I’ve circled Dan. 11:35 as the key verse of today’s scripture: READ. Much of this chapter speaks of a future time for Daniel which for us is the past. One person said over 100 prophecies have come to pass in Dan. 11:1-35. I would not be surprised, but I can’t verify it… What is important is for those who believe this is a refining process.
Are you prepared to be a Christian? There will be challenges. What will you do when the world turns against you? Some will pay the ultimate price: READ Dan. 11:33. This is an ongoing prophecy unfolding all over the world. In the U.S. with exceptions such as Roseberg, the Christian faithful are demeaned, marginalized, trivialized, mocked… This is a refining process: some of the wise will stumble, so that they may be refined, purified, and made spotless. God will build you up through a refinement process of fire….
- READ Dan. 11:2. the 4th Persian King is Xerxes. He was much richer than all the kings before him.
- READ Dan. 11:3. This is Alexander the Great, from Greece. He rose up against the Persians. He quickly conquered the world in ten years.
- READ Dan. 11:4. Alexander died at age 33. His enemies killed his children and the empire was divided up by four generals.
- READ Dan. 11:5-7. This goes forward a few decades from the time of Daniel. There are two empires left: a King of the South and a King of the North. The King of the south tries to unite the two kingdoms by sending his daughter Bernice to marry the King of the North. The problem: the King is married. Wanting to be a good sport, the King of the North puts aside his wife and marries Bernice. They had a son. Three years later Bernice’s father, the King of the south, died. The King of the North decides marrying Bernice wasn’t such a good idea, so he sent her and her son packing and went back to his first wife. Sounds like a modern day drama, huh. It gets better. The first wife no longer trusted her husband, so she killed him with poison, and she persuaded her son to head off and poison Bernice and Bernice’s infant son. And the whole story fits perfectly into the prophecy of Daniel 11:5-7 as it talks about gaining power, losing power and betrayal.
On and on the foretelling goes. I put a link in my notes for those interested so that when I post this message you can follow verse by verse through Daniel 11 detailing how history confirms the vision of Dan. 11. The accuracy is breathtaking.
(see http://www.herealittletherealittle.net/index.cfm?page_name=Daniel11 for further study of each verse in Dan. 11 and how accurate the words are in history).
How can you trust God? Because he knows what is coming. Because his promises are sure. Because we can test what he told Daniel and what has come to pass. On a smaller scale isn’t that how you learn to trust people ~~~ Are they right? As I go about in Sumas and the county, I try hard to tell the truth and do what I say, because one of the huge problems people have in our world is being let down by others. I try to minimize my failures. I hope I can be an imperfect person pointing to the way to the one who is always faithful, the one who is always present, Jesus Christ. Insight of the future is given to Daniel so he can have confidence in God. Trust God for the future, because what he says comes to be. READ Dan. 11:35.
Dan. 11:1-35 are amazingly accurate words that come to fulfillment. The words also serve another purpose: we are shown the world stage will always be a place of jostling for power, corruption, betrayal…Never put ultimate faith in the world. That does not mean there will not be good leaders along the way. It does not mean we should withdraw from politics as we saw in the “show up” video (Daniel is a political figure). But the trajectory of the world is corruption…the frustrations we see are no surprise. I went through these verses and underlined a couple of common themes we still see in today’s world…
- “He will advance with a huge army…” READ Dan. 11:13. Military power has always been the means to dominate… the entire chapter is military clashes
- Money is a theme, “power by his wealth” v. 2, the tax man is in v. 20. We are vulnerable when we feel secure in our wealth in v. 24, arrogance that comes from “great wealth” in v. 28.
Today’s world is overwhelming. Dan. 11:36-45 describe a time most people agree is here or is coming soon. We call the evil figure described in these verses the “anti-Christ” corresponding to a title used in the N.T. Many believe we still expect the anti-Christ to rise up. I believe the anti-Christ is a culture of corruption, a culture of “everyone did what was right in his own eyes” way of thinking, a day of lawlessness. I do not know if Christ will return in the next moment or in a 1000 years, but I believe we are in the last days!
- Dan. 11:36 talks about time of lawlessness, where laws mean very little, “he will do as he pleases.” And that is in fact what we are seeing today…
- In Dan. 11:37 the antichrist has no regard for Christianity, people of faith and sets himself above all, making himself the authority. That is what we are seeing now.
- The antichrist will use “a god of fortresses” in Dan. 11:38 i.e. military power.
- The antichrist will use money to rule over people in Dan. 11:39.
How can you trust God?
1) What he has predicted has come to pass
2) The future is unfolding in the present, just as he says. We should not be surprised there is suffering, stress, evil and war in the present age. That is the message God gives to Daniel and so much of the rest of the Bible. Another reason to trust God…
3) His timing is perfect. He has a plan. As the saying goes in the bulletin, to have faith in God is also to have faith in his timing. Not our timetable, but his.
God’s timing effects our daily world. I love the story of my grandfather, Alvin Lobb. He served several A.C. Churches on the west coast beginning in the 1920’s. He would not go to any church unless it was a unanimous calling from the people. In 1926, while serving in Bellingham, he received a call to serve in the Pasadena, CA Church. His years there were encouraging including a revival in which many folks made a recommitment to the Lord with a renewed passion.
My mother was born in Pasadena in 1927. A year or two AFTER my grandfather went to Pasadena, a letter came in the mail that had apparently landed in the dead letter file of the post office and took several years to get catch up with him. Later the writer was sorry he wrote it. WOW, I read this letter and talk about a mess, fighting in the church, power plays…. Grandpa would never have gone to Pasadena if he had received the letter. It talks about factions in the church and how a minority of people opposed the majority and the mess in the leadership and how one board member was against everything and how they did not really want my grandfather, but they put up his name to keep another person from being called. God’s perfect timing caused this letter to be lost and the story of Pasadena, and the story of my family is in part shaped by this letter never making it on time….
God’s timing is perfect in the small things, AND world events. As you read Daniel 11, clearly God’s timing is behind the comings and goings of the world leaders… God is the author and history is the pages of the story God is writing. Events are described that are coming. Over and over one evil king after another is said to be in power “only for a time” (Dan. 11:24). I love the phrase in Dan. 11:28, “an end will come at the appointed time.” You cannot stop God’s plans, nor can we speed them up. God has appointed. To trust God is to trust in his timing.
As we read the last half of Dan. 11, and what is now taking place, we are assured God’s timing is right on schedule: Dan. 11:36 says “until the time of wrath is completed… what has been determined must take place.” “At the time of the end” it says again in Dan. 11:40.
You can trust God because God’s timing is everything. While the nations rage out of control, while the U.S. is getting more and more fractured, we can have confidence knowing God’s timing is perfect. God is NOT out of control. We are in the last days. It is a day of suffering, stress, war and evil. We are living in the days of the final battle, the days of spirit of the anti-Christ who appears to be gaining a foothold, but it is only for a time. For those who believe in Jesus Christ, this is a day of refinement, a day of hope, a day of great expectation, for the Bible says, READ Dan. 11:35.
God comes to those who are discouraged. When you feel like a doormat, when you feel vulnerable and hurt, when you are afraid, trust is hard. Why can you trust God?
- Trust him because as his promises from the past have been fulfilled, his promises that are coming are as certain.
- Trust him because the present day of trouble is just as he said it would be.
- Trust him because his timing is perfect.
Trust is hard. Resist the spirit of the anti-Christ, struggles, pressure from every direction, and trust God. Trust Jesus Christ. For those who believe, this is a day of refinement in which the Lord Jesus Christ is shaping you into a person of strength and integrity, a person who can stand firm as you look to him for wholeness and acceptance in his sight. Amen.