Spiritual Training

Spiritual Training X2

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August 30 - Evening

"In the third year of King Belshazzar’s reign, I, Daniel, had a vision, after the one that had already appeared to me. In my vision I saw myself in the citadel of Susa in the province of Elam; in the vision I was beside the Ulai Canal. I looked up, and there before me was a ram with two horns, standing beside the canal, and the horns were long. One of the horns was longer than the other but grew up later. I watched the ram as it charged toward the west and the north and the south. No animal could stand against it, and none could rescue from its power. It did as it pleased and became great.

As I was thinking about this, suddenly a
goat with a prominent horn between its eyes came from the west, crossing the whole earth without touching the ground."

- Daniel 8:1-5

Daniel Sees the Ram of 550 BC Crushed by the Goat of 331 BC

The third year of Belshazzar’s reign was 550 BC. Daniel’s official place of residence at this time was in Susa. Susa was the winter residence of the Persian kings and became the home city for Esther and Nehemiah. Daniel had gone out to the Ulai Canal, possibly to worship since Jews (like Ezekiel in Ezekiel 1:1 and Paul in Philippi in Acts 16:13) sought a place with running water for their ritual cleansing used during times of worship and prayer. The Ulai Canal flowed on the northeast side of Susa and, though it is dry today, it was flowing with water and about 900 feet wide in Daniel’s time.

While Daniel was praying by the canal outside Susa he had a vision of a ram with two horns. The ram came from the east and conquered towards the west, north and south. This would seem to represent to Daniel the present Persian power held by the emperor Cyrus the Great and his co-regent Darius, the king of Babylon. No one in 550 BC could stand against the Persian Empire.

But, Daniel also saw something coming from the west. A single goat with one prominent horn seemed to be flying from a distant western land towards the Persian power. This goat would crush the two horned ram representing the Persian Empire. Daniel seems to be identifying the rise of Greece and its unstoppable general and king, Alexander the Great, 219 years before Alexander would achieve the supremacy of this goat. This vision would become historical reality in 331 BC when Alexander’s forces crushed the fleeing Persian troops and burned Persepolis.
Tuphloo (Gr) – blind (Eng) – the Greek word tuphloo comes from the root word tuph, which means “to burn” and “to smoke.” Tuphloo means “to blind”.
John 12:40 - "He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, so they can neither see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts"
2 Corinthians 4:4 - "The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God."
1 John 2:11 - "Anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them."
Do I use the skills that God has given me? Or, do I wish I had other abilities instead?
I will identify how God has gifted me and will seek to develop the skills the Spirit empowers me with.

Bible Reading Descriptions Here


(morning only)

Complete Text

General Text

Nehemiah 6 (445 BC)


Family friends and their children


Financial support and responsible spending
Social Security

Marion and Marilyn in the Judean wilderness.
Details of Wednesday of Jesus' Last Week on a 
map of Jerusalem of 30 AD. (More teaching.)

Someone to Quote

"God's omniscience can instill you with a supernatural confidence that can transform your life." - Bill Hybels

Something to Ponder

Here is a ten question quiz concerning New Testament and early church history that will be scored instantly online.

Here’s a Fact

Mizpah (1 Samuel 7:5-6) was excavated in 1935. The wall built by Asa in 1 Kings 15:22 was identified as a massive wall discovered from that time period. Jar handles inscribed with “Mizpah” in old Hebrew script positively identified this site. (Details 1, 2, 3)


"Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy."
- Proverbs 31:9

Coach’s Corner

The greatest miracle is salvation. The godliest spiritual manifestation is the transformed soul.

Nehemiah 6 New International Version (NIV)
Further Opposition to the Rebuilding
When word came to Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab and the rest of our enemies that I had rebuilt the wall and not a gap was left in it—though up to that time I had not set the doors in the gates— Sanballat and Geshem sent me this message: “Come, let us meet together in one of the villages on the plain of Ono.”
But they were scheming to harm me;
so I sent messengers to them with this reply: “I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and go down to you?” Four times they sent me the same message, and each time I gave them the same answer.
Then, the fifth time, Sanballat sent his aide to me with the same message, and in his hand was an unsealed letter in which was written:
“It is reported among the nations—and Geshem says it is true—that you and the Jews are plotting to revolt, and therefore you are building the wall. Moreover, according to these reports you are about to become their king
and have even appointed prophets to make this proclamation about you in Jerusalem: ‘There is a king in Judah!’ Now this report will get back to the king; so come, let us meet together.”
I sent him this reply: “Nothing like what you are saying is happening; you are just making it up out of your head.”
They were all trying to frighten us, thinking, “Their hands will get too weak for the work, and it will not be completed.”
But I prayed, “Now strengthen my hands.”
10 One day I went to the house of Shemaiah son of Delaiah, the son of Mehetabel, who was shut in at his home. He said, “Let us meet in the house of God, inside the temple, and let us close the temple doors, because men are coming to kill you—by night they are coming to kill you.”
11 But I said, “Should a man like me run away? Or should someone like me go into the temple to save his life? I will not go!” 12 I realized that God had not sent him, but that he had prophesied against me because Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him. 13 He had been hired to intimidate me so that I would commit a sin by doing this, and then they would give me a bad name to discredit me.
14 Remember Tobiah and Sanballat, my God, because of what they have done; remember also the prophet Noadiah and how she and the rest of the prophets have been trying to intimidate me. 15 So the wall was completed on the twenty-fifth of Elul, in fifty-two days.
Opposition to the Completed Wall
16 When all our enemies heard about this, all the surrounding nations were afraid and lost their self-confidence, because they realized that this work had been done with the help of our God.
17 Also, in those days the nobles of Judah were sending many letters to Tobiah, and replies from Tobiah kept coming to them. 18 For many in Judah were under oath to him, since he was son-in-law to Shekaniah son of Arah, and his son Jehohanan had married the daughter of Meshullam son of Berekiah. 19 Moreover, they kept reporting to me his good deeds and then telling him what I said. And Tobiah sent letters to intimidate me.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by
Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Ezekiel 15 New International Version (NIV)
Jerusalem as a Useless Vine
15 The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, how is the wood of a vine different from that of a branch from any of the trees in the forest? Is wood ever taken from it to make anything useful? Do they make pegs from it to hang things on? And after it is thrown on the fire as fuel and the fire burns both ends and chars the middle, is it then useful for anything? If it was not useful for anything when it was whole, how much less can it be made into something useful when the fire has burned it and it is charred?
“Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: As I have given the wood of the vine among the trees of the forest as fuel for the fire, so will I treat the people living in Jerusalem. I will set my face against them. Although they have come out of the fire, the fire will yet consume them. And when I set my face against them, you will know that I am the Lord. I will make the land desolate because they have been unfaithful, declares the Sovereign Lord.”
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by
Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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