I want to talk to you about a story in the Book of Daniel. And the story is about the person Daniel. There are some differences but there are also a lot of similarities between Daniels experience and what we are experiencing in the world today and in particular in the United States of America, and specifically in the state of California. We have just recently been mandated to wear masks, and we're told that it's for our protection and for the safety of those around us. Of course, we're to wear the mask while we are observing social distancing which means 6 feet apart.
Then just the other day here in my state of California, our governor mandated that there can be no singing or chanting in churches or synagogues, etc.
In other words, you can go to church, and you can assemble together. But you must practice social distancing, and you must wear a mask, and cannot lift your voice to sing.
But now our governor has even gone beyond that. It is now breaking his law to go to church, to sing in church, or to have home Bible studies.
Precious friends, can it be far away that it will be against the law to read a Bible, and to Pray?
With this in mind I refer you back to the book of Daniel.
Daniel is an amazing character in the Bible.
Daniel was actually very close to five Kings. He served in an advisory capacity through the administration of five different Kings.
Daniel was a man of extreme integrity. Our first introduction to Daniel is in Daniel Chapter 1
Daniel 1:1-6 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it.  And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God: which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god.  And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king's seed, and of the princes;  Children in whom was no blemish, but well favored, and skillful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king's palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans.  And the king appointed them a daily provision of the king's meat, and of the wine which he drank: so nourishing them three years, that at the end thereof they might stand before the king.  Now among these were of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah:
So we're told about Daniel being captured and carried away as one of the King's son or the Royal seed, and carried into a foreign country. The plan of the King was to take these. Young men of royal descent royal Blood and to integrate them into their society by making them a sort of Liaisons and go-bet-weens, Interpreters; they would be those that could bridge the gap between the Jews and the Chaldeans the Babylonians and so they offered them great benefits and rewards and delicacies, it was wonderful treatment if they would accept this assignment.
Many of the Young men who were of royal descent accepted the assignment. But Daniel refused it. He refused the Kings meat and the King's Wine and there were three other young men with him that stood with him in their integrity. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
These four would not defile themselves with the Kings meat or the King's Wine. They would not accept the assignment of being trained and taught and educated in the language of the Babylonians just to be used by the Babylonians. To accomplish their purpose.
Daniel was a very strong person. He was a young man of great spiritual character.
The keeper of these young men tried to impress upon Daniel the importance of following the Kings instruction and how well they would be treated. They would receive Meat from the Kings Table, and they would drink the King's Wine. They would be treated with great dignity. But Daniel refused as well as Shadrach Meshach and Abednego. They refused to defile themselves by being partakers of the Kings dainties.
And so they were put to a test. While all of the others who succumbed And who yielded and surrendered to the Babylonians will and purpose, were fed on the Kings meat and wine and dainties. Daniel and the three Hebrew children Shadrach Meshach and Abednego We're sustained with pulse, a kind of a vegetable mush and water. And the Bible says that after 10 days they were examined and compared with the others that had eaten from the Kings Table and drank the Kings Wine, and they were found in much better health and much better condition than the ones who had defiled themselves and who had lowered themselves to do the bidding of a heathen Idol-worshiping King.
Now this is the Daniel we're talking about. This Daniel of extreme Godly character and integrity. And he is gaining position in the Kingdom Because of his integrity.
He is a Worshiper of God in an anti-god society, and yet he's being promoted. He's being honored, recognized and appreciated.
But that causes trouble, those around him become jealous, and envious, and they begin to Scheme and plot to trap Daniel, but they can't find any evil to hang on him.
The Bible says there were 120 princes and 3 presidents over them, and Daniel was the head of the 3. Of different
So they decided the only way we can trap Daniel, was to trap him as related to his relationship with his God. And so they came up with the plan. They presented it to the King. They appealed to the King's Pride and the king without any thought of Daniel his faithful servant was overwhelmed by pride and overwhelmed by the desire to be recognized, admired, and even worshiped, bought into their plan.
Whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, except thee O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions. The king was overwhelmed... there was no thought of Daniel in his mind only, me The king. And the King began to think.... that is exactly as it should be, there shouldn't be any other king in this Kingdom. There shouldn't be any prayer to any other King. There shouldn't be any petitions offered to any other man. I'm the king of this Kingdom. And he was eaten up by the spirit of pride.
Now the presidents had laid the trap, and the Bible says Daniel. This faithful young man of Godly character and integrity, goes into his house... Knowing that this petition has been signed. And knowing that there is a plan to destroy his life. And knowing exactly what the details of the plan are...
The Bible says Daniel goes into his house and opens his windows toward Jerusalem, and praise he kneels down on his knees three times a day In the same manner as he had done before the decree was signed.
I think it's interesting right here that we interject the fact that Daniel made no adjustments out of fear of the kings decree or even out of respect for the king, because the decree was wrong.
Because the decree was against him and his relationship with God. Yes, Daniel respected the King. Daniel respected Authority. Daniel was respected by Authority. But Daniel knew... this is not right. This is not right. This is a decree, and a law that has been established to come between me and my God.
Now you have to understand, Daniel understood, and he knew the plan and intent that was behind the decree, and he knew the people that were behind the decree. He understood it.
And Daniel knew the consequences of his disobedience to that decree.
I want you to think about the power of this decree. The Bible says that these presidents pressed the king to Seal the decree with his Signet ring so that it could not be changed. Anything sealed with the Signet ring of the King was considered an established law that no one could change, not even the king could undo it once it was decreed, it was established.
And these Wicked princes Pushed that intentionally because they they realized and they believed that the King when he discovered that this was a attack against Daniel, They felt he would back out of his judgment and he probably would have.
So now the president's, they've come upon Daniel. They've captured him. They've taken him. They caught him breaking the law, because Daniel did not try to hide. He did not try to pretend as though he was keeping the law while he was breaking the law. Daniel had given himself to a higher law. The law of service and worship of his God, and he refused to be manipulated or intimidated or dominated by any decree or judgment of man that would come between him and his God.
So Daniel is brought before the king. The charges Are leveled, and Daniel has no defense, he is guilty. He acknowledges his guilt. He admits his guilt. He actually embraces the fact that he is being Persecuted because of his commitment and his faith in God and toward God.
So Daniel is thrown into the lions den. Now the Bible tells us that the king couldn't sleep. He thought all night long on how he could reverse his decision, and how he could get out of the Decree that he had made. He searched for a legal loophole that would release him from his own words but he couldn't find it.
So the king spent a night that was Void of sleep, restless, disturbed, unsettled, angry at himself, disappointed in himself that he had let his pride get the best of him and he had let his pride bring a judgment upon a good man that he respected and admired.
Now the Bible says that Daniel on the other hand, is not spending a restless night. He is not walking the floor wringing his hands. On the contrary, Daniel is sound asleep. Because God sent an angel that closed the mouth of the lions.
*The king Comes early in the morning And he comes to the mouth of the lions den. And the Bible says he cries with a lamentable voice. Which means that there was regret and sorrow in his voice at what had happened and what he had allowed to happen. And with the lamentable voice he cried... Oh Daniel, is the Lord thy God whom thou servest continually able to deliver thee? Hallelujah, glory to God.
And the Bible says Daniel answered back. Oh King live forever. My God hath sent his Angel and hath shut the lions mouths that they have not hurt me, for as much as before him innocency was found in me, and also before thee O King have I done no hurt.
Then the Bible says that the King was exceeding glad, and commanded they should take Daniel up out of the den. And he was brought up out of the lions den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him because he believed in his God.
Then I want you to notice what happens in verse 24 of Daniel chapter 6... and the King commanded and they brought those men, that's a hundred and twenty presidents which had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions. Them, their children, and their wives, and the lions had the mastery of them and brake all their bones in pieces before they ever came to the bottom of the den.
This is one of the most powerful stories in the Bible. I wanted to read it to you and share with you today. You can read it. I think it would be a benefit to you and be a blessing to you to just spend some time reading it. But there's some points that I want to bring to your attention today. That I feel a relative. To you and to myself And to every American
There may be some differences in the story. And in our personal experiences today but the underlying Foundation is the same. Our relationship with God. Our rights are privileges. Our constitutional rights as United States citizens. And our rights that are even above the rights of a Constitution of the United States. The rights that are ours as citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven are being threatened.
And some would say well it is an issue of health and safety. But I would say to you. That if you believe that you are being deceived. The enemy is using that premise to deceive multitudes. And in that deception Rob them of their rights of their benefits and of their privileges, and infringe Upon Our Relationship with God by enforcing a law or a mandate or a decree upon us that interferes with our expression of, our worship of, and our love for God.
Now as I said multitudes, thousands and thousands of people are just laying down spiritually. Accepting the mandate as coming from a government and someone who is concerned about our health and our safety.
But I say to you without any fear of contradiction, that's not true. That's not true.
Don't tell me that you can promote, endorse, encourage, and protect thousands and thousands and thousands of people protesting in the streets... Jostling against each other, hugging and spitting in each other's faces... But then enforce a mandate upon the church that they can't sing or worship God, when multitudes in the street are screaming and spitting and running into each other, and running over each other in what they call peaceful protests.
I'm not a politician, I don't have a political bone in my body. But I'm a Christian and I'm a Watchman on the wall. And I have a responsibility to say what I see, and to say it like I see it, and like the Holy Spirit reveals it to me.
Here's where we're at. If we don't rise up against this, then this will become a tidal wave, and it will roll over us and it will roll over every right, and every privilege, and every benefit that we have as Americans...
The right to assemble together.
The freedom of speech.
The freedom of press.
Then they'll make it illegal to preach, to testify, to pray, to worship. And then they will come after our Bibles, and our Christian books and Christian literature and anything that talks about and honors God in any way shape or form.
The mission against the church right now is to make it so uncomfortable, and such an inconvenience to come to church, that you would just choose to stay at home.
That in itself should create a fire and a determination to come to the house of God. To worship God. To lift our voices. To praise His name. To pray. To sing. To testify, because if we don't... It won't be long, It will be illegal. It will be against the law. Just like it was against the law for Daniel to pray.
And there will be consequences for not following the Mandate or the decree and the law, that is against God.
Now, let's go back to Daniel.
How could Daniel have the boldness, the strength of character, the stability the audacity, the integrity and the power to stand up against the decree of the king knowing that it had been signed, and knowing the consequences that were attached to disobeying that decree? And yet he doesn't change. He throws his windows open and prays to God three times a day.
* Here's the point. The reason Daniel could in the face of the decree that was against him and against God could enter into his house and pray three times a day knowing the consequences of his actions. Was because Daniel had faithfully entered into his house three times a day and prayed when there was no Anti-God decree.
In other words... nothing changed. You see what I'm saying? The point is... Daniel didn't need to change. Daniel remained the same. His faithfulness, his consecration, his commitment, his boldness, his love for God, his steadfastness and his integrity. It never wavered. And the reason that he was able to stay constant under this heavy oppression and this mandate in this decree. Was because he had been faithful. Because He was constant.
Listen to The King's words. There's such a powerful message in the king's own words. The king himself gives testimony to the Integrity of Daniels life. As he comes to the Lion's Den in the morning, and he leans over and in a lamentable voice cries out to Daniel. Oh Daniel. And listen what he calls him. “Servant of the Living God” Is “thy God” “whom thou servest continually” able to deliver thee from the lions?
Wow. What a testimony coming from the lips of a heathen King.
#1. Daniel servant of the Living God. Notice that the king recognizes and gives honor to Daniel. Not as his subject, but as a servant of the Living God.
#2. Notice that the king is aware of the fact that Daniel never wavered, that Daniel's commitment to God never wavered. That his faithfulness and his Integrity toward God never wavered.
The king said... is “thy God” the king didn't claim God as his own personal God. He didn't know him. He only knew him through Daniel. But he knew that Daniel served God. And he was asking... is thy God. Whom thou servest continually able to deliver thee from the Lions.
Friend, this is where we're coming too.
*We can't wait until we're slapped with the law and a decree that forbids us from worshiping God.
*With a law and decree that forbids us from preaching.
*With a law and a decree that forbids us from assembling together.
*With a law and decree that makes it illegal to preach the gospel.
*With a law and decree that makes it illegal for us to read the Bible out loud.
*We can't wait until the heat is on and the pressure is on like that. We're under pressure right now.
The decisions we make right now, are going to be deciding factors on whether we continue to enjoy Liberties and freedoms afforded us by the constitution the United States or whether they are trampled under foot by a power hungry Antichrist Systems and governors.
*Now here's where you may say, but Pastor, Daniel was thrown into the lions den. There was consequences to his actions. If he would have obeyed the king and the decree, nothing would have happened to him. He would have been all right.
*First of all, let me tell you this...
#1. Daniel's first Allegiance was to God, not to the king.
Your first Allegiance, and my first Allegiance is to God, not to the king, not to the governor, not to the president. It is to God.
#2. If Daniel would have yielded and submitted and coward to the decree that was incited by these jealous envious Princes, he may have saved himself at the moment from that decree by backing off, by kneeling to the governor or the King, by submitting to an unrighteous decree. He may have avoided momentarily the persecution.
But the reality is, those princess wanted Daniel dead. And if he had of succumbed and coward and bowed down to the pressure. It wouldn't have delivered him. They would have thought of something else. There would have been another plan, another scheme, because they hated Daniel, because they hated his presence.
Because they hated Daniel’s God. And friend, that's where we're at right now in the United States of America. You may bow your knee today. Take a knee as they say, to a system, to a movement. And you may escape momentarily The wrath of the government and the wrath of a movement, But the reality is... That wrath is not going to go away because you Succumbed. That wrath is not going to go away because you took a knee. That wrath is not going to go away because you repented for being white. That wrath is not going to go away because you yield and said, okay, we won't sing in church and we won't open our mouths and we won't worship God and we won't assemble together.
That wrath is not going to go away period.
There comes a point where we have to decide. Are we those that serve God continually? Or are we only those who serve God when everything is going good? And when there's no heat, and there's no pressure, there's no fight, there's no battle?
We can serve God then, but when the heat is on, we take a knee. When the heat is on we back up to the government. When the heat is on we repent for our skin color. When the heat is on we repent for being blessed and having benefits. When the heat is on we back up on everything that we believe to be right and true and good pure and holy, and blessed by God.
Now let me bring this to a close.
This story is in the Bible for a reason. It is there to show us three things...
#1. There is a spirit that is Antichrist in the world that wants to destroy the presence of God in the world, and wants to destroy anyone who is connected with God through prayer, through fellowship, through worship, through the word of God, through Integrity, and through obedience to God's laws. This Spirit wants to destroy them.
#2. There's consequences when you stand up against this Antichrist spirit. There will be consequences, and there will be repercussions There will be persecution, and there will be Warfare.
#3. God is faithful to those who are faithful to him. He delivered Daniel and brought him out of the lions den without any harm or hurt because he did not succumb, because he did not cave under pressure.
And not let me add #4. Those who had intended to destroy Daniel, who had conspired together to destroy Daniel. Were taken with their wives and with their children. It was to represent the fact that everything that this wickedness had touched. And everything that had been influenced by their wickedness their wives their children. Because they had come under the influence of this wickedness of these princes, all of it together was thrown into the lions den and the lions completely destroyed them, killed them, broke all their bones before they even hit the bottom of the pit.
That's what God is trying to get across to us. Be strong in the Lord and the power of His might. This is no time to bow to the pressure. This is a time for us like the three Hebrew boys... to stand up and say O King we are not careful to answer you in this matter. Oh Governor, we are not careful to answer you in this matter
O President, we are not careful to answer you in this matter. The God we serve is able to deliver us, but let it be known right now, we will not worship your Gods. We will not do it your way. We will not succumb. We will not bow. We will not give up our our spiritual rights as citizens of the kingdom of God, and we will not give up our rights as Americans.
Friends, we are at the firing line. This is where you draw a line friend. This is where we must make our stand. This is where we either stand or we fall. This is where we decide... Are we going to continue to yield and yield and yield and yield until there's nothing left to yield, until we've got nothing left of our heritage of our inheritance of our of our Birthright as citizens of this great nation and as citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven, or are we going to fight back?
Are we going to go into our prayer chamber? Are we going to open the windows as we've done before and continue to pray? And open our mouths and continue to sing to the glory of God? And continue to testify to the glory of God, and let his Praises ring? Or are we going to succumb, and cower down and back down, and let the enemy run roughshod over the church and make a mockery of the church?
That’s where we’re at right now. What we do right now is critical.
When it was against the law for Daniel to pray, he prayed.
When it's against the law to pray, what are you going to do? I'm going to pray. But let's not wait until it's against the law. Let's pray now like our lives depend on it... because they do.