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How God Tells Time – Daniels’s 70 Weeks - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
January 15, 2024 5:00 am

How God Tells Time – Daniels’s 70 Weeks - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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January 15, 2024 5:00 am

Pastor Skip shares an insightful message that shows you how God uses prophecy to bring clarity about the future.

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Some people think this prophecy is incomprehensible or in the very least difficult. It's intended to give us insight.

It's intended to open things up and make things clear to be understood. Today on Connect with Skip Heitzig, Pastor Skip shares an insightful message titled How God Tells Time, Daniel's 70 Weeks, and shows you how God uses prophecy to bring clarity about the future. But first, here's a resource that will help you deepen your appreciation for end time scripture. Is the end near?

That's a question on many minds, and that's why Pastor Skip Heitzig spent many months in 2023 presenting 26 full length messages in his The End is Near series. The second coming of Jesus Christ dominates the Bible. Next to the subject of faith, the coming of Christ in the future is the most discussed topic in the book. To complement this excellent series, a study guide from Skip is now available. This study guide is over 100 pages in length and covers all 26 messages in the series. The End is Near study guide includes notes, summaries, and questions for group or personal study.

We need to understand the times, and this study guide will aid in this effort. With your gift of $50 or more to connect with Skip Heitzig, you will receive a copy of the End is Near study guide from Skip's in-depth 26-part series. Your gift will support the production and expansion of the Connect with Skip broadcast. Call 1-800-922-1888 or go online to connectwithskip.com.

That's 1-800-922-1888 or connectwithskip.com. Now let's turn to Daniel 9 as we join Skip today. Last night or earlier this morning there was a time change, and it's funny, we are creatures of time. We're bound by time. We have used time as a tool to measure our existence, keep our schedules, regulate our activities. I heard about an old Norwegian man who had kept careful notes throughout his lifetime in several journals, a series of notebooks of all his activities that he had done. He was just meticulous about this. On his 80th birthday, he pulled those journals out and he added up time that he spent on a variety of things, and he was surprised to discover that he had in his lifetime spent five years waiting for people. He had spent six months tying neckties.

He had spent three months scolding children and eight days telling dogs to lie down and be quiet. Telling time is important to us. It's why people have watches, and if you don't have a watch, you have a device that automatically sets the time for you. So there was a time change.

You lost an hour, but you probably weren't up at two in the morning when that happened, but it does it for you. You have a smartphone. You have a clock in your car. You have a clock on your computer.

You have a clock on your microwave oven. So we have used technology to tell us, to remind us of the time. Before there was that technology, there was a sundial.

We measure time by the length and direction of the shadow. Before that, and even with that, were hourglasses where we could approximate an hour of time, by sand running through a very narrow opening in a glass flask. Before that, in places like Egypt, Mesopotamia, China, India, there was the water clock. So you didn't have to worry about sun or no sun.

You just put water in a basin, let it flow into a reservoir. There were pre-marked inscriptions on that reservoir, and you could tell time with that. Time is important to us. Albert Einstein came along and said, time is even a dimension, so that when you describe where you are, you can't just use three dimensions of length, width, and height, but you also have to consider what he called the fourth dimension, dimension of time.

And it was from Einstein's theory that was developed the time-space continuum. Well, Daniel chapter nine is a chapter about time, timing, God's time clock. I'm calling this chapter how God tells time. Daniel chapter nine is a monumental section of Scripture for a variety of reasons. One reason is that it's the first time we read the word Messiah in the Bible in a formal sense.

Messiah the Prince is introduced to us in Daniel 9 verse 25. Second, it features a period of time God marked out in history to accomplish his purpose, and we want to look at that. It has been called the backbone of Bible prophecy. Now in Daniel chapter nine, it's a pretty lengthy chapter. It's a substantive chapter. It's the last four verses that really grab our attention. The last four verses give us the famous 70 weeks of Daniel, and it grabs our attention because of its scope and because of its precision. And it's just too important a chapter to rush through without giving you the historical context. So we're going to break it up into two weeks this week and next week.

We're going to look at Daniel's 70 weeks, the first 69 weeks this week, and then the last week, the 70th week next time, because that's how it's laid out, you will discover. Now just a warning about this. I'm giving you a lot of information. I am once again opening up the fire hose and saying, have a drink. So you're going to get a lot of information because the prophecy itself demands that.

The prophecy itself gives us that. So if you're trying to take notes, I admire that and I applaud that, but good luck. It may be better to listen up, maybe take a few notes, and then just go back and get it off the archive and do it again. A lot of this stuff I have committed to memory.

I did it when I was 20, 21 years of age so that I could share it with unbelievers because it just was so fascinating. By the way, if you have ADD, this is going to be a challenging message for you. You're going to want to check out several times. You're just going to have to rein it in and go, I've got to listen, got to listen, got to listen, got to listen.

So bear with me, but it is to me some of the most exciting stuff ever. We're going to look at God's time clock and we're going to notice four features of God's time clock. We want to begin by looking at God's time clock historically.

So let me give you the setting of this book. I take you to verse one of chapter nine. In the first year of Darius, the son of Ahasuerus of the lineage of the Medes who was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans, in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, understood by the books the number of the years specified by the word of the Lord through Jeremiah the prophet that he would accomplish 70 years in the desolations of Jerusalem. Then I set my face toward the Lord God to make requests by prayer and supplications with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes.

And I prayed to the Lord my God and made confession and said, oh Lord, great and awesome God who keeps his covenant and mercy with those who love him and with those who keep his commandments. The setting of this chapter is in Babylon. That is where Daniel is writing this from. Why Babylon? That's where the nation of Israel happens to be at this moment. Israel had been deported to Babylon, also fulfilling prophecy, and they went there on three different occasions, three separate deportations historically, 605 B.C., 597 B.C., and finally 586 B.C., and that third time is when the temple was destroyed, burned with fire, the city was in rubble, people were taken to Babylon.

Three separate deportations. So the whole nation effectively ended, the Jewish nation ended, their city destroyed, and they were physically taken captive hundreds of miles away and are under Babylonian rule. We know a few people that went there. Ezekiel went there. Daniel as a youngster went there. His three buddies, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego went there. Isn't it funny that we know them by their Babylonian names rather than their Hebrew names, but that's another story. So they're there, and get this, Daniel gets raised to become the prime minister of Babylon. He's a Jewish kid in a pagan nation, and he becomes second in command under King Nebuchadnezzar and later on here under Darius the Mede. That's a historical setting.

We have something else. We have the date that is given to us in verse one, and in verse two, in the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus. We happen to know exactly when that was. It was 538 B.C., very shortly after Babylon fell to the Medo-Persian kingdom. Now Daniel has been there his whole life. He has lived through the entire 70-year captivity, and we think he died in Babylon. When he writes chapter 9, he's in his mid-80s, and one day he's having quiet time. He's reading his Bible, and we happen to know exactly what he was reading, because he said he was reading Jeremiah about the 70-year captivity and coming back into the land. So we know he was reading Jeremiah chapter 25 and chapter 29. Let me read just a small portion of Jeremiah 29 to you so you know what Daniel was reading. He was reading this, he was reading this, for thus says the Lord, after 70 years are completed at Babylon, I will visit you and perform my good word toward you and cause you to return to this place, this place being Jerusalem. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

We usually take that out of context. The context is, I'm not going to leave you in Babylon. I have a future and a hope for you in Jerusalem. You're coming back after 70 years. So Daniel's reading that. 70 years, 70 years, 70 years.

Now here's what I want you to notice. Daniel believed in the literal fulfillment of prophecy. He believed 70 years meant 70 years. This wasn't a symbolic 70 years. This wasn't a spiritualized 70 years. This wasn't about 70 years. It was 70 years.

If the date was 538 BC, that means it was year 67 of the 70-year captivity. So he's reading Jeremiah at this point getting awfully excited because he realizes, hey, I am on the threshold of fulfilled prophecy. We're about ready to go home and go back to Jerusalem. So as he discovers that, what does he do? He's discovering that he is watching prophecy being fulfilled. He prays. He prays from verse 4 all the way down to verse 19, a very interesting prayer of bringing us back, forgiving us of our sins, a prayer of confession, a prayer of penitence. And I think this is important because some people say, well, you know, if you study Bible prophecy, it'll make you very unmotivated and lazy, I beg to differ.

It motivated Daniel to hit his knees and pray, to get in touch with God who was fulfilling prophecy before his eyes. So he's reading, and he's reading about this number, 70 years, and he realizes 70 years is almost up. Question, why 70 years? Why did God make them go to Babylon 70 years?

That's an important number. Why not 50 years? Why not 100 years?

Why 70? Well, it's because Israel had been disobedient to a command of God in the law for a long time. The specific command was an agricultural command. They were to plow and harvest their fields for six years, and then on the seventh year, you know what they were supposed to do? Nothing. Let it rest.

Let the land rejuvenate itself. It was called the Sabbatic year. The Sabbatic year was based on a week of years, a week of seven.

So you have six and one. They failed to obey that command of Leviticus 25 for 490 years. And so effectively, God was saying, you owe me 70 years. So he placed them in Babylonian captivity for 70 years. Now, just in case you think I'm making that up, let me read to you 2 Chronicles chapter 36. And those who escaped from the sword, he carried away to Babylon to fulfill the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah until the land had enjoyed her Sabbaths. As long as she lay desolate, she kept the Sabbath to fulfill 70 years.

So now we're getting the picture. Daniel's reading Jeremiah the prophet, and he's going, oh, yeah, 70 years of captivity based on 490 years of disobedience. You see, God just tallied up all of the 70-year cycles they disobeyed and said, you owe me 70, kicked them out. Daniel realizes time is about up. So he starts praying. And the best thing about his prayer is he is interrupted in the middle of his prayer. He doesn't even get to finish his prayer. Look at verse 20. Now, while I was speaking, praying and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God for the holy mountain of my God, yes, while I was speaking in prayer.

Boy, I'd love to be able to pray and not even be able to say in Jesus' name, amen, to have it answered. While I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, a reference to chapter 8, being caused to fly swiftly, reached me about the time of the evening offering. And he informed me and talked with me and said, oh, Daniel, I have now come forth to give you skill to understand. At the beginning of your supplication, the command went out, and I have come to tell you, for you are greatly beloved.

Therefore, consider the matter and understand the vision. Now, Gabriel, who knows who Gabriel is? Gabriel is what? He's an angel.

Now, he's called a man. He sounds like a man in chapter 8, but the fact that, and we have other scriptures to substantiate it, but the fact that he comes flying into Daniel's prayer life is a pretty good indication that it's not a man, but an angel, because men don't do that unless you're on an acid trip, they don't do that. So Daniel is praying, it's legitimate, and Gabriel shows up, one that he had spoke with previously in chapter 8. By the way, there are three named archangels in the Bible.

I don't know if you know who they are. One is named Michael. Michael is like God's bouncer.

When God wants to have super duty warfare, Michael will head that up. Another archangel is a guy by the name of Lucifer, who fell from his position in history past, and the third is Gabriel, and Gabriel is always the messenger angel. He comes when there is a message to be heralded specifically about Messiah. So he comes to Daniel to speak about the future history of Israel, including Messiah. It will be Gabriel who will show up and speak to Zacharias, the priest in the temple, to announce the birth of John the Baptist, who will herald the Messiah. It will be Gabriel who will show up and announce to Mary that she is going to birth the Messiah. So Gabriel shows up, and the timing is remarkable. Gabriel shows up to make this messianic announcement at the time of the evening sacrifice.

You know why that's interesting? There is no evening sacrifice. The temple has been destroyed for 67 years. It's lying in rubble in Jerusalem. There's no altar. There's no temple. There's no sacrifice.

It hadn't been going on. Yet Daniel is keeping time by Jewish reckoning, even though he's prime minister in a very non-Jewish culture. And so the fact that that is included three in the afternoon is the time of the evening sacrifice, and that's just rich with symbolism. It's just worth noting because later on when the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world is put on a cross, He's put on a cross at 12 in the afternoon, and He dies at what time?

Time of the evening sacrifice, 3 p.m. So it's worth noting. Something else, in verse 22, Gabriel tells him, Daniel, I have come forth to give you skill to understand. That's what we need right now in this study, skill to understand. I have come to give you skill to understand.

I want you to get this. And then notice in verse 23, therefore, consider the matter and understand the vision. Go down to verse 25, know therefore and understand. You get the idea that Gabriel wants Daniel to understand it? This is not to be obfuscated. This is not to be something he can't understand. Some people think this prophecy is incomprehensible or in the very least difficult. It's intended to give us insight. It's intended to open things up and make things clear, to be understood. I'm not saying it's not complex.

It is complex, and it does take some brain power and demand full attention, but it is to be understood. So that's the time clock historically. Now let me move you a little bit into the passage and show you the time clock generally, and the general overview of what God promises is 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.

Two general aspects of this time signature that Daniel is given by this archangel. First, it concerns the Jewish people. It is particularly for the Jews. You will notice in verse 24, the 70 weeks are determined for your people, your people being the Jewish people, and for your holy city.

It's always a reference to Jerusalem. So this prophecy, Daniel 9, is connected to the Jews. This is noteworthy because the previous prophecies given in the book of Daniel were about Gentile kingdoms, coming Gentile kingdoms. Daniel chapter 2, Daniel chapter 7, he predicts four world governing empires, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome.

One has already been fulfilled. Babylon has been usurped by the Medo-Persian empire. Daniel predicted all four, and all four historically came to pass. By the way, when he is speaking prophetically about Gentile world kingdoms in Daniel 2 and 7, those chapters happen to be written not in Hebrew, but in Aramaic, which was the language of the Gentile world at the time. Here in Daniel chapter 9, he reverts back to using Hebrew, because the focus are the Jewish people. It's for your people and your holy city.

Poured to keep that in mind. It's important to keep that in mind because the population of the world, last time I checked, which was yesterday afternoon, is 7.8 billion people. 7.8 billion people live on this little dirt clod floating in space called earth. Of that 7.8 billion people, only 15 million of them today are Jewish people. That means that's less than two-thirds of one percent are Jewish.

Very, very tiny amount of world population are Jews. That concludes today's teaching and Skip's series, The End is Near. Find the full message, as well as books, booklets, and full teaching series at connectwithskip.com. Right now, listen as Skip shares how you can share life-changing teaching from God's unchanging Word with more people around the world.

Studying Scripture is essential to enable believers to understand what God desires of all of us and for all of us. The broadcast ministry of Connect with Skip Heitzig exists to connect people around the world to God's Word so they can enjoy His presence and do His will. We invite you to join in that important work today. Through your support, you can expand this ministry into more major U.S. cities and help more people respond to the life-changing truth of the Bible.

Plus, you'll keep these teachings that you love available to you wherever you listen. Would you partner with me in this effort? Here's how you can give a gift now. Visit connectwithskip.com slash donate to give a gift. That's connectwithskip.com slash donate or call 800-922-1888.

800-922-1888. Thank you for your generosity. Tune in tomorrow for the conclusion of Skip's message, How God Tells Time. Danny was told to understand. He did not have the benefit of the fulfillment of prophecy in history like you and I have. How much more should we understand, comprehend, and anticipate that Jesus Christ is coming to take us away? . Connect with Skip Hyton is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never-changing truth in ever-changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-15 07:21:51 / 2024-01-15 07:30:38 / 9

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