A Great Warfare – Daniel 11
In the first 35 verses of Daniel 11, there is a record in detail of events in the future to Daniel, but it is history to us. Between verse 35 and verse 36 is the Church Age, but the Church was still a hidden purpose of God in Daniel’s day. I will start with verse 36 which refers wholly “to the time of the end…a time appointed” (V. 35b).
The king mentioned in V. 36 is the final persecutor of Israel, the evil man of destiny, the man of sin, the Antichrist. He shall do what he wills to do and will exalt himself, which is the essence of Satan. He will put himself above everyone and everything, even show himself as God Almighty. The Lord will allow him to go to the uttermost lengths in his self-willed exaltation and his persecution of Israel. No man ever had the power to do all his will. Our Lord Jesus Christ did His Father’s will. Even Satan has not been given a free reign to accomplish all his will, but for a few years God will say to this devil-filled man, “go ahead, wreak you anger upon My people. The Jews will be his special target. He shall prosper “till the indignation be accomplished” (God’s wrath upon His people is satisfied, their punishment accomplished). God just uses him as the instrument of Israel’s chastening.
Some believe by V. 37 that he is an atheistic Jew and others think he is an apostate Christian rather than a Jew. But the real issue is, he refuses allegiance to the God of the Bible. V. 37, He regards not the triune God, for he regards not the Father, “the God of his fathers.” Neither Christ, the Redeemer which was the desire of all Jewish women to give birth to the Messiah (Isa. 7:14). Neither did he regard the Holy Spirit (“any God).” V. 38, He regards the god of forces, He wants power and authority, so he bows to a god who will give this to him, Satan. Christ rebuked Satan’s offer of this earthly power (Mt. 4:8-10). Satan has waited for a man who on condition of worshiping him, he would give the honor of supreme ruler upon the earth. He will literally usurp the office of Christ for 3 1/2 years. John describes him as the beast (Rev. 13:2) and the dragon Satan will give him his power, and seat of great authority. The Apostle Paul refers to him in II Thess. 2:4,9.
V. 39, the R. V. “And he shall deal with the strongest fortresses by the help of a foreign god.” “He will divide the land for gain.” The holy land will be portioned out to disloyal apostate Jews. Those who surrender to him and serve his purposes will he reward with a place in his kingdom, sharing his authority in a measure (Rev. 17:12-13). John sees the end at a later stage then Daniel. Christ’s people will share in His kingdom and its honors at His coming, God honors them that honor Him.
Trouble shall arise, the peace and safety slogan will no longer be heard (I Thess. 5:3). War will break out, viewed in symbol in Rev. 8 & 9. The result (Rev. 17:10-11) Five kings will be dethroned and one king is killed while the other must be the victorious one – “he is.” The one with the deadly wound by the sword is raised from the dead. And all the world wonders after him (Rev. 13:3,14).
Being raised from the dead is a counterfeit of Christ. He becomes the supreme ruler, empowered by Satan and assumes leadership over all and puts down all rule. V. 40 tells of this stage of his career and suggests an engagement of air, naval and land forces (whirlwind with chariots, horsemen and ships). He overcomes the world and shall overflow and pass over. Even the famed conquest of Alexander the great is nothing compared to this man.
There is a hint that 3 countries escape (V. 41). God preserves 3 countries (Edom, Moab, and Ammon) for special judgment because of their treatment of Israel (Isa. 11:11-14; Ezek. 25:12-14; 38:14-23). The land of the Jews will not escape. The Holy land was the objective of Antiochus and he tried to a force new religion on them. Like-wise the Antichrist will enter the land and overcome the people forcing the Jews to worship his image under treat of death.
He will cause all sacrifice and oblation to cease (Ch. 9:27). He will stop all worship of the true and living God. This is different from the taking away of the daily sacrifice (Ch. 8:11). When the nations make a covenant with the Jews the daily burnt-offering ceases as a condition. This surrender of the offerings is the signal for God’s surrender of the Jews. For they turn to the Antichrist, accepting him rather than Christ. Then later when this monster has come into his place of exaltation. He forbids all sacrifices. The Jewish religion is set aside. Everyone is commanded to worship this man the his image which he set up in the temple. (Ch. 12:11 & Mt. 24:15).
V. 43, Not only is all the national power at his command but all the wealth of the world as well. He will seize all banks, vaults, etc. All is given into his hands for 3 1/2 years. He conquers Egypt. He is materially enriched, in honor and wealth and worship. The Libyans and Ethiopians yield to him.
V. 44, Trouble from the north and east arise and it rouses up the beast to ferocious fury. He vents his wrath upon the people and destroys many. It is not clear whether the Jews are meant, but the next verse might lead us to think so. V. 45, describes the final enthronement of the Antichrist. His palace is planted between the seas in the Holy Land, Jerusalem no doubt. There he meets his doom.
John gives us a view of that conflict (Rev. 16;16). Armageddon means “hill of slaughter.” It lies on the southern edge of the valley of Jehoshaphat or valley of Jezreel. There were many historic battles fought there and many victories won. It is the last great assault on Israel, the Gentile nations purpose to destroy Israel and get possession of the land. The poor people will not be able to take the field against the combined forces, but will resist and stand against them in the Holy City. In that final assault, the Lord will fight for His people, the Antichrist will come to his end and none shall help him.
Next issue: Ch. 12, The Miraculous Deliverance.