Daily Devotional

by Larry Stockstill

There is truth in the saying "All that glitters is not gold." First John 4:1 warns us not to believe every spirit. Just as Satan can masquerade as an angel of light, so a person living for Satan can say the right words but live the wrong way.

Some false prophets speak very glibly and eloquently but oppose the very truth of God. Rejecting the fact that Jesus has come in the flesh, these prophets often refer to Him as a wonderful leader or a great teacher. In fact, most world religions recognize Christ as a great person.

The Holy Spirit will give you discernment and wisdom to spot indicators that are contrary to the Spirit of Jesus. Daniel said, "Those who are wise will shine as bright as the sky, and those who turn many to righteousness will shine like stars forever" (Daniel 12:3). We must depend on the Holy Spirit, the One of whom John said, "The Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world" (1 John 4:4).

Follow the Holy Spirit and godly pastoral authority. Be wise and discerning. Satan can't hide forever, and the Lord knows how to keep you out of the enemy's deceptive web.

Daniel 11:36-12:13

The King Who Exalts Himself

36 “The king will do as he pleases. He will exalt and magnify himselfJude 1:16 above every god and will say unheard-of thingsRev 13:5-6 against the God of gods.S Dt 10:17; S Isa 14:13-14; S Da 7:25; 8:11-12, 25; 2Th 2:4 He will be successful until the time of wrathS Isa 10:25; 26:20 is completed, for what has been determined must take place.Eze 35:13; S Da 8:2437 He will show no regard for the gods of his ancestors or for the one desired by women, nor will he regard any god, but will exalt himself above them all.38 Instead of them, he will honor a god of fortresses; a god unknown to his ancestors he will honor with gold and silver, with precious stones and costly gifts.39 He will attack the mightiest fortresses with the help of a foreign god and will greatly honor those who acknowledge him. He will make them rulers over many people and will distribute the land at a price.Or land for a reward

40 “At the time of the end the king of the SouthS Isa 21:1 will engage him in battle, and the king of the North will stormIsa 5:28 out against him with chariots and cavalry and a great fleet of ships. He will invade many countries and sweep through them like a flood.S Isa 8:7; S Eze 38:441 He will also invade the Beautiful Land.S Eze 20:6; Mal 3:12 Many countries will fall, but Edom,S Isa 11:14 MoabS Jer 48:47 and the leaders of Ammon will be delivered from his hand.42 He will extend his power over many countries; Egypt will not escape.43 He will gain control of the treasures of gold and silver and all the riches of Egypt,S Eze 30:4 with the Libyans2Ch 12:3; Na 3:9 and CushitesThat is, people from the upper Nile region in submission.44 But reports from the east and the north will alarm him, and he will set out in a great rage to destroy and annihilate many.45 He will pitch his royal tents between the seas atOr the sea and the beautiful holy mountain.S Isa 2:2, 4; Da 8:9 Yet he will come to his end, and no one will help him.

The End Times

12 “At that time Michael,S Da 10:13; Jude 1:9 the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distressS Da 9:12; S Mt 24:21; Mk 13:19; Rev 16:18 such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people—everyone whose name is found written in the bookS Ex 32:32; S Ps 56:8; S Jer 17:13; S Lk 10:20—will be delivered.Jer 30:7Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake:Jn 11:24 some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.S Isa 26:19; Mt 25:46Those who are wiseOr who impart wisdomS Da 11:33 will shineMt 13:43; Jn 5:35; Php 2:15 like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness,S Isa 6:7 like the stars for ever and ever.S Pr 4:18; 1Co 15:42But you, Daniel, roll up and sealS Isa 8:16 the words of the scroll until the time of the end.ver 9, 13; Rev 22:10 Many will go here and thereJer 5:1 to increase knowledge.”

Then I, Daniel, looked, and there before me stood two others, one on this bank of the river and one on the opposite bank.Da 10:4One of them said to the man clothed in linen,S Eze 9:2 who was above the waters of the river, “How long will it be before these astonishing things are fulfilled?”Da 8:13

The man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, lifted his right handS Ge 14:22 and his left hand toward heaven, and I heard him swear by him who lives forever,S Da 6:26; Rev 10:5-6 saying, “It will be for a time, times and half a time.Or a year, two years and half a yearS Da 7:25; S Rev 11:2 When the power of the holy peopleS Da 8:24 has been finally broken, all these things will be completed.Lk 21:24; Rev 10:7

I heard, but I did not understand. So I asked, “My lord, what will the outcome of all this be?”

He replied, “Go your way, Daniel, because the words are rolled up and sealedS Isa 29:11 until the time of the end.S ver 410 Many will be purified, made spotless and refined,S Isa 1:25; S Da 11:35 but the wicked will continue to be wicked.S Isa 32:7; Rev 22:11 None of the wicked will understand, but those who are wise will understand.Hos 14:9

11 “From the time that the daily sacrificeS Ex 29:38 is abolished and the abomination that causes desolationS Da 8:11; S 9:27; Mt 24:15*; Mk 13:14* is set up, there will be 1,290 days.Rev 11:212 Blessed is the one who waitsS Isa 30:18 for and reaches the end of the 1,335 days.S Eze 4:5-6; Da 8:14

13 “As for you, go your way till the end.S ver 4 You will rest,Isa 57:2 and then at the end of the days you will rise to receive your allotted inheritance.Ps 16:5; Mt 10:22; Jas 1:12; Rev 14:13

36 “The king will do as he pleases, exalting himself and claiming to be greater than every god, even blaspheming the God of gods. He will succeed, but only until the time of wrath is completed. For what has been determined will surely take place.37 He will have no respect for the gods of his ancestors, or for the god loved by women, or for any other god, for he will boast that he is greater than them all.38 Instead of these, he will worship the god of fortresses—a god his ancestors never knew—and lavish on him gold, silver, precious stones, and expensive gifts.39 Claiming this foreign god’s help, he will attack the strongest fortresses. He will honor those who submit to him, appointing them to positions of authority and dividing the land among them as their reward.Or at a price.

40 “Then at the time of the end, the king of the south will attack the king of the north. The king of the north will storm out with chariots, charioteers, and a vast navy. He will invade various lands and sweep through them like a flood.41 He will enter the glorious land of Israel,Hebrew the glorious land. and many nations will fall, but Moab, Edom, and the best part of Ammon will escape.42 He will conquer many countries, and even Egypt will not escape.43 He will gain control over the gold, silver, and treasures of Egypt, and the Libyans and EthiopiansHebrew Cushites. will be his servants.

44 “But then news from the east and the north will alarm him, and he will set out in great anger to destroy and obliterate many.45 He will stop between the glorious holy mountain and the sea and will pitch his royal tents. But while he is there, his time will suddenly run out, and no one will help him.

The Time of the End

12 “At that time Michael, the archangelHebrew the great prince. who stands guard over your nation, will arise. Then there will be a time of anguish greater than any since nations first came into existence. But at that time every one of your people whose name is written in the book will be rescued.Many of those whose bodies lie dead and buried will rise up, some to everlasting life and some to shame and everlasting disgrace.Those who are wise will shine as bright as the sky, and those who lead many to righteousness will shine like the stars forever.But you, Daniel, keep this prophecy a secret; seal up the book until the time of the end, when many will rush here and there, and knowledge will increase.”

Then I, Daniel, looked and saw two others standing on opposite banks of the river.One of them asked the man dressed in linen, who was now standing above the river, “How long will it be until these shocking events are over?”

The man dressed in linen, who was standing above the river, raised both his hands toward heaven and took a solemn oath by the One who lives forever, saying, “It will go on for a time, times, and half a time. When the shattering of the holy people has finally come to an end, all these things will have happened.”

I heard what he said, but I did not understand what he meant. So I asked, “How will all this finally end, my lord?”

But he said, “Go now, Daniel, for what I have said is kept secret and sealed until the time of the end.10 Many will be purified, cleansed, and refined by these trials. But the wicked will continue in their wickedness, and none of them will understand. Only those who are wise will know what it means.

11 “From the time the daily sacrifice is stopped and the sacrilegious object that causes desecrationHebrew the abomination of desolation. is set up to be worshiped, there will be 1,290 days.12 And blessed are those who wait and remain until the end of the 1,335 days!

13 “As for you, go your way until the end. You will rest, and then at the end of the days, you will rise again to receive the inheritance set aside for you.”

36 And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done.

37 Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.

38 But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things.

39 Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory: and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain.

40 And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.

41 He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon.

42 He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape.

43 But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps.

44 But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him: therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many.

45 And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.

12 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.

And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.

But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.

Then I Daniel looked, and, behold, there stood other two, the one on this side of the bank of the river, and the other on that side of the bank of the river.

And one said to the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?

And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.

And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?

And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.

10 Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.

11 And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.

12 Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.

13 But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.

1 John 4:1-21

On Denying the Incarnation

Dear friends,S 1Co 10:14 do not believe every spirit,Jer 29:8; 1Co 12:10; 2Th 2:2 but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.S Mt 7:15; 1Jn 2:18This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the fleshS Jn 1:14; 1Jn 2:23 is from God,1Co 12:3but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist,1Jn 2:22; 2Jn 7 which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.1Jn 2:18

You, dear children,S 1Jn 2:1 are from God and have overcome them,S Jn 16:33 because the one who is in youRo 8:31 is greater than the one who is in the world.2Ki 6:16; S Jn 12:31They are from the worldJn 15:19; 17:14, 16 and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them.We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us.Jn 8:47 This is how we recognize the SpiritOr spirit of truthS Jn 14:17 and the spirit of falsehood.S Mk 13:5

God’s Love and Ours

Dear friends, let us love one another,S 1Jn 3:11 for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of GodS Jn 1:13 and knows God.S 1Jn 2:4Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.ver 7, 16This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only SonJn 1:18 into the world that we might live through him.Jn 3:16, 17; 1Jn 5:1110 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved usRo 5:8, 10 and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.S Ro 3:2511 Dear friends,S 1Co 10:14 since God so loved us,S Jn 3:16 we also ought to love one another.Jn 15:12; S 1Jn 3:1112 No one has ever seen God;S Jn 1:18 but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.ver 17; 1Jn 2:5

13 This is how we knowS 1Jn 2:3 that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit.1Jn 3:2414 And we have seen and testifyS Jn 15:27 that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.S Lk 2:11; S Jn 3:1715 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God,S 1Jn 2:23; 5:5 God lives in them and they in God.1Jn 3:2416 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.

God is love.ver 8 Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.ver 12, 13; 1Jn 3:2417 This is how love is made completever 12; 1Jn 2:5 among us so that we will have confidenceS Eph 3:12 on the day of judgment:S Mt 10:15 In this world we are like Jesus.18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear,Ro 8:15 because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

19 We love because he first loved us.ver 1020 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sisterS 1Jn 2:9 is a liar.S 1Jn 1:6; 2:4 For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen,1Jn 3:17 cannot love God, whom they have not seen.ver 12; S Jn 1:1821 And he has given us this command:1Jn 2:7 Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.S Mt 5:43; S 1Jn 2:9

Discerning False Prophets

Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world.This is how we know if they have the Spirit of God: If a person claiming to be a prophetGreek If a spirit; similarly in 4:3. acknowledges that Jesus Christ came in a real body, that person has the Spirit of God.But if someone claims to be a prophet and does not acknowledge the truth about Jesus, that person is not from God. Such a person has the spirit of the Antichrist, which you heard is coming into the world and indeed is already here.

But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.Those people belong to this world, so they speak from the world’s viewpoint, and the world listens to them.But we belong to God, and those who know God listen to us. If they do not belong to God, they do not listen to us. That is how we know if someone has the Spirit of truth or the spirit of deception.

Loving One Another

Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God.But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him.10 This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.

11 Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other.12 No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.

13 And God has given us his Spirit as proof that we live in him and he in us.14 Furthermore, we have seen with our own eyes and now testify that the Father sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.15 All who declare that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them, and they live in God.16 We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love.

God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.17 And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world.

18 Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.19 We love each otherGreek We love. Other manuscripts read We love God; still others read We love him. because he loved us first.

20 If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a fellow believer,Greek hates his brother. that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see?21 And he has given us this command: Those who love God must also love their fellow believers.Greek The one who loves God must also love his brother.

Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:

And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.

We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.

Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.

He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.

10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.

12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.

13 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.

14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.

15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.

16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.

18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

19 We love him, because he first loved us.

20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?

21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

Psalm 123:1-4

Psalm 123

A song of ascents.

I lift up my eyes to you,

to you who sit enthronedS Ps 68:5; Isa 6:1; 63:15 in heaven.

As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master,

as the eyes of a female slave look to the hand of her mistress,

so our eyes look to the LordS Ps 25:15 our God,

till he shows us his mercy.

Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy on us,

for we have endured no end of contempt.

We have endured no end

of ridicule from the arrogant,

of contempt from the proud.

Psalm 123

A song for pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem.

I lift my eyes to you,

O God, enthroned in heaven.

We keep looking to the Lord our God for his mercy,

just as servants keep their eyes on their master,

as a slave girl watches her mistress for the slightest signal.

Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy,

for we have had our fill of contempt.

We have had more than our fill of the scoffing of the proud

and the contempt of the arrogant.

123 Unto thee lift I up mine eyes, O thou that dwellest in the heavens.

Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the Lord our God, until that he have mercy upon us.

Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy upon us: for we are exceedingly filled with contempt.

Our soul is exceedingly filled with the scorning of those that are at ease, and with the contempt of the proud.

Proverbs 29:2-4

When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice;S 2Ki 11:20

when the wicked rule,Pr 30:22; Ecc 10:6 the people groan.S Pr 28:12

A man who loves wisdom brings joy to his father,S Pr 10:1; S 23:15-16

but a companion of prostitutes squanders his wealth.Pr 5:8-10; Lk 15:11-32

By justice a king gives a country stability,ver 14; S Pr 8:15-16

but those who are greedy forOr who give bribes tear it down.

When the godly are in authority, the people rejoice.

But when the wicked are in power, they groan.

The man who loves wisdom brings joy to his father,

but if he hangs around with prostitutes, his wealth is wasted.

A just king gives stability to his nation,

but one who demands bribes destroys it.

When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.

Whoso loveth wisdom rejoiceth his father: but he that keepeth company with harlots spendeth his substance.

The king by judgment establisheth the land: but he that receiveth gifts overthroweth it.

Dec 3 Dec 5
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