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I Dare You: Fight! - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
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February 22, 2023 5:00 am

I Dare You: Fight! - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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February 22, 2023 5:00 am

Whether you realize it or not, you're engaged in a spiritual battle. So how can you stand strong? In the message "I Dare You: Fight!" Skip shares practical advice on how you can stand confidently against your already-defeated foe.

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Okay, a third of the angels fell. That leaves how many left?

Two-thirds. Satan's outnumbered, right? The Bible says, greater is he that is in you, God, than he that is in the world, Satan. So you're on the winning side no matter what, but to survive well and to engage in the fight, there's two things that are mentioned in this chapter.

Whether you realize it or not, you're engaged in a spiritual battle. And today on Connect with Skip Hyten, Skip shares practical advice to help you stand strong against our defeated foe. But first, we want to invite you to follow Skip on social media to get important updates and biblical encouragement. Just follow Skip on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for all the latest from Skip and from this ministry. That's at Skip Hyten, at Skip H-E-I-T-Z-I-G. Now, we're in Daniel 10 as we join Skip for today's teaching.

You can always do more than pray after you prayed, but you really can't do more than pray until you pray. So Daniel knows what's happening back in Jerusalem, and it causes him to mourn and weep, and suddenly, suddenly, heaven breaks in on him. This concerning problem that he has gets eclipsed by a commanding presence, verse four. Now, on the 24th day of the first month, as I was by the side of the great river, that is the Tigris, I lifted my eyes and looked and behold, a certain man clothed in linen. Now, stop right there. That's not unusual. And it sounds, if you stop here, like we're just dealing with a human being.

When you read the rest of it, it doesn't sound like any human you've ever met. Whose waste was girded with a gold, the gold of Uphaz. Now, if you're going to ask me afterwards, what is the gold of Uphaz?

I'll be able to tell you. I have no idea what that is. But it must be the standard for pure gold in the Babylonian era at the time of Daniel. It would be like saying today, it's like the gold from Tiffany's.

You know, it's just like the highest grade known. His body was like burl. Burl is translucent or transparent gold color. His face, like the appearance of lightning. His eyes, like torches of fire. His arms and feet, like burnished bronze in color. And the sound of his words, like the voice of a multitude.

Wow, that's something to see. How does it react in Daniel's experience? I, Daniel, alone saw the vision, for the men who were with me did not see the vision, but a great terror fell upon them, so they fled to hide themselves. Therefore, I was left alone when I saw this great vision, and no strength remained in me, for my vigor was turned to frailty in me, and I retained no strength. Yet, I heard the sound of his words, and while I heard the sound of his words, I was in a deep sleep on my face, with my face to the ground. Now, can I just remind you again, Daniel is 86 years old. He has seen an eyeful in his lifetime, dreams, visions. He's interpreted other people's dreams and visions.

His heart is not what it used to be. And now this luminescent being stands in front of him, and Daniel just collapses. The others, they get out of town.

They're out of dodge. Now, what this illustrates for us, among other things, is the problem the earthly has interacting with the heavenly. When an earthly being encounters divinity, there's always a problem. Every now and then, somebody will get on Christian television and say, I saw God, and I've written a book about it. And they almost sound prideful, and I'm thinking, if you ever saw God, dude, either you'd be dead, or you'd be so humble about it, because those in the Bible who had divine encounters had that kind of a reaction. You remember, Job said to the Lord, I've heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you, therefore I abhor myself, and I repent in dust and ashes. That's a guy who saw God. Isaiah the prophet had a vision of God, and he said, woe is me. I am undone. I am a man of unclean lips.

Remember that? How did Peter react when he discovered who Jesus really was in that boat? He said, Lord, depart from me. I am a sinful man.

I can't even hang out with you. And then in Revelation chapter 6, it describes a group of people who will say to the mountains and the rocks, fall on us, and hide us from the face of the one who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb. So Daniel, he collapses. He swoons.

He can't handle it. The rest of the dudes are out of there. Now, who is this certain man in this apparition that he sees? Some have suggested it's the angel Gabriel mentioned in Daniel. Others suggest it's the angel Michael, also mentioned in the book of Daniel. Others will say it's an angel of equal rank, but unnamed. Now, to me, the context, as well as the cross references, point to only one person. This is what I believe.

You ready? It's the pre-incarnate Christ, which is not unusual. If you're a student of the Old Testament, you know there's this personage called 50 times in the Old Testament, the angel of the Lord, who is oftentimes addressed as the Lord and is even worshiped as the Lord. Let me read something to you.

You don't have to turn there. I'll just read to you. I want you to listen to the description of another person that John sees in the book of Revelation chapter 1.

Just listen to see if it's any similarity to this. Now, in Revelation 1, John hears a voice, and the voice says, I'm the Alpha, the Omega, the beginning and the end. So I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned, I saw seven golden lampstands. And in the midst of the seven lampstands, one like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to his feet, girded about the chest with a golden band. His head and hair were like white wool, white as snow, his eyes like a flame of fire, his feet like fine bronze or brass, as if refined in a furnace, and his voice as the sound of many waters. In his right hand, he had seven stars out of his mouth when a sharp two-edged sword, and his countenance was like the sun shining in its strength. When I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead.

But he laid his hand on me, and he said, Do not be afraid. I am the first and the last. Listen, I am he who lives, was dead, but behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen.

Who's that? That's Jesus Christ. The only difference between the vision is the hair.

Everything else is identical to it. So I'm submitting to you that what John saw was the post-resurrected Christ in his glory. What Daniel saw was the pre-incarnate Christ in his glory. The question is, why does he see this? Well, he's about to be told all of the future battles of Israel in the near future and in the far future, between Greece and Persia, Antiochus Epiphanes, Alexander, etc.

He's going to be told details of that in chapter 11. But before that, he's going to be shown another cosmic battle taking place in heavenly places. So before the battle, God wants Daniel to know who's in charge, who the commanding officer is. Now, again, if you're a Bible student, you remember the battle of Jericho, right? The book of Joshua. And remember in Joshua 5, before the battle of Jericho, Joshua turns, he's the general, and he sees a man standing with his sword exposed, lifted up. And Joshua, the general, says, are you for us or are you for our enemies?

And the answer is classic. This person says, no. It's not what I asked. Are you for us or for our enemies?

No. But as the commander of the Lord's armies, I have come. And it says, Joshua fell down and worshiped.

And this person said, take the shoes off of your feet. You're standing on holy ground. For the same reason Joshua saw the commanding officer, the Lord, in charge of the battle of Jericho, so Daniel sees who is in charge of the battle he's about to get the details to. In the spiritual battle you and I face, you better know who your commanding officer is or you're going to go into this and get bloodied and beaten. The Bible says in Hebrews, we should be looking unto Jesus, the author and the finisher of our faith. You know what our problem is?

When we go through hard times, especially spiritual battles, we have a tendency, I have a tendency, to gaze at my problems and glance at the Lord. Gaze at the problem. This is tough. This is horrible. This is bad. I got to talk to people about it.

Bad, bad, bad. Glance at the Lord. Shoot up a prayer. Help me, Lord, help me. Gaze, gaze, gaze. Help me, help me. Glance, glance, glance. That's the problem.

We need to reverse that. Glancing at our problems, gazing at the Lord. I read an article by AAA, you know, American Automobile Association, and they noticed a few years ago this interesting occurrence of drivers on the road hitting parked cars. And they just noticed that people are driving along and then they get in an accident by driving into a parked car. They said, what's going on?

They noted that in all of the cases they studied, or most of them, alcohol was not involved, drugs were not involved, weather conditions were perfect. So they called this in the article, the moth effect. Just like a moth is inadvertently drawn to the flame, to the light, so drivers are attracted to whatever their eye notices and looks at for long enough. They hit whatever they look at.

You will hit whatever you look at. And if you're gazing at your problems and glancing at the Lord, you're going to be living there. But if you're gazing at the Lord and only glancing at your problems, you got a good, good footing in spiritual warfare. Let's finish this chapter.

From the concerning problem to the commanding presence, now to the real show, the contending powers. Suddenly, verse 10, a hand touched me, which made me tremble on my knees and on the palms of my hands. And he said to me, O Daniel, man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak to you and stand upright, for I have been now sent to you. While he was speaking this word to me, I stood trembling.

Poor guy. And he said to me, do not fear Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard and I have come because of your words. Three weeks ago when you started this, your prayer was answered in heaven and I got dispatched. But, now this is wild, but the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me 21 days and behold Michael, one of the chief princes, who will be introduced to in chapter 12 as the chief angel of Israel, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia. Now I have come to make you understand what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision refers to many days yet to come. When he had spoken such words to me, I turned my face toward the ground and became speechless. Suddenly, one having the likeness of the sons of men, touched my lips and I opened my mouth and spoke, saying to him who stood before me, my Lord, small L, because of the vision, my sorrows have overwhelmed me and I have retained no strength.

How can the servant of my Lord talk with you, my Lord? As for me, no strength remains in me now, nor is there any breath left in me. Then again, one having the likeness of a man touched me and strengthened me and he said, oh man, greatly beloved, fear not, peace be to you, be strong.

Yes, be strong. So when he spoke to me, I was strengthened and I said, let my Lord speak, for you have strengthened me. And then he said, do you know why I have come to you? And now I must return to fight with the prince of Persia. When I have gone forth, indeed, the prince of Greece will come. But I will tell you what is noted in the scripture of truth, no one upholds me against these except Michael, your prince. Now you got to know that for an 86-year-old guy who's overwhelmed by this vision that has put him on the ground and now he's just like barely standing up, trembling, to hear the words, man greatly beloved, would make him go, ah. Because if I saw this vision, I'm thinking, I'm going to die.

I mean, you can see how shaken up he is, right? Oh man, greatly beloved. In the Bible, there are certain designations of special people. For example, Abraham is called the friend of God. David was called a man after God's own heart. Jesus called John the Baptist the greatest man born of woman. But did you know there are only two people in all of the Bible given this title? Greatly beloved, you know who they are? One is Daniel, the other is the apostle John. He's called the disciple whom Jesus loved. And what's interesting is that both Daniel and John are the ones that give us apocalyptic literature. Daniel parallels the book of Revelation in so much of what it predicts.

Oh man, greatly beloved. Question is, verse 13, look at it again. He's saying, but the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me 21 days.

So you get the picture? As soon as you prayed, I'm out of heaven, I'm here. But it took me three weeks to get here. That's why he's been fasting and mourning for three weeks. This angel shows up, hey, I was dispatched as soon as you prayed.

He's thinking, what took you so long? He tells him, the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me 21 days. And behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me for I have been left alone there with the kings of Persia. Question, who's the prince of Persia?

Don't say it's Cyrus. He was the king of Persia. This is the prince of Persia. Well, whoever this prince is, it's not a human being, because it takes two super-duper angels to fight against him. And it takes considerable time in this period of warfare.

So we get inside. The curtain is sort of pulled back for Daniel to see into the really real world of the demonic and the angelic, that there's a human king but a demonic prince behind the human king called Cyrus. That shouldn't surprise you. Jesus said of Satan, he is the prince of this world. Paul the apostle in Ephesians 2 called Satan the prince of the power of the heir, the one who is at work in the children of disobedience. And later on, he talks about principalities and powers.

So let's just sort of put it in nugget form. We need to understand the battle. Not only is there a God, but there is a devil. Not only is there just a devil, but he's got a lot of buddies.

He's got a gang of demonic forces, because the Bible tells us in the Old Testament, Satan drew how many angels out of heaven? A third. How many is that?

I don't know. A bunch. I'm not trying to be cute with you, but in Revelation 5, when John sees all the angels around the throne of God, do you remember what he says? He said, I saw 10,000 times 10,000 plus thousands of thousands. So that's a hundred million plus a bunch. I think he's just shooting at a number.

He's just sort of estimating, there's a whole lot of them up here. And a third fell from heaven. And they have become, according to the scriptures, a well-organized network designed to thwart God's plan, if they could, but they can't, and to hinder God's people. I hope now you realize what Paul wrote in Ephesians 6, when he said, we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers, against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers of darkness who rule this world, and against wicked spirits in heavenly realms. Daniel 10 implies that there are demons assigned to nations, in this case, one to Persia and later on one to Greece, which makes one wonder what the Prince of San Francisco must be like, or the Prince of Las Vegas, I don't mean New Mexico, the other one, or the Prince of Washington, DC, or the Prince of Albuquerque, what they must be like. 1 John chapter 5, little children, we know the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.

Listen, if you think you can read the newspaper about all the stuff going on, and you think it's just about what's going on in Iran and Syria and Egypt and China, you're naive. That's the spillover from the really real world and the battle that is going on in the heavenlies. Well, Daniel prayed, and all I can say is he got a whole lot more than what he was praying about. He got revelation into future battles, he got insight into a heavenly battle, he got a whole lot more.

Didn't expect that. But you know, there's something that just gripped me as I studied this week, this chapter, and that is this, we piddle around with such petty little things when God wants us to know monumental truths. I mean, we just spent so much time with little... Who do I text? And just little time-stealers when there's monumental truths going on. So you're part of a conflict. You may not be aware of it, then the devil has you right where he wants you. Great, just mosey on, true.

But we're part of a conflict. I want to leave you, though, with something. I don't want you to be discouraged by this.

I want you to be encouraged. Okay, a third of the angels fell. That leaves how many left? Two-thirds. Satan's outnumbered, right?

The Bible says, greater is he that is in you, God, than he that is in the world, Satan. So you're on the winning side no matter what. But to survive well and to engage in the fight, there's two things that you can do. You can not to survive well and to engage in the fight. There's two things that are mentioned in this chapter. There are several other things that we could talk about in spiritual warfare, but we don't have the time.

But two things. Number one, the importance of scripture. Importance of scripture.

Look at the last verse. Notice what this being says to Daniel. Tell you what is noted in the scripture of truth. Now, this book will keep you from deception. It'll keep you from deception. According to this book, the devil is called the one who deceives the world.

That's his principal arrow he shoots out of his bow. This will keep you from being deceived. Keeps you from deception. Second is prayer. That'll keep you from destruction.

Daniel is on his knees. Listen, when you pray, you're pulling out the big guns. Do you remember Indiana Jones, Raiders of the Lost Ark? Okay, do you remember the scene? I want to see how many of you remember. Remember the market scene when the guy flashes the sword? And Indiana Jones pulls out a gun, just goes bam, fights over.

Remember that? Prayer is pulling out the big guns. Prayer is bringing a gun to a knife fight. No wonder this deceiver wants to keep you at all costs from engaging in prayer.

Because that's his defeat. God will honor that. That's the big guns. So, can you see that whenever we say such things like this, there's nothing left to do except pray.

What an insult that is to God, who has allowed us to be engaged in this warfare on the winning side by using the big guns. 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, we want to share about a special resource that will help you make your marriage stronger and more fun. 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 Jennie 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, Jennie 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 a joy. Date night's fun. You know what I mean?

It's a 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've 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. Next time Skip shares from Daniel 11 to show you that God indeed knows the end from the beginning. What we have in Daniel chapter 11 is the marvelous demonstration that history is merely his story and that for God telling the future isn't any harder than knowing the past. Connect with Skip Heitzig is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never-changing truth in ever-changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-22 06:51:59 / 2023-02-22 07:01:41 / 10

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