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Jesus Reigns

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The reign of Jesus began with his exaltation to the messianic throne after his Death and Resurrection – Psalms 110:1. The New Testament links Christ’s enthronement to his Death and Resurrection by using key messianic texts from the Hebrew Bible. He achieved the authority to rule because of his faithful obedience, and God vindicated him by raising him from the dead.

Lord of Kings

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The faithful witness, Jesus, now reigns supreme over the kings of the earth and even his enemies .  And in Revelation , Jesus is called the “ ruler of the kings of the earth ,” and this is declared using the present tense . His absolute sovereignty over the earth is based on his past death and resurrection, NOT on hereditary rights, economic or military might. He is the anointed king who now reigns from the “ throne of David .”

Faithful Until Death - Smyrna

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After persevering through persecution, the ever-faithful church at Smyrna is promised even more tribulation, but also great rewards to overcomers . Smyrna was a seaport renowned for its beauty, and it prospered from its seaborne commerce. Unfortunately for the church, the imperial cult was well-established in the city. The origin of the congregation is unknown, and the book of  Revelation  is the only New Testament document that mentions the city .

Food Offered to Idols

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Daniel and his three companions refuse to participate in the religious rituals of the Babylonian Empire – Daniel 1:14. Upon his arrival in Babylon, Daniel is confronted with a predicament. If he consumes the food and drink of the king, it might impinge on his ritual impurity. While he might wish to avoid eating “ unclean ” meats, more likely, his concern is that consuming the “ king’s delicacies ” means participation in the idolatrous rituals of the Babylonian court.

God Grants Sovereignty

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God gave the kingdom of Judah into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar, but He also equipped Daniel and his companions for service in the court of Babylon .  In its opening paragraph, the book of  Daniel  labels Babylon the “ land of Shinar ,” a verbal link to the “ tower of Babel ” incident.   The Neo-Babylonian Empire has an ancient pedigree, and like his ancient forbears, Nebuchadnezzar determined to unite all men under one language and one government so all men might render homage to his great golden image.