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The Line is Drawn: Which Side Are You

On
By Kenneth Miller

During my many years of studying world cultures in college, and

confirming my studies while traveling around the world visiting the many

varied countries; I have had the privilege of sampling truths in their

diverse forms. Just as an example, wars have been fought since the

dawn of man’s history. And in each of these wars, two items are self

evident: first - the victor writes the history. Second – and there is no

doubt in my mind, that when the two sides fought against each other,

each side portrayed itself as, “the good guys.” Their beliefs and needs

set their hearts and minds on the paths of choosing which side of the

war to stand on.

Their beliefs may be as simple as cultural origination, the resistance

to change, or loyalty. Their “Needs” may fall into any number of

categories. One of which could be expansion for survival, such as

acquiring new lands for farming to feed the people. Whatever the

reasons were, each side always considered itself to be righteous.

Now, before confusion sets in, and you all start to wonder, “What is

this guy babbling on about?” Let me say this, God, our creator was truly

magnificent in giving each of us here on Earth, and all His Heavenly

Angels, too, “Free Will” to choose our paths. He asks that our paths be

to follow Him. The difficulty of “Free Will” is that whichever path we


choose, to follow Him or not to follow Him, we believe our choices to be

the correct ones, whether to our Salvation – or to our destruction.

Our studies in God’s Word have led us now to the Biblical Apex of

human history, or to put it in other words, to the end of time. And the

enemy of God’s people has an army of devout followers bent on

ensuring he can take as many of us away from God as possible.

Consider for a moment, a single event in Texas history when One-

Hundred and Eighty-Eight men waited in an old Spanish Mission on the

San Antonio de Bexar in March 1836, standing alone against an enemy

waiting to destroy them. It was March 5th, the 12th day of the siege.

General Santa Ana’s Mexican army vastly outnumbered the small band

of freedom fighters at the Alamo by a massive 22 to 1 ratio. Santa Ana

had approximately 4000 men awaiting the order to attack. What is

rarely told, regarding that particular conflict, is that while the Mexican

Army surrounded the Alamo, the drums beat constantly and Santa Ana

flew the pennant, or flag, announcing “No Quarter,” which I will explain

to you shortly. Imagine the anticipation of each of the men, women, and

children there. Everyday having to endure those drum beats and

knowing what they meant. Looking over the walls seeing the flags and

pennants and knowing what they meant.

In warfare, it is important to know your enemy and what tactics can

be used against him for maximum effect, a practice that is referred

today as, “Psychological Warfare: Making your opponent believe a lie.”

Having knowledge of Sun Tzu’s “Art of War,” is helpful. To paraphrase a


tiny bit of Sun Tzu, “To win a battle without firing a shot or losing a life is

best.” Sun Tzu would send his spies out way ahead of his army to mix in

with the people of the area he was going to conquer. His spies would

begin spreading the rumors of Sun Tzu’s mercilessness and other horrific

tales to spread fear and chaos. This often would lead the area’s people

to surrender without a fight. Isn’t that what satan’s agents are doing

today? Using Psychological Warfare against the people of the earth?

Why is it that we have no prayer in school? We can’t speak of anything

Christian without being looked down on. No politician or judge can run

on the principles of any Christian Belief without suffering some major

form of loss. Our Constitution protects our Religious Freedoms, yet

satan has infiltrated the Supreme Courts of the land, and has instituted

“Iron Curtain” restrictions to it.

In military terms, “No Quarter” means “No Prisoners will be taken.”

Satan is telling us today, “It’s hopeless. You’re not getting into heaven

because you aren’t perfect enough. You’re going to be destroyed

anyway because God takes no prisoners.” Satan is spreading despair to

distract us from God’s promise laid out for us in Genesis 3:15. Our

redeemer has come, and satan is distracting us from our goal. Now,

back to my story.

Knowing the small contingent had very little hope to overcome such a

vast army, the leader of the group, Colonel Travis, called everyone

together. He gave them all the opportunity to leave in order to save

them from certain death. He drew a line in the dirt and asked if any
would cross the line and stand with him and fight. He made a profound

gesture of loyalty, reaching down to the very hearts and souls of all who

were present. We know how that historical event ended. However, as

we study God’s Word, we find that He is also drawing a line in the dirt for

us today. He is asking us, Nay, He is begging us to choose life, to

choose Salvation, to cross over to Him. Today, we are that small band of

freedom fighters standing – but not alone – against a vastly larger

number of destroyers and evil angels from heaven. But I’ll get to that in

just a minute.

Let’s look at some other examples of lines being drawn in the sand. I

won’t go into every detail of the events, so I invite you to study and

learn the more specific details of each on your own.

Read with me from the Book of Revelation (Rev. 12: 7-8):

“And there was war in Heaven: Michael and His

Angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon

Fought and his angels and prevailed not; neither

Was their place found anymore in Heaven.”

As we can see, war even pre-dates our human existence. The

difference being - no angels were killed. They were simply cast out of

heaven. We are reading about angels fighting against angels. Creatures

who were made from the thoughts and hands of God, who stood in His

presence, spoke with Him, ate with Him, sang to Him, and stood with all

the other angels and Worshipped Him. And they desired to rise up and
act contrary to God and the other angels? To Use a legal statement,

“That must have been one extremely powerful argument.” Yet, through

it all, those angels believed they were doing the right thing. Believed

their very actions against God were more right than those standing on

God’s side. Satan drew a line in the dirt... and a third of God’s created

angels crossed over.

I am no authority on “Angel Thought.” I wonder, now that it’s too late,

if there are any regrets among them now. What is certain is their

destruction is sealed. Ours is not, for we are given the answer for our

salvation in verse 11, “And they overcame him (satan) by the blood of

the Lamb….”

Turn with me now to 1Kings 18: 21. Let me preface this section before

we go into it. Ahab is the King of Israel with his wife Jezebel. Together

they methodically caused a falling away from God’s Laws. Put this in

your notes, “The blessings of God are conditional to our obedience to

Him.” Because of their disobedience, the Prophet Elijah told them they

would suffer three years of drought. And that prophecy held true. After

three years, Elijah returned to what appeared to be no sign of

repentance from the King, his wife, or the people of Israel.

To make a long story short, Elijah told Ahab to have all of Israel and all

450 of the prophets of Baal go to the top of Mount Carmel. An amazing

feature here is the swiftness in which Ahab carried out Elijah’s order.

Who was the king here?


It is evident Ahab knew the significance of Elijah when it came to

obeying God’s commands. Maybe he didn’t want another three-year

drought. Let’s now continue with our reading (v.21):

“And Elijah came to all the people,

And said, ‘How long will you falter

Between two opinions? If the Lord

Is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow

him.’ But the people answered him

not a word.”

Notice, nobody shouted anything in contradiction, especially those

priests of Baal. Here we see Elijah is drawing the line in the dirt. And

his audience is a compliment of Baal worshippers and line straddlers. In

modern day terminology, I would personally say, a “line straddler” is

someone who is, in simple terms, an agnostic. Someone who may

believe there is a power greater than man, but doesn’t want to call Him

“God.” No one can prove or disprove God’s existence to his satisfaction.

The line straddler simply waits to see what happens, thinking, “If God

doesn’t exist, then I haven’t wasted my time in senseless worship. And

if Jesus really exists and I see Him coming in the clouds, then I’ll

proclaim Him as my Saviour and I’ll be okay.” As we will see later, this

form of thinking is nothing more than that heavily traveled road to


destruction. The result of the contest that day on Mount Carmel was the

death of all 450 priests of Baal.

Baal failed.

Turn with me now to the Book of Daniel, Chapter 2.

We have all read, or at least heard over and over again, the story of King

Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. And if you recall, Daniel told him, in Chapter

2:38, last half: “Thou art this head of gold,” when detailing the image

that was dreamt. You can only imagine the ego-swelling that took place

in that palatial chamber long, long ago. Gold, even in those days, was

the measure of wealth. Daniel told the king that the head of the image

was of “fine gold.” This is gold in its purest form without additional

metals. This was the best form of gold to be desired in the world. To be

compared to that… Nebuchadnezzar must have swelled up with so much

pride he could easily have become drunk in himself. You know the

feeling? That euphoric feeling you get when all is great and nothing else

matters. When you have that “first love” feeling and all is right with the

world. And in a sense, Nebuchadnezzar was in love…with the greatness

God had established him to be when Daniel said, “Thou O king, art a

king of kings: for God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and

strength and glory. (v.37)” That head of fine gold was a representation of

Nebuchadnezzar. And right to his head it went. We know this, because

in Daniel Chapter Three, we read that Nebuchadnezzar had a golden


statue constructed in his image and placed in Dura. Now, without going

into the intricacies to follow, there was simply a command made that

when the people heard the music playing, they were to bow down and

worship that golden image. And of course, with every command, there

must be a penalty attached, or people won’t bother obeying it. The

penalty for not obeying this command was a one-way trip to a fiery

furnace.

Well, one fine day, the music began playing and everyone present

saw that three men of high political status, friends of Daniel named

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, were not obeying the command of

the king. These three men were informed on and the king called them

to his chambers.

Read with me now from Daniel Chapter 3, beginning with verse 13.

“Then Nebuchadnezzar in his rage and fury

commanded to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

Then they brought these men before the king.”

Beginning in verse 14 and continuing through verse 15, we see the king

first determining if the accusations were true followed by his drawing the

line in the sand. Read with me:

“Nebuchadnezzar spake and said unto them,

Is it true O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego,


do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the golden

image which I have set up?”

Remembering back to his dream, these same men had found great favor

in the king’s eyes, and he is clearly giving them a chance to redeem

themselves and gain an escape from the fiery punishment awaiting

them. Then he thinks, maybe they aren’t aware of the decree? “So, I’ll

just remind them so they’ll repent.” Now verse 15:

“Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear

the sound of (the music), ye fall down and worship

the image which I have made; well: but if ye worship

not ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a

burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall

deliver you out of my hands?”

You can actually see his regal pleading. “Look guys, cross on over to my

side. Life is over here…you only get death over there on that side.”

However, Meshach, Shadrach, and Abednego had a different version of

where life was. And their response resulted in the ultimate wrath of the

king. Verses 16 and 17:

“Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego,

answered and said to the king,


O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer

thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom

we serve is able to deliver us from the burning

fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine

hand, O king.”

The response from them was without hesitation and struck right to the

kings very power base. “Yes, you can throw us into the furnace with the

intent to kill us to prove your point. But we serve a God in heaven, who

will deliver us from that furnace and your hands if it is needed to serve a

higher purpose.” Their defiance didn’t end there. In verse 18, they

continued to say that even if they didn’t believe God would deliver

them, they still would not bow to any graven image.

The line was clearly seen in the sand. The stakes were mortal life on

one side, and immortal salvation on the other. These men chose

immortal salvation. The result was the absolute repentance of king

Nebuchadnezzar to the service of God for the rest of his life.

As a final example, I invite you now to read with me more from the

Book of Daniel in Chapter 9. Here is the most exciting of all “Line

Drawings” in all of history. We’ll be reading from both the Old and New

Testaments. Let’s begin our reading for our final example with Daniel

Chapter 9, Verse 2.
“In the first year of his (Darius’) reign I Daniel

Understood by books the number of the years,

Whereof the Lord came to Jeremiah the prophet,

That he would accomplish seventy-years in the

Desolations of Jerusalem.”

If we refer to Jeremiah the 29th Chapter and look at verse 10, we will

read this prophesy. That, seventy-years after being taken captive and

the temple of Jerusalem being destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar, God would

revisit the Jews in regards to returning them to their promised lands.

The problem Daniel saw from his high position in the government was

that the Jews had become more like the Medes and Persians of the time,

and the Babylonians before them. There was idol worship, praying to

false gods, and not fulfilling their covenant with God. To state it bluntly,

they were not following the laws of God who had delivered them from

Egypt and established them as a nation above all other nations. This

had Daniel worried. He had been taken captive by Nebuchadnezzar

while he was a teenager and he was now well into his 80’s. The

seventy-year prophecy was right at their door-step, or past, and he was

afraid that God was going to turn his back on the Jews. So, Daniel gets

down on his knees and begins a prayer of all prayers. He poured out a

most sincere prayer of supplication hoping to intercede between the

wrath of God and the Jews. You can read it starting in verse 4 and

continuing through to verse 21. Altogether, that prayer probably lasted


a little under five-minutes. Let me ask you a question. How many stars

make up the Constellation Orion? Answer: Approximately 7. One of

those stars is the Star Betelgeuse. How far is that star from earth?

Answer: Over 500 Light Years. So, traveling at normal human speed it

will take over 500 years to reach it, provided that human traveled at

670-million miles-per-hour.

I want to briefly talk about Angel Speed and the importance of God

sending his messages to us. Read with me from Daniel Chapter 9

starting with verse 23. Here we now have the Angel Gabriel talking to

Daniel.

“At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment

Came forth, and I am come to shew thee; for thou

Art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter

And consider the vision.”

When Daniel began his prayer, God gave the command for Gabriel to go

and explain to Daniel his visions.

I remember as a teenager having to use an oven to cook TV dinners. I

had to endure at least 30-minutes of starvation for a meal. And that was

AFTER the oven was already heated up to the required temperature of

350 - 400 degrees. Remember those? Then along came microwave

ovens and that cut the time way down because you didn’t have to pre-

heat it. And what resulted from that? We complained, “You mean I have
to wait 18-minutes to eat my food? OH-MY-GOD!” We’re talking about

time here, folks. It took longer to prepare a TV dinner than it did for

Gabriel to go from Heaven to Earth.

What is the significance of this? Gabriel must have been traveling at

maximum warp because he went from at least 500 Light Years away to

Daniel’s side in less than 5-minutes.

Why? So he can relay this message from God. “Daniel, I’m here to tell

ya…God loves ya, man. And oh by-the-way, God has drawn a line and

70-weeks are determined on your people.” What is this? Let’s get the

exact wording from the Bible. Verse 24-27.

“Seventy weeks are determined on thy people

And upon thy holy city,

To finish the transgression, and

To make an end of sins, and

To make reconciliation for iniquity, and

To bring in everlasting righteousness, and

To seal up the vision and prophecy, and

To anoint the most Holy.”

Here we see God sending an Angel to render a recipe book of a warning

that He is drawing a line in the sand. A line, not drawn on the earth, but

a line made in the sands of time. Not a line drawn right now, but further

into the future. Let’s read on. (v.25)


“Know therefore and understand,

That from the going forth of the commandment

To restore and to build Jerusalem

Unto the Messiah the Prince

Shall be seven-weeks, and three-score and two weeks….”

There must be some confusion here. Gabriel said in verse 24 that

seventy-weeks were determined on the Jews. The numbers in verse 25

only add up to sixty-nine weeks.

Regardless, this is some very profound stuff. God is giving an extremely

easy map to follow. All the Jews had to do was first watch for the

command, and then start counting the years. Let’s figure it out

ourselves. 69-weeks are equal to 483-days. The message from Gabriel

to Daniel is a prophetic statement from God. When God gives us a

message referring to time, we have to use another form of

measurement. Numbers 14:34 and Ezekiel 4:6 illustrate that God

appoints a “day for a year” in prophetic time. So, when the command is

made to go and rebuild Jerusalem, start counting 483-years.

In Ezra 7:12 we learn that the in 457 BC, King Artaxerxes of Persia

gave the command to his scribe Ezra to send anyone who wanted to go

to rebuild Jerusalem. To build a timeline here, Daniel’s supplication was

in 522 BC during the first year of the reign of Darius. Sixty-Five years
later was the decree. Counting forward 483-years brings us to 26 AD.

We now have to do some extrapolating. There can be no “zeros” in a

time-line of this kind. So, we must add a year. So, instead of 26 AD, we

adjust up and arrive at 27 AD. Remember back, the prophecy was 69-

weeks to the coming of the Messiah the Prince. We now have to jump

forward to find out what happened in that year. Go with me now to

Mark, the first chapter, beginning with verse 9.

To preface this, we read that a man referred to as “John the Baptist” is

in the Jordan River. Jesus appears and descends the banks of the river

and goes into the water and meets with John the Baptist.

“And it came to pass in those days,

That Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee,

And was Baptized of John in the Jordan.

And straightway coming up out of the water,

He saw the heavens opened,

And the Spirit like a dove descended

Upon him:

And there came a voice from heaven, saying,

Thou art my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased.”

It was here in 27 AD, that Jesus was baptized and began His ministry on

the earth as “Messiah the Prince.”

Return with me now to Daniel Chapter 9 one more time. Let’s read

verses 26 and 27.


“And after three-score and two-weeks

Shall the Messiah be cut-off,

But not for himself:

(V. 27) And he shall confirm the covenant

With many for one-week:

And in the midst of the week

He shall cause the sacrifice and

Oblation to cease….”

Here we have the answer to the missing seventieth-week. Jesus was to

begin His ministry on earth causing an end to the animal sacrifices

which started in Eden. And considering a week is equal to seven-days,

and we’re using a day for a year, the line in the dirt drawn by God is set

for 34 AD.

Stating again, Jesus began His ministry on 27 AD, the prophecy of

Daniel mentioned something happening in the midst of the week, or

about 3-and a half years later. When we look at the time-line 3 ½ years

later in 30-31 AD, we find Jesus in front of Pontius Pilate and afterwards

being Crucified. Jesus was, and is, the Lamb of God, sent to be the final

sacrifice for that original sin at Eden. Thus ending the animal sacrifices,

a proclamation for the redemption of sin by faith. The sacrifice was

made with the innocent shedding of the blood of Jesus on the cross.

But wait, we still have 3 ½ years left to that line in the dirt,

remember? That event will be found in the Book of Acts, Chapter 7.


Reading from verse 51, we find that Stephen is called in to account for

his “teachin’s and preachin’s” of Jesus Christ as the Son of God. His

proclamations to the Sanhedrin mob were extremely powerful. So much

so that they covered their ears and rushed on him. Stephen in essence

was telling them, “Look here is the line drawn by God as told to Daniel.

Hear me and the word of God and cross this line so that the Jews will not

lose their favor.” Stephen was stoned to death ending the 70-week

prophecy and the Jewish position as God’s chosen people. It was Saul of

Tarsus, the persecutor of Christians, who was on the front line in the

death of Stephen. It was while he was on the road to Damascus, that he

was struck blind. His eyesight was later returned and he began a new

journey for Christ as God’s messenger to a NEW chosen people…the

Gentiles.

Conclusion

Jesus tells a parable of a shepherd with 100 sheep, but counting only 99

in the fold (Luke 15:4-7) goes in search of the one that is lost. Jesus is

that “Good Shepherd” who desires that not one person should perish at

the end of time. The Book of Revelation speaks of another line drawn by

God. At the end of Jesus’ intercessions for us before God the Father,

those fateful words will be spoken, (Rev. 22:11)

“He that is unjust, let him be unjust still:

And he that is filthy, let him be filthy still:

And he that is righteous, let him be righteous still:


And he that is holy, let him be holy still.”

Jesus is ministering in the Heavenly Tabernacle for us. Those words will

be spoken before He returns, eliminating any chance for the “line

straddlers” to achieve eternal life.

Are you today straddling the line? Will you be one of the multitudes

spoken of in Matthew Chapter 7, who will one day say, “Have I not

Prophesied in thy name? Have I not cast out devils in thy name? Have I

not done many wonderful works in thy name?” And have the Lord

respond, “I never knew you.” On which side of the line are you

standing? The answer can be found in a daily study of God’s Word

seeking to secure our salvation and increasing our knowledge of His plan

for us.

God has drawn the line….

AMEN.