March 2, 2015
A MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR JACK VAN IMPE
Daniel 9:1 – 19
God’s Ultimate Program for Israel
What you are about to read is a reflection on one of the most important chapters in the Book of Daniel, and one of the most remarkable passages in all of the Bible. Its dual theme of prayer and prophecy is like no other portion of God’s Word: Daniel’s prayer stands as a model for any person serious about seeking the Lord and His holiness in his or her life; while the prophecy of the seventy weeks contains the most precise information in Scripture that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah promised to the children of Israel through their own prophets.
- In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans;
- In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.
Daniel is starting to do his math, and he’s doing it by looking at God’s timetable for the restoration of Israel. He reads in Jeremiah 25:11-12,
“And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years. And it shall come to pass, when seventy years are accomplished, that I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, saith the LORD, for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans, and will make it perpetual desolations.”
Daniel certainly turned to his Hebrew manuscripts to study 2 Chronicles 36, where he observed that the Jews, because they failed to protect their land (breaking seventy sabbatical years) would be punished for a period equal to their disobedience. The more Daniel read, the more excited he must have felt, because he calculated that the seventy years of judgment on his people had almost come to an end (the captivity of the Jews had started in 605 B.C. and now it was the year 538 B.C.) and that the Jews would soon be allowed to return to their home. But we are forced to say, “Not so fast, Daniel. You have only a partial understanding of what is still to come.” And it is this still-to-come end-time information that is the essence of chapter nine:
- And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:
- And I prayed unto the LORD my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments;
- We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments:
- Neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, which spake in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.
- O Lord, righteousness belongeth unto thee, but unto us confusion of faces, as at this day; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and unto all Israel, that are near, and that are far off, through all the countries whither thou hast driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against thee.
- O LORD, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee.
- To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him;
- Neither have we obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets.
- Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him.
- And he hath confirmed his words, which he spake against us, and against our judges that judged us, by bringing upon us a great evil: for under the whole heaven hath not been done as hath been done upon Jerusalem.
- As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the Lord our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth.
- Therefore hath the LORD watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us: for the LORD our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth: for we obeyed not his voice.
- And now, O Lord our God, that hast brought thy people forth out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and hast gotten thee renown, as at this day; we have sinned, we have done wickedly.
- O Lord, according to all thy righteousness, I beseech thee, let thine anger and thy fury be turned away from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain: because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and thy people are become a reproach to all that are about us.
- Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord’s sake.
- O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our sup phcations before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies.
- O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, 0 my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name.
Daniel begins his long prayer with a contrite and broken heart as he addresses God as Adonai-Sovereign Ruler. The word Adonai shows Daniel’s recognition of God’s absolute authority and power, a fitting expression for Daniel to use as he begins his litany of confession and plea for personal and national forgiveness.
However, in verse 2, Daniel suddenly changes his name for God and begins to use the term Yahweh-which refers to God as a gracious, covenant-keeping God, holy, just, righteous, and loving. He uses the name Yahweh seven times, in verses 2, 4, 10, 13, 14, and 20. It’s amazing that Daniel would use God’s holy name in the first place because the Jews never pronounced the name of God because their reverence for the almighty God was so great.
That’s why they used what is called the tetragrammaton, Y-H-W-H-four letters that cannot be pronounced, and only become the word Yahweh when the vowels a and e are added. As we study Daniel’s prayer it will become obvious why he used the term Yahweh, particularly as it relates to God as a covenant-keeping God, the topic which most interested Daniel since he’d now become a one-person spokesman for the plight of the Jews and was relying on the trustworthiness of the most high God to keep His promises. However, as we said before, Daniel still did not have all the information to work out all the details of God’s plan because most of the predictions would only be revealed at the time of the end (Daniel 12:4).
As Daniel bowed before the Lord, his heart was filled with sadness for his own sin and the sins of his people. He fasted, wore sackcloth, and put ashes on his body to show his humble spirit. He was alone with God. No distractions. No interruptions. I encourage you to read and reread Daniel’s prayer, because it is a model for any Christian. Even though Daniel was an upright, faithful, godly man, he still confessed that he had also sinned.
Because of his tender heart toward God and a conscience that could be quickly and easily touched, he was unusually responsive when he heard the word of the Lord. Being sensitive to the Spirit of God also increased his sensitivity to the predicament of his people, the Jews, as he recited the various ways in which they rebelled against God, failed to obey His voice, refused to walk in His laws, and chose not to obey His commands. Daniel recognized that for these reasons, the curse had been poured out upon them.
The Jews had been scattered across the world. What was once their home had become the domicile of heathen kingdoms and pagan rulers. Daniel knew the reason for this dispersion- the Diaspora. Deuteronomy 11:26-28 states,
“Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day: And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known.”
Not only did the Jews refuse to obey the Ten Commandments found in Exodus 20, but they’d also turned their backs on the 613 other commandments given to the people of Israel. As Daniel reflects on the history of how the Jews got mired in their present dilemma, he continues to hope and pray that Yahweh will end the seventy years of punishment on schedule (as he, Daniel, saw it), and bring peace and relief to their sinful, troubled hearts.
Daniel’s Prayer Is Also Personal
Daniel is not revising history. He is seeing history as it is, asserting that God was righteous for what He did to the Jews, admitting that we-Daniel and his people-were the culprits … we were the transgressors . . . we didn’t obey God’s voice . .. we failed to keep His commandments. His prayer was not a whining exercise to get God to overlook the past sins of His people, but a prayer of love and intercession for national and personal forgiveness, and a contrite heart, reminiscent of the words of the psalmist who prayed in Psalm 51:10,
“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.”
Daniel refused to offer excuses for Israel’s behavior. Again, I urge you to read this prayer over and over, because each time you allow Daniel’s heart of confession to intertwine with your own, you will be blessed and encouraged in your own Christian walk. Unfortunately, for many modern Christians the idea of true and honest confession is a lost spiritual art. But unless we recapture this spirit of humility, face up to what we’ve done to distance ourselves from God, and choose to make amends, our own spirits will remain shallow and insensitive to the work that God wants to do in our lives. That’s why it is always in our spiritual best interest to spend time reading and applying such verses as Psalm 66:18-20:
“If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me: But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer. 0 Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me.”
These verses are amplified by what we read in Isaiah 5 9:1-2:
“Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.”
There is a direct correlation between our unconfessed iniquities and God’s blessing for our lives-to the extent that God cannot even hear our cries if repentance is sidetracked. Daniel knew this. That’s why his prayer is so powerful, a model for us to follow today. Daniel walked close to God, and the closer he walked, the more he saw the imperfections in himself and in his people because the Spirit of God lived in him.
FROM THE HEART OF DR. REXELLA VAN IMPE
Someone With Skin On
I suppose this story has been told in a variety of ways, but it illustrates so well the heart-cry of all mankind.
As I heard it, a little boy woke up in the midst of a violent storm, frightened by the thunder and lightning, and cried out for his mother. She reassured him, and told him never to be afraid of the dark or the storm because God was right there with him.
In a few minutes the child cried out again, and the mother went back to his side and reminded the youngster of her earlier assurance that God was with him in the storm. “I know,” said the lad, “but I want someone with skin on!”
Don’t we all? Religions based on noble thoughts or impersonal cosmic forces, or centered around idols made of stone or wood, do not satisfy the deep longing inside the human breast for a God with whom we can have a personal, living experience. We seek a God we can touch — Someone with skin on — to be our Example, our Saviour, and our Intercessor.
Centuries after the time when God himself came down to the Garden of Eden in the cool of the evening to walk, talk, and have fellowship with Adam and Eve, sinful man had lost sight of who God was and what He was like. Mankind stumbled about in the dark, disobedient and lost.
So God sent His Son to earth once again to reveal to man what God is like and to restore the lines of communication and fellowship. And to help man relate to God, the Father wrapped His Christmas present to the world — the divine spirit and person of His Son — in human skin!
The Apostle Paul wrote, For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 4:6).
Jesus, our Example
The old gospel song, “Where He Leads I’ll Follow,” has a tremendous message in its lyrics. One line in particular describes Jesus by saying, “He the Great Example is, and Pattern for me.”
The truth is, Jesus gave us an example for living as well as His life. When we see how Jesus lived, how He acted, how He responded to other people and the circumstances of daily life, we catch a glimpse of how we should live. Oh, if only we would ask ourselves, “What would Jesus do?” when faced with life’s tough decisions and choices.
We know that His life was an outpouring of love and joy. His very first recorded miracle was performed at a wedding! He had dear, cherished friends in Mary, Martha, and Lazarus, in whose home He enjoyed rest and fellowship. When Lazarus died and Jesus was called, we’re told He wept for His friend. Onlookers even noted, Behold how he loved him! (John 11:36). And Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead.
The Gospels are filled with examples of the compassion of our Lord. And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them (Mark 6:34). We’re told He taught them…and later fed them.
Acts 10:38 tells how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
This is the example Jesus set for us — He went about doing good. In love and compassion, He met people’s needs, touching, healing, and lifting them. And that is what we are to do.
In today’s dark world, you and I may well be the only light some people will ever see. We are the only hands of God that will ever touch them. Ours are the only feet that will bring the good news of the gospel to them.
I tell you, if Christ’s hands are not extended through ours, He will never reach out to some people. That individual in your world crying out for someone with skin on to come to him…is waiting for you.
“Oh, Rexella,” you say, “how could we ever expect to be like Jesus and minister as He did?”
Because He said so. Jesus said, Verily, verily, [truly, truly] I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son (John 14:12,13).
Jesus, our Saviour
A short time after the birth of Jesus, Mary and Joseph brought Him to Jerusalem to the Temple to be presented to the Lord, according to the law of Moses. Two remarkable and beautiful things happened there that day.
First, there was a priest named Simeon, an old man who had been promised that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Christ. When He saw Jesus, he took Him in his arms, and blessed God, and said, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: for mine eyes have seen thy salvation (Luke 2:29,30).
There was also an 84-year-old prophetess named Anna in the Temple. The Bible says that she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him [Jesus] to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem (Luke 2:38).
Why is it so significant that Simeon and Anna recognized Jesus as the Saviour? Perhaps God knew that we today needed to see this confirmation of the faith of others in the holy Scriptures. The majority then and now could not see who He was and is because of spiritual blindness. The Lord Jesus entered the world He had created to rescue fallen man, yet those with whom He desired to be intimately associated rejected Him.
The Bible says, He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not (John 1:10,11).
Jesus knew the price He would have to pay as the Saviour of the world. The Christmas card picture of Him being revered as a beautiful baby in a manger was for a brief moment. The adulation of those touched by the compassionate prophet, teacher, and healer lasted only a few days.
Jesus grew up in a humble home, in a despised village. His brothers and sisters misunderstood Him. The religious leaders of the day hated Him. And finally, when He was falsely convicted and crucified, His own disciples forsook Him.
But He died for everyone to redeem all mankind, willingly, by choice. He came to be a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord (Luke 2:11).
Someone has said that Jesus would have come to earth, suffered and died, to save just one person. And I believe that is true. But it is also true that, had the Lord been born ten thousand times in Bethlehem, it would have been ineffective… unless He had a birth in our hearts. Only then is He our Saviour.
Jesus, our Intercessor
I’ve often heard the old folk proverb which suggests that before one criticizes a person, he should walk a mile in his shoes. The point is, of course, that one cannot really understand someone else’s behavior unless one has gone through their tests and trials.
The writer of the Book of Hebrews reminds us that because Jesus, the Son of God, came down and wrapped himself in human skin and walked in our shoes, He knows what we’re going through… He understands. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin (Hebrews 4:15).
Under the law of Moses, the role of the high priest was to intercede before God for mankind. And Jesus, who provided the ultimate sin offering in His death on the cross, now serves as our Intercessor in heaven before the Father.
CHANGED LIVES-one at a time
Dear Mr. & Mrs. J Van Impe
We watch your programme here in the UK and want to tell you how much we love you all and Pray for you all.
We understand you because you read the Truth (THE WORD OF GOD). . Please Pray for us and our families who don’t yet know OUR LORD… We Pray to Our Lord Jesus for you all…
I hope you get to see this Sir.
All our love
In Christ Jesus…The One and Only True Living God.
Thank you Doctors Jack and Rexella Van Impe!
I enjoy your program every Sunday morning at 10:00am in Brooklyn, N.Y. You have helped me to learn and understand scripture. You have opened my eyes to the love of the Lord Jesus Christ. I am a Roman Catholic and you have made me a Christian alive!!!
God bless you and keep you both healthy and strong to continue your very important work. Thank you for speaking the truth about the atrocities taking place in our world today. I recognize the signs of the Lord about to come and I pray He gets here soon! I also pray that I am raptured up with Jack and Rexella!
Please continue your wonderful, loving work. I share your program with family and friends so that they may spread the word about your wonderful program.
I can’t say it enough. God Bless you, both.
HIGHLIGHTED PRODUCT OFFERS
Discover 15 amazing biblical signs that prove this generation is the one that will see the Lord Jesus returning in the clouds! Drs. Jack and Rexella Van Impe use current events, Bible prophecy, scientific facts, and more to show you the answers to critical questions such as:
- Is Mark of the Beast technology going to be globally deployed by the year 2017?
- Why are Russia and China conducting joint military maneuvers; and why is Iran cozying up to China?
- Who is deceiving President Obama right now, and how does his role as ‘peacemaker’ for Muslim nations signal the rise of the Antichrist?
- What world leaders are calling for global Islamic law, and where is it actually predicted in Bible prophecy?
- Will our enemies attack North America with nuclear bombs?
- And much more!
This is a powerful teaching for believers and will show non-believers the truth of the soon return of Jesus!
“Everything Jews, Gentiles and Christians need to know about their future is predicted in the book of Daniel”
God commanded Daniel to seal the mysteries of his prophetic book until “the time of the end.” What did it mean? Only when the final predicted events began to occur would the Spirit reveal His mysteries to present-day messengers … That time is now!
Dr. Jack Van Impe has poured more than 300 hours of research into this project, studying every book possible on the subject by the greatest scholars. Now he and Rexella have recorded their findings on a 6 CD set.
Here’s a list of the end-time mysteries unveiled and made perfectly clear and understandable on this dynamic audio series:
- Mystery of Iniquity
- Colossal Doomsday Image
- 4 Great Beasts of History
- Assassination and Resurrection of Antichrist
- The 7’th and Final Empire of History
- The Madman of History
- Mysteries of Y.H.W.H.-Elohim-Adonai
- Mystery Date — 32 AD
- The 2 Lords
- And…Much, Much More!
As a bonus with your order you will receive the companion book Final Mysteries Unsealed