The past month has been a very full and blessed time of serving and pouring over Jesus. Alongside many precious saints, I was a part of Life in the Spirit’s annual Gathering which took place over Thanksgiving weekend. I want to thank Randy and Debbie Nusbaum for allowing me to be a part of this precious time, and also all those that I was blessed to serve with. I want to apologize for not sending out a November newsletter, but time did not permit. Hopefully, this month’s newsletter will make up for both months!
With love in our hearts for you, we have some Christmas “gifts” attached to this email!
- Our main article: A Math Problem from God (Part 1)!
The next portion of this note is concerning Kelly’s financial support, and someone else helped in writing it – but the heart of love, appreciation, and care for you is from her. It was just a blessing to help give written expression to her current need.
At the end of this year, Kelly will be losing over half of her overall financial support. One family (who would like to remain anonymous) has given financially towards the majority of Kelly’s health care and almost half of the Ministries’ functioning needs each month for the past several years. Starting next year, they will be unable to continue giving. They are still a precious part of the ministry; it is just that they are no longer able to send support on that level.
For the next couple of months, we will be doing MATH in the Word of God! Even if math was your least favorite subject in school, once we see God in math, it is awe-inspiring and is able to speak God’s heart and mind to us. The math problem we will be referring to in these articles can be found in Daniel 8:14, but we will not be able to properly do this math until we have all the components of the equation ordered. It will require patience, as several factors must be set in place for the final sum of this math problem to impact us in the way I believe God intends it to. Rushing to solve the math without pondering and soaking in the elements could result in a diminished impact at the end. It is for this reason that I am going to set forth this “Math Problem” step by step for the next couple of months in our newsletters. I pray the Holy Spirit can use this “math” approach to reach our hearts in new ways deeper than ever before.
To begin with, let us look at the main verses defining our study:
1 In the third year of the reign of king Belshazzar a vision appeared unto me, even unto me Daniel, after that which appeared unto me at the first.
2 And I saw in a vision; and it came to pass, when I saw, that I was at Shushan in the palace, which is in the province of Elam; and I saw in a vision, and I was by the river of Ulai.
3 Then I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and, behold, there stood before the river a ram which had two horns: and the two horns were high, but one was higher than the other, and the higher came up last.
4 I saw the ram pushing westward, and northward, and southward; so that no beasts might stand before him, neither was there any that could deliver out of his hand, but he did according to his will, and became great.
5 And as I was considering, behold, an he goat came from the west on the face of the whole earth, and touched not the ground: and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes.
6 And he came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing before the river, and ran unto him in the fury of his power.
7 And I saw him come close unto the ram, and he was moved with choler against him, and smote the ram, and brake his two horns: and there was no power in the ram to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground, and stamped upon him: and there was none that could deliver the ram out of his hand.
8 Therefore the he goat waxed very great: and when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and for it came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven.
9 And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land.
10 And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them.
11 Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of the sanctuary was cast down.
12 And an host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practiced, and prospered.
13 Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?
14 And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.
Symbols of Sacrifice Turned into Symbols of Pro-Self
Leviticus 16:5 – “And he shall take of the congregation of the children of Israel two kids of the goats for a sin offering, and one ram for a burnt offering.”
In Daniels's vision in chapter 8, we find the symbols of a ram and a goat. This is deeply significant because of the use of rams and goats during the Day of Atonement. Only on the Day of Atonement are the two mentioned together. During the Day of Atonement, the ram was a burnt offering, signifying the deepest release of selfless giving a sacrifice can display: a burnt offering is wholly given for the Lord’s pleasure. The goats, as defined on the Day of Atonement, were used as the scapegoat and a sin-offering, both of which go into a deep death on the behalf of others. Although the Day of Atonement defines these animals as symbols of the Lamb of God in His pure sacrificial nature, Daniel’s vision displays them as beasts of self, ever pushing themselves forward in exaltation above all, even God.
The Day of Atonement was a day of cleansing for God’s Sanctuary and His people. This cleansing came from the outpoured blood of sacrifices, including the ram and the goat. At this annual feast of Atonement, the purging of the past year and opening of the next came (symbolically) from an animal that yielded to the altar. But in Daniel’s vision, that which was meant to lay down its life in a sweet spirit of sacrifice is pushing its way forward to the destruction of others. That which was meant to function in a weakness even unto death is instead ever-growing stronger and greater at the cost of others. That which was meant to be lowly and submissive in a spirit of sacrifice is exalting itself even above the hosts of heaven and the throne of God.
The Time Period of the Vision
Another important element is what was going on in the history of God’s people during the time this vision came to Daniel. God’s people had been exiled from Jerusalem and sent into captivity in Babylon. This captivity was ordained by God to last for 70 years (see Daniel 9:2 & Jeremiah 29:10). This vision came to Daniel toward the end of that 70-year captivity.
In Jeremiah 29:11, God had Jeremiah write a letter to those in exile telling them that He had a desired end for them to reach during their 70 year time period in captivity, an end filled with peace and not evil. Yet here, in Daniel’s vision, there is no peace but the violence and destruction of selfishness governing to excess. If this vision represents the spiritual state of those in captivity, it could be seen as a warning that they are missing God’s purpose and warring against His intended end. Rather than being conformed to the image of His Son and transformed by His Lamb nature within, they are conforming to the spirit of the world and coming forth as beasts to devour instead of sheep to the slaughter (Romans 12:1-2).
A Time When Words Were Not Enough
These first two elements of our math problem are important. They are meant to start building the premise upon which the rest of the math will add up properly. One final aspect we may want to consider is this: why is God using vision and math? In Daniel chapters seven and eight, God came to Daniel and impressed upon him things that were important to His heart in the form of visions. God did the same thing to the Apostle John on the Isle of Patmos. For both Daniel and John, it was a time when “words” were not enough. People were not hearing what the Spirit was saying… Spirit and Life were turning into doctrine and teaching. God’s heart and image were being lost in the midst of earth crises, personal injustices, and self-absorbed people. I believe that God used the radicalness of strong imagery and the certainty of a math equation to try and get the attention of His people. May the Lord grant us hearing ears and understanding hearts. May we seek Him with every fiber of our being until we see His nature coming forth from us to others.
Stay tuned for Part Two next month!