Daniel 10-12

Amazing Accuracy Part 2

In Daniel 9:24-27 we are given a summary to God’s plan for Israel and the world. More detail follows in our reading today which begins with the Persians. Chapter 10 opens with a glimpse at a spiritual battle that is taking place in Heaven and the fallout is going to be felt on earth.

Under Cyrus, the Persian rule started well with Cyrus allowing the exiles to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the Temple. However, Satan will oppose God’s plan on multiple fronts. He will attempt to halt the construction as we will read about shortly and corrupt the Persian rule with wealth and power. This is a pattern all believers need to be aware of.

As metals are exposed to oxygen the oxygen interacts with the metal in a process called oxidation. This corruption is commonly known as rust, corrosion, tarnish and so on. If we heat the metal or add a solvent like water the process speeds up. If left unchecked the metal is destroyed even though to us it is hard and strong. Wealth and power have the potential to do the same thing to people. Just as we all need oxygen and water to live we also need money. Money promises freedom but quite often it corrupts and weakens. There is nothing wrong with acquiring wealth but the Devil likes to turn up the heat and pour on the corrupting water. This will be the case with the last king of Persia. Though wealthy and powerful, he will be defeated by the  large horn on the shaggy goat Daniel saw in his vision, Alexander the Great of Greece.

When Alexander died Greece was divided into four areas, two of which concern Israel. Ptolemy 1 took Egypt. Seleucus 1 took Syria. There were six Ptolemys, five of which ruled Israel. At the same time there will be eight rulers of Syria. The last three ruled Israel. There will be four wars between Syria and Egypt and two arranged marriages. The last three rulers over Israel were Antiochus III the Great, Seleucus IV, Philopator, and Antiochus IV Epiphanes, who will do great harm to the priest, the nation, and the Temple, setting up the abomination of desolation which Jesus warned would be set up again in the Temple in Matthew 24:14.

In Chapter 11 verse 36 we read of the antichrist coming to power. This begins the seventieth week in Israel’s timeline given in Daniel 9:24-27. This last seven year period continues into Chapter 12. Daniel 12:10 is an important warning of purging, purifying, and refining, that every believer needs to heed.

I do believe that the Church will be taken out of the world before the Great Tribulation starts, but that does not mean that the Church will not go through a purging, purifying and refining process. The pride and power that come from wealth and prosperity are just one of the things the Devil uses to corrupt believers, but he has many more tactics in his playbook. Wars, persecution, crime and injustice, deception, and the constant appeal to the lust of the flesh all come from our enemy the devil as well.

All seven of the churches mentioned in Revelation 2&3 were engaged in a spiritual battle that took various forms. Five of the churches were corrupted and received a warning from our Lord. As I look back to the Jesus Movement I wonder if the Church hasn’t been corrupted by the tactics of the Devil. As I read Chapter 11 I wonder if the battles and intrigue we are reading about are not similar to the spiritual battles every believer faces. 1 Peter 5:8&9 warns us to be alert and sober minded.

Our faith in God is like a precious jewel in the sight of God. Is our faith stronger now than when we made our commitment to follow the Lord?

The events given to Daniel in Chapter 11 are amazingly accurate but we must remember there are some of those events that are yet to be fulfilled. The enemy would love to distract us, causing us to doze off to sleep focusing on the things of the world as the Apostle Paul warns in 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 which is our homework for further reading today.

Be alert and sober minded. May the Lord use the things we face each day to purify our faith in Him.

Pastor Dave