The Mighty Angels of Daniel 11: To Refine Them
By Nathan Jones
To Refine Them
Vic Batista: We are continuing to wind our way through our study of the book of Daniel. We have now reached a vital turning point in chapter eleven’s prophecies as we encounter the Willful King.
Nathan Jones: Quick recap. One of God’s mighty angels was sent by God in answer to the old prophet Daniel’s prayers. The angelic messenger had some trouble getting to Daniel, but he finally broke through Satan’s forces thanks to the help of the Archangel Michael.
The message he delivered from God explained to Daniel how the future would unfurl over the next few hundred years. Daniel learned that the Greek Empire would rise in power and take over all the lands Daniel had been exiled to by the Babylonians. The Medo-Persian Empire, which had supplanted the Babylonians, would itself fall to the Greek Empire. The intrepid Alexander the Great would die young and his new empire would split into four regions. The two regions that would affect Israel the greatest would be the Seleucids in the north in Syria and the Ptolemies in the south in Egypt.
Then the angel continued to give Daniel a play-by-play of battles waged back and forth between the Ptolemys and the Seleucids as each region attempted to draw more and more power to themselves. Israel would be buffeted by these warring factions, caught in the middle between these two great rivals.
Daniel 11:21 begins to tell the tale of the rise of “a vile person, to whom they will not give the honor of royalty,” but seizes it through cunning and intrigue. God’s mighty angel reveals the rise of a powerful, megalomanical leader whom history would vilify as Antiochus Epiphanes. So blasphemously evil, the Jewish people nicknamed him Antiochus Epimmanes, meaning the “Mad Man.” Antiochus would blasphemy God by desecrated the Jewish Temple upon entering the Holy of Holies, sacrificing a pig on God’s altar, and setting up a statue of Zeus.
The Jewish people obviously loathed Antiochus Epiphanes and his evil machinations, but felt powerless to resist. Fortunately, a priestly family would rise up and rebel against their sacrilegious overlord. Thus, in the angel’s account, we’ve reached the Maccabean time period. The Maccabee family would rise up against Antiochus and as freedom fighters actually manage to free Israel from Greek tyranny, though only for a very short period of time.
Unfortunately, the Maccabees would end up asking the Romans for aid. The Romans would gladly come and help, but once in Israel, they would never leave.
And, exactly as the messenger angel relayed, that’s how it all happened. Hundreds of years of prophecies, distilled down into two chapters, and it all happened just as the angel said it would, and which history precisely attests to.
Vic Batista: Simply wow! Those are the prophecies up to Daniel 11:35. They reveal a persecution that would fall on Israel for the purpose of refining and purifying. As verse 35 reveals, “And some of those of understanding shall fall, to refine them, purify them, and make them white, until the time of the end; because it is still for the appointed time.”
Often times new Christian don’t understand that one of the promises this world forces upon us is that because we carry Jesus’ name, we are going to be persecuted for our faith. Like those ancient Israelites, Christians are going to endure trials and tribulations, but we will prevail.
Nathan Jones: Exactly! Horrific times make us our most desperate and force us to turn to God for help. Even the most adamant Atheist when he’s dying calls out to God for help. So, this is what God does. He knows that man’s heart can grow very hard or apathetic. In order to melt the heart of stone and turn us back to God, we first often have to endure terrible circumstances.
Certainly, if you are a Christian, God promises to always take care of and provide for you. He wants us to grow in a deeper relationship with Him, one where we become dependent on God and God alone. Often times, trials produce the greatest spiritual growth for the Christian and bring the lost to Christ.
The first segment of this series on the mighty angels of Daniel began with a tragic back story. In the sixty-fifth segment, we’ll learn how to deal with Prophetic Perspective.