Daniel 11:36-45; Antichrist the Antitype ~ 20221120 ~ Pastor Rodney Zedicher ~ Ephraim Church of the Bible ~ www.ephraimbible.org
11/20_Daniel 11:36-45; Antichrist the Antitype Audio available at: http://www.ephraimbible.org/Sermons/20221120_dan11_36-45.mp3
We are looking today at the end of Daniel 11. The first 20 verses of Daniel 11 sweep through the coming 360 years of the future history of God’s people and God’s promised land from Daniel’s day, up to the time of a leader who will reign for a brief 11 years, and he becomes the focus of the next 15 verses. Then in verses 36 to the end, the focus leaps forward to the far distant future, to the time of the end, to a coming leader who will be a terrible persecutor God’s people.
Liberal Scholars And Predictive Prophecy
This chapter chronicles the Greek dynasties after Alexander the Great, the Ptolemies ruling Egypt coming from the south of Israel, and the Seleucids ruling Syria and Babylon coming from the north of Israel.
The first 35 verses of the chapter are so detailed, so precise, and fit the events of history as we now know it so exactly, that scholars who don’t believe that God predicts the future conclude that up to this point the chapter is pseudo-prophecy, written by a second century author during the time of the Maccabees; history written after the fact purporting to be prophecy.
Verses 21-35 follow Antiochus IV Epiphanes, who ruled from 175-164 BC. But the remainder of the chapter no longer precisely matches any historical events from our perspective like the first half of the chapter did. Verses 40-41 detail an attack from the king of the south, successfully repelled by the king of the north, and then verses 42-43 a victorious campaign against Egypt by the king of the north; verses 44-45 a return to Israel where this king suddenly comes to an end with no one to help him. None of the events described in verses 40-45 happened under Antiochus IV Epiphanes, or any of the following Seleucid rulers, so liberal scholars conclude that from this point on it is prophetic guesses of the kinds of events we might anticipate, but we should not expect any precise literal fulfillment.
Here’s what one author (John Goldingay, WBC, p.305) writes: “But vv 40-45 cannot be correlated with actual events as vv 21-39 can... These facts suggest that v 40 marks the transition from quasi-prediction based on historical facts to actual prediction based on Scripture and on the pattern of earlier events; this continues into 12:1-3. These predictions, then, are not to be read as if they were mere anticipatory announcements of fixed future events; like the promises and warnings of the prophets, they paint an imaginative scenario of the kind of issue that must come from present events. The fact that their portrayal does not correspond to actual events in the 160s B.C. compares with the fact that the Christ event does not correspond to other OT prophecies of future redemption (e.g., Isa 9:1-6 [2-7]). It is not the nature of biblical prophecy to give a literal account of events before they take place.”
God Who Declares the Future
But God himself says:
Isaiah 44:6 Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: “I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god. 7 Who is like me? Let him proclaim it. Let him declare and set it before me, since I appointed an ancient people. Let them declare what is to come, and what will happen.
Isaiah 46:9 ...I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, 10 declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’
It seems to me a much better conclusion to draw, based on the character of God, and based on the precise fulfillment of every detail in the first 35 verses as history unfolded, that we should expect just as exact a fulfillment of the next 16 verses, and the fact that we don’t see any corresponding fulfillment in history should lead believers to the conclusion that it hasn’t happened yet! All of chapter 11 was future when it was given by the heavenly messenger to Daniel in 536 BC, and this last section is still future from our perspective today.
What Is To Happen In The Latter Days
This shouldn’t surprise us, because the messenger told Daniel in 10:14
Daniel 10:14 and came to make you understand what is to happen to your people in the latter days. For the vision is for days yet to come.”
This message is about the latter days. It is for days yet to come. Verse 40 clues us in to this when it locates these events ‘at the time of the end’. And this message is about what will happen to Daniel’s people, the Jewish people in the latter days. Israel is literally in the center of these prophecies, as the kings to the south and the kings to the north trample through the beautiful land, and persecute God’s chosen people.
Chapter 12, which continues the same vision, moves directly on to the resurrection, ‘some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt’. That hasn’t happened yet.
And Jesus refers to these events; to ‘the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel’ and the ‘great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be’ (Mt.24:15, 21) from his perspective as still future.
Composite Pictures in Daniel
Here’s what we have going on so far in Daniel. Imagine a composite sketch where different details and characteristics are added at different times. When you overlay them all you gain a much more complete picture than you get from any one standing alone. In chapter 1 we learn that God gives his own disobedient people into the hand of their enemies to discipline them, yet he still remains faithful to them.
In chapter 2, Nebuchadnezzar is given a dream of a statue that outlined coming successive kingdoms of gold, silver, bronze, and iron, with feet and toes partly of potters clay and partly of iron, that will all be crushed by a stone cut out without hands that grew to fill the whole earth.
In chapter 3 Nebuchadnezzar makes a great image and demands that all people pay homage to it under penalty of death, but a few will remain faithful whatever the cost.
In chapter 4, Nebuchadnezzar, boasting about his mighty power and the glory of his majesty (4:30) is humbled and learns ‘that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will’ (4:17, 25, 32), and ‘he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?”’ (4:35).
In chapter 5 Belshazzar in blasphemous pride drinking from the sacred temple vessels learns the same lesson; he is killed and his kingdom is given over to the Medes an the Persians.
In chaper 6, we see people conspire against God’s faithful people, and learn that sometimes God allows them to be thrown to the lions, but ultimately God is faithful to his people.
In chapter 7, Daniel himself is given a dream of four coming kingdom beasts, and the final terrible beast had ten horns. Another little horn grew among them, uprooting three of the first horns, and this horn had eyes of a man and a mouth speaking great things. Daniel saw the Ancient of Days seated in judgment, and the final beast was killed and authority over all kingdoms was given to the divine Son of Man coming on the clouds of glory. Daniel learns that this little horn makes war with the saints and prevails over them until the Ancient of Days came. He is told:
Daniel 7:23 “Thus he said: ‘As for the fourth beast, there shall be a fourth kingdom on earth, which shall be different from all the kingdoms, and it shall devour the whole earth, and trample it down, and break it to pieces. 24 As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom ten kings shall arise, and another shall arise after them; he shall be different from the former ones, and shall put down three kings. 25 He shall speak words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and shall think to change the times and the law; and they shall be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time. 26 But the court shall sit in judgment, and his dominion shall be taken away, to be consumed and destroyed to the end. 27 And the kingdom and the dominion and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High; his kingdom shall be an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.’
Daniel is given a vision in chapter 8 of a Medo-Persian ram conquered by a Greek goat whose horn was broken, replaced by four horns,
Daniel 8:9 Out of one of them came a little horn, which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the glorious land. 10 It grew great, even to the host of heaven. And some of the host and some of the stars it threw down to the ground and trampled on them. 11 It became great, even as great as the Prince of the host. And the regular burnt offering was taken away from him, and the place of his sanctuary was overthrown. 12 And a host will be given over to it together with the regular burnt offering because of transgression, and it will throw truth to the ground, and it will act and prosper. 13 Then I heard a holy one speaking, and another holy one said to the one who spoke, “For how long is the vision concerning the regular burnt offering, the transgression that makes desolate, and the giving over of the sanctuary and host to be trampled underfoot?” 14 And he said to me, “For 2,300 evenings and mornings. Then the sanctuary shall be restored to its rightful state.” 15 When I, Daniel, had seen the vision, I sought to understand it. And behold, there stood before me one having the appearance of a man. 16 And I heard a man's voice between the banks of the Ulai, and it called, “Gabriel, make this man understand the vision.” 17 So he came near where I stood. And when he came, I was frightened and fell on my face. But he said to me, “Understand, O son of man, that the vision is for the time of the end.”
Daniel is told,
Daniel 8:23 And at the latter end of their kingdom, when the transgressors have reached their limit, a king of bold face, one who understands riddles, shall arise. 24 His power shall be great— but not by his own power; and he shall cause fearful destruction and shall succeed in what he does, and destroy mighty men and the people who are the saints. 25 By his cunning he shall make deceit prosper under his hand, and in his own mind he shall become great. Without warning he shall destroy many. And he shall even rise up against the Prince of princes, and he shall be broken—but by no human hand. 26 The vision of the evenings and the mornings that has been told is true, but seal up the vision, for it refers to many days from now.”
The little horn of chapter 7 that replaces three of the ten horns of the final beast is the Antichrist at the end times, and the little horn of chapter 8 that arises from one of the four divisions of the Greek empire is Antiochus Epiphanes, but even the description of Antiochus seems to hold him up as a prototype and go beyond him to fill in details of the composite image of the future Antichrist.
In chapter 9, Daniel is told:
Daniel 9:26 ...the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed. 27 And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.”
Here in chapter 11 verses 21-35 describe the career of Antiochus Epiphanes, but again he is held up as a type that goes beyond himself and gives us another layer of the composite image of the future Antichrist. Verses 36-45 move on to talk directly about this future king who will terribly persecute God’s people.
Let’s look at what it says.
Daniel 11:36 “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. 37 He 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.
Both Alexander (v.3) and Antiochus the Great (v.16) were said to ‘do as he wills’. But this future king goes beyond. He exalts and magnifies himself above every god. This is satanic. Isaiah 14 says of Lucifer,
Isaiah 14:13 You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north; 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’ 15 But you are brought down to Sheol, to the far reaches of the pit.
2 Thessalonians picks up this thread:
2 Thessalonians 2:3 Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 4 who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.
God of Fortresses
Daniel 11:38 He 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. 39 He 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.
Successfull defense against Egypt in Israel; Jordan escapes
Daniel 11:40 “At the time of the end, the king of the south shall attack him, but the king of the north shall rush upon him like a whirlwind, with chariots and horsemen, and with many ships. And he shall come into countries and shall overflow and pass through. 41 He shall come into the glorious land. And tens of thousands shall fall, but these shall be delivered out of his hand: Edom and Moab and the main part of the Ammonites.
The king of the north is attacked by Egypt, but successfully overcomes, entering Israel. The carnage is massive, but the areas now known as Jordan escape his hand. (map)
Victory over Egypt and into North Africa
Daniel 11:42 He shall stretch out his hand against the countries, and the land of Egypt shall not escape. 43 He shall become ruler of the treasures of gold and of silver, and all the precious things of Egypt, and the Libyans and the Cushites shall follow in his train.
He conquers Egypt, including areas of north Africa, Lybia, the Sudan, and Ethiopia. (map)
Retreat to Israel
Daniel 11:44 But news from the east and the north shall alarm him, and he shall go out with great fury to destroy and devote many to destruction. 45 And he shall pitch his palatial tents between the sea and the glorious holy mountain. Yet he shall come to his end, with none to help him.
Like Antiochus before him, he is turned back and then vents his fury on Israel. 2 Thessalonians gives these details:
2 Thessalonians 2:8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, 10 and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.
Punctuated by Sovereignty
Jesus speaks of this time as the worst time in human history (Mt.24:21). But notice, God is still sovereign. This whole passage is punctuated by the sovereignty of God; v.24 ‘but only for a time’; v.27 ‘the end is yet to be at the time appointed’; v.29 ‘at the appointed time’; v. 35 ‘until the time of the end, for it still awaits the appointed time’; v.36 ‘He shall prosper [only] till the indignation is accomplished; for what is decreed shall be done’; v.41 ‘but these shall be delivered out of his hand’; v.45 ‘Yet he shall come to his end, with none to help him.’ God is sovereign over all these events.
But why? Why reveal to Daniel the coming persecution of his people? As Jesus said:
John 14:29 And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place you may believe.
God is preparing his people for suffering. He reveals in advance what is coming so that when it comes his people are not surprised. And in it all, he reminds us that he is sovereign; as bad as it gets, he is still in control, that tribulation will be terrible, but it will be short, and it will be worth it. He gets into that in the next chapter, but that will have to wait until next time.
2022.11.20 Sermon Notes
Daniel 11:36-45; Antichrist the Antitype
11:21-35 Antiochus IV Epiphanes [type]
11:36-45 Future Antichrist [antitype]
God declares the end from the beginning
Isaiah 41:22-26; 44:6-7; 45:21-23; 46:9-10
The message is for days yet to come
Daniel 10:14; 11:40; 12:2; Matthew 24:15, 21
A composite sketch:
Daniel 1; God gives his people to enemies for discipline
Daniel 2; kingdoms of man crushed by eternal stone
Daniel 3; compelled to bow to image; some remain faithful
Daniel 4; proud king learns God is sovereign over kings
Daniel 5; blasphemous king drinks from sacred vessels
Daniel 6; jealous people conspire against God’s faithful
Daniel 7; arrogant little horn of final kingdom finally judged
Daniel 8; persecution under little horn Antiochus; desolate
Daniel 9; coming prince ends sacrifices; desolate
Daniel 10-12; Antichrist prefigured by Antiochus; desolate
Isaiah 14:13-15; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4
11:38-39 Honors the god of fortresses
11:40-41 Defends against Egypt; tramples Israel
11:42-43 Conquers Egypt and North Africa
11:44-45 Retreat to Israel; destroyed there
2 Thessalonians 2:8-10
God is preparing his people for suffering
Pastor Rodney Zedicher ~ Ephraim Church of the Bible ~ www.ephraimbible.org