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Service Archives > 27 Daniel - I Dare You - 2013 > I Dare You: Understand!

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I Dare You: Understand!
Daniel 9:20-27
Skip Heitzig

Daniel 9 (NKJV™)
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,
21 yes, while I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, reached me about the time of the evening offering.
22 And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, "O Daniel, I have now come forth to give you skill to understand.
23 "At the beginning of your supplications the command went out, and I have come to tell you, for you are greatly beloved; therefore consider the matter, and understand the vision:
24 "Seventy 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.
25 "Know therefore and understand, That from the going forth of the command To restore and build Jerusalem Until Messiah the Prince, There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; The street shall be built again, and the wall, Even in troublesome times.
26 "And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; And the people of the prince who is to come Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, And till the end of the war desolations are determined.
27 Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, Even until the consummation, which is determined, Is poured out on the desolate."

New King James Version®, Copyright © 1982, Thomas Nelson, Inc. All rights reserved.

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27 Daniel - I Dare You - 2013

God wants us to understand! He wants us to understand the truth about life. He wants us to understand the way of salvation. He wants us to understand His plans for the future. Today we come to the scriptural key that unlocks the door to the prophetic future of God’s plan. If you have never known it before, choose to understand it now. I dare you!

Skip Heitzig unfolds the book of Daniel verse by verse in the series I Dare You. We'll learn how Daniel lived differently and made a huge impact on his society, and we'll be challenged to do the same.

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Outline

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  1. Understand It Generally (vv. 20-27)

  2. Understand It Specifically (v. 24)

  3. Understand It Messianically (vv. 25-26a)

  4. Understand It Futuristically (v. 27)

  5. Understand It Practically

CONNECT QUESTIONS


  1. What does the seventy-weeks prophecy refer to and how is the "seventy weeks" interpreted?

  2. When does the seventy weeks begin and when does it end?

  3. What parts of this prophecy have already occurred and what is still to come?

  4. How do the specifics of this prophecy affect your own trust in Scripture?

  5. How should this prophecy affect our sharing of the truth of Scripture and the importance of the gospel?

  6. What do you think was the major point of this passage?

  7. What did God reveal to you in this passage?

  8. Is there anything that applies directly to you or to someone you know? How can you take aim at changing a negative behavior in a biblical way?

  9. Who was this passage originally directed to?

  10. How does this passage apply to believers?

Detailed Notes

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  1. Introduction
    1. High school subjects; some were easy, some were hard— hard classes took a little more energy to understand
    2. Daniel 9 is a technical timetable that deals with the Messiah and the nation of Israel
      1. It wasn't easy for Daniel himself to understand
      2. Three times in the text the angel tells him, "You need to understand this" (vv. 22, 23, and 25)
      3. Skip was armed with the equipment to show how precise God is and to win skeptics to Christ
      4. The backbone of Bible prophecy; everything else attaches to this
      5. Daniel prays to God, knowing that the 70-year captivity is almost at an end
        1. God shows him something in the future
        2. The Messiah is mentioned in this text; He's the center of everything
          1. A father, bone-tired, relaxed in his easy chair; his son wanted to play: "When you get Jesus Christ right, the whole world comes together"
          2. When you understand Daniel 9, the rest of prophetic literature comes together
      6. We have a mathematical calculation
      7. Bible prophecy is history written in advance
      8. No other religion can match the prophecy in the Bible
  2. Understand generally
    1. This is an answer to prayer; Daniel has been reading Jeremiah, falls to his knees in prayer, and a messenger comes in answer before he finishes his prayer
      1. The angel Gabriel
        1. He's shown up before
        2. He's the chief prince for the nation of Israel
        3. He's God's bouncer
      2. The year is 538 BC
        1. Daniel's about 86 years old
        2. In reading the prophecy in Jeremiah, he realized that the 70 years is almost up (see Jeremiah 25:9-12 and 29:10)
    2. This is for the Jewish people in particular: "Your people" (v. 24)
      1. The most amazing nation ever
      2. God said to Abram that He would bless him and out of him would come a great nation (see Genesis 12)
        1. World population right now is about seven billion
        2. 13 million of them are Jews; less than 2/3 of 1%
        3. About 1/3 of all the Nobel prizes have been given out to Jewish people
        4. Israel 1/300 the size of China gets three times the headlines
        5. Adolph Hitler killed six million Jews
        6. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would like to wipe them out
        7. God has a special plan for this nation
    3. This is for a set time—70 weeks
      1. Determined means divided or cut out of time
        1. God cuts out and reveals a certain time to Daniel
        2. He shows us what is going to happen for that specified period of time
      2. You might meet someone who calls themselves a deist
        1. Believes in a god but not a personal god
        2. God is not involved
        3. God is learning as He's letting things happen
        4. He's not in control of anything
      3. Our God is a God who is very precise and keeps perfect time
      4. In Hebrew it doesn't say 70 weeks
        1. Shabua shibim
        2. 70 sets of 7 something
        3. Could be days, could be years
        4. Many translations, including Jewish translations, interpret this as 70 weeks of years
          1. In the West, we mark time by increments of 10
          2. In Jewish thought, it was periods of 7
          3. In the Old Testament they kept sets of 7 (days, years)
          4. For six years, you plow and plant; the seventh year, you allow the ground to rest
          5. God's law, six and one
          6. Daniel has been reading about Israel's 70 year captivity
            1. Their captivity was based on their disobedience (see 2 Chronicles 36:20-21)
            2. They had not kept the law of resting the land
            3. For 490 years they had not kept this law
          7. The angel Gabriel tells him of another time
  3. Understand specifically (v. 24)
    1. Six things that will be fulfilled
    2. Complex but highly accurate verse of Scripture
      1. Three things fulfilled at the first coming of Jesus
        1. Negative
        2. Deal with sin
      2. Three things fulfilled at the second coming of Jesus
        1. Positive
        2. Deal with the kingdom
      3. The first three things
        1. To finish the transgression
        2. To make an end of sins
        3. To make reconciliation for iniquity
          1. The word reconciliation is kaphar in Hebrew; meaning to cover or atone for
          2. When Jesus came the first time, He came to fix the sin problem; "There is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12)
          3. Jesus did not come to just be a good example for people
          4. God sent us what our greatest need required—a Savior
      4. The second three things
        1. These things are not done yet
        2. Bring in everlasting righteousness
          1. This has not yet been done
          2. It will be; Jesus will enforce righteousness on the earth (see Revelation 19)
        3. To seal up vision and prophecy
          1. Complete all predictions in the Old and New Testaments
          2. We are still waiting on a lot of these to happen
        4. To anoint the most holy
          1. In Hebrew: qodesh, the holy of holies
          2. Believed to refers to the holy temple that is coming (see Ezekiel 40-46)
        5. A time period for 490 years in which these three things are completed
  4. Understand Messianically (v. 25)
    1. This is the pinnacle of the book of Daniel; the greatest prophecy in all of Scripture
      1. Tells of 69 periods of seven and then Messiah will show up and will die
        1. There will be a commandment to go back and rebuild Jerusalem
        2. From that command until the Messiah there will be 60 weeks or 483 years
        3. There are three periods
          1. Period one: seven sevens--49 years
          2. Period two: 62 sevens--432 years
          3. Period three: one seven--7 years
        4. When is the timetable?
          1. In history, there were four commands for the Jews to go back to Jerusalem
          2. Three of them are seen in the book of Ezra
          3. The only one that fits this description is in Nehemiah 2
            1. Nehemiah goes back
            2. Rebuilds the city and the temple
            3. It took 49 years to accomplish
      2. We know who gave the command and specifically when the command was given
        1. Given by the Persian monarch Artaxerxes
        2. March 14, 445 BC
        3. Should mean we could count forward 483 years (69 weeks) and arrive at the time Messiah shows up
          1. The Coming Prince by Sir Robert Anderson
          2. Calculations based on Daniel's prophecies
          3. Through his meticulous calculations, he arrived at April 6, 32 AD; 173,880 days
          4. That is the day that Jesus ascended the Mount of Olives and road a donkey into Jerusalem fulfilling prophecy (see Mark 11:1-11 and Zechariah 9:9)
          5. Halfway down, He broke down and audibly wept telling them that they should have known about this day that was for their peace (see Luke 19:41-42)
            1. In times of peace, kings road on donkeys
            2. In times of war, they road on horses
            3. In Revelation 19, Jesus comes back on a horse
          6. He predicted what will happen in AD 70, when the Romans will come against them and destroy the city
            1. He held them publicly accountable for not knowing what Daniel predicted
            2. Exactly 173,880 days from March 14, 445 BC to April 6, AD 32; on the tenth of Nissan as the lambs are presented
            3. God is precise
    2. "Messiah shall be cut off" (v. 26)
      1. Karath in Hebrew; to be cut off--to kill by piercing
      2. "Not for himself"
        1. Jesus didn't die for himself
        2. He came as an atonement
        3. It was not a Roman travesty
      3. "The people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city"
        1. In AD 70, Titus Vespasian forced his way into Jerusalem and killed a million Jews
        2. He starved out 100,000 Jews
        3. It was horrible, it was predicted
      4. Be careful when witnessing to Jewish friends
        1. When Daniel wrote this, there was no temple in Jerusalem
        2. He is predicting events that will take place after the temple is rebuilt
        3. The Messiah had to arrive somewhere before AD 70
  5. Understand futuristically (v. 27)
    1. The final seven-year period, somewhere in the future toward the second coming of Jesus Christ
    2. The six things are not all fulfilled
    3. We are in the long gap known as the church age
    4. At the end of this age there will be a seven-year period with a pact that is broken in the middle—three and half years
    5. To seal this in your own heart, Jesus said, "When you see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains...there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world...they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory" (Matthew 24:15-30)
  6. Understand practically: This should motivate us
    1. Prayer—what happens when you pray
      1. Daniel understood more after he prayed
      2. His prayer is only three minutes long
      3. Use that time and engage with God
    2. Providence
      1. The hand of God in the glove of circumstance
      2. God moves powerful rulers to get his stuff done
      3. He's in charge
    3. Precision
      1. The God who can make these kinds of precise predictions: Can you trust your life to Him?
      2. Will you trust your life—your future, your family—to this kind of precise God?
      3. Jesus Christ was the lamb slain before the foundation of the world (see Revelation 13)
      4. Put Jesus in His proper place in your life, your hold world will come together


Hebrew Terms: שְׁבֻעַ שִׁבְעִים; shabua shibim, weeks seventy; כָּפַר; kaphar, appease; קֹ֫דֶשׁ; qodesh, holy; כָּרַת; karath, off
Publications referenced: The Coming Prince by Sir Robert Anderson
Figures referenced: Adolph Hitler, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Artaxerxes, Titus Vespasian,
Cross references: Genesis 12, 2 Chronicles 36:20-21, Jeremiah 25:9-12, Jeremiah 29:10, Ezekiel 40-46, Nehemiah 2, Zechariah 9:9, Matthew 24:15-30, Mark 11:1-11, Luke 19:41-42, Acts 4:12, Revelation 13, Revelation 19

Topic: Prophecy

Keywords: Daniel, tribulation, second coming, church age, prophecy, seventy weeks

Transcript

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Welcome to I Dare You a series through the book of Daniel with Skip Heitzig.

Father, we come into your presence through this prayer, and I'm asking for your help in the delivery of this message and for all of us in the hearing of it. It is to me one of the most exciting things in all of Scripture. It points out to me the fact that we are dealing with a Book that is absolutely inerrant. And it doesn't surprise us, we're dealing with a God who can speak the earth, the world into existence; certainly you can preserve a document from generation to generation.

I pray, Lord, that the net result of our meeting today would be a deeper trust in the God who is the author of this Book. Though using human authors, you have given to us a revelation of who you are, and you want a response from us. We pray that it would be appropriate, in Jesus' name, amen.

I don't know what it was like for you in high school, but for me there were certain subjects that were easy, and other ones that were more difficult for me to understand. PE I was pretty good at. Photography class, I enjoyed that; I understood the concepts. Drama class, I kind of liked that; I was in drama in high school. But there were some other courses that were tough to understand.

I had good teachers. Mr. Wyzlic was my chemistry and physics teacher, and the prize student was Shirley Ihde. She got it; I required a little more care to understand it. So, he would frequently ask questions like, "Do you understand? Do you have any questions?" Then I had an algebra class with Mr. Edinburgh, a really sweet guy, smart guy from the South. Laura Shaver was the prize student in that class; I was not. And Mr. Edinburgh would often say to me, "Do you understand? Do you got any questions?" Of course, my biggest question is: why am I here?

I made it through algebra, I made it through math classes, but it took a little more energy for me to understand. Now, that's funny, because later on when I was tested for aptitude and what I should choose a career in, the tester said, "Based upon this information, you should choose a math related field for your occupation." I said, "Not on your life!" And I feel that in dealing with Daniel, chapter 9, it's sort of a flashback for me of some of my math courses.

It's a technical timetable of the future that deals with the Messiah and the nation of Israel. And we're going to be looking beginning at verse 20 in Daniel, chapter 9, today. One of the remarkable things is that for Daniel himself it obviously wasn't an easy grasp, because three times in the text Daniel is told by the angel who gives him this, "You need to understand this. Do you understand? Pay attention, you need to understand."

So, look in verse 22 where he says, "I have come forth to give you skill to understand." Verse 23, "Therefore consider the matter, and understand the vision." And then in verse 25, "Know therefore and understand." I gotta let you know that when I finally understood this section of Scripture, I was able to win more skeptics to Christ by it, than just about any other place. It armed me with the equipment to show how precise and exact God was in predicting coming events.

Now, let me just say that Daniel, chapter 9, and in particular this section, is known by Bible scholars as the backbone of Bible prophecy. It's called that because everything else in Scripture prophetically attaches to this. And here is Daniel, he knows that seventy-year captivity is almost over, and he goes to his knees and begins to pray to God based upon that knowledge.

And then the Lord reveals to him something that blew his mind in the future: "You're praying about seventy years of captivity, let me let you in on my plan for the Jewish nation, including the Messiah, in years ahead." By the way, the Messiah is mentioned in this text prophetically. Jesus is implied, inferred, predicted in this text. He's the center of everything.

There was once a father who came home from work just bone tired, and he just dreamed of just reading the paper for an hour, chilling for an hour. Kicked his shoes off, grabbed the newspaper, sat in his big easy chair, pulled it back, opened the newspaper, big sigh. Just then his five-year-old boy came bounding out of the bedroom and said, "Daddy, let's play!" Last thing he wanted to do was play. So, he had to figure out something, and he thought very quickly.

In the newspaper was a full-page advertisement showing a picture of the earth saying something like, you know, "the best whatever in the world," and it's a big picture of the earth. So, dad gets the scissors, cuts the earth up in little puzzle pieces. Gives the handful of the newspaper cut pieces to his son with tape, and he says, "Go put this puzzle together. Put all the earth back together, and when you're done with that game, then come back and we'll play."

Dad thinks, "What, I got thirty minutes, an hour?" Five minutes—his son comes back in the room all taped together beautifully the earth. And dad goes, "How did you do it so quickly?" The boy says, "It's pretty easy, on the back is a picture of a man, and when I put the man together, the whole world came together." [laughter] When you get Jesus Christ right, the whole world comes together. And I would say when you get Daniel, chapter 9, right, and you understand it, the rest of prophetic literature that deals with the whole world also comes together.

We have four verses in particular that are very detailed verses, a mathematical calculation that is going to require all of your mental energy this morning. Now, you know, by the way, that about one-fourth of the Bible is prophecy. And what is prophecy? Simply this: it's history written in advance. God knows the end from the beginning, and God can write before it happens what is going to happen as if it were a past-tense event, and Daniel's filled with that.

In fact, prophecy is what separates the men from the boys. You might have all sorts of belief systems, all sorts of world religions with lots of devotees, but when you deal with this Book, you are dealing with prophecy that no other religion system has or can match. Let's take a swipe at this.

Beginning in verse 20 where we left off in verse 19:

"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, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to apply swiftly, reached me about the time of the evening offering. And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, "O Daniel, I have now come forth to give you skill to understand. At the beginning of your supplications the command went out, and I have come to tell you, for you are greatly beloved; therefore consider the matter, and understand the vision:""

"Seventy 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."

"Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince, there shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublesome times."

"And after sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for himself; and the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, until the end of the war desolations are determined. Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; but in the middle of the week he shall bring an end to the sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, even until the consummation, which is determined, is poured out on the desolate."

Now, we need to understand what we just read generally, specifically, messianically, futuristically, and most important, practically. First of all, there's just some general things you need to be aware of. First, this is an answer to prayer. Daniel's been reading the Bible, Jeremiah in particular. He falls to his knees, begins to pray. He doesn't even finish the prayer. Can't even get an amen at the end of it out, and it's already answered by a messenger, an angel, Gabriel he is called, in the form of a man.

He's shown up before in this book; he will show up again in chapter 12. He's called the prince or the chief prince of the people of Israel. He's, like, God's bouncer for the nation of Israel. The year is 538 BC. Daniel is about eighty-six years of age. In reading Jeremiah's prediction that Israel will be captive in Babylon seventy years, he realizes seventy years is almost up. He begins to pray and God gives him further revelation for the future.

The second general thing to make a note of is that this is related in particular to the Jewish people, not all peoples, but to the Jewish people. Notice it says in verse 24, "Seventy weeks are determined for your people," Daniel was Jewish, "and for your holy city," he came from the city of Jerusalem. So this is dealing with the main player when it comes to prophetic literature, and that is, the Jewish people.

This is also in contrast to all of the previous revelations, dreams, and visions in the book of Daniel that have to deal with Gentile world powers from Daniel's time to the end of the age. This is now dealing in particular with the Jewish nation; and to say the least, it is, like, the most amazing nation ever.

Go all the way back to Genesis 12 when God said to Abraham, "I'm going to bless you and out of you will come a great nation. I will make you a great nation. And whoever blesses you, I will bless; whoever curses you, I will curse. But, Abraham, you're going to be the father of a great nation."

The world population right now is around seven billion people. Thirteen million of that seven billion are Jews. That's less than two-thirds of 1 percent. But, did you know that between 25 percent and 33 percent, depending on the category, about one-third of all of the Nobel Prizes ever given out have been collected by Jewish people—amazing!

That little nation in the Middle East called Israel, that tiny little piece of real estate, one three-hundredth the size of China, gets three times the headlines. Adolf Hitler managed to kill six million Jews, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Iran would like to wipe the rest out, but God has a special plan for this nation.

The third general thing about this is that we're dealing with a set time, a timetable. Look at verse 24, "Seventy weeks are determined for your people." You see the word "determined"? It's important that you know what that means; it means divided or cut out of something. Seventy weeks have been cut out of time.

It's as if God takes the sweep of history from the beginning to the end and cuts out a certain period to reveal to Daniel, and those of us who would take the time to study it and read it, to show us what's going to happen during that specified period of time for his people, and including the Messiah.

Now, why is this important? Because every now and then you're going to meet a person who calls himself a deist. Have you ever heard of that word or met somebody who goes, "Well, I'm a deist. I believe in a god," they say, "but not a personal god. I believe that there's a god, don't know who it is, what it is, but I believe that this god is sort of passive, aloof, distant. He wound up the world like a big clock and then he just sort of steps back and watches things happen." That's a deist.

There are even some in that camp who believe that God is learning as he lets things happen. So, he's not in control of anything, he's certainly not managing personally the affairs of the world, he's just learning and watching things happen going, "Oh, look at that. That's, like, really cool." We're dealing with a God who is very, very precise and keeps perfect time.

Now, what is the time? Well, it says "Seventy weeks are determined." Now, I know it says "weeks" in your Bible, but it doesn't say that in Hebrew. In Hebrew it says shabua shibim; literally seventy sevens, or seventy sets of seven something. Could be days; could be years.

In fact, I'm going to show you that I believe it's referring to seventy weeks of years, because that's how many translations will even translate this, including Jewish translations. So, "Seventy sevens are determined for your people," it says.

Here in the west we mark time by increments of ten; and, so, a ten-year period is a decade. We talk about living through the sixties or the seventies or the eighties or the nineties—that seems so long ago—decades. In Jewish thought it wasn't decades as much as periods of seven—heptads.

In fact, if you know your Old Testament, you know that they kept a whole period of seven in their days and their years. So, there was a six and one pattern: for six days you work, on the seventh day you rest—that's Sabbath. But also with years: for six years you plow and you till the ground, but the seventh year you let the ground lay fallow and you just eat whatever comes naturally. That was God's law: six and one, six and one.

Keep in mind that Daniel, this guy, has been reading Jeremiah's prophecy that Israel will be captive for seventy years. That seventy-year captivity was based upon Israel's history of disobedience. Now, I'm going to turn to it, if you're quick on your feet, you can turn to it as well. But I'm already there, so why bother? Second Chronicles, chapter 36; you can mark and look at it later. It's the end of that book. It's describing Israel going into captivity.

This is what it says, "And those"—verse 20, Second Chronicles 36. "Those who escaped from the sword he carried away to Babylon, where they became servants to him and his sons until the rule of the kingdom of Persia, 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 seventy years."

Now, God gives to us the reason why seventy years captivity, because they had disobeyed in keeping the seventh year where you plow, and then the seventh year you let the land rest. God says, "You owe me seventy years," which implies that for 490 years Israel in their history had been disobedient and had not kept this seventh year land thing.

So, here's Daniel, he's reading Jeremiah and he says, "The seventy-year captivity based upon 490 years of disobedience is almost up." He hits the ground, he starts praying, then he gets further revelation in answer to his prayer from the angel Gabriel, saying, "I want to tell you about another period of time coming up even more significant than the seventy-year captivity based upon 490 years of disobedience. Seventy weeks, seventy sevens, are determined upon your people."

And I believe it refers to seventy sets of seven years, or seventy weeks of years. Jewish commentaries say that. The Mishnah says that. The New Revised Standard Version says "seventy weeks of years." The New Century Version says, "God has ordained 490 years." So we're dealing with a specific time period of 490 years.

And now I want you to see that we should understand it specifically and not just generally, specifically. And you'll see what I mean, that it has to be years and not days, because notice what has to be fulfilled.

Look at verse 24, "Seventy 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." It's a very complex but highly accurate verse of Scripture. There are six things that will be fulfilled during this cut-out period of time that we're dealing with—seventy weeks, seventy sevens, 490 years.

There's six things. Three of those things, I believe, have been fulfilled at the first coming of Jesus; the second three will be fulfilled at the second coming of Jesus. The first three are negative, they deal with sin; the next three are positive, they deal with the kingdom. The first three: to finish the transgression; to make an end of sins, that's plural—one's singular, one's plural; to make reconciliation for iniquity. The word "reconciliation" is the word kaphar in Hebrew; it means to cover or atone for.

When Jesus came the first time, that's what it was all about. He came to fix the sin problem. "There's no other name given under heaven among men by which we must be saved," said Peter, "except the name of Jesus." He came to deal with sin, to manage sin, to give God the ultimate reason to judge people if they reject him, and that is their sin. But to deal with it all on the cross, to make atonement for it.

Listen, Jesus Christ did not come to this earth to just be a good example for people, or to say nice little things, and we could say, "Oh, I admire Jesus. He said so many wonderful things, and he was a great example." No, he came to deal with sin.

If our greatest need would have been information, or technology, God would have sent us a scientist. If our greatest need would have been for money, God would have sent us an economist. If our greatest need would be for pleasure, God would have sent us an entertainer. But our greatest need was for forgiveness, and so he sent us a Savior. That's why Jesus came, and these three things, I believe, have been fulfilled at the first coming.

But notice the next three, they haven't been fulfilled. They're not done. "To bring in everlasting righteousness." Last time I checked, that's not going on. It will be; Revelation 19, Jesus comes from heaven to the earth the second time and he enforces righteousness on the earth. He rules with a rod of iron.

Then, "to seal up vision and prophecy," to complete all of the predictions made in the Old and New Testament; a lot we're still waiting to have fulfilled. "And to anoint the Most Holy"; in Hebrew qodesh kadashim or the Holy of Holies, literally, and it almost always refers to the temple. And I believe it's a reference to Ezekiel, chapters 40 through 46, which speak of a future millennial temple that is coming. But it's safe to say that specifically we're dealing with a time period of 490 years in which these six things must be completed.

But we need to understand this now messianically, because look at verse 25. "Know therefore and understand," that's the commandment, "that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince, there shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks," that's sixty-nine weeks. "The street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublesome times."

Folks, this is to me the pinnacle of the book of Daniel, this verse. This to me is the greatest prophecy in all of Scripture. It tells me and you that there will be sixty-nine periods of seven at the end of which Messiah will show up and will die. "Messiah will be cut off," it says, "but not for himself."

In other words, "Daniel, Daniel, there's going to come a commandment that says you can go back and restore and rebuild Jerusalem, and from that command until the Messiah there will be sixty-nine weeks, or sixty-nine sevens, or 483 years." So, did you notice there's three periods of this, three periods?

Period number one: seven sevens, that's forty-nine years. During that time the city of Jerusalem, including the streets, the walls, will be built up in the temple. Time period number two: sixty-two sevens or 434 years. At that time Messiah will come, Messiah will die, the city of Jerusalem will be attacked, leveled, destroyed. Then there's one seven: seven years. A pact will be enacted according to verse 27, and in the middle of that seven-year period, that will be broken. Those are the three periods it's broken up into.

When does all this begin? When does the timetable that the angel gives to Daniel, when does it start? Notice what it says, verse 25, "From the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem"—stop there. In history there were four commands for the Jews to go back to Jerusalem. Three of them are seen in the book of Ezra. None of those three talk about rebuilding the city; they all talk about rebuilding the temple.

The only one that fits this prediction is the one that you know about in Nehemiah, chapter 2. Remember Nehemiah's story? He heard that Jerusalem was devastated, the walls were broken down, the gates were burned with fire, and he goes to the king and he says, "Let me go back and rebuild my city." So, Nehemiah goes back and builds the streets and the walls and then the temple. By the way, it took forty-nine years to accomplish that. So, that specifically was predicted.

Now, here's the deal: we know who gave the command, and we know exactly when the command was given. It was given by the Persian monarch Artaxerxes Longimanus in our calendar date March 14, 445 BC. That's the day the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem was given, March 14, 445 BC, by Artaxerxes. That should mean that I'm able to count from March 14, 445 BC, forward 483 years, or sixty-nine weeks, and arrive at the time when the Messiah shows up.

There's a great book out, it's been out for some time, by Sir Robert Anderson called The Coming Prince. Sir Robert Anderson was the head of criminal investigation for Scotland Yard. He was knighted by the queen for his work. He did calculations and the whole book is a book of calculations based upon Daniel's prophecy. He checked all of his dates with the Royal Observatory in London, and he calculated 483 years from March 14, 445 BC, and he calculated them in terms of days. He said that will equal to 173,880 days.

So he began counting from March 14, 445 BC, "One, two, three—hundred—thousand—173,880 days." And he arrived at the end of that with this date: April 6—listen—AD 32. H'm, what happened on April 6, AD 32? Well, it happened to be in the Jewish calendar the tenth of the month Nissan. That was the day that the lambs were selected by the families to be given a few days later as a Passover sacrifice.

On that day April 6, AD 32, exactly 173,880 days after March 14, 445 BC, Jesus Christ ascended the Mount of Olives from the east, stopped, and he said to his disciples, "Hey, get me a donkey." Now, it's not because he was just, like, into donkey rides [laughter]; he was fulfilling Zechariah, chapter 9, "Behold, Jerusalem, your King is coming to you on a donkey." And he began riding that donkey while the crowds were shouting, "Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" And he is presenting himself as the Lamb to the nation.

As he's coming down, he stops, and he does something very unusual. He breaks down and audibly weeps in front of the city of Jerusalem. I'll read you that account out of Luke, chapter 19. It's mentioned by all of the Gospels in some form or fashion. "Now, as he drew near, he saw the city and he wept over it, saying," now, listen carefully, " 'If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.' "

By the way, kings in ancient times, in times of peace rode on a donkey; in times of war they chose a horse. That puts Revelation 19 into context for you as Jesus comes back on a horse. He came on a donkey the first time, a horse the second time. He came in peace the first time; he comes to enforce righteousness the second time. "If you had only known, in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes."

He continues, "For the days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, and surround you and close you in on every side, and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another." He's predicting what will happen in AD 70, a few years from that time when the Romans will come in and decimate the city. But listen to how he closes it, "Because you did not know the time of your visitation."

He's saying in other words, "I am holding you [Israel] publicly accountable for knowing what Daniel predicted in the coming of the Messiah, the Daniel seventy-weeks prophecy of Daniel, chapter 9. You should have known this day. This is the day of your visitation—you didn't know it; you refused to see it." And he predicts the fall of Jerusalem exactly 173,880 days from March 14, 445 BC, to now April 6, AD 32, on the tenth of Nissan as the lambs are presented. Don't ever think that God is general, sort of, kind of, around that period of time; he is precise.

But there's more—it says in verse 26 of Daniel, chapter 9, "After the sixty-two weeks," sixty-nine in total, "Messiah shall be cut off,"—karath. It means to kill by piercing. Interesting. And then it says, "But not for himself." Jesus didn't die for himself. It wasn't a travesty of Roman justice. He died for others. He came as an atonement.

"And," it continues, "the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city," that's Jerusalem, "and the sanctuary," that's the temple. "The end of it shall be with a flood, and until the end of war desolations are determined." Now, we don't have to guess what that is. We know from history in AD 70, according to this and what Jesus predicted, Titus Vespasian the Roman general came in and forced his way into Jerusalem killing on that day a million Jews, starving out within the city 100,000 Jews. Josephus says they were so desperate within that city that parents began to eat their own babies. Horrible, horrifying, predicted.

Now, listen carefully, especially if you ever try to witness to Jewish friends or family members. When Daniel wrote what he wrote, there was no temple in Jerusalem; it had been burned by the Babylonians. Yet, he is predicting events that will take place after the temple is rebuilt: Messiah will come, Messiah will die, the city and the temple will be destroyed, etcetera; which means by virtue of that the Messiah, the Jewish Messiah, had to arrive on the scene somewhere before AD 70, according to their own prophet Daniel.

So, now we understand it generally, specifically, and messianically, but let's finish out the text. We need number four to understand this futuristically. There's something coming up ahead. Verse 27, "Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week." "He" being someone from the people of the prince who destroyed the temple in AD 70. Someone of Roman background, a revived Roman Empire, which we've already noted in past studies.

"But in the middle of the week," the week being seven years, the middle of the week being three and a half years, "he shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate." That's where we get the term the "abomination of desolation." "Even until the consummation, which is determined, is poured out on the desolate."

Now, in verse 27 we're dealing with that final seven-year period which is somewhere in the future toward the second coming of Jesus Christ. You say, "Well, how do you know that?" Well, look at the list of the six things that have to be accomplished during this period. Have they been done yet? Is there everlasting righteousness? Have all the prophecies of the Old and New Testament been fulfilled? Is there a temple in Jerusalem that is anointed and dedicated?

No, those things haven't been done. So, we're dealing with now sixty-nine weeks, 483 years fulfilled, now this huge, long gap called the church age. And at some point in the future the calendar kicks off again with that last seven-year period.

That's implied even in the text. After the sixty-ninth week, then the Messiah will be cut off; not during it, afterwards. It implies a gap. It implies a stopping of the time watch. And then at the last seven-year period there's going to be some pact, some covenant broken in the midst of that covenant, three and a half years. And when it's all done there will be everlasting righteousness, etcetera.

Just to seal that in your own heart so you don't think, "Well, he's just sort of making a lot of this stuff up." Jesus Christ himself in Matthew 24 looking into the future said this, "And when you see the 'abomination of desolation,' as spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place, you who are in Judea flee to the mountains. For then there will come great tribulation, such has never been before on earth, from the beginning even till now, nor ever shall be."

And he continues to talk and then he says, "You will see the Son of Man coming in power and great glory." That has not happened yet. We are waiting for that; that is yet future. So, we're dealing here with a future seven-year time called Daniel's Seventieth Week. In between the sixty-ninth and seventieth, it's us, it's the church, it's God reaching out to the whole world through the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ. But at some time in the future there will be a seven-year tribulation period where this kicks up again.

So, we've understood it generally, specifically, messianically, and futuristically. In closing, number five, and most important we need to understand this practically. The worse thing that could happen is you walk away going, "Wow! That was heavy. I understand some cool facts and figures now about history, wow." This should motivate us practically.

Here's how: number one, in prayer. This is an answer to prayer. This is what happens when you pray. He's reading something, he prays about it, now he understands more than ever before. You know, Daniel's prayer, though it looks long to read, only takes three minutes to read, three minutes.

Have you ever gotten up in the morning and say, "I don't have much time to pray; I've only got five minutes"? "Okay." "Well, that's not long enough." "Why?" "Well, because the devil keeps reminding me I have to be on my knees five hours for it to really be worth something."

Just take those five minutes; this was three minutes. He didn't even finish the prayer, didn't even say amen, and he got more than he could handle. Use that time and engage with God—prayer.

Second thing that shows me is providence. You've heard that term, "the providence of God"? God moves history, God moves circumstances—supernaturally; naturally, using the natural world. The best definition I've ever heard of providence is "it's the hand of God and the glove of circumstance."

God moves the players throughout history on his chessboard to get his will done. So people like Titus, Vespasian, Artaxerxes Longimanus, Cyrus, etcetera, they might be powerful rulers, but they're pawns on God's chessboard. He moves them around to get his stuff done. He's in charge here.

Prayer, providence; number three, precision. Precision. I have a question for you: The God who can make these kind of accurate, precise predictions about the Jewish people and the coming of the Messiah and his death, can you trust your life to him? Will you entrust your future, your family, your ambitions to this kind of precise God? That's what he's calling us to do.

You see, the cross of Jesus Christ—Revelation 13 says he's "the Lamb slain from before the foundations of the earth." It was all part of God's plan, and now we see it predicted—the Messiah will be cut off, but not for himself.

So, we're sort of left in the position of that little boy holding the pieces of the puzzle. You put the man together, the whole world comes together. You put Jesus Christ in his proper place in your life, you entrust your life into the hands of this precise God who gave His Son to die on cross for you, and your whole world will come together.

And, so, Father, that's where we leave it, because there's no more time permitting. I pray that those here who have heard this message and seen with their own eyes in the text this amazing prediction would entrust their lives to the living God.

For more teachings from Calvary Albuquerque and Skip Heitzig visit calvaryabq.org.

Additional Messages in this Series

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1/6/2013
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I Dare You: Be Distinct!
Daniel 1
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Men and women of character will rise to meet a challenge. Our challenge over the next few months will be modeled in the life of Daniel, a man of God who stood out above the rest, honored God, and influenced his world. Each week, our service will be formed around a new challenge—a dare—to rise up, be counted, be different, and above all, be pleasing to God.
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1/13/2013
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I Dare You: Step Up!
Daniel 2:1-23
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Any crisis we face is a test. How will we respond? What actions will we take? What will our faith in God mean to us and to others in that moment of crisis? Daniel and his friends faced their moment of crisis when the King of Babylon’s insomnia became their worst nightmare. As they faced the possibility of their own death, they used the situation to display their life-giving faith. Let’s consider how we can step up to life’s difficulties and use them as spiritual opportunities.
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1/20/2013
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I Dare You: Speak Out!
Daniel 2:24-49
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Words can become jumbled when we feel intimidated by the one we’re speaking to, especially if the one we’re speaking to intends to kill us! That’s why this story is so inspiring: Daniel speaks out clearly, boldly, accurately, and yet humbly to Babylon’s monarch and thereby gives us a model of speaking God’s truth to our world.
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1/27/2013
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I Dare You: Stand Up!
Daniel 3
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Fitting in, blending in, and conforming to the values of the world around you is what is expected. If you dare go against the flow of popular worldly ideologies, you will be a marked person, regarded as a fanatic and relegated to the category of "dangerous individuals." Three of Daniel's friends decided it was better to stand up for God than to bow down to the wishes of the crowd. Their conviction of heart was to refuse to be "conformed to this world" (Romans 12:2).
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2/3/2013
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I Dare You: Submit!
Daniel 4:1-18
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Before us is a remarkable section of Scripture with a remarkable story about a king who makes a remarkable statement. It is the personal journal of an earthly political monarch who recognizes God’s authoritative rule in the human realm. As amazing as the story is, it carries with it implications for us to submit to God by submitting to man’s government.
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2/10/2013
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I Dare You: Be Humble!
Daniel 4:19-37
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A pundit once quipped, "Humility is like underwear—essential, but indecent if it shows!" The opposite of humility is pride, and Daniel 4 reveals it in spades. Nebuchadnezzar will learn (and then tell) about the greatest lesson God showed him in his long career—that He is able to humble those who walk in pride. So why not learn it the easy way? Listen carefully and apply these truths diligently. I dare you!
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2/17/2013
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I Dare You: Wake Up!
Daniel 5
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As a teacher was lecturing his class, he noticed a student sleeping in the back row, so he said to the sleeping student’s neighbor, "Hey, wake that guy up!" The neighbor answered back, "You put him to sleep, you wake him up!" Falling asleep on the job may be harmless in some situations, but not as the ruler of a nation, and certainly not when God’s judgment is impending. This week’s dare is directed to anyone who is not heeding divine warning signals and needs to wake up.
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2/24/2013
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I Dare You: Be Faithful!
Daniel 6:1-15
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Daniel was consistently faithful, both publicly and privately. His diligence and attitude set him apart from his peers and his reputation withstood harsh scrutiny. When his life was on the line, Daniel refused to compromise—he dared to be faithful!
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3/3/2013
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I Dare You: Be Steadfast!
Daniel 6:10-28
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Calvin Miller once wrote, “Security is never the friend of faith. It is peril that produces steadfastness.” Daniel knew this to be true and was willing to sacrifice the security of life and limb because his heart was steadfast and immovable toward his God. Even though he had been faithful to king and country, this aged prophet faced the trial of a lifetime.
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3/10/2013
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I Dare You: Defend!
Daniel 7:1-8
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Daniel did fine when he was thrown into the lions’ den, but how does he fare when thrust into the critics’ den? Daniel is an amazing book of prophecy as well as history, yet it has not escaped the bright white light of antagonistic critics through the ages. Today I dare you to move beyond a shallow faith that depends on personal feelings and subjective experiences and learn to “contend earnestly for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints” (Jude 3).
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3/24/2013
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I Dare You: Decide! - Part 1
Daniel 7:8-28
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The world as we know it won’t last forever. Time will not march on without interruption. Daniel saw a vision of four future kingdoms which can be documented historically. But one final worldwide antagonistic thrust against God is coming. It will be waged by a ruler typically referred to as the Antichrist (but actually there are many more names for him). A fourfold description of this coming dictator’s reign is highlighted before us. Even more basic is the choice we must all make about which kingdom we will be part of.
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4/14/2013
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I Dare You: Decide! - Part 2
Daniel 7
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The time is coming when the world will have to decide between a false messiah and the true Christ. Sadly, some already have. Today, we'll consider the world's fastest growing religion and how it might possibly interact with the Bible's predictions of the end times.
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4/21/2013
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I Dare You: Look Ahead!
Daniel 7:9-14;7:26-27
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Economists, meteorologists, visionaries, and psychics all share one thing in common: They all try to predict the future to announce what's coming. God's prophets never had to; God revealed it to them and they simply wrote it down or spoke it out. The central highlight of Daniel's vision in chapter 7 isn't the coming kingdoms of earthly men nor of the coming Antichrist but rather the coming of Jesus Christ. Let's look ahead and see what's coming.
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4/28/2013
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I Dare You: Be Great!
Daniel 8:1-8;8:20-22
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The New York Life Review posted this: "Great men have but a few hours to be 'great.' Like the rest of us, they must dress, bathe, and eat. And, being human, they must make visits to the dentist, doctor, and barber and have conferences with their wives about domestic matters. What makes men great is their ability to decide what is important, and then focus their attention on that." (I think that goes for great women too!) Let's compare three men who some consider to be great, and then see how we measure up.
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5/19/2013
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I Dare You: Be Shocked!
Daniel 8:8-27
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When was the last time you heard someone respond to an incident or piece of information by saying, “That’s shocking!”? Shock (emotional disgust, offense, and aversion) has been diminished due to a widespread exposure to facts and images. Things get too easily relegated to a file in our brains marked, “I’ve already heard this before.” It’s a sad day (and dangerous) when we become spiritually desensitized to God’s truth and the world’s pain.
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5/26/2013
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I Dare You: Pray!
Daniel 9:1-5
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I have never met a person who's regretted praying too much. I've met plenty who've regretted praying too little. Prayer is the one activity that everybody knows they need, but few actually do. It's preached often, but practiced seldom. Forgive me if I'm dispensing guilt—that's not my intention. I'd rather take a peek into the busy life of an ancient executive (Daniel), and see the role prayer played for him and, in so doing, get fired up about this most powerful of activities!
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6/2/2013
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I Dare You: Pray! - Part 2
Daniel 9:4-19
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Just as a square has four sides and is incomplete without all four sides, so too does effective prayer. Daniel leaves us with a great example (and a simple one at that). Though we can pray anywhere and anytime, these four elements form a great baseline for us to emulate. When you talk to God, make certain the signal is clear, your heart is pure, and your confidence is sure.
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6/30/2013
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I Dare You: Fight!
Daniel 10
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Fighting is never fun, but it's sometimes necessary. Certainly that's the case with the Christian life: It's not a playground but a battleground. Spiritual warfare (the cosmic battle between forces of good and evil) is a reality that none can escape but few really understand. For Daniel, the curtain is pulled back and he is allowed to see past the natural world into the supernatural world. Let's get a firsthand briefing on a heavenly battle that has earthly repercussions.
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7/7/2013
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I Dare You: Remember!
Daniel 11:1-35
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Daniel 11 is packed with prophecies about the history of Israel and the world. In just the first 35 verses of the chapter, we find that 135 of those prophecies have already been fulfilled. As we look at the historical details Daniel received in his visions, God's sovereignty comes to the forefront and prompts us to remember that He will carry out the prophecies yet to be fulfilled.
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7/14/2013
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I Dare You: Rest!
Daniel 11:36-45
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It's hard to be at rest when everything around you is chaos and conflict. But today that is our dare. Peace isn't the absence of a storm but being at rest in the midst of the storm. Daniel is informed about a stormy future in store for his own people and for the whole world. As we look ahead to consider a leader who will come during the most tumultuous time in human history, I dare you to rest in four distinct ways:
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8/4/2013
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I Dare You: Hope!
Daniel 12:1-3
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There is nothing needed more in the world today than hope. Every generation faces the tendency toward despair and hopelessness. Daniel especially did since he was learning of his own people's future suffering that would last for multiplied generations. But at last, God gives him a precious ray of hope: The worst of times will usher in the best of times. Four words describe that future time and become four rungs on the ladder of hope.
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8/11/2013
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I Dare You: Respond!
Daniel 12:4-13
Skip Heitzig
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The Christian life is essentially a response to God: God is the Master and we are His servants; He's the Good Shepherd and we are the sheep; He is the Head and we are members of His body. Even our love for God is a response: "We love Him because He first loved us" (1 John 4:19). In this final section of the book of Daniel, let's consider three things that God does and what our response should be in each case.
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8/18/2013
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I Dare You: Be Balanced!
Daniel 1-12
Skip Heitzig
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One dictionary defines balance this way: "A condition in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions." That's a fitting word to describe the whole of Daniel's life. In today's final study of the book of Daniel, we consider the man himself and how his life was so outwardly powerful and yet so inwardly stable. Daniel was supremely balanced in at least four areas.
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There are 23 additional messages in this series.