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Flight DAN02 - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
April 6, 2021 2:00 am

Flight DAN02 - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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April 6, 2021 2:00 am

Midway through the book of Daniel, the focus shifts from the historic to the prophetic. Join Skip as he shares about Daniel's prophecies and how they can encourage you to live for Jesus in a dark world.

This teaching is from the series The Bible From 30,000 Feet - 2018.

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The best course of action is not to try to escape the world, but try to engage the world. That is to try to face it head on, to embrace it in all of its complexity and confusion, to bring healing and love and light and purpose and meaning and hope into this dying world through the gospel of Jesus Christ. That's dealing in compassion.

The world, especially in the wake of a pandemic, feels very bleak. Today on Connect with Skip Heitzig, Skip shares how you can bring the light of Jesus into our dark world. Now we want to tell you about an encouraging resource that will help you break free from anxiety and experience the peace Jesus offers. Christians can be ambushed by surprise struggles. You know how that feels. Listen to Skip Heitzig. Anxiety is the problem.

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Visit connectwithskip.com slash offer to give online securely or call 800-922-1888. Okay, we're in the book of Daniel as Skip Heitzig starts today's study. Sometimes it's hard for me because I like to go deep.

I don't like to go wide. And this is the Bible from 30,000 feet. So it's harder for me to edit myself and reel it in. And so we didn't finish Daniel. So we're going to finish Daniel this week. And I was thinking about it, it gives us the opportunity to understand what scholars have called the backbone of biblical prophecy. It is one of the most monumental sections in the Bible, especially Daniel chapter 9. But if you remember last week, I gave you two homework questions.

Do you remember that? Question number one, why is Daniel written in two languages? Let me explain the question. Chapter 1 in Daniel is written in Hebrew. Chapter 2 verse 4, so chapter 1 to chapter 2 verse 3 is written in Hebrew. Chapter 2 verse 4 all the way to chapter 7 verse 28 is written in the Chaldean language of Aramaic, not Hebrew. And then chapters 8 through the rest of the book are back to Hebrew. Why two languages? Well, the answer could be that Daniel was bilingual and the prophecies came in a culture where there were different languages.

Okay, that's too kind of simplistic an explanation. The real, I think, explanation behind that is sort of a tip off of the Holy Spirit to let us know what we're dealing with. Chapter 1 is the captivity of Judah. You would expect it to be in Hebrew. It's Judah centered. However, beginning in chapter 2 verse 4 all the way to chapter 7 verse 28, the Gentile nations of the earth are primarily in focus, the times of the Gentiles. The succession of Gentile nations is the focus, hence it's in a Gentile script, a language that is Gentile oriented, non-Jewish. Beginning in chapter 8 all the way to chapter 12, it reverts back again to prophecies and nations that will deal with or touch upon Israel all the way to the second coming. Now, a second question I asked, since we closed with the idea of Hanukkah, and we closed with Hanukkah, if you're new and you're wondering, why are you talking about Hanukkah in a church on Wednesday night Bible study? Because we mentioned that between the testaments, a Jewish liberator overturned one of the gentlemen that is prophesied in here as the great persecutor of the Jews, Antiochus Epiphanes, and the Syrian oppression began, and the Hajmanian princes Judas Maccabeus and the rest subjugated him, took back their temple, that happened on the 25th of Kislev, and that happens around Christmas time, and it's called Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights.

We explained that to you when we closed. And so I asked you the question that you had to do homework on, where do we find Jesus celebrating Hanukkah in the New Testament? Any of you discover it? Shout it out if you know it.

Light of the world, what is it? John 10, you got it. John 10, okay. John 10, let me read it to you, verse 22, it says, now, here it is, John chapter 10, verse 22, now it was the feast of dedication in Jerusalem, and it was winter, and Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's porch. It's wintertime, it's the feast of dedication. Interestingly, in the Torah, there are no winter festivals.

In the law, there are spring festivals, and there are fall festivals. Yet it says, Jesus was in the temple at the feast of dedication. That's a reference to the dedication of the temple by the Maccabees after they overturned the Syrian oppression. And that happened, the inauguration of Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, Hanukkah, happened between the Old and the New Testament. So that by the time of Jesus, the Festival of Lights, Hanukkah was being celebrated. It's always a winter feast, hence, it was the feast of dedication.

In Jerusalem, it was winter, and Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's porch. So, who said John chapter 10? Okay, give yourself a pat on the back, awesome.

Or if you're next to him, give him a pat on the back, come on, give him some love. All right, way to go, that's good homework. Now, back to the book itself. You and I really have only two options, two attitudes that we can adopt when it comes to our relationship with the world. Number one, we can try to escape it.

Number two, we can try to engage it. If we try to escape it, we want to push it away, it's bad, we wake up, we read the headlines, we hear the news, we get fed up with the corruption. We're tired of the same old stories, we're tired of the bad headlines. And so, we can sort of try to wash our hands of the world. After all, we're God's chosen people, we're Christians, we don't have anything to do with the world. When you try to wash your hands of a situation around you, you might find yourself like Pontius Pilate who tried to wash his hands in dealing with Jesus and it came back to haunt him. The other option and really the best course of action is not to try to escape the world, but try to engage the world. That is to try to face it head on, to embrace it in all of its complexity and confusion, to bring healing and love and light and purpose and meaning and hope into this dying world through the gospel of Jesus Christ. That's dealing in compassion with it.

That's getting our hands not washed of it, but getting our hands dirty in it to serve that lost world. Now that is the course of action that the central figure of this book, that's his course of action. Daniel engaged in the culture around him and I should say in this case the political culture around him. He was very, very involved in Babylon. He entered Babylon as a refugee, but quickly he became royalty. He was a refugee, 15 years of age we believe Daniel was when he was removed from his home, his parents, the temple, the law, Judaism and placed 550 miles east in Babylon. But we read his story, he purposed in his heart, God raised him up and he became the prime minister of the land. He was very engaged in the culture. In chapter 2, just to kind of introduce that engagement, you don't have to go back to it.

But this is how he got engaged. He was taken captive, he was given a three-year graduate course in the culture, customs, language of the Chaldeans. And one night Nebuchadnezzar had a horrible dream. It disturbed him greatly, he called in all of his wise guys and all of his magicians and he said, I had a horrible dream, I need you to tell me what it means. And they said great, tell us what it is and we'll tell you what it means. And he figured out, they were stalling for time, he says, I don't know if you can tell me what it means unless you can actually tell me what it was.

If you don't tell me what it was, I'm going to cut you up into pieces and burn your houses down. And they said, look, no king in history is ever given that, he goes, I'm the first, you're all dead. Well, when Daniel heard about that, he told Arioch, the captain of the guard, tell the king, why so hasty, give us a little bit of time, we will tell the king what he dreamed and what the interpretation is.

So, Daniel took his buddies Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, aka Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, had a prayer meeting. God revealed what the dream was. He came into the king and he said, king, I'm here to give the answer to your dream. He goes, oh, so you can interpret dreams? He goes, I can't really do anything more than anybody else in your kingdom.

There's nothing special about me, but there's a God in heaven who knows the future. And he's revealed to me what you dreamed. And king, you were on your bed wondering about the future. You were wondering, what about my kingdom when I'm gone?

What will happen to my kingdom? He said, you saw a great image with a head of gold, with the chest and arms made out of silver, with the stomach and thighs of bronze, with legs of iron, and the feet out of iron and clay. He said, king, you are that head of gold, but after you, another kingdom will arise.

The chest and arms of silver. And after that, another kingdom will arise, and then an iron rule kingdom will arise. And then, at some point, there will be a coalition of nations somehow related to that iron-legged statue part of the kingdom. And in the days of those kings, God will set up a kingdom on this earth that will never end. Because in your dream, oh king, you saw this huge stone, not cut with human hands, that came out of the heavens and smashed that statue in the feet. It became chaff.

The wind blew it away, and this mountain grew and covered the earth. That's God's everlasting kingdom. Well, Daniel gets promoted. He becomes, interesting note here, the head of what is called by Herodotus, the father of history, the Greek historian. Daniel becomes the head of the magi, the magoi. The magoi were a special class, a hereditary class, and their primary job was to interpret dreams. The magoi, the magi, these wise men of Babylon, I said they were an hereditary group.

That is, it was passed down. You had to be Chaldean in order to be one. Interesting that Nebuchadnezzar broke his rule and placed a Jew as the head of the magi.

Fast forward. Have you ever wondered how these kings from the east discovered where Jesus was going to be born? Why were they looking for a star in the heavens? Why were they looking at the astronomical wonders of the heavens to come from the area of Babylon and say, where is he who is to be born the king of the Jews?

Why would they come unless perhaps they were primed by one by the name of Daniel, who at one time was their leader in his promotion by King Nebuchadnezzar? So that's the dream in chapter 2. That's all the setup of where we're going. By the time we get to chapter 7, we remember the dream occurs again. This time Nebuchadnezzar doesn't get it. Daniel gets it.

Same subject matter, but different visuals. In chapter 7, Daniel gets a vision at night, not of a polymetallic image, gleaming and shiny and glorious and splendorous, but ravenous beasts who tear each other apart. First he sees an animal, a lion, a winged lion, which represented Babylon. Then he saw a bear tilted on one side that represented the uneven coalition of the Medo-Persian empire. Then he saw a leopard that moved swiftly from the west and conquered the east. And then finally he saw a fourth, what it calls a dreadful and terrible beast.

Same exact subject matter. These are kingdoms that will come. Now if in hearing this you go, well, how do you know they're kingdoms? You're just making up weird interpretations like a lot of prophecy teachers do.

Well, I'm glad you asked. In chapter 7 verse 17 it says, those great beasts which are four, are the four kings which arise out of the earth. And as the text goes on they are named Babylon, Medo-Persia and Greece. By the time we get to chapter 8, as we mentioned briefly last week, the vision narrows and gets focused on two of those kingdoms. The second and third. The Medo-Persian empire and the Grecian empire.

Why? Because Daniel is in the Babylonian empire. He will soon serve in the Medo-Persian empire under kings Cyrus and Darius. And so he's dealing with the second and third in chapter 8. This time it's a little bit different. It's not a bear and a fast moving leopard. This time it's a ram and a goat.

The ram is in charge. He has two horns, Medo-Persia. And then a goat with a notable horn out of Greece. It says it's the kingdom of Greece. In fact, look at chapter 8 verse 20. The ram which you saw having two horns, they are the kings of Media and Persia. So we're not guessing here.

We're not shooting in the dark. The interpretation is given along with the prophecy. And the male goat is the kingdom of Greece. The large horn that is between its eyes is the first king. Now the first king of Greece was Alexander the Great. Philip of Macedon was his father. He was the kingdom of Macedonia. The first king of Greece, the notable king, was Alexander the Great. Verse 22, As for the broken horn and the four that stood in its place, four kingdoms shall arise out of that nation, but not with its power. If you remember last week, I mentioned that Alexander the Great died in Babylon at age 33, sort of as a pathetic young brat.

What do I mean by that? He had conquered the world so quickly and he had conquered everything that was known at that time as the known world as far as Greece was concerned. Everything they knew about, he conquered.

Like from Britain all the way to India. He conquered it all. In Babylon, he sat down and he wept. He cried like a baby in a drunken stupor because there were no more kingdoms to conquer. There's nothing left to do. I'm 33, I'm bored.

What am I going to do? I've conquered the world. In Babylon one night, while he was drunk, Alexander the Great was dying. On his deathbed, they asked him, To whom shall the kingdom go?

To which he replied, Give it to the strong. It was interpreted by everyone at his deathbed to mean his four generals. The kingdom was divided into four. I mentioned them last week. Cassandra, General Cassandra, General Lysimachus, General Ptolemy, and General Seleucus.

They all took a portion of Alexander's empire, the Grecian empire, but none of them ever achieved the kind of vigor, power, rapidity and strength that Alexander the Great did. Now in chapter 8 verse 23, it talks about a king arising having fierce features and it says he will destroy the holy people. A reference to the Jewish people. Back up in verse 12 of chapter 8 gives us a hint. He will oppose the daily sacrifices.

I touched on him last week. I just want to add a couple of footnotes. In the succession of kings, now there are kings, let's just say here's Israel in the middle. Of those four generals that divided up the world, two of them were important to Israel because Israel was sandwiched right in the middle of those two.

One is called the king of the north. That's Seleucus and Syrian empire and Ptolemy down in Egypt. Between Syria and Egypt was Israel. So when the king of the north and the king of the south fought, who got the crossfire? The Jews. They were sandwiched in the middle. So the Ptolemaic empire of Egypt and the Seleucid empire of Syria fought each other extensively for years and years and years.

Israel got the brunt of it. The fourth in the dynasty of Seleucid kings was a guy by the name of Antiochus IV. Antiochus IV, also called Antiochus Epiphanes. He, I believe, was the king arising, verse 23, having fierce features. And destroying the holy people, what did he do? He came into Jerusalem, took it over, killed 80,000 people pretty quickly, took 40,000 captive. He dedicated the temple in Jerusalem to Zeus. He put an image of Zeus in the temple. He sacrificed a pig.

You know anything about kosher law? The most unclean flesh in Judaism is a pig. He took a pig and sacrificed it on the altar of sacrifice, that bronze altar in the outer courtyard, took the juices of the swine and drenched the temple floor and compounds with it, just desecrated the whole temple. He put an end to sacrifices, he put an end to the Sabbath, he forbade Jewish circumcision. The male child at eight days of old, he just shut Judaism down. When he did that in the temple, the Jews gave it a specific title. They called that the abomination of desolation. That's why last week I said chapter eight is the historical template of somebody else who will come in the end times and do that again, called the antichrist.

Hold that thought, because I'm going to show that to you in just a moment. Now we get to chapter nine. Chapter nine, man, is the Eiffel Tower of Scripture. It's like looking out the window, Bible from 30,000 feet, and you go, oh, there's the Eiffel Tower, or wow, look at the pyramids. You can see them when you're flying into Cairo. They shoot up from the landscape.

They're an unmistakable landmark, or Mount Rushmore in South Dakota. It is one of the towering chapters of all of the Bible. Ever heard of Isaac Newton, Sir Isaac Newton, the father of modern science? Mathematician, astronomer. Isaac Newton was also a believer in the Bible. And Sir Isaac Newton said you could stake the entire truth of Christianity on the text of Daniel chapter nine alone.

Quite a statement. By the time we get into chapter nine, Daniel is much older. He was 15 when we start the book. He's in his 80s.

You know what that means? It means that he has lived the entire Babylonian captivity in Babylon. 70 years of captivity. He's been there, and it's just about up. He has been there since he was about 15. He's lived there 70 years.

He's between 85 and 90. And he remembers, you'll see here, that Jeremiah the prophet gave a prediction that the Jews would be in Babylon 70 years. That's given by a prophet who preceded Daniel.

You following me so far? Chapter nine, verse one. In the first year of Darius, the son of Ahasuerus of the lineage of the Medes, so we're dealing with the second kingdom, not the head of gold, Babylon is gone, Medo-Persian empire. Chest, arms of silver.

The bear, tilted to one side, depending on which vision you're looking at. Of the lineage of the Medes, who was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans. So this is 539 BC, right after Babylon had fallen to the Medes and the Persians. In the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, understood, I love this, by the books. I understood by the books, the number of years specified by the word of the Lord through Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish 70 years in the desolations of Jerusalem.

If you ever wondered, what did Daniel ever do for quiet time? He read, at least on this day, the scrolls of Jeremiah the prophet. That's Skip Heising, with a message from the series, The Bible from 30,000 feet. Now, here's Skip to share how you can keep this broadcast going strong, connecting you and many others to God's truth. We want to connect more listeners like you to God's never changing truths in these ever changing times. So we would love for you to consider partnering in this work today, so that many others can continue to know God's truth and be transformed by his love. Here's how you can take God's word to more listeners like you around the world. You'll have access to a treasure trove of Skip's messages right at your fingertips. Find more information at connectwithskip.com slash app. Tune in again tomorrow as Skip Heising begins to unravel for you one of the most significant prophecies in the Bible about Jesus. Connect with Skip Heising is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never changing truth in ever changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-06 13:13:35 / 2023-12-06 13:22:49 / 9

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