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I Dare You: Rest!
Daniel 11:36-45
Skip Heitzig

Daniel 11 (NKJV™)
36 "Then the king shall do according to his own will: he shall exalt and magnify himself above every god, shall speak blasphemies against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the wrath has been accomplished; for what has been determined shall be done.
37 "He shall regard neither the God of his fathers nor the desire of women, nor regard any god; for he shall exalt himself above them all.
38 "But in their place he shall honor a god of fortresses; and a god which his fathers did not know he shall honor with gold and silver, with precious stones and pleasant things.
39 "Thus he shall act against the strongest fortresses with a foreign god, which he shall acknowledge, and advance its glory; and he shall cause them to rule over many, and divide the land for gain.
40 "At the time of the end the king of the South shall attack him; and the king of the North shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter the countries, overwhelm them, and pass through.
41 "He shall also enter the Glorious Land, and many countries shall be overthrown; but these shall escape from his hand: Edom, Moab, and the prominent people of Ammon.
42 "He shall stretch out his hand against the countries, and the land of Egypt shall not escape.
43 "He shall have power over the treasures of gold and silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt; also the Libyans and Ethiopians shall follow at his heels.
44 "But news from the east and the north shall trouble him; therefore he shall go out with great fury to destroy and annihilate many.
45 "And he shall plant the tents of his palace between the seas and the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and no one will help him.

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

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27 Daniel - I Dare You - 2013

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:

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. A Coming Leader's Arrogance (v. 36)

    • Scripture:

    • Rest in:

  2. A Coming Leader's Aberration (v. 37)

    • Scripture:

    • Rest in:

  3. A Coming Leader's Association (vv. 38-39)

    • Scripture:

    • Rest in:

  4. A Coming Leader's Annihilation (vv. 40-45)

    • Scripture:

    • Rest in:


CONNECT QUESTIONS


  1. In light of the message, what is the first way that we can rest? How can we accomplish that?

  2. In light of the message, what is the second way that we can rest? How can we accomplish that?

  3. In light of the message, what is the third way that we can rest? How can we accomplish that?

  4. In light of the message, what is the fourth way that we can rest? How can we accomplish that?

  5. Jesus is the only hope that we can offer. What practical steps can we take to personally share the truth 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. A tourist and a Mexican fisherman
    2. I Dare You: Rest is an oxymoron
      1. This would be a dare to the one who is stressed out
      2. To one who is a workaholic
      3. To the overachieving managerial type
      4. To someone who is hearing bad news about their future
    3. Daniel was given stressful information about his people and their future
    4. We live in an age when people are more stressed than ever before
      1. The average citizen is filled with anxiety
      2. Some struggle to get by economically
      3. The news from the Middle East
      4. People long for someone to come along and fix it all
      5. Time Magazine article: "Inflation, Who Hurts the Worst?"
      6. There is one coming, but you don't want to follow him—a coming world leader with a plan
      7. He is called the antichrist
  2. Four attributes of the coming leader: His arrogance, his aberration, his association, and his annihilation
    1. His arrogance v. 36
      1. The angel of the Lord who is giving the vision skips thousands of years from verse 35 to verse 36—he is dealing with someone in the future
        1. There are gaps of time in the Bible (i.e. "70 weeks of years" Daniel 9; Jesus read from Isaiah 61); Principle: prophetic foreshortening
        2. We know this because there are 135 well-documented fulfilled prophecies that corroborate data
        3. Nothing in this verse onward has been fulfilled—the time of the end
        4. "At that time" —a period of time that is worse than any other period that has ever happened
        5. Why is there a gap here?
          1. The prophecies are dealing with one particular nation, Israel
          2. Jacob's trouble (see Jeremiah 30)
          3. All the conflicts that have already been fulfilled are just a foreshadow of a worse time that is coming
      2. The king mentioned is the antichrist
        1. He's only called that in 1 John
        2. That's his most infamous title
        3. He's given 25 titles (the beast, the lawless one, the son of perdition, the man of sin, the little horn, the king of fierce countenance, the prince that shall come, etc.)
        4. One of his notable characteristics is his pride
        5. How can anyone rest when a guy like this is promised to come on the scene?
        6. How do you handle prideful people in your life?
          1. Some people act like them—one up them
          2. Proverbs 16:18 shows the truth about pride
          3. You can rest in God's promise
    2. His aberration v. 37
      1. Three areas of peculiarity
        1. He will not regard the heritage of his fathers
        2. He will not regard the desire of women
        3. He will not regard any God, he will exalt himself above them all—Paul says the same thing in 2 Thessalonians 2:4
      2. Possibility: Antichrist may have Islamic origins
        1. Problem number one: the revived Roman empire
          1. Roman empire split
          2. Modern-day Turkey
          3. Today 60% of the Roman territory is under Islamic control
        2. Problem number two: any Muslim would never allow someone to claim they were God
          1. The antichrist will not demand worship until three and a half years is up
          2. In the middle of the seven-year period, he proclaims he is God
        3. Add to all this: "God will send them strong delusions that they will believe the lie" (see 2 Thessalonians 2:11)
      3. How do you rest with somebody like that?
        1. It's a very short period of time—three and a half years
        2. That's what Jesus meant when He said, "Unless those days were shortened, there would be no flesh saved" (see Matthew 24:22)
        3. God will not share His glory with another (see Isaiah 42:8)
        4. You can rest on God's proclamation
    3. His association v. 38
      1. Fortress means a strong place—power will be his God
      2. He will have an enormous amount of military prowess (see Daniel 7:23; the fourth beast)
      3. Three buddies talking about the oldest profession known to man
      4. The first part of the seven years will be peaceful, the second part will be chaotic
      5. In Revelation 13, John had a similar vision, he saw the beast emerging from the sea of humanity
      6. How can anyone find rest with a powerful, prideful, peculiar, political oppressor like this guy?
        1. God tells His people to rest (see Revelation 6 and 14)
        2. Jesus said, "Whoever exalts himself is going to be abased" (see Matthew 23:12)
        3. You can rest in His power
    4. His Annihilation v. 40
      1. Deals with the second half of the tribulation
      2. A coalition of leaders come from the south and the north; could be the war of Gog and Magog (see Ezekiel 38 and 39)
      3. The Jews will flee to the east (see Revelation 12)
      4. The antichrist will hear bad news coming from the east; could be an army cross the Euphrates river (see Revelation 9)
      5. The seas: the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea
      6. He'll come to his end and no one will help him
      7. How does he come to his end? Jesus comes back with the armies of heaven, captures him, and casts him into the lake of fire (see Revelation 19)
      8. Jesus said at the Last Supper "Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in me. In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also" (John 14:1-5)
      9. The church has been waiting for Him to come again—this is the ultimate reason to rest
      10. This will end all of the conflict against Israel, all the pain and sorrow of the world
      11. "The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord, like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes" Proverbs 21:1
  3. Rejoice and rest in God's plan
    1. God is not in heaven ringing His hands wondering what to do now
    2. He has power, He has made proclamations and promises
    3. A man on the boat in the ocean remembered that God never slumbers or sleeps (see Psalms 121:1-4)
    4. He has a plan, so we can rest

Publications Referenced: Time Magazine: Inflation, Who Hurts the Worst?
Cross references: Psalms 121:1-4, Proverbs 16:18, Proverbs 21:1, Isaiah 42:8, Isaiah 61, Jeremiah 30, Ezekiel 38 and 39, Daniel 7:23, Daniel 9, Daniel 12:1, Matthew 23:12, Matthew 24:22, John 14:1-5, 2 Thessalonians 2:4, 2 Thessalonians 2:11, 1 John, Revelation 9, Revelation 12

Topic: End Times

Keywords: rest, worry, peace, Daniel, trust, antichrist

Transcript

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

Would you turn in your Bibles, please, to Daniel, chapter 11. Daniel, chapter 11, you can see by just where we're at in Daniel, the end of chapter 11, we're almost done with the book. So, we've been at it a while and we're almost done with the prophecies of the book of Daniel. Before we begin, why don't we take the pause that refreshes? Let's pray.

Father, we realize that as we begin we are actually speaking to the very God of heaven and earth, the One for whom nothing is impossible, the One to whom all glory and honor goes, the One of whom all of these predictions are made; the great prophecies of Scripture that you by your foresight are able to communicate through messengers to human beings that has given us insight into what's coming ahead, a shock for Daniel and to us. But today we're called to rest in the truth that you have given. Help us to do that, in Jesus' name, amen.

There's a boat that made its way to a dock at a tiny Mexican village, and on the dock was an American tourist watching the boat come in. Off the boat stepped a fisherman with a small, modest catch of fish, but very nice fish. And the tourist said, "How long did it take you to catch those fish?" The fisherman said, "Not very long at all. I just went out, caught the fish, came back in." And he said, "Well, you could have stayed out longer and got more." He goes, "This is sufficient to care for the needs of my family."

So, the tourist, curious, said, "So, what do you do with the rest of your time?" The fisherman said, "Well, I sleep in late. I play with my kids. Later on I take a siesta with my wife. In the evening I go into the village and meet my friends and play guitar. I live a full life."

The tourist said, "I have an MBA from Harvard University; I can help you. If you started your day earlier, you could go out and catch more fish. You could sell the extra fish, and in time you'd have enough money to buy a bigger boat. If you kept that up over time, you could buy a second boat, then a third, then a fourth, and eventually you'll have a whole fleet of fishing ships. And if you keep at it, you can even have your own processing plant right here in this area. And by that time you'll be bringing in so much money, you could relocate to Mexico City or New York City or Los Angeles, and from there you can control your vast operations."

The fisherman said, "How long do you think something like that would take?" The tourist said, "Probably a good twenty to twenty-five years, but you'll make millions of dollars doing it." The fisherman said, "After that, then what?" The tourist said, "After that you can retire. You can find a nice little village by a coast, [laughter] you can sleep in late, can play with your grandkids, take a siesta with your wife, and in the evening you can go play guitar with your friends in the village—you'll live a full life." [laughter] I think the fisherman needed to school the MBA, don't you?

The title of today's message is "I Dare You: Rest!" which sounds strange to our ears. It sounds like an oxymoron: I dare you, rest. An oxymoron is simply words that you put together and they seem to contradict each other, like "airline food," that's an oxymoron. You're lucky if you get four peanuts on an airplane. "Government organization," that's another one. I dare you, rest, is an oxymoron. It sounds strange because a dare implies that you do something daring, that there's some element of danger or risk involved.

I dare you, rest? But this would make sense as a dare to somebody who is stressed out, someone who's a worrier, or someone who's the overcommitted, workaholic, pedal-to-the-metal manager type of person. Or this would be a suitable dare to someone who is hearing bad news about their future, about pain, and about conflict, and the exhortation, "rest," that would make sense. That would be quite a dare.

Daniel the prophet is given information about the future, conflicts about his people, the nation of Israel. From his time all the way into the future, and then now beginning in this verse, verse 36, the final period of human history which will be far worse than any other time.

I believe, however, that these verses have a particular application to us today and that this message would be very apropos, Because we live in a day and age when people are probably more stressed than ever before, that the average citizen is filled with anxiety and sort of living on the edge, agitated with present developments economically in this world. Some of you struggle just to get by week by week. Then you hear of what's going on in the Middle East, and you add all of that together, and what people long for today is someone to come along and fix all this. That can be a danger.

Time magazine in an article called "Inflation: Who Hurts the Worst?" discussed, among others, a forty-three-year-old steelworker in Chicago, Illinois, married with five children on a very low wage who said, and I quote, "You really want to revolt, but what can you do? I keep waiting for a miracle, for some guy who isn't born yet, and when he comes we'll follow him like he was John the Baptist."

The Bible would say, "There is a guy coming; you don't want to follow him like you'd follow John the Baptist," a coming king, a coming world ruler before Jesus Christ comes, and he will come with a plan. We call him most typically the Antichrist. We've already talked about him in the book of Daniel, and seeing his description, but he surfaces again here in chapter 11.

So, I want to with you consider four attributes of this coming leader, four attributes. And then after the attributes I want to give you a Scripture and then a reason to rest, a Scripture and a reason to rest in the light of those four attributes. The attributes are: his arrogance, his aberration, his association, and finally, his annihilation. I was looking for all A's; can you tell this week?

Let's look at verse 36 of Daniel, chapter 11. This is the first characteristic, this coming leader's arrogance: "Then the king shall do according to his own will: He shall exalt and magnify himself above every god, he shall speak blasphemies against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the wrath has been accomplished; for what has been determined shall be done."

Now, beginning in this verse, the angel who is giving to Daniel the revelation of the future skips, sweeps thousands of years from verse 35 to verse 36. He just sort of, like, stops and there's this huge gap of time until now we're dealing with somebody not historic to us, but somebody who is yet future. Now, hold that thought. By now you should get used to this, and I hope you are used to the fact that in the Bible you have gaps of time that are sometimes a couple thousand year gaps.

For example, in Daniel, chapter 9, remember the prophecy "Seventy weeks of years are determined for your people and your city"? And we saw that how the text shows there's a difference between the first sixty-nine, or 483 years, then a gap, and then a final week, or seven-year period that is coming at the end of days, the tribulation period. The Bible speaks a lot about it. So, we're used to the Bible showing us a gap.

Another famous gap is, if you remember, the message I gave in this series, but on Isaiah 61, called "The World's Most Important Comma." How Jesus one day stood up in the synagogue in Nazareth quoting Isaiah, chapter 61, "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor, to bind up the brokenhearted, to set at liberty those what are captives. To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord," and he closed the book.

He didn't finish the sentence; he closed it on a comma. If he would have finished the sentence, it would have said, "And the year of vengeance of our God." The reason he closed the book is because "the year of vengeance of our God" won't happen till the tribulation happens. That's the final seven-year period. So, we're used to these gaps, and, if you remember, I introduced a principle to you called "prophetic foreshortening," which is simply the principle that the prophets could see things happening in the future, future events, but they could not delineate between the sequence of those events nor the intervals of time that happen between one event and another.

So, they saw the Messiah coming. They saw him suffering. They saw him dying. They saw him ruling and reigning, and they did not see the gap of time between Jesus' first coming and second coming. We have that here. We're introduced to that here. In fact, if you look back one verse at verse 35, you'll notice what it says. "Some of those of understanding will fall, to refine them, purify them, make them white, until"—here he introduces it—"the time of the end; it is still for the appointed time." Then he says, "Then the king shall do according to his own will."

So, the scope beginning in this verse is beyond the Syrian king, Antiochus Epiphanes, and we're dealing with somebody else in the future. There's a few reasons I know that, not only because the way the language is written, but remember how I said last week that in the first thirty-five verses of this chapter there's 135 well-documented fulfilled prophecies. In other words, we're able to plug in from history, corroborating data in those first thirty-five verses, and see that it has been fulfilled historically.

The problem is beginning in verse 36 we have no such history that corresponds to what we read in this description in this final paragraph. That's where it sort of falls off the grid. Everything has been fulfilled; nothing in this verse onward has been fulfilled. We're dealing with the time of the end.

And so he's introduced, this king, the ruler as simply "the king." The king is not Antiochus IV who was the king of the North, if you remember, against the king of the South. Here's is the king who is in this text you will see differentiated from the king of the North and the king of the South.

Now, something else I want to show you just so there's no doubt. If you continue reading and continue reading and you get into chapter 12, verse 1—there were no chapter gaps back then. They were added later. It's all the same narrative.

Daniel 12, verse 1, it says, "At that time"—the time we're dealing with. "At that time Michael shall stand up," remember, he was one of the archangels, "the great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, every one who is found written in the book. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt."

So, we're dealing with a period of time that is worse than any other period in history; and number two, it will end with a resurrection of the just and the unjust. That hasn't happened yet, so there's a gap, and we pick up dealing with some future event. But here's a question; it's sort of an obvious question, but it sort of needs to be answered: Why is there a gap? Why does this keep happening? Why is there a gap here? Why do we have: here's the history—gap—and now here's the very end of this. Why is that?

Here's why: because the prophecies are dealing not with every nation in the world, but with one particular nation. What nation is that? Israel. These are prophecies that center on future conflicts for the nation of Israel, and the only reason other nations are mentioned is because the way they affect the nation of Israel.

That's why it says in Daniel 9, "Seventy weeks are determined for your people," those are the Jewish people, "and for your holy city," that's the city of Jerusalem. That's why in Jeremiah, chapter 30, describing the same period of future history, it says, "For this is the time of Jacob's trouble." That's a synonym for Israel—Jacob's trouble.

So, these are dealing with the nation of Israel. Simply put: all of the conflicts that we read about last week from the past are simply a foreshadow of a greater conflict and a worse time that is coming in the future, and it centers around this person called the king. I sort of gave it away at the beginning—this is the Antichrist. That's his most famous name, or I should say most infamous name. Even though, did you know, he's only referred to that one time in the Bible, and that's the book of First John.

He's given twenty-five titles about all together: He's called the beast. He's called the lawless one. He's called the son of perdition. He is called the man of sin. In chapter 7 of Daniel he's called the little horn; remember the little horn? In chapter 8 of Daniel he's called the king of fierce countenance, old fierce face. In chapter 9 he's called the prince that shall come. All speaks of the same person, a final ruler who will come to planet earth just before Jesus Christ comes again.

One of the notable characteristics of his personality is his pride. Again, verse 36, "The king will do according to his own will: And he shall exalt and magnify himself above every god." We've already discussed this when we were in chapter 7. He's called the little horn, but he has a big mouth; he speaks pompous words against the Most High. So, how can anyone rest when a guy like this is promised to come onto the scene having this kind of power? A prideful, arrogant, ruler with power—how can you rest?

Let me ask a more personal question: how to you handle prideful people in your life? You probably can think of maybe one, two, three, a dozen? I don't know. Maybe there's somebody you go: "Oooh, that person. He's just so . . ." You know how most people deal with prideful people? They become prideful themselves. So, when they're around somebody who's sort of heels dug in and arrogant, they sort of act the same way to one-up the other person that they're confronting. "Oh, you think you're so great, well, let me tell you this . . ." That's the very opposite of the way it ought to be handled.

There's a mom who was cooking pancakes for her two boys, a five-year-old and a three-year-old. Kevin was the oldest, five years; Ryan, the three-year-old. They started arguing over who would get the first pancake; you know, kids do that—adults do that. [laughter] And so she saw this as a perfect opportunity to inject biblical truth in training her kids. So, she bent down and she said, "Boys if Jesus were here, I bet he would say, 'I'll let my brother have the first pancake.' "And Kevin the five-year-old, the older one, said to Ryan the three-year-old, "Hey, you be Jesus." [laughter]

But here's the scriptural promise: Proverbs 16, "Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall." Though that is true generally, it is never more true than of this Antichrist. He will puff himself up and be prideful, and a haughty spirit comes before a fall. So, you can rest in God's promise.

Let's look at the second characteristic—this coming leader's aberration. Verse 37 says, "He shall regard neither the God of his fathers nor the desire of women, nor regard any god; for he shall exalt himself above them." This verse is put here because there are three areas of peculiarity, aberration that would be noteworthy to anyone living in biblical times.

Three areas: first of all, the area of tradition. We're told, "He shall regard neither the God of his fathers." In other words, he will have some religious heritage, but at some point he will turn from that tradition, from that heritage, and forsake it. Then it says concerning his affection, "Nor the desire of women." He won't regard the desire of women. There's all sorts of books written about what this could possibly mean. Some have conjectured that the Antichrist will be a homosexual. But it could simply mean he'll be celibate. He'll be so focused on his mission that he won't desire to marry.

Then, third, in regards to religion notice the same verse says, "Nor regard any god for he will magnify himself above them all." Now, this is an interesting characteristic; his pride is so up there, out there that he would even exalt himself above God, above any god. That's an aberration. I mean, you know, there's arrogance, and then there's arrogance, and this is arrogance to an aberrational point. Paul says the same thing, Second Thessalonians 2:4, "He opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in temple of God, showing himself that he is God."

Now, hold this thought, because I want to tie something together that if I just move on there'll be too many loose threads. I mentioned something a couple weeks ago, a few weeks ago. I suggested a possibility, and, again, it's only a possibility. I'm not here to say I know who the Antichrist is or from where they're from; enough books have been written that are wrong. But I suggested the possibility that the Antichrist may have Islamic origin, that the Antichrist might indeed be the one that the Muslims worldwide consider as coming soon, their Mahdi, their deliverer?

And I quoted from Islamic literature to show you that they are expecting universally somebody who is coming to this earth who is a messianic figure, an unparalleled leader—this is all in their literature—who will take control of the world, who will destroy all who resist him, who will invade many nations, who will enact a seven-year peace treaty with the Jews, who will conquer Israel and massacre Jews, and then establish an Islamic world headquarters at Jerusalem; which when we discovered that it sounds—boy, that sounds a whole lot what the Bible describes as Antichrist.

We have two problems: problem number one in most people's minds is this problem of the revived Roman Empire, because the prophecy is that Rome will in the end days have some sort of association and revive, and so we expect a leader from the revived Roman Empire. So, everybody looks to Europe at some white, European guy who's going to come and that's the Antichrist.

What you need to understand, and if you know history you remember this, and if you know biblical history you remember that Nebuchadnezzar saw a vision of coming world empires, and the last one were the legs of iron that represented Rome. It was the longest part of the statue; it was divided into two legs. In 395 AD Rome indeed split east and west.

The western leg of the Roman Empire fizzled out essentially; the eastern leg continued for another thousand years, and it was headquartered at Constantinople, which is today modern-day Istanbul, Turkey. If you were to take a map of the ancient Roman Empire, you would discover that 60 percent of the lands that occupied the Roman Empire are under today Islamic control. So, we can answer that part of the question.

The other piece of the problem deals with what we're talking about here. You have a guy who's saying he's God. The Antichrist is demanding personal worship. How could he be a Muslim? Any Muslim would never allow this. Well, here's what you have to remember: the Antichrist, whoever this person is, will accomplish a great deal in the first three and a half years of his seven-year rule. He will not demand worship until three and a half years is up, and in the middle of that seven-year period comes this abomination of desolation where he proclaims that he is God.

That's once the world has given him allegiance. Then he invades Israel. Then he establishes authority in the temple after the Islamic world, after all the imams, and all the mullahs, and all the ayatollahs, sheikhs have already said "this is the guy." At that point, to deny him at that point would be the ultimate shame in Islam, especially after a flush of vindication and satisfaction of—"We've made this much ground."

Something else, add to all that I just said what it says in Second Thessalonians 2 of that time period where it says, "God will send them strong delusion, that they will believe the lie." There will be a supernatural confirmation of the already hardened hearts of those people on the earth. "God will send them strong delusion, and they will believe the lie."

Okay, now, back to our theme. I dare you, rest? Daniel has shown this kind of a leader who will be arrogant and aberrational, with no regard at all to any god or religions of other people. He'll be intolerant of other people's faiths, and then he will turn from his own at some point. How to you rest with somebody like that? Here's what you need to remember: when all this happens, it will be for a very short period of time. Three and a half years is a short period of time when you look at world history, three and a half years.

And I believe that's what Jesus meant when he said, "Unless those days were shortened, there would no flesh be saved; but for the elect's sake they will be shortened." So, here's the scriptural promise: God will not share his glory with another. You can rest in God's proclamation. Rest in God's promise; rest in God's proclamation.

Let's consider a third characteristic of this coming leader, and that is, his association. Verse 38, "But in their place he shall honor a god of fortresses; a god which his fathers did not know he shall honor with gold and silver, with precious stones and pleasant things. And thus he shall act against the strongest fortresses with a foreign god, which he shall acknowledge, and advance its glory; and he shall cause them to rule over many and divide the land for gain."

Now, six times in this section fortress or fortresses is used. It literally means a strong place. When it talks about the god of fortresses, it's simply a way of saying power will be his god. He will depend on military strength. He will have an enormous amount of military prowess and availability.

Again, I remind you of what we already read in Daniel chapter 7 verse 23, "The fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom on earth, which will be different from all other kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, trample it and break it in pieces." He'll worship a god of fortresses. His aim will be to be the political ruler of the world using a war machine and all the money he has to finance wars with military strength to gain political power, and it will be chaotic.

There were three buddies who were talking about the oldest profession known to man. One was a doctor, a surgeon; his buddy was an engineer; and the third friend of theirs was a politician. And so the doctor, the surgeon said, "Well, if you look at the Bible, it says that God carved out of Adam a piece of him and made a woman. That means, gentlemen, my profession, surgeon, is the oldest profession known to man."

His engineer buddy said, "Not so fast; if you go a little bit before that, it says in six days God created the world out of chaos. That's the job of an engineer." Over in the corner their buddy the politician had that smile on his face, and he said, "Ahhh, but who created the chaos?" [laughter]

What's interesting is that in this future seven-year period that the Bible speaks so often about, the first part of it will be a time of peace. The second part of it will be chaotic, and some of these verses ahead of us will even show that to be true. But in Revelation 13, John has a similar vision as Daniel. Daniel saw a beast coming out of the sea, actually, four beasts. John sees somebody called "the beast" in Revelation 13 emerging from the sea of humanity. And when this leader comes on the scene, the world says, "Who is like the beast?" and "Who is able to wage war with him?"

He will be so strong militarily, and yet my message today is "I dare you to rest"? How can anyone find rest with a powerful, prideful, peculiar, political oppressor like this guy? Well, it's interesting in the book of Revelation itself which describes this seven-year, horrible period on earth twice—in chapter 6 and chapter 14—God tells his people "rest." He uses that word rest; rest.

Here's the Scripture, Matthew 23 verse 12, Jesus said, "Whoever exalts himself is going to be abased." You can rest in his power, and we're going to show that to you in a moment. God's power to create the heaven and the earth is sufficient to deal with this joker who comes.

Well, let's see that. Let's come now to his fourth characteristic—his annihilation. Verse 40, "At the time of the end"—notice that. "At the time of the end the king of the south shall attack him; and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind"—so whatever we saw in terms of those kings of the north and south previously are foreshadowing this end-time scenario—"with chariots, horsemen, with many ships; he shall enter the countries, overwhelm them, pass through. He shall also enter the Glorious Land, and many countries shall be overthrown; but these shall escape from his hand: Edom, Moab, and the prominent people of Ammon." All of those areas are in present-day Jordan.

"He shall stretch out his hand against the countries, and the land of Egypt shall not escape. He shall have power over the treasures of gold and silver, over the precious things of Egypt; also the Libyans and Ethiopians shall follow at his heels. But news from the east and the north shall trouble him; therefore he shall go out with great fury to destroy and annihilate many. And he shall plant the tents of his palace between the seas and the glorious holy mountain; and yet he shall come to his end, and no one will help him."

Now, we're dealing probably with the second half of the seven-year tribulation period. Notice again in verse 40 it marks it as "at the time of the end." Then it goes on to describe a coalition from the south of North African nations that are mentioned that come up against him, this leader, this king, this Antichrist, that come up against him, as well as a coalition from the north, kings of the north. Who might that be? Well, it might be what Ezekiel 38 and 39 describes as the war of Gog and Magog all coming against him at that time.

During that time the Jews will flee to the east. Revelation, chapter 12, tells us interestingly in a fortress in present-day Jordan they will flee to their desert refuge in the wilderness. The Antichrist will hear news, bad news, coming from the east; which causes us to wonder what could that be? Where Revelation 9 does describe an army of two hundred million crossing the Euphrates River that could be the bad news that he hears; he's got trouble from the south, trouble from the north, trouble from the east—he's got trouble. His whole powerful coalition at that point is breaking apart.

And in verse 45, "He shall plant the tents of his palace between the seas"— what are the seas? To anybody who's from Judea like Daniel was, the "seas" could only mean this: the Mediterranean Sea and the Dead Sea. Those were the seas to any Jerusalemite or person from Judea as Daniel was—the seas, the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea. "Between the seas and the glorious holy mountain." It's only one mountain, that's Mount Zion, that's Jerusalem. "And yet he shall come to his end, and no one will help him."

So, you have all these nations coming together, coming together toward Israel, you have this Antichrist, and then it finally says "the end." "And he'll come to his end"—period. "And no one will help him." You know how he comes to his end? You know how he comes to his end. I know how he comes to his end. He probably hears something and he looks up and he goes, "Uh-oh, I'm in big trouble."

Now, I'll read it to you, this is Revelation, chapter 19. This describes the end of that seven-year period. The beast has already been reigning in the book of Revelation. Now, this is Revelation, chapter 19, "I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And he who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire; on his head were many crowns. And he had a name written which no one knew except himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and his name is called The Word of God."

"And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed him on white horses. Now, out of his mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it he should strike the nations. And he himself will rule with a rod of iron. He himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he has on his robe and on his thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS." That's none other than the Lord Jesus Christ coming back to this earth in the second coming.

"And I saw the beast," the one we've been reading about, "and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him who sat on the horse and against his army. And the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in the presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. And those two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone."

That's how he comes to the end, and no one will help him. No ally can help him because Jesus returns with the armies of heaven. Remember what Jesus said in the upper room at the Last Supper? He said, "Let not your hearts be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you." Now listen, "And if I go, I will"—what?—"come again." "I will come again."

Ever since he uttered those words, the church for two thousand years has been waiting for him to come again and both receive us to himself as well as come over and take over the earth. So many hymns, so many songs have been written about the second coming. This is the ultimate reason to rest—He is coming. And that will end all of the conflict against Israel, all of the pain and sorrow of the world, all of the oppression we've been reading about.

Here's the Scripture: Proverbs 21, "The kings heart is in the hand of the Lord, and like the rivers of water; he turns it wherever he wishes." Even this king's heart is in the hand of the Lord. Rejoice and rest in God's plan. So, rest in God's promises, his proclamation, his power, and his plan.

I hope you're not thinking of God as sitting up in his heaven looking down, seeing what happens on the earth, biting his fingernails, going, "What in the world is going on down there, and how on earth am I ever able to save earth?" He's got a plan, he's got power, he has made proclamations and promises—all of which cause us facing our future to rest.

I love the story about the man who was out on the ocean. Of course, I love the ocean. And he was out on his boat and a storm came. And he wasn't too happy about that storm, because his boat was rocking back and forth and he didn't know if he was going to make it. But he remembered Psalm 21 that says, "He who keeps Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps." So he thought of that promise: "God never slumbers nor sleeps."

So, he folded his hands and he looked up to heaven and he says, "Since you don't ever rest, there's no sense in both of us losing sleep, good night." What a way to look at life: I'm in a storm, but you're going to stay awake; I'm going to take a nap." You can rest in the fact that our God sovereignly who has made promises, proclamations, has power, he has a plan—so we can rest.

Father, Daniel must have been initially shaken by what he saw and what he heard, but then ultimately at rest because he realizes that the conflicts that have been going on in heavenly places that spill out onto the earth are under the sovereign control and planning of Sovereign God who allows certain things to occur, and choices to be made, and plans to be carried out, but all under the careful envelope of the sovereign will and power of himself. That must have brought great peace and great rest to Daniel's heart as it does to ours today. I pray, Lord, that we would rejoice and find our peace in you, our trust in you, and for anyone who has not done that personally, I pray they would, in Jesus' name, amen.

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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6/9/2013
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I Dare You: Understand!
Daniel 9:20-27
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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!
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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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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
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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
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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.