Voice of the Kingfisher speaks out …from a different perspective
by Elinor Montgomery
April 29, 2014
Most people have heard the story of Daniel in the lions’ den. As a child I looked at a picture of it daily, hanging on the wall of our cottage at ‘the Crow’. I don’t believe I ever once stopped to think about it, other than to observe that Daniel wore a long robe and was basked in light as he looked up to the heavens, with the lions showing no interest in devouring him.
That fact, in itself, should have twigged my curiosity, especially since we also had a picture of Jesus on the wall of our primitive cottage. His face was bathed in light, while He held His hands together in prayer, looking up toward heaven, with the same expression as that on the face of Daniel.
It is now a strange curiosity to me that such pictures graced our cottage walls, with no one ever speaking much about them. They could be described as depicting the end-of-an-era in America, when a land founded on biblical principles and the truth of God has, in latter years, been reduced to little more than dusty pictures on the walls of a shabby cottage, as a memory of something that has seen better days.
Where has the passion gone for spiritual truths and understanding of the mysteries of God, which was very much a part of our ancestors’ lives? A heritage of truth and godly teaching is being pushed out of America to make way for a growing tolerance for evil alongside of the good. Cults, which worship pagan gods in the religious empires of the East, played no part in the governments, the judicial systems or the educational systems established by the Founding Fathers of America.
They are these musty, old pictures, which speak loudly of America’s demise, with any real knowledge of the difference between truth and sin fading away until it will finally disappear, like the old pictures, which are now long gone, having probably been removed by the present owners. Yet, there was one other picture, as I recall, of a shepherd’s dog, guarding a little lost lamb, with its head raised in a howl for the shepherd to come and gather his lost lamb unto himself.
At the time, I had no idea of the enormity of the message, which the artist had captured, as Daniel stood clothed in light in his robe, unharmed by the stalking lions. Little did I know that the lions, like the Lion of Judah, which refers to Jesus, could never harm God’s prophets! He is not coming back in judgment against those who listened to the voice of the Lord, and then witnessed to the truth of His Word.
No, Daniel and his three friends were as safe from the jaws of the lions and the flames of a fiery furnace, as were the other prophets who ate the same kind of food at the same table as Daniel, refusing to eat the food of religion, which the kings of this earth have to offer. It was as though the food of Daniel and his friends came from the heavens above, just as the manna fell in the wilderness to feed the fleeing nation of Israel, as it made its exodus from the religious empire of Egypt.
The truth of God’s Word is exactly that – it is the manna from above, the flesh of Jesus, the Word made flesh, which we are commanded to eat if we want to escape the lions’ jaws and the accompanying fire judgment of that burning oven, about which Abraham had been warned in a dream. God only feeds His people truth, and never religion.
How could Daniel and his three friends understand what it was all about? They might have understood that the prophet was the witnessing voice of the Lord, but they would never understand that two of the three walking in the fire were symbolic of the apostles of the early church, who witnessed to their Teacher, Jesus, and the bride of the latter-day church, who would also witness to her Teacher, Jesus. He will open the scrolls to her to complete the understanding of the mysteries of the Bible, before the scrolls are finally rolled up.
Before going to the cross of salvation, Jesus prayed for those whom the Father had given to Him. They were safe in His care, just as they were safe within the fire of the fiery furnace, for He walked with His witnesses of the truth and He died on the cross to wash them clean in His blood. Then they would be ready for the pure water, running through His body and released at the time of His death with the blood, like a spiritual river of life, as the one, which once surrounded the Garden before man sinned. Jesus actually made man pure again in the Spirit; man simply had to recognize sin in his life, repent of it, and then trust in the saving grace of Jesus.
But this is what sickens me, as I think back on those old, fading pictures on the walls of our cottage at the Crow River. There was no one who could have told me what those pictures were really about, not even my parents who had gone to church all of their lives. I would be inclined to believe that no one in the priesthood had told them, so that they, in turn, had given it very little thought.
The pictures were there simply because they were good people who believed in a good, old-time religion, but without knowing how very shallow it really had been. They could recite quite a few moral truisms, and fished almost daily for fish, but no one had ever told them of the call of Jesus, to follow Him in His footsteps and become fishers of men.
Did that call not go all the way back to Daniel in Babylon who saw a vision of the Babylonian empires to come? I didn’t understand anything about them, even though it was all written for you and me in the Word of God. It has been a privilege to gain understanding about that which was given as prophecy to the prophet Daniel, after it has come to pass. Though he prophesied about the empires, they were something he could not fully understand. However, he diligently wrote down for us all the words that the Spirit spoke to Him, so that we could gain understanding. But the priesthood was too busy, instead, preaching its old-time religion to delve into the testimony of Jesus, given in the spirit of prophecy (see Revelation 19:10).
How could I know then that I would be one of his friends who held hands with him and ate at the same table of truth, as he ate, regardless of the religious system that enslaved, first Israel, and now, the church, known by the name of Christian? He and his friends ate the right kind of food, which made them healthier looking than the other Israelites. It was what Daniel saw in the vision of things to come, which made his whole body feel weak and faint.
Oh, for the world to know the true depths of those musty, old pictures, which hung in our old fishing camp at ‘the Crow’! Daniel’s prophesied empires have been unraveling exactly as God told him they would. As I write, the lions’ den is getting in place to receive the victims intended for it. I thank God for Jesus Christ and that prayer He prayed before going to the cross for me and the many other friends holding hands with Daniel as we watch the final empire of a One World Order arising on the horizon.
Who would ever want to enter the lions’ den where the lions are just waiting to devour those who have no Savior alongside of them to pray for them, like He prayed for His sheep? Who would ever want to be bound and chained and then thrown into the seven-times-greater heat of the fire of the empire judgment without walking with One who is like the Son of Man, yet so much more as the Son of God? Divine miracles swirled around all of the three friends and Daniel.
It is again the time for miracles and, for me, it is a miracle that an old fishing camp always had a picture of this great prophet, sitting there in front of me, witnessing daily and I didn’t know it. The world has the same miracle sitting in front of it, all described in a book of miracles, but it has become old and dusty on shelves in a world, which no longer cares about, or even knows, that there are miracles held within its pages. We search for the miracle of eternal life in all the wrong places when God has placed it right on our own shelves, in our own homes, crying out to us like those musty, old pictures, but we hear nothing.
The time of the final empire is at hand. Have we not heard ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ and have we not listened to the fiction while, at the same time, refusing to open the Bible to the reality? It is like a once-a-year, religious procession to the religious temple for that religious fix called Easter, but the reality of the celebration is a miracle wrapped in life, not death, and an eternal future with the Lord, our Creator, not a fire destruction, which leads to hell spent with Satan and his minions.
Rub the dust off your Bible, and then go to the book of Daniel and read about the incredible events, which surrounded him and his three friends. I can now envision in my mind those musty, old pictures coming to life with Daniel standing before the closed mouths of the lions. How was I to know that I was like that lost little lamb over which the shepherd’s dog was standing guard, just waiting for the Master to come and retrieve it before the destroyer came to claim it for himself!