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Daniel 11:1-39
The faith building power of fulfilled prophecy

Scripture reading: 2 Thessalonians 2, Revelation 13, Matthew 24

As you may know, the Bible is always under attack. There is no shortage of people who doubt:

-the Bible's accounts of history, what it says about Jesus (his life, teachings, death, resurrection)
-what it says about how you and I came to be in Genesis 1-2,
-what it says about our human nature (we are sinful and desperately wicked and in need of a Savior)
-it's miracles
-what it says about how to get to Heaven (through faith in Christ alone),
-the account of the flood of Genesis 6-9,
-the morality of the Bible (i.e sexual purity, you are always to be honest,)
-the existence of Satan and the fallen angels

While the number of Bible skeptics is quite large, you and I have nothing to worry as it regards the truthfulness and accuracy of the Scriptures. There are many good and solid reasons for having the utmost confidence that the Bible is true and is the Word of God

10 good reasons for believing the Bible is the Word of God

1. It's honesty: about the people in it, about us and our character and what we are really like, etc
2. It's preservation as it regards its transmission over the centuries
3. It's claim for itself as to its origins "Thus says the Word of the Lord" 4000 plus times
4. It's miracles
5. It's unity (40 contributors, 3 languages, 16 centuries, 1 message, no contradictions)
6. Christ endorsed it (quoted from or alluded to every OT book)
7. It's survival-- as it regards people's attacks and attempts to rid the earth of it
8. It's power to change lives
9. Archaelogy which confirms that the Bible records the lives of real people, real events, and real places
10. It's prophetic accuracy

Daniel 11:1-39, which we are going to study today, is an amazing portion of Scripture as it pertains to fulfilled prophecy.

In this chapter Daniel, writing in the 530's BC details rise and fall of the Greek empire, prophesying its future and course with such precision, that all skeptics contend that the Book of Daniel is a fraud written in 164 BC after the events described. Such an assertion ignores the internal dating of the Book of Daniel and the fact that it was recognized as a Biblical book long before 164 BC.


READ DANIEL 11:1-39

Some important things to note before reading

-Daniel 11 is part of Daniel 10-12. It is best to read all 3 chapters together
-So disturbing was the vision of Daniel 11-12 that Daniel had to be revived at least twice by the angel that God sent to him to explain what he saw
-Daniel 11 features a most evil person. Antiochus IV Epiphanes. This individual is regarded by Christians to be a type of the antichrist of 2 Thessalonians 2.
-After walking you through some details of how Daniel 11 was fulfilled in history we are going to consider a brief comparison of the the person of 2 Thessalonians 2 and Daniel 11: 21-45


FULFILLED PROPHECY IN DANIEL 11

Note: I will provide you with some examples of how the prophecies of Daniel 11 were fulfilled. This is not an exhaustive treatment. For that you can do an easy web search-- and you will marvel even more at how incredible Daniel 11 is as it regards fulfilled prophecy

The vision Daniel saw greatly disturbed him. Here's why: Israel was going to be caught in the middle of the conflicts that Daniel 11 prophesies. This being in the middle meant there was going to be much harm and suffering for the people of Israel.

1. Daniel foresaw the rise of Greece and Alexander the Great v.2-3

-v.2 Xerxes stirred up his armies against Greece. He went to war against Greece and lost
-v.3 The mighty king of v.3 was Alexander the Great (The goat of Daniel 8:5-8) 356-323 B.C

2. Daniel foresaw that Alexanders empire would be parceled out to his 4 generals v.4

-Alexander died, having conquered the known world, as a drunk
-The generals who took over were not as talented or powerful as he

3. Daniel's vision included incredible detail as it regarded 2 of the more prominent successors of Alexander (The Ptolemies of Egypt) and the Seleucids of Syria v.5-39)

Extrabiblical records 100% confirm the prophecies of v.5-39.

For example: The failed alliance between North and South v.5-6 happened when the daughter of the king of the South (Berenice) went to make an alliance with a King called Antiochus Theos. It didn't work out. Antiochus decided he wanted his old wife back, so he poisoned her and her son. Antiochus' wife then proceeded to poison Antiochus. This happened around 250 B.C

To get back at the North for what happened to Berenice, Egypt attacked the North and carted off to Egypt an incredible amount booty (as Daniel prophesied in v.8.) The North retaliated in 217 BC and was defeated- Just as prophesied in v.9.

4. Daniel's vision of the future also included the rise of Rome v.18

Verse 18 speaks of how the Syrians would attack the coastlands and how a commander will turn the Syrian's kings insolence upon him. This happened in 181 B.C., at Magnesia, the Romans soundly defeated the Syrians and they lost control of all of Asia Minor.

The defeat of the Syrians and the fact that they know had to pay Rome money led to the attempt to rob the Jerusalem Temple. Verse 20 speaks of this as does the non canonical book of 2 Maccabees 3

5. Daniel foresaw/prophesied the rise and fall of a most contemptible person- Antiochus IV Epiphanes v.21-39

Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of Daniel's vision regards the rise and fall of the one history knows as Antiochus Epiphanes. History records him as being born in 215 BC and dying in 164 BC. He is also spoken of in Daniel 8.

As the text prophecies and history records

-Antiochus Epiphanes was incredibly devious. He was a flatterer who sweet talked his way into being king. He was smooth tongued (just like the Devil)
-He conquered Judea around 175 B.C. At first he seemed friendly to Jews, yet he had other plans (that of wiping out the faith and religion of the Jews). He tried to accomplish this by first removing the high priest and installing a Greek friendly high priest. A couple of years this the good High Priest Onias III was killed by Antiochus- see v.22.
-He had great ambitions regarding the conquering of Egypt. Between 173-171 he tried to conquer Egypt but was rebuffed by the Romans. An old Roman general was there-- he drew a line in the sand around Antiochus and demanded that he decided before he stepped out of it whether he was going to withdraw from Egypt or enter into war with Rome.
-Antiochus decided to withdraw, but filled with wrath- particularly when he heard that some Jews had deposed the high priest that he had set up (on the basis of rumors that he was dead), he went to Jerusalem and vented his fury on the Jews. Daniel foresaw all of this and speaks clearly of it in v.29-35
-tried by force to abolish the faith of the Jews and the worship of God
-outlawed Sabbath worship, outlawed the reading or possessing of the Scriptures or associated commentary, outlawed the practice of circumcision, put Greek sympathizers in all key positions in the Temple and without.
-Over 3 days murdered and butchered 80,000 of the inhabitants of Jerusalem 167 BC
-desecrated the Temple by putting a huge statute of Zeus in it, demanding that people worship it
-proclaimed himself god and demanded worship of himself
-sacrificed a pig on the altar of the temple and then used the juices of the pig to wash the temple

In the end Antiochus was defeated and driven out by the Maccabees who led a revolt and after 3 years succeeded against him


CLOSING THOUGHTS ON THE PROPHECIES OF DANIEL 11

THEY CAME TO PASS EXACTLY AS SAID.

Application: Trust God. Trust your Bible. Read it with confidence and strive to do as it says. Give God the honour and worship that He is worthy of


FURTHER THOUGHTS ON ANTIOCHUS EPIPHANES

1. He is considered to be a type of the anti Christ/the man of lawlessness of 2 Thessalonians 2

Other texts to consider: Matthew 24, Revelation 13

Note: There have been many anti Christ's already (The Emperors of Rome, Hitler, Stalin, Mao Tse Tung, Pol Pot, etc)

The man of lawlessness Antiochus Epiphanes

-doomed to destruction ditto
-oppose everything to do with God and Christ ditto
-demand worship of himself ditto
-set self up in God's temple, proclaiming to be God ditto
-deceiver who will turn some from the faith ditto
-smooth talker ditto
-an encourager of evil
-violent persecutor ditto
-counterfeit miracles


2. The called for response of the Jews to Antiochus - faithfulness, endurance, holiness, purity, perseverance, patience- is the call that we need to hear and attend to as we wait for the events of the last days to unfold

Hear the words of Christ from Matthew 24:4-14 as it regards the troubles that are in store for us and his church "Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many. 6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains. 9 "Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

CONCLUSION

1. Fulfilled prophecy: A great reason to trust your Bible and God
2. Antiochus Epiphanes: a type for the Anti Christ, the man of lawlessness

Even now that the path is being cleared for his appearance, (an increase in lawlessness, the hearts of many growing cold, increasing persecution, wars, famines, world wide disruptions)

3. As it pertains future events and the persecutions the Bible prophecies for the followers of Christ, we are not to be afraid.

We are not to be afraid because God is with us and Christ is coming

4. We have been told the future so that we will stand firm and take seriously the call to live holy and pure lives

Note the purpose of the tribulations the Jews experienced under Antiochus "Some of the wise will stumble, so that they may be refined, purified and made spotless until the time of the end, for it will still come at the appointed time" Daniel 11:35

Our call is to endure, staying faithful to Christ (even when others we know fall away and renounce Christ),

Our call is to hold on to the words of Scripture which tell us that Satan is a defeated foe and that at just the right time - when all appears lost (Daniel 7:15-28, note in particular v.21)- that Christ will appear to deliver us, crush his foes, and manifest in fullness his eternal kingdom.

Closing song: Let your Kingdom Come

Daniel 11:1-39 The faith building power of fulfilled prophecy