation. Bring in the truth of Scripture, and they will reject it without reservation. Let me assure you, that if you are one who has been in a situation where you brought biblical truth and has been persecuted by other Christians, you are in the right and never think that their false understanding of Scripture is correct and worthy of investigation. You will always be in the minority and the social Christians will be in the majority but keep standing firm because that is where the difference lies between the true believer and the compromised believer who is as useful to the kingdom of God as unbelievers are. If you are settled on the word, then do not move, no matter what pressure is placed on you. You will be shown to be right because the word of God is right. If your vertical relationship is strong, then you will be very strong but if you allow that vertical relationship to become a horizontal relationship, then you too will move into the land of compromisers and all it takes is one compromise and it will become a portal to others. Proverbs 18:10 (KJV) The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.

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