DANIEL | Life in Exile - Life for Eternity Wk11: Beginning of the End | Daniel 11&12

January 22, 2023 Speaker: Christopher Rich Series: DANIEL | Life in Exile - Life for Eternity

Topic: Old Testament Passage: Daniel 11–12

Christopher Rich – January 22, 2023

DANIEL | Life in Exile - Life for Eternity 

Wk11: Beginning of the End | Daniel 11&12 



Good Morning! Welcome to Mercy Fellowship where we are Saved by Jesus Work, Changed by Jesus’ Grace, and Living on Jesus’s Mission.  Today we conclude our series Daniel: Life in Exile - Life for Eternity The second half of Daniel has visions of the kingdoms of man warring against each other and ultimately God, who is in charge of world affairs and personally engages with His people. What do these times reveal about where your hope is? Chapter 10 addressed some big questions: Does God Love me? Does God hear me? YES! There was an important progression and application we see laid out in v19 especially in trial and difficulty. You are “Greatly Loved”, so you can “Fear Not”, have “Peace”, allowing you be, “strong and courageous”

Chapters 11 & 12 Daniel is given 2 visions which help us ask and answer What is God doing? Will His purposes prevail? How should I now Live? Where is Hope in all of this hostility?  There is great Grief, great challenges coming, with great deliverance and hope for the future ahead. In the meantime we will have conflict.

PART I | And now The Truth | Daniel 11:1-4  

Daniel 11:1-4 | “And as for me, in the first year of Darius the Mede, I stood up to confirm and strengthen him. “And now I will show you the truth. Behold, three more kings shall arise in Persia, and a fourth shall be far richer than all of them. And when he has become strong through his riches, he shall stir up all against the kingdom of Greece. Then a mighty king shall arise, who shall rule with great dominion and do as he wills. And as soon as he has arisen, his kingdom shall be broken and divided toward the four winds of heaven, but not to his posterity, nor according to the authority with which he ruled, for his kingdom shall be plucked up and go to others besides these.

The Truth – The messenger lays it out. What are you doing God? Why aren’t your people flocking to the freedom and mission you have for them?  He says, “I’ve been active in the very recent past, I am today and I will be in future you will not even get to see.” God’s answer to Daniel about the current apathy He is seeing in the people of God is to peel back the curtain of History to show the future adversity that is to come for God’s people and the world they are in. And the Final Annihilation of all evil. Most of this is Daniel’s future not our own. Persia will have their run, then Alexander the Great will be a flash in the pan, becoming 4 weaker kingdoms in their place rises up.  The timing of this vision for Daniel is towards the end of His life not the beginning. I think this may be intentional. God doesn’t always tell us the whole path before us or the “whys” because we (not being as wise) might not agree with the Lord on what is best. Daniel has been given clarity of vision from God as to what is happening. He is going to be shown there is more going on that acts of government or the actions and affections of a people. Sometimes God shows us what He has done or doing after (or in this case well before) because if He told us in the present, we couldn’t handle it. No Thank you! 

PART II | A Brief History of the Future | Daniel 11:5-30

Daniel 11:5-30 |“Then the king of the south shall be strong, but one of his princes shall be stronger than he and shall rule, and his authority shall be a great authority. After some years they shall make an alliance, and the daughter of the king of the south shall come to the king of the north to make an agreement. But she shall not retain the strength of her arm, and he and his arm shall not endure, but she shall be given up, and her attendants, he who fathered her, and he who supported her in those times. 

“And from a branch from her roots one shall arise in his place. He shall come against the army and enter the fortress of the king of the north, and he shall deal with them and shall prevail. He shall also carry off to Egypt their gods with their metal images and their precious vessels of silver and gold, and for some years he shall refrain from attacking the king of the north. Then the latter shall come into the realm of the king of the south but shall return to his own land. 10 “His sons shall wage war and assemble a multitude of great forces, which shall keep coming and overflow and pass through, and again shall carry the war as far as his fortress. 11 Then the king of the south, moved with rage, shall come out and fight against the king of the north. And he shall raise a great multitude, but it shall be given into his hand. 12 And when the multitude is taken away, his heart shall be exalted, and he shall cast down tens of thousands, but he shall not prevail. 13 For the king of the north shall again raise a multitude, greater than the first. And after some years he shall come on with a great army and abundant supplies. 14 “In those times many shall rise against the king of the south, and the violent among your own people shall lift themselves up in order to fulfill the vision, but they shall fail. 15 Then the king of the north shall come and throw up siegeworks and take a well-fortified city. And the forces of the south shall not stand, or even his best troops, for there shall be no strength to stand. 16 But he who comes against him shall do as he wills, and none shall stand before him. And he shall stand in the glorious land, with destruction in his hand. 17 He shall set his face to come with the strength of his whole kingdom, and he shall bring terms of an agreement and perform them. He shall give him the daughter of women to destroy the kingdom, but it shall not stand or be to his advantage. 18 Afterward he shall turn his face to the coastlands and shall capture many of them, but a commander shall put an end to his insolence. Indeed, he shall turn his insolence back upon him. 19 Then he shall turn his face back toward the fortresses of his own land, but he shall stumble and fall, and shall not be found. 20 “Then shall arise in his place one who shall send an exactor of tribute for the glory of the kingdom. But within a few days he shall be broken, neither in anger nor in battle. 21 In his place shall arise a contemptible person to whom royal majesty has not been given. He shall come in without warning and obtain the kingdom by flatteries. 22 Armies shall be utterly swept away before him and broken, even the prince of the covenant. 23 And from the time that an alliance is made with him he shall act deceitfully, and he shall become strong with a small people. 24 Without warning he shall come into the richest parts of the province, and he shall do what neither his fathers nor his fathers' fathers have done, scattering among them plunder, spoil, and goods. He shall devise plans against strongholds, but only for a time. 25 And he shall stir up his power and his heart against the king of the south with a great army. And the king of the south shall wage war with an exceedingly great and mighty army, but he shall not stand, for plots shall be devised against him. 26 Even those who eat his food shall break him. His army shall be swept away, and many shall fall down slain. 27 And as for the two kings, their hearts shall be bent on doing evil. They shall speak lies at the same table, but to no avail, for the end is yet to be at the time appointed. 28 And he shall return to his land with great wealth, but his heart shall be set against the holy covenant. And he shall work his will and return to his own land. 29 “At the time appointed he shall return and come into the south, but it shall not be this time as it was before. 30 For ships of Kittim shall come against him, and he shall be afraid and withdraw, and shall turn back and be enraged and take action against the holy covenant. He shall turn back and pay attention to those who forsake the holy covenant. 

A History of the Future - What is GOING ON!!! This section breaks down with great detail the historical conflicts between the King of the South (Egypt) and the Kings of the North (Syria) with God’s people the Nation of Israel being not only caught in the middle but being the literal highway between the two combative and competing forces. These events spanned between 150 and two hundred years mean there were nearly a dozen generations that came and went having to be engulfed or impacted by all the back and forth of human kingdoms doing what human kingdoms do, fighting for fleeting supremacy, power, and prosperity. 

Us experiencing God delayed is not us seeing God defeated - There is always more going on that we can see or understand. Daniel has now had some of the curtain pulled back so what he sees means looking at the worldly conflicts is no longer limited watching the news but recognizing there are spiritual things at play. Not a devil or demon behind every corner but there is a legitimate struggle between evil and darkness (forces actively opposed to God and His reign) and goodness and light. There are moments in our lives where God lifts the veil a bit to allow us to have an understanding of the conflict that is always present. Because of Sin the world has been in conflict. People against God, People against others, people against themselves. We will see conflict, experience conflict, feel conflict, and at time engage in conflict. What does that mean? 

We are in a battle regardless if we like it or not - To have any chance to endure, let alone prevail, in battle the first step is actually acknowledging you are actually in one. Pretending you’re in at peace when there is a war is deadly. Starbuck verse McDonald’s and Dunkin Donuts. We will be engaged in conflict. You do have a choice of which team you want to be on. Choose wisely, choose the good team, the winning team. I don’t like battle language, it sounds so mean. I like peace. Conflict is not an optional activity for Christians. Ephesians talks about who our battle is with and how we are to be equipped Eph 6:12 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 

Pick the RIGHT TEAM!! If you are navigating this world and NEVER feel at conflict with the prevailing culture, politics, injustices, the rejections of reality, and are ALWAYS pleased with yourself able to justify away any and everything you may do that harms you, others, or simply opposes the will and word of God, that is a big spiritual RED FLAG to ask yourself what team you’re actually on! Repent. While we in Christ serve the prince of peace that peace comes with the acknowledgement of a very real conflict. He says he’s going to go and fight. Jesus fights for us. Jesus solves the great conflict between a holy perfect God and a sinful rebellious people. Not by killing but by dying. While Jesus fights for us it doesn’t mean we are not engaged in the battle. The inevitably of God’s overwhelming victory should stir us to resist evil and sin and engage in spiritual battles with greater confidence and assurance God is the giver of life and light. The conflict is not momentary, it is perpetually going. But it will come to an end. Things may get tougher before they get better. 

PART III | Rough & Ready 

Daniel 11:31-35 | 31 Forces from him shall appear and profane the temple and fortress, and shall take away the regular burnt offering. And they shall set up the abomination that makes desolate. 32 He shall seduce with flattery those who violate the covenant, but the people who know their God shall stand firm and take action. 33 And the wise among the people shall make many understand, though for some days they shall stumble by sword and flame, by captivity and plunder. 34 When they stumble, they shall receive a little help. And many shall join themselves to them with flattery, 35 and some of the wise shall stumble, so that they may be refined, purified, and made white, until the time of the end, for it still awaits the appointed time.

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. 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.

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. 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. 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.

Abomination of Desolation – Antiochus was regularly defeated in battle. He tried to take over part of Egypt and the Roman’s knocked him back hard. In response he sent in thousands of troops back to Jerusalem and massacred thousands of people during a Sabbath worship service.  “I can’t win in the world, so I’ll take on God!” From the perspective of Israel, it appears during his period of persecution he was winning. He entered the Holy of Holies, sacrificed a pig on the altar, put in a wicked high priest. In his wake there were no more daily sacrifices, nothing allowed that showed devotion to the God of the bible. A statue of Zeus was put up, so Idolatry replaced worship. Hebrew scriptures were outlawed (truth was trampled) Human sacrifices were made, kids could now longer be trained to follow the God of the Bible and everyone was required to eat what was “unclean”. This is much worse than what was experienced by God’s people during Daniel’s time. 

A little Help – When it looks like God is losing, or God’s ways are not easily practiced or excepted we are quick to turn to alternatives. Some take arms and launch an armed rebellion in conjunction with the Maccabees, they have some success for a time, they restored worship to the temple, but this type of conflict does not ultimately yield the outcome they seek. When we find ourselves in conflict, or conflicted we should be careful with where we seek comfort, because all “saviors” are not created equal.  Somethings promise freedom and flourishing and my even “work” or deliver for at time but ultimately led to greater slavery. Violence and instability beget more violence and instability.  Wisdom, knowledge, faithfulness are all lauded but even those who remained faithful suffered great harm. 

Wise may still stumble (meaning suffering not losing faith) for a purpose – Refinement and purification. A loss is not always a loss. Sometimes difficulty does not mean defeat. We when are suffering we want deliverance, and that is OK. There are times and moments God has protected His people in an ark, taking them out of slavery, led his people through the parting of the red sea, and there are time he sustains them in the wilderness, helps them endure in exile. Sometimes God’s best for us is not deliverance but is perseverance for the purpose of greater growth and refinement. This is the future? How are we going to have hope when it even looks like God’s kingdom (and God Himself) is losing or failing? For a while it looks like evil is winning and living for yourself is profitable and prosperous while being faithful is foolish. But it will come to an end.

PART III | Verse 10-21 | Hope in the resurrection. 

Daniel 12:1-4 | “At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever. But you, Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book, until the time of the end. Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.”

Great Trouble Greater Deliverance in Glorious Resurrection - Great Trouble does not need to cause great fear, because in Christ we have Great Deliverance. Evil wins some battles but never wins the war. There is a book of life. If you name is in it than you never need fear. How do you know your name is in it? Who is your faith in? The kings and rulers of this world? The king or queen of you heart? Or the King of Kings? Jesus say; “I am THE WAY, THE TRUTH, THE Life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Our hope for our future isn’t in better politics or a more just, free, and prosperous society or evil being defeated by us. Yes, we ABSOLUTLY should care, pray, live and work towards those ends. Daniel did for sure. VERY active in the politics and government of the place and people he had around him in the capacitates he had. But most of us are not or will not be high government officials or influential cultural shapers. So how do we live? How do we have hope? What does conflict and perseverance look like for us? 

PART III | Last Vision | Daniel 12:5-13 

Daniel 12: 5-13 |Then I, Daniel, looked, and behold, two others stood, one on this bank of the stream and one on that bank of the stream. And someone said to the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the stream, “How long shall it be till the end of these wonders?” And I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the stream; he raised his right hand and his left hand toward heaven and swore by him who lives forever that it would be for a time, times, and half a time, and that when the shattering of the power of the holy people comes to an end all these things would be finished. I heard, but I did not understand. Then I said, “O my lord, what shall be the outcome of these things?” He said, “Go your way, Daniel, for the words are shut up and sealed until the time of the end. 10 Many shall purify themselves and make themselves white and be refined, but the wicked shall act wickedly. And none of the wicked shall understand, but those who are wise shall understand. 11 And from the time that the regular burnt offering is taken away and the abomination that makes desolate is set up, there shall be 1,290 days. 12 Blessed is he who waits and arrives at the 1,335 days. 13 But go your way till the end. And you shall rest and shall stand in your allotted place at the end of the days.”

Heard but did not understand – How long shall it be until the end? What is the outcome? Until it’s finished. There is stuff that is confusing and that is ok. Rest and rely on what is true and clear. Sometimes are not given all we ask for or told all we want. That doesn’t mean God is holding out on us. It means He in his goodness and kindness is giving us not what we want, but what we most need. We are all sinners that need the grace of God found in Jesus. We all need Good news. Some will hear it and receive it and some will not. The wise will receive it in humility while others will continue in foolish pride. Sin has clouded what should be clear. 

2 Cor 4:3-5 |And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake.

Go Your Way to the end v9, 13 - Do the ordinary and faithful things like Daniel. Seek God’s Will, pray without ceasing. read God’s word. Work in the place God has you. Love the people around you. In a world full of anxiety, be peaceful. be generous. You will have Rest! You will have Resurrection! The resurrection is not a future of wandering or wondering but one of certainty and an inheritance. You have an “allotted” place to stand that is prepared, secured, safe, prosperous, joyful set aside for you. Whatever is happening today, or whatever happens in the future before the “end of days” that is unsettling, upsetting, or painful is not your destination. Rest is. Peace is. Joy is. Do not pull back when you are called to press in. Jesus is our strength. We are dependent and resolute. Know God Hears you, God Loves you, God is Good, God is winning, and God Wins!  Be strong and courageous, join the battle and share in His triumph, Trust Jesus!