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Blessed Assurance Part 1 RDS20A

Encouraging Word / Don Wilton
The Truth Network Radio
September 19, 2022 4:00 am

Blessed Assurance Part 1 RDS20A

Encouraging Word / Don Wilton

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You know the song Blessed Assurance. It is the focal point of our message today from Dr. Don Wilton, here on The Encouraging Words.

We'll be headed back to a book we're used to right now. We're studying Daniel, and today the Book of Daniel will reveal to us some of the words of Blessed Assurance and some of the concepts of our own understanding of the assurance we have and why it is so blessed. In just a few moments with Dr. Don Wilton, this is The Encouraging Word featuring Dr. Don Wilton, well-known author, evangelist, pastor, many of you known because he was, for the last 30 years of his life, the pastor to Dr. Billy Graham. Today we'll receive some of that pastoral insight as we study the word together, but he would want you to know we're here for you as well. Online at www.tewonline.org. We'd love to pray with you and for you, or at this phone number 866-899-WORD, 866-899-9673.

And now Dr. Don Wilton. In Daniel chapter 8, God is going to give us evidence that what he says is true. He's going to provide for us proof. He's going to say to us, listen, in Daniel chapter 7, I have shown you how the world is going to unfold. And in fact, I have shown you very clearly how the different ages are going to develop. And I've also given you a glimpse of the future. You will remember in Daniel chapter 7 that the fourth beast is very distinctly that which will happen in the future.

The first, second and third beasts are those which have happened in the past. Now let's not forget that for Daniel himself, all of this is in the future. Very easy for us to read about Daniel and to read about the prophecy of Daniel and to say, well, listen, that's all it had. I want to remind you, in fact, when I read chapter 8 of the book of Daniel, there is a sense in which I want to sit back in my recliner and say, well, we know about all of that. That's already happened.

You know, I don't know what there is to get excited about. But what God is doing in Daniel chapter 8, God is confirming in Daniel chapter 8 what God said in Daniel chapter 7. And don't forget that in Daniel chapter 8, which I'm going to point out to you, that the events that take place in fulfillment of Daniel chapter 8 occur some 500 years after the fact. That's a long time. Daniel was long gone.

This is looking way into the future. And what God is showing us and is going to show us in Daniel chapter 8 is that his evidence is that everything that he says has happened, will happen. And God is God and God is truth. And there is not one semblance of falseness as far as God is concerned. And what God says is going to happen is going to happen.

I want to read to you chapter 8. Now remember in Daniel chapter 7, we ended up with verse 28. And in verse 28, Daniel tells us this is the end of the matter. Why the end of the matter? Because Daniel chapter 7 ends with the end of the age. In other words, right at the point of the creation of the new heaven and the new earth.

It takes us right throughout the history of mankind. That's why Daniel says this is the end of the matter. And then he adds, he says, I Daniel was deeply troubled by my thoughts.

And my face turned pale, but I kept the matter to myself. All right, let's kind of jump ahead. Let's go all the way now to the end of chapter 8. Turn with me to Daniel chapter 8 and verse 27. Daniel chapter 7 has 28 verses and Daniel chapter 8 has 27 verses. One less than chapter 8. I want you to notice what he says at the end of chapter 8. He says, I Daniel was exhausted and I lay ill for several days.

Can you see a little bit of a pattern developing here? Daniel chapter 7 verse 28, I Daniel was deeply troubled by my thoughts and my face turned pale. And I kept the matter to myself. At the end of Daniel chapter 8, God says, you haven't seen anything yet. Wait until I prove to you that what I'm saying to you is going to happen.

I'm going to provide all the evidence that you possibly need. I'm going to put it down in the annals of antiquity. And when he gets to the end of chapter 8, he says, I Daniel was completely exhausted. I was so exhausted that I lay ill for several days. But then I love the next part of that verse.

Then I got up and I went about the king's business. I was appalled by the vision. It was beyond understanding. It's what I love about Daniel. Daniel for some reason is so real. He speaks to my heart. Daniel kind of speaks of modern day terminology. He says, listen, I see all these things about time and the millennium. I see all these great explosions and the end of the age. And I want you to know that I'm scared to death.

I don't know what to think. But while I'm thinking about it, I'm going to continue to be about the king's business. Well, let's read about it. Chapter 8 and verse 1. In the third year of King Belshazzar's reign. If you want to put this chronologically, it really should go back at the end of chapter 4 of Daniel. And I want to remind you again that the book of Daniel is not chronological like the book of Revelation. Because Daniel keeps coming back and revisiting issues. God keeps giving things to him in the context of his life and servant ministry in King Nebuchadnezzar's court.

This is now in the third year of King Belshazzar's reign. I, Daniel, had a vision after the one that had already appeared to me. Well, what was the one that had already appeared to him? That's in chapter 7. Look at chapter 7 and verse 1.

Just keep flipping now. We're going to flip between chapter 7 and chapter 8. Chapter 7 and verse 1 in the first year of Belshazzar, king of Babylon.

Chapter 8 and verse 1. We are now how many years later? Kind of like two years later.

Now in the third year of King Belshazzar's reign. In the first instance, Daniel had a dream as he was lying down on his bed. Here in this particular dream says I, Daniel, had a vision after the one that had already appeared to me. And so I begin to ask myself the question, what is this dream that he's about to have?

Is it a different dream? We're going to discover that this is actually not a whole lot different to what he has already been told except for one fact. We're going to discover, and I'm giving you a little bit of a peep into the future here before we get there. What we're going to discover is that in chapter 7, God very distinctly shows Daniel in his vision about the appalling activities of the Antichrist while he is on earth and while Daniel is observing all the people gathered around the ancient of days. Now you remember how that happened there in verses 9 and following? How he says in verse 9 of chapter 7, I looked and thrones were set in place and the ancient of days took his seat and he looks at heaven. Then verse 11, remember the irritation in his eye, he looks back down to earth as it were. I continued to watch because of the boastful words the horn was speaking.

I kept looking until the beast was slain and its body destroyed and thrown into the blazing fire. Who's he talking about in chapter 7? Talking about the Antichrist.

What period of time is he talking about? He's talking about during the tribulation. He's talking about the rise and fall of the Antichrist during the period of the tribulation from the beginning to the end of the tribulation when God defeats Satan once and for all and the Antichrist is put away once and for all. Now in chapter 8, God gives Daniel a second vision but at the end of the rise of Babylon, which is the first beast and at the end of the rise of the Greek empire, which is the second beast, God gives a prototype of the Antichrist by virtue of all his activities and we're going to find that that prototype or someone who in a sense shows us what the Antichrist is going to do, how he's going to look, what he's going to function like is none other than Antiochus Epiphanes who rose up during the Seleucid dynasty and I'm going to show you, we're going to go right back into historical fact at this point and we're going to discover here folks that Antiochus Epiphanes who rose up during the Seleucid dynasty was an absolute forerunner of the very epitome of the activities of the Antichrist and God as it were is going to be saying to Daniel, Daniel, I'm speaking to you about the Antichrist that is going to happen during the tribulation which is going to be at the end of the age but I'm going to give you evidence of what I'm speaking and I'm going to point right there and I'm going to say look at what Antiochus Epiphanes did.

He is the prototype and the very example of what will yet be. Everybody with me? Just wanted to put that there so that you can perhaps have a better understanding as we walk through this. You're listening to Dr. Don Wilton and gaining that better understanding is really what we're all about here at The Encouraging Word, understanding God's Word better, the Bible itself and seeing how it changes, revolutionizes each and every one of us as we pursue Christ. During these few moments of interrupt Dr. Don insists that I remind you we're here for you and you know he does insist, he does make it a priority but it's my joy as well to let you know we would love to pray with you. You are built for community. All of us are.

That's how God designed us to be a part of the body of Christ. Not just my church or your church or this church or the church you drove by moments ago but the capital C church, the body of Christ, followers of Jesus Christ and we would love to pray with you and for you. One way to connect is it's a little old school but we find it to be very effective.

More and more people are saying you know I do need a conversation, more than a text, more than an email. Would you pray with me? Yes at 866-899-WORD. I pray you jot that number down, store it in your cell. 866-899-9673. We stand ready to pray with you and for you to connect with great resources and also to perhaps introduce you to Dr. Don Wilton like you've never seen him before whether it's through some of his books or some of his materials that are just a part of our daily growth in life and in following Jesus Christ. Again I hope you'll dig a little deeper online at www.tewonline.org or feel free to give us a call anytime day or night at 866-899-WORD. That's 866-899-9673. Verse 2, in my vision I saw myself in the citadel of Susa in the province of Elam and in the vision I was beside the Uli Canal.

These are all factual places. By the way Susa as some of us may well know became the capital city of the whole world. The Babylonian Susa, it was the centerpiece and he was standing next to the Uli Canal. I looked up and there before me was a ram with two horns standing beside the canal and the horns were long.

One of the horns was longer than the other but grew up later. I just want you to think about the Medo-Persian Empire for a moment, remember? The Medes and the Persians and the Persians grew up a bit later and overtook the Medes. And so today we talk about the Persian Empire, not the Medo-Persian Empire. I watched the ram as he charged toward the west and the north and the south which is exactly what the Medes and the Persians did. No animal could stand against him and they certainly couldn't and none could rescue from his power. He did as he pleased and became great.

Indeed, historical fact. As I was thinking about this suddenly, and I want you to note the word suddenly there, a goat with a prominent horn between his eyes came from the west. Well, where was the west in relation to the activities of the Medo-Persian Empire? If you went west from the Medo-Persian Empire where they were at their last bidding, you would land up right in the heartbeat of Alexander the Great. And he wasn't called the Great for no reason. Suddenly a goat with a prominent horn between his eyes came up from the west crossing the whole earth without touching the ground.

All right, if you go back to the second beast in verse six of chapter seven, it says that on its back this leopard had four wings like those of a bird. Yeah, we've got this incredible picture of unbelievable rapid movement. He hardly touched the ground. It's as though he was flying close to the ground. His movement was so quick.

Well, look what happened. He came toward the two-horned ram I had seen standing beside the canal and charged him in great rage. I saw him attack the ram furiously, striking the ram and shattering his two horns. The ram was powerless to stand against him.

The goat knocked him to the ground and trampled on him and none could rescue the ram from his power. The goat became very great, but at the height of his power. Well, who reached the height of his power? Alexander the Great. How old was he when he died?

About 32 years of age. He was in the prime of life for the people back then. At the height of his power, his large horn was broken off. Alexander died and in its place four prominent horns grew up toward the four winds of heaven. Who are the four prominent horns? The four generals that we know historically took over from Alexander the Great. Why to the four winds of heaven?

Because we know that at least three of the generals of Alexander were given complete power to rule over Europe and Asia and the Middle East and the fourth general kind of fit into whichever scheme he found more suitable for his time. Verse nine, out of one of them came another horn, which started small, but grew in power to the south and to the east. It started small, but it grew in power to the south and to the east and toward the beautiful land.

Now, what is the beautiful land? No doubt about it, Jerusalem, God's people. When it grew toward the beautiful land, what happened was that coming out of the Grecian empire, the rise of the Seleucid dynasty epitomized in Antiochus Epiphanes began very small and rose to ascendancy. And in his rise to ascendancy, he gradually graduated and maneuvered himself away from the Greek empire and toward Jerusalem. Antiochus Epiphanes, and I'm going to come back to this in a minute, had one thing in mind, and that was to rid the world of the Jews.

That was his entire life's calling, and I'm going to talk about it. It makes for a horrible story. Look what happens in verse 10. It grew until it reached the host of the heavens and it threw some of the starry hosts down to the earth and trampled on them. It set itself up to be as great as the prince of the host. It took away the daily sacrifice from him and the place of his sanctuary was brought low.

Because of rebellion, the host of the saints and the daily sacrifice were given over to it. I want you to kind of think of the activities of the Antichrist. We've got a direct parallel here and God is providing evidence through history.

It prospered in everything it did and truth was thrown to the ground. Then I heard a holy one speaking and another holy one said to him, how long will it take for the vision to be fulfilled? The vision concerning the daily sacrifice, the rebellion that causes desolation and the surrender of the sanctuary and of the host that will be trampled underfoot. There is Daniel and he sits back in exasperation and he sees what is happening under the activities of Antiochus Epiphanes and he, as it were, throws up his arms and he says, will someone please tell me how long this unprecedented horrible scene is going to go on for? Now, how long is the tribulation going to go on for? We know that from the book of Revelation, seven years, divided into two equal parts, three and a half and three and a half years.

We know that, the scriptures teach us. Here, Daniel exasperated, hurt by what he sees and I'm going to outline that for you in a minute to show you exactly what Antiochus Epiphanes did. He says, how long is this going to go on? When's it going to end? And so he said to me, it will take 2,300 evenings.

I'm going to talk to you about that in a minute. Evenings and mornings, that's about 1,550 days. Guess what folks? That's exactly how long Antiochus Epiphanes ruled for. And that is exactly how long his persecution of the Jews took.

2,300 mornings and evenings or 1,550 days on the button. I just, by the way, in case any of you are wondering about this, this vision came 500 years before the fact. Now look what happens. While I, Daniel, was watching the vision and trying to understand it, there before me stood one who looked like a man and I heard a man's voice from the Eulite calling, Gabriel, tell this man the meaning of the vision. By the way, just as a matter of interest, Gabriel, the angel Gabriel is mentioned four times in the Bible.

Did you know that? He's mentioned in Daniel 8.15, this passage. And he's mentioned again over the page in Daniel 9.21. Then the angel Gabriel is mentioned twice in the New Testament. He's mentioned in Luke chapter one and verse 18 and then again in Luke chapter one and verse 26. And did you know that the only other angel who is mentioned by name is the angel Michael?

So you got Michael and Gabriel, verse 17. As he came near the place where he was standing, I was terrified and fell prostrate. Son of man, he said to me, understand that the vision concerns the time of the end. While he was speaking to me, I was in a deep sleep with my face to the ground. Then he touched me and raised me to my feet.

He said, I'm going to tell you what will happen later in the time of the wrath because the vision concerns the appointed time of the end. That's pretty self-explanatory, isn't it? The two-horned ram that you saw. By the way, any of you wondering how I worked out what the two-horned ram was? This is going to show you what an incredible genius I really am. I wish I could take credit for it. The two-horned ram that you saw represents the kings of Medes and the Persians.

The shaggy goat is the king of Greece. Any more questions? Somebody came to me the other day and they said to me, pastor, it was just a good question, said, how do you know? They said to me, how do you know that that's the Medo-Persian empire? I said, just because I'm brilliant, that's why. It's quite easy. It's hard to be humble when you're really brilliant. And then I opened my Bible and I turned to this verse.

I said, it's right there. The shaggy goat is the king of Greece and the large horn between his eyes is the first king, Alexander the Great. The four horns that replace the one that was broken off represent four kingdoms that will emerge from his nation but will not have the same power.

In the latter part of their reign, when rebels have become completely wicked, a stern faced king, a master of intrigue will arise. This is not talking about the Antichrist. This is talking about a prototype of the Antichrist, a forerunner, if you please. This is evidence that God is giving to us.

Indeed God is providing that evidence. And I pray that as you've studied with us in the book of Daniel, the Lord has perhaps convicted you of some evidence in your own life for a need for change. We stand ready to pray with you right now at 866-899-WORD.

That's 866-899-9673. But before we get away, perhaps the most important words from our pastor are next. Are you ready to give your heart and life to the Lord Jesus Christ?

I'm so happy to hear that. Why don't you pray this prayer with me today? Dear God, I know that you love me very, very much. And I know that the Lord Jesus Christ came and died on a cross so that I might be forgiven of my sin. Today I repent of my sin.

I confess my sin to you. And I invite you to come into my heart and into my life by faith. In Jesus' name I pray. If you prayed that prayer, let me be the first one to welcome you to the family of God.

This is wonderful. I hope that you know how much I'm gonna be praying for you and how very important this is for me. Call us so that we can talk to you and connect you in the right place so you can begin this wonderful journey. Lord, if the Lord has done something special in your life, let us rejoice with you. Give us a call. Let us pray with you. Let us put some free resources in your hands, especially if you've given your heart to Jesus.

Dr. Don has wonderful things he'd love to put in your hands. 866-899. Word is the phone number.

That's 866-899-9673. We'd love to connect with you and connect you with great resources. You can also get to us online at www.tewonline.org. That's where you'll find great resources like the new book Jesus and Me from Anne Graham Lotz. In the midst of life's changes and losses, we each need a friend, a confidant, someone who will come alongside us and share every step of our journey, someone who will listen to us, advocate for us and comfort us, someone we can trust. This month, for your gift of support to the encouraging Word, we will send you the inspiring book Jesus and Me by Anne Graham Lotz. In Jesus and Me, Lotz draws on biblical knowledge and personal stories, including her recent cancer diagnosis to help us understand the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit. Call us at 866-899-9673 to request your copy of Jesus and Me today. The encouraging Word is a viewer and listener supported ministry sharing God's truth around the world. Thank you for your support.

Thank you for listening today. That number again is 866-899-WORD, 866-899-9673, and online at tewonline.org. I challenge you to think about signing up for Dr. Don's daily email.

It's not about fundraising. It's just putting some words of encouragement, some scripture, perhaps an application. It's a great jumpstart to your day, but you can sign up online at tewonline.org for the daily encouraging Word. I pray you'll add it to your study each and every day. Till next time, take care and God bless.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-23 20:58:49 / 2023-01-23 21:09:04 / 10

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