Angelic warfare, earthly Rulers & God’s Dominion

Angel

Wednesday 11/02/22 

Series: Thru the Bible

Message: Angelic warfare, earthly Rulers & God’s Dominion

***Video is HERE***

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Angelic warfare, earthly Rulers & God’s Dominion

Well we are on the last 3 chapters of Daniel, though tonight we will only be covering chapters 10 & 11.

Last time we were in Daniel we finished off the end of chapter 9 where we identified the difference between Messiah the Prince and the prince who would make and break a covenant during the final 7 years of Daniel’s 70 week prophecy which covered 490 years. This was the time of the antichrist and the great tribulation which also shows up in these final chapters.

As I have told you many times, Jewish thought and modern western thinking are radically different. Thought development in the scriptures is often holistic and can jump around in terms of chronological order and that is especially true of prophetic literature. Daniel is NO different in this regard.

Often, since the mid-point of this book we have had a telling and retelling of the same kingdoms which would arise between Daniel’s day and the coming of Messiah and the end of days. Tonight we repeat some of this only with more detail.

We begin in chapter 10…

Daniel 10:1-21,

“(1) In the third year of King Cyrus of Persia a message was revealed to Daniel (who was also called Belteshazzar). This message was true and concerned a great war. He understood the message and gained insight by the vision.  

(2)  In those days I, Daniel, was mourning for three whole weeks.  (3)  I ate no choice food; no meat or wine came to my lips, nor did I anoint myself with oil until the end of those three weeks.  

(4)  On the twenty-fourth day of the first month I was beside the great river, the Tigris.  (5)  I looked up and saw a man clothed in linen; around his waist was a belt made of gold from Ufaz.  (6)  His body resembled yellow jasper, and his face had an appearance like lightning. His eyes were like blazing torches; his arms and feet had the gleam of polished bronze. His voice thundered forth like the sound of a large crowd.  

(7)  Only I, Daniel, saw the vision; the men who were with me did not see it. On the contrary, they were overcome with fright and ran away to hide.  (8)  I alone was left to see this great vision. My strength drained from me, and my vigor disappeared; I was without energy.  

(9)  I listened to his voice, and as I did so I fell into a trance-like sleep with my face to the ground.  (10)  Then a hand touched me and set me on my hands and knees.  (11)  He said to me, 

Daniel, you are of great value. Understand the words that I am about to speak to you. So stand up, for I have now been sent to you.” 

When he said this to me, I stood up shaking.  (12)  Then he said to me, “Don’t be afraid, Daniel, for from the very first day you applied your mind to understand and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard. I have come in response to your words.  (13)  However, the prince of the kingdom of Persia was opposing me for twenty-one days. 

But Michael, one of the leading princes, came to help me, because I was left there with the kings of Persia.  

(14)  Now I have come to help you understand what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision pertains to future days.”  

(15)  While he was saying this to me, I was flat on the ground and unable to speak.  (16)  Then one who appeared to be a human being was touching my lips. I opened my mouth and started to speak, saying to the one who was standing before me, 

“Sir, due to the vision, anxiety has gripped me and I have no strength.  (17)  How, sir, am I able to speak with you? My strength is gone, and I am breathless.”  

(18)  Then the one who appeared to be a human being touched me again and strengthened me.  (19)  He said to me, “Don’t be afraid, you who are valued. Peace be to you! Be strong! Be really strong!” 

When he spoke to me, I was strengthened. I said, “Sir, you may speak now, for you have given me strength.”  

(20)  He said, “Do you know why I have come to you? Now I am about to return to engage in battle with the prince of Persia. When I go, the prince of Greece is coming.  (21)  However, I will first tell you what is written in a dependable book. (There is no one who strengthens me against these princes, except Michael your prince.”

Joshua 5:12-15 illustrates that this word could refer to heavenly beings. 

“(12)  Then the manna ceased on the day after they had eaten the produce of the land; and the children of Israel no longer had manna, but they ate the food of the land of Canaan that year. (13)  And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, a Man stood opposite him with His sword drawn in His hand. And Joshua went to Him and said to Him, “Are You for us or for our adversaries?” (14)  So He said, “No, but as Commander of the army of the LORD I have now come.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped, and said to Him, “What does my Lord say to His servant?” (15)  Then the Commander of the LORD’s army said to Joshua, “Take your sandal off your foot, for the place where you stand is holy.” And Joshua did so.”

We know from scripture that Gabriel is an angel who beholds the face of God.

Michael however is said to be an archangel. 

Jude 1:9,

“Yet Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” 

Rev. 12:7-9,

“(7) Then war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back.  (8)  But the dragon was not strong enough to prevail, so there was no longer any place left in heaven for him and his angels.  (9)  So that huge dragon – the ancient serpent, the one called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world – was thrown down to the earth, and his angels along with him.”

As we have noted in times past, angels seem to be immediately involved and interested in humanity. 

They are said to be present, watching, curious about mankind and salvation, they are messengers and apparently they fight against the angels that fell. 

They are organized in military ranks, and evidently the chief or archangels appear to be over nations and their “soldiers” (angels) may even be assigned to certain cities, townships and regions in that country. Such SEEMS to be suggested at least in the story of the Gadarene demoniac. If you remember, before allowing them to vacate the man and enter the swine, they plead with Jesus not to cast them out of the region and especially not to torment them by sending them into the abyss before the appointed time. [See Mark 5:1-20; Luke 8:26-39]

Michael specifically is over Israel

Chapter 10 ended with this angel telling Daniel that he must return to the battle regarding Persia and then after that there will be a battle regarding Greece. Since Paul tells us that God is the One Who by His sovereign power, causes nations to rise and fall, these battles are – at least in part, contentions against demonic forces who seek to disrupt God’s plans and purposes on earth by stopping those He wants in power or if when they fail to do this (and they will fail) they will then seek to corrupt them to serve their agenda.

So we already know two of the players on the board. They are the most immediate earthly powers who will be prominent in the earth. 1st the MedoPersian empire which was already in power and then Greece with the rise of Alexander the Great – all of which has been mentioned before in Daniel.

Chapter 11 begins with this angel who has been speaking with Daniel revealing some connection with the MedioPersian alliance. 

Daniel 11:1-45, 

“(1) And in the first year of Darius the Mede, I stood to strengthen him and to provide protection for him.)  

(2)  Now I will tell you the truth. 

“Three more kings will arise for Persia. Then a fourth king will be unusually rich, more so than all who preceded him. 

When he has amassed power through his riches, he will stir up everyone against the kingdom of Greece.  

“(3)  Then a powerful king will arise, exercising great authority and doing as he pleases.  (4)  Shortly after his rise to power, his kingdom will be broken up and distributed toward the four winds of the sky – but not to his posterity or with the authority he exercised, for his kingdom will be uprooted and distributed to others besides these.”

So this clearly depicts Darius, whose rule is not over the entire empire and ran congruent with Cyrus the Great. After this was… 

  1. Cambyses, the son of Cyrus who reigned only 7 years and 5 months
  2. Smerdis, the Magian, who was an impostor, who pretended to be another son of Cyrus who only reigned for 7 months.
  3. Darius, the son of Hystaspes, who married Mandane, the daughter of Cyrus. He reigned for 36 years.
  4. Xerxes,the son of Darius, of whom it is said that. “He had so great an abundance of riches in his kingdom, that although rivers were dried up by his numerous armies, yet his wealth remained unexhausted.”

This last king Xerxes is the very same who Esther married and whom God used through the intervention of Esther to save the Jewish people from annihilation.

In fact each of these future Persian and Greek kings were relevant to Daniel and his inquiries of God regarding Israel because in one fashion or another, each of them bore hostile intent against Israel.

The powerful king of Greece was of course, Alexander the Great, whose reign was brief and whose kingdom was divided up after his death. 

Alexander the Great did have a half-brother and 2 sons all of which were murdered so he was not succeeded by relative or  heir. So 4 generals stepped forward and assumed power of the Greek Empire but only two of them are focused upon here – again, because of their continual fighting over Israel’s land.

These two kings were Ptolemy I of Egypt and one of his princes whose name was Seleucus. Over time these two “families”, if you will, that of the Ptolemies and the Seleucids fought for over about 130 years. Whoever at any one time was more powerful than the other always controlled Israel’s land.

Now I could take the time to take you through each of these events and it would no doubt be a great history lesson, but suffice it to say that what is recorded here is a very accurate account of the future spanning nearly 375 years. In fact it is SO accurate, that secular historians and liberal scholars alike have sought in vain to establish a late date for the book of Daniel because such predictions are simply not humanly possible. They are right of course, but Daniel did not “predict this”. Technically he didn’t even prophecy this, he simply heard it described to him by an angel and he wrote it down.

“(5)  “Then the king of the south and one of his subordinates will grow strong. His subordinate will resist him and will rule a kingdom greater than his.”  

This is Ptolemy I of Egypt – king of the south and Seleucus, one of his princes who defected and established his own empire to the North.

“(6)  After some years have passed, they will form an alliance. Then the daughter of the king of the south will come to the king of the north to make an agreement, but she will not retain her power, nor will he continue in his strength. 

She, together with the one who brought her, her child, and her benefactor will all be delivered over at that time.”

The players involved here were Antiochus II (of the Seleucids) and Ptolemy II’s daughter Berenice. Antiochus II was already married to a woman named Laodice who he returned to, having put away Berenice when Ptolemy II died.

“(7)  “There will arise in his place one from her family line who will come against their army and will enter the stronghold of the king of the north and will move against them successfully.  

(8)  He will also take their gods into captivity to Egypt, along with their cast images and prized utensils of silver and gold. Then he will withdraw for some years from the king of the north.  

(9)  Then the king of the north will advance against the empire of the king of the south, but will withdraw to his own land.  (10)  His sons will wage war, mustering a large army which will advance like an overflowing river and carrying the battle all the way to the enemy’s fortress.”

The players here are Ptolemy III (the branch of Bernice’s roots) he invaded Syria under the reign of Selecus II who Ptolemy III outlived by about 4 years.

Back and forth fighting continue on through until the time of Antiochus Ephiphanies.

(11)  “Then the king of the south will be enraged and will march out to fight against the king of the north, who will also muster a large army, but that army will be delivered into his hand.  

(12)  When the army is taken away, the king of the south will become arrogant. He will be responsible for the death of thousands and thousands of people, but he will not continue to prevail.  (13)  For the king of the north will again muster an army, one larger than before. At the end of some years he will advance with a huge army and enormous supplies.”

The players involved here are Antiochus III who was defeated at the battle of Raphia. This forced him to give back dominion over the Holy Land to Ptolemy IV.  

(14)  “In those times many will oppose the king of the south. Those who are violent among your own people will rise up in confirmation of the vision, but they will falter.  

(15)  Then the king of the north will advance and will build siege mounds and capture a well-fortified city. The forces of the south will not prevail, not even his finest contingents. They will have no strength to prevail.  

(16)  The one advancing against him will do as he pleases, and no one will be able to stand before him. He will prevail in the beautiful land, and its annihilation will be within his power.  

(17)  His intention will be to come with the strength of his entire kingdom, and he will form alliances. 

He will give the king of the south a daughter in marriage in order to destroy the kingdom, but it will not turn out to his advantage.  

(18)  Then he will turn his attention to the coastal regions and will capture many of them. But a commander will bring his shameful conduct to a halt; in addition, he will make him pay for his shameful conduct.  

(19)  He will then turn his attention to the fortresses of his own land, but he will stumble and fall, not to be found again.  

(20)  There will arise after him one who will send out an exactor of tribute to enhance the splendor of the kingdom, but after a few days he will be destroyed, though not in anger or battle.” 

The rise of Antiochus IV (Epiphanes)

(21)  “Then there will arise in his place a despicable person to whom the royal honor has not been rightfully conferred. He will come on the scene in a time of prosperity and will seize the kingdom through deceit.”

By this is probably meant that he murdered his older brother or had him  murdered.

Clark says, “He flattered Eumenes, king of Pergamus, and Attalus his brother, and got their assistance. He flattered the Romans, and sent ambassadors to court their favor, and pay them the arrears of the tribute. He flattered the Syrians, and gained their concurrence.”

In the end though, he fails to conquer the southern king.

“(22)  Armies will be suddenly swept away in defeat before him; both they and a covenant leader will be destroyed.  

(23)  After entering into an alliance with him, he will behave treacherously; he will ascend to power with only a small force.  (24)  In a time of prosperity for the most productive areas of the province he will come and accomplish what neither his fathers nor their fathers accomplished. 

He will distribute loot, spoils, and property to his followers, and he will devise plans against fortified cities, but not for long.  

(25)  He will rouse his strength and enthusiasm against the king of the south with a large army. The king of the south will wage war with a large and very powerful army, but he will not be able to prevail because of the plans devised against him.  

(26)  Those who share the king’s fine food will attempt to destroy him, and his army will be swept away; many will be killed in battle.  

(27)  These two kings, their minds filled with evil intentions, will trade lies with one another at the same table. But it will not succeed, for there is still an end at the appointed time.  

(28)  Then the king of the north will return to his own land with much property. His mind will be set against the holy covenant. He will take action, and then return to his own land.  

(29)  At an appointed time he will again invade the south, but this latter visit will not turn out the way the former one did.  (30)  The ships of Kittim will come against him, leaving him disheartened. He will turn back and direct his indignation against the holy covenant. He will return and honor those who forsake the holy covenant.  (31)  His forces will rise up and profane the fortified sanctuary, stopping the daily sacrifice. 

In its place they will set up the abomination that causes desolation.  (32)  Then with smooth words he will defile those who have rejected the covenant. But the people who are loyal to their God will act valiantly.  

(33)  These who are wise among the people will teach the masses. However, they will fall by the sword and by the flame, and they will be imprisoned and plundered for some time.  (34)  When they stumble, they will be granted some help. But many will unite with them deceitfully.  (35)  Even some of the wise will stumble, resulting in their refinement, purification, and cleansing until the time of the end, for it is still for the appointed time.”  

As we have OFTEN seen, there are dual-fulfillments to prophecy nearly all the time. Usually it has an immediate fulfillment and a future Messianic or Kingdom fulfillment. That is, without ANY question, what is happening here, for both Jesus and Paul both make it clear and which we will read in just a little while.

The immediate fulfillment is well known in history and in fact, Teri and I taught on these issues in the history of the Jews regarding Antiochus Epiphanes WAY back when we taught a class here in the church on how to study the Bible.

(36)  “Then the king will do as he pleases. He will exalt and magnify himself above every deity and he will utter presumptuous things against the God of gods. He will succeed until the time of wrath is completed, for what has been decreed must occur.  (37)  He will not respect the gods of his fathers – not even the god loved by women. 

He will not respect any god; he will elevate himself above them all.”  

We know that the fulfillment of these things had some representation in Antiochus Epiphanes, but not all. The fulfillment of his disregard for all gods was certainly not the case with him, but it WILL BE so with the antichrist.

David Guzik reports that…Antiochus Epiphanes set up an image of Zeus at the temple altar. He demanded sacrifice to this image, and later desecrated the temple by sacrificing a pig on it.”

Wood says,  “It was in truth an abomination, which brought a desolate condition to the Temple, for now no one would come to worship at all.” 

In Matthew 24 Jesus, in clear reference to this passage in Daniel points to a future fulfillment relative to His ministry, as does Paul in 2Thess. 2:3-4.

Let’s read those passages.

Matthew 24:1-25,

“(1) Now as Jesus was going out of the temple courts and walking away, His disciples came to show Him the temple buildings.  (2)  And He said to them, “Do you see all these things? I tell you the truth, not one stone will be left on another. All will be torn down!” 

(3)  As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, His disciples came to Him privately and said, “Tell us, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign of Your coming and of the end of the age?” 

(4)  Jesus answered them, “Watch out that no one misleads you.  (5)  For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will mislead many.  (6)  You will hear of wars and rumors of wars. Make sure that you are not alarmed, for this must happen, but the end is still to come.  (7)  For nation will rise up in arms against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines and earthquakes in various places.  (8)  All these things are the beginning of birth pains.  (9)  “Then they will hand you over to be persecuted and will kill you. You will be hated by all the nations because of My name.  (10)  Then many will be led into sin, and they will betray one another and hate one another.  (11)  And many false prophets will appear and deceive many,  (12)  and because lawlessness will increase so much, the love of many will grow cold.  (13)  But the person who endures to the end will be saved.  (14)  And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the whole inhabited earth as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.  (15)  “So when you see the abomination of desolation – spoken about by Daniel the prophet – standing in the holy place” (let the reader understand),  (16)  “then those in Judea must flee to the mountains.  (17)  The one on the roof must not come down to take anything out of his house,  (18)  and the one in the field must not turn back to get his cloak.  (19)  Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing their babies in those days!  (20)  Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a Sabbath.  (21)  For then there will be great suffering unlike anything that has happened from the beginning of the world until now, or ever will happen.  (22)  And if those days had not been cut short, no one would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.  (23)  Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There He is!’ do not believe him.  (24)  For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.  (25)  Remember, I have told you ahead of time.”

 

2Thess. 2:1-12,

(1) Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you,  (2)  not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come.  

(3)  Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition,  (4)  who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.  

(5)  Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things?  

(6)  And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time.  

(7)  For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way.  

(8)  And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.  

(9)  The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders,  (10)  and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.  

(11)  And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie,  (12)  that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”

Guzik says,

Antiochus Epiphanes is important, but mostly as a historical preview of the Antichrist. This is why so much space is given to describing the career of one evil man – because he prefigures the ultimate evil man. Antiochus Epiphanes is the “trailer” released well before the Antichrist, who is like the “feature.”

It is unclear what “god” is desired by women other than to control men, as God warned about from the fall in the garden. However, this “could be” translated that this man will not desire women – thus making him celibate or homosexual.

“(38)  What he will honor is a god of fortresses – a god his fathers did not acknowledge he will honor with gold, silver, valuable stones, and treasured commodities.  (39)  He will attack mighty fortresses, aided by a foreign deity. To those who recognize him he will grant considerable honor. He will place them in authority over many people, and he will parcel out land for a price.  

(40)  “At the time of the end the king of the south will attack him. Then the king of the north will storm against him with chariots, horsemen, and a large armada of ships. He will invade lands, passing through them like an overflowing river.  

(41)  Then he will enter the beautiful land. Many will fall, but these will escape: Edom, Moab, and the Ammonite leadership.  

(42)  He will extend his power against other lands; the land of Egypt will not escape.

(43)  He will have control over the hidden stores of gold and silver, as well as all the treasures of Egypt. Libyans and Ethiopians will submit to him.  (44)  But reports will trouble him from the east and north, and he will set out in a tremendous rage to destroy and wipe out many.  (45)  He will pitch his royal tents between the seas toward the beautiful holy mountain. But he will come to his end, with no one to help him.”

Blessings!

Hi my name is Mark and though I am opposed to titles, I am currently the only Pastor (shepherd/elder) serving our assembly right now.

I have been Pastoring in one capacity or another for nearly 30 years now, though never quite like I am today.

Early in 2009 the Lord revealed to me that the way we had structured our assembly (church) was not scriptural in that it was out of sync with what Paul modeled for us in the New Testament. In truth, I (like many pastors I am sure) never even gave this fundamental issue of church structure the first thought. I had always assumed that church structure was largely the same everywhere and had been so from the beginning. While I knew Paul had some very stringent things to say about the local assembly of believers, the point of our gatherings together and who may or may not lead, I never even considered studying these issues but assumed we were all pretty much doing it right...safety in numbers right?! Boy, I couldn't have been more wrong!

So needless to say, my discovery that we had been doing it wrong for nearly two decades was a bit of a shock to me! Now, this "revelation" that did not come about all at once but over the course of a few weeks. We were a traditional single pastor led congregation. It was a top-bottom model of ministry which is in part biblical, but not in the form of a monarchy.

The needed change did not come into focus until following 9 very intense months of study and discussions with those who were leaders in our church at the time.

We now understand and believe that the Bible teaches co-leadership with equal authority in each local assembly. Having multiple shepherds with God's heart and equal authority protects both Shepherds and sheep. Equal accountability keep authority and doctrine in check. Multiple shepherds also provides teaching with various styles and giftings with leadership skills which are both different and complementary.

For a while we had two co-pastors (elders) (myself and one other man) who led the church with equal authority, but different giftings. We both taught in our own ways and styles, and our leadership skills were quite different, but complimentary. We were in complete submission to each other and worked side-by-side in the labor of shepherding the flock.

Our other Pastor has since moved on to other ministry which has left us with just myself. While we currently only have one Pastor/Elder, it is our desire that God, in His faithfulness and timing, may bring us more as we grow in maturity and even in numbers.

As to my home, I have been married since 1995 to my wonderful wife Terissa Woodson who is my closest friend and most trusted ally.

As far as my education goes, I grew up in a Christian home, but questioned everything I was ever taught.

I graduated from Bible college in 1990 and continued to question everything I was ever taught (I do not mention my college in order to avoid being labeled).

Perhaps my greatest preparation for ministry has been life and ministry itself. To quote an author I have come to enjoy namely Fredrick Buechner in his writing entitled, Now and Then, "If God speaks to us at all other than through such official channels as the Bible and the church, then I think that He speaks to us largely through what happens to us...if we keep our hearts open as well as our ears, if we listen with patience and hope, if we remember at all deeply and honestly, then I think we come to recognize beyond all doubt, that, however faintly we may hear Him, He is indeed speaking to us, and that, however little we may understand of it, His word to each of us is both recoverable and precious beyond telling." ~ Fredrick Buechner

Well that is about all there is of interest to tell you about me.

I hope our ministry here is a blessing to you and your family. I also hope that it is only a supplement to a local church where you are committed to other believers in a community of grace.

~God Bless!

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