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I Dare You: Hope! - Part A

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March 1, 2023 5:00 am

I Dare You: Hope! - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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March 1, 2023 5:00 am

Skip continues his series I Dare You about the life of Daniel and shares a powerful word about how God revealed things to Daniel that offered great hope to him, just as they do for you today. Join Skip as he shares his message "I Dare You: Hope!"

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When the night becomes the blackest, the light becomes the brightest right afterwards.

And so it is with world history. Just when things are getting to the very worst, God will then offer His very best. Hope is a powerful thing.

In fact, it's very hard to live without. And as Skip shares in his message today on Connect with Skip Heitzel, when all seems lost, God can come in and breathe hope and life into the world. But first, God uses the generosity of friends like you to impact so many lives around the world. One listener sent a note to say, I very much enjoy and have learned so much from the messages on the free Connect with Skip app.

In-depth Bible study like I have never heard. And that's exactly what you're invited to do today. In this new year, Skip wants to see these daily messages taken into more of the major cities in our country. Will you help us make that happen? Give a gift today at slash donate. That's slash donate or call 800-922-1888. Again, that's 800-922-1888. Thank you.

Now let's turn to Daniel 12 as we join Skip for today's teaching. If you've flown internationally, you know that one leg of a journey depends on the other leg so that if one flight becomes delayed, then you may have canceled flights and not make your destination for a couple days. That's always a problem. And it was a problem I faced on my first leg out of Albuquerque going to Beirut. We pulled out of the gate and we just sort of sat on the tarmac for a while and sat there and I knew something was up. Sure enough, pilot gets on the intercom. He says, ladies and gentlemen, there's some little problem we have. It's with emergency lights or landing or something.

That's pretty significant. So he said, we're going to pull back and try to get this thing figured out and get things replaced, et cetera. So I thought, well, I'm going to be delayed for the Houston, the Frankfurt, the Beirut. And I always want to shoot up a prayer right then. And so I prayed and we're pulling back to the gate and he gets back on the intercom.

Ladies and gentlemen, I don't know what happened, but it reset and we're good to go. So we took off and made all the connections. But as we were sitting there, I was thinking of another flight that was delayed. And the pilot got on that intercom and said, ladies and gentlemen, I regret to inform you that our thermal expander valve in engine number two, we have a warning light and I will not fly this airplane until we get that part replaced.

So we've got to take you back to the gate. And he disembarked all the passengers. They waited for only 20 minutes, however, all got back aboard and the plane took off. Well, while it is flying, one of the passengers said to a steward or a stewardess, boy, that was quick.

You must have had a thermal expander valve close at hand to be able to fix it that quick. And she said, no way. There's not one of those things for a thousand miles from here. We got us a new pilot. Well, when you're flying in the air and you hear that, that's an epiphanal moment. And you walk away from that going, uh-oh, we could be in big trouble.

Well, that is sort of the moment that Daniel has in the section of scripture that we're reading. The 70 years of Israel's captivity is over. It's time for them to go back and rebuild. They go back. But not all of them go back. In fact, most of them don't go back. In fact, most of the Israelites stayed in Babylon.

They didn't have any motivation at all to rebuild. And this broke Daniel's heart, and he was upset. And he fasted, and he mourned, and he prayed.

And while he was praying, an angel from heaven came and gave him a revelation. And that's chapters 10, 11, and 12. And it says basically, Daniel, I've got some bad news for you. The 70 years of captivity was just the beginning of sorrows. It's going to get far worse than this. There's going to be generation after generation after generation of oppressors who will come, and your people will suffer throughout their coming history, even to the very end of days when another ruler is going to come, whom we know is the Antichrist. And it will be really bad at that time.

That's the message he gets. It's pretty hopeless until now. Now in chapter 12, the light shines through the darkness, through the hopeless years of foretold history.

It's as if when the night becomes the blackest, the light becomes the brightest right afterwards. And so it is with world history, just when things are getting to the very worst, God will then offer his very best. And hope arises in chapter 12. Look at verse 1. At that time, Michael shall stand up, the great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that time. And at that time, your people shall be delivered, everyone who is found written in the book. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever. Daniel, God's going to purify your people.

He'll protect your people, he'll resurrect your people, and he's going to reward your people. That's the message of these three verses. This then is a message of hope for Daniel, because it's been hopeless up to this point. Hope is one of the three great necessities of life.

Paul spoke of faith, hope, and love. We can't live without hope. It's been well said that mankind can go about 40 days without food, about three days without water, about eight minutes without air, but only about one second without hope. And those people who study suicide will tell you that people will take their lives not because of the enormous problems in their present situation, but simply because they see no way out of their present situation. They see no future. They have no hope.

They're hopeless. And Daniel in chapter 10 and chapter 11 has had a series of messages from this angelic visitor who tells him about war and suffering and pain and heartache, one continuous vision, until here he sees hope. There's four words that are written in your worship folder this morning, four words that describe that future time. And I want you to see these four words as four rungs on a ladder. Let's build a ladder today.

Let's call it the ladder of hope, and it has four rungs, and it's going to go from the basement to where it was really bad to where it really gets good. Those four words are tribulation, preservation, resurrection, and remuneration. Those are the four words that describe these three verses. So let's begin with the first, the worst, tribulation.

Look at verse 1. At that time, stop. Just consider that phrase, at that time. Now, when you read a phrase like that, at that time, what do you ask?

At what time? And so here's where I need to jog your memory and have you reach back a couple of weeks where we left off in chapter 11. That's the time he's dealing with. That's the time he's dealing with.

Remember, it's one continuous vision. And the angelic messenger foretells the time when Israel will be oppressed in the coming few hundred years, but then reaches to the very end of history where it talks about, in that section of chapter 11, the time of the end. And it describes the Antichrist, this last bad ruler who's going to come and oppress the Jews. At that time, when the Antichrist ascends to power, at the time when he walks into the temple and desecrates it, at the time where he usurps authority and consumes all religions of the world, at the time where there's massive war that culminates in the Battle of Armageddon, at that time, hope will dawn. Hope will arise. The night gets darker and darker and darker just before the dawn.

And then there's hope. So it says, at that time. Now, it describes that time. Look also in verse 1, in the second sentence, and there shall be a time of trouble. Now, watch this description, such as never was, since there was a nation even into that time. You get the point?

You get the point? This is going to be so bad that no other time period in history would be able to compare with how bad it's going to be. It's going to be bad for the world, but it's going to be especially bad for the Jews, because that's the context of these three chapters, the Jewish people. If you think about it, Israel has suffered much in its history. It has suffered but the hands of the Babylonians, the Medo-Persians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Seleucids, the Ptolemies, the Herods, the Ahasuerus, the Alexanders, the Hitlers, they have suffered, suffered, suffered. But that's nothing compared to what they will suffer in that final period of history that we're dealing with here.

I have a book in my library, and it's fun to pull it down from time to time. It's a series of research polls that took place in this country. It's interesting, it was written right at the turnover around the year 2000 when we were approaching the new millennium, the new century. One little paragraph in it says this, quote, have you noticed that most books and movies about the future portray a world that you wouldn't want to live in? More than half the people we talk to honestly believe that the 21st century will be dirtier, harsher, harder, grimier, and gloomier than the world of today, close quote. Well, here's what this angel would want Daniel and consequently us to know.

No author or movie maker can portray how bad it's going to get. All we can say is there's never been a time ever in history like it. Now, when we read this, this should turn a little light on in our minds because Jesus said something pretty identical to this. That's where we turn to Matthew chapter 24.

So let's look at that. Matthew 24, look at verse seven. For nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.

And you might think, ah, come on, we've always had that stuff. Read the next verse. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Go down to verse 15. Therefore, when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet standing in the holy place, whoever reads, let them understand. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Now, he's given instructions to people who are living locally in Jerusalem. Let him who is on the housetops not go down and take anything out of his house.

Let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. But woe to those who are pregnant and those who are nursing babies in those days, and pray that your flight may not be in the winter or on the Sabbath. For then, there will be great tribulation such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved.

But for the elect's sake, those days will be shortened. It says the same thing Daniel says. An unprecedented time of pain, tribulation, is coming upon this world. Now, this time period goes under several titles in the Bible. Twenty-six times it's called the day of the Lord. Isaiah 26 and Isaiah 34 call it the indignation. Isaiah 63 calls it the day of God's vengeance. Revelation chapter 6, it's called the great day of His wrath. Also in Revelation 6, the day of the wrath of the Lamb.

So, it sounds like an oxymoron. The wrath of the Lamb. Have you ever seen a wrathful lamb?

Lambo, I like to call it. Now, in hearing what I just said and what the angel said to Daniel and what Jesus said, you might be asking, well, how bad can it get? I mean, we've had bad times in history before. I mean, we've had the Holocaust and World War I and World War II and etc., etc., we have.

How bad can it get? I'm glad you asked. The details of this last period of time are outlined in the book of Revelation. Essentially, that's what the book's about.

Revelation chapter 6 through 19. Here's just a summary of that. War, famine.

Again, you say we've always had that, but keep listening. Twenty-five percent of the world killed. Heavenly bodies falling out of the heaven toward the earth. One-third of the earth destroyed. One-third of the seas destroyed.

One-third of all the fresh water sources on earth eliminated. The release of hell's demons to overrun the earth. The Antichrist and his armies coming and slaughtering millions. Sores breaking out on people. Sunlight scorching people, burning them to death, and darkness covering the earth. Now, that goes on and on and on from chapter 6 through chapter 19.

That's how bad it can get. But one of the special targets of this coming leader, this Antichrist, will be the Jewish people. That's why Jesus in Matthew 24 gives a special address to Jews.

Let him who reads understand. If you are living in Jerusalem and you see this happening, the Antichrist going into the rebuilt temple and desecrating it and calling himself God, get out of town now. Don't get your iPod.

Don't get your iPhone. Leave and flee to the mountains. That's why Jeremiah calls it the time of Jacob's trouble.

You've heard that phrase? The time of Jacob's trouble. That's Israel's trouble. They will really, really be troubled during that time. That comes out of Jeremiah chapter 30 verse 7.

Alas, for that day is great, so that none is like it, and it is the time of Jacob's trouble. So, number one, the rung on the ladder, number one, tribulation. You go, that doesn't sound like a lot of hope.

Well, hang on. We're climbing the ladder. The second rung of this ladder of hope is preservation. That's really the message of verse 1. At that time, Michael shall stand up. The great prince who stands, watch over the sons of your people, and there will be a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation even to that time. At that time, your people shall be delivered. It's the first message of hope Daniel has heard in chapters 10, 11, and now in chapter 12.

Your people will be delivered, and everyone who is found written in the book. Now, who is this Michael? Well, Michael is sort of like the angelic version of a superhero. He is sort of like, if you could put Iron Man and Batman and Superman and the Wolverine all together in one package, only for real, that is Michael.

That is Michael. He's called here the great prince, the great prince, in verse 1. In chapter 10, he was called the prince of your people, or one of the chief princes. The Hebrew word for prince is sar, and it denotes a military commander like a general.

Jude chapter 9, he is called Michael the archangel, perhaps the greatest angel ever created, with a special task of defending God's covenant people, the Jews. So here's the message. When the times become the worst times, when the night becomes the darkest night, when it's the very worst period of existence for the nation of Israel, Michael, your prince, your military commander, will come into rescue. I want to give you a little note here at this point.

I want you to notice something. We have a picture of Michael, a created angel, going to war against Satan and his forces. It is not a picture of God fighting the devil. A lot of Christians think that, and I think one of the biggest lies Satan wants to perpetrate is that he is the opposite of God. He is not. Sometimes we think, and over in this corner is God, and he's sweating it out as he's fighting the devil.

Are you kidding? Satan can't go one round with the champ. I mean, it's like putting Justin Bieber against Bruce Willis or something. I mean, you can pick whoever you want, but it's like, what?

Not even close. Satan is a created being. Michael is a created being, and they're going at it. He will stand up.

Question, how will Michael stand up? Well, it seems, and this is where I have to just shorten it for you, and all the materials available, you can get it free of charge on the website in the book of Revelation. It seems that during the tribulation period, all of hell's forces will be unleashed on the earth with the sole purpose to obliterate the nation of Israel. Now, look at Revelation chapter 12.

This is where that comes in. Revelation 12. Now, a great sign appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head, a garland of 12 stars. Then, being with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth. Who is the woman? It's sort of an unfair question, because people will answer it differently. The Catholic Church says it's Mary. They even have motif that shows this.

That would be wrong, and I'll show you why in a moment. Some people say this is a picture of the church, the woman. Well, the reason it can't be the church is because the New Testament calls the church the virgin bride of God. The virgin bride of Christ. And here, this woman is pregnant. And if that's the case, church has got big problems.

Now, I believe it can only be one thing, and I'll show you why. This is a picture of the nation of Israel. The only other time in the Bible we have this imagery of the sun, the moon, and the stars like this is back in Genesis 37, when little Joseph had a dream. Remember the dream he had?

He got in trouble. He said, hey, you guys, tells his brothers, his mom, I had a dream last night. Eleven stars, the sun and the moon, all bowed down to me, my star. Isn't that a cool dream I had?

You go, yeah, let's like, sew you as a slave somewhere. In fact, Jacob, his dad, interpreted the meaning of that dream. That speaks of us, the twelve heads of the twelve tribes of Israel, and the father and the mother. It's a picture of Israel. You say, why is Israel portrayed as a woman? She was often portrayed as a woman in the Old Testament. The wife of Jehovah called a woman many occasions. So, it's fair to say, since the only other comparison is that text of Scripture that unlocks its meaning, that it's a picture of Israel.

And you'll see why that's appropriate. Verse 3, another sign appeared in heaven. Behold a great fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns or diadems on his heads.

His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth to devour her child as soon as it was born. Who might that child be? My Bible has a capital C for child, rightly interpreting this to mean Christ. She bore a male child who was to rule all the nations. Now, we know it is Jesus with a rod of iron. And her child was caught up to God and his throne. That would be the ascension. Then the woman fled into the wilderness where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there 1,260 days.

That's three and a half years. So, Jesus ascends into heaven. The male child, the woman, is left. And during the tribulation, Satan and the beast will persecute the woman relentlessly trying to destroy Israel. Now, Satan's always wanted that.

This is not like new news. He never wanted the Messiah to begin with. That's the whole reason Bethlehem happened when Herod slaughtered all the baby boys. Kill the Messiah. That's what Satan had in mind when he inspired them. Look at verse seven.

Here it is. This is what I want to show you. And war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought with the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought. But they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. And so the great dragon was cast out. That serpent of old called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world, he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. Once the demons were cast out on the earth, they seek to overrun the earth and seek to destroy Israel, and Michael comes. And it tells us in Revelation 12, verse 1, your people shall be delivered.

I just got to imagine what this sounded like to Daniel, right? He's been in chapter 10 and 11 hearing, this guy's coming, and that guy's coming. We're going to get killed, and that's going to happen.

It's bad news, bad news, until all of a sudden, hey, good news, dude. There's coming a day when Michael's going to stand up at the very worst of times, and your people will be delivered. That's the message of preservation. 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 Right now, we want to share about a special resource that will help you better understand God's will for your life. We want to tell you about a powerful resource that will help you understand and follow God's will. It's Pastor Skip's eight-message package, Discovering God's Will. You have the Spirit of God living in you, and He will guide you, He says, with His eye. And do you realize God is more interested in guiding you than you are in being guided?

So as soon as you say, Lord, I want to take and be ruled by your peace and rooted in Scripture, and I want to honor your name, He's right there to direct your steps. Skip Heitzig's Discovering God's Will package includes message titles such as, Guard Rails to Knowing God's Will, and Navigating Another Year, as part of eight full-length teachings by Skip. We'll send you this powerful resource as thanks for your gift to expand Connect with Skip Heitzig to reach more people in major U.S. cities. So request your resource when you give and start to make your life count for God's kingdom. Just call 800-922-1888 or visit slash offer.

That's slash offer. Join us again tomorrow on Connect with Skip Heitzig as Skip tells you about the heavenly reward that awaits those who live faithfully and point others to the hope of Christ. Jesus said, store up for yourselves treasures in heaven. How do you store up treasures in heaven? Yeah, there's heaven, but then there's treasures in heaven.

And you can be storing them up now. And that depends on your faithfulness here. Faithfulness of your own witness will determine your capacity to shine in eternity. 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 / 2023-03-01 04:51:44 / 2023-03-01 05:01:38 / 10

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