The King

October 27, 2020

Daniel 11:36–39

36“And the king shall do as he wills. He shall exalt himself and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak astonishing things against the God of gods. He shall prosper till the indignation is accomplished; for what is decreed shall be done.

37He shall pay no attention to the gods of his fathers, or to the one beloved by women. He shall not pay attention to any other god, for he shall magnify himself above all.

38He shall honor the god of fortresses instead of these. A god whom his fathers did not know he shall honor with gold and silver, with precious stones and costly gifts.

39He shall deal with the strongest fortresses with the help of a foreign god. Those who acknowledge him he shall load with honor. He shall make them rulers over many and shall divide the land for a price.

A leader is described who is introduced simply as “the king.” Some suggest that this is Antiochus IV Epiphanes and that the verses describe additional incursions of his into Israel. However, the details given in these verses were not fulfilled by Antiochus. True, Antiochus was a foreshadowing of a king who will come, but the two are not the same. One is past and the other is future.

What did Antiochus Epiphanes do in Israel? His actions will be very important to understand as he is revealing what the future antichrist will do as well.

Antiochus sent his general Apollonius with 22,000 soldiers into Jerusalem on what was purported to be a peace mission. But they attacked Jerusalem on the Sabbath, killed many people, took many women and children as slaves, and plundered and burned the city.

In seeking to exterminate Judaism and to Hellenize the Jews, he forbade the Jews to follow their religious practices (including their festivals and circumcision), and commanded that copies of the Law be burned. Then he set up the abomination that causes desolation. In this culminating act he erected on December 16, 167 b.c. an altar to Zeus on the altar of burnt offering outside the temple, and had a pig offered on the altar. The Jews were then compelled to offer a pig on the 25th of each month to celebrate Antiochus Epiphanes’ birthday.

Antiochus promised Jews who went along with his madness great reward if they would set aside the God of Israel and worship Zeus, the god of Greece. Many in Israel were persuaded by his promises (flattery) and worshiped the false god. However, a small remnant remained faithful to God, refusing to engage in those abominable practices. Antiochus IV died insane in Persia in 163 BC.

The King in verse 36 will act in a similar way, talking peace and using flattery to gain his way into Israel. He will use tremendous wealth to bribe and influence other leaders until he has gained power. He will speak of peace but like Antiochus Epiphanes he will eventually turn on the nation of Israel and seek to destroy them.

This king is the beast of Revelation 13 who will rise to power at the beginning of the last week of years. His peace treaty with Israel will be tested when the king of the south attacks Israel. The antichrist then comes down to Israel and defeats the southern army and sets himself up in Jerusalem as the savior of Israel. He then reveals himself as the messiah and demands to be worshiped. This likely occurs in the middle of the tribulation period.

How close are we to these events? I believe we are very close. The united states is in turmoil today in ways we have never seen. Even our politicians are calling for the overthrow of our constitution, and looking to replace it with a document that pleases them. There are people who are looking to destroy our country and replace it with something that will give them ultimate power and control.

The United States will have to decline in order for the antichrist to have control. Could the issue of global warming be the vehicle that delivers the US to the one world government the antichrist represents?

Watch and listen and by all means, vote. Most of all, pray that our leaders not to give in to these pressures, and keep sharing the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are subject to God’s timetable and he will give us the grace to deal with everything that is coming our way.

The Illustrious One

October 26, 2020

Daniel 11:21–31

21In his place shall arise a contemptible person to whom royal majesty has not been given. He shall come in without warning and obtain the kingdom by flatteries.

22Armies shall be utterly swept away before him and broken, even the prince of the covenant. 23And from the time that an alliance is made with him he shall act deceitfully, and he shall become strong with a small people. 24Without warning he shall come into the richest parts of the province, and he shall do what neither his fathers nor his fathers’ fathers have done, scattering among them plunder, spoil, and goods. He shall devise plans against strongholds, but only for a time.

25And he shall stir up his power and his heart against the king of the south with a great army. And the king of the south shall wage war with an exceedingly great and mighty army, but he shall not stand, for plots shall be devised against him. 26Even those who eat his food shall break him. His army shall be swept away, and many shall fall down slain. 27And as for the two kings, their hearts shall be bent on doing evil. They shall speak lies at the same table, but to no avail, for the end is yet to be at the time appointed.

28And he shall return to his land with great wealth, but his heart shall be set against the holy covenant. And he shall work his will and return to his own land. 29“At the time appointed he shall return and come into the south, but it shall not be this time as it was before. 30For ships of Kittim shall come against him, and he shall be afraid and withdraw, and shall turn back and be enraged and take action against the holy covenant. He shall turn back and pay attention to those who forsake the holy covenant.

31Forces from him shall appear and profane the temple and fortress, and shall take away the regular burnt offering. And they shall set up the abomination that makes desolate.

As we said when we started chapter 11, this is the most detailed prophesy ever recorded, which covers the rise of Alexander the Great and his demise, the dividing of the kingdom between his 3 generals and finally the desecration of the temple by a descendant of Antiochus III the Great.

Today we are highlighting a particular ruler, his son Antiochus IV who is introduced as a contemptible person. He took to himself the name Epiphanes which means “the Illustrious One.” But he was considered so untrustworthy that he was nicknamed Epimanes which means “the Madman.” The throne rightly belonged to Demetrius Soter, but Antiochus IV Epiphanes seized the throne and had himself proclaimed king. Thus he did not come to the throne by rightful succession; he seized it through intrigue.

Most scholars believe him to be a “type” of the future antichrist. He certainly had the same animosity towards the people of God and towards his temple, but this was not the time of the end. But he gives us a picture of the future world leader, both in the way he acquires power and in the way he “turns” on the Nation of Israel.

After Antiochus consolidated his kingdom, he moved against Egypt, the king of the South, in 170. Antiochus was able to move his army from his homeland to the very border of Egypt before he was met by the Egyptian army at Pelusium near the Nile Delta. In this battle the Egyptians had a large … army but were defeated and Antiochus professed friendship with Egypt. The victor and the vanquished sat at a table together as though friendship had been established, but the goal of both to establish peace was never realized for they both were deceptive.

Antiochus carried great wealth back to his homeland from his conquest. On his return he passed through the land of Israel. After his disappointment in Egypt (he had hoped to take all of Egypt but failed) he took out his frustrations on the Jews by desecrating the temple in Jerusalem.

Dating the Book

October 16, 2020

 Daniel 11:1–9

1“And as for me, in the first year of Darius the Mede, I stood up to confirm and strengthen him. 

2“And now I will show you the truth. Behold, three more kings shall arise in Persia, and a fourth shall be far richer than all of them. And when he has become strong through his riches, he shall stir up all against the kingdom of Greece. 3Then a mighty king shall arise, who shall rule with great dominion and do as he wills. 

4And as soon as he has arisen, his kingdom shall be broken and divided toward the four winds of heaven, but not to his posterity, nor according to the authority with which he ruled, for his kingdom shall be plucked up and go to others besides these. 5“Then the king of the south shall be strong, but one of his princes shall be stronger than he and shall rule, and his authority shall be a great authority.

 6After some years they shall make an alliance, and the daughter of the king of the south shall come to the king of the north to make an agreement. But she shall not retain the strength of her arm, and he and his arm shall not endure, but she shall be given up, and her attendants, he who fathered her, and he who supported her in those times. 

7“And from a branch from her roots one shall arise in his place. He shall come against the army and enter the fortress of the king of the north, and he shall deal with them and shall prevail. 8He shall also carry off to Egypt their gods with their metal images and their precious vessels of silver and gold, and for some years he shall refrain from attacking the king of the north.

The prophesy of Daniel 11:1-35 is the most detailed account of the history of Israel and the Greek Empire, their successors and leaders as they waged war, suppressed the religion of Israel, and finally polluted the temple in Jerusalem. But here is the problem for unbelievers: it was written BEFORE it ever happened. 

Liberal scholars for years claimed that the book of Daniel was written at the time of the Maccabean revolt because “no one” could have predicted these events so accurately before the events happened. The details were too complicated and the change of power from king to king created too many variables to comprehend, therefore they concluded this book could only have been written after the fact. 

But now, that argument has all but been discredited. The time period in which the book of Daniel was written, 6th century BCE, had a very distinct textural style in the way they expressed the Hebrew language. It was vastly different in form to the linguistic style of the Maccabean era. Every serious Biblical scholar and linguist represent this view and conclude a 600-500 BCE time period for the writings. 

There is however another theory which has surfaced in the last 100 years. It is called the naturalist view. Basically, it determines the date of Daniel and other prophetic books by the “natural events” predicted in the writings. For example, this theory presupposes that it is impossible to accurately predict the future, therefore if the accuracy of the prediction is too overwhelming, the prediction must have been made post event.   

In other words, there are no such thing as miracles, prophesies nor the suspension of the natural laws of physics. It excludes the supernatural power of almighty God. 

Not sure how this theory can be an accepted method of interpreting the Bible, but that is the world we live in today. Why are people opposed to accepting the date of Daniel’s book? Because the odds of having these predictions of Daniel come true in the manner history records it are astronomical… to impossible. Only someone out of this world, someone who inhabits a place outside of our space/time contingency could make a prediction that comes true in every facet and detail. Only God can do this.

Daily Devotions 2020