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Daniel

Prophetic Warfare

Daniel  11:1-35

(Note: verses and accompanying personalities covered in a separate set of notes.  Unfortunately, in the intervening years between the original lessons and the revision of the web site, the author has lost the notes in question.  Our apologies.)

Preliminary: the nature of this prophecy

To understand this section, please remember the following technical points:

·        North and South are relative to Jerusalem.

·        The “King of the North” is a title, like “king of England” would be. More than one person is indicated by it.

·        Invasion, war, etc. is that seen by the Jews.

·        The passage is so accurate that liberal theologians -- those who do not believe that prophecy can happen -- assume that they have all the evidence they need to “late date” the passage. With one slight exception, the characters in this passage are agreed upon by virtually all commentators, liberal or conservative.

Prophecy Specific: Why?

The reader may well ask why this section of prophecy, unlike so many others, has two key points:

·        It is extremely specific in detail, and

·        it covers a period of almost 300 years in that detail.

God does not often provide this. Indeed, for most readers of most times, the tales of these kings are of little interest, so we may conclude it was not done to provide a history lesson. I believe this detail was provided so that the reader would be certain:

·        Certain that God is omniscient; that he knows not only what is happening and what has happened, but what will happen as well.

·        Certain that the Scripture is the revealed word of that omniscient God, and therefore entirely trustworthy.

·        Certain that the events of the end times -- of which more next two weeks -- are indeed to happen.

·        Certain that God controls the future.

Lessons Learned - in general

One thing comes of watching a soap opera in human life: you become convinced that the principles by which God would have you live are indeed true. Note the following:

·        Despite all the intrigues for power, the invasions for wealth, and twists and turns of human love, all these kings come to their end. Their influence is soon gone.

·        Kings are human too -- they get jealous, angry, they miscalculate. All of us are sinners (including the politicians of the moment). And like all of us, our sins are visited upon our children.

·        No matter how fine the calculation, if you calculate in the world’s way (“they’ll never know”; “I’ll use her to get him to....”)

·        Despite the providence of God, or perhaps because of it, his people are never promised a lack of suffering, but triumph over it.

Religious Politics

Religious politics -- defined as making a political party out of a religion -- has been one of the most frequently attempted of political mistakes. It falls on one of two grounds:

·        Either the religion itself becomes polluted with political ends (such as happened to Joan of Arc), or

·        the political party becomes a religious faction (witness the Pharisees) with almost no witness and about as much power.

The foundering point is, “who rules?” The combination of religion and politics must face the question of who is in charge of both. There are three answers:

·        One man may be in charge of both - like Adolf Hitler. Those who would be God (the Epiphanies) are legion, and unanimously regarded as evil men.

·        If God rules, it soon becomes clear that politics is beneath religion, and the split soon arrives (if the union ever happens). Such was the happy state of America in her founding years. This no guarantee of peace or harmony, but compared to the alternatives -- !

·        If the state calls itself supreme over God (and it will not last), you will see this:

·        Those who cooperate with the state -- like the Hellenized Jews -- receive favorable treatment. They are given honor by the state because they “know their place.” God is now on the side of the party, or the politically correct. “Everybody knows” that God supports the politically correct.

·        Those who don’t become “the cult” which must be brought under control. We’re not opposed to real Christians, just right wing fundamentalist extremists. To oppose them we must use all the weapons at hand:

·        First, we must use the indirect weapons, such as taxation and regulation. It must be made clear to these nuts that their opportunities in this world will be greatly reduced by remaining faithful (you can’t be a manager unless you approve of homosexuality, for example).

·        When this fails -- and it will -- more direct methods must be used. Confiscate their belongings; prohibit them from speaking; imprison them on any and all possible grounds. (Does this sound familiar to the pro-life movement?) If you think it unlikely in America, consider this: in California, it is almost a certain arrest to picket an abortion mill -- but breaking up a church worship service is an act of free speech.

The conclusion

There are three points I would make in conclusion:

1) All governments -- no matter how loved -- are temporary. None is supreme. Therefore, render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s and unto God that which is God’s.

2) In any age, the church will be under pressure to become “Hellenized.” It will be told that it must conform to the will of the government. Support our war; preach in favor of our position; be silent in your opposition. The church must be the church; her Lord is Jesus Christ, not the state.

3) Whatever the government does, however they threaten -- GOD prevails. Lift up your head, redemption draweth nigh.

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