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His Present Reign

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The New Testament links the enthronement of Jesus to his death and resurrection by applying key messianic texts in the Hebrew Bible to him. He qualified to rule over all things because of his faithful “ obedience unto death ,” and this fact God confirmed and vindicated by raising him from the dead. Not only did his Father resurrect him, but He also seated him “ at His right hand ” where he now reigns supreme over the entire Creation.

Ruler of Kings

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In the  Book of Revelation , Jesus is called the “ Ruler of the Kings of the Earth ,” a declaration made in the  PRESENT TENSE . His present sovereignty over the Earth and its nations is based on his past death and resurrection,  NOT  on any hereditary rights, economic power, or military might. He sits on God’s Throne as the slain “ Lamb ” where he reigns over all things as the result of his submission to an unjust death.

Faithful Until Death

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The church of Smyrna is only one of two of the seven Asian churches that received no correction, the other being Philadelphia. What set this congregation apart was the level of persecution that it endured because of its “ testimony ,” and its steadfast refusal to “ eat meat offered to idols ” and otherwise compromise with the Greco-Roman culture. Its members stood firm in their refusal to participate in the imperial idolatry of Rome, and consequently, they suffered “ tribulation ” and persecution due to false accusations against them made by Satan’s agents.

Food Offered to Idols

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Upon his arrival in the imperial city, Daniel was confronted with a predicament. If he consumed the food and drink of the pagan king, it would violate his ritual purity. While he might have wished to avoid eating “unclean” meats, more likely, his concern was that consuming the royal “delicacies” would mean his participation in the idolatrous rituals of the Babylonian court and religion. Either way, the young man's decision could have dire consequences.

God Grants Sovereignty

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The  Book of Daniel  presents insights into the future with an emphasis on the rise and fall of empires that will impact Israel. This includes coming times of “ tribulation ” when the people of God endure persecution and even martyrdom at the hands of despotic pagan kings. But before doing so, it declared that the downfall of the Kingdom of Judah was according to the will of Yahweh. It was the God of Israel who “ gave ” the Babylonian king sovereignty over the Jewish nation.

Land of Shinar

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The arrogant acts of Nebuchadnezzar in the Book of Daniel parallel the incident at the Tower of Babel in Genesis .  The  Book of Daniel  begins by referring to the Babylon of Daniel’s day as the “ Land of Shinar ,” a verbal link to the story of the Tower of Babel in  Genesis  and the founding of the city of Babel that centuries later became the capital of the Neo-Babylonian Empire. That incident is echoed again in the third chapter of the Book when Nebuchadnezzar gathered all the nations and peoples of his realm to pay homage to the great golden image that he had “ set up ” on the Mesopotamian plain.