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Tuesday, May 3 2011

The Mouths Of Lions

The term "mouths of lions" in the Holy Scriptures is used both literally and figuratively. In the case of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ, that King David was given to prophetically witness (see The Prophets: David) through Christ's own eyes (as plainly described below), it was used figuratively for the loud and arrogant mockers who were "devouring" His life.

"22:13 They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion. 22:14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels. 22:15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death. 22:16 For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have enclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet. 22:17 I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me. 22:18 They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture." (Psalm 22:13-18 KJV)

The apostle Paul, who before his conversion was known as Saul the Pharisee, may well have been one of those "roaring lions" (see Was Paul Among Them?), but ironically (some may say justly), afterward he became subject to the same sort of persecution that he once inflicted upon others - including facing figurative, and literal, mouths of lions.

"4:17 Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.

4:18 And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen." (2 Timothy 4:17-18 KJV)

"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour"

One of the most famous incidents of Bible History was that of Daniel (see The Prophets: Daniel) in the den of lions. Those lions were actual lions - but it made no difference. Daniel was not harmed by them, although the figurative lions, who "roared" their false accusations that got Daniel cast into that den of lions, were torn to pieces when they were afterward thrown into the same place.

The Holy Scriptures

"6:12 Then they came near, and spake before the king concerning the king's decree; Hast thou not signed a decree, that every man that shall ask a petition of any God or man within thirty days, save of thee, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions?

The king answered and said, The thing is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians [see Ancient Empires - Persia], which altereth not.

6:13 Then answered they and said before the king, That Daniel, which is of the children of the captivity of Judah [see also The Royal Eunuchs], regardeth not thee, O king, nor the decree that thou hast signed, but maketh his petition three times a day. 6:14 Then the king, when he heard these words, was sore displeased with himself, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him: and he laboured till the going down of the sun to deliver him.

6:15 Then these men assembled unto the king, and said unto the king, Know, O king, that the law of the Medes and Persians is, That no decree nor statute which the king establisheth may be changed.

6:16 Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee.

6:17 And a stone was brought, and laid upon the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet, and with the signet of his lords; that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel. 6:18 Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting: neither were instruments of music brought before him: and his sleep went from him.

6:19 Then the king arose very early in the morning, and went in haste unto the den of lions. 6:20 And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel: and the king spake and said to Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions?

6:21 Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live for ever. 6:22 My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions' mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt.

6:23 Then was the king exceeding glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his God.

6:24 And the king commanded, and they brought those men which had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions, them, their children, and their wives; and the lions had the mastery of them, and brake all their bones in pieces or ever they came at the bottom of the den." (Daniel 6:12-24 KJV)

The source of all evil "roaring" (slander and threats by arrogant, wicked people) is of course Satan - who himself is referred to "as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour."

"5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 5:9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world." (1 Peter 5:8-9 KJV)

As in the case of Daniel, or that of Paul (who was eventually martyred by the Romans, either by lions or beheading), the LORD delivers His people, whether by stopping the attack, or "instantly" (from their conscious perspective - see the Fact Finder question below) resurrecting them to eternal life. It is that sure knowledge that has always enabled God's true people to stand their ground, geographically and doctrinally, against anything or anyone.

"11:33 Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 11:34 Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. 11:35 Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: 11:36 And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: 11:37 They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; 11:38 Of whom the world was not worthy: they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.

11:39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: 11:40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect." (Hebrews

Fact Finder: How long, from their own consciousness, are dead people dead?
See Could Christ Return Tonight?


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This Day In History, May 3

495: Pope Gelasius proclaimed that his papal authority was superior to the civil authority of Emperor Enanstasius (see Emperors and Popes).

1410: Alexander V (Pietro di Candia) died at age 71. He was antipope 1409-1410 during a period of 3 popes (see Antipopes) at the same time (the other 2 were Pope Gregory XII and Antipope Benedict XIII). He reigned only 10 months and his death came under suspicious circumstances; some believe that he was poisoned by his successor, Antipope John XXIII.

1494: Christopher Columbus first sighted the island known today as Jamaica.

1500: Portuguese explorer Pedro Alvares Cabral landed in Brazil and claimed it for Portugal.

1512: The 5th Lateran Council (18th ecumenical council) opened in Rome under Pope Julius II.

1616: The Second Civil War in France ended after the Treaty of Loudun was signed.

1660: John II Casimir of Poland abandoned his claim to Sweden and signed the Treaty of Oliva, ending the Polish-Swedish War of Succession.

1747: During the War of The Austrian Succession, the British defeated the French at the first Battle of Cape Finisterre.

1791: King Stanislaw Augustus signed a liberal bill of rights reforming gentry-ruled Poland and setting up a constitutional monarchy. It was only the second written constitution in the world after the United States.

1841: New Zealand was proclaimed a British colony.

1859: France declared war on Austria.

1915: During the First World War, Lt. Col. John McCrae, a Canadian army medical officer, wrote the poem In Flanders Fields while overlooking the grave of a fellow officer at Ypres, Belgium. The poem first appeared in Punch magazine December 8 1915. McCrae himself did not survive the war.

1926: U.S. marines invaded Nicaragua; they occupied the country for 7 years.

1963: In Alabama, police used attack dogs and fire hoses against black civil rights protestors, including children. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Alabama's segregation laws were unconstitutional less than 3 weeks later, on May 20.

1979: Margaret Thatcher became the first female Prime Minister of Britain.

1993: Authorities said they had identified the body of David Koresh from charred remains found after their church buildings were burned to the ground during the siege at Waco in February.


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