The worst thing that could happen is you walk away going, wow, that was heavy. I understand some cool facts and figures now about history. Wow. This should motivate us, practical.
Prophecy isn't intended to fill your head with knowledge and facts about history and the future. It's meant to encourage, equip, and motivate you. And today on Connect with Skip Heitzig, Skip concludes his message with a challenge for you to respond to what you've learned. But first, here's a resource that will equip you to have a marriage that's fun and flourishing. We have an exciting resource to help strengthen your marriage so it can thrive no matter what your circumstances. It's The Marriage Devotional, 52 Days to Strengthen the Soul of Your Marriage by Levi and Jenny Lusko.
And we'd love to send you a copy as thanks for your gift this month to grow the ministry of Connect with Skip. How do you figure out what's going on underneath your marriage? You ask about it. So when was the last time you've checked in with your spouse? And a little pro tip, Jenny and I, our marriage counselor, for what it's worth, she told us to never, ever, ever do the check-in during date night.
And this has been revolutionary for us. We used to just literally have a fight every single date night because that was our check-in. One of us would be dumb enough over appetizers to go, well, what's going on in your house?
Which is usually code for, please tell me the five things I'm doing wrong this week. You know what I'm saying? And so now, I'm pushing the cauliflower away because I'm feeling hot and angry. And then we get in this big fight.
And she goes, oh, gosh, you're doing it wrong. Date night's joy. Date night's fun. Just keep it light.
Put a pin in stuff that's going to give you stress on the date night. But you got to have the check-in too. Great marriages are made, not born. And this devotional journey will be the encouragement your marriage, not just any marriage, needs to flourish. So we cling. We cling to God. We cling to our spouse. We cling to the local church because we're vines. And we want our marriage to be like a fruitful vine in the heart of our house.
In The Marriage Devotional, 52 Days to Strengthen the Soul of Your Marriage, Levi and Jennie will point you to God's Word and help you experience a depth and beauty you may have never thought possible. We'll send you a copy of this powerful resource, as thanks for your gift to expand Connect with Skip Heitzig to reach more people in major US cities. Yours for a donation of $50 or more. Just call 800-922-1888 or visit connectwithskip.com slash offer.
That's connectwithskip.com slash offer. Now let's turn to Daniel 9 as we join Skip for today's study. Now God gives to us the reason why 70 years captivity because they had disobeyed in keeping the seventh year where you plow and then the seventh year you let the land rest. God says you owe me 70 years, which implies that for 490 years Israel in their history had been disobedient and had not kept this seventh year land thing.
So here's Daniel. He's reading Jeremiah and he says the 70 year captivity based upon 490 years of disobedience is almost up. He hits the ground.
He starts praying. Then he gets further revelation in answer to his prayer from the angel Gabriel saying I want to tell you about another period of time coming up even more significant than the 70 year captivity based upon 490 years of disobedience. 70 weeks, 70 sevens are determined upon your people and I believe it refers to 70 sets of seven years or 70 weeks of years. Jewish commentaries say that.
The Mishnah says that. The New Revised Standard Version says 70 weeks of years. The New Century Version says God has ordained 490 years. So we're dealing with a specific time period of 490 years and now I want you to see that we should understand it specifically not just generally specifically and you'll see what I mean that it has to be years and not days because notice what has to be fulfilled. Look at verse 24. 70 weeks are determined for your people and for your holy city to finish the transgression to make an end of sins to make reconciliation for iniquity to bring in everlasting righteousness to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy. It's a very complex but highly accurate verse of scripture. There are six things that will be fulfilled during this cut out period of time that we're dealing with.
70 weeks, 70 sevens, 490 years. There are six things. Three of those things I believe have been fulfilled at the first coming of Jesus. The second three will be fulfilled at the second coming of Jesus. The first three are negative. They deal with sin.
The next three are positive. They deal with the kingdom. The first three to finish the transgression to make an end of sins. That's plural.
One singular, one's plural. To make reconciliation for iniquity. The word reconciliation is the word kaphar in Hebrew.
It means to cover or atone for. When Jesus came the first time, that's what it was all about. He came to fix the sin problem.
There is no other name given under heaven among men by which we must be saved, said Peter, except the name of Jesus. He came to deal with sin, to manage sin, to give God the ultimate reason to judge people if they reject him and that is their sin, but to deal with it all on the cross to make atonement for it. Listen, Jesus Christ did not come to this earth to just be a good example for people or to say nice little things and we could say, oh, I admire Jesus.
He said so many wonderful things and he was a great example. No, he came to deal with sin. If our greatest need would have been information or technology, God would have sent us a scientist. If our greatest need would have been for money, God would have sent us an economist. If our greatest need would be for pleasure, God would have sent us an entertainer, but our greatest need was for forgiveness and so he sent us a savior. That's why Jesus came and these three things I believe have been fulfilled at the first coming, but notice the next three, they haven't been fulfilled. They're not done. To bring in everlasting righteousness.
Last time I checked, that's not going on. It will be. Revelation 19, Jesus comes from heaven to the earth the second time and he enforces righteousness on the earth. He rules with a rod of iron. Then to seal up vision and prophecy to complete all of the predictions made in the old and new testament.
A lot we're still waiting to have fulfilled. And to anoint the most holy in Hebrew, kodesh kadashim, or the holy of holies, literally. And it almost always refers to the temple. And I believe it's a reference to Ezekiel chapters 40 through 46 which speak of a future millennial temple that is coming. But it's safe to say that specifically we're dealing with the messianically.
We're dealing with a time period of 490 years in which these six things must be completed. But we need to understand this now messianically because look at verse 25. Know therefore and understand, that's the commandment, that from the going forth of the store and build Jerusalem until Messiah the prince, there shall be seven weeks and 62 weeks, that's 69 weeks.
The street shall be built again and the wall even in troublesome times. Folks, this is to me the pinnacle of the book of Daniel, this verse. This to me is the greatest prophecy in all of scripture. It tells me and you that there will be 69 periods of seven at the end of which Messiah will show up and will die.
Messiah will be cut off, it says, but not for himself. In other words, Daniel, Daniel, there's going to come a commandment that says you can go back and restore and rebuild Jerusalem and from that command until the Messiah there will be 69 weeks or 69 sevens or 483 years. So did you notice there's three periods of this, three periods. Period number one, seven sevens, that's 49 years. During that time the city of Jerusalem, including the streets, the walls will be built up in the temple. Time period number two, 62 sevens or 434 years. At that time Messiah will come, Messiah will die, the city of Jerusalem will be attacked, leveled, destroyed. Then there's one seven, seven years. A pact will be enacted according to verse seven and in the middle of that seven-year period that will be broken.
Those are the three periods it's broken up into. When does all this begin? When does the timetable that the angel gives to Daniel, when does it start? Notice what it says. Verse 25, from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem.
Stop there. In history there were four commands for the Jews to go back to Jerusalem. Three of them are seen in the book of Ezra. None of those three talk about rebuilding the city, they all talk about rebuilding the temple. The only one that fits this prediction is the one that you know about in Nehemiah chapter two. Remember Nehemiah's story? He heard that Jerusalem was devastated, the walls were broken down, the gates were burned with fire, and he goes to the king and he says, let me go back and rebuild my city. So Nehemiah goes back and builds the streets and the walls and then the temple. By the way, it took 49 years to accomplish that. So that specifically was predicted.
Now here's the deal. We know who gave the command and we know exactly when the command was given. It was given by the Persian monarch Artaxerxes Longimonus in our calendar date, March 14, 445 BC. That's the day the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem was given, March 14, 445 BC by Artaxerxes. That should mean that I am able to count from March 14, 445 BC forward 483 years or 69 weeks and arrive at the time when the Messiah shows up. There's a great book out, been out for some time, by Sir Robert Anderson called The Coming Prince.
Sir Robert Anderson was the head of criminal investigation for Scotland Yard. He was knighted by the queen for his work. He did calculations and the whole book is a book of calculations based upon Daniel's prophecy. He checked all of his dates with the Royal Observatory in London and he calculated 483 years from March 14, 445 BC and he calculated them in terms of days. He said that would equal to 173,880 days. So we begin counting from March 14, 445 BC, 1, 2, 3, 173,880 days. And he arrived at the end of that with this date, April the 6th, listen, 32 AD. What happened on April 6, 32 AD? Well, it happened to be in the Jewish calendar the 10th of the month Nissan.
That was the day that the lambs were selected by the families to be given a few days later as a Passover sacrifice. On that day, April 6, 32 AD, exactly 173,880 days after March 14, 445 BC, Jesus Christ ascended the Mount of Olives from the east, stopped, and he said to his disciples, hey, get me a donkey. Now, it's not because he was just like into donkey rides. He was fulfilling Zechariah chapter 9, behold Jerusalem, your king is coming to you on a donkey. And he began riding that donkey while the crowds were shouting, Hosanna, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. And he is presenting himself as the lamb to the nation. As he's coming down, he stops.
And he does something very unusual. He breaks down and audibly weeps in front of the city of Jerusalem. I'll read you that account out of Luke chapter 19.
It's mentioned by all of the gospels in some form or fashion. Now, as he drew near, he saw the city and he wept over it, saying, now listen carefully, if you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace, but now they are hidden from your eyes. By the way, kings in ancient times, in times of peace rode on a donkey.
In times of war, they chose a horse. That puts Revelation 19 into context for you. As Jesus comes back on a horse, he came on a donkey the first time, a horse the second time, he came in peace the first time, he comes to enforce righteousness the second time. If you had only known in this your day, the things that make for your peace, but now they're hidden from your eyes. He continues, for the days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you and surround you and close you in on every side and level you and your children within you to the ground and they will not leave in you one stone upon another. He's predicting what will happen in 70 AD, a few years from that time, when the Romans will come in and decimate the city. Now listen to how he closes it, because you did not know the time of your visitation. He's saying, in other words, I am holding you, Israel, publicly accountable for knowing what Daniel predicted in the coming of the Messiah, the Daniel 70 weeks prophecy of Daniel chapter 9. You should have known this day. This is the day of your visitation. You didn't know it.
You refused to see it. And he predicts the fall of Jerusalem. Exactly 173,880 days from March 14, 445 BC to now April 6, 32 AD on the 10th of Nisan as the lambs are presented.
Don't ever think that God is general, sort of, kind of, around that period of time. He is precise. But there's more. It says in verse 26 of Daniel chapter 9, after the 62 weeks, 69 in total, Messiah shall be cut off, karat. It means to kill by piercing.
Interesting. And then it says, but not for himself. Jesus didn't die for himself. It wasn't a travesty of Roman justice. He died for others.
He came as an atonement. And, it continues, the people of the prince who is to come shall disappear, the prince who is to come shall destroy the city, that's Jerusalem, and the sanctuary, that's the temple. The end of it shall be with the flood. And until the end of the war, desolations are determined.
Now, we don't have to guess what that is. We know from history. In 70 AD, according to this and what Jesus predicted, Titus Vespasian, the Roman general, came in and forced his way into Jerusalem, killing on that day a million Jews, starving out within the city 100,000 Jews. Josephus says they were so desperate within that city that parents began to eat their own babies.
Horrible, horrifying, predicted. And listen carefully, especially to witness to Jewish friends or family members. When Daniel wrote what he wrote, there was no temple in Jerusalem. It had been burned by the Babylonians. Yet he is predicting events that will take place after the temple is rebuilt. Messiah will come, Messiah will die, the city and the temple will be destroyed, et cetera. Which means, by virtue of that, the Messiah, the Jewish Messiah, had to arrive on the scene somewhere before 70 AD, according to their own prophet, Daniel. So now we understand it generally, specifically, and messianically. But let's finish out the text. We need number four to understand this futuristically.
There's something coming up ahead. Verse 27, then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week. He being someone from the people of the prince who destroyed the temple in 70 AD, someone of Roman background, a revived Roman empire, which we've already noted in past studies. But in the middle of the week, the week being seven years, the middle of the week being three and a half years, he shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering, and on the wing of abominations, shall be one who makes desolate. That's where we get the term, the abomination of desolation. Even until the consummation, which is determined, is poured out on the desolate. Now, in verse 27, we're dealing with that final seven-year period, which is somewhere in the future toward the second coming of Jesus Christ.
You say, well, how do you know that? We'll look at the list of the six things that have to be accomplished during this period. Have they been done yet? Is there everlasting righteousness? Have all the prophecies of the Old and New Testament been fulfilled? Is there a temple in Jerusalem that is anointed and dedicated?
No. Those things haven't been done, so we're dealing with now 69 weeks, 483 years fulfilled, now this huge long gap called the church age, and at some point in the future, the calendar kicks off again with that last seven-year period. That's implied even in the text. After the 69th week, then the Messiah will be cut off, not during it afterwards. It implies a gap. It implies a stopping of the time watch. And then at the last seven-year period, there's going to be some pact, some covenant, some covenant, broken in the midst of that covenant, three and a half years, and when it's all done, there will be everlasting righteousness, et cetera.
Just to seal that in your own heart so you don't think, well, He's just sort of making a lot of this stuff up. Jesus Christ Himself in Matthew 24, looking into the future, said this, and when you see the abomination of desolation as spoken of by Daniel the prophet standing in the holy place, you who are in Judea flee to the mountains. For then there will come great tribulation, such has never been before on earth, from the beginning even till now, nor ever shall be. And He continues to talk, and then He says, you will see the Son of Man coming in power and great glory. That has not happened yet. We are waiting for that. That is yet future. So we're dealing here with a future seven-year time called Daniel's 70th week.
In between the 69th and 70th, it's us. It's the church. It's God reaching out to the whole world through the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ. But at some time in the future, there will be a seven-year tribulation period where this kicks up again. So we've understood it generally, specifically, messianically, and futuristically. In closing, number five, and most important, we need to understand this practically.
The worst thing that could happen is you walk away going, wow, that was heavy. I understand some cool facts and figures now about history. Wow. This should motivate us practically.
Here's how. Number one in prayer. This is an answer to prayer. This is what happens when you pray. He's reading something. He prays about it.
Now he understands more than ever before. You know, Daniel's prayer, though it looks long to read, only takes three minutes to read. Three minutes.
Have you ever gotten up in the morning and say, I don't have much time to pray. I've only got five minutes. Okay. Well, that's not long enough.
Why? Well, because the devil keeps reminding me I have to be on my knees five hours for it to really be worse on me. Just take those five minutes. This was three minutes. He didn't even finish the prayer.
He didn't even say amen, and he got more than he can handle. Use that time and engage with God. Prayer. Second thing that shows me is providence. You've heard that term, the providence of God. God moves history. God moves circumstances supernaturally, naturally, using the natural world. The best definition I've ever heard of providence is it's the hand of God and the glove of circumstance. God moves the players throughout history on his chessboard to get his will done.
So people like Titus, Vespasian, Artaxerxes, Longimonus, Cyrus, et cetera, they might be powerful rulers, but they're pawns on God's chessboard. He moves them around to get his stuff done. He's in charge here. Prayer providence number three, precision.
Precision. I have a question for you. The God who can make these kind of accurate, precise predictions about the Jewish people and the coming of the Messiah and his death, can you trust your life to him?
Will you entrust your future, your family, your ambitions to this kind of precise God? That's what he's calling us to do. You see, the cross of Jesus Christ, Revelation 13 says he's the lamb slain from before the foundations of the earth.
It was all part of God's plan, and now we see it predicted the Messiah will be cut off, but not for himself. So we're sort of left in the position of that little boy holding the pieces of the puzzle. You put the man together, the whole world comes together. You put Jesus Christ in his proper place in your life. You entrust your life into the hands of this precise God who gave his son to die on the cross for you, and your whole world will come together. That concludes Skip Heitzig's message from the series, I Dare You. Find the full message, as well as books, booklets, and full teaching series at connectwithskip.com. Right now, listen as Skip shares about a special resource that will help strengthen the soul of your marriage.
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800-922-1888. Thank you for your generosity. We're glad you listened today and come back next time as Skip shares about a fight you can't afford to sit out. Make a connection, make a connection at the foot of the cross and cast all burdens on his word. Make a connection, connection. Connect with Skip Hyten is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never changing truth in ever changing times.
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