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The Last Battle

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice
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July 23, 2020 8:00 am

The Last Battle

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice

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July 23, 2020 8:00 am

Taken captive and marched off to another country, Daniel and his friends have some amazing adventures in Babylonia. But through it all, they are faithful to God. As you enter into their story, you'll learn more about: the sovereignty of God, and why we must be holy and Christian living in a secular culture. In the latter half of this book, Daniel's own visions are recorded, and--in them--we catch glimpses of the future. How are these visions relevant to our lives?

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Welcome to the Bible studio reviewing Internet Ministry of finance of convincing evangelicals featuring the Bible teaching of Dr. James Bortz for more information please contact us by calling toll-free one 804 88 18 and now the alliance is pleased to present the Bible study our bearing you to think and act biblically more than 10 years ago. Now when I first attempted to preach through the book of Daniel, one of the elders attends church said to me after I had finished the 10th chapter.

I appreciate the way you have been handling the block. I said well what do you mean he said instead of trying to go into minute detail where each of these specific prophecies is concerned. You been trying to extract the basic principles and apply them the way in which we live our lives now. I said well thank you it's true that is what I've been trying to do but I gotta warn you that next week I come to Chapter 11 the most difficult of all the chapters of the book and I don't know how I can avoid it. At that point and he smiled at me and said well you're the one I wanted to be an expository preacher.

Interesting that we come to the 11th chapter of Daniel again and so what I have been saying all along in our preparation for this study really is a difficult portion of the book. It's the longest of all the prophecies to begin with, takes three chapters in the form of an introduction chapter 10 a long prophecy in Chapter 11 extending into the first four verses of chapter 12 in something like a postscript that goes to it, which is the way in which the book ends so not only is it the longest prophecy. It's also the most detailed and because of its placement in the book, undoubtedly the most important of all the various prophecies that we have been these chapters, Daniel, it's interesting section. Also in that it can be divided into a number of parts that's helpful to us as we try to interpret it because some of these parks are considerably easier to deal with than others first 20 verses constitute a first part. They deal with the history of the ancient near East from the time Daniel himself under the reign of the kings of Persia up to the time of the appearance of any office epiphanies then from verse 21 through 34. We have the career of this man described. He was a particularly evil and contemptuous person is the verses say and a great deal of time is spent with him then finally beginning with verse 36 of the chapter and extending into the 12th chapter. As I said there is 1/3, and most difficult section which interpreters are taken in a number of ways. Some have seen it as an extension of the section dealing with antioxidants.

Some have regarded it as supplying to the early history of the Roman Empire and some have regarded it is prophetic of events that will 1 Day Take Pl. but not yet taken place on this earth. I say now these things help us as we approach it section that begins to deal with the ancient history of the near East from the time of Daniel on is not all that difficult because begins by speaking of three more kings of Persia and then 1/4. It was far richer than all the others at last King. The fourth one is clearly Xerxes, who reigned from 485 to 464 BC and the Kings that preceded him. That is, subsequent to the death of Cyrus in his reign. Daniel was writing our Cambyses rating from 529 to 523 BC. Gondwana was an imposter reigned only a short time from 523 to 522 BC and then Darius the great, who proceeded Xerxes and reigned from 522 to 585 great emphasis upon Xerxes because Xerxes invaded Greece and it was in response to that in some major Greece invaded Persia as that took place under the campaigns of Alexander the great, all of which are spoken of in some detail in the section. Actually there were two Persian invasions of Greece, first under Darius the great Darius great took a large army across the Hellespont but was soundly defeated in the battle of Marathon still remember and then his successor, Xerxes led a huge army into Greece army which Herodotus who speaks of it estimates that more than 1,000,000 1/2 men.

He also had a Navy Navy, which was intended to supply the troops Navy was defeated at the Battle of Salama's and then the rates Persian army was forced to retreat for lack of supplies made its way back through Macedonia across the Hellespont, leaving behind a land army of 100,000 men that land army was eventually defeated, completely annihilated by the Greeks in the following year.

All of this was the background to the Greek invasion of Persia as I sent because it's stuck in the Greek mind is something that needed to be avenged. Certainly this is the theme of Herodotus's histories and the avenging took place more than a century later, as Alexander the great led his troops and Persia. In this lightning campaign took place between 334 and 331 BC defeated the Army's of the Persians that were there to resist all of this is spoken of in this early section of Daniel 11 says that the king of Greece would prevail. It says that after his death, which came early as Empire would be divided into four parts, and that none of it would pass on to his successors. This is not what we might've expected under the circumstances, it certainly not what Alexander himself expected expected that to his sought number of his sons would inherit his power. But in fact none of them did the purge after his death.

The members of the family, including wives of Alexander and even distant relatives were killed in the Empire finally divided up among 12 generals which consolidated and for generals which took four major portions of territory that Alexander conquered all of this is spelled out earlier in the book. Here it is reiterated again in some detail in the 11th chapter.

From this point on. Daniel 11 deals with the two major areas of Egypt that were ruled by the Ptolemies and Syria that was ruled by the Seleucids. That's because from this point on it was supposed to kingdom switch bordered on a land of Israel, who had the most bearing upon the history and life of the Jewish people during this age.

I say all of this is spelled out in intricate detail in these passages, and I don't want to deal with it in intricate detail, partially because of a lack of time John Calvin who does that very thoroughly in his commentary on Daniel spends 40 pages unjustly's 20 verses showing how in each little particular. These prophecies that Daniel makes actually unfolded in history.

This of course is why the liberal scholars don't like the book and tried to redated the time of the Maccabees because they can understand how God could give that kind of detail prophecies any profit and not the Daniel and so they say. Well, it must've been written after the events it describes others no evidence for that but nevertheless that's what they do all of this is so intricate, let me just mention one specific in this area of the book there is mention of a daughter of the King of the South. It would be given in marriage to the king of the North, but how she wouldn't avail and that she and all of those who accompanied her would be turned back and overthrown. That's an unusual kind of detail, but it was built specifically woman's name was Bernice. She was the daughter of Ptolemy. The second smock the first Ptolemaic that took this area of territory after the death of Alexander II Ptolemy.

It was a political arrangement of the king of the North was Antioch estate office king of Syria and in order to marry Bernice. He had to divorce his first wife. This produced a great deal of friction only in the family, but in the court as a result of it. Bernice was poisoned and her retainers were all overpowered and then her brother who was following Philadelphia's Ptolemy the third avenged Bernice's death by going north to attack the king of the North including his temples and is mentioned here how much loot he would get Herodotus who spells this out in Josephus, who also mentions that says that Ptolemy the third return to Egypt with 4000 talents of gold. 40,000 talents of silver 2500 objects that had been in the cities and temples of the northern kingdom. So all of these details are prophesied by Daniel the second section of this important chapter deals with any doctors epiphanies and briefly what the story is this the early days this man who became the great and typological scourge of the Jewish people established himself by intrigue and deceit and that is mentioned here in these passages had time of conquest, which went largely on the post. These conquests were for the most part against Egypt. The kings of Egypt had become quite lax and corrupt at this time and there were occasions when Antioch is simply marched against South and was on resisted by the king of Egypt, king of Egypt led them, let them go, did what he wanted and so he grew in power and influence and wealth and no doubt that this was going to be the mark of his kingdom until the end was point, however, which this changed the marched against the king of the South another time, and was opposed by the expanding Roman fleet army that was just at this time beginning to push into this area of the world. It makes an interesting story Antioch. Chris thought that he was going to have an easy conquest of Egypt, but he ran up against a particularly stern Roman general, the Roman general's name was punctilious. Lemus and when he confronted Antioch. This, as he was moving south to Egypt.

He demanded in the name of Rome that he desist from the campaign and go back to Palestine. Antioch didn't want to do this but he stalled for time.

He said well he would go and consult with his advisers to see what he should do. General understood exactly what was going on in the office wanted to take time to go and raise more troops to repulse the Roman threat. So a characteristic Roman determination. He took his staff and drew a circle in the sand around Antioch us said he could summon all the advisors he wanted, they could meet in debate within the circle but it Antioch a step out of that circle without first of all, saying that he would return to Palestine as the Romans demanded Billy us said that he would declare war upon them spot. Antioch us was humiliated, humiliated in the eyes of his own troops in generals. He had to back down was furious is what texting Daniel says. And so he returned much chastened man. Palestine asked the question what happens when someone like that is humiliated of rain, arrogant, aggressive, ambitious, individual. What happens when a person like that is made back out. Well, the answer is, he takes out his fury on someone else in the office was humiliated in the eyes of his troops.

He couldn't proceed against Egypt and take out his anger. There so he went back to Jerusalem and took out his anger upon the Jewish people took the city with 20,000 troops abolish the daily sacrifice he contaminated the altar by offering swine/apartment which is called this abomination of desolation mentioned in verse 31 and he became the great enemy of the Jews.

Verses 29 through 31 speak of this, the appointed time, he that is Antioch us will invade the South again but this time the outcome will be different from what it was before ships of the Western coastlands that is Roman ships will oppose him and he will lose heart. People turn back and benches fury against the holy covenant will return show favor to those who forsake the holy covenant is Armed Forces will rise up to desecrate the temple fortress and will abolish the daily sacrifice and they will set up the abomination that causes desolation. This produced such opposition among the Jewish people. That's the rebellion under Judas Maccabeus and the time of independence for the Jewish people after the death of Antioch us was a result now having looked at that portion of the chapter, which we really can identify and interpret in some detail.

It's worth saying that there are a number of conclusions follow from that kind of detail predictive prophecy the first place. It shows that the God of the Bible is the true God is the only way in which prophecies like this can be given and then can come to passes of the God who gives them and stands behind them also controls history, which is what the God of the Bible does. This is been the theme of Daniel from beginning to end.

Beginning of the book when we are told that Nebuchadnezzar overpowered the kingdom of the Jews and carried off the vessels from the temple in Jerusalem and set them up in the treasure house of his God in Babylon, we would say if we looked at it from the outside that quite obviously the gods of Nebuchadnezzar were stronger than the Jewish God I was only in appearance, God was using Nebuchadnezzar to punish his people as he said he would do for many many years prior to the fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonians under Nebuchadnezzar. The God who prophesies these things and then accomplishes them in history and does so in such intricate detail must be the true God. No other God can do it.

God uses that argument on Isaiah to refute the claims of the idols saying look, your God, do something, do something good, something bad or tell the future do anything that we may fear and tremble because they can't do it. God makes the conclusion therefore you are nothing anybody who follows you is detestable conclusion that follows from this is that the Bible in which these prophecies are given is the revelation of this true God, and is therefore trustworthy as he is trustworthy. See, this book is the place in which these things were written down. These things are given through choice vessels of God, man, whom he led to receive the revelations and record them for our benefit and when they come true as they have come to really show the Bible is a true revelation. This is not the only argument for the authenticity of the Bible are many others, some of which are utterly sufficient in themselves but in addition to these other arguments. Certainly this is a very powerful one.

And then there's 1/3 conclusion that follows. At this point, and that is that if the God of the Bible who is the true God, and who has spoken in the Bible to give such prophecies and has brought them to completion that God really is true God, then he is able to keep the promises that will keep the promises that he makes to us.

We were his people. We sometimes are discouraged when we confront the complexities and puzzles of life.

Sometimes we get into situations that are overwhelming for us and we wondered if God really is up to our particular dilemma that we come to the promises we find the Lord Jesus Christ saying as he does.

Surely I am with you always, even to the ends of the earth, we read that and we say well this is the word of the God who is the Lord of history and this God is our God, and is able and certainly will keep us promises and so were encouraged. Daniel must have lived by those promises in his day.

He lived in a most discouraging time in a most secular and hostile environment yet because he knew his body grew strong and remain faithful to him over a long, long career and lifetime.

Well, those are some conclusions, all of which follow up on these sections of Daniel 11. The pertain to past history and have come to fulfillment, but we still come to the last portion beginning with verse 36 what are we to do with that.

We don't even know as we approach this exactly how it should be taken does it refer to past events or people think so. Or does it refer to things yet to come.

Is this a literal prophecy or are the things that are mentioned in these chapters to be taken in a symbolic fashion.

Certainly there are portions of the Bible where prophecy is conveyed in symbolic language.

What are we to do as we approach the section I want to suggest that we are helped in approaching it by a number of factors I said earlier that there are very diverse interpretations.

I would point out the very fact that there are diverse interpretations itself probably the most conclusive evidence the risk of these events are still future. If these events were past events and we should be able to fix them in history. Just the way we're able to fix the earlier portions of the 11th chapter see when you look at these earlier portions of the 11th chapter you find that there aren't a great deal of differences of interpretation. Regardless of the theological background of the commentator, a liberal scholar would identify these events. The kings of Persia and Alexander the great and the time of Antioch us to put these in much the same way a conservative scholar would because it is easy to identify.

Yet when we come to these last verses, we find that they don't easily fit any known patterns of history and as a result, the interpretations differ by argument would be the very fact that they differ should be the strongest possible argument that they concern things yet to come.

In the course of a concern things yet to come in we are to approach them differently see when we look at these previous versus return from them to history to try to match up history with what the first portion of the chapter says when we turn to this last section. If it's dealing with events, we don't have that external data to apply the passage so we have to simply look at it and try to understand it in the clearest way possible.

Recognizing with great humility that we may not fully understand what these verses are talking about since they concern a target to come in and secondly I think were helped as we approach it by saying, as I believe we must, that we should take these verses as literally as we take the preceding portion. You see, sometimes people come to sections they don't understand and say well then it has to be symbolic of something that we do understand, yet here we have a chapter in which no radical disjuncture appears first portion so this or very literal when it mentions the King there is a real king to whom it applies when it mentions a battle was a real battle to whom it applies like argument would be unless there are strong reasons for thinking.

To the contrary, this is exactly what we should do with the last portion as well. It speaks of the king as it does in verse 36 that must be an individual and so on. Now there are a number of approaches. Let me just look at one time the first is the approach that takes these verses says concerning the time of Antioch us a Tiffany's himself as he has been described earlier. Now this is a continuation of what is going to go. The strongest argument in behalf of this approach to the verses is that there is no major change between verses 35 and 36 so when verse 36 begins the king will do as he pleases its natural to identify that individual over the last mention king of the preceding verses and since that is Antioch us epiphanies its natural to think that what follows here concerns him the difficulty. However, as I've said already.

Is that what is said here does not naturally fit his history. Matter fact it's almost impossible to match up what is said here with what we know from the latter days of this individual.

So although this is been popular in some quarters.

It's really a very hard thing to do. John Calvin, for example, in his commentary recognizes that this does not fit the career of Antioch us epiphanies and so rejects the view. For that reason. Secondly, it's possible to look at these verses as pertaining to the early street of the Roman Empire that is in the time from the death of Antioch us epiphanies up to the time of Jesus Christ. This is Calvin's own view what's strong and favorable actors that here you have a sequence of events, and that is the next thing that happened historically after the time of the overthrow of Antioch us. Of the Maccabees which is suggested briefly earlier there came the time of the Romans and we would naturally begin to fit this into the Roman.

But it doesn't work real well is Calvin himself recognizes at least as I read it. One thing Calvin is unable to identify the king with any set individual because it just doesn't fit so he says you have to take that word king is referring to a kingdom that is to the entire kingdom of the Romans may be possible, but I think it doesn't fit so well because earlier. You see the king as an individual and I would argue that when the king is mentioned here should be taken in exactly the same way again. As Calvin works with this.

He finds it it doesn't all fit too well, and he says different points in his commentary.

I don't understand the precise time in which this is supposed to happen. My argument would be this is the third of the approaches that it does concern things yet future. I think the verses themselves say that it's true the verse 36 picks up almost as if it was a continuation of what said before, but when we get to verse 40 we read at the time of the end. Generally, that refers to the days immediately preceding the return of Jesus Christ and the final judgment and there's no reason to think that it's not referring to that here or over what is explained in the verses that follow. Verse 40 link up with what occurs in the verses that precede this entire section, beginning with verse 36 should be identified as things that are happening not in what we would call, past history, but in things that are yet to come before the return of Jesus Christ. Give a second argument in support of that these verses link up with the first four verses of chapter 12 because they say at that time that is verses that begin chapter 12 link up the verses in chapter 11. Yet what we find in the verses that begin chapter 12 are things that quite obviously are associated with a billion times is a time of great persecution described in verse one is a general resurrection described in verse two there is a final judgment mentioned in the same verse of there's the eternal blessedness of the saints mentioned in verse three all of that would provide, in my judgment. The timeframe for these things and give us a clue for understanding. Moreover, I point out that the second verse of Daniel 12 is almost quoted by Lord Jesus Christ in Matthew 24, 21, the context of his final discourses in there. He's pointing to events that are much in the future to be associated with the great tribulation before the time of his return. So we put all of those reasons together and I would say that's the way it should be handled or other passages of Scripture that speak of a great final battle.

Ezekiel 38 is one Revelation 16 in Revelation 19, or other supposed verses are all to be taken together, then the passages supply mutual means of interpreting themselves have pictured a warfare involving the king of the North against the King of the South in which a particularly corrupt and blasphemous individual identified elsewhere in Scripture as the antichrist is involved. All of this is followed by the coming of Jesus Christ and the establishment of his eternal kingdom we say that interpretation then links up with the way in which Daniel himself was talking earlier in the book and the great vision that's given in chapter 7, there you have particularly blasphemous individual that appears at the end of time.

It is judged and it's in that context of the thrones were set up the ancient of days takes his seat, Son of Man appears at all, authority, glory and sovereign power given to him and then the vision concludes by saying his dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away in his kingdom. One that will never be destroyed. I recognizes I give my particular view of that, that it's not something with which everyone is going to agree there's a sense in which the particular interpretation we give to these last verses is not the most important thing because what they're saying is that there is going to be a time of great persecution and whether we identify that at the end or whether we identify that with something that happened during the time of Antioch us epiphanies or during the early Roman Empire.

It is certainly something that has characterized the affliction of the church of Jesus Christ. Down through the ages.

There have been periods of persecution in the past.

There are times and places of persecution in our own days and there certainly will be times of great distress before Jesus returns to establish his kingdom and glory point of the verses is that God's people are to stand fast in such times are to be faithful to him there to bear faithful witness, regardless of the circumstances sometime ago for was a preacher who preached a sermon on the 11th song verse three which says the foundations are shaken.

What shall the righteous do after he had read the question, which was his text.

He replied well no one being righteous. Of course, that of course is what Daniel is saying. Also, this is what Daniel is saying in the 32nd verse, which is one of my favorite verses in all of Scripture, although I preferred in the King James version.

The NIV says the people who know their God will firmly resist it. The authorized version says the people who do know their God shall be strong and do exploits.

That's what's needed to say to people who know their God. As Daniel knew him and were able to stand firm and who, by the grace of God have been able to do exploits even in the most difficult of times question you see as the inescapable question that comes to each of us and it's this you know this not the question is not, do you know about him question is not merely have you read his book, but do you know him you know him in a personal way. You know him as the God of history do you know him as the God of circumstances. Do you know him as your God as well. As God, Daniel C. We need a generation of people who know that God how do you know him know him by seeking his face in Scripture by wanting to know him by asking God to reveal himself by studying his word by praying because why those channels as means of grace that God exists and builds our souls and makes a strong enables us to stand even in times of persecution and against the conflicting secular values of our world. Where is the generation of those who seek my face all God of Jacob. We need a generation of people like that today on this bright our father we ask for your blessing on our study where we have interpreted in ways that are wrong. We asked that that may be quickly forgotten where the points are those that you have placed there for our growth and edification. We ask that your spirit would take that and bear them home to our hearts. We might not merely be entertained by what we learn.

But that we might be changed, changed into the image of Jesus Christ and filled with his power, we might be the kind of people who by your grace actually make a difference in this corrupt and evil world prayer, Jesus, you have been listening to the Bible study our production of the alliance of confessing Evangelicals the alliance of confessing Evangelicals exist to promote a biblical understanding and worldview. Drawing upon the insight and wisdom of Reformation theologians from decades, even centuries gone by. We seek to provide contemporary Christian teaching that will equip believers to understand and meet the challenges and opportunities of our time and place. The alliance ministry includes the Bible study art featuring Dr. James voice every last word with Bible teacher, Dr. Philip Rieke and Dr. Barnhouse in the Bible featuring Donald Gray Barnhouse.

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