Ever since he uttered those words, the church for 2,000 years has been waiting for him to come again and both receive us to himself as well as come over and take over the earth. Jesus promised to return one day and end all conflict. And today on Connect with Skip Hyten, Skip shares how this promise gives us ultimate hope and reason to rest. Then at the end of the program, stick around as Skip and Lenya discuss the hope we have in Christ even as the world comes to an end. The Bible always gives us that upward look or the outward look to look beyond what we're going through now and to an ultimate payoff.
We're living in time and eternity simultaneously. Now here's an offer that'll strengthen your marriage as you grow closer to your spouse and God. 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? 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.
It was like, 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'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 Jenny 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 we're in Daniel 11 as we join Skip for today's teaching. Third, in regards to religion, notice the same verse says, nor regard any God for he will magnify himself above them all. Now this is an interesting characteristic. His pride is so up there, out there, that he would even exalt himself above God, above any God. That's an aberration. I mean, you know, there's arrogance and then there's arrogance. And this is arrogance to an aberrational point. Paul says the same thing, 2 Thessalonians chapter 2 verse 4.
He opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. Now hold this thought because I want to tie something together that if I just move on, there'll be too many loose threads. I mentioned something a couple weeks ago, a few weeks ago. I suggested a possibility. And again, it's only a possibility. I'm not here to say I know who the Antichrist is or from where they're from.
Enough books have been written that are wrong. But I suggested the possibility that the Antichrist may have Islamic origin, that the Antichrist might indeed be the one that the Muslims worldwide consider as coming soon, their madhi, their deliverer. And I quoted from Islamic literature to show you that they are expecting universally somebody who is coming to this earth, who is a messianic figure, an unparalleled leader, this is all in their literature, who will take control of the world, who will destroy all who resist him, who will invade many nations, who will enact a seven-year peace treaty with the Jews, who will conquer Israel and massacre Jews, and then establish an Islamic world headquarters at Jerusalem. Which when we discovered that, boy, that sounds a whole lot like what the Bible describes as Antichrist. We have two problems. Problem number one in most people's minds is this problem of the revived Roman Empire because the prophecy is that Rome will in the end days have some sort of association and revive, and so we expect a leader from the revived Roman Empire.
So everybody looks to Europe as some white European guy who's going to come, and that's the Antichrist. What you need to understand, and if you know history, you remember this, and if you know biblical history, you remember that Nebuchadnezzar saw a vision of coming world empires, and the last one were the legs of iron that represented Rome. It was the longest part of the statue. It was divided into two legs. In 395 AD, Rome indeed split east and west. The western leg of the Roman Empire fizzled out, essentially.
The eastern leg continued for another thousand years, and it was headquartered at Constantinople, which is today modern-day Istanbul, Turkey. If you were to take a map of the ancient Roman Empire, you would discover that 60% of the lands that occupied the Roman Empire are under today Islamic control. So we can answer that part of the question.
The other piece of the problem deals with what we're talking about here. You have a guy who's saying he's God. The Antichrist is demanding personal worship. How could he be a Muslim? Any Muslim would never allow this.
Well, here's what you have to remember. The Antichrist, whoever this person is, will accomplish a great deal in the first three and a half years of his seven-year rule. He will not demand worship until three and a half years is up, and in the middle of that seven-year period comes this abomination of desolation, where he proclaims that he is God. That's once the world has given him allegiance. Then he invades Israel. Then he establishes authority in the temple. After the Islamic world, after all the Imams and all the Mullahs and all the Ayatollahs and all the Sheikhs have already said, this is the guy. To deny him at that point would be the ultimate shame in Islam, especially after a flush of vindication and satisfaction if we've made this much ground.
Something else. Add to all that I just said what it says in 2 Thessalonians 2 of this time period, where it says, God will send them strong delusion that they will believe the lie. There will be a supernatural confirmation of the already hardened hearts of those people on the earth. God will send them strong delusion, and they will believe the lie. Okay, now back to our theme.
I dare you, rest. Daniel has shown this kind of a leader who will be arrogant and aberrational with no regard at all to any God or religions of other people. He'll be intolerant of other people's faith. And then he will turn from his own at some point.
How do you rest with somebody like that? Here's what you need to remember. When all this happens, it will be for a very short period of time. Three and a half years is a short period of time when you look at world history. Three and a half years, and I believe that's what Jesus meant when he said, unless those days were shortened, there would no flesh be saved.
But for the elect's sake, they will be shortened. So here's the scriptural promise. God will not share his glory with another. You can rest in God's proclamation. Rest in God's promise, rest in God's proclamation.
Let's consider a third characteristic of this coming leader, and that is his association. Verse 38. But in their place, he shall honor a God of fortresses, a God which his fathers did not know. He shall honor with gold and silver, with precious stones and pleasant things. And thus he shall act against the strongest fortresses with a foreign God, which he shall acknowledge and advance its glory.
And he shall cause them to rule over many and divide the land for gain. Now, six times in this section, fortress or fortresses is used. It literally means a strong place.
When a church means a strong place. When it talks about the God of fortresses, it's simply a way of saying power will be his God. He will depend on military strength. He will have an enormous amount of military prowess and availability. Again, I remind you of what we already read in Daniel 7, verse 23. The fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom on earth, which will be different from all other kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, trample it, and break it in pieces. He'll worship a God of fortresses. His aim, well, to be the political ruler of the world using a war machine and all the money he has to finance wars with military strength to gain political power.
It will be chaotic. There were three buddies who were talking about the oldest profession known to man. One was a doctor, a surgeon. His buddy was an engineer, and the third friend of theirs was a politician. And so the doctor, the surgeon said, well, if you look at the Bible, it says that God carved out of Adam a piece of him and made a woman.
That means, gentlemen, my profession, surgeon, is the oldest profession known to man. His engineer buddy said, not so fast. If you go a little bit before that, it says in six days, God created the world out of chaos.
That's the job of an engineer. Over in the corner there, buddy, the politician had that smile on his face and he said, ah, but who created the chaos? What's interesting is that in this future seven-year period that the Bible speaks so often about, the first part of it will be a time of peace. The second part of it will be chaotic. And some of these verses ahead of us will even show that to be true. But in Revelation 13, John has a similar vision as Daniel. Daniel saw a beast coming out of the sea, actually four beasts. John sees somebody called the beast in Revelation 13, emerging from the sea of humanity. And when this leader comes on the scene, the world says, who is like the beast and who is able to wage war with him?
He will be so strong militarily. And yet, my message today is I dare you to rest. How can anyone find rest with a powerful, prideful, peculiar, political oppressor like this guy?
Well, it's interesting. In the book of Revelation itself, which describes this seven-year horrible period on earth twice, in chapter 6 and chapter 14, God tells His people, rest. He uses that word, rest, rest. Here's the Scripture, Matthew 23, verse 12. Jesus said, whoever exalts himself is going to be abased.
You can rest in His power. And we're going to show that to you in a moment. God's power to create the heaven and the earth is sufficient to deal with this joker who comes.
Well, let's see that. Let's come now to His fourth characteristic, His annihilation. Verse 40, at the time of the end, notice that. The time of the end, the king of the south shall attack him, and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind. So whatever we saw in terms of those kings of the north and south previously are foreshadowing this end time scenario. With chariots, horsemen, with many ships, he shall enter the countries, overwhelm them, pass through. He shall also enter the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown. But these shall escape from his hand, Edom, Moab, and the prominent people of Ammon.
All of those areas are in present-day Jordan. He shall stretch out his hand against the countries, and the land of Egypt shall not escape. He shall have power over the treasures of gold and silver, over the precious things of Egypt. Also the Libyans and Ethiopians shall follow at his heels. But news from the east and the north shall trouble him. Therefore he shall go out with great fury to destroy and annihilate many. And he shall plant the tents of his palace between the seas and the glorious holy mountain.
Yet he shall come to his end, and no one will help him. Now we're dealing probably with the second half of this seven-year tribulation period. Notice again in verse 40, it marks it as at the time of the end. Then it goes on to describe a coalition from the south of North African nations that are mentioned, that come up against him, this leader, this king, this antichrist, that come up against him, as well as a coalition from the north, kings of the north.
Who might that be? Well, it might be what Ezekiel 38 and 39 describes as the war of Gog and Magog, all coming against him at that time. During that time, the Jews will flee to the east. Revelation chapter 12 tells us, interestingly, in a fortress in present-day Jordan. They will flee to their desert refuge in the wilderness. The antichrist will hear news, bad news, coming from the east, which caused us to wonder, what could that be?
Well, Revelation 9 does describe an army of 200 million crossing the Euphrates River. That could be the bad news that he hears. He's got trouble from the south, trouble from the north, trouble from the east. He's got trouble.
His whole powerful coalition at that point is breaking apart. And then verse 45, he shall plant the tents of his palace between the seas. What are the seas?
Well, to anybody who's from Judea like Daniel was. The seas could only mean this, the Mediterranean Sea and the Dead Sea. Those were the seas to any Jerusalemite or person from Judea as Daniel was. The seas, the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea between the seas and the glorious Holy Mountain. It's only one mountain. That's Mount Zion. That's Jerusalem. And yet he shall come to his end and no one will help him.
So you have all these nations coming together, coming together toward Israel. You have this antichrist and then it finally says the end and he'll come to his end period and no one will help him. You know how he comes to his end? You know how he comes to his end. I know how he comes to his end.
He probably hears something and he looks up and he goes, uh-oh, I'm in big trouble. Now I'll read it to you. This is Revelation chapter 19.
This describes the end of that seven-year period. The beast has already been reigning in the book of Revelation. Now this is Revelation chapter 19. I saw heaven opened and behold a white horse and he who sat on him was called Faithful and True and in righteousness he judges and makes war.
His eyes were like a flame of fire. On his head were many crowns and he had a name written which no one knew except himself. He was clothed with the robe dipped in blood and his name is called the Word of God. And the armies in heaven clothed in fine linen, white and clean followed him on white horses. Now out of his mouth goes a sharp sword that with it he should strike the nations and he himself will rule with the rod of iron. He himself treads the wine press of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God and he has on his robe and on his thigh a name written King of Kings and Lord of Lords. That's none other than the Lord Jesus Christ coming back to this earth in the second coming. And I saw the beast the one we've been reading about and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to make war against him who sat on the horse and against his army. And the beast was captured and with him the false prophet who worked signs in the presence by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image and those two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. That's how he comes to the end and no one will help him. No ally can help him because Jesus returns with the armies of heaven. Remember what Jesus said in the upper room at the last supper?
He said let not your hearts be troubled. Do you believe in God? Believe also in me.
In my father's house are many mansions but were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. Now listen and if I go I will what? Come again.
I will come again. Ever since he uttered those words the church for 2,000 years has been waiting for him to come again and both receive us to himself as well as come over and take over the earth. So many hymns, so many songs have been written about the second coming.
This is the ultimate reason to rest. He is coming and that will end all of the conflict against Israel, all of the pain and sorrow of the world, all of the oppression we've been reading about. Here's the scripture Proverbs 21. The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord and like the rivers of water he turns it wherever he wishes. Even this king's heart is in the hand of the Lord. Rejoice and rest in God's plan. So rest in God's promises, his proclamation, his power, and his plan.
I hope you're not thinking of God as sitting up in his heaven looking down seeing what happens on the earth biting his fingernails going what in the world is going on down there and how on earth am I ever able to save earth. He's got a plan. He's got power.
He has made proclamations and promises all of which cause us facing our future to rest. I love the story about the man who was out on the ocean. Of course I love the ocean and he was out on his boat and a storm came and he wasn't too happy about that storm because his boat was rocking back and forth and he didn't know if he was going to make it but he remembered Psalm 21 that says, he who keeps Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps.
He thought of that promise. God never slumbers nor sleeps. So he folded his hands and he looked up to heaven and he says, since you don't ever rest there's no sense in both of us losing sleep. Good night.
What a way to look at life. I'm in a storm but you're going to stay awake. I'm going to take a nap. You can rest in the fact that our God sovereignly who has made promises, proclamations, has power. He has a plan. So we can rest. That's Skip Heitig with a message from the series, I Dare You. Find the full message as well as books, booklets and full teaching series at connectwithskip.com. Now let's go in the studio with Skip and Lenya as they share how Christ's return is the reason for our ultimate hope and rest.
Skip as Christians we can sometimes still be fearful or apprehensive about the future but can you talk a bit more about how Christ's return gives us reason for hope and rest even as we walk through challenging uncertain times. You know the early church, Lenya, lived in the anticipation because life was hard and they got persecuted and the Roman government or their own local government was coming down on them. They were losing their jobs. They were getting beat up.
Some were getting killed. So they had to be able to look beyond that into something that was beneficial. That's the payoff.
Where's the payoff? So that's where the Bible is so good at encouraging us because Jesus even said when you start seeing these things begin to unfold look up because your redemption is drawing near. So the Bible always gives us that upward look or the outward look to look beyond what we're going through now and to an ultimate payoff.
We're living in time and eternity simultaneously and sometimes we get so captured in this time you know the days of my life and eternity extends both ways and so I think it's constantly looking beyond the here and now into the hereafter right. I just what was going through my head is some bright morning when this life is over I'll fly away I'll fly away and so we have songs hymns all kinds of things that remind us to have a heavenly view not just an earthly view. And that was so important to the early church they coined a word it was an Aramaic word that got circulated called maranatha and they would just speak that to one another and Paul even wrote it maranatha the Lord is coming and it when hearing that word it just brought a reset. Didn't you used to have maranatha on your car like a bumper sticker?
I had a bumper sticker that said that. It was just such a huge thing in the Jesus movement and Chuck Smith had one on the side of the bookstore it said maranatha and I promise you in my spirit when I saw that word I would leap you know like I don't know John leptin Elizabeth's belly my heart would leap at the idea of maranatha the Lord comes quickly so. It still should I hope that awakens you and you get hope realizing Jesus is coming back. Thank you Skip and Lenya. We hope this conversation with Skip and Lenya encouraged you in your faith. Now we'd like to share how you can help keep these biblical messages coming to you and so many others around the world so you can keep growing in your walk with Jesus. Skip wants to make these teachings available in more major cities on more stations.
Would you give a gift to help make that possible? Just call 800-922-1888. That's 800-922-1888 or visit connectwithskip.com slash donate. That's connectwithskip.com slash donate.
Thank you. Next time Skip gives you a ray of hope that will carry you through future hard times all the way into eternity. Make a connection. Make a connection at the foot of the cross. Cast all burdens on His word. Make a connection. Connect with Skip Heitner is a presentation of Connection Communications connecting you to God's never changing truth in ever-changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-28 04:56:30 / 2023-02-28 05:05:54 / 9